Friday, November 18, 2022

November hastens! Holidays ahead.

 Thanks to encouragement from friends -- and that push from National Novel Writing Month, I'm up to 36K words already written for that next book, The Lost Sarcophagus, projected to be about 70K when I'm done, right?

Today's treat is the opening scene (for now). Sandra and Neil are on their way to Cairo, at the request of the Director of the Egyptian Museum. Just before they get to their hotel, here's what happens!

     “Let’s get this over with,” said Pete. The two burly men carried an immense floral arrangement of lilies and pushed their way past the uniformed attendant into the spacious lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. They tromped up the red carpet and stopped at the front desk under the crystal chandelier as if they belonged there.    

     “May I help you?” asked the clerk. His voice quavered slightly.

     “These are for McDonnell,” said one of the men, his voice low, almost a growl.

     “Yes, sir. We expect Mr. McDonnell a little later today.”

     Pete scowled. “Just make sure he gets these.”

     “Yes, sir. We will put them in his suite immediately. Did you wish to leave a message?”

     “Do I look like I want to leave a message? Just do it.” The man turned away, his shoulders straining the edges of his black jacket. “Come on, Karim. Let’s get out of here.”

     The clerk watched the two men swagger out the entry and sighed in relief. “Glad they’re not guests,” he muttered to himself as he snapped his fingers for an attendant. “Take these up to the Nile Executive Suite on 12.”

     Outside, the two men made their way from the hotel. “Glad that’s done,” said Pete as he jerked his tie loose.

     “Flowers? That’s not what we usually deliver. Did Cochrane say why?” asked Karim.

     “I don’t know, and I don’t care. The boss speaks. I do what he says. You better do the same, or you won’t last long.” He turned south to Salat, the transit station. Karim followed. Soon, they were lost in the crowd.

So, what did you think? Are you ready to turn the page?

Here's the Great Hall, as we entered the Egyptian Museum so long ago

And me visiting Cheops pyramid,
back in the day when you could touch the stones!

With Thanksgiving just a week away, that to-do list just keeps getting longer! Hope your list is a little easier to manage. But, one day at a time, we're getting those tasks caught up. Really. The car has new tires, our living room lamp is fixed, and even the toilet works again!

Our dear granddaughter decided she really, really wants to have Beef Wellington for Thanksgiving dinner. So, we shall feast. Meanwhile, back at home, I've added a Turkey Day family dinner on December 4. How can we not have turkey? So the menu: Roast turkey with stuffing (or dressing, as folks in the west like to say), mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, and cranberry compote. But what else??? I'm not sure. Maybe a Southern Comfort Pudding? Pumpkin pie? Fruit salad? What would be the healthiest? the tastiest? What would your family miss most on Turkey Day?

Be well, enjoy each day, and happy holidays!!!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

IWSG November 2: NaNoWriMo Already?

Yesterday began NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and while I'm not quite ready to commit to writing 50,000 words in one month, this writing challenge always takes me in new directions. 

The Insecure Writer's Support Group question this month simply wants to know if I've ever participated in NaNoWriMo. And why or why not?

Several writers I know surprised me by saying just the thought of trying to write 50,000 words in one month is too overwhelming. But you can be a NaNoWriMo rebel -- and set your own goals! Or you can be a purist and go for the gold. Yes, attempt to write 1,666 words every single day! I've found that pushing myself (perhaps not every single day) to write more than the meager 250-500 words a day I normally attempt really does lead to interesting insights.

Perhaps those of us writers who participate in IWSG's monthly post are particularly prone to sign up for NaNoWriMo. After all, we set challenges for ourselves all the time, right? Something deep inside me chirps to life whenever someone says, "Oh, I don't think you can do that!" 

Participating in NaNoWriMo over the last decade has helped me flesh out five books, write unexpected poems (that writing challenge comes around in April, National Poetry Month), and celebrate a very personal commitment to writing. Not every day goes well, but isn't that rather like life? We can accept a challenge and decide exactly how we want to respond. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the results are not quite what we want. For writers, that just means revision. And more revision.

Other News:  While my to-be-read pile is piled up much too high, the Insecure Writer's Support Group has a book club on GoodReads! This month's suggested books both look interesting -- as does the follow-up discussion highlighted in this poster. I just might 'see' you there. 

About IWSG: One of the strengths of posting on the first Wednesday of each month for the Insecure Writer's Support Group for me is connecting with other writers. I appreciate learning what other writers think about the goals they've set, the progress they're making, and the support we offer each other. At times, we all need that connection. Writers do need readers as well. And reviews. And new ideas. Facing down that blank page, or a messy outline without a clear plot, or revising a scene that wanders -- the list goes on! -- all is a little less daunting when we connect with other writers and readers.

May November, despite hints of snow this coming week, 
be very good to you and your writing!

And please consider dropping by to thank IWSG's co-hosts for this month: Diedre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford, and Diane Burton!