Friday, December 13, 2013
Today is day three of our Dragon Wars...and I've managed to dictate a page of notes, make corrections, move around, add punctuation, and try out a few commands. All but one actually worked. I've been making frequent use of the cheat card and that works well.
Now...if only I didn't freeze up when dictating. You know those brain pauses you have when you're older? I tend to stop and meditate when I'm physically writing. When you do that verbally, you sound very...disconnected.
Dictating the notes was actually a good thing as I practiced a list of questions, three paragraphs of synopsis/notes, and compiled descriptions for some of the potential characters. Some of those items I would not normally use while actually dictating text for a story.
In the meantime, while I'm waiting for various electronic devices to charge up, I'll go back to the previous stories in this series and re-read them. It's amazing how many details we forget...
Sunday, December 8, 2013
On Friday, my daughter got married! Here's a pic of the new family...
I don't do tagging games, but I DID have to consider the 'ten books' question floating around on Facebook... Which ten books influenced/stuck with me?
1.The Bible. It was the first book I read back when I started reading at five. We lived in tiny, tiny towns in Arizona and books were scarce. But a ministers home had multiple copies of the Bible.
2.Dick and Jane. A few years ago WalMart carried hardbound copies of Dick and Jane and I confess I bought them. My two granddaughters read them when they were around six. There's just something about Dick and Jane...
3.Little Women. This was the first book I read that centered around GIRLS. It was so amazing to me that someone had written a book with girls as the central characters.
4.Little House on the Prairie (and all the others in the series). What a gift Laura Ingalls gave to us! I still re-read them every year.
5.Last of the Breed by Louis L'Amour. I love all of his books but this particular one...just stunned me. And the ending? Whoa...I never expected that!
6.Windflower by Laura London (Tom and Sharon Curtis). After all these years readers of the Windflower still wait in vain for a sequel. It was the absolute quintessential pirate novel. I've read lots of others...but never one to equal this one.
7.Morning Glory by Lavryle Spencer. There are love stories. And then there are LOVE stories. This one, set in the rural south in the 20s-30s is so unexpected and lyrical. Yes!
8.Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer. I own all of her books and there are others that I favor more (These Old Shades, for instance), but Sprig Muslin was the first of her books I ever read. I discovered the book at the library after we moved to Houston. I didn't know a soul, had three small children and my husband worked two fulltime jobs to support us. I was incredibly lonely. I vividly remember sitting on the closed toilet seat in my bathroom with the door closed so I didn't wake anyone up and LAUGHING so hard I slipped down between the toilet and the tub. Georgette Heyer gave me the gift of laughter when I needed it soooo desperately.
9.The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart. And of course the rest of them! I've thought a lot about why this book touched me so profoundly. I believe it was because of her scholarship and the way she wove the bits and pieces of the legends into her books to form a wonderful whole. I marvel at the details every time I re-read them.
10.Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice. This was the first erotic romance book I read. I was electrified by the possibilities. And then...I read the material in the back of the book about E-BOOKS! Books I could read on the computer! Hey...maybe I could even WRITE books. Yeah, that was the starting point. And look at me now!
Thursday, December 5, 2013
My kids had a realistic idea of our money situation from the time we sat them down and let them pay the bills with real money. My house hunk had his check cashed at the bank in $1 bills. Then we sat down with the kids and let them count out the money for each bill. We did that for six weeks. If there was any money left over after the bills we let them do the grocery shopping with a calculator and count out the money for the food.
After that when we said there was no money, they understood that reality. To this day, they’re all very good managers. This particular Christmas was important to us as a family as the previous Christmas had been very, very bad. We didn’t have a lot of money, but there was a bit more than usual so we decided that we could afford to buy bicycles.
Of course when your kids are pre-teen age, hiding bicycles is a pretty tricky proposition. Finally, we simply made the garage off-limits. Late Christmas Eve the house hunk and I were out there trying to assemble three bicycles. The store would have assembled them, but that cost money that we couldn’t afford. One needed training wheels. Things did not go well.
Around 2 AM, the door opened and my second son trotted out there with his hands in his pockets. First of all, I was startled that he was still dressed. And then of course I demanded to know why he was awake.
“Well,” he said, “I thought I would see how long it took you to put them together. But it’s late. I’m tired. And I would like to ride my bike tomorrow. So I gave up. Do you want me to put them together?”
His father handed him the wrenches. “If you think you can do better than we are, go for it.” Thirty minutes later all three bikes were assembled and parked by the tree.
My son was nine years old that Christmas. Until he left for the Navy, it was always his responsibility to assemble all the gifts marked “Some Assembly Required.”
That year Santa brought the kids stuffed Safari animals—lions, tigers, and such. Up until a few years ago, they still had them. And then they decided to donate them to a kid’s program. As I recall, that was the sum total of Christmas gifts that year, except for the perennial favorite… new underwear. To this day, that’s a family in-joke. Every Christmas the kids receive new underwear. Now of course, it’s pretty fancy stuff.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
After a brief discussion with the doc about why my hand--not just the finger, but all the knuckles, etc.--is generating considerable pain, he very gently broke the news. Other than normal day-to-day stuff, the hand needs a rest. A loooong rest. He estimates it will be completely healed around the six month mark. In my efforts to compensate for the non-use of the finger, I'm really aggravating my arthritis and delaying the healing process in the finger.
I actually own a voice-to-text computer program--Dragon. And now it appears I'm going to learn and implement its use. I've heard good and bad and really ugly things about it, but that's all right. I'm persistent and I'm tough. If it will allow me to do ONE of the things I love, that's reason enough to do it.
So a couple people have been gracious enough to share some tips and pitfalls. If anyone else out there has experience with Dragon, speak up!
And for the curious, I'll be reporting back on my experiences. Now I'm off to tickle the dragon. I believe I'll call him Herb.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
After a short period of time my legs start to cramp and ache. I get up, walk around, but within minutes once I sit down again, the aches and pain start again. Over the years we've tried all sorts of solutions. None really worked well.
Then one afternoon a few weeks ago the hunk spied a rejected stool in a pile of furniture next to our dumpster. I stopped the car and he fetched the little stool. Except for a frayed corner, it was in excellent shape.
It's exactly the right height. I can watch TV or read in comfort. Problem solved.
But the hunk wasn't happy with that frayed cover. So he crocheted a cheerful new cover for my little stool. Last night he finished it--and wielding his staple gun--recovered the stool. Not all gifts cost hundreds of dollars. The gift of thoughtfulness and love is worth the most.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Occasionally, I am overwhelmed by the feeling I should write something 'important' or 'impressive'. Something that readers will finish and urge on their friends and neighbors and even strangers. The most recent series I've been working on falls far short of my own expectations though I believe it's an neat series with an unusual premise.
The truth is, I'm just not drawn to the important, impressive, life-changing type of book. My true love is the absurd, silly, kinky love story with oddball characters and whimsical plots that make absolutely no sense, but the reader is dragged along for the ride, simply to see how outrageous the story can be.
I haven't written in months.
Then this morning I sat at the computer, writing for my own amusement and wrote over 1800 words--which is a lot for me at one sitting. In that short number of words, the story has lost all semblance of sanity. But it's rolling along just fine.
It occurs to me I might have been trying to fix something that wasn't broken just because I long to fit in somewhere. And maybe, I should just stop trying to fix it and let it all roll on.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
These are the afternoons when I close all the blinds, heat up a mug of Ovaltine and snuggle beneath the warm afghan on my bed for a tale of daring-do and romance. Familiar heroes and heroines battle the villains and evil beasts. These are the times such tales are designed for. Through our long history as humans, our story tellers have nudged the darkness back with stories of romance and triumph.
Now...which book shall I choose from my shelves?
Monday, November 25, 2013
The bulk of our ancestors arrived in the New World between 1620 and 1750. They cleared land, farmed, defended their homes, served as civil servants and jurors of their peers, attended the churches of their choice, reared their families, buried their dead, marched for months and fought for their freedom.
They laughed, cried, knew anger, joy, and sorrow. They were the face of America.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Any spy worth his salt would understand the importance of blending in so seamlessly the rest of us wouldn't even notice them. Where could they go to become 'one with the people'? Ahhhhh. Walmart.
You don't really believe those weird outfits are accidental do you? Really?
Consider the wigs and colorful makeup and strange outfits. How could that be anything but a desperate stab at disguise? Why, they even have their own code name...People of Walmart!
When new visitors land, they know the first place to go for orientation and information is their local Walmart. That's why there's a Walmart in every town. It's the local entry station for space visitors. Once they arrive, they instantly feel at home.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
Back when this song was released, I was eighteen and newly married--and the idea of being sixty-four was a distant glimmer in my universe. That was forty-six years ago. The time passed with shocking swiftness. AND we're still married.
There are no doubt all sorts of things, thought provoking, serious observations I could make about getting older. But today is a day of celebration so I'll just say turning sixty-four is pretty good!
Thank you to all the lovely people who joined my celebration!
Thursday, November 21, 2013
So finally, we moved in on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. That year it was also my birthday. The next morning when we woke up we had no water because the pipes were frozen. Nothing was unpacked, but we had the presence of mind to pick up several aluminum roasting pans. For the turkey, we doubled two pans and plopped the turkey in the oven while we rousted out the necessities from the jumble of boxes that were piled high in the living room and dining room.
It wasn't the first time I had moved. Actually, it was move number forty. So the next morning chaos was not something new. There were the usual shouts of "Mom, where is...?" and the usual jockeying for space and attention. My husband was trying to figure out why we had hot water in the toilet. Just the little things in life.
When is was time to take the turkey out, the pan collapsed, burning my husband's hands. He tossed it on the top of the stove and it exploded. In a instant we had turkey, dressing, and broth everywhere...on the ceiling, on the walls and counters, down in the innards of the brand new stove...on the floor. Everywhere.
The househunk took the stove apart and carried it outside to wash the worst of it off with the hose in the yard. The boys got in an argument and my younger son "ran away". I remember kneeling on the floor trying to mop up that greasy mess and crying, "I want to go home!"
And my husband leaned down and calmly pointed out, "We are home."
Heh. Well, the runaway came home. My daughters helped set the table and my sons helped wash walls and counters. Amazingly, we sat down to dinner, thankful to be in a home instead of that hotel. And every year, we retell the story of the exploding turkey dinner.
After all, it was way better than the fire in the furnace on Christmas Day. Trust me on this.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day!