Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'm a Winner!

I just came away from the NaNoWriMo website after having validated my 2012 NaNo novel.  It came in at 50,225 words.

If you recall, I'm a NaNo Rebel this year and instead writing a new book I decided to add some real estate to the book I've been working on this year, A Trick of the Light.

A Trick of the Light is now at 87,074 words, and I'm not finished with it yet!  I'm expecting to top out at 100,000 words, easy. 

As for yesterday's Fast food for Writers, who can eat when you're writing for glory!  Get something from the frozen section, if you must.  You won't regret it!

Happy writing!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fast Food For Writers, part 3

If you've got 20 minutes, you've got spiced pecans!

Actually, you'll need 20 minutes and some pecans, cinnamon and sugar.  Ready?

Spiced Nuts (Betty Crocker Cookbook)

1 T egg white
2 cups pecans or walnuts (I like almonds, too)
1/4 cup sugar
1 T ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 300 degrees F.  Mix egg white and pecans until pecans are coated and sticky.

Mix sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over pecans, stirring until sugar mixture completely coats pecans.  Spread on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 20 minutes.  Yield: 2 cups.

Cool on newspaper covered with parchment paper.  Be sure to set the timer, but keep your nose on duty, too.  There are few things that smell worse than burned pecans.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NaNo News

Forging ahead!  Ten out of eighteen days I've clocked over 2,000 words.  Of course, there was that one day my magnificent total was 147.  Didn't stay in that neighborhood for long!

By the end of my writing session tonight I plan to be at 34,000+.   Better get to it!!!

Happy writing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fast Food for Writers, part 2

With NaNoWriMo taking up so much of my time I completely forgot to post on Monday.  I was determined to post today with the second of my fast and easy dishes for others who have their noses to the electronic grindstone, aka, their computers.

I've had this recipe for almost thirty years.  It was given to me by a friend in Bardstown, Kentucky, and it has spread throughout my family, undergoing many subtle changes.  Here's my favorite version.

Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts (also known as Chicken and Cheese, Cheezy Chicken and That Chicken Dish).  This is a great pot luck dish.  It can be multiplied with no loss of deliciousness.

Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts

4 small (or two large chicken breasts, divided into 4 portions)
4 slices swiss cheese
1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can milk
1 cup Pepperidge Farm Herbed dry stuffing mix
4 T melted butter or margerine

Spray 9 inch square or other baking dish with release agent (Pam is good).  Season chicken to taste with salt and pepper and place in dish.  Put a slice of Swiss cheese on top of each chicken piece.  Mix soup and milk and pour on top of cheese.  Sprinkle with stuffing mix.  Drizzle with butter.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until chicken tests done.

Serve on rice, brown or white.  Green beans are soooo good with this dish.

Note:  My sister-in-law substitutes 3/4 cup cooking sherry for the milk and her dish turns out mighty fine.  Of course, she is one of the South's best cooks, so she could probably put swamp water in it and it would be good.  Not that I'm suggesting you put swamp water in this recipe, but, I'm just saying.

You can put this dish together in the time it takes for the oven to pre-heat, so you won't use up that much of your writing time to get it in the oven.   Be sure to set the timer, though, if you're one of those who gets lost in the story.  Like me. 

Happy writing!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fast Food for Writers, part 1

My favorite old-timey saying is "Eat dessert first."  So, for the first edition of 2012's Fast Food for Writers I've brought you my favorite spiced pear recipe, Honey-Baked Pears.  Yummy.

Honey-Baked Pears

Prep: 12 minutes
Bake: 25 min.
Serves: 6

2 T lemon juice
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 cup crushed graham crackers
1 T sugar
1 t apple-pie spice
4 T unsalted butter, melted
3 pears (about 2 pounds) peeled, cored and cut in quarters, or cubed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Stir lemon juice with honey and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl until blended.  In a separate bowl, blend graham cracker crumbs with sugar and apple-pie spice, then stir in melted butter.

Layer pears in a 11 x 7 inch baking dish and sprinkle with half of crumb mixture.  Pour honey mixture over pears and sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.  Bake about 25 minutes, untiil pears are tender when pierced with a knife, topping is golden brown and juices are bubbling.  Serve warm with ice cream or let cool, cover and refrigerate to serve cold.  Good luck with my house they're gone before they even reach room temp.

Note:  Low-fat cinnamon graham crackers are a good substitute for the regular grahams.   If you use the  cinnamon, reduce apple-pie spice to 1/2 t.

Another note: this recipe came from the October 23, 2009 issue of AllYou magazine.  Thanks, AllYou! 

So, take a break and enjoy!  Your manuscript will be right where you left it.

Happy writing!


While I was typing the recipe, this happened:

Monday, November 5, 2012

NaNoWriMo Update, the first

Five days, 10,387 words.  I'm flying!!!

Stop by on Wednesday for a slammin'  Spiced Pears recipe.

'Till then,

Happy writing

Thursday, November 1, 2012

If This is November...

It must be NaNoWriMo.

Yes, National Novel Writing Month has come again.  This year I'm a NaNo Rebel, which means I'm continuing work on my current project instead of starting something new.  Today was a good day, even though I have a stiff neck from writing for four hours straight.  My day one word total was 2,460, well ahead of the average 1,667 words that will get me to the end of the month with a nice round 50,000 words.

The fridge is stocked with lots of wonderful Instant Black Bean Soup (you can find the recipe here).  My shopping list contains items easy and quick to cook.  How clever of my favorite supermarket to put Mac and Cheese on sale this week.  The tanker truck carrying the Diet coke is expected tomorrow.

I'm still planning to pull out some fast favorites for Wednesday "Fast Food For Writers" special editions, so I hope to see you around the blog as I write and cook.  Hopefully the writing and cooking will be equally magnifique.

Till then,

Happy Writing

Friday, September 14, 2012

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Though not officially autumn, September has always signaled the beginning of fall to me.

It was a tough summer here in Florida. It was miserably hot, as was much of the country. We were fortunate to get more than our share of rain but the humidity that came with it didn’t exactly feel like a gift.

I bought more roses and watched them die, planted lettuce and watched it die, put purslane in the pots by the front door and although they lived, they made a mess as the flowers bloomed, then fell off.  It seems the green on my thumb is mold, not mastery.

Then I went to a class on square foot gardening and heard with my own two ears what my mind has been trying to tell me for years: you can’t grow squat in Florida during the summer. Fall gardening is the way to go.

As I research my work in progress I continually put myself in the place of my protagonist, Julia, who lives in a barn. She has water from a pump and a pot-bellied stove for heat. She’s thirteen at the beginning of the book, too young to get a job, and yet stubbornly determined to take care of herself. She struggles through her first winter but as soon as she catches that first breathe of spring she starts a garden that she hopes will sustain her for the coming summer, fall and winter.

So, with that in mind, I’ve planned a garden of my own. One tomato, two boxes of lettuce, as well as zucchini, sugar snap peas, green beans, cucumbers (bread and butter pickles, here I come) carrots, beets and red peppers. Sounds like a lot, but I’m growing all of it in one flower pot, two window boxes and a bed that’s 2’ x 6’ (outside measurements). I’ll be trellising the viney things and leaving the front row of my bed to the carrots and beets.

I’ll keep you posted my progress, as well as the story the garden inspires.

Happy writing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Summer arrived in Central Florida in a raincoat, but welcomed nonetheless.  Watching the  occasional sunbeam peek through the wet green leaves of the woods was no hardship--a welcome sight, actually.

Spring was taken up with continued research for A Trick of the Light, including learning the words to "Barbara Allen" and the Great Lettuce Experiment (more about that later).

If you're compiling your summer reading list consider including Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer and Animal Dreams, both works of staggering beauty.  If you've never read Wendell Berry, try his Port William novels.  Hannah Coulter is a particular favorite of mine.

Whatever you do this summer, make every minute count!

Happy writing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quote for the Day

I'm a great lover of quotes of all kinds.  Here's one I received through email--it's Gretchen Rubin's Moment of Happiness for today.

"Let us decide on the route that we wish to take to pass our life, and attempt to sow that route with flowers."
— Madame du Chatele

Happy writing!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Banned Book News

I ran across this information in an issue of Publishers Weekly online and thought it might be of interest.

"The ALA has released its list of the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom received 326 reports regarding attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves. The most challenged books were as follows:

1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle (offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group)

2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa (nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group)

3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins (anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence)

4. My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler (nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group)

5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group)

6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint)

7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit)

8. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones (nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit)

9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar (drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit)

10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (offensive language; racism)."

I'm glad to see To Kill a Mockingbird still in there, mixing things up and making people THINK!  It's my favorite book of all time.

As a public librarian I always encouraged parents to read the books their children are reading, preferably before their children read them, so that they can provide guidance if need be.  I once had to tell a mom that just because her 10 year-old could read on a college level that didn't mean she was ready for Twilight!

The Daily Beast published a terrific interview with Lauren Myracle, author of ttyl, ttfn and l8r, g8r here.  Moms, if your daughters are reading these books for instruction instead of entertainment, it's probably because you're not talking to them.

I encourage you to read banned books and to talk about publishing and censorship when and where ever you can.  Your mind will thank you for it!

Happy reading.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I'm back on my feet--or I guess I should say, my seat--and writing again.  Still not as one with my desk chair, though.  It has a hard spot right where it meets my tailbone (ouch!) so I'm wandering around the house, trying to find a good spot with a view of the back yard. 

The porch was great until I let a mosquito in from the yard and in a matter of seconds I had several painful bites on my right leg.  Based on the amount of Hot Shot I sprayed around out there, that sucker should be dead by now.

While I was on the porch this morning I started thinking about cutting down the Magnolia that hosts the bird water station and the Hummingbird feeder.  Right at that second a Ruby Throated Hummingbird flew up and fed.  It's been back two more times.  I haven't seen a Hummer for almost two months (okay, I was flat on my back for part of that time, but I did manage to keep the feeder clean and filled) so I have to admit to being completely confused by Hummer behavior.

I got the new squirrels I was expecting--two babies.  Saw one of them taking a sand bath the other day.  It was cute but still annoying.  I'm not sure where the tipping point will be.  The squirrels are messy and eat so much more than the birds it's hard to keep seeds in the feeder.  I've asked the squirrels nicely to go away and they just ignore me.  It's illegal to shoot them.  It's a puzzler, alright.

I missed a month of CFRW's 250 words-a-day challenge, so I've got some catching up to do.  I spent my off-time reading and enjoyed some books on homesteading, small-scale farming and eating locally.    Barbara Kingsolver (another Kentucky writer) wrote an amazing story of her family's year of eating locally in Animal Vegetable Miracle.  Kristen Kimball's A Dirty Life was fun, but neither book made me long  for the farmer's life.  I wouldn't last a day once the bugs started biting.

So, I'm still not sure if A Trick of the Light's young Julia will learn how to cook on her pot-bellied stove or not.  She will definitely be gardening, though, and growing flowers (because I adore flowers...).  I'm not Julia, and she isn't me, but if you're going to write a book you should be able to sneak in a personal passion every once in a while, if you want.

Happy writing.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fast Food For Writers: special report

Hummus, where have you been all my life?

I dragged myself out of bed last week to have lunch with my friend Jennifer.  She shared her White Bean Hummus with me and I thought it was out of this world!  I took her left-overs home with me and enjoyed them for another two days.

On an excursion to the grocery store the other day I found some chickpea hummus in the deli section and brought it home.  At a salad bar I always put chickpeas on my salad, so I figured they'd make pretty good hummus, too.  Boy, was I right.  I sprinkled some chili powder on it (because that's what they did at the restaurant) and ate it with blue corn tortillas and red pepper strips.  Yum.  Six gorgeous Florida strawberries on the side and I called it lunch.

Hummus.  It's fast and delicious.  Try it, you'll like it.

Happy writing.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

What I'm Reading

Resting up from an episode with my back (do they still call it "slipped disc"?) and unable to sit up the past five days, I've had a chance to catch up on some reading. 

While browsing downloadable e-books available from my library I saw one of Linda Lael Miller's cowboy books and borrowed it immediately--A Creed in Stone Creek--and was hooked by the characters, settings, story lines...everything that makes a great cowboy book.  The other books in this mini-part of the larger Creed series are The Creed Legacy and Creed's Honor. 

This led me to the McKettrick series and McKettrick's Luck and McKettrick's Pride.  McKettrick's Heart is being reprinted in May and not available at the library (like I could get there to borrow it...).  There is a vast backlist of Miller cowboy books I look forward to diving into, but I'm just as eager to get back to my own writing.

Can't resist a backyard update:  I had my first Hummingbirds of the season last Sunday--a gorgeous Ruby Throat and a female.  I had to cover my mouth to keep from squealing.  I was so excited and pleased to see them at my feeder.  It's dreary and rainy here today, no one at the feeders but squirrels.

Happy writing (and birdwatching)!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Everything is Research

So, you may be wondering…doesn’t she do anything but sit on the porch and count birds? Well, yes, she does. It’s called research.

In my work in progress, A Trick of the Light, the protagonist (not the heroine; this one’s straight fiction and not a romance) Julia, has left her childhood home and moved into an abandoned barn. Julia is thirteen years old. It’s fall in Kentucky. The landscape is pretty pitiful, as is her life, and there’s not a lot of beauty to describe. Her fall and winter will be, stylistically, pretty bland. She’s learning the lessons of survival (with a little help from her friends) and doing a lot of growing up. 

What I’m doing now is soaking up spring for the time when I start to write about it. Spring in Kentucky is glorious. Spring in Kentucky in the woods is breath-taking. Spring for Julia (all four of the springs she spends in the barn) will be life affirming. Summer will be hot. Her second fall and winter will mimic the first, but she’ll have the lessons of the year before to fall back on, and then, once again, it will be glorious spring.

For now, my “research” includes these activities and sightings:

I planted some Creeping Phlox seeds on the 15th and had seedlings on the 21st. I took this photo last night.

Tiny, huh?  Imagine what they'll look like in a month.

One of the many squirrels populating my woods is sprawled across the peaked roof of a feeder, sunning. I guess they have to occasionally take a break to digest. I think one of them is pregnant. Yippee, more squirrels.

There’s been a large yellow butterfly, a Cloudless Sulphur, flying around the yard for the past week. Nothing is blooming around here so I don’t know what they’re eating. I put the Hummingbird feeder out on Sunday. Last weekend (Friday through Monday, actually) was the Hummingbird count in Florida. My count was zero, but my hopes were high. Sometimes you have to have a feeder out for a long time before the hummers notice you. On my next trip to the home store I’ll be looking for firecracker plants and hibiscus. Red. Hummers love red.

And here come the Titmice, loud and raucous. The squirrels are wising up and vacate the feeders before the onslaught. The Cardinals are also catching on to the ability of the Titmice to temporarily clear the room. They fly in with the Titmice and snatch a seed or two while the squirrels are cringing up in the branches. There is a fledgling titmouse who can land on the feeder but hasn’t yet figured out how to navigate its way onto the ant-trap above the hummer feeder, now filled with water and serving as a water station. Did you know a nesting Titmouse will hiss like a snake when disturbed? Ah, well, I digress.

Here's a Cardinal who's stopped by for a drink:

Did you know that Cardinals generally stay up about half an hour later than squirrels?  And that they are often the first birds active at dawn?  When seed is low at the end of the day I wait until the squirrels have gone to bed, then fill for the late diners and early risers.  Julia will discover this in A Trick of the Light as she learns the rhythms of the woods where she lives.

The bottom line? Everything is research.

Happy writing (and researching)!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Powering Up the Way-Back Machine

February 20, 1962. 

I don’t remember it like it was yesterday.

The memories come back to me in snatches.  The pale green paint on the walls, the desks in orderly rows.   The waist-high bank of windows that ran the length of the room and looked out over the playground.  No one’s eyes were on the playground that day. 

That day, fifty years ago, when I sat in my sixth grade classroom watching the grainy picture on the black and white television our teacher brought in.  The smart alecs in the back of the room making bets on whether the rocket would explode and our place in the space race would be lost along with our newest hero, John Glenn. 

I do remember the faces of my classmates.  Oh, we were so young, babies really, with our whole lives in front of us.  Don, who dreamed of being an astronaut like Glenn, musical Jane, shy Sandy, artistic Charles. 

A year and a half later, on the day of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, I sat in a room with those same classmates and listened to our teacher read Walt Whitman’s Oh Captain, My Captain.  Six years later we mourned the death of a beloved teacher together.  We graduated.  We parted.  We swore we’d never lose touch, but we did. 

A lot can change in fifty years.  We still have lots of life ahead of us, but the question still remains…

Where are you guys??? 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Writer, Weathergirl or Bird Watcher?

After whining about the cool weather on Monday I can now report that Central Florida may break a record high temperature today.

I've been reading a lot lately, since it's so pleasant to sit on the porch with a book.  I just finished Diana Gabaldon's The Scottish Prisoner.  It covers part of the period when Jamie Fraser was on parole from Ardsmuir Prisoner and serving as a groom at Helwater.  This is after Culloden and Claire is back in her own time, pregnant with Brianna (although Jamie thinks the baby is a boy).  Jamie and Geneva Dunsany's child, William is on the scene here, at age 2 or thereabouts, and it's so touching to read about him bonding with Jamie, although, of course, wee William has no idea Jamie is his Da.

Claire appears in this story in spirit.  One of the things I loved about this book is how she is never far from Jamie's thoughts.  In a chapter titled "Fridstool" Jamie walks into a glass walled conservatory with Lord John Gray and  is assailed by the scents that greet him.  Gabaldon writes, "for an instant, he smelled his wife's hair among them and gulped air as though he'd been shot in the lung."  The reader who knows Claire and Jamie's story also gasps for breath.  I cannot wait for the next book in the Outlander series, Written in My Own Heart's Blood.

As I am probably one of the most easily distracted people on the planet, while reading, writing, cleaning, thinking or checking my eyelids for cracks, I usually have one eye on the backyard action.  Birds have been plentiful the past few weeks, especially  cardinals and titmice.  I love the titmice.  They come flying into the yard in a pack (I call them The Gang of Twelve, because there are so many of them I can't count them and they are terrible bullies), swooping and screeching and generally scaring the squirrels out of their skins.  The cardinals have begun to run with the titmice because when they're on the scene, the squirrels scatter.  About mid afternoon I looked up from my book and saw a woodpecker fly up into one of the trees (still bare) and then onto the feeder.  It was probably a Downy Woodpecker, but I think it might have been a Red Cockaded Woodpecker. 

I spent 2 hours on the Iinternet this morning trying to find a stock photo of a Red, but this photo of a Downy was the best I could do.

At the feeder this little guy would nibble a seed then rock back and toss the shell into the air.  That's when I would get the flash of red on his head.  I spent about five minutes studying him before he flew off.  I rarely see woodpeckers even though the woods behind my house are filled with longleaf pines, the preferred nesting tree for woodpeckers.

I wonder if the warm/cool/mild/rainy/warm/cool weather is giving the birds an opportunity to wander around and seek out new homes and nesting places.  I'm so glad they stop by my feeders for seed and a sip.

What's going on outside the window at your place?

Happy writing (and bird watching). 

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Brrrr" Is Not A Word

We've had a chilly couple of days here in the usually sunny South, although we're expecting temps in the 80s by the end of the week.  The birds and squirrels are keeping me busy, since the cooler it gets the more seeds they need to keep up their energy.

I'm expending most of my energy on a new project I started.  What? you say?  What happened to the other projects that languish in various stages of completion (I wanted to say unfinishedness, but I don't think that's a word, either)?

I think my worst habit as a writer is jumping from story to story, getting all caught up in the new and ignoring the not-quite-old but not-quite-done.

I also use too many dashes and parenthetical asides, but that's another matter.

Since I love charts and calendars and tracking devices I'm tempted to begin scheduling my writing time a little more tightly than I have in the past.  Most of the writing I've done on the new project (it's a coming of age story that takes place in Kentucky) has been in the evening.  Maybe I should work on editing/rewriting the cowboy stories at another time during the day.  Maybe I could substitute writing time for my house cleaning time!

The more I think about that idea the more I think I'd like it.  Or would, until I found myself awash in a sea of dirty laundry and comtemplating renting a front end loader to remove the tracked-in dirt from the living room floor.

Back to the drawing board...

Happy writing!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I Hope Heaven Looks Like Hobby Lobby

It's no secret that I'm a crafter.  If I'm not putting my hands to some hobby or other, well, it's just a wasted day.

I went to Hobby Lobby for the first time today, with my friend Jennifer, and I'll never be able to thank her enough for the experience.  I found at least one hundred new things I want to try.  It was like a theme park for creativity.

Unlike Ikea, where they herd you through like cattle, Hobby Lobby lets you wander like a kid in a candy store.  My head was spinning by the time we left.  I want to go back as soon as possible, in better shoes, to fully appreciate the beauty of choice and color and fun and craziness. 

Eat your heart out, Michael's.

Happy writing!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Spring in the Springs

See that tiny, little splash of pink in the center of the photo?  That's spring in Central Florida!

This shot is of the boulevard that stretches from the old side of town to the new side.  City Hall is just up the road, out of the shot.  I travel this route when I go to the grocery store, to visit my favorite restaurant, to get to the road that takes me to the library and the crafts store.

Over the past couple of weeks I've noticed the trees with their blooms and realized if I was going to get a shot of them I'd better hurry up, because those blossoms don't last forever.  Yesterday I decided it was then, or never, and since traffic wouldn't be so heavy I headed out.  All up and down the road the bursts of pink played peek-a-boo with me.  Yes, I did some illegal parking and I did step out onto the roadway once or twice, but I was careful and now I have a memento of the day, and of Spring 2012.  When I got home I sat on the porch with my current project and added 1,081 words.  It was a perfect day.

To all of you still up to your knees in snow, I'm sorry.  Just wait until summer when it's 200 degrees in the shade down here and you've got a balmy 80.  I'm just all evens out in the end.

Happy writing!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


These past few months the muse has been dragging me around by the collar to various creative opportunities, including crocheting, crafting with felt, working with color pencils, pillow making, quilting and occasionally, cross stitch.  My friend Sonja says that one kind of creativity always leads to another, and I'm finding this more true every day.

I finally finished my afghan.  I may be biased, but I think it's a beauty.

It's from a pattern called "Apple Delight" that I found in the September/October 1988 issue of Country Needlecraft.  The yarn color is Country Rose.  I love this pattern because it requires no counting of rows (except for the base chain) and because it works so fast.  I've made at least a dozen afghans in this pattern and have given all of them away.  I like thinking someone is warm this winter because of something I made.

Working this afghan was good for my pinkie finger, too.  It kept it limber as it heals.  If you crochet, you know how essential that pinkie is for anchoring the yarn as you go.

I've already started another afghan, since the weather is still somewhat cool.  I'm making it with a pale yellow baby yarn.  It's like crocheting with spider web, its so fine.  Now if someone would just have a baby...hint, hint, hint.

Yes, I have been writing all this time as well.  In the past three weeks I have added almost 10,000 words to my work in progress, so the CFRW challenge is working its magic.

So, what are you working on???

Happy writing!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Deep Thoughts

You never know how much you use the pinkie finger on your left hand until you sprain it.

Definitely don't try this at home!

Happy writing.  Just watch out for the shift's a killer!

Monday, January 16, 2012


The members of CFRW have completed the first week of our 250 Words A Day Challenge, and the results people are posting are impressive.  I had a marvelous weekend with time to read, crochet, clean and cook, as well as write.  I'm trying to overlook the fact that all that output was fueled by diet soda--backsliding is not something I easily admit.

The thing I like best about challenges is how they, well, challenge me to keep on track.  Once you start doing something regularly, like writing, the more loathe you are to break the streak, the more you persist.  How else do you get from the beginning to the end?

Happy writing!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th (Not the movie)

It would appear that I've managed to survive Friday the 13th, 2012 edition, without any muss or fuss, even though I spent an hour out in the back yard this morning wielding a sharp lopper in order to trim a couple of trees.  One of them is a maple that appeared the first summer I lived here and has grown steadily since.  Want to talk about bad luck, though?  That tree has been hit by lightning at least three times.  Once, according to the cable repairman, the tree transferred the lighting to the ground where it hit the buried cable and traveled to the little box on the outside of the house, frying it.  The good luck part of the story is that the junction box is less than a foot from the air conditioner, which was unharmed.

Thankfully, I'm not paraskevidekatriaphobic (that's a morbid fear of Friday the 13th).  My claustrophobia is enough to handle on any given day.  Nor am I afraid of a black cat crossing my path.  My beloved Max lived for nineteen and a half years (and one day) and I'm sure if there were anything to that old saw, it would have come up. 

Some people are afraid of the world coming to an end in 2012.  I'll probably be too busy to notice, or will have my nose in a book, an afghan-in-progress or puttering in the garden.

Besides, if you saw the movie 2012, you know that the world didn't technically come to an end.  The survivors took an ark to a mountaintop where they probably survived by running internal combustion engines until their gas supplies ran out, and then throwing their trash overboard without recycling it.

At last Saturday's CFRW meeting we talked about our writing goals for the new year.  One of mine was to blog more.  Another was to write each day, Monday through Friday.  As my to-be-read pile reaches the three foot mark, I think I'll be setting aside weekends for some good reads.

Happy writing (and reading).

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mixed Bag

It’s been a mixed bag of activities the past few weeks resulting in busy days but not getting very much done. Do you have days/weeks like that? Here’s what’s been going on.

Christmas: Celebrated with family on Christmas Eve, then had a very quiet Christmas Day. Celebrated New Year’s Eve with friends, then didn’t see or talk to anyone except a neighbor (I said “Happy New Year”, she said, “Same to you.”

Movies: Super 8 and Harry Potter (no relation) and the Deathly Hollows, part II. Both had monsters and smart kids.

Books: Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, Diana Palmer’s Montana Tough, Janet Evanovich’s Explosive Eighteen (loved it!), Pretty Little Pincushions (could be my next crafting obsession).

Crocheting: The afghan in country rose is about 3 feet long. Started a new project using a wonderful soft yarn (kind of reminds me of angora. Remember angora?) and now I can barely put it down.

Weather: Three freezing cold nights (had-to-cover-the-plants cold) and now we’re back to the 60s. Went to the library yesterday in flip-flops.

Writing: Taking Stephen King’s advice to leave Take Me Home alone for 6 weeks (got my calendar marked for re-start day) and rewriting the first book of the series, Married in :08 (that’s eight seconds for those who don’t follow professional bull riding—though you really should…)

Hope you’re keeping busy with myriad projects and things you love to do, and as always,

Happy Writing.