Monday, January 31, 2011

Taking Care of Business

As noted, previously - extensively - I've been unable to take care of business around our home because of this foot-fixing process.  Despite my delight at being on the road to having stable feet - with arches and everything!- this process has been less comfortable than the left foot.  Note to my talented podiatrist - if you have a patient with hypermobile tendons, and you are wondering about using the plate again for fusion instead of the more traditional screws? Use the damn plate.

(er, I love his work, but this much ouch can still get me by surprise ;-)

Anyway, today, for some insane reason I am in a take charge mode, and a 'take care of myself' mood.  Both are good, but not exactly compatible.  On the plus side, I'll regain definition in my tricep if I let myself use crutches today. And my foot will get a bit of rest. 

So, today will be drinking more water, paying attention to my foot, taking vitamins, tending to some business around our home, planning dinner, and finally reading/critting Julia's poem.

Should the plan succeed, I can work on the story tonight.

Go me!

have a great day, stay safe in the storm.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

ROW 80 update # 5 (I think) from the Orchid house

So, on to the quick-and-dirty version of the update - Sunday is church day, and these kids don't dress themselves.
 - I stuck to the every-other-day routine
 - I added about 1000 words to the story (but took about 300 out that weren't pulling their weight)
 - I avoided poetry all week, to stay focused on getting 'unstuck', and answered a few questions while writing
 - I even got the energy up to make a "real meal" a few times this week, rather than the 'bake something frozen and convenient from the freezer section of the store' I don't have a large enough freezer to cook a lot of meals in advance to freeze, so this is a huge step forward for us.
 - The crutches only got used when out and about, so I'm regaining some strength (well, in my heel, anyway.  A bit in my leg maybe, too :-)
 - I'm in a good position (er, not in a necessarily Stuck place) for good writing this week, so I can start critting and reworking some poetry again too. Yay!!

I hope that everyone has a great week!  Take care!


Friday, January 28, 2011

600 odd words or so tonight :-)

I had the pleasure of a parent involvement day today at school, so my usual writing time - nap time, went by the wayside. I took a bit of time out of movie night - a good one, but really violent! yikes! - to write on the short work-in-progress (a wip, I guess :-)  and there's a poetry critique for a friend, waiting for the morning :-)

So, 600 words told, that I like, and deleting useless ones I decided I did not, seems like a good, albeit short, session.  Got past another tricky part - and didn't have to get too bloodcurdleing, either! (yay!)

Also, discussed pros and con's of pen-names with my hubby.  I hear it's a popular topic these days. Maybe it will be easier to finish the story if I remember my names not on it. :-)

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend :-)


Red Riding hood.

Goodness. This looks like amped up creepy fun.
I think it's going to be tremendously campy, but I like the art direction. Anything with snow, after all :-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

ROW in 80 Check in at the Orchid House

Got far enough past my stuck place to realize this is a horror story with a mystery thrown in.  I'm hoping to flip it back around....'cause I really am reluctant to 'go there' longer than I absolutely must.

So, I'm just past 4100 words.
I was committing to every other day writing, now I know I gotta write when I can, so I'm shooting for 4-5 days a week.
I have not done any poetry crit, or writing - it's my usual escape from working on the story.  I'll let myself do more next week, I just wanted to build up momentum and get past the stuck place.

Happily, I've also found inspiration from my fellow ROW 80's - so thanks to you all, whether I've got there to visit with you or not yet.  I'll stop by later today :-)

Have a great writing week - See you on Sunday!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Finally cleared 4000 words

Now, for those of you who actually have writing schedules respected by the known universe, you may well smirk.  I am having a hell of a time with the middle bits of my short story because....I'm at the icky part.

(an aside.  For the second time, it's been suggested that I consider 'who I am writing for' when I write poetry - it may help the writing process.  Problem is, my husband doesn't really care to read poetry.  So, who will I write for now?  Not sure, but until I figure it out, I'll go with Gerard Butler.)

I'm at the part where disclosures and discoveries about the n'er-do-wells start unfolding, and I have to, er, write it down.  And these boys are very very not normal.  A crowd of hardened non-conformists would say they were not normal.  To say nothing of nasty, sociopathic, and sadistic.  I am going to try to make it an only briefly horrifying read, (er, the parts where you find out this stuff), and then, you know, make the story keep going.  But, while I'm writing it out and plotting it, it seems icky things are bound to happen and I don't feel happy about it. Or about writing it.

On the other hand, I'm gonna dream up a really nasty piece of justice for them too, because I decided I can't write the kind of story that's Nasty AND unjust.  Even though the current ending (prior to dreamed-up justice) is absolutely true to the story as I dreamed it up - it is a very logical ending.

But it's nasty in the wrong way - tragic.  And I won't write a tragedy without redemption for somebody. There's too much of that in the world.

So, there's something to consider. Keep busy, all.

My daughter came down from her nap a full hour early.  She's definitely one guarantee I will be very, very busy.


Monday, January 24, 2011

The King's Speech, and Revisionist History

Having just read a SCATHING condemnation of the alternative view of history, portrayed in what is apparently an otherwise good movie, I'm curious about other reactions.

Apparently, Churchill was portrayed erroneously, as was King George (with regard to appeasement policies re: Adolf  you-know-who.) In any case, not having seen the movie, and having no full understanding of British political climate, I'm just curious how those who are more informed by either the movie or history respond.  The original article is at Slate  -

Comment in, tell me what you think!

Have a lovely warm day ;-)


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Progress on ROW 80, of sorts

I learned a few things this week, in regard to this challenge :-)

#1 Don't.  Just don't.  Take your health for granted.  Ever. And, find a way to schedule writing in that Doesn't depend on 'if I feel good enough'. 

#2 Don't feel guilty about doing things that are good for you.  Writing is good for writers.  Going out together is good for married people if they are home with the kids a lot.  Staying Home with the kids is good for people who go out a lot.  And time by yourself is Very good if you are around your family a lot.  Especially if it allows writers to write.

#3 Writing poems is equally as hard (er, When it IS hard) as writing stories.  And equally as easy. 

- I picked a schedule (every other day) and stuck to it.  Except when I got sick.
- I kept up my correspondence with my writing partner, and sent a poem to an objective reader for review
- The short story got less time than I wanted it to. So as to inspire a breakthrough, No poetry this week. I mean, if I still get new ones popping up, I'll write them down, but no editing, or reworking, or critting on them. Just the story. 

I am excited about this coming week.  :-)

Now, off to blog hop and see what other folks are up to!  We've made it to SEVEN DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.  That is 38 degrees warmer than it was 3 days ago!!  Hells Bells, we can go outside again without actual, measureable, Pain!!


Have a great writing week, and if you are not writing something, just enjoy the heatwave.

Things I would do if my foot wasn't in recovery:
A late-evening walk with the kids in the 'balmy' weather
Build a snowman with them tomorrow
Make two boatloads of cookies
Take them to the zoo and walk the hell out of the MN trail.

Going to ponder how I could work around the foot to accomplish some of these during the warm-up.

Happy Winter, everyone :-)


Friday, January 21, 2011

-29 F. (Er, -39 C. Yup, it's cold enough for me.)

Actually, 0 was plenty cold enough for me.  I don't know what this world is coming to, but school is Not actually cancelled.  Or Delayed.  It takes a lot to get schools to close for snow emergencies, but  when the temperature is actually life threatening (no wind chill on that title, folks.  That's actual air temp!), couldn't we just keep the babies home?!!

It's pretty quiet around here. I have phone calls to do later, and shopping lists.  Yesterday Jon was working late and the kids got a little stir crazy from a long day with mom. I don't blame the poor things, it's  not like I can do much, here.  I am trying to use my leg and foot more and more, but some tylenol would go a long way to making it happen.  And in between, it just has to rest.

No real writing yesterday, just a lot of correspondence, but it was all necessary. So today will be to finish notes to people kind enough to check in with me, and more writing, too.  The new poems and the story all need a whole lot of work. Tomorrow, any writing has to work around family - after all, if I don't make a point of HAVING a life, I can't possibly write about one!!! In the meantime, I'm daydreaming about a healthier foot and the return of 'fun mama'.

Take care, don't leave home unless you absolutely must!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pro's....and Con's

Hmmm. 3 degrees again. (-16 C in the rest of the world).)  I'd typically say something about how enough is enough....but.  We are Minnesotan's here.  Our job is to either get used to the damned weather, or...leave.

Easy for me to say, of course.  I'm still stuck on the couch. But, I have more progress to log, miniscule though it is :-)

#1 Spent a good chunk of time bearing weight on my heel yesterday, sans crutches, and the foot doesn't hurt too ridiculously bad today.  On the heel, anyway...the rest of the foot is Totally unimpressed with me and is aching pretty badly. Tylenol, do your job!

#2 Finished some critter work for a poet friend in the UK - ('critter' is slang for 'critique pal' and I laugh when I see it in print.  Silly visual :-) the poem is a good one and I am intrigued to see what she does with it.  If she had a website I'd point you there myself. If it's Really good, I'll be able to post a link to where it gets published - go Julia!

#3 Determined that I can't do a lot of writing Every night, on the Round Of Words in 80 Days challenge, but I think it's fair if I do chunks every Other night.  My daughter is 3 and doesn't care if mommy is up too late, potty time is potty time, and if that means mommy only gets six and a half hours of sleep, well, mommy should know better by now!

#4 Got rid of one page (accidentally duplicated) in the short story, and added about one and a half new ones. Something tells me I'm going to be toning down the creepy horror factor.  There isn't a lot, but it's....icky. 

There. Progress.  I have beau-coup things to do today - fundraiser stuff for the school, folks to catch up with, things to sort, things to get ready for other people to mail, so it's coffee time.  I'll think about writing when I have to, right now, it's time to think about the thing that makes writing happen.

Life :-)

Have a good day my friends,

Stay warm!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Whoa - A Round of Words in 80 Days

Hmm.  Ran across this Very Challenge.  You have 80 days to hit your writing goal.

Even I can finish something in 80 days.

How about that evil short story - it's half written, and I have confirmation that it is creepy from the one and only Stephanie Beck.  So, er, I'm jumping in late, but that's okay, because I am saying that my story is at least half written (not edited, not proofed, but at least written.)  And, if I should write. Edit. and Proof the darn thing, I will dedicate the rest of the 80 days (watch, I'll end up with 22 minutes at most left over!!) to building queries, bios, and other things that will buck up my confidence to start the submission process for the story AND some of the poems.  I think Winter is the most likely candidate (see it on the Poetry Page 1 link at right), but if any of you have other favorites, I'll take suggestions.

So, according to what others are doing on this challenge, I'd better formulate the writing routine, or this challenge won't have a prayer in the Orchid house ;-)

Okay, now, the rest of you.  :-)

Challenge yourself, just pick one thing you want to do really, really well this week.

Then make it happen.

Stay warm out there!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Posting on-the-fly

-21 C outside the Orchid House today - freaking BRRRRRRR!

Not the worst day to be trapped on the couch with a cuddly 3 yr old and a warm cozy laptop.  I feel really bad for my son - even though I know our neighbor will drive the little guys to the bus stop, I still can't stop thinking about his little knees knocking together once he starts walking to the bus.  It will probably be fine, but still - feels a bit like child neglect! Or, it feels guilt inducing like every other danged Minnesota winter does to worried parents!

My (patient! generous! Kind!) writing group buddy took the plunge and read through the creepy short story I am working at (er, it's barely qualified as a story - there's a lot of bits and pieces that need to be written - mainly I have a good Idea, a beginning, and an end.  Just not much middle part). And lo and behold, pointed out something I hadn't noticed (which was blindingly obvious when I thought about it for a second.) She gently pointed out the one space after a period standard - which I first posted about noticing here, just, er, hadn't gone in to fix on the story (how embarrassing!) And basically giving me a few ideas about how I can get around my 'stuckness'.  Is that a good friend or what?!

So, in line with our new year's resolution (Peace - in all areas of our lives, for Jon, and harder work, for me, on everything!) I think I'm only going to spend time on things with reason.

What the heck does that mean?

That means being clear with myself about why I post here, and why I get stuff out on the Writers Cafe.  And why I choose to work on the story, or on more poetry.

I want to be a better writer, because I really do want to find a way to share my writing with more people. But not just because it's my work.  I want to share it because it's good work. And there is no way to improve but by doing it.  So, off to do my day, because writing is part of it, and if I don't start the not fun stuff now, there's no time for the writing work later.  Speaking of later, writers group meeting is tonight, and that is always a place to learn something good.  And find motivation to keep on doing it, one page at a time.

All hard, yucky, unpleasant things can be dealt with one step at a time.  They may not be enjoyable steps, but they are unavoidable, and they are the only things between you, and where you want to be, so the only thing to be done is to take them.

Stay warm :-)


Saturday, January 15, 2011


I don't know what it is, but lately, I don't think I've written one poem that was free of rodents! The story I'm pluncking away at doesn't seem to have or need them. Yet. And, I don't think "The Rookie Flight" has any yet (mean-ass drunks, yes, rats, no.)

I think I need some non-rat influences on my writing.

Happy weekend, everybody - I'm off to sort out the house and maybe look for some...unicorns? Butterflies? I don't know.  Things that don't look like rats.

Hugs to all, see ya later ;-)


Friday, January 14, 2011

Progress update

Well, before the day starts heating up (and while I am waiting for the foot to throb a bit less) some notes on progress.

#1- Joined the Writers Cafe - an online writing community.  Even entered the Turkey poem in a contest.  One poet has already been kind enough to review two of my poems (The Humility, and ...from the letter box at the Senior Drop-In Center), and well, no wonder she liked them - her work has a similiar aesthetic. Of course, I only read two of hers and neither had rats or drunks, so it's not That similar.  But kind of perked up my afternoon. This community, plus my local group at Heritage, should help keep my a little more motivated than I've been on my own, lately.

#2 - I learned that you don't need a double-space after the period ending a sentence. Amazing. Now I just have to get used to Not Doing it.

#3 - I've decided to turn the mean-ass drunk musings into something called "The Rookie Flight." It will either be too cutesy or it just might work. I'll let y'all judge. 

#4 - On that note, when I do actually post poetry, please feel free to leave comments.  Just to see if you lot are paying attention, I may ask direct questions.  I'll be so put-out if you don't answer. (Hmm, in looking at this paragraph you'd think I never learned it's only one space after a period.)

#5 - Tomorrow, I'm finally getting my revoltingly grey roots decently covered at the beauty parlor! They may shoot me on sight in the entryway - for sullying their reputation with my poorly groomed state. However, if I don't actually get assaulted, I'll walk out with cute hair. Probably. And, (the good part) I can take a small sketchbook and do preliminary sketches for the interactive website in progress.

#6 - There's a whole lot to get done today to get that all rolling tomorrow. Food, laundry, dishes, finding sketchbooks....I have to get off my bottom and roll into gear.  Oh, yeah, I should post a pic of the 'scooter' too.

Alright, as you were.  Look out the window, it's truly something.

Happy weekend, everyone, especially my little sister.  Terri, get some sleep now :-)



Thursday, January 13, 2011

mean-ass drunk

....not your typical lead in to a poem.

I started writing something yesterday that began innocently enough, philosophically enough.

But what is the beauty of philosophy, in a poem, without something wretched to compare it to? Hence, my lowest-common denominator psyche tosses in, for verite, I guess, a mean-ass drunk.

Mean-ass drunks being more common these days than the pure beauty and logic found in the works of, oh, I don't know, Aquinas or somebody.  Or the simple and clean approach of Occam.

Lot's of people write about ol' Occam.  I seem to find my fascinations in how spectacularly something or someone can fail, or, at very least fall, in trying to succeed, or, at least, just be human.

I could get all upset about that.  It could be a reflection on my self-esteem - except I know when I'm good, and when I suck. I think I'll just chalk it up to the meanderings of a twisted psyche.

No unicorns, or rainbows here today folks.

But, the snow outside is very, very beautiful.



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

monsters? hmm.

I am your monster

I moved into your back yard and you
tossed me a handfull of scraps I 
needed from you.

Merrily, I feasted in quiet
unseen, because you took
no notice.  I caught sight
of you. Spacing and pacing

I am your monster

You have the same hours
and minutes allotted to
all, but me. And I swell
on your wasted crumbs.

So, my flower

I've dwelt here so long
my bottom has worn
through this stump. My
legs, disused, have thinned.

You've grown your monster

to ridiculous heights
and you own me, and
the time you've killed.
In return, I can see

The beginning of dreams

languishing unfed, pale,
yet hopeful -yearning
for crumbs, even.
They'll rebound a bit,

should you learn to starve

Wake soon, one day
my hollowed old home
will fill with crocus,
or, perhaps, even thorns.

I'll fade by then

and whatever you've
hatched, and fed, and
loved, will banish my
mouldy carcass, for good.

So, hmmm.  this could use.  A. Lot. Of. Work.

My blurb for the upcoming writing group can now read something like "writes sub-high school level poetry at a moments  notice.


Okay, well.  I said you would see the creative process.  Deformed warts - many, - and all.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Falling down...

Come on.  I have exactly two feet.  One of them works, one of them doesn't.

One can wear tennies, one can rest in a boot.  With weightbearing responsibilities reserved for the heel.

Guess which foot one should not land on, squarely, when hopping out of bed to help a sad child in the morning.

Guess which foot one should not use to climb a bunk bed.

Guess which foot one should not land on when falling off one's, ahem, walker  scooter. (No, I am not divulging why I was attempting to make it 'corner like it's on rails!')

I was not named Grace for a reason.

My mama is not a damned liar.

On the other hand, I'm shocked as hell she didn't name me...Lurch.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Site Construction Begins!

Yes, it's true.  I've grabbed a site for the poem I want to web-ify. Just for you readers.  Went and did it in Google. 

Now, I have no idea how long it will take for me to have it do what it is meant to do (possible video, animation, photo's and artwork to augment the poem) but it's quite fun to start.

And, now that there is an energy level worth mentioning, I can peg away at it.  It's more of what they call 'flash-fiction' than traditional poetry, and it will be fun to see if I can construct on line what exists in my head visually.  I'm guessing it will take at least a month, if I continue even at top speed.  And there will be so much to catch up on around here, that I think it will take more like two months.

But, it's a start, not a stop.  I also found two websites devoted to current poetry, and if I am not a lazybones tomorrow, I'll link to them - they sound very cool, interactive, and entertaining.  What's not to like? :-)

Anyway, the children need mama and I need to disengage from the web.  I need all my brain in the same place, now - reeling it in from the internet takes longer than you'd think.  My thoughts tend to otherwise linger in pages that catch my eye, if I don't gather them together at once.

Good night, sweet dreams, and more, tomorrow.


I might actually be back.....

Good morning to you!

No, seriously. It feels like a really, really good morning.  I haven't sneezed my face off Once today.  Prepping a semi-healthy lunch for the kids didn't bring on a cold sweat.  I've been patient with my kids with zero effort (to be fair, aliens may have abducted my own kids and dropped off these dopplegangers in their place.  They are very, very, very good.) which hasn't happened for a while.

I may be back, a little closer to my old self again. 

I owe it all to my neighbor Jeanine.  She called to check in last night and I whined a bit about going up the steps, and how it seemed to take super human effort.  And about how much I wished the cappucino fairy would have dropped by and laid a good one on me.  Voila, she said she was just wondering what she could do to help with something, and offered to get me what I need. (and knowing me pretty well, she also included chocolates. what a gal.)

So, today was started with a Starbucks (TM or whatever) mocha frappacino in a bottle.

And I feel fine.

(Starbucks TM, you can thank me later)

Some poetry may get posted by Sunday after all!!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A little poetry on the horizon

Hey Gang - It's a balmy -2 F (er, -18 C, for the rest of the world) outside the Orchid house. Which has the kids cooped up, and me feeling grateful that I am NOT hopping on crutches with my son to the bus stop today. (Oh, he'll go to school, but a dear neighbor will get him there in a vehicle. Much warmer for all concerned.)

The snowfall yesterday was almost hypnotically relaxing - which worked for me since I am down with a head cold and need to keep my foot still.  The best thing to come of it was an idea for a poem that I want to  semi-animate.  Just for you all. Right here in the Orchid house.

So, I pose a question for you lot -

Does anyone know of a way to save a powerpoint slideshow/presentation in a YouTube format, or is that something I could embed stand-alone in Blogger? Or, does it work better to have it 'saved' somewhere 'out here' in the GoogleVerse, and just link to it?  Thematically, it would work better if I could launch it right outta the Blog, but my brain is too slow (seriously - I took 20 min. to get breakfast for 3 today and I was glowing like a pig when I was done!) to really work through the issue.

Taking suggestions, if ya got 'em! (really sorry, but I'm too thickheaded for words! And I've barely got the stamina of a two-day old baby rabbit right now)

Stay warm, friends, it's always good when you drop by.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hey, the Orchid House Has a Funny Room - Who Knew?!

People of 2011 (i.e. - everyone!) Good Morning!

I am not doing anything fancy with this post, as some culture-cruising I did last night showed me up as a Rank Amateur.  However, for those of you who know me as an inveterate stick-in-the-mud and Luddite non-compare (oh, look it up!) you should be thrilled that I'm trying to see what popular culture even tastes like.  Sure, I could bend the ear of my lovely young cousins (I got BOATLOADS of 'em!) to see what is in, up, or "hawt", but none of them need that kind of grilling from their aging-artist elder.  So, I hit the internet in earnest, looking for commentary on music, culture, cooking, and other defining aspects of 'now'.

Now, Facebook is one place where, among other things, folks post about music.  And what I've seen so far scares the crap out of me.  So I dug into a different angle.

Have you ever seen the Bitchin' Kitchen?

Nadia G. - who actually seems to know her way around a spatula and explains euphemisms like 'crostini' has a part comedy routine, part cooking show (titled as mentioned), and I left it on last night while looking for CULTURE online.  My ear picked up one of her comments, about calling 'their beer-soaked 6 month pajama party a relationship' so I Googled her to see what other one-liners she had.  I found her "Bitchin Kulture" blog and almost fell off my couch laughing.

Nadia and her Bitchin Lifestyle team have a Plethora of articles on various and sundry areas of popular culture, and they got me good on music, specifically, idiotic lyrics.  Since I don't have their permission to reprint, I will simply give you the link, and Strongly advise you to check it out:

If our music is any indication of who we are as a people, well, we are a people clearly in need of a Big Time-Out, Remedial Science and Biology, and Mandatory Brainwashing with Miss Manners.

Off with you now.  Shoo.  Go giggle :-)