Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring --- It's Official!

This afternoon I took the plastic off my windows. It is now officially spring. This house is so old and drafty that once cold weather sets in, I have to cover the bedroom windows with plastic. Layers and layers of heavy, gloomy plastic that keeps out the cold. It also keeps out the light. Although I'm tempted to rip it off once the crocus' start to bloom, I know better. A few nights with the frigid air of winter's return stealing in the cracks around the windows taught me well. Now I keep it on until I'm sure the temps won't go below 50. Most of the time. We do have freak snowstorms and blizzards. But, today, I choose to be optimistic and rip off the plastic. I also folded up the kid's sleeping bags I use to ram under the closet doors. Since both the closet roof's are THE roof and let in a lot of cold air, I have to use plastic and sleeping bags to block out the cold. Once spring arrives, I gain back the space in both closets.

This morning, the nephews and I participated in our church's second annual Jogathon. The boys each got five sponsors this year. (Each sponsor paid a pre-determined amount per lap.) Miah earned almost thirty dollars for the boy's club and Jarrod came in close at twenty-five. Even I managed to walk---slowly---around the track seven full laps. Probably could have done more but I hurt my back earlier this week and walking was a little painful. Thankfully, it did me good. My knees and back aren't as sore. We went back to the church later for a pizza party.

Several of my many projects are slowly coming together. Our group at church, Scribes, is helping to put together a student newspaper. After weeks of talking and figuring out, finding students to write articles, etc. we are going to have a final meeting on May 4th. By then we should have all the articles, pictures, etc. turned in. So hopefully, that issue should come out sometime in May. HOORAY! This has been a lengthy and often confusing project. My hopes are that once we launch this baby, the students will take over the job next year.

Writing continues on my current mid-grade book, Snipped in the Bud. I'm hoping to get it in final form to send off to the Delacorte Contest for Mid-Grade Books. After that, who knows? I have so many possible books to work on, I'm like the little girl with too many cookie choices. Which to pick? I will probably take part of the summer to revise both my Jenny books. Have had some different critiques done recently (including some very confusing scores in two contests) and feel that I need to re-write parts. Having come this far with Jenny, a character I will always love, I want to make sure I stick with the projects until they sell.

I've had a lot of ups and downs with the Jenny books, but I'm determined to get them into shape. Each book has a good moral theme and I think Jenny learns a lot about life through each title. I even have a third book in mind but no time to begin it. Guess I slowed down some this past fall when I realized that I had almost rewritten the first book over. The endings of the two were too similar. It took weeks of thought before one of the "Cookies and Milk" ladies gave me an idea that prompted what finally worked. So had to rewrite the ending. Twice. Now that I've had very contradictory scores in The Sandy writing contest, I can see where I need to also revise the beginning. This will make about the fifth time. SIGH. . . .

Ah, well, spring is here which means I will be spending lots of time outdoors. Plenty of time to plan revisions as I dig, sow and reap the rewards of my flower garden.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Playing Catch up

It's been so long since I've written anything on this blog that I find myself dreading the idea. There were plenty of opportunities and stories I should have blogged but didn't. I somehow got out of sync with my writing and everything when I took a week off before Easter. My goal then was to clean the house, eliminate clutter and get everything organized so that I could go back to my routine with ease. Instead, I ended up doing the bare minimum of cleaning while eating yogurt to settle tummy troubles. Everything seemed to spin out of control when my brother invited us to eat at Ryan's buffet on Palm Sunday. I think I got some kind of food poisoning or some disgusting something. Thankfully, I never got really ill. Between the cleaning I did a lot of cross stitching and some reading.

Since the holiday, I've been slowly working myself back into a routine. My writing has gone downhill and I'm having to force myself into my old work ethic. It's been hard to feel motivated. But, I'm happy to say I'm getting the flow back.

Today, I actually took the laptop to the library for the first time in over a month. My plan was to work through the whole completed file of "Cattle Rustler." I'd see what worked, what didn't, and ease in the crits from friends. The plan worked fine to a point. I sat down in my hidden cubby, frowned at a teenager who kept coming to see if I'd left (apparently, others like the hidden space too) and set my sights on reading through as much of the ms. as I could in my allotted time. Breezing along, I got through three chapters when I realized that I'd gone as far as I could go. Apparently, I'd copied the smaller file onto my disk instead of the whole book. Darn! Foiled again.
Guess now I've got my Saturday work cut out for me. I'm determined that by the end of April I will have this book in one file and will have written the last chapter. It will go in a completed file and on a disk.
And somehow, despite my best intentions, I've signed up to help judge another writing contest. It's not that I'm bored or anything. I don't have time to be bored. There must be another reason that I keep adding on things before I've finished other things. There's probably a word for that but I'm too tired to look it up.