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All About You

22 May

OOops I’ve been having too much fun. I’m out in Ann Arbor, having a lovely time (though I was crippled yesterday and slept all day). I’m having a great time with Sally’s grandkids (pictures to come) and we’re going to a mega quilt store, etc.
So, this week I will sleep late, do a little work if I can (Sally sleeps late) and we will sew together and maybe even write together and watch K-dramas and anime (we’ve already seen Howl’s Moving Castle) and OMG they have a Steak n Shake here!!! Just one visit and I’ll be happy!
We might get out to a movie too. They have a lovely place – set back, with only one neighbor in sight, and yet so close to shopping it’s dangerous (at least for me). But anyway, this is a week of indulgence for me.

What’s on your agenda?

All About You (Krissie)

15 May

These photos are five years apart – I just started taking my photos when we started Refab and now I’ve got this whole huge backlog. It would be really cool to put them in order of date in a slide show (run quickly) to watch the changes. I do like my longer hair (and losing weight doesn’t hurt). As for my wattle (hidden by the great Calamity cup Jenny gave me) I was whining about it 5 years ago and it hasn’t gotten any worse. Just a fact of life (and a naturally receding chin).

So – I’ve got a Danish penpal! His name is Per and he’s a young man into exercise so we don’t have a lot in common, but hey, he’s willing to talk to me so I’m happy. Little does he know the treasure he has on the other end of his emails (cackle).

I’m flailing about with my revisions. Spent the weekend playing with dolls, of course (I promise a blog post about them soon, not that any of you care but tough titties, as they used to say). We all like creativity, right? I’ve got a really busy week – tomorrow the therapist, Wednesday lunch with an actress friend, Thursday a sewing day at my Husqvarna Viking dealer (I’ve got an older Bernina and a Janome as well) and then on Friday I fly out to Detroit to visit with my BFF as in Best Friend Forever, since I’ve known her for 61 years (we met when we were 8). I only met Jenny when we were in our 40s so we’re on twenty-something years. Maybe she’s Best Friend From Now On. BFFNO?
I’ll be in Michigan (Ypsilanti, outside of Ann Arbor) for a week. Sally and I will get pedicures and sew and gossip and use her hot tub and just have a fabulous time, and it’s long overdue. In fact, I have to carefully not mention when I go to Jenny’s since I’ve been down in NJ probably more than a dozen times and I haven’t yet gone to MI. Sally had a worse childhood than I did, which is saying a lot, so it’s easy for her to feel paranoid and abandoned.

I’ve been getting great packing ideas on Pinterest of all places. They’ve got all these posts for “packing for a week in Paris” etc., usually stuff that will fit in a carry on. I hate packing, hate deciding, so I’m going to go with one of those plans and see how it goes. Of course, being in a shoulder season doesn’t help – snow in VT yesterday, close to 90 on Wednesday. (Anyone else say wed-nes-day every time they type the word?)

And here’s a goal. I’ll try to take a photo every day, at least one, to document my week. Oh, I failed to mention I’m in the midst of massive revisions too, that I have to squeeze in whenever I can.  To cheer me up I sing this song when I work.  I know it’s disrespectful to call Daniel by his childhood name, but no one will tell, right?  When Kate was little she’d put on her patent leather shoes and pretend tape on the hardwood floors while this played on the VHS machine (she was around two).

I never know if those links work.  If it doesn’t, check me on Facebook to hear my work song.

So what’s on your agenda?

All About You (Krissie)

8 May

That’s me, all clean and shiny after a shower. That light on my face is electric. I’m wearing my Belle Books “Rise and Shine, Buttercup, no one else’s gonna write that book” and drinking mango peach seltzer (the best ever) and eating a Kashi peanut butter breakfast bar (my go to – 140 calories and I order them from Amazon). Weight’s still off – now I have to dip down lower, but summer is a good time for that.

It is raining. It rained every day last week. It rained every day the week before. It’s supposed to rain to at least Thursday. Maybe snow in the higher elevations tonight, and I’m in the higher elevations. So it’s cold, and dark, and wet. If I ever move to the Pacific Northwest it’s gonna feel like the tropics.

I’m in the midst of taking my 3/4 of a book and ripping it apart, tossing things right and left, twisting stuff like a pretzel, creating a new villain, turning the old one into a complicit but not evil person. (and that just sent me off into a political diatribe which I then cut, and putting it in another post so people can avoid it. I understand the need to avoid politics).

Jenny’s process and mine are so different I can’t imagine how we ever managed to collaborate on two books (and I love those books. Go figure). I assume all of you read Argh. The first time I met Jenny, face to face, she did a little talk about her process (she was writing Harlequin Temptations at the time) and my eyes bugged out and my mouth dropped open and I said “you do that for every book?” in tones of horror.

I’m a natural born writer. I know it, and Jenny says so too. Stories come to me, framework and worm (okay, what the hell is worm?  It’s auto-correct, but I have no idea what I had originally said.  I don’t think it was work)  are usually instinctive. Most of the time I just write it and it works. (That doesn’t mean it works for you – matters of taste are a different thing entirely. As Jo Beverley used to say, you can’t expect everyone to love your books. You just have to find the ones who will.)

But every now and then I get a book that just doesn’t get itself together, for whatever reasons. And then I have to pull a Jenny on it, ripping it apart, turning the damned thing into a (choke) outline, printing it up, slashing and cutting and killing all my darlings. Well, not all of them – then it wouldn’t be any fun.

So that’s what I’m doing – surgery on a book that be glorious in the end. In between stenciling doll furniture and making clothes and talking to my fabulous grandchildren via FaceTime and really enjoying my birthday and loving my husband and not worrying as much about my children cause I can’t fix them and ….

So, what’s on your agenda?


Update:  It’s 37 degrees at 2:11 pm.  I had to put on one of Jenny’s warm shawls.  Brrr.  In other news, I’m finally learning all of Le Marseillaise.

All About You (Krissie)

1 May

So I’m going swimming first thing this morning. I only got there once last week – I’m hoping to make it at least two days this week. I’m not going to bitch about hurting – it’s boring. I’m just gonna do that I gotta do, and besides, I really like water walking. I plot while I do it, plus listen to audio books when I drive there and back. So even though it takes three hours it’s all good.
And I went to church for the third time in the last four Sundays. I’m really liking it – we have an interim minister who’s very low-key but good, and friends I’ve had for years. I’m UCC, which is basically as liberal as you can get and still believe in a trinity (and we’re even pretty loose on that) so in terms of faith it’s very good for me.
But I digress.
I’m starting to rip apart my book, which needs to be done before I can finish it, and I’m really into it. Plus I have more books to write, things to do. Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.

Things this week: write, clean around my chair (things kind of build up like magazines and books, etc), clean the new bathroom, stencil some of the doll furniture (my first attempt was disastrous so I decided I ought to a) watch a youtube video and b) practice on scrap wood. Duh.) Maybe do a little sewing.

I wish I could finish cleaning. Obviously I finish a lot of things, including probably 100 books and novellas. I just don’t finish cleaning. When I do the kitchen I leave at least one pan. I never finish wiping down the counters. In the other rooms I clean one small area but shift all the crap to another corner. I’m not sure why, but I need to work on actually finishing the cleaning.

And I need to be cheerful about my birthday. I don’t know why I let numbers define me – they never did before. I know old people who are sixty, young people who are 80. A friend of mine turns 97 this week. And speaking of numbers, my number is terrifically entertaining. so for this year I’ll embrace it. In fact, fuck it, why don’t I just keep embracing the numbers? I’ve spent my life, starting as a young child, defying everyone’s expectations (I was born a little adult). I need to just stop limiting myself by society’s expectations, and revel in that defiance.

Step one – tomorrow I’m 69, baby! Best age ever (evil leer).

So what’s on your agenda apart from celebrating the national holiday of my birthday? Well, Cinco de Mayo (is that right? Looks like the 5th of Mayonnaise). Tacos are one of my favorite foods, though I’ve never had a fish taco.

What’s on your menu this week? Mexican food? Birthday cake? Salad? What’s on your agenda? Plodding work, joyful creativity, sloth? There’s value in everything, even the plodding stuff, and lots of hygge in sloth (Jeg er halvdel dannesker).

Tell me!

All About You (Krissie)

24 Apr

So I finally got my characters into bed (I have no idea why they were so reluctant when it was incredible) and I’m on a roll. I did some work on the weekend but otherwise had fun with the doll stuff, and now I’m back on track. I’ll go swimming today, and write, and anything else I have time for (I slept too late).
That’s how the week is going to go. We have another lovely day today and then clouds and rain (ugh) but mud season seems pretty well over – our driveway had dried out and Richie even went on the lake road yesterday. And I even went to church yesterday. Deadly boring sermon, but the rest was good, and it was good to see people. I need to get out more often.

So how are you guys doing? Does the spring fill you with energy and optimism? I think it’s fairly standard, except for those who are very old and depressed … nah, I won’t go into that. Let’s just stay upbeat.

Okay, tomorrow, I promise, I will post pictures of the doll clothes I’ve been making. I’m really very bad.

So what’s happening for you guys? I need to sort through all my new yarn and organize it and begin a new crochet project so I can listen to an audio book while I do it. I need to clean, I need to sew, I need to swim, but most of all I need write. It’s a good morning, and I’m bursting with energy.

What’s on your agenda? Anyone feeling radiant?

The Great Yarn Beat Down, or Life at Jenny’s

17 Apr

So I’m here in NJ where we’ve been having a Gathering of the Goddesses, including Lani and her two amazing daughters, Sweetness and Light. I hadn’t seen the girls for years, and I still thought of them as around 11 and 13, which was way off – they’re now 15 and just-turned 18 and they are admirably fierce. Sweetness got her nose pierced for her birthday, the fearless creature, and Light kicks butt (in a thoroughly charming way). Lani, of course, is the goddess she is, with a great streak of pinkish-purple in her hair. She’s got a fabulous job, a fabulously empty bed no longer filled with a faux-Scots wanker, and life is good.

I got here on Wednesday, drove Jenny to the eye doctor on Thursday and on Friday we played. Saturday Lani & Co. arrived and we went out to breakfast, where Jenny terrorized me. Of course, I’d been jabbering in Danish at her for two days so it’s no wonder she was looking a little glassy-eyed and and thinking wistfully about “Saw II: The Reckoning.”

We ate too much at breakfast, then Crusie crashed, Sweetness and Light crashed and Lani and I went shopping. (When the going gets tough the tough go shopping).

And we returned for the Great Yarn Beatdown, similar to this summer’s Great Fabric Beatdown.

First of all, Jenny’s got a stash that she’d never get through if she lives until 100, and the sheer amounts are crushing her. So she’s doing slash and burn – she’ll still need to go through things again, but right now she’s made a huge difference, and Lani went home with a bag of yarn, a half finished sock (her knitting is phenomenal) plus a new Crusie purse that I reluctantly passed over (happily Crusie showers me with treasures, so I was willing to give it up since I already have the Disney Villains on my usual purse.) So we came back from brunch at Kathy’s and Jenny attacked the pile.
It’s been a massive undertaking. The girls played outside with the dogs (Jenny’s house is basically a tiny house full of treasures and magic) while Lani knitted and I crocheted.

So I’ve got a dozen trash bags full of yarn (plus a car loaded with other goodies). Which means I can crochet madly while listening to audiobooks, which I need to do because I need many ways to wallow in story. I’ll be showing you my creations and the books that I read – hey, maybe I’ll even do that on Facebook.

Anyway, Lani and the girls left (sob) and we were all set to watch “Moana” when we had an epic brown-out and we both toddled off to bed. Today, more yarn, then (heehaw) clothes. Tomorrow I head back home.

Anyway, peaceful goddess time in NJ (we weren’t in the mood for wild right now) and we have to do it again. Maybe next time with tattoos.

So, with all this excitement I gotta ask – what’s on your agenda?

All About You (Krissie)

10 Apr

Godmorgen min børn. My dansk goes apace, though I’m running into software problems. My favorite software (Nemo) won’t reset on my new iPad Air, and with over a thousand words I’m not about to start from the begynnelse. However, it looks as if I was just about at the end of the programs – there were only a few words and phrases left – so it’s time to upgrade anyway. Man, I love learning the language. Because I mostly do it at night in bed, and because Richie and I are practically attached at the hip, he’s learning a lot too, so we’re always speaking to each other in dansk.
But I digress. I spent intensive time last week redoing BANISH MISFORTUNE, my first RITA-winning book, and, I discovered, one of my very best ones. I usually update the books – make it an unspecified present time though it would change things too much if I added computers and cell phones – but at the last minute I decided to keep this in the time it was written. It’s too perfect a microcosm of my life back then, filtered through fiction. It’s also painful and really really good.
The reason I’m so surprised about it is that it was part of a failed effort by Harlequin and it sold 5k books, a really tiny amount. No one read it, it was never reprinted, and I had only vague memories of it. It’s hit me like a sledgehammer, and I’m going to talk about it more over at my website blog. I’ll post a link here when I do.
In the meantime, I revised the book, wrote a little on Emma and Brandon (but Banish was due on the 10th). I did some sewing, bought some interesting stuff, including my new iPad (the old was ancient with a cracked screen and 12gb – the new one has 128 gb.) Hence the software problem.
And oh my God I saw Beauty and the Beast and I am aux anges! That’s a regency term for those who don’t know it, meaning I’m with the angels, i.e. in heaven. Have to see it again, preferably in 3d. Didn’t get swimming, mud season has arrived, we had another fucking snow storm, we closed on our refinancing. A crazy week.

But this week we get Goddess Time! Lani and her two daughters are meeting me down at Crusie’s (they’re all pagans, despite that fact that Crusie and I can both recite the Apostolic Creed from memory) so they don’t care if it’s Easter, and I’m flexible. I missed Palm Sunday (overslept) and apparently the Breitchsneiders brought their miniature donkeys to church!

Richie’s making me coffee (I like Sumatran) and I gotta get to work. So this week, I drive down to Jenny’s, listening to new books (the new Lisa Kleypas is phenomenal), we’ll go to the eye doctors and the vet, Lani will arrive, I’ll try to talk them into going to Beauty and the Beast and most likely fail, and we will have a lovely time.

So, what’s on your agenda, my children? Anything fabulous?