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Sunny and cold

It's so pretty and sunny out! I've decided I like snow that stays on the ground until spring because it throws the light around and makes it all much brighter and cheerier than if it all melted in between and was just brown. Of course...we are running out of places to PUT the snow. As I told my husband, we need the berm expansion pack... Unfortunately, the temperature started out around zero today and has been falling ever since, with the most wicked wind chill. I think we're down to -11 real, -36 wc? Brr! It's too bad--it looks so nice outside, and I sure wish we could go skating at the park, especially since today is a holiday and all. Ah, well--better luck in May? :)

Took a friend to the hospital today for a finger amputation. Worried about some old neighbors from Idaho, whose 6YO backed against a stovetop that was cooking, and set his shirt on fire, and now has severe burns on his back. He had skin grafts today, and...ow. The friend with(out) the finger is cause for worry, but she's an adult and hopefully this will prevent something worse. But the little boy, I just can't get out of my mind. He's the youngest of I think six kids, and I'm pretty sure it would be a lot harder to get through this if he didn't have every one of his siblings there to cheer him up and help him out. (And it was the 7YO who raised the alarm and the 12YO who put the fire out in the first place.) He looks a bit like my own 5YO and his next-older sister is a clone of my kids' cousin, so every time I see photos, it hits me like a parent. If you're into sending prayers for random children you don't know, little Cooper could sure use some.

Anyway, I'm very glad that everyone at our house is well (knock on wood!). When not worrying about other people in the hospital, I've been doing a series of critiques and also trying to revise my own stuff. I sent off my last crit today and my head is bubbling with things I've been learning. I think I need to find a book I don't need to crit, though--I need to relax for a moment in a story where I neither have to write nor edit it nor solve any of the plot issues the characters may have created, but rather, sit back and just enjoy someone else figuring it out. :) Then I'll be ready to hop back in and see what else I can do on my own book. I hope I can figure it out soon; I'm eager to write something new!


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 21st, 2014 01:52 am (UTC)
V here from the blueboards ... I realize I could be riff-raff from anywhere :) Sending prayers for Cooper. It is amazing now what they can do for severe burns and preventing scarring; every decade there've been milestones. And your poor friend. Yes, I think it's lovely to sink your teeth into a good book and just eat it up, but I'm finding it more and more difficult. Even the books I love, I have to go back and re-read to see how they accomplished something. Underline stuff. Occupational hazard? I'm loving Pat Conroy right now.
Jan. 21st, 2014 01:59 am (UTC)
Thanks for the prayers, Vijaya. It is amazing what all they can do--from skin grafts to extra oxygen (to stimulate the body to repair at faster-than-normal speeds; it's a pretty cool concept) to hydrotherapy to all of the things I'm afraid to google in case I end up seeing a photo. :) (I'm rather squeamish about insides.) I'm glad there are all these treatments! But at the same time, it's just a lot of hard, painful work for him, and he's scared, too. And for that (and for guidance for the doctors to know what to do as well), he's really depending on the prayers.

I do end up analyzing even books I love. :) But it's nice when you find something you don't know how to solve, and realizing you don't have to figure it out--you just have to keep reading. (That would be Lora Innes's Revolutionary War time travel comic, The Dreamer, right now for me. :) )
Jan. 21st, 2014 02:56 am (UTC)
if it all melted in between and was just brown -- yes, this is quite true. We have a very mild winter (most years), but it's very brown and leaf-less...

I am keeping little Cooper in my thoughts and prayers -- very scary. :(

I'm excited for your writing!
Jan. 21st, 2014 03:09 am (UTC)
Thanks, Robin. His family appreciates all the prayers very much. It's just hard to see your little child in pain. :(

I think I get way more out of critiquing for others than they do receiving my crits. Or maybe I just need to do more craft study without being prompted, I don't know. :) But I watched Brandon Sanderson's lectures again the other day and am already thinking how to apply things from that into a new book. (He teaches a creative writing evening class at BYU and his lectures are all on line. Even if you don't write fantasy, the plot and character lectures are interesting.
Jan. 25th, 2014 01:45 am (UTC)
It's been awhile since I've logged into LJ, sigh. I'm trying to get back on track and focused. Last I'd heard you were waiting for jobs and possibly moving from Idaho.
Where did you end up? Somewhere cold...
Hugs and prayers to your Idaho neighbors.
Hope all is going well with you and with your writing.
Jan. 25th, 2014 01:58 am (UTC)
Thanks for the prayers and good wishes. Our little friend had a pretty extensive skin graft and it hurts and is itchy all in one, but they're talking a release from the hospital soon, so that's good. But man. Don't ever get burned! It's one of the most painful things there is, and skin grafts (which come from other parts of your body to prevent rejection) hurt even more. I'm sure it's in part thanks to all the prayers and support that they're even getting through this.

We ended up in North Dakota, on the Minnesota border. Remember a couple weeks ago when there was this bulls-eye of -70 wind chills when the polar vortex was raging? We were in the middle of that dot. I didn't think there was anywhere colder than Rexburg, Idaho, but I was definitely wrong! So now we live in Little Norway (highest Norwegian population in the US), and while we don't have any geography (think flatter than your tabletop), it otherwise looks like a scene out of the Disney movie Frozen. I swear I could hear the collective racial memory go off when the opening credits rolled.

Anyway, it's just a one year job (they were hoping to replace it with a tenure track but that search got nixed), so either we'll be here again on another one-year contract next year, or...we won't. At this point we are done with expectations. Any place from here on out is just another random place. But maybe we'll learn to ice skate and pick up a little Norwegian while we're here? :)

As to writing, it kind of slowed down with the moving and associated emotional trauma. But I'm revising one thing and hoping to finish a draft of a different thing and excited to work on new stuff entirely, so I think that I'm coming out of that whole moving funk. Which is nice!

I hope your writing is going well, and that wherever you are, it's warmer than here! :)
Jan. 31st, 2014 05:11 pm (UTC)
So fun to hear from you and catch up. It sounds COLD. I'm glad you survived the -70, wow! I was feeling for everyone in that cold when it blasted through. I hope it's better now. We are still in the Salt Lake area. I've been off of my usual writing for awhile because of family stuff and having to go back to work part-time and such. But I just started a new novel and I'm excited to be moving from our funk junk back into a writing groove. I'm finally starting to get my time figured out again and my motivation. What ever happened with your agent? Are you still with them? Hope your family is all well. Learning a little Norwegian will be fun...to add to your other cultural experiences and languages. :) You always have such a great attitude.
Feb. 4th, 2014 06:25 pm (UTC)
Yep, still with her. I wrote another book after this one (the revising one) that's out on sub right now. But I'd really like to get this middle grade to work out! The nice thing is that the one on sub is YA, so there's no problem submitting both of them at the same time--they don't cross over or conflict or anything.

Funny--someone from a totally different culture/language entirely was talking to me the other day and used "uff da"--a Norwegian phrase that has become embedded in the local culture. I did a double take and had to smile. (It's like "oops"--or a little stronger, depending on context and modifiers. :) )

Yay for new writing!!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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