Friday, July 26, 2013

Getting Wet: Recipe #3

Tough times call for tough drinks.

Winston's Gin Martini

To a shaker with ice, add 1-2 jiggers of gin (my favorites are Hendricks or Tanqueray 10).

Look at a bottle of dry vermouth.

Shake gin for 10-15 seconds, until good and cold.

Pour into a martini glass. Garnish with olive or lemon twist, if desired.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday's Children Blog Hop: Goals, Endings, And The Hashtag

"A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit." -Richard Bach

At first glance, the symbol now known as "the hashtag" doesn't look like much. Unless you're a mathematician, Tweeter, or obsessive tic-tac-toe player, it's one of those keys that doesn't get much air time.

I confess, I don't use it much, either. In fact, there's only one time it really shows up in my writing.

At the end of a manuscript.

That's really just a long way of getting to this: I finished my book!

When I first sat down at my computer again in mid-March, I had some pretty ambitious goals. I wanted to write 2,000 words per day. I wanted to live a more balanced life. I wanted to finish my first draft by June 1.

I stuck (mostly) to 2,000 words per day. Some days I wrote more, some, less. As for a more balanced life, there are still clothes languishing in the hamper, and the dust bunnies have grown so big I now regard them as family pets. An unexpected, two-week vacation meant I had to revise my finish date, so instead of June 1, I gave myself until July 1.

As of July 1, I had been finished for six days.

Goals are decidedly not my strong suit. I've always been something of a free spirit (read: scatterbrained), I have a toddler who insists on being fed regularly, and there always seems to be laundry to put away.

But they have their value, even for me.

When I'm nearing the end of a book, it's tempting to rest on my laurels and coast. I can drag those last couple chapters out for weeks. Having a set "done" date in mind is just the kick in the ass I need.

Nowadays, I need all the ass-kicking I can get.

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Friday, July 5, 2013

Thursday's Children Blog Hop: Pangs Of Absence

Flower Gardens

"If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden." -attributed to Claudia Ghandi

Have you ever said a goodbye that didn't feel right?

I had another post planned for this week, but this subject has weighed heavily on my mind since, well, this morning. When someone I thought I'd said goodbye to for good suddenly popped up again in my life.

I won't bore you with the gory details, but suffice it to say, when I was younger, I went through a rough patch. It resulted in a cleansing; there were people I needed to remove from my life, so I did.

Unfortunately, it also meant having to say goodbye to a few people I'd rather have kept around.

It's never sat well with me, especially since -being young and tactless- I handled the whole thing with about as much grace as a falling elephant. I burned bridges, I hurt feelings, I made a mess.

Then I rebuilt, and learned to live with the bad taste in my mouth.

I'm at a better place in my life now, but I still have regrets. The kind that linger. That show up in your dreams just when you think you've finally put them behind you.  A chance meeting today got me thinking: maybe it's time to make amends.

I was thinking about it, and it suddenly struck me. Much of my writing has to do with moving on. Moving on from past hurts, from people who've wronged you, from grudges once held.

Maybe it's time for me to stop just writing about it, and start doing it.