The Interrupter

This is Gracie, one of the cats at Mom and Dad’s house.

This is the plan right now:

Release Book #2 Ester’s story the first week of September.

Some sort of promotion for Book #1 in August — probably a freebie. I will announce when I figure out the dates.

I’m finally writing the prequel story about when Arnie and Linda met in college. That will be a promo with the newsletter the minute I get it done.

I’m starting notes and outlines for Tommy’s story, Book #3 and Linda and Arnie for Book #4. I wouldn’t even venture a guess on release dates at this point. Let’s get this one done before worrying about that.

My Favorite Dinosaur is the Thesaurus

I keep telling myself I’m going to give up on tomatoes. The past 3-4 years by the time I get enough tomatoes to make it worthwhile, summer is over. But here I am sprouting them on the windowsill. I can’t resist.

I have recently been reminded how much I love my thesaurus. The actual hardcover Roget’s that my Mom gave me when I was in college. (That was in the 80’s.)

I sometimes use online versions but just like browsing for books in a bookstore is different than browsing online, searching for words in a book leaves more room for discovery than using a digital source. Right now my book is open to 952 Resentment, Anger. There are three columns of words plus 953 Jealousy, 954 Envy and three paragraphs for 955 Retaliation are on the same pages.

When I was in high school we were assigned a huge research report. Our teacher scolded us for thinking we could open the thesaurus and exchange one word for a different word in the same section. I did that.

Now I use my thesaurus for brainstorming. I’m not sure I can articulate my process. If my setting is a desert I might look at words that I associate with desert to see what comes up. Or maybe write sentences about the same idea using different words. Sometimes I make lists of words if I’m feeling stuck. In the front of the book I have all kinds of asterisks: “good rock and roll words” “space travel” “look at for food.”

I have no concluding sentence.

Finished. Completed. Ended.

Dinner or Dessert?

My sister was staying with us and she found this article with this recipe in the paper (we still get a newspaper) and she set it aside to see what I would think of it.

She and my husband guessed that I would throw a fit about a apple pie with chard and cheese. Instead, I decided it was interesting and worth a try.

This is the second time I’ve made it. The recipe is a pain but the results so worth it. I eliminate the powdered sugar and serve it as a main dish. I use a sour cream pie crust — I can’t find a good recipe to link to, but mostly butter and again, no sugar.

Pie is my favorite food and I keep vowing to find more interesting recipes to try. I need to look for the next new thing.

I also made bread. I haven’t been baking because of other projects including Crooked Rock Book #2 so I made up for it this weekend with the pie, bread and chocolate chip cookies.

Book is coming together. Still aiming for the end of summer.

Soggy Spring

At some point I’m going to transition this to book news only.

I already keep a personal blog and I thought it would be okay to maintain two but instead it is one more thing I am always rushing to get to and doing poorly.

If you like authors with personal blogs, mine (since 1996) is here. Today’s post is about my Dad helping me get the dutch oven ready for no knead bread.

The book news is: hopefully by the end of the summer.

Yet Another Stalling Update

Future Tulips

Last weekend I had insomnia and realized I was pushing myself too hard to get Book #2 out. It’s not even like I don’t have time. It’s more like I have limited brain juice after work and the other things I have to do during the week. So I pushed pack my deadline with the editor for July. Book will probably be out in August or September.

On my way to California for some family stuff.

Too Much Not Enough

Up to my eyeballs in revisions and going slower than planned. I am in awe of these writers who can work at such a brisk pace. When I know what I’m doing I can draft quickly but sometimes it takes me awhile to figure out what I want to do. There is no short cut to that part.

Or if there is, I haven’t figured it out.

Friday my MLS team started the new season. I’m a season ticket holder so I go to all the games. My favorite pre-game ritual is Hot Lips pizza and an IPA. Season opener is like Christmas, birthday and 4th of July. So happy we’re back.

The Apple Tree is Finished

This is a before photo of the apple tree. The apple tree was neglected for years. We started getting it pruned and magically, more apples came. They never tasted that great and they weren’t pretty, but I made applesauce every year and we were in compost heaven

The tree has looked a little poorly lately and I fretted about it a bit so this wasn’t a complete surprise. During the ice and snow I had an eye on it but you couldn’t tell from the house. You had to go outside. Fortunately, it didn’t destroy the fence.

Our neighbor wanted the applewood so we gave him some cash and he hauled it all off.

I’m taking it hard. Fruit trees are going into the ground, soon. Maybe.

I have finished a very not-pretty first draft of book #2 this afternoon. It’s due at beta readers in a month so I will be working like crazy to whip it into shape.

Technology Has Been Having Its Way With Me Lately

Last weekend my desktop computer died. It took its time going about it and I wasted most of my writing day trying “one more thing” to get it back up to speed.

I use multiple back-up methods so that wasn’t an issue, although one of the troubleshooting things was to remove Chrome and I was in such a hurry I neglected to save my bookmarks.

New machine arrived and I was able to get up and running on it fairly quickly until I opened my Scrivener document of my work in progress and it was empty. Again, I am good with backing up and I was able to figure out what happened and where to find a back up that was about 98% current but all this technology froofing around has wasted a lot of my measly writing time. I am behind.

I think I said early spring for Book 2. HA!

Pushing it back to early summer. I’ve learned that it’s not that I can’t write that fast. But I can’t that fast without letting down in every other area of my life: friends, family, health, household, work. Not a good plan for the long run.

Meanwhile, this is today’s sourdough loaf. It’s the prettiest loaf I’ve done in awhile. I’ve written posts about how I make bread at my other website. Part 1 and Part 2.

Super Fan

Watching UCLA warm-up on beam. Photo by Robert Hughes.

Yesterday I fulfilled a longtime goal by going to my first NCAA gymnastics meet. UCLA was at Oregon State. I was in full geek girl mode — enthralled every minute I was in the room. I was even clapping during warm-ups. It turned out super fun. Both teams had a great meet with lots of amazing routines. It was fun to actually hear the floor music for a change. I liked seeing how the teams warm up from event to event. And I enjoyed watching the coaches watch their athletes during the routines.

The entire meet was a highlight but particular favorite moments: Peng Peng Lee on beam, UCLA on floor, UCLA on the sidelines, Maddie Gardiner and Kaytianna McMillan on floor.

UCLA highlights are here. Be sure to watch Kyla Ross’s 10 on bars. (Scroll down)

Oregon State wrap up is here.

One last favorite moment was at the end of the meet when they invited all the kids to the floor to dance with the gymnasts. When Madison Kocian joined her teammates on the floor you could see the crowd make a major shift in her direction. They started a conga line before a riot started.