Liminal and Day 26

Prompt: Liminal


“She was very liminal.”

Ok, that’s the prompt out of the way, although it is an interesting word, and the base for the more common word “subliminal”. It means “threshold” or, a kind of transition from one psychological state to another. I spent a lot of time procrastinating (Nano) by looking up this word and trying to comprehend it properly. Seems like a left turn by the Holy Prompters.

Anyway, I have no time for liminals. I am writing a book, for pete’s sake, in 30 days. Today I powered up and made the goal almost possible. Four days to go.

Do you believe in God? Then why aren’t you praying for me?

Sated and Day 25

Prompt: Sated


I spend most of my NaNoWriMo days looking for ways to procrastinate. Why do I do that? It is a holy quest, a kind of Game of Thrones challenge, to figure out ways to avoid actually doing the writing that I am supposed to do.

I plan to win NaNoWriMo this time, as I always have, because I need to. You know how there are some things in your life that define you, even as they are not important to anyone but you?

Meanwhile, I am so missing all my people, the ones who populate my fiction on this site: Leep, Envy, Lily-Rose, Bernard… all of them. They are dying to tell their stories.

As for the daily prompt: I got nothing but the image.

Chaotic and Day 24

Prompt: Chaotic


I thought this illustration of chaos theory by momentica-one on the site Deviant Art was pretty cool. Please visit the site and let the artist know you like it too!

Meanwhile, back at NaNoWriMo, chaos still reigns, in the sense that I simply can not seem to focus and get the requisite number of words done per day in order to get to 50,000 words by midnight on November 30.

I used to work in advertising, where unreasonable deadlines were daily occurrences, so I am hoping my eleventh hour determination will kick in soon. Please? Kick in soon?

Anticipation and Day 23

Prompt: Anticipation

Dear Wednesday,

I anticipate a failure for the fist time in  all my years of taking the NaNoWriMo challenge. But never mind that. I haven’t given up. Miracles happen. I only have 20,000 words to go, in seven days. Oh Jeez.

But join me in my denial of all things negative today and have a look at some of my favourite cartoons this week, the first one of which is a quirky take on theme of the daily prompt, anticipation:



I don’t know why, but this ridiculous cartoon makes me feel better about my own failings:


Ok, and this one is tricky to reproduce, but have a look, and see if it doesn’t click with you somehow, and make you feel kind of sweet and stupid:


Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends, and Happy Midweek to everyone else!


Elicit and Day 22

Prompt: Elicit


Does the Daily Prompt word elicit mean the same thing as the word panic? If not, I’m not equipped to talk about elicit, except to say that as a string of letters, it has a nice, sexy sound.

The word panic sounds like what it is. Hard-edged, a bit raw, urgent, not very pretty.

I am almost at 30,000 words with my National Novel Writing Month 50,000 word opus, but you see it is November 22, and I should be at the 36k mark, at least.

Panic. Pancetta. Panini. Pachobel. Peace.

Note to self: Write the effing book!

Aromatic and Day 21

Prompt: Aromatic

There’s nothing like vintage, and in keeping with today’s prompt, here is a vintage New Yorker cartoon. Oh, so sublime.


Meanwhile, because of NaNoWriMo I am still concerned about bodies, clothes, and household becoming aromatic as I neglect everything in order to write 50,000 words in 30 days. There is progress: laundry is done, it just is in a heap ready to be folded.

And I hit my halfway mark today, 25,000 words. Very late, and very stressful, but I will carry on!

Scorched and Day 20 of Nano

Prompt: Scorched


Are your memories of your first, really botched meals as pathetic as mine?

I rarely burned or scorched anything; in fact I had the opposite problem. On a long ago Thanksgiving I  roasted a turkey for my partner’s English boss and his wife. I was laying out a feast like the ones my mother used to do: the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, gravy, roast turnips– the whole shootin’ match.

It seems food takes longer to cook at higher altitudes, and we’d recently moved to Calgary, altitude 1050m (3445 ft). The damn turkey just would not cook.

Now at Thanksgiving, the appetizers are light and few, because of the massive feast to come, but our guests had eaten all the pickles and olives and neatly sliced celery. They were getting close to licking the dainty little plates they were served in. Everything else was mashed, buttered, stirred, plated, and bowled and inevitably getting dry and cold.

The turkey, about 7 kilos (or 15 lb) was gorgeous. Golden brown, glistening, plump– but mostly raw in the middle. Unless we planned to eat after midnight, we had to take it out of the oven. We put it on a platter and partner proudly showed it to our guests, by now sucking on the ice cubes from their drinks, and quite possibly biting their nails in hunger, before taking it into the kitchen to be carved.

The top part of each breast was cooked beautifully, so we carved that and put it on the platter. It was skimpy and would not feed four people. The drumsticks, thighs, wings, everything else were bloody at the joint, inedible, but they were duly carved and place decoratively on the platter. I put some parsley sprigs around it. Garnish is important.

We sat at the table and passed around all the delicious vegetables and stuffing to our guests, but when it came time to pass the turkey around, my partner and I were horribly rude. We picked what we wanted first! I took a drumstick and thigh and a wing, so did partner.  More meat than a reasonable person could consume. This left only a few perfectly cooked slices of white meat and several sprigs of parsley for our guests.

I remember the boss’ wife, let’s say her name was Vivian. Vivian could not hide how she felt– she tried, and said the right words, but her face always betrayed her. When they’d first arrived to our apartment that evening, she simply could not disguise that she found Calgary quite frigid and horrible, despite saying they were settling in “fine”.

So she looked at our plates heaped with turkey, and the meagre white slices given to her and her husband, and a look of horror and disgust briefly crossed her face.

“Dig in!” said my partner.

It was all very tasty, especially the gravy, and partner and I ate most of the skin from the drumsticks and thighs, and filled up on mash and stuffing.

We became friends with these people, but never told them about the raw turkey. Vivian just believes I am the worst cook and most piggish host ever.

Percolate and Day 17

Prompt: Percolate


Our coffee percolator looked nothing like this one.

One aspect of NaNoWriMo culture is its fixation with coffee, not just the many “write-ins” that occur in coffee shops, but also the romantic notion that novelists are fuelled by masses amounts of coffee. If you love coffee, have you thought of writing a book?

I used to be quite the caffeine fiend— seriously, before I had my morning fix I was truly a bear. My family and friends feared me, and did their best to have the coffee brewing by the time I growled out of bed. I had to stop drinking coffee by three pm, or be awake all night. When I had to be awake all night (finish an assignment, at a party or whatever), I ran on adrenaline and idiocy, as a rule. My very favourite coffee came out of an electric percolator: very hot, not like the lukewarm drips you get from a boxy machine.

I’m off caffeine but still love a good cup of decaf now and again, especially with ideal pairings, like, say, a donut or cake. Tea, usually green, with a bit of lemon, is my beverage of choice, in the interests of health and calmness. Not sure it has those effects on me, though.

Tarts and Day 15

Prompt: Tart


Does anyone remember Sweet Tarts? When I was a kid they were like a super sour counterpart to all the very sugary sweet treats that children seemed to crave. Even as a child, however, I really wasn’t satisfied with a plain sugar hit, which is what candies were then (and now?)— except for Sweet Tarts. Little tablets with a big burst of too much sour! Things like that can change your palate forever!

Human tarts are similar, perhaps. They change your palate forever? Anyway, I did a Google search for tarts of the female variety, and all I got was images of skimpily dressed young women. Is that what a tart is? Are all women who have a natural sexuality tarts? Why is a the term tart pejorative? What a silly, repressed yet prurient world we still live in. Shame on us.

I am halfway through NaNoWriMo and still struggling with both the plot structure, and the main character, who is both the narrator and a suspect in the murder. I don’t know if it was possible for me to choose a more difficult format. Someone said to me recently: Your narrator is not always likeable, or even ethical. Yes! Most people are a bundle of contradictions. The trick is to make someone who is far from perfect a likeable character that you trust and want to hear and read about.

Back to the novel…