Pardon My Dust

Palms by Kat

Sunset? Sunrise? A new dawn of a new day.

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Drinking Coffee and Musing on the Draft

That’s kinda what I’m doing now. Coffee and thinking…thinking and coffee. The problem is that maybe there’s a bit too much coffee and too much thinking and not enough writing…

I have opted for the first person. I’ve even gotten it started. I think it’s a pretty good start. But the big momentum thing is a little hard to get under control.

One thing that I’ve learned from my students is that procrastination has something to do with your level of comfort re: whatever project you’re putting off. Effectively, the unknown of the project–or the potential fallout re: the project–can be a psychological hurdle that needs to be worked through.

I hadn’t really thought about it like that. This unknown/nerves factor might explain a number of different projects that I’ve got in mind…but I just never seem to be able to get to the next step much less the first step. I have plans. But for some reason, they seem to wind up just never getting beyond first base.

One of the things that compelled me to start losing some of the weight was simply that I wanted to be/feel healthier than I had been. It wasn’t so much “lose the weight” as it was “you need more energy to keep rolling with the way your life is going.” Another thought that kept spinning around in my head was “what’ve you got to lose?” (No joke…) It was simply that sense that I’d hit some sort of “put up or shut up…nothing ventured” moments.

(Is it possible that my life has fallen into a cliche factory?)

Anyhow, the fear factor makes a lot of sense. But I’m also done with letting that fear hang out rent free.

Now what?

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First Person or Third Person?

The thing that I’m having issues with is actually getting started with the novel.

I have the victim. I have the murderer. I even have the sleuth and her love interest–errrrrr former love interest, who really really really needs a solid whack to the back of the head. Stubborn git. (Course my main character isn’t exactly the quiet, unassuming type…)

I have an outline of how most of it should be playing out. But my brain is saying third person POV while my gut is saying First. Each one plays out differently. And I know that I technically have more autonomy in the third. But…my gut says “go the other way…”

I’m torn…

But if I keep sitting at this crossroads, I wind up feeding the procrastination beast.

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Beginning of September AAAAARGH!!!

I have not been procrastinating. Though it sure feels like I have. Sorta…

But since my last post, I’ve been doing some moving of files and trying to make some sort of organizational sense of the mess I’ve made of my story. I’ve got the murder victim. I’ve got the murderer. I’ve got the sleuth. And I’ve got the setting as well as the pesky love interest, the one who just won’t go away.

But it’s all in several different files that seem to repeat, overlap, and disconnect from each other in ways that I just don’t totally understand anymore.


But as of now, I’ve got about eight weeks to get it figured out and back on track. So…the next few days will be getting all of the relevant pieces put into some semblance of order so that I can start filling in the cracks and fleshing out the rest.

In the meantime, Jake’s waiting to tell my sleuth to keep her nose out of his investigation. And needless to say, that’s going to go over really well with my main character…not…

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A Clean Slate…

I know that it’s the beginning of August. Or rather, it’s closer to the middle of the month. But I’m feeling a lot like Eddard Stark wandering around that castle, knowing full well that “Winter is coming…” again.

By winter, I mean November. And by November, I mean Nanowrimo. It’s coming.

Over this past weekend, some friends and I came up with a new idea related to a mystery series that I’d fiddled around with off and on over the past few years. As usual, it never seemed to go anywhere once the end of the semester started gearing up. (Aside: Nothing says “Stop playing with your novelizing dreams” like several stacks of student papers waiting to be read and critiqued.) The idea is currently in the “mulling it over” phase.

However, one of the things that I realized is that in order to get to that particular idea, I’m going to have to pull out the earlier mystery draft and pull it together…and finish it.

In order to do that, I’ve got several things to do. None of them are particular daunting…not really. That is unless you’re suffering from “blank screen” phobia.

That? That would be me.

And I’ve also discovered that I love to bury myself in the business of plotting and and research. I can find myself following various links re: murder weapons and character flaws for hours and hours before I look up to find that it’s evening…and I have to go do  X.

So…I’ve concluded that I need to sit my butt down and get rolling on putting the actual story together. Hell…I’ve even got the sub-plot in there.

I just need to get started.

It’s mid-August. My deadline is 31 October…30 October really. I need a day to refocus on the next phase: a 50,000 word draft of another cozy murder mystery.

I need to set up a schedule…and stick to it. And I’m going to try and make periodic updates here on the blog.

And that’s where the clean slate also comes into play. In the past, I’ve been a haphazard blogger. And my goal here is to aspire to be better. So…be aware that I may be posting other random bits and pieces as I love to spin yarn. I enjoy knitting. And traveling (road tripping) feeds my yen for adventure.

So…to anyone reading, here goes…

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The Spinning Wheel Addiction

I confess. I am now a spinning wheel-aholic.

So far as I can tell, I just can’t help myself. The rabbit hole that I have fallen into is a deep deep one. And though I keep hoping for a white rabbit to guide me out of the hole, I find myself–albeit happily–surrounded by a crew of enablers.

These aren’t just any old spinning wheels mind you. After all, it’s not like I’m checking in with the regular providers of spinning wheels for my “fix.” Nooooo…that would be way too simple. And…really really expensive.

The first wheel was simple enough. I asked for one as part of a Christmas gift. She’s beautiful and will always be my “go to” wheel. A Kromski Sonata, a castle wheel done up in a walnut. A last present from my mom.

But now…

The wheels that I’m dealing with are the old ones. My first was an auction purchase that was just happenstance…


A Saxony spinning wheel painted black. And though no one knows why, the black on this wheel is well done.

And that’s when I discovered that the search for “new to me” wheels is a never ending one with random searches through auction house sites, ebay, Craig’s List, and so many other locations in the inner reaches of the Internet.

Most recently, I took a road trip to B’more to have lunch at the Double T diner and pick up a Canadian Production Wheel in a parking lot exchange.


And though it took a bit of patience and fiddling with, I finally got her to start spinning.


I think it’s the rush that you get when you manage to get a piece of history moving and working in a world that has seemingly left all the antiquated behind in favor of newer…faster…and modern.

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Procrastination? Yup…

First off…I’m on break. That means that I have been sleeping as late as possible, staring at the computer screen to make words magically appear, watching TV because I can, getting my ipod up and running again with the new software install, hiding from everyone that I don’t have to deal with, and petting the cats because they need pet.

Oh…and I’ve been knitting on a number of different UFOs in an attempt to knit down as much yardage as possible before MDSW this spring. And thinking about my plan for the next semester–EN102 students? You’ll be learning about many X-Files related things…enjoy that. I know I’ve been really enjoying the reruns.

What I haven’t been doing could fill volumes. One of those things that I haven’t been doing is coming up with all of the inane bells and whistles related to course rationale for “the other class.” When I first saw the request for my course rationale, my response was a very natural “WTF?” And even as I sit here and compose a one line rationale for why I am teaching a class on professional writing, I still don’t even remotely understand why I need one. It’s writing. It’s for business/communications students who are about to enter the real world. They’re going to need to have a working idea of what it is that they’re going to be asked to do when the boss comes up and says something along the lines of “I need a press release for next Saturday’s event. And I need it yesterday.” the newly hired employees will have a good idea of what it is that they’ve just been asked to write.

So while the departments think it’s necessary (read required) for business and communications students to have a theoretical as well as a practical understanding of the numerous rhetorical situations they will face in the arena of professional writing, I apparently have to come up with some sort of justification for the course’s existence.

And though the response to my “Why are you here…in this class?” question is generally met with a deadpanned “Because it’s required for graduation,” I suspect that a shrugged response of “Because it’s required.” isn’t going to fly with the folks who like to toss around words like praxis and discursive.

Really…I’d rather be knitting…

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Three Days and Counting…

The gearing up has begun.

Nanowrimo Badge

Yesterday, I cleaned up the kitchen…again. The clean linen table cloth–white covers the kitchen table. The basket on the counter is slowly being filled with things chocolate and yummy. There’s a basket of writer’s block knitting nearby.

And I’ve tossed a warm kitteh blankey onto the chair near the window to attract soft ankittehd furry support of the feline variety.

Whilst lots of thought has gone into the set up of some scene cards, other relevant writing tools and tricks have fallen by the wayside. But I really need to get them figured out too.

I know I keep repeating myself, but I have a murder victim and a murderer…YAY!!!

There’s even a scene of the crime complete with crime scene investigators…or at least the small town equivalent (e.g. sheriff, deputy, and coroner crew). That is before the news filters out that the victim is someone of “federal interest.” Then we wind up with a whole crew of investigators from the local office.

Other things…

We went on a ghost walk a week or so ago. Why is it that we got the lone “nothing ghostly ever happens to me” tour guide? I mean…seriously. If you’re going to be a guide, you might want to at least get into the “ghostly” mood. The tour was good. It could’ve been great.

I haven’t had a chance to look at the few photos I was able to get.

But I think we’re headed to the Patapsco Women’s Institute for a ghost hunt…if there are reservation openings.

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Cause I can, I guess…

Top Ten Desert Island Books (in no particular order):

1. Alexandre Dumas The Three Musketeers
2. Arturo Perez Reverte The Club Dumas
3. Katherine Neville The Eight
4. Douglas Adams Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
5. Neal Stephenson Cryptonomicon
6. Charles de Lint Moonheart
7. Charles de Lint Spiritwalk
8. Mark Danilewski House of Leaves
9. H. P. Lovecraft Short Stories
10. Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice

And there’s a whole ‘nother trunk full of different series books that I want on my desert island too…and a case of Saranac’s Pomegranate Wheat (trust me…it’s good). (Note to self: Ask beer store guy to order the Pumpkin Ale.)

This list doesn’t include the packets of spiral notebook and pens that would also be stranded with me as well…cause once I’ve read or re-read all of those books, I’ll have a bunch of novel ideas to knock around.

Though…with my luck, a rescue ship’ll come by and pick me up just as I start getting down to the noveling part.

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A Discombobulated Miscellany of Stuff

I’ve got a ton of things spinning around in my head right now. That’s making it difficult to focus on any one thing or other. So here they are in order of relative importance (in other words…there is no order of importance…really):

1. I’ve signed up for the Hollow Hill Ghost Hunting Course. (I can’t figure out if it’s really because I want to start huntin’ ghosties or if it’s going to wind up in my Nano novel)
2. The New England Ghost Project has finally posted a new podcast. (YIPPEEEE!!!)
3. I’ve been trying to figure out whether I want to whack my Nano novel’s murder victim over the head, trip him up then strangle him, or just have the murderer tackle him to the ground and whack him over the head with a stone from a local construction site. (Oh the thinks that you think when trying to plan the murder backstory to the Nano novel…he’s going to wind up poisoned. But I have to figure out how to get him unconscious in order to do the rest)
4. I’ve learned a new stitch thank ever so to the Yarn Harlot and the patience of a right handed knitter who allowed me to watch as she stitched the stitches a couple three times. (As a south paw knitter, my stitches are backwards…and potentially dizzying…to the right handed world)
5. Last night’s pool match. (I won! But I’m still playing one of those scratch on the 8 ball shots over and over in my head)
6. Replaying the latest Danger Kitty Adventure in which she manages to catch a squirrel by the tail only to wind up chasing the squirrel about the porch until the squirrel defies gravity and makes it to pissed and chattering freedom. DK manages to not fall off the porch railing in the chase. She’s learning.
7. Contemplating the fact that I’ve got like 5 knitting projects going and someone announced that I’ve got 12 weeks left for some of them…a couple are much closer to done than others.
8. Did I mention that I have to write an academic article for an upcoming conference presentation?? (Aaaargh!)
9. Then there’s the root canal. The only positive thing that I can think of with regards to even the idea of “The Root Canal” is:

I’m sure there’s more…but…

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