Teresa Tucker

Potato Heart!

For 21 years I’ve been married to a friend. What does that mean? Our marriage can legally buy liquor and cigarettes now? Can it vote, too? No? Why not? (I’d insert the picture of the Chipmunk of Doom looking askance here, but it didn’t export properly.)

Early this month, I was a maskless guest in someone else’s home and it was glorious to hug again! (Thank you Nina for inviting me!) Shortly after, we had the pleasure of visiting with Bob and Teresa. They were vaccinated, we were, too; it was a lovely time. Unnerving at first, though – being maskless in a house with humans. Who knew that would be an anxiety producer? I mostly remembered how to behave. I didn’t trust myself to throw a dinner party, so it was nibbles and drinks here – and interesting conversation.

A few years back I made my bones and joined a gang of philanthropists so now I get invited to cool things like tours of new buildings. This is the new clinic by the hospital on the hill. (I went inside and took pictures for a yet-to-be-written-story.)

B and I mostly finished a project this weekend. You know that feeling when you’re sure you have a can of paint and you don’t? I felt that and now I wonder if the partial gallon I’m so sure we have (though I can’t find it and have checked all the hidey-holes) will turn up the second I come home with a new gallon tinted that color. So, a bit of paint – less than a few tablespoon’s worth – applied to five small spots and it will be done. Of course sprucing up one thing makes the rest of the room look shabby…but I only have so much time because knock on wood, we’ll see family soon. They – of all people – would understand walking into a construction site/battle zone/fresh paint situation, but I’d prefer to greet them with some things under control even though I know surprises happen…like going out to get a sump pump on my birthday and B taking care of that fiasco which turned out to be my present. Anyways, since I’d like to do a big in-person reveal, I’m not posting pictures of it now. What I can show you is this round flower though I’ve forgotten its name:

And this sassy iris:

It has been a plant-centric month. Holding out as long as I could, I finally succumbed to the lure of a mown front yard. (I have to mow for the rest of the summer now, which displeases me.) Saturday, the new flowerbed was weeded and part of the raised bed was hoed. With the weather being unusually cold, the seedlings needed extra time and care. I also had to figure out which nursery I bought citronella plants from last year. I found it on my second try and learned how to propagate them. I mean, I don’t mind plants taking up my energy, but I am surprised they take so much.

There’s more work to be done in the garden and keeping the lawn up, but the basics feel scoped out so I can get back to concentrating on what I want to write and hone. The book I’d gone back to finish writing? Yeah, I hit the point where I was able to convince myself that I had the wrong MC and should stop before I went any further. I don’t know, essays are being plotted out in my notebooks. I’m reading. I’m watching movies. (Props to the Hamburg library – they’ve been doing me good recently. I’ve found amazing reads in their 7 day shelves) I’m soaking in the changing weather. If I could, I’d gift some of this stress-free time to Mary. The Zoetrope/Firefox has been resolved and I’m already diving back into Kim Chinquee’s “Hot Pants” room. The gracious Kathy Fish is hosting her Fast Flash Reunion room there next weekend. PitMad is on Thursday. There’s so much to look forward to in the coming month – and I don’t want to jinx it – but sometimes feeling obligated to write actually works to get it done…kind of like writing this blog once a month, you know?

Anyway, I hope you are feeling fine and know you are appreciated in so many different ways. You rock. You roll. You need to get out of here and frolic in freshly cut grass or some sand!

Thank you SO much for stopping by and for the read!


Happiness is a Warm Pen

Or laptop. So, hello. I just reached 12125 words in NaNoWriMo this morning. Last night I was working on a synopsis for the novel I wrote during NaNo 2010. I’ve since rewritten it and polished it and it’s been seen by so many first readers–all of whom I appreciate for their help: Chyo, Natalie Condor, Betty Brown, Teresa Tucker, Shirley Reeves, Jim Wood, and Dr. Scott Greene. Each one of you has helped me get the manuscript to here–where an Agent has requested to see thefifty pages. I’m so excited! THANK YOU ALL!!!

And if my mind has forgotten a reader, please let me know so I can add you. All I’ve been doing is reading and writing lately, so it’s possible I’ve forgotten someone. I was asked to join a novel critique group and as I’m joining later in the process, I had eighty pages of their work to read before they sent the new 20 pages for critiquing. Yeah, that’s quite a few words to cover in addition to the stories that have been submitted to r.kv.r.y.

Never before has “writing is my life” been more true. I’m off to post this then talk to Chyo about tweaking the synopsis to Ellie’s Elephants. Then I’ll reread the first fifty pages, print it out and tonight, my Aunt is in Hawaii for a Sweet Adeline’s competition that’s being broadcast at 11:55 p.m. Tomorrow night is Jeff Schober’s book launch at Danny’s South for Boneshaker and Saturday is my normal shift at the West Falls-Colden Community Library.

I am immersed in literature and I love it.


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


Alright, I’ll fess up. I didn’t make the NaNo goal this year. I could beat myself up, but I won’t. Part of it was that NaNo changed its notifications and some other bits that worked in the past didn’t work the same way this year. Plus, the two best ever ML’s dropped out and let the Buffalo group be led by N. Seriously, that’s her name. N and I never clicked. Sarah & Madeline were such great ML’s, so ‘spoiled me’ didn’t want to go to the write-ins and midway parties and the kickoffs because they weren’t going to be there. I had myself somewhat convinced to go to Perry to the write-in at Burlingham Books on the 20th, but that didn’t pan out.

On top of that, I went to my first workshop. It was on 5 November and the presenters were Mary Akersand Kim Chinquee. I had the best time! I learned so much! It was SO awesome. I’m beyond grateful to Husband for taking me to The Hodge Podge in North Tonawanda–what a brilliant choice for the workshop location. It was beautiful and inspiring. I’m so grateful I had the chance to attend.

So now you’re thinking I must have been slacking since I wasn’t creating new work? Oh contraire!

I worked my ass off this month. While still piling words into the latest NaNo novel (and had I gotten a fat letter from NEA instead of the thin one, I so would have changed gears since ‘Finding Forest’ was the project I wanted the NEA grant I applied for to fund.) I got my entry form for the Minotaur Books/ First Crime Novel Competition and dug into revising ‘Campus Crimes.’

Did I say revise? Oh, I hacked away. I took that beauty from 101,842 words down to 81,843. As Marko Fong commented, I was doing a reverse NaNo.

It wore me out. Strung me out. Made me hate the person I was when I wrote ‘Campus Crimes’ since I didn’t know squat then. (Not that I know anything now, mind you…)

Anyway, I slashed away, printed it out and sent it to a reader who had it delivered to him on Tuesday. Now, it’s in his hands. Could I have done better? Yes. The point is that I made the revision a priority and reached a deadline.

Goals and deadlines can be interchangeable, but sometimes it takes a person literally sitting themselves down to figure out which actions are most important. That’s what I had to do. That’s what I did. I think I made the right choice.

Neglecting NaNo also allowed me to concentrate on other contests I wanted to enter, and after I wrap this post up, I’m off to tackle the Buffalo News contest, cause you know, I‘m not competitive enough…

Last night, I attended a Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for a bar and be the designated driver in exchange for the drive up to North Tonawanda. Seemed more than fair. It was pretty alien though. Husband turned into chatty Cathy social butterfly and I spent the night mostly alone. I mean, I was sitting at a table with some very nice people, I’m sure, but the band was right there and so conversation wasn’t possible without shouting. I still have traces of a malingering cold/flu. I didn’t want to shout.

I relearned two lessons though. 1) ALWAYS bring a book wherever you go–if I have one I never get to read it, if I don’t I wish I had. 2) Trim Husband’s moustache if eating/drinking will be done in public–self explanatory.

Ah well, I’m sure the experience will find a place in a story somewhere some day…

Speaking of which…I AM SO PSYCHED!!!! The Amazing, Awesome, Incredible Copyeditor Extraordinaire–Teresa Tucker will soon be done with Ellie’s Elephants. I am SO excited to get my baby back. I’ve missed her so much and am eager to see what she looks like now. I bet she’s even prettier than I imagine her to be, and I thought she was a great looking baby when I sent her to the equivalent of ‘finishing’ school.  SO PSYCHED!

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