Beyond the Lot of Mortals and other stories

The Today meme is hosted by Masha! Join in over at Piękno, or leave your own sensory notes in the combox...

Today I am...

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Feeling... as is usual for recent Novembers, hopelessly jealous of everyone doing NaNoWriMo. But three cheers for Masha and Seth! Go, fight, win! <3

It hit me this week that if I want to have both my fairy tale retelling (status: 13,368 words of 45-60K) and my middle-grade epic fantasy (status: 10,520 words of 80-100K) revised by New Year's, I need to revise at a faster-than-NaNoWriMo pace for the next two months straight. That working speed is probably beyond the lot of mortals. Or at least, beyond the lot of mortals who can kill a whole afternoon on a few paragraphs.

Optimism is holding me to my goals. But if little A.D. hasn't made it all the way around her monomyth by January first, I'll shake my head and smile and keep on. I do love spending time with her.

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Seeing... a wind-harassed tomato shelter that's protecting the last few Italian heirlooms for seed. Also, dead leaves in all the gardens, and unassuming bare sticks that I hope will wake up as elderberry hedges and a healthy little quince tree in the spring.

Smelling... rosemary on my hands; I was out mourning the dying sweet peas, which are all tangled up in the rosemary bushes.

Tasting... earlier this week, spicy sausage and kale soup with homemade bread. That's an outstanding and most definitely repeatable recipe.

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Listening... to girl barbershop. One of my sisters-in-law and I have barbershop chorus experience in common, which has made for lots of good musical conversation. Sometimes she introduces me to some fantastic music, too, so this video of the quartet GQ comes to you by way of Marie. (It's not her quartet, but maybe someday we'll get that on here, too. <3)

The girls are maxing out the sound input a little, which is unfortunate because the scratches make it hard to listen for the harmonic overtone that's the crowning glory of barbershop tuning. They definitely raised chillbumps on my arms a few times, however. This is some of the tightest barbershopping I've ever heard.

Wait—a little Googling, and Marie's chorus' championship performance is available for embedding! Why didn't I notice this months ago? You get two videos this week. Oh, and my sister-in-law is the headbanger. ;D

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Grateful... for a practically miraculous morning directing the early choir last Sunday. It might've been adrenaline, it might've been the team's affirmation and support, it might've been God and the saints taking over for crazy, weary, stressy Jenna—but whatever it was, it triumphed over missed rehearsal and my own exhaustion and gave me a tightly-run practice and a smooth Mass. I was a walking jumble of delight and relief by the end.

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Reading… War and Peace, of course. (I got to the gambling part, Laura. Sheesh... Dolokhov is cold-blooded.)

Studying… the music for this weekend's concert, and that long-pursued but rarely attained three-against-four passage of "Aeris' Theme" on the piano. Math was never my favorite subject. *sigh*

Working on... getting chapter five (of nineteen) to my editor, pronto.

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Loving... The Harry Potter Book Club. "Aeris' Theme", difficulties and all. Sunny fall afternoons. Choir members who look up at the substitute director and smile.

Hoping... for a successful and well-attended concert, with enthusiasm and peace of mind for all the hardworking planners and participants.

Also, to get to the theater to see Ender's Game soon. Ender's Game!

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Happy weekend!


  1. OH NO; it's a heartbreaker :(

  2. I ADORE barbershop singing and always get chills, sometimes teary. I grew up with it as my mother was in the fabulous Fullerton, CA, Sweet Adelines, led by Fred Franks of Disneyland's Buffalo Bills quartet. Through his innovations, they were the first group to use black light in their performances, with costumes keyed to that. It was a sensation. My best friend and our sisters went to rehearsals, knew all the songs and I can still sing them. An award winning quartet, The Nightengals, came out of this group.v

    I loved the GQ clip and will check out more by them. You're right, this is very tight singing.


    1. So cool! I didn't know you had such a history with barbershop. One of the Buffalo Bills, wow! Makes me want to go spend some time with my headphones and YouTube. :)

      Marie says GQ just came in 17th in the world in their championship. She thought they would've come in higher yet if not for one of the voices cracking once during the performance.


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