Christmas and 2011 Adventure Ponderings

I’ve gotten a little sparse on my blog posting because I’ve been spending most of my free time working on my writing projects–a fiction story that requires a lot of back-planning and, of course, my memoir. I’ve been feeling a little more inspired lately and I love the mobility my netbook affords me. It’s really nice to be able to leave the distractions of my house to go write at a coffee shop (found a real nice one near me that has normal hours, unlike another coffee shop just up the street with really weird hours). Everyone in the world now has free internet access, which makes life easy, though admittedly causes lots of distractions for me if I’m not careful. However, when you need to look up something to do a quick spot of research, you’ve got the capability at your finger tips. Writing was never made so easy in this information age!

I think my fiction story is going to take a bit more than internet research. I have a feeling this may be a several-years-long project. I feel I have to visit a few places and shadow the interesting lives of other people to make it more realistic. It’d be really fantastic if I knew a band that was just on the verge of becoming a big hit… or if I could spend a year following Bono! Ha, ha! Just kidding. The thing I’ve always struggled with in writing realistic fiction–that is, fiction that isn’t science-fiction–is that you have to be really careful about the portraying the lives you step into in a realistic way. Everyone has had that moment when watching a TV show where the people are touching on something you know personally about–maybe your job or your hometown–and you have to contain your annoyance that the writers of the show obviously knew nothing about that which they were trying to write. (Which never happens in the case of Clevelanders.) I don’t want to be that kind of writer. I guess that’s another good thing about writing science-fiction–you don’t have to worry so much about portraying a hometown or a job unrealistically. You still have to get the science right; though, in most cases, it just has to be plausible.

Besides the writing projects, I’ve been trying to get into the Christmas season even though it feels like I was just celebrating Christmas like two weeks ago. On Friday, my dad and I went on our annual hunt for my Christmas tree. And by “hunt,” I mean we went to Kriegers in Cuyahoga Falls–we’ve gone there three years in a row now. After setting up the tree in my living room, we went to Ray’s in Kent–also our annual tradition. It’s like when I was a kid, but instead of getting a McD’s eggnog shake after picking out a tree, we go for beer, the beverage for adult children.

I spent Saturday decorating the tree and my house. I know a lot of single people don’t bother with this sort of thing since no one sees their house, but I always do it for myself. It puts me in the Christmas spirit. I really love having a live tree–it makes my house smell wonderful, conjuring images of my very young years when my family had a live tree. I also post all the Christmas cards I receive along the wall in the entry way by my front door.

Christmas Tree and Santa McCoy

Tree and fireplace mantle (the baseball shrine dare not be touched in fear of angering the baseball gods!).

I also managed to finish all my Christmas cards–including the ones I had to make by hand for my friends on the U2 forum I frequent. Everything is ready for the mail tomorrow. I feel like I got a lot done this weekend. Now to shopping… I don’t even want to go there. It’s so hard trying to come up with stuff for everyone I want to buy gifts for. I feel pressure to find something awesome and unique every year and that just doesn’t happen all the time. I hate resorting to gift cards.

So with the initial festivities of Christmas begun, I turn my thoughts to the adventures that 2011 will bring. Naturally, I’ve already got most of the year planned out. I guess I’m not too spontaneous.

  • March – Week long ski trip to Whistler with my friend Janet. My first time in Western Canada. Whee! What a great way to bring in 36 (going the week after my birthday).
  • May 7-8 – The 50th TOSRV!!! PAAAARTY!! (As much as one can party after 100 miles in the evening before another 100 miles.)
  • June 26th – U2 Concert, East Lansing, Michigan. Rock on!!!
  • July 16th – Ride Across INdiana (RAIN) – 160 miles in one day. Can I do it? I may try to organize something with my bike club. Safety and motivation in numbers, right?
  • July 26th – U2 Concert, Pittsburgh, PA. I’m in GA (general admission) and I plan to get into the inner circle–the space between the stage and the looping catwalk. Talk about a party!! But I will be standing/sitting/chatting with fellow fanatics admirers of U2 in line. All. Day. Long. I’m willing to sacrifice for the chance to be close to the band. Like I was in 2001, except then I was in seats.
  • August ? – Might go to California to climb its high point, Mt. Whitney. My uncle (who lives in California) and I have tentatively emailed about it but we have not made any solid plans at this time. Whether I do rides like Roscoe Ramble or Mad Anthony depends on when/if I go to California.

Yes, you’re seeing correctly: No MS 150 this year. Sadly, the MS 150 traditionally takes place the same weekend that my U2 concert–which I originally bought for 2010 before Bono hurt his back–got rescheduled to. Um. Some things take priority over others… Sorry, MS 150! If I am not in California the week of the MS 150 ride in NE Ohio–Pedal to the Point–I might actually do that on. So it’s undetermined at this time whether or not I’ll be participating in an MS 150. Probably all my friends and family would appreciate a year off… since my donations have been dwindling over the years…

I might actually be too distracted to pull the kind of bicycling miles I did this year. But you never know. Most people out there know I’m obsessed with cycling… and thus I will probably end up doing about 4000 miles no matter what. Commuting to work certainly adds mileage. And I love to do it!!

I think I’ve got enough plans spinning out there for now. I guess we’ll only see what the next year brings as it unfolds. I should probably still aim to try to get one of my shorter memoir pieces published. The initial one I wrote–which has never been posted to this blog–about the day my husband died is actually in a final edit form. I’ve had it reviewed by other people and I’ve made changes. If I think it’s great, then it has to be pretty good as I generally think what I write sucks. So I’d like to try to get it published somewhere. I know I’ve said that before and I admit that I didn’t really try this year, even though I said I would. But I should probably dust off the cobwebs and actually make an honest attempt to submit it. I can honestly say that the positive feedback I received after my sermon at my church made me feel more compelled to give it a try. It never hurts to try. The worst that can happen is rejection. Rejection is okay.

Anyway, that’s my update for now. I’ve got some other topics that I’ve wanted to blog about so maybe I’ll make some time in the coming days to get them down. Until then, good luck to all in dealing with the holiday madness!

3 thoughts on “Christmas and 2011 Adventure Ponderings

  1. I think that when you’re writing a fiction story, whether it is realistic or sci fi or even fanfic, the main thing that is important is making the characters feel emotionally honest. But maybe you could spend some time reading memoirs of bands on the verge – there are a lot of decent ones out there. Cherie Currie has a great one about the Runaways.

  2. Fortunately for me, I’ve read U2 by U2 which did give me a lot of insights about the beginnings of a band. At least as far as U2 is concerned. I should probably try some other reading material of this type… I like how you think; it’s like killing two birds with one stone–research for my fiction story AND continuing research for the style of memoir writing. ;)

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