Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Melancholy In The Big City

Melancholy: sadness, unhappiness, the blues (I'll have a Blue Christmas without you - sing it to me, Elvis).

Melancholy describes my mood right now because Christmas isn't one of my most favorite holidays, but I love the reasons for the season (Jesus' birth, songs, decorations). Now before you send out a psychiatrist to see if I have multiple personalities, let me try to explain my love/hate relationship with all gift giving holidays.

I guess I can blame it on my overactive wanter. I wanted and still want more presents than what I receive on any given birthday, anniversary or on Christmas morn. Years ago Mom and Dad didn't fulfill my insatiable need for hoards of presents and I've carried this into adulthood and my overactive wanter is now my husband's problem. It's sad, I know.

And R tries hard to fulfill my desires. He listens attentively when we're out shopping. If I say I like something, he takes it as his own. He'll go back and buy it for me and wrap it for the appropriate occasion. But when I open the item I didn't think I could live without, sometimes I'm disappointed. I remember saying I loved it, but two months later, it's not what I really wanted.

Outwardly I smile and thank him for the present I'm holding, but I know my internal reaction to his gift giving is totally unfair. I should look beyond my feelings and realize the time and attention R spent on me was given with all the love in his heart.

Maybe I need to let go of this overactive wanter business and become an overactive giver. Isn't that really what this wonderful season is all about? Oh, and Mom and Dad, before I forget, thanks for giving me all the things I ever needed. Especially your love for me and each other throughout the years.


Friday, December 01, 2006


NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) is over for another year. I made my 50,680 words at 6:20 last night. The official clock on Chris Baty's site said I still had 5 hours and 40 minutes when I wrote THE END, but I and my story were finished. YIPPEE!!!!

I mentioned in an earlier blog (I hope I did) that my Monday night writer's group did it last year. Instead of doing it in November when all the other NANOWRIMOS do it, we did it in June. The only difference from this year to last - the novel I finished yesterday is a salvagable (I'm almost sure of it). Last year's novel could be penned as a dumping ground for pent up frustrations and unexpressed anger at whoever might come in contact with my main character (loosely based on myself). Sounds like a book you'd just love to pick up for some light reading, doesn't it. NOT!!

The characters in my latest novel (oh, I love saying those words) resemble sane, very likable, and funny people. None are based on any particular person I know. I didn't want anyone to recognize themselves in my book and get mad if they didn't look anything like they see themselves. I'm thinking I got a little too deep for my own good in that last sentence.

Anyway, I had to write and tell you I'm finished with this project. Chris Baty says to let it simmer for a month before we begin the editing process. I'm not sure I can wait that long, but I'll try. In the mean time, I'll continue writing and submitting. Already today, I sent off two short stories. Busy, busy, busy.

Merry Christmas to everyone!!!!!


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Only 5 Days To Go!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Sorry it's two days late.

Just to let you know - I'm on the home stretch in writing my novel. Only 5 more days and I'll have over 50,000 words to my credit. A complete start-to-finish novel. WOW!!! Do I hear the trumpets blaring? Do I hear a faint murmur among the angels? No, actually I thinks that's my inner voice whispering, "You're nuts for taking on this task of writing a novel in a month. What were you thinking?"

This morning the voice spoke the loudest. The reason: I didn't write one single word on Thanksgiving or yesterday. I took two days off to spend with my bud. That's right, I put the demands of writing a novel and word count pressure on the back burner. Thursday R and I volunteered at our church making up meals for those in need. When we finished, we took some of the extra dinners to where R works - so those who had to work on Thanksgiving enjoyed a hot turkey dinner. The end of our day we sat around a table covered with a feast. The host and hostess opened their home to those of us who didn't have family in the area. We'd never met the couple before, but made life long friends in just a few hours. Thanks K & J. Friday, instead of writing, R and I went earlybird shopping, enjoyed a midmorning breakfast and then went on a leisurely afternoon stroll. Life doesn't get much better than that.

Today I wrote and whipped my word count into shape. As of 5:00 o'clock on Saturday, November 25, I have 40, 859 words. A mere 9,141 words to go before THE END. I know I'll make it to the finish line, and I'm happy the end is in sight - but on December 1st I'll wake and ponder my next goal. Hey, maybe this year I'll actually edit the book I wrote. What a novel idea!!!!!


Friday, November 10, 2006

Precious Memories

Like most writers, I waited a LONG time (2 years) to get published. I truly thought I'd died and went to heaven when I got the news. No one prepared me for the euphoric feeling which griped my heart and wouldn't let go. Well, people, Wednesday of this week publishdom happened again. This time in my hometown newspaper - The Herington Times.

My mom mentioned the paper wanted stories concerning life in the small Kansas town. I just happened to have one in my stash. I'd written a piece last year after I heard my beloved childhood home had a fire. The blaze started in my bedroom. The room I'd spent hours playing with my dolls, writing in my diary, daydreaming, listening to the lastest tunes or rearranging it to fit my mood. The room I loved with all my heart.

As I sat down to write, the memories of my home and family flowed onto the pages. Tears mixed with laughter filled my heart as I enjoyed my walk down memory lane. When I wrote the last line of the story, precious memories - oh how they linger, sadness for my now damaged home overwhelmed me. It's time of earth had ended way, way too soon, but my family and I would always cherish the wonderful memories we created within it's walls.


PS: I'm still pounding the keys for my goal of 50,000 words in one month. Day 9 - total of 15,237 words so far. YIPPEE!!!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Seven days and counting

Okay, if you haven't noticed, I haven't written in my blog like I promised - keeping you abreast of the exciting life of a writer. The reason: I'm behind in all areas of my life. Let me recap (give you a number of valid excuses why I'm pulling out my gray hair). November 1st arrived and my sister from Kansas City is visiting. She knows about my 50,000 words and encourages me to write to my hearts content while she watches HGTV. I don't (I do the bare minimum and call it a good day). November 2nd dawns and I get a call asking me if I want to transcribe three tapes (I type a doctor's journal for him whenever he gets a tape ready). "Sure," I say. Under my breath I add, "put in the stack with the other obligations I promised myself for November."

Before you think I've given up on my challenge of 50,000 words, I haven't. As of today (Nov. 7) I've written 10,889 words. The book I'm following for this venture, "No Plot, No Problem" says I should be at 11,739 words on the 7th, so I'm a mere 850 shy. Not to worry, I'll catch up on it tomorrow since I finished the job of typing the doctor's tapes today.

Tomorrow on my schedule I've written "TYPE, TYPE, TYPE." Can I do it? YES I CAN! Will I catch up on the word count? YES I WILL! I'm going to kick in the afterburners and get-ur-done.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Can I Do It Again??

I'm going to write 50,000 words in ONE month. Is it possible? YES!! The reason I know is because I wrote over 66,000 last year. All those words in one month.

The reason I did it - I'M NUTS. Beside that (some of you a nodding your heads), the leader of my Monday night writer's group came upon a book written by Chris Baty called, "No Plot? No Problem! He calls November - NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month). Twenty of us took on the challenge of writing 50,000 words(equivalent to a novel) in one month and 15 of us finished.

Is the book I wrote publishable (I'm not sure that's a word)? NO!!! One of my problems while writing was I didn't figure out until Day 21 (when I did a synopsis) what my book was about. I think this year I'll come up with that important piece of the puzzle before my fingers hit the keyboard the first day.

Chris suggests you just put words down and make sure you shut your internal editor off. JUST WRITE (or type) WORDS and you can go back later and make sense of them.

Another thing Chris tells you to do before you start your novel - tell EVERYONE what you're doing. This way people will ask about the project and hopefully will keep each of us on track to finish on time.

In just a few days you can ask me how many words I have. I promise I won't get cranky or delete you from my address book. Please keep me accountable. THANKS!!!


P.S. I promise I'll post my ups and downs of writing so many words on my blogspot. Did I just promise I type more words - oh no. HELP ME!!!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Christmas and my Stingray bicycle

Christmas! What am I doing mentioning something that doesn't happen for 3 1/2 more months. Well, I had another interesting writing assignment (somewhat self imposed - leader of my writing group challenged us to write for 30 minutes for 30 days and it would become a habit).

Yesterday, to begin the challenge, I flipped open the pages of my prompt book to Sept. 1st and read - Write a December memory. I pondered it and honestly for a few minutes I couldn't come up with a darn thing. Then it hit me - the year I received the gift I'd longed for (and I'm sure bugged my parents to death about).

Picture this: I bound down the stairs, in front of the rest of my siblings, and there it sat in all its glory - my very own, brand spanking new, blue Stingray bicycle. I think I almost heard the angel's break out in song and I know the earth stopped on its axis for a split second.

Today I sit typing words, but really there aren't words to express the sheer happiness of receiving the gift I'd asked for. You don't have a doubt in your mind you're truly loved.

Anyway, remembering my fond memory of 40 years ago brought a smile to my face. Please let me know a special gift you've received and will never ever forget.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Elvis - I'm All Shook Up

I think I promised I'd keep my blog on a happy note, but today you might want to snatch up a tissue before you start reading. Today marks the 29th anniversary of Elvis' death. There's no way I can be cheery. Even after all these years, it saddens me he died. So much life left to live.

A friend called and told me Elvis died. I asked him if he was kidding. He assured me he wasn't. I turned on the tv and it splashed every story known to man about Elvis. I watched every minute of it - with Kleenex in hand. I called all the female members of my family, especially my one sister. I knew if she heard the news while driving in traffic on her way home, she'd cause a 50 car pile-up. She was grateful for my concern for her and others safety.

R and I visited Graceland a few years ago. I don't think R gave a rip, but I thought it would be cool. The 1970's motif took a little getting use to, but knowing "The king" had walked on the same shag rug made my heart pitter patter. My tune changed dramatically when we went out and view the graves. Just a little too over the top for me. I don't even visit my grandparent's gravesites, so what was I doing peering down at my favorite entertainer's headstone.

Anyway, I lived through it and I'm glad I could check it off my list of Elvis to dos. Another thing on my to do list that I checked off was in 1973. I saw him in concert. Only a Junior in high school and in the 10th row (my mom sat right next to me). Seeing him was a dream come true. "2001, A Space Odyssey" introduced him and "Can't Help Falling In Love" he said his goodbyes. The person then announced - Elvis has left the building.

Yes, he's left the building, but he still lingers in my heart. Love ya, Elvis, and I always will.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Tough writing assignment today

This blogging is all new, but thought I'd give it a try. So, please be patient with my flubs.

Today I sat down to write a story about my divorce. It happened 27 years ago. I can still remember all the sordid details, but why should I trash someone over something two decades later. Does it really matter now whose fault it was. Hey, I can admit it's all his fault and there's nothing he can do about it now (HA!).

All joking aside, doing it turned into a daunting task. I started writing and it turned into a blame game and then I switched over to a little comic relief. Now I'm at the part where I need to put down what I learned in the experience so I can help someone through their ordeal.

The funny thing about this whole situation is I've been married to my second husband 25 of those 27 years. Did I learn anything from my first experience? Sometimes I wonder (please don't ask my husband), but I know one thing. I scored a big winner the second time around.

Bye for today. Better check to see if I can find my own blog.