Saturday, July 17, 2010

For the Beauty of the Earth

We've lived in our house for nine summers. For nine summers, I didn't know the name of the forty-foot tall tree on the other side of the fence. Every spring, it produced frgrant little pink blossoms, but nothing else. The other day I went to check on the garden and found tiny golden fruits on the ground. Maybe the squirrels brought them. Another tiny fruit hit the ground. I looked up. The tree is full of apricots. Tiny, sweet, tasty apricots.
I don't know why the tree decided to produce fruit this year, after being barren for so long. Maybe the vibrancy of our garden is contagious. The backyard beds are thriving as never before.
The park is incredibly lush too; this morning we came across a patch of sunflowers, a currant bush covered in tart red fruit, spurred snapdragons, sweetpeas, myriad wildflowers and a stand of orange daylilies. We also received a scolding from a beaver, but that's another story.
Bees, dragonflies and butterflies are prolific this summer too; I'm not the only person to notice. The backyard is filled with birds. In a world where so much is so wrong, this little corner is blossoming.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

O Frabjous Day!

There is something about holding the actual book that is so much more real than looking at the ebook pdf or the endless Word document. Seeing my name in print on the shiny cover is seductive. It makes me think of possibilities and reminds me of childhood dreams abandoned long ago.
I signed up for NaNoWriMo on a whim. (Thanks, Jenn!) Characters who had been living a half-life in my head came rushing out onto the pages. They got on my nerves sometimes, when they'd do unplanned things, wander off, appear out of nowhere, or change genders or species. The goal of writing 50,000 words in 30 was just crazy enough to be exhilarating.
I didn't know about the 'prize' when I started. One of the Nanoites told me about it at a write-in. Six months seemed like plenty of time to rewrite the book into something worth printing. It might have been, if I had been as focused as I was during the month of November. But for assorted reasons, many of them having to do with laziness, procrastination and unemployment, most of the rewriting happened in the last thirty days. I may be a bit of an adrenaline junkie. Instead of jumping out of planes or off of bridges, I write against a crazy deadline.
There's still a lot of rewriting to be done. Scenes need to be fleshed out, characters need to be developed, and I'm sure that there are some gaping plot holes waiting to be filled. But right now, I feel good. There's a 300 page book in my hands, and I wrote it.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

All kinds of projects

After months of procrastination, an outstanding and generous job of formatting and designing by my friend Erin, and some last-minute hurdles at CreateSpace,
my NaNoWriMo 2009 is finally being made into a free proof copy. I should have it by the end of this week.
Erin also provided me with an e-book version.

I found a free novel writing software program - yWriter5. It has a lot of neat features that theoretically will make NaNo 2010 much easier. I'm testing it out by converting my Scriptfrenzy screenplay into a novel. I loaded the whole thing in and then started redoing it. So far my word count is -237. Yep, -237. Taking out all the screenplay formatting leaves a void.

It seemed like such a simple plan; get the closet doors out of the garage and reinstall them in my room. I moved half the stuff in the garage, hauled out the doors, washed them off and dragged them inside. They were the wrong ones. Start over. Right doors, only half the hardware is missing. Off to the hardware store. Three times. Finally, all the hardware is attached. I shoved the bed out of the way so I could swing the door out far enough to pop the wheels into the track. There was a sickening crack. I had splintered the bedside table. 3 trips to the hardware store, one minor injury, a casualty (the table), a lot of frustration and the use of every swear word I know in every possible combination. All in all, a typical do-it-yourself project. All that was missing was a six-pack of beer. The upside of the casualty is that I rearranged things and now have a small writing desk in my room so that I can work undisturbed by television, music or phone conversations.

I finally got around to playing with the watercolors I bought over a month ago and the book on watercolor painting I got from the library. This is my second attempt at a cloud. It looks better than the first cloud(damning with faint praise). The example in the book added mountains. I added lava because I wanted to play with the iridescent paints.

The garden is coming along nicely. So is Puppy. Her surgery was a complete success and she needs no further treatment. We have started going to the park again. She isn't allowed to play in the water yet, but she's happy just to be outside. Her stitches come out on Friday.