Friday, October 31, 2014

Tempus Fugit

My 2013 Hallowe'en Pumpkin

I can hardly believe it's the end of October already.  I never got to Kruse's Pumpkin Patch for the ghost pumpkins I love, mainly because I kept thinking I had plenty of time.  I should know better than to think that way.  Experience has surely taught me by now that there is never plenty of time.


Tomorrow begins an exercise in self-discipline--not my strong suit--as I write like a crazy woman through November's NaNo challenge.  On one hand I'm looking forward to it because the plot swirling around in my head wants to be told, but on the other, I just want to burrow in, read books, make great simmering pots of...whatever and enjoy the quiet solitude that comes with crap weather, storms and the early darkness. Hibernation beckons, though conversely, I find it easier to write when it's cold and dreary.


Time changes this weekend.  And honestly, how long are we really going to keep doing this? Flipping time back and forth is just pointless. We're humans.  We'll adapt to one time frame, whether it's standard or daylight savings. Besides, time isn't a piggy bank; no matter how it plays out, time can't be saved.


So, dear readers...Happy Hallowe'en!   I hope all your treats are sweet ones.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Books, Bill and Ted

I spent the better part of the afternoon working on a cover for the alleged wtf am I thinking? NaNo book.  I struggled with ideas and fonts and photos until I was finally satisfied with the end result. But now I can't get it off Word or into a different format to post on my NaNo page or the blog.  A quick cut/paste operation that, yeah, you'd think would be simple, wouldn't you?  Instead, nothing's working, another hour wasted--and believe me, at this point I wish I was wasted. Doesn't bode well, does it?

On the NaNo site, they're always giving pep talks and encouraging advice on ways to forge ahead, persevere, never say die.  Today I read that if you have a cover for your book, your chances of success increase by 60%.  That's huge.  And I'm pretty sure I will need every percentage I can get to make it through November.

I don't know what it means that I have a book cover but no one will ever see it.  I'm sure there's a message in there somewhere...


Remember Bill and Ted, my Darwin sunflowers?

Here they are, just a few weeks after sprouting all by themselves...

Barely a week later and growing like magic beans.  Bill is the smaller one in the back, Ted is smiling for the camera...

This was last week, just before the storms and high winds came.  I wanted the flowers to keep growing for as long as possible so I could use the seeds in the winter for the birds. 

Unfortunately, when I was outside working in the back garden on Monday, I found poor ol' Bill and Ted laying in the dirt, so I dusted them off and set them in the garage out of the damp.  Earlier today I cut the stalks off and brushed most of the dried flowers away to see if there were any seeds under all that golden yellow and was so pleased to find there were.

And here's a funny thing.  Bill was smaller throughout the whole growing period, but look at him now. He ended up the size of a large dinner plate...

Ted, though he might only be equal to a salad plate, made up for his smaller size with bigger, perfectly formed seeds that the birds are gonna love...

Nature.  Mesmerizing, amazing and a thing of beauty.  Symmetry in the spirals of a sunflower...

So now they're hanging in the garage to dry out and sometime around Christmas I'll hang them in the pine trees for the birds.  Maybe by then I'll have figured out how to get my book cover posted. Sigh...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Miscellany

My stormy, turbulent weekend was just about perfect. Lots of rain and wind, dark clouds and gloomy skies.  Makes me smile just to remember it.

Saturday afternoon...

Sunday morning I made a big pot of chili, something I've been wanting to do for months. It simmered all day, making the house smell heavenly, feel warm and cozy.  As the rain pounded outside, I had a great dinner of chili and cornbread; the boys had dog food with cornbread crumbles.  Everybody was happy...

This week I'm attempting to organize myself, and the month of November, for my imminent NaNo adventure which starts on Saturday.  I'm not sure I have the stamina--or the brain cells--to actually follow through, although I've done it in the past and will give it my best shot this time around.  I've got several plot scenarios playing in my head, except being a pantser I pretty much let the characters run the show and they often wander off in a different direction than where I'm headed. This style of writing can make things very interesting and exciting, but also difficult and crazy.

Two books I've been waiting to read for over a year are both out tomorrow.  I won a random drawing for them on the Wicked Scribes website weeks ago and now can hardly wait another minute for them to arrive. The FedEx truck pulled into my drive half an hour ago and I was all yippee and wow, a day early, but no, he was just using the driveway to turn around.  Way to fire me up for no reason, FedEx guy...

The weather is mild today, with clear blue skies and about 72*.  I've got the doors and windows open, the breeze is soft and warm.  **sigh**   If summers were like this, I would be so totally incredibly wonderfully pleased.  But alas, they're not.  Still.  I'll take this ideal autumn day and let the memories of the scorching, sweaty misery of an exceptionally hot summer fade into obscurity.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

It's The Little Things...

This is the kind of weekend I've been waiting for since June: cold, rainy and no reason--except walking the dogs--to venture outside. I'm going to finish a few household chores this afternoon, then it's books and cuddles on the couch with the boys and maybe a movie or two.  No lawn mowing, pruning, watering, gardening, sweating, cursing at the heat...nope, none of that.  Just rain and chilly weather and toasty warmth indoors.

And yeah.  I'm totally smiling.

At the park this morning, all dark and gloomy, I took a shortcut behind the theatre whilst walking the boys because the rain was really starting to come down hard and I wanted to get them into the car before they drowned.  As we came around the building to cross the parking lot, these wonderfully beautiful flowers caught my eye.  They're so vivid and cheerful against the dreary backdrop of gray clouds and rain.

When I got home after the walk, this was the view across the valley from the back deck. Great contrast between vibrant yellow and blank void...

Pizza for dinner tonight, not something I do regularly but the occasion calls for it, at least to my mind, especially washed down with a nice cold bottle of Dos Equis.

Happy Hour at my place, peeps...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wild and Crazy

The winds have been ferocious, strong enough that I almost didn't take the boys down the mountain to the park this morning, but since they don't care about wind or rain as long as they can have an adventure, we went anyway.

Things seemed calmer in town, more a stiff breeze than Cat 1.  I parked by the Arts Center, we walked across one edge of the soccer field to the path between the park and the old VA cemetery and began to stroll toward the river.  A cop drove into the parking lot, went to the end, turned and parked.  I'm now walking toward his car, though still about twenty feet or so away when out of nowhere this incredible blast of wind strikes.

I was knocked back about five feet, literally just hammered almost off my feet. The air was suddenly filled with swirling leaves and dust. Ozzy--the 9-lb wonder--was rolled like a ball for several dizzying spins, but Max, 18-lbs of solid, was literally lifted into the air about six inches, then dropped into the grass several feet away. For a brief moment, Max became Toto and there wasn't a single thing I could do...

Except laugh like a crazy person.  Seriously, it was wild and scary, and so totally unexpected, there was nothing else to do but laugh.  And then it was gone.

The cop immediately drives his car toward me and rolls down his window.  "You alright?"

I'm still half stunned, half laughing.  "Wow, that was bizarre."

He looks at Max, who has now glued himself like Velcro to my left leg, then looks back at me and smiles.  "Thought he was going airborne for a minute there."

I reach down to reassure Max, then call Oz to me to make sure he's okay after rolling like a child's toy. As I'm picking leaves and debris out of his long hair, I say, "For a minute there, he was."

We both start laughing.  He reminds me to beware of falling/snapping limbs from all the trees that line the river and drives off.  The rest of the walk is quiet, uneventful--except for my occasional bursts of laughter.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Storms and Sun Tea

Last night the predicted storms arrived.  I woke up, sometime before dawn, to rain and wind and the low, faraway rumble of thunder.  One of my favorite things is to listen to the elements whilst snuggled in bed. It must be some kind of primal thing...or childhood memories of waking in the dark, the house quiet around me, warm and toasty under the covers as I listened to the chaos outside.

I've always, always loved a good storm, the wilder the better.  There's just something so raw and scary about the unpredictability, the sheer force of nature, that resonates to my soul.

It's been raining for most of the day--storm after storm--though it's not in the least bit cold.  I have the doors and windows open, the breeze wafting in is warm and humid, almost tropical.

Five minutes ago.  A brief vision of blue skies, though it's raining far across the valley as the clouds roll over the mountains from the coast...

Over the weekend it was still unseasonably warm--82* on Saturday.  I mowed the lawn, hopefully for the final time, and made my last pitcher of sun tea.  Then I tried to drink it sparingly, savoring the unique taste of Chai brewed and mellowed by the sun, because it will be months before I make another batch.

Except.  I didn't restrain myself enough apparently.  This afternoon, and my last taste of sun tea...

Ah well.  I'm ready to make the switch to hot tea, and cocoa.  Definitely.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Abyss Was Deep

I've had a weirdly bad week.  A crisis of faith (not religious) one day, slogging through the Slough of Despond yesterday, then this morning I woke up as Eleanor Rigby.

Like I said, weirdly bad week.

My crisis of faith?  I don't think I have one shred of belief that, as humans, we are worth saving. Honestly.  If aliens came down and took a look...we'd be toast.  Though at the rate we're going, we'll nuke ourselves way before they get here.

I opened my laptop on...Thursday?...and all the despair and horror and crap that makes up our world these days just overwhelmed me.  Normally I skim the news, try to save my head and heart from the torture of details, but for some reason the headlines were graphic and succinct enough to give me more info on the stories than I wanted.

Who decided it was okay to bring the most deadly disease on the planet to our shores? How many women have to be murdered, abused, subjugated and treated like chattel before we say fucking enough already because--believe it or not peeps--men are not superior beings.  And what kind of parent forgets their baby is in the back seat of a car and goes off to work?  Why is it that every day--every single day--some person goes nuts and kills his entire family.  Take yourselves out instead, you crazy bastards, leave the innocent alone. How many wars can we fight?  How many ways are there to kill the environment, living creatures, people?

My crisis of faith dropped me headfirst into the Slough.  I wallowed. I tried to crawl out but kept sliding back down the slippery slope.  The hopelessness was just plain daunting. I stayed off the internet, didn't turn on the television.  I walked the dogs for miles; spent long hours in silence with just them, my books...and whiskey.  By last night I'd gotten a grip...maybe seeing life through whiskey fumes helped in that endeavor.  Whatever. When I went to bed, I felt marginally better.

Then I dreamed.  About love and sex and bone-crushing hugs and sharing a life.  It was so vivid and wonderful that when I woke up this morning, I forgot for a second--just a tiny little second--that it wasn't real.  My man is gone.  There is no love, no sharing, no sex. I'm just a different bloody version of Eleanor Rigby.  Without the Beatles to sing my song.

I'm out of the Slough now, and though I'm still shaking the mud off my boots, the turmoil in my mind has eased.  I kept my head in the moment today as the boys and I walked through the VA complex, the Sumac and Maple trees turning such incredibly beautiful colors, I couldn't help but smile.

And I learned something.  Smiling is like good whiskey...minus the burn.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


I was walking the boys at the park on Monday.  Light drizzle, cool air on my face, and for the first time since, I don't know...maybe April?...I was wearing my hoody.  And a flannel shirt, jeans and my boots.  It was heavenly and comfortable and felt so...right.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love my Hawaiian shirts and flip flops, but after six months?  I'm so done.

As I'm walking, enjoying the freshness, dark clouds, totally great crap weather, I was thinking about my plan to head down south into northern California next Spring with my sister on a fact-finding mission.  I'm considering a move to the coast and away from the brutal intensity of inland heat. There are a couple of unfamiliar places I want to explore, and I want to refresh my memory on areas I already know.  This part of the world is very beautiful, with rugged mountains and dense forests that run from the stunning coastline to the Nevada border.

So.  Walking, thinking, wondering about starting over.  Again.  And then this story pops into my head. The whole first chapter was fleshed out before the boys and I got back to the Blazer. I couldn't wait to get home and write out my thoughts.

Yesterday, torrential rain squalls off and on all day.  I spent a fair bit of time thinking about the story, debated starting something new before finishing the serial. Then NaNo strolled down a neuron pathway and meandered to the front of my brain and I knew two things immediately:  I was going to write this woman's story, and I was going to do it for the NaNo challenge next month.  So I signed up. What better way to spend November than by losing your mind, right?

Connections.  Weather, wanderings, writing, and full circle...

My new mattress topper is holding up perfectly.  Over a month and it's still as lofty and cloud-like as the first night I slept on it. This morning I woke to a chill in my bedroom accompanied by the ferocious sound of pounding rain, but the pleasure of burrowing beneath my duvet, enveloped in the warm and cozy topper as the weather howled and raged outside was just so incredible, I seriously didn't want to get out of bed. Maybe ever.

Probably a good thing then that I have the dogs...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Movies and Musings

This has been an...oh I don't know, introspective...kind of weekend, I guess.  Songs, movies, the perfect sentence in a book, have been enticing me to ponder and mull.

Friday night, cozy on the couch, dogs snoring away, book in hand, low hum of white noise (television) in the background. Opening my book I glance up at the screen and see 47 Ronin, (Keanu Reeves version) is just starting.

Absolutely no idea in the world why I set down my book and turned up the volume...and then got completely absorbed.  The movie was about honor, and doing the right thing even knowing there's no way to win, brotherhood and sacrifice.  And heartbreaking love.

Near the end--in more ways than one--I'm blowing into a soggy Kleenex, tears rolling, heart swelling with an odd sort of pride at the strength and bravery of these men, the real 47 Ronin, because of course the movie is based on actual events.

At about the point where I finally realize things aren't going to turn out well here, Kai, one of the Samurai, tells Mika, the woman he has loved all his life:

I will search for you through a thousand worlds and ten thousand lifetimes until I find you again.

Oh man.


After much nose blowing, throat clearing, and more wine, I take the dogs outside, stare up at the stars and reflect...on the nature of love, what honor really means, and the cost of owning it.


Saturday night. This time I'm really going to read.  I reach for the remote to find a music channel on the television just as Fast and Furious 6 comes on.

Okay, you know what happened next, right?  Yeah, I watched the whole movie, every car chase, explosion and annihilating crushed-by-tank scene.

Except, know what? This might have been an action film, fraught with violence and danger, but it was also about honor and doing the right thing, brotherhood

Two movies that couldn't be more different--

And here's exactly why I've had a pensive weekend: two stories, two widely divergent cultures, three hundred years apart and yet...

47 Ronin/Fast 6

Band of brothers?  Check
Weapons?  Check
Martial Arts skills?  Check
Honor without question?  Check
Man's love for his woman?  Check

I'm glad I was in the right place at the right time to see both movies this weekend. I love that honor hasn't become a cliche, disappeared or died, that honorable men can stand together and not hesitate to do right.


I also love getting up early on beautiful autumn mornings to mist and mountains...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bugs and Bounty

My post yesterday was very short because what I'd planned to do was show some photos but in the mysterious world of Blogger, the photos wouldn't load.  I wasted way too much time and effort, even using two other browsers, to no avail...hence the quickie post before my frustration grew large.

Today everything works fine.  Glitches, nanobugs, solar flares...who knows what the problem was.

So. Let me finish what I'd started yesterday...

Remember this?  It's the harvest basket of squash and apples that my sister brought me a few weeks ago when she was visiting...

All the exotic and unusual squash are edible, though I've never eaten any of the ones in my basket. Tuesday, whilst rummaging through the varieties, one very cool name on a little sticker made me smile, so I decided to try it for dinner.

Sweet Dumpling.  How did this odd looking plant get such an endearing name?

I cooked it like I do an Acorn squash: wedges with a butter and brown sugar glaze, which gives the squash a wondrously nutty/caramel flavor...

The Sweet Dumpling tasted much like an Acorn and was delicious.

Earlier in the day, I also realized I had to do something with the large apples. I'm not much for just eating an apple.  I prefer them in stuff, like pies and salads and crumbles. Or best, apple butter or sauce.

I decided on applesauce.  I got three small jars out of the four apples, and promptly ate half of one jar before dinner and the other half with dinner.  I added honey and a dash of maple syrup to the mix while it was cooking and, oh yes, this is definitely the perfect way to eat apples...


Bill and Ted have big ol' flower heads, now bursting with little seeds.  I'm hoping they will keep maturing so I can hang the heads in the pines for Winter bird food.  I love that Bill and Ted showed up on their own, dug in and are thriving.  

Nature.  You've just gotta love the power, the beauty, in always finding a way...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Last Hurrah

Still overwhelmingly hot--yesterday edging over 100* and today high 90s--but the latest weather forecast has the temps dropping into the mid-70s by Sunday.  And maybe rain by next week, though I think that's just a clever ploy to prevent people from going nuts. Sadly, way too late for me...

As it's apparently the Frigging Summer That Won't Die, I'm going to have one last hurrah for my dinner tonight, a sort of picnic-style affair with my world famous potato salad (hey, it was loved in Scotland and famous counts), sweet & sticky pork ribs and bourbon baked beans. The salad is already made, the ribs are marinating, and yummy goodness is on my dining horizon.

Then I'm going back to dreaming about Kodiak pancakes with raspberry syrup and maple sausage links while winds howl around the house and rain runs in torrents down the driveway. And more dreams of chili bubbling away in a cast iron pot on a cold Sunday afternoon, cornbread and honey balancing the hot spice; pasta and garlic bread as the snow falls; Irish stew and biscuits after a freezing, mile walk to the mailbox.

Oh such wondrous dreams...such flights of fancy.  Dreams so hard to believe in today as the heat builds and humidity rises.

Monday, October 6, 2014


After walking the boys this morning, I had to take Ozzy to the vet for his semi-annual heart checkup. Every time I hope he's improved enough to drop even one of his five meds. He's just a wee dog but has to take eight frigging pills a day.  To say I worry about what's ahead for him doesn't come close.

The place is mobbed.  I'm glad I have an actual appointment because nearly everyone in the waiting area are drop-ins.  Bad weekend for critters it seems.

So, long story short.  I tell him Oz has been doing this weird cough thing and after an intense listen to his heart and lungs, the vet whisks him away for a chest x-ray. Back in twenty--I paced for fifteen--to hear that his heart has enlarged a bit more and is pressing on one of his bronchial tubes--hence the coughing.  My own heart expands with every frantic hammer blow as I wonder what this means.  Then I wish the doc wasn't such a good guy as he shares each and every problem with me as I stare at the x-ray. Ozzy weighs ten pounds.  His heart looked nearly as big as mine and I could see it squishing stuff in his chest.

I hate knowing this shit.  Now I can't look at my boy without imagining his Frankenstein heart or his bronchial tube looking like a collapsed subway tunnel, or his tiny little ribs keeping it all in.  Dammit.

Anyway.  Sorry...I said long story short, didn't I??

Bottom line:  He has to take a cough syrup-like concoction.  Whatever happens over the next few days will determine where we go from here. I guess the stuff is supposed to do something for his tubes--relax or shrink or widen?--unfortunately, the vet was explaining whilst I was frozen in horror looking at the x-ray, a quivering dog in my arms with a heart as big as mine.

It sucks, getting old.


On the way home, I decide to stop for a coffee after the bad news and the vet's bill so pulled into my favorite drive-thru.  I like all the baristas--they're funny and goofy and really nice twenty-somethings. I'm handing my money to the girl and she notices the bracelet I wear on my left wrist.  I love this bracelet, it's cool, handcrafted in Tibet and the beadwork is amazing.  I've got several bracelets on my right, but only this one on the left.

She hands me my change, then takes my hand and turns my wrist so she can see what the beads spell out.

Frowning, she says, "What's a tibbet?"

I blink.  What?

She shakes my hand back and forth like I'm a dolt, then says again, pointing at the bracelet, "Is it a whale or dolphin or something?"

Free Willy blazes across my frontal lobe. I thought she was kidding and I start to laugh but immediately realize she's looking uncomfortable, wondering why I might be about to laugh at her.

Biting my tongue, because really, it's totally unacceptable to laugh at someone when they're genuinely clueless, I twist the bracelet around my wrist--showing first the word FREE, then the Tibetan flag, and finally TIBET, all spelled in beadwork, and I read, "Free Ti-BET.  You know, that country over by China."

Another frown, then she grins.  "The place where the Buddha man came from.  The one who's always smiling."

My tongue is sore.

"Yes, and my bracelet is saying to Free Tibet from China, so the...ah...Dalai Lama can come home. To Ti-BET."

She nods sagely.  "Yeah, that's the Buddha guy."

I nod back, smile, and drive off. I get across the parking lot and can't help laughing. Oh come on...tibbet???  That's definitely funny.  And I needed the humor after the vet stuff. We won't look deeper into this odd conversation to question the American educational system, or the fact this young woman is in her third year of college. I'm serious.



Moving on.


Another reason I love Fall, especially while on this mountain: The mists begin to wind around the hills and dales in the valley below the house.  I can watch them slither and undulate, crest and fall like otherworldly waves.

Up early this morning, dawn just breaking...

Even a Monday can have some redeeming value...yeah?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Magpie Tales 240...Captive

photo by Tom Chambers

Her dreams urge escape
to neon and city life
Nightmare barbs hold fast


The Magpie Tales prompt this week is a cool photo--to me, this looked like a failed dash for freedom...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fires, Photos and Blank Walls

Late in the afternoon yesterday, as I finished up my huge pile of paperwork and filing, the familiar taint of smoke began to permeate the air, though this time I looked out the windows first before I jumped to the conclusion the house was on fire.

Digress:  Earlier in the morning as I opened the blinds, the view of the mountains and clouds just struck me as such a lovely thing to see at the beginning of my day that I couldn't resist taking a photo.

Early morning across the valley...

Then, late afternoon, smoke strong and irritating in my nose, I took this shot:

Pretty amazing difference, isn't it?  Sadly, this fire was set by a human. On purpose.

On the first of October, farmers are allowed to burn their fields--a practice I am wholeheartedly opposed to--so, regardless of the drought, the air quality or tinder dry foliage, these fires are legal. However, this one got out of control.  It raged all afternoon and into the evening, the sound of sirens echoing for hours as several community fire stations around the valley tried to contain the blaze.

Today things are a bit hazy, but at least I can see the mountains again. Until the next farmer torches his land.


And speaking of amazing differences...

Last night I was prowling the internet--having just finished one book and not ready to start the next--when I clicked on the Bored Panda site and found this: Before and After photos of 12 places around the globe, shots taken in the height of Summer and the glory of Autumn.  Truly worth checking out, peeps.  The photographs of the seasonal changes are stunning.


I procrastinated a bit yesterday and though I only had four things left on my nightmare To Do list, I just managed to finish two before I said enough. So, because the fairies didn't come in the night to help, I'm off to mow the lawn now before it gets too hot.  Yes, too hot. Close to 90* today.  In October.  **sigh**  

But then I'm going to hang my pictures, which will be cool and fun.  I have a series of black and white photos and a blank wall.  Perfect canvas that I can't wait to "paint"...

Friday, October 3, 2014

Too Busy

I've been rushed off my feet since my sister left on Monday.  Seems like suddenly there were a hundred different chores and errands and lists that needed to be dealt with this week. But at last, today I only have four things left to do and then it's a kick back, do nothing weekend ahead. Good thing, too. All work and no play makes me cranky.

One major hurdle is finally finished: the deck work is done!  Both front and back have been cleaned, sanded and stained. And with any luck at all, I won't have to do this again for a couple of years. Hopefully.  

Front steps and porch/deck...and yeah, there will be wine tonight to celebrate crossing this epic achievement off the never-ending household chores list.  Woo hoo!!!


I found a new place to buy my Buddhist-type stuff: incense, mala beads, flags, etc. Dharma is a shop that supports artists and crafts people in Tibet and Nepal, and helps fund the Khachoe Ghakyil Nunnery in Kathmandu where the Buddhist nuns make the most incredible incense.

I bought Rhododendron Forest, made from the trees and herbs of the high mountains around Nepal. According to those who know--and I wish I had first-hand knowledge myself--it smells like the breath of the snow-capped Himalayas.  I burned a small stick this afternoon and the scent is indescribable. Truly.  It's a soft, gentle fragrance; subtle and clean, like that first tang of snow in the air on a cold Winter's day.  I love the exotic familiarity of it.

Also got a beautiful Nepalese bracelet that I've added to the plethora on my right wrist and a beaded mala to hang amongst the other philosophical icons on my rear view mirror in the Blazer. When it's time to replace my prayer flags, I will definitely buy them from Dharma.


I've been sadly remiss in my writing of late. I blame it on the Gates of Hell and the ferocious heat of the past two months.  It's really aggravating that I haven't written a single word in the Dark Wind serial since August, although bits and pieces of conversations and thoughts are scattered across my desk on little pieces of paper.  I'll be in the shower, or walking the dogs, and a scene will play in my mind. Course, if too much time goes by, I don't have a clue what I was thinking when I wrote the note!

Like this, on a torn scrap of paper:

"Men do these things because they can, Rafe, that is the way of it."

And on the back of a grocery receipt:

"You don't believe in the gods?" she asked softly.
"The gods don't believe in me."

I'm toying with expanding the serial into a long novella for NaNo this year, though I'm not sure yet if I even want to commit to the whole grueling month-long event. Still, it would get my butt planted in front of the laptop every day.  On the other hand, I'm also thinking about something totally, entirely different instead: just sit down and begin writing whatever comes into my head.  Forget being a pantser, this would make me a in leaping into the abyss.  It might be fun.  It could be terrible.

My main issue with writing the whole month of November is that I find it exhausting--exhilarating, but totally exhausting--and then I'm usually too tired to read. Since I have numerous books stashed for the coming dark and dreary months ahead, not escaping reading is a hard thing to sacrifice.

Still, there's time to mull things over before I make a decision.  Though, if October goes as fast as September, I'm screwed.


Time to finish my chores and get on with the weekend.  I have an overflowing inbox of paperwork that needs to be filed, new pictures to hang, the blasted lawn to mow and a big window that has at least four ghost birds that need to be washed off--thankfully no bodies to dispose of--then it's freedom and books and wine and relaxing.  I'm in...