Friday, October 31, 2008

NaNoWriMo, Here I Come!

Okay, I'm taken the plunge, and I'm doing NaNo. Still haven't a clue what I'll write about! I brainstormed with my critique group, and came away with some fleshed out stuff on story ideas I presented to them. Most of these are stories I've had from years ago. They were in my "ideas" folder. But none of them are really outlined in any sort of detail except for one of them.

And the one my critique group liked is my second favorite. I'd actually been leaning toward my #1 favorite, because I at least had names and a plot for my characters, whereas with #2, I had nothing but the half-formed idea.

So wish me luck! It's the 11th hour, and I still haven't decided!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

National Novel Writing Month

I'm considering joining NaNoWriMo next month. When you sign on with NaNoWriMo, you commit to writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. That comes to about 6 1/2 pages per day. If you aren't a writer, that sounds easy, right? Well, if you are a writer, you know just how hard that can be.

In my case, it should be easier than it is for those who hold down a full-time job. I am self-employed, so I have more time for this sort of thing. I don't commute. My biggest obstacle is procrastination and a lack of stick-to-it-iveness. I always have stuff I need to do around the house, and I let that interfere.

Plus, I'm pretty busy with the editorial business right now. That will always be my first priority, because it puts meat and potatoes on the table and oil in the furnace and gas in the car.

Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? If so, how did it go? Any tips for a newbie?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mowin' the Lawn, Lovin' the Smell

Today I mowed the lawn with my reel mower. No gas exhaust or noisy engine--just the satisfying whrrr of the blades cutting grass while I labor behind the mower, pushing with all my might.

There is a part of my yard that has the most unusual and fragrant smell when you cut the grass. It's hard to describe-but the closest I can come to is a cross between new-mown hay and a subtle perfume. Yes, perfume. It definitely has a perfumey fragrance to it. The grass in that part of the yard is junk grass, not nearly as nice as the rest of the yard. But it has an incredible smell.

For the longest time, I thought my neighbor was using her clothes dryer, because I can always smell the fabric softener she uses. But I soon realized that lovely smell was coming from my own yard. I sleep with the slider open at nights after mowing the grass because I can smell it for about 4 days afterwards.

When I'm older and grayer and can't get around so well, I know this will be one of my trigger smells, reminding me of my younger days when I used to mow the lawn back at the ol' homestead.

Do you have a favorite smell? A trigger smell? Do tell!

Friday, October 24, 2008


I love mondegreens. For the uninitiated, a mondegreen is when a person says something, but you "hear" something else. Such as "What a friend we have in Jesus" being misheard as "What a friend we have in cheeses."

So today I was listing to KPLU, the local NPR station. They're having their annual fall fund drive, and one of the pledge gifts for those who donate a pledge is a KPLU tote bag. Only, I kept thinking they were saying "toe tag," as in a cadaver toe tag. In my vague absent-mindedness, I kept wondering if it was a jokey Halloween gag gift.

Not until they started calling it a grocery tote bag did I realize what they were talking about. This made me laugh. Okay, so my hearing isn't what it used to be, but heck, if you can't laugh at yourself, what can you laugh at?

Life is full of humor. It's there, free for the taking. Have you ever heard a mondegreen?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Another Moment of Grace

This morning I had another one of those unexpected moments of grace: drinking a good cup of coffee while standing in front of the slider in a patch of brilliant sunshine. You see, fall is finally here and last night we had our first frost of the season. I woke up cold. But standing in that bright sunshine, inhaling the rich aroma of coffee and taking occasional sips from my mug made the world right again. Isn't it funny how small things like that can have such an impact on our outlook? What was your most recent "moment of grace"?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

One Thing Leads to Another . . .

I've been so busy I haven't had time to keep up with my blog. Shame on me!

And right in the middle of being terribly busy with client work, what should happen but I get a sudden urge to move furniture. Well, not an urge, really. You see, it all began when a friend gave me a sort of combination bookshelf/storage thing for my office. This resulted in rearranging a lot of furniture, sorting through piles of junk, and ending up with mounds of trash.

I got tired of climbing over and around the bookshelf thing I'd temporarily stored in the laundry room, and in a moment of frustration I moved it into my office. The only place I could put it was where the old rolltop desk sat. I used another desk for my work, and the rolltop was just a glorified storage place for office supplies. So I moved the rolltop to a spare bedroom. But that meant I then had to find room for the table that had been in the bedroom. It's an old ugly dinette table, so I decided to take it to the dump, since it wasn't eligible for Goodwill (I'd cut a big hole in it to accommodate an old sewing machine I no longer owned).

In typical Murphy's Law fashion, one thing led to another and another and another, and I ended up spending all day yesterday rearranging furniture, cleaning out desk drawers, moving contents to new locations, sorting through and tossing a lot of useless junk, etc. Until 4:30 this morning. Oy!

Now I'm in the process of removing the legs from the table with a screwdriver so that I can fit it in my car for a trip to the dump. I also have a mound of paper trash to burn, and boxes of stuff for Goodwill. Life is never simple, is it? Have you ever gotten involved in what you thought would be a small project, only to have it burgeon into The Project That Took Over My Life?