Lilac blooms

March 2014 2

Every year this lilac bush blooms and I go through the same routine. I run over and sniff the lovely blossoms, sneeze, and then call my mom to tell her that the plant is still alive.

When I moved into this house, she brought me a plastic tub, filled with sticks in clumps of dirt, and assured me that if I planted them right here and watered them on occasion, they would grow into the same beautiful lilacs that line one side of her yard.

I doubted that, since I had no experience with gardening. But they’re resilient plants.

March 2014 4

 

Advertisements

Nothing but blue skies ahead

Blue Skies April 2013  4249
Wow, it’s really flat here.

I dove into the archives and found this photo that I had neglected to post. I think it was from last summer, but the photo was from Easter, I think. We were driving to my in-laws for brunch and it the sky was filled with fluffy clouds. I taught my niece the game where you look for shapes in the clouds. “It’s a cottonball,” she yelled.

Right now, our skies are gray, but you won’t hear anyone complain about scattered showers. We’re going to be a very thirsty state later this year. Send your leftover snow to us, please.

Merry, Merry

Xmas tree 2013 4I have this friend who has had, like, a hundred different jobs. An exaggeration, but not by much. Florist, nurses’ aide, pet groomer, substitute teacher, police dispatcher, cake decorator, and more. At this time of the year, I remember when she worked at a store that sold Christmas decor. Really nice, expensive ornaments and other decorations. They also had a full-service tree decorating service, which was something at which she excelled. For the two years she worked there, I got the best gifts. Shiny, lovely glass ornaments that remind me each year how much she has brought to my life in the past 20+ years.

Next week, I’m having a pre-Christmas lunch with my friend, who is starting, yes, a new job in January. I can’t wait to hear what adventure lies ahead for her.

The Christmas Tree Hunt

Xmas tree hunt 2013 11We braved the ice and snow and headed up to the mountains to find our Christmas tree. Despite the appearance, it was in the mid-30s and sunny and not at all that cold. The snow was dry and fluffy, so when I slipped on an icy patch and tumbled into a drift, the flakes just brushed right off. And it was a fairly soft, if cold, landing.

After a short walk, we had found the perfect tree — a six-foot silver tip. Some chili and mulled wine next to a fireplace and we were warmed inside and out.

Now the fun part starts. Somewhere in the attic are the boxes of ornaments and miles of tangled strings of lights.

Merry, merry!

Resolution Update — November 2013

I love the idea of National Novel Writing Month. I love the community that comes together in support of each other. I love the madcap dash to write that book now before the idea dissolves into the ether!

I do not love that every November I seem to have huge work commitments that eat up all my spare time and energy. Plus there’s the holidays and I have a large family, so Thanksgiving means either hosting a dozen people for dinner or traveling out of town. This leaves little time for writing.

This year was a little different. I didn’t have huge work projects, but I did have a personal commitment to finish the manuscript of Trust Me, I’m A Lawyer so I could submit it by the end of the month. Because that was my priority, I didn’t sign up for NaNoWriMo this year. Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 3.25.24 PM

But, somehow, I still managed to write and at the end of November, I had logged 15,087 words. That’s nearly 300 more words than my monthly goal of 14,795. So yay! And I finished the revisions for Trust Me and submitted the full manuscript. Now the waiting…

So what did I write this month? A good chunk, 3,270 words, was rewriting scenes in Trust Me. Another 4,784 was on the first-person WIP that is still untitled. And 7,033 words was an outline for a story that one day, I hope, will be book No. 4 in the Twin Rivers series that begins with Trust Me. This last idea grew out of something that my friend’s ex-husband did several years ago, but when I was recently re-telling the story to someone, I got angry all over again. So I decided to put that energy to good use. It’s been productive and cathartic.

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 3.24.49 PMAnyway, I’m now at 136,748 words for the year. My goal was to reach 180,000 words in 2013, and it’s looking very doubtful that I’ll make it.

In the next month, I’m going to do my damnedest to reach my yearly goal, though if I make the 15,000 word goal for the month, I’ll be thrilled. I’ve completed 8 chapters in the first-person WIP and since I have an outline, it’s flowing pretty well. I’m planning to focus on that WIP until the end of the year.

Of course, I’ll be squeezing the writing in between parties, baking, tree-cutting, decorating, gift-wrapping, and all the other fun things that happen this time of year. And with that thought, I think I’ll take a break from the keyboard and start pulling down Christmas decor from the attic.

Cats v. Robots

Girls
The Robots are broken. Get on that, will ya?

Warning:  Cat story ahead. I don’t do this often, because frankly, my cats aren’t that interesting. I mean, they’re cats. But against my better judgment, I’m posting a cat story. With a cat photo. Sigh.

This time change deal is not going well. I would be fine with setting the clocks back and gaining an extra hour.

However, not everyone in the house is happy with the change. You see, some residents here are rather food-driven. So much so that they begin lobbying for breakfast way, way too early in the morning. To fix this, we recently installed two automatic food dispensers, affectionately called The Robots, to feed the ravenous beasts.

This worked. Now in the early morning hours, the cats go harass the Robots in the morning for their breakfast, and promptly at 6 a.m., the Robots deliver.

Until this morning. The Robots were set to standard time. But cats, they do not understand daylight savings time. Come feeding time, the Robots were not giving up the kibble.

It was clearly time to panic.

This is why I woke up this morning to a paw patting me on the nose. And then a close-up view of two furry faces. And then insistent yowling. Then a more aggressive pat. Like a small punch. Then the sound of fabric ripping as a co-conspirator attacked the drapes.

So much for the extra hour of sleep. I got up and staggered toward the kitchen, but tripped over the fluffy terrorists and slammed into the door jamb. My neck and shoulder haven’t felt right all day.

The little beasts did convince me to program the Robots to give food earlier and we’re going to ease into the return to standard time. It seemed the safest route.

Late Summer harvest

Peaches Aug 2013 025
They smell so sweet.

It is the end of peach season, my cousin tells me. This is why he only has one lug of peaches for me. Then he puts two in my car. The second one, he says, can’t be sold because the fruit is just past its prime. I can’t see any difference and I suspect he is pulling a fast one on me. It wouldn’t be the first time. He won’t accept any money for the peaches.

Somehow, a half dozen tomatoes ended up traveling home with me, too. And a large bag of unshelled almonds that I picked in the orchard just as the sun was starting to set.

I love my family. They’re generous and fun and talented. And I’m terribly lucky that they’re also farmers.

Gone Fishin’

Gone Fishing 024It’s been a while since I’ve been here and I really can’t blame it all on the Temporary Bunny and other house guests. I’ve been writing some, but editing a lot more. I have thoughts about plotting vs. pantsing now that I’m editing a work that I wrote without a plan. I’ll write more on that later.

But I didn’t want to completely neglect this site, so here’s a photo from the attic archives. I’ll be back in a week or so after I get a partial ready to submit. And meet up with a friend for dinner on the river, attend an 80th birthday party, and go to a baseball game. In other words, enjoying the summer.

Have a wonderful week. Ciao!

Houseguest

The last week hasn’t been much for writing, but mostly because I’m still editing Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer. I have a shiny new project tempting me, but that’s going to be my reward for finishing the revisions.

Plus, I have a houseguest. He didn’t tell us he was coming, just showed up on our doorstep late one night. He seemed to be lost, but we can’t find his people, so we’re looking for a new home for him.

Bun  4326

He’s very quiet and cute and the cats like him just fine, so he can stay awhile.