Friday, December 15, 2017

My Week

I really didn’t know what I was going to write about this week. The exciting thing that happened with the manuscript I’m working on is that I discovered a much more interesting way of killing the victim. Only it meant making a whole lot of changes in what I’d already written but I think it will be worth it in the long run.

It definitely got my families attention when during a car ride to one of our offices I mentioned my new method of murder. And then they went back to whatever they were talking about.

I had a flash of inspiration while walking on the treadmill and suddenly knew what was going to happen at the very end of the book even though I’m still dealing with the middle.

And then I got an email from my editor that she realized they didn’t have a picture of me and needed like right away. I’d been using one that was getting to be a little old and besides it wasn’t the 300 dpi image they needed. Luckily, one of my son’s friends is an excellent photographer and knew how to get a photo with the right resolution I needed. And was nice enough to do it right away. I already sent it off to my editor.

It is just sinking in that Christmas is almost here. It is so different now. Nothing seems to slow down for me around the holidays. It always seems I have a book due and this year I’m trying to learn an accounting program. I have spent hours on the phone dealing with banks and credit card companies about setting up online accounts. Instead of sugar plums dancing in my head, there are six zillion passwords.

And there’s a new addition to the holidays this year. Jake’s first birthday is December 23.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Holiday Baking Dilemma

Cookies from a swap I went to a few years ago.
The tea cookies were my favorites and I'd love
to try making some.
It's almost time for our ornament exchange party and there are a few items left on my list before I'm ready for Saturday. The two main things deciding on the cookies to make and finding the ornaments that I bought a month ago and put in a "safe place". Fortunately, I have back up ornaments (those are ornaments I bought at the end of last holiday season and forgot I bought until we started decorating for this year) and will use those if I can't locate the ones that are safely tucked away.

The menu for the party stays the same pretty much year after year: chili, Pizza Rolls, chicken nuggets, Buffalo chicken dip, and deli tray with meat and cheeses, and rolls. The only part of the menu that changes are the cookies that I make. I enjoy holiday baking and always want to try one new cookie. This year so far the list has chocolate chip (I like one easy recipe), either peanut butter and jelly cookies or thumbprint cookie with jelly, the recipes I'm debating between are a Russian tea cookie, cheesecake stuffed red velvet cookies, and super chocolatey buttons. . I like to only have one jelly cookie but my family is split evenly between the peanut butter and thumbprint. I have to hurry up and make a decision as I need to buy the supplies and then start baking if I want to stick with the tradition of having four different cookies. Classic Spritz cookies were on the list but my cookie press and I don't always get along. I'll save those when I'm not crunched for time and have time to sweet talk it into working properly.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Uncrowded Places

This past week I went to a couple of places I anticipated would be crowded because of the holiday season, but they weren't.  Other people there suggested, in both cases, that it was because people were staying home--if they could--thanks to the fires that aren't far away.

One was a popular local restaurant we went to with some friends, including a couple from out of town.  It's a restaurant where there's a pianist, and the wait staff bursts into song now and then, accompanied by the piano.  Fortunately, despite fewer patrons like us, the entertainment remained as wonderful as always.

And then there was the Glendale Reads Author Festival at the Glendale Library last Saturday that I've mentioned here.  There were quite a few authors, including some who were interviewed on a stage near the signing area.  But not a lot of library patrons or others showed up to hear the speakers or meet the rest of us.  Fun, yes, but mostly because of the other authors I talked with.     

More things are going on that should keep me busy--including my writing--but the end of some is in sight.

Meanwhile, I'll keep on going!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Clap! Clap!

Two new characters in my Bethlehem display are a boy and a girl, each holding up a kitten, with another kitten at their feet.  I have put them together in the town square with a little sign that reads Free Kittens.  On Sunday one of the ushers said, “Shouldn’t that sign be in Hebrew?  Or Aramaic?”  Inspired, I searched the Internet that afternoon, fruitlessly.  So I went to my Facepage and asked if anyone knew how to write the words.  I got an immediate answer, almost immediately corrected by someone else who pointed out that the Hebrew words meant Free Puppies.   Which would have been hilarious.  But now I’ve got it right (I hope) and have made a little sign I’ll put up later this week:
חתלתולים בחינם

Or, there’s this:
גּוּרִים חִִינָּם

Because someone else piped up and said, no, this one is correct.  I don’t know which is correct, but it’s not desperately important so I’m not fussing about it.  Still, if one of these is right and the other wrong – or if both are correct (or both wrong and I’m the victim of a hoax), let me know.  And by the way, what does the first one sound like?  (I have a description of the second.)

See what happens when you just ask?

Our Christmas tree, an artificial one about four feet tall, sits on a little antique table near the border between our living room and kitchen, about an outlet.  It’s been put there for years, never a problem until lately, when my bad knee and arthritis make it difficult to keep going under that table to plug in and unplug the lights.  There’s been a commercial on television for a product I remember from almost as far back as my first television set: The Clapper.  You plug something into it, plug it into an outlet and clap your hands and it turns on the current.  And three days ago I finally bought one.  I can’t tell you how odd it felt to buy the thing, as if I were finally falling for an old prank.  But by golly, it works.  Clap, clap and the lights come on.  I guess it’s an old peoples’ device, like a cane.  Your hair turns white and you find yourself needing a cane.  And The Clapper.