Archive | March 2013

How Do You Decide?

My desk, note the candle and two Goddess images - lower left.

My desk, note the candle and two Goddess images – lower left.

A cool, clear and beautiful morning in New Orleans and I need to get started on a new story. Have lots of ideas, but how do I decide? I could do a series off my last romantic suspense, or I could write a new romantic suspense, or a new contemporary. My first fiction pub is coming out April 10 – on Amazon Select– The Red Halter Top. Excited!!
But I have to keep writing, and I feel all adrift. I finished the ending of my historical romance Saturday– The Third Wife, and I need to edit it one more time before sending it off. The question there is where to send it?
I’ve been reading some of the craft books I have – re-reading and checking out how to start with a bang. Mostly they make me feel like I’ve done everything wrong in the novels I’ve finished. I’m enrolled in an on-line class, and I find these less than satisfying because they mostly consist of lectures. Only rarely do I find a class where the teacher is willing to have you send in examples for their feedback. I don’t blame the others for not giving specific feedback. That is a lot of work. But lectures aren’t much different from reading a book.

Attached are pictures of my sewing table and my desk — I have my computer on a cheap, Walmart table in front of all that mess. Think maybe I should first clean up my office?

Perhaps I just have Spring fever. How are you doing? Is it Spring where you are? Or are you still stuck in cold, snowy winter? Let me hear from you.

My sewing table--supposed to be for cutting fabric, but first all this stuff has to be removed.

My sewing table–supposed to be for cutting fabric, but first all this stuff has to be removed.

Wildlife in New Orleans

New Orleans is a city with a variety of attractions. Bourbon Street’s strip and music clubs often top the list for visitors. But I live near City Park, a 1,300 acre public park within the city. Even though I mainly visit only a small portion, you’ll be amazed at the different kinds of birds I see practically on a daily basis. Canadian geese, barnyard geese, mallards, kingfishers, cormorants, even pelicans in the winter months. Swans are my favorite, however.

We had a nesting pair and a brood of cygnets before Katrina, but none since. It’s hard to tell the males from the females, except the males are somewhat bigger. Notice how this one glares at me – probably because my dogs are too close.

Swans are large, fierce birds you don’t want to mess with, especially when they have a nest. There’ve been a couple of nests built and tended to in the last few years, but no cygnets. Not sure whether predators (racoons, nutria-big rat-like critters) get the eggs or pollution prevents their development or other problems. IMG_0513

I understand swans mate for life, and the saddest thing I ever saw was a lone swam swimming through the lagoons after Katrina flooded the whole area, calling and clearly searching for other swans. These are so-called mute swans, but sometimes you can hear their call – like a soft shriek. A few months later, a donor from Texas gave the park two white and two black swans.

Only one black swan remains, so far as I see, and she was hurt by some vandals who destroyed her nest and eggs (haven’t seen two black swans, but somehow she produced eggs). Named Amanda, the swan is recovering at the clinic of our bird vet, Dr. Gregory Rich. She’s going to be fine. This link connects to a picture of her.

Two white swans remain as well, and this week I saw one of them building a nest on a small island in one of the lagoons. Will keep track and post pictures as things develop. Cross your fingers; we might have more cygnets.

Don’t you wish you lived in New Orleans?

P.S. The weather today is clear, sunny, and 64 degrees.

Are you a Sports Fan?

Glorious weather in New Orleans-Azaleas in full bloom.

Glorious weather in New Orleans-Azaleas in full bloom.

Just a beautiful azalea to catch your attention. Couldn’t find a free picture of a football player.

I’ve been a NFL fan for years and years. I loved the Colts when they were in Baltimore; Indianapolis, not so much. But I liked Peyton Manning because he’s a New Orleans boy. It’s hard to see him in the Bronco’s road pylon orange uniform. I like Eli, too, with the Giants, and I enjoy the enthusiasm of their coach, Tom Coughlin. But, back to the current Baltimore team. I moved out of Baltimore a long time ago, but I still have family there. I was glad to see them win the Super Bowl this year, played in New Orleans, by the way. Ray Lewis was great–what a cheerleader.
The news today is that he’s now going to work for ESPN. Not a surprise. He looked very tricked out in his glasses and likely a very expensive suit, black with a dove gray vest. The money these guys make, I’d hope they’d dress well.
The most distressing news today, however, is that the New Orleans Saints have lost Jermon Bushrod – our left tackle, to the Chicago Bears. Remember the book/movie The Blind Side?. I can’t think Drew Brees is thrilled. At this point, we only have this guy Brown for the job and he’s been hurt more than he’s been well.
I also like professional tennis. Got turned on when the Williams sisters began winning several years ago. They still do pretty well. And I like to see almost anyone beat Federer, especially Rafael Nadal.
And this time of year, I’m left with the NBA – but I like the playoffs. The regular season games aren’t too exciting, except for the string of wins accumulated by the Miami Heat.

What sports do you enjoy? And Why? Any hockey fans? Not much interest in that here in New Orleans. It’s too hot, and I’ve never figured out what’s going on in a hockey game anyway, except fighting.

Getting Older – Beats the Alternative

Getting Older–Beats the Alternative

That’s what everyone says when I complain about stuff that stops working or deteriorates as I get older. I know it’s a privilege and I certainly am not wasting my time on reality TV or cleaning house. Apologies to those who love Honey Boo-Boo.

But…early signs are your eyesight begins to fail at reading, then your hair starts to turn gray (and/or falling out for you guys). Next your joints stiffen – especially if you took up jogging–that messed up both of my knees. Also throw in there your teeth–you need crowns or implants or maybe even dentures. Egads! Is there no end to it?

My latest struggle is with my knees. I have arthritis from the aforementioned running along with just getting older. Does anyone know the source of arthritis? We can invent drugs for hair loss and erectile dysfunction (Notice these are for men’s problems), but we can’t figure out the cause of arthritis??

When I first saw a physician’s assistant for knee pain, he told me that after over sixty years of use of my joints, what did I expect? A lot more than he had to offer. I went through shark something injections, cortisone injections, endless exercises, until finally I gave in and had a total knee replacement. Not much fun, and three months of rehab was necessary before it quit hurting. However, now six years later, it hurts. And now arthritis has settled in for my other knee.

The orthopedic surgeon is salivating over replacing my other knee…Geeze, I don’t want to have to do that, at least not yet.

My biggest problem, beside the aches and pain, is standing up. When I’ve been sitting for awhile, like at the computer or the sewing machine, and I go to stand up, it’s very hard. So I started thinking about using a walking cane. But…you really look like an old lady when you use a cane, and apologies those who need them. It’s handy for smacking or jabbing people, but that’s not nice, is it? I guess I’m just resisting the future. Better than a wheel chair, and a wheel chair is better than….?

Here is a picture of the selection at my local Walgreen’s. Uck! Isn’t the pink one the ugliest thing you ever saw? So I passed. Maybe I’ll succumb another time, but I’ll have to have better looking choices before I give in.

This is the selection at my local drug store

This is the selection at my local drug store

Any comments, suggestions, solutions?

Keywords: arthritis, knee pain, stiff joints, walking cane, humor

Make March Clean-Up Month

IMG_0294Greetings – I’m starting with a picture of my year-old Lab, Caesar. A happy dog with stick. Just to catch your eye. Everyone loves happy dogs, especially when they’re not chewing up sticks and roots they’ve scrounged up in the yard to scatter debris on your rugs.

To the point:  Here we are coming up on Easter and my last post was before Christmas? Egads! I hope your new year is moving along with good news, good results, and happy days. This post is about getting your A__ moving. Remember your big plans for 2013. How’s it going?
We human beings are often willing to let things slide. I remember a boss I worked for as a secretary years ago. He’d have a To Do box on his desk and let stuff sit there without doing anything with the issue or the letter or the whatever.
Being a Type A type, I’d nag him to handle these things. He’d smile and ignore me. One day he told me that if he left them there long enough, he didn’t have to do anything.
Is that what you do? Leave a project unfinished until it’s so old you can just dump it? Unfinished novels, incomplete re-organization projects (one friend is just now doing her taxes for 2009??), UFPs (UnFinished Projects) – the label quilters give to those half done quilts.
These things suck your energy, prey on your mind, some keep you awake at night-worrying, and just generally clutter your home, your office, and your brain.
Make this month the one you clean them out – either throw them away, donate the fabric, yarn, etc., or Goddess Be Praised — FINISH THEM!!
Let me know if any of this resonates with you.