Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'm so proud of myself...

If my arm was long enough, I'd pat myself on the back !!

I haven't posted lately because, frankly, I've been too busy doing nothing.

Doesn't make sense, you say? Oh, but it does, and I'm betting each and every one of my readers (all three of you) would agree.

My list of things to do--personal projects, you might say--seems to grow by the day. As a result, I have so much to do, that I don't know where to start, so I usually wind up playing computer games all evening until it's time for bed.

But I'm working to change all that. For example, I love to read, but I've been so busy, I haven't had the time. It used to be a day couldn't end until I read something. Now an entire week can go by without me reading a word (I'm talking books and magazines, of course, not blogs and anything else I read on the computer). I've finished two books this month and am working on my third. I won't finish that third before the end of the month, but hey, I finished two!

That's not why I'm proud of myself, though. Let me tell you why I am (and end the nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat tension). I teach Sunday school, and every quarter when we are given our new lessons, I tell myself to spend an hour or two one day and pull all the applicable worksheets for the new quarter. I have these great workbooks that go along with certain Bible verses and I like to give them to the kids when the planned lesson runs out and I need to fill in that last ten minutes. So even though I tell myself to pull the worksheets, I don't, and I usually wind up Saturday evening--or even Sunday morning--frantically searching to see if I have a worksheet that works with that week's lesson.

I received the new quarter's lessons TWO SUNDAYS AGO. TWO. The first lesson of the new quarter starts this coming Sunday. And when did I pull the worksheets? That's right, TODAY! That's why I'm so proud of myself. I'll take them into work tomorrow so I can make photocopies and I'll place them all in a folder and keep that folder with my workbook so no more last minute scrambling for worksheets.

This isn't the first time, you see, that I told myself not to wait until the last minute to pull the worksheets and, next thing I know, it's that last minute mad-dash frantic scrambling. But not this quarter!

Man, that feels good!

Tomorrow, when I have a break at work, I'll check my to-do list and see if I can't mark something else off tomorrow night, and what I can accomplish this weekend. Let's hope this new me lasts longer than a couple days!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm Back!

Okay, it's been a little bit more than two weeks since I got back, but at least I'm here again...and I have pictures!

But first, a little update...

I finished Assignment 7 and sent it off. I had to edit the first chapter and it really needed it. There was always a little something I didn't like about the first scene and I finally realized what it was. The structure was off, my protagonist's emotions were all over the place and it just didn't "feel" right, so I rewrote it. It's so much better now. I'm just waiting to hear what my instructor has to say.

Just one assignment left and I'm on my own. Unfortunately, finishing this story may not be so easy...while Mom and I were driving to Connecticut, we began to discuss a little mystery that recently cropped up in my family. As we talked about it, we started constructing this great plot and Mom said, "You're the writer. You need to write this!" So while I write the scenes I already planned for one story, I'm researching another. I'll probably end up writing both at the same time. It'll be interesting to see which gets finished first.

As for my aunt, she's actually doing okay. Unfortunately, the Parkinson's is destroying her brain and there's no going back, but she's not doing as bad as everyone made it seem. This was going to be Mom's last trip while Alice is still alive, but she's decided that she does want to go again, and will likely be going next month. I'm not surprised...Mom and her sister are really close and since we have no way of knowing when Alice will die, Mom will want to see her as often as she can.

It's funny...I used to go to my aunt's house in Milford pretty regularly but it was always directly to her house and back out again. What little I ever saw of Milford was just one or two streets with a few old shops, old houses, an elementary school and its ball field. Never gave me much of an impression of the town I was born in. When my grandmother died in 1990, it was the first time I actually got to see a lot more of the town. And about eight years ago that I realized just how close my aunt lived to the beach. Just a block or so down the road, and I never knew. And it was only with those last few visits that I realized just how pretty the town really is.

Here's a picture of the Old Stone Tower. It's located at the Stone Bridge at the end of the Milford Green.

The bridge spans the Wapawaug River...

Which runs behind the Town Hall...(this is the front view)

Here's the river behind the Town Hall

This pic is my favorite. You can practically hear the water as it runs over that little waterfall.

There are more pictures, but these are the best of the bunch. I may post more later, we'll see.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Going away for a few days

Like you'd notice...Mom and I are heading for Connecticut to visit family, in CT & NY. Her sister is in a nursing home and Mom's not so confident about the level of care she's receiving. Either the staff is completely incompetent, or my uncle is getting his stories confused. Mom wants to be sure, so off we go.

Assignment 7 is almost done in my writing class. My instructor was kind enough to say I could take an extra week or two if I needed it. Considering it was due last Friday and I'm not quite 100% happy with it, you could say I need it. I hope to get my final edits in this weekend and send it off on Monday.

I'm also considering going to a writers conference in late October in Myrtle Beach. I've never been to one, and I know my story won't be done by then, but going would be a good learning experience, kind of like auditing a college course. Registration doesn't open for another month, so I still have time to consider it.

Mom said "Be ready in 5 minutes," so I'd better finish up. Happy trails to us...until we meet again!