In which I continue writing like a madwoman, and ponder gifts

NaNoWriMo continues to dominate my social calendar this month (word count: 18,170).
I had a breakthrough this morning and pushed a supporting character down the stairs, thereby gaining myself more than 1,000 words once I got the granddaughter on the scene, the volunteer medics on the scene, and the stuffed animal back where it belongs. Whew. Here's an excerpt from the story (before grandma's encouter with gravity):
Her dad was down in the kitchen, making waffles. “Hey, kiddo,” he greeted his daughter by lifting up the hat and plunking a kiss on her forehead, “you are just in time for the best waffles in the whole world!”

“You say that every Saturday,” she told him solemnly.

“I do say that every Saturday,” he agreed with her. “And every Saturday it is even more true than it was the Saturday prior. Isn’t that an amazing coincidence? Maybe we should call the record books or something.”

“Yeah, Dad. Sure,” she said, trying to sound sarcastic, but smiling at him shyly instead. She had actually always loved her dad’s Saturday morning waffle routine.

He had kept up the waffle routine for her even when her mom swore off waffles for life, (“I can’t ride with all those carbs, Michael!”) and he made a point of waffle-Saturdays even after the divorce. Then, he would pick her up early on Saturday mornings at her mom’s house—or sometimes, at her mom’s barn where they’d spent the night after a long week of clinics and lessons with visiting trainers—and drive her back to his apartment to make waffles and plan their weekend together.

Sometimes they would go fishing, sometimes they would go to the zoo, and sometimes they would just stay home and read books and watch movies. But always there were waffles.

“Maple syrup today, my dear? Or strawberries? Or…” he checked the contents of the freezer, “Yes, it looks like the blueberries survived the long and perilous journey across the state to the vast unknown wilds of this new and untamed freezer. Would you like to reward their tenacity by devouring them on waffles?”

“Yes, please,” she told him. “I’ll heat them up in the microwave if you want some, too.”

He nodded, and she carefully poured little frozen blue marbles from the bag into a glass measuring cup, and put them in the microwave for half a minute. Serving the blueberries this way had been the invention of her mo—um, her grandmother really liked blueberries served this way with waffles.

Yes, it was that same grandma who did the gravity check a mere two pages later. I am nothing but cruel to my supporting characters, and have never pretended otherwise.

I have also written in an unplanned character to the story, thanks to BootsandSaddles4Mel, who awarded me a Valuable Prize on her blog this week:

Isn't this just the cutest little thing? I've named him "Luck" and he will actually have a very important role in the next few chapters of the story. Thanks, Mel!

Now, can we talk about gifts?

The "holiday season" for ME is Hallowe'en and Thanksgiving and NaNoWriMo. After my mom's birthday on December 1st, I prefer to pull the covers over my head and sleep until the Pacific Northwest Endurance Rides' annual conference at the end of January. Don't bother me with Xmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or Junkanoo, please. I will arise for a brief celebration on Solstice (days getting longer, hooray!).

Other than that, just leave a message and I'll get back to you in early Spring, right?

But there's this "gift thing" in December that is morbidly fascinating to me. I find it almost almost interesting enough to stay awake:

The Fabulous Useless Gift of the Year.

You've seen these: S'mores makers. Ice-tea makers. Anything invented by Ron Popeil, and anything advertised in hyperactively excited tones: But Wait! There's More!

Jim and I love to try to discover these unreal items by watching the newspaper ads (we don't do television or commercial radio, so I'm sure we miss stuff...but that's another post).

He's betting on this for 2009:Yes, you guessed correctly. It's a Food Tumbler. People are starving in the world, and somebody wants to waste electricity to marinate meat. Sigh.

I haven't found my entry for 2009 yet. I'm still boggled by this:

2008 Truck Antlers. >shaking my head<

So, what does the discerning Poet/Farmer appreciate in a gift?

Jim and Willy hit the jackpot at the lumber yard the other day:(HINT: Lumber yard= good place to shop for farmer gifts. Hardware store = even better)

Not only is this a nice-quality single-hand folding knife with a locking blade, it's PURPLE. And also GREEN. And also SHINY! I used it to hack up the jack o' lanterns so the chickens could eat them.

Now that is a gift.

Life is good!


  1. Book seems to be coming along nicely - was grandma deserving of her fate or just needed for plot development?

    Love the knife!

  2. Awww, that excerpt reminds me of my Dad, who made my lunch every single day I was in school. :)

    I have an ice tea maker! It really does make better tea than just boiling water and pouring it over tea bags. Hmph. Ice tea is a Very Important Southern Custom, thank you very much.

    Graham and I prefer to celebrate Festivus instead of the other December choices. All you need is a pole and some grievances!

  3. this is my ami cultural fix of the day.

    the antlers, really? have you seen them going down the road? dangerous at the drive thru i think.

    so far i haven't seen testicles hanging from truck hitches here in europe (where are all the trucks, anyway?) but i saw something last night that was even more graphically shocking. wait til sunday!


  4. Truck testicles are yukky!

    So far, I haven't seen them advertised as The Perfect Gift.

    So far.

  5. Snuggies. SNUGGIES! That's my vote for the '09 Gift Of The Year.

    Graham and I love cheesy infomercials. "Are you completely unable to perform this simple life task? WELL WORRY NO MORE! Now for only $24.99 plus s/h you can have a unitasking gadget!"

  6. Thanks for sharing that little bit of yours story, it was great! The characters have great voices and you did a great job of creating that little bit of tension between the father and daughter. Good job!

    btw- the truck antlers...ridiculous!

  7. I don't understand Snuggies.

    But then, I don't understand truck antlers either....

  8. Wow - that's a lot of words used, just to describe breakfast... :) That's the point right?

    I like it - "Luck" LOL. Are you going to kill him off in the book too?

  9. BTW - I hate christmas. I like what it represents (in the christian sense) but hate everything else that surrounds it. For some reason, nothing triggers my depression faster than walking into a store for xmas shopping. I can exactly what I want in mind, go in, wander aimlessly for 2 hours - gradually feeling smaller, lonely, and more insiginificant by the minute, rush out just in time to bawl in my truck - no xmas gifts purchased.

    I've made concious decision NOT to get xmas presents this year. I made a HUGE effort to gift people for their birthdays this year, and any christmas presents will be homemade and will not require any shopping (and there will be very few). Hopefully this keeps me more stable this season and I can actually enjoy it - which will be a first since as least high school.

  10. Sorry - keep rereading the post and seeing more I want to comment on!

    The knife looks a lot like my Kershaw Leek. I LOVE it.

    "Valuable" prize *snort*. Only if you consider the fact that (miracles of miracles) it passed through airport security - in various stages of completion - without getting confiscated - knitting needles and all!


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