Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving Part 1

Figured that the last few days have been too busy for one post so I am doing parts. That way I can write less at a time. (Maybe :) )

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Mine was busy, hectic, and every other adjective of that vein - but it turned out well. We ended up not having to do much of the cooking. My brother did the turkey and several of the side dishes. Most everyone brought something so we had plenty. One of my nieces said as we set out the food, "This is too much. There's no way we can eat all this." Oh, her of little faith - LOL!

I'm always filled with awe at people who actually have leftovers for DAYS. DAYS! We are doing good if we have leftovers to send home with the different families and a small amount for lunch the next day. Had a good laugh after surfing though some blogs the other day. One lady said she had frozen SEVERAL meals from leftovers for those busy December nights. I remember thinking - HOW?

The photo above is a sampling of this year's Thanksgiving crowd. I didn't realize until later that not everyone was out of the house at the right moment. We had three cameras and mine was first. The second camera caught a few more and then the third got everyone.

It was cold and no one wanted to go outside for the group shot. We did manage to get the dog in the picture this year - although he stopped for a scratch. I'm the one holding the little girl in pink, Samantha. We had about ten more that made it out for the next photo op.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Part 2

As you can see by the cool icon on this post, I did manage to finish my NANO entry this year. It's my first time to do this and
I'm thrilled with the outcome. Managed to log in with
52, 388 words on Tuesday - a good few days before the

The book is far from over. In fact, I didn't even write the
last scene where the villian is uncovered and all the loose
ends are tied up. Once I hit what I thought were 50K, I was done.
Eventually, I'll take this ms. out, dust it off and do something
with it. Had an idea today to maybe enter it in a few
contests early next year. The Daphne and the St. Martin's Press Mystery Contest are coming up.

At the library tonight I saw another book to use in
research. I've forgotten the whole title but it's
something about "The Most Famous Two Minutes" and is
a cool history of the Kentucky Derby with all the
winner's pictures. My ms. takes place the year Ben Brush won
the roses.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Lull before the Storm--of Thanksgiving. It's semi-quiet and peaceful right not. I've worked on the house most of the day. Still have to get the rest of the couch covers out of the dryer and put on the couch and love seat. Also need to scrub the bathroom sink, chop celery and onions for dressing and later make cole slaw.

This year, I got off fairly easy with cooking. My brother is doing the turkey and stuffing. Several nieces and nephews are bringing most of the rest of the meal, including paper plates and cups. We don't do china here on the holidays (although it might be nice sometime.) I have to buy a spiral cut ham tonight, the makings of cole slaw and do another pan of stuffing. Tomorrow I might open some cans of veggies. It sure is nice to not do it all anymore.

Jarrod and I made a fast trip to return library books. It's close to the last date to sign up for "Merry Money" too. Jarrod wanted to make sure he got all his paper dollars. In another week, the library has a nice "store" where the kids can buy things with their hard earned dollars. They get a dollar for every 30 minutes of reading. The boys were already plotting their assault on the "shopping rooms" having realized that last year the best stuff was upstairs. Miah's observation was, "Let's look at everything first and then go back." Last year he spent unwisely downstairs and then didn't have enough money for the room upstairs.
My NANO word count is up to 37K. I managed somehow to write 3000 words yesterday in between cleaning and shuffling clutter spots. Every holiday we have clutter spots that have to be shuffled to somewhere else in the house. My room is a MESS because it's become a catchall for overflow.
Time to chop celery. Hope everyone has a super Thanksgiving. It got up to 66 degrees today! The roses are still blooming at Sister #2's house.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Saw this fun quiz on Cj's blog- The Compost Heap. I'd love to do a link to her but am not sure how to do this yet without blacking out the entire eastern seaboard.

Two names you go by: Donna and Donna

Two things you are wearing right now: Clothes and shoes :)

Two of your favorite things to do: scrapbooking and reading

Two things you want very badly at the moment: To finish several writing projects and to have Christmas shopping done

Two favorite pets you have/had: Two of my current cats are Scrawny Bob, an orange shorthair and Mary, a black Christmas kitten I've had about five years. She's the longest cat I've ever seen and when she stretches to scratch people think she's a very skinny, short dog.

Two people who will fill this out: I haven't a clue.

Two people you last talked to: Jenny about a puzzle she wanted to work on the kitchen table and Jarrod who wanted printer paper. By phone, my friend, Sherry and my friend, Maribeth, about meeting for dinner.

Two longest trips: By Greyhound bus to California, by car to Washington state and up into Canada.

Two favorite holidays: Christmas because I love the whole season and Valentine's Day.

Two favorite beverages: Unsweetened iced tea and organic coffee.

Feel free to play along. Just let me know so I can read your answers.Have fun !
No picture today because I'm blogging at the library. Today turned out to be a glorious, fall day. It's actually warm enough to go without a coat. I'm getting ready to do my half hour of walking. Thought I'd try a new route and walk through Loveland.

My NANO project is screaming scenes at me but I didn't bring the laptop today. My experiment to use the Loveland Library to type ended under the category of "Nice try." The plug I used is on a nice table right in the floor to ceiling windows of the entrance. It's also right next to the door. This meant I felt the cold and heard everyone who came through. Since Wednesday is pre-school, toddler storytime, I heard every little squeal, cry, squabble and parental command to "BE QUIET!" as they came inside. Later, I heard all the songs and frequent admonishions of "Sit down. Sit DOWN. SIT DOWN." I managed to type some words but I worked for everyone. Although I'm almost used to writing in a noisy environment, it's not always right in your face noise. As the body count kept rising, I felt myself tensing up and almost willing the time to race by so I could quit. Guess I should think seriously about earning enough to buy extra battery power for the laptop. It has to be cheaper than gas to go over to the other branch where I can type in relative peace.

Am not sure I'll try this again. It's almost better to write long hand and try to add it into the laptop later. Today I'm working on a Christmas memory story for Cup of Comfort, a synopsis and some notes. They can all be done longhand.

My December article is ready for the paper - Circus in a Box. It's a short history of animal crackers. And here's a fact to keep you awake at night--what animals replaced the dog and jaguar?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Time for Fall---It's gotten colder here. In just a few short days the leaves have put on a colorful display. I went outside today to take a few pictures of the boys raking leaves. Also some shots of the house with the trees still showing some autumn color. Thought at first I wouldn't be able to take any pictures. The camera kept telling me "Memory Card Locked." I had no idea how to LOCK a memory card in the first place. Unlocking it was beyond me. Figured I'd have to go look in the camera manual in the well thumbed "Troubleshooter's" section.

Thinking maybe I'd done something to the card accidentally, I took it out of the camera. To my surprise there is a little plastic thingie on the side of the card, an arrow and the word, Lock. The plastic thinie was pushed into lock position. When I pushed it back, it worked perfectly. Technology---grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Managed to get some nice pictures. The one above is from the porch looking toward the field where our neighbor keeps horses - Lady and Bay. The grey building is their barn.

Since I had a free day, I also got in some writing. It's day 8 in NANO and I'm up to 19,000 words. Happily, I still have ideas for another chapters ahead so I'm not panicing about the dreaded "middle of the book." There are a couple of sections I'm not certain about. When I begin edits I know I'm going to have to erase some coincidences or do some convoluting of characters. I also know I have lots of research to make this into a real book. Came up with several questions today about pocketwatches. Somewhere, I have a reproduction Sears Roebuck Catalog that I think fits my timeframe. If not, there is always the internet. :) Amazing what you can find when you look.
Miah and I went to storytime tonight at the library. We loaded up on Christmas DVD's to watch this weekend. It's never to early to get in the mood!

Friday, November 02, 2007

NANO Day Two---

I really can't believe I'm doing this even though I talked about it all through October. A plot is coming to life that didn't exist in it's present form until I sat down to write it. Maybe that's what I truly like about writing. You sit down and have a blank page or pc screen--then suddenly, like magic--people are moving and talking and coming to life. Sometimes, it's a bit scary. Like today --- things happened that I never dreamed this morning. There are more characters than I anticipated and they sure aren't turning out like I expected.

Today I didn't get a good start until after five. Once I started though, I got through a lot of words and hit a total two day count of 6333. I'd just hoped to make it to 4000 which would give me a 2000 word a day count since I only write five days a week. I think I ended up with two chapters. My main character is such a hunky guy I could easily fall in love with him. Too bad he's already married to his young bride, Clementine. Today, Ben--that's the main character--spoke to the old stablehand, Jack, and got some news about his father's disappearance two years ago. Jack doesn't actually know anything but his brother--a hand on another plantation (this is Kentucky, after all)---has hinted he might know something.

Tomorrow, Ben will head for Cincinnati on the Belle of Louisville--or maybe he'll take the train. No, his wife is going on the steamboat.... I'll figure it out. All my suppositions add wordage---LOL. My first drafts are strictly figure it out missions. You could read it, but it wouldn't make much sense. Unlike my friend, Kathi, who writes and outline so detailed it could BE a book, my first draft is an outline in the making.

I'm glad tomorrow is Saturday. Don't have to get up early and go anywhere. We were running late today in getting to school. First we had to wait for Miah to find his shoes. (This is usually a ten minute hunt.) Then we ended up behind a huge green combine or something. It puttered along for miles until I got up enough nerve to pass it. Then we ended up behind a dump truck that never went past 20MPH. After we cheered at him getting out of the way, we ended up behind a little barn on the back of a trailer and a long "OVERSIZED LOAD" banner. It slowed us down for twenty miles or so. We did not arrive at school on time. On the way home we got behind a piece of farm equiptment I could never identify. It sat WAY UP above the road. Jarrod thought I should drive under it. I didn't.

NANO Day Three tomorrow---I managed to get my little icon on my blog so am proud of myself. Maybe tomorrow I can figure out the Regions tab on the NANO sight. Looked today and there is no one in my town.