Author Archives: Pamela

Late Summer Is Here

My favorite lemon cucumbers! For the first time in years, I have an amazing crop. I picked about ten this week and there are at least four more out there. I eat them like an apple.

Is late summer here or is September considered late summer?

I still think of summer in terms of the school year rather than the calendar. I love when it feels like summer is winding down. It’s darker when I get up in the morning and at some point, the nights will feel cooler.

I still have only had a few tomatoes. The plants out front aren’t doing great and the ones in back are on the verge but still not producing ripe fruit.

I have a couple of funny volunteers that are the only ones doing anything and enough for a snack while I’m out in the garden and that’s it.

My neighbor offered zucchini from a huge out of control plant, and I’ve wanted to try this summer minestrone with pesto. (no zucchini photos to go with this statement)

I’ve also been meaning to try more savory pies, and the food section had this tomato pie with pimento cheese topping. I’m not sure about it, but I think it would be fun to try.

The garden becomes overwhelming quickly. I’ve got potatoes that need to be made into a salad. And I intended to grab some beets and cook for Chlodnik later this week. I see three different spellings in my browser and I can’t bring myself to link to one of these lifestyle cooking blogs with 87 photos and long stories. It’s cold buttermilk and beets with dill and cucumber and really yummy to one person who lives in my household.

Another one of my favorite things about this time of year is the goldfinches in the sunflowers. They go nuts all morning long, flying around the garden and they are so pretty and almost like a cartoon bird.

Our toilet has been running for months and this weekend I finally tackled it. It’s not a standard flusher, but you can find a movie showing you how to repair anything these days. I did the video and put it all back together and more running. I ran around the house like Rocky. Until about an hour later is started a new noise: SPHSHSHSHSHSHSH! SPHSHSHSHSHSHSH! SPHSHSHSHSHSHSH!

After additional research and testing, I decided it’s time to bring in a pro. It’s ten years old, let’s just replace it.

Posted in doing it wrong | Leave a comment

Giant Project is Finished. Almost

Project went to the editor on Sunday. I’m still catching up on everything. I updated my list and put about 30 things on it. This weekend will be all projects and errands and some social stuff.

Oddly, I’m itching to get into the next book. Weird.

This evening I went out and took a whole bunch of garden update photos and my camera card died. I feel like technology is abandoning me this week. I’ll try again another day. I ran out and took this with my phone. This blue hubbard squash is going to make so many things.

A couple of weeks ago I tried a new recipe using a pork roast and tomatillos, green chiles, and a bunch of other stuff. You throw it in the slow cooker all day.

I was describing the recipe to colleague and he missed the part where I said to take the meat out and shred it. He just heard, put the immersion blender in it and go to town. He’s like: What? This doesn’t sound good at all.

It was funny at the time but now that I type it out is seems stupid.The recipe was delicious.

Two weekends ago were very bad with the neighbors, partying until 5am on Friday and then 3am on Saturday. A different neighbor complained (yay!) and it’s been quiet ever since except for last night some people came in at midnight — just loud enough to wake me up. Their capacity to be social and active in the middle of the night is amazing.

I got up and closed the windows. Woke up at 3am and was hot and stuffy so opened them back up. Bob had a technology malfunction at 4am and woke me up and then the alarm goes off at 5:15a. Needless to day, I’m not my normal sparkling self.

More updates this weekend.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged | Leave a comment

Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #6

The main fundraiser ended this week. We raised over $17,000 for Clarion West.

Thanks to everyone who supported our organization.

I will resurface after I turn in my manuscript.

Posted in Clarion West | Tagged | Comments Off on Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #6

Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #5

Greetings! I have had the house to myself this weekend and very few obligations so I am hunched over the computer cranking on my manuscript.

Sorry, I didn’t do any marketing. It’s partly because I don’t like it but mostly because all my brain juice is used on revisions or mandatory life responsibilities.

I will have have some amazing garden pics soon. There is a blue hubbard squash the size of a baby out there.

The Clarion West class of 2018 has one more week of the workshop. To my best recollection, at this point I was never more tired in my life and I was tired of deli sandwiches for lunch and wanted to see my husband again but also completely in love with all my classmates and couldn’t believe it was all going to be over soon. I hope the current class is having a great experience.

According to my latest progress report, there are over 200 participating writers in the fundraiser and they’ve raised just over $15,000. I met and exceeded my $100 goal, finally sent in my match plus some extra because I sponsored all my classmates. Thanks everyone for your support. There is still time to donate. Honestly, you can donate anytime you want. If you wake up in November and feel like there’s money burning a hole in your wallet, feel free to donate then. Here are some suggested people to sponsor:

me
Theresa
Maggie
Carol
Tracy
Leslie
Neile

Or pick other writers that interest you: The Group.

If you prefer to send a check here’s an address:
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

Posted in Clarion West, doing it wrong | Tagged | Comments Off on Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #5

Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #4

Today is the end of Clarion West 2018, Week #4.

I am full meal deal, pedal to the metal working on cleaning up the manuscript. I enjoy this part but I’m not very fast so it’s hard to find any satisfaction in the work when I see how far I need to go.

I have done some super baby steps marketing tasks. I will do more. Yay, marketing.

I don’t know why I update the progress meter because I’m not writing for word count now. I’m trying to replace bad stuff with better stuff. The visual is encouraging.

72373 / 75000 words. 96% done!

There is still plenty of time to donate to Clarion West. They are grateful for all donations large and small. Links to me and my classmates and workshop leaders below.

me
Theresa
Maggie
Carol
Tracy
Leslie
Neile

Or pick other writers that interest you: The Group.

If you prefer to send a check here’s an address:
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

According to my latest progress report, there are over 200 participating writers and they’ve raised just shy of $12,000. Thanks everyone for your support.

Do I have neighbor news? Yeah. I’ll make it quick.

A different neighbor is remodeling and the process filled a giant truck with debris. This truck was parked in front of our house. At first I didn’t mind: it’s a public street, she’s doing a project, this is a short term thing. Except 4 days later the truck was still there and there was plenty of room to park the truck in front of her house. She came over while I was at work and profusely apologized to Bob and said she’d been calling the haulers to get that thing out of here or at least move it in front of her house. Then I wasn’t mad anymore. The truck didn’t bother me. It bothered me when I thought yet another neighbor was being inconsiderate.

The next door situation isn’t any worse but still not optimal. Last night at about 9:30pm I cautiously opened the window, ready to enjoy a cool breeze in the bedroom. “Dare I push my luck?” I said to Bob. It was all quiet over there. Five minutes later cars drove up and people started smoking and talking and shouting. “I dare not.” Windows closed. This morning Bob said a car pulled up to that house and three people got out with open containers and carrying a six pack. Maybe I’m just jealous of their leisure time.

World Cup Final TOMORROW! I’m interrupting project BOOK 3 for that.

Posted in Clarion West | Tagged | Comments Off on Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #4

Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #3

Today is the end of Clarion West 2018, Week #3.

I am still spending almost every spare second working on cleaning up the manuscript. Every time I go out in my yard I want to cry. There is a big jumble of stuff growing–dahlias, pumpkins, peas, sunflowers, weeds, weeds, weeds. The roses desperately need deadheading. Everything neglected. That’s just how it’s going to be right now.

Sorry, I have not done one marketing thing except think about much I dread marketing. I have three weeks to do better.

Here is the current progress meter:

72168 / 75000 words. 96% done!

Working on these big projects reminds me of this teacher I had in high school, Mr. Lasnik. He taught science classes, and he was a true college prep instructor. His classes were tough, but I loved him as a teacher and learned so much from him — not just biology and physiology but also about how to approach research and studying. He assigned these monster research papers. Back in those days we had to get our parents to drive us to the university library to find articles and make copies. We had to bring bags full of nickels. I remember when the report was almost due I used to think: I will be so mad if I die before I get to turn this in.

That’s what I think when I get to the end of a book.

Fireworks snakes of disappointment. Or Burning Turds, as I called them.

In other news — it was weird having a day off in the middle of the week. I kept thinking it was the weekend. I thought about taking Thursday off but I figured it would be dead at work and I could have an easy day. HA HA! I was busy all day. Now it’s the weekend, and I am still confused about where we are in time.

Bob talked Denise and me into going to the fireworks tent with him. I’m glad we did. It was complete insanity but in a fun way. There was a line to get inside and then the line to check out wrapped around the entire store. There were people with shopping carts piled with fireworks.

I think this was the last year. This year we couldn’t have fireworks in the city limits (our house), and I think next year not in the county (bro/sis-in-law’s house). I understand all the reasons for outlawing them, and I’m happy about it, but it is fun to have a day where all the neighbors are outside and blowing stuff up.

What is the latest with the neighbor situation? Thank you for asking.

A couple of weeks ago they woke me up at 2:30 am on a Tuesday night. It was some obviously drunk people screaming out front. I phoned the renter to complain. We’re trying to be reasonable about this but 2:30 on a school night is not cool. She was very friendly and apologetic and said she would deal with it.

And then Sunday night 2:00 am the same thing. This time I called the leasing agent. When I got home from work, their lawn was mowed, the driveway swept, and a single car parked out front.

The following weekend I heard someone drive up in the middle of the night. The car doors went: SLAM! SLAM! SLAM!

Then a person: SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Even though I was awake, I wasn’t mad, because some tried to be quiet. Peaceful since then. Well, there was some sort of drumming and singing one night but it didn’t go on for long. (whew!)

Trees caught fire in the neighborhood. Terrifying to watch. Fire department got it under control quick. We walked up there the next day and no buildings were damaged which was a miracle.

There is still plenty of time to donate to Clarion West. They are grateful for all donations large and small. Links to me and my classmates and workshop leaders below.

me
Theresa
Maggie
Carol
Tracy
Leslie
Neile

Or pick other writers that interest you: The Group.

If you prefer to send a check here’s an address:
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

According to my latest progress report, there are 200 participating writers and they’ve raised over $9000. Thanks everyone for your support.

Posted in Clarion West | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #2

I successfully completed my week #2 goal which was 7 days of no writing. I cheated a tiny bit one day when I accidentally read an article about dialogue. As soon as I realized it, I shut my browser.

During my break, I did all kinds of things that I normally never do: I hung out downtown with my sweetie and saw Malcom Terence read at Powell’s, I went to a happy hour celebration for one of my sweetie’s colleagues, I watched epic amounts of World Cup soccer, I finished three books that I had sitting around here half finished since January, I went to the Farmer’s Market, I went to see Isle of Dogs.

It went by fast.

I’m back at it again, working on cleaning the ms. up. I have not done any marketing things yet but I’m sincere in my intent to do so soon.

Thanks to everyone who donated so far. Still plenty of time and all donations are appreciated. Here are links for me and my classmates and workshop administrators.

me
Theresa
Maggie
Carol
Tracy
Leslie
Neile

Lots of other writers — find someone to sponsor here: The Group.

Posted in Clarion West, doing it wrong | Tagged | Comments Off on Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #2

Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #1

These are some of my Clarion West classmates waiting for Chuck Palahniuk to do his reading. Front row is: Christopher, Maggie, Kristin, Owen, Caren, Eden, Raj, Tracy and a tiny bit of Kira. Behind them is: Jim, Carol, Theresa, Pritpaul, and Douglas.

For week one I finished my romance novel manuscript and sent to beta readers. I am so tired I can’t see straight. I take my personal deadlines very seriously and I estimated three 12 hour days to get here but it was two 12s and one 11. I am looking forward to 7 full days of zero writing other than what I have to do for work. Also I said I would do some marketing. So we’ll see how I do. Tomorrow I hope to be screen free.

I’m going to cut and paste from the Clarion West page: Clarion West Writers Workshop is a nonprofit literary organization based in Seattle, WA with a mission to improve speculative fiction by providing high quality education to writers at the start of their careers.

I attended in 2008 and do not exaggerate when I say it changed my life.

Any donation, even just a couple bucks is cheerfully accepted. These are links to my donor page and my classmates who have registered so far:

me
Theresa
Maggie
Carol

Or pick other writers that interest you: The Group.

Hopefully some more detailed updates to come.

This was the word count of the beta reader draft:

72006 / 75000 words. 96% done!

Posted in Clarion West | Tagged | Comments Off on Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #1

#indigenous (Old Timers Parade)

Just returned home from Orleans tonight. Long day of driving. I am pooped.

Hopefully next week by this time the manuscript will be off to first readers. It’s going to be tight.

My last trip to Orleans I drove with my Auntie, and I didn’t think she would enjoy my music or podcasts, so I bought a book on CD that I thought we would both enjoy: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

This book has been on my shelf forever. Bob and I saw the author lecture and loved his talk.

Auntie and I got through 8 of 13 discs. I had this great idea that I would read the book up to the part where we listened and then start with the discs again. HA HA. I read 30 pages and never touched it again.

On the drive down I listened to podcasts but on the way home I listened to the book, and I still have 1 and 1/2 discs left. ARGH. Must finish.

Next weekend, fingers crossed. More photos of my trip to come.

Posted in Orleans | Comments Off on #indigenous (Old Timers Parade)

Socked in the Jaw

I spoke too soon and completely jinksed it. The neighbors woke me up 3 times last weekend including twice in one night (11:30am and 2:30am), there have been six cars parked there since I got home last night, they woke me up at 2:30 and 4:30 (!). Mom must be away again. argh.

Last week I was running some errands and had to transport various awkwardly shaped items to and from the car. In the process I managed misjudge what I was doing and hit my jaw on the corner of the car door really hard. I have a relatively high pain threshold and I still had to stand there for a couple of minutes with my eyes watering. It made me think of all those movies and TV shows where the hero gets beaten up and/or shot and then rappels out of a building and leaps into a helicopter and flies off to save the day. That wouldn’t happen.

I was out in the garden earlier looking for greens and I found raspberries. If it ever stops raining I need to get back out there and harvest.

Ms. is cooking along, still more slowly than I like, but I will meet my goals one way or another.

Coming soon: Clarion West Beg-a-thon. It the 10 year anniversary.

68512 / 75000 words. 91% done!

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Socked in the Jaw