Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Year End Business

I’m on Facebook, sort of. That is, I’ve signed up for it, and friended some people. But I haven’t posted a photograph yet – I need to get my webmistress in here to show me how to do that. Nor have I posted a message. I can’t believe how computer illiterate I am. I plan to spend at least part of today exploring the space, trying out some things.

I want to also spend part of today clearing off my desk. Those stacks of paper just keep happening – ! I’m starting to feel the first stirrings of the next novel, and somehow a clear desk will help the thing along. The title is already selected: And Then You Dye. I have an appointment early in January to watch an expert in natural dyes at work.

Every few Decembers the calendar I buy is the Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar, put out by The Freshwater Society and a local television station. I bought one this year. On pages between the months it gives a lot of information about what is going on weatherwise in the state; for example, when the robins come back in the spring, and what blooms first, and when the lakes freeze over in the fall. On the actual month pages, it tells when the sun rises and sets, what the average temperature is (with the record highs and lows), and when the full moon is. This information is priceless to the author. “Betsy went out around six that evening, when the sun was just setting,” I can write with confidence about an early November evening, even though I am writing that scene in August. “A chill breeze was blowing and the air smelled damply of snow.” The calendar also serves to keep me more aware of the natural world. The calendar for 2010 had photos of Newfoundland dogs, in honor of the new dog in Lars and Jill Larson’s family. How do you pick your calendars?

You may have noticed that I am posting on Tuesdays several hours later than I used to post on Wednesdays. This is because I go to water aerobics very early in the morning Monday, Wednesday and Friday – but on Tuesday and Thursday I sleep in. Oh, my body wakes me at five on Tuesday and Thursday but I have the extreme luxury of rolling over and going back to sleep.


Linda O. Johnston said...

I always buy calendars with Cavalier King Charles Spaniels on them, Monica. Yes, I'm obsessed. And welcome to Facebook. I've been there all of a couple of months!

Rochelle Staab said...

Once you get the swing of Facebook, I think you'll love it, Monica.

My sleep in morning is Sunday and I relish it like a kid with a snow day. The other six days I'm up at 5:30, so lolling in bed until 7 on Sunday is delicious.

But wow, thanks for the wonderful tip on the Environment Calendar. Genius asset for a writer! Now if I could only find one for Los Angeles, I'd be set.

I wish you a joyous holiday season and an inspired 2011.

Monica Ferris said...

I understand you can spend a LOT of time on Facebook, so I'll be wary of that as time goes on. Meanwhile, it's interesting.

Betty Hechtman said...

Your calendar sounds great. I'm on facebook but don't spend much time posting.

Anonymous said...

Is AND THEN YOU DYE a retitled THREADBARE? If not, could you give a very brief summary about both plots? Only if it wouldn't be giving too much away, of course.

Monica Ferris said...

To Anonymous - No, Threadbare and And Then You Dye are not the same story. Threadbare is about the murder of two homeless women, their bodies found frozen in the snow in the little town of Excelsior on separate January days. And Then You Dye is still forming in my mind and is about a woman who uses natural ingredients (flowers, roots, etc.) to dye natural fibers (wool and linen, for example). She's my victim, but I don't yet know who murders her.


This is such a neat site and I found out about it at such a great time because I am all out of just for pleasure reading material and can hardly wait to get started on these books but also catching up on this and your other great links and sites!!! :o) CACTUSKOGGI/MOMMYKOGGIBOO FROM THE COZY CACTUS FOR CLAN & CRITTERS