Monthly Archives: August 2014

Gold Star Award #1

Slide2This week I have been working through the chapters of my manuscript (the first draft of which was wrapped up last summer) from beginning to end.  As of today at 3PM or so I finished #10, which is one-third of the files.  Granted, these are the chapters I have already worked over a fair bit, but still, that’s 10 chapters x about 5,000 words each.  That’s a lot of words. Most of them are pretty good; a few of them, kinda great; only a brief wave of crappiness got me down earlier in the week.  Still, I’m feeling pretty good about the progress I made overall, and if I don’t give myself a gold star, who will?

Although it’s not been a full five-day week, tomorrow I will be engaged in a very important day-long extra-curricular activity, so for now I need to shut down the Great Work and think about other things.  I guess technically it is a holiday weekend too, so I won’t feel badly about taking the break.  And you shouldn’t either.  Ciao!

P.S. If you are also deserving of a gold star for achievement in editing, by all means, feel free to borrow mine.  Just please return it by Tuesday morning, since I may need the encouragement to get started again.

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Meet Scrumpy

DSC_0762My not-well-earned break from writing a lot of crummy words into a crummy chapter today was a Twitter break where I learned that today is National Dog Day.  Look: there is a website (with sponsors!), so this must be a real thing (never mind that it has an official founder, who describes herself as a “pet and family lifestyle expert”; excuse me while I go update my c.v. likewise).

Anyhoo, seems a reasonable opportunity to introduce my veritable dozens of readers to the “canine copilot” mentioned in the blog header.  Behold Scrumpy, who spends her days at my side when I am home writing.  She’s not a huge help when I am trying to figure out how to turn a phrase or identify just the right word that I used to know but has since slipped my mind, but she’s a great audience in never ever interrupting when I read out parts of drafts or as a companion to walk around during a writing break and she never ever says “that’s a bunch of crap” when I tell her my latest awesome idea.  And it’s helpful to have someone around to ostensibly talk to during the day; otherwise it’s just me and the dead architects who haunt me.

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How I Spent the First Day of Classes


Here’s what I did instead of attending the first day of the semester at my university:

Instead of: I was:
6:30 jostling with my kids for the bathroom drinking coffee
7:00 driving to campus walking the dog back from kids’ bus stop
8:30 fighting with Wi-Fi/photocopier/etc. poking around the garden; roasting tomatoes
9:00 holding my first class doing paperwork for the dean
10:00 attending convocation doing paperwork for the provost
11:00 holding my second class making coffee & opening up the MS
12:30 calling four floors down to see how it was going in my DH’s part of the school calling from twelve miles away to see how it was going in my DH’s part of the school
1:30 eating a salad at my on-campus office desk while answering advisee email and checking Facebook eating a salad at my at-home make-shift stand-up desk while running spellcheck on the chapter du jour and checking Facebook
2:00 talking to colleagues talking to the dog
3:30 fighting with Wi-Fi/photocopier/etc. and wondering if my kids were getting rained on walking home from the bus stop running spellcheck while waiting at the bus stop to pick them up
4:30 zooming from one town to the next to get viola player to his lesson thinking about leaving for viola lesson; blogging


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