Heat Wave

Heat Wave

Yesterday it was 108°

Today: 108°

Tomorrow: 108°

Sensing a trend?

Sacramento Valley and the surrounding areas are in the middle of what one person called “a little taste of hell” (oh, that was me!). There are reports of the freeways buckling, people can’t get their apartments cooler than 80° after running the A/C for 20 hours, and my three tomato plants looked like they’d spent a night out with the guys and were paying the price this morning!

This is pretty typical here in Sac Town and her neighboring areas. At least once per Summer we have these stretches of over-100° days, sometimes we have a couple. We all hunker down in our homes, curtains drawn and A/C cranked, and wait for things to cool a bit. Or dream about the beach! 🙂

Unfortunately there have been some power outages and people have been asked to turn up their thermostats to 78 to help with the electricity demands (sorry, can’t, our 6 month old would not be very happy). But there are things we do  like waiting until after 9 p.m. to run the dishwasher or the washing machine, and we’ve been hanging all our clothes on a rack in the garage–they dry faster then they would in the dryer! I do have to water my veggies twice per day or I might as well yank them out!

This is Summer in California and it gets hot. But don’t worry–it’s going to cool down by next Monday: 92°

Advertisements

And She’s Back

Hello to All!

It has been some time since I last posted here and figured it was a good time to jump back on the blog.

First things first: I am now the proud Mama to a beautiful baby girl!  😀 She is amazing and quite the funny little gal–she gets her humor from her Daddy for sure. So needless to say, most of my down time is taken up by baby things and sleep! Oh, and it is amazing how fast a phone’s memory can fill up with baby pictures, especially when you have one as adorable as our Baby Girl.

I’m a Mom…Wait, that can’t be right…

Next: the first draft of my novel is now finished! So now the arduous task of editing and rewrites begins, so it may be some time until it is published. But like the tortoise in the fable–slow and steady wins the race.

I have many grand plans about getting this edited and published in the coming months, but my gut tells me that watching my girl learn to crawl and make cute giggling noises will push those deadlines out some.  In the meantime, there’s always the blog!

For my Baby Girl

Epilepsy Awareness Month

Look at this: a post two days in a row! Must be a miracle!

The real reason I’m posting again so soon is that I would be negligent in my advocacy for Epilepsy Awareness if I didn’t point out that November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. So show your purple! Read about ways to help, or brush up on your facts:

Did you know that 1 in 26 people will develop Epilepsy in their lifetime?

 

1 in 26 Epilepsy Awareness

1 in 26 Epilepsy Awareness

Or that there are approximately 2.2 million people living with Epilepsy in the USA right now?

Another way to look at this is that every 4 minutes someone gets a diagnosis of Epilepsy.

Do you remember Coach Kill of the University of Minnesota who had a seizure on the sidelines last September? There had been calls for his resignation, and heartless jokes. But last Saturday, during the University of Minnesota v. Ohio State game, also referred to as the “Go-Pher Epilepsy Awareness game,” the players donned an Epilepsy Awareness decal on their helmets for their Coach, and all the rest.

So Talk About It! So that we can Dare To live our lives, and help people to realize that:

Invisible Disability

Invisible Disability

Like Epilepsy or Diabetes. Oh, and November is also Diabetes Awareness Month.

Who Bought My Muse a Train Ticket?

Apparently my Muse has taken an extended holiday, and progress on my upcoming novel has slowed to molasses. Having written myself into somewhat of a corner, I’ve stepped back from my novel to be grumpy and unproductive. Great plan.

The funny part is the urge and drive to write Something, Anything, still pushes, and though not much comes from it, it nags me daily. This usually amounts to jotting useless drivel on scrap paper or “brilliant” ideas that are actually pure crap.

But today seems a little different. Maybe it’s the foggy day here that’s gotten me going. Or the great news that my friend is (finally) writing a sequel to Speakeasy! But for some reason the vibe of that far off Muse is ringing.

Perhaps it is because I recently read Ray Bradbury’s book Zen in the Art of Writing. The whole book was a great set of experiences from the late, great author. My copy of the book is full of dog-ears and underlined lines now, which I actually have gone back and reread. The passage that stuck in my mind most was this mantra:

“Write. Don’t think. Relax.”

Bradbury goes on to explain these concepts in more detail, and I took them to heart, even writing them out on a piece of scrap paper (not crap, this time), and placing it in my notebook. The paper now drifts around my house almost on its own. I’ve found it on my end table, next to my bed, and in a box of magazines (though truthfully, this could be because of my cats…).

I now try to remember this mantra when I feel stuck. “Write. Don’t think. Relax.” For myself, the worst part is not thinking. I’m a notorious over-thinker, which hinders much of my writings.

But Today I’ll try not to think, to relax, and write. Maybe this will bring my Muse back on the next train.

 

Rain, Steam, and Speed by JMW Turner--What a very interesting Artist...

Rain, Steam, and Speed by JMW Turner–What a very interesting Artist…Wonder what it’d be like to meet him?

 

Drought

California is in the midst of a drought. Our lakes are at the lowest in many years, “Gold” lawns are the new green, and people are being fined for over watering.

Also, my sad little blog has apparently also been suffering a drought. For that I apologize.

But I have been making some headway in the novel I’m currently writing (remember how this started out as a blog about writing?)

I only wish I had settled on a title for my book, but so far nothing has sounded right.

But I can say:

The story revolves around Sebastian Albright—gifted painter, and frequenter of the local pub. Son of the local wealthy landowner and well-off businessman, Sebastian cares little for the high society and supposed high class ways of his father and stepmother. He and his friend James are about to find out how important art and life truly are.

Hopefully Sebastian’s story will be finished soon. His adventures are numerous, and will hopefully be as enjoyable for readers as they have been for me to write.

Cornelius Norbertus Gijsbrechts Cabinet in the Artist's Studio small

An Orange and Some M&M’s

Here in California things are chilly in the mornings, and yes I do scrape the frost from my car windshield, but it warms to a pleasant mid 50 or 60 degrees by midafternoon. Christmas was typical without much traveling, but the two halves of my new family were able to spend the holiday together.

In my new husband and mine’s little apartment I attempted to keep the Christmas traditions of my childhood alive. Which is why my new hubby got an orange and a little bag of M&M’s in his stocking Christmas morning, before he went off to work for four hours (yuck).

The tradition of receiving citrus and candy comes from my mother who also received these gifts from Santa each year. And just because we have started our married life in our own place doesn’t mean we let go of those parts of our history that makes us smile. It just wouldn’t be Christmas morning without an orange!

Here is hoping everyone had a lovely Christmas, and wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Oranges and M&M's from Santa

Oranges and M&M’s from Santa

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tradition

Christmas time is full of traditions. In my family that includes decorating the entire house like Santa’s Workshop while listening to Anne Murray’s Christmas album (on vinyl, by the way), getting a new ornament each year, hanging the outdoor lights, and enjoying mom’s fabulous fruitcake (no seriously, it’s awesome).

Another tradition for me is watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. It just isn’t Christmas until I’ve sat with a mug of cocoa, the lights on our tree, hearing the soft jazzy music of the special—it just brings out the Christmas spirit.

In the special, Charlie Brown gets depressed about the over-commercialization of the season, which happens to many of us, especially after walking through the mall. After trying to direct the kids’ Christmas play, and hearing all the other children’s wishes for “things” for the holiday, Charlie Brown decides to get a Christmas tree. Instead of getting a pink aluminum Christmas tree as the other children tell him, he picks out a little real wooden tree. The one little red ornament he hangs makes it keel over.

Just when Good ol’ Charlie Brown thinks he can’t stand the stresses of the season, Linus repeats a passage from the Book of Luke about the Angel appearing to the shepherds “bringing tidings of great joy” for all people, that the Savior has been born (which I cannot watch without getting all teared up!). Charlie Brown realizes the real meaning of Christmas, and all the children decorate the little tree, giving it just a little love.

Watching this cute children’s show each year is a perfect reminder to us adults not to get caught up in the stresses of the Christmas season. Instead of getting depressed about not receiving many Christmas cards, or worrying about “things,” we need to be thankful for the reason for the season and the joy of this time of year.

Merry Christmas and God Bless!

Linus Charlie Brown Christmas

The best line in the whole show: “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” (Oh no, here come the tears…)

Dark Tower or Gunslinger?

On November 22, Jeopardy got an answer wrong. Shock, I know. The category was about the first lines of books. Here is an example of how this category’s answer and question worked:

  • Answer: “Marley was dead: to begin with.”
  • Question: What is A Christmas Carol?

The incorrect answer/question in question here is one related to a book and series that is an absolute favorite of mine: the Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

The first line given was: “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

Being a Constant Reader myself, I yelled out at my TV screen in classic playing-Jeopardy-at-home fashion “The Gunslinger!”

A contestant on the show rang in and answered “What is the Dark Tower?” For a smug split-second I shook my head expecting Mr. Trebek to declare him incorrect. Better luck next time, buddy.

But he didn’t. The contestant won the money and promptly moved on.

My jaw dropped—Jeopardy got this totally wrong! I jumped from my couch and called my dad—also a Constant Reader—to see if he had seen, and he agreed.

The Dark Tower is a fabulous, epic series, the first book being titled The Gunslinger. The final book in the series is titled The Dark Tower, and it does not begin with that line.

Now, there could be an argument that because it is a series, then couldn’t it be said the book is titled The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger? But then I ask, had the first line of the clue been: “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much” and the contestant responded with Harry Potter, wouldn’t Alex Trebek have asked him to be more specific and add on “and the Sorcerer’s Stone?”

If perhaps there wasn’t already a book with the title “The Dark Tower” then perhaps we could let the answer slide, but sadly no, Jeopardy, you were mistaken.

The Gunslinger

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

Thanksgiving Tradition

Around this time last year, I reposted a blog from a good friend of mine, author A.M. Dunnewin, about Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Perhaps it’s becoming a new Thanksgiving tradition, but here I am reposting another of my friend’s blogs.

All this weekend you can get any A.M. Dunnewin story for free on Kindle, and let me tell you, what a bargain! A steal really. So if you happen to have a kindle, or a computer where you can get their app (like I do) check out Speakeasy, or one of the Imaginarium series (I’d recommend Gaslight Row!).

And Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

pearls trivial pursuit

In the Scott household, this would be Jeopardy!

 

UPDATE: The Benighted  the newest novel by A.M. Dunnewin is now available on Kindle!!