new year

Writing & Seasons

Yesterday, I got nine unique pieces sent out in hopes of finding a home. I couldn’t find it in me to get out another one. This year has been one of the lowest “submitting” ones I’ve ever had. I know, there’s still a few months, but I’m okay with accepting different years meaning different things. This one was all about a novel I loved, but since the rewrite, I’m worried over it, and worry takes up time.

The steps leading to the backyard have never been “right” so the most recent project is correcting them. We found out the drainage pipe is damaged, so that snag has delayed progress, but there is a solution and if the weather holds, we might finish this weekend. (And if I remember, I’ll take pictures for the next post.)

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The garden is a disaster – too much rain in the spring, ravenous slugs, and lack of time. I’ve been out there working with the baseball adage of “next year!” in my heart. Not every year of gardening will be bountiful. I did get some nice jalapeños and green beans. I think I’ll have a carrot and parsnip – unless something below the surface has nibbled them away.

I’m not Jewish – that I know of – but this post is sounding like I’m at a new year, doesn’t it? And I’m okay with that. In fact, I think it makes more sense to consider a year right now than at the end of December. I still won’t make a resolution, though. Promising to change isn’t the same as changing.

I do believe in goals and write them out, work toward them, cross them off. There is a list of ten 5-year goals on my fridge and I’ve reached some of them. In fact, seven out of ten is not bad with two years left. The ones not reached? All writing related. Ah well…I suppose I ought to work on the last three so off I go to edit, polish, rewrite and write anew.

Oh! And as a reminder: Saturday, 21 October 2017 at 1:00 there is an author reading. Please join me at the West Falls-Colden Library to hear Kim Chinquee, Barbara Early, Mary Jo Hodge, Gina Detwiler, Mary Akers, Deb Madar and Jeff Schober.

Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

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(It finally bloomed!)

 

*These are all my creekside reflections. Your experience may vary.

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Mad Quest: Organizing My Stuff

It got to the point where the papers in the “to file” box tumbled over the sides again and while I picked them up for the fifth time, I realized I really had to tackle that job. Bank statements, take-out menus, invitations to events I never had any intention of going to, and stray button batteries lingered in that box for up to two years – perhaps longer – but the box is now empty. Not only did I file, I went through the files and purged them of outdated material. It feels really good to have that done. I have some hope that I’ll get to the filing a bit quicker next time.

(Don’t laugh! It could happen!)

Occasionally, I’ll try the “touch it once” paper solution idea, but that rarely lasts longer than three days because I’d rather work on a story than go through mail the second it comes. Besides, I like lingering over J. Peterman catalogs…

Of course that “good deed” lead to others, like making an appointment with a lawyer to update our wills since the ones we had named a now dead person to be the executor in case we died at the same time, which led to the deed being “quick claimed” so if something happens, (knock-on-wood-it-doesn’t) probate can be avoided. Lawyers are expensive creatures! I mean, I knew that in general, but when I got the bill, I started wondering if I shouldn’t have stuck with my 6th grade goal and pursued a career in the legal profession.

I also went through the stack of “there’s an article/quote/cartoon/recipe I want in here” newspapers. Then, I tackled the print out stack in my office and I can now find the stories I want because they are in folders. It’s a New Year miracle!

All of that good stuff means I’m behind on collecting the tax stuff, but I’m close. I’m also upping my game with writing and submissions. I don’t know how long these good intentions will last, but they aren’t “resolutions” so they have a better shot of continuing than not. I hope.

I think the burst of ambition has a little to do with being inspired by beauty.

MiaBlue

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They are both by Mia Avramut. Husband matted them last Saturday and they are ready to hang, but I have them on the shelves of the bookcase where I can admire them for now. They are both so gorgeous; these photos do not do then justice.

So, that’s what has been happening around here. Thanks for checking in!

 

 

 
*These are my Creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.

A nice start to the New Year

And what to my grateful eyes did I find in my inbox on New Year’s Day? A note from a publisher who is planning another anthology and offered the previous authors a crack at the new one. That is definitely a much better start to a year than a rejection. By that token, I’ve held off on sending rejections (sorry if you get one!) to several submitters. I really do try to treat submitters to r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal the way I’d like to be treated and I know I didn’t want to get a rejection on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.

So, I’m concussed. How are you? Seriously, it was such a stupid thing. I took mail out and on the way back, I fell on the icy driveway and smacked my head. And do you know what you can do to help a concussion? Nothing but watch for signs. Modern medicine is come so far…Yes, I’m grateful that it wasn’t worse, like a broken leg or arm or wrist.

I don’t make resolutions since the year many, many years ago to not make resolutions. That one I knew I could keep, and I have. Even when I quit smoking, I quit on 1/7, not the first. However, I’ve been toying with the idea of going a year without drinking. Since New Year’s Eve is a big drinking night, and I shouldn’t be drinking with a brain injury anyway, I decided that I’d start on the first so I’d remember when I began. There are a few caveats. I’m allowed to drink on my birthday, if I sell a book, Husband’s birthday, Thanksgiving and one freebie, but only one. So, this will be my year of not drinking.

Otherwise, nothing has changed much. I’m working on new pieces and enjoying going through the latest book twenty pages at a time with Mary Akers and Gina. I’m so glad to have been asked to joining that novel critiquing group! After the 14th, I’ll be touching up the query letter, getting ready to send Ellie’s Elephant’s to another group of agents I’ve researched. I’m preparing applications for Breadloaf and NYFA. Same old, same old, but good.

 

(*These are my creek side reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

The Holidays. *Sigh*

Since last I wrote, things started out quite lovely. I got an acceptance from Matter Press for my piece, “I’m Calling Him Skippy,” about a woman who rescues a dog from bad owners. At about the same time, Husband called from Adoring Pets with sad news. While I assumed that the dog would cost us a million dollars, I didn’t think she’d die. What the one vet thought was a minor issue, was in fact cancer. It’s not in her lungs yet, but even with surgery (keeping her cast dry in this weather? Really?) and drug treatment there’s only a 48% chance she’d be alive in a year.

If you met Tye, you know how sweet she is and we can’t do that to her. On Monday, she’ll be going into work with Husband. Mondays suck anyway, and before Christmas is somehow better then afterwards…

Nancy, my friend from the Playwright Workshop, and I had plans to go see Gary Earl Ross read that night. Mr. Ross selected my piece, “Wildflower Wishes,” to include in the Queen City Flash anthology, and I hoped to pick up my copy that night, but with that news, and the snow, we didn’t go.

The snow…it’s been unbelievable. I didn’t go shopping last week, nor did I go to the library because the driveway was filled with snow. I’d shovel and later it wouldn’t look like I’d been outside. Husband got the driveway under control on Saturday, and then Sunday, we drove to Grandma’s house. I had no idea how hard the dog’s illness was going to be. Grandma doesn’t hear very well. I couldn’t tell her this was Tye’s last visit. It broke my heart to see Tye look up at her and hear my Grandma say, “It’ll be all right,” because no, it isn’t. 

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I had a short story accepted at Page and Spine. The bonus for that is I’d just had it rejected by Carve. If you have a piece rejected by Carve and it’s published elsewhere, they link it from their site. Maybe it will get them to look closer at the piece I have under consideration there now.

I was working on my novel yesterday waiting for Husband to get home when I heard something in the driveway. He was stuck. Our most awesome neighbor came with his tractor, cleared the driveway and got Husband’s truck out of the mushy part of the lawn. Thank you Bill!!! The thing was, I looked out the window, saw him stuck and thought, “Are you kidding me? Another crappy thing to deal with?” I have forgotten to mention that I got a call from my credit card company. My card had been stolen. So yeah, that was even more fun added to the mix. Today, on the news I found out it was most likely from the Target theft. Fun.

The holiday letter and cards are being sent out today, one of the latest send offs, but I just finished them last night after Husband’s company Christmas Party at J. P. Fitzgerald’s. It was a nice party. I sat by Trish and she and I talked about her work, her trips to Haiti, and her daughter’s writing. Paul and Kim were at our table, as was Tessa, and the old assless chaps joke came up once again. How can a party be bad when the conversation includes discussions of juice boxes and assless chaps?

So, I have more cookies to make and I need to finish up my twenty pages to send to my awesome novel critique group today. I hate being this late with things, but then again, I had no idea we’d have this much snow, which led to fewer shopping days. No, what it is is that I had no idea how much I love this dog and it pisses me off that she isn’t going to be around anymore. Screw it. I have cookies to make. I hope your holiday–if you celebrate one–is fantastic and blessed and bright. Here’s looking to a better New Year.

 

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

First Post in the New Year!

We have snow! I was beginning to wonder if we were going to get any.

It’s a new year and so far it’s going well here. How are things in your world? I’ve been keeping up with everything and I feel slightly more efficient–still waiting for the endorphins to kick in, but I’m not holding my breath. I can’t, yoga discourages such things.

Why I decided to try yoga is beyond me. It makes me nervous to do things so slowly. Besides which, I think it is actually making me more antsy than before. Listening to the little weasel politicians the last few days has been torture. Why can’t these morons just get along already? I’ve been making snide comments and veiled threats. If I do it much more (or louder) Husband will take the radio away. I hate it when he does that. Not as much as when he locks me in the library for NaNoWriMo, but it’s a close second.

Holiday visiting was varied and fun. I got to annoy a bird. I don’t want one for my house, but I enjoyed watching it react and preen and chirp. I did not get to see somebody that lives in New Jersey now, but that just goes to show how he’s changed (Uh, BTW Jimmy, I’m giving your bucket of fudge away for blowing us off.) And I really thought Rachael would be in Pennsylvania longer, but she’s already back in Boston so I’m bummed I didn’t get to see her again before she left. (Miss you babe!)

Everything else was good though. We even had a “tree” this year and everything. As it’s being taken down, I remember that is why we don’t have trees. Putting them up is fun, but after is sad and hard. Kind of like writing. The story idea is great, and finishing a first draft is like plugging in the lights, then it sits and you finally have to rewrite.

I didn’t have any intention to, but it’s the fifth of January and I have 5 things submitted. If I keep it up–a submission a day–I’ll easily surpass last year’s output, which was 263.

I got confirmation that my submission to the Minotaur Books/ First Crime Novel Competition  was received. I had opted for delivery confirmation and saw that it was forwarded and I couldn’t figure out why. Once  it was delivered, guess what? I addressed my entry just like I was told to, but I was given the wrong zip code. So, whatever. It arrived. I believe I did everything right and that’s why I received the notification I did. I can’t find stats on previous years, but I bet it’s a tough competition. Keep your fingers crossed. I’ll let you know if I hear anything more.

I’m off to work on my entry to the Amazon Break out novel contest, wait…Ouch. There’s the first rejection of the year. Welcome to 2012!

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*These are just my reflections. Your experience may vary.