Monday, October 27, 2014

...So...NaNo...

Is coming.
I've only done it one other year (two years ago...I think...) and I nailed it.
Nearly every other year I've been in the thick of another project, and didn't want to put on the breaks to crank out something "new".
But I'm about to finish my current WIP, like probably tomorrow, and I want something new ready to jump into right away.
Something about autumn turns me into a writing machine. That coupled with the fact that this is the part of the year in which time starts to suddenly move faster, and commitments pile up like snow until you are buried in parties and activities and gatherings - all of which are fun, but it is an easy time to lose track of yourself.
So what I'm saying is, I'm leaning towards taking a crack at NaNo this year.
Anybody else?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

"What's Up Wednesday" is run by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk, and is an awesome weekly bloghop that gives readers and writers a great venue to keep in touch through the magical world of blogs. Come hop with us!*






So, it's Wednesday again, and today started off great - for about ten minutes. I'll get to that below. 

What I'm Reading 

I'm still working on Film by Marisha Pessl.  But I also stumbled upon the Lockwood & Co. series by Jonathan Stroud while at the bookstore this weekend with junior. Sooo I had to pick that up too.   

What I'm Writing 

Almost done with the revision of the MG adventure. I'm in the last 40 pages or so (word and chapter counts are changing daily) And I want nothing more in the world than to spend the rest of the week with my manuscript. But alas, bills need to be paid, food needs to be consumed both by myself and by the child and husband, and parts of the house occasionally need to be tidied up for the sake of living like civilized people. The words "writer's retreat" have never sounded more heavenly than they do right now.  

What Works For Me  

Oh good gravy. Nothing. A Time Turner would be nice. Or a household staff. I'll take either one, just to get the massive workload done so I can concentrate.  

What Else I'm Up To

Well, one of those things happened this morning that is inevitable, but non the less disheartening. Our dear oldest cat, Lola, who is somewhere around 17 (we adopted her as an adult stray, so we'll never know her exact age) and still phenomenally spry, took a turn for the worse the past few days. Now, and old cat being slow and lazy is a tough call. Is she just old? Or is she actually ill? The last time she was at the vet and had her blood work done, she was in perfect health for a very senior cat. This morning it was obvious that she needed some medical attention. The vet decided to keep her overnight, and run some tests. It may be a simple infection, and it may be something serious or more chronic. For now, we wait, and spend the first night without our dear girl in 15 years. We went through this before a decade ago, and that time, our kitty never came home. And that made me feel the worst. Not that our cat had a sudden unexplained illness, but that he had to spend his last night in a cold cage at the vet's office, and not in his warm home with his family. As least I was with him the next day when it became clear that treating him was not helping him, but leaving them in someone else's care - even the super competent vet - is still terribly hard. 

So, here's hoping the rest of the WUW world is having a better day, and hoping for good news tomorrow. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

"What's Up Wednesday" is run by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk, and is an awesome weekly bloghop that gives readers and writers a great venue to keep in touch through the magical world of blogs. Come hop with us!*






Look at that beautiful fall wreath! It's October! Love!  

What I'm Reading 

Night Film by Marisha Pessl.  Just started, but it's glorious so far. Next up is Measure for Measure again, as I've got Mr. Cate nearly convinced to produce a Shakespeare film with me.  

What I'm Writing 

Back to revising my MG adventure story. Notes came back from Fabulous Agent, and now I'm polishing like a fiend over here.  

What Works For Me  

Making time to write. I don't mean requiring myself to write, I mean allowing myself the time to work. Mr. Cate is in the middle of a training program for his dream job, which means my income is the main income around here at the moment, which in turn has made me feel that every spare moment should be spent on my business, and working working working, or else I'm a slacker. But last month I was forced to step back and take a week away, and guess what? Things went along just fine. I'm now setting aside some time each morning to work on my manuscripts again. Getting some writing done always makes me feel that I accomplished something that day, even if everything else is just a whirlwind of nonsense and tasks that never get completely finished. 

What Else I'm Up To

Made my second appearance at the Holy Hill Art Farm, which was just as much fun as last year, even though the weather was 20 degrees colder and 100% rainier than the forecast described. It was still a good crowd, and a great weekend for me. It was also me and mister's anniversary - 12 years with this old scoundrel. 





What else is going on out in writing world?? 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What's Up Wednesday, Welcome Back Edition

"What's Up Wednesday" is run by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk, and is an awesome weekly bloghop that gives readers and writers a great venue to keep in touch through the magical world of blogs. Come hop with us!*






Ah, it's been a while - Good to be back! 

What I'm Reading 

Read John Green's Paper Towns on an airplane. Waiting for a new box of books to arrive on my doorstep any moment now.  

What I'm Writing 

A new historic, magically realistic MG, along with my ghost story MG, which was stalled a bit. But I figured out a few of the problems while on hiatus. Hopefully I'll have two sparkly new manuscripts by the end of the year.  

What Inspires Me Right Now 

Coffee. Cold weather. A fresh sheet of paper and a new bolt of fabric. It's my favorite time of year, and colder than average too, which I LOVE. 


What Else I'm Up To

Well, I spent the last almost two weeks of August here: 

Hello Kona! 

I spent my birthday in a volcano, snorkeled on a coral reef, fed a wild sea turtle, visited a beach made of gemstones, and slept in a room where dolphins woke us up each morning outside the window. Yeah, can't complain. 

Our lodgings.

Mr. Cate making a new friend at the cafe. 

Cate Junior on the beach at Anaeho'omalu Bay 

And now that we're home - Big art show this weekend! This will be my second year in a row at the Art Farm in Holy Hill. Last year was fantastic. I can't wait for some live music, fresh local food, sunny late summer weather and meeting up with all the fantastic artists I met last year at the Farm. But that means that this week is sewing and prepping time. Next week will be diving back into writing time. 

I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend lined up! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Love September

Love it. This just might be the best month of the year. Seriously.
Around here we celebrate the little guy's birthday, and the big kids' anniversary (#12). In September the weather starts to change, sometimes not until the very end, sometimes right at the beginning, like this year, although it was my favorite kind of summer - cold.
Today I did two of my favorite non writing things. After the school bus left, Mr. Cate and I went back to our dark, quiet bed and fell back asleep for a few more hours, while it rained outside. After I finally had to get up and participate in the day, I put on my slippers for the first time since last spring.
Slippers, coffee, and a new manuscript. It rarely gets better than that.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

"What's Up Wednesday" is run by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk, and is an awesome weekly bloghop that gives readers and writers a great venue to keep in touch through the magical world of blogs. Come hop with us!*







Happy Wednesday! I managed to get here a little earlier this week. 

What I'm Reading 

Still reading Zadie Smith's NW. There hasn't been a lot of reading time this week. 

What I'm Writing 

Finished the latest revision of my MG manuscript! Huzzah! This was a reconstruction round. There will be a lot of cleaning and polishing to do on the next round, but for a few days, at least, I am letting that one simmer. Which means I spent yesterday outlining a new project, of course. It's actually a manuscript I started last year, that is still a collection of ideas and a few rough chapters. Now that it's all sorted out, it's time to jump in and turn it into something. 

What Inspires Me Right Now 

Open windows! We have pretty extreme seasons here, normally. Shockingly cold winters, brutally hot and sticky summers. But this year has been cool and breezy. Lots of sunny days with all the windows in the house open, enjoying the scents of the flowers under the living room windows, the sounds of birds and kids and puppy dogs in the neighborhood. Usually we have to wait until fall to get perfect weather like this. 


What Else I'm Up To

Making sea slugs to send to France! Never thought I'd get to use all those words together in a sentence! 
One of my favorite things to make for my little Etsy shop are nudibranches, or sea slugs, though they're not entirely slugs. They live everywhere, they are shockingly colorful, and they are surprisingly fun to make into plushies.  And the people who are in the market for sea slug plush are a very fun bunch to know. Divers, sailors, museum curators, little kids with big vocabularies, and my most plentiful customer - boyfriends of marine biologists. Happy to help, guys ;) 
This is a real animal, Felimare californiensis. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"What's Up Wednesday" is run by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk, and is an awesome weekly bloghop that gives readers and writers a great venue to keep in touch through the magical world of blogs. Come hop with us!*







Happy Wednesday! Let's jump right in, shall we? 


What I'm Reading 

NW by Zadie Smith. I read On Beauty last year, and loved it. Just started NW, but so far, it's the same kind of wonderful. There is a lot of experimental formatting in this one, but Smith is the kind of writer who crafts sentences, and makes you want to note the construction, so she gets a pass. Otherwise, that kind of thing can get a book permanently stuck at the bottom of my TBR pile.  

What I'm Writing 

Last 10k of my MG revisions. I've been attempting to set deadlines on finishing this, but I finally realized that self constructed deadlines don't work for me. I don't need motivation to sit down and write. I love writing. And this revision has been pretty intensive. It's not just clean up or line edits. There has been a fair bit of rewriting, and brand new chapters. So far out of the original 60k, I've cut at least 5500 words, and added back 7500. There is no need to rush, and I'm liking the result, so while I'd like to have it "done by x date", if it doesn't happen, there's no need to panic.  

What Inspires Me Right Now 

Livin' the dream. No, things aren't perfect.  But when it comes to the average day in the life, I really couldn't have it any better. Cute house, adorable son, gorgeous and talented husband, sunshine, flowers outside my window, books to read, books to write. Cat on my lap while I work on my manuscript. Playing video games with the kid in the morning, doing some gardening with him in the afternoon. Glass of wine and a movie with the husband at night. I am completely spoiled. 

What Else I'm Up To


Being the hipsters that we are, we made homemade marshmallows. Chocolate, mint and lemon flavors. I am the queen of screwing up recipes, but these basically me-proof. Turned out great. You do need a candy thermometer, and it does make a hell of a sticky mess, but it all cleans with warm water. And if you are a peeps fan like myself, and miss the peppermint stars that are only out for Christmas, then homemade minty marshmallows are for you.