2015-03-29

Updates

My last post was 3 weeks ago. The day after I posted that last blog entry the nuclear plant I work at shut down to begin its 15th refueling outage. This is a time of intense activity at the plant. Systems are disassembled, inspected, and repaired. The fuel is removed from the core and the reactor vessel is inspected and cleaned. New fuel is loaded and the plant is put back together so it can run non-stop (hopefully) for another 18 months.

In past outages, I was in the I&C (Instrumentation & Controls) shop. I would be dressing out (our term for getting into anti-contamination clothing) and going out to work in undesirable places like containment and drywell. These places are cramped and hot. But this outage is different for me. Today, I sit at a desk and write Microsoft Access programs. I would prefer to use a better platform like C# but these applications need to be quickly and easily maintained by people who would most likely not know how to program in another language. Getting C# loaded on my PC would be a long and involved process. Access comes pre-installed and has the power to do anything I need.

Today is my first day off since March 9th. I've written thousands of lines of code and three of my applications are in use helping keep the outage on track. I've been working from 0400 in the morning until noon or later. A couple of days I went in at 0200 to relieve a person from the home office so he could have a day off. He's up here to help us get our scheduling reports out on time and to keep the scheduling software running smoothly. I love my job and not having a day off was not a problem for me.

But, just because I've been working strange hours at the plant does not mean I've not been able to get any writing done. Dragonverse Origins now stands at over 20,000 words and is coming along nicely. I'm getting the feeling that this book is going to end up being roughly 95,000 words.

In case you're wondering, I'm still patiently waiting for my membership to the SFWA to be approved. I sent them copies of my 1099s from 2012--the year I did very well in book sales. I received an email saying that the board wanted proof of continuing income. So, I sent them copies of my next two years 1099s--not all of them, just the larger ones. That was over a week ago and I have still heard nothing. I am, if nothing else, a very patient person and so I'm waiting. If I am denied membership I will find a way to appeal because I am more than sure I meet their requirements. I should have some final information by the time I write my next post.

Right now, it's very early in the morning, my wife will be sleeping until 0930, and I have time to write.