Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reflections On A Northeastern Autumn

Now Playing -  
Ain't No Reason  by Brett Dennen

Life - 

This has been our first Autumn in a state that actually has something close to the actual definition of that season, and it's been intriguing.

Growing up in Idaho, Autumn was a very different season. Things would typically stay hot until late August, with temperatures ranging between 80 and 100 degrees during the day, and dropping to much cooler temperatures, often as low as 50 degrees at night. Then, like magic, sometime in late August, early September, things would cool off. It wasn't as dramatic as overnight, but pretty quick. You'd go from sleeping with your windows open to covering the tomatoes against freezing within the course of a few days. 

This is the closest thing I have to a photo of Pocatello, ID in Autumn. It is not a prime photo taking time.

Then everything froze. One night, instead of hitting around 40, we'd get a night of 25 degrees, the ground would be covered in frost whorls and all of the tree leaves, that had just started thinking about changing colors would be dead, hanging onto the branches with the sparest of grips. Eventually, the winds would pick up and blast those dead, brown leaves to the ground. Then, by Halloween, we'd be planning our costumes around whether or not our winter coats could fit under them.

In Maine, as expected, the foliage was outstanding. This was supposedly a bad year for "Leaf Peeping" as they call it out here, and it was gorgeous. We saw colors in every range, and on every growing plant around. Some were bright orange overnight, while others changed a branch at a time, transforming in leaps and hops. Temperatures stayed temperate and we got a lot more rain than I would have expected.
This was a photo taken from the window of the car, randomly in Maine.

They have a nice mix of things too. In addition to vivid pinks and reds, almost fluorescent yellows and rich, deep browns and oranges, the peeks of pine green added texture and depth. We loved it. We took day trips, just driving along the roads, not headed to the prime Peeping sites, where tourists flock to look at dying trees. We just headed anywhere we felt, and really enjoyed it.

Now, in the middle of November, when Pocatello is seeing snow, it's still Autumn here. It's been raining for a day or two, and the grass is still green in spots. I've worn my coat a few days and my hat a few too, but I've only seen frost a few mornings. For most of my life, I really wondered at the Thanksgiving decorations that I put up on the walls. Corn stalks, pumpkins, gourds... And while I do think it's interesting that nationwide, that's become more of an early fall decor thing, with Christmas being all there is after Nov. 1st, it makes more sense out here, where the leaves aren't already into their deep decomposing stages, the pumpkins outside haven't frozen and split and there isn't a foot of snow on the ground.

So overall, I'd have to give Maine's Autumns pretty high marks. Good on ye, Maine.

ROUS Family Updates!
Check out Neal Kristopher's blog in the next few days for a post about agents and the importance of respecting and cherishing them.

I've also posted a few new reviews,

And coming soon on Deeply Dapper - Chompy, the final photos!

And next time here, the long delayed continuation of my In-Laws vacation to Maine!

Weighty Matters - 
My Current Weight - 297
Progress Thus Far -   
Bah. I think the holidays could be a bad time for this, but I'll keep posting it. If only to force myself to think about it.

  Writing - 

This is my month of NaNoWriMo. Green means a good word day, dark red means a bad one. It's kind of funny how similar the weeks have been. Doing okay though...  I like my story a lot.

The Last Sentence - 

Its front hoof kicks feebly once, then nothing.
From - "Mr. Pale Steps Out" (WIP)

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Now Playing -  
Tango 'Till They're Sore by Tom Waits

Life - 
I bought some cozy red plaid fuzzy slippers. That is the sole highlight of an otherwise craptastic week. Here's hoping next week goes much, much better. On the bright side, it is very nice being able to walk bravely through puddles of dog drool, rather than dodging around them like a frightened rabbit. (Rabbits have a well-documented fear of dog drool puddles. )
Weighty Matters - 
  My Current Weight - 297
Progress Thus Far -  

  Writing - 

Another bright spot in my week, actually. Though I am woefully behind the goal of 23,334 words for today, I have written something nearly every day this month, and that is extremely exciting to me. I love the idea that this challenge has gotten me out of my writing funk. There have been more words pounded out on my keyboard in the last 14 days than the 14 months prior. And I'm currently writing about plague carrying, mutant horses and a snub-nosed .38, so it doesn't get much better, does it?

The Last Sentence - 

There were maggots too, wriggling around in orgies of putrescence, dropping to the ground like fat raindrops.
From - "Mr. Pale Steps Out" (WIP)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

50,000 Words In One Month!

Now Playing -
Sleep  by Meiko

Life - 

Every year they do it. Somehow. Authors worldwide spend thirty days, the month of November, writing a book for National Novel Writing Month. Fifty Thousand Words. That's right around 1,700 a day.

Which isn't too bad when you look at it from a day to day standpoint, but when you suddenly miss a day because you worked a 10 hour shift and drove 70 minutes to and from work and made dinner and by the end of the night you were just too darned tired? Yeah, then you've gotta get in 3,000 words to catch up. 

And November seems like a horrible month to do this, at least for me. I'm dealing with Christmas at home and work, and the weather outside, which means a longer commute and possibly snow shoveling... To say nothing of what a slow typist I am anyway!

But I'm gonna try it this month. Mostly because I have a great idea for a Post Apocalyptic Crime Novel, set in the 50's. And because I'm tired of working on my zombie novel for a little while. So far I haven't done too badly, I'm at just below 15,000 words. Of course, I'm supposed to be at over 18k... So keep an eye on that blue box at the top of my post, that's my real-time ticker of where I'm at.

Anyone else here writing their NaNoWriMo project this month? And how in the world do you do it??

Weighty Matters - 
  My Current Weight -  297
Progress Thus Far -   
Nothing really, again, but I'm telling myself that part of that is that I've started to work my shoulder and arms more aggressively from a muscle building aspect. 

  Writing - 

The Last Sentence - 

If that failed, he'd climb up into that big, ostentatious bed and swallow the mean end of a Remington. 
From - " Mr Pale Steps Out " (WIP)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Split Personalities

Now Playing -  
Old Cape Cod  by The Puppini Sisters

 This Is Not A Test.
After much debate and reflection, I've decided to stop doing reviews on ROUS. I started this blog as a way to keep my family and friends informed with my life, and to track my families myriad attempts to get a motel, become published authors, lose weight, pay down debt... etc etc... 

Then I started posting reviews of thing. Books, movies, CDs, games, Legos, rastaurants... anything. It took me a while to find a format that I was really happy with, but with this newest incarnation, I'm quite happy with it. It lets me get my point across, be a bit snarky and doesn't take long. I've even gotten a few advance copies to review, a sign that at least someone is taking me a bit seriously.

But I'm not a huge fan of having someone visit for my reviews and have to slog through posts about my dog's sore feet, and the same goes for the people that actually care about our adventures, but couldn't care less about the horror movie I watched the night before.

So I sat down and thought about things. I already have a ton of blogs... more than I care to admit, most of them rarely, if ever updated, and I'm starting a few new ventures that require a new way of marketing myself. So I started a couple of new blogs and will discontinue a few more, consolidating and spreading out at the same time.   (It made sense at the time. We'll see if I can keep it up.)

Without further ado, meet the ROUS/Deeply Dapper family of sites!

The mother site. The ROUS Motel will continue to be the place for my family updates, my photography and vacation stories. I'll continue to track my weight loss and writing path as candidly as possible. This will be a document of our future and past.

The official source for my artwork and sculptures. In addition to posting links and updates about my Etsy shoppe, Deeply Dapper will showcase my drawings for R3's Art Jams and any links to the weird and wacky things in the world. Eventually, it will also encompass our book and web designs for our e-books.

My official review site. I'm excited about this one. In addition to posting new reviews, I plan to go back and rework my old reviews on here in the new ROUS style and even better, I'm going to bug my friends and readers to submit their own reviews for posting on the site. I think this will allow me to continue posting reviews in a more official capacity.

Neal Kristopher

My nom de plume for writing adult novels, Neal Kristopher will eventually expand into a full .com website with access to my e-books and more. This site will focus on research and writing in a more professional, official manner. Also, it has skulls that look like lace.

Lindsay Kiernan Official Site

The only site listed here that I don't have any hand in, outside of putting together the design. This is my wife's new site, in anticipation of her soon to be released novels.

Moonstone Bay is on hold for now, but when I get back around to writing children's fiction again, I'll likely pick that up too.

So there you have it, a plethora of sites, each with a clearly defined purpose. I think this will make it easier for the casual reader to find what they want, and more for my pals to explore. Let me know what you think!