Tuesday, July 17, 2007


That's me shouting HP5-style - I just finished re-reading Order of the Phoenix. I burned through it really quickly the first time to get to the end, so it was nice to slow down and enjoy reading it the second time through. I just picked up HP 6 to read for the second time and have been negotiating time chunks to read. Why negotiating? Because E and I are completely booked up through mid-August. He's agreed to do all driving and not complain while I sit in the passenger seat and read. I've got to finish HP7 before meeting the family for vacation because I will either hear spoilers or be left out of any and all HP conversations. Plan A was to spend this weekend reading the whole thing, but friends from Vermont invited us to go on a 2-day bike tour, and it IS summer after all,... so I will be picking my copy of HP up on SUNDAY - very late, and then reading next week and en route to the family vacation.

I have no idea who lives or dies or if Snape is good or evil. I don't like to try to figure things out before because either way it would be disappointing. I want to be surprised. My only hope is that we see more of Fred and George Weasley and that there is an ending that makes sense. I heart the twins.

I am a little homesick about HP7 - for HP6 I was with ksl, Dodi and the boys and we had a great time at Barnes and Noble midnight madness - the best part was we waited in line for hours, then stopped at a grocery store on the way home only to find a table heaped with HP6 and no lineup.

This time I will just be running into Chapters to grab my copy 2 DAYS after it is released. Not so fun. Maybe E will dress up in a cape and HP glasses.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


"If you don’t feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then probably what you are doing isn’t very vital. If you don’t feel like you are writing somewhat over your head, why do it? If you don’t have some doubt of your authority to tell this story, then you are not trying to tell enough."

-John Irving

found on Pick the Brain

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Big One

The most fun thing about E is that he pushes you past the edge - it's as if all most of us can see is a flat world and somehow he can see further. He's good at convincing other people that the world is actually round and then for those who are willing to go with him to see, he proves it over and over again.

One of his friends recently returned from a year in New Zealand and was pushing E to name the next "Big One" A big one is BIG - one of those 'things I want to achieve before I die'. The ones you can't do in an afternoon - they require commitment, training, focus and seeing past your flat world.

E's friend just put together these clips of their last Big One - summiting Mt. Aconcagua. While mountain climbing is not my big one, this video still inspires me because it all relates.

Preparation - instead of training, running, hiking, carrying packs, learning about the area, first aid, another language, mountain rescue, avalanche awareness, I need to write every day, learn the craft, revise, stay aware of the industry, stay focused. They managed to prepare while working full time jobs, keeping relationships, friendships and family ties strong and raising the funds to make the trip. Not easy.

Focusing on what you control and preparing but not worrying about what you can't. What if there's bad weather? What if the altitude gives me a cerebral edema? What if there's an avalanche? What if the market for the kind of book I'm writing bottoms out? What if I can't find an agent? What if no publisher will buy my book? Doesn't matter. Prepare the best you can and take your shot. It's the only way to get there.

My big one looms. I'm about to get much more ruthless with my time and attention. I can just see the curve beyond my flat world...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Dahling I love you, but give me Park Avenue

Cottage life sounds so idyllic - drive up in your Lexus and sip lattes on the veranda. The reality is scooping rotting organic matter out from the bottom of the lake to stop the proliferation of algae and rotting organic matter stink. I spent most of the weekend in chest waders (not to be confused with hip waders) - oh so glamorous.

We did manage to finish the concrete footing for a friend's dock - well, E did while I sat on a rock fishing and actually caught a small-mouth bass. No one could believe I actually caught something. Apparently my frog-drag technique wasn't so amateurish after all.

Our dock is now extended much further out into the lake so we'll have more sun and less bugs. Of course we won't have a chance to get back there to enjoy it until mid-August. grr.

When was the last time you spent a weekend in waders? I'm not sure how this will ever play in to novel fodder, but you never know.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Thanks to TomTom Ken, I'm never lost

If you asked me how the Internet has greatly improved my life I would say e-mail communication and MAPQUEST. Mapquest has saved me countless hours of frustration and humiliation getting lost and asking for the same directions over and over. However, Mapquest does have its drawbacks - I have to re-copy the instructions huge in Sharpie and tape them to the dashboard for quick reference while driving. AND if I have to stray from the directions for any reason - traffic, exit closed, whatever - I'm finished.

E has saved me from all of this. He HATED my 'paper taped to the dashboard' system and constantly re-explained how to navigate L'Acadie to get to MEC (I'm 2/3 successfully getting there on my own). He just bought me my own TomTom. It's a portable GPS that you can carry with you (downtown!) or place on the dashboard of your car. You enter your destination address, and TomTom uses GPS and North American maps to figure out where you are and how you should get to where you're going. The voice of your choice tells you when to start moving over for a turn, gives you advance warning of turns and tells you what the next turn will be. I selected Ken - English-Australia because he sounds so calm and he uses funny words like 'motorway.'

If you stray from the directions - miss an exit or decide you don't want to take a congested highway, the TomTom will pick up the directions from wherever you are and map out a new route. Since the voice keeps you informed, you don't have to look at it, but it is easy to see with a quick glance how far you are from the next turn. I can't tell you how stressful it used to be getting trapped in traffic, scared to stray from the directions, knowing I would get hopelessly lost. TomTom has eased all of that stress. I can now exit anywhere and I'm never lost. For anyone who doesn't naturally have one an 'internal direction beacon' I strongly recommend a TomTom - much cheaper than dealing with the harmful effects of that constant stress on your body.

I'm buying one for ksl! She's the one who showed me the mapquest/sharpie system - I think she's ready for an upgrade : )

Weekend plans: fishing, pouring concrete for a dock, then chain-sawing two trees 'up north' and planting cedars. I am part of the work crew doing these projects and I get the impression I will be the only female. I have no interest in pouring concrete, but apparently there is a job involving hip waders that might be mine. I'll let you know how all of this goes. Hip Waders! excellent.

Upcoming: Next week I will be hosting a Go Green party promoting Shaklee Get Clean products. No, this is not my new job - I'm doing it to help reduce waste and dumping toxins into the environment. Yes, I realize that industry is responsible for the majority of the problem, but if we start at home the effects will ripple out. Shaklee cleaners work - I've tried many and wasted a lot of money so I am saving others the same trouble. And the packaging has puppies and butterflies on it - always a bonus :)
Don't trust me? Here's Oprah raving about Shaklee

Monday, July 02, 2007

Mid-point 2007

Back from the race - feeling a little ragged. Race went well except for the start of the kayak leg - had some trouble getting into my kayak. Let's just leave it at that.

Have to work today - feeling sorry for myself. Bought Divisadero and stated reading it. Don't love it yet, but it's going fast and keeping me entertained. No quotation marks in the text, yet I can tell what's being said. how odd. Wish I could spend the day on the back porch reading...

Mid-year analysis: need to spend more time on the book, focus on stretching to avoid further pain/injury while working out. otherwise, it's all good : )