Sunday, November 7, 2010

TSS: 11.7.10

Well, without consciously planning it, I seem to have found a blogging pattern.  Lately I have found that a once a week post that covers a variety of topics works well for me at this particular time in my life.  I hope that it is a satisfactory schedule for you, my dear readers.  Hopefully I will find more time to read and blog about said reading during the holiday break, but until then I will at least try to remain faithful to the Sunday Salon.

It has been absolutely beautiful fall weather here in Kansas these past few weeks.  There has been little rain, lots of sunshine, and high temperatures in the mid 60s.  This is quite unusual for us.  We have a saying here that states:  if you don't like the weather in Kansas, just wait five minutes and it will change.  Well, I am glad that it has remained in this particular holding pattern.

I left school the other day and happened to look up and notice some beautiful cloud formations.  Again, this is not a common site in the prairie states.  We either have ominous looking clouds that indicate severe weather, or bright blue sky (usually accompanied by blinding sun and heat and humidity).  I came straight home and forced myself to take a few pictures.  Well, that is not quite accurate.  "Forcing myself" sounds as though it was some sort of punishment.  Actually, I ALLOWED myself to take the time and enjoy a photo shoot of nature that was totally impromptu without any pragmatic ulterior motive.  It was glorious.  I will share a few of the 270+ pictures I took in this post.  I hope you enjoy.

I did not actually read for pleasure this week as I spent all my free time focused on NaNoWriMo (see below).  I did, however, visit our library's bi-annual book sale this week and found lots of future reading material for a mere pittance.   I purchased approximately 45 books for a whopping $38.00  I figure even if I don't read them over the next decade I supported a good cause and increased my personal library.  It is a win-win situation.  I found a number of contemporary fiction books, most notably Brooklyn by Colm  Toibin and The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon ; a few mysteries including Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley and The Unfinished Clue by Georgette Heyer, and quite a few holiday books for the  upcoming Christmas season.  I specifically focused my attention on more women's fiction stories, since that appears to be my writing focus.  I rationalized the purchase of these books as valid research.

The next sale will be the first week of June, so I should have enough reading material to tie me over until then.

I had an unexpected four-day work week, but I would gladly have worked five days if I could have prevented the cause.  The five year old son of one of the pastors at the church died in his sleep Monday afternoon.  He apparently had a seizure and by the time they rushed him to the hospital, it was too late to save his life.  The funeral was scheduled for Friday and school  was cancelled to allow the church family to grieve.

I decided that I would spend my Friday in celebration of life, in memory of this young boy who had his own life cut short.  I left the house by 8:30 and did a few errands before meeting a group of dedicated students at the local Borders bookstore for an impromptu NaNoWriMo write-in.  Out of the sixteen students registered for the month-long club, four came to the Borders get-together, and I consider a 25% response rate fantastic for a voluntary meeting.  We had quite a bit of fun and even made some progress on our novels.

I then decided to do a bit of Christmas shopping and ventured to Barnes and Noble.  I spent a good two hours (*edit - thank you, Margot!) perusing all the aisles and looking at all the books and magazines.  I came away with lots of gift ideas, and even a purchase or two.

I then treated myself to a frozen yogurt at Orange Leaf.  Have you experienced this marvelous taste sensation (or its counterpart Peachwave)?  I do believe I am addicted to the Pineapple/Coconut mix and Mango flavors.  I rationalize that the calorie content is negligible, so I can eat as much as I want.  Fortunately I do not enjoy frozen desserts in the winter months, so I am hopeful these cravings will cease in a few short weeks.

I met my husband for an early dinner and we then walked the local mall in the hopes of being inspired with Christmas gift ideas.  I think we both added a few items to our lists, and we had a rather relaxing evening.

Well, the end of week one of NaNoWriMo is coming to a close and I must admit that it has been a rather fun-filled adventure.  I am currently at 12,332 words and I am hoping to write another 2,500 or so more by the end of today.  That should put me ahead of schedule, which is good because I anticipate some academic lessons in my future that will hinder my ability to keep the pace during that time.

I have completed four chapters out of approximately twenty-five, so I think this novel will be somewhat longer than the required 50,000 word minimum.

This week should be rather low key, so I am hoping to have quite a bit of free time to write.  I would like to complete 25,000 words by next weekend, because the following week will require me to grade a number of papers which will not only cut down my available free time, but as is always the case, will leave me rather exhausted.  The week after that will Thanksgiving, which should provide me with the necessary hours to complete the project.

Of course, I am rather incredulous that Thanksgiving will be here in just 2.5 weeks.  Where did the year 2010 go?!


  1. I have the audio of The Angel's Game, and finished The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, which I liked so much I borrowed the sequel and liked that one even more. Happy Sunday!

  2. Oh Molly that is so incredibly sad about the young boy who passed on in his sleep. How tragic for that family.

    I think your photo of the sky and field is awesome; great capture. Enjoy your Sunday and hope the coming week is a good one for you.

  3. I think the once a week posts are fine... glad we get a chance to catch up with you while life is so busy! The book sale sounds fantastic, but we don't have Orange Leaf around here. Have a good week, Molly!

  4. Oh, I love how you showcased your topics with your wonderful pictures! They are gorgeous!

    So sad to hear about the little boy...such a short life. But I agree that celebrating life is the best way to honor someone's memory.

    Great progress on NaNoWriMo...I haven't found you user name is my name - Laurel-Rain Snow. When I picked it, I didn't even think of choosing something a bit more clever...LOL

    I've been doing well, too.

    Check out my salon here:

    Click my name....

  5. I always say do what you want with your own blog. And I usually do.

    A 25% turnout is wonderful. I had do work with a much smaller group many times.

  6. I'm really enjoying your new posting routine and look forward to Sundays to hear what's going on on your world:)

    Such gorgeous photos! I've been admiring the clouds lately, too, but haven't captured anything as beautiful as this. Thinking of maybe picking up some pastels...

    And congrats on serious book progress!

    So sad about the little boy - such a huge loss. I can't even imagine.

  7. What beautiful fall colors!!

    I think it's important that we find our own posting routine that works for each of us individually...balance is the key and sometimes other things just have to come first. I'm going to lockdown the compuers this afternoon myself bc I have a box full of essays that MUST be returned to students for revision tomorrow.

    Nothing more tragic than the death of a child. I've been to a few of these funerals over my career as an educator...there is just absolutely nothing to say, is there. My prayers to this family and your community.

  8. I absolutely love your Sunday Salon posts, Molly, so I'm ok with it being your only post of the week (though it wouldn't hurt to see more). If everyone wrote with such care and passion as you do...

    I've done my fair share of driving through the prairie states and I love the scenery. The flat and the hills, the farmland and especially the farms. My favorite times are during sunrise and sunset and I always wish that I could take a camera and shoot. I'm glad you were able to get some great shots--270! ;)

    Glad you had a wonderful NaNo session with the kids-25% is a great turnout. But I'm sorry it came under such terrible circumstances. Losing a child at 5 years old? Goodness.

    Hope you have a wonderful week, Molly!

  9. What a sad reason to have a day off. Everyone must be devastated.

    I can't believe you're Christmas shopping already - I haven't even started thinking about Christmas.

  10. It is so sad to hear of your pastor's loss of a son and for his family, immediate and the larger family of life. My prayers are for all, Molly.

    It is so good to read your now weekly posts. It seems to be working well for you right now, and for your dedicated readers as well.

    Oh, my, what a wonderful library haul you have there and such a good price - the price of one new book. Good week to you.

  11. That is so sad about the pastor's son. I think your idea of celebrating life was a nice one. Good luck with the rest of your writing!

  12. How heartbreaking about the little boy! I cannot even imagine.

    Loved the photos in this post!

  13. Molly, I like your posts whether they are once a week or seven. I always feel I know what's going on with you after reading your posts. Way to go on your NaNoWriMo project! Keep up the good work.

    Please double check you sentence on shopping at Barnes & Noble. Did you mean to say you spent two years there? lol That would be fun.

  14. What a horrible tragedy. Having a 6-year-old son, stories like this just strike terror and fear into my heart.

    I'm glad you are doing so well on your writing goal. Keep up the good work.

  15. Blogging once a week is better than never, and I'm always glad to see you in my feed reader, Molly!

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo - hope it goes as well as your trip to the library book sale did! :-)

  16. Love the photographs and the idea of your writing. Can't wait to see what you do next!

  17. Congrats on the great progress with the writing!

  18. I like your once a week posts!! The photo is great. Lately it has been grey here in Michigan!! I think you made out like a bandit with 45 books for that price and yes, supporting a good cause makes it all worth it. You came home with some great titles.
    I can't imagine the heartache your Pastor and his family are feeling. My condolences and heart go out to them. You're doing great on the writing home front too!!! Like you, where did 2010 go??? I can't believe we're almost at the end of the year!

    Have a great week!

  19. I meant to tell you when I first commented how great your pictures are, Molly. Have fun taking lots and lots of them. Penny

  20. How awful about the young boy who died. It is always hard to understand why these things have to happen. On a lighter note it sounds like you are enjoyed many aspects of your life and I like your weekly wrap up posts! I should really start doing the same since I am in a bit of a blogging rut right now.

  21. How horrific for that dear family. I will keep them in my prayers, although I'm sure it will be a long, long time for them to heal. Your photographs are lovely, and I'm glad you ate that yummy taste sensation! Eat some for me.

  22. Quite a lot that you have going on, and it's completely understandable to post when you can -- I know I'm not going anywhere from reading your posts!

    I'm so sorry to hear about the young boy, and please pass along my thoughts and prayers.

    Lovely pictures, as always!

  23. Lovely photos! And so glad you found a blogging rhythm that feels comfortable.

  24. I really love your blog for variety and the easy rhythm of your voice.

    Thank you for your ministry as a teacher, especially to hurting families and kids.


  25. Good for you jumping into NaNo. My recent publication started off as a NaNo novel. It's a lot of fun.
    Cozy In Texas


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