Authoring Anecdotes

My writing has taken a higher shelf these last few weeks. Instead of 2-3 pages a day I write 2-3 sentences, but progress is progress. It’s been good, in a way, to take more time, because the section I’ve been working on is a secret mission sort of thing, of which I have absolutely zilch personal experience.

Less writing time = more time for research on the subject (what do you mean watching Bourne doesn’t count?), and also more time to ask the Dearliest things like “I need a non-sniper rifle but one that would work over distances for an assassination. (Answer: AR-15, which I should’ve known. I’ve shot one of those.)” and “What’s the average range for reliable accuracy when shooting an AR-15? (Answer: Up to about 300 yds, though they can be shot with less accuracy up to 500 yds)” and other related questions about firearms, adrenaline in a Situation, and stuff.

It took me a month to write 12 minutes of action, but I got the protagonist through it in one piece SO THERE’S THAT.

Here is a picture of some of the first draft. These, to date, are the most confused pages I’ve ever written. If you try to decipher it, well…I wish you luck. I wrote it and I’m STILL not sure where everything will go in the end.

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As it stands now, the draft is littered with notes like:

Inc[orporate] Panasonic Toughbook.
Change all men present for all planning.
REWORK SO CONV[ERSATION] HAPPENS ON HILL WHILE WAITING. (apparently that one is particularly important?)
No barrel. Also, incorporate C-4 at fuel. Also, HOTSAW.
Make sure rifle matches distance capability.
Check Tennessee weather in July.

I hope to have a decent head start on the story soon, and shortly after that you can start reading After the Storm on PenWending!


More Recording

For the last month I’ve been polishing up two of my piano compositions, and I finally got them back up enough to feel comfortable with them in front of a camera.

This is the first of my story pieces, and I wrote it when I was around 16.

The heroine grew up in Kenyesha, which a dragon later destroyed. She survived, however, and years after the event she shares memories of a happy childhood in her hometown.

This is one of the people pieces. I’ve written quite a few songs for various people who touched and influenced my life (and I have a long list of songs I still need to write!).


I wrote this for a dear friend’s 21st birthday. We met when we were very young and took piano lessons from the same teacher. We played duets together for years, and once we even created our own Victor Borge-inspired duet routine!

Life is Smokey, Life is Clear

Picture style.

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On this day the firefighters lit the largest back burn ever attempted in this area. According to information online, it burned a couple square miles. A number of the neighbors didn’t realize this was the back burn, however, and there was Much Panic for a while. This is about a mile and a half away.

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Sunset after the back burn.

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Sunset the next night. Still lots of smoke, but the fire was much more contained.

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Three days after the back burn. Fire mostly contained on the edge nearest to us. I couldn’t tell what was smoke and what was clouds!

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It was still hot, but not so smokey, so we ventured outside for the first time in about a week.

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Helicopters with buckets and boat planes were a regular sight around here for a few days, which was definitely one of LK’s more favorite things about the whole thing.

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And then the rain came. And the fire officially went out. And the smoke disappeared. And things felt fresh again!

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Then yesterday we got more rain (and a rainbow!).

Still waiting to see how the housing situation pans out, but I’m still packing and sorting and downsizing because it’s quite clear something is going to happen very, very soon.

Fire is Contained!

The fire is officially out! Thank God.

Of course, a string of thunderstorms is in the forecast for the next few days with predictions of dry lightning (no rain). So, I’m still kind of nervous. Things are so very dry here…

We’re continuing to move things into town.

Thank you again for all your prayers!


Fire Update

Thank you so much to everyone who has called/ messaged/ come out to help in the last couple days! We are truly blessed and incredibly fortunate that we have been given such loving family and friends. And also, enough time to move things off the mountain.

The northern edge of the fire (the edge closest to us) seems to be under control. Numerous backfires are holding it currently, and as long as the wind doesn’t suddenly change direction on us, the house should be okay. The fire is still about 8 miles away. It has now burned 60,000 acres.

We’re still in a Stage II evacuation area, so we’re still packing things up and moving them into town (the Dearliest was able to procure a large and nice storage space that’s big enough to accommodate both his shop and the household). We figure we’ll keep going until we either run out of time or have it all off the mountain.

I’m very curious to see which happens first.

And if we move everything into town, will we really want to move it all back? Probably not.




We’ve been keeping tabs on a wildfire roaring away on the ridge behind us, and thanking God that the wind has been blowing it more towards the river and NOT towards us. Well, not directly towards us. It’s still advancing and is now about 12 miles away. Our area is now in a Stage II evacuation, which means we need to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

So we’re gathering a few valuables, making some preparations, and waiting to see what happens.

Prayers would be appreciated.

Video Share

I’ve encountered some videos over the last month that I made a mental note to post on the blog “later”, but we all know how regular I’ve been with that lately! Here’s two for starters.

We all know I love weather stuff, right? I learned some new things in this one:

My brother-in-law Quark shared this one with me. Apparently Anthony Hopkins once wrote a waltz for orchestra but waited 50 years to tell anyone about it because he didn’t think it was any good. I had no idea he’d been a musician before he took to acting!