Birthday hug for me

My actual birthday is this Monday, but since hubby has to work 1pm-11pm that day he gave me my birthday gift last night. He nailed it! That man knows me well.

Started my birthday celebration at Gentle Ben’s. A college landmark just off the University of Arizona campus, although businesses on University Blvd are considered part of the campus 0923161851thanks to swarms of students filling the area, it was fun to be surrounded by the energy of youth on a Friday night.

 

We had a wonderful server who enjoyed our celebration as much as we did. She laughed with us and took good care of us. Wine for me, beer for him and a yummy appetizer.

We listened to the pep rally for the UA Wildcats football game occurring across the street, and people watched the herds of humans moving up and down, in and out.

Superb!

The next part of the evening was my actual gift. Tickets to the Broadway touring company presentation of Cabaret! It was fantastic. We had good seats in Centennial Hall, were feeling relaxed thanks to the drinks, and sat back to let the story and song flow over us. 0923161937

If you don’t know the story, and the play is the best way to experience it, there are some hilarious scenes, some heartwarming and romantic scenes, and scenes that will shock and disturb you, with the story set in pre-WWII Berlin.

The performers did a great job, the choreography was spot on, the musicians immersed themselves in the cast, and the set was dramatic and brilliant.

I liked it! Thanks Chuck XOXOXO.

On our way back to our car we walked past my absolute favorite building on the UA campus. Herring Hall. Built in 1903 it has a strong presence of old academia, and if you can have a crush on a building, well, I have had a crush on this one for 30 years!0923162241

I love touching and caressing the old red brick-waiting for them to tell me stories, looking in the darkened windows for reputed ghosts, and hugging the massive columns. 0923162243

It was the first time I had my photo taken with it and I know it was happy to be remembered.

I wanted to linger and walk around it, running my hands across, capturing the feeling of a small, old, but majestic academic structure that is being crowded out by the new and architecturally splendid edifices spilling out all over campus. 0923162242a

 

New is good and fine, more attractive to youth, and technologically adapted to the future, but the beauty of this one shouldn’t ever be overshadowed or dismissed.

It has served the University of Arizona well and continues to offer it’s space to the needs of generations to come.

I said good night to my building, finishing off my wonderful birthday celebration.

Do you have a special place, space or building that touches your heart and mind? I would love to hear about it.

Cheers!

-N

 

Productive authoring!

This has been one of my most productive writing days in a while. I really knocked it out of the park today. Characters talking, acting up, being bad, and essentially being real fictional humans. Got that?!

My two big rewrites are done, bam!

And if I do say so myself – I did a great job on them. It’s cool being a writer and getting so wrapped up in the story you start talking back to your characters. Twice I actually said out loud “Oh no you are not going to say that!” It was glorious.

I don’t know how others do their editing but mine is done with written notes and post its on a printed manuscript. This is rev#3.

flame-edits

I have two scenes that need elaborating, but other than those most of the edits I have to finish are grammar and punctuation. Hope my beta readers are ready for this story.

Tomorrow night hubby and I have two tickets to see Cabaret at Centennial Hall on the University of Arizona campus. Its a Broadway touring show and I am very excited to experience it up close.

We will be very busy next weekend with a big yard sale, and at the same time babysitting Millie’s brother Jake. It will be interesting since Jake is a big, gorgeous, alpha German Shepherd. His temperament is very different from Miss Millie who has been raised by two adults. I hope the siblings get on okay, since she is a bit intimidated by him. Damn, most people are intimidated by Jake even though he is a very nice boy.

Sometime in the next few weeks I will have some wonderful news to share but not yet. Patience.

Time for a glass of good wine.

Cheers!

-N

Keeping my guardian angel busy

I’ve often said my guardian angel will get a well deserved rest when I’m dead. I’m one of the clumsiest humans there is. Whether there is something to trip over or not, I will fall. I bruise myself when I run into corners, shelves, doors, whatever. I drop things for no reason, for example I grab a bottle of Advil, start to open the top, and I will drop it just as the top is loose enough to dump every pill on the floor. I knock things over like a freshly filled glass of wine placed on a table, or a plate of food. I do this stuff every day! It’s maddening.

Well today I did a good one.

Even though we are in dry Arizona and not a mosquito hotbed of say Houston, we still have them during monsoon season. We have fresh water barrels that collect rain water from our downspouts. These have small wells on the top where the water will stand long enough to breed mosquitoes if we don’t clean them out right away.

This morning I was outside in the coolness enjoying a cup of coffee and checking emails on my phone and I noticed there were quite a few mosquitoes buzzing around. So I lit a mosquito repellent stick that burns for a several hours, and usually we set them in flower pots or the ground. I wanted it near me so I grabbed an egg carton, poked a hole in it and put the stick in it like an incense holder. It worked great and I could move it wherever I wanted it.

A couple of hours later, just before Chuck was about to get ready for work, he asked if the stick was still burning because the smell was strong. I said I knew it would burn for a while and we had the door open so that was what it probably was.

He headed into the bedroom to get ready and I walked outside to make sure the thing had burned out. I looked down at the floor of the deck and there were ashes in the perfect rectangular shape of an egg carton! Not only that, the carpet had burned through to the wood sub-floor. burn

Thank God I didn’t burn the house down. Guardian angel was on the job, again.

Cheers!

-N

Spending the day in my woman cave

Got up, grabbed a coffee and my phone. Looked at the news (what is up with Hillary Clinton?), checked emails and blogs I’m following, looked at social media (love twitter), and got a shower, made breakfast of toast and honey, and then escaped to my room.

Here I am.

I’ve got a netflix movie on the TV, did a bunch of filing, paid some bills, pulled out my story notes and as soon as you lovely blog followers are updated I will start on my writing.

We were in California for four days last week so my work was on hold. It was okay though, since we were spending time with our daughter and our soon to be grandson. Hopefully three more months and the adoption will be done.

We had so much fun watching him experience new places and things. He is eighteen months old and is a busy, bruiser of a toddler. He is very cute, very smart, and a charmer. We went to the ocean twice in one day, had a morning adventure at TravelTown at Griffith Park, made my regular stops at Weilers for Eggs Benedict and Cavaretta’s for deli sandwiches and canoli’s, and enjoyed the days in the Valley.

Now it’s time to get back to work. I am bouncing between two stories, two genres-historical and contemporary-trying to find the flow for both of them. I suppose it seems strange to be working on such different genres simultaneously but it seems to keep me fresh.

So I’m handing off this blog to you lovely followers.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

I’m validated!

I just saw a post on facebook by Jude Devereaux saying she has to have the TV on when she is writing.

I know people say they need music playing, the hustle and bustle activity of a Starbucks, or complete silence, but I have never heard any other author say they had the TV on when they work. I have a TV with a chromecast in my office and I play netflix or youtube videos while I work, but kept quiet about it since it didn’t sound very literary.

Thank you, Jude! She is a prolific and well loved author, so I am validated. Silly I know, but it just shows the influence of all the things I read about how to be a writer-and these resources have never said a TV is a productive writing environment for them.

A couple of nights ago I had a busy night’s sleep. Not really dreaming but instead I was mercilessly dissecting one of my stories. I went scene by scene tearing apart and second guessing each section. I was actually talking to myself while I was dreaming about the book. I argued with myself about character motivation, doubting that certain parts made sense, were necessary or even believable.

One character required more depth for her to do what I needed her to do and I wasn’t sure how to make that happen or what that even looked like. It was a frustrating exercise that left me tired, but motivated when I woke.

I have a question. How big is too big to post on a blog? If I want to post a short story, how would be the best way to proceed? I’ve seen people who have done a blog series and I wonder what readers think of this? I would love to hear what the feeling is about this.

Cheers!

-N