Found and Adopted Day (Observed)

Five or six years ago (I’ve lost my ability to tell time in the past tense as I’ve gotten older) my daughter and I had stepped outside the place we were living and noticed a Yorkie sitting in the driveway. I had seen the dog before, for the week prior I had caught glimpses of her during the torrential rainstorms. I texted my wife to bring bait and what ensued was about an hour of me, my wife, and our four year old playing catch that puppy.

I managed to catch her and she collapsed against me. She was shivering. She was covered in fleas and ticks. What really blew our minds was she was a full blooded Yorkshire Terrier and she had been fixed (she had the tattoo).

My wife of course was determined we were not going to keep her. We already had two shihtzus and we seemed to be feeding half the stray cats in the neighborhood.  However, our daughter fell in love with Millie. I took her to the vet and she was even chipped. That’s how we found her name. We never were able to contact the original owner though, we tried for days. Finally we stopped trying when we realized how devastated our daughter would be if the dog was claimed.

So since Easter is never the same day, we celebrate Millie’s found day on Easter Sunday. It was a little more poignant that Easter was the first after my mother had passed and Easter had been her favorite holiday. It seemed destined almost that we caught Millie that day. Now, years later, we wouldn’t have it any other way. IMG_20180225_155832.jpg

Five books ahead

In my Goodreads Challenge, I’ve read 10 out of the 30 I had set as a goal. My wife was surprised I had set the bar at 30 and not at more. Honestly, I may increase it. There are so many books out there that I want to read and so many more that I may not know about yet. But of course with a full time job, a wife and kid, three dogs, one cat and a writing habit it does make it a little difficult to squeeze things in to a day.  Even editing and revising my own work seems to take a backseat to everything else though that’s mostly because I feel as if I don’t get the story on paper it’ll never happen.

Anyway, the books that count toward my goal this time were a few graphic novels. Some people think graphic novels are cheating, but I don’t. I also read god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens. This book was informative and full of knowledge and a little condescending. Apparently that’s Hitchens in a nutshell.

I finished a what if retelling of an American Fairy tale as well, The Secret of Sleepy Hollow by Andi Marquette This reevaluated the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and provided a sweet lesfic romance. I liked it.

I am having a hard time finding a few of my personal goal books at my local library. Don’t tell my wife, but I may have to order one or two. As we get closer to the midyear point, I’ll reevaluate my goal and perhaps make it larger.

That’s it for this edition. Stay safe.

 

 

Cross off two more

I recently finished two more books and while they count toward my Goodreads goal, they don’t count toward the list of books I had compiled to read this year. That’s ok, it’s only March. Wait, March? Wasn’t it just January? I guess it is true that the older you get the shorter the years get.

So I read Backwards to Oregon by Jae and was completely blown away by the fact that she’s German. It’s a very well researched and detailed novel and I loved the characters.  I wish I had been as impressed with the other book I read, How to write Pulp Fiction.  That one was more of a composite of other books and interviews. I will say that at least it’s helpful to have it all in one place.

As to the status of my works, well I got a rejection notice for my lesfic romance novel. It’s just the first so there are many more to get 🙂 It’s a bit of a confidence let down, but writers are the ultimate rejection letter collectors. Besides, I’ve got three works in progress, two to revise and a couple of short stories that are trying to get my attention.

Until next time, stay safe.

The Rodent Who Came to Dinner Part 2

Where was I? Oh yeah. We’re all at home, snuggled in the bed watching Naked and Afraid XL, because that’s what we do, when D heard a scratching sound come from under the bed. Immediately we look for the three dogs and the cat. All are accounted for. WTF, right? Right. It’s the rodent.

Further chasing of rat ensues as one shih tzu sleeps on the bed while the yorkie and I are trying to catch this thing and the wife and daughter are out in the car. The damn rat runs across the headboard, leaps for the bedside table, falls off the lamp and tries to climb up the wall. The shih tzu is still asleep. He in fact remains asleep until I strip the bed of sheets that now had maybe come into contact with rodent feet. Thanks, Dash. You just wait there, buddy.

D and E end up going to a hotel/motel for the night, because obviously no one is sleeping in that room until there’s a dead rat. Or at least until my loving, big hearted wife sees the carcass (Seriously. She demanded to see the remains.)

Fast forward an hour or so. It’s past midnight. I’m on the couch in the living room with three dogs, only one of which is actively trying to help and a cat who has apparently gone on strike. I have the mallet and the high-powered bb gun my dad gave me when I lived near water in case snakes got in the yard. After about three am I started falling asleep feeling a lot like Private Pyle from Full Metal Jacket.

The yorkie and I did manage to almost catch the damn thing. In fact, we ended up trapping it in E’s room. E is 9. She’s brilliant and thrives on chaos. Her room looks like a landfill made up of books, shopkins and DC Superhero Girls. It’s a mess.

I slam a few more traps in there, complete with a huge glue one, (the yorkie managed to catch herself on that one), shut the door, stuff something between the door and the floor and fall into a heap of exhaustion on the couch. I promptly woke up at every little noise.

That morning, a friend came over to help with the Great Rat Chase of 2017. He was brave enough to enter the room while the yorkie and I kept up the guard in the hallway, alert and ready for it to make a run for it.

Finally though, M got it. We take a picture of the carcass, it gets posted to Facebook, the family comes home and I’m done.

Seems rather anticlimactic, but there you have it.

 

The Rodent Who Came to Dinner Part One

I wasn’t feeling my best Thanksgiving Day, but the kid was determined to start decorating for Christmas. So, I dragged my wretched body out the storage shed and hauled in two boxes and what I thought was the tree. I put them in the kitchen, left them alone and then declared myself done with the whole ordeal. I calmly went back to the couch and continued feeling miserable.

Cut to a scene ten minutes later. The wife (D) opens the largest box and pulls out the tree skirt. She notices it has holes in it, but nothing prepares us for what happens next: the rodent who charged out of the box, ran across my wife’s foot and disappeared. There were yells, screams, I won’t say I saw my wife push our nine year old daughter (E) out of the way and hurdle the back of the couch, but I have vague memories of that. I ran and grabbed the broom. All miserable feelings were instantly replaced with a desire to rid the house of the rodent. The broom soon becomes a croquet mallet E had used for Halloween when she went as Harley (the DC Comic Girls Harley) because I’ve read The Shining and we didn’t have a roque mallet.

We ended up running to Wal-Mart and getting every type of rat catching device they had. The yorkie and I placed them all around the house. We went to bed that night, all of us in one bed, two adults, the 9 yo, two shih tsus and the yorkie. I had to work the real job the next day of course and D and E had tickets to show and went. I made it home first and was disappointed that I did not find a dead rodent in one of our ingeniously placed traps.

So I went on the hunt for it. The yorkie had it cornered, or so we thought. D and E get home and we decide to go to bed after a futile hunt that destroyed the kitchen.

Here ends part one. Part two will be posted soon.

I survived and finished #Nanowrimo2017

I successful completed the National Novel Writing Month challenge for 2017.  Already I look forward to next year. It was a great experience.

So far what I have is a 50,177 word first draft that is not finished, not pretty and not like anything else I’ve written.  Of course, it has the lesbian element.  I can’t see writing a book that does not. There’s a little relationship thing, romantic that is.  There’s an element of mystery as well, and as always here lies sarcasm.  Here’s an except from it as it stands now:

The facts as I know them are pretty simple. I went on a boat with five of my closest friends. At some point there was a storm. The boat sank or maybe capsized. I really do not know which. Three of us were found on the island, sunburned and dehydrated. Two of us were found in the water, in much worse conditions. One of us was never found.

My name is Claire Susan Evans and I am a survivor. I just wish I knew what exactly I had survived.

Thanks everyone.  Have a good one.

Halfway through

Day 15 of Nanowrimo.  I am more than halfway through my draft at almost 32k. I’ve hit the hard part. The middle of the story. The flow is not as quick or strong.  Now it’s just pushing through until I get back to the fun stuff, the climax and denouement.

It’s fun so far.  Very different from my usual stuff. I think so anyway.  I cannot wait to finish the first draft and then go back and read it.  I’m making a conscious effort not to read it until after I type the last words.  Part of Nanowrimo is to turn off your inner editor.  It’s not easy.

Day Six

They say a good strategy for Nanowrimo is banking words in the word count to get through days where it might be more difficult to write.  So far I’m almost a day ahead on the total word count.  I have passed the 10k mark and I’m almost at 11k.  It feels good.

With Divide by X, this most recent project, I’ve done several things differently.  I have a notebook full of research, character descriptions and random conversations.  I also have a full plotted spreadsheet thing, though I did not use excel I used paper, a ruler and a pencil.  So far it’s working.  I’ve been doing something I did not know I was capable of doing:  writing linearly.  I started at Chapter One and I’m currently wrapping up Chapter Five.  It’s pretty amazing.

Day Two

There’s ten minutes left in Day Two of Nanowrimo and I’ve got 4288 words done so far.  This planning a story out thing seems to be paying off so far.  Of course, I do reserve the right to cuss it out in a few days when the initial rush of the new story wears off.