Wednesday, April 04, 2018

April is here! IWSG and A to Z

April has arrived, and so have flowers, greenery and my husband. He got here mid March and we spent a week babysitting a friends house, alone, together, getting to know one another again after 2 months apart. Our little dog, Boney, made the trip across the big blue with no fuss, in spite of a flight attendant bent on not being nice about him being there. We were proud of his no-issue journey. Boy was he glad to be on solid ground!
I took a few weeks off, basically, from writing, to spend time with my loved ones, and am back on track. My goal is to finish this draft before I head back to the States in June. So far I'm on track. I hope those of you participating in the AtoZ Challenge this month are doing well and keeping up!!!

This post is also in honor of the French policeman, Col. Arnaud Beltrame, who gave his life in trying to save others during an attack in Trebes, France March 23, 2018.
We were in Carcassonne at the time of the attack there and in Trebes, locked down in a restaurant in the old city, but were released later, safe and very thoughtful, aware of our mortality. I am deeply saddened that it turned out the way that it did, and hope wherever he is, he knows he is honored and his sacrifice remembered...
Below are some photos we were able to take on our short jaunt into the old city before...

Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Renee Scattergood, and Tamara Narayan are our co-hosts for April 4th! Please drop by their blogs and thank them for helping out...
Staircase up to the Old City, "La Cite".

My husband and Boney going up to the old city


Us in front of the "Chateau" in the Old City

In the restaurant where we were locked in. Great food!

The Old City from the New City

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

It's March!

IWSG Website

Bonjour et Bienvenu! Today I started my work day with this post. I am now in the foothills of the Pyrenees, with a lovely view and no noise! I’ve been in larger towns for the last three weeks or so, and appreciate the quietness of the countryside. Spring is coming. Birds are singing morning and evening, and there are plenty of places to walk or ride a bike here. Another form of paradise for me, because I am not a JK Rowlings. I have a hard time writing with lots of noise, music or interruptions.
Many things have transpired to create a non-writing place over the last two weeks, and this past weekend I felt almost at the end of my tether. In spite of that, I have managed to make progress, though not much. I’ve been in Mane (the name of the small town where I am right now) since Sunday night and Monday I wrote for six hours. I hope to do the same today. I’m inspired by my hosts to do my best. They work hard and make each day count. They “kidnapped” me on Sunday for a lovely lunch with a special friend, then drove me to the mountains, offering me a quiet place and the run of their home. When they come home in the evening I am happy to see them and to help out as much as I can. They have a lovely 4-soon-to-be-5-year-old, whom I have loved since she was born.
My husband comes to join me in 8 days! After two months apart, needless to say I’m looking forward to seeing him. No insecurities for the moment (fingers crossed). I’m too busy writing and “being” in the moment. I hope whatever you are doing, the same goes for you. Au revoir…
March 7th question: How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/finish a story?
If I've finished a story, I take time off to let it all sink in before sending it to Beta readers.
If I've achieved a writing goal, I sit with it awhile, and then move on the next one... For either one, champagne is always in the picture!

Please visit and thank the awesome co-hosts for March:

Photos for your amusement... 

Playing Petanque in Cornebarrieu...


and after!

So many say "be careful of guard dog." This one says, "Attention! Nice dog!"

A donkey and his friend in a field...

Where I was in beginning of March. France!
Where my husband was in beginning of March, Mexico!


Wednesday, February 07, 2018

February IWSG in France


Please visit our wonderful IWSG co-hosts this month:  

 I can tell it’s been a year since I’ve done any serious writing. Same thing for any kind of meaningful exercise. Both are very important to me.
Muscle memory is slowly coming back up to par in both areas, but slowly seems to be the key word. My characters are beginning to trust that I will visit them every day and so are starting to talk to me again. I’ve at least done enough now that I’m hitting the “hard” part of the work in writing. I remember this… At first it was difficult to write more than an hour a day at any one time. But I learned to keep myself going by saying, only one more scene, then you can take a break. Just one more scene, and it works! I’m up to almost three hours a day now, writing exclusively on one story, not blog posts, not other stories. I’m happy with that progress even when I tell myself I’m taking too long. I’m also walking an hour a day. This is good. I love where I am right now. I am warm, safe, alone (for a few days), and content to have no one to think of but my characters and what they will tell me next.
Here are some random photos from France. Hope you enjoy…

Bread van comes to town, and even gives window service!

A chateau in the middle of nowhere, with a moat!

Bring your own "Bidon" and fill up on wine!

My writing area. Yes, I stand while writing...

Countryside on an afternoon walk...

Abandoned farmhouse. Huge, and beautiful.

Food! Foix gras and magret, duck and duck!

A beautifully restored bathroom...

Sunday, February 04, 2018

How Lucky Am I?!

I am staying with friends who have another house in a town about an hour's drive from here and they've been gone since Thursday, leaving me alone, which I am loving. I've had time to write, listen to "new" music for scene inspiration, walk, and do whatever it is I want to do. My mind is dancing from one scene to another, listening to characters and trying new avenues, new adventures for them. Last year, when I didn't have time to write, I kept myself busy in my down time by thinking of scenes that needed help or outright changes. I thought about them so much that when it's come time to write them down, I keep thinking I've already done so but can't find them anywhere! I've gotten a lot of good laughs at myself out of this experience.
View from my window
 So, Thursday evening I want scrambled eggs and toast for dinner. I put the pan on the burner and turned the knob to light it. Nothing happens. I try another burner. Nothing again. The stove is out of gas. Oh well, there is always the microwave and something else to eat.
Leftovers from this!
Had leftovers, washed up and got ready for bed. The next day, Friday, I keep the fire going in the wood stove used for heating, write, binge watch a bit of Grandchester, write some more, and enjoy my day. I eat salad and cheese and bread for dinner. Wash up and head upstairs to my room. Later, I go into the bathroom for a shower. Brushing my teeth, I turn the shower on and nothing happens. No water. I try the sink, no luck. Mouth full of toothpaste I go down to the kitchen where an hour ago I'd done the washing up, and, no water. Luckily I had a glass of it already poured so was able to rinse my mouth.
View the other way...
Saturday morning I use the last of the butter. What good is bread without butter? I do have a car and can go get some if I really want, but decide not to. My host calls and I tell him about the gas and water, which is still not on. He thinks the water is an outside problem, and turns out he was right, because shortly thereafter I see vans in the street with "Eau" written on them. I spent Saturday afternoon writing and cleaning up the wooden stove area, brought in a bunch of wood from the stack outside while still keeping the fire going at a steady pace. Thought of a bicycle ride, but it started to rain. I wrote some more, watched more Grandchester as I had my lunch, and then decided to take the recycling to the recycling center just outside of the village. For the first time in all the many times I've been to France, I drove, alone, in France. Here I don't mind because it's so calm, full of countryside, and no traffic to speak of. Not too many crazies. By Saturday evening we had water again. A bit brown from all the messing with it they had to do, but still water. Had a lovely shower and could flush toilets again! So glad I was the only one home.
Flocks of sheep in fields that surround this village...
Lone flower in the garden
How lucky am I? In a small village in the middle of nowhere, or everywhere, I'm taking care of a house. I am writing. With and without water and gas I'm having adventures. I have electricity and heat. Did I mention I am writing? I am in heaven.