Busy, Busy Busy

I have heard the phrase ‘busy beaver’ countless time in my life. It always brings to mind the beaver in Disney’s ‘Lady and the Tramp’ using advanced engineering skills to build his dam. He is thrilled to be offered the use of Lady’s ‘Handy-Dandy-Log-Puller’. He is totally unaware that he got ‘snookered’.

In the last couple of months, the pond behind my house has been the home of a family of beavers. We have Mamma Beaver, Papa Beaver and four little beavers all swimming around in our pond. The kids and I have had fun watching them and hearing their tails slap the water as they dive into the safety of the deep when we come too close. It seemed like a bit out of a story book.

Lately, when I walk the dogs in the morning, I have noticed that the young trees growing on the shore have gone missing. No problem, they were growing wild and needed to be thinned out. Today, I noticed that nearly all the trees are gone, including some that were at least 8 inches across. There are just a handful of saplings left. The term busy beaver has taken on new meaning. In six short weeks, a few cute furry animals have stripped an area of trees. They have been busy indeed, and the results are devastating.
In case you haven’t noticed, one of the busiest seasons of the year has arrived. Next week most of us will sit down to a meal of good food and surrounded by friends and family. The very next day, even on the same day in some cases, throngs of people will hurry out into the cold and dark night to flood the stores eager to spend their hard earned money. The next four weeks will be a flurry of shopping, partying and spending.

For what? A few hours of excited squeals and giggles as children, young and old, open piles of prettily wrapped gifts. Many of us will finally be able to sit back and say, “Thank goodness that’s over.’ I won’t go into how one of the holiest holidays has descended into a foul mass of materialism, we have all heard that a hundred times.

What I do want to say is, be careful that your ‘busyness’ doesn’t leave a swath of destruction behind. Take a few minutes to be truly thankful for what you have and enjoy the simple pleasures that come with the season and are often lost in the crowd.

I will still enjoy my beaver friends. They are only doing what God created them to do after all, but I will take their lesson with me, and be glad when they move on.

Still More Words!

I am still working at my NaNoWriMo challenge of 50,000 words. I attained the lofty goal of 18,000 yesterday and am hoping to hit 20,000 today. I am a little behind schedule due to lack of quiet in the house over the weekend, but I am back on the job now. Let me bring you up to speed.

The spies, Solmon and Abiah, have escaped through the window in Rahab’s room. They made it to the ground safely although Sol got some pretty serious rope burns in the process. They narrowly escaped a patrol out searching for them finally finding a cave in the mountains to the west. Sol’s hands become infected and Abiah must head out alone to find water and a healer.038 (7)

Meanwhile, Rahab is visiting her family. She went first to Kasim, her oldest brother, and ended up arguing and being banished from his house. Her younger brother, Seif, is a soldier and one of her closest friends. he berates her for lying to the captain of the guard on the word of two foreigners that she had known for one day. Rahab also sends out feelers to find another brother, Omar, who is living on the edges of the city’s garbage dump and dying from a wasting disease.

Rahab also talks to her youngest brother, Lutfi, who raises sheep outside the city. and her youngest sister who is working as a temple prostitute. Somehow she needs to pull together these very different people and bring them to her house which is certainly not really big enough for all these people.

Today, she is going to visit her father whom she has not seen since she ran away ten years ago. We will learn some of the back story and find out what makes a man sell his daughter. It will be a hard scene to write. He used and abused her yet, when she asks the spies to save her and her family, he is the first one she mentions. How do you get past the resentment, bitterness and hatred to save the one who should have saved you?

Poor Rahab has a hard task ahead of her for the next few days. but she has to hurry, the Israelites are on the move and are camped on the far side of the Jordan River preparing to cross. Stay tuned for more breaking news!

Words, Words, Words

I made the decision to sign up for NaNoWriMo which for the uninitiated stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a nation wide, even world wide, collection of people who promise to write 50,000 words during the month of November. I had never heard of it before a week ago although it has been happening for many years. A month ago I had stalled out on the book I was writing. I had finished the first section then went back to edit and rewrite so that I knew where I was headed with it. Apparently that was a big mistake. I got so bogged down in perfecting every word and every line that I had completely lost track of the story. I got discouraged, I lost interest. I was on the verge of giving up.

Then I heard about NaNo and thought to myself, “Self, that is what you need, a goal and a deadline. That is how we get things done.” So I took the plunge. Technically, NaNo is for those wanting to start a new book and write it from beginning to end. But 50,000 (with edits) is just about what I need to finish what I’m working on. So I’m doing it anyway. Next year, I will have one ready to start.

Now it is day four and I have just over 5,000 words written so far. I’m on track, even a little ahead. It is such a good feeling. I know that many of the words I am writing will end up in the recycle bin, certainly most of what I wrote yesterday, but hidden among the dross is the gold, and those precious gems that will carry the story along and make it shine. They are rough and unformed, the gold is impure, but I am forcing myself not to go back and fix it. Not yet. Once I get it written, when the 50,000 words are on the screen and added to what I already have, then I will begin to write and rewrite and edit and refine. Then maybe, just maybe, I will have a book to be proud of, a book that can be read and enjoyed my hundreds, dare I say thousands, of people.

So cheer me on my friends, I am getting it done!

Watch for it on bookshelves near you...Someday.

Watch for it on bookshelves near you…Someday.