November Update

004Okay, as promised. An update.

The final battle scene is complete. I am rolling forward toward the climax of the main plot line. At this point the words flow as I feel the end is near. I can’t wait for the main character to figure out what has really been going on. I’ve known for sometime where he was heading, but the journey has been a little surprising to me.

I’m still aiming to type ‘The End’ before December 1, 2014. We shall see. My number one test reader calls me every few days to make sure my fingers continue to hit the keys. I type slowly and sometimes I get frustrated that I can’t snap my fingers and see what’s in my head, on the screen. But…it continues to move forward and that’s the key.

For a change I have not been thinking about the revisions that are to come. I’m not thinking about scenes that need more depth. The focus is on getting what’s in my head loaded to the hard drive of my laptop where it will be safe for a time.

So, progress is being made. The ‘Good’ word count grows.


Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Thoughts on Writing


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Writing in November

Nabob and his new  girlfriend!

Nabob and his new girlfriend!









It’s Halloween. Tonight at midnight, the real crazies will come out. They will be strapped to their computers and notebooks, writing as fast as they can. Motivated by that magical number 50,000, they will band together in small groups in coffee houses and restaurants for support. They have kissed they significant others goodbye, told their friends to call them in 30 days and gone into self-imposed exile from the rest of the world. November is a crazy month for writers. NaNoWriMo!

I sat down to write a few days ago and banged out what I think will be the beginning of the climax to my WIP. When I saved the file, it dawned on me how close I am to the end. Sure, there are a few spots in the story that I need to beef up. But, the light at the end of the tunnel does not appear to be a train racing back at me.

I write slow. That’s who I am. 50,000 words in 30 days is not something I want to even try. I understand my limitations and November is the worst month of the year for me to try it. A friend of mine said it’s not the word count that matters. It’s the count of GOOD words that’s important.

So, what does all this mean? I only need a portion of the magic number to finish my WIP. Even though it’s November, the muse is knocking on the door. Nabob has settled in with his new main squeeze. And, most importantly, I want to see how this thing ends. My intention is to finish my WIP by December 1. I’m not sure what the final word count will be and frankly, I don’t care. To make sure I stay on track with this and get my blog going again I will provide weekly updates. Please feel free to give me a hard time if I drop the ball.

For those of you who will disappear tonight and return in 30 days, good luck to you. I wish you well.


Posted by on October 31, 2014 in Thoughts on Writing


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Free at Last!

“Ha, ha! I’m free at last, free at last!!!”

Free at Last!!

Free at Last!!\












“Finally! That wretched creature you call the Domestic CEO released me from my plastic coffin. Stuffed in there with effigies of witches, pumpkins and candy corn, I’ve been in mass graves with fewer occupants. I thought I was your writing partner? Huh? Wasn’t that what we agreed to?”

“Uh…yes it was but, I didn’t realize she packed you away until it was too late to come find you. Besides, I knew you’d make an appearance about this time.”

“Some friend you are! Hey, you’ve been busy. The stories coming along and I like the twist…”

“Hush, Nabob! don’t give it away.”

“Okay, okay. But look at that section in the beginning with the entire cast. Now that really needs some work. What were you thinking?”

“Well, I was trying to keep the story moving forward and kind of glossed over it. I knew I’d come back and fix it later.”

“It’s time to get it done, Writer.”

“Not quite yet, Nabob. I still need to finish the last three scenes.”

“Oh yeah. Shitty first draft and all that, right?”


So, Writer, where are you at?”

“I’m in the middle of the big fight scene where Derek and Amy are …”

“Good to be back, Writer.”

“Good to have you back, Nabob.”



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MAVEN entered orbit around Mars at 10:24 p.m.EDT Sunday, Sept 21, 2014.

MAVEN during Mars Obit Insertion - MOI Image courtesy of

Artists rendering of MAVEN after Mars Obit Insertion – MOI
Image courtesy of











After launching on Nov. 18, 2013 and a 10 month trip covering 442 million miles the MAVEN Spacecraft successfully entered its initial orbit. The trajectory calculations were so accurate the third and fourth correction maneuvers were not needed. Cheers went up from the mission support at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado when confirmation was received from MAVEN.

The MAVEN Project has taken 11 years from concept to reaching orbit. during the next six weeks, MAVEN will be maneuvered into its final orbit path. The hard part is over, but now the science begins.

Sampling the atmosphere at various altitudes around Mars,scientists at the University of Colorado and other facilities, hope to obtain a better understanding as to what happened to the martian atmosphere over time. The primary mission will take one year to complete. It will also provide better understanding of the habitability of mars with future manned missions in the 2030’s.

Congratulations, goes out to the entire MAVEN Project team for getting the bird into orbit!!!

Congrats, Pat. Thanks for the belated birthday present. :-)

See previous posts on the MAVEN Project here.


Posted by on September 22, 2014 in MAVEN


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Quote of the Day 9/18/14


The quote today has its origins in ancient Persia. However, it has been used by nearly every generation since.

“This too shall pass.”

This is one that is very close to my heart as it has helped me through some rough times. No matter how difficult things get, I know that they will get better, eventually. It speaks of hope, a sustaining force.

A similar quote that has been used throughout history is, “All glory is fleeting.” So enjoy your 15 minutes of fame when you get it. For it won’t last long.

Have a great day today!! :-)


Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Other Strangeness


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Inspiring Spaces






As part of a blog hop run by Cate Russell-Cole, I was tagged by a wonderful lady named Jade Reyner, to share spaces that inspire me to write. Notice I did not say writing spaces. These are two different things for me. I posted about one of my three writing spaces back in June 2012 in a View of the Room. This is actually my home office where I do my day job one day a week and when I’m on call. It is full of inspiration and I love to be in this room even though oddly, it is not where I do most of my writing.

Reference and reading room

Reference and reading room









I have another writing room that houses most of my reference library, a comfortable chair for reading, and several paintings created by a friend who was inspired by one of my short stories. However, the spaces that inspire me to write are rarely indoors.

Inspirational View

Inspirational View









Those who follow this blog know that I spend a great deal of time at my cabin. And, if you read back through my posts, you will find numerous references to the lake, the weather, and the fauna who allow me to interact with them. I find that nature inspires me more than anything else. When I get stuck, lost, frustrated, etc., going back to nature sets things right. The change of seasons triggers different moods that translate easily to the page.

Treasure trove of inspiration.

Treasure trove of inspiration.









Another source of inspiration are the numerous antique and junk shop excursions the Domestic CEO drags me invites me to join her on. Seeing the odds and ends of eras long gone, fires my imagination. I see a vase or a chair and I wonder where they have been? Who owned them? What type of house was it? Why did the owners part with the object? You can easily see where this line of thinking takes me.

Anyway, All my teachers used to say that I liked to daydream and look out the window. That’s where my inspiration was all along.




Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Musings and Odd Thoughts


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MAVEN Update – 9/11/14

Ten days until MAVEN is placed into orbit around Mars.

Artists concept of the MAVEN Spacecraft - Courtesy of Wikipedia

Artists concept of the MAVEN Spacecraft – Courtesy of Wikipedia

On November 18th of 2013, I had the enormous pleasure to witness the launch of this space mission along side members of the project team. Our viewing site was at the base of the Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center. It was a bucket list event to say the least.

Since then MAVEN has been hurtling toward Mars at over 27,000 miles an hour. All in-flight tests to date have been successful and the control center is buzzing with anticipation of the September 21st when, at 10:23 PM MST, MAVEN will be placed into orbit around the Red Planet. The process is described in this YouTube video.

I am always amazed by the science and mathematics involved in these projects. If the numbers used to calculate the trajectory of Mars, the Earth, or Maven are off, or the length of burn to enter orbit, a multi-million dollar scientific instrument can become just so much space junk. That’s why the term ‘failure is not an option’ is so closely related to the space program.

I am proud of the team who have spent years preparing for this. And, though I will not be able to sit in the control room as MAVEN enters orbit, rest assured that I will be glued to the NASA channel on my television. You will hear me cheering as the final corrections are made. Join with me in celebrating an achievement of dedicated people seeking knowledge that will help us understand one of the mysteries of space and perhaps understand our own planet.

If you are interested in my previous posts on the MAVEN Project, they can be found here.


Posted by on September 11, 2014 in MAVEN


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