Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I have been crushed by the heat of late, dear readers, with temperatures averaging 12 degrees above normal in my part of the world.  Doesn't seem like 12 degrees would make much difference, but believe me, it does.  Day after day in the mid- to high 90s has taken its toll on my brain, hence why I dropped off the grid for a wee bit.  It's hard to type when you're laying on the cool tile of the kitchen floor, whimpering panting louder than the dogs.

And, sometimes there just isn't much to say/write/think, is there?  Sometimes a day in the life is just...a day.  No more, no less.

Still, as today has yet to reach meltdown stage, I have a moment or two for some random musings...

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Sunday morning when I took the boys to the VA for our walk, I realized that in one area of the complex there is a beautiful, very tall, pine tree.  I learned in the basket class that the taller the tree, the longer the needles, so I wandered over to see if that notion held true.  It did, but better yet, scattered on the ground around the trunk were several fallen clumps of needles.  It was like finding a cache of treasure, so after the walk I gathered up the fronds and brought them home to dry...

It might not look like it from the photo, but once I've dried these, and removed the caps, there are just enough needles here to make a basket.  From forest debris to useful pine basket.  I love that.

On my back slope, I have four pines that I had planned to utilize for my basket making, so on Monday I went down the ridge to see what might be available.  I don't want to take the needles directly off the trees--being a tree hugger that would be tantamount to pillaging and plundering--but surely there had to be plenty of needles on the ground?

Oh yeah.  Under the trees, though precarious to gather on the steep drop off, is a thick blanket.  It appears I could make baskets until the end of time.

And speaking of baskets, unfortunately I ran out of the sinew from the class before I finished my first basket.  I had to order a roll online, which I hope arrives soon as I don't want to lose my momentum.

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I have--yet again--been struggling with the blasted serial.  I've learned much from this exercise, the main lesson being that once the installment has been posted, I'm hosed, no matter how much I want to change something.  In an odd twist, it feels like every single time I post, I've painted myself into a corner.  When I finished episode 29 (and yikes! that was clear back in June!), I reviewed my outline and notes, and realized I had totally screwed one angle of the plot.  I have been mulling and musing to find a solution ever since.  I know where I want to go, just not how to get there.  It's frustrating beyond words--pun intended.

Normally when I'm writing, I get all absorbed in the story and write like a maniac, all the plot threads wound between my fingers like a Cat's Cradle.  With serial writing, there are long pauses, different POVs, and weeks between each character's installment, which means I can drop threads and sometimes forget to pick them back up.  When I realize it, then I have to either write around the gaping hole or find a way to weave it back into the plot.  And also, in all this finagling, I try to remember *Chekhov's Gun, a writing construct that sometimes gets lost in the quagmire of my thoughts.

It hurts my brain, and the heat doesn't help.  Or maybe the heat hurts and my brain doesn't help.  Either way, I've been stalled on the serial.  Those of you who have been following the story, rest assured, I'll be back shortly.  I can almost see the pieces falling into alignment...

...unless that's a mirage in the heat haze.

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*Chekhov's Gun requires every element in the narrative to be necessary.  If you say in the first chapter that there's a rifle hanging on the wall, at some point in the story it absolutely must be fired.  If it has no purpose, it shouldn't be hanging there.


  1. Well, I happened to think if you hadn't have suddenly decided to change a character's name for no reason I can discern-and certainly not through the fault of someone else-none of your blocks would have ever happened. Seriously.

    You can stop fucking laughing now...


    1. Good thing you live far, far away... ;D

      And sorry, still laughing--though I shouldn't be considering that whole Beatles problem. The one you wouldn't know anything about, of course.