I was listening to the local news today and they were talking about the flooding in the Red River Valley area. I looked out the window watching the rain fall and considered volunteering to assist in their sand bagging effort. As I contemplated my schedule and watched the rain from my home office I noticed that I could see the the river from where I was sitting.
I live on the corner of 1st and Elm Street. Elm Street runs along side of my house and is more the size of an alley than an actual road, I assume this is partially because there are no more than 2 houses actually on Elm Street. It is this narrow road that separates my yard from the banks of the Platte River. I assume the reason the house is so close to the river bank is because the structure is about 107 years old. It’s been completely renovated from the floor up as well as added on to. Today, there are more rules and local ordinances regarding set backs from rivers and lakes, rules that didn’t exist when this house was originally built. Being able to see river water from the main floor of my house inspired one response from me. I turned on my heels and headed for the basement where I found standing water at the base of the stairs.
The only upshot is that the basement flooring is ceramic tile because the house is so close to the river. Whoever put in the large squares of ceramic tile was also smart enough to put in a floor drain. Unfortunately, the drain was placed inexplicably on an incline which renders it almost useless unless the water level gets significantly higher.
For the past 7 years I’ve operated an online bookstore called Madeline West. The basement level of my house is where my library is housed. The books listed for sales on my website weren’t effected because the water had not eeked into that section of the basement. What was damaged was the boxes of unappraised books nearest to the basement door.
Instead of volunteering to sand bag the Red River Valley, it seems my week is completely booked. It’s going to be a very long week of clean up and the rain is expected to continue on for remainder of the week. It seems I need an emergency plan, the water levels on the river will without question rise.
Today was a shopping day which included the purchase of a new vacuum cleaner. I procrastinate these kinds of purchases because I hate spending over 200.00 on an item that isn’t in anyway fun. For that kind of money I could buy an iPod Touch or one of those under the cupboard television sets with the screen that flips down; you know fun. I planned to purchase one last year but didn’t which meant that buying one this year was a must.
Since I wasn’t going to get anything remotely entertaining I picked a Hoover WindTunnel vacuum cleaner. This particular model was the small canister type that I could use on carpet or wood floors but the real clincher to the deal was that it looked like I could sit on it and scoot from room to room if I was so inclined. This made the Hoover WindTunnel the perfect choice because the purchase was both functional and fun (wink).
I’ve gone back to working on my novel in the past few days. I haven’t put much time in because I have so many other things demanding my attention right now. In the past months it’s been difficult to pick it back up because I’ve been away from it for an extended period and when a worked on it last month the chapters I added changed the trajectory of my story. I didn’t nix the new direction but I did take time to consider the best strategy for reconnecting with fiction writing after a long break.
Being very new to fiction writing I’m not only writing first novel but I’m discovering my process and learning what works for me. I don’t do outlines and I don’t write in any particular order. I have no doubt that choosing a less complex storyline for my first novel would have made my life easier but this is the story that commands my attention so it’s the story I’m determined to tell.
I’ve decided that after an extended break that I need re enter by picking the story up in places that are very familiar, sections of the story that I know well in my head but haven’t written down, which was exactly what I did over the weekend. I was able to reconnect with the story at a safe re-entry point and I plan to leave less certain areas alone for the time being.
Writing fiction feels like someone threw open the window of my soul. All fiction writing days are my best days even when I don’t produce my best writing. I like being in my book as much as I like being in my life, I’m not sure that’s healthy but it’s true.
The New York Times Diners Journal reported on a new restaurant opening tomorrow called La Cave des Fondus. La Cave des Fondus is an American replication of the French restaurant Montmartre restaurant Le Refuge des Fondus an establishment where customers are served red and white wine in plastic baby bottles.
The Manhattan restaurant is owned by Jacques Ouari who told the New York Times, “I wanted to set up my place exactly like the one in Paris. It’s such a fun place. Everybody loves drinking beer and wine from baby bottles – even my father thought it was fun – and I think New Yorkers will like it too. I checked with the health department and as long as we put the bottles in the dishwasher they have no problem with it.”
Waitresses working for Hooters will without question feel the most pressure in light of the new trend, fearing the infantile digression will expand to increase the demand for breastfeeding. The Le Leche League has yet to comment on the increased use of plastic baby bottles but insiders expect that the group will issue a press release in the days to come capitalizing on the opportunity to reaffirm the health benefits of breast feeding.
While not yet known, a growing number of diners believe the type of nipple used by La Cave des Fondus will be a determining factor as to the ultimate success or failure of the new establishment. The Nuk, or as it is more commonly referred Nukie, is considered by many to be the best compliment to any alcoholic beverage.
***It should be noted that the Parisians establishment serves wine in baby bottles to avoid the French tax on wine served in glasses. While Parisians most likely appreciate this little tax dodge and go along with the slap-in-the-face humor, the activity may not hold the same charm with New Yorkers since the baby bottle will incur the same tax as an elegant piece of stemware.
She was tempted to regret him but she didn’t, at least not yet. She arrived with no expectations so it only seemed right that she leave the same way. But for the time in between the day that they started and the day that they ended, that small unobtrusive dash that guarded the distance between their beginning and their end, time drew in a long deep breath then slowly exhaled until it breathed no more.