Monday Musings on Nano, Dust, and Prophets In Their Own Land

So, fine. I didn’t earn all my swell Nanowrimo badges.

I did write a swell beginning for the next novel in my series and hash out an outline for that book as well as the next book. And I earned the Creative Nonfiction badge by placing barely disguised friends and family members into my novel as characters. Although, if I’m being perfectly honest, I earn that badge everytime I write. Sometimes, I even earn a few good-natured threats to sue me if I don’t remove certain things about certain characters in my novels.

Next, I learned a little thing or two about cleaning, due to the fact that I spent Thanksgiving, as well as the weekend, with a throbbing sinus headache. Thing One is that I disturbed the perfect balance of dust and germs in my home, thereby releasing said dust and germs into the air and straight up my nose into my brain. Thing Two is that I always harbored a sneaky suspicion that cleaning was highly overrated, and now I have scientific proof that dusting and such will make you sick.

Finally, one of the Junior Halls shared that a college friend visited my blog. The conversation went something like this:

JUNIOR HALL: So this friend said she checked out your blog. She was like, “Hey! Do you ever read your mom’s blog? ‘Cause she’s really funny!”

ME: Why, thank you! Do you read my blog?


ME: Not ever? At all?

JUNIOR HALL: Do you want me to say yes? ‘Cause I sense that you want a certain answer here.

I’m putting that in my next novel. And I’m not even bothering to cleverly disguise it.

Ooooh! A Baby Bobcat! (Or How I Found a TON of Stuff, Writing and Otherwise)

Isn’t that the cutest bobcat kitten? I took this picture at a state park, a year or so ago. Now the little kitten’s all grown up and back in the wild.

Now, I hope you don’t think I’ve gratuitously posted a kitten picture just to pique your interest. There’s a writing tie-in. Eventually.

So, last week, I decided to get my carpets cleaned. Not the way I usually clean them, with my steam cleaner mostly smashing dirt and such back into the carpet. Oh, no. I contacted Super Cleaner Guys who will move ALL your furniture and leave your home spic ‘n span.

That was Mistake Number 1. Because one has to get super-prepared for Super Cleaner Guys. I moved TONS of stuff out of rooms, into bathrooms and shoot, I said to myself, might as well take this stuff down to the basement rather than lug it back into the room where it’s just hanging out, collecting dust.

That was Mistake Number 2. Because everytime I moved something, I found more dust. Goodness, I said to myself, that’s a lot of dust. Actually what I said was more like, “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! IT’S THE ATTACK OF THE GIANT DUST BUNNIES!

I survived. But I still had to move all the stuff back. Well, I said (and really, it was more like a growl) I should go through all this stuff before I put it back in the bedrooms and the offices.

I found quite a bit of stuff, writing and otherwise:

*My Michael Buble CD (Oh, Michael, I missed you and your honeyed voice!)

*The remote so I could turn on the CD player and listen to Michael Buble (Whew! I’m not gonna lie-I had a hard time figuring out how to operate remote-less.)

*A note with the words: Psalm 51 ( I think because “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew in me a steadfast spirit.” is within that psalm. It’s a very moving psalm. I’m glad I re-read it.)

*Notes from a talk that editor Cheryl Klein gave, almost three years ago. (She discussed the theme of the Harry Potter books and stressed how important it is that your plot support your theme. What lesson does your character learn through the plot?) But I wouldn’t have checked out her swell website today and found that she has a forthcoming book! On plotting, revising and publishing for children and young adults. Wheeee!

*Issues of Writer’s Digest from 2008 and other outdated kid’s magazines (which I recycled to friends). Amongst the WD articles I skimmed before recycling(because there’s always a few you don’t get to), I read one about giving critiques and the do’s and don’ts of critique etiquette. Which brings us to kittens.

Say there’s a member of your critique group who shares a piece of writing wherein you are so offended or so confused or so non-plussed, that there’s simply nothing on the positive side to say.
Give ’em a kitten.