Friday, August 29, 2014

Summer Odds and Ends

Today is busy (and yesterday too). So I don't have time for a full post. But here are some highlights (and lowlights) of the week and some photos from throughout the summer.

1. As you know, I'm looking for a job. But things are NOT what they were like twenty-four years ago. Now everything is done on computers. So your resume and cover letter must "echo" the requirements of the job. That way the computer imp will reward your hard work and forward your resume package to a real person at human resources. One morning this week, I spent three and one half hours perfecting my resume, cover letter, and filling in all the random information this particular company wanted. Finally, after it was all done and uploaded, I noticed that I'd misspelled the company's name on my cover letter. UGH! A whole morning down the drain. (At least, I got part of a blog post out of it. :)

2. My husband's had health problems that started back in February. The doctors are monitoring a couple different organs for cancer. Today, he's going for a biopsy.

3. Three day weekends never used to mean much to me because my husband works Saturday and Sunday and Monday is his normal day off. But now three day weekends mean my kids might be coming home--and they are--we're celebrating Matthew's 18th birthday. So in between re-writing resumes and editing, I've been baking and cleaning house.

Here are some photos.

Matt graduated from high school.

Matt played Lord Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost

Thanksgiving in the summer.
 Invite friends and bake the turkey that was on sale after Christmas.

Matt's idea of fun is to jump out from behind a dark corner dressed like a ghoul and yell, "Boo!" Is it any wonder I have nightmares?

Chattanooga really is a romantic city.

Monday, August 25, 2014

What's Up Monday

Hopefully, I soon will have time to write blog posts. But in the meantime, here’s another update.

What I’m Doing

Surviving the heat. And wishing for this.

 I'm still applying for jobs. I’d heard the job situation was tough, but nothing is as demoralizing as applying for a job that already has 516 applicants. Yep. For one job.

And I’m getting used to my new fall schedule. Instead of teaching my kids, my baby is getting settled into college, though he’s still living at home (saving lots of housing money). It's one of the wonderful perks of living only a few miles from a major university. 

Finally, I’m beta reading the sequel to Alchemy by Sheena Boekweg, Melanie Crouse and Sabrina West.
What I’m Reading

I’m nearly done with A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra. I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to finish it. The book is lovely, but it’s hard for a book to compete against the demands of summer. I’m also reading Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor-Easter by Lisa Patton. Having lived in New England and the South, I couldn’t resist the story of a Memphis woman moving to Vermont. I’m lovin’ it. 

Next book, Windthrow by A. B. Keuser.

What I’m Writing

I just finished a big first edit of Reap the Whirlwind. It’s an upmarket women’s fiction. And my word count went from 46,385 to 72,000. Phew! And I should get another 5k after the next revision. I’m one of those crazy people who underwrites. And it’s a scary thing to finish a rough draft and realize, “Gee, I’ve only got about half the word count necessary for my genre.” Gulp.

Next up, editing Whirlwind, part two.

Friday, August 8, 2014

What's Up Friday

This summer I’m not having much time to blog. So here’s another quick round of What’s Up Friday.

What I’m Doing

I finished my resume, and I’ve begun applying for jobs. (If you need a technical writer or a subject indexer, let me know.)

We’re in the midst of a stay-cation, mostly doing small things and resting. Yesterday morning, my husband and I canoed on the Tennessee River. In the evening, we drove to Knoxville and saw a Shakespeare on the Square’s production of Titus Andronicus. Very dark, reminiscent of a Greek tragedy. My summary—what would happen if you took a bunch of evil people and let them do whatever they wanted.

My husband rowing.
A photo of me at an island where we stopped for lunch. We were under a mulberry tree ripe with berries. I wanted to eat them. But Cal (probably remembering the scene from The Hunger Games) said I couldn't be 100% sure they were mulberries and he preferred not visiting ER. Turns out they weren't mulberries, but I'm pretty sure they were still edible.
 What I’m Reading

The Expats by Chris Pavone. After reading his book The Accident for Blogging for Books, I had to read his first book. It’s excellent, fast-paced treadmill reading. I’m also currently reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra. It’s beautiful novel set in Chechnya.

What I’m Writing

I’m nearly finished with a big edit of my upmarket women’s fiction. Five chapters left. The chapters are slow going because they are very underwritten—I grossly underwrite first drafts. For example, the first draft of this novel was only 46k words. I’ll probably hit 73k to 75k before this edit is done. And I’ll still be adding words in the next edit, fleshing out the scenes.