Thursday, December 28, 2006

Well, the Big Day is over, presents that didn't fit have been exchanged, and now it's time to put the whole shootin' match back in the attic. Yep, I want it all gone -the red candles, the crystal snowflakes dangling from the chandelier, the tree(s). First, though, I'm heading out to RIR to pick up my season tickets for the May race. (NASCAR, of course!) There's hope in this sad little heart of mine that just holding the tickets will sustain me until Daytona and Race Week festivities in February. Daytona, here I come!

I've been thinking a lot about the creative process this week. My dear husband gifted me with MOCKINGBIRD, a biography of Harper Lee, for Christmas. Friends of Miss Lee gave her a year's worth of financial support so she could write her book. I keep thinking, what if these 'angels' hadn't taken the author under their wings and provided her with the means to produce what is a classic novel about the South and racism? Would TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD ever have been written? Every artist needs the support of someone who believes in him/her. Van Gogh had Theo. DaVinci had the wealthy Medicis. Michelangelo had patrons all over the place. But they're visual artists. Who supports the writers of this world? Grants, yes, there're some of those out there. Film institutes give film makers some moolah. But most of the writers I know either teach (sucking creativity out of you by the ton) or labor at boring jobs they hate, praying to get home to their true work, albeit exhausted at the end of a long day. A few of us have the unwavering support of families who believe in us, and for this, I'm truly grateful. What a wonderful gift, that of emotional and financial support for something that seems so esoteric to those who don't write. It's rare, believe me.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Of Christmas and Odds and Ends

I feel as if this year is already over. Part of it is that I'm wrapping up some writing projects (as much as I ever can - I could rewrite forever), as well as doing the final wrapping on the boxes for under the tree. The family is all home, so my nest is fully feathered again.

Speaking of feathers, a young hawk has been using my yard for his buffet table. I ran into him by accident as he munched on a squirrel, and he and I stared at each other for what seemed to be quite a while. I think he was wondering if I was going to make a grab for his lunch, and I was wondering if he was interested in eating cat. Specifically, mine. The Biffmeister may have his yard forays curtailed until the Hawk finds fatter squirrels elsewhere. What surprised me most was this wildly beautiful creature treating a half acre of suburbia as if it were an unpopulated expanse of trees and critters. The way my mind works, I extrapolated this line of thought into the untamed and wild humans who don't know how or can't survive in civilization. I feel another plot coming on... Jeremiah Johnson was one of my favorite movies. Have to track it down and rewatch it. None of this makes sense, I know, but my mind is hopping around like Santa from chimney to chimney, and trust me, I know where I'm going.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, if I don't make it back before the 25th.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ward Burton is Back!

Ward "I ain't got no rust on me" Burton has signed to drive for Morgan McClure Motorsports out of Abingdon, Va., and it's about bloody time! I'm doing the happy dance this morning as I wrap and clean and generally obsess about how much I have to do. At least I can look forward to cheering the #4 car next year. Counting the days until the Daytona 500 here...hanging on by my fingernails.

In spite of the chaos of Christmas entertaining (sigh, why do we do this to ourselves?), I'm getting work done on Darkroom. Still tweaking. Still searching for the perfect verb. Since I don't read in the genre I'm writing (and never will again, since judging the Edgars about did me in), I picked up Gillian Bradshaw's Hawk of May and Kingdom of Summer. They're the first two books of three, written in the early 1980s, and are a retelling of the Arthurian legend that's most original. I love the deft use of supernatural elements and the fight between the Light and the Darkness. Good books. I'm going to track down the third book in the trilogy and research her newer books as well.

My nestlings are coming home this week, so the house will be filled for Christmas. That's my present to myself. I hope you and yours enjoy your time together.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Momentous Day

Today, my first born crosses the threshold into the age of full legal responsibilities and obligations. Yes, she's twenty-one at 2:30 this afternoon. I know it's a cliche, but where in the Sam Hill did the past twenty-one years go? We drove three hours to be with her yesterday and go out to lunch, but she was too busy to spend much time with us. That's the way it should be. I'm as proud as a mother could be of her, and consider her to be a nice person with a good heart - my strongest compliment.

Without NASCAR, (sob, sob!), I tried to fill my need for Speed by watching the NASCAR awards banquet. Please, get rid of Jay Mohr. He's an embarrassment. All in all, everyone looked uncomfortable in tuxes and best behavior. At least Denny Hamlin knew it ("Did I suck?"), and provided a rare moment of genuine humor, unlike Mohr's forced tackiness.

The fir tree is on the front porch, ready to come inside so I get decorate it. Colored lights are everywhere, and once I start the baking for my dad's 85th birthday party, it'll smell like Christmas as well as look like it. I love this run up to the 25th, but by the day after Christmas, I want it all down and packed away.

BTW, anyone have any ideas for gifts to give the man who has everything, and if he doesn't, he goes out a buys it?