Friday, February 27, 2009

Where Did February Go?

Can it be the last of February? It has flown by and where was I? The only answer I can think of is that I was watching it snow and snuggling in a blanket. It was a cold and snowy month, but that is nothing unusual. February is always a bad month. I remember my dad telling me about walking the mile to town, in the snow, before I was born to get the doctor. At least the doctor had a car and he rode back with him.

I'm taking a couple of days off and doing some much needed work around the house. I hope to get last years papers stored away since our income tax is getting done now. It's nice to have a son who is a CPA. 

Writing is always forefront in my mind in anything I do. Even cleaning the shower, I think of things that would go good in a book and I write notes. I am working on our Ladies Day at church, to be held on May 16. We have titled it, "It's Not About Me" and it is a Marriage Seminar with men and women. We will have both separate and together sessions and men are invited. When we separate, we can discuss meatier subjects. I'm excited about it because there are so many avenues we can discuss. I feel we do not discuss marriage enough in the church and we have to learn that life is not about me. Well, I don't' want to discuss the whole program, so I'd better stop with that right now.

It is warm and rainy here and my flowers are starting to bloom. It does feel like spring and next Sunday we will be on Daylight Savings Time. I look forward to spring and being able to sit on the porch. In the spring and summer we usually eat on the porch and watch the traffic as the world rushes by. That one simple act helps me to enjoy life. Have a good day and take time to watch the world go by.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Writing Deeper

I missed writing yesterday, but I did have a good reason. I was doing corrections on my first six chapters.

The first chapter is beautiful, if I say so myself. Suggestions from my editor were taken and wonderful corrections were made. It is coming to life and bringing the people with it. 

I worked all day yesterday correcting and adding to my story. It was almost midnight when I finished and zapped it to be edited. There was so much to bring out. I have dug deeper in my story than I had ever thought I would. Emotions are so hard for me to explain, but I am doing better. Last night I had to describe a fist fight and that was hard since I had never been in one. I did get through it and the scene was so much better.

I have one more thing to do before I start back again. I missed one part of loading a mussel loader, so I need to correct it. There will be someone out there who will correct me if I don't.

Learning about how things were done on the frontier has been interesting. It makes me thankful for our conveniences today. I would hate to have to cook in a fireplace. I remember cooking on my mother-in-law's wood cook stove. It was hot and the fireplace would have been hotter. You would be constantly turning skillets and pans to cook on both sides. I can boil water pretty fast today, but it would have taken a lot longer to do it in a fireplace.

I did take my husband to the emergency room Tuesday and there are no broken bones in his toe. He is off work for a while. It looks horrible. It's time to change the bandage and get busy. Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More on Writing

Lately I have read some books that I do not feel are very good. One, which I will not mention, had too many main characters and too much going on. There could have been three books instead of that one. I became frustrated and at lose ends.

What do you do in a case like that? Read an author that you know and trust. So I did. I read to learn more about the craft and I don't need to read a book that goes all over the place. Yesterday I started Leather and Lace by DiAnn Mills. DiAnn has a way of making you see what is going on. I like the she puts you there in the story. She is a very good author and a good teacher and friend.

After I read the first page, I went to the computer and realized I could improve my writing. I think my descriptions are improving. It seems it has taken me so long to get to this point, but I am finally making it there. Isn't it amazing how much you can learn? I hope I can get back and do more today. My editor says I need to concentrate more on my emotions. That is so hard to do.

For my family who reads this, I am much better today. I am taking my husband to the emergency room as soon as he gets dressed. He needs to see a doctor with the diabetes and that toe is horrible looking.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Anniversary and Allergy

Yesterday was our forty-sixth wedding anniversary. It snowed the same as it did forty-six years ago. There was more snow then than there was yesterday.

My husband is a jewel and I don't know how I could get along without him. We have been through a lot and he has been there beside me through it all. The years have gone so fast and we have enjoyed all of them. He is my knight in shining armor.

We usually go out to eat on our anniversary and last night was no exception. On the last Sunday of the month, we have a covered dish dinner at church, so lunch was taken care of. We also have a short afternoon service and then don't return for Sunday night.

When we came home, we decided to go visit another congregation and see a friend of ours. When we arrived at the church, there was no one there. Apparently they had either cancelled services or had a covered dish day and did the same as we did. Instead of driving all the way back home, we thought we would go out to eat. That sounded safe.

We have always liked the Shoney's Restaurant in Harrogat, TN and we were not that far away, so we drove there. I have an allergy to shellfish and I know not to eat them at all. I ordered pecan breaded chicken and it sounded so good. When my husband returned from the salad bar, he said, "I almost sat down with that woman in front of us, she has a plate full of shrimp." 

I didn't think anything of it because I am very careful when I eat out. My chicken came and I took the first bite. The first bite tells me if there was shellfish around or not. I get nauseous. I did get nauseous, but still didn't think anything about it. I didn't feel really well  when we returned home and went to bed. 

This morning it hit me. I was so sick. As I sat in the bathroom, I went back in mt mind the people who was at church yesterday and if anyone complained of sickness. No one did. That eliminated the whole congregation, so it was not a virus. Then the light bulb came on in my head. That woman in front of us had shrimp.

I crawled back in bed with swollen eyes swelled hands. I knew then what it was. Shoney's had fried her shrimp in the same grease that my chicken was fried in. That did make me feel better to know what it was, but it didn't help my pain and sickness. 

I've had a nap and I am still not feeling well. My joints hurt. To make matters worse, my husband went on the hill to cut some wood up for a friend of ours. Somehow, he mashed his toe. Now we are both under the weather. I'm going to try to get him to the doctor because he will have to stay off that foot for a while. It looks pretty bad. At least we can complain together. We will survive. we're both too ornery to do differently. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's My Birthday!

Yes, I am now another year older. No fanfares please, I am thankful to be alive. This past year has been great. Every year should be.

My writing has improved and I have made some wonderful friends in the writing industry. I attended two conferences and enjoyed them so much. I hope I can attend two more this year, but we will see. 

Reflecting on the previous year humbles me greatly. I have watched my grandchildren grow and I have also lost friends. One of my greatest losses was my daughter-in-law's mother. She was a precious lady and I do miss her. She was also a great Christian and raised four wonderful children. 

The grandchildren are getting taller and taller. One is already passed me and she is only twelve, I can't imagine how tall she will end up. The other three will probably be tall also since their mother is a tall lady and all of her siblings are tall. They will all be looking down at me before long. I love being with them.

This past year, my husband went to part-time work. With the economy the way it is, we were afraid to retire completely. This gives us a little extra money and he only works three nights a week. I would rather have him home, but I understand why he wants to work and he enjoys it also.

The coming year seems to be bright. For the last 25 years we have wanted to go to Scotland and we are finally getting to go. I have the tickets and passports. We are just waiting for the day to get here. I even have someone lined up to stay at our house while we are gone.

I received the latest edit last night and have not even looked at it yet. It is hard for me to show emotion in my writing. I guess I keep everything so tight inside of me that I can't let it go. Today I am going to put more emotion in my writing. It will come and I will have a much better book.

Well, this Birthday Girl has to get busy. I've already exercised some this morning and now I am ready to work. I'll do the remainder of my hour when I need to get away from the computer. That has changed this year also. We got ourselves a Wii for Christmas and then we bought a Wii Fit. It is wonderful. My Wii Age was 46 this morning. How I wish. Our preacher says that machine lies.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm Back

I didn't realize it had been this long since I had written my blog. Please forgive me. We have had a lot of changes at our house. 

My husband has gone to part-time work. He only works three nights a week now. I love it, but it has taken me a while to adjust. We have also been working on our basement. Our plans are to have our offices set up there and also have a family room. One we can all gather in when the family comes home. Believe me, it is a big basement.

My novel is coming along very well. It is in an edit right now. My editor and I are hoping it will be a final edit. I sent her six chapters last week and I am waiting for her to send them back to me. I have one character named Susannah and my biggest mistake is to call her Savannah, my granddaughter's name. It is so easy to type Savannah. We are both watching it now.

I hope to enter a contest with American Christian Fiction Writers. It is called the Genesis contest and is opened to unpublished writers. I have to send in the first fifteen pages for judging. Last year when I entered it, my scores were not really bad considering my length of writing and not the most knowledge around. We do go into some things blindly and that is what I did. I was excited with my scores, but I did not place in the top five. This year I hope to do better. That is one reason why my novel is being polished so much.

I'm trying to get back on track with writing, including my blog. I'm doing a self-edit right now and it does take time. I had to cut over five thousand words out before I sent it to be edited. That hurt and it takes time to get the words back in. 

Everyone have a good day. We are getting much needed rain. A good day for writing.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Missed Yesterday

Sorry, I missed writing yesterday. I have diverticulitis and I had a bad attack over the week-end. Yesterday was not the best day either. I am feeling better today, but I don't think I will be eating anymore nuts.

I did read a book while I was sick. Some time ago, I had bought Coffee Rings by Yvonne Lehman. I've always enjoyed Yvonne's books and this one was no exception. There was suspense in it and that does help you to turn to the next page. 

Yvonne writes modern day fiction. Her books are usually about North or South Carolina. I've read so many of them. She was the first author who I enjoyed thoroughly. I have expanded my scope of authors, but I still like Yvonne's writings.

In a way this was a sad book. It is about a woman with cancer and three young women who had witnessed a tragedy. They all intertwine. Eunice, the lady with cancer, had a daughter that died at eighteen. The three women were with her when she drowned. 

Since I had lost a child, I wanted to see what she would write about the death of a child. She did a pretty good job. There was a lot of emotion shown. There is also a fine line between acceptance and healing. That's the way it is in real life. It takes years to accept the death of a child and to heal your mind. 

Husbands seem to do better than mothers. I have often wondered if that is because we carried the child for nine months. The child was with us longer than with the husband. I felt it was part of me that died also. It is always tragic, but we can work ourselves through it.

During the time of grief, I don't think we could have made it without our dear friends and church members. I had to have God in my life. Without Him, I could not have been able to face each day. It was hard on our whole family. Our children had to face something that not many children face at ten and eight years old. Something was gone from their family. It was never the same. 

I don't want to get everyone depressed, but there are lessons to be learned. Hold your children closer at times. Let them know you love them. Appreciate each kindness and each kiss. Let God shine in your lives.