Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ace of Cakes has nothing on me!!!

Okay, let me just give you a minute to absorb the awesomeness...

Good? Heck yeah, it's good! So good, in fact, that even though it's 10:30 on Sunday night, the day before Libby's party, and I JUST finished the Daisy Duck cake (and I'm still wearing my freakin' apron!), I had to post the picture. And oddly, in the picture, it looks a bit like a mylar balloon... but it's not! It's a cake. A delicious cake, coated in pure awesomeness. Or at least I hope it's delicious.

I can't wait for her to see it! I'm tempted to wake her up right now just so she can look at it. Even though 2 days ago she DID say, 'You know, Mommy, I think I'd like a Tinkerbell cake for my birthday!' After my head was finished imploding, I talked her out of it. I showed her the cups and plates and napkins and tablecloths I had bought, and the 'Pin the Tail on Daisy' game I had made, and we were TOTALLY back on the Daisy bandwagon. (thank God!) And even though Phil said she looked a little like Daisy's slutty, drugged out cousin (Ditzy Duck, I presume?), I still love her. (Dammit, Phil!) That's right, I said it. I am in love with this cake.

So, that's it... I just wanted to share with you all my first foray into the world of fondant. It's a tricky little medium, but I think my first attempt turned out just ducky!'s late and I'm tired... ;)

Sarah, whaddya think? Definitely not a CakeWreck!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I did it...

Look over there to see my awesome little badge. ;)

More later...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving...

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

So many things for which to be thankful... my wonderful husband, my awesome kids, my home (although it's not so clean right now), my family, and my amazing friends... and right now, I'm thankful that November is almost done. ;-) ...Current word count: 46,074 words

I love all of you- and I'm very thankful that you're a part of my life.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Getting closer...

Current word count: 41,785 words


(those are big smiles! yep, definitely smiling big... I'm in the homestretch now.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh boy... 'you're-in' trouble!!

Today was a day I was longing for diapers. Doesn’t happen very often, but when Libby and I walked out of Target today and finally got back to the van, she decided she needed to 'go potty right now, Mommy!!’ Oh man, what I wouldn’t have given for a Pamper... or a Pull-up...or heck, even a patch of grass.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve looked at a calendar lately, but Christmas is just a month away (I know, makes me a little light-headed just to say it), and we were aaaallll the way at the end of the Target parking lot. Evidently other people have decided to knock out some of that pesky Christmas shopping, and weren’t just there for a nail buffer and chocolate. We were parked so far away, we were practically OUT of the parking lot, at that point (I think the actual latitude and longitude were ‘BFE’).

“Mommy, Mommy, I have to go NOW!” Of course, she couldn’t have gone when we were in the Target bathroom, which was WHILE WE WERE IN THE STORE JUST FIVE MINUTES AGO. I even asked, as all good mommies usually remember to do, “Do you need to go potty?” (yet another word that has sadly become a routine part of my vocabulary… i.e. ‘Phil, could you stop at the next rest area? I need to go potty.’ Seriously…) Of course she didn't need to use the bathroom, but decided that she DID need to wash her hands. For approximately 6 to 7 minutes.

Nope, she needs to go NOW, when the store is so far away, all I can make out when I look at it is that little red and white target on the side of the building. Egad! So, I quickly get her out of her carseat, and grab her hand to start the long trek back into the store. Well that won’t do… “Mommy I have to go NOW!! I’m gonna pee-pee in my pants!” I ask you…what’s a mommy to do?!

Well, I don’t know about you, but I resigned myself to standing next to my van, holding my child by the arms, so she could squat to pee in the parking lot. (Okay now, no comments from my college pals about, ‘like mother, like daughter’, mmmm-kay?! No one would believe that anyway… ahem ;-)

I kept looking around, whispering frantically, ‘Hurry up!’, as if I expected someone to come along and say… say what? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe something along the lines of… ‘Omigod! This lady’s letting her kid urinate in the parking lot! Security! Call Child Protective Services!

No, today was not my most shining ‘motherhood moment’.

Makes me think… maybe I was little premature in taking the little potty out of the back of the van. Makes me think… maybe I need to be more insistent when we’re in the bathroom, that she needs to at least try to go.

Makes me think… I’m DEFINITELY throwing out these flip-flops.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Give me a U-P-D-A-T-E! (Shaking pompoms...)

Hard to believe, my friends, but this is the last week of the crazy 'write a novel in one month' journey I've been taking. A week from today, I will hopefully be getting my numbers verified on the nanowrimo website, at which point, I will be officially declared a 'winner'. Okay, no, you don't actually win anything, except for bragging rights.

I'll be able to say that I wrote a novel in a month. And trust me, I plan to say that alot. ;-) Plus, if I decide to re-visit the madness next November, I'll have a neat little badge next to my name on the website.

My current word count is... drum roll, please... 38,525 words. I'm on track to get to 50,000 by Saturday, which will leave Sunday for me to get ready for Libby's birthday party and making the Daisy Duck cake that she wants. How does that saying go? Is it 'no rest for the weary?' or 'no rest for the wicked?' Either way... there's no rest.

My novel will NOT be finished at 50,000 words, I'm almost certain, as I appear to be especially 'wordy'...which of course, you all knew. But I will attempt to write through to the conclusion of the story, and I can just go back and fill in later. That is the suggestion on the website, and I think its a valid one. What do I know? This is my first novel, and they've been doing this for awhile. At this point, I'll take all the suggestions I can get. ;-)

My reading team is doing a great job of keeping me motivated, and the e-mails saying, "Next chapter, please!!" give me hope that I'm weaving together a story for someone other than myself.

This is really a lot harder than I thought it would be, which I guess is why so many people kick off the month with great intentions, but so few actually finish. 1700 words a day doesn't sound that difficult when you say it out loud, but when you consider that it's 1700 fresh, brand new words that I have to pull out of my head everyday, forming them into dialogue, description, and plot development, it's a bigger challenge than I had initially thought.

But I will finish. And I will continue to love it. And I think I might have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. ;-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Flub with the Sub

Current Wordcount: 33,424

My phone rang this morning at around 8:15. The caller ID listed the kids’ school, and as always when this happens, I began to wonder who has a fever, or who threw up, and I picture my day starting to re-arrange itself and whatever plans have been made, to take care of a sick kiddo. And you know as well as I do that those plans have now been altered to include a few extra loads of laundry if the culprit is a stomach bug. In my head, I begin to plan a quick trip to HEB to pick up an extra bottle of kids’ Motrin, and 7-Up… all this before I even pick up the phone. Phil always says I assume the worst… I say I’m a realist.

So, when I hear my 1st grade son’s voice, “Hi Mommy,” I immediately panic, and say “What’s wrong?!” Usually when one of the kids is sick, it’s our sweet little school nurse with the apologetic voice who is calling.

“Sweetie, what’s wrong? Why are you calling?”


For some reason, I start to imagine that he is hiding somewhere in the school, in an empty classroom or closet, and just decided to give me a quick buzz to let me know that even though the principal, his teacher, and half the fire department are ransacking the school searching for him, that he’s okay and just wanted to say ‘Hi!’

“Honey, where are you? What's wrong?!! Are you sick?” As it turns out, nobody was sick. Nobody was hiding. Nobody was doing anything…
...other than having to call Mommy to tell me that he had to sign the ‘Behavior Book’ when he had a substitute for his class. Not once, but twice. Keep in mind that if we had one of these books at home, this is the child that would have to sign it everyday… heck, we’d probably have to just attach it to his belt loop, so he didn’t miss a step when he signed it, yet again. But he very rarely misbehaves in school. In his teacher’s words, he’s very ‘happy-go-lucky’… who knew?!

So, I will absolutely take this seriously, and he will receive consequences, but I also have to admit that part of me is thinking… “It’s a substitute teacher, Staci. Everybody misbehaves a little for the sub.” (Okay, well maybe not Josie. SHE’S the kid that reports back to the teacher when she gets back, and has the list of offenders written on a piece of notebook paper in her desk... and the list is alphabetized.)

I just always kind of had that expectation back in the olden days when I was a teacher. Kids aren't always on their best behavior for substitute teachers. And the longer the sub is there, the more likely kids are to misbehave. And evidently Day #3 with the substitute just put it over the top for my kid. I guess what I'm saying is that I've decided to just take it all with a grain of salt. And I think his teacher feels the same way, but still felt obligated to have all the ‘guilty parties’ call their parents (oh yes, she assured me that he was definitely not alone in his antics). And I am very glad she had him call and take responsibility for his actions.

So now the question…what is a fitting punishment for throwing food on the floor of the cafeteria? Losing a toy? Being grounded? I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I think I’ve come to a workable solution that will help him learn his lesson.

He will be mopping our kitchen floor tonight. Sounds fair, right? It will hopefully remind him that someone has to clean up the cafeteria, and that throwing food on the floor is not only wasteful, but makes someone else’s job harder.

And maybe if I play my cards right, he’ll have to sign the Behavior Book next week, too. ;-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time...

Just about 400 words from 30,000. I am soooooo tired right now, I seriously could just fall asleep sitting at the computlkj;dszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, November 17, 2008

Never mind...

Disregard the last blog...


Discovered her asleep at naptime with LuLu... thumb in the mouth. She'd found her in the playroom, I guess, when she was finished looking at books and ready to actually go to sleep at naptime. My heart's a little happy. What can I say? She's my baby.

Libby-Lu and LuLu

Today is one for the history books. Okay, maybe just for the Linson scrapbook, but I am honestly sitting at this computer right now, completely stunned.

Many of you may have met my fourth ‘child’, LuLu. If you have not had the privilege, let me tell you a little about LuLu. She is a little stuffed lamb blankie/ lovey (you know the ones that are half blanket/ half animal?! Sounds creepy, but she’s oh-so-cute) that used to be soft and snow-white, with the sweetest little button eyes, and with Libby’s name embroidered on the front. A gift from the Coxes when Libby was first born, LuLu has pretty much been Libby’s constant companion.

LuLu has been well-loved, been dragged through the dirt, been through countless wash cycles, and been forgotten in a cart at HEB, at the playscape at McDonald’s, and various other places. But we always manage to locate LuLu because honestly, Libby has never been able to go to sleep without her. We’ve always said that if she would just give up LuLu, she’d probably give up the thumb-sucking, too, because they seem to go hand in hand.

In the last year or so, we’ve managed to keep LuLu in Libby’s room, to minimize the episodes of misplacing her (LuLu, not Libby!) Last year, though, when it was time for Libby to go to preschool, each day, she would have to put her best pal in the dryer to wait for her until she got home. Don’t ask me about the logic of a preschooler. So even though we can get through the day now without taking LuLu everywhere, she has always been right at Libby’s side in bed.

Until naptime, today.

Libby: “Mommy, you need to wash LuLu. Put her in the washing machine.”

Me: “Okay, don’t you want me to wait until after you have your quiet time?” (note: LuLu was not really dirty, she is just covered in fuzz, and pilled up like a sweater. I have to shave her regularly… yep, that’s a weird sight.)

Libby: “No, wash her and I will get her after I wake up.”

Me (in shock): “Um, okay…”

I closed the door, and waited for a couple of minutes for her to change her mind.

Nope. Nothing. I checked on her about ten minutes ago, and she is laying on her bed, looking at an Eloise book, snuggling with her Daisy Duck that she got in Disneyworld. And maybe it just boils down to the fact that she’s planned on not napping today, so she doesn’t need her sleepin’ buddy, but regardless, it’s a big day. And more than a little bittersweet.

Silly, I know...but if you’re a mommy, you'll understand why right now I’m using LuLu to wipe my tears.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Over the halfway mark...

Yay! Yay! Yay! I'm over the halfway point, both in words and days. Not yet into the 'home stretch', but getting there.

My current count is: 26,589 words. I SOOO TOTALLY ROCK! I am kickin' ass and takin' names...

Okay, sorry 'bout that. Just wanted to get that out of my system because I know it's gonna be a busy week, and it will be a challenge to keep up with my daily word count. It might be my last chance to be a shameless self-promoter (um, or 'braggart', if you prefer.)

Have a fab Monday, my friends.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wintry Weather?

Current Word Count: 24,595 words

This morning I am sitting at the computer wrapped in my robe, and wearing fuzzy slippers. Why? Because that’s what all the hot suburban moms are sporting these days (yeah riiight!) And because baby, it’s COOOOOOOLD outside! We woke up this morning with the temperature in the low 40’s, and I have to say, it’s about damn time. I am ready for a little bit cooler weather… ready for jeans and long sleeve shirts… ready for chili in the crockpot…ready to watch t.v. snuggled under a blanket on the couch with my hubby (and usually all 3 kids...sigh!). Still not ready for the holidays, but that’s a whole other blog.

Winter in Central Texas is just my speed. Not crazy cold, and the few times it does actually get crazy cold or ices or (oh my God!) actually snows, most of us can pinpoint the exact date. “Oh yeah, remember the ice storm of ’93?!… we were housebound for two days!” Having been born and raised in Central Texas (and yes, we DO capitalize the ‘C’, thank you very much!), these are the kinds of winters I grew up with, so I was in no way prepared for our move to Colorado in the winter of 1998.

The day after Phil and I moved into our (3rd floor!) apartment in Denver, it snowed. I was almost in a panic…we were unpacking, were knee-deep in moving boxes, and we still had not had a chance to shop for groceries. I just knew we would starve before the snow could melt and we would get out.

My darling husband ,who spent his formative years in Indiana, KNOWS what real winter looks like. He still tells stories about walking to school in the snow. Uphill. Both ways. ;-) He just looked at me in disbelief, and said, “Stace, people actually DRIVE in the snow here.” Well, THEY might, but I sure didn’t, and it took me a couple of years to feel comfortable driving while it was snowing. It was after one particularly disastrous commute during a snowstorm that I pulled over to the side of the road, sobbing and practically hyperventilating because my windows kept fogging up and I couldn’t see. In my panic attack, I’d forgotten about that nifty little ‘Defrost’ button on my dashboard (hey! It’s a lot of pressure driving in the snow!).

As it turns out, that first day it only snowed about 2 inches, but I remember that despite Phil’s reassurances, I still felt completely like a fish out of water. Or more like a homesick Texas girl who wondered what in the heck she’d gotten herself into.

I did finally get used to winter in Colorado and actually began to love those early season snow storms. But even after six years of living there, there were times when I would wake up, see the snow coming down and coating our yard in a blanket of white, and I still could not shake the feeling that it would be a good idea for everybody to just stay home in their robe and fuzzy slippers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Counting words... and counting... and counting...

Current Word Count: 18,345 words....... whew!

That officially means that I am about 37% of the way toward my goal of 50,000 words. Yep. Had to get the calculator out for that one. (I think that's right... math has never been my strongest subject! Correct me if I'm wrong, oh 'Great Learned Mathematicians'.)

Not sure if the book will actually be finished at 50,000 words, but the guidelines didn't say it had to be finished, just that it should be at least 50,000 words by midnight on November 30th. And then I can take my sweet time finishing it, I guess.

We'll have to play it by ear. My characters, much like willful children, keep saying and doing things I don't quite expect, and the story takes me off in a direction I had not anticipated.

Have I mentioned that I'm loving this? :-)

p.s. Several of you have asked me how I go about counting my words. It's pretty tedious and time consuming, and occasionally I'll lose my place and have to start over. That sucks. You know I'm kidding, right?!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Birthday Baloney

Current Word Count: 16642 words

Libby has hit on the perfect way to drive her brother and sister crazy. I mean, besides her well honed method of going into their rooms while they are at school, and moving things ever so slightly to make them wonder, “Was someone in my room today?” Yep, she’s a bit devious.

So, every night at the dinner table, we each go around and tell about the best part of our day, and one thing we would change (I know… it’s so very ‘Walton’s Mountain’ of us). Davis’ best part usually consists of something that occurred on the playground, like making it all the way across the monkey bars, and Josie’s is usually something along the lines of, “I wrote a new story today!” Not sure what’s up with that kid and her love of writing ;-)

Well, it just so happens that a couple of weeks ago, Libby’s favorite part of her day was going to lunch with Mommy and her girlfriends for another friend’s birthday. Davis and Josie heard ‘birthday’, and said, “You went to a birthday party?!” And that was all it took:

Libby (thinking): Um… yes… it was a birthday party! It was fun. And…um… we went swimming.

J & D (simultaneously): Noooo! That’s not fair!

Libby: And we had cupcakes.

J & D: Cupcakes?!!

Libby: with sprinkles. And presents, and there was a Ferris wheel and a rollercoaster, and we went swimming. (yes, Libby, you mentioned that part!) In a pink swimming pool.

J & D: Aaaaaaaahhhh!!!

Libby: What else, Mommy?

Me (sarcastically): Don’t forget the pony rides.

Libby: Oh yeah… we had pony rides!

J & D (wailing): I hate school! I want to stay home and go to a birthday party!

Libby: Oh, and Indiana Jones.

J & D (& Me): Huh?! Indiana Jones?

Drove them absolutely crazy. After a couple of nights, though, they wised up to the fact that we didn’t actually go to birthday parties every day while they are toiling away in school. And truth be told, I think Libby has run out of outlandish things to tease them with (she is, after all, not quite 4 years old… her experiences are fairly limited).

Just the other night, when we asked her about her favorite part of her day, she said, in a bored and nonchalant way, “Oh, you know… ponies, cupcakes, and Indiana Jones.”
Ho-hum… such is the life. ;-)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Another booooring update! Sorry, folks, I'm tapped out...

Current Word Count: 15042 (yay!)

Busy, busy weekend around here... I'll post more later. The peppermint tea, the bubble gum, and the pulse throbbing 80's music (Motley Crue, anyone?!) are only going to keep me going for so long.

Fortunately, I'm still on track with my daily word goals, and have managed not to fall behind... even though there are days when I don't know how I'm going to eke out another 100 words, much less 1667 (daily allotment). Then I get to a part that I'm super excited about, and before I know it, I'm there.

Now that they've re-enabled the author search on the NaNo website, I might post an excerpt later this week. Um, I MIGHT... ;) I'll check with my two editors to see what they think!

Have a lovely Monday! (Oh, and I posted the new weekly menu on my other blog!)

Friday, November 7, 2008

And now...

Current Word Count: 11694

Yep, that's it for today's blog. Sorry! But maybe if YOU commented more, I'D have more to say. ;-)

Truth be told, I'm just tired. And I think I might be developing carpal tunnel, and a serious case of 'what the heck was I thinking?'... I'm not sure yet. I'll keep you posted. haha

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Update... oh yes... an update.

Okay, consider yourself warned... this post is about NaNoWriMo... yet again! So if your eyes were glazing over at the last post about my in-the-works 'speed novel', you may just want to check back tomorrow.

You can't see me right now, but I'm doing the happy dance!
Oops! Tripped... I'm notoriously clumsy.

And WHY am I doing the happy dance? I hit the 10,000 word mark today!! Yay, me! (it always helps when you are your own best cheerleader!) Technically my goal for today was like 10,005, but I stopped at exactly 10,000. It just felt better...more even. I feel confident that I can easily make up those extra five words tomorrow.

I spent this entire morning (when Libby was in school... finally!) working on my story. Granted, it would probably go a lot faster if I stopped IM'ing with my pals while I'm trying to write, but hey, even 'serious novelists' need a break, and a little gossip every now and then.

Think you're sick of hearing about this? You have no idea... poor Jen and Sarah are probably screening their calls this very minute. If you're reading this, I LOVE YOU! haha

That's all for today... to recap:

Happy Dance
Pumping fists in the air
Spinning around

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Um... candles, anyone?!

Current Word Count: 6592 words

Okay, breathe, Staci…

Yesterday, when I went to drop Libby off at preschool, the school’s assistant director was in the parking lot, flagging down cars as they pulled in. Seems that for some reason, there is no electricity in the preschool building, and they had tried calling everyone (I didn’t get the message because I was in yoga) to let them know that there would be no preschool… I kind of tuned out the rest of the explanation (hey! I’ve got a lot on my mind right now!), but I perked up when I heard, “But it should be back on tomorrow. See you then!”

Now, don’t get me wrong… I love my kids. I love spending time with them. They crack me up on an almost daily basis. But I also like for them to go to school. I really like being able to run an errand or two, ALL BY MYSELF! I’m pretty sure it doesn’t make me a bad mom that I was disappointed that preschool was cancelled yesterday.

Libby was disappointed, too. She gets to go spend time with her friends and her teacher three mornings a week, and is always so excited when Tuesday morning arrives. So, no school? Hey, but that’s okay… I’m flexible… I can roll with the punches. Libby went with me to meet some girlfriends for lunch, and to run an errand. We had a fun lunch with the girls, and enjoyed our little break, but today it was BACK TO SCHOOL!

Right? Right?!!

Wrong. The assistant director just called. Still no electricity. Now, I’m irritated. Not at anyone in particular… just at the situation. I know… crap happens.

Personally, I think they should use it as a teaching lesson… Maybe have an impromptu ‘Pioneer Day’. The pioneers didn’t have electricity, either. What a great learning experience for our preschoolers. I think I’ll suggest it if the power is still out tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Losing my mind, just a little...

Current Word Count: 5052 words

Entering Day #4 as a ‘serious novelist’ (insert laughter here). What I’d like to know is…

Who is the sadist that picked November as the perfect month for National Novel Writing Month?!

It’s crap. First off, it starts at midnight on Halloween. Go ahead... you sit at the computer and write, and just try NOT to eat all those adorable little mini candy bars out of the kids’ trick or treat bags. “300 more words, and I’ll let myself have just one more mini Snickers!” The tagline of their website should say, “Write a novel AND gain 5 pounds in a month.”

Plus, here it is just weeks before Christmas. I’ve done no shopping. I’ve not finished even one of the gifts that I’d planned on making for the holidays. What was I thinking?!

I can think of at least 4 other months that would be better suited to do this. What about February? Talk about a waste of a month, there. It’s cold outside, nothing’s going on… February would be perfect! Maybe I’ll suggest that on the website. Of course, since February is a short month, the daily word count would have to increase. Crap…never mind.

With all that being said, I’m 1/10th of the way to my 50,000 words, I’m 1/10th of the way through this month… and I hope I’m about 1/10th of the way through my story. (I like for things to come out evenly. I’m a little ‘Monkish’ about it.)

Now that I’ve hit the 5,000 mark, I will now start to obsessively ‘backup’ my work. Not because it’s one of the great novels of all time, and it would be a travesty for it to be lost, but more because it represents multiple hours of work for me. The last few things I put that much labor into are all currently at school. And some of you may remember the little ‘lightning episode’ we experienced this last summer?!

Huge bonus… I am having a great time, writing, and I really like my story a lot. I logged onto the NaNoWriMo website, and my region had a board where you could post the first line of your story. It was hilarious to read everyone’s first lines! My personal favorite was: “It was a dark and stormy night.” Yep… evidently, Snoopy has finally decided to write that novel on top of his doghouse.

Well, I better get back to my story. I refuse to let Snoopy beat me in my word count.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Off the hook...

Phil loves the show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the Food Network. If you haven’t seen it, the host, Guy Fieri, travels around the country, visiting off the wall eateries. If you don’t know who he is, he’s the guy on the T.G.I.Friday’s commercials. Big guy with spiky bleached blonde hair and a little beard. He says ‘off the hook’ a lot in the show and wears sunglasses. He’s very cute… but then again, I think I might have a penchant for big guys with blonde hair… ;)

Anyway, last week we happened to be watching it and Guy was in Austin. The theme that week was ‘Spicy burgers’ or some such thing. So, I’ll just say… the Linsons love some spice. The spicier the better. Even the kids eat salsa and that spicy jalapeno ranch dip like it’s going out of style. And when I say ‘salsa’, I mean chunky pico de gallo with onions and jalapenos… not that namby-pamby tomato sauce crap that our neighbors to the north call ‘salsa’.

Guy was at a place on Sixth Street called ‘Casino el Camino’, which of course, we had to go to for lunch yesterday. It certainly wasn’t a diner, nor was it a drive-in. That leaves us with… yes, my friends… it was a ‘dive’.

A dark, dingy little bar situated between two tattoo places. Of course, the kids were all clamoring that they wanted to go in and get a tattoo. Until I explained that THESE tattoos weren’t of the ‘wet the back with a sponge and peel off’ variety.

I almost went back to the car when we first walked in. It smelled smoky and was very dark, even at noon. I thought, “McDonald’s, here we come.”

But imagine my surprise to discover that they had a beautiful little enclosed patio, painted to look like Mayan ruins, with iron patio tables and chairs, and a little fountain. The weather was beautiful and the patio quickly filled with that eclectic sampling of people that you only get in Austin, Texas. Families, college kids recovering from their Halloween weekend with the ‘hair of the dog’ (bet they just loved my kids! Haha!), a few older folks…

And the food? Yummy. And spicy, as promised by Guy. Phil and I ordered the two recommendations they had featured on the show. The Buffalo Burger and the Amarillo Burger, both of which we cut in half and swapped. And of course, no visit to a ‘dive’ is complete without a basket of chili cheese fries (yes, I'll be eating salads the rest of the week!) Which were so super good, that Libby threw a fit because everyone was eating ‘her’ French fries. (Once again, I just know those kids with hangovers were re-thinking their lunch establishment choice…)

So, I have to give the Casino el Camino a thumbs-up… their ambience is a little questionable, and our waitress was a bit surly (maybe she had a hangover, too? And that lip ring had to hurt.), but the patio and food made up for it. Guy was right… it’s ‘off the hook'.

Oh, and if you order the Amarillo Burger, I HIGHLY recommend scraping off the serrano peppers before you take your first bite! Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday, 8:00 pm update

Current word count: 3369 words

Yay me! :)

My Word Count...

Update on my current word count:

As of 5:00 pm on Sunday evening, my current word count for my novel is 2557 words. I kicked off at midnight on Friday, and only got as far as about 300 words (it was more of a ceremonial thing anyway.) Last night, I finished up at midnight with a total of 1648 words for my first official day as a ‘novelist’ (about 19 words shy of my initial goal. I’ll take it!)

My goal by midnight tonight is about 3300 words, and I think I should be able to get there. I’m pretty pleased with how it’s going so far, considering that we went to Halloween parties on both Friday and Saturday nights, and that yesterday, I watched a heartbreaking football game, which had the potential to completely rob me of my creativity and zest for life.

I did make the mistake of logging onto the NaNoWriMo website and noticed that some of the other authors who were posting on the boards were already in the thousands on their word counts, but I just told myself that they were clearly losers with no social lives. Hey, it made me feel better! Don’t judge me.

I’m excited so far at the shape my story is taking. But no, you still can’t read it. ;-) If you’re lucky, I MIGHT post an excerpt on the NaNo website later this week. Please remember that it is a rough draft!

Love you people… all my wonderful friends… and just want to say thanks for the encouragement, the comments and the e-mails. You guys are the bomb.

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