Saturday, June 24, 2017

Weekend and a writing update

For the writers who visit, I thought I'd do a little update on what's happening here on that front. I joined a writing group in May and have had one 26-page chunk of my current novel critiqued. I'm trying to do a final overall edit before querying agents with it in the fall. This is the novel previously (and maybe still) titled The Girl Who Was Never Not Broken, a tale of Ava Lee Jessup's journey to find her mama, and how she finds her daddy instead.

I also have several short pieces of work out on submission:

Airplanes, an essay about motherhood and time travel, is out.

Clairette, a long short story that looks at Claire Caviness before she meets Finn Weston (the story pre-dates the novel claire-obscure), is also out. This long story was too short to be a novella so I cut the word count enough to get it more marketable as a short story.

Skellars, another of my "twilight zone" tales, is out.

I'm in the midst of a final edit of an essay called When The Thing That Is Stuck In Your Throat Is Your Heart, which has been simmering for nearly two years now and finally erupted when I read a recent call for submissions.

Sometimes the work hovers that way, waiting for a place to aim.

I have two novels already in first draft awaiting my attention in the fall. I'm not yet sure which I'll work on, but I like having a choice!

I'd love some writerly company here - if you're working on something, sending something out, thinking about starting a writing project - announce it here! We're all in this writing game together.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Noisy end to a busy week

Monday it was the doctor about the poison ivy.

Tuesday it was daughter's calculus 2 exam. (Admittedly I didn't have to do anything but wait in a coffee shop while she did the calculus!)

Wednesday it was dental cleaning.

Thursday it was eye doctor.

All of those days we had contractors and surveyors and UPS deliveries and commotion.

Today I am blissfully in my pajamas at 10:25 a.m., doing nothing, nowhere to be, surrounded by cats sleeping and Corgis guarding and horses and pony and donkey in their barn with fans and hay. The gate installation is on hold until Monday, no one is on the farm but us.

The neighbors are apparently cutting down trees with chainsaws but even that is okay - because I am HOME.

Planning to dig in and savor it today and all through the weekend!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Prednisone and productivity

I was told I "might like" Prednisone, and also that it might give me a surge of energy initially. Day one I felt a little fuzzy around the edges, more so yesterday, but last night I went into overdrive and knocked out my entire list of writing tasks in one big burst of work. Stayed up late, slept in this morning, and had a fantastic dream that our contractor accidentally knocked down the back yard fence, but put in a new one for us, built a new barn with gorgeous apartment upstairs, and wiped out my development woes by installing the ocean in our back forty so I never had to worry about it again. He did say that it would add a little to our cost, but when I opened the invoice the total final charge was $4200. I think for a new fence, barn, and the ocean, that is pretty reasonable!

We'll see how day three goes!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tale of a plastic carrot bag

A couple of weeks ago either Keil Bay or Cody snuck into the barn aisle while the pony was getting a bath and emptied one plastic bag of baby carrots, ate them, trampled the empty bag, and then apparently did the same with the other bag of baby carrots. But that bag has never been found.

There was a mild panic with thoughts of impending colic, twisted bowel, vet school hospital surgery, and a big fat bill at the end. And the awful bubble of thought: what if the worst happened?

There was nothing coming out of noses so we ruled out the option that the bag was lodged in the esophagus. We searched high and low for the bag. We monitored manure and urine. We watched them eat and drink. All was normal.

A call to our vet calmed us down. She said the shape of the bag was unlikely to cause issues. If it went through the esophagus it likely went through the stomach, she said. And if it gets to the gut it will come out the other end.

She told me: do not obsess or lose sleep. As long as they look normal, treat them normally. You may never find the bag so don't stress trying to look for it every day. Just assume all is well until you see otherwise. You probably won't see otherwise!

So here we are. Two happy horses, no sign of the bag. I'm assuming all is well!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Poison ivy and prednisone

In a moment of sheer insanity I took my hand clippers last weekend and attacked a patch of poison ivy that was growing at the corner of our house. The ivy was growing at eye level and while I was careful not to touch it, I was whacking away at it with the clippers and suspect I released the oils which then wafted onto my face. Thankfully I wear glasses! But both sides of my face, my neck, several areas along my arms, and and an area on my abdomen are all raspy and itchy now. As the bumps got closer and closer to my left eye I caved in and made an appointment with my doctor.

She recommended Prednisone for 10 days and I gratefully accepted. I was up in the wee hours of the night scratching and trying not to scratch, and with the heat and regular barn chores in my day figured it was best to kick back at this now and not try to suffer through it.

About 3 hours after the first dose I am not nearly as itchy and feeling a little woozy. I'll take it. Thanks to dear daughter and sweet husband for doing the chores for me while this passes.


I read an article that describes a much safer way of dealing with poison ivy without using chemicals. You can find it HERE.