Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last Thanksgiving I wrote this:

'Apple thing' is a favorite around here. I never would have guessed when I first tried it out last year but it was well received and back by popular demand this year. As to how it got stuck with the name 'apple thing', I made the mistake of writing down 'apple thing' on my list of steps to take (so everything would finish at approximately the same time) and times to take them. I place the list on the counter. Everyone who goes in the kitchen reads the list. Now everyone calls it apple thing. I bet there's a real name for it. Don't tell me. I'm happy with it as is.

As a public service, I give you the Apple thing recipe:

Pour two cans of apple pie filling in a round pyrex lidded bowl and top with crumb cake topping and cook it with the turkey for the last half hour. (you can do it in any pyrex dish so long as there's a lid - I just happen to have a round one I like.)

Topping: pour out a mound of Bisquick into the bottom of a medium sized mixing bowl, don't ask me how many quarts or what, just medium, and the mound - well lets say a couple cups. It doesn't quite fill half the medium bowl.

Add 3/4 of a stick of butter, about a half cup of brown sugar, a generous dash of cinnamon - mush it up 'til it's all clumpy. Pour it over the apple pie filling.

Should I write a cookbook or what? I think it would go well with icecream. Serve warm or cold. We like it warm.

I was talking to my daughter about the Thanksgiving dinner shopping I did the other day. She asked me at the end of my recitation "What about applething?" Oh goodness, I'd forgotten to get the canned apple filling for applething!

This morning my daughter arrived from SoCal around 9 am. I picked her up at the airport and our first stop before home was the grocery to get the apple thing stuff and something for her to drink (our fridge has my Arizona Diet Green Tea, the hubby's apple juice, a couple bottles of Romulan Ale and a couple Bud Lights. Oh, milk. And a bottle of Mead.)

Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same for my daughter without applething.

I also wrote last year:

Things I really need to buy at Williams Sonoma:

* A ricer, I heard a chef on NPR say that was the best way to make mashed potatoes
* A good oven thermometer, I have NO IDEA when my oven has pre-heated. My old stove had a little light that went out. This one has no such indicator. I just turn on the gas and wait about 20 minutes
* A gravy boat, I'd like one in my china pattern, but Lenox has discontinued the McKinley pattern from its Dead Presidents line of china so the only way to get a gravy boat is to buy it from a discontinued patterns place which, right now, doesn't have any gravy boats. We used a large melamine bowl and a spoon for the gravy. Classy.
* A knife block

Since I wrote that I've obtained all of those items - not all at William's Sonoma,I did get the ricer and knife block there, but I found the oven thermometer at the grocery and got a plain white stoneware gravy boat at Cost Plus World Market.

The table is draped in a new cloth, the centerpieces are out (one of the grandkitties keeps gnawing at the dried stalks wheat they stuck in it. I've removed the wheat and put it away). Yankee Candle scented Housewarmer candles in Pumpkin Pie scent are burning (I don't cook pies - I buy them and we eat them cold from the fridge with way too much whipped cream). The turkey is in the oven and at about 2:30 I start whipping up the side dishes.

This year it's just the hubby the daughter and me, I'm thankful that we can be together. I'm thankful that my son hasn't been deployed yet. I wish my daughter's SailorBeau was here - he's in the Middle East. I hope the Navy puts on a wonderful feast for them.

I'm thankful for NaNoWriMo - I've proven to myself that I can face the blank page and write (nearly) every day. I did 50k in about 18 days. I'm no where near finished with the story - December and January will be my personal NoWriMos. Then I let it sit so I can come back to it with fresh eyes and start the re-write. Maybe by spring I'll have something to ask a beta reader to look at.

My best wishes to you all for a lovely day, whether you're celebrating Thanksgiving or not, I'm also thankful that you come by and read here.

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  • Sunday, November 19, 2006

    I Just Liked the Picture

    You are The Moon

    Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

    The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

    The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

    What Tarot Card are You?
    Take the Test to Find Out.

    Friday, November 17, 2006

    Tagged for "Five Things" Meme by Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware!

    ::Giggly fan girl moment::

    ok, better now.

    You can probably infer, from the number of posts I've put up on my blog that feature Writer Beware warnings and information, that I think Victoria Strauss and A. C. Crispin are way up near the top of my list of the most wonderful people on the planet. I also have a number of A. C. Crispin books on my bookshelf, as I am a rabid Star Trek novels fan and I'm starting to collect Victoria's books as well.

    So, when I wandered over to read the recent posts, I noted Victoria had done a meme. Memes are fun, you learn stuff about folks, too. I read down through her answers. Good ones, all - you should go read the post.

    Then I saw "Dawno" as one of her 5 tagged people. Dawno? That's me! Wow!

    ::down, fan girl, down!::

    ok, better now, again.

    Here are the details of the meme from "At Last! Writer Beware Blogs! A. C. Crispin and Victoria Strauss Reveal All!"

    [Victoria says she's been tagged] "by Cathy Clamp to write five things about myself that few people know, and tag five others to do the same."

    5 things that few people know about me. Hmm, where do I start? I'm such a shy person. I've been so reluctant to reveal much that is personal on my three blogs and in those thousands of posts on Absolute Write. Since people who would visit here know so little about me, I could say anything. This should be a snap.


    Hours later...

    My first major public solo musical performance was in a church Christmas program where I had the Mary solo. I believe to this day I got that role only because of my 3 month old son.

    The better singer's (seriously - operatic quality soprano and I used to have an ok voice, but not in her league at all) baby was a girl. You might think "who would know?" but this is a church - we all knew her, she was a featured singer, the organist and the wife of one of the associate ministers. Everyone knew her baby was a girl.

    Even so - who would care? It's just a church program. Well, this was a huge church and it was just outside of L.A. in a little suburban community called Santa Clarita. Many of the folk at the church were from "the industry" (movies, tv or recording - I've got a Bacon number of 3 as a result of knowing Steve Lively). So this was quite a production - not your typical tempura painted sets and bathrobed shepherds.

    Was the music minister was a stickler for authenticity? Maybe he didn't want to stretch our willing suspension of disbelief too far? Or he felt sorry for me, a new member and a new mom with a 3 month old baby boy - why not let her do it, she can carry a tune while holding a baby. I was very grateful for the chance, regardless, as I love to sing and always wanted to be a soloist. I was able to do many more solos at that church for the few years I was there. I often miss those times.

    I love to eat raw green onions - with lots of salt and I only eat the white part. The green stuff stays on the plate. This I inherited from my dad.

    I had thick tufts of hair on my ears at birth. Don't know how long it stayed there but nobody called me "wolfgirl" in elementary school, so it was gone by the time I turned 5. Currently ears are still fur-free and I can wear silver without feeling deathly ill.

    I would like to own a pet hedgehog. I would not call it Spiny Norman - tempting as that would be - perhaps something very English sounding and floral.

    I'm often the last person to "get" things. I'm very literal sometimes. I have a story to illustrate. When I was in college M*A*S*H was a huge hit show and we all gathered in the dorm lobby/lounge to watch. It was an event - people brought snacks and sodas and popcorn. If you wanted a chair or the couch you camped out hours in advance. So there's an episode where the main characters are sitting around drinking and they start toasting (I Googled the lines and found them):

    Col. Potter: "To Blackjack Pershing."
    Hawkeye: "Inventor of 21."
    Col. Potter: "To Harry Truman."
    B.J.: "To Bess Truman. To Margaret Truman."
    Hawkeye: "To err is Truman."
    It goes to commercial after that. I finally got the last line - and started laughing. People looked at me - the commercial wasn't funny. I explained. People made zoom gestures over their heads. Took me a minute to get that, too. Puns go over my head all the time. I'm not good at coming up with them either, to my chagrin.

    Well, that's it. Thank you Victoria - it was fun.

    Time to tag 5 lucky bloggers!



    Thursday, November 16, 2006

    Gah! I Haven't Posted Here in Days!

    I've been doing a short post daily in my NaNoWriMo blog but by the time I finish my NaNo writing for the night, post in that blog and wander the AW forum a bit, it's pretty late (as you can see from the timestamp on this post) and it's past my bedtime. There's not much excitement going on so I hate to just post to be posting blather.

    But! I would like to draw your attention to a post on a blog named Surgite. It's a complete riot, do go read it.

    I was one of the statistics, btw. A proud moment for me.

    OK, time to stumble through the dark and pray I don't trip on a cat and die getting to bed.

    Monday, November 13, 2006

    Only 41 Days Until Christmas

    This post has nothing to do with Christmas. Certainly not with the shopping I want to get done early nor where I plan to spend it. But I really do need to start thinking about it soon. When, I wonder, will I feel that edge of panic setting in? Last year I was still shopping pretty much up to Christmas Eve. At least I got my cards out early!

    The NaNoWriMo word count widgit was still wonky so I took it off. I'm at 25037 so I've passed the half way point two days ahead of the official schedule. I talk more about it on Drive By Booking so I won't go into details here.

    This weekend I spent with my daughter. We had a wonderful time. She's got a sweetheart of a house and her performance in Grease was fantastic. I hope she gets me some pictures soon.

    Not much going on of much interest in my life. IILAA is still a brown stain. AW's new server is at its new home. I'm not sure when they'll switch over but we're all pretty excited about it - we're hoping it will solve the page not found and other glitches we keep having to have our own server.

    I'm pretty brain drained from writing so forgive the short update. Thanks for stopping by!

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    The Widget is Wonky

    There's a glitch in the widget right now - at 1666.67 words per day by day 8 the goal should be 13,333.33, not the 8981 it's currently showing. Of course by the time you read this it might be fixed - but I had to do MATH! to figure out where I was in relation to the Wrimo goals tonight. Suffice it to say, I'm still comfortably ahead enough to do this in 25.4 days.

    And yes, I am fixated on the word goal, but it's that challenge that's getting my butt in chair every night. And while I feel comfortable about the dispensation to write crap so long as I write, I also feel that there are bits and pieces of what I'm doing that show promise. I'm not writing aimlessly or just throwing 2k unrelated words on the screen to meet the goal - I feel like it's the first draft of a real novel.

    It's pretty exciting.


    Monday, November 06, 2006

    Wherein I Decide to Improve My Ergonomics

    Hi to 69.119.194.,, Yonkers, New York! Lots of visits from you today! Some of them rather lengthy. I'm always glad to have visitors. Leave a comment sometime and let me know what it is that keeps bringing you back here.

    I love Site Meter. I often find I've been visited from unusual locations. I recently signed up with the Google Analytics as well, but, aside from cool pie charts, I don't see the advantage of it over Site Meter. I'll have to investigate more, perhaps I just don't know how to read the data yet.

    I've discovered the one thing about the daily two to three hour BIC sessions I'm having. I need a new chair. My hamstrings are killing me. But I'm still churning out the words, day by day. I'm thinking I've made a good start but I'm worried about momentum. Can I do this for a whole month? Two? A year? The rest of my life? I'm putting off seriously thinking about it. But I know that if I really want to do this writing thing I must. Speaking of which, I recently purchased an e-book, by someone I highly respect and who hasn't given me a smidge of bad advice to date, to see about opportunities in an interesting market. (Hint, Absolute Write) I'm not going to talk about it right now, but after NaNoWriMo I'm going to explore the possibility and if it looks likely I'll say more about it then.

    Spoke to my daughter today, it was interrupted by a call from her SailorBoy in the Middle East. He recently injured his left index finger - nothing he'll get a Purple Heart for, I'm relieved to say. He's left handed so that will make his job more difficult and painful until it heals.

    Daughter is lonely but doing fine otherwise. Her play has its final weekend and I'm flying south to visit her and see it. She's looking forward to showing me the little house they're living in. I'm looking forward to visiting, too, haven't seen her since late August when we all went to Georgia.

    Nothing much else to yammer about and it's getting late. But I didn't want my friend in Yonkers to come back and have to stare at the same post from yesterday.


    Sunday, November 05, 2006

    37,164 Words

    I'm keeping a daily journal of my NaNo experience over on another blog. So far the posts are kinda short and not real informative. I get to the end of my daily BIC session and there just isn't anything more to say. However, I really need to find a plot. I'm wandering all around a storyline, but it's not taking off somewhere yet. This could be a bit of a problem down the road...yes, I actually realize it's a major problem. Tongue is firmly in cheek here. I'm trying to get my characters to tell me where they're heading but I think they need a kick in the ass.

    I do remind myself, however, that this is really, truly the very beginning of my attempt to seriously write long form fiction. It's been 30 years since college, I've never even attempted such a prolonged steady pace towards a specific writing goal before and I have to remind myself that I'm not trying to write something that's publishable on Dec. 1. I'm just trying to get myself started in a daily habit of writing a connected sequence of words. No short humorous personal essays or non-fiction bits - but a novel. And if not that, then a lump of words I can carve away at until it becomes a decent sized short story - but that's only a last resort.

    And if this is the "trunk novel #1" I have to be ok with that. And ready to write trunk novel #2 and #3, etc.

    I read some good advice recently. Let the editor tell you it's crap. (maybe I'll try beta readers first) and (this is really paraphrased) don't hang on to the idea of becoming a writer too long - give it my best shot but if it's not something I really can do, I need to move on and not miss out on the other stuff I could be successful at. Sounds like a plan.

    But first, I have 37,164 more words to write.


    Saturday, November 04, 2006

    Trying to Write a Novel?

    There's been no news on the IILAA nor has the Brown Stain been replaced with a real website. Amazing what a little bit of noise among writers with blogs can do.

    I've been tapping away every night since Nov 1 for about 2 - 3 hours a night, doing an average of 2,644.25 words per night. I've also spent some time reading some great sites about writing by writers for writers (well, one is an anonymous agent). I want to share them with you.

    #1 Learn Writing With Uncle Jim - this is a novel writing course done over the course of thousands of posts and approaching its 3 year anniversary - the first post was Nov. 13, 2003. This thread contains wonderful ideas, lessons, exercises and prompts. There are line by lines of first pages of novels and discussions about everthing from formatting to grammar to publishing. It's incredible. Many of us at Absolute Write hope that Jim will get this in book form someday soon.

    #2 Holly Lisle. I love her Notecard Plotting. There are other good tips and hints and ideas on her site as well - all free. Yeah, she sells stuff too (but at a really reasonable price), but there's real goodness in the freebies, not just a bait and switch or "for the rest of this lesson please send $19.95 before midnight tonight to PayPay! Hurry, this offer expires at midnight tonight" stuff. Oh, she has a cool podcast, too.

    #3 A variety of posts on Making Light. Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden (and no, I didn't forget the hyphen)have collected a wonderful following of writers, editors, readers. In addition to great posts, there are huge veins of gold running through the comments sections of that site. I think most of them are mentioned in Uncle Jim's thread but one I'm particularly fond of is Slushkiller. Oh, and this one The Evil Overlord Devises a Plot

    #4 Miss Snark Indescribable. May not always have the best advice in town (I can't say if it is or isn't due to my novice stature) but it sure is fun to read.

    #5 The Unstrung Harp or Mr. Earbrass Writes a Novel


    Thursday, November 02, 2006

    More About the Brown Stain and Co.

    There's an update for you about the Desert Rose Literary Agency/Leann Murphy at Writer Beware. Does anyone think the whole IILAA thing maybe backfired on someone?

    I gotta go to bed. See ya again soon, I hope!

    Go "Digg" Victoria's Post on IILAA!


    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

    If you're following the IILAA/Barbara Bauer does a Podcast news you've probably seen this one already, but just in case:


    In other news, the brown stain is still up where the IILAA site once was.

    The 99 words contest was won by emeraldcite - do read his wonderful entry and leave a congrats in the comments. While you're there tell him Dawno says congrats too but still can't figure out how to leave a comment. Hey, Blogger Beta programmers - fix that will ya???

    I'm keeping a NaNoWriMo journal on another blog, Drive By Booking, so I won't go into details here, except to say that I finished a chapter tonight and I'm still buzzing and can't get to sleep yet. I betcha that doesn't last all month.

    We had a pretty good turn out last night for Halloween but not enough to finsh off all the candy we bought. I figure I'll use the leftovers as snacks for my writing sessions. Lots of Disney Princess costumes, some with lighted tiaras. Only a couple kids came in 'street clothes' and grocery bags but I had plenty of candy so *shrug* no problem. The annoying thing was the ones who knocked on the door even though I had turned out the light and brought in the pumpkin - our property manager gives each of us a free one every year and allegedly if you leave it out that is supposed to signal that you're giving out candy. I assumed it also meant that if you took it in and turned off the danged porch light folk would get it that you weren't. Apparently a few folk didn't get the memo.

    This morning when I went out to the car there were just a few desultory streamers of toilet paper in the trees up and down our street. As I looked at them I couldn't help but think "slackers! back when I was a kid we TP'd things up good - none of this two or three streamers per tree" and I walked up hill in sandstorms both ways to school.

    Tomorrow the movers come to get my son's household goods from the garage and ship them to Ft. Bragg. I hope the stuff gets there before Thanksgiving. I nearly forgot about my DIL's car and had to call back - that may get there more quickly.

    Go "Digg" Victoria's Post on IILAA!