Wednesday, March 28, 2007

chasing the chicken man

well, everyone has convinced me. When my ship comes in, we'll get a used Mac. I like the sound of the Mac Minis but not sure it'd be worth it as we need a keyboard and monitor anyway.

So far, the big success of my week was finding my own talk of the valley subject. Here's how it went: a guy named Jack told me a few weeks ago about someone who raises exotic chickens and sends them all over the country. He'd seen chicken man at the post office. I called the county extension agent, asking if he knew chicken man's name, and he said no, but directed me to the feed store. I called the feed store, and lo and behold, there is an exotic chicken man, but he lives out in Taylor and didn't sound like the guy I'm looking for, since Taylor has its own post office. So, reluctantly, sure I would hit a dead wall, I called Water Valley's post office. Renee said sure, that was J.T., but it is pheasants, not chickens. I thanked them, hung up, and found that J.T. was not listed in the phone book. Sheepishly called the post office again, asked if they had contact info, and got J.T.'s cell phone number.

He's going to give me a tour of his pheasant farm on Friday for next week's paper. It's good to live in a small town.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

woe is me

I started the new novel (Sam and Alice, I'll be calling it) yesterday, and today, the laptop on loan from my mother after my old one's motherboard imploded broke. Perhaps it can be fixed-- I'll find out.

Why is it so hard to keep a computer going? This is what I want: 1: to write 2: to have speedy/reliable internet. No games, no music, no videos.

I have burned through a Toshiba, a Hitchachi (back when laptops were EXPENSIVE), a Dell desktop (that lasted all of 3 yrs, the current record), a Dell laptop, and now this, my mother's, a refurbished laptop that I have been using for three months and never moved from my desk. These computers ranged between $500 and $3000, and none of them were problem-free.

K. wants me to use a typwriter. I am open-minded, but I need internet access, and I do like being able to fix things before printing them out.

*big, big, frustrated sigh*

Friday, March 23, 2007

the conference for the book

Well, I spent too much money on this stupid writing workshop thing that everyone told me was so worthwhile, and I realized something important: talking about writing pisses me off. So I could make a case that the money was worth it, as it erased any desire to enter a pricey MFA program. But as I already knew I didn't want to pay thousands of dollars to talk to other people about writing, the workshop was a complete loss.

It's been a frantic week, and my mood has been less than stellar. So to be here on Friday morning, with the window open, sitting at the computer after taking a long walk with the girls (aka Shadow and Dido) and figuring out the niceties of my new novel's plot, is a complete and unadulterated treat.

I'm going to start drafting the new novel on March 30th, in one week, because I'm tired of not writing. In that one week, I have a crapload of character development, research, and plot outlining to do, so that hopefully I can write this one once or twice rather than four times.

Maybe I can get it done by the time I turn twenty-five.

Monday, March 19, 2007

this weekend, I

was not sick.

went on two long long long walks with the dogs and one with my husband.

went to church and grocery shopping.

did fifteen loads of laundry (only slightly exaggerating) in our brand-spanking new frontloading washer and dryer.

read a good book.

watched a foreign film.

sucessfuly put family drama and professional challenges out of my head.

and first step towards re-slipcovering the whole house! This blue is actually really vibrant turquoise, and this old armchair won't know itself when I get done with it. K. helped me a bunch-- he's very good at understanding how things should be-- but I made this my very self with the thirty-year-old sewing machine I bought over a year ago in the hopes of doing just this.

To be honest, I am very, very proud of myself.

the zipper ain't so pretty...before we got thread that matched...but no one will see it anyway!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

this place rocks

On Thursday night, K. and I hopped in an SUV which--despite all my principles-- was shockingly comfortable for the 6 adults it contained-- and drove with our landlords and the local bank president and wife to the Wildlife Tasting Banquet.

That's right, folks.

It cost a dollar a person to get in, was held at the county agricultural place which contains an indoor arena for rodeos, and chili and Brunswich stew were all you can eat. The wildlife dishes were brought by sundry citizens to compete for cash prizes given to best-tasting and most original.

The venison calzones were delicious; I didn't go near the gator eggs with crackers. Sadly, there was no possum this year.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I have a dweam

Perhaps it's spring fever, but everyone seems to be afflicted with home improvement projects (Bluepoppy).

Last Sunday, I looked at the stark lines of our porch and took myself to Wal-Mart.

A few hours and less than fifteen dollars later:

Can you see the fishing-line trellis? How about here?

Within the last two days, four out of the twenty morning glory seeds have come up. This makes me ecstatic, even though they currently look like plant versions of baby dragons:

But picture a wall of leafy green punctuated with blue and white morning glories, filtering light to a place to drink coffee and watch sunsets.... can you see it? Shadow can.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


and I finished the novel. Started working on the next one today!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

to be so blessed, or, I want to be that zen

Our new-place grace period seems to be drawing to a close. In just over two months, we've become a big part of the community down here, and the days fill up fast. More on that later.

Yesterday morning, my aunt Jennie called and said that she and her family were flying from Orlando to Louisiana, and so they might drop in for a night. When I say flying, I mean flying: Jennie flew planes for the Red Cross in Africa, and her French husband flies both planes and helicopters. They arrived in their plane around four-- a sporty small thing with blue stripes-- and laden with baby girls.

Jennie-- who is only 11 years older than me-- married a few Junes ago and promptly had four children (almost 6; almost 5; almost 3; 8 months). After stopping for folding chairs from K's office and diapers at a Walgreens, they came out to the house and ate homemade pizza and salad with us. It was delightful, although when they left, we all collapsed into bed. I have never seen such a good-humored family, and the control-freak in me is in utter awe.

But enough about me-- look at my cousins!
Me with the eldest:
The second, named for our grandmother:
Jennie with the third and fourth:
and a blurry picture of the papa:
They flew out this morning, after commanding the town's largest suite.
I am very conscious of not being a mother now, and am rethinking a short story I finished where the pregnant mother is overwhelmed by one child. Because they have FOUR under the age of six!