Archive for March 26th, 2013

March 26, 2013

A smoky but happy adventure day

Smoke from a wildfire

Smoke from a wildfire here in Utah, summer 2012

I woke this morning to the piercing beep of our carbon monoxide detector. Our basement was filled with smoke–especially frightening because two of my children sleep down there, and one NEVER hears her alarm clock. Thankfully, she got up when she heard my voice and went straight outside.

There was no fire–only smoke. Cold air apparently sunk down our chimney last night and pushed the smoke from our last fire, two days ago, out through the basement. It was enough to make my eyes water and my throat burn.

I’m grateful. It could have been a lot worse.

We opened several windows, set up all the fans we could find and even turned on our swamp cooler vent. The air upstairs is breathable now, but it’s cold, so two of my children and I are camping out in my office. There’s almost no smoke in here. The heat source in this room is electric, so there are no vents for the smoke to come through, and it’s cozy warm. As long as we keep the door closed, we’ll do fine–although I think a trip to the library later today may still be in order. 🙂

In an hour or so, when the smoke has cleared a little more from the basement, I’ll heat the chimney up with a hair dryer and then light a new fire. If I warm the chimney enough first, it should draw the rest of the smoke back up the chimney, and we’ll be able to close the windows, turn off the fans, and reheat the house. We can turn on our Scentsy and cook something delicious to make the air smell better.

Surprisingly, this it turning out to be a great day. It’s close quarters in my little office, but we’re having fun hanging out together while we work on our different projects.

Lots of little things are going on today– I’m blogging, of course, and working toward a deadline for an article assignment, writing some for a work in progress and editing a chapter of the pirate book. Meanwhile, one daughter is updating software on her laptop while she reads. My toddler is busy redecorating my bookshelves and rearranging a drawer in my filing cabinet. Another daughter, who truly values her privacy, has taken her laptop outside. She’s doing her schoolwork at the picnic table, and she seems perfectly content in spite of the cold.

It reminds me just a little of a few of our camp-out-in-the-basement days we had last summer, when the wildfires in Utah got so bad that the air was gray and the swamp cooler drew smoke into the house. It wasn’t as thick as it was this morning, maybe, but it was still a wonderful way to break the routine and bring my family together in a unique and fun way.

Inconvenient. That was the first word that came to my mind this morning. Now I’m calling it a blessing. How weird is that?

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March 26, 2013

My Lake House

The Great Salt Lake, late summer 2012

The Great Salt Lake, late summer 2012

In the late winter and early spring of 2012, I began writing a book for my eldest daughter. She always enjoys action and adventure, especially in unreal or historical settings.

This is the daughter who loved the first Pirates of the Carribean movie so much that she choreographed a pirate ballet when she was seven. She and a ballet-class-friend performed it at their Christmas recital. After that, how could I not take her interest in pirates seriously? So she learned about Anne Bonnie and Mary Read, and when I finally got around to starting her book, her love of all things pirate-y was my inspiration for it.

I can’t say that it’s gone without a hitch. The first draft needs some major re-writing to fix plot holes. I’ll spend days editing it to deepen the characters, enhance the writing and clean up the grammatical errors.

I set it aside this winter when I began blogging because I needed a break from it. Now that there are hints of warmer weather, I think I’m getting ready to tackle it again.

That’s partly because I’m reminded of it every time I drive past the Great Salt Lake and see sail boats out on the water.

In the spring, when the water is high, I can see a small sliver of the lake from my office window. The fact that it’s about twenty miles away doesn’t matter. I’ve never lived anywhere with a lake view of any kind before, so by default, this has become my lake house. I’m finally settling in, but for the first full year here, that’s how I thought of this place. It felt temporary.

Moves always do that to me. For quite a while, I feel like I can set my new home aside as easily as I set aside a manuscript I’m not in the mood to edit. It takes a while for the feeling of home to seep back into my skin. It’s finally happened. I realized today, as I was thinking about picking up the pirate manuscript again, that I’m ready to resume life as normal.

I’m not on vacation. This isn’t temporary. It’s real, and it’s wonderful, and it’s a life worth embracing. I think I love it here.

I’ll be working on the edit for this particular manuscript through the spring. I have a goal to get a solid next-draft done by the first of June. I’ve even contacted a book cover artist, and I’ll be commissioning a cover with her as soon as I’m able to pull the money together. It feels good to be sailing ahead on this again.

Speaking of which, there’s something else really great thing about this: in order to make my plot believable, I’ll get to learn at least a little bit about sailing.

I’m really, really looking forward to that–and if anybody out there sails and feels like answering questions, please let me know!

March 26, 2013

So much fun! I’m afraid I blushed a little, but I’m happy. Thank you, Ionia, for all you do!

readful things blog

It’s Monday! Wait…don’t run away and hide I meant that in a positive way:) It’s time for the Blogger of the Week.

This week’s blogger is a hard working and genuinely nice person. She is an author, a mother and is always a positive person to converse with. I have enjoyed getting to know her and read her book and I always look forward to reading her posts. Everyone say hello to Gwen Bristol You can find her blog at gwenbristol.com where she discusses a variety of topics and offers insightful information for all of us who are on a writing/publishing journey.

She has just finished her new cover art for her book “the Night Ones Legacy” and it looks wonderful!

Here it is along with a link where you can find the book:

The Night Ones Legacy

Not sure if the new cover has gone live yet, but the…

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