Wednesday, December 23, 2009

White Rain Unleashed

At last, I've reached Christmas break. I thought I'd never make it. Long days leading up, coupled with the stresses of the holiday prep. I sit here with my Swiss Miss poor-man's hot chocolate and watch the snow pile up. Whoopee!

I went to writing class tonight. There was 4 of us, including the instructor. It was 2 more than I expected there would be, actually. A nice, quaint group, which was a nice change. There is a new woman in class who is trepidatious, much like I was when I first started showing up. Not sure of her place yet. Brought some poems tonight. Good stuff. She started off by saying they were probably not very good, but you know what? They were.

That is what I love about this group. It is SO supportive to the cause. The cause of writing, that is. People offer criticism with the best intentions at these sessions, and it is so helpful. Just to hear someone tell you what they liked about a piece, alongside of what they didn't like, or what confused them. It will make all of our writing better. Better writing, better writers. Better Bread, Better Subs.

It shows the desire of some of the people in the group to show up in the middle of a blizzard on Dec. 23rd. These people love to write, and are willing to take the criticism in order to make it work. Throw in a hairy snow-laden ride, two days before Christmas and, well, you get the idea. Passion!

The next two days are low key. Hanging out at home, watching movies, eating good food, wrapping and unwrapping gifts, going to church. I love this time of year. Then, it's off on a 12 hour drive to New York. There shouldn't be any snow between here and Upstate NY, right? Yeah.

Well, Ben is asking to watch a movie, so I have to cut this short. Will try and post more tomorrow or on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas all and Happy 2010!

Blogging off...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another Yule bLog on the Fire

I sit by the furnace vent, with the laptop's lithium battery warming my knees. We got a 7" snowfall today and I got to try out my new (used) snow blower. Now, I'm he world's biggest critic of all things powered by a gasoline engine. They're loud, overdone, and emit enough exhaust in a single session to wipe out a village of asthmatics. I always cursed them upsetting my shovelling peace, where all I heard was my labored breathing.

Everything changed during the big sell-out. I'm so ashamed. I've become what I loathe. It's like aliens have taken over my body during the night. They started out by brainwashing me into thinking that these machines are man's friend. Soon enough I'll have a pot belly and keel over dead while blowing snow, because I'm out of shape from not shovelling snow. Oy! Such a tangled web we weave.

In the meantime though I am going to have to say that this machine will make my life much simpler. As I was out there last night blowing, I thought, this thing could make me maybe not hate winter as much. I think one of the problems I had with the whole winter thing was the thought of the heavy snowfall shovelling. Problem solved. I could have had my whole drive and walk done in 10 minutes today. I felt generous though and did the two neighbors' walk too. I may do that regularly, we'll see.

In classic Wisconsin winter form, the snow has stopped, and now the temps are falling into the ridiculous lows. Tomorrows High? About 12 degrees I think. Throw in a 30 mph wind and you've got a good old fashioned deep freeze. Needless to say, I won't be walking to work tomorrow. That's why God made cars and buses.

I come home tonight to Donna telling me the tree had two strings of lights that went out. I tried to push each bulb in methodically to find the problematic bulb. That went OK for the first ten minutes until I tired of it and decided to try the random, willy-nilly approach. That as you might have guessed, went not so well. In my frustration, I took three strings off to find the troublesome strings, and then had to restring one of those, as the other two were toast. Did the pioneers ever have to deal with bad lights from China? No, they were too busy pouring buckets of water on their house as it burned because of the real candles they used on the trees.

Writing class was cancelled tonight because of the storm, and that sucks. I miss it muchly. I tend to slack if pages are not required from week to week, so am anxious to get back in the groove. Sounds like most of my peers are anxious too.

I actually want to get to some of my writing tonight, so think I will...blog off for now.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Yule Be Glad You Did

It is upon us now isn't it? Winter has descended with an iron fist and let us know it hasn't forgotten us. We were spoiled by an extremely mild November, so I've kind of been in denial. No more denial for me. Tomorrow I'm going out to get some gas for the snow blower. The sell-out is complete. I've become a complete suburban chump with a snow blower. What's next, an Escalade?

Sarah got a new laptop on Thursday night. It's a sweet Toshiba running Windows 7. Lucky. I wish I had one. :-( Oh well, the Craigslist cast-off Dell I'm typing this on will have to do. Some should have it so rough.

I went out with the kids today and got a Christmas tree. We were mock-singing "Go tell it on the mountain" with Frank Sinatra on the way there. It was corny, but family fun. The kind of stuff one of us may remember. Or not.

The writing workshop continues to work for me. I enjoy the heck out of it and it stretches me every week. I've just signed up for my third 10 week session, so we'll see how it goes. I hope to continue my work on my memoir as well as some poetry and perhaps start on my next piece. I'd also like to get my short story piece published somewhere too. Lots in the hopper at the moment. Exciting times.

It seems we're going to get the whole family together in a few minutes to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Everyone seems to be in the spirit today, so we're going to ride it while it's here. There's something about bringing a living, drinking tree into your house that changes peoples mood. Everyone's getting excited, so that's a good thing.

That said, I'll be...blogging off.