A to Z Blogging Challenge Theme

Ta-da! Yes, my theme was supposed to be revealed on the 20th of March but since I didn’t decide until yesterday to participate I missed that deadline. Due to a change in the family schedule I have decided at the eleventh hour to participate in the A to Z blogging challenge! Yup, crazy but I think I can do it. And this year I even have a theme:

“Mostly Made Up Holidays”

Every year in March when we have a surfeit of oranges I start giving them away announcing that it is “Scurvy Prevention Day” as I hand them out.  Some people actually believed this was a real day which totally cracked me up and I had to confess that I had made it up.  This year I was thinking about how much fun it is to make up a holiday and that I should do it over the summer with my son.  Anyone up for “Banana Splits for Breakfast Day”?

The idea was also sparked by my “Our Country Diary” which I have used every year for the last 20+ years.  This year their theme is celebrations and they have one interesting lesser known holiday listed in each week.  For instance for 8 April they have “Sleep Late Saturday”.  What a great holiday!  I wish I had thought of it.

So the plan is I am going to make up a holiday or on occasion use some of the more interesting and unusual ones I may stumble upon for the A to Z blogging challenge.

Silly?  Yes.  But sleep late Saturday?  I am all in.

See you tomorrow!

Musings on March

Remember how I had a plan for the month of March?   The first half of the month went really well as I wrote in my mid-month update.  But after that things rather fell apart.

I had finished a very rough first draft but I was at a crossroads.  My characters had built their own lives and the short story idea wasn’t working out with the plot lines very well.   I loved the plot that had developed but now I didn’t know how to make it work as a series of interconnected short stories.  So I dithered a bit and finally took a day off to consider the situation: novel or short stories?

While dithering about the writing was going on family life was intruding upon my writing time.  And then physical issues butted in and I confess:  I gave up. For now.

The good news is I loved doing the writing.  In the near future I plan to keep experimenting until I find a writing plan that works for my life, right now.

What did I learn?

  1.  Writing everyday is not for me.  Weekends were especially difficult.  I am a parent and parenting often takes precedence over everything else.
  2. Having a spreadsheet “yelling” at me that I was behind on my word count was not helpful.  I do much better with goals of completing scenes.
  3. But I do like the idea of seeing my word count progress divided up by writing session.  So I am making my own spreadsheet that I can adapt to my writing style/goals.
  4. Writing while walking on the treadmill was very helpful, really kept me focused. (I am walking as I write this!)

 

Since March ended up being about a lot more than writing let’s talk thyroid and menopause and allergies.  Yes the triple headed monster has re-emerged.  The first half of the month I did some excellent healthy eating, I was sleeping well and I felt like I had my allergies under control with the right combination of meds.

And then poof!  Total exhaustion, short tempered and eating everything in sight.  I went straight from my period to PMS to having another period ten days later.  So peri-menopause?  Of which I can do nothing about.  Or thyroid?

As luck would have it my prescription is due for renewal so I got my thyroid level checked this week and it is higher but still in the “normal” range.  But looking at my results on-line and looking at levels from the past five years I noticed (again) the pattern of how my TSH is always higher in the spring. So the doctor is renewing my meds at the same dosage but I will be secretly (don’t tell my doctor!) upping my dosage for the next two months or so during allergy season. (My prescription is filled via mail order and somehow I have ended up with an extra bottle. I have no idea how.) And we will see if I feel better in the next week or so. If I don’t feel better I guess that means it is menopause and you will find me on the couch in stretchy pants eating junk food.

As for the allergies my meds seem to be working pretty well.  My only issue is a bit of post nasal drip which leaves me with a bit of a sore throat some days.  I can live with that.

Not the March I had imagined for myself, but life is like that. It was a good experiment though.

Tune in tomorrow for an April surprise!

 

Too Many Books?

Can there be such a thing? Sort of,  when one doesn’t plan their library requests very well. I already had five books checked out from the library when I got an e-mail letting me know that five more books that I have been waiting for were now ready for pick-up. Oops. But being the trooper that I am I see no problem. (I even picked up another book when I picked up the five that were ready!)

Luckily it is very easy to renew books on-line and you can renew up to three times as long as no one else has requested the book.  So far no one is waiting for any of my books, whew!

So here is what is currently on my designated “books from the library shelf”:

Just finished “A Rule Against Murder” by Louise Penny.  Love this series.  It was the perfect book to read during our recent premature heat wave (90s already!) since it was set during a late June heat wave.

Currently reading “Murphy’s Law” by Rhys Bowen.  This is the first in a series.  I read one in the middle of the series that was set at Christmas at Christmas and really liked it.  So now I am starting from the beginning.

“A Family of Poems”  gathered by Caroline Kennedy with lovely art work by Jon J. Muth.  I have always wanted to be a person who reads poetry but alas I have a hard time getting into it.  I saw this book in the children’s section and thought it would be a perfect way to give poetry another chance.

My large on-deck pile:

“The Quality of Silence” Rosamund Lupton

— I am a sucker for any book set in Alaska.  I think reading about all that snow makes me feel cooler here in the desert.

“The Sound and the Fury”  William Faulkner

— No promises though I have read if you can get past the first chapter it gets easier to read. I thought it was time to try and work a classic or two into my reading life.

“Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure” Nancy Atherton

—  Another series I have been reading.  Light but I love the settings and can totally picture myself living in the little cottage in Finch.

“The Photographer’s Wife”  Suzanne Joinson

— I love it when I can learn history from entertaining fiction.  This book is set in Palestine between World Wars I and II, a place and time which I know nothing about.

“Legacy of the Dead”  Charles Todd

— Another series I am reading.  This book is near the beginning of the series (#4, published in 2000) and yet there always seems to be a waiting list at the library for these books.  Post World War I England, a murder to be solved and tea to be enjoyed.  No better combination.

“American Sniper”  Chris Kyle

— I have been wanting to see the movie since it came out but still  haven’t gotten around to it.  Now I am on the wait list for the DVD from the library but decided I want to read the book first. Typically a book provides a lot more detail than the movie.

“Die Like an Eagle” Donna Andrews

— Another “fun murder” series set in Virginia with lots of crazy people.  The kind of family I love reading about and so happy I don’t belong to.

“Yours Truly” Heather Vogel Frederick

— A children’s mystery.   I stumbled on the first book “Absolutely Truly” while waiting in the children’s section for my son to pick out some books. I read it and liked it enough to check and see what else the author had written and saw that a second “Truly” book was on order.  So I put my name on the list and the book came in much quicker than I expected.  I like the New Hampshire setting and the fact that it is a military family and a bookstore is involved.  I sort of wish they could adopt me.

“Black and Blue”  Anna Quindlen

— I have read several of her other novels and “Every Last One” still haunts me.  So I thought I would try this one.

 

So there you go, a variety of reading suggestions from “Yours Truly”.  HA HA, I should close all my posts with a book title!

 

The Ides of March

Nothing to beware of though, everything is going along swimmingly. This is my promised mid-month mini update post.

I have written every day but one and my word count is a bit behind but not alarmingly so. It was a little bit tough getting started but I have to admit I am pretty proud of myself for not being totally de-railed by distractions beyond my control.  (I have two parent teacher conferences scheduled for this week and I keep practicing the tactful and calm logic I am going to present as to why collaborative learning in core subjects is not in my son’s best interest. And a second distraction has to do with dealing with my poor body’s tramp toward menopause. Sigh.) I have remembered to be kind to myself though and it is really paying off.  The writing itself has been a joy.  My stories have taken a surprising turn and I love how I started down one path and then found a whole different plot line developing.

I took some pictures to cheer up, well the whole rest of the country which seems to be experiencing extreme cold, sleet, snow and blizzards.  What perfect writing weather! 🙂

(If you look on the left side of the first photo above, the featured photo, you can see the start of two teeny green oranges!)

Buds on my lemon tree.

 

 

My son gave me a packet of mixed heirloom flower seeds for my birthday last September. I unbelieveably remembered to plant them mid-February and it looks like a lot have come up.  Now I hope they can survive this unusually early heat long enough to actually bloom.

 

The weather has turned from winter to spring to summer in the last two weeks.  Temps are now reaching the low 90’s and the smell of citrus blossoms are perfuming the air.

We picked all the oranges off the tree before they started to rot in the heat.  I think I will add fresh squeezed orange juice to our St. Paddy’s day menu!

Back to my writing!  See you in April!