Subaru

Happy Halloween aka National Novel Writing Month Eve!

The competitions I was waiting to hear about last time all resulted in being long listed. Not bad, but not great either. Thank you to everyone involved in the Fiction Factory Flash Contest and the Brilliant Flash Fiction’s “Feed Me” contest for considering my work.

Tomorrow is the official start of NaNoWriMo. I’ve signed up. The book I’m working on needs focus to get it done. If I start with the pages I have, and add daily, perhaps I’ll complete my aim of a needs-little-editing first draft. I know, I know, people dismiss NaNo, but for me, it’s a matter of conditioning. I’ve done it so often, I can sense when I’ve made the midpoint of the 1667 words each day. Also, Husband and friends know I’ll be writing then and leave me to do the work.

Fewer blog posts is but one symptom of my seemingly having dropped off the face of the earth. I haven’t been to my writer’s group or to the Wednesday morning write-ins in weeks. I put off having people over. I’ve not followed up on getting together with others. It isn’t depression as much as stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. A lot of it can be pinned on Ben. And as of Tuesday night at 9:10pm, Ben is no longer in our lives.

Instead of the heartache of a decked out, unreliable Legacy Turbo, we’re now leasing a 2019 Honda HR-V. If car shopping isn’t on the list of most stressful things a couple can go through, it needs to be added. Divorce and suicide were actually considered just to make the process stop. And now it has. Just in time for the snow, but this time in a taller vehicle with all-wheel drive.

It amazes me how a body reacts to stress. A four-month-old travels from Texas to meet a million people in New York and develops a cold. Exhibit A:

When she arrives at our home, I’m exposed to those microbes. I’d been under some stress – not just Ben’s latest costly breakdown. As if in a textbook, two days later I’m not feeling well. The unwellness couples with new pressures and then I’m sick. I was looking up symptoms for walking pneumonia and getting “you must be dying” Google results on Sunday night. By seven o’clock on Monday, I felt a little better. Tuesday, I woke up and could breathe properly. Some colds linger, some are punctual with their symptoms, but all children are germ-spreading carriers of disease. Ah well, what can you do since they are necessary to the continuation of the species.

On the plus side of life is the fact that it is autumn. The leaves are changing color, it’s time to pull out sweaters and mock the pumpkin spice crowd. My red-eyed squeaking bat is suspended from the ceiling. My new novel has a roughly sketched out plot. The battery-operated ghost scares the dog. And our new cat is here. This is Glinda. Middle name Janis as in Joplin.

I hope your October was greater than mine. Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

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Changes like Ben

This year’s autumn has brought a few changes. The upper greenhouse window that was broken last year now has a replacement.

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Bonus, these windows open!

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And Ben has come into my life. Everyone, meet Ben, the Grey Subaru.

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Isn’t he fierce? This is the first car I’ve had in 15 years. I picked him up and got him registered on Wednesday. Thursday morning, he passed his inspection so he’s official and legal and it’s so weird to look outside and see a vehicle here. I need to start thinking differently, too. Last night I said something to Husband like, “Well after you get home on Friday I can go -” No. I don’t have to wait. I can go. My thoughts went to all the places I wanted to go and things I wanted to do and see and I had to stop. Priorities must be determined and the biggest and the best one is coming up this weekend!

Gina Detwiler, Jeff Schober, Mary Jo Hodge, Deb Madar, Barbara Early, Mary Akers and Kim Chinquee will be reading their work at 1:00pm at the West Falls-Colden Community Library on the 21st. You’re invited, so why don’t you come? It would be great to see you there! It’s autumn, the leaves are turning color. Gorgeous drive! What a great combination!

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Last week, Nina Fosati and I attended the Terry Temple Williams lecture that was part of the BABEL series. It was equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring.

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I know, bad shot, but that’s what I get for not thinking ahead. What was neat was that Jeff Schober and Kim Chinquee were there, too. Buffalo is such a small town and now that I have a vehicle, I bet it grows even smaller.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

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

TGI August!

Happy August to all!

I’m happy to be stepping out of July’s Camp NaNo. I made my goal by the fudge factor of kicking in a story I wrote on the cusp of the June/July turn over–and I feel spent. I know each time I attempt this crazy idea, I do produce and I do grow as a writer, but I’m done with trying to do anything but a novel in 30 days. Short work/essays/poems are much too hard to try to produce on such a demanding schedule. Added to that, my best friend moved away and was settling into her new home, I took a play writing workshop, and had major property upheavals this month. I am in need of a vacation.

But do I get a moment to relax? HA!

The next draft of my play, “File it Under Whatnots” is due next week–and I want to get a copy of it to Bella Poynton before then so I can hone this piece to as close to perfection as possible. I love that is a priority in my life. I never thought I’d attempt to write a play, but I did.

Should you be clueless, western New York weather is a funky mix and during the summer I try to get up early to take advantage of the cool air to get things done…And getting things done has happened all over the property recently.

My garden was weeded…Not the surrounding area, just where the plants are growing in the raised bed.

garden

Husband heard of a guy who scrapped cars, so we needed to clear out the Subaru. The things in the Subaru needed a home and the “temporary scaffolding” that held a bunch of pipes and things needed to be taken down, moved and reinforced. The leaded glass window he’d pulled out of the wall behind the bookcase earlier this year was in the way. Jim Tuttle had told us frogs need a place to do their thing so they’d stick around our garden.

Thus:

The scaffold was cleared, dismantled, reassembled and the trees were trimmed–not that I have pictures to show you of that. The garden shed was measured,

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cut with a grinder

123,

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and had the window installed.

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We’re not there yet, but the liner is bought, the hole is mostly dug, and I’m looking forward to frogs moving in soon.

pond

The scrapper–one of the nicest strangers I’ve ever met came, took the Subaru AND the 4 dead tires we’d pulled from the creek over the years.

car

scrapper

None of the pictures I took turned out well enough to show you that I got my hair cut and colored as a test run for attending Mary Aker’s book launch at the Roycroft coming up soon. You should join me there!  Plus, while they were in bloom, I appreciated these flowers:

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bed

All in all, a great few weeks around here.

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