Monday, November 30, 2009

Tis The Season







I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving, and for you non-United States visitors, I hope you had an exceptionally happy Thursday.

It was opening weekend here and I've been a little bit busy. My younger brother came to visit for the holiday, and I'm forever in his debt for finally coercing my
wireless printer to print wirelessly. I don't know if he used threats, black magic or his excellent Ninja skills, but whatever he did to it, I can now print very important things like e mail, jokes, and rambling, subversive manifestos from the comfort of my couch. I used to be required to slap the battery into my laptop, walk into to my office (a distance of about 30 feet) and plug it in to print stuff. No longer am I tethered to a USB cable.

(Long Sigh) Ahhh, I can almost hear my muscles atrophying now.

Friday night I drove Liberty. She is our only mare, and she tends to be a bit tweeky. Also, being a mare, she pees differently than the geldings do. This means when she has to go, she goes backwards as opposed to downwards. So, when she urinates her stream ends up filling the poop bag. As the poop bag fills up with both #1 and #2, this makes a creation we call a "Shit Slurpee." Then, the combination of tweeky, jiggy mare and shit slurpee bloom into a sloppy mess on the front of my white carriage that can best be compared to a two color (green on a white background) Jackson Pollock-ish work of avant garde delight.

The wreath that adorns the front of my carriage will never be the same again.

I would have taken a picture of it but it was late and I was tired. Plus I forgot. And since then I've hosed down the front of my carriage so it's lost to the world now. But don’t fret; it's early in the season and I'm sure another chance will come around.

Saturday I drove Cletus, one of my favorite co-workers. We were a little slower on Saturday than we were on Friday. After we returned to the barn and were gathered in the office waiting for the rest of the employees to return, Coco, who had forgotten to bring his drivers sheet out, showed us all how he kept track of both his rides and his credit card sale reference number.



Yes, it's a bit provincial, but it works. And at least he used a marker, as opposed to, say, a razor blade.

Belle's Personal Assistant and her spouse, better known as Carriage Clause, both former employees of our company, stopped by to visit and join us for breakfast. BPA returned to the barn with the drivers, pushing my friend ~A~ into the passenger compartment of her carriage and driving Liberty from South Gate back to the barn. Bart, Belle's brother/former team mate, And BPA's most favored draft horse (after Belle, of course) wasn't available for her to drive but when he got into the barn she gave him big hugs. Like
Stacey with Wesson, BPA wants Bart to come live with her when it's his turn to retire.







Sunday night I worked with Jerry.


I haven't driven Jerry for a while and man oh man has he put on weight! I almost couldn’t get him between the carriage shafts. Talk about a
w i d e
l o a d.

It was painfully slow Sunday, but it typically is the first Sunday of the season. And at least the weather held— no rain or snow all weekend.

On one of my trips around Temple Square a man parking his SUV next to a "No Parking" sign asked, "Is it alright if I park here?" I said, "Sure, that "No Parking" sign is purely for esthetics."



Wease is coming down from Northern Utah to stay with me and drive for a few days. She's going to be doing this every week until New Years so it should be fun. She brings with her three dogs, making a total of five at our house while she's here. Plus she, along with all of her dogs, is female, which totally tips the estrogen factor in our house into the black. Mr. Slave Driver and Border Collie extraordinaire, Cowboy, might opt for a hotel room. Or at least move out into the travel trailer for the duration. It should make for an interesting time.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weather Report

It snowed last night, about an inch or so out here in the 'burbs, and I'm hoping that it's "done" for a while. Although the ski resorts could use some weather love. Being the selfish person I am it would please me immensely if it stayed in the 50's from now until Christmas Day, then it could snow like hell. But, since I have yet to learn how to master the weather (and if I ever do I sure as shit won’t be a carriage driver, I'll move on to practicing World Domination) I guess I'll just have to be pleased with what we have instead of what I want, and what we have this week is good stuff. You know, considering that it's the Rocky Mountains and all.

At least that's what *they* predict.

Mr. Slave Driver's business is construction, and mine is an outdoorsy type job also, so we both watch the forecast. Although I must admit that many times I fall asleep during the local news so I ask Mr. SD to give me a recap. Which he does, unless he too has succumbed and misses it. It doesn’t really matter in the long run because all four local stations give four different predictions so it's all a crap shoot anyway. Which is why I bring all my gear with me every night, just in case. There are few things worse than being cold and wet and knowing that you will remain cold and wet for three more hours and it’s nobody's fault but your own because you were not prepared.

Anyway, I'm back to working on novel number two, which is a continuation of novel number one, and it's probably stupid to be working on it because if novel number one doesn’t get sold then, one might ask, why bother? But I've made sure that it is a stand alone, and anyone who has not read #1 would be right up to speed on #2. Kind of like The Da Vinci Code was the second book and Angels and Demons was the first, but without all the symbols and religious stuff. And no albinos, although there is mention of a "lethal white" in the first chapter.

So all you all have a great Thanksgiving and I'll be back later this week. I really have nothing to say right now, so let me know if there's a subject you want to hear about and maybe I'll write about that.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Xmas, Schmexmas...



Yesterday after we took MBA out for lunch I mentioned in passing to Ro that I would be in on Monday to strip my carriage of the rose theme and pimp it for Christmas. Later she called and coerced me into coming in on Thursday to do my changeover because the company owner wanted to ship it off Friday for a specialty. That way, since the owner likes the way I decorate, she gets a decorated carriage and doesn’t have to do the work herself. She told Ro to bribe me with a free lunch.

Ok, no problem, I'm a company gal. And I'm easily had; dangle food in front of me and I'm not too proud to admit I will follow you. Besides, they don't let any old idiot do specialties, so I know at least my carriage would be in good hands.

So, looking over my blogs from last year I showed you my
before carriage and my after carriage, then I gave explicit directions on how to add a sound system to my ride, so I guess today I will show you all the stuff I strip off and replace with Christmas decorations to make my carriage one of the most requested ones on the block.
So, step 1: remove the usual stuff; rose swag that goes around the bottom and along the sides, plus the two bouquets that sit up by the back rest.




Step 2: add the fake evergreen garland imbedded with lights.




Step 3: add evergreen swag on top and around driver's seat, dash and sides.

Step 4: Add other chotchkies like the big blue light bulb ornament I got at ShopCo last year after Christmas (I buy all my decorations after Christmas when they’re 75-90% off. Because I'm smart. And cheap.) Top it off with a festive wreath.




So even thought it is now decorated, I won't actually be driving it until next weekend.



Sorry this is dry and dull, but I'm still under the influence of drugs and the haze doesn't allow a lot of creativity.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ouchie Wha-Wha…

My friend Stacey over at Jumping-Percheron got whapped in the leg by her horse and I'm sure that will leave a mark. Over here, I haven't been hurt by a horse since Annie jerked me and pulled a muscle in my shoulder which hurt like hell for a week or two.

Right now I'm suffering, and mind you I have a very high tolerance for pain, so when I say suffering it means a lot. Right now, for example, I am sitting in a chair that I never sit in to type because I cannot get up off of the couch I usually work at.

What the heck did I do? I don't know, but I've had it before. It's called Costochondritis. There is a spot on the left side of my chest that feels like I've gotten hit by a National League Fastball. Imagine, if you will, that every time you move, lean, twist, sneeze, cough, or breathe, someone sticks two or three forks in the spaces between your ribs. Rusty forks. With metal spurs.

Anyway, I went to the doctor and got lots of drugs so I can kick this things ass before Black Friday, when I'll be working all day long and on and on for 5 days straight.

I.must.get.well.now.

So sorry this is a short blog (in fact for many of you it's probably a relief) but the meds have kicked in and I must rest.

Have a great week.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ignite Your Passion

Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
on his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done and he did it.


—Edgar A. Guest

It Couldn't Be Done


The above quote is particularly poignant for me because at 5:30 mountain time on November 12, 2009, I submitted my first novel, The Carriage Trade, to a literary agent.

Now, I know that this comes to no surprise to those of you who follow Confessions of a Slave Driver, as I occasionally blog about the trials and tribulations of being Pre-Published (yes, that is the term those of us who have not yet hit the shelves of Barnes and Nobel prefer. It sounds so much nicer than "Unpublished, and I have to tell you, I hate the term "Aspiring Writer." I feel it denotes "wanting" as opposed to "doing". I don't want to write, I write. Period.)

Anyway, the best way to get me to do something is to tell me that I can't. When I started writing my novel I did it because I had a story in my head and I needed to get it out of there before I went insane. Now, some may argue that by then I was well past the point of no return on the whole insanity thing, but nevertheless, I put the story on paper first, then I went about learning how to write a novel. I am infamous for doing things bass ackward.

So after years of writing and rewriting to fix all the things I did wrong, I finally submitted the finished piece and can move on the next work in process I have sitting on my laptop.

Now, you may ask, why the heck did Slave Driver invest the last three years in something for which she did not get paid and may never get published? Neglecting her family (Yeah, it toughened them up and taught them to be self-sufficient…) Living in a dirty house (nobody cares anyway, and I've never been much of a clean freak) not to mention all the drinking I've missed out on…Okay, to be honest, writing never inhibited me from partaking in the occasional adult beverage. In fact, I'd say that drinking while writing is my forte. I find a glass or three of wine helps to lubricate my creative gears, so to speak. So I guess that doesn't count. But writing is a solitary endeavor, so it's not like I could do it in a bar surrounded by my partners in crime friends. Which brings us back to the original question of why?

Because, it's something that I'm passionate about. That's why even when few of you come and visit, and even fewer of you comment, I still blog. I'm still going to churn out words, twice a week, because it's writing. For years I've had jobs, but never a career. When I began writing I discovered that all the weird and varied jobs I'd had were my preparation for a career as a writer. I mean, come on, working as a mare handler at a stud farm, and being the personal assistant to the director on a movie? Not to mention the year I was a lunch lady at a high school. My resume bounces from one obscure job category to another, like a pinball. But that's okay— it's all been fodder for the word mill. It's all been experience.

Which bring me to this:

The eBook I contributed a chapter to is now available for your purchasing pleasure. It's geared towards those of you who are dissatisfied with the current status of your employment or life and want to move forward into a position that you might actually enjoy. It's chocked full of stories and anecdotes about how successful people took a look at their lives and decided that a change was in order.

Inside the virtual pages you will find inspiration from such notable individuals as cookie giant Wally "Famous" Amos , marketing strategist Michelle Kabele , motivational speaker Dave "The Shef" Sheffield along with career coach and networking goddess April Williams . I highly recommend it for those of you who seek a change and don't know where to begin.

Here's the secret; it begins with you.




And, I can get you a discount. Because we know I'm all about not paying retail.

Go to

Cyberlifetutors.com.IgniteYourPassion

Use coupon code Le5Ord3r04 for a 5% discount

My name is *Lisa Williams, and I am a published writer.


*Truth in advertising; I am not the Lisa Williams who speaks to dead people. At least, none that I know of.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle

(Please note: Because we live in a litigious society, names have been changed so I don't get sued.)

As the saying goes, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world"; meaning, the person raising a child has the most influence on them. It works like that with carriage drivers, sort of. Of course, not with children; in our case it has to do with Restaurants.

When I work downtown, I come into contact with literally hundreds of people per shift. Some ask directions, some ask about horses, or events/tourist attractions in the Salt Lake Valley, and a large number ask for a recommendation for a restaurant downtown. The same goes for Ro, who answers the phones for the carriage company and makes ride reservations. She, like us, will be asked by a customer where they should go and eat before a ride.

And here is the thing about the employees at Carriage For Hire: we love food. This is obvious just by looking at us. From the time we hit South Gate to the time we un-tack the horses for the evening, we talk about food, reminisce about particular favorites, and in fact discuss recipes and entire meals we've had. Being that we work in a service based industry, we pay particular attention not only to the price point and quality of the food we order, but the level and speed of service we receive at the various places we frequent. And just ask Jenn from Dee's, we tip extraordinarily well.

So, when a new restaurant opens, we look forward to trying it out, hoping that we've found a new favorite. Not only for our own personal use, but for another place to recommend to folks looking for a decent meal. When I worked in the executive dining room for a local oil company, the Executive Chef confided to me that if he ever opened a restaurant downtown, he would "take care of" the carriage drivers. Being from Chicago, I assumed at first he meant we would all be sleeping with the fishes, but he explained that since he is aware we send business to restaurants he'd make sure we were either fed for free or tipped out accordingly. That eased my mind a bit…

For example, I will not send people to any of the following places:

Bxxxxxxxa (dry, overcooked food tepanyaki style with a listless staff who are more concerned with turning over the tables than they are about you having a pleasant and enjoyable dining experience.)

The Downtown Oxxxe Gxxxxn (just the opposite; a lackadaisical staff and management who are more concerned with entertaining out of town conventioneers than locals. And don't ever go in there if you have to be someplace, like say, The Capitol Theater to see "Spamalot", and only have an hour and a halfbetween the time you sit down and order and curtain time, You. Won't. Make. It.)

Having worked in the food service industry myself, I will never again set foot in Sxxxxn, because if the front of the house is filthy, what does the kitchen look like?
I pass this info along to the people I work with; we have about 25 driver on staff. And in turn they tell me about their culinary nightmares; Bxxxxxa ruined a filet mignon; Gxxxxx's lunch was nasty but it could be a fun place to go for cocktails; and Txe Rxxf is overpriced for unimaginative fare, and the cheesecake was clearly on its last day, dry with a yucky film between the layers. And as Ro said, it's hard to ruin Cheesecake; you order it in from your supplier, and store it in your fridge. At $35.00 a person for their buffet, one expects a certain level of quality, which lately we have found not to be there.

So, food. ~A~, Ro and I had lunch at a new place that just opened on Main street. We've been looking forward to it with great anticipation because on the weekend they are scheduled to be open 24 hours. In downtown SLC the only place open 24 hours is Denny's. Sad and pathetic, I know.

We went to Txe Bxy Lxxf and ordered three menu items, all different, and planned on eating family style. We ask for extra plates, and scoop portions so everyone gets a chance to try each item. The best thing ordered was the lemonade ~A~ had. The meatloaf was crusty, the fried chicken was moist but bland, and the Bulgogi (yeah, I know, their menu is eclectic, but we like eclectic, when it's done right, which The Tin Angel is a prime example of) was dry, and charred, thus ruining the sweet Korean marinade I normally associate with it. And the ear of roasted corn? In the Slave Driver household, if I had shucked the puny, mealy ear that was served, it would have gone straight into the trash, and our family motto is "Nothing but the most mediocre for us." So, yeah.

All in all it was an "Eww" meal. And too bad, because we send people to places we like all the time. J. Wongs Biestro, (they have a fabulous desert made of deep friend cream cheese wrapped in wonton skins. It sounds weird but it's really freakin' good) Lambs Café, Tuchana in The Gateway Mall, and The Red Iguana are all restaurants we recommend. (The Red Iguana, on North Temple, not The Bxxe Ixxxxa, next to Bxxxxxxxa) And for a small example of the culinary power we wield, here is a little story about a place we found in the 'burbs:

I met Ro at a mall last week frequented by crack heads and gang bangers. I refused to eat in the food court, and as we left for another venue on our Sunday shopping extravaganza, we stopped at Smash Burger. We loved it. It is now our newest favorite place (while we anxiously await the opening of the "In-and-Out Burger" they're building by my house). Ro told her man, and I told mine. The next day Mr. Slave Driver dragged his fellow workers there, and they too enjoyed it. And these guys not only go out to eat every day, but often take clients to lunch. (Mr. Slave Driver works in the construction trade, so informal dining is just fine with them.) Ro's significant other ate there, too, and while he did not like it as much as we did, he said it was good. Then, Ro told MBA of our newfound love, and she said her son told her he'd tried it and found it to be kind of bleh. But because Ro and I liked it, and knowing 1) how much Ro and I like food, and 2) how incredibly picky we are, she's going to give it a try based on our review..

How's that for influence?

So, if you're ever in Salt Lake, looking for a good place to eat, ask your local carriage driver. Because when it comes to food, clearly, we know what we're talking about. After all, we don't look the way we look because we eat sensibly. Or, you know, a lot of salads.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Excerpt, Chapter 9, Page 90

I'm still deep in revision over here, and haven't worked at the barn in over a month. Ro tells me there's been some physical changes; the window in the drivers room, broken two years ago when one of the drafts roaming the property wedged himself between one of the stock trailers and the window, found out that glass doesn't bend very well, has finally been replaced. The fluorescent lighting in the small barn has been improved. (Fluorescents take a while to achieve full brightness during cold weather. There were times I thought I was going blind…) and the gas heater in the drivers room is finally being fixed, which is great, because that's also where the bathroom is and it gets freakin' cold in there, if you know what I mean.

Add into the mix the two new horses purchased at the auction in Denver last month, and you can see that there is a lot of stuff I've missed. So clearly I need to take a ride downtown. I also have to switch my summer stuff to my winter stuff and do my semi-annual locker cleaning to get it all to fit. But not today. Today I'm still editing. So, since I really have nothing to moan, mock, discuss, or bitch about, I'm posting an excerpt from the novel I'm doing the slash and burn on.

This is one of my favorite scenes. Here is the set-up: the main characters, Bill Fantazma and Carlin "Carlos" Farley operate, you guessed it, a carriage business. Her nickname for him is "Baby Huey." Currently their relationship is platonic, but they do have a romantic history. Carlos has recovered from an accident that killed her husband and young son, amputated her left foot, and gave her brain damage, along with mild aphasia and significant memory loss. One of the side effects of the brain damage is occasional seizures. In this scene Carlos had a seizure the night before, and while she usually sleeps in an RV located on the property, in this case Bill put her in his bed to keep an eye on her.

***

Bill awakened suddenly, something cold touching the bottom of his foot. He lay on his side, his legs drawn up close to his body, and glanced at glowing red numbers on the clock; 3:10. He stretched out and rolled to his left. The soft blue moonlight streaming through the French doors revealed the lump in the bed next to him. Carlin he thought and smiled as his eyes adjusted to the dim interior of his bedroom. She faced away from him, and he realized that it had been her foot touching his. Cautiously extending his leg, Bill connected with her foot again, and tentatively rubbed it with his toes.

It’s like ice. He rolled over, propped himself up on one elbow, and watched her sleep. She lay under the covers, the sheet pulled up around her waist, the blankets bunched up at the end of the bed. He reached out and put his hand on her bare back, feeling the chill of her skin through his fingertips. She responded to his touch, arching against the warmth of his hand. He felt her roll and drew back his arm.

She turned towards him, pillowing her hands under her cheek, her dark brown eyes gazed at him from under her lashes. His heart lurched. She slept shirtless, and in the moonlight he had a very nice view of her breasts. He couldn't stop himself from watching them shift around when she rolled over. He felt his pulse quicken as he looked at her. He licked his lips and swallowed hard, barely noticing the scarcity of saliva and the thick woolen feel of his tongue.

“Bill, I’m cold,” she whispered, her sleepy voice holding a hint of a whine.

“Okay darlin’, hang on one second,” Bill’s reply husky as he dragged his eyes away from her. With great regret he sat up, reached down to the end of the bed and pulled the blankets up over her, tucking her in as she burrowed deep into them looking for warmth. Her hair unbound, he reached out and moved a strand of it out of her face with his fingers, lightly stroking her cheek. She sighed.

“Thanks Baby Hu…” her soft voice drifted away.

Bill watched her for a moment longer before he rolled away, positioning his body as close to the edge as possible. He knew her proximity and her nakedness would make returning to sleep very difficult. He took a deep breath, drawing in her scent, almond cookies with a hint of horse, knowing even while he did it that it was a mistake.

I should never have put her under the covers, he reminded himself. She gets too warm and then we have this…this…situation.

He thought about her breasts again, watching an instant replay in his head, over and over. He punched his pillow and muttered, “Have some mercy, woman.” Closing his eyes he breathed deeply through his mouth, tried to ignore the alluring smell of almonds, attempted to stop his pulse from pounding in his chest, and crunched numbers in his brain to cool his ardor.

***

Bill’s alarm screeched at seven am. He reached a long arm out and slapped it off. “Oh, shut up!” he grumbled, never opening his eyes.

“Bill,” Carlin’s tone was sharp.

Bill opened his eyes and stared at the wall.

“Bill,” she repeated, insistent.

“What?” He was grumpy. He was tired. Going back to sleep was very tempting.

“Why am I in your bed?” she demanded.

Bill rolled his eyes and said nothing. Great, it’s going to be like that, is it?

“Did I have a see-saw?” she asked.

He rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling. “Yes, you had a seizure,” he replied.

She was quiet for a moment. “Was what’s-his-name there?”

Bill sighed. “Richard. Yes.”

He felt her rustling next to him. “What did we do last night?”

“We ate pizza and watched your favorite movie. Then you fell asleep.”

“We watched ‘The Godfather’? I don’t remember that.”

Bill swiveled his head towards her. “No, we watched ‘The Princess Bride.’”

Carlos looked into his eyes, “That’s your favorite movie, Bill.”

Bill grinned at her, eyeing her tousled bed-head, the way she cocooned herself into the covers, so close he could smell her lotion. This morning she smelled like warm cookies. Adorable warm cookies.

She narrowed her eyes and glared at him. “Why am I naked?” she asked with a fair amount of suspicion in her voice.

Bill raised his eyebrows, all innocent, “You’re not naked. You still have your underpants on, don't you?”

She pulled the covers away and took a quick look, giving him another flash of her breasts. “Did we do sex last night?” she asked accusingly, pulling the covers snug around her again.

Bill closed his eyes and sighed heavily. Maybe she wasn't so adorable this morning after all. “No. We did not have sex last night.”

“Because I don’t like being taken advantage of, Bill.”

“I know you don’t. I would never do that to you.” He tried to keep his voice even, but he was too tired for this. He rolled back onto his side, away from her, praying for patience.

“Then why am I naked?” The accusatory tone was still in her voice. “Give me your shirt,” she demanded, clutching the covers closer to her.

Bill gritted his teeth and slapped the mattress between them with his palm, making her jump. “You took your tank and your bra and your jeans off because you were too hot. In the middle of the night you woke me up because you were too cold and I covered you with the blanket. Now you're suddenly shy, and you want my clothes? I kept my clothes on all night, missy!”

“Well, you should have stopped me,” she said, uncertainty creeping into her voice.

"Like I could ever stop you," Bill muttered.

“And how do I know that you didn’t take my clothes off after the see-saw when you know I can’t remember stuff like that!” she harrumphed. “And then I wake up naked,” she added, jerking away from him onto her side.

Bill mentally counted to ten, then rolled back towards her, inching over until he was pressed up against her back. He put his free arm around her and jerked her up against the length of his long, hard body. He heard her breath escape in an “Oof!” as he placed his lips next to her ear.

“If I had stripped off your clothes and made love to you last night, Carlin, I guarantee you would remember it this morning,” he hissed.

Pushing himself away from her, he flung off the covers and rolled out of bed, ripping his t-shirt off over his head with both hands as he walked across the room. From the doorway he turned, wadded it into a ball and threw it at her.

“Now what did I do?” she asked, flinching as it hit her.

“Nothing!” Bill growled, and he went downstairs to find refuge in lifting weights.

Monday, November 2, 2009

No Nano 4 Me-O

November, for those of you who don't swim in the literary pool, is National Novel Writing Month The idea is you can turn off your internal editor, sit in front of your keyboard, and pound out a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. And yes, I do know people who have accomplished this, but I am not now nor will I ever be one of them.


No NaNo Candy in this house

Why? You ask.

One reason is, I'm not much of a "joiner." The few organizations I belong to require me to do the least amount of participation possible, with the exception of the RWA chapter I'm a member of and they just elected me treasurer, silly fools.

For example, I am a member of the DAR; Daughters of the American Revolution, and only because my mother did all the genealogy work, and, as a member, (and in return for my $51.00 a year membership fee,) my daughter is eligible for scholarships. Otherwise every email I get, which tend to be nothing more than prayer requests for members living in Arizona (I'm a member of my mother's chapter. Don't ask, it's a long story…) go directly into the recycle bin unread. Because I. Don't. Give. A. Crap.

I'm also a member of the League of Utah Writers. It was the first writing group I joined and the two best things I got out of it were my friend Doree, and the critique group I belong to. Otherwise, I don't attend any of the meetings anymore because, well, it's a long story. Again. Mostly it has to do with good stuff on television on Thursday nights and a lack of learning anything new. Plus they don't have a bar, even a cash one. And when I did attend there was a lot of eye rolling involved on my part, and I didn't want to pull an eyes muscle. So I still pay my dues, but mostly to pad my writing resume with the "Member of The League of Utah Writers" credential.

Impressive. Yeah, I know.

I'm also not much of a people person. Well, "normal" people, anyway. People who have feelings. If you're snarky, crude, have a warped sense of humor, and write "Mock People" at the top of your daily "To Do" List, we'd get along just fine. Otherwise, if you're looking for a BFF who helps boost your moral and self esteem, will hold your hand while you cry about your last poorly ended relationship, and wants to spend hours chatting about your hopes and dreams…not so much. I'm more of a "kick you in the ass to motivate you" kinda gal. Always have been. That makes me rather unpopular in certain circles, which is why I avoid joining circles whenever possible. I also, by the way, detest baby showers.

November will never be a good month for me to do anything as long as I'm still working for the Carriage barn. December, either. I go from being a slug, working maybe three days a week tops, (and only when I feel like it,) to being a full time employee. (shudder)

I know, I can hear all of you people out there who actually have real, full time jobs wringing your hands and crying for me.

Wait, no I can't, because you're not. You're mocking me in a funny sarcastic voice, "Oh, poor baby, has to work full time for six weeks, let's throw her a pity party…" Which is fine, I can take your ridicule, because trust me, I know how stupid it sounds. And I ridicule myself, often, because I deserve it.

But to get back to my Nano thing, November is a busy month for me so adding writing a novel into the mix is just never going to happen, because it would start out all funny, energetic and sweet and end up all bitter, foul and nasty. Sort of like how I start out November. Without the sweet part, of course. Plus you do it as a group, reporting your daily word count and touting your accomplishments, and I as said in the beginning, I'm not much of a group person. I'm more of a hunched over, admiring my precious, leave me the f*ck alone person.

So, in the interest of public safety, world peace and not contributing to the local homicide statistics, I'll stay out of NaNoWriMo, again, and stick to carriage driving.

You can thank me later.