Saturday, November 25, 2006

Feeling Like a Winner - Saturday 11/25/2006

That's what they call you on NaNoWriMo when you write 50,000 words in 30 days. And that's what you feel like too!

What an amazing thing! I actually have a first draft, very nearly complete, and it actually has a plot. My writer friends will rejoice for me. I am not the go-to gal for plot. I would sit and describe an early morning hike or a good looking man for six pages if I could get away with it.

But I powered through this, and I have an actual series of events, and characters I love enough to want to go back and straighten things out for. There are some blind canyons, some conflicting character elements that will need work. It's a true mess, but it tells a story. And the story will support what I really want to say about these people.

I am astonished, empowered, so so grateful to the people who put together NaNoWriMo, and to all of you who cheered me along this path. I respond very well to positive feedback.

[Dancing a silly silly victory dance around the room, out into the yard, and back again!]

And on the 25th day, the tea turned to hot chocolate. And there was whipped cream. And it was good.

The Polar Bear in My Library - Friday 11/24/2006

Yes, Hyrda gets a little excited about Christmas. After almost seven years in our house, we have a nice stockpile of Christmas lights. But until this week, no light-up animatronic animals.

He spent much of the day building a platform for this guy, who will be seen skiing down from the star on the front peak of the house. He used scrap wood for the platform and we were tickled that the project didn't require a run into Lowe's for anything. We have the tools and the leftovers. We are like real home owners now.

Dodger kept an eye on this guy for me. Suspicious looking git. Don't let him near the pistachios!

I cooked us up a turkey yesterday. Yum. It was free range, and it was the best I've ever made. Not because of the herb-and-garlic butter I rubbed all over it, or the cooking bag, because we've done that before. No more bargain basement turkeys for us.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving - Thursday 11/23/2006

Isn't this lovely? Hydra's cousin, Sharon, made the stained glass angels that adorned our plates. She came all the way from Michigan to share the day with us, at our mutual cousin's house in Orange County.

Sunlight on leaves passed during our post-dinner, pre-dessert walk:

I'm thankful for so much, but right now am thinking of how grateful I am for this artistic life I am leading. My friends and family are so creative and exciting.

I think the following quote, from the book I'm reading right now, is actually applicable to most forms of artistic expression:

“There are these rare moments when musicians together touch something sweeter than they’ve ever found before in rehearsals or performance, beyond the merely collaborative or technically proficient, when their expression becomes as easy and graceful as friendship or love. This is when they give us a glimpse of what we might be, of our best selves, and of an impossible world in which you give everything you have to others, but lose nothing of yourself. Out in the real world there exist detailed plans, visionary projects for peaceable realms, all conflicts resolved, happiness for everyone, for ever—mirages for which people are prepared to die and kill. Christ’s kingdom on earth, the workers’ paradise, the ideal Islamic state. But only in music, and only on rare occasions, does the curtain actually lift on this dream of community, and it’s tantalizingly conjured, before fading away on the last notes.”

from Saturday by Ian McEwan

Alien Lifeform - Wednesday 11/22/2006

I've never been been able to grow a plant from an avocado pit that hadn't already begun to sprout inside the fruit. So it seems wasteful not to give this pit its chance at a longer, leafier life.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Lunatic in my Office - Tuesday 11/21/2006

I love it when our office manager brings her puppy, Luna, to work with her. Luna's the perfect office dog. Friendly and just energetic enough to be fun. She comes in and says hello when she first gets here. Then stops by for a little ankle lick when she makes her rounds a couple of times a day.

She's gotten good at playing with tennis balls, but she's not supposed to pull the fluff off of them.


PlayingWhat? I'm not supposed to pull off the fluff? Like... never?

Really. I never imagined you meant never.

Eyeing the Pig - Monday 11/20/2006

The pig believes itself to be safe.

The pig knows it's Thanksgiving this week; a holiday traditionally more threatening to the turkey.

What the pig hasn't realized is that I've been spending most of my allowance on breakfasts out and chai tea lattes.

The pig is in danger.

Pity the pig.

Moving Forward - Sunday 11/19/2006

I received this mug from the Elegant E on Saturday! She receieve one from me, too!

The first thing it held was a celebratory margarita on the rocks for passing the 35,000 word mark.

I spent 4 1/2 hours dealing with computer problems. Kind of messed up my momentum. Ah well. Still ahead of the game, techinically.

I calmed down and filled it with tea on Sunday. ;)

On the other side, it says "Novelist Fuel." Tee hee.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Power - Saturday 11/18/2006

I took this photo as part of an assignment from friends over on 43Things to take a photograph of "power." I had to think a lot about this one. What do I think is powerful?

Standing up for what you believe, even when it’s not the popular position. Peaceful resistance.

A few years ago in the U.S.--even a few months ago--it felt a little dangerous to say that we shouldn’t be in Iraq. I found out that a few people who I thought of as friends would like to shut me up. They thought I was a threat to the security of our country for saying what I believed.

To me, freedom of speech is at the core of what this country is supposed to stand for. Get rid of that, and you don’t have much left to defend.

As evidenced by the recent elections, some people’s minds have been changed. The large and small actions of hundreds of thousands of peaceful people willing to speak up have made a difference. Oh, and Keith Olberman's comments helped give us courage, too.

It isn't solved, but the ways of talking about it are opening up.

[Edit: If you are interested in what other people are doing for this goal on 43Things, take a look.]