Sunday, October 28, 2012

Life in Publishing, repost

Trying hard to get some writing done, in the midst of school. I have this panicky feeling that I'm forgetting something of major importance right now. I'm sure I am, but I don't know what it is. That's why it's called forgetting.

Want to write. Want to ride my bike even in the cold. Want to snuggle Freya. Don't want to grade papers.

Note to self:
Shut up and write. Shut up and grade.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Another rejection

Slider's Son garnered its second rejection this week. "Not enough historical detail" is what Calkins Creek said. George is baffled by that (maybe more than I am, even), so he's going to ask them what they meant by that. In the meantime, I'm going to spread in some more Depression-era details into the manuscript. I was mostly concerned with the character in the small town and making his life real. Guess I'll try to make the national news come home to roost more than it does already.

I have some ideas. I'm going to add some of them this weekend.

I wish I could get a book right the first time. Or second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth. Wonder what it means that I have to revise at least TWELVE times before anything gets published.

It mostly means that I should do nothing but write and maybe I'd get a book done WAY faster (and be with my kids, and be with friends, and ride my bike, and play with Freya--oh, yeah, and teach and grade papers).

Oh, well. I'm heading out on my bike to THINK in a few minutes.

Friday, October 19, 2012

North Carolina and other ramblings

I'm in North Carolina with my kids (well, part of them), and my grandson Alec. Thank you, Minnesota for having a long MEA weekend so I can do this.

Yesterday, I went for a bike ride while Alec napped and Nikki graded papers (after she went for a run).
Snapped these pictures:
First, I rode alongside a few miles of cotton fields. They're beautiful and strange to a northerner's eye.
Some, like this one, look like soybeans piled with snow. I'm reminded of all the stories I've read about cotton picking. I'm reminded of reading about Eli Whitney's cotton gin...but no matter what, crops of cotton and tobacco make the South feel like a different country. Period.

The storefrong building below is beside a cotton field (can you see the cotton behind it?), and I have no idea what it used to be. I wonder if it was a company store for everybody who worked on the cotton plantation. Speculation, but lordy, I could find fodder for great story ideas hanging around is true in any place in the world rich with history, I suppose. 

The Gateway to Harvest Time Food is below, also. I'm always amazed at how "in your face" Christianity dares to be down here. I don't think anybody would try to get by with that signage in Minnesota!

And last of all, and MOST IMPORTANT, absolutely not least, here's my grandson Alec with whom I'm spending hours of wonderful time playing, reading, snuggling, and whatever else hits our fancy.
JOY. Joy, Joy, Joy. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 7 Mankato River Ramble and other things

Today, I rode as a marshall for the Mankato River Ramble bike ride. What a blast! Great people, good ride, well organized event...just all around fun. I rode to and from the ride, so I got about 56 miles in. What a great day for a ride. 
Below: The FLYING PENGUINS (Jon Anderson at left--Jon is the first person who ever made me think I might be able to be a serious cyclist). 
I met some pretty cool new friends on the ride, too.
And bikes galore at the Rapidan park. Pie from Jenny at the Dam Store. Everybody was delighted.

And entirely unrelated, Tuesday night is the big meeting about the proposed frac sand plant in Lime Township. Now we realize we need to get the TOWNSHIP in charge of the be the planning committee or to appoint one, so the township can set the conditions for the use permit. Hopefully, a moratorium can be placed on its operation for a year....but that's not entirely looking hopeful.  More research needs to be done FAST!!!
Mankato Airport, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m. EVERYBODY can come!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Autumn Harvest and Waldorf Homecoming

I wonder if how people are jerked by the heartstrings while driving along during fall harvest. I drove from home to Forest City, Iowa and back on Saturday for Waldorf Homecoming. On the way down, I passed too many combines to count. The first field I passed where there were trucks and wagons lined up along the end rows almost stopped my heart. I love the smell and sounds and sight of a golden field ripe and being picked. And I miss getting to drive a tractor or a truck to help--or to do the chores at home so my dad and brother could stay in the field. I loved fall on the farm.

 I was in somewhat of a hurry (imagine that!) so I didn't stop to take pictures. I just snapped these two on the go. I also had about a six-mile detour on gravel. Since I live on a gravel road, it didn't faze me until I heard a familiar rattle and roar that I haven't heard close up for a couple decades. Tears started running down my face. It was simply the roar of corn being augered into a grain bin, but the sound is so much ingrained in my being that hearing it made me miss my dad and being on the farm to the point of tears.

 As I drove on, instead of being sad, I felt grateful that I had loved my growing up years on the farm so much that such a thing as the sound of corn augering could make me cry.  And I loved every minute of driving through the midwestern fields, lush and golden, in spite of the drought we've had this year.   
Here's the Scarville Lutheran Cemetery sign. I had to snap a picture of that, too. The pastor at Fjeldberg Lutheran Church in the late seventies, Rev. Norris, came from Scarville to Huxley. His daughter Barb ended up in my dorm at Waldorf and was a friend of mine. It felt serendipitous to drive past this cemetery on the way to the reunion.
I didn't take enough pictures....but I had a blast with friends  I hadn't seen for over thirty years. I sold some books at an alumni craft sale in Salveson Hall in the afternoon...but the best part was getting to see Jeneen (here), Bev, Pam, Carol, Sue, Liz, Diane, Nancy, Kathy, Kris, Mark, Ron, Mike, Bruce, Gary, and many more. I'm waiting for more pictures from more friends, and maybe I'll post a few more.