Write a Novel: June Update

June 30, 2013 § 1 Comment

Ummmm. THAT was inspiring. I took the first of two novel-writing classes at the Loft yesterday and then proceeded to talk Brad’s head off during all of lunch. If he tried to change the subject, I used the “redirection” skills I learned in my media relations days to bring the discussion right back to the topic du jour. The class was basic, but  just what I needed to feel confident about what to do next. It reviewed the basic arc of a story:

  1. Current State
  2. Building Action
  3. Crisis
  4. Falling Action
  5. Resolution

It also helped me identify the areas of my story that could be pitfalls. Surprisingly though, I’m not discouraged! I give credit to the teacher for this. He gave great advice without digging at our creative liberty. In fact, he reminded us that writing a novel is the only place in the world where we get to say how everything goes.

I never thought about it like that before but it’s true. And awesome.

Here’s my progress through June, right on track to complete entirely by the end of July. I’ll start a new one for the second half of the year. YES!

June Update


Disaster Recovery

June 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hi. Did you miss us? After arriving home from a weekend away to find no power and a fridge full of bad food, I officially declared our family in a state of Disaster Recovery. Being in Disaster Recovery gave me permission to:

  • Go out for lunch
  • And dinner
  • And breakfast
  • Not clean
  • Skip blogging
  • Do whatever

Rock on. It kind of makes me want to find some other disaster to recover from.

Not really.

It was a crazy week. Starting out with a crazy fun trip to the zoo and then a crazy fun trip to the cabin where we hung out with my cousin and his crazy awesome family. We were having such a crazy time, we didn’t even notice that at home, the weather was crazy. Probably for the best because I could see myself screwing up a perfectly fun weekend wondering if the mayo was going bad in the fridge.

It was.

Along with all kinds of other perfectly good food.

And so, as we pulled up in front of our house with a car full of crabby, dirty boys and stinky, dirty laundry we noticed our front light was off. Further investigation revealed that it wasn’t just the front light. It was everything. Power to the Out.

Having just spent a good portion of our car ride teaching Hiram about the concept of “Go with the flow” I tried to be a good sport. We packed up some more clothes, grabbed whatever was still frozen in the deep freezer and took sweet refuge at my parents house (Thanks Mom and Dad!) When the power came back on Monday, I was still being a good sport.

How. Ever. Two days later, I was also still doing these things:

  • Driving back and forth from my parents house trying to get tooth brushes aligned with their rightful teeth
  • Going to the grocery store 2-3 times per meal (and usually, ultimately, just getting take-out anyway)
  • Seriously trying to figure out how to make my pajamas look like work clothes (no laundry done yet, you see)
  • Convincing Hiram to Go With The Flow when his PB&J only had jelly on it (I know peanut butter doesn’t go bad in a power outage and jelly does. Don’t ask.)

Today, I am finally wearing clean clothes and am writing on my blog. The boys are only a little worse for the wear. Shall I declare the Disaster Recovery over? Maybe after the weekend.

Peaches for Free

June 18, 2013 § 3 Comments

It’s official. I can no longer deny that I am a CSA (farm share) and local produce snob. Here are 18 points to prove it.

As happens on alternate years, last year, I decided that this year we needed a break from our CSA. I always think this during years when we get a CSA because, I like to think, I am too conscientious to waste vegetables and too busy to properly prepare them. In actuality, I think the major problem is that I don’t like driving to pick them up when I can just get produce when I grocery shop. And so. This year. When Brad mentioned that there is a CSA dropping off at his office, I reneged on my “No CSA phase of life” proclamation and we signed ourselves up.

This. Despite the fact that the name sounded suspiciously like an outfit that sells bananas in farmer’s markets all over town. (Proof point 1)

Then we got a card in the mail offering us a free flower bouquet as a thank you for signing up for the CSA. Only catch, we had to go to the Minneapolis Farmers Market and I don’t go to that one on principal. (Proof point 2)

Last week I noticed Megan had peaches at her house. I was immediately jealous and wished I had peaches at my house too. Then yesterday, we got our first letter from the farmer along with a list of things that would be included in the first share. The list included:

  • Asparagus (appropriate)
  • Lettuce (appropriate)
  • Mint (more than appropriate, bumper crop this year)
  • Tomatoes (feasible with a hoop house, appropriate)
  • Cucumber (same as tomatoes)
  • Homemade raspberry jam (sounds like heaven but not fresh produce – proof point 3)
  • Maple syrup (see raspberry jam – proof point 4)
  • Peaches. WHAT!!?!! (proof point 5-18)

Peaches are NOT. Local. They are NOT. Appropriate. They are EXACTLY what I was wishing for last week. And EXACTLY what I was worried about. And so I am a hypocrite. Who is going to try her best to keep an open mind about these peaches they *so called* “got for their road stands from Georgia and couldn’t resist sharing with us.”



Father’s Day 2013

June 17, 2013 § 3 Comments

This post is going to need to work double time because I have to give a Father’s Day Update AND a deck update at the same time. Shouldn’t be too hard since Brad got a half-finished deck for Father’s Day. Luckily for our BBQ party guests, the half we finished was the important half. Now we just have to do the steps, the trim, the ends and the ramp. Oh, and after user testing, we determined we need a pergola too.

No. I’m not kidding.

Here are photos.

Eldyn: 1 Year + 6 Months

June 13, 2013 § 1 Comment


A year and a half! This child is at such a fun age. I can’t really stand it.

Bedtime: Somehow, Eldyn’s bedtime routine went rogue. Now, after I sing him his songs and lay him in his bed, he pops back up, sticks his feet out from between the crib slats and tries to get me to kiss the bottoms. When I do, he leans forward and either kisses me back or offers his forehead for another kiss. Then he sticks other parts of himself out through the slats (nose, fingers, feet again) and wants me to kiss them all. Repeatedly. Despite the fact that his policy is to do nothing for longer than 45 seconds, he will do this game forever.

Don’t Eat That! Finally! Eldyn seems to be leaving the phase where he puts every single solitary thing in his mouth. Finally! This is extra nice because Eldyn absolutely LOVES to get messy. Allowing him to play with sand, dirt, rain water, finger paint, anything really, is a lot easier to do when I know he won’t immediately ingest it.

Let’s Do It! Eldyn loves doing everything! The bad side of this is that transitions are hard (when they’re not on his terms). The awesome side is he’s always game for the new thing, once you explain what’s coming. For example, when you’re tired of watching him dump his milk on the floor and throw food across the room, you just need to suggest something that sounds like even more fun. It can be anything. Eldyn! Should we go outside?! (Heck yeah!) Eldyn! Should we brush your teeth?! (Yahoooo!)

Eldyn: 6 Months

Writers – On Fathers

June 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

Here’s the latest post from my website (hadleybarrows.com). Luckily for me, I have AMAZING fathers in my life. Love you dad. Love you B.

Hadley Barrows

We all know writers have a way with words. Here are a few of my favorite quotes about dads, all coined by authors and writers.

“It is much easier to become a father than to be one.” – Kent Nerburn

“It is a wise father that knows his own child.” – William Shakespeare

“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived and let me watch him do it.” – Clarence Budington Kelland

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain.

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World’s Best Deck – Update

June 12, 2013 § 2 Comments

We made a bunch of progress on our deck over the weekend! I am so crazy proud of this silly thing. So proud in fact that I find myself exagerating a little sometimes.

For example, I told my friend at work that we made it from scratch. Since we did not grow and harvest our own trees I guess this is not technically true. But still! Look at this beauty! Look!


I have also been saying Brad and I made it ourselves which is also false.



Regardless, it’s coming along!

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