Yesterday was hot, a little muggy, a bit breezy. I ran my 3 miles and got all sweaty. I also ran 4 loads of laundry and hung them out to dry. Today is chilly, very windy, and the air smells like smoke. Apparently a wildfire started up on the Minnesota side of the Boundary Waters back in August and the wind currents are bringing the smell directly to us. Wind is amazing, but even more incredible is my timing--my laundry smells like fresh air because I did it yesterday.
We have these wonky squash beetles all over the place. But there's this other kind that when I squish them, they ooze bright blue guts. They also smell sort of sweet. What are they? I've tried to find out, but have no clear leads. I suspect they're a type of stink bug ... these beetles make me very crabby. They've demolished our pumpkin and squash plants. I'm glad to share a portion of what we plant with birds, bugs and beasts, but I think it's awfully selfish of some critters to hog it all. (I'm talking to you, beetles and mice. A pox on your species.)
I read The Report by Jessica Francis Kane. To those of you who liked Sarah's Key (I felt it was poorly edited, great concept though), READ The Report. It's brilliantly crafted, also about a true event during WWII and has such a suspenseful tone. Ms. Kane can write.
I finally started Mockingjay. Naturally it is gripping. I always read paying close attention to plotting--it's one of my weaknesses as a writer. My agent has informed me that a significant rewrite is required of KLAG and I'm having a tough time stomaching the news. It would be easier if I had clear directives, "cut this character, move this scene forward, delete pages 24-39." This is the damndest part of trying to write anything I guess.
Friday night I start candidate training for my 2nd degree. I've been training on my own so far--running the 3 miles and reviewing the combinations. Stuff like front round kick/spin back round/spin kick/step punch/punch/jump spin kick. The 2nd degree test involves a LOT of jumping and spinning, not my strong suit. I feel confident on the escrimas and even though my bo staff form is rusty, I handle it well with little practice. I also have to know swords, which is definitely my weakest weapon. I'm the only adult in the group, though there are some high school boys. So instead of being paired with another grown up or a girl (there are an even number of girls and I'm the odd adult--seriously odd), I will be paired off with one of the high school boys. This will definitely push me, but I'm afraid I'll look pathetic next to LI since I'm twice his age and gravity-bound.
Making me most nervous, however, are two stupid little injuries. In August I rolled my left ankle badly. It still gives me grief when I kick against things with the top of my foot. I have a pinched nerve in my right elbow. Lifting in certain positions (required in much of the bo staff and sword forms) is painful and punching hurts since I cannot fully extend my arm without discomfort. I hate being a big baby about it, I hate it when people make excuses. I could postpone testing for my 2nd degree until spring or next fall, but who's to say I'll be in better shape then? It's possible I'll be in worse shape. The whole business depresses me and has my stomach churning with anxiety.
Thus I conclude: getting old is kind of a drag.