Monday, November 30, 2009

Brother Dear's Hat

Greater love hath no sister than she will use some awesome RED wool tweed chunky yarn that she's been hoarding to make her brother a hat instead of one for herself. But (and it's a very important but) I do have enough left to knit one for myself if I use a different yarn for the edge and braided ties. Can do.

I love this hat pattern and the way this one turned out. It looks very elegant but toasty.

Okay, I Couldn't Stand It

I didn't write at all yesterday. I had finished the story and written over 50k words in 28 days. I had won, I was done. Well, evidently not, because I can't seem to turn it off. All the way to work today (all 4 1/2 miles) I kept thinking of scenes, what happens next, so I plugged in my flash drive and plunged back in. In between customers and phone calls, I pecked away at the keys, getting another 1,379 words down. Here are some of them:

It took a while for the reality of Ms. Janet Fielding to sink in. In the space of an hour we had finished a long and costly renovation and my first guest had come in the front door. I watched Janet Fielding walk back down the beach toward Johnno’s swinging her tote bag and skipping every few steps. Skipping. She was so happy to be moving into the Seaview that she was skipping. I waited until I could barely see her in the swiftly fading sunset light before turning to rejoin Iggy in the kitchen. As soon as I turned to go he came out of the hall. “Who was that?” he asked. I could not keep the grin from my face. “That was my first guest. Can you believe it? I can not.” I flung my arms around his neck and danced in a circle around him. “She said she has been watching and waiting until we were ready to open because she can not afford the rent for her Shoal Bay villa and she is a writer and she wants to sit on my gallery and live in my yellow bedroom and write her next novel. Her next novel, Iggy, that is the coolest thing I could ever imagine.” I stopped hopping and dancing around the room and put my fingers to my lips. “I wonder if I could buy one of her books here on the island.” I frowned at the shelves above the coffee bar. “I had planned to use those shelves and cubbies for books that my guests can read and share, you know a kind of casual lending library. It would be so cool to have copies of books by authors who stay here, would it not?” Iggy was laughing at me, chuckling in that warm and sexy way he has, making it sound like what I am saying is the most amusing and delightful thing he has ever heard. I went back over to fling myself at him. “Oh, do not laugh at me; I am so excited. Wait until I tell the kids.” I danced down the hall, through the kitchen, and into my little apartment. He followed me, his eyes caressing me as I led him into the bedroom.

It is so good to be bubbling over with ideas again. It was a long dry spell.

Daily count: 1379 words
Total count: 52,411 words

Today is the end of NaNoWriMo, but I know I'm going to keep going. This story of Rose and her dreams keeps pulling me forward. That's a good thing.


Saturday, November 28, 2009


I did it! I sat here this afternoon and wrote and wrote and wrote myself right to The End. Woohoo! Here you go:

“Hello? Is anyone here?” A woman’s voice came from the lobby. Iggy and I pulled apart and I ran my hand through my hair and smoothed my shorts. A grin spread my lips. “A customer?” I whispered to Iggy as I went toward the front of the hotel. “Can I help you?” I asked as I walked into the room, the setting sun shining through the newly hung curtains, painting the room red gold. I shaded my eyes with my hand. “I am sorry but we are not open yet.” I turned so that the sun was not blinding me to see a woman about my age with a tote bag on one shoulder and a straw hat in her hand. “Oh, you are not?” I shook my head and her shoulders slumped. “I have been walking by for the past ten days hoping that you would be opening soon.” “We just finished the renovations and refurnishing today,” I told her, “we have not even had a dry run. I just moved into my apartment in back…” I stopped making excuses and said, “Were you looking to stay here?” A brilliant smile lit her face. “Oh, yes. I am planning to be on the island for another two weeks, perhaps a month, and I made a terrible mistake when I rented a villa at Shoal Bay.” “Why? It is nice there.” She gave a rueful laugh. “Nice but pricey. I saw your website, nice design by the way, and your rates are much more in my price range.” A small fist of cold hit my stomach but excited warmth ran along my veins. I held out my hand. “I am Rose Lambert, owner of the Seaview, and I would be happy if you would be my first guest…” “Janet,” she said, “Janet Fielding. I am a writer.” We talked for a while longer making arrangements for Janet to move her things from Shoal Bay to the Seaview on Saturday. I took her upstairs and she chose the butter yellow room overlooking the sea. It is the one I would have chosen to write a novel in too. After Janet Fielding left I stood in the pale golden light from the fading sunset and realized that my dream was coming true. Tomorrow we would celebrate the completion of one part of my dream, my children, my new friends, and me, but tonight, right now, the next part of fulfilling that dream had already begun.

The End

Daily total: 2435 words

Total count: 51,032 words

Can't type anymore, must dance.


Finally! Yarn Stuff!

I'm sorry I haven't been very yarn-ish lately. I've been really busy writing every day because I signed up for NaNoWriMo again and that means I have to write 50,000 words this month. Have to. Not because there's a big prize or some sort of award, just because I said I would and I want to keep my promises. I'm having a blast just pounding out the story and not worrying about continuity or grammar, although I am appeasing my innerHitler by running spellcheck once before I quit for the day. Once. And no editing. No going back and replowing the same ground (which is my worst habit) before I get the entire story on the page. I'm into the home stretch with 48,597 words written, only 3 more writing days left, so I allowed myself to play with yarn a bit yesterday. Ahhh.

I added a few rows to Brother Dear's hat,

and I cast on a hat for me just because I wanted to (gloves to follow),

and last night at Friday Night Knitting Circle at the Harmony Cafe at our neighborhood Goodwill store, I cast on a purse that I plan to felt for my beautician for Christmas. I'm loving the yarn. Look at those colors! Yummy.

I did finish Stealth Knitting Project #3, but you won't get to see that until after the holidays. Sorry.

But look up there! Yarn!

Not Exactly Wintery

It hasn't been very cold here. We've had little frost, and no snow. I know! No snow in Wisconsin in November? Let me tell you, the deer hunters were not pleased. But it has allowed us to give free rein to our procrastination skills.

Last Tuesday I finally managed to pick all the leeks from the garden and rinse off the main dirt with the hose. I put them in the bucket and brought them in for Durwood to clean and chop up for freezing. He likes cutting onions and he's great at it. Now we will have bags of lovely pale green and white onions all winter. Thanks, dear!


Sorry, I forgot to post last night. I hope you didn't stay up late waiting. I'm excited that the month is almost over and I can see The End looming on the horizon, drawing nearer and nearer. Fun times. Hope everyone's done digesting their feasts and recovered from braving the mobs on Black Friday. I skirted the edges and emerged barely bruised. Here's a bit of yesterday's words for you:

Marie said good morning with a sly smile. I ignored it and got everyone ready to get moving as soon as Mr. Gomez arrived with his trusty clipboard in hand. Edward was sitting on his heels against the shady side of the container waiting for him. “You should consider going to work for the Customs office if you like it so much,” I told him. He shook his head. “It is not the Customs work I like so much Mrs. Rose, it is the putting things in order that I like. Mr. Gomez he likes things in order and so do I.” Elizabeth had taken my car and gone in search of muffin ingredients at the local markets. I suspected that we would be treated to all sorts of muffins all day long for the rest of her stay. Marie corralled Luke and Melvin and they set to work making the front of the Seaview look as if it was up and running. She made a pitcher of iced tea in my studio and bought a packet of cookies at Chilli’s market on top of the hill. “I hope you do not plan to eat those,” I said, watching her wipe what looked like a year’s dust off the cellophane. “Oh, no,” she shook her head decisively, “these are props. I did not waste any sugar in the tea either. It is a prop too.” She waved her hand at a laundry basket on the floor next to her table. “I borrowed some dishes and things from our room so that I can stage some photos. I hope you do not mind.” I peered with interest to see what she had commandeered; there were a couple of pillows, some coasters, what looked like a pareo or two, coffee mugs and glasses. “I bought glasses and mugs,” I said, “they are in the new container.” She turned to level a look at me, her hand on her hip. “And where exactly in there are they?” I shrugged. “How do I know?” “Exactly. That is exactly why I borrowed these things. I need to take the pictures and get your website populated and running. Mother, if you are hoping for guests in a month or less, we have to get this going now.” She nearly shouted that last word. I raised my hands to fend her off. “Okay, okay. But if the box with the glassware is near the door you will consent to using my official things, right?” She gave me one of those “motherrrr” looks and went off to make sure Luke and Melvin were putting up the shutters the way she wanted them to. I shook my head, thinking poor Luke and Melvin, they will not know what hit them.

Lots of things are happening to Rose and The Seaview. I'm excited!

Daily count: 1811 words
Total count: 48,597 words

It's the home stretch! I can see the finish line from here.


Thanks Giving

I give thanks for this lovely meal with my beloved Durwood on Thursday. We had cornbread and sausage stuffing with a Cornish hen half, carrots and chocho glazed with crispy bacon and onions, homemade orange cranberry sauce, and a sweet potato half. (Pumpkin pie with Reddi Whip not shown) It had very little, in fact, no relation to the guidelines laid out in the food plan I've been following fairly faithfully for 6 months now, other than a fact that it was food.

Now I am paying for it with increased numbers at the scale. Grrr. Sometimes I feel like the universe is punishing me.
It tasted good, really great, though.

I suspect I'm good for a while now, so the numbers will slowly diminish again. Oh, I complain about the "slowly" part at times but I'm happy with what I've been able to accomplish with Durwood's excellent cooking and meal planning, and my just-about-daily working out on the Wii. He is a keeper, you know. And I guess one big, huge, gigantic food freak-out in six months isn't bad.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

So Full

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are replete with turkey and stuffing and pie--ooh and homemade orange cranberry sauce like Durwood made today. Delicious. It was a lovely day of phone calls to and from loved ones and dozing after a big meal while football players crashed around on tv. I wrote and read and knitted a bit. A lovely day. I can't believe that there's only four more writing days left of NaNoWriMo. It has been a pain in the ass and a lot of fun all at the same time. I highly recommend it for the sheer freedom of it. Here's a bit of today's efforts:

It was nice to be able to see my kids after so long but suddenly I felt as if I were under surveillance. In the morning after coffee and a bit of toast, we all went down to the Seaview. There was a note tacked to the back door and Silas was nowhere to be seen. The note said that the second cargo container would be arriving on the island freighter arriving that night and we should empty container number one so that it could go back to the dock when they had dropped off number two. I had the second key to the padlock on the container; Silas had one too, so I opened it to see what exactly needed to be moved into the hotel. Once I got past the tools and scraps of pipe and plywood there really was not that much left in there. I called Silas and Iggy to tell them that the next container would be arriving and that I needed help emptying this one. Both of them said that they would be over before noon to help. When I passed this info on to the kids, Dane’s eyebrows rose so high that I thought they might just pop right off his forehead. “They are coming today to help? But is it not Saturday?” He looked at Elizabeth who nodded that it was indeed Saturday. “We have worked quite a few Saturdays,” I said trying to keep the sarcasm out of my voice, “I am capable of hiring responsible workers, even at my advanced age and general feebleness.” Dane flung out a hand and if he could wipe out my words. “Geez, Mom, all right, I get it. You can take care of yourself and I will stay out of your way.” He crossed his arms over his chest and stuck out his bottom lip in a classic brutz just like he had as a little boy. “Oh, all right,” I said, “I will drop it. Sorry, but I could not resist one last dig.” I brushed my hands together. “Let us get started.”

Things are heating up and speeding up, I look forward to getting the entire story down before midnight on Monday.

Daily total: 3000 words
Total count: 46,786 words

Go have more pie!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Man, is it a dreary day. Bleh. All cloudy and drizzly. I'm very glad I'm not driving off to someone's house for Thanksgiving after work tonight. I focused this afternoon so that I've got my words for the day all written and already posted, so that I get to go to a knitting thing at The Attic cafe and used books after work. I would have gone right home if I hadn't gotten my word quota filled before closing time. Really I would have. Cross my heart. Want to see a bit of today's chapter? Okay, here it is:

I sent Dane and Elizabeth off to their room to unpack and clean up before supper while I went into my room for a shower and a little time to think before we met again to go to the Barrel Stay for supper. I knew Mrs. O’Neill would have fresh local fish for supper and that Elizabeth and she would get along like old friends. I poured myself a little glass of fruit juice and rum first and picked up my phone. On a hunch I dialed Marie, listened to it ring at her house in Kentucky, at least I hoped it was ringing at her house. I was relieved when she answered. “Oh good, you are home, are you not?” I could hear the strain in my voice. Her voice was bright. “Yep, here I am at home.” Oh mercy, I knew what came next. “Why would I not be?” I recognized that ‘little innocent me’ tone of voice. I firmed up my own tone of voice. “Okay, Marie, the game is up. What time do you arrive and what day?” There was a longish pause and then she said, “You are mad.” It took a lot of self control not to shout but shouting had never done anything but make Marie cry. “You bet I am mad. Dane shows up here unannounced expecting that I have been lying to you all, that I would have a room for them to stay in, in a hotel with running water and electricity and everything, well, I was not lying and I do not have an empty room for them to stay in.” When I paused I realized that I was holding the phone so tightly that it was in danger of breaking and that I was panting like I had just chased a bus down the block. “Mom?” Marie was saying, “Mom, calm down.” That was totally the wrong thing for her to say. “Calm down? Calm down! Your buttinski brother and his blameless wife barged into the Seaview’s kitchen when I was playing tonsil hockey with Iggy, thinking of having my way with him right there and then. Embarrassed? Not so much.” I laughed a harsh laugh not too far from the laugh an old movie villain would give. Then I got control of myself. “So, Marie, what time does your plane arrive, or are you in Marigot waiting for the last ferry to Blowing Point?” “Mom!” “Do not try to snow or mollify me, Marie, just tell me the truth. When do you get here?” I heard the sound of cars and lilting Caribbean accents through the phone. She sighed. “I will be on the next ferry. Sorry, Mom, Dane made me promise not to tell.” I had just about had it with my adult children who were acting a lot more like children these days. “And you always do what Dane tells you to, right?” I drained my drink and set the empty glass in the sink. “Okay, I will shower and we will be at the ferry dock to pick you up…” I checked the time, “in just about an hour. We can have supper at the Ferryboat Inn since it is right there and I am sure you are hungry.” Her voice was very small. “Okay, Mom, see you soon.”

I like writing dialogue.

Daily count: 1892 words
Total count: 43,786 words

A week from today NaNoWriMo 2009 will be history. And I will be to The End in this story. (fingers crossed)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hot Dog!

Things went well today! I'm loving this, just throwing conflict after conflict at my story with very little breathing time in between. Try it sometime, it's very freeing. Here's a bit of today:

“Hello?” I called and I heard Iggy say, “Back here” from the kitchen. When I went down the short hall and through the door I was amazed at what I saw. “Oh my god,” I stopped dead one step over the threshold, “I have a kitchen. A real kitchen.” While I had been away a miracle had occurred. The stove was installed and the sink and counter top were too. Along one wall there were bottom cupboards with doors topped with a marble counter top. Above it were open shelves made of wire for air circulation in the tropics. It was everything I had imagined all those months ago when I was spending so much time and money in home improvement stores. Iggy smiled at me from the top of the stepladder where he was attaching the last blade of the big ceiling fan. “How do you like it? I made everyone help so that I could surprise you.” I covered my mouth with my fingers. “It, it is just wonderful.” He climbed down and I walked to him and put my arms around his neck. “Thank you, Iggy, thank you so much.” I rose up on my tiptoes and kissed him. His arms went around me and pulled me close. Our kiss deepened and the stresses of the week faded. I ran my right hand down his back and cupped his butt. I loved his firm bottom, the way it felt it my hand. His hand strayed from my jaw to my left breast and we ground together, each of us murmuring our pleasure. It crossed my mind that we might just make love right there. “Mother!” A shocked male voice blared through the room.

Kids! They show up at the most inopportune times.

Only one more week to go.

Daily count: 2055 words
Total count: 41,894 words


Backyard Follies

I put out a new feeder last weekend, a shelled peanut feeder for the nuthatches and chickadees. Naturally the squirrels discovered it and are doing everything they can think of to get some of those peanuts.

Last Sunday it was a gorgeous day and there was a home Packers game. When we have a home game we also get a military fly-over. That's the only part of football I like, so I am always in the backyard because they fly right over our house. I wish I could take video so you could hear it. My ears buzz for about 10 minutes after they're gone. Zoom! I love 'em.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Actual Work

I had actual work to do at work today so I didn't get to write there. I started to feel put out by that fact and then I realized that they pay me to do work there so I should really do it when it presents itself. Plus it hasn't taken me all that long to pound out my daily words today. I've resolved to just chuck all the ideas I have in my arsenal at the story and untangle it later. It seems to work. Who knew? Here's some from today's efforts:

I was tucked into my corner of the lobby surveying a pile of fabric scraps that I hoped to turn into interesting little table cloths or place mats when I felt a hand on my back. I turned thinking it was Iggy but instead found myself staring into the leering eyes of Calvin Brooks. I leaned back in my chair hoping to dislodge his sweaty hand from my shoulder blade. “Can I help you, Calvin?” I said in the stiffest voice I could muster. He began to move his hand, massaging my back and shoulder, straying lower and lower to the center of my back. “Maybe I can help you, Rosie, with your plumbing, you know.” He winked at me, leering. My stomach rolled and I pushed myself to my feet, placing my chair between us. “Help me do what exactly?” I folded my arms across my chest. His hand reached out as if to touch me again but I batted it away. “The only help I need from you is to have my hotel’s plumbing replaced,” I said keeping my voice low. “I can not believe that you would suggest such a thing. Do you not realize that I have been spending nights with Iggy and that I have made friends with Dru?” He shrugged and lifted his hands as if weighing something round and soft. “Sometimes one man is not enough; sometimes one woman is not either.” That was it, the end of my patience. I pointed out toward the kitchen. “Out. Get out of my sight and stay out.” He backed up as if I had slapped him, his hands protectively out in front of him. “You do not have to…” “Oh, I think I do have to, Calvin. You obviously have an elevated impression of yourself and a low opinion of women, especially Dru and I. Now, go and work. If you decide that you do not want this job, I will understand and find another plumber.” He shambled away shaking his head mumbling about “just trying to be friendly.”

Uck. What a snake.

Daily count: 1889 words
Total count: 39,839 words

They're piling up! One more week...