Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Accountability April: Wrappin' It Up

Tomorrow is the end of the month, so I'll be telling you about my tragedies and triumphs.

OK, so it wasn't all that dramatic. I'll be letting you in on how I did. If you want to go back and see what my goal was, here is the original post.

Apparently my goal was to read, edit, and finish writing my NaNoWriMo novel. Gosh, Lisa, that won't take any time at all! What was I thinking? I mean, granted, I wrote what I have -- just over 50,000 words -- in a month, but still.

I want to be honest and give you the good, the bad and the ugly, so here goes. And I'm gonna save the best for last. It's my blog, and that's the way I'm gonna roll.

The ugly: I wrote not a single word. Not a one.

The bad: I did not incorporate edits back into my master document.

The good: I did finish reading the whole thing (last night), and I red-penned changes throughout.

The biggest surprise: One night, as I headed into my bedroom (I read before bed each night), I was remembering the plot and characters of this cool book I was reading, and looking forward to picking it back up. I was startled to remember that I wrote it! While there are certainly a lot of major edits to be made, maybe there is the germ of a decent idea in there somewhere. Maybe the characters and story are worth keeping. I'll polish it up a bit and see if it shines.

So, my friends, how did you do this month? Did you make progress on your April goals? I can't wait to hear about it -- leave me a comment and let me know how you did! I want to hear all about it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fun on the YouTube

I've seen way too many cool YouTube videos today, so I'm gonna do the lazy thing and share.

The first one is some bicycle riding that simply defies the laws of physics as I know them.  But then, I'm a middle-aged American woman, not an amazing Irish stunt bicyclist.  I rarely watch videos more than once, but I did this one.

Next, I really had to share the work that Dave Barnes (whose music I lovelovelove) is doing with the Mocha Club in Sudan.  It's heartbreaking that there is so much left to do, but so great that you can get involved for the price of a coffee or two each month.

And of course, I was reading BooMama today, as I so love to do, and she linked to this interesting and odd video.  Not my usual thing to watch, but the end is interesting.  If you click over to to her post (I linked to a specific post, not just to her blog), you'll see that she met the gentleman in the video.  She's all famous and stuff, doncha know.  And I met her once, so I'm famous and stuff by proxy.  Or something.

Anyway, here's the video she linked to.

Lastly -- and this video is one that can't be embedded -- if you've been buried under a rock and are not one of the literally 38 MILLION people (as of right now) who have seen Susan Boyle try out for "Britain's Got Talent," then you really should.  It's kinda cool. And touching.  And all that emotional stuff.

Go ahead, make the clicky.  You know you want to.  All the cool kids are doing it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Accountability April - Halfway Point

Wow, how did it get to be April 15?

We're halfway through April and I'm, um, shall we say NOT halfway to my goal for the month. Granted, it was a large goal: Read, edit, and finish writing my NaNoWriMo novel.  But I got a little sidetracked.

It seems that Heather Armstrong came to town to talk about her new book, and while I had a migraine and bonded with my meds and my pillow, my fantastic friend Andrea camped out, bought books and had mine signed. Naturally, since she went to so much trouble, I had to drop everything and read the book. I haven't been reading Dooce long enough to have read about Heather's pregnancy with Leta or the aftermath thereof, so I fell in and didn't fall out for a few days. My bad.

But you were wondering about my progress. I'm almost halfway through the writing and editing of my NaNoNovel, which is OK progress. However, I'm afraid the writing is what's going to take the most time, and with 15 days left in the month, I need to get my rear in gear.

I'm happy to say that Karina has done far better (at least in the last week) than I have. I'm also quite curious how Becky is doing with her April resolutions. And if you have something you want to get done this month, jump in and let me know in the comments, or link to your own post!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Larry's Benefit, Part 2

I know I'm way behind on this post. I had such an exhausting weekend, and last week got away from me too. I want to talk a little about the actual day of Larry's benefit.

First I'd like to show you Larry's wife Susan (my hubby's sister). She's in the middle in this picture, flanked by two of her good friends. She's holding her son's football jersey, which may have been the signed one that was auctioned off that day; I'm not sure.

Yes, it was March in Houston, and yes, it was COLD. In this picture, Susan had just arrived, so this was prior to greeting, hugging and chatting with something like 400 people that day. It was a really long day for her. Good, but long.

This picture is one I've wanted for years. Our oldest nephew (son of hubby's other sister) actually looks more like him than our own sons, I think. In fact, he looks almost identical to my hubby at that age. Since my nephew has now grown a beard, it's even more striking.

You can't tell, but their eye color is the same, too.

This is Larry with several of his hunting buddies. His friends have really been great, very supportive.

There was a barbecue lunch (all food was donated, so proceeds went to the benefit fund), a silent auction, live auction, bake sale, t-shirt sales, jumping castle, even a cotton candy machine. Son the Younger manned the cotton candy booth all day, flagging down everyone who passed to buy some of the sweet stuff. His most interesting customer question: "Are there any carbs in this?" Ummmm...

There were lots of interesting items being sold in the live auction, including a signed Tom Brady jersey, two dirt bikes, a hunting trip to a turkey farm, and lots of other cool things. In a couple of cases, the donors of the items bought their own items back. Those are supportive friends.

Before we left the park at the end of the day, my niece Courtney, who put together the entire event, was playing with her daughter. I took a bunch of pictures, but this one was the most fun.

My apologies for the blurred pic below, but I wanted to include it. I tried all day to get a good one, and this was, sadly, my best attempt. This is my nephew Andrew (Susan and Larry's son) and his girlfriend, who is wearing his letter jacket. I tried to take their picture in the park but couldn't get a good one, so this one is in Susan's kitchen. I only wish it had come out better.

We hung out at Susan and Larry's for a while that evening with both families and stayed long enough to give Susan a short shoulder rub and chat with her and Larry for a bit.  It was great to catch up with them, since we're out of town and don't see them as often as most of the family does.

Larry has come a long way but still has a lot of progress left to make for a full recovery, and Susan has assumed all the responsibilities of caregiver, mom of teenager, keeper of the home, and probably four other roles while working full-time. The funds from the benefit will help a lot with the nursing care that Larry needs, which is a huge help. I can only hope that Susan gets some real and present help for some of her roles, and soon.

There but for the grace of God go I, and my prayers are with her.