Bridge

4 Degrees on the 4th of January

Hello and welcome to the first post of the new year! Most places in the US are cold right now because of some weather phenomenon I’ve never heard of before, so I won’t add to the griping since it hasn’t snowed yet today, but we do have snow.

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The holidays were fun and each started out right with pancakes and mimosas. I meant to take pictures, but when you’re drinking champagne first thing in the morning, it somehow makes one forgetful. Who knew?

What I do remember is unwrapping this on Christmas morning:

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This gorgeous piece of pottery was made by the multi-talented Mary Akers. Thank you Mary!

Husband and I took Ben down to PA for an amazingly wonderful visit with his Twin, Niece from Boston, and Nephew from near Portland. Bridge was played so everyone was allowed to remain unharmed. And look what Niece got for me!

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Isn’t it perfect? I’ve been thinking about “new book” and someone does have to die in it, so…

So, yeah, I have been thinking about it. I’ve also been thinking about how I didn’t submit as much as usual last year. And dreading the rewrite of the last book, but not as much as the idea of querying agents. Yes, I do have the best first world problems and I love every single one of them – including the abundance of new books to read.

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Congratulations to Alex Pruteanu on this – I’ve waited a long time to read it and I am savoring it.

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And mega-thank you to Susan Tepper! I’m looking forward to this delight!

Lousy weather does have its joy – curling up in front of the fire and reading.

Thanks for stopping by! Stay warm!

*These are my creek side reflections. Your experiences should vary.

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A Holiday Tip and Thoughts on the New Year

Here’s a tip I came across by accident: when you receive a personal/instructive rejection, print it out on holiday paper. It makes the sting of the “no” a bit easier to take.

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Gina Detwiler’s book launch for Forlorn this weekend was spectacular! It was a great time, too.

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Hello! It’s another Thursday here and I’m happy for two recent rejections that were not only personal, but gave great feedback. I know – it is so hard to even think about doing that at most (if not all) places, so I want to say THANK YOU to both JMWW and Forge.

You’re catching me on a good day, as I’m super excited for many reasons. Tomorrow, a piece I really like and thought turned out well will go live at Flash Fiction Magazine. I’ll also be donating blood, meeting up with Husband for his urologist appointment then off to Hamburg Writers’ Group. After that will be Saturday and we’re headed to Pennsylvania to spend time with great people, including our niece, Rachael. Bridge will be played. Other than that, we’ll see. Bridge is important. There was a threat that “heads would roll” if Bridge wasn’t played.

Of course, it’s not all fun and excitement. I’m cleaning the house – which is no fun – but I like coming home to a clean house, so it’s worth the tediousness.

As the end of the year is looming, I’m thinking about projects I want to complete, new ones to embark on, and my friends and family. At Donna Hoke’s party, I heard encouragement from Dave about needing to say “enough” at some point, so I’m coordinating with XO Man so that when I finish the next revision of Near Eden, it’s off to him. That scares me more than querying agents. Or putting a hat on the cat…

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Ah well, what is life if you don’t face your fears occasionally. Thanks for stopping by and  for the read! May your holidays be happy and bright!

 

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*These are my creekside reflections; your experiences should vary.

The Minor(?) Cost of a Great Weekend

This past weekend was marvelous! Rachael flew in, Donkey and Lisa came by and Husband’s twin was here, too. The weather was perfect. There was a half game of gonzo croquet, several hands of cutthroat bridge, rich food and many carbonated beverages. Husband and I have a new favorite beer, Berkshire Brewing Company’s Coffee House Porter. We don’t often agree on beer, but this one rated a 9 from both of us.

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But of course, a good time often comes at a cost…

Here it is, two weeks later and I’m still revising L&C. I’m starting to hate this book. That isn’t the only thing that remains undone. *Sigh* I love the problems, I have–I really do, but this week seems especially full of them.

Last night was the last District Facilities Review Committee meeting. I’m sad to report that after it goes to the Board of Education, the new gym will most likely be put up for a vote ON DECEMBER 15th! On top of that underhandedness, the interim Superintendent will be gone by January so none of the fallout will hit her on the way out. Yes, I knew all politics is local and it’s all crap, but this is a bump up of at least two hundred dollars a year–with a steady 2% + increase every year for a declining student base–if this passes and with the voting machine Duwe has in place, it feels like a done deal.

I hate her–and her husband rubs me the wrong way, too. Putting it in a bubble and sending it away.

Other than that, I’m so behind on my reading for Literary Orphans it isn’t even funny and in a few days, the submission to portal for r.kv.r.y. opens. I’m not ready. I’ll be visiting Burlington Books in Perry tomorrow before I go to a viewing for my Uncle Erv. I was transcribing an essay I wrote in longhand in my notebook about him when he passed. Strange.

The consultation gig has at least two more rounds of emails to go through and this morning I woke to find edit requests on a story I thought I’d finished, but that’s minor. I’m sure there’s other things I’m forgetting at the moment.

I’m pulling out my “to-do” book, making a list, and getting to work. It will satisfy me to no end to cross off “write and post blog.”

One thing done well. Check.

(These are my Creekside Reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

A bittersweet goodbye to August and summer

To everyone near, far, online, and otherwise, THANK YOU! I can’t imagine a better time than I’ve had recently. Before I get to the pictures, I want to give these props : Mike Joyce thank you for not only accepting my story “Things Left Unspoken“ and publishing it in the Tallchief Issue of Literary Orphans but also for the shout out on your editor’s note. To Michael A. Chaney, TED presenter, wicked brilliant person, I ❤ you for citing  “Things Left Unspoken” in your 30 August 2013 blog post, Top 10 Literary Magazines to Send Your Best Flash (and maybe get accepted too).  That was incredible. I also want to thank Alex Pruteanu just because he’s an awesome writer and friend and I think everyone should buy his book.

That said, what a fabulous traveling party. Family and friends arrived on Saturday the 24th. RISK was played, beer was sampled, bridge hands dealt, guitars played, and mallets were swung. (And when the pictures show up in my account, I’ll post them.) From here to Pennsylvania and back again with people from Portland Oregon, Boston Mass, Washington D. C. and Marilla and Depew. The following Sunday, we met up with our friends from Chicago and had a proper Sunday Chivetta’s chicken dinner in Arcade.

Husband went back to work on Tuesday so he could rest up from his vacation. I’ve been a ‘football mom’ lately and that has come to an end. Now, I press on with my writing. Yesterday, I received a personal, encouraging rejection from The Missouri Review. Today, I’ll be sending off an application for an Advanced Fiction Seminar. I have no idea how good my chances are–I just know it will be a no if I don’t try.

No matter, I have these incredible sunflowers in my garden attracting the bees.

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The sweetgum tree has already started to turn,pic1so it’s so long to summer and hello autumn.

Thanks for stopping by!

(These are just my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

 

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I’ve discovered a mighty fine remedy for a funk: Have someone say something untrue and/or slightly insulting about you. It’s very hard to remain blasé when you’re p*ssed off. And so, I’m back. Did you miss me?

Ping-pong goes the writing. Ugh! Spring is great, but trying to concentrate is a joke. For whatever reason, I’ve decided I want to try my hand at a poetry chapbook. I think I’m working on a winner. It’s called “Let the Grownups Talk.” I’m submitting it to the Burnside Review Competition–as soon as I finish tweaking the two bookend poems, or the deadline arrives. *Sigh*

Many thanks to Jennifer Bridges for accepting “After,” (a poem in the collection) for the wonderful Jumping Blues Gods. It isn’t posted yet, but stay tuned. And to Dawn Corrigan, because years ago she helped me craft “The Scholar’s Initiation” into a great piece.That’s another poem I’m including in the collection. If you’d like, you can check out one of Dawn’s stories that I really like here: “The Treehugger

As usual, this month’s writer’s group was interesting. Shirley and I had a chance to talk about the craft part of writing. Oh, and by the way, I must mention these things: InkJoy is a proper description. I ended up buying a pack of these PaperMate InkJoy pens and I’m in love with them. I’m bringing that up because of a discussion about dialogue. When I’m writing, for the first go around, I write dialogue better in ink than trying to type it out because I can write faster than I can type. These pens are so smooth! I can’t wait to write my next first draft.

Julie’s Pizzeria on Main Street Springville, New York is the most Extreme Supreme Coolest Place EVER! They have been so gracious and kind and I cannot thank them enough for allowing the Ugly Babies Writing group to meet there, in the private room, on the third Tuesday of the month for going on three years now. Many, many thanks! If you’d like to join the group, shoot me a line for what we expect from our members. Otherwise, just go there, eat the fabulous food and know you are supporting a business that supports writers.

Besides the ping-ponging in my writing, I’ve been doing some spring cleaning in anticipation of a family gathering. I’m so excited about this weekend! Let the games begin. I’m jonesing for some bridge. May the odds–and the cards–always be in my favor.

Until next time!

*These are just my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.