18 December 2014

Winter Dark-Thirty

I don’t mind getting up early.  In fact, if I had my druthers, I would get up at sunrise most days.  In the summer, it’s easy.  The sun brilliant and the sky bright, birds singing, the dawn calls to me.  In the winter, I would also like to get up at sunrise, except that sunrise is late.  Late for the workers, anyway.  Today it was at 7:46.  I wouldn’t mind lazing in bed until 7:46!

In my region, in winter (who am I kidding; fall, winter and spring) the sky is often cloudy.  The cloud cover sits like a bowl inverted over the city.  Sometimes it is a monotone of gray, but most of the time there is texture to the clouds. 

Frequently, the cloud cover does not reach all the way to the horizon.  It hovers above us, allowing a thin band of clear sky to be seen if one is not surrounded by buildings or forests.  At dawn and sunset there may be bold diagonal beams of light lancing across the city.  It is spectacular.  It only lasts a few minutes, and then the sun is hidden again and the light dims to the normal setting.

Some years ago I was given a dawn simulator alarm clock.  What a wonderful device!  I’ve written about it before.  I haven’t been using it lately because I am sleeping in a different bedroom and haven’t bothered to move it.  Instead, I have an irritating beepbeepbeep electronic alarm clock that I can’t stand.  I think I will switch these out this weekend.  I need my cheerful light.  The lamp is key to getting up in the winter and not feeling a dragging depression.

What about you?  Are you an early riser by nature or more of a night owl?

09 December 2014

0.8 FTE

Three more Mondays.

Three more Mondays.

Three more Mondays.

That is all.


03 December 2014

December and NaNoWriMo

Another November and another NaNoWriMo is in the books.  Whew!  I fell behind in the middle of the month and had to really push myself to catch up and finish.  But, I did.  Well, I should amend that statement.  I wrote 50,000 words, but I didn’t finish the story.  Does that sound familiar?  It should.  It’s the same as last year. 

This is my third NaNo.  The first year I wrote a memoir about my mom.  I needed a way to make sense of my loss, and words are my go to method of deciphering life.  Also, I wanted to get things written down so that I wouldn’t forget and so that I could give them to my daughter (who loved her Grammy fiercely).  It’s a rambling, stream-of-consciousness, non-linear sprawl of words.  Mostly about my mom, sometimes about other family member, but always about our family.  I have tried to read over some of it in the two years since I wrote it, but it’s still too painful for me.  Some of the stories are funny, and I know that I will enjoy reading them when I am able.

The last two years, though, I have written children’s books.  Chapter books, mind you!  Well, I have started children’s books and have enough material and ideas to complete them… I just need more time.  That’s all!  More time!!!  That’s probably what everyone says.  But, since I am going to start working four days a week, maybe I’ll be able to devote that extra day to sitting in front of the computer and assembling words.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

The first novel was a stand alone story.  It was a bedtime story that I had started making up when Zoe was a very small child.  I never finished it during her childhood (sorry, Kid!), mostly because I was always exhausted and would fall asleep during the telling.  It changed a bit between the telling and the writing, but the core of the story remains the same.  I really like it!  Its theme is a classic one; the Hero’s Journey.  It has a young girl as the hero of the story, as is only right and proper since it was thought up for a young girl.

The second novel is pretty exciting for me.  The way it is structured, there is a definite possibility for sequels.  I spent some time in the world building mode, and there are lots of characters and I think that there could be further novels with the same cast of characters.  That’s exciting! 

So, that’s November’s effort done.  I have some other projects to complete – including a quilt for one of my best friends’ first grandchild (before she turns 1) – and I am really looking forward to working on things that are satisfying and pleasing to me.  And, as the NaNoWriMo folks say, November is for writing, December is for editing.  Well, first to finish the story, and then to edit.  I will get there!

02 December 2014


Tuesday counts, right?  Lol.

Survived Thanksgiving.  Both.  The inlaws didn’t start getting squirrely until after dessert, so I call that a win.  Some bickering, some yelling, some heated tempers, but not an all out scene or tantrum.  We left shortly after the flare up, so it wasn’t too bad. 

Then, I cooked all day for Thanksgiving at my house.  Everything turned out well.  My dad and brother came over.  They didn’t leave the moment the plates were cleared.  They didn’t stay for pie, but we were all too full, really, so I sent some home with them.   Along with containers of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, yams, spinach.

My daughter and her husband did not come so it was just the four of us.  I will call it cosy rather than small and sad.  The holidays do bring sadness, missing people who we wish were there with us.  I guess it’s best to acknowledge the absence, reflect, and have pie.  I don’t know.  What works for you?