This past week has been filled with:
*Halloween Goodness. We've been decorating around the house and that's always fun. Olivia immerses her whole self in the spirit of whatever holiday it is and becomes this little ball of energy zipping around the house, this time only stopping to paint a wooden house, read (DRIZZLE by Kathleen Van Cleve), or watch the newly-discovered episodes of Kate and Allie on Netflix.
*Goal Setting and Meeting. Olivia's also putting in the hours at dance. THE NUTCRACKER will be here before we know it. Olivia’s dance class time is my writing time. It’s good guilt-free “me” time and I usually head straight for a coffee shop after dropping her off, but this week I’m trying something new; this week I’m trying out library writing and so far, so good. See, when I’m in a coffee shop, I have zero willpower over chai lattes and caffeine in the evening is something it's better I do without. Plus, libraries have the super-cool book ambiance. I’ve found a favorite spot too, catty-cornered between mythology and genealogy. It looks out onto a courtyard. Cozy and perfect.
A few weeks ago I went on a writers retreat. A cabin in the middle of nowhere, and I do mean NOWHERE. (I mentioned on facebook that it was there I saw my first ever shooting star. The whole time felt enchanted, really) There we did writing exercises like this: our own "Where I’m From Poem"s, but we also had time alone to write on our individual projects. When we gathered together that evening we were all inspired and ready to make things happen. We decided that to keep each other on track between meetings we would set goals and check in once a week. My goal was to write everyday for 30 minutes a day. The first week went pretty smooth so I’ve decided to up the requirements a bit and make my new goal 5,000 words per week on the WIP (work in progress fiction story). This doesn’t include blogging and writing in my journal or doing morning pages. Now, this is going to be more of a challenge but I think it’s what I need to actually get this sucker finished. And (hope I don’t regret this later) holding myself accountable here on the blog with Wednesday check-ins. I did a bit of math and if I can stick to this goal (fingers crossed and wearing all available talismans) I will have the project finished sometime around April or May.
I don’t even have the words to express how much just completing this book would mean to me. This story, the characters, have been company through many difficult moments. It kept my mind busy in Mexico, and then during the chemo visits, the lonely, sick times on the couch after those chemo visits. What a joyous thing to see the characters through to the end, a promise kept to myself.
*A Random Act of Kindness. See the abstract there, the gorgeous square piece on the bottom, blue wall. I've tried three times this morning to get a good shot of it but it's cloudy here and not the best for taking photos. I love this piece. LOVE it. It was a surprise, a random-act-of-kindness, from my friend and local artist, Gina Louthian-Stanley. How fun and fantastic is that! Who doesn't love a surprise? Please click to visit her blog and see more of her amazing work. Gina's work is soulful and expressive. Haunting. Earthy. I just love everything she posts. We all see different things when we look at abstract art. With this piece I immediately saw a swan and that relates to another story, a fairy tale sort of story, I've had in the works and will share all about soon. I placed Gina's art in a spot where I can view it many times throughout the day. I can see it from the kitchen and now, from the dining room where I sit typing these words.
*Trying a New Food. Can you believe I've lived in the South for most of my life (other than my brief stint in NJ) and have never had fried green tomatoes? Well, I just thought that there was something wrong about that, especially being the tomato-lovers that we are in this family, so I picked up four very hard, very green tomatoes at the farmer's market. Just dip them in beaten eggs and then in flour or cornmeal and fry. Olivia helped with the dipping; she didn't help much with the eating though. I thought they were tangy and yummy. What do you think, ever had them?