Do you remember, in the Peanuts comics, Linus and The Great Pumpkin? Linus would get very excited leading up to Halloween every year because of arrival of The Great Pumpkin. Well, in our garden, the Great Pumpkin cometh for sure.
I hope you are having a good weekend. I really am. The light was so pretty this morning, I had a lot of fun taking pictures. Then I had some news from my editor, a bit nerve-wracking news. Details below. But first the fun stuff.
The garden is still going…as well as glowing.
These pigeons were dining on who knows what on our patio before I came out. They startled and flew away. What a nice thing to be able to do. Just fly away. They reassembled first on the power lines then over on the neighbor’s antenna.
This plant was enjoying the sunlight.
As was this redwood tree.
The persimmons are starting to ripen.
This was the first shot I took when I came outside.
I followed up with my editor, and turns out she was just on the phone with the senior (acquiring) editor, who had a problem with a plot element. A big plot element. She wanted to know if it was realistic and wanted to know if I’d done any research. I did research it, which I shared with them, and I said I could also add things to convince a reader who might have the same question. Donald Maass says to take the most unlikely thing in your book and prove it to the reader in as many ways as possible. He gives some ways to do that. I’ll be looking through his book and my notes from his workshops if the Wild Rose Press wants the book and wants me to do that.
So, the status on the book is a little gut wrenching. I will have to follow up with my editor to make sure she received my response because she didn’t reply. (I couldn’t figure out how to do the auto reply my friend Laurie told me. I have Yahoo mail, so it might not be a feature. I know Outlook does it.) I figured I’d do that this afternoon, soon then, just to make sure she received the email, per what we agreed to after the last email problem.
No wonder I spent the whole day playing with photos. I am a little worried. Photo processing is relaxing and fun.
Now I’m off to do some critique work for a friend and then listen to more of an audio book I’m really enjoying. One of life’s great pleasures is being read to. I love the advent of audio books.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Monday I will posting about The Great Pumpkin.
I was trying to postpone today’s scheduled post, but accidentally set it to go. Working on blog posts on the phone is tricky. The app does the opposite of what I want half the time. Well, I’m on my computer now and have deleted that post and all the social media releases of the topic.
Today is not a day to think of dreams, for those were stolen yesterday from ten people and their families and friends. October 1, 2015 will be the day life changed and dreams were stolen for all of those people, so today, I am offering my thought and heart to them and to my fellow Americans who live under constant threat of shooting rampages and who live with the heartbreaking memories of the many, many incidences of gun violence. I’ve been near enough to it myself, in multiple ways. It is something I will be exploring in a future book.
I have processed this photo from the reflection pools at the 9/11 memorial. The will, thought, cooperation, planning, leadership, diligence, and persistence that went into making this memorial are proof that we can overcome gun violence in this country too, by applying those same qualities to this new task.
Back to work I go. On the flight home I worked out a schedule looking at the hours in a day, and what I can allocate to writing. Also to blogging, photography, social media.
I allocated four hours a week to photography. Well I spent four hours just processing the photos from Vermont. And an hour or so writing this post, now I am rewriting it. I changed my mind about what I wanted to say. So that’s 6 or 7 hours on photos and blogging in one day.
But I like it. Maybe I’ll cut out what I “should” do, and just do what I love to do. I love blogging and taking photos. And writing and editing and fiddling with my website and reading and talking about books.
I was going to cut down on being online, planning on cutting way down on social media and networking, but it’s early morning (still on east coast time) and I just spent an hour reading the New York Times and links to other articles. And I like sending emails to friends, chatting on messenger with friends, and meeting for coffee, lunch, or writing marathons.
I guess I’ll plan to keep doing things the same way because I’m going to anyway, and if I embrace my choices instead of doing that while I’m supposed to be “disciplined” about my time, I’ll just feel bad, but not really be doing anything different. I think I just had an early morning epiphany. LOL
I guess I’ll just keep making lists of the important stuff, embrace the chaos, and see how I go. Do you adhere to schedule or just wing it?
Here is the chronicle of my last day of vacation, spent with friends in Vermont.
Picking apples is really fun. My friends and husband did most of the picking while I did most of the clicking.
I picked a couple apples…and ate them. I did contribute a couple to the bags, but the rest of the time I was having a blast taking photos.
My friend said my taking photos was okay, though, because if all four of us picked apples, the fun would be over too quickly. As it was, it only took 20 minutes to fill two bags. These Macintosh apples were incredible tasting. We also had fresh-pressed apple cider and hot fresh cider donuts.
Then we went for a hike in a park called Red Rocks near Lake Champlain to try to work up another appetite for our picnic lunch.
The orchard also raised and sold flowers, and they made a beautiful display in front. What an inviting display.
Oh…wait, guess how we ended our vacation in Vermont? Watching the eclipse. We all had our chairs out under a cloudless sky. Because we were in Vermont, we could watch the whole thing. Here’s one shot.
We are lucky to have friends who live in a country town near Burlington Vermont. We would love coming to visit them no matter where they live, but what a treat to visit here. The country life is especially enjoyable after 10 days in New York City. Whew, what a relief to escape the noise! Although New York City has its own special beauty, it is too loud for me.
Driving along the rim of the Champlain Valley, it is very difficult to keep going instead of stopping 40 times to take photos. There was finally a good place to pull over near the town of Vergennes, a lovely country town. Here I was finally able to take a photo of one of the silos that dot the land.
We arrived at our friends’ house after about a 6 hour journey in time to catch the sunset from their deck. With a glass of beer and my tripod, I took some photos.
The next day we hiked at Mad River Glen, where our friend skis. The photos from the hike are in the gallery below. Some of the fall colors are starting to come in, though they are somewhat hampered by a dry summer. It seems to be dry everywhere these days.
Afterward, we took a detour to look at this hop farm. Micro-breweries are booming in Vermont. In fact, there are now brewery tours in addition to the leaf-viewing tours. Hence growing hops is a new farming trend.
As I write this, it is Sunday. I am scheduling this post of lots of photos from Friday night and Saturday, and it will show on Monday. On Wednesday I will share the photos from Sunday’s adventures, which we are about to start…think apple picking, fresh cider and cider donuts, walking by Lake Champlain, and finally, sampling some of those micro-brews.
It has been very convenient not to have a contract in September because I’ve been vacationing like mad.
I have some scenery shots from the New York portion of my September vacation, plus some photos of New Yorkers living their lives. You can see that despite the stresses of the city and the crowding, that people here live normally, exercising, walking their dogs, playing with their children, and going grocery shopping. I didn’t take photos of all of these activities, but I’ve seen them. The parks are what make the city livable for people. Because I grew up in the mountains, I didn’t appreciate the value of parks until I came to New York City.
Even while on vacation, I’ve been checking email 10 times a day, hoping for one from my publisher saying they’d like to offer me a contract for Third Strike’s the Charm. So far, nothing.
I did get up early to take photos at Riverside Park. The rewards for crawling out of bed so early were there, and I have to ask myself why I’m not doing the same for writing. I have to think about that. I bet I could get some good creative thoughts first thing in the morning (and then go back to bed for a nap later.)
In the middle of the day, I could do your standard kind of work, the editing, research, promo, and networking, just like I took an amble through Central Park and snapped a few good travel shots.
Around lunch I could enjoy some time with friends like this man with his best friend.
In the afternoon it’s important to have some refreshments,
Finally, evenings after dinner can be left for:
For the rest of today, I’m going to imagine receiving the email that says something like, Dear Nicci Carrera, The Wild Rose Press would like to offer you a contract for THIRD STRIKE’S THE CHARM.
What dream of yours are you imagining into reality?
Yesterday was hard work in some ways, with a lot of walking and emotions ranging from fun to sobering to sad. New York provided extraordinary weather for being a photographer and tourist: cool with a pretty sky.
Even after all the touring, which started at sunrise at the Flatiron Building and ended after 10:00 p.m. on top of the Empire State Building, I finished reading Virgin River by Robyn Carr. The last 50 or so pages were so riveting that despite being tired, I had to press on and read to the end. The Virgin River series is small-town contemporary romance, which is the direction I might be heading with my romance writing. I say “might” because I have some romantic suspense stories planned as well. I’ll probably write both sub-genres. Anyway, I’m so glad that my Goodreads group started reading this series. I’d picked up a couple books from later in the series but they didn’t captivate me. Now that I’ve ready the first one, I know to just push through the first few chapters, and I will be rewarded. I loved the contemporary and realistic elements and was moved and riveted several times throughout the book. I ended up giving it 5 stars, highly recommended.
The reading group is a great thing because many of the long-term members had read the book and their encouragement to keep going made the difference for me. Now I have a great new (to me) author and series to enjoy and another good example to follow.
Here are my favorite photos from sight seeing on Monday.
Here are some other photos of my day in New York City in a gallery for you. The World Trade Center and the memorials are absolutely gorgeous. I was very impressed by and proud of the people who came up with the design and implemented it. I’m glad I went, although it’s a very hard thing to stand there and remember, to absorb. It feels good to have paid my respects. Taking photos at the September 11 memorial is very easy because the site is beautiful from every angle. I won’t say much more because I’m starting to tear up. I really have no words, but am happy to share a few images in the gallery. The other photos are a smattering of images I enjoyed and hope you do too.