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Saturday, March 31, 2012

A to Z blogs and short stories

Tomorrow starts the April A to Z blog project.  I will be posting every day through April.  Tomorrow's post will deal with something beginning with the letter A.  Monday's post will involve the letter B and so on and so forth.

Actually, since I will be working tomorrow, I took the liberty of writing my A post already and have it saved and ready to go.  Tomorrow I will post it here in my blog for all to read.

I always welcome comments if they are constructive.  I can take criticism, but there's no need to be nasty about it.

I feel pretty good today.  I've been working around the house, and when I take breaks, I'm writing.  I wrote a 4300+ short story and posted it to my WVU Short Story Workshop.  It was an interesting process.

First, I did a couple of 5 minute flash fiction shorts to limber up..much like an athlete does some short sprints to limber up those legs for the long run.  After I posted them, someone made a comment that it seemed as though the two were connected somehow.  That made me think, hey, that's an idea.  I knew I had to write a 3500 word short story.  Why not utilize these two short pieces into one story?  So I did.

What I have right now is just a rough draft.  It's the first printing, so to speak.  Next week we will write a one paragraph synopsis of our story, and the next week we shall start to edit our stories.  I have a feeling I will probably start editing much sooner than that, however.  I keep getting drawn back to my computer and my story.  It's like a young mother, who, after giving birth, keeps going to the crib to look down at that miraculous new human lying in the crib.

Writer's Block is a mental disease that writers often think they have.  In actuality it is a lack of self confidence and a short attention span that causes most of the world's writer's block ailments.  I have been fighting it for almost a year.  But suddenly, this week, I feel as though I might actually finish my novels (both of them).

Then, I'll have to work on Publisher's Block.  But that involves someone else, so it might be a bit trickier.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Beautiful Sunday

Today is the second day of a three day weekend.  This is something that is rare for me anymore.  I used to have 3 day weekends fairly regularly, but after I asked for more hours at work, they disappeared.  Sigh.  I can't complain, because I enjoy and need the extra money, but I do miss having weekends free to spend with hubby, who is only home on weekends...normally.


This week was rather confusing and disorienting.  Dennis surprised me by showing up on Thursday evening.  The recent rains we've had slowed his anhydrous ammonia hauling enough to give him a day at home.  He was almost out of legal hours to work, so he spent Thursday night and Friday night at home, then left Saturday morning (yesterday). 


At first I was a little upset with the situation, because it seems like every time I get a little extra time off from my job, he is gone doing his.  And if I'm working at mine, he's home.  We just can't seem to get it together.


But then, after I thought about it, I decided that this might be a great opportunity to get some things done that I normally let slide while he is home on weekends.  Catching up with laundry, shampooing carpets, sorting clothing, washing bedding, all those little chores that take time and elbow grease could be accomplished while he is gone.  Yeah, right!


Friday, we watched tv and lounged around, both of us wore out from working all day.   Dennis had surprised me at work with a large vase of beautiful flowers, candy, and some lunch.  Unfortunately, the surprise was partially on him, as he arrived just as I was ending my lunch break, and I had already eaten.  Just my luck.  If I had known he was coming, I would have taken my break with him a little later.  


The other nurses and aides kept asking me "what's the occasion?"
"Is it your birthday?  Anniversary?  Did you have a fight and he's trying to make up?"  I just grinned and said "no, no, and no.  He just brings me flowers sometimes "Just because."  Many of the girls asked me if I could get Dennis to talk to their men and clue them in on this behavior.  I told them that they needed to talk to their men.  


Dennis has done this sort of thing since we lost our daughter in 1999. I think it woke him up to the value of family.  He used to bring them to the house and I'd find them when I got home from work.  Then I whispered to him that it would make the co-workers jealous if he brought them to work, and make me feel extra special.
Since then, he has done that.  


For Valentines' Day, he had chocolate covered strawberries sent to me.  They are quite expensive when bought from Shari's Berries, but they are absolutely delish!  And huge!  I love them.  They came to the office at work and it was all the receptionist could do to stay out of them.


Yesterday, I spent the day cleaning a little, playing my Facebook games, attended a bridal shower, and chatting with some friends, then watched some tv before going to bed.  It was a nice day.


This morning, I slept in until 8 a.m. then spent some time on the computer, showered and went to church. It seemed a little strange to attend Mass without Dennis, but I sat with Dale, my father-in-law, who always sits alone since his wife of 65 years passed away in October.  


I stopped by the store on my way home from church, and fixed some ham steak for lunch. The pups greeted me at the front door by jumping up and down.  I'm always amazed at how  high the pups can jump straight up.  They stand about 7 inches high, but can jump straight in the air about 4.5 feet.  They love to jump up and lick my nose while I'm standing.


Right now, they are both napping at my feet on the carpet. Their tummies are full, and they don't know that when I finish this blog, we're going for a walk down the street.  If they knew that, they'd be jumping up on my lap and licking my face.  (That's why I didn't tell them!)  LOL.


Later today, I want to do some artwork.  I've been wanting to start an oil painting for a long time, but have been busy doing other projects.  I'd like to paint something that will be dry before next month when I need to display at the bank in Clifton.  


My F2K class is winding down, and requires a lot less attention now, until the next session starts in May.  I've enrolled in a short story workshop which promises to be totally awesome, with many of my best writing friends involved.   


The weather outside is gorgeous.  Everything is turning green and blooming with the freshness of spring.  The temperature is in the upper 70s, with just a light breeze.  Absolutely perfect day to be outside.


I think I'll go take that walk now.  Have a beautiful Sunday!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Unwritten: New Author Series for April: The A-Z Blogging Challenge!

Unwritten: New Author Series for April: The A-Z Blogging Challenge!

Ok, I think I've just signed up for a month long challenge to blog every day in April from A to Z.  So now I need to get busy and decide what I will write about each day.  This could be interesting..and fun.  Watch my blog for further postings.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I haven't posted for a while, so thought I'd better get busy.

The person(s) who thought it was  cool to steal my debit card information got away with it.  Oh, I got my money back, most of it, anyway, through the bank, and we contacted all the businesses that had also been duped by the theft.  But the police gave up the search, saying it was done online through an overseas connection, and there was no way to trace it to bring the perpetrator to justice.

It was a scary experience that apparently happens quite often.  So, please, if you shop online, be sure that little padlock at the bottom of  your screen is showing that the site is secure.  Then, hopefully, you can have a better shopping experience than I did.  I don't even know what site I was hacked through.  But I'm being very cautious from now on.

This winter has been a series of ups and downs for me.  I contracted strep throat only a month after recuperating from an extended bout with bronchitis.  Antibiotics healed both illnesses, thank the Lord.  But the drain in strength and resilience has left me exhausted.

I'm working several different shifts in different positions at work.  Some days, I work in Restorative Nursing from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (love those hours), some days I'm charge nurse from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. (don't care much for those hours), and sometimes I work charge nurse from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (not too bad).  On weekends, I'm often working as charge nurse from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. (ok, depending on the day).

We are almost to the end of the current session of F2K, which is the free creative writing fiction class at Writer's Village University, where I mentor the Ernest Hemingway Room.  I enjoy doing this, but it does involve a lot of time away from hubby on weekends, and from getting my housecleaning done.  This session has been heartbreaking for me, with two of my dearest friends withdrawing as mentors from the class.  Everything is up in the air and the jobs they did are left undone to a degree.  It will take some time to get the ball rolling once more.

I have two novels in progress, but haven't had the energy to work on either one of them since November.  I'm hoping that as soon as F2K is over for this session I can get back into them.  I would love to get one published this year, if not both, even if they are self-published.

My art, well, I dabble with colored pencils now and then, but haven't painted anything since January or so.  I'm scheduled to display at our local bank this spring, so I need to get something painted for that.

I hope to host our family's Easter dinner again this year.  Last year, we had a great time playing whiffle ball in the empty lot just south of our house.  It was nice enough weather that we could set up all the food on picnic tables out back on the patio, and everyone brought their lawn chairs.  I'm praying that it will be nice again this Easter.

My two dogs are getting fat and sassy.  They both seriously need trimming, so I will be calling for an appointment with the groomer.  Kim Lambert, a local pet groomer, does an excellent job, and has taken care of all three of my dogs, from my late Cuddles to the Shih Tsus, Starr and Bandit.

I've been following my grandkids in their school activities and sports.  My grandson, Colin, is making his mark as a basketball player.  He is only a sophomore, but he starts on the varsity team most of the time, and even if he doesn't start, he usually plays a majority of the games.

Regan, was doing a great job as cheerleader, but was having some problems with some of the other cheerleaders and has dropped out for this season.  I was not happy about this, but I do understand.

Abby, in eighth grade this  year, played basketball and was cheerleader for the Jr. High teams.  She does a good job as well.

I have grandkids living in Concordia that I would love to be present for their games, but I didn't have a schedule for their activities.  Teresa Faith is quite the little gymnast, winning awards for that. Alexandra is active in archery. I hope to see more of their activities this spring and summer.

I guess that's enough to bore you to sleep for now.  I wish everyone a happy Easter coming up.