Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Piles and Piles

It was a day of dealing with piles.
There was the dish pile.
It was a happy dish pile. Yesterday we celebrated Evelyn's birthday early because her grandparents were in town.

For her birthday dinner she chose a Cheese Souffle and salad, followed by pot roast and potato gratin. Ev made her beloved souffle with some help.

The pot roast was my job, but Greta peeled the carrots and Ev peeled the pearl onions. Clementine took charge of her specialty, the gratin.

It was wonderful to cook together again, but boy did we make a mess! It was a funny menu for July, but perfect for the funny blustery, cold, foggy day.
We even lit the fire.

I did not tackle the dish pile first, though. I pulled my capuccino and escaped to the office where I confronted this:
Another happy pile. It is my novel about teenage aliens. Seriously. It is 250 pages long right now. And it isn't finished. Even though it frustrates the hell out of me, I feel happy to have written 103,884 words.

I need to fill it out here and there, figure out some plot problems, get rid of all the inconsistencies, and cut, cut, cut. My hope is to get this draft done by Halloween. Then I can start another novel on Nov. 1 for Nanowrimo.

In December I'll return to my extraterrestrials for a final draft. And maybe at the beginning of next year I can move this pile of papers from my desk into the slush piles of agents.

The final pile is a happy pile, too. Because a big pile of stinky dirt that blows into your eyes is so happy making. Well, it is if you've spent a month constructing a raised vegetable garden and it is your soil/compost/manure mix. And a huge truck dumped it on our driveway, which is always exciting.

I made a little dent in my story.

A larger dent in the dish pile.

And look at this!

We filled it.

Gridded it.

And put back the deer-proof wire. It is all set for planting.
Each girl gets 6 squares to plant in.

Here's hoping we harvest a big pile of veggies.


patricia said...

So the bigger the pile, the easier it is to tackle, eh?

You know the 103,884-pile is the one I'm especially rooting for. Finishing the first draft of a novel on teenage aliens by Halloween seems apropo. You can do it!

Happy birthday to Evelyn, and happy growing to that new raised bed!

patricia said...

That last comment should have said the 103,884-word pile...

The Stone Age Techie said...

I don't think that a novel about teenage aliens will sit in any self-respecting agent's slush-pile very long - they're going to be putting it in their 'sign me up' pile, right in the center of their desks, I predict by early February :-)
Your piles make me feel better about mine, which are oddly similar to yours (only our compost is largely from our own chickens, didn't get delivered by truck, and the boys won't venture anywhere near it)...
I like Evelyn's birthday menu very much, happy birthday to her!

Kristin said...

Except for the cheese souffle, your daughter chose a mid-western comfort meal, which implies she is both down to earth and also has a refined palette. The meal sounds delicious no matter what season it is.

The pile of papers, your novel, is really impressive. It's good that it frustrates you because it means that you care about it and that you will finish it.

How did you manage to write so much, given the age of your girls, and all the time that you spend with them? You must be very disciplined.

The compost pile is the easier to deal with compared to dishes. I like the photo of dirt flinging. There is nothing meticulous about shoveling soil--you just do it. That simple phrase applies to all piles in life.

Stefaneener said...

Oh, boy oh boy oh boy. I love your last pile and can't wait to read the second one! You just rock in so many ways.

I totally cleared the dish-and-kitchen pile today, and nearly cleaned my nemesis, the laundry pile. Happy, though, I guess, as dirty kids are busy ones. But sheesh, those socks!

I'm working on my jam pile. . .