Vacation is Alright


Coronado. I feel like I have stepped into a modern day revival of Dirty Dancing. The only thing missing are the loudspeaker announcements telling me when the underwater basket weaving classes are starting.

Unfortunately, this is only my vicarious vacation. We are just stopping in to visit friends, but our visit comes with a pool pass, an ocean view and three very adorable babies, so I will take it.

So much has been going on. Things are changing, for the better on the whole, and I finally feel like blogging again.

More to come.

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Writing Update

Just a quick update on my novel project!

I have written about 3,500 words this week. While I am a little behind in my word count, it is amazing to me that I have written that much at all.

I thought that having a word count hanging over my head would be oppressive, but it is oddly freeing creatively. It takes the pressure of of writing the perfect sentence and just allows me to concentrate on writing period. I can alway go back and make things better, but you’ve got to have something to work with.

Here’s to the next 46,500 words!

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Small but Mighty

Another small victory.  When we first moved into our new room, we had these over the door hooks, but they prevented the door for closing all they way.  We got frustrated with that, took the over the door hooks off and then still couldn’t  close the door because we constantly had towels draped over the door.

We found these great antique looking hooks at Urban Outfitters (one of my favorite places to find cool home stuff) and then they sat on our vanity for more than a moth.

A few weeks a go I finally got out the drill, found a couple a screws and got them in the door.  I almost drilled straight through the door, oops, but I got the hooks in none-the-less.

My life has been changed.  Really, the little things do make a difference.  A towel on a hook, a door that closes when you need it to – it is wonderful.

I tell you, it’s the little things.


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Day One

2,161 words.  Yeah!

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And on to the new

October was a funny month.  I had high hopes.  There were disappointments and failed projects, but other wonderful things came up that I would never have expected.

One of the best things that we squeezed in before the end of the month was our annual pilgrimage to Apple Hill. It is an area in Northern California, just off highway 50 on the way to Tahoe, loaded with apple orchards, Christmas tree farms and more apple themed do-hickeys than you could imagine.  Being the food oriented family that we are, we had no problem driving almost three hours each way for BBQ chicken at High Hill Ranch, fudge (and a pony ride!) at Able’s Acres and sour cream apple pie at Grandpa’s Cellar.

It had been raining on and off the entire trip and when we got to High Hill the air had that perfect fall bite to it that makes sweet spicy food taste amazing.  We got hot apple cider, 1/2 a BBQ chicken and apple slaw.  It was probably the best meal that I have eaten in a long, long time.  The apple slaw had freakin’ mini-marshmallows in it – just thinking about it makes me want to cry just a little bit.  Gestational diabetes be dammed, I ate the marshmallows.

We also did a little apple shopping and came home with a mixture of Arkansas Black, Jonagold and Empire apples.  So far I have tried the Arkansas Black and the Jonagold.  The Arkansas Black are, in my opinion, the superior apple and tasted amazing with baguette smeared with Port Salut cheese.  Apparently Port Salut is the poor man’s brie, but it pasteurized, so low-brow it may be, Port Salut it is for me.

It was a good trip.

There were, of course, some things that I didn’t accomplish this month.  My closet is still a mess.  I thought that I would make a dent in it yesterday, but after one trip from the third floor to the garage, I gave up.  I’ll keep working on it.

I also didn’t manage to create an outline for my November Novel Writing Project – which starts today by the way.  We’ll just see what happens.  Did I mention that I am going to write 1,675 words this evening and every evening until I reach 50,00 words?  No?

We are also having a baby in six weeks.  SIX WEEKS!  We just ordered a new car seat, have white onsies for days (many thanks to our friend with triplets), a doula and somewhere for the little bugger to sleep.  Really, what else do you need?

So good-bye October, and thank you for keeping me on my toes and reminding me to go with the flow.

And thank you blood sugar for allowing me to eat apple slaw to my heart’s content, sample some apple cider and a few healthy bites of caramel apple and still come in under 110.


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Little Victories

It has been slower going than I ever could have imagined, but our bedroom is finally starting to resemble a room where sane adults live.  A big part of that has been Amy taking the bull by the horns and working magic on her own closet and me finally finishing my DIY jewelry holder.   There are certainly some things that I would do differently, but I am very happy that it is finished, hanging on the wall and holding jewelry!

If you’re keen to try to make one for yourself – and you know you are – here’s how I did it!

1. Find a cool picture with a stiff backing.  I found this one at Urban Ore in Berkeley for $14.

2. You’ll need something to hang your stuff on. I used vintage drawer pulls, also found at Urban Ore for $.50/piece.

3. Once you have the pieces assembled, figure out where you want to put the knobs, if you want to add a wire, as I did, to hang earrings, etc.. and mark them with pencil.  Here’s the fun part – get out your drill and put a hole where you’re going to screw in your knobs.

4. Push the screw in FROM THE BACK of your picture and then screw the knob in from the front. Tip: make sure that your screws aren’t too long.  Many of mine are and some of my knobs are tilting a bit from the front.

5.  If it doesn’t already have one, get a picture wire and attach it to your frame.  Make sure to use a heavy enough weight to support all of your jewels!

I am still dreaming of finding a reasonable priced reproduction of Girl with a Pearl earring to do this project on, but until then, I will enjoy my handy work!

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Drawing (writing) a blank

One of my October goals was to have a solid outline for my November Novel Writing Month project.  I’ve mulled, I’ve dreamed, I’ve fretted, but precious little outlining has been done.  I’m worried.  I have no idea how to do something like this.

For the most part, I have been surprisingly relaxed about my lack of progress.  I think that one of the main aspects of the whole project is to “just go”.   On November first, I’ll start writing and just see what happens.   I think that part of the process for me is to test the waters.  Get some thoughts on paper, try them out, give these characters that have been living in my head a test drive, see what they do, what they have to say. Maybe that is just as valid a way to approach a project as any.

My other stumbling block is that part of what I want to write is set in the early 1950’s.  I feel like I have a lot of information about because my mother has always been a storyteller and unofficial family historian and what I plan to write is based largely on that history, but there are gaps.  I am trying not to let my lack of certain information deter me, but in a process that is already uncertain, it is an easy excuse to not do anything.

Of course, there are other pressing life reasons for my nonchalance about my writing project.  I am trying to get through my last few weeks at work, realizing that I am going to have to birth an actual baby in just under SEVEN WEEKS, trying to get the house prepared for the baby,  worrying about our daughter’s kindergarten, blah, blah, blah, the list of things to worry and obsess about is endless and in the midst of this I am going to attempt to write 50,000 semi-cohesive words?  Am I off my rocker?

Well, yes, or course I am!

When I was pregnant with our daughter I made a movie.  In fact I was at my film class about six hours before I went into labor in a different city from where we lived across a major body of water. There is something about pregnancy that inspires me to tackle big projects.

So I am still left with a question:  If I were so inclined to complete an outline for this yet to be written masterpiece, how would I do it?


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