Sunday, December 26, 2010

Plumb Tuckered

by Nancy

My maternal grandfather was a country boy, born on a farm in the Carolina Piedmont when the Civil War was a vivid and comparatively recent memory. He went to college, moved to various cities and towns, and became a certified public accountant. When we cleaned out my folks' house, we found his certificate--#29 for the State of North Carolina. He also became treasurer and business manager of a college. Among other things, he got the money donated to build the college's second library (The first, which was much smaller, was endowed by Andrew Carnegie).

Despite all that polish, though, there were some phrases he held onto, like "plumb tuckered," as in, "I'm plumb tuckered out," meaning he was tired.

This would be me and my guys and today. Christmas seems to have leaped out of a closet at us and yelled, "Boo! I'm here NOW!" With no warning whatsoever. Of course there was warning. We just felt as though there wasn't.

Many of you juggle far more than I do and with sharper focus. Once upon a time, when I had a career, I juggled more than this and did it better. I guess that old saying is true, that if you want something done, you should ask a busy person.

Yet it's a good kind of being tired, the kind that means we had a pleasant holiday even though we maybe didn't accomplish everything we wanted to. We did the last of the last necessary (as opposed to nice but optional) running around on the 24th. All the wrapping paraphernalia and other holiday clutter came off the table.

Most of the decorations for the house are still in boxes, but we do have a candle tower in the middle of the table, and the dh even found candles for it during his last-minute rush. The tree went up a week ago, giving us our main decoration. We capped off Christmas Eve with a nice meal, using the "good" dishes and crystal on the Christmas placemats the dh's sister made. Yesterday, we had a leisurely exchange of gifts.

Even Herself had a gift (Hers was easy, straight from the grocery store.). She also gave a few that were purchased, wrapped and tagged for her by her two-legged servants. It's so hard to wrap packages when you don't have opposable thumbs.

In some parts of the world, this is Boxing Day. Anna Sugden wrote a terrific post about it on this date in 2007. You can find it if you click here, then scroll down. Or you can scroll down to the bottom of the sidebar, click on 2007, and scroll down to the post (That link has an ominous lot of html in it but worked when I tried it.). For those of us in the U.S., however, today is not a holiday. Today is more like the first day in the denouement of the year, a phase that ends with the year's last mega-party on New Year's Eve.

I always look back during this week, trying to see what went well and what I could or should have done better. Of course, some things are beyond our control. Another saying in my family was "Good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise," meaning "unless something beyond my control happens."

I have no control, for example, over which students enroll in my classes. All I can do is try to reward the ones who're serious and use drop/add to scare away the pinheads who think taking a science fiction class means watching movies and shooting the breeze instead of reading, discussing, and writing papers. I was reasonably successful in that this year.

I found a good rhythm for writing, increasing my productivity, and honed the technique of writing in different voices for different subgenres. However, I made no headway whatsoever--as one might expect when putting in no effort whatsoever--in mastering the skills that would make Michaels less intimidating.

I've been thinking a lot about character and language. Voice, in other words. When I was in college, I interned at a local TV/radio station for a week. This included trailing reporters around. I said something to one of them about a place being "down the road a piece," good Southern vernacular, courtesy of my grandfather. The reporter's jaw dropped. "I can't believe you said that," he said. "If you want a career in television news, you have to be precise. You can't say hick things like that."

Perhaps he was right. I decided against a career in news, so I never tested his advice. That phrase would, however, be a perfect thing for a rural, southern character to say. Or for a lawyer talking to a jury composed of such people to use. It's a matter of context and impression for people, and for characters, too.

The dh grew up in Colorado. They said "pop" for carbonated beverages, though he uses brand names nowadays ("nowadays" is probably another word that reporter would scorn). In the South, we called them by their names, though I understand some areas call everything "Coke" or, in the deeper South, "Co' Cola."

Thanks to Christine and the two Annas, my British characters tend to say "as well" rather than "too" or "straight away" rather than "immediately."

On a more frivolous note, I scored 180,000 points on Buzz Lightyear at DisneyWorld during RWA. I'm sure there are thousands, if not millions, of teenagers in the world with higher scores, but that was a good one for me. I'm going to take that into 2011 with the resolve to top it if I ever get the chance.

Below is one of my favorite Christmas photos, an old one of someone who now does way better than I do at video games. He and his buddy here are, appropriately, plumb tuckered out from their Christmas. He wasn't quite a year old when this was taken, and now we're having the last Christmas holidays that won't see him pack up and leave at the end. It's kind of hard to believe, frankly.

I hope you all had a peaceful holiday and are looking forward to the new year. We'll launch it on Saturday with a look at our great January lineup.

What was good about this year for you? Did you learn anything or work on anything in particular in writing (or any other project) this year? Are there any phrases you like that were handed down in your family or are particular to your region?

A selection of books I picked up at conferences this year goes to one commenter today.


Hellie Sinclair said...

Woot!? Did I get it?

Hellie Sinclair said...

Ha! I did!

What I did learn this year? If you have an ailment, for God's sake go to the doctor and get it fixed rather than suffer through it. I had this stupid eczema rash on my legs that I tried to deal with on my own for like 9 months and then it took 3 months of doctors fiddling with it to fix. A YEAR OF A RASH. Ridiculous.

Anyway, when you're sick, you're in no mood to work on anything this year blew on that front. Now the rash is gone; I have some happy pills--and voila, it's like Stella Got Her Groove Back.

Next year I want to write more--so much more I finish my manuscript. I want Ricky Bobby to be my motto this year: Go, go fast! (Not the year, the writing. As in write fast through it...)

Hellie Sinclair said...

One last--the phrases:

"Grinning like a possum eating briars"

"Ain't seen you in a coon's age"

I'm sure there are others we use a lot that I just flat out take for granted. *LOL* (And in my neck of the woods, it's sodie pop.)

My favorite Southernism: "Get off the cross. Somebody needs the wood."

Helen said...

Whoo Hoo MsHellion have fun with him

Great post I gotta say I am plumb tuckered out here in Oz today and yes it is Boxing Day here a day for us to get over yesterday which was fantastic but very tiring LOL. My brain is still mush today, I have learn't that if I am having Christmas at my place next year I really need to get another refridgerator WOW there is so much food in there and we need to eat it LOL.
Have Fun

Fedora said...

LOL! Nancy, loved your post, and Ms. Hellion, loved your additions to the phrases! Gonna have to remember those! The phrases I remember from my childhood aren't in English, and as my kids aren't learning the same dialect I learned as a child, I'm not doing a good job passing them on!

Have fun with the GR, Ms. Hellion!

SiNn said...

mygrnafatehr used that phrase too which was passed down great post

as for this year ive worke dona book ive been working on for ever this year tho I learned to live and let live that holing on to grudge sand hurts just is draining

a phrase i use alot is

It is what it is


what happends happends for a reason

donnas said...

The year had its ups and downs. I am just happy we got another holiday season in with the family able to get together for a relaxing day.

Deanna said...

Nancy, plumb tuckered seems like a good phrase right now. We're home (today's Boxing Day for us) after a sleepover with some dear friends where Christmas celebrations started with Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas morning waffles (made by the boy), opening the Christmas presents and then settling into Christmas lunch in 3 stages - (1) soup and salad at 12pm, (2) meat and vegies (and there was LOTS of it at 3pm and (5) dessert at 5pm. As you can imagine there was no dinner last night. There was no need for it. I woke up tired this morning but was brave enough to venture out to check out some of the traditional Boxing Day sales in the stores. Our big local bookstore had a 20% off all full price books sale and we availed ourselves of that with some books the boy had wanted and didn't want to pay full price for. I bought a gift cookbook for a dear friend. The crowds got crazy later in the day so it was a quick dash into the grocery store (yeah, you heard right, I was grocery shopping day after Christmas!)

What did I learn this year? If you're sick, you need to get it checked out right away and avoid waiting till you're passing out a few times a week to do it. Also, if you get a dismissive, crappy diagnosis from one doctor and his treatment makes no difference to your health after 3 months, see another doctor. Also, work and stress makes poor health even poorer. Allergies undiagnosed makes you sicker and sicker as time progresses. Biopsies are no fun but anesthetics are great. As you can see, it's been a big health related year for me.

Now we prepare for the big NYE party to come.

Deanna said...

MsHellion, congrats on the GR. Have great fun with him.

Book Chatter Cath said...

I love 'Gobsmacked' which basically means I was struck dumb or I was lost for words
Here in NZ we say 'sweet as' A LOT!!!
My 12yr old came home with a new one from school "its all goodies in the hoodies" which she says means that everything is okay:)

Kirsten said...

I think the main thing I learned this year is that nothing can or should be planned out too far in advance. Grab the moment! and do it with those you love.

It seemed that every time I made a plans they were interupted by something that I considered important but really wasn't. I let stuff get in the way of people and some of them passed away.

I regret it immensly as I can't go back in time. But I'm grateful I learned this lesson, better late then never.

Minna said...

Are there any phrases you like that were handed down in your family or are particular to your region?
Well, here are a couple and at least the latter one doesn't translate very well:
"holotna" -as far as I know it's a loan word from Russian and it means cold.
"Muantie on kierällä jiällä" -"muantie"-road
"kierällä" -this is the hard word to translate, there isn't even an equivalence in standard Finnish. It's usually the small roads that are like this when the temperature is around 0- +1 Celcius or so for a while and instead of snow you suddenly have nothing but ice on the road. It's even worse, when there is some water on top. Just try to walk on a road like that, especially when the road isn't all that smooth.
"jiällä"- ice

Blodeuedd said...

Can't say i learned anything..nah not really. Oh one thing, that teaching is not really for me, too stressful

Laney4 said...

There seems to be a health-related theme going on here. I too learned that one shouldn't wait too long before seeing a doctor and that rashes can last up to a year. Stupid allergies. I kept waiting to find out what I was allergic to (laundry soap, fabric softener, rash creams - you name it, I'm allergic to it, yet I had no allergies until I hit 45 a few years back).

What was good was that after 8.5 months without a second car (I was T-boned in Oct/09), we finally saved enough money to buy a newer car. That was a LOOOONG wait.

As for phrases, we have friends who mess up the English language similarly all the time. They say they are going to WalmarK and Shoppers Drug MarK. They find things ree-dick-ULL-ous. One friend watches for ValentiMes Day. When I was growing up, I heard people say aluminIUm and waRsh (for wash). I just don't get it....

petite said...

Wonderful post. I use the phrase passed down to me from my late mother, Not Too Worry. thanks for this interesting post.

Margay Leah Justice said...

Plumb tuckered! Now there's a phrase I remember hearing from my Southern kinfolk! I loved the phrases they came up with - if I remember some, I'll come back and post them.

As for what was good about this year for me: I finally got my younger daughter through the back surgery she needed to straighten her spine, and my older daughter is doing fantastic in college, where she is studying nursing. For me, I am working on several stories that I'm really excited about - I know, one's not good enough, I have to write several! And I just thought of (yesterday) a new idea that I'm going to write up as a Christmas present for my mother, which just so happens to tie in with a gift she gave me yesterday (I wanted to write her a story, but I didn't know what to write about until I opened her gift).


Nancy said...

MsHellion, congrats on the bid! I hope you give him a lot to do.

I'm sooo sorry about the rash. What a horrible nuisance!

You wrote: Anyway, when you're sick, you're in no mood to work on anything creative/

This is so true. Life crises also have a way of sapping creative energy. I've had periods when turmoil in my extended family produced something like a brain freeze.

I'm so glad you have your groove back.

I love those phrases!

Nancy said...

Helen, I guess you're tired in a good way, too, huh? Sounds like you had a fabulous Christmas. According to my late mother, the trick to dealing with leftovers is making other people take them home. *g*

It's snowing here. It started last night, with fairly decent if thin coverage on the ground by midnight, so I think that fairly qualifies for being our first white Christmas in decades.

We could put your leftovers in my back yard . . .

Nancy said...

Fedora, glad you liked it!

My dad grew up in the Phillippines, speaking English, Spanish, and Tagalog. There were no phrases from his childhood passed down to us. He did tell us a story over dinner once, though, a few years before he died, that stuck with me.

He said he'd asked his mother for advice about a girl and she'd responded with, "You'll have to paddle your own canoe on that."

Nancy said...

SiNn, I think letting go can be tough sometimes, and yes, things are what they are.

Good luck with your book.

Nancy said...

Donnas, I'm glad you had a pleasant gathering. We had a quiet day, but part of me misses having the whole family turn up, the way they did when I was younger.

Nancy said...

Daz, sounds as though you and Ms.Hellion had some common experiences this year. I'm glad you're feeling better.

The dh and the boy had discussed venturing out to the sales (I had sort of urged it upon them since the boy needs clothes and the paper had great coupons), but that was before it started snowing.

The dh drives well in snow, having grown up in the Colorado Front Range (of Rockies). However, this is a claim no one around us who grew up here, as I did, can make.

Native Southerners do not drive well in snow unless they grew up in the mountains, but many of us persist in driving anyway. I want my family off the roads when that's happening.

traveler said...

Nice post. I learned not to overdo it and overextend yourself. Otherwise you feel it for days. I enjoyed the phrases. One that I use is, it is Beshert.

Nancy said...

Cath, I love your 12-yr-old's saying! I had never heard "gobsmacked" until I saw Daniel Radcliffe use it in an interview--that and "cringeworthy," describing Gilderoy Lockhart.

Anna Campbell uses "gobsmacked," I know. Anna Sugden and Christine may well, though I don't remember hearing it from them. I think it's a fabulous word and have adopted it.

Nancy said...

Kirsten, there have been times when I let things get in the way of people and lost the chance to make it up, so I know how you feel. I'm sorry that was part of your year.

I'm very big on advance planning, too, and I'm not as good at seizing the day.

Nancy said...

Minna, I love the varying descriptions of the roads! We don't have so many phrases for snow or ice, but we don't have as much snow or ice, either.

Nancy said...

Blodeuedd, I'm taking a break from teaching, too. The weeding out of pinheads involves making the classes so work-intensive that they're a big drain on my time, for a very small income benefit.

Nancy said...

Laney4, sorry about those allergies! I never had a sinus infection until after the boy was born, and it came from allergies. I've also had people say they developed asthma in their forties. Doctors probably would disagree, but I think more than skin tone and hair color (and eyes, alas) change with aging.

I don't know what's up with those pronunciations, either. When the boy was little, he messed up D and G ("My car was in the leaGUE"), but he was a toddler. He grew out of it.

Strong smells set my nose off, and it's really hard to find laundry detergent, fabric softener, even hand lotion, that have no "scent" ("stench" in my universe) added.

Congrats on the car. I'm sure being T-boned was extremely scary, and I'm glad you came through it okay.

Nancy said...

Petite, thanks! "Not to worry" is one I have to work on. I think I was born with the worry gene. Luckily, the dh was not. So we find a happy medium.

Nancy said...

Margay, I'm glad your daughters are doing so well and you're excited about your writing. There's nothing like sitting down to write with a brain buzz going.

I had that spinal surgery (scoliosis, right?) as an adult. It's not fun, but I'm the only woman I know who went through an entire pregnancy with NO back pain. Hips, yes. Back, no.

I'm glad it's in your daughter's rear-view mirror.

Nancy said...

Traveler, thanks. I think women have a particularly hard time saying no, and we sometimes end up with way too much on our plates because of it.

I hope this coming year will be better in that way for you.

What does "Beshert" mean?

Margay Leah Justice said...

Thanks, Nancy! Yes, it was scoliosis. I'm glad it's done, too. She feels and looks so much better now (her back was so twisted, she looked like she had a hump - the spine was curving into her right shoulder). And yes, there is nothing quite like a writer with a brain buzz!

Oh! and I thought of some things my dad (the Southerner) used to say:

I'm more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

That's about as funny as a one-legged main with a rubber crutch (he didn't worry about political correctness).

Leni said...

This year I've learned how to deal with stress better. Also, I've found a better beauty routine which works better for me.

Nancy said...

Margay, I'm glad the operation was a success.

I'd heard the one about the long-tailed cat, but not one with the one-legged man and the rubber crutch.

Nancy said...

Hi, Leni--Kudos on dealing with stress better and on the beauty routine.

Nancy said...

So far we have about 3" of snow. It's still falling but not fast and with small flakes. The day is getting colder, though.

Those of you in the northeast, brace yourselves!

The dh and the boy are building a snow scultpture of the Parthenon in the side yard. I asked if there was enough snow to build that, and the dh said, "Barely" and laughed.

The boy suggested they build it in the back--more space and more snow.

"But then no one will see it," the dh objected.

So they're in the front, right outside this window, to the great vexation of Herself, who isn't allowed out the front except on a leash and doesn't see how they can build anything without her help.

The snow sculpture is a tradition with them. Before the boy was born, the dh built an Easter Island man. Since the boy came, they've done Stonehenge (assisted by scrap boards), a yin/yang symbol, and a dragon.

RFTC Blog said...

I don't really think I learned anything this year. Trying to think and nothing comes to mind.

Deb said...

Hi, Nancy! Thanks for sharing the darling picture of your boy.

I learned that losing weight isn't hard with HCG drops and I lost 30 pounds. Woot! Woot!

My mom always said, "For cryin' in the beer!" It's the same as "for cryin' out loud" or "Really!"

As a teacher, I often to refer to my students as "squirrel bait". It's not mean or demeaning; it just means that on a particular day they were probably hyper or nuts. :) Hehehe.

I grew up saying "kitty-cornered" instead of "catty-wampass".

"Sweet" or "Nasty" are popular with kids around here.

Nancy said...

Danielle, I often blank when someone asks me to list things, so don't don't worry about that. If something comes to you later, feel free to pop in and share.

Nancy said...

Deb, glad you liked the picture of the boy. He's a lot taller than that now, of course. *g*

Congratulations on your weight loss! That's quite an achievement.

I never heard the one about the squirrel bait or crying in the beer, but they're great.

Jane said...

Hi Nancy,
Can't wait to see what's happening at the lair for the new year. There's so much info out there that I'm sure I've learned some things this year, but having a hard time remembering what they are right now. Nobody says pop here. We say soda.

Nancy said...

Jane, I blank when people ask me to list things, so it's no problem if you can't think of anything.

You wrote: Nobody says pop here. We say soda.

What region of the country is that?

I'm glad you're looking forward to next year. So am I. We have some terrific guests lined up already with quite a few for January.

catslady said...

There are a lot of words that relate to just the Pittsburgh are such as chipped ham and gum bands. Some very few areas say crick for creek and yunz for you but not everyone says those two. Our family always said "you all" saounds like yaw because my dad came from the south but most sayings were in Sicilian where both sets of grandparents came from.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

GREAT post, Nancy! And LOVE that picture of The Boy (soon you'll have to call him The Man)!

My grandfather said plumb tuckered out too. He was from Kentucky near the West Virginia border. My grandmother was from Oklahoma and used to say God willing and the 'crick' don't rise. For years I didn't know a crick was a creek. She also used to say, God Allmight knows, but when I was a child I THOUGHT she was saying God a might nose. I always wondered about God's might nose. ;-)

We say soda here on the West Coast too, and until McDonald's started serving it, nobody knew about "Sweet Tea."

Looking forward to a FANTASTIC 2011 here in the Lair with all the Banditas and BBs!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Deb, I LOVE "squirrel bait!" And my Gramma said kitty-cornered too, along with chester drawers. ;-)

Hellie, never heard the possum eating briars but have definitely heard "not in a coon's age." :-) Have you heard "faster than a duck on a junebug"?

And I thought the 'get off the cross' saying was Irish!


jo robertson said...

I can't believe our Twelve Days of Christmas celebration is over! And where did 2010 get up and go?

You must've been born in the same southern vernacular region as me, Nancy. I understood every expression!

Yay, MsHellion, you did indeed get the rooster along with your groove LOL.

jo robertson said...

Oh, and I say this every year, but in 2011 I TRULY want a contract. After six manuscripts, am I entitled? Ha, ha.

And I don't want to get a year older, but, uh, that's not gonna happen.

jo robertson said...

SiNn, you and I are on the same page. I've been using the phrase "it is what it is" for a while now. Reminds me to let go of things I can't control.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

A snow Parthenon? Your guys are certainly ambitious, Nancy!

LOL on Gobsmacked! My Irish relations and therefore, my Irish characters always say that. ;-) That and shite are my two favorite "Irish slang." We watched a wonderful Irish film the other night with a little girl about 10 years old and she told her Da he was "a shite story-teller." I almost rolled off the couch laughing.

Nancy said...

Catslady, interesting about the chipped ham and the gum bands. Also, with yunz, it's intriguing that it's Pittsburgh. Backwoods southerners who are being portrayed as ignorant by Hollywood frequently say "you uns," which I've never in my life heard anybody say.

If you think of anything interesting and Sicilian you want to share, feel free.

Nancy said...

AC wrote: And LOVE that picture of The Boy (soon you'll have to call him The Man)!

Thank you. As I said, it's one of my favorites. :-)

Actually, the nice thing about living in the South is, for adult southerners, "boy" is a term of affection. If said with a sneer (and especially in a racial context), it's a slur, but telling the difference isn't difficult.

I had to laugh at the tea thing. My second trip to NYC, I ordered "tea" at a fast-food place. It arrived as a cup of hot water with a teabag in it. In those days, in the South, "tea" meant sweet AND iced. No so in other regions. *g*

Nancy said...

Jo, that's the Carolina Piedmont, but I suspect those sayings are common in the upper South, at least.

Yeah, I want a contract for 2011, too. We just have to keep plugging, be prepared to answer the door when luck comes knocking.

Nancy said...

Uh, that's NOT so in other regions, two comments back. *sigh* I did read it before I published. . . .

Nancy said...

One thing I really like to do and haven't done this year is sit by the tree with the room lit only by its lights and think about Christmases past and people long gone.

It's a little ritual for me, and the tree lights in the darkness, reflecting off the ornaments, seem to add a touch of fairy magic to the night.

Maybe tonight . . .

Unknown said...

I learned that one should always check the batteries in the fire alarms!!!!! Mine decided to let me know it needed to be changed right at 1210am Christmas morning!!!!! I had already been asleep for an hour. Then I heard this piercing beep! Lovely :0)
Other than trying to "Wake the DEAD" hubby to change the battery, everything on Christmas Day went really well. Dinner was good, Mom burnt the Ham as always (but it wouldn't be Christmas without it and lucky for the rest of the family I always cook a backup), the kids got what the wanted and the hubby was surprised that I hid his presents so well.
and I have to agree "Plumb Tuckered" is just about how I feel today as well! Although Grand Daddy would say at my age I should feel "Fit as a Fiddle!"

Lady_Graeye said...

What did I learn...the older I get, the harder my body has to work to be young. Ha Ha! I don't think we ever stop learning. I seem to absorb more from my surroundings. I see my 16 month old granddaughter exploring the world and it makes I smile. She's so open to every adventure in front of her. Through her, I learn about life all over again, all through young eyes seeing brand new perspectives. :-)

Cybercliper said...

I could probably fill a book from all the sayings I grew up with in the Eastern KY hills:

It's all over but the shoutin'
That won't hold water
There's a fly in the ointment
Not worth a Tinker's damn

and my alll time fav:

If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.

When I joined the military, it took me a year to figure our English that wasn't hillbilly speak :-D

Nancy said...

Cybercliper wrote: If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.

I love it! I had heard those others but not this one.

Southern says frequently get tagged ignorant and backward by Hollywood. I'm really tired of it. Just like I'm tired of ignorant, superstitious villains on TV having Southern (usually badly done) accents.

Nancy said...

Lady_Graeye wrote: What did I learn...the older I get, the harder my body has to work to be young.

Ain't that the truth?!

I know what you mean about little ones. They give us a new look at the world from a fresh perspective.

Nancy said...

BJ, I'm glad you had such a great holiday.

Our smoke batteries always seem to give out in the middle of the night, too. I've heard the suggestion that we routinely change them when we reset the clocks to or from Daylight Savings Time, but we never remember.

Louisa Cornell said...

Great post, Nancy! And what a wonderful picture of the young man and his best buddy!

The canine and feline members of my family gave their Nana a nice selection of romance novels for Christmas so they are in her good graces for another year.

Yes, I would definitely LOVE a contract this year. I'll just keep writing until some editor gives me on out of sheer desperation to shut me up!

Some of my favorite Southernisms -

That dog won't hunt. (meaning basically "I'm not buy that load of bull!")

Mad enough to stomp a mudhole in someone and walk it dry. (Trust me, that is REALLY mad!)

I've learned something that I nearly forgot. Not everyone is what they appear. Sometimes they are better and sometimes they are worse and unfortunately sometimes it takes a little heartbreak to find out which is which.

And I've also learned that the only thing standing between a publishing contract and me is my fear. I know what I want to write - the risks I want to take and the characters I want to bring to life. It's in my head and my hands to make it happen no matter what the naysayers think. And this year, by God, I will!

And one last Southernism about two people who are horrible for each other. "At least they married each other and didn't mess up two families!"

Nancy said...

Louisa, thank you. I think we just have to keep plugging until editors capitulate. Fingers crossed for you and all of us who have that same goal.

Fear can be a powerful barrier, especially since it's so good at hiding itself.

I'd heard "that dog won't hunt," but not the others. I LOVE the one about the mudhole!

alinaduffer said...

Hi Nancy! This year has been crazy! I learned a few things. First you can not always trust a doctor, if he tells you you have cancer get a second opinion, which I did, lol! Second the more you stress about something the more crazy you become. Third I learned to believe in my self and my writing skills. I may not have it perfect, but its on its way. And last is that house cleaning when you have kids is like shoveling snow while its still snowing, Why bother, lol!

Hope you have a wonderful night and a Happy New Year!

EilisFlynn said...

This was a lovely piece, Nancy. And the photo of the Boy was he was just barely a baby, well, that put the cap on the whatever. (I don't think this is a hick thing to say; inadequate, quite possibly.) Happy Boxing Day!

Nancy said...

Alinaduffer, housecleaning is one of those tasks that never produces permanent improvement.

I'm glad you got that second opinion.

Kudos on gaining faith in yourself and your writing. Perfection is a hard standard to meet.

As person who isn't happy unless she has something to obsess over, I congratulate you on stepping back from that.

Nancy said...

Eilis, thanks. "Put the cap on the whatever?" Cool. I'd never heard that before.

Happy Boxing Day to you, too!

gamistress66 said...

being originally from SW PA & speak some "pittsburghese" and refuse to give it up completely even after 20+ years in VA. I'll always drink "pop" (soda has ice cream in it or is soda-water) :)

Hope all had a wonderful Christmas :)

Pissenlit said...

Awwww, that photo is so cute!

This year, I finally tackled a small knitting project that originally looked a bit complicated but when I began to work on it, I realised it was super easy and really quick to knit up. Should've tried it ages ago! I guess I learned that I shouldn't shy away from things because they look hard?...maybe? don't know that I actually learned that but it turned out to be the case this time!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I learned that even with less money you can have a wonderful Christmas.

Aside from all the phases already mentioned.......

Nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

Busier than a one armed paper hanger

Colder than a well diggers lunch bucket.. (There is another much more colorful but not appropriate for this blog....LOL)

LilMissMolly said...

I've had a 2 day movie marathon of old movies with my hubby and teen daughters. It was nice NOT to go anywhere this year. In the last 7 years, we've only stayed home once!

lvsgund at gmail dot com

Nancy said...

Gamistress, thanks for the holiday wishes. I refuse to give up my regionalisms, too.

Nancy said...

Pissenlit, thank you! Kudos on the knitting project. My mother knitted the most amazing sweaters, but I never mastered anything beyond knitting or purling, not even casting on and off.

Nancy said...

Dianna, I love the well digger's lunch bucket! I'm glad you had a good Christmas even though it involved cutbacks.

Nancy said...

LilMissMolly, we used to run around during Christmas, but my folks are gone now, and the dh's live too far away for a short visit, so we just stay home. We sort of enjoy not having to get in the car and hurry somewhere.

I watched the LOTR marathon tonight, sometimes with the boy and/or the dh sitting in, and it was nice.

Pissenlit said...

Nancy, knitting and purling is half the battle!

...G.I. Joe!(sorry, just had to!)

Nancy said...


Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing Boxing Day with me, everyone. I'll post the winner announcement one night this week (late at night, as usual), along with the winner from the "Creative Intelligence" post. That one got lost in the holiday shuffle.

This is my last post of 2010, so I'll wish you all a Happy New Year. I hope you'll join us Saturday when we kick off January in the Lair.