Working Wednesday: How’s Your Turkey?

Okay, look, I’m writing a novel and making pie and winding yarn and cleaning house and trying to remember to get my bulbs in the ground (I KNOW IT’S LATE) so while I am sorry about getting this up late, I’m not that sorry.  It’s the freaking holiday.   ARGH.

What are you doing?  Besides baking pie if you’re an American. (And thank you, Libby, for that recipe on the back of your can.  It never fails.)


Monday, Monday (Krissie)

It’s Monday, I’m still energetic (though in a shitload of pain, but hey, chest la vie. Or Det er liv, in Danish, but I imagine there’s an idiom. I have been studying Danish for 307 days straight (I’m doing Duolingo and it keeps track – it’s a free app and has tons of languages if anyone’s interested). I’ve also finally been watching the Craftsy courses I bought – I particularly like one on using precuts of Jenny the owner of Missouri Quilt Co. or whatever it’s called. there’s another on creative quilting with a walking foot, plus several others. I’ve been bouncing around, watching a lesson here and a lesson there.

Which brings us to the point that learning new things, or refining old things, is fun, rewarding, and really good for your brain. Yeah, it takes time, though for me it’s just part of my nighttime ritual. Instead of surfing or playing solitaire (well, I do a little of that) I do my dansk (the Danes don’t capitalize much) and Craftsy. The only drawback is that I do Pinterest and other craft ideas (look at patterns, etc) and it gets me energized at 11 at night, when I need to be falling asleep.

I might humbly suggest that you guys might consider taking a class. If I lived in civilization I’d love to take a hands on sewing class, but at this point my main options are on-line. (Though I’ve love to learn excel and they do sometimes have courses on that. I imagine I could also learn that on line).

I’m also relearning the guitar and learning new songs. I used to play a lot when I was young … I mean, really a lot. Guys would always get me to sing with their bands or just with them, I wrote songs, sang at weddings and benefits, etc. Richie and I first met over music. I’m slowly getting my fingers toughened up and can even play my Martin D-35 (which is a really stellar acoustic guitar). I stopped playing in my early thirties as writing became more demanding, and there have been so many wonderful songs since then that I never learned to play. Fortunately I have a decent ear for figuring out what the chords are for various songs, so it’s been fun and satisfying. I’m even learning “Elle a les yeux revolver” which inspired Black Ice and the ice series, arguably my most popular books.

So guys … any of you play the guitar when you were younger? Do you still have it around? Failing that, ukulele’s are easy and fun. In fact, back in 1963 I taught myself guitar on my father’s baritone uke – the four strings are the same as the top four on a guitar. I learned “Blowin in the Wind” and “We Shall Overcome” in the key of A. Ah, youth. Kennedy was still president and I was a sophomore in high school.

I digress. If you’re musical, drag out your guitar or buy a ukulele. Singing is really good for you physically and spiritually – the breathing, etc.

And learn something. I want you guys to do some research and find a course/class you want to take in the new year. Fuck losing weight – it never works and in the beginning the main reward is vanity. Check your local colleges and community centers, etc. Check on-line – Craftsy and tons more. If you’re not into it, tant pis (don’t know a Danish equivalent) but I don’t care. Choose something, and report back.

On a mixed note. Speaking of music, Mel Tillis just died. I used to sing “Mental Revenge” – one of his songs. And I’m sorry, but I saw that Charles Manson had died and I cheered. I don’t know if I believe in evil – I tend to think it’s sickness instead – but if evil existed there was a lot concentrated in that pathetic creature. I hope next time around he can expiate his sins. (No, I don’t want him roasting in hell if I believed such a thing existed).

Enough wickedness on my part.In the meantime, happy Thanksgiving. Richie and I will do it alone again (alas), but we’ll have fun. I’m going to try a canola oil piecrust – my aunt Ailie use to make fabulous pie crusts with cooking oil, so I’ll see how I far.

What are you doing for Thanksgiving? I know, too many questions, but I’m curious.

All About You (Krissie)

Richie just brought me pumpkin spice oatmeal. Yum.
I slept late. Till ten-thirty, actually. So here I am, noshing on oatmeal, ready to get to work.
I’ve written 15,000 words on NANO which is too little, and I have one more day of revisions, and I spent yesterday quilting and then having to rip everything out because the tension was fucked. Ah, life. I’ve been pushing just a wee bit too hard, and my body started rebelling.
The thing is, I grew up without parental guidance or expectations. I came from an academic family where my parents had no interest in whether I went to college or not. (Odd – they sent my sister, they fussed about my brother, but they just sort of ignored it when it came to me – though I imagine part of that was the force of my personality. They would just assume I would see to things).
But anyway, I had to learn my own self-discipline, and unfortunately the way it works out is that I don’t feel good unless I write. I assumed I had put a heavy guilt trip on myself (writing=good, everything else=bad) but now I’m wondering if it’s not just who I am. I saw this meme (or is it a gif – I don’t know the difference) on Pinterest (my favorite playground). Except, crap, I can’t find it now. There it is. Or a different version of it.

I’ve sometimes thought about what it would feel like not to have the pressure to write, not to think about publication and proficiency (I’m against perfection. I do want to be glorious – not just proficient, but I want messy and magnificent on my tombstone).

So I need to climb back into the saddle. Once I get HEARTLESS off I’ll be able to concentrate on the novella and other things and not feel so self-pressured.
Is this just a writer thing? Because it takes so long to complete something (months, years) that we have an extra amount of stress we can’t escape? Or is it simply human nature? Are any of you similarly … I was going to say driven, but that sounds too ambitious. Are any of you similarly … er … constrained?

Ok, OK it’s my issues. Driven to do something is accurate. Is there anything you feel driven to do this week? Can you at least party down once you’re done? I’ve been known to turn up the stereo loud and dance around the house when I’ve finished a book.

Back to the grindstone. (Oh, Richie – where’s my coffee? I do have the best husband. He’s very tolerant about waiting on me while I’m writing – up to a point, that is).

What’s on your agenda?

Working Wednesday: Let’s Get This Done

I have finish-itis: I start things and then wander off.  But not any more!  (Probably.)  I’m using the end of the year to finish most if not all of the projects I’ve deserted.  A clean start for 2018!  Which has to be better than 2017.

So what are your end of the year get-this-done plans?

All About … Aiyeee! (Krissie)

That’s me this morning, fighting off a hissy fit. I do not understand why bureaucracy is so incompetent. I’ll still take them over private enterprise, but my god, dealing with Social Security is maddening. I have to lose time I should spend on revisions going to the office and they’ll give me a run around and then someone will call me and they’ll tell me the opposite of the first person and …. aiyeeee!

However, apart from that life is relatively splendid. Had to walk out in the middle of church yesterday – someone remind me never to go on the first Sunday in November. Since it follows All Saints Day the various ministers always talk about death and I have way too many dead people in my life. I work very hard at not letting myself sink into grief and misery (though I do let myself cry if need be) and I didn’t want to sit there and sob (as I have other years, when they read the list of the dead, including my 18 year old nephew) and I didn’t want my day to be spent self-comforting. I wanted to sew and cook.

So I left, came home, made a new fall bag (picture coming), made dinner, remembered I had galleys or whatever to go through, etc. As they said in the olden days, I wasn’t about to let anyone harsh my mellow.

I started NANOWRIMO and really loving it. Almost done revisions. Making progress on the living room and the bedroom (the Augean stables have nothing on me). My kids are stable, Daniel seems to be getting better, and if I could just get this social security mess taken care of things should be … well, not golden but looking up. At this point our main stressor is money.

I WILL finish revisions in the next few days. I’ll keep working on the new piece for NANO. I will persevere on the living room and bedroom. I will start to quilt the two (and soon three) quilt tops I’ve basted. Nothing but good times ahead.

So, what’s tap for this week? Joy or despair? Challenges? What’s up this week. We’re 6 days into November and haven’t seen a snowflake yet – we often get brief snow storms at the end of August.

Your assignment – Go see Thor: Ragnarok. Kick-ass women, Tom Hiddleston, funny as hell. What more could you ask?

So what, apart from the movies, is on your agenda?