Monday, November 27, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

I did another chapter on Assumption this morning, which gave me the opportunity to plant a red herring I didn’t think I’d get to plant, and then I uploaded the entire novel and got my certificate.

Last year, I thought we had a few days into December to complete the upload, but this morning, I noticed that the verification had to happen by Thursday night. Since that will be a crazy upload day, and I’m over 50K, I decided to do it today.

I only have about three or four more chapters, and I’m done. Will I hit the 85K in this draft? I don’t think so. But that’s okay. There are other drafts to be done.

Yesterday was a bit of a nutty day. Most of it was spent cleaning up in preparation for the night’s meeting. Okay – so most of the day was spent hiding stuff so that it looked like the place was clean. The living room looks pretty nice, especially with all the decorations, but I have to go through everything I’ve stashed and toss or file it over the coming weeks.

I love the holidays, and I love decorating for the holidays. I know people get frenzied and caught up in the “keeping up with the Joneses” aspect, and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s their problem. Except when they run over my foot with a shopping cart. Then, yeah, it’s my problem.

What I love about decorating for holidays, especially for the Yule-time holidays, is the sense of connection to the past while building future transitions. Every ornament has a story attached, a memory connected. Even the new stuff – the garland I bought and decorated this year – any time I put it up, I’ll remember sitting in the store, telling lost children stories about Max the reindeer. Every year, when I take out the ornaments, I can tell myself its story again – almost like an oral history project – that jockey ornament comes from Churchill Downs, when I went to Kentucky to watch my friend ride at Keeneland in Lexington and we got a day trip; that ornament was given to me by the hairdresser on Miss Saigon because he knew I collect ornaments; that wind-up Santa has been in the family as long as I can remember, and even though he’s threadbare, I like to have him out every year; that ornament was bought in Scotland, at the little shop in a small town whose name I can’t recall, but the owner gave us a tip on the local pub with the best food; the collection of Nutcrackers that grows every year, because people learn I collect them, and keep giving them to me – each one has his own story. I stay out of the bulk of the shopping frenzy. I get to gussy things up and cook and do all the things I like to do.

There were years, especially in my mid-twenties, where the holidays became no fun anymore, but, fortunately, I grew past it, and, for the most part, I’ve managed to find ways to take joy in the season without making myself too much crazier than I already am.

Just prior to the meeting was a glitch. The head of the TO called to bail because of a family emergency, and then told me he’d emailed a bunch of other people in the building about the meeting – without checking with me first – so I had absolutely no idea who was coming or how many. Needless to say, I was not amused. However, I always fix enough food to feed a small army (because we are an army that marches on our stomachs), so, food-wise and drink-wise, I knew I could deal. It was seating wise I’d be screwed, especially since so much space is now taken up with decorations.

Fortunately, only those who were invited by me came – and we got a lot done on The Situation: The Sequel in a positive atmosphere. I can’t go into the details here, for legal reasons, but we’ve got another fight on our hands. Both sides have learned from the previous one, so this should be interesting. And I, for one, am not going to live in type of fear that we spent months living in – jumping at every step on the stair or knock on the door.

And the timing, AGAIN before the holidays – smacks of malicious intent.

I have bills to pay and some paperwork to generate today on various items, but the bulk of the day must be spent on the Plum essay. It’s due at the end of the week, and I’m committed to a PEN event on Thursday night, so there will be no last-minute push for me!

And, one of these days, maybe I’ll start feeling better!


Assumption of Right -- 64,923 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
64 / 50

Assumption of Right – 64,923 words out of 85,000 (completion goal)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
64 / 85


At 11:16 AM, Blogger Kristen King, Inkthinker said...

Congrats on getting your certificate! You little inspiration you... :]

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Bailey Stewart said...

I love the Christmas traditions. I have ornaments that we've had for over 30 years, so I have a lot of memories to go with them. And I too have collections that people have found out about and added to - which makes them much, much more special.

Congrats on the certificate.

And Yikes on the situation.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Siobhan said...

Devon and Bailey - you are ladies after my own heart. I'm heavily into the Christmas traditions. So much so that I drive my family crazy. I insist on putting up decorations at home in the UK even though we are going to Italy. I just wouldn't feel Christmassy if I didn't. *vbg*

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Siobhan said...

PS Congrats on the certificate!

At 1:13 PM, Blogger Melissa Amateis said...

I love to decorate! I can't wait to get started this week and go shopping for those new little "extras." I try and get a new decoration every year, so we'll see what this year brings.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Olga said...

Devon, congrats on the Certificate! And that was so beautiful about Christmas traditions...

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Michelle Miles said...

Congrats on completing Nano! :)

I love your thoughts on the ornaments. What a lovely way to think of it. I'll think of it that way when I put my tree up this week.

And hang in there on the Situation. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts.

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Debra Young said...

Devon, congratulations on a successful Nano..."applause"...d:)

At 4:45 PM, Blogger Emmy Ellis said...

I agree with the ornaments having a story. I often think of a few years time when my other kids have kids and I can tell them that their mummy and daddy made this or that tree ornament when they were 5 or 6 etc.


Do you guys decorate for Christmas from Thanksgiving then? We don't decorate until the 12th Dec, though I admit to doing mine on the 5th.

That Jones' thing--so sick! One of my neighbours does it every year. She just ends up looking stupidly over the top!

HA! Silly sod.


At 7:53 PM, Blogger Brandy said...

Congratulations on your Certificate for Nano!
I miss the way Holidays felt as children, but I still try to make things magical for my children. It sounds like you have wonderful collections!

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Lara said...

HUGE Congrats!

Heh, I got MY foot run over by a shopping cart the other day! Ah, the irony...



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