plot possibilities

http://bonniers.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/plot-bunnies-anyone/

Landmarks

Middle child is getting married Friday. His fiancee wants to see baby pictures, so last night I dug through several old photo albums looking for the best ones. It’s amazing to think that such a small baby is now all grown up and on his own and ready to start his own family.

And it doesn’t seem like that much time has passed, either.

Today’s cool new thing I learned

We played golf this morning at the same local course we usually play. Today as I walked up to the third tee, I found myself surrounded by big yellow-and-black buzzing insects that looked a bit like yellowjackets. They seemed to be digging nests in the ground but fortunately I didn’t step on any.

When we ran into a course maintenance crew, I mentioned the insects, figuring that though I didn’t get stung, the next person might not be so lucky.

The groundskeeper told me they aren’t stinging wasps at all. They’re a kind of mud-dauber wasp called a cicada killer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphecius_speciosus.

They’re called cicada killers because the female paralyzes cicadas with her sting, then carries the victim to the burrow to be food for her larvae. They’re very non-aggressive to people. The groundskeeper said if you scuff over one of the burrows, they just come out and open it again, then go back into protective mode. If you bury it again, they do the same thing.

They’re technically solitary wasps even though dozens of them will live in the same area and two or three females will sometimes share the same burrow.

So that’s the cool thing I learned today 🙂 What about you?

adverse Twitter effects

I got a Twitter account a few months back — I’m @AliceMCole over there.

The unforeseen effect: all my updates happen over there. I never remember to come over here to write a blog post.

to SAD or not to SAD?

One of my favorite yearly writing challenge is the May Story a Day, abbreviated SAD. Yes, it means what it says: write a story every day, although there are more modest goals as well. I usually get between 3 and 10 or 12 stories of varying quality. One year the best short story turned out to be the opening of Overamped (which I still think is a very good novel even if I haven’t been able to find a publisher yet). 

But this year I’m in the middle of the second draft of Crows. It’s been a slog to get back into the story, and it’s not an easy one to let go of when it gets its claws and beak into my brain. I would really rather not break off working on it right now. 

I don’t know whether doing both is reasonable. Possibly if I scale back my short story goals — maybe one day a week? — I could make it work. But more likely I’m going to have to choose one or the other when I want to do both. I guess that’s what being a grownup is about, huh?  

 

 

Working again!

Finally managed to get in gear and do more than a few lines of work. Ten pages on Crows!

ideas into thin air

Every day I have at least a couple of thoughts that I know I could turn into blog posts, but by the time I sit down at the computer I’ve forgotten what they were. So when I had a good idea yesterday as we were heading out to lunch, I thought, “Well, I’ll just jot it down this time so I don’t forget it.”

So here I am at my desk, staring at the squiggles in my notebook. Apparently I had a profound insight about the “meaning” of “scones.”

Or is it morning with scones? Or is it possibly stones? That seems possible; I remember noticing the fake Italian front on the Olive Garden restaurant we ate at. But I don’t remember pondering the meaning, and I certainly wasn’t there in the morning. I might have been longing to go back to Italy to see the real thing, but I wouldn’t have noted that as a blog topic.

Stores? Morning of Stores? Meaning of Stores? Meaning of Stoves?

I give up. It’s going to have to remain a mystery.