Saturday, November 17, 2007


This is the first day for a couple of weeks I haven't had to get up at 3 or 4 a.m. to work. Instead, I woke up at 5:30 and I feel positively lazy. When I looked out the brightening windows I was awed by a cooling molten copper sky stretching between the peaks. Across the horizon, the copper was hot and blazing, cooler as it rose toward the peaks and spilled over the craggy facade touching everything with fire and lighting the shadows. It's been a long time since I've looked out the windows of my office and enjoyed the sunrise; I've been too busy with my nose to the grindstone -- and it's paid off.

I'm ahead at work but that won't last long. I've completed more than 50K words for NaNoWriMo and I still have some to write; I have a whole four-day weekend next week to do that, three if you don't count Thanksgiving since I'll be celebrating with friends and cooking at least part of the day. The rest of the cooking will be spaced out between now and Thursday, a little bit each day because I'm also working on Yule gift trials. I've decided, since it was so well received last year, to make food baskets and give them as gifts to my close friends. My family, however, will have to be satisfied with more mundane gifts since the food baskets won't travel well and would cost a fortune and I plan to use that (small fortune though it is) for my winter retreat when I hope to have my laptop back in my hands and on my lap.

This week has thrown some curves and offered a few disappointments but nothing serious and nothing I can't manage -- like my laptop not being fixed. Well, it is partially fixed. They replaced the CPU fan but they did not install a new CD burner/DVD drive. I had a bad feeling when Scott told me they fixed the fan. I asked about the drive and he said it wasn't on the work order. The bad feeling moved to my stomach. I asked him to check the drive and he did. It wasn't fixed -- and that was the whole reason for letting them have it in the first place. So, I didn't get it back and I'll have the loaner for two more weeks. They only send service jobs out on Monday and I had missed the miniscule window of opportunity so I have to wait two more weeks. Lovely. At least I finally figured out where the WiFi switch was on this laptop and got it working. I downloaded my shows after downloading some programs to download and play the shows and I was back in business only two days later than expected. I also discovered a faster download program (uTorrent available at MiniNova) and that made the whole snafu worthwhile. You don't get rainbows without rain.

I surpassed my own goals at work and discovered a new level of stupidity in management. I had an inkling there was a deficiency but I wasn't sure it wasn't just a fluke and me not explaining things sufficiently. It wasn't a fluke and I explained the situation the same way to people who don't work with medical records and they got it right away, so the fault is in management. Nothing like brains at the top.

I broke 50K with NaNo and was surprised I had so much left to say -- and write. It's like an adventure to a place where I thought I knew the contours and found there were hidden springs full of fresh, untainted water, dens, and surprising glades and depths. That's what happens when allowing something to evolve and let the characters take over even when it's based on fact. I love journeys like that and they are always worth the trip, especially when they encompass other stories and possibilities, like another foray into Alzheimer's territory.

Two nights running I have been nagged and plagued with dreams of a three-generation story centered around Alzheimer's and the quality of memory. The real shock came when I asked what two of the women feared about the disease. There were the usual fears about losing control of bodily functions and actions, but the real deer in the headlights moment came when deeper reasons came out under questioning. The story is still evolving and I'm making notes, but it looks like it's going to be a rich and engrossing journey into the hidden places behind the fear with a side trip into wonder and delight. That's always a good place to be.

In the meantime, there's lots to do: laundry, cleaning, dishes (I hate that part) and cooking, lots of cooking. I'm making pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap cookie crust studded with finely chopped bits of crystallized ginger. I'm still undecided about trying a cheesecake version of my sweet potato-pecan pie, but it's worth more than a thought. I still have to figure out how (and when) to apply the glazed pecan topping so that it doesn't sink into the semi-liquid cheesecake while it's baking and I may have to opt for the last few minutes of the baking while the cheesecake is cooling for the usual sour cream topping. I do so love experimenting with food, but that one definitely won't be ready for T-day -- maybe Yule.

That is all. Disperse.