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I was looking through my blog posts for previous Decembers so that I could find a specific post to contribute to a friend’s December collection of blog posts. So far I haven’t found it but I ended up reading so many of the posts that I had all but forgotten. They are full of memories, some good and some not so good. In every case I found my throat getting dry and my eyes moist. And it wasn’t all about the memories that I’ve shared with my blog readers over the years. It’s about noticing that I haven’t written real memoir pieces in a long time. I’ve written very little memoir and very little fiction. I really want to get back to writing what this blog used to be about. If I do anything in 2017, that’s it. More writing, genuine writing of memoir and fiction.

So now I have to go back to looking for that specific post and maybe I will make a list of which ones I want to reblog for you here in December. They are full of memories, mostly from my childhood but also some from my married years and the early years after my divorce raising three children on my own. Lots of wonderful memories even though some of them are filled with enough tears to share with everyone.

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nanopoblano1

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I love participating in NaNoWriMo. We all do or we wouldn’t do it. However, each year it gets harder and harder for me. It’s not just the age. It’s the Mama Factor that seems to get increasingly bigger and bigger.

The Mama Factor? All the things that the mamas have to do to get through the day to write a the 1667 words a day that will get them to goal on November 30. When I first started doing NaNoWriMo, my two oldest kids were out of the house. The youngest was in high school but was home schooled so she was constantly home and we took a lot of day trips and excursions to keep her busy and learning new things. (That was when she developed her love of photography. She’s now a photographer. So those were important days.) It gave me time to write. Yes, it put a damper on my writing time but I got it done. It was possible. I used to wonder about the moms that had little ones at home. How could they write? It would have been a problem for me, although when my kids were little, I lived in a community where I had a lot of support. I’m pretty sure I would have been able to leave the kids for play dates with a number of people so that I could have writing time. It would have been done.

Now, however, my kids are all grown. I live alone. There is no husband to demand my time. Yet, it gets harder and harder every year. Let me tell you about my day on this year’s Day Two. I had to get up and out of the house early to drive Susie (daughter number 2) to the airport where she was flying to Colorado Springs for a business trip. I got to her house and she wasn’t ready. It seems she figured over night that we didn’t have to leave so early so she slept in a bit. I didn’t. I didn’t know about the intentional delay. I finally got her to the airport and then had to drive home to watch the two grandboys so their mom could go do a volunteer shift for Gleaners. I got there and they were still asleep so I waited and eventually came home for about an hour while they woke up and got ready to go do errands. I had to play catch up on a few things so I didn’t get to write my 1667. In fact, I didn’t write a single word for my NaNo project. Then off we went for the day (now a half day) of errands. On our very last stop, I got the kids out of the store while their mom was in line because they were starting to misbehave. I got them to the car and strapped into their car seats. When I was getting myself in, I misjudged the distance and smacked my head on the side of the car roof. I hit so hard that I almost passed out. Instant headache of astronomical proportions. My jaw felt like I had dislocated it. There were stars. There was almost blackness. Eventually, we got home but I had to wait at their house because my daughter was going to use my car for another errand and I was going to stay with the boys. About an hour later, she decided not to go out on that errand and I came home. Headache in tact. Jaw pain diminishing. But I’m pretty sure I have a concussion. I ended up sleeping for the entire time from about 5:30 until 10:30. Now I’m writing this and I’m falling asleep again so there will be no writing tonight. I guess maybe I should start counting my blog posts to my word count. Nah. I don’t think I will go that route.

How does this fit into the Mama Factor? Well, it seems that there are certain mamas who just don’t have the time to write. They have obligations that keep growing as their family grows. As much as they try, there is no time for their needs and wants; only for those of their family. Those moms are the ones that perform a miracle every November when they are able to validate their 50,000 words by midnight on November 30th.

No 1667 for me on Day Two. We’ll see if Day Three allows me to write but I will say that while Daughter Number Two is on that business trip, I will be driving to her house to feed her cats. And they have an ant problem so I can’t just fill the dishes and leave. I have to stay while the cats eat and make sure they all eat. This will involve about an hour and a half twice a day, including drive time. I might get a few words written while I wait for los gatos to eat. Might. Might not. Hopefully 1667 will happen tomorrow so I will only have to get caught up by one day over the weekend. If I fall too far behind, I won’t catch up.

So if you know a Mama doing NaNoWriMo, be kind. Offer to help her out or if you can’t help her out, at least don’t be an additional burden to her. Don’t feed the Mama Factor.

nanopoblano1

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I have no time for this. I spent a hour of precious time trying to find a NaNoWriMo banner with the theme for the year. Can’t find it. Then I tried to find a participant badge so I can put on here and on FB. Can’t find one. Then I tried to add the NaNoWriMo word count widget here but I can’t seem to do it. I’ve done it all the other years but for some reason, this year it’s not working. Maybe it’s not me. Maybe they aren’t set up yet. In any case, I don’t have the time for all of this. I’m also blogging every day with the NaNoPoblano but I can’t seem to make their thingy work either so I will just have to download the badge and post it every day.

Do you get the idea that I am trying to do a gazillion things in not such a great amount of time? Yeah. That would be me. We’ll see how many of them get done!

On a side note, Anderson spends so much time with me that he picks up a lot of my mannerisms and speech patterns and words. My daughter thinks it’s funny that he, all of the sudden, is saying “a gazillion” every little while. Yup. He got it from me. He doesn’t want to go on a gazillion errands (neither do I) and he wants to spend a gazillion minutes playing Minecraft. The little one picks it up, too. He’s saying stuff like “ay ay ay” and “sorry Charlie” and “later gator.”

Anyway, this is my post for the day and I got it up at a reasonable time. That might not happen much during this month.

What are your personal challenges this month? What are you participating in that is gobbling up all of your time? Yes, that was a reference to turkey day.

nanopoblano1

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Yesterday I mentioned that I am going to be participating in NaNoWriMo once again. I also said that I am at the very beginning in terms of planning and thought some of my readers here and on Facebook might be able to help me out.  So what can you do?

The premise I will be starting with is a person going to a coffee shop every day at the same time and staying all day. She goes with a laptop and sits and listens to what is going on. She has nowhere else to go. She kinda pretends that she is doing work on the computer but she’s just sitting and eavesdropping on conversations. Over time, she gets to know the background stories and the gossip of not only the people who work there but also of the other customers. She gets to know their secrets, all by just showing up and being there all day.

What I would like from you is suggestions of names for characters and any tidbits of customer stories/gossip or of work place scenarios at the coffee shop. Anything that I can take off and create something out of.

A couple of years ago, I did something similar and one of the suggestions I loved but didn’t use is one I will, most likely, be using this year. The name was Jessica and her back story was “she will take anyone’s man so you gotta watch her!” Doesn’t that sound like fun? I could build entire chapters around Jessica and her escapades!

It doesn’t take much. Just a few words to suggest a story to be built. Or you can even just send me a physical description of someone or of the coffee shop. Sound like fun? I think it is. Please give me a hand. I may be sharing some of what I write here on the blog in November as I also committed to doing NaBloPoMo once again.

How is your Sunday going? It’s a bit gloomy here in Oregon. I’m kinda out of it today. I had a bad day on Facebook yesterday. Much drama. And it cost me a couple of friends. It’s okay though as they have been borderline for some years. Yesterday, the camel’s back broke and I had to disconnect from them. It makes me sad because I am one of those people that likes to keep everyone happy. I hate to have any kind of argument or disagreement but what I hate more is to be attacked about my opinions. So “poof!” They’re gone. And I am left shaken.

In any case, take a stab at helping me out with my NaNoWriMo project. And this stays up so you can help out any time during the month! Thanks in advance. Ciao!

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Good morning! Come on in and have a seat near the heater vent. It’s a bit chilly and damp today. Yesterday was a gorgeous fall day but it began to rain late last night and hasn’t stopped. Let me grab a cup of coffee today or if you prefer, I have some yummy hot chocolate that I got for Anderson who is coming for another Harry Potter movie night tonight. I won’t tell him I shared it with you. Shhhh!

I woke up early today. I kind of slept all night…like from about 5:30 Friday evening until 6 this morning with a few potty wakings. I couldn’t believe the clock when I looked at it. Then when it said 7, I really couldn’t believe it because of how dark it still was. Pitch black. It’s now 8 and it is just barely beginning to get light out. I think the time changes next weekend so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the darkness.

It was a good week. I was without a car for a couple of days because my youngest daughter borrowed my car for work. Hers died. Or at least the transmission did and with the age of her car, the $4300 estimate is just not a good idea. She’s trying to find a solution but she has no savings because she just moved up here and didn’t have a job for awhile so she went through all of her savings. She’s also paying off school loans. Her dad may be able to help her out with either getting her a dependable used car or perhaps a down payment on something. Or she might end up using a Zip Car for awhile. I think not having the car made a lot of things easier for me. It gave me an excuse to not run around doing things for my other daughter.

NaNoWriMo. Yes, it’s that time of year again. I had decided not to do it this year because I have so little time. However, because I’ve done it for so long, I keep thinking that I need to try it. This will be year ten for me. Yup. It has practically become a tradition for me. So I will be attempting it again this year. I will also be attempting to post here every day in November. We’ll see how that goes. I can usually do it but this year is a much busier year for me. As far as NaNoWriMo goes, my post here tomorrow (Sunday) will, most likely, include a plea for help. I am going into this year’s NaNoWriMo with nothing more than a vague idea of what I will write. So tomorrow I will tell you what my premise will be and how YOU can help! Please come back and read tomorrow’s post!

One thing I really need to do on Monday is call the Elections Office. Oregon votes by mail. Ballots have been mailed out. Mine has not arrived. My daughter got hers almost two weeks ago. So I have to contact them and find out where my ballot is. I don’t want to miss voting this time around. It’s too important. Way too important.

I’ve not read much this week because I’ve been trying to read more blogs and leave more comments. That takes up my reading time. I’ve also been watching The West Wing, again. I just finished the entire series three weeks ago but I’ve started it again, last weekend. It’s just the right thing to watch during election season. I won’t get through the whole series before the election but that’s okay. I want to make it through to the debate episode. The Bartlett re-election debate. That’s a favorite episode. I’m currently near the end of season 2, 18th & Potomac.

What about you? How has your week been going? Do you have any plans for the coming week? Have you done early voting? Does your state offer it?

That’s about all for today. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the NaNoWriMo and November blogging update.

Have a wonderful day and a fantastic week!

#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog linkup hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster Blog. Stop by and take a look at other coffee share posts. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Maybe you want to add your own post. I’d love to read it!

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When my kids were in their teens, they became followers of The Princess Bride cult! They discovered the movie and watched it over and over and over again. We bought the VHS tape then the DVD. My daughter now owns it on Blu Ray. It got to the point where they could recite the dialog as the movie played. When they had friends over, they watched the movie. In the hundreds of times they watched it, I never sat down to watch it with them. I would me in ear shot and most of the time I could see them, especially when it was a mixed gender group of friends watching it, but I always gave them room and never sat down to watch it. Every time they watched it, I would remind myself to sit down and watch it some day when they were out of the house but it never happened.

Then this weekend linkup was announced and I figured it was my chance to watch, at least I would have an excuse, and it is on Netflix so no money involved. Yay. So I watched it last week. Did I like it? Well, I kept meaning to watch it again so I could write a good post about it but I guess I didn’t like it enough to watch it a second time. Why? Well, something you don’t know about me is that I don’t find a lot of “humor” funny. I don’t like slapstick. I don’t like the ridiculous being passed as humor. I don’t like “jokes” about bodily functions. Yeah, I’m kind of a dud that way. So I didn’t find a lot of humor in it. Yes, there was some humor that I thought was truly funny. And even though I grew up in the times of the women’s liberation movement and hated it, having been brought up in a very traditional hispanic family and believing that the woman’s place is indeed in the home and all that. Somehow along the way, from the 1970’s to now, I grew up and realized that I was wrong. So it kind of bothered me that it was all men made out to be the heroes and it also bothered me that Buttercup expected everything to be done for her as if she were a fragile flower. I didn’t like the “As you wish” attitude.

What did I like? I loved that it was a grandparent reading to a grandson. The family aspect of it was wonderful. The reading being passed on from one generation to another was very authentic to me. It showed the value of generations of a family interacting with one another and it showed how storytelling and reading are valuable. And even though the grandson was at the age where he did not at first value the reading or the grandfather, by then end, he valued both and looked forward to more visits from the grandfather and, presumably, more storytelling. I love storytelling and I have a lot of stories that I’ve told my kids and students. I love how at first they aren’t too interested but as soon as the story gets going, they are hooked! That part was very real to me. I’ve had it happen.

If I were rewriting it (and I will admit that I have not read the book) I would write it as the grandfather telling/reading the story to both a grandson and a granddaughter. I would write in some kind of dialog about the gender roles and maybe, by the end of the story, each of the grandchildren might see some valid points in the other one’s views. Oh, and I would clean up the language so it would be more understandable, a little more modern. I think that would add to the story.

Will I watch it again? Yeah. I will. Not sure when but maybe the next time we have a cold, rainy weekend and I don’t have grandchild duty, I’ll put it on and give it another look. Then maybe I will write about it once again.

Do I recommend it? Yup! I hear the book is absolutely wonderful, too. Maybe I’ll pick up the book one day.

If you’d like to read more blog posts about The Princess Bride (book and movie), check out the linkup!

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