Chasing a novel concept

February 28, 2002

We're going to have to stop meeting like this! Despite out best intentions, it seems that these little missives are getting backburnered right until the end of the month, leaving us little time to catch you up on all our goings-on. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) there isn't much new.

Our noveling projects have consumed vast quantities of our waking hours. Roni continues to chug through the book she began writing in November and is currently in the process of revisions. The story stands at around 98,000 words and remains untitled, although she has been kicking around some ideas. It has been a real learning process for her as she tries to juggle her writing time with her other activities and the business. On weekends she has been learning the craft from the masters by reading best-selling authors. She can breeze through a 200,000-word book in a day or two using something that might best be described as a hybrid of speed reading and skimming.

Glenn's book project is also progressing, albeit a bit more slowly. He has been hacking out a few hundred words a night fairly regularly since Jan. 1, and as of this newsletter is just past the 52,000-word mark. He has adopted the computer in the writing sanctuary (formerly the train room, which was formerly the spare bedroom) and last weekend upgraded the system software so he could use it with the current version of Microsoft Word. That was an all-day chore, as it turned out. For those who were ever curious as to whether OS 9 works on a Macintosh Performa 6118, Glenn can reassure you that it does. It's sort of like trying to install an NOX turbocharger on a Model T, but a lot cheaper.

Glenn wrapped up work on the primary election preview section for the newspaper on Valentine's Day, after spending a full shift doing nothing but paginating copy and making corrections. The section was well received around the office. Ironically, Glenn almost didn't get a copy of his six-week labor of love as he was off work the day it was published and he didn't get a copy of the paper delivered to our home that day. He was able to scrounge up a copy at the office.

February has always been something of a special time around our home because that is when the trees come into bloom and the weather begins to warm up. Spring has been in the air for a couple of weeks already. Ben and Glenn took some time one Sunday afternoon to walk along the railroad line to see the blooming almond trees at the abandoned DuPont property. They became fascinated counting date nails on the the old ties in the yard, and discovered the oldest ones dated to 1936. They also found tie plates from the early 1920s, and rail itself that had been stamped in 1904, about the time the Santa Fe first laid tracks through Oakley.

On Feb. 24, Glenn's brother Sean came over to watch the NASCAR race with us and also spent some time playing outside with Ben. Afterwards, we took a walk on the Marsh Creek Trail where Ben enjoyed plunking rocks in the creek. Sean brought his new digital camera to share and got several photos of us on our walk. Naturally, Glenn is ready to go digital too.

Ben is on break from school until the start of April. Talk about lucky, the kid gets four weeks off with his track and then another two weeks after that for Easter vacation. Even so, we still will probably take part in his reading awards assembly at school next week in which he is supposed to be recognized for reading for more than 600 minutes during the month of January.

That's it for this month's installment. Time to get back to our noveling.

Glenn, Roni and Ben

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