Friday, November 30, 2012

Lesson 197: I Feel So Alive

I did it again, Readers!

stormy night...

"Now what?" say my parents, who happen to live next door to The Lamp Post.  At times, my life is like an episode from Ray Romano's sitcom, Everyone Loves Raymond.  After last week's blog post teaser about my special announcement I was going to make this weekend, I've caught my parents sneaking glances at my midsection.  No, Mom and Dad.  I am NOT pregnant.  I wrote a novel.  Again.  

November is National Novel Writing Month, in case you weren't aware.  Eloise participated in this program:

I highly recommend it if you, too, are tossing around the idea of writing a book.  Every single one of us has a story that needs to be told.  You all have been reading about my life.  Give me a chance to read about yours.  Give it a shot!

NaNoWriMo as it is nicknamed, takes place during the month of November.  That is the only drawback.  It's a tough month if you are a working mom.  It is completely free and the operation runs entirely on donations.  You simply sign up with the intention to write a novel during the month of November.  The book you write must be at least 50,000 words.  If you complete it by November 30th, you are considered a winner.  Last year 250,000 people signed up, and 33,000 finished.  I was a winner last year, too.  I wrote the third revision of my first book, The Key, soon headed to your bookshelf.  I got this t-shirt as proof:

Here are my stats for further proof that I actually did it.  Again.

Every night when I updated my word count, I was led to this screen to track my progress.  You can see at the beginning of the month, I wasn't making much progress.  That is when poor Eloise was a sorry soul, with a painful bout of Shingles along my trigeminal nerve.  I was put on physical and mental rest.  Basically all I was allowed to do was lay in my chair and look out the window.  For a creative soul such as myself, that was complete and utter torture.  Instead of bird watching, as my physician recommended, I planned my novel in my head.  I couldn't write it because my headache was so intense my eyes could not tolerate a computer screen.

You can see from the statistics when I began to get better.  I started turning on the steam around Day 13.  To write 50,000 words in half a month means devoting between two and three hours a day to writing.  I almost gave up.  Almost quit.  But if you know Eloise personally, you know that I am NOT a quitter.  I got up earlier, stayed up later, and held off looking at my Christmas List until now.  I have to admit, it made me a little nuts, but according to this pinterest pin, that's okay:

I guess mine will be outstanding.

"So what's it about, Eloise?" you are asking.  My 1989 graduating class may remember some of the plot of this mystery.  The novel includes, autism, a kidnapping, a school play, a dead president, a famous artist, and the urban legend of a hermit named Stanley.  89'ers, do you recall Stanley's house?  Can you read the title?  89'ers, your homework question is this:  Why is this title significant to Eloise?  

I made this one a mystery, which was very challenging to write.  The draft is complete crap, so don't expect to see it for awhile.  I'm going to put it on simmer on the back burner for awhile and work out the minute details to make it good.  In fact, the story was so scary that I had trouble sleeping a couple of nights---and I was the one writing it!  

For now I'll concentrate my efforts on getting The Key available for you to read.  Tracys Northern and Southern volunteered to help me with it, so I am sure you will see it soon.  Friends are good.  They keep Eloise on track.  

"Why did you do it, Eloise?" you ask.  

I did it because writing makes me feel alive.  It's my turn to ask you a question now.  What makes YOU feel alive?  

For me, aside from writing, it is concerts.  They make me feel alive.   I traveled with my mom, sister, and daughters to Pittsburgh this week to see this lovely lady perform:

This is country music star Carrie Underwood, Slovenians.  She is one talented human being.

Eloise is a frequent concert-goer and I am a good critic. I'd give this show a ten out of ten stars.  Not only is Carrie's voice excellent, but the staging and costume changes were top notch, too.

She likes daisies as much as I do.

She flew over the audience on this hot air balloon contraption, 

allowing for Eloise's lens to grab this close up.

How I wish I could look that good in cut off jeans and a t-shirt!

Another thing that makes me feel alive is Friday nights.  Friday at quittin' time is my favorite time of the week.   I usually have one of these to celebrate:

As you can see, Eloise is calorie conscious for the next two months, so I switched to Rock Light.

It has a cool looking cap.  I'll be mailing it to you soon, Mikey.

But even better yet, Rock Light has its own mystery.  Look at the "10".  What does that mean?

The original Rolling Rock has a "33" at the bottom.   It has been the source of much rumor and speculation.  Google it yourself to see.  Now I have the mystery of "10" to look into.  That's good, because I am in to mysteries at the moment.

Ellen feels alive with her artwork.  This is her hand she made tonight.  Can you see it?

Natalie, who has the starring role in my new novel, likes to organize things.  She is extremely neat.  We reorganized the refrigerator according to new ideas I gained from a team I am working with (story coming on that at the end of December).  Natalie was happy.  Orderly things make her feel alive.

 Yes, those are all veggies cut up and ready to eat.  I told you Eloise is calorie conscious this month!

 Sam is extremely neat, too.  

He's been making these "paper wrestlers" this week.  
I triple dog dare you to call them "paper dolls" in front of him.  
They are action figures, Readers. Let's be clear on that.

He keeps them all in a hat box. 


 Lord help me.

What makes you feel alive, Readers?  Answer this question for your weekend homework.  What makes you tick?  

In the video below, you will get a peek of the Lamp Post at Christmas time.  Eloise is not much for video.  I prefer pictures.  The flip camera happened to be next to me when Sam discovered the bubble wrap from one of the MANY boxes that have been arriving daily from my on-line shopping this year.  If I don't fess up to my on line shopping (I had SHINGLES for cripes sake!  I had to catch up!), someone will think I am having a fling with my postman.

Actually, my UPS driver was a high school friend of Kenyan's unbeknownst to me.  His wife is a reader of this blog and will surely chuckle at the mention.  He once said to me as he was dropping off a package, "I don't know who gets more boxes, you or your sister!"  I immediately called Kenyan to told me that the UPS driver was on to us and that somehow he knew we were sisters.  I was creeped out.  Then Kenyan told me who he was, and I exhaled a sigh of relief.  

This minute long video will give you all some glimpse of what I deal with in raising my son Sam.  He's all boy.  Sitting and popping bubble wrap with his fingers just wasn't an option.  You'll see that he is a well as ambidextrous.  Sigh.  I just exhaled again, but this is not one of relief.

Enjoy your weekend.

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