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GUYS!

HELP!

I am running an Indiegogo campaign to afford editing for my new book. PLEASE HELP OR SUPPORT OR JUST SPREAD THE WORD BUT I TOTALLY NEED ALL OF YOU RIGHT NOW.

Campaign is here:

igg.me/at/dragonbreathpt2/x/42…

PLEASE HELP ME VERY MUCH THANK YOU!
Sample of my next book is up over on the blog creativedoubledipper.blogspot.…

It also has the coupons to the other two books in the series. It's a chance to pick up the first book for free and the second at half price.

Well? What are you still doing here? Go over there and read things!
think we're getting close to That Time here, folks. One more edit through and I hand things over to my proofreader (AKA Mom) and we start work on the cover.

And because it is time for us to drum up a little interest and enthusiasm, it is COUPON time!

I cannot emphasize how awesome Smashwords is. Other than DA, they're the retailer who offers the best author cut, they do a ton of work distributing things to other sellers so I don't have to. They deal with Apple so I don't have to, ect. ect. So if you don't have an account there, go get one.  Probably the awesomest part is, for those of you who hate the idea of putting your credit card information out there, they let you pay via Pay Pal. So you don't actually have to stress about that.

Now: promotional stuff.
Starbleached
Starbleached.
Starlight without atmosphere was cold. It stole more life than it lended. Beams from New Houston’s sun lanced through the USS Marel Sanders’s front ports and tinted the interior graveyard gray. The fire bled out of Adrienne Parker’s auburn hair. Her trembling hands now resembled a corpse’s.
“Brace!” a voice screamed from the cockpit. Adrienne grabbed the arms of her crash couch. The Marel was a claustrophobic shoebox for supplies and personnel, and all fifty meters of it shook as enemy weapons fire grazed their rear. Electric bolts blasted through cockpit and tiny hold, playing over stacks of yellow medical boxes. The lights flickered. Adry’s heart sank. Only Overseer weapons burned out electrical systems while they made holes in things. It took all her willpower not to leap up and check her cargo, those precious yellow boxes stacked six deep around her.
Beneath the lids sat four thousand glass vials in black foam nests. The enzym

Starbleached is free, and you have no idea how much that hurts. That's still my best book so far IMHO. Use this coupon: RB36X And the link is over here www.smashwords.com/books/view/…
Planet Bob--full text available for purchase
One: Now
Bullets punctured the bulkhead to Bob’s right, and almost immediately the holes began to suck.
Nah, he thought, chambering the next set of rounds. This whole thing began to suck ages ago. Gun loaded, he watched the holes slowly heal over. Extruded carapace darkened to violet black. On a human ship, those holes would have been fatal. Overseer ships were damned good at keeping their occupants alive. It’s why their mind-wiped slaves were allowed to run around with full-caliber projectile weapons. Which were currently pointed at Captain Robert “Bob” Harris and his team.
Damn it, he thought, as another salvo cut through his cover. Everything on these damn boats was dark. The hallway behind him was dim as hell’s outhouse; the hallway in front of him pulsed with just enough orange and blue light for the pale heads of slaves to stand out like beacons. And they could most definitely see him. He braced himself, ducked around the cover and fired. His bullet

Planet Bob is in on the action, too. Half off! Yep. 50% off. Planet Bob is now one dollar.  Basically it's two books for half price if you grab 'em both. Coupon is WN73R and the link is here www.smashwords.com/books/view/…

Both coupons are good until April 10th. That's more than a week after Overseer's Own drops.

And don't forget, you can get SILVER BULLET for free now, both here on DA and over on Smashwords here www.smashwords.com/books/view/…



There you go. Books. GO BUY BOOKS.
So. We can sell things on DA now. And I've decided to take full advantage of this because my books? Are awesome. And you should be buying all of them. And because I can think of no better way to advertise my awesome than to put it all over my DA page, I have uploaded BLUE GHOSTS for sale in its entirety here on Deviantart.

Blue Ghosts (full text available for purchase)
Blue Ghosts
Part One: Raziel
Dinner with an Elf. You don’t do that every day. Casey Winter straightened the skirt on her very best dress, which was about six hundred dollars too cheap for her surroundings, and tried not to worry about what her dinner date would wear. Corpus Christi, Texas, wasn’t exactly a cultural hub, but it did have several nice restaurants. Marco Creed, the elf in question, had invited her to the nicest.
The Republic of Texas. By God, was it ritzy. Dark wood and burgundy trim glowed under expensive lighting. Cut crystal glasses full of aged scotch sat at elbows. Lush greenery curled around brass fixtures. Wait staff moved with the collective grace of cranes, and with the sharp eyes of hawks spying rodents in the grass. Empty glasses were filled, plates were whisked away the moment knife and fork hit four o’clock. Complicated telepathy kept questions to a minimum. Here’s a salad, a soda, the entrée, your scotch. Plate clink, silverware


You can buy it for a dollar.

It has:

-the full text .mobi file (that's for your Kindle) (you can also fake it by downloading a kindle app HERE: www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html… )
-the full text .epub file (That's Nook, Kobo, and everybody else) (Again. Nook apps are HERE: www.barnesandnoble.com/u/nook-…)
-the full text .html file (for those of you who have neither e-book reader nor the e-book reader apps Amazon AND barnes and noble offers)
-PLUS! BONUS WALLPAPER. BONUS WALLPAPER OF COVER ART!

Again: It is a dollar.

You can't buy coffee, you can't buy gas, you can't by a good sized candy bar and you can't buy a birthday card for a dollar.

But you can buy my books. For a dollar.

BUY MY BOOKS!
Yay, my new book is out! www.amazon.com/Planet-Bob-Star…

PLANET BOB, the sequel to STARBLEACHED, is now available on Amazon.

I am happy CW right now. :D
The new book is now posted and available for purchase!

Smashwords is here: www.smashwords.com/books/view/…

Amazon is here: www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009…

DAMN that cover looks good...
I'm having a book release contest for BLUE GHOSTS, which comes out on the first of next month. The prize? A print! A great big print of your choice.

Rules are crossposted from here: creativedoubledipper.blogspot.…

1. Review one of my Amazon titles here: www.amazon.com/Chelsea-Gaither…. (Starbleached is on a promotional give away right now FYI if you want to pick up a copy)

2. BE HONEST. I don't want glory glory happy happy praise and worship here. I just want reviews. Four stars, two stars, three stars, one star, I don't care. I want to know your opinion of my books. If you say it's shit and you never want to read another one, that's fine. You'll still go in the drawing. There are no reprocussions on giving me a bad review. Trust me. I'm harder on me than you'll ever be.

3. LINK TO THE REVIEW in the comments section of the contest blog post.

4. PICK OUT YOUR PICTURE You'll get the largest approved size. Usually this is twenty inches by thirty. It won't be framed, but these are damned good quality prints.

I'll generate the number October 1st. You'll have about 24 hours to contact me with your mailing address, otherwise I pick somebody else.

Remember, go creativedoubledipper.blogspot.… <---there to enter.

This gonna be so much fun!
www.amazon.com/Starbleached-ebook/dp/B0098SSMX2/

If you didn't grab a copy during its free period on Smashwords, go over there and grab one now. Or review it!

Go over there! go! Go!
Starbleached! IS. LIVE!!!!

www.smashwords.com/books/view/…

And it is FREE TO GOOD HOMES, until 9/9!

Coupon for free book is ST83W

Go get it! Go! GO!
Well, my first attempt at self publishing has been neither a resounding success nor a crushing failure. Pretty much what I expect it to be, as a matter of fact. I have been quiet on here because I have been working like mad on the next one

My goal has been to put out one little bitty book (20,000 words or so) a month. More of a novelette than a novel. So far I have one finished, one drafted, and one started. The next one SHOULD come out a week from Friday...um, 9/7, I think. I'm also gonna do something cool on my blog (if you read my blog) and set it up on Smashwords so that the book will be free, with a coupon code that I will post on my blog, also on the seventh.

the blog is here: creativedoubledipper.blogspot.…

I've been adapting to a Photoshop-less existance. GIMP+Elements is working alright-ish, so far. I miss a lot of things that Photoshop could do, but not enough to shell out six hundred bucks. The good news is, I am TOTALLY. LOVING. THE COVER. It is probably wrong to love your own art for your own book, but it looks killer awesome.

That is all. Nice to see you guys. :D

(PS. LABOR DAY WEEKEND! I WORK AT A RESTAURANT IN A COASTAL TOWN! I AM TERRIFIED!!!)
And we are now live on Smashwords as well as Amazon:

www.smashwords.com/books/view/…

From what I can tell, Smashwords is a little different from Amazon, because APPARENTLY (I say this because I have no clue) it supports lots and lots and lots of different reading platforms, AND lets you read it online if there are no other options. Same price, same everything.

And it's a dollar. I can't think of what else you can buy for a dollar. Um...Half a pack of gum? A can of soda?
Cover art for Silver Bullet by christwriter

www.amazon.com/Silver-Bullet-e…

The book is live, it is out. It is done.

Enjoy.
My adventure in self publishing continues.

Did you know that Kindle uses HTML coding? I didn't. And now I know that if you want to use italics in a book, you should be required to code for that because OH HOLY FUCK. CODING.

Yes. I hand coded the book my own self. I could have used conversion software, but I did not. Next subject, please.

I will make an announcement (and a link) when the book is live AND it works right. I've already had a couple false starts. Technically you could find it on Amazon now, if you went looking. Please, don't go looking yet. I'll let you know when it's ready. If you're interested. You know.
So the WHOLE FRICKIN WORLD decided to go to the beach today. And then they decided to eat at my restaurant.

When we are a waitress down.

Admittedly it is kind of a relief that this waitress is GONE, because she was our floor manager. And when she came on I was like, YAY I DON'T NEED TO BE FLOOR MANAGER ANYMORE there is a buffer between me and my boss THIS IS GREAT! And then she got rid of Bitch!Waitress who was a former prison guard, and I was like, okay, more money for us...and then she switched us from "rotation" based table assignment to sections, and made sure to take the section with the largest number of popular tables (Fancy Booth, Fan Table, Big Table A and lil' tables 8 and 9).

And because she had a runner (Aka TRAINEE) she made ONE THOUSAND FUCKING DOLLARS a FUCKING WEEK I SHIT YOU NOT.

Only she mouthed off to my boss, which is a bad idea. My boss could skin the hide off Chef Ramsey and use it as a floor mat. So my boss told her to Go. AWAY. And life was somehow sunshine and roses again. Except it is now summer, our city's population has tripled, and we are down from four waitresses to two.

Good news? I'm making about a hundred bucks a day. Bad news?

Uh, see above. Average tip is about 20.00 a table. And because this is a small-ish restaurant, we don't have bus boys, we don't have a bartender ('cept on weekends) and we make our own salads and deserts. And 90% of our money is made between six thirty and eight at night. So to make 100 bucks a night, you need five tables. Four of whom all came in at EXACTLY the same time. And there is this timer that starts running in your head after about two weeks as a waitress that tells you how long a table can wait before money starts gliding off your tips, and that timer starts dinging by the second table. And my boss is in the kitchen SCREAMING about why the salads aren't out yet.

The miracle today is that we didn't forget anything, spill anything on anyone, or get any major orders wrong (on my end, anyway.) But we survived the busiest night I have EVER seen with two waitresses and two trainees...one of whom may not show up again. IDK, I get 100 bucks for five hours work, I show up next day with a rocket up my ass, but I don't think this guy gets it.

Okay, clean cup, move down...

TOMORROW! WATCH THIS SPACE TOMORROW! I am posting cover art and large portion of the first short story TOMORROW! BE HERE after the fireworks! Please!

...yeah.

...I'm gonna go die now.
Okay. First off, I want to thank you guys for being supportive. All...uh, four of you, but that's still more support than I'm getting IRL. It's fantastic.

So here's the plan for the next seven days, or so.

First, I'm going to update my blog every day. Any major developments, setbacks, whatever, will be done there first. So if you're interested in Project E-pub, as I'm calling it, go over there, bookmark it, grab an RSS feed or however that works, and camp out.

I'm going to TRY to update this space every day with artwork, a screen grab, something. So this account is going to get a lot more active.

Now, I already have a title picked out, but I'm not going to reveal it yet. :D Instead, I'm going to post title, finished cover and a large portion of the first short story both here and on the blog on July 4th. Repeat: July 4th, after my area has its fireworks, I am posting the title, the finished cover and the first section of the main short story.

What would I like you guys to do?

This is the cover art:

Cover art for Unnamed Anthology by christwriter

I did not just post it for show. I would like anyone so inclined to critique the HELL out of it. Why? This is my billboard. This is the face I'm presenting to the world (Okay, Amazon Kindle customer base) July 15th. And I am well aware that it is not perfect. If you think you know why it isn't perfect? Tell me about it.

Take care, and watch this space for more updates. AND THE BLOG! DON'T FORGET THE BLOG!
I am about to do something that is either brilliant, hope-giving and encouraging, or completely and utterly stupid. Something that everyone I've talked to, who is a pro, has told me not to do, and yet something that my instincts tell me might, maybe, possibly, by a tiny tiny tiny chance, be the best thing I can do for my career.

Give me a minute. I need to get my guts up to do this.

*deep breath*


I'm going to try self publishing.

NOT WITH THE BOOK! NOT WITH THE BOOK! Jeez, calm down already. It's going to be five short stories, only two of which are related to the book. So I'm not completely throwing my career away. I'm just...trying something new.

And I have reasons. These are what they are:

1. I need to make money. Even tiny amounts of money is money I don't have right now.

2. I think I have the skill set to pull this off. Look up at the header, kids. I can do the artwork with one hand tied behind my back (given this hand is usually restraining a cat from keyboard-induced mayhem, that's not actually hard). I *think* I can pull off the marketing. If I have one weakness here, it'll be the actual writing, editing, and possibly marketing. Which brings me to...

3. No publisher is going to touch me if I can't do the writing, editing and marketing.They don't do any of that for you these days anyway. Unless they like you, but odds are they're not going to like you.

4. I can't find an e-publisher that fits my work. And I've been looking. An awful lot.

5. The turn around times suck. I don't mind waiting a year for an answer if I can send my work to more than one place. I do mind, however, if I can't.

And my final reason:

6. I just can't do it anymore.

Yes. Try hard and keep doing it and you will succeed. Everybody gets rejected. Winners never quit, ectera, ectera, if I get one more "HANG IN THERE SUNSHINE" tip, e-card or tricle laden cliche I am going to stab my eyes out. I have HEARD it before. Many times before. If rejection were my only issue I'd be blithely jogging along with query letters in hand. But it's not.

I'm a cutter. If you've read the blog, you know this. If you haven't read the blog before, welcome! Anyway, cutter. I am not actively into S/I but I have issues with it. I will always have issues with it. And over the course of the last two years I have discovered that rejection is one of my triggers. And that what was a small problem when I got my first form letter two years ago has become a big problem now.

Managing mental illness sometimes means avoiding unnecessary triggers and/or situations that will trigger you. Every time I see the a letter from an agent/publisher in my inbox, I am instantly back in a place that I don't want to be. I don't even have to open it to be flipped out of my skull. The last rejection I got was a huge deal. I don't want to mention how much I put into it, as it's a little embarrassing, but let's just say it was a lot more than a query letter, a few chapters and a synopsis. I spent the next couple of days so far out of my head, I considered asking my mother to hospitalize me.

I've tried managing this while submitting to the pros. I've taken long breaks from submitting, long breaks from the internet. I've avoided circumstances and situations that might make me think about rejections and writing when I feel kind of iffy about it. I've stopped listening to music that makes me think about it. And the result of this has been?

I can't go into bookstores anymore. They bring up too many issues.

And the thing is, if its this bad after just two years, where am I going to be in five? In ten? I can work on my issues, or I can work on my book, but it's become really apparent, I can't do both anymore.

Sorry. I'm just not strong enough to work until I'm good enough for the pros.

According to AA (not an alcoholic, just raised by a recovering one) the definition of insanity is to repeat the same action over and over, expecting a different result. So now, we're trying something different. And hopefully, something positive.

This is the plan: I have five short stories. Three are pretty random, and two are more or less prequels to the Novel that Never Was. They are in the process of being polished till they shine (as much as I can do on my own, anyway) and next month, sometime between the fifteenth and the twentieth, I am going to publish those five stories as one collection via the Kindle, the Nook, and wherever else I can find. And it is going to be a lot. Of Work. And two to three months from that publication date, I will release another group of short stories, probably five more. Some will have familiar characters in them, some will not.

I'm going to do this for one year. Release new stories (and artwork) as often as I can. And this time next year, I'm going to take a good, long look at where I am. If I've accomplished nothing, I'll either go back to seeking professional publication, or else gracefully retire from this whole writing thing.

What will I do if I'm successful at this? I have no idea.

(Crossposted from blog: creativedoubledipper.blogspot.…)

Also? Cover art:

Cover art for Unnamed Anthology by christwriter
(This is cross posted from my blog, so if you've read both, it's kinda a repeat. If you don't read the blog, WHY HAVEN'T YOU?) (kidding)

There is a reason restaurants take reservations. It is so that we can function as a business and prioritize both seating and food consumption. Meaning the people who are kind enough to call ahead? They get a good table, or at least a guaranteed seat during our rush hours, and (most importantly of all) when we run out of food, they get to eat.


So when the Owner is going out of town? And purposefully under orders so that food will not sit in the walk in and rot during the week no one is cooking? And then on Sunday night we have ten reservations, two of them over four people? And we start running out of food? We stop bringing people into the restaurant. This is not because we don't have enough food for YOU. It is because we might not have enough food for the people coming in at eight, and you, I am sorry to say, do not get preference over the people who took the time to call ahead.


So lovely people, if it is your wedding night, and you show up at eight on this particular Sunday night, and you have seven people, and a cake, and you did not make a reservation? You're not eating.


I do not care if it is your wedding night. I do not care if you have been planning this for six months--in fact, I am pissed off because if you HAVE been planning this for six months, which I highly doubt because I know that cake you are holding is the out-of-the-case-Italian-and-cream-cheese-buy-in-two-minutes cake and not a wedding cake, or even a special order cake, and you could have accomplished that purchase in two minutes, you could have taken two minutes BEFORE YOU WENT TO YOUR FUCKING WEDDING to call ahead.


I am a waitress. I have two jobs: make sure the people who either made reservations or are already here have a good night, and follow the boss's orders. Boss says no. Answer is no.


Screaming at me (literally. As in red in the face .Nice going, dude, your new wife is standing RIGHT THERE) will not get you a table.


In fact, you see that woman walking over in the t-shirt and apron? That's the owner. That's the boss. That's the woman who told me "no, don't seat them," and that's the woman who is coming over to see if maybe we can't swing it after all. She just heard you scream at her staff.


NOBODY screams at her staff.


You're telling your friends? She hopes you tell ALL your friends.


And slamming the door in her face as you leave? Yeah.


You're not coming back.
  • Listening to: Abney Park (STEAMPUNK BAND!!!)
  • Reading: ... stuff.
  • Watching: District 9
  • Playing: ... every day. Why do you ask?
  • Eating: Salsa
  • Drinking: Nothing alcoholic, damn it.
I've been laboring under the dual handicaps of a broken art computer and an obsessive need to publish my book which has been so far unsuccessful, but we're not talking about that anymore.

At any rate! I have a new picture in the works that I will post soon. Ish. Also, if you want to talk to me, check in, do a whosawhatsis, there is my blog:

creativedoubledipper.blogspot.…

and also twitter. I am CWGaither on Twitter. If you find me you win an internet cookie.

I have a new job, I moved, and I really freaking love my life right now. Really. Though that could just be the caffiene talking.

Anyway, see ya'lls later!
  • Listening to: Abney Park (STEAMPUNK BAND!!!)
  • Reading: ... stuff.
  • Watching: District 9
  • Playing: ... every day. Why do you ask?
  • Eating: Salsa
  • Drinking: Nothing alcoholic, damn it.
1. Because it would be nice to pick up the free copy of Time somebody leaves in the break room every day without having to read YET ANOTHER ARTICLE about it.

2. Because it would be nice to turn on the TV and Ditto.

3. Because (deep breath) THEY ARE NOT BUILDING THE THING IN GROUND ZERO. THEY ARE BUILDING IT NEAR GROUND ZERO.

4. Because these things are just as near to Ground Zero: daryllang.com/blog/4421 and nobody wants to get rid of them

5. IIRC, it's a community center, open to the public. Calling it a "mosque" is about as accurate as calling the YMCA a church. "Contains worship center" == church.

6. Because it's been nearly ten years and while I know we must never forget 9/11/2001 we must also never forget 7/4/1776 and the constitution of the nation celebrating its birthday therein. If we regulate against ONE religious building we open the door to regulate ALL religious buildings. IDK about you, but I do not want to have somebody sue to shut down a Christian church because it's too near a government building/previously harassed abortion clinic/the site of the Salem Witch Trials.

7. Because this shit makes my religion look bad. It makes my race look bad. It makes my nation look bad. And I don't like to look bad.

In short, ladies and gentlemen: KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF and let the New York Muslim contingent have their church. Mosque. "Community center". Whatever.
  • Listening to: Abney Park (STEAMPUNK BAND!!!)
  • Reading: ... stuff.
  • Watching: District 9
  • Playing: ... every day. Why do you ask?
  • Eating: Salsa
  • Drinking: Nothing alcoholic, damn it.
... the saying "burn the place down" must be taken literally.

The evening began when Trainee woke me on the break room couch. I have developed the ability to sleep shallow, in five minute gulps so that I can actually feel the sleep. It's not restful as real sleep but it means I can sleep through my lunch break and nobody will notice, as long as they don't go upstairs. Trainee, like most people, believes that the presence of another human being necessitates a conversation, even if that other person is curled up asleep on a couch. I agreed that I lose the right to not be waked when I began sneaking naps at work, so I sat up and shook myself off, and began making coherant-sounding noises while she talked about her impression of work. She has already learned what I call the Bakery Bitch, which is, effectively, bitterness at your fellow employees combined with the assumption that it Is Not Me. In her case, this is true. I did not care. I had fifteen minutes before work time commenced and I wanted to either go back to sleep or finish the program on TV.

This would not be the case.

When she finally went downstairs to clock in (having not yet experienced the great OH FUCK IT'S FRIDAY/SATURDAY/SUNDAY rush to finish work before you hit 40, she has no problem clocking in fifteen minutes early. I habitually clock in two or three minutes late, because after five days, that's an extra fifteen minutes I can use to clean something with. I find my name tag and put Duma Key back on my MP3 player. The great audiobook experiment, BTW, is going well. Better since I figured out that if I stop the book and go back to music, I can go back to the same place.

I realize that half the stuff I need to bake did not get panned out. I go to the back to hunt it all down, don't find it, and then realize it was up in front. Someone literally just did not care, and did not do their job. While I am doing this, Trainee starts her doughnut pan-out. She asks me where the apple fritters are. I explain that we are out, but we got another kind in and she should make those instead. We also have two boxes of Smiling Pumpkins, which I will explain some other time, but I didn't think to tell her to use those. Trainee vanishes. I continue doing the pan-out.

After about thirty minutes, I look up. Trainee is methodically slicing up the tops of the Jenny Linds, which are basically fried cinnamon rolls that you glaze. I get closer and realize that she has added this apple filling stuff we have, that is highly syrupy, sweet and a little obnoxious. I ask her what she's doing. She says, "making apple fritters." I bite my lower lip. Our second day was mostly her working, and me reminding her to please either wash her hands or change her gloves (or wash her gloves) in between glazing screens because the glaze WILL get everywhere, including in the fryer, and you cannot get sugar in the grease. We can't get fritter filling in the grease either. She says, "Well, this is how we used to do it, back in the day."

I have no idea how we used to do it back in the day, I just know how we do it here, and after counting to ten and chewing on the inside of my mouth for a second, I ask her to throw the Jenny Linds away.

The next problem came when she had to weigh out the mix for our sour cream doughnuts. I like them, they're like little flowers and if you cook them right, they'll turn into little spirals. They are also not cloyingly sweet when cooked, and edible when unglazed if you eat them right away. Unfortunately something in the mix makes my mouth tingle and my skin break out in small hives, infrequently. The mix is simple: Ten pounds, weighed in five-pound increments, and then half a gallon of water, or four pounds, two pounds for every five pounds of mix. The easiest scale to use is also simple, and low tech. We have three weights, a four pound, a one pound, and a two pound, a plastic bin and a counterweight we made ourselves, out of packaging and flour. I made Trainee use it every day she was with me. I was using it earlier to weigh out the base for bread, so it was set up for me, weighing out about four pounds of whatever. Trainee does not readjust for the recipie. I catch her and politely suggest that she switch the two-pound weight with the four pound weight and zero out the siding weight that ticks off ounces. She looks at me. I repeat myself, slower, using smaller words. She continues to look at me. I ask her how many pounds of mix she needs. "Five". Now, how many pounds does she have on the scale? "Five." She has her hands on the ounce slider. I explain this. Twice. She makes an "OH" face and fixes the weights.

She still gets it wrong. I check the mix, realize that somehow the wires remained crossed, figure out how, and tell her to put the extra two pounds of mix back in. She does, but by now the night decorator has claimed the mixer for her frosting, and Trainee will have to wait. She shrugs and starts on the doughnuts.

For about three hours, all is well. Trainee is occupied and has not burned herself, I am busy, and we're moving into one of my favorite parts of Duma Key, when Edgar's paintings start getting weird. Then trainee decides to remix the sour cream.

She does not fix the weights. I ask her, again, how much she's got on the scale. This time I have been weighing out cuts of dough for french bread, and there are eight pounds on the scale. She looks at them. I tell her to add them together. She realizes that there is too much and grabs the four pound weight, leaving a grand total of four pounds on the scale. At this point I am whimpering inside, because this is not rocket science. This is not even basic math. I think I could have done this in first grade. I think I did do this in first grade. I carefully walk her through the tricky process of getting ten pounds of mix and four pounds of water into the same mixing bowl, make sure she mixes it right, and then continue doing my job while keeping an eye on her to make sure that she doesn't roast herself.

Now part of my job IS watching and helping Trainee. Problem is that "helping" means "there to answer questions" and Trainee is not ASKING any questions. She's just barreling on full speed ahead, and doing very odd things in the process. And when you tell her "No, you can't do it this way," Or "This is how you do it", she nods and either says "Yeah, uh-huh, that's the way we did it back when," like she knew what to do and doesn't need to be told again, how DARE you instruct her, or else says "Okay, uh-huh, bye-bye."

So I help her through the baking, I help her get the showcase together, I let her do the doughnut boxes and I finally get to the last batch of dough. Other people are showing up, and all that is left for Trainee is the clean up, which I made her do, on her own, every single day I was with her. She has also worked three days on her own, so this should be, if not easy, something she can at least do. I figure it's safe to start listening to my book again.

The Baker this morning is someone I will call Whistler. She doesn't whistle, though. She's older than my mother, has no teeth, and is Hispanic, which I wouldn't care about if English were not her second language. I choose to believe that her comprehension difficulties are due to English as a second language and NOT because of a general deficiency of wit, because I desperately want to believe the best about people and deciding that someone is stupid is very much Not Nice. Whistler has two settings: Humming and "Where's my Glasses?" If she is not humming, she is squeaking. If she isn't squeaking, she's singing (which is not an improvement) and if she's not doing that, she is trying to find (insert noun here) by asking everybody else in the department if they've seen it. She's very scattered, and will make very loud noises for no reason other than discovering that she's gotten sugar all over the work table.

This is why, when Whistler began screaming, I didn't think anything was wrong until she started saying "Fire!"

Trainee, while I was focusing on getting my work done, had boxed all the doughnuts and begun draining the fryer so she could filter the grease. When you drain the grease you first turn the machine off at the thermostat and not the master switch, then turn the knob to empty the vat. You want the heating element off but the machine itself to remain live so you can work the pump, rinse out the worst of the debris (frying creates a thin film of black grainy ... stuff. Mystery goo) and get the grease back into the fryer before it cools. If you leave the heating element on, it begins to smoke. If you leave it on for a while, it begins to smoke an awful lot and to smell like Barbeque. It's not something you can miss. I forgot once, and walked away without first making sure the heater was off, and two minutes later came back to rising smoke and that barbeque smell. Trainee had kept going until the fucker caught on fire, and had then grabbed Whistler, who decided the most helpful thing she could do was scream "FIRE!" at the top of her lungs.

I saw this and went for first the fire extinguisher, which I had never used and was not sure I could, in time to get the fire out without hurting either myself, Trainee or the frying vat. But we also have a wall unit that vents directly into the fryer, so I yanked that. It immediately dumped an oily mist into the fryer that I swear to god was antifreeze, and also tripped the fire alarm for the store.

Fuck.

Trainee is standing to one side, staring in awe as green stuff vents into the fryer, dribbles onto most of our baking trays, our glazer, and into the draining vat, still full of grease. A spreading puddle of it pools across the floor and goes into the drain. Whistler is on the other side. Still screaming. I walk back across the room and shut off the machine from the master switch. The ANSUL system continues to vent. Our Store director comes over to find out why the fuck the fire alarm is going off. I explain that we forgot to shut off the thermostat and we had a small grease fire. At this point the panic high ends and my brains start to dribble out the back of my head. Ever since I got here, I have known that in case of fire, you pull that switch. No one ever went past that, into cleaning up a very large puddle of neon green oily stuff. Trainee asks me what we should do now. The phone rings, and it is our company's emergency response people trying to find out why the fuck the fire alarm is going off. I explain again, this time careful to leave out the part about "new girl" because if Trainee can survive lighting the store on fire I would like her to. I go back to trying to figure out what to do about the green stuff. The phone rings again. Why the fuck is the fire alarm going off?

This went on for another fifteen minutes.

Finally I tell Trainee to get the stuff we can roll back to the back cleaned up while I get my work area squared away and try not to vomit into the dough mixer. Trainee vanishes into the back. I successfully keep my lunch, probably because I didn't actually eat. Someone shows up and regretfully tells Trainee that we will have to throw out the fryer grease and the doughnuts she made. Trainee tries desperately to save them, with probable success. IDK. At this point all I care about is getting every fucking particle of green out of the fryer, the glazer, the trays next to both and the floor, because I have no desire to be the origin story for Texas's first mutant supervillian. Fortunately the stuff practically glows. Unfortunately most of it is UNDER THE HEATING ELEMENT, which is unharmed. I settle for blasting the shit out of it.

I made sure the glazer was clean, the fryer was clean, and the floor was not glowing. I dragged the rack of trays back to the dishwasher to clean and left Trainee with them. I never want to set foot in that fucking place, ever again, and I actually hope that I DO get written up for bad training, that I DO get fired, and that I never have to look at another fucking doughnut as long as I live. What is more likely is that Trainee goes "uh-huh Bye Bye" and I get back in the hot seat.

I'm going to go die now.
  • Listening to: Abney Park (STEAMPUNK BAND!!!)
  • Reading: ... stuff.
  • Watching: District 9
  • Playing: ... every day. Why do you ask?
  • Eating: Salsa
  • Drinking: Nothing alcoholic, damn it.