Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's done

I won the race against myself. 50,000 words in one month -- One story badly in need of editing, revising, rewriting, but that's for another month. Couldn't have done it without the encouragement and competition from my writing friend Lisa.
We both made it -- she had 2 days to spare and I had 1.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Dog's Life

You built this cozy fire for me?

Gee Thanks.

I'll call you if it goes out.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Novel Idea

I'm thoroughly enjoying NaNoWriMo -- mostly because I'm on target and that's such a good feeling. Here's an excerpt from one of my early chapters.

Grace and Christophe -- No R

Grace said, “My parents trotted me off to confession where I’d stand in line waiting my turn to talk to the priest. Then I went into the dark little cubicle and knelt down, waiting again, until the priest opened his window. There was a dark screen and you could only hear him, not see him. I was so nervous all I could do was make things up. I remembered most of the Ten Commandments so I’d work my way through those. I told him things I never would have done…not in a million years, but they were the only sins I could think up. When I was eight, I confessed to adultery.”

Her husband burst out laughing, "You never told me that. Did you even know what it meant?”

“Of course not -- I was eight!" Grace said.


They say you should write what you know. I know church. For better or worse, I know church.

I'd love to stay and chat, but I've got a word count to meet. 50,000 words by November 30th.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nearing the 1/2 Way Point

I'm right on target with my NaNoWriMo novel. Almost 1/2 through the month, almost 1/2 to my goal. I'm really enjoying getting to know these characters, who are becoming like friends. And I'm surprised how they keep surprising me. Just found out one of them is a hoarder! "Really?" you ask. I know, I can't believe it either. This is such a nice diversion from the drama of real life. It leaves me wondering though, why would Alice have ever wanted to leave Wonderland. Beats me. But that's back where I'm headed. I'll post again when I resurface.

Still living off last Sunday/Monday getaway to Bedford Springs Resort:

We're saving up to go back there sometime.

Friday, November 11, 2011

It Snowed Last Night!

In the middle of the night it turned white and bright outside, snow...three, maybe four inches. While I was reveling in its beauty, Tom groaned. It's almost mid-November...an early start for what he deems bad weather. Snow makes Tom's job harder, more stressful. He worries about his school bus drivers, their safety, the safety of the children, yep it's stressful. I on the other hand  I am chastising myself for not cutting the mums back and getting them covered with pine branches so they'll be snug enough to winter-over safely and come back in the spring. I may still get a chance to do that...November snows often melt away before winter sets-in in earnest. Not always, but often.

We had beautiful weather this past week. It would have been perfect for outside chores, but alas, I'm sick. A tenacious cold virus going around got me. And it got me good. I thought I was handling it just fine until a secondary sinus infection sneaked up on me. But now that I'm on an antibiotic surely this won't hang on much longer, right? Right. Anyway with that, and snow outside, isn't this a great day to hang out in pajamas all morning? Maybe even all day long.

Last week, when I didn't think this cold was anything to worry about Tom and I went away for an overnight stay at Bedford Springs Resort -- belatedly taking a trip our kids got us for our 40th wedding anniversary. It was  spectacular and we had a fabulous time. Lots of history there...10 or more presidents used the Bedford Springs Hotel for their summer White House, back in the day. And by that I mean the 1800's. The place is beautifully refurbished, an indoor mineral springs pool was completely redone several years ago. We enjoyed the pool, the hiking trails, the porches, the fine dining experiences, and the over-the-top care and service. And I wasn't feeling miserable then. Hmmm, maybe I overdid? (But it was so worth it!)

The hike started by crossing the bridge that connects the hotel to the big woods... 
Into the woods

It was uphill no matter what trail you picked. We chose the drastically uphill one...unknowingly...you might say we chose poorly. No, not really, the hike was such fun. Which is what we said to each other later. Because while we were climbing, there was no breath to waste on talking.

There's the summit.

About half way up, looking down.
And back again.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Favorite Day of the Year

Tonight we turn the clocks back one hour. Fall behind. And that means that tomorrow morning when I normally get up around 7 or 7:30 it'll only be 6 or 6:30. Love it! I love to have slow relaxed mornings. I hope you all will enjoy your extra hour as much as I will.

November, besides being NaNo month, is my firstborn son's birthday. I'm remembering how much I enjoyed having a baby in the fall. I'd bundle him all up in the sweetest fleece snowsuit and take him for walks when it wasn't too cold. We stayed inside a lot. When spring arrived he was old enough to sit in a stroller and we'd walk the sidewalks of downtown State College. Then we moved to New Wilmington -- a beautiful little college town. And again we walked the streets, visited the community pool almost daily, and played at the playground. It's like that was a different lifetime and we were different people. Which I guess it was and we were. Thank goodness. You wouldn't want to stay the same forever now would you? Life is about growing, and moving, and learning, and getting better. I often think these days of one of my dad's favorite sayings, too soon old, too late smart. That captures it for most of us.

November is also Thanksgiving month. And here's hoping we're smart enough, at whatever age we happen to be, to give thanks. Many of my facebook friends are posting something everyday that they are thankful for. I'm too shy to jump in and do that for fear the things I'm grateful for won't measure up on someone's scale or that I won't post them in the proper level of priority. You know, God, family, church, laptop...or maybe the pets should come before the lappy. I don't know, I'm not all that crazy about the pets sometimes. They shed. I love their company, one cat and one dog, but they shed. I like petting or cuddling, don't mind feeding them, but they shed. Hairless cats are ugly but maybe our next pup could be some non-shedding variety. But I've already decided there won't be a next pup, because even if the shedding gets on your nerves, the dying breaks your heart. And that's what they do, eventually.

I'm thankful for books, I love a good book. I like movies, TV (sometimes), a clean house, a freshly mowed yard, a good church service, kids,  -- I'm delighted by little kids, and get a kick out of big ones. And it's a good thing I like kids because I absolutely love babies, I'm so thankful for little babies, but in no time they turn into kids.

I'm thankful for a warm house, good food, comfy clothes, a husband who loves me, and unseasonably warm weather in November. Tomorrow is the 6th and it's going to be 60 degrees and sunny. Gotta be thankful for that. And an extra hour of daylight to boot. Wait, that's not right. An extra hour in the morning, but evening is going to come an hour sooner. Dang. Not really thankful for that. Well I'll have to start looking forward to my husband's favorite day of the year, Dec. 22nd -- the day after the shortest day of the year. It's all uphill from there. The days start getting longer. The sun gets up sooner and goes down later. I can't wait for Dec. 22nd. The turning point. It'll be here before we know it. I'm thankful for that!

But see, look at that -- the order is probably all wrong.

Nathan and Phoebe
Phoebe curled up after a bath

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy National Novel Writing Month!

...or NaNoWriMo as the designers of the organization call it. Whatever you call it, I'm doing it. Writing a novel in a month. At least I'm giving it my best shot, and I'm so excited...make that terrified...no, excited. (There's a fine line between those two emotions, and I'm crossing it, jumping it and then jumping back again. It's kind of like jumping rope, double dutch fashion. And if I don't stop I won't have any energy left to write.)

Here's my plan --
It's a storyboard. A variation of an outline. I've got 12 blocks that make up the main scenes of my novel. Notice those last few blocks are a little sparse. They aren't as fleshed out as the earlier blocks because I have to leave room for my characters to speak to me. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. The blocks are easily movable so, as the story writes itself (which I'm counting on it doing :) I can move my write-ups around.

I may be unavailable for the next month -- I mean the goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. That's about 1700 words a day. I'm up to 700 today, only 1,000 to go before I put my head on the pillow tonight. No problem. It's doing it 7 days a week, including Thanksgiving day, that might be a problem. But, we're allowed to work ahead, so.... I CAN do this. Right?

We'll see. Now, what else can I do to procrastinate before getting back at it?