- I need to take a course in setting realistic goals. When I decided to abandon the novel I was trying to write that just wasn't getting written and sat down and outlined the first novel in my small-Southern-college-town series, I came up with 12 chapters and an elaborate list of characters, some of whom are definitely going to have to wait for other books in the series if they're eager to be noticed. I'm someone who writes my first drafts long-hand and then works on second drafts by getting them into electronic form. After that, the real editing begins. Here's what I thought: "12 chapters? I can write one chapter a week. I'll have the first draft done in 12 weeks. 12 more weeks until the second draft is done, and then I can start sending it out to select friends and family members to review." Need I say that this plan, if I can only stop beating myself up over the fact that it will never come to fruition (and, why, oh why did I recently have to read that little tidbit somewhere that Janet Evanovich claims to spend 8 hours a day writing? 8 hours a day? And she isn't exactly writing War and Peace), is one that is well-suited for causing people to be rolling around on the floor, clutching their stomachs in pain from laughing so hard? Six weeks into writing my novel, and I'm not even done with Chapter Three yet. (Granted, I spend time on blog posts and ghost stories, too, but still...)
- Remember how I put an ILL request on a book for the mystery book discussion group back in January and surmised the book must be traveling by sloth express? I didn't. I completely forgot about that until the sloth arrived last week and dropped off the book at my local library. That sloth must have been on uppers. I really didn't think he'd make it much before Christmas. Still, a good reminder that ILL is not the way to go if I need a book for a book discussion group.
- For once, I got all enamored over something I read in a book (living a local, sustainable, grow-and-make-my-own food sort of existence a la Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which I read last year) and decided to give it a go without disastrous results. Granted, I was smart enough this time to start small. I did not move Bob and me out to a farm and start raising my own chickens to butcher and sheep to shear, so I could spin my own yarn and start knitting all our clothes while I was at it, which is usually the way I tend to tackle such projects. However, I did start with something that seemed slightly daunting: making cheese. For the right setting, I have a friend who lives on a farm, and, knowing she'd already tried to make it once, I asked if she'd like to try again with me. No, we didn't milk cows to get the milk, but we did visit a local dairy to get it and then went back to the old farm house to try our hand at making fresh mozzarella. Was it as difficult as I thought it would be? No, once we realized we just needed to keep heating it and to wear rubber gloves while kneading it. Was it as delicious as the fresh mozzarella I used to get at the Italian deli across the street from my ex-boyfriend's apartment? Nowhere near. Still, it was an excellent "old college try," and I'm hopeful it will get better each time I try again, which yes, I do plan to do (but don't hold me to it).
- For the first time in nearly two years, we have TV. When we moved here, we had some very unpleasant run-ins with the Direct TV installers who told us we did not have a direct line of sight for the satellite dish. We refuse to support the cable monopoly, so we just decided to go without, and I really didn't miss it much at all. Then, I went and spent nearly 2 weeks at my brother-in-law's watching TV. I really, really wanted to be able to watch all those cool nature shows again. Bob decided he really, really wanted to be able to watch sports again. Bob called Direct TV once more, relayed all our woes from our last experience, and by the time he got off the phone, we'd gotten a great deal, as well as a free HD-DVR receiver. The very nice installer had no problem getting it all set up for us. Okay, last time we got Direct TV, it was because I'd spent a week in Maine watching the Food Network and really wanted to watch it at home. How much did I watch it once we got Direct TV? Oh, about once every six months. Since hooking up the TV this time, how often have I watched a nature show? Not once. However, if you want to know how long it takes someone who has been nearly two years without a DVR to get back into the habit of taping hours of movies and shows she will never have time to watch, the answer is about two seconds.
- Each of these bullet points is practically full-blog-length. Brevity is not one of my strong points, is it?
Friday, May 29, 2009
So, where did this week go? I can't believe it's already Friday. That means it's a good day for bullets, I think.