How busy are you in November?

November is shaping up to be a roller coaster ride of 100_2442

To do

To do

To do

To do.

First off, November means a bunch of holiday open house events and gallery openings, and other parties and I try never to miss a one. Then there’s Thanksgiving holidays, which in my family is a 4-day marathon of gathering, cooking, eating, etc.

Add to that:

NanoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is always a challenge. In order to write 50,000 words by November 30 I need to write 1667 words per day minimum.

  • Solution: I’m banking words by writing as many words over 2000 as possible on a daily basis, because there will be days I won’t be able to manage more than 500.

BlogHer’s November challenge to post one blog per day for 30 days (NaBloPoMo).

  • Solution: I’m banking blogs, buy writing 2-5 at a time and scheduling them to drop on the appropriate day; cheating and posting NanoNovel excerpts; dashing off a quick haiku or plain poem…

Two poetry contests.

  • One was due Sunday at midnight, and I got it off @ 6pm that day. Cross your fingers for me – the prize is $500.
  • The second one is due November 30 same day as NanoWriMo, so I’ve already started on it in my ‘spare’ time.

Later gators. Tomorrow is my day out with my Mom, soooo I’ve got to write tomorrow’s blog and at least 1667 words on my novel.

What does your November look like?


Women’s History Told

“I prefer the pen. There is something elemental about the glide and flow of nib and ink on paper.”
― James RobertsonThe Testament of Gideon Mack


praise for the paeans red 1 journal
flowing from a woman’s pen
that told their story

quietly they rail
assail anonymity
filling silent pages

pen in hand they stand
long lines of women through time
countless pages writ

journals letters more
words telling the history
men tend to omit
              © Perle Champion

*Paean:  It comes from the Greek παιάν (also παιήων or παιών), “song of triumph…

So much of history is about men by men, but there is a rich history of women if one is willing to look.  It exists in journals, letters, and more.  So much has been lost or tossed as of no consequence.  And, some has been preserved for us if we know where to look. GJ 3

Southern History Room of Birmingham and the microfiche archives of the Linn Henley Library are rich with such histories.  To pluck any journal from a shelve and begin reading is like stepping back in time and experiencing a life lived.

I’ll be spending some more time there in the next few weeks as I have some research to do.  Birmingham has one of the best library systems I’ve encountered and I’ve known many.

Day 3 of NanoWriMo – Novel Wordcount is 8,449
BlogHer Blog-a-Day challenge 3 for 3

How to Make November a Marathon

Talking to a friend on the phone this past Monday, she commented that omg it’s practically NovemIMG_6615ber.  I looked up from my coffee to the kitchen calendar and noted that in my Kitchen, it already was November and it was already booked solid – omg indeed.

I had turned the page early Sunday morning to jot more than a few items down for November and as I could see from Sunday the 26th all the way through to November 1, I just migrated the few events left in October to the November page.

Yes I still use a real calendar, two actually.  I have one in the kitchen for day to day life and one in my Aerie (that’s what I call my office/studio where I write and paint) for various deadlines and some duplication of the kitchen calendar.  Later I will put everything into my Google calendar which syncs with my iPhone calendar.  If they aren’t already there that is.

So, I’ve been looking at November since last Sunday, and still November 1 surprises me with all that I have committed to do this month.

  • Write a 50,000 word novel for National Novel Writing Month –
  • Post a Blog a day for’s NaBloPoMo.
  • Enter 3 poems in the Two Sylvias Press competition for the Russell Prize due tomorrow.
  • Write a brand new poem and submit by the 30th to Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal competition for the Jane Lumley Prize.

Oh, and lest I forget,

  • Luncheon lecture at Lister Hill next week – History of Medicine thru the Ages.
  • Three open house events I never miss in the little neighborhoods which make up sthanksgiving past throw back thors day 11-18-13ome of Birmingham: Homewood, English Village, and PepperPlace.
  • Three or four of my favorite art galleries all have November Christmas shows.

Oh, and then there’s

  • Thanksgiving – the family gathers and cooks and it all starts the day before and runs through the weekend.

What’s your November look like?

Monday, Day of the Moon

Monday is Moon’s day (Old English mon(an)dæg “day of the moon) and the beginning of the work week for most people.  I’ve retired from the 8-5 of Dilbertville, but I find I still begin most of my new projects on Monday – old habits die hard.

Lately, I’ve been painting again with a vengeance- mostly on rescued wood.   I’ve posted a few below. I’ll be opening an store as soon as I have a bit more inventory.  I already have interest in a few I’ve posted on FaceBook earlier which is encouraging.   I’ve noticed that I have an obsession with the moon.

  • My cat series, ‘Meowling at the Moon’, sold well a few years ago when I had a small show at Daniel Day Gallery, so I’m working on a new series.
  • My Fems in the Wild did almost as well
  • Small villages nestled in nature are next up.
  • encouragement and help.


blue fem w cat

IMG_4594         3 moons fem forest          cat meow at moon


I’m still writing.

  • Working on a review of a friends book, which I will post on the Blog as well as Amazon, B&N, GoodReads, etc.
  • Finalizing some essays to pitch to a few magazines.
  • Attending Lister Hill Library’s WriteNow program – just 2 sessions left, has helped me immensely to organize and create realtime deadlines for my writing projects.  Big thank you to Jennifer Greer for her encouragement and help.

Hope you are having a productive Monday.  Next up ‘Thankful Tuesday’.

Foodie Friday – The Perfect Easy Soothie

Food for the weekend, or a weekday for that matter, should be easy.  What could be easier than a frosty smoothie for breakfast on a hot summer morning.  I put a lot of good things into my smsmoothie 2oothie, so instead of taking out all the ingredients every time I want a one, I prepare 6 or more at a time, then I can go several days without having to go thru all the assembly.

Breakfast Smoothie premix (store in next to smallest mason jars).

  • 1 or 2 scoops favorite protein powder (follow package directions)
  • 1 Tbs golden ground flax seed
  • 1-2 Tsp ground psyllium husk
  • 2 Tbs rolled oats
  • 1 Tbs Organic cocoa powder
  • 1 scoop MSM (follow package instructions)
  • 1/8 Tsp cayenne (I like heat and it’s good for metabolism)
  • 1/8 Tsp Tumeric (because it’s good for me)

Make the Smoothie

  •  8-12 oz Liquid (I use juice, almond milk or water and sometimes I use yesterday’s coffee)
  • 8-12 oz Liquid (I use juice, almond milk or water and sometimes I use yesterday’s coffee)
  • 1 container of smoothie premix
  • Fruit if desired (I love half banana, figs or blueberries in season)
  • 1 tsp of blackstrap molasses (acquired taste – I love the stuff)
  • 3 or more ice cubes.

Blend til cubes assimilated – may have to scrape down sides. IMG_4529

This smoothie usually consumed around 7 in the morning, keeps me going til way past noon.

Happy Friday – Off to Art show and lecture this evening at Space One-Eleven.

Did You Stop and Smell the Roses?

I begin Throw Back Thor’s Day with

Dear Mnemosyne, goddess of memory, mother of the Muses,

How I wish you interfered a bit more in human affairs as you reportedly did in ancient times, and force us all to slow down and smell those roses.

I’m still scanning old photos and looking at some of them I realize:mark beret barbie

  • I might remember some names, but I’ve long ago lost touch with the people
  • I have no idea the details of what appears to have been a glorious day
  • I remember wishing in the midst of this or that holiday bustle that I had a fast-forward remote to get it over with.

How often go we go tearing through a day so intent on the destination, that we miss the journey?  I know toomany days on my morning 5-mile walk, I arrive back home and wonder how I got there.

Too few pictures of certain friends tell me we didn’t spend as much time together as we could and it’s too late now.  They’ve passed out of my life and some from this earth. Here’s Mark and Marsha.

I’m inserting into my life the Zen philosophy of ‘paying attention’, and Facebook, however irritatinmarsha 1g it is sometimes, is one of my most useful tools

It allows me to keep in touch with so many friends that might otherwise fall by the wayside, because the days are not long enough to visit and talk with everyone every day and many of them live far away.

On FaceBook we can share short messages, pictures, family events, our own or our children’s milestones, and arrange to meet-up at various shared events – all those little things that keep a friendship alive and memory fresh.

So as Mnemosyne has deserted me, Facebook, that meddlesome thing, allows me to keep in touch and share my friends lives and remember our times together a little better.


A Few Rules to Getting Your Walking Done Early.

Walk About Wednesdays – Here are 3 rules to help you get your walk or other workout done early with no excuses.

Aside from walking to Lister Hill for my WriteNow session, I’m walking in the early mornings again as I once did religiously.  There was a time when I was up every morning at 5 a.m. and out the door for a 5-mile walk before getting ready and going to work.

Somewhere around the time I had the meniscus tear in my left knee repaired (years of various sports injury), I quit.  It’s true that it takes only 3 days to break a good habit, even one I’ve had for over 25 years.  I’m living proof.  The knee was getting painful before the surgery so my walking had gotten sporadic, but after the park green at dawn gardensurgery, I just couldn’t get going again.

I pulled out a blog I wrote some years ago and decided implement the rules that kept me walking for so many years first thing in the morning.

  1. Park complete workout outfit by bed – on top of shoes stack socks, shorts, panties, bra, shirt.
  2. Start dressing while on toilet (I always go first thing, so I take my stack of clothes with me).
  3. Grab keys, phone, and small tablet with pen and stuff in pocket (these should be parked by the door)

I used to carry a camera, too, but with the iPhone takes jusst a good a picture.  I carry a small, as I’m a writer and good ideas seem to come when you’re miles from home with nothing to write on.

I’m usually out the door in 10 minutes.

Will this help you get some early morning walking done?

It’s Thankful Tuesday

It’s Thankful Tuesday.

“I’m thankful for serendipitous moments in my life, where things could’ve gone the other way.”
– Rick Springfieldto do list journal

This quote resonated loudly for me on this Thankful Tuesday, as my injured hand healed right up and I’m typing away as usual today.

I fell off a chair on an old wooden porch Friday night.  As we all shifted our chairs around to watch the fireworks (thunder on the mountain) around 9 that night, the leg of my chair caught on the old porch and I slid off breaking my fall with my right hand.  Things could have gone really wrong, but they went my way instead of the other way – a truly serendipitous moment.

  • I could have fallen down the stairs – I did not.
  • I could have broken my hand or something else – I did not.
  • I could have shattered my glass as I usually have a real glass – I chose plastic so it did not.

I was helped to my feet, the chair righted, wine glass refilled and we all watched the gorgeous fireworks and celebrated the 4th of July.  I stayed awhile and continued my long walk home via another friend’s house, and thought no more about it until Saturday morning when the hand was hurting and slightly swollen.

It was not bruised and the pain did not feel like a break.  I kept it on ice the entire day and most of the night favoring it as I prepped food and did other minor chores – you have no idea just how much the right hand little finger does in a day.  I have new respect for that digit.

Fortunately, I had an ARC (advanced reading copy) of a book I promised to review for a friend loaded on my Tablet, so the enforced tenure on the couch with one hand on ice was not total torture.  I alternated between the ice-pack and tall glass of iced wine, which helped.  Did more of the same on Sunday, but not as intense and it was obviously healing.

I slept with then hand wrapped flat in a silk scarf Saturday and Sunday nights and today the swelling is pretty much gone and I’m just shy of making a perfect fist again.

I am thankful for serendipitous moments where things that could have gone so wrong, went just right.

What are your grateful for?

What’s the First Thing You Do Monday?

I’ve dubbed Monday, Monday Map Day.  The first thing I do Mondays is map out my week of To Do’s.  This is the beginning of the list that will probably grow as the week progresses. to do list journal

  1. Pre-write and schedule Blogposts for the week. Very important as I’ve committed to blogging daily for the BlogHer July Challenge.
  2. Outline or hand draft new essay/query for my Wednesday WriteNow 2-hour session at Lister Hill Library.
  3. Finish reading/reviewing Theodora Goss’s ARC of her new book: Songs for Ophelia. Started it Saturday while icing my injured right hand.  Making notes was a challenge.
  4. Paint.  Add new layer to paintings in progress.
  5. Add hangers to finished paintings, photograph and post to Etsy.  FU with Genie and Ree for 2 of them.
  6. Research markets for essay WIPs
  7. Polish 2 WriteNow projects and submit to magazines.

Take Mom to Doc and day out on Thursday.

Moving on to Tuesday and hoping this list doesn’t get too much longer.

What’s the first thing you do on Monday?

Sabbat Sunday

Sabbat Sunday – At the most literal of definitions, we have:

  1. A day of rest, andback porch sunrise
  2. The Day of the Sun.

Latin Sabbatum (literally a day or rest, religious connotations came later), Ancient Greek σάββατον (sábbaton),
from Hebrew שַׁבָּת (shabát,), from Wicca (sabbat).

Originally ‘a day of rest’; for most religions it is a day of fasts, of don’ts and other obligations.

For others it is a day of feast and celebration of the cycles of the earth and her peoples, and that is why I prefer Sabbat.

I prefer celebration to deprivation (I always fast on Mondays).  This day of the sun awaits, and I’m off to enjoy every minute of it.

Mañana y’all

walkabout 2


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