Category Archives: If We Were Having Coffee…

If We Were Having Coffee #18

If we were having coffee I would probably be a bit bleary eyed. It was a long week, on top of working with my grief, it was also finals week.  I’m not in school just now, but I work in an academic testing center.  And I think I have decided that the only things worse than having to take finals is dealing with stressed instructors, and students.  Worse than that, dealing with the large amount of greatly stressed individuals when you are not sleeping well.

One of the nice things this week has been that reminder, once again, that I have friends who are looking out for me.  Good friends who check in (even if they live far far away), and who were some of the first people I contacted after Grandma died.  The simple texts, emails, and messages of  “Thinking of you,”  “I’m here if you need anything,” and “How are you?” all helped me a lot.

Things are starting to gear up for Christmas, today I’m going out with my mom to get a tree.  Christmas decorations are going up around the house, which means I am getting to see some of those things that I made as a child.  Decorations that have been taken out year after year.  It’s kind of fun to have those things that are the same year after year for as long as I can remember.  So much else has changed, but I can always count on the fact there will be some decorations that appear every year.  This will be the first “normal” Christmas I have spent with my family in years.  I lived so far away, for so long, that coming back here just wasn’t feasible.  Last year I was out here, but my sister got married just a few days before Christmas and so we were away to the wedding until Christmas Eve.

I’d also probably tell you that I’ve had a hard time getting back to my writing.  I gave myself the first week of December as a week off, since I realized I had pushed myself a bit for NaNo, and deserved a short break.  But then this past week I had trouble getting my brain around anything, so writing didn’t happen.  I’m now, officially, two weeks behind my schedule — with holidays and celebrations, and friends back in town.  So this week I’m going to try to focus, starting with some free-writing. Free-writing, followed by more writing for Disparate Threads, and some work on the webpage for it.  I need to get back into the groove of regular work, wish me luck!

How are you doing this week?


Not Quite “If We Were Having Coffee…” (#17)

Normally on Sundays I invite everyone to join me for “coffee,” share some of my week, ask how your week has been.   I really enjoy writing these posts, it’s a chance to reflect on the week and find things to highlight — and I kind of love the idea of being able to read back over a bunch of posts to get a glimpse of all the things that I have done and that have happened throughout the year.

That is all a long introduction to say that this week is a little different.  I sit at my computer wondering how it is possibly already Sunday, and — even more — how it possibly just be a week since Thanksgiving?  Such a long week.

So.. a coffee post… but this isn’t really going to be a coffee post… because there really is just one thing that is sticking in my mind right now.  If we were having coffee I would probably want to sit back and listen to you for a while.  I would want to hear how the week has been, how everyone is, and if you have any great plans for the next week?

I don’t know what I’d say.   I’m sorry to be vague but I wanted to post SOMETHING today (I wanted to post something on Friday too, for the Celebrate The Small Things), but I’m just not there yet.   I promise a less vague post later this week, but for now the words aren’t coming out correctly — what I want to say, and how I want to say it just isn’t coming together yet.

So for our coffee today, I’m content to simply listen to what you may have to share.

If We Were Having Coffee #16

It’s been a busy weekend, so I welcome the chance to sit back for a bit with some coffee (or tea, or cocoa, or eggnog…).   I hope your Thanksgiving went well (if you celebrate Thanksgiving).

This year we had a lot of family come over, and I took on the cooking.  Other people helped, my grandma made two of the dishes, my mom helped make a few, my sister made a few, people brought drinks, and did the clean-up.  We had relatives staying with us, and everyone arrived on Thursday, so we celebrated on Friday — but had family meals starting Thursday at lunch.  So much food was made, and consumed! The highlights, for me, of what I made were the pumpkin creme brulee for dessert, an artichoke-spinach dip for appetizers, and the turkey. The BACON WRAPPED turkey.

Behold, the bacon turkey!

I’d never made a turkey before — luckily my little brother has many times and was able to lend aid.  He also came to my rescue when I went all squeamish-silly about taking out the neck and gizzards bag.  Eww, eww, eww!  I was glad that I was “convinced” (it didn’t take much) to give up on the idea of brining, so the idea of doing just a rub came up, and then the decision to make a bacon-wrapped Turkey arose.  I’d talked to friends all the time about the idea, and already decided that this was the last turkey I will ever make (so much work for a meat I don’t really like), so might as well take the moment to make a bacon-turkey!

There were certainly some errors…like the bottom of the oven ending up catching the turkey-drippings after the flimsy pan had sprung a leak, but… it turned out well!   Yay!

I completed NaNoWriMo on Wednesday (got my 50k words!) and told myself that I would put the novel aside for a month now.  I may do some outlining, re-reading, and figuring so I know what needs to be done when I start revisions in January.  Are you NaNo-ing?  I hope, if you are, regardless of if you’ve reached (or think you have a shot of reaching) 50k before the end of the day, you’ve managed to get some writing done.  Because THAT is the most important thing about NaNoWriMo — the entire point is to spend some time writing, dedicate energy to your project.

Now I’m getting back to writing on Disparate Threads.  And getting back into the flow here on Eclectic Alli.  I’ve been terribly neglectful when it comes to replying to comments (I’ve read them all…just haven’t gotten to responding to them), and want to remedy that.  It will happen!

What are your plans as we move into this holiday season?  Anything exciting happening?


If We Were Having Coffee — Thankfulness Edition

Coffee Time!
I’d tell you, as we settle down with our nice warm beverages, that I’m hoping to encourage people to look at what they are thankful for this week.  Today I’m realizing that it can be a good (if challenging) exercise to focus on thankfulness when things seem overwhelming.   I’ve ended up in the position to be in charge of most of the food preparation for Thanksgiving, and we have a crowd of people who will be staying at the house.  I’m also trying to finish up my novel for NaNo, and have had a busy weekend already.

It would be easy to get overwhelmed, but I can’t let it.  So instead, I look to the positive side, the things within this all to be thankful for.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I’m thankful for the opportunity to have a Thanksgiving dinner that will be prepared by three generations.  Grandma, Mom, and myself (and whoever else wants to step in and help) will be working together.  I’m not a huge fan of Thanksgiving food (I’ve said a few times that, left to me, we’d be having Nachos, or Pizza, or something of that sort).  But It will be cool to learn how to make these things. And I get to make Pumpkin Creme Brule for dessert – which I’m very excited about!

I love the interior of the Schnitz — such a beautiful place.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m thankful for days like yesterday — it was a busy day but overall amazing.  I was able to get tickets to go with a friend to see Bernadette Peters at the Schnitz, and we decided to make a nice evening of it — going out to dinner first.

Earlier in the day I had gone to a wine tasting with my Dad and Step-mom, which was also a lot of fun and I got to taste a few new wines that I like.   I’ve very thankful for family and friends that enjoy going out and doing those things with me that I enjoy doing.  Friends that help me laugh.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m thankful for what I’ve been learning participating in NaNoWriMo this month.  I’m getting very close to the goal of 50k words — though (as I predicted) the writing this second half of the month is going slower.  I do, however, feel like I am getting some really good stuff on the story, learning about the characters, the magic of the world, realizing things about different subplots that will help (or hinder) story cohesion.  It’s very cool, and it’s also been amazing to be gaining a sense of confidence that I can do this — I can write even when the story is getting to be a challenge.  I can pump out over 4k words in a day (I’ve done it a few times this month), and they are a decent base to jump from.

If we were having coffee, what would you have to say about your week?  The one past or the one to come?  What are you thankful for today?

If We Were Having Coffee (#14)

“Hey!  Good to see you again!”  I’ll give you a hug, if you’re open to hugs, because I’m in a hugging mood today.

Let’s settle in this lovely living room I’ve created in my imagination, overstuffed chairs (and a few old-fashioned, wood framed, lightly padded ones too, so you have options), the walls lined with shelves of books, the window looking out on some spectacular scene — city-scape, the ocean, mountains, lakes, mountain-lakes… take your pick.  It’s a living room of dreams, so it can take the form you want.

 I’m not actually drinking coffee this time, I need to detox a little bit after the spree of caffeinated beverages I had yesterday.  My NaNoWriMo region held a coffee-shop-hop, moving around the area from one coffee shop to another, writing our hearts out on our novels.  I spent an unhealthy amount of time at one of the shops, and then moved on to the next one with the group for a while.   I do not want to count how many shots of espresso I had in that time….  So, today is a bit of a detox day so that Monday mornings coffee can still be effective.

I can’t quite believe November is half over, but I’m really enjoying the work that I’ve been doing on my novel.  It’s kind of cool to watch the story finally unfold — after having vague ideas about it for so long it’s cool to see how things are playing out.  I’m actually starting to look forward to the editing and revising process!  REALLY hope that feeling lasts!

Not a whole lot else happened this week. I wrote a lot.  I spent large quantities of time in coffee shops for said writing.  We had a great threat of winter weather this week, which resulted in a little ice – but nothing too grand.

I feel like I’ve hit that point where my story is taking over much of my thought and energy — so I’m afraid my conversations are getting repetitive and dully, as I just keep trying to work through the story points over and over again.  Hopefully I’ll break through that soon — editing and revisions will at least cause me to look at it a bit differently and vary the conversation topics a tad.

In the meantime, what has your week been like?  Anything exciting going on?  What challenges are you facing?

Coffee Time! (#13)

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you the week has really been a blur.  Work’s been busy, and I’ve been doing a lot of my writing on the bus in the morning (as well as at lunch).   Yesterday I managed to catch up with my NaNo goal — as well as pushing myself to move forward in the story telling.  I have these scenes to write, so instead of dwelling on early scenes I should push through, get the scenes written, and then figure out what else needs to be put in.  It’s a very different approach to writing for me — but I think I’m adjusting.

I’m also having fun preparing to join in Raevenly’s Character-oke event — it’s the event of the Season for November.  My first venture of taking Bria Lana out of her story-world (and frantically trying to figure out more about her by tossing her into a completely unrelated world) will go up on Monday.

There are other things, little things, but I guess the most important is that I’d like to do a giveaway!  It’s kind of silly — but I feel like celebrating the milestone of passing 2000 followers — and that’s thanks to all of you!  So… at the end of this week I will randomly select someone to receive a little notebook.

Pen is for scale – yellow and white design cover, purple inner page, lined pages.

Here’s how to qualify for the notebook giveaway!  Over this next week, leave a comment on my blog — I’ll have a few new posts going up during the week.  Next Sunday (during our coffee-get-together) I’ll select the winner from my list.  If you are commenting and want to be eligible make sure to let me know in the comment.

I’m afraid that I can only offer this to people living in the continental United States (if you’re out of the country, uhm… someday I’ll figure out something awesome I could give-away for you… that could be sent in the virtual world, and therefore not cost me a fortune in shipping….).

That’s it for my coffee today.. I should get to work — but first, how are you doing this week?  What do you want to share over our coffee?


If We Were Having Coffee #12

Good Morning!

If we were having coffee today I’d tell you that it’s been a heck of a week — actually, the past two weeks have been kind of crazy.  Between midterms, occasional people being out, still training a few people, and some technological glitches in the system things were superbly busy at work.

I’d share how happy I am that the Masquerade Ball went well last week.  I was thrilled that so many participated — and that so many made multi-entry stories!  It was a nice challenge for me to try and mold my story around everything else, and I look forward to hosting it again next year (and have some ideas for a similar, but different event in January).  Thanks to Hannah, Raevenly, Eloise (and Ronovan),  JohnMarkMiller,  Patricia Lynne and Allison Maruska for your contributions!!  I never expected such a great turnout for my first Blog Event 🙂

I had a fun Halloween — dressed up as Dorothy for the day.  Didn’t do much more than work, and was so exhausted that I don’t think I could have done much that evening even if I’d had plans, but it was fun to get to wear a costume for the day.  I was rather proud of how it came together — especially since I spent most of the past few weeks thinking I’d go as Alice, but struggling to find the right costume elements.

I'm rather proud of my costume.  Especially the "Ruby Slippers."  Because, yes, those are shoes I just happened to have around the house.... :)
I’m rather proud of my costume. Especially the “Ruby Slippers.” Because, yes, those are shoes I just happened to have around the house…. 🙂

I’d probably end up keeping coffee kind of short, since I’m doing NaNo this year and.. well… am already behind.  Ended up having a great time visiting with a friend on her way through town, but it was unexpected and my “day of writing” turned into a “day of monopolizing restaurant tables and shutting down coffee shops while talking about all sorts of things.”  It was lovely but…I’ve got a lot of writing to do, and characters to re-connect with.

I also need to put together some information about the “Season” events in November.  NaNo dominates, but there’s a “Who’s your Hero” blog-hop tomorrow, and a Fairy Tale Blogathon the 9th through the 11th, and I’m hoping to do something around the theme of Thankfulness the 23rd through the 28th.  As always, keeping busy…

How are you doing?  What have you been up to this week?  Did you get a lot of Trick-Or-Treaters for Halloween?  Or participate in any fun parties?