All I have to say is:
How was your Nano experience?
I am so sorry.
I am a terrible blogger.
I had lists of things to write about! I had topics about writing, my writing process and everything in between – and a few cool recipes I have recently tried out, as well as some general gushing about certain television shows (ahem, Sleepy Hollow) and books I’ve read.
And then … this happened.
I got engaged.
(Family and Friend cheer, I laugh uncontrollably)
And then soon after, family came to visit.
I love family – but they don’t leave a lot of time for me to sit at a computer.
Suffice it to say, it’s been a busy two weeks – and now it’s US Thanksgiving.
And I have so much to say!
My clever and thoughtful weekly updates are, apparently, a bust, so I give you this:
Oh yeah, nearly there baby! Cannot wait to put this novel to bed. It is mostly finished – just need to decide on the proper epilogue. This one was the toughest novel I have written – so many rewrites. I had a plan – half drawn out, and half written out. And a general map of where my characters were going, and how they’d get there. Instead, my characters kept bucking my authority, doing whatever they felt like, and the story went in several different directions than I had intended.
At the same time … I like how it turned out. I think, because of all the rewrites, the frustration of going in a new, unanticipated direction and yelling for advice from the Soulmate, nee The Boy, (whose general “helping” was to either laugh at me or tell me that my characters are weird, if hilarious) – it worked out to me having a story I really like. It’s more complex than it was – the reveals happen sooner than I had originally planned for, but it works out nicely.
Gah. Writing is a cruel mistress!
Second: Black Friday
So, I totally did the Black Friday thing once. In Troy, MI. I got up around 5am, picked up a friend and we got over the border and to Troy around 6ish. Everything was open, full – but it wasn’t … I don’t know – it wasn’t insane. Just crowded.
And the deals were okay, but not crazy awesome.
So I never did it again.
Now, in California, I hear (from radio, television ads and people who are really upset on the internet) that Black Friday, like a black hole, has expanded into Thursday, aka Thanksgiving. Now, I am a Canadian. Our Thanksgiving isn’t a four-day pre-Christmas affair that includes a day of shopping. However … I get the anger against those stores that are opening up on Thanksgiving – I mean, this is the quintessential American holiday – it’s the one that’s all about family, reaching back into the forefather’s forefathers and plucking out the one thing that mattered – family, food and peace.
And now, it’s morphed into some sort of commercial bastardization, where some people can afford to stay home, others cannot, and corporations can dictate that their employees show up to work.
Dudes – this is one of the only secular holidays worth celebrating (and like the only one without fireworks) – why would you condone this?
I am kind of (not surprised) disappointed with this whole thing – my first US Thanksgiving in America, and then, it’s been ruined with commercial interests. (Well not ruined, I am maing bread, lots of bread, for Thanksgiving – am so happy!). I can’t believe the American people, who rally behind Thanksgiving as if it is Christmas – can be behind this?
In other news, I went to Trader Joe’s yesterday and got this poinsettia, so awsome:
And the lady in front of me with a huge full cart, told me she was having her parents and sister over, as well as all the children – and she was only doing the turkey and sides. Her bill totalled over $300. Americans take this holiday seriously – I love it!!
So blessed! I get two Thanksgivings now! Yes – two turkeys, two pumpkin pies, two overly buttered-mashed potatoes.
More on Thanksgiving, just thought I would mention it…
That’s all for now!
Will update again tomorrow, and really get back at regular posting, now that the world has hit an even keel again.
Much love dear readers!
Mothers are very special people.
They are the only people who can, at the same time, annoy the hell out of you and make you so happy they’re around .
My Mom stands in my corner, supports some of my strangest decisions and generally helps me out in ways that only a mother can.
And I am grateful for her.
And so glad I could take her out today to celebrate!
I just noticed, but … the date is 11/12/13!
Ah, the little things …
So here is what I did this weekend:
Friday we went to Shaka Shak Burger
I had a chicken burger (the Chick Burger) with pineapple salsa
The Boy demolished a regular Shaka burger.
The decor is one of those awsomely kitsch places with Hawaiian memorabilia and Elvis music.
And then we walked along the beach for a while …
Saturday was an errand day where we ran around and attempted to actually get things done before family visits this week.
I wrote a lot – stayed up until about 2:30 with some writing inspiration.
Oh, and an O-Nut from DK’s …
Sunday we met up with friends at Mexi-Casa restaurant in Anaheim, a wonderfully authentic experience for those who crave yummy, cheap Mexican food.
And then that night we watched some Mentalist with some hot cocoa and prepared for the family storm …
What did you guys do this past weekend?
My family doesn’t really have a military history.
We come from a country that had mandatory military service under fascism until 1974 when the people revolved.
Then my family moved to Canada – and my sisters and I were born.
As such, we have no grandparents who served in the military or parents who serve.
The Boy’s Mom’s side does: His grandmother was in the Navy in WW2 and his grandfather was overseas at the same time. Both made it back, had a family and continued on with life – no easy feat after a war.
So, Remembrance Day for me has always been about other people, these unnamed soldiers lost to us overseas and at home. And yet, it still means so much for me to have even those unrelated soldiers remembered.
Remembrance Day is the same day as my grandfather’s birthday.
He came to Canada in the 70s, hoping for a new start in a place where his son wouldn’t be mandated to go to the wars in Africa. He dragged my father to this cold, wintry place, kicking and screaming, and I am so glad he did.
So with that in mind,
Happy Birthday Avo Julio
Beijinhos (kisses) e Abracos (Hugs)!
They say we look alike, though maybe it’s because our other sister is tall and blond, but either way – everyone knows we’re sisters.
She’s 21 today – which is insane since I am pretty sure she’s still supposed to be, like, 5.
She’s a university student with a penchant for baking/decorating with her own business that makes me so proud of her.
We love you!
Hello my dear lovelies!
As I mentioned before – Nanowrimo has started me up again on 8 Sentence Sunday! Hosted at Weekend Writing Warriors, you can participate by posting 8 lines from your story, be it complete or work-in-progress, onto your blog, FB, whatever – and then link back to the site! My 8 sentences will be for my WIP, Cherry Valley, and I do hope you enjoy it!
A bit about the story: Our heroine, Natalie, is a big city lawyer from a small town she hasn’t returned to since she left for university after graduating highschool. To this end, the only people she has kept in contact with are her best friends, Chrissy and Donna, and the occasional visit from her vain mother. Circumstances in the city have made it impossible for Natalie to stay there when our story opens, and so she returns to her home town of Cherry Valley in an attempt to sort out her life and to fulfill a promise to Chrissy who is hiding something and need Donna and Natalie to help her. Going home is never easy, particularly for someone who has made a point to turn her back on home, and Natalie is assaulted with memories of her other best friend, Lily, who disappeared when they were all 16. Delving deep into circumstances of that summer, Natalie begins to receive threats taped to her windshield, leading her straight into the over protective arms of Cole, her sort of one time fling from a decade ago and Chrissy’s older brother. Going home is never easy – but with threats and old loves and a prickly home life – is is deadly, too?
Last week’s snippet was from the beginning – Natalie has decided to leave her job, her home and everything’s she worked so hard for and go back to her childhood home. And because she has worked so hard to accomplish all this, she’s pretty upset over it. This week, she gets a call from the problem of her life, and deals with the very problems of her new reality. Hope you enjoy:
Frustrated at her own emotions, she got into the car stiffly and turned on the ignition. Adjusting her rear view mirror so only the slightest corner of the house could be seen, she
placed her shades on her nose and put the little convertible into drive.
She didn’t glance back once, steadfastly focusing on the road ahead, and the hours ahead of her on the highway. So lost in thought was she, that she nearly missed the jangling
her cell phone. Turning on her Bluetooth, she answered, “Yeah?”
“Natalie – listen to me before you hang up –“
Natalie tapped the screen to drop the call, the gravelly voice of her boyfriend – her ex boyfriend, she reminded herself, igniting a white hot rage within her belly. Liar. She thought.
Check out this week’s post for more!
Frustrated at her own emotions, she got into the car stiffly and turned on the ignition. Adjusting her rear view mirror so only the slightest corner of the house could be seen, she placed her shades on her nose and put the little convertible into drive.
She didn’t glance back once, steadfastly focusing on the road ahead, and the hours ahead of her on the highway. So lost in thought was she, that she nearly missed the jangling of her cell phone.
Turning on her Bluetooth, she answered, “Yeah?”
“Natalie – listen to me before you hang up –“
Natalie tapped the screen to drop the call, the gravelly voice of her boyfriend – her ex boyfriend, she reminded herself, igniting a white hot rage within her belly. Liar. She thought. Damned liar.
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Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.
― Neil Gaiman
I do like the words that come from Neil Gaiman. He is =, without a doubt, the voice of my young adulthood. I read Neverwhere and American Gods with a frenzy I had previously only shown for romance novels and Harry Potter. There is something wise in his word, something that evokes that original storyteller, the mystery and the reveal. And so, when I happened upon that quote just when I was struggling with my story – it seemed almost cosmic. Like Neil Gaiman is sitting behind my shoulder at Starbucks whispering, “Come on, this scene’s got your beat. On to the next one.”
Ah, if only it were that simple.
This week, my friends, has been a tough one Nano-wise. I started off strong on Friday, then got suckered into errands most of Saturday and only wrote about half of my admittedly high goal that night. Then Sunday I was at the track all day (where I read In the Woods all day – such a treat to do nothing but read all day!) and Monday I was arguing on the phone with the insurance company all day. Then Tuesday was a deeply busy errand day, and Wednesday I got only a half day worth of writing. Thursday was a blessing from above where I managed to fill the quota I managed not to do the rest of the week, and now today I plan on getting 15,000 words done to date.
But all the numbers aside, what has my progress been? I have helpfully divvied up parts of my novel into a few categories and events.
There are times, I fear, I become quite the Anglophile.
I watch my British dramas, usually crying my eyes out, and pick up British slang to fling at the Boy when he’s being naughty and develop an unhealthy obsession with hats and tartan, that inevitably ends with me drinking tea and laughing through Bridget Jones or Love, Actually or really any British comedy. Especially if Colin Firth is in it.
I was lucky enough to visit merry old England in 2008 – The Boy and I had just graduated from our respective universities and we hopped on a plane to scour the other side of the pond for ten days. We mainly stayed in and around London, but also ventured to Bath, Salisbury and Stonehenge. Next time I would love to venture even farther afield – Brighton, Manchester, Scotland and Wales.