“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


No Animals, Humans, or Cars Were Injured In The Making Of This Blog Post

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

You know your morning isn't going so well when it includes, not one, not two, but all of the following:
  • A cat, waking you at an ungodly hour by smacking you in the face with his tail repeatedly
  • Rain, the gushing, pouring, oh dear lord it's Noah's ark all over again kind of rain, that starts just moments before you walk out the door
  • A spider web which hits you in the face on the way through the door - the same door, where there has recently been spotted a spider of a size to rival Shelob, thus triggering your fear of spiders and convincing you that the spider is either stuck in your hair or crawling on your feet
  • Forgetting the badge that is your only access to the building in which you work - and not realizing it until after you pulled into one of the best parking spots in the lot
  • Watching someone wait to take that lovely spot while you pull out in order to go back home and get your badge
  • Realizing on the way home that you also forgot to brush your teeth - how do you forget to brush your teeth??!!
  • Poor visibility due to rain and an old, funky windshield that reflects all light from oncoming vehicles, leaving you essentially blind
  • Fresh gravel on the road, having been poured on much too thickly, making driving on said road like driving in a sandbox
  • A deer running out in front of you on that sandbox road, at the same moment when you are blinded by the headlights of an oncoming vehicle, nearly giving you a heart attack after missing it (and the tree-lined road side) by mere inches
The way I see it, tomorrow morning is destined to be absolutely perfect in order to make up for this morning - right?

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Garden Update

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I haven't blogged about gardening for quite a while, and since the garden is doing quite well this year, I thought it was about time for an update. We had a little trouble last year, being in a new place. The spot we chose had been dug up during construction, leaving the soil very thick, heavy clay. The tomatoes died within hours of planting. I tried another spot and it did a little better, but by that time it was too late in the year to get a good garden.

This year, the deer have been doing some serious munching – beans, cucumbers, blueberries have all been damaged to varying degrees. But much of the garden is actually doing quite well. Here are some photos I snapped today while out working in the garden.

The herb garden clockwise from bottom left - chives, thyme, parsley, more chives, basil, and dill. I have so many herbs I'm not sure what to do with them all. The chives and dill will be great with potatoes which I'm just starting to harvest (as you'll see soon). The basil might get made into frozen pesto cubes, or dried for winter use. The parsley though - there's a ton of it, and I don't really use much parsley. I just like to grow it because it's pretty and it grows so well it makes a gardener feel really good about her gardening abilities. Anyone have any good recipes that use parsley?

Aren't these cosmos just so pretty! I love them. They are towering over my peppers though! I didn't realize when I planted those itty bitty seeds just how tall cosmos get. The peppers (see the tiny little plants at the feet of the flowers?) are doing well though despite their gigantic neighbors.

Closeup! Can you spot the peppers? There's one on the left and one on the right hiding in the leaves. These will be beautiful yellow bell peppers when they ripen.

The tomatoes are doing great. They're not tall, but they are definitely bushy and there are tons of tomatoes in there. The only problem is that it's been so cool this summer that they're not ripening. I've heard several people with the same problem. Other than that though, they look great. Hopefully we'll get enough warm, sunny weather before fall to ripen them up.

Here's one of my tomatoes hiding among all those beautiful leaves.

The best reward of veggie gardening. Dinner!



Wednesday Nights Are For Writing

Friday, August 14, 2009

For the past four years, the Geek and I have participated in NaNoWriMo each November. (Just 2 1/2 months until the next one!!) We both love the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in a month, even though we are fully aware that anything we manage to pry out of our minds in that short of a time period will be total crap (thus our pet name of CraNoWriMo). On the other hand, whatever we write is bound to be editable, and with a little (or a lot of) work, we have the potential of ending up with a palatable, and maybe even good, novel.

So here lies the problem. What happens after NaNoWriMo? They set the stage for you in as perfect a way as is possible for something so random as writing a novel. If you choose to take their challenge, they tell you the day you will start and the day you will stop. They tell you your goal – 50,000 original words. They give helpful advice for keeping on task and forums for sharing the experience with others who have also taken the challenge. And, perhaps best of all, they give you an excuse to tell your friends and family that as much as you adore them, you really need to stay home and catch up on your word count.

The nice people at NaNoWriMo even try to give you some help after the fact in case you choose to continue the process by editing your novel. The problem is this: if most people are anything like me (and as unique as I like to think I am, I have no doubt there are a lot of people just like me in this regard) their novel goes into hibernation the minute the clock strikes midnight on November 30th or they type the 50,000th word – which ever comes first.

Of course we all have good intentions. We all want to take the pile of words we just spent a month tossing onto a page and form them into something wonderful. But it's hard to find the time to do so, especially when there are so many other ways to squander your time, like reading blogs, or playing computer games, or shopping.

Well, I can't say I've resolved this issue entirely, but the Geek and I both want to find a way to break out of this this cycle of perpetual procrastination. So, we've instituted a new weekly event in our lives. We will be going out to a coffee shop after dinner each Wednesday night to work on our novels. By setting aside this time and taking us away from the distractions at home, we are much more likely to concentrate on our writing. Plus, by doing this together, we add accountability to each other.

We just started last week, but I'm excited about this. I know that if we really want to go anywhere with our writing, we will need to dedicate more than a couple hours one night a week to it, but I think this is a good start. I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes us.

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A New Design

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm gearing up to come back. Our lives have been shifting and changing with our move to the country, and it's about time my blog shifted accordingly. The design is a little simpler and also reflects the direction I want to go with this blog. I intend to write more about reading, writing, and other beautiful things that inspire me.

See you back here soon!