Archive - 2003


November 9th

A book in a month?

This is write-a-novel-in-a-month month, according to somebody on the web who is trying to do just that. The goal for those who are devoting this November to producing a work of fiction is to write 1,300 words per day. That would result in a 50,000 word novel in the space of a month.

This is not such a dumb idea. Writing is more work than inspiration, and the biggest battle is sitting down and getting to work. Thirteen hundred words in a day is reasonable, and it just goes to show how just a little work per day will produce big results in a short time.

This week's newspaper column

Last week, a full moon shone on a still night when the temperature dipped slightly below zero. The snow on the ground doubled the brightness. On such nights, the outdoors looks like the middle of the day seen through a welding mask. Eerie, but beautiful.

Because of the moonlight, I didn’t need to turn on a light when I got up for a drink of water in the middle of the night. With no lights on, I spotted a buck grazing underneath the oak tree fifty feet outside the sliding glass door.

Book signing

Held a book signing at the nursery yesterday. A nice crowd. Sold 210 books. Signed them all. Brother Joe provided music during the day. Mom made cookies for the event. By the middle of the day Mom had to run home and print out copies of the recipe for her turtle cookies, which she then had to autograph! Gift shop manager Dot sold many gift items. Friend Sheila from Ada came and helped keep the cookie jar stocked.


Went to karaoke last night in town. Fun to hobnob, and then get up every twenty minutes or so and sing a tune. About seven people from my graduating class were there. Found out from one that I had been responsible for giving him a not-to-flattering nickname in 6th grade which has stuck to the present day. Ugh, what little monster I was.

November 7th

Cold and clear

It's minus a few degrees tonight. Perfectly still. Full moon. The snow reflects the moonlight and makes the night twilight bright. It would be a beautiful night to go out cross country skiing. Its been so many years, though, that I have forgotten where my skis are.

Last night, in much the same conditions, I got up from bed in the middle of the night to see a big buck eating the grass under a small oak fifty yards from my sliding window. What a placid scene, lit up with the ethereal moonlight.

More Feasting

The holiday binge, which has only just begun, continued tonight at Mom and Dad's with a ham dinner by Mom. Baked potatoes. Squash with marshmallows. And delicious apple pie. The local cousins gathered to visit with Uncle Rolly and Aunt Jean.

November 6th

China Buffet, and an Aunt Ede meal, all in one day...

For my non-hot-beef-sandwich meal in Fargo today, I picked the new China Buffet House on Main Avenue, just west of the freeway. Darn good. Dozens of dishes. Lots of people. Great flavorings. The Buffet House is in a former Embers. I am afraid that if you carefully examined Chinese food, as it is served in such places, that it would be loaded with saturated fats and all kinds of things that are very bad for you. It is made worse by my habit of eating only meat. Salmon. Pork. Four kinds of chicken. Shrimp. And roast beef. No room for veggies.

Apologies to the fine folks at Barnes and Noble...

I take back everything I said below about doing business with Barnes and Noble. Last book, they gave me the impression that if they bought any directly from me without first sending them to the distributor in Tennessee, they would be hauled to headquarters and dipped head first in a cauldron of boiling oil. Today I brought my new book into the Fargo store and the manager said, well, we need them right now, bring in twenty and we'll get you a check. She was a bit taken aback by my big hug, but I don't care. It was very exciting. She paid a higher price than headquarters would have, too.

Trip to Fargo

We have a little charade we go through at the nursery when somebody wants to take a trip to Fargo. The trip cannot be for pleasure, it must have a business justification. The flimsier the excuse the better. Today, I am going to run down and get my oil changed. I could do it myself in the shop, or I could do it locally, but no, I am going to Fargo to the big dealership. Hardly worth a 140 mile round trip. But we also have run short of potato chips. And I am out of milk.

November 5th

Hibernation urges

Eat, sleep. Such are the instincts when the weather gets cold. Immoderate coffee intake does little to keep me alert. Yawns take over. Adding ten pounds of padding is par for the course this time of year. The holiday feasting schedule contributes to the process. Yawn.

People are grumbling about the onset of winter weather. If we had a day like today in February, twenty-some degrees, a little melting, we would be happy. In November, the same sort of weather is an insult.