Thanksgiving Decluttering

That’s mostly what occupied me this past week, though there were a few other details as well. First, we’ve started on our due diligence for our land purchase, starting with getting a perk test for the septic system. DH called the Knox County health department, expecting this to be a big pain, because in the suburban city where we live now, any dealing with the local government is exactly that. There’s one person there who knows what he’s doing, and he’s only in the office between 8 and 9 AM, when he might answer the phone–or more likely, lets it go to voice mail. Sometimes he returns calls–usually after several voice mails. Everyone DH deals with acts like he’s inconveniencing them by expecting them to do their job and answer questions.

Knox County was totally the opposite: Every single person he spoke with was super friendly and went out of their way to be helpful. We sent them a preliminary plot plan by email, and they even called to follow up. They did the test within a week, and said they found a good place for the system. So that’s one item down!

Thanksgiving went wonderfully, especially with the new kitchen! DD and I cooked the night before, and even though it’s the same small area, we had no trouble both being in there working on different food, because the layout was so much more efficient. Even cleanup is a pleasure in that kitchen! The meal of course was wonderful as always.

This past week, I also started decluttering what is, in my house, the final frontier: the basement (cue scary music). Actually, I haven’t done the garage yet either, but that’s technically not in the house. If that sounds scary, it’s because it is. We’ve lived here for 23 years, and that’s a long time to accumulate junk–and that’s mostly what’s down there. So far, I’ve collected five bags of giveaway stuff, and thrown out as much trash. It’s only now starting to look like I’ve made a dent in it. I expect to fill at least two more giveaway bags of old blankets for SICSA, a local animal shelter. The good part is finally, I don’t dread just walking down there any more.

sm28What I’ve been reading: Smith’s Monthly #28 by Dean Wesley Smith. The short stories were the usual, entertaining fare, but the novel was a bit of a surprise: An Easy Shot: A Golf Thriller. I know, right? IMO, “golf thriller” sounds like an oxymoron. Even my dad and husband, who both enjoy golf, fall asleep within ten minutes of turning it on the TV. But the novel turned out to be very entertaining. The thriller part centered around an assassination plot against a U.S. senator, who was playing in a golf tournament. The main characters were a husband and wife who were both cops and overheard something about the plot. There wasn’t a lot of actual golf in the story, but what was there I didn’t even need to skim (like I do in some of Smith’s stories that center around poker playing).

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ROW80/Writing Update: This is what’s been pushed aside this past week, mostly because I’m still stuck. In desperation, I finally set my timer on a couple of occasions, and let myself just sit and think about the book for fifteen minutes. It’s helped–while I still don’t know enough of my way forward to get back into the writing, I’ve figured out some of the main details. A few more sessions will hopefully take care of it and I’ll be back at the computer–in between Christmas prep, of course. As a side note, it seems I get stuck at this 2/3 – 3/4 point with just about every book, so I guess that’s part of my process. I just wish it didn’t have to take so long. But anyway, that’s my goal for this week: one sit-and-think-only-about-the-book session per day until I get it figured out.

What about you–if you celebrated Thanksgiving this past week, what did you do? Have you started preparing for the December holidays yet? Have you ever read a book that didn’t sound interesting, but turned out to be great? And have you ever stalled out on a goal, and how did you get back into it? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

5 Responses to \

  1. I’m so glad to hear that things are progressing well on the purchase of the property. Yeah! It must be a good sign that the perk test went well, things will continue to go smoothly and on track, right?

    I love the phrase “golf thriller”. Yes, that is definitely an oxymoron, but isn’t that what would pull readers in? Something to keep in mind in our own writing, I think.

    We had 20 people at a sit-down dinner on Friday, all around three tables in a row, to make one big table. I am still traumatized by all the years I was delegated to the “children’s table” in the next room at every holiday dinner until I was probably 21. I promised myself years ago that I would never ostracize someone at my dinner table that way. Even though we don’t have any young kids in the family right now, I want to treat everyone evenly all the time.

    Anyway, have a good week and I hope your writing becomes unstuck very soon.

  2. Happy belated Thanksgiving, Jennette! I’m in Canada, so we celebrated our Thanksgiving in mid-October. The push to prepare for Christmas won’t happen for a while yet, although I did make my oldest son’s girlfriend a Christmas stocking so that she’d match the rest of us this Christmas. 🙂

    I’m applauding your decluttering! We’ve been doing that for about 5 years now, and every year attack another area of the house and outer buildings. It’s such a great feeling to make space, isn’t it?

    I also get stalled at some point during the writing process, usually in the early stages of draft two, when I realize the book sucks, the plot needs major work, and the characters are like cut-out dolls. I usually waste a few weeks thinking, then finally sit down to do more character work. I just finished deepening the heroine’s character and am about halfway through the hero.

    Do you have any hair left, LOL!?

  3. Golf thriller? Did he write about my hubby’s playing? It was a thriller just to see how many golf balls he would lose by the end. Haha! 😀

    I’ve started preparing for Christmas. Got the tree up. That’s it. Just up. Not decorated. I’ll get my son to help carry the foot locker upstairs tonight. That’s where the ornaments and other decorations are stored and it’s too heavy for me to carry by myself.

  4. Chris, we’ve never had a kids’ table in my house, either. Sounds like you had a nice Thanksgiving!

    Sheila, it’s a good thing I had a lot of hair to begin with. 🙂 Your stall sounds a lot like mine.

    LOL Stacy – there was a character in the book who played that badly! You’re ahead of me in the holiday prep.

  5. Lessee, Thanksgiving.

    Spent the holiday with my brothers in Cleveland, Friday night went for drinks with the ex, and Sunday watched bad football with the step-offspring. Overall, a lot better than last year’s, which was all upheaval and drama.

    And 90% of the drama came from the cable company.