NaNoWriMo Wrap-up… Phew!

NaNoWriMo Countdown… 3… 2… 1….

Ding Ding Ding ….  times up! Well, not quite. I actually finished ahead of schedule. Go figure!

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Phew!  On one hand, I feel like I should be dancing around the H.O.W. and popping a bottle of champagne. But on the other, I’m looking over my “finished” manuscript and thinking… Wow, this is waaayyyy far from being finished! Yes, I passed the word count criteria (55,636!) but yikes! It’s going to take twice that number of words (or more) to get it fluffed up.

Hmmm, I don’t think that’s the technical term I was trying to come up with. I mean the last thing I want to be known as is a “fluffer”. Well, okay, maybe not the very last thing… but I digress. Anyhoooo… I’m talking about getting it fleshed out enough for the first slaughter  massacre  edit.

Before I get into all that though a break is in order. I do believe I will take a moment hour day or ten to revel in this sense of accomplishment. “Veni, vidi, vici” … wooo hooo!  Well, I conquered a battle if not the complete war at best. And, I might add, nowhere near as succinctly as Julius Caesar… just saying.

But still, a victory is a victory my friends! So I say… bring on the bubbly baby!

Hello?

Hellooooo???

Gee, where is that hubby of mine? It seems he’s become very adept at making himself scarce while the keys are a clackin’ around here.

As it turns out his vanishing acts have several advantages. Most importantly it means he doesn’t have to watch and listen to me have in-depth conversations… with myself. Big perk for me because even though I know he already thinks  knows I’m a little  a lot cuckoo… I try to hide my crazy whenever possible.

In addition to keeping my state of sanity ambiguous, his inclination of the flight rather than fight self-preservation mode has been a catalyst for him to accomplish an overdue to-do list of maintenance issues on the truck. Yeay! Win-Win!

Now before I commence the drinking portion of my little celebration, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate all my fellow NaNoWriMo writers. No matter if you are frantically working to hit the 50,000 mark before Saturday at midnight or if you’ve decided to just keep working at your own pace…  NaNoWriMo badges and goodies be damned. If we are purging the story that burns hot within us by getting words on the page…  we are all winners in this game.

Okay now… seriously. It’s champagne time.

Here’s to the writer in each of us!!

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That’s all for now. As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

~Cheers~

Chicken Soup … Good for the Soul

I’m craving chicken noodle soup…

Ingredients for the prescription...

Ingredients for the prescription…

I feel like I’m treading dangerously close to the laws of plagiarism with my title. But with all due respect to Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, I must state without hesitation, chicken noodle soup does indeed soothe the soul… and that’s a fact, Jack!

If you’re wondering if I’m suffering from a cold or the flu, thankfully no. I’m feeling physically tip-top. I like to hope that chicken soup is not administered solely to those suffering from a stuffy head, fever and coughs. In my humble opinion, the medicinal benefits of the steamy, savory concoction are considerable.

I will concede, however, that chicken soup seems best prescribed when the weather outside is frightful  (ooops, there I go again!) is less than stellar. Of course good or bad weather is a matter of opinion. I could go the rest of my life never having to scrape an iced over windshield or shovel the sidewalk again and be a happy camper. I know, I know… many of you are saying, but what about a White Christmas (ooopsie) . To this I say… Bah HumbugI’ll take a tropical beach or even a scorched desert over a blanket of the white stuff on any day of the year.

Hmmm… Let’s see what the soup is looking like …

Chicken Noodle soup... sans noodles

Chicken Noodle soup… sans noodles

Not bad, not bad. I’m thinking once I add some egg noodles it will be just what I need to face the nasty cold nights ahead. We’re still in Reno and although we’ve only had a dusting or two of snow, which thankfully melted off by the time we needed to go outside, there is definitely a chill in the air.

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Yes, I see that it says it gets up into the 50s during the day. But the wind makes it feel much colder than that. (Yes, wah wah wah…) I’m also wondering how long the snow is going to stay up in the higher elevations.

This was what the mountains around us looked like two weeks ago.

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Not too bad… still showing some green. This is what they look like tonight…

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Maybe my eyes are deceiving me, but the snow seems to have taken over the green and somehow everything just looks (and feels!) colder. The colors in the sky are beautiful. But I’d just as soon see them over a barren rock formation in Arizona.

What’s that… Quartzsite you say?

Image Credit: City-Data.com

Image Credit: City-Data.com

Why, golly gee…  I think yes!

Yes, I would like to venture to the boondocking mecca in the desert.

Give me just a second… okay I’m packed. 😀  Oh wait, I have soup simmering on the stove. 🙁

But that’s okay. We still have a few maintenance items we need to check off our list before we hit the road again. Mostly vehicle stuff. But Mr. G is making progress with that list daily. Yippee!

In all seriousness, we have enjoyed our time here in Reno. The Shamrock RV Park has been a great place to stay. Heck we checked in for two days and ended up staying for over a month!  (I’ll have a review up in the near future.) But it’s time for a change of scenery. So, if all goes well, we’ll be checking out of here around December 6th and hitting the road to warmer days and new and unusual things to see.

Until then, I’ll be watching the snow line get a little lower on the mountains and shivering just a bit as the temperature drops as well. Brrrr….

Oh hey! Soup’s on and it’s time to eat!

A working dinner... :-)

A working dinner… :-)

If you have any advice or suggestions for Quartzsite I’d love to hear them. Feel free to drop me a comment!

That’s all for now. As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂

~Cheers~

Dumping the Gray Matter Tank…

Is it Friday yet? I’m feeling a serious need to purge the gray matter tank…

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It’s been a crappy long week so far.

What’s that you say?

It’s only Tuesday???

Good Grief!

I’m not sure how I went from riding the super excited wave of being ahead of the NaNoWriMo game to feeling overwhelming anxiety about not finishing on time. Oh wait… yes I do.

A big chunk of it has to do with a silly little update I did on the laptop. I received an email extolling the virtues of the new Windows 8.1 update. There seemed to be some nice additions to my current version 8 so I went for it. Big Mistake!

As soon as the new 8.1 finished installing I had “issues” ranging from the cooling fan staying on constantly at full blast, to somehow having an extra graphics card (I always thought the graphics card was an actual like circuit board thingie so imagine my chagrin!) to not being able to get my Google apps to work at all, to having a huge breakdown of the VAIO Care suite. The list goes on but suffice it to say it sucked!

I did try valiantly to research various forums and fix the problems myself. Bad idea. (See the italics above. I’m not a techie) After a day and a half of probably  most definitely making things worse, I decided to just scrap it all, sweep my hard drive and revert to factory settings. Uggg. It amazes me that this laptop works at the speed of light when I accidentally hit the erase button (DOH!) but takes soooo flipping long to backup and erase when I really do want it to!

Anyway, after going through the process of dumping everything and then re-installing all of my files and the important stuff I need like Office Home Premium and Scrivener, (Who by the way has a wonderfully easy path to find your order and serial numbers if you’re forever misplacing those little ditties as I am.) I think I’m finally ready to get back to work… after being idle for three days. The deadline is a mere ten and a half days away… no pressure.

In addition to this insignificant bump in the road with the current WIP, there has been something much more important weighing very heavily on my mind. It’s one of those things that although it didn’t directly impact my life, it certainly had an affect on me personally. Unfortunately, I just can’t seem to erase it as easily as my laptop.

At the end of last week there was a story in the news about an Explosion at the Chevron Refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Tonya Graddy, an operator with five years experience lost her life in the explosion. My heart goes out to her family, friends and coworkers. Many of whom I’m sure dealt with the fear of knowing just how dangerous Ms. Graddy’s job was day in and day out.

I’m sure had I read this story two years ago I would have said a silent prayer for the loved ones left behind and then went about my daily routine. But that was then and this is now. No matter how hard I try I just can’t seem to put this unsettling news away in the appropriate lock box in my mind. It hits too close to home.

I know the inherent risks of the job when The Boss goes off to work each day at whichever refinery he happens in. I do my best not to fret about it for fear of never being able to string two sentences together. But the uneasy feeling is always there. It’s a dangerous business but it’s a necessary one.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend a couple of months working in a refinery in Southern California last year. I wrote a three-part series about my time there. If you’re interested in what the environment is like from a greenhorn’s perspective feel free to check out the following links:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

If you take nothing else from today’s post (other than I’m being a whiny Wendy) take this… Today is gift and tomorrow is never guaranteed… so go hug your loved ones if you can.

So, with that said and the gray matter tank purged, I think it’s time to get back to work. If you’re still with me, thanks for hanging in there! In the amazing words of Chuck Wendig it’s time to “Grit your teeth and carve words into the flesh of the page”. Seriously great post on sticking with NaNoWriMo if you need a little kick in pants!

As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂

~Cheers~

Sunday Funday … from Reno

So… yep, we’re still in Reno. I’m not complaining, honest.  We love the area and the Shamrock RV park so much we signed on for a month. Yes, really.

I spent the entire day writing yesterday so today I’m being sort of a slug. I made a big pot of chili that is simmering on the stove. The Boss put together some bacon wrapped jalapeños that are now smoking away in the Treager. Life is good.

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I have a bit of a confession to make today.  Our run of over a year and a half of being TV free is over. Yes, we fell off the No TV wagon this week. Oooops.

No, we didn’t break down and buy a television.  But we have been spending too much a lot of time watching the “big-sheet” TV.

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I know… it doesn’t get much more redneck than this. But it’s Sunday Funday so yes, I think I’ll have another beer.

In other news, seeing as I’m trying to stay off the laptop today (which is like staying out of the office for me) I’m covertly creating this post via my phone (Galaxy Note 2). Definitely a different feel for me.

I thought I’d toss in a few more pics from Reno. So here you go…

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I’ve read in more than one post, review, article that Reno is sort of a dive and a waste of time.  I have to wholeheartedly disagree! Everywhere we’ve been and everyone we’ve encountered have just added to our enjoyment of the area.

I’ll have an RV Park review up at some point for this wonderful little park. Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend and please… take time to thank a Veteran!

That’s all for now. As always,  thanks for stopping by 🙂

~Cheers~

NaNoWriMo Distraction Time

I thought I’d take a little break from NaNoWriMo this morning to post of few pics of our trip from Morrow Bay to Marina, California. If you follow me on Facebook some of them may seem familiar. If you don’t follow me on Facebook… Why Not?!? LoL

Go ahead “Like” me … I’ll wait.

Use this link to go to the page and hit that “Like” button

(Tic-Toc-Tic-Toc)

Yes, I’m procrastinating…

Okay, cool. You “Liked” me … you really liked me!! 😀

Yes, still procrastinating…

Okay, here we go. We left Morrow Bay and headed north up into Big Sur and the Monterey Bay area. I have to tell you, the Pacific Coast Highway has amazing vistas from just about every twist and turn. And there are A LOT of twists and turns!!

Look Ma - No guardrails!!
Yikes don’t sneeze babe!!

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We managed to hit some road construction along the way. Does everyone else hit at least a patch or two on every trip?

Thankfully the backup wasn't for too long.

Thankfully the backup wasn’t for too long.

It ended just before the bridge…

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But was still going on for an amazing tunnel…

Loved this! Felt like we were driving through a castle.
Loved this! Felt like we were driving through a castle.

The sun was shining again by the time we into Big Sur…

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We thought about trading the H.O.W. for a yacht, but then decided against it…

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale... a tail of a fateful trip...
Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale… a tail of a fateful trip…

We made a quick pit stop at a monastery. Although we didn’t venture up to see the grounds, I did take advantage of the close proximity and I said a prayer for loved ones around the globe and safe travels for all of our nomadic friends.

A silent retreat for a few days sounds heavenly :-)
A silent retreat for a few days sounds heavenly 🙂
We spent the night at Marina Dunes RV Park. The park was upscale and a little expensive for our tastes ($74 a night). I guess I wouldn’t have minded if it had been more resort like, but this place was just a little better than basic in my opinion. To make matters worse the site we were in (#19) backed right up to the CA 101 Freeway. It was without a doubt the loudest place we have ever stayed. I’m including trucks stops and over-nights at Walmart here folks! 
With that said, the clerk at the reception desk was super nice and the amenities they do have were comfortable and very well maintained. The property is within walking distance to the dunes which is a nice perk. I think we may have been just a little too “duned out” to notice. 
Okay, I guess break time is over for now. Time to get back into NaNoWriMo mode. I’m happy to report I am a little ahead of the word count goal. Of course I could be even farther ahead, but baby steps will get me there too. 🙂
Are there any other nomadic NaNoWriMo participants out there? I’d love to hear from you!
That’s all for now. As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂
~Cheers~