Friday, November 17, 2006

A Charlie Brown moment...

When we last visited with Jill, she was feverishly writing, and very, very happy to have made it to the half way point in the NaNoWriMo challenge, even if arriving there a little behind schedule.

The NaNo message board had listed Houston writer get togethers, and she had noticed that there were three other writers typing away in Kingwood.

Wouldn't it be WONDERFUL, Jill thought, if we up here in Kingwood could get together after this is all over, and maybe to email little supportative messages to each other now and then before that?

She thought that was a good idea.

So Jill sent out the following friendly email:

Sent: 11/17/2006 5:30:56 PM
Subject: Kingwood nano

Hi There!

I'm Jill ****, writing out in Kingwood, Riverchase, the far, far, end of Kingwood. How are you doing?

I hit 26,000 today....the spirit is willing but the body is weak.

Just wanted to give you a place to bounce randomly....we WILL do this!!!!


Not long afterwards came the following email:

Hi Jill!

Very happy to meet another writer from Kingwood. I'm in Mills Branch.
I'm around 47,000 words but I'm only about halfway finished with my story. This is my third book to write so I'm not as worried about finishing as I am completing the editing portion and submitting to agents. I seem to have a block when it comes to actually going that final step.

I'm writing a story that would probably fall in the genre of women's fiction. What about you?


(What I felt like writing back was:

Oh, nevermind. Carry on. Sorry to suggest need of encouraging, jeeze louise lady, do you like never sleep or something?????)

Happy Dance

Happy #1: Ugg's on my feet, for a 40 degree frost-on-the-roof-top morning.

I gave in at 11 am and kicked on the heater.

After all the heat this summer I was cherishing the chance to bundle up in long sleeves and long pants, turtlenecks, and the whole "normal" late fall attire.

I've been an Ugg's girl since the mid-1990's, before the fashion craze kicked in for the Hollywood types. The swim and surf community wore them for winter foot warmth apre water activity. These are the tall boot type, and once I put them on, it takes a lot to motivate me to take them off. I wonder if I will catch any flack if I wear them to work. Probably not.

Posted by Picasa
Happy #2: I just now (like 5 minutes ago) pounded across the half way marker on the NaNoWriMo. 25,134 words! 24,866 to go.
53 pages, mostly single spaces so far.

OK, so I was two days late getting there. Should have been there on Wednesday, but that's fine.

The NaNo home page shows the stats, the big hump in the bell curve on Wednesday was that most folks were a day or two behind. A few have already finished (showoffs!) and a 2% hadn't even got started yet.

People are dropping out, as to be expected, so I am just delighted to still be in the race, and actually happy with where the plot is going.

Back to it......

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The two monkeys, one dog,and one elephant band!

Well, yes, it would be quicker to just call yourselves "The Animals".

But I think that particular band name is already spoken for.

And yeah, you are right. There was a singer named Cat Stevens, but he goes by something else now.

Let see, we've got a gorilla on bongos, dog on piano, elephant on drums, and a chimp on guitar.

What instrument are you playing Tiggie?

Oh, I see. Your are their manager.

That makes sense.

Posted by Picasa I'm sure they're going to big, really big.

Rock on!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Love the blogging community

Dawn, over at fourfiftythree was so kind (ON HER BIRTHDAY no less!) to pop by and clue me in on why this blog was posting oddly.

Seems having too wide of picture, such as I had on the Nov. 11th Veteran's Day post (which is now fixed) will throw the whole blog out of kilter.

Dawn herself has twin sons in the Air Force, and one's involved in the latest conflict. I think that makes for three heroes by my count-two sons willing to fight for our freedom, and one mom willing for her sons to do so.

I'm posting now because I wanted to say thank you to her.

I'm posting late because I had let myself get two days (3,400 words) behind on the National Novel Writers Month story.

Tomorrow I'll be midway through the challenge. Tonight I am at 43 single spaced pages, and FINALLY they are all off the interstate and out of the fog!

Things I have learned:

1. If you have your character eat something, you will also want to eat whatever it was that they ate. Write that they eat salad, or carrots or something low calorie that you already have in the house, so you don't find yourself wanting to run to the store to get cherry pie filling to make a cherry pie. There is no time for that sort of side stepping right now!

2. Characters want to change the spelling of their names mid way through the story. Jerry want to be Gerald now. I can not explain this.

3. I wish I had thought to sign up with NaNoWriMo earlier so I could have gotten in on the Houston NaNoWriMo writers kick off. I think it would be a lot less lonely feeling having co-novelists that I know of around to cheer me on.

4. Having a sulfur crested cockatoo as a character is the most useful plot device I could have ever dreamed up. I've had to research them for the story. They are very time demanding, yet loving pets. I plan on having an imaginary Sulfur Crested Cockatoo as a pet from now on, and visit Zoey, my friend's non-imaginary pet bird again as soon as possible. If this book ever gets published, Zoey gets mentioned on my Acknowledgement page.

If I can just pound out 1, 600 more words before I go to bed, I will be all caught up!

(Friends and family begin chant: Go Jill! Go Jill! You can do it! You can do it!)

Here's some tantalizing factoids about NaNoWriMo:

How many novels have been written through NaNoWriMo?
1999: 21 participants and six winners (winner being completed 50,000 words)
2000: 140 participants and 29 winners
2001: 5,000 participants and more than 700 winners
2002: 13,500 participants and around 2,100 winners
2003: 25,500 participants and about 3,500 winners
2004: 42,000 participants and just shy of 6,000 winners
2005: 59,000 participants and 9,769 winners.

Sarah Gruen is writing a novel this time that she already has 5 million dollar deal for.

Has anyone had their novel published?Quite a few! Jon F. Merz was one of Team 2001's winners; his NaNo book The Destructor was published by Pinnacle Books in March 2003. Lani Diane Rich, sold her 2002 NaNo-penned manuscript, Time Off For Good Behavior to Warner Books, and it came out to great reviews in October 2004, and won the Romance Writers of America RITA award for Best Debut Novel eight months later. Her 2003 NaNoWriMo novel was published by Warner Books as Maybe Baby in 2005. We had several sales of NaNoWriMo novels in 2004 and 2005. Sarah Gruen's Flying Changes began as a NaNoWriMo novel. Rebecca Agiewich sold her 2003 NaNoWriMo book, Breakup Babe to Ballantine in 2004; it'll be hitting stores in May of 2006. Dave Wilson sold his 2004 NaNoWriMo Manuscript, The Mote in Andrea's Eye, to Five Star/Gale; it'll come out in June 2006. In fall of 2005, Gayle Brandeis sold her 2004 NaNoWriMo manuscript, Self Storage, to Ballantine in a two-book deal. Around the same time, Kimberly Llewellyn found a home for her 2004 NaNoWriMo manuscript, Cashmere Boulevard, at Berkley Books. It's due out in summer 2007. Francesca Segre sold her 2003 NaNo manuscript Daughter of the Bride to Berkley Books; it came out in March, 2006. Also out this year, Jenna Bayley-Burke's NaNoWriMo novel Just One Spark came out with Mills and Boon in May. Lisa Daily started her soon to be published novel, during NaNoWriMo 2005. The Dreamgirl Academy is due out in the spring of 2008 under Plume/Penguin Putnam.

Monday, November 13, 2006

What the heck?

What's up with the layout? Suddenly Blogger is putting the posts waaayyyy down on the screen.
Scroll down for the most recent post about Lily Dache.

Millinery: Girlie girls wear Lily D.

My mom sent me a news article from her local antique guide into the mail the other day. The article was about the rise in vintage clothing's popularity amongst "girlie-girls"

In the body of the article the author talked about how adding a hat to any outfit instantly made you feel more feminine.

Preach it sister!

She noted that Lily Dache's 1960 era colorful straws (pictured) were just perfect for topping a jeans outfit.

I think a Lily Dache hat is a perfect for topping just about any outfit, outside of a wedding dress.

Posted by Picasa What surprised me was that the author, writing from Southern California, priced the Dachettes labeled hats at approximately $135.

I'm very fond of Lily Dache designs, but I think I have passed on a few Dachettes labels along the way...too 1960's, too close to my own era.

Too "bubble head" for my taste.

I think I was a bubble head in this case. The Dachettes I passed on were going for like, $15?

If I had bought them, and took them out to SoCal, I'll could have had a nine fold return on my investment.

Oh well. Lala la la la lalala...I'm just not going to worry my pretty little head about that.

(But, if in the future you see a Dachettes up for auction on ebay, don't you DARE out bid me!)

PS: I thought the 1950's raspberry number sounded far more interesting, even if its picture was too murky to copy well. I would have bought it in a minute. And I don't even look good in raspberry!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Too much of a good thing, and maybe in need of a possum.

Persimmons: Sent by my in-laws from San Diego for my express enjoyment.

I love persimmons, as does my Dad.

I haven't found
anyone else with such hard wired enthusiasm.

The in-law are so-so about them. Bernie, their son, shares their level of appreciation.

The persimmon tree was a volunteer, apparently, in their garden. They didn't choose it, it chose them. And since it makes for a pretty tree, with nice color change in the autumn (there isn't much color change in San Diego...) and has beautiful colored fruit, they decided to just let it stay. It's been in the yard for as long as I have known them, some 32 years now.

Most folk are appalled at persimmons. "Bitter!" they exclaim. I explain that the persimmon is only ripe, and very very sweet, when the interior of the fruit is about the consistency of pudding, or honey.

Those who appreciate the unique flavor, (which I can not describe, although I have tried) like persimmons very much. Others who are texture sensitive can't get past the fluidity of the fruit.
"Slimey!" they frown.

Oh well. More for me!

The ones in the supermarket are usually expensive and obviously not ripe. There is also a hard version of persimmon, a Fuyu. It is a flat shape, where as the "let them get soft" style is kind of an upside down tear shape.

I love fuyus too. They're crunchy, and taste a bit like honeyed pear.

Right now I have 36 persimmons on my counter that are fully ripe. The ones in the picture on the right side, the darker colored ones are the ripe ones.

About twice that many are still hard.

I do wish I had a fruit drier. Or that I would get up the energy and get going making a persimmon cake.

But I would just wind up eating the treat all by myself.

What I really need is a persimmon eating friend. I don't think I could warm up to snacking with a possum, even if they do grin nicely while dining on persimmons.

Or so the saying goes:

"Grinning like a possum eating persimmons".

I'll try freezing some. Maybe I'll try making that cake, cupcake style, and allocating my self one cupcake per day.

Or maybe I'll just enjoy the persimmons now, as much as possible.

Persimmons are very low in calories. If I lose a sizable amount of weight, I'll write an article for a ladies magazine. Something like:

"I lost 30 lbs on the Grinning Possum Persimmon Diet"

I don't think it will happen though.

Ever see a skinny possum?

I didn't think so.