Writing is a journey, not a destination.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's the Simple Things in Life You Treasure

I've been torturing myself about making the best decision I can possibly make. Exploring all the options. Laying out the pros and cons. Making my list and checking it twice.

While watching a squirrel jump from tree to tree on my break, I realized the only decision I can make is the one I can live with. Maybe it isn't the right decision. Maybe it isn't the smart decision. Maybe it isn't the best fiscal decision. But it is the only decision that will let me sleep at night, confident in my illusion that one person can make the world a better place for squirrels.

What can I say? I'm an idiot.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


How does the song go? "There never seems to be enough time to do the things that you want to do once you find them."

My writing continues in between editing another writer's mss on deadline, moving and replacing all the plants in my backyard garden to protect them from the giant backhoe required to replace my sewer line (that's a post for another day, I'm sure), listening to friends as the holiday blues color their worlds and, of course, my own addiction to Farmville.

In short, life is getting in the way of my art.

I'll not despair. Even an hour a night is productive, if you know where you're going. According to the counter, I've added 11K words in the past two weeks. That's more than I've added in the past year.

The WIP took an odd turn this weekend, but I'm following cautiously while fighting an occasional bout of giggles. Silly thing might turn out to be 150K after all. Who knew?

If I'm hard to find, now you know why.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Does Satan care about my word count?

I had a whole evening "open" for writing yesterday, and what should happen?

One, I come home from lunch to find a stray dog curled up on my front porch. She was wet, shivering and not happy about either. I had to go in through the back door because I feared she'd bite me. I called animal control, which put me in a black mood for the rest of the afternoon.

I also called my post office. I didn't want my postman walking into a potential startle-and-bite situation. I like my postman. 

Then I rescued a bat I'd seen the day before in the parking garage. It was obviously not OK. My head tells me I should leave such things alone. That the life and death of one little bat have nothing whatsoever to do with me.

I can't agree with that.

In the same way Big Brother believes he is Justice to those criminals who cross his path, I believe I am Mercy to those animals who cross mine. I cannot just leave them alone and get on with my life.

After driving through pouring rain (for the second night in a row), I gave the bat to the county wildlife rescue. I hope he makes it. I only know I won't pass his frozen body in the parking garage stairwell and berate myself for doing nothing. That is all the hope I can take with me.

But my night of writing was shot to the heated netherworld. Perhaps some write better when their heart breaks and their eyes swell and their head stuffs up with mucus. I don't.

I wrote a bit, but it wasn't anything like it could have been.

Tonight is blown in the writing sense for a school function.

November passes and my word count fails to blossom. I'm not giving up, but this has not been the best week, and Wednesday has barely started.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Slight Change of Plans

I'm remembering why November is a dumb month to crank out 50K.

Family obligations.

I sort of remembered this before I decided to do it, but it was the kind of vague impression of a memory, like "I've never done this before, and I'm sure I had a reason but maybe it wasn't a good reason."

Band concerts, plays, Thanksgiving prep and parties, pre-Christmas shopping parties - it all happens in November, even for an aunt.

I know I could work around this if I could just get my body to accept the change from Daylight Savings Time.

I did not gain an hour this Sunday. I lost one. I lost several, actually, because not only am I now waking up at 3 AM on the dot despite my best efforts, I'm not falling asleep until 11 PM or later, even when I go to bed at 9. That's four to five hours of sleep when I like 7 to 8. Not good news for the turtle or the family who will be around her as this snowballs into the inevitable sleep-deprived grumpiness.

Hey, maybe this works for the best. If no one wants to be around me, I won't be distracted from writing.

I guess there's a bright side to everything.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dave Is Wrong

Maybe not "wrong," but this month, he's not right, either.

October was my envelope expenses test month. I took out cash in predetermined amounts and used only those envelopes for those expenses. What did I learn?

Cash is far easier to lose.

I reconciled the "cash account" I created to keep track of my expenditures and found I'm 41.00 off, and not in my favor. I have no idea where the money went. I thought I got receipts for everything and I only used the money in the envelopes for the intended purpose.

It's probably my math skills, but this can't be good. The whole point of the Dave Ramsey envelope method is to help me limit spending. If it doesn't do that, or doesn't do it well enough, why am I going through the hassle of counting out 1's?

Yes, I'm that anal. I put the exact predetermined amounts into their respective envelopes. Which is why I'm a bit floored, disappointed and a teeny bit disgusted with the whole experience.

Maybe it's the I-can't-believe-I-had-to-call-the-plumber-again-for-the-exact-same-problem-and-maybe-pay-overtime-for-it talking. I'm a little miffed over that, too, considering I took vacation time to be here to meet them and they showed up an hour late. It's not like I can take more time off tomorrow and reschedule.

Grrrr. This is why I don't get along with Thursdays.

On a slightly more positive note, it could be argued I did limit my spending to only what was in the envelopes, but I'm not ready to be positive yet.

What will Friday bring? No idea, but today is certainly getting its pound of flesh.


This week has posed ridiculous interruptions to my sleep.

Monday my alarm clock failed to go off because the AM and PM were messed up after my weekend power outage, leading not to more sleep but to more interrupted sleep as hungry cats worked to wake me on their schedule instead of mine.

Tuesday failed to solve the alarm clock problem when I didn't reset it and it went off at midnight. My body knew midnight was too early but it failed to tell my brain, so I lay in bed half-dozing, half-listening to the radio, repeating to myself "I need to get up. I need to get up" all while not getting up.
An hour and thirty-eight minutes later, I figured out it wasn't time to get up, reset the clock for 5 AM and barely got back to sleep before it went off again.

Have I mentioned I have trouble going back to sleep when I wake up?

Tuesday was miserable. My eyes did not want to stay open. Despite this, I came home and wrote for TuNoWriMo and went to bed rather proud of myself.

Sometime Wednesday night, my power cut out briefly again. When that happens, my answering machine comes back on with a loud beep and an electronic "to reset, please press the menu button." Yes, that's enough to wake me up. In the middle of the night. Again.

And last night, for no reason at all, I woke up at 1:38, and as far as I can tell, did not go back to sleep except for about 15 minutes shortly after 4. Just long enough to dream about dead St. Bernard puppies.

What it all means is I will be acting like one dead puppy at work today. It's a Thursday, too.
Thursdays and I have a bad history.

On the bright side, I did write about 500 words last night, even though most of the evening was spent with mom, at Bible study and realizing my own physical inadequacy to gain access to the part of my basement drain I believe to be clogged, necessitating yet another call to the plumber, another withdrawal from my checking account and another irritating use of my newly earned vacation time.

I guess it is a Thursday.

Oh well. At least the cats can sleep in.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It Starts

Can't you just hear Nathan Lane as Timon? I can.

The turtle November writing challenge - what I'm calling TuNoWriMo - started last night.

I admit, I didn't go all out. I didn't rush home from work, close the door, the blinds and the cats in the basement and write until my eyes bled. Nope. Not me. I piddled around with laundry, Farmville, dinner and dishes before I got started. I even took a phone call, although we kept that brief.

Still, I wrote almost 1200 words in two hours. The key seems to be knowing whose head I'll be in next. Having that pre-planned is making the difference.

For the third morning, I've had alarm clock issues - this one wasn't my fault - so I'm behind. Again.
I'll keep you updated on the progress with my November-only word counter up there in the left corner. If you don't read me here, odds are excellent I'll be writing.