Tuesday, October 31, 2006

On Your Mark...Get Set...

NaNoWriMo starts at midnight! Talk about scary. Some housekeeping matters:
  • Posts here will be infrequent, but will mostly talk about how the book's coming along.
  • I may or may not find men worthy of either the Bed List or the Dinner List. Depends on how well things are going in novel-land.
  • Encouragement in the form of attagirls or dark chocolate are always appreciated.
The book will be called The Five Step Plan. It's women's fiction, set in Florida. I mean real Florida, not South Beach or Disney World. I figure since I'm a ninth-generation Floridian (no, we didn't all transplant here), I'm entitled. In a nutshell: woman finds her life is built on a shaky foundation and returns to the only one that's stayed firm her whole life--her grandparents' farm. Between helping them through a crisis and setting down her own new roots, she gains a new appreciation for the heritage of the land and the opportunity Florida has always provided. Sounds serious, but it'll have plenty of fun. The frame is my mom's Five Step Plan for making anything better--it works, BTW--so we'll see how much fun I can have with those five steps.

T minus eighteen hours, and counting...

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List


Because we all watched him get Footloose (even if it was Peter Tramm of "Sharp Dressed Man" fame doing the big dance routine in the barn). Because he's a musician. Because he's been married to Kyra Sedgewick forever. Because he has a game named after him that I am quite good at playing, if I do say so myself...and an evening with him would certainly shortcut my six degrees to anybody into about two steps!


Four days remain before NaNoWriMo begins, so naturally Chez mimi is absorbed in the writing milieu. With that sort of reflection comes a huge appreciation for the master of horror and pop culture guru Stephen King. I have yet to meet a writer who isn't enamored with his autobiography/how to On Writing. It's funny, poignant, sensible, and wonderfully written. Plus, he's willing to navigate the treacherous waters between genre and literary fiction, giving us genre folks some much-needed validation and the more precious/pretentious of the lit crowd a much-needed pin into the ol' ego. Gotta love that. I admire him enough that I'd even fix New England boiled dinner for him, and that's saying something.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The More, the Merrier

Turns out it does just take a seed. I tell someone at school I'm doing NaNo, then he signs up. Not only that, but he sends an email to the entire faculty. Now, five more folks have signed up, including DH.


Have to admit I didn't see that one coming. His take? "Well, since I won't be having sex anyway..." (He jokes.) (Sort of.) (I hope.)

November around our house is going to get weird...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Books and Cooks: Howards End



Howards End (no apostrophe, BTW) is one of those books that's kind of like green vegetables when you're a kid. You know it'll be good for you, but you're not sure you want to get that involved. To be honest, it took me a while to get into it. The group agreed that the themes of the book ring true. The Schlegels and Wilcoxes (and to a lesser extent, the Basts) represent three major types of Edwardian era Englishmen: the Intellectuals, the Rich, and the Working Class. Which of these groups will inherit England?

According to the book, none--and yet all. Along the way, plenty of commentary on music, the role of art in life, love, family, and permanence. One drawback I found was having seen the Oscar-nominated film years ago. I couldn't fix mental pictures of the characters because they had already been taken over by Anthony Hopkins (Henry Wilcox), Emma Thompson (Margaret Schlegel), and Helena Bonham Carter (Helen Schlegel). Somehow, I think viewing the film afterward would have been better, although it was a very close adaptation.

I know I ought to love it, but I don't. Okay, but not an experience I'm likely to repeat. Guess Forster's not my forte.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Spawn of Miss Snark

Miss Snark apparently has a disciple, who is proceeding with Miss Snark's gin-infused blessing. Check out why you keep getting those form rejections here. (I'm adding her to the blogroll, BTW.)

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List


I am taking my life into my hands with this pick, because my good friend Laurene has dibs on Morris Chestnut. Unless he's willing to consider a threesome, I might not emerge unscathed from an encounter a deux. Laurene would kill me. Then again, one heavenly night with Mr. Morris might do me in anyway.


As someone who grew up with Fat Albert, I'm predisposed to like Bill Cosby. I liked him more when Little Bill came out right when my kids were old enough to appreciate it. I know he's not perfect. But I respect the hell out of him for having the guts to say what he thinks, even though some people in the African-American community wish he would just shut up and go count his millions. Here's to not shutting up, and to common sense.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

White and Nerdy: Full Disclosure


I have spent the last several days laughing my butt off at this song, mostly because it cuts so close to home! I have either done or dated so many of these. I hereby cop to the following white and nerdy activities:
  • I have played D&D.
  • My uncle, the engineer, collects M.C. Escher engravings.
  • Although I prefer tea to coffee, I'm not really a fan of Earl Grey.
  • My rims are also stationary.
  • I own action figures.
  • I rock at Minesweeper.
  • You want me as your Trivial Pursuit partner.
  • Not only have I collected X-Men, but I have a good friend who owns a rockin' comic book store.
  • Fountain pens need protection.
  • I have edited Wikipedia.
  • I could quote you Monty Python and the Holy Grail easily. (Ni!)
  • To my shame, I admit to owning a fanny pack.
  • I only shop at Gap when there is a sale.
  • Bubble wrap rules!
  • Although I did not belong to the A/V or Glee Clubs or the Chess Team, I was Quiz Bowl captain.
  • Picard, unless Kirk is in full-bore "Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!" mode.
  • Yea, verily, I have attended ye Renaissance Faire.
Nerdy in the extreme, yes. Whiter than sour cream? Lord, I hope not.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Biting the Bullet

Well, I've gone and done it now.

I signed up for NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, for those of you not up to date on writerly sorts of things. The task: complete a 50,000 word first draft of a novel by 11:59:59 pm on November 30.

Am I crazy? Probably. But as someone who's always lived on the adrenaline rush of impossible deadlines, perhaps offering myself up to the NaNoWriMo gods is a way to kick-start the new project. Even if I don't "win" (those who complete the task get a winner's badge, a cyber-pat on the back), I've completed something, which is more than what's happened lately.

I've posted a word meter in the left margin of the blog so you can see how I'm doing. Butt-kicking welcomed. It'll get updated a couple of times a week.

Now, off to think, consult the Writer's Brainstorming Kit, jot down interesting images in my journal, etc. No actual writing on the project until November 1 at midnight, but the rules say you can prime the pump like hell up until then. Sounds like a plan.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Oracle of Starbucks

Full disclosure: I do not drink coffee. I hate coffee. But DH and most of my friends (waving at the Puffs) are coffee folk, and like most coffee folk, they are now unwitting slaves to Starbucks. So, for fun on a Saturday morning--and since this is DH's weekly meeting with the small group guys at, erm, Starbucks--I present to you coffeeheads the Oracle of Starbucks.

Enter your typical order and find out all about yourself. Too funny. Click here to find out all about your venti half-caf caramel macchiato self.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List


Party of two, Mr. Fox. Let's get Lost together.


This guy is smart as a whip. Funny, too. And he has a song in the top ten that cuts a little close to home but makes me laugh out loud. Yes, I have my "White and Nerdy" moments. I don't, however, speak either Javascript or Klingon.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Love Me, Love My Dog

Don't know what it is about "I told you so" that's so satisfying, but it's sure fun sometimes. I predicted some time back that my two best writing buds would get dogs (children are persuaders). One said no, no pets, thanks. The other held up the Cat Banner and said never, no way.

Guess who now have dogs? heh heh

What I find funniest about the whole thing is how fitting each dog is to each personality. Here's mine, Jester:

A Brittany. Different, full of energy. This dog is an extravert beyond belief with twinges of mountain goat (he likes to balance on the back of the sofa). Wiggles his way up to people wanting to talk/play/whatever, as long as you're involved. And he bounces. Not unlike me, actually--minus the mountain goat part. But hey, we all have our quirks.

K is now the proud owner of Godiva:

Dachshunds are tenacious and stubborn. They're very bright, but difficult to manage. Kind of like K. She knows how to go after what she wants and she usually gets it. But you totally forgive her anything because she's beyond loyal. And cute as pie. Plus, there's that whole chocolate thing.

N, on the other hand, declared herself early on to be a Cat Person. She's always had cats, which suit her--sort of. I've always thought she's not nearly persnickety enough to be a true cat person. So her lovely daughter works on her with the big blues for a while and now they have Samantha:

Pembroke Welsh Corgi. And N will admit to crowing, "I love a dog!" (She will, or I'll have to whomp her.) Pembrokes are a great favourite of the Queen, which totally fits N's own royal mein. They're also smart, hardworking, dedicated, and have the tendency to boss things bigger than themselves--they are herding dogs--which fits N to a T. She can manage you right into something before you know it.

Weird how that kind of thing happens, isn't it?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Today I turned 42. Fans of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy know that's the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Here's what I learned.
  • Good friends are the best presents.
  • Japanese food is one of life's great pleasures.
  • Never put a bobcat in a crate. (Long story. Funny as hell, but long.)
  • Happy Birthday serenades conducted long distance from Ontario are sweet, surprising, and satisfying.
  • 10:30 is now bedtime, not the "get ready to go out" hour. I can live with that. I think.
  • DH knows me very, very well. He gave me George Clooney, David Strathairn, and Matthew McConaughey all gift-wrapped.
  • I'm still a real hoopy gal who always knows where her towel is (even if M and S need to bring it along to dinner as a reminder).

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