Archive | October 2019

Dollar General, a blog post

This is a little outside of my normal blog topic scope, but today I am going to talk about Dollar General, specifically Dollar Generals opening in poor rural neighborhoods.

There are lots of articles about this.  I mean lots.  Dollar General actually has a practice of opening (to quote one blog post, “where Wal-Mart won’t go,” which makes the pundits talk about “shutting down Mom & Pop stores.”

Which – might be true in some places.  I don’t live in an urban area right now, although I know that most of the grocery stores left downtown Rochester when I was a teenager.  Your options are the corner bodega, the one sort of sketchy Shur-Save, or take a bus (or drive, if you can afford a car) out to a Wal-Mart or a grocery store on the edges of the town.

Where I live – Where I live, there’s not even the old half-carcass of a former grocery store.  If you want groceries, you drive/take the bus into town.  Or you buy them overpriced and stale at the gas station – which is what a lot of people I ride the bus with did.  Continue reading

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Hidden Mall 88: The Only Abby

She was, Abseil realized, asking a building what was next.  She was asking a building – and nobody was answering.  Nobody had said anything. Kevin and Olly were looking at her, not strangely – well, not too strangely – just waiting. 

Abseil cleared her throat. “Guys?”

“You’re steering.”  Olly tapped her shoulder.  “You saved me.”

“Me, too,” Kevin added in. 

“Nuh-unnh.  The two of you saved yourselves.”

“By following you,” Kevin countered. 

Abseil looked between them.  “Mall?” Continue reading

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Purchase Negotiation 19: Screwed

First: Purchased: Negotiation
Previous: Testosterone Stuff

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Leander would have been content to stay quiet when they left Mr. MacDiarmad’s office. Considering the way the last few hours had gone, he might have been content to stay quiet forever

If he was quiet, he reasoned, he couldn’t put his foot in it any deeper. If he was quiet, he wouldn’t end up with Sylviane dragging him back to her father, and maybe he could avoid her treating him too much like a broken doll. 

He was still a little surprised when Sylviane slid her hand into his and squeezed. He looked down at her — she wasn’t all that short, really, it was just somehow that he was still looking down at her — and raised his eyebrows, hoping that, at least, was safe.  Continue reading

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Running in the Bear Empire 61 – By Your Hand

First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: 60 – The Claw’s Hunter
Next: 62: Breathe
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She slipped out of bed and opened the window, found a clean tunic and slipped it over her head pulled it off and found an under-tunic, slipped both on, and laid out a tunic for Carrone.  She looked in her pack, not sure what she was looking for. For understanding.

“Hey.”  It took her a moment to realize that he’d said that several times.  “Hey, Deline. Lady Dedenarrion.  Look at me.”

She looked up, wondering why Pethiarrie hadn’t left her any trews, to find Carrone sitting on the side of the bed.  He’d made it and put on the tunic,but he was still sitting there, watching her.  

“Ask me again.” Continue reading

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The Great NanoWrimo Prompt Call

Teal Deer: If you’re a Patreon Patron, or if you leave a tip from now— Nov. 29th via Ko-Fi or Paypal, leave me a prompt on any one of the last 12 months’ Patreon themes (or Nov 19’s theme) and I will write you words.

The Great NanoWrimo Prompt Call

Hello gentlefolk!

For NanoWrimo this year (yep, it’s coming up that quickly!), I am going to let you — specifically my Patrons and tippers — tell me what to write. Continue reading

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Pheromones

Apparently, what happens when I have too much time to think in a hotel.

🧼

“You put what in the shampoo?”

“I didn’t put it in the shampoo, I changed our contract to a company that put it in the personal care products.”  Lorin wasn’t visibly on the defensive, yet, but there was a bit of a shoulder-shift going on. 

“Okay, so, our contractor put what in the ‘personal care products?'” Auria was not at all mollified by Lorin’s “correction.”

“Pheromones.   Not a lot, no, just a tiny bit.  Just enough to make people who visit our hotel feel like they’re part of an in-group, part of a select clan.  Just enough to make them breathe in and think ah, home about our hotel and our guests.” Lorin had clearly read all of the marketing material. Twice.

“Lorin. We are hosting a fantasy convention this weekend.  Every room we were willing to book is triple-occupied if not quintuple-occupied, and that’s not counting the guests they think we don’t know about.  So figure an average of 4.5 guests to each room.  They’re almost all requesting extra toiletries. Extra towels.  And they are spending all day in the main Conference Spaces.  Do you see the problem? Do you see?”

Auria gestured broadly towards the lobby, not that she needed to.  There were clearly two groups: those who had taken advantage of the toiletries and those who had not.  Or so one could assume from the very tight gathering of one group and the far looser gathering on the other side, the smiles and slightly tilted heads vs. the slightly stand-offish body language, the more tidy costumes, in some cases, vs. not.  Those who were in the first group were looking almost beatific.   And those in the second were looking both left-out and  irritated.

“So… you’re saying.”  Lorin looked at Auria, then back at the lobby, then back at Auria, “that I should encourage the rest of them to try our new hand soap?”

Want more?

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Landing Page: Unicorn/Factory

A new setting, Unicorn/Factory colors an early industrial world, where the ravages of rampant production are being held off by unicorns.

This story has some dark themes – not just pollution, corruption, and the clash of industrialization & farming, but also the very real costs paid by the farming towns. It also encompasses, in some stories, (unicorn-based) rape and forced pregnancy, maiming, and murder.


Best Places to Start
Down the River
The Silver Road (LJ)
Preconceptions


The Stories

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Apple-Picking

So, the first year we were in our house, someone came onto the property and just started picking apples.  Claimed they knocked, but T. was in the garage and they didn’t, say, leave a note or anything, they just started picking.

T. told them to Get Off My Property and, as far as we know, they’ve never come back.

I giggle about this sometimes.

Couple years ago, this guy who looked like a hipster except with a thick Eastern European accent stopped by and wanted to photograph our tree.  I told him only if he took some apples. 😉  He took like three reusable-shopping-bags worth and came back later for more.

Last year, a nice guy brought us a gallon of cider BEFORE he started picking apples, and brought us some maple syrup too, and then more cider.  Took a lot of apples – we did not have any shortage, let me tell you.

Just got a note from him the other day and, in addition, there’s a nice older lady who stopped by with her grandkids to pick some apples.  Hooray!  I am super thrilled by people who come to me to get apples.  (Especially when they leave cider behind).

But only if they ask first.

Or, you know, happen to bike by while we’re picking apples.

Or come with a good recipe for something we haven’t done with apples yet.

(And we still have more than enough for ourselves, let me tell you, even without breaking into the weird apple trees in the hedge row).

Also, tonight for dinner: Kale Apple Soup.

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