Tag Archives: pumpkins

NaNoWriMo progress update + more pumpkin poetry

NaNo update!

I’m at my usual pace around this time of year. In need-to-get-the-lead-out mode. Trying to pass 10k within the next 24 hours or so.
I’m amused at all of the writers in my G+ NaNoWriMo circle who are stressed out about being a couple thousand words behind. Try being about 10-13k behind! It’s really not the end of the world. Having done this event a few times I have the perspective of it being okay if I get to 50k and it being okay if I don’t, though I plan to finish this challenge. I can probably edit a decent story out of this year’s effort.

Because I want to post this poem before the end of the month, I’ll not hinge it on being current on the linear word count guidelines. Instead I’ll set a goal to make my minimum count needed to not fall behind any further today (about 700 more words for the night) and post the rest of Picking Pumpkins including the first stanza again. Enjoy!

Picking Pumpkins

For rows and rows they stretch
Round in shape, some tall and lean
All shades of orange hues
Anticipating Halloween
Wedged between husks of corn
Listing from side to side
A chilly breeze whips ’round
A truck bed fit for a hay ride

The lanes go around a small cluster
Of dried-up scarecrows
With straw hands and shiny buttons
Guarding the patch and its rows
With benevolent eyes and crafty smiles
They make a fine bunch of bumpkins
Pointing to and lighting the way
To the surrounding pumpkins

Visitors kick hay as they walk
Marking the aisles with their forays
A sign at the entrance reads “Which way?”
Mere steps from a giant corn maze
In a lot corner two people are deciding
Between the big one or the small
“Which to choose? Which to choose?
We cannot take them all.”

They determine the medium-sized ones
Don’t deserve much of their attention
They pass them by with no second thought
Growing hungrier for selection
The first person watches the second
The second one paces around
The best one for their journey home
Is one just right and just round.

The second one passes by
The right one and then it’s time
To hold it up to the light
And free the orange skin of its grime
It is a bigger pumpkin
With a slightly lighter hue
Of orange, enough to be reflective
She says, “Oh, this one will do!”

She pulls a device from her pocket
and opens the camera app
Aims it at the large round orb
And carefully takes a snap
She glances at the other
And shows her still-frame catch
They look at the photo feeling quite pleased
Grabbing hands, they leave the patch

What they both know is
A secret you can’t deny
For the real pumpkin is
The one you choose to let lie
Whatever you take away,
One may surmise
Could become a jack o’lantern or
A couple of spiced, warm pies.

Or it could become a forgotten gift
That may be left to rot
On the doorstep, in a front yard
The one that time forgot
Back to the earth, the squashy flesh
Will fade into rows of pine
And the crowds will come back to seize
A tree from a fake-flocked line.

Next time you find yourself in a patch
Take a photo, take a few
To capture the true essence of autumn
Any hue will do
Be sure to wander to the corners
And around all the bends
Once you decide, leave all as they lie
Now, you’re picking pumpkins.

Writing progress update + mini-book review: Canadian Culinary Road Trip

This week in my spare time I read a book, made progress in a couple others, wrote a story synopsis and a poem, and got caught up on some video lectures for a class. More videos were just posted so I have to catch up all over again which negates my sense of accomplishment on that. Oh well.

In NaNo news I should be writing a lot more; throwing content toward my word count instead of here. The good news is that I am at least writing something. Hopefully the action will get the creativity flowing. With Daylight Saving Time ending tonight I’ll have one more hour in my day to make up the writing debt. Whether I remember to turn my clock back before I sleep is another issue. All those gentle reminders from several punctual and caring social media friends are helping that effort. Thanks, my friends.

As a “reward” for myself, I’ll post my full poem once I catch up on my word count.
LA Local wrimos
How’s your Nano novel coming along? There’s a write-in at the South Bay Pavilion’s Panera Breads on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 4:00PM – 7:00PM.

Here’s the first stanza as a teaser:

Picking Pumpkins

For rows and rows they stretch
Round in shape, some tall and lean
All shades of orange hues
Anticipating Halloween
Wedged between husks of corn
Listing from side to side
A chilly breeze whips ’round
A truck bed fit for a hay ride…

More to come next time.

Mini-book review: Canadian Culinary Road Trip

Canadian Culinary Road TripCanadian Culinary Road Trip by Isabel Fonte

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked up this book a few years ago at a book fair and finally got around to re-reading this as I was looking for some new recipe ideas. This book is a virtual road trip with some wonderful photos of the Canadian landscape along with places of interest with regional recipes from across the country. I’ve tried a couple of the recipes and highly recommend the “cream of carrot soup” and the “rappie pie”- (a sort of Shepherd’s pie) dishes.

View all my reviews

Pumpkins and prose

Happy Halloweenies. Pumpkin season is here.

Just like every year, I’ve been a bit removed from any sort of pumpkin patch photo fun, and I’m guessing the pumpkin patch season’s basically over now. What can I say? I didn’t come from a pumpkin-loving family. Due to a loved one’s allergy to the squash/carving toy pumpkins never found a welcome place in my house while growing up with the exception of those plastic buckets used to hold candy. I’ve gone about my October days normally and when out and about I saw them just about everywhere. However, their presence barely registered in my brain not unlike a vegetarian just passing by the butcher area in the grocery store on the way to the healthful carby aisles.

On the flip-side I do remember having a ball at other people’s houses while attempting to carve one into some artsy candleholder-esque state. Haven’t done that in a few years, but maybe I will again.

My favorite carving I’ve seen this year: pumpkin Fail Whale (click for full size)

pumpkin carving of the Twitter fail whale
Image courtesy Joseph Lee on G+

Geeky Twitter carving, ftw.

Soon the time will arrive for gingerbread and the associated spices and aromas will take over the visual and olfactory landscape, likely at the stroke of midnight tonight. Know what that means? The onset of getting up one glorious hour later– Good riddance, DST! Sunny mornings except for those November rainy days.  Spending more time in places with the AC off and perhaps instead a little heat emanating across the room. Lattes every day (of the non-expensive variety). Lots of scarf wearing, cranberry flavors, and piping-hot stuffing spilling out of more than a few turkey dishes.

In other news, NaNoWriMo starts in about 2 hours. I have a lofty goal to not have to write over Thanksgiving. Again, that is lofty but I am still looking forward to the challenge. My story genre this year is youth fiction with a bit of humor, some kind of throw down to be had, some other cool stuff, plus a little craziness all mixed together. It’s not too late to sign up if you have ever wanted to write a novel in a month. What do you mean you haven’t ever wanted to do that? Does not compute! Please try (again).

Best efforts to my fellow wrimos! Writing 50,000 words in a month is no easy feat, but remember, though you may be writing your novel alone you are among thousands of writers doing this at the same exact time over the next month.

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