Utter Madness

From Wednesday, March 21: My brand new brother-in-law won $100 in the lottery, so my sister (Sabrina) suggests we focus our efforts on purchasing as many as possible in an effort to retire to an island somewhere. But today isn’t my day to buy lottery tickets. Here is how my luck has gone: the repairman is coming back tomorrow (4th trip) to fix my 6 month old Kitchen Aid (for the way it’s made) refrigerator. The compressor or condenser or combobulator or something isn’t combobulating. Until this morning, only the freezer was on the fritz (intermittently). Every so often I’d go down and clean up a puddle of water and empty the ice maker, and then it would start working again. This morning, the refrigerator quit, too.

So, I hauled everything down to the old refrigerator in the basement (thank God we kept it for overflow, parties and such). I only lost what was in the freezer. Twice.

Then Sandra (my neighbor, one of my dearest friends, hereinafter referred to as my next-door nut) called, to say that Mason (our scrambled-breed dog) was running through his electric fence. We just changed the battery in the collar, so I was sure it was a break in the wire, which would have to wait until Jim got home—this I was hoping for even though I know this is a huge problem since Mason has been known to do such socially unacceptable things as tinkle on the neighbor around the block’s BMW tire (freshly washed). But no. His collar was missing—Mason’s, not the BMW guy’s. Sandra and I searched 4 acres, and no collar.

I called Jim, the man who promised to love, honor, and solve all my problems, even if he was two time zones away. He said, no problem, we have a spare in the utility closet. Great. I ventured into the giant mound of such items critical to household maintenance as a zillion batteries of undetermined age, No-sew fabric glue, and an MRE (one of those freeze-dried meals soldiers eat—don’t ask). I found the collar, and put in a new battery. Experience has taught me that these collars must be tested or they may either a) not work at all, or b) give the dog a three foot circle in which he can roam without getting zapped. I walked out to where the wire is buried, close to the edge of our yard. No beep. The collar is supposed to beep a warning, then zap. I went to Lowe’s (where we bought the system) to get a new collar, and happened to notice the ten year warranty on the package. We have only had ours for 2 years. I decided to raise a ruckus, as a new collar is sixty bucks.

The young lady at Customer Service, aka We Couldn’t Care Less, told me to call Pet Safe. I asked her, “How do I keep the dog in the fence while I’m waiting for the new collar?” “I don’t know.” She shrugged and turned her back on me. Not to assist another waiting customer, mind you, but to signify that I was dismissed. My good deed for the day is that I refrained from jumping down her twenty-something throat and stomping on her liver. Neither did I report her to the Authorities. I was way too wrapped up in my own psychotic episode to mess with her. Probably a good thing.

I appealed to the cute, nice manager guy, who made a phone call and then said he’d swap it, no problem. But I had to come back home and get the old one. Yada, yada, yada… got the new collar home, and, of course, at first, it didn’t work. Fiddled with it. Slammed it against the kitchen counter. Stomped it twice. Then, it beeped. Unfortunately, it was now in three-foot mode. I had to fiddle with the dial thingy to adjust signal, then chase down the dog who is smart enough to know he doesn’t want that collar back on. Finally, the dog is once again contained, and BMW's everywhere are safe.

Did I mention I had another flat tire?

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day for buying lottery tickets.

Beautiful Inside and Out

Friday Morning I over slept--due to studying great literature late into the night--but managed to drag my sorry tush to Myra's class (9:20). Myra, who discovered quite accidentally that she has been blogged, professed feeling pressure to perform, but delivered her usual entertaining fare. I should also mention, for the record, that, like all of the other instructors at the Taylors Jazzercise Center, Myra is--in addition to her talents with colorful language--also obnoxiously gorgeous. Inside and out. She's not like one of those blind dates that you go on where the person fixing you up tells you what a great personality the other party has (code for homely at best).

And I have to tell y'all, Myra, in addition to all her other many talents, is quite intellectual. I have learned a lot from Myra. Especially in he area of human biology (I'm sure there's a fancier name for that, but I don't have time to find it). Before taking Myra's class, for example, I was completely ignorant of the following body parts: side-butt, over-hang, and glootey-patootey. We work those parts on a regular (and painful) basis.

Something else I've learned is a completely new language. Myra is fond of Latin music. She loves to dance with a rose in her teeth. And if she doesn't understand the lyrics, she sings them in Myra-ese. I'm still working on the finer points of this modern linguistic marvel, but it seems to be a cross between Spanish and Southernese.

I'm telling y'all: there is simply no place you get more for your exercise dollar than at Taylors Jazzercise Center. Give it a try. Maybe I'll see you there. If I haven't over slept.

One Step Up and Two Steps Back

I'm off to a good start--it's Monday, and I made it to 8:15 Jazzercise!! Whoo-Hoo!! Of course, Demon Diane had the microphone this morning, and inflicted great pain and suffering on us all. I swear, she enjoys hearing us whine! I'm not joking. At one point, she even said we had to keep doing this Chinese torture move until we all whined!! The girl is sadistic. Then, while the music was changing, she says, "Okay, let's get that next hurting song on."
I'm just wondering if maybe the woman that gets up on stage is her alternate personality--you know, like Sybil. Cause before she gets that microphone, she's all,"How y'all doing, how was vacation," and all that. But put her on the stage and give her a microphone and let the agony begin.
But, as Myra would say, I'm sure it's good for me...
Eating was a mixed bag today. I started off all right, with a low-fat blueberry muffin and a Starbucks non-fat mocha (no Mega Moo Mocha Moo Latte--sob!). But the for lunch I had leftovers--it's sinful to waste food. Sweet Onion Risotto with Chicken Cacciatore. Yum. I love Risotto. It's the ultimate starch. So creamy and rich...I ate it for dinner, too. And then I had a cupcake. It was here, okay? As I have often maintained, I have a complete lack of self-discipline.
Writing went well today. I got a lot of polishing done on the first three chapters of LCB, and worked on chapter four. It's coming. I feel good about it...or is that the sugar high?

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to a New Church

I am by nature a lazy person. Not lazy like I lie in bed all day and watch soap operas, but lazy like the day God handed out self-discipline, I was out sick. Which, you may recall, is why I needed this accountability blog. So far, it is helping keep me more focused (and painfully aware of my lack of self-discipline), but I still have quite a ways to go.
I have given a lot of thought to changing churches, have gone "church shopping." Christ Episcopal Church, where we're members is 30 minutes away, and for a lazy person, this can at times be an impediment to getting to church as often as I'd like, and causes us to speed down Wade Hampton Boulevard on Sunday mornings. Also, it's easy to get lost in a church of 4,000 members.
But we went yesterday, and I was reminded of why I love that church so much. I know that God is in every church--well, I guess there may be some exceptions, but that's something He'll handle, not for me to worry about--but in Christ Church, I feel Him there every time I walk in the door. I guess it's a personal thing for everybody, and when you find it, you shouldn't mess with it, even if you have to drive 30 minutes. Another thing I really love about Christ Church is our rector. You can look at Bob Dannals' face and know that he is a man of God. There's this glow about him, I don't know how else to explain it. But I believe that he is a trusted servant of the Living God, and I trust him to tell me the truth.
And the people? You may believe that because there are a lot of well-known (and some wealthy) members at Christ Church that people there are cold, unapproachable. You'd be very wrong. I have met some of the most open, friendly, Godly people in that parish that I've ever known. Certainly, not all of them are well-to-do, or names you'd recognize from The Greenville News--most aren't. But trust me when I tell you that Christ Episcopal Church is busy doing the Lord's work.
So, I'll be making that drive down Wade Hampton. I'll try to leave a little earlier so I don't get a speeding ticket on the way to church.
God's Peace.

It Hurts So Good

I made it to 8:15 Jazzercise today. Whoo-hoo!! I'm back on the morning schedule. For now. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:15 is Diane. Diane is a great instructor, even if she is one of the infuriatingly thin ones. She really makes me mad because she's thin and tanned, and she's got this flat little stomach that looks like a board. You know the type: she looks cute, not at all trashy, in those little exercise tops that show just a touch of stomach. I just makes you want to smack her. But we love her, so we don't.
Also, I'm afraid that might be dangerous. Not only is Diane very fit, but she wins the award for most songs with punching and kicking in them. And the face she makes when she punches and kicks? That girl looks mean, I'm telling you what. And this morning? She was torturing us with some sadistic leg routine, and some poor soul said, "this hurts!" Did she have any sympathy at all? No indeedy. Do you know what she said? She said, "It's supposed to hurt." (!!) And then, because it's St. Patrick's day, and several people weren't wearing green, she asked if they had been pinched. Somebody said yes, and she said, "Good!" I'm telling you, she's got a mean streak--don't make her mad.
Okay, it's back to working on the novel...blog you later!

The Victim of a Vast Fat-Wing Conspiracy

This morning, when the alarm went of at 5am, I convinced myself that I would go to the 8:15 class and hit the snooze button. As 8:00 drew near, I decided that, since I just finished yesterday's class a mere 13 hours before, I should wait and go to the 6pm class, and finish out the week with evening classes. I could start next week, I reasoned, with morning classes.
That would have worked out just fine, if it were not for the intervention of the Vast Fat-Wing Conspiracy (VFWC). The VFWC sent gremlins to cause the latch on my fuel tank to freeze up. When I got to the gas pump, I could not put gas in my car. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm bad about running my car way past empty to the fumes, which is exactly what I had done right before the problem with the fuel latch. So, I prayed all the way home and commenced to looking for the keys to Jim's Durango. Jim is in Dallas on business, and of course I could not find my keys to the Durango, so I had to call him (at his client's office) and ask him where his keys were. Now, it is not my fault that I had to do this. If he had left his keys anyplace sensible, I would have found them right off. But they were in an otherwise completely empty chest of drawers in the office. (???) So, with keys in hand, I went to get gas for the Durango, which, according to the electronic display that tells you how many more miles you can drive until you are sitting by the side of the road, had 49 miles to empty. I could get gas later, I thought. I had an appointment at the psychologist office (yes, I know I'm leaving myself wide open here, but trust me, it is not me that's crazy--it's my imaginary friend), which was only 3 miles away. Now, math is not my strong point, but I figured that 3 + 3 had to be less than 49. Wrong. Well 3+3 must now equal 47, because when I got home, I had only 2 miles to go until empty. I decided to let Jim worry about that one when he gets home and fiddled with the latch on my car until I finally got it open.
By this time, I was running late for the 6pm class, but maybe had enough time to get a little gas and get there half-way through the opener. I go back to Ingles, and am pumping gas into my car when this nice man says, "Excuse me, ma'am? I was just heading into the grocery store, and I noticed that your right front tire is completely flat." I looked where he was pointing, and bless Pat if the thing wasn't flat as a pancake. Obviously, the VFWC had sent another gremlin to let the air out if my tire. The nice man said, "I think there's an air compressor behind the booth." He pointed at this contraption with hoses hanging out of it like tentacles. Then he smiled and went into the grocery store. Now, I am convinced that if I were 23 and skinny, he would have put the air in for me. However, since I am 24 (the official Jazzercise age) and VOLUPTUOUS, I had to fend for myself. I finished pumping gas--something which, by the way, I truly believe that married women ought not ever have to do, but if you run out while your husband's in Dallas you do what you have to do. Then I drove over to the giant metal octopus. It wanted quarters. Of course, I had no quarters. I went to get change and fed it. It started making this heinous racket and I jumped back about three feet. I was afraid to get close to it. I worked up my nerve, and approached it politely. It didn't bite when I picked up the end of the hose--which actually turned out to be only one very long hose. After closely examining the flat tire, I figured out I had to twist off the little cap thingy on the little thing that sticks up. I did that. Then, I put the end of the hose on the little thing that sticks up. I waited, and waited, and the machine was making all that racket, but my tire didn't seem to be taking on air. I stared at it more closely, thinking maybe it just took a while to get enough air in there. After a minute or two, I happened to glance down at the handle, and I saw what I had missed before. A gun-like thingy that you had to press to get the air to come out. Once I pressed it, the tire pumped right up. But then I wondered, how much air do I need? I put air in till it looked right, then let go of the handle. A little stick popped out that had a measuring stick on it, in increments of 10. It was at 20. I had no idea if this was enough, but thought, what the heck, there's time left on my quarter, I'll put in some more. So I did. When the little measuring stick got to 30 I quit. Astoundingly, (according to Jim) this is close enough to right that I didn't hurt anything.
Next there was the issue of the black grease and muck that the VFWC had smeared all over me when I wasn't looking. By this time, it was 6:15, and I decided that the best course of action was to head on over to Panera Bread to wash up and get some dinner.
On a more successful note, I did get a lot of writing done yesterday. I've sent out the first 3 chapters of LCB to several friends from my writer's group and my sister, who were generous with their time and agreed to to critique and copyedit. When I get them back, I'll polish and send them out. Meanwhile, I'm working my way through the rest of the book, converting it to first person. I like it much better this way.
So tomorrow, I'm going to make it to Jazzercise at 8:15, and next week, I'm going to try really, really hard to get there at 5:45. Y'all hold me to that, okay?

These Things Ain't All They're Cracked Up To Be

Okay, not all Jazzercise instructors are infuriatingly thin, but most are. Casey is, bless her heart. She is obnoxiously gorgeous, but we all love her anyway. But, like most women so thin they have to buy their clothes in the children's department, she has plenty of growing room in her A cups. She just got a new haircut and some highlights, (which made her even more nauseatingly beautiful) and maybe because of the new look--or maybe because the poor woman is having a reaction to some medication that effects her eyesight--someone in class tonight told her she looked voluptuous. Because Casey has the microphone, and was proud of her compliment, she made the mistake of sharing it with thirty women. Tsk, Tsk. When you're that pretty, other women will take a shot when they have it. My eyebrows must have shot up to my hairline in mid-chanse, because she promptly told me I could lower them. She has the microphone. In my house--in my whole extended family, actually--voluptuous is a code word for pleasantly plump. When you are chubby and the man in your life wants to compliment you on how you look, he tells you you look voluptuous. It's a good thing there's no margin for confusion in Casey's case.
Anyway, last song she had us doing push-ups. Ahem. When you carry as much weight on your chest as I do, push-ups are simply not logistically possible. Really, they're not. So I do the modified version. But my point is this: these things are not all they're cracked up to be. No matter what your husband says, if you are mammary-challenged, thank your lucky stars. Trust me. As a matter of fact, I suspect that all that weight on my chest is the source of my breathing problems. Think about it. My lungs have to lift forty pounds just to get a get a little oxygen. And they get in the way. I can't tell you how many times I've dropped food on them. And you can't buy an exercise bra to lock these things down, I don't care what the ads say. Large ta-tas are just not practical, so be thankful if you are not voluptuous.
One of Casey's favorite wisecracks is, "be careful what you say to the woman with the microphone." I have another bit of wisdom for her: Be careful what you say to the woman with a blog.

The Pitfalls of Dancing Before the Chickens Are Up

Woo-Hoo! I made it to 5:45 Jazzercise. Casey (Jazzercise instructor extraordinairre) graciously offered to call and roust me from my slumber due to my unfortunate tendency to hit the snooze button. What I found out, is that the anticipation of a phone call will keep me awake just as good as the actual call. As I move slowly before daylight--a natural biological reaction to being up at unnatural hours--I have to get up at 5 in order to be out the door at 5:30. I assumed that Casey would have to get up even earlier because she has to get their early and she lives farther away. I was wrong. As she informed me when she called at 5:20, she gets up at 10 after and is in the car by 20 after. Add this to the long list of her amazing feats.
You might be surprised to hear me say this, but there are a whole lot of positive things about 5:45 Jazzercise. The biggest thing is Casey. There is a very short list of people I will get up at 5am for. She is on it. Casey makes me forget I'm exercising. She's part stand-up comedienne, part aerobics instructor. Also, I like her music choices: she almost always punts in some funk. Casey has a special place in my heart because she was my first Jazzercise instructor, and saw me through a 40 lb. weight loss. (I haven't gained all of it back. I wouldn't have gained any of it back if she hadn't gone missing on me, but that's another story.) Anyway, she encouraged, cajoled and browbeat me out of 40 lbs, and became my friend in the process. Also in the positive column, there are some great people who show up at 5:45. Connie, who I met in faux-Greer Jazzercise several years ago. Connie always adds a lot to a Jazzercise class. Why, just this morning, she had the brilliant idea that we should shoot all the skinny people. Unfortunately, as satisfying as that might initially be, it would leave us woefully short of Jazzercise instructors. I met my new best friend for life, Deanna, this morning. Deanna is skinny, and she is a fellow Mocha Moolatte fan (although she gets the regular, not the Mega Moo). Deanna gives me hope. One day, when I am skinny, I can drink Mocha Moo Lattes with impunity. Also, fellow blogger Vondra is in the 5:45 class. Her blog (30minutesofwonderful) is inspirational. Check it out!
However, although there are all the wonderful things I've been going on about, there are pitfalls to Jazzercise at 5:45. For one thing, I've been starving (and eating like a horse) all day. Also, I was yawning at 7pm, and ready for bed by 8, which is just not practical.
Maybe next week I can get my body clock reset. But, tomorrow is Friday, and we're going to Charleston! See y'all on Monday!!

Keep Those Headlights Up

Every Jazzercise instructor has their own stage personality, which is usually a revved up version of their regular personality. I (like probably every other Jazzerciser) like different things about each of them. Every Jazzercise instructor at the Taylors center (the best Jazzercise center ever) is fabulous, of course, but they are each unique. My favorite thing about Myra, whose class I took this morning, is her colorful Jazzer-talk. I don't mean colorful in a vulgar way, not at all. Myra is a Christian woman, and not prone to vulgarity. But her brand of Jazzer-talk is entertaining, and helps keep our minds off the pain. Keep in mind, the following Jazzer-sayings are delivered in a room full of women. (Despite what I told Jim when I tried to get him to go, I've never seen a man at the Taylors center except on Valentines Day when they have a special sweethearts class. Men were few but regular at the center I used to go to in faux-Greer.) Anyway, here are my favorites of Myra's Jazzer-sayings: 1) Keep those headlights up now. This one, obviously, helps us remember not to slouch. 2) I'm not bitter. This one usually is pulled out when someone is going on vacation--which requires the instructor's permission, so that we can a) live through the traveler, and, b) talk about her while she's gone (only in an envious way). Myra's last vacation was to Dollywood, and I think she said that was five years ago. Bless her heart, she's dedicated to her vocation--and her children. 3) Hold that pose. Myra is also dedicated to flair. 4) Life's too short--shimmy. This is my favorite, and, I think, good general advice.
So, I made it to Jazzercise this morning. Yeah! And, I wrote for 6 hours, give or take. No rejections in the mail, so, all in all, it was a good day. And, for the record, I did not have a Mega Moo Mocha Moolatte last night, although I was sorely tempted!


Today I worked on chapter two of Lowcountry Boil. I decided to rewrite it in first person, but it's not from my protagonist's point of view. It's from her brother's. I worked on it for an hour or so, changed my mind and recopied the old version, changed my mind back and worked on it a little more, tossed it a second time...this went on all day. When this kind of indecision abducts me, I feel like I'm drowning in quicksand. I finally finished the chapter in first person, but I'm just as likely as not to toss it out again tomorrow. I feel like I accomplished less today than I did yesterday (nothing).
On another happy note, I got two short story rejections from a literary magazine today. Oddly, that did not depress me. I used to go into a decline every time I got a form rejection, but I've been inoculated. A growing stack of rejections will do that. It's just another sheet in the folder. The law of averages dictates that sooner or later, somebody somewhere will publish me if I am relentless enough.
Jazzercise didn't happen today, but it's not my fault. I couldn't sleep last night, worrying about getting up at 5 to make the 5:45 class, so naturally I over slept. I decided to hit the computer early (to make up for yesterday) and go to the 6:00 pm class. I had good intentions. Circumstances too mundane to commit to the written word conspired against me, and, alas, I missed the 6:00 pm class too. But, I made it through the day without the aide and comfort of a Mega Moo Mocha Moolatte. Now that depresses me. Hey, Dairy Queen is still open...

You Don't Have to Call Me Darlin'

Today was one of those days you don't get a darn thing done that you wanted to, but a big pile of icky things you've been putting off shrinks a little. The three icky things I did today--and the reason I didn't write a word or go to Jazzercise--were: 1) I took my kingsize comforter--the one that won't fit in my washing machine--to the laundry mat. Amazingly, this was the least icky thing on the list. 2) I dug out from under the pile of mail and other debris on my desk, filing or tossing everything, and 3) I went to the doctor--the real doctor, not the dermatologist.
Remember last week when I was having trouble breathing? Well, Jim made me make a doctor's appointment. When you tell the doctor that you feel like you can't get enough air in your lungs, she is going to run some fun tests. The chest xray wasn't bad, if you leave out the fact that, while she's sure it's nothing, there's a spot on my right lung and it's my body, so I have a right to know, and she doesn't want me to come back and say, "Well, you told me it was nothing," if it turns out to be something, but she's sure it's not. So now, instead of a week of blissful ignorance, after which there would have been a remote possibility I might be miffed at her, I get to spend a week with my overactive imagination running hog wild with all kinds of horrible scenarios just so she won't look bad in the unlikely event that it is actually something. I just think this is poor manners.
But the really fun test was the EKG. It was perfectly normal, but the precious little technician who performed the test kept calling me darlin' and sweetie and sugar the whole time she was sticking those little patches all over me. There is something undignified about lying with your bra pulled down around your waist and having a stranger lean over the top of you to attach wires to your bare chest, all the while speaking in soothing tones and calling you darlin'. I know she meant well.
Anyway, it's probably just my allergies, which I have three brand new prescriptions for, and an appointment to go back in two weeks, after I have one more test. Meanwhile, I have a lot of catching up to do tomorrow. I've got to get the first three chapters of Lowcountry Boil off to a critique/contest for a conference I'm going to in May. The deadline is April 1. And, I have to get myself to Jazzercise in the morning. Maybe if I go to the 5:45 class, I can stop by and get a Mega Moo Mocha Moolatte on the way home for breakfast.

Jogging Along With Jim

Now, y'all know I don't Jazzercise on Saturdays. We have a rule in our house that, as far as it's possible, we'll spend Saturdays together. And, even though I have assured him that other red blooded American men--other husbands who have a heart-felt desire to share things with their wives--do occasionally Jazzercise, he balks like a mule. So we walk. Sometimes in the park, sometimes around the neighborhood, or, like this morning, along the sidewalks in downtown Greer. Walking with Jim is problematic for me because his legs are eleven feet long. I try to walk at my own pace, but he gets cranky because he's half a mile ahead and can't talk to me. He commences to coach me. I do not find this particularly helpful. His coaching goes something like this: "What are you doing back there? I thought you wanted to exercise, not stroll around and window shop. You're not getting your heart rate up." Then he'll grab my arm and pull me down the street. In order to keep from stumbling, I retrieve my arm and jog alongside him while he walks. I don't like to jog. I find that it makes me sweat, which I do not care for. Not only that, it causes various parts of my anatomy to bounce uncomfortably. I am of the opinion that this bouncing can cause said parts to sag. Jogging makes me cranky, so I don't do it for very long. I slow down to a fast walk, fall behind, and the whole thing starts all over with the coaching. This morning, in an entertaining variation, he suggested I Jazzercise down the street--even sang a few bars of "Can't Touch This" for me. Because neither of us is interested in fighting, we keep the complaining at the good-natured ribbing level. But I know a few couples that would wind up sleeping in separate rooms for a night or two after that kind of workout. I don't know about y'all, but I think marriage requires a sense of humor. Now that I think about it, that really ought to be somewhere in the vows. "I promise to love, honor, obey and laugh with." I think I'll put that in the suggestion box!

Wow, Where Did That Week Go?

It's Friday already again. I feel like somebody stole a week from me. I didn't get everything done that I needed to...I want an extension!! I made it to Jazzercise three times this week and did not pass out a single time, although I thought I had for a minute in Wendy's class yesterday. Why is it that when an instructor is trying to loose weight, (Wendy had a baby a while back) we all suffer for it? That girl was in turbo drive. She worked us like marine recruits. She sure looks good, though. I asked her what she's been doing, and she told me the name of some program she's doing that's like Weight Watchers, but with a Bible study. Now, I don't know about y'all, but I think there's something basically wrong about getting weighed at church. I'm already confessing my sins, putting me up on the scales to document them is just going to send me into some sort of traumatic episode that will no doubt lead to stress eating. I think I'm just going to pray before I get on the scales at home, and hope for the best.
I had two writer's group meeting this week. Monday night was the Christian Writer's Group. We had a small group, but a lot of good discussion. I took the second scene in the new novel I'm working on. I can't talk about that one yet. Something in my circuitry gets fouled up when I talk about something before I write it. It's like all the life goes out of it. Last night was our first Thursday meeting of the SCWW (South Carolina Writers Workshop) Greenville chapter. There were sixteen people there, and ten readers, which is a lot. I read the latest version of the first chapter of my novel, Lowcountry Boil. It went pretty well, I think. I don't know what I'd do without all those extra sets of eyes. It's amazing to me how many times I can read the same sentence and not realize I've left out a word. Overall, it was a good week for writing. There were a couple of days I didn't get my four hours in, but there were also a couple that I wrote for seven or eight. The blogging thing is off to a slower start than I'd hoped. I think for the accountability thing to work, I've got to do it more than once a week!! In the immortal words of Scarlett, tomorrow is another day!!