Thursday again

Thursday is my writing day. It’s my day off from the day job and I stay home, writing flawless prose in my beauteous new office.

Except I don’t. Today, for instance, I have been in real life to the Salvation Army (getting rid of stuff), Ikea (buying more stuff), and Barnes & Noble, where I bought nothing. I don’t know what it is about visiting a bookstore with a gift card in hand; it freezes me up and I debate every likely book and decide it’s either too much or I won’t like it. Once I’m home I suffer nonbuyer’s remorse.

Then I came home and visited eBay and Amazon. Just doing my bit for the economy…

By far the most exciting event of my week so far was Monday morning in MacPherson Square in downtown Washington, DC. This is a very cleaned-up photo of what is a much-used square; it’s inhabited by ducks (although there is no source of water there), pigeons, and humans who, sadly, have nowhere else to live. (This is three blocks or so from the White House, to our nation’s shame.) On Monday, there was another visitor to the square, a red-tailed hawk who was breakfasting on a pigeon, about six feet away from an admiring crowd, who were gathered the other side of one of the fences erected to keep either the ducks or the homeless out (who respectively fly over or push them down).

Red tailed hawks quite happily live in the city–they enjoy architectural features such as high ledges and the abundant food supplies (pigeons, squirrels, rats etc.). You can visit a website, palemale.com, devoted to Central Park’s famous red tailed hawks.

Also in the neighborhood is one of Benjamin Henry Latrobe‘s masterpieces, the Decatur House Museum, which I visited recently. It’s a fabulous example of cutting-edge federal style, all clean lines and simplicity with very little ornamentation. I was particularly struck by the hallway and staircase–this is an artist’s impression of the hallway although I believe in Decatur’s time it would have been carpeted, not tiled. The original paint colors, an elegant pale blue-gray and yellow, have been restored, and one of the things I really loved is that the doorway itself is curved. It’s supposed to be one of the most haunted places in the US–one of the ghosts, of course, being Stephen Decatur himself who was killed in a duel.

So tell me about your week–have you been busy with holiday preparations, busy avoiding them, done anything useful or enjoyable? If you’re looking for further entertainment, here, thanks to the Smart Bitches, are two fabulous opportunities to Dress a Regency Heroine and Dress a Regency Hero. Enjoy!

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Megan Frampton
13 years ago

We decorated our tree this week, and I’ve been writing on a new project, which is fun–the first three chapters are always shiny and easy, it’s the rest of it that stinks.

I have not, however, been thinking of what to post tomorrow. Darn.

Elena Greene
13 years ago

Janet, love that pic of the hawk. We have many redtails around my area, a pair of peregrine falcons who nest in the nearby town and even a few bald eagles recently.

Megan, good luck with the new project. For me, the entire first draft stinks but fortunately it all gets better in the rewrites.

This week I’ve been doing my best to keep going on those rewrites, and doing pretty well, except that yesterday there was a school delay and today the kids came home early. Gah! Having them home at unexpected times discombobulates me and I get very little done.

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Jeez, there is so much of Washington that I haven’t seen. Decatur House is just one.

I spent the week NOT seeing the sights of Washington DC. I also belabored the Undone I’m writing slooowwlly.

And have been getting ready for my son’s college graduation!

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

“the first three chapters are always shiny and easy, it’s the rest of it that stinks.”

I do love writing proposal-length stuff! Then there’s the follow-up–not quite as fun and new. 🙂 Good luck, Megan! (I’m finishing up a WIP–way past the shiny and new stage)

I would love to see Decatur House next time I’m in DC!

And congrats to your son, Diane! I didn’t realize he was so close to graduation. 🙂

13 years ago

Got to love those red tailed hawks. We see them all over here (I live outside of town), but I’ve never seen them in town.

After having been a stay at home mom for the last 19 years, I worked my tail off for the past five days. I won’t be doing much the next few.


Louisa Cornell
13 years ago

I’ve spent the week trying to shake the flu. Not fun at all! And I have given myself the month of December off from revisions of both of my novels to outline and get a few chapters done on my third novel. Then January 1 it is back to the revisions. For the most part I am just trying to survive Christmas at Wal-Mart. Wish me luck!

Huge congrats, O Divine One, on your son’s graduation. What a great accomplishment for both of you!

13 years ago

I did nothing holiday related this week. I am sans cell phone. Interesting how we come to rely on those things. I think I may have to revisit that point. Either that or get myself a Crackberry. Then I’d have to learn how to text….

Janet, I LOVE the dress up dolls! I’m working on making my Regency male look like Colin Firth as he comes up the hill from the pond but I have to check with my husband to see if it’s okay to throw water at the computer screen.

I don’t think it should be a problem….

13 years ago

Congrats, Diane! Enjoy all the festivities!

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Santa, you are cracking me up today!

Louisa, please stay well!!!

Renee, rest up!

And thank you, all, for the nice words about my son’s graduation!

Keira Soleore
13 years ago

Last night, I went to see a comedic-drama in a language that I speak sparingly, but rather to my surprise, comprehend well enough to follow 90% of the dialogue. It was three hours of laughs until my voice was hoarse and sides ached, from 9:30pm to 12:30am.

One surprise: At the end, the audience doesn’t applaud and the cast doesn’t take bows. However, throughout the play, there’s audience participation via laughter, some clapping, some whistling, and some call-response type stuff. It was a rowdy and rather fun experience.

Diane, glad your Undone’s coming along, and a big HOORAY to your son!

Renee, hats off to you for taking the plunge after a long gap.

Louisa, take care of yourself: lots of “doctored” hot drinks, a fluffy blanket, and Christmas anthologies.

Ammanda, I ADORED your Christmas nouvella in the recently re-released anthology. The best of that book, in my unbiased opinion.

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

“The best of that book, in my unbiased opinion”

Ahhhhh, Keira! No, not biased at ll. 🙂 Antoinette and Mark were my favorites of all the characters I “made” at Signet, so sad and lonely–until they found each other at Christmas, of course. I’m glad you liked it.

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