What’s Up, Doc?

Sometimes I wish I was as clever as Bugs Bunny. He was always three steps ahead of everybody and his plans always worked (Except when he took that left turn at Albuquerque. Hey, maps can be confusing!). Not to mention his sense of humor and cool attitude. I could use some of that mojo right now.

Or clone myself.

First, the writing.

The many threads of my novel are finally coming together and I can envision it as a whole – and want to keep going. I’ve been getting 100 words here and 200 there, but not every day. In between, I’ve been doing some targeted research. I’ve put off this sort of thing for a while, because I didn’t want to get lost in the research, but I had some specific things I wanted to find.

I needed to figure out what my main character looked like. I’m a visual person and not being able to see her really was starting to bug me. So, basing her on what I had in my mind and Google photos, I drew her face. Nothing fancy, but enough to say, “Yes, that’s Lilhana.”

Then, I wanted to figure out clothing, to help with that visual thing, again. I ran across an interesting book called Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times written by Elizabeth Wayland Barber in 1994. Considering cloth is something that breaks down quickly and  isn’t normally found by archaeologists, Ms. Barber had to use some unusual sources to discover what cloth and clothmaking were like in ancient times. Fascinating stuff! Since cloth and clothing were a major trade good in Mesopotamia and I wanted to incorporate that somehow into my novel, I now have some good descriptions of the process used (because, really, I don’t know much about weaving except what I’ve watched in my local living history museum and they were using flax not wool).

I also found on the web, Ancient Egyptian, Assyrian, and Persian Costumes and Decorations by Mary Huston and Florence Hornblower, 1920. I looked only at the Assyrian portion and it seems they studied relief sculptures from excavations and experimented making the clothing styles themselves and included basic directions. I played around a bit and figured out clothing for the different levels of Lirithi society I created and drew a couple of them too.

Now, everything else.

Summer is creeping up on silent cat feet, so I have a lot of planning to do. The children have less than two months before they are done with school for the year! So, I need to figure out (with their input, of course) what they will do to keep themselves busy enough so they have some fun but won’t get bored or interrupt my writing time too much. The youngest had a great time at camp last year and wants to repeat the experience and the oldest has shown an interest in making money (surprise! not.) but hasn’t exactly settled on how she’s going to do that yet. Can’t wait to see what she decides.

I also need to get on the stick and plan for a family vacation while there are still hotel rooms available. It looks like this year we’re going to try Cooperstown, NY. It’s known for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but there’s also several museums and ghost walks and farmers’ markets, etc. to check out. Should be fun.

I have several different gardens around my house that need desperate attention. It rained for days and the weeds are out of control! I decided to try some commercial weed-killing products because just manually weeding and  mulching hasn’t worked in the past for me. So, I weeded and then mixed a weed-preventer into the soil to start. One bed has two different weeds that are growing by sending out incredible root systems that go deep underground. Last year I just kept digging up what I could, but it spread, so I’m trying a spot killer on those. With my focus on writing, I don’t have the time or energy to waste on constantly weeding by hand.

Needless to say, there aren’t enough hours…

What’s been going on with all of you lately?


17 comments on “What’s Up, Doc?

  1. Diane says:

    Finished typein of latest novel. Now to create the cover and get it on Smashwords. Yes!
    Trimming bushes and planting vegetable seedlings for winter months. All good things, and all takes time.
    Can’t wait to start writing new series! 🙂


    • ekcarmel says:

      Congratulations on your latest and good luck with the future series!

      Usually by autumn I’m so tired of gardening I often don’t do the proper clean-up required. I admire your ability to keep going. You must have a greenhouse or cold-frame if you are starting seedlings this early. How wonderful!


  2. Busy, busy. I think I’m going to try a small container garden this year as opposed the straw bale gardening. It looks like it might be a bit easier and if it works I can reuse the containers next year.

    One thing I like to go through is the fantasy art books to help visualize what I’m writing. Sometimes it helps but then something will show up completely out of left field (like in my email from an unexpected source)and it’s perfect.

    You just never know when or where the perfect vision you’ve been searching for is going to show up but it’s like Christmas when it does.


  3. ekcarmel says:

    Container gardens are much less work than a traditional one. I’ve done different versions of them through the years. They just dry out faster, so you have to keep a close eye on that. Have fun!

    I don’t have any fantasy art books. In fact, I can’t remember seeing anything like that. Do you have any that you recommend? I do have several Realms of Fantasy magazines from past years and each one featured a fantasy artist and those are cool to look at. I also check out DeviantArt.com (which my oldest daughter pointed out to me) which has awesome fantasy art to look through.

    I agree, sometimes the perfect image will just fall into your lap out of nowhere. LOVE when that happens!


  4. Diane says:

    I can recommend two Fantasy Art books but they are for my illustration needs (easy steps to draw or paint) but have lovely pictures. I am sure you could find them, or books like them, in a local book sale or at your local library.

    Drawing & Painting Fantasy Landscapes & Cityscapes by Rod Alexander
    The Fantasy Illustrator’s Technique Book by Gary A Lippincott

    Of course, there are many others. Have fun searching 🙂


  5. Man all that research sounds like FUN!

    Unfortunately I’ve been buried with work, and fighting the procrastination monster is a constant battle as usual. Not with my writing but with my business – gotta pay the bills though.

    I have been reading like crazy instead of watching TV which has been a nice change. And I’ve found that it’s true: more reading increases one’s ability to write regularly. In addition I’ve discovered that maybe there are a few stories in me that aren’t blood-soaked and creepy. Oh and I started re-reading the first draft of the novel I finished last May. Gawd, it’s gonna need some work fo sho.

    Next goal is to grow the bal- er – guts to submit my work somewhere other than my blog. For some reason it’s freaking me out. I mean, I know I’m going to get rejected because I still have a lot to learn, but I’m still getting in my own way on this one.

    My two largest flower beds look horrible right now because we’ve had rain, rain, and yes, more rain the past, oh, six weeks! Luckily my daughter and I took advantage of the first rain-free day on Monday and planted our herb garden — well reworked what was there and added more to it for this year. That ended up taking nearly four hours because I had a battle with fire ants. (It’s true, those things sting and it’s a different type of pain than say a bee sting — a radiating itch with heat underneath, if that makes sense.)

    I’m slowly but surely working my way down a never-ending “To Do” list for May through September. Needless to say I can’t wait for “Catch up on blog posts” because I miss blogging.

    Looking forward to your next post 😀


    • ekcarmel says:

      When you run your own business, there is very little extra time, I know. Raising a child AND running a business would be extremely challenging, I think. You just do what you can in between. Circumstances change, eventually. It just takes a lot of patience (so says the woman who has learned the hard way!).

      Fire ants – ugh! I’m not looking forward to the time when those little buggers make their way to my area. Hope you aren’t too uncomfortable. It’s seems like you’re getting punished just for gardening- not nice!

      As of yesterday, I’m about 3/4 of the way done weeding and/or using weedkiller and mulching. Not feeling like doing much of that today, but it’s supposed to start raining again later today and for most of the weekend. We’ll see.

      Good luck on your To Do list!


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  6. Tammy McLeod says:

    I took my oldest son to Cooperstown two years ago and we loved it. We found a little cabin on the lake that was a ways out of town but lovely. We did the boat ride on the lake, the Hall of Fame, found a great farmer’s market, just meandered. My son was 12 but I also tacked on a day to drive through some of the beautiful small college towns and see Hamilton, Colgate, Trinity, Cornell… a great time.


  7. Ptt精华 says:

    First class piece!!


  8. Jayna says:

    We can’t belive how baby Kira is about to turn one! We just phgeaorophtd her as a newborn! 2011 sure flew right by! Thank you to our friends, Juli & Ren, for choosing us to be their


  9. Alexandra says:

    I could read a book about this without finding such real-world apasrpcheo!


  10. Dennis Ross avoids the Foreign Agent label by pretending to be an expert on the Middle East. In essence, his charade is no different than the charade advanced by countless die-hard Israel think tanks and Israel firsters in key positions (See Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Eliot Abrams, William Kristol, John Bolton, Jon Stewart and Michael Ledeen, among others).


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