I found a little box of chocolates in the fridge. I didn’t mean to. I wasn’t hunting for it. Left over from Swiss Colony. There were just a few in there. And I ate them all. Today. For lunch.
A gift from a very dear (if balmy) buddy.
I want to blog. I want to make you laugh. Actually, I just want to reach out and touch the back of your hand to let you know I’m here. Is that the same as echo location, I wonder? Because it just feels like friend-biz to me. I have not been sharing photographs because I haven’t been taking any. January is not charming me this year. And you can only take so many shots of your desktop. So I am going to pepper this with unrelated images, loved but somehow passed over last year. That okay?
Having given up on fixing the old microwave (Thanksgiving looming), G muscles the new one into place. What a handy guy. (Notice my bag of knit pony stuffing saving the stove top.)
1) Christmas is not completely put away. I am still defiant about leaving the lights on at night till the end of January. But it’s the tree that’s the main problem; the bag we bought for it years ago savages it every time we stuff it in there. (Did I hear you say, “GET A REAL TREE?” Don’t. The number of lights I use on a tree qualifies as torture under anybody’s rules of engagement, I don’t care how dead the tree may be when we start.) But there are other things, too; they need to be put away properly. I don’t have properly in me.
A Christmas owl for Chelsea, the owl maven.
A mysterious mess on the project table. What can it be?
An argyle hippo for Gin, the hip hippo maven.
2) I hate Microsoft 2007 for Mac. I’m just sayin’. I want Word Perfect back. Less auto format, more control.
Small face at the window. Autumn. Still some green.
3) I am still freaking out over this book business. I read the first page of The Gardener this morning and found about eight things I needed to edit. And I’m trying to figure out how to write braggy things about myself for publicity. And how to find channels for product exposure. I am NOT a salesman. I’m just a writer. But I’m learning a heck of a lot about inDesign. Wow – how they come up with these programs is beyond me. So cool. Lucky me, when I upgraded PhotoShop back V.3 time, they gave me thirty days of Lynda.com training as a thank you. Five years later, I was shocked to see the offer was still good. And I love it.
A Thanksgiving apple pie for Lucy, as she jets around the world.
Chaz opens a Christmas box with golden paper in it (see the reflection of it on her face?). The gold paper is supposed to make an exciting present out of what may be the ugliest scarf every knitted for a decent girl. EVER.
Murph, sporting his Christmas sweater, and the other present his mother gave him. Explanation coming at another time.
Dear Laura, the good sport, wearing the ugliest hat ever made for a decent girl. My very first hat effort. If you put this and the ugliest scarf together at one time, you could be arrested for possessing a weapon of mass destruction.
4) This is how I have spent the month:
A) (isn’t this outline fun?) I started my annual bout of Scanning the Family Photo Albums. The books I end up with at the end of the year are usually between 300-440 pages, but that includes a lot of single-very-favorite-photo pages, so I only end up actually scanning – oh – maybe 250-350 pages in the first six weeks of the year. But I’ve always been worried the river will flood or the house will burn down and the unscanned history will be lost forever—or else, I’ll die before and do it, and who would do it then? So at times I’ve thought, why not just go ahead and scan the entire dang library?
Chaz and friend. Late summer.
Then I look at the bookshelves and realize how much there is to do and remember how mind-numbingly boring it is to do it. At least five years’ worth of project left.
This year, though – I ripped through the five albums earmarked for the project (I’m sort of retired, remember—filling in time till I kick the bucket). Started scanning January 3rd; finished in five days. I guess I’m good at it now. Actually, I’m a machine. A clock-work miracle. Steam-punk mama. I had it down to eighteen moves per page, timed perfectly – (I know because I timed myself), a dance of precision. G came in one time to hug me and I simply knocked him over and danced across his chest. And I listened to Radio Lab so that my brains wouldn’t fall out. A few times, I wondered if the process was burning calories. So I just kept going. One hour, two hours, finally three hours a day.
I have backed them up to three drives, Mozy and now I’m committing them to DVDs.
January’s work: a very fat sheep. Linda, please forgive me.
BUT I’M FINISHED. With the scanning at least. The scanning and the Christmas chocolates.
And a very red fox. I made him from alpaca instead of the mohair he’s supposed to be, and my DK wasn’t fat enough for my needles, so he’s a white-spotted red fox, which doesn’t make him less endearing in his mother’s eyes. Renny, I call him. You know, short for - yeah you get it.
B) I found the digital manuscript for Breaking Rank, the only one of my NY published novels that’s completely out of print. And I got out the book. And I transferred all the editing that ended up in the book to the manuscript so I can e-book that, too. Except for the typo hunting being done by my mistake-sniffing friend, Kathy, that’s finished. So all I’ll have to do is set up the cover and the formatting and the blank-space images and the copyright pages and that will be finished too.
Fox and sheep, or couldn’t you tell? They aren’t shivering. But I was when I shot them. Captured them, I mean.
Done. All this stuff done.
So why don’t I feel finished?