Emily M. DeArdo

writer

Daybook

Daybook No. 124: entering Ordinary Time

Daybook, behind the scenes, fiction, travel, writingEmily DeArdo2 Comments

Outside my window::

Dark. I tend to write these on Sunday nights, so that they go up in the morning without me having to scramble to write. So it's Sunday night, but it was light until like 5:45 today! I love that. :) 

Wearing::

A skirt and a three-quarter sleeve robin's egg blue t-shirt. When I have to work around the house I'd rather do it in one of my dress down skirts because it's easier to move around in, and I was cleaning the kitchen this morning. 

Reading::

Kim, Anne of Green Gables, and I'm going to dig out my Queen Victoria books, because of Victoria on PBS. (No, I'm not watching it right now--the Steelers are on!) I have a feeling the series is not going to be as historically accurate as I would like, so I need to refresh my memory on the finer points. 

Played Disney Scrabble over the weekend. There are four "Disney words" in this puzzle: Song, Fox, Deb, and Hope. Do you know why? (Answers at the bottom)

Played Disney Scrabble over the weekend. There are four "Disney words" in this puzzle: Song, Fox, Deb, and Hope. Do you know why? (Answers at the bottom)

Looking forward to::

The Making Things Happen Intensive! I won a ticket to the conference, but I had to book my flight and hotel, and I'm done with my prep now! Yay! I am so excited to be attending this conference, and glad that the conference gets a good room rate and I found a decent airfare to Raleigh. 

Around the house::

Cleaning. Finishing the Christmas tree putting-away-ness. Putting it up, I usually have help. Taking it down, it's usually just me. So it takes a few days, especially since I like all the ornaments to go back--nicely--into their boxes. 

Random thoughts::

Is anyone else tired? What is it with this January? Is it the weird weather pattern of 3-4 days of FREEZING COLD and then 3-4 days of spring? I'm sleeping for 10-11 hours a night, and that's just weird. I shouldn't be sleeping like that. Anyone else, or am I just weird? 

Writing projects::

I'm making really good progress on the ebook editing, which is the first step here. I'm making sure every piece that I want to have in the book is first off, written, and second off, edited. Not finished, but edited. I'll have this goal met by the end of the month, then it's time for fine-tuning. 

I'm also editing my 2016 NaNo novel this month, to see if there's anything relatively passable in it. :) 

Fun Quote I found last week::

 

Tea is sacrosanct, thank you very much.

Dr. Gordon Wyatt, Bones

 

Plans for the week: 

*Lunch with Dad

* Mass at least once

*Finishing the Tree Takedown

*Taking yet more books/CDs/DVDs to Half Price Books

And knitting! Moreeee knitting--progress posted on Wednesday. 

 

Answers for the puzzle: In Disney Scrabble, Disney words are a wide variety of things and can include: ride names, movie titles, song titles, character names, etc. Obviously you have to prove it's a "Disney word." So in this case: Deb (character from Finding Nemo), Song ("Love Is a Song That Never Ends", from Bambi; "Happy Little Working Song" from EnchantedSong of the South; "With A Smile and a Song" from Snow White); Fox (Fox and the Hound), and Hope ("One Last Hope" from Hercules.) 

Daybook No. 123: A week into 2017

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Outside my window:: (on Sunday morning, when I wrote this one!) 

This weekend: Sunny with a few clouds and cold. It's 12 degrees but it feels like 0. We've been in a cold snap for a few days now and there comes a point where cold is just cold. I was driving home from my parents' last night and the car refused to warm up. When I got home I checked the temperature and saw why I was cold even under all my layers of sweaters and tanks and heavy coat and scarf--it felt like -3 outside. Well, OK then. 

Fortunately we're in a warming trend now. 33 for a high sounds tropical!

Reading::

In This House of Brede (If you've never read it, please do, because you are in for a treat), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Fire Within, Kim

Music playlist::

Still the Christmas music. But alas, this is the last week for it. Sigh. I will miss it. 

Around the house::

I have to start taking things down. I leave the nativity scene up until Candlemas (February 2), because that's what my church does, and it's traditional. And I love it. But the tree and the rest of the decorations are beginning their slow decent back into boxes.

Goal updates::

I'm thinking that once a month I'll do a goal update post, if only as another way to keep me accountable! After a week, I'm glad to say I've made progress in editing my ebook, cleaning/decluttering the house (I even cleaned up my enormous yarn stash!), and I've been reading the bible for 10 minutes every day, as well as doing some form of exercise, whether it's just a quick plank/push up/sit up combo, or an hour of cardio. This is where my Apple Watch is really great, because I love seeing the goal rings close. It's really motivating, especially when you see that you're really close to closing one of them. It's fantastic incentive to do a little more!

I made it to weekday Mass twice last week--yay!!!--and the contentment challenge is going well. The only thing I've bought this month that weren't food was a set  of bedsheets (I needed another set since the last one gave up the ghost around Thanksgiving) which I found during a white sale. So I saved a good amount of money, too, while buying something that I needed. Sadly, my mini food processor also died this week, after 11+ years, so I have to buy one of those sooner rather than later, since I use it for a good amount of recipes. God bless Bed Bath and Beyond coupons. 

Yay cleaned up yarn stash!

Yay cleaned up yarn stash!

 

Liturgical Year::

Since the calendar is all messy this year with Christmas being on a Sunday, the Baptism of the Lord, and the current end of the Christmas season is tomorrow. Normally Baptism of the Lord is a week after Epiphany, but not this year. So after tomorrow, back to Ordinary Time (hence the removal of my Christmas decorations.). 

On the calendar::

* So excited to have lunch with my college friend, Liz, today! I haven't seen her in years and it'll be great to catch up in person! 

*Lunch with Dad

*Eucharistic Adoration on the 11th

*Writing more in my crazily bedraggled journal. :)

Photos from around here::

 

 

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Welcome, 2017

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(And psst, it's still Christmas! Really! )

I've always liked this graphic from Ann Voskamp, and it especially works this year, because my word for 2017 is Courage. (actually, it's two words: Be Courageous.)

You might be wondering why I chose that word. Well, because sometimes I'm a 'fraidy cat. I don't audition for a show because I think I won't be cast. I don't take that trip because I'm afraid to travel alone. I delay in sending a book proposal because I'm afraid it will be rejected. 

And of course, all those things are true, if I don't go for it. But in being afraid that I won't be accepted, I don't try at all. And that's not a good thing. 

This year, I want to be embrace courage and the Nike motto: Just Do It. Just be brave. Don't give into fear. 

If an agent doesn't like my proposal, that's not the end of the world. There are tons of agents out there. 

This leads into words I've used in the past, especially TRUST. I'm still working on this Trust thing. It's hard. But trusting helps me to be brave, because it's like working with a net under me. I know that someone is going to catch me when I step out in faith. 

I hope 2017 is a year of Bravery. 

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.

-- 2 Timothy 1:7

The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?

--Psalm 27:1

 

(Did you make new year's resolutions or set 2017 goals? I did, and my list is here.)

 

Daybook No 119--Advent Monday

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Long time no daybook, guys! So I thought I'd jump back in with one. 

Outside my window: 

It's dark, and possibly going to snow. (I'm writing this on Sunday night, so we'll see if the snow actually happened by the time this is posted in the morning.) 

Wearing::

comfy clothes. Black leggings, oatmeal colored legwarmers, and a long white sweater with gray stripes. I like layers. 

Listening to: 

the Steelers/Giants game

In the CD player:

My "Christmas" playlist, which is cycling back and forth with the Advent/Christmas part of Messiah

Reading::

About to start the fifth Mary Russell novel, O Jerusalem. These are mystery novels--Sherlock Holmes is a main character in them. Normally I don't like mystery novels, but the first in this series, The Beekeeper's apprentice, caught me, and now I have to read them all. 

Celebrating the Liturgy: 

It's the second week of Advent. I love adding another candle, seeing two flames on the wreath. Everything is up, including my tree, which was done with the great help of my younger brother, who always looks in dismay at all my ornaments, proclaims they're not all going to go up, but then, they miraculously do. 

 

Here's a post I wrote in the Catholic 101 series about Advent feasts and memorials. And don't forget to go to Mass on Thursday! (Read the link to find out why....) 

Rhythm in housekeeping::

Well...funny thing. I decided to go back on steroids, because I couldn't handle being off them--my body was just NOT happy about it. I finally decided, after a day that felt eerily like life pre-transplant, that if 5 milligrams of prednisone was going to help me feel normal for my favorite time of year, then dagnabbit, I was going to do it. Maybe I'll be back on the pare-down train after the new year but for right now, I want to have energy and not feel like I'm going to collapse any second. 

Anyway, all of this to say that now I have energy, and thus, my house is going to start looking a lot better.

Exercise::

It also means that I can exercise again. So I've done it, 5/7 days last week. I'm insanely proud of that. 

Creativity::

One of my goals this month is to do a sketch every day. So far, I'm 4/4, so I'm pleased with that. I'm messing with my paints, colored pencils, markers, etc. And I'll have a new type of sketchbook to use when I'm done with the current one! So yay! (Currently I'm using a Moleskine, for you art people--the new one is a Stillman and Birn Zeta  ) 

Not every sketch I've done is one I Like. But that's OK. I'm getting the practice in and getting the chance to be creative. 

 

Daybook No. 112

behind the scenes, books, Catholicism, current events, current projects, Daybook, Dominicans, fiction, knitting, links, Tidying Up, writingEmily DeArdoComment

Outside my window::

Cloudy, a marked contrast from yesterday's blue skies and sun, but since It's going to be in the 60s, I'll take it. Especially since....gulp.....snow might in the future! 

Wearing::

My PJs--I just got up (it's 8 AM as I'm writing this) 

Reading::

North and South, Mockingjay, Rising Strong,  and The Betrothed. I really like North and South--Margaret Hale is a great character. I'm late to the Rising Strong party, but better late than never, and I also have Daring Greatly to read.

In the CD player::

Fun Home and Hamilton. No Christmas music until at least after Thanksgiving!

Living the Liturgy::

Today is Lucy Pevensie's feast day! And since she's my Dominican patron, I get to party all day. 

 

Around the House::

Doing the deep cleaning to get ready for decorating> I don't have much to do--the tree, a few baubles, and my Fontanini creche (one of the best Christmas gifts I have ever received, ever). The Baby Jesus doesn't go in the creche until Christmas Eve, and the Magi make their way into the set proper by Epiphany. If you're looking for a Nativity set, I highly recommend this one. The figures are made of a type of plastic that means kids can chew on them, play with them, etc., and they won't break!

Speaking of Catholic households, this is a good article from Our Sunday Visitor that's worth a ponder. 

I'm also in the last stages of Tidying Up. I took three bags of books to Half Price books yesterday, so I'm still looking for the book/CD/DVD "click point" that Kondo talks about. I'm sure I'll find it--eventually. :) Until then, I just keep taking books to HPB. 


Creativity::

I have "won" NaNo--but the book's not done. Oh no. I'm going to write a sequel. (I can't believe it either!) Nothing about this book has gone the way I thought it would, but it's been in a great way. My friend Andrea says the "muse has inhabited me", and while that may or may not be true, it sure is fun. I will officially "win" NaNo on the 20th, when you can start verifying word counts. 

So I have to put an ending on this guy (a cliff-hanger, of course), and then start the new document for book two, maybe do some outlining--and then touch nothing until January. This is what usually happens with my NaNo books--I finish them in November and then don't touch them until January. That gives them, and me, a nice break before I begin revising/editing. 

And I can purl! You'll see the proof tomorrow in the Yarn Along. 

 

Pondering::

In light of the attacks on Paris, this is an excellent read. It's long, but it's well-worth the time it takes. 

There are so many problems in our world that are new, and all colliding at once--fighting a war against an enemy we can't see (as Judi Dench said in Skyfall), the Syrian refugees, elections, earthquakes in Mexico and Japan....

The only solution I can see to it is to pray more intensely. 

 

Plans for the week::

Not much, which is nice. CCD on Sunday, when we'll talk about Jesus' birthday (we talked about Advent last week). And then it's Thanksgiving week, and then we're into December! Holy cow!

 

This Week's Question: How do you celebrate Thanksgiving in your family? 

 

 

 

 

 

Daybook No. 111

Daybook, current projects, writing, books, fiction, Tidying UpEmily DeArdoComment

Outside my window::

Gray and rainy, sort of windy. The last few leaves are clinging to the trees and it really feels like fall out there. Not that I mind. I'm ready for it, because I do love my sweaters, tea, books, and blankets. As long as it's not snowing (heaven forbid), I'm fine. 

(It's actually not my window. I'm at Starbucks, writing and getting lots of stuff done with a Peppermint Mocha to hand.) 

Wearing::

jeans, navy blue flats, fake diamond studs, and a sweater from Lands End that's "vicuna" (that's what they call this sort of creamy khaki color) and black stripped. It's super cozy and perfect for today. 

Reading::

North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell; The Betrothed for Facebook Catholic Ladies' Book Club; The Fiery Cross (again). I've also got one more Neapolitan novel to read, but I think I'm going to wait to pick that one up. It's the last one, so savoring is appropriate. I'm also re-dedicating myself to finishing City of God sometime in the near future. It's just sitting on my "to read" pile and mocking me. 

Writing::

So, NaNoWriMo is still off and running, and man, I am writing fast, but the book has changed a lot from my initial conception. I've changed the title, I've changed the plot--basically, the characters have told me that they want this story. Forgiveness is a major theme. I'm wondering if this should even be--gasp--a series. Because it might be too long for just one book. I can certainly write them as two. 

Julie (My protagonist) is a fascinating character to write, because she's really not like me, and that's a first. Most of my protagonists, up until now, have had some basis in myself. But not Julie. This is also a YA novel, and I've never purposefully written one of those before. 

I'm really excited about this project, which is funny, because at first I wasn't sure if I was going to Do NaNo at all--but now I've got characters that are really clicking, and a long-winding plot that might go for two books. I should hit the "winning" total- 50K- by the end of this week. 

Creativity In Other Areas::

My friend Sarah is going to help me master the art of knitting and purling in the same project! So we're going to hopefully have a yarn along update for you guys tomorrow! I'm also working on a bunch of new blog post ideas, including the return of the Food Stories posts. 

Quick Movie Review::

spectre-poster-black-white.jpg

I saw Spectre with my brother last night, and it was better than I thought it would be. I don't know if it was as good as Skyfall, but it's really close, in my opinion. I love how the writers drew all of the Daniel Craig Bond plots together into a cohesive web. I don't know if we needed the car chase through Rome, but "reason not the need", as Lear says. Daniel Craig is great as Bond, and I love Ralph Fiennes as M (although I miss Judi Dench!). 

The ending was a bit abrupt and left me wondering what the next movie will be like. Speculation on the Interwebs is saying that movie will be out in 2017, so I guess I don't have too long to wait. 

(Although, one thing--can we stop with the efforts to dismantle the 00 Program, please? I mean, how many movies do we need before the British Government realizes that it's a very bad idea to do away with Bond and his ilk? Come on, guys!) 

(I also now feel the urge to watch all the Craig Bonds in succession. Maybe I'll do that after I finish writing today.) 

Tidying Up::

I have just about reached the end of the categories! The next step in the book is "finding a place for everything", and that might take some time. I'm going to re-read that section and try to get an idea of a game plan. 

Kondo talks about a "click point"--as in, you'll know when you're reached the optimal number of things you need in a category. I don't think I've hit it yet with my books or DVDs, so I'm going to keep culling. 

Listening To: