Not Exactly Writer’s Block

Here we go. You may be thinking, why did she take on this challenge if the last day of November was going to be met with such glee? Does she not like to write?

Well, I do love to write. And I do write almost every day, even when I’m not posting something on my blog. If I’m not writing, I’m doing something else creative like painting or knitting.

I’ve blogged off and on for the last 7 years or so, and I think this is the first time that I have published a blog post every day for 30 days. I’ve thought about it, but this exercise has shown me a thing or two.

I love a challenge. Once I get past a certain point, I’m not going to quit unless there are circumstances beyond my control. Life happens. And this challenge, for me this year, was oh, so doable.

But the last 3 or 4 days, I’ve really struggled and searched for what I want to say, and the pressure that I MUST POST has become a negative rather than a positive. I feel like I am throwing up a post, just to have a post there, and have not given much thought, or editing for that matter, to what I’m writing.

The bottom line, I want to write here, on this blog, when I feel I have something that I really want to share.

Anyway (I used to start sentences with this word a lot, not that long ago), anyway, how about some statistics just for fun.

There is the challenge that one can write a 50,000 word novel in one month It’s called NaNoWriMo, and is a national writing project that began in 1999. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The organizers of NaNoWriMo, a 501(c)(3) since 2005, believe that stories matter. I happen to think it’s a wonderful thing, but is not one I’ve ever participated in. Maybe next year.

There’s a National Blog Posting Month challenge in November as well. Kind of like this one from Yeah Write, but more general. Some gluttons for punishment do all 3 of these challenges, and probably more that I don’t even know about.

So. My statistics.

I posted everyday. It adds up to 7354 words and 32 pictures.



The Christmas List

Things that happen before December 25.

  1. Clean the house. Forget spring cleaning. Around here, cleaning before decorating/company comes is a must.
  2. Get the tree. I tried last year, but the family is just not quite ready for no tree.
  3. Put the lights on the tree with my signature up and down method (as opposed to round and round).
  4. Put the big container of ornaments near the tree, encouraging others to help decorate.
  5. Decorate the tree.
  6. Think about Christmas cards. Especially as cards begin to arrive.
  7. Curse the cards that arrive.
  8. Decide to send Happy New Year cards so our cards will really stand out.
  9. Email my sister for gift ideas.
  10. Start the online shopping.
  11. Plan the menu. We are a non-turkey Christmas dinner family.
  12. Make the homemade gifts.
  13. Winnow down the list of who will get homemade gifts.
  14. Remember that mom said no nuts this year.
  15. Email my sister again for gift ideas.
  16. Begin to panic a little about gifts, but still refuse to buy gift cards.
  17. Buy a few gift cards.
  18. Get the bedrooms ready for guests. Mother-in-law coming this year.
  19. Clear off the stacks of papers/unfiled bills, etc. on my desk in the room where my mother-in-law will be sleeping.
  20. Preferably put this paper detritus in the proper place, and not just in another random stack in another random room.
  21. Pray #20 happens.
  22. The porch/brick/floor in the basement task? What? It will not be done unless Santa loans me a few elves.
  23. Email my sister one more time. (ok, truth… there is usually some back and forth going on here… she’s gotten way better.) 🙂
  24. Is it too late for more online shopping?
  25. Christmas arrives, ready or not.



Whatever Comes to Mind

Some random thoughts about random things…

  1. Packing when traveling by car is great… just throw everything in.
  2. I love when our whole family is together for any reason.
  3. Especially when the family is me, husband, daughter, son-in-law, son.
  4. Backroads travel may not be as fast, but it’s way more interesting.
  5. University of Georgia beats Georgia Tech today for the best ending to a great Thanksgiving trip.
  6. I bought an apple pie at the grocery when we got home… didn’t get enough pie Thursday. 🙂
  7. Pie is appropriate whether its a holiday or not.
  8. As is cake.
  9. And is of course appropriate for breakfast.
  10. Ready to start knitting for the new baby girl on the way.
  11. Looking forward to some CyberMonday shopping.
  12. So many times, the news about college football players is negative. Read this about UGA’s Malcolm Mitchell that is all positive and not about football. Hint: it’s about reading and writing.
  13. Only 2 more posts and November is over.
  14. It’s time for pie.



Mama said they couldn’t be cowboys so they became doctors and lawyers. But at night they dream of Waylon Jennings, Lonestar belt buckles and clear mountain mornings. And wearing faded Levi’s, they drive old trucks to their highrise offices, waiting for clients.

The Raft


Packed to the gills with beach and baby gear, the young couple sang along to their scratchy car radio when their favorite song of the summer came on. “I Can’t Stop Loving You, I’ve made up my mind…,” they belted out, hoping their toddler wouldn’t wake up from her nap in the back seat. Janet and Robert went to the ocean on every vacation before they had Emma, and they hoped she loved it as much as they did.

Not too many cars were on the beach since it was a weekday, and Robert skillfully drove onto the beach finding just the right spot. Still humming the Ray Charles tune, they unloaded the gear and the baby, setting up camp and settling in on what seemed to be the most beautiful sunny, summer day. Chubby and adorable at 18 months old, they watched as Emma played happily, flinging fat fistfulls of the damp sand in no particular direction. Everything about the beach fascinated her. The warm water and gentle surf soon lured Dad and baby to its edge. Emma slapped the water as a wave came to her, squealing every time the salty water retreated. Then she had the idea to chase the wave, and toddled straight in without any hesitation. Robert was close behind, keeping her safe, happy knowing that this area was quite shallow.

After the requisite sandy lunch on the beach, Janet dragged the raft to the water and placed Emma right in the middle. Robert had collected his camera gear from the car, the Kodak Motormatic that he was so proud of, and carefully planned his shots for the first beach portrait of Emma. Jan pulled the raft a little ways out into the gentle surf.

She looked over at Rob taking his precious pictures. “We’re so young. We should never have had this baby.”

“What? What are you talking about? Emma is awesome!”

“No, she’s not that awesome,” she sighed. “I’m so tired, and I can’t work, and I just want to have fun again. Be a couple. No responsibilities.”

Emma bobbed in her raft, and Janet and Rob just stared at each other like strangers.

“What would happen if we just let her drift? Drift away. She’s so happy in that little raft. No one would even notice.”

More staring, more silence. Rob’s face stuck in a look of disbelief, he began to yell, “Are you fucking kidding me?! What? She just disappears and no one will ask where she is? You can’t be serious. Of course people would notice. That’s just fucking stupid! What the hell is wrong with you?!!”

Minutes passed and they kept staring, Janet stone-faced and silent. When they looked back out toward the water, there was no sign of the raft, no sign of Emma. Rob splashed out into the water, swimming when it got too deep. Spotting Emma, still bobbing along, Rob caught up, sputtering, “Thank God, Emma. You’re okay. Oh my God. Your mom. I just don’t know who she is,” continuing to speak gently to her as he grabbed the handle on the raft, and pulled her back to the beach.

Robert dragged Emma and her raft up onto their perfect beach spot, and saw nothing. The car, all the beach gear. Gone. Janet never looked back. And Rob? He stood up a little straighter. He would be all the parent Emma ever needed.

Today’s fiction story is based on the prompt from both last week’s and this week’s challenge. While I’ve been steering clear of the fiction grid, this is an unmoderated week, so I’m giving it a go.