Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Stir Fry - Camping

Okay, call me crazy. I've signed up for another National Novel Writing Month. But this one is a bit different. It's Camping! Well, virtual camping anyway. I'm not going to pitch a tent in the woods (that would be especially crazy considering our weather lately).

"What's different about camp?" you ask. Well for one, you can pick your own word count goal. Awesome! So instead of the arbitrary 50,000 words in 30 days, we can choose anything over 10,000 words. My goal - 20,000 fantastic words.

"Why 20,000?" you ask. (man, you ask a lot of questions) Because, I need to add that amount of words to my novel Beyond The Horizon to get it to 76,000 words and be more marketable to agents and publishers.

"But, I thought that book was done." Well, it is, Ms Smarty Pants. But, I have discovered that at 56,000 words it is too long for a novella and too short for a novel. Therefore, I am going to add more scenes and descriptions, dig deeper into my characters' psyche. Doesn't that sound like fun!

Another thing about camp is you can work on whatever you want. Unlike November when you are supposed to start a new novel, the camp counselors don't care what you work on. I've seen campers post they are going to work on something new, something old, non fiction, poetry, scripts. You name it, there is a camper planning on writing it in April.

I'll keep you posted each Friday about my progress. Aren't you excited? "Why, yes, yes I am."

I might put up a bed sheet tent over my computer desk.  :-)

Here's a link if you want to check it out.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Stir Fry - Sequester

So, am I the only one that had to look up the meaning of that word? News agencies and government people are throwing it around like a March Madness basketball. So here's what I found:

1. to remove or withdraw into solitude or retirement; seclude.
2. to remove or separate.
3. Law. to remove (property) temporarily from the possession of the owner; seize and hold, as the property and income of a debtor, until legal claims are satisfied.
4. International Law. to requisition, hold, and control (enemy property).
Clear as mud.



I'm not going to get all political on you but, since I work for a government agency, I guess I should at least try to understand how this will affect me.  Or not.
I'm really less concerned about my job than the people we help. Not the ones who use the system, but the ones in our society who really, really need help. The elderly whose only income is Social Security. (not that secure folks) Or the disabled who are unable to work.
Everyone is worried. Our clients and my supervisors. Worry is wasted energy. If I have to take one day a pay period off, I'll be okay with that. My bank account won't be, but I'll manage. Besides it will give me more time to write!
So, let me know. Is the sequester going to affect you in any way?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Stir Fry - Spring Break

Okay, I'm going to sound really old and cranky here, but I don't understand why young people need a 'spring break'.
Abacus Warning; here comes the old part. I never had a 'spring break' when I was growing up. We went to school 24/7 year round. Well, not really, but I swear we went to school more than today's kids. I mean they have teacher conference days off, every holiday imaginable, snow days when there isn't much snow, winter break, spring break and on and on.

I think resort areas started this whole thing. Which I kinda understand. How else are warm, sunny vacation destinations going to make any money unless they get a bunch of 21 year old college partiers to rent seedy motel rooms, get drunk and spend all their parent's money in less than a week?

Study tableOkay, college can be difficult. Professors actually expect you to do the assignments without holding your hand. I understand that. But grade school?
"Wanda, I don't think you understand how hard spelling, math and reading are. They are really, really hard. Not to mention all that learning stuff interferes with my Play Station time like crazy."  Um, yeah, whatever.

Pretty sure 'spring break' is here to stay, but I still don't get it. Am I just being a cranky old woman? Tell what you think.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Stir Fry - Flea Markets


On the radio this morning, the on air personalities were talking about flea market finds. Apparently some guy almost threw away 30 million dollars worth of art work, but then decided to do a little research. Can you imagine?
I used to have several flea market booths. I loved looking for merchandise. I would go to auctions, garage sales, and other flea markets hoping to find a hidden treasure at a cheap price. And when I did, the thrill I felt was wonderful. Of course, I never found anything close to 30 million, but I made some pretty cool buys. Like the Flip Your Wig Beatles game in perfect condition, for fifteen dollars - sold it for seventy five. I almost wish I'd kept it because I haven't seen another one since.

I quit the business about ten years ago. It became too much work trying to find stuff. People got smart. Thanks Antiques Road Show! I still go to markets and search for that rare find. Who knows, maybe one of these days, I'll find a Rembrandt or a Warhol and you'll be talking about how lucky I am.

What about you? Do you enjoy searching through markets or have you ever found something worth a lot of money? Vote in my poll and we'll see how many share this past time.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Stir Fry - Cooking

stock vector : Kitchen and restaurant icons

I don't cook much anymore. At least not a whole meal.
I used to cook. My family didn't starve. But, it wasn't my favorite task. We ate a lot of Hamburger Helper.
In fact, when my daughter had to make an alphabet picture book for school, she used Hamburger Helper for H.
Now days, I might stick a hamburger patty or a chicken breast in my George Foreman Grill and a potato in the microwave, but that's about it. Healthy, right?
stock photo : Attractive Caucasian male reaching into a sparse refrigeratorIn my defense, I am single and busy. And let's face facts, it's so much easier just to pick something up on the way home. Then, I realized last night, my fridge is starting to look like a bachelor's.

I picked up Chinese food before going home and as usual only ate about half of it. When I went to put it in the fridge, there was the exact same container sitting on the shelf. I totally forgot I had leftovers from a couple days ago. My bad. I stood back for a moment and assessed my food supply. Beer, ketchup, salad dressing (no salad mind you), a couple of expired yogurt cups and now 2 Styrofoam containers of Chinese food. Oh, and a few containers of questionable science experiments that I'm scared to open.

So, you may see me at the grocery store this weekend. Or, more than likely, at the drive-thru window of my favorite Chinese joint.