Working Wednesday, October 16, 2019

I wrote 2500 new words for Nita today. Yes, I already had too many words, but if you’re going to refocus a book, you’re going to have to do some new writing. The big thing is, it was a wonderful feeling to create something new instead of trying to fix something old. Maybe I haven’t lost it after all.

What did you make this week?

Questionable: How Do I Know What Genre My Book Is?

Judy asked:
I have written a novel and I am having trouble determining genre. It’s a romance for sure. It has suspense for sure. But it also has ghosts. No other paranormal elements- just ghosts. It doesn’t have that goth somber flavor. Is paranormal romantic suspense a genre? If so can it be paranormal when the only thing supernatural is ghosts?

So let’s talk about genre. Genre means “kind,” so when you’re deciding on what kind of book you’re selling (not writing), all you’re doing is slapping a label on it. Continue reading

Happiness is Waking Up in the Middle of the Night and Not Caring Because You Can Sleep Late

So I had an idea for a happiness post, but it was grouchy. And then I got distracted by other things (like reading a novel that was kind of annoying but finishing it anyway) and fell asleep, only to wake up at 5AM and remember that I hadn’t put up a happiness post. And that made me happy because (a) I still had plenty of time to get it up and (b) I could sleep in as late as I wanted. It’s a feeling so luxurious that it’s almost obscene: I don’t have to get up tomorrow. Aside from having three dogs looking at me anxiously if I sleep til noon*, nobody cares. Ahhhh. Happiness.

What made you happy this week?

*I believe in Britain they call this a “lie-in.” Who says I’m not bi-lingual.

Cherry Saturday, October 12, 2019

You know, sometimes I look up the holidays and there’s just nothing there I want to talk about. Like today is Old Farmers Day. I have nothing against old farmers, I come from farm country and one of the best men I’ve ever known was my father-in-law who farmed part time with his mail route. Lovely man who died way too young. It’s also arthritis day, but I don’t feel like dwelling on something that keeps my friends in so much pain (and I know I’m due any time). There were good days we missed. Friday the 11th was Egg Day. I could sing songs to the beauty of eggs. It was also Coming Out Day, which I am also all for; nobody should be in the closet about anything. And the day before that was Cake Decorating Day and Handbag Day, both of which would have had wonderful visuals. (It was also Porridge Day and Hug a Drummer Day, and in my experience, both of these are Bad Idea Days.).

We’re just going to have to go with Old Farmers. Hug one if you can find one.

Random Friday

I remember being in a car back in college with a driver at the wheel who was stoned. It was terrifying. That’s what being an American feels like right now for me. Apologies to the governments of Ukraine, Australia, and Finland. Syria, apologies aren’t enough. We’re better than this. Also, shout out to England which has it’s own terrifying leadership. At least Johnson isn’t trying to corrupt the whole damn world while selling out to dictators. Rather than bury my head in the sand (or in my book which must be finished) I’ve been cleaning and cooking and reading and writing and whistling in the dark (mostly Elton John’s “Nikita,” that sucker is a real ear wig). Also got my stitches out, took down the curtains in the two bedrooms to have them dry-cleaned, and bought Veronica some more t-shirts. Anything but look at the damn news.
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This is a Good Book Thursday, October 10, 2019

This week I read Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Somebody. I was thinking that Alice would talk to a therapist, and while I have plenty of experience of therapy, I thought this might be good for looking at therapy from the outside, or in this case, both sides. Excellent book; it lived up to all the hype around it.

What did you read this week, wonderful or otherwise?

Possibly Not the Kitchen Sink

Last night I made stirfry because I had a bunch of food that was about to go south, and you can put anything in stirfry. So I did. It’s not bad–just had some for lunch–because it turns out if you pour enough tamari and sesame oil and garlic on vegetables, they always taste good. But it was lacking direction. There’s so much stuff in there that I just added chow mien noodles and concentrated on the tamari and the crunch. I mean, it has to be healthy–green beans, peas, mushrooms,bok choy, celery, scallions, half a tomato left over from my sandwich, garlic–but there wasn’t any there there. I’m thinking that’s what happened with the first draft of Nita.
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Happiness is Dogs in Shirts, aka Your Moment of Dog

The vet suggested Veronica start wearing t-shirts because her legs are so short (inbreeding, do not do it) that parts of her chest hit the ground, so we stopped by Petsmart and found a pink t-shirt that said “Miss Understood” on markdown ($2.50!). I tried it on Veronica in the store, and she not only was not traumatized by the experience, she clearly felt this was what her life had been missing up to now. However, she is a dog who’s built very close to the dirt, so that shirt was going to get grubby fast. I went on Amazon, found cheapo shirts and ordered several. When they came, I tried them on Mona and Milton, too, and discovered a new happiness: Dogs in Shirts.

Mona and Milton were not nearly as happy with the idea of dressing up as Veronica: Their shirts were too small, so I returned those and got different ones. Mona is now happily rocking a blue and white striped tee, and Veronica keeps her Miss Understood shirt because it’s perfect for her. Milton continues to reject all sportswear, preferring to go natural, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time, or more precisely, temperature until his old eyes start looking at quilted hoodies as a Good Thing.

What was your happy this week?

Cherry Saturday, October 5, 2019

October is Pizza Month.

Pizza is such an amazing food, so versatile, can be so healthy, no forks needed, it’s just a genius culinary accomplishment. I have also lately become a convert to mozzarella and tomato slices on naan, which I feel is close enough to pizza to qualify. Maybe some mushrooms, a scattering of oregano, maybe a little basil, possibly some onion . . .

A local pizza place does a great Chicken Caesar salad pizza. The crust acts as a giant crouton, and then the dressing is the sauce with chopped lettuce and chicken as toppings. It’s really good. My fave regular pizza? Onion, mushroom, black olives. The basics.

And then there’s your basic Heart Attack Slice: sausage, pepperoni, tons of cheese, white flour crust. Disturbingly good.

What’s your pizza poison?