Saturday, November 18, 2006

Other People's Lives - Friday 11/17/2006

I wrote at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on Friday. A) I have been out of their wonderful loose leaf Chai tea for more than a week and B) I could not. not. not. face another bowl of Big Boy oatmeal this week.

The honeymoon is over, Bob.

Have to admit it was nice to be in a place where the music wasn't all recorded before 1963. And it's a decidedly younger crowd that stops at the Bean in the early a.m. Considering that my characters are late twenties, this could be a good influence.

Also, Jennifer Love Hewitt stopped in for a cuppa and was very very sweet to the woman who recognized her and talked to her for a little bit.

This little apple turkey next to the cash register just took me places for a few minutes. Oh, yeah. Here I am with my commute and my early morning writing, and all my other stuff, and there is also a little boy making a surprise for his auntie who works at a coffee house.

Wonderful world.

Farmstand Vegetables - Thursday 11/15/2006

I didn't intend this to be my photo for the day. It just happens to be the only one I took. I took it to remind myself what went into the impromptu veggie dish I made. Good food shots are a whole 'nother art form. This was much better than it looks.

I stopped by the farmstand on Sierra Highway at Vasquez Canyon Road with the intention of mixing up my bad veggie habits a bit. You can only be expected to eat so many servings of broccoli or brussels sprouts before beginning to form an aversion.

So... I picked out a bunch of likely looking stuff, and here's the recipe. It was very good hot, and very good cold. Watch out Franklin Stove, this may be part of our next meeting's meal!

Farmstand Veggies

1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 large yellow crook-neck squash
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch squares
1 large ear of sweet corn, cut from the cob
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup black olives, finely chopped
3-4 leaves fresh basil or 1-2 tsp dried

Sautee the garlic and onions in a large skillet till the onions are translucent. Add the squash, pepper, corn, tomato and black olives. Cook until the squash is obviously cooked--it gets a little translucent too. Add the basil and cook another 2-3 minutes.

I'm not sure if you really need the tomato. Or you could use a whole one. I just had that much left over from something else and tossed it in. What makes this different is the chopped olives. I'd had them in a pasta dish over the weekend and though it would be good in this mix. Mmm!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

This Is My Brain - Wednesday 11/15/2006

This is my brain on NaNoWriMo:

Near as I can figure, all this creative output has nearly nixed my ability to sleep. So far I've actually had more energy than usual.

In spite of waking up early or in the middle of the night, with my characters asking me how they are going to deal with what I'm going to put them through next. Actually, I think they're strong enough to cope with it, if I'm strong enough to give them a real challenge.

I told a very peripheral acquaintence about NaNoWriMo yesterday, but I didn't explain it right, and I woke up at 1 am this morning with a sinus headache, worrying that this guy thinks I'm a dilettante. What kind of moron thinks she can write a novel in a month? No one, it's just a first draft...

Oh, for PETE'S SAKE. Lighten up.

Manic energy can be a very handy thing.

On the other hand, it seems that it can turn on you when you least expect it.

[Note to my mom, and any other safety conscious individuals: the 75 mph photo was taken from the passenger seat of Hydra's Tahoe.]

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Money Is No Object - Tuesday 11/14/2006

The lovely, thoughtful American in Toronto sent this breast cancer awareness commemorative Canadian quarter to me to give to Gia about six months ago. Last night I finally had my wallet open during our writing group meeting, and I remembered to give the quarter to Gia. It was still wrapped in AiT's note.

If you are thinking about making a small considerate gesture, go ahead and do it. Thank people. Acknowledge good behavior and good service. Let the friend of a friend know that it matters that she is alive.

Your positive action may just ripple through our world in ways we can't begin to imagine.

Inside Looking Out - Monday 11/13/2006

The view out the window of Priscilla's Coffee House.

I met a friend here after work. She's moving to Maine! Just let me know on Thursday and she's setting off tomorrow. She hadn't told people she was going to do it because she didn't want to be talked out of it. She seemed at peace with the adventure, in spite of the losses it also represents.

She's going to drive, and stop and visit old friends along the way. She talked about the mythology of the seven gates of hell--which apparently is echoed in several traditions--where the traveler sheds those things which she holds dear along the way. The last thing she sheds is her skin. It's about letting go in order to be reborn.

Gotta love writers.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Immigration - Sunday 11/12/2006

Hydra's parents came to the U.S. from Canada when they were kids. Her folks were from England, his were French Canadian. They met and married in the greater Detroit area in the late thirties. Hydra was cleaning out his closet and came across their citizenship papers, which were printed in 1953 and 1954.

I wonder why they got copies of these certificates at this time. Had they lost their papers somehow? Did it seem more important because of the political climate of the mid-fifties?

In case you are wondering... No. They were not actually seals.

Though that might account for much of Hydra's behavior.

Writer's Repose - Saturday 11/11/2006

This is where I ended my day. My chair in the living room.

Good day today. I wrote 2,800+ words on my NaNoWriMo novel, temporarily titled Basura Canyon...the most in any single day. Plus I think I wrote about 8 pages of a new short story in my notebook.

I'm not feeling great about all the words on the pages, but I am doing what I set out to do. Can't remember what I used to think about before I met my current characters.

Oh, right... Family, friends, spouse, pets, laundry, dishes... Gone, all gone. See you in December.

Janis Ian - Friday 11/10/2006

We'd just sworn off going to concerts for a while, when we found out Janis Ian would be at McCabe's. McCabe's is hands down my favorite place to see live music.

I figured I was going to see an icon because she was an icon, kind of. I own one CD of hers, the fairly recent God and the FBI.

I was in middle school or high school when At Seventeen came out and I thought the narrator of that song should just call her friends and get off her butt and stop waiting for someone to hand her a good time.

What a generous, funny, amazingly talented performer she is. She came down the stairs to the stage already playing a riff on her cordlessly-miked acoustic guitar and told us a story before launching into the first song. I love getting a little info about the artist and/or the music.

I only took a couple of shots, and feel extremely lucky that this turned out at all.

She sings lots of sad, sad songs as well as funny ones. If I hung around her, I am sure I would spend all my time trying to make her smile like this. Electric.