7 Quick Takes: Good News!

Joining Jen over at Conversion Diary for another weekly round-up.


Good news!


This, friends, is my novel.


It’s in very rough shape:  missing scenes, wrong POV in the first 30% of the book, plot holes so deep you’d think they were He-Man’s Bottomless Abyss, blah blah blah.   But I have a beginning, a middle, and an end!

Two years of work and I finally wrote, “THE END.”

*waving hands in the air and shaking my derrière… whoomp, there it is!*

Many, many thanks to God (of course!), my husband, Colleen Duggan, my writing professor, Dr. Elizabeth Trembley (who happens to freelance as a writing coach – contact her at trembley “at” hope “dot” edu if interested), and all the rest of you (you know who you are.)  I’d also like to give a special shout-out to the wonderful folks who work at our local Starbucks (I know, I know) who provide me with caffeine, unlimited free wi-fi, a place to work until 10 p.m., and the best air-conditioning in town (the real reason I imbibe the Evil Coffee of Evil Starbucks – I’m pregnant, give me COLD AIR, I don’t care).

Okay, stop with the Academy-Award-Winning Speech.  It’s still a work in progress. My goal was to have a finished first draft before October 1st (i.e. November 1st, before baby comes).  In my mind, this NaNoWriMO-esque draft only sort-of-kind-of counts.  I want to polish this document more before I lay it to rest for a few months.

Which is how I’ll be keeping my mind off these stupid Braxton-Hicks contractions for the next few weeks.


We interrupt this novel-writing for the following nesting announcement…


I spent yesterday decorating our kitchen.

I think it looks lovely.  Imagine those walls as bare walls.  Then imagine us living with those bare walls for a year.

Like the change?  I do!

Let me take you on a tour:

oregon coast prints

oregon prints

Postcards from the Oregon Coast, obtained on our recent trip.  Perhaps the Oregon Love is a bit overkill, but, oh well.  My kitchen.

My sister-in-law has some great facsimiles of historic National Parks posters hanging in her house, which we really like. These postcards were drawn in a similar style.  Love, love, love!

shelf and bread basket

My $8.50 + tax shelf.  We’ve been needing a place to hang the bread knife for almost nine years of marriage.  Thank you, 50% off sale at Hobby Lobby, for this fantastic solution.


The antique TV-minus-its-components deserves a bit of an explanation.  Our kitchen had very little counter space when we moved in.  We purchased the island soon afterwards, but for a year we had the toaster (which we use every day) sitting right by the sink (which is the only place it could go), taking up needed space.  We’ve been on the garage-sale hunt for an inexpensive counter-top solution for this unused corner of the room.

Enter the TV.  Jared found this at a neighbor’s garage sale for $3.  The height is perfect, and, well, it was $3.  So we brought it home to try it out.

Not sure what we think, honestly.  Could go retro/hipster with it – we’ve thought about putting a vase or a fishbowl inside, but we’d also need to somehow light it up from the inside (the flash from my camera makes it look brighter than it actually is).

Or, maybe someday, we’ll just put in a real, grown-up counter-top.  Sheesh.


A neighbor of ours refinishes, paints, and sells old furniture, including this beauty.   We visited her because we needed a dresser for the baby, but when I saw this, it was love at first sight.   Jared pulled an American Pickers and bundled three pieces together – dresser, changing table, and the chest – for a GREAT DEAL.  And now that I have the pictures on the walls, I think the chest finally coordinates with the rest of the room.  It has found its happy home.

retro chairs

And to finish off the hipster/retro ensemble, another garage sale find of my husband’s, these 1970s burnt orange bar stools.


(FYI: Mom, I found my camera.  Obviously.)


Potty Update:  Yesterday was a landmark day.  I was hammering nails into the wall for my awesome kitchen decor when my son runs in and says, “Potty!  Need to go potty!”

Mothers, you’ll understand my excitement:  It was the first time he’s ‘come running’.

You better believe I laid down that hammer right away and attended to his more important business.



More pictures from Oregon, now that I’ve found my camera:

carosel with granddad carousel 1

At the Salem Riverfront Carousel with Granddad.

balloon consternation balloon

Granddad bought him a balloon.  He wanted a green one, which, in Oregon, carries significance.   Orange would have been better.  But Granddad went ahead and bought him a green one anyway, being the generous, great-souled man that he is.


Does anyone else have a taciturn, introverted child? Ours is, and, sometimes, we wish he’d be a little less taciturn and introverted.

Wednesday we visited the hospital’s birthing wing (which is anything but our beloved hippie-dippie, idyllically-set-in-a-cherry-orchard Oregon birth center, but that’s a story for another day).  Our good friends, who have a kindergartner and a two-year-old, agreed to keep an eye on Ben for an hour while we were at the hospital.

My husband, holding Ben’s hand, knocks on the door and opens it, and their two-year-old, the world’s happiest, friendliest, most sanguine little boy ever to be born, yells at the top of his lungs,


and comes running, all smiles, ready to play and love and be happy.

Ben, for his part, turns to Daddy and says,

“Get out?  Get out and go home?”

*head smack*


I had a very deep, spiritual meditation I wanted to share for my last Quick Take, but, speaking of Ben, he’s standing next to me, throwing a fit.  Time to stop!  No time to check for typos.  The Grammar Czars will just have to deal with it.

Have a blessed weekend, everyone.  Ciao!


  1. says

    It is truly a blessed moment when the child being potty trained runs to you and says I need to go…and they haven’t yet gone on the floor somewhere. The angels sing.
    And congrats on having a finished product novel wise!!!! It may not be in the shape you will eventually whip it into, but as I learned during an internship in a costume making shop, sometimes “done is beautiful.”

  2. Michelle Trudeau says

    Peace and a sense of ‘control’ over the next month or so. We’ll be thinking of you all here and awaiting the announcement!


  3. Mom says

    I opened my latest issue of Country Living and what did they have? The All-American travel posters I think you are referring to. They were commissioned by the WPA in the 1930′s to put unemployed artists to work. They are the “Bargain of the Month” and available from printcollection.com.

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