Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.



Or: My Writer’s Weekend Revisited

I have friends who take a weekend now and then to go somewhere and just write. These smart women leave home and hubby and kiddos, check into a hotel or cabin and spend their entire time writing.

I’ve never done that. My writing schedule consists of getting up early and writing before the rest of the house wakes up. But I envy these women their dedication and stern I’m-going-to-do-it-ness. (Yes, I do like making up my own words. Why do you ask?)

Once a year for the past few years, though, I’ve gone with G-man to OKC for a weekend. He’s there to get his continuing education hours. (Keeps his pharmacy license alive.) So while he studies, I hang out in the hotel room.


One year, I spent as much time knitting as writing. The next year, I spent my time writing blog posts so I could concentrate on writing for the next few weeks after I got home. But this year, I decided I would write. Nothing but write. Write, write, write. Words on paper. Go. Go. Go.

Note: Not as easy as it sounds.

I knew that going in, so I decided to take notes on my progress. Here they are: (Don’t laugh.)

6:50 am–My first “true-ish” writer’s weekend, where I’m hoping to do nothing but get words on paper. It’s Saturday Morning, October 25, 2014.

My goal for the weekend: Make it to 50,000 words.

Yes, I’ve had weekends before where I’ve written, but this one is different. I’m Determined! I’m Dedicated! I’m Delovely! (Sorry, couldn’t come up with another D word.)

So . . . I’m not here to watch TV, shop or visit. I’m going to see how many words I can get on paper–on screen, rather. 🙂

I’m starting at 46,190 words. Gary and I are going to breakfast in a few, and the writing will begin!!!

*  *  *

Saturday Morning:

7:00 am–breakfast.

7:40 am–Back at work. Somehow, I lost 7 words in the last read through. Sigh. At 46,183 I’m heading the wrong direction. Better get busy.

8:15–Stop for TV man to fix it. Probably should have left it broken, but hey.

8:25–Back at work.

e fingers

9:30 am–47,159. Almost a thousand word in two hours. 500 words an hour. Sigh. Why don’t I write faster?

10:15– Sleepy. Gotta wake up. Walked the square. 47,689 words.

11:00– Took a Benadryl for stuffy nose and headache, which brought on a short nap. 48,080. Message from sweet friend and wrote her back. Praying for friend.

11:40–Gary back for lunch. 48, 258. (Yikes. FB and texts are stopping me. Gotta quit that!)

1:00–Lunch is over and G-Man is heading back to class. I’m too full! (What is it about a buffet that makes me eat too much? Argh!)

Back to the words.

Sometime in the last half hour, I fell asleep on my keyboard. I woke up to CCCCCC across the page. Do C’s count? No? Sigh. 48, 506.

Sunday morning 4:15 am 48,509–Napped yesterday afternoon (maybe next time I have a writing weekend, I should skip lunch or make it a light one) and G-Man got out of class early.

2623 words for Saturday. Not killer, but better than a poke in the eye.

Okay, starting at 48,509 today. And it’s a go!

Sunday morning 4:15 am 48,509, And it’s a go!

Have to check out of the room at 1:00. (Late check out. Yay!) But G-Man doesn’t get out of class until 5:00. Sweet hubby bought me a power converter so I could write in the car without draining my battery. We’ll see how that works out.

Hot and windy outside. Had to change seats several times while I wrote. The Internet doesn’t reach outside the hotel. Stingy people. 😦 (Just kidding.) No Internet is a good and bad thing. I don’t get sidetracked by emails and FB, but I also can’t Google things I need to know.

e computer

So I wrote much of the afternoon. Kind of weird to sit in the parking lot with a computer in my lap. People walking by had to wonder what I was doing, but who cares?

I didn’t streak through a manuscript. Apparently, I’m a tortoise writer. The tune from that old cartoon about the lazy buzzard or eagle or some big bird keeps playing in my head. ♪♫ I’m bringing home a baby bumble bee. ♪♫

Final word count for the weekend–50, 493. Made my goal with a few to spare.

Not wildly successful, but not too bad.

Anybody else take weekends to dedicate yourself to something? I need help!

See? I’m a real Killer. 😛




The Excitement Builds

I did the coolest thing this week. Really, the COOLEST!

I met my new (first) grandson, Woody. And I had so! much! fun!

We all met at the hospital where #1 Son and #1 DIL will be delivering. #1 DIL’s mom and dad as well as her Doctor Sister were there. They’re such interesting people, I was very entertained while we waited. And waited.

And finally, we got to go into the room with all the equipment. It’s been a long time since I had babies, and in those days, it was unusual to have an ultrasound. They were available, but most people only had one if there was the possibility of a problem. Or if your doc owned his own machine, and he needed to pay for it. *grin*

But these days, they’re regular as clockwork.

There were two chairs in the room, and since I have a play hip, I was offered one, but I turned it down. I couldn’t sit. I was too excited! Meeting my grandbaby here! 😀

I’m sure everybody has been through one of these. I’ve even been through one, but this was the first one I’d been part of where we were looking for something as fantastic as a baby. And guess what?


Here’s Woody!

Isn’t he adorable? Okay, it reminds me of an x-ray, but he’s on his way! He weighs about 12 ounces right now and is about the length of a banana.

The technician couldn’t get his profile, because he kept looking at the camera. (The boy is just like his daddy! Never wants to miss a thing.)

While we were there, I couldn’t help remembering, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . . My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven . . .

And the best part: Your eyes saw my unformed body;” Psalm 139. Our eyes saw him, too! 🙂

Of course, “How precious are your thought about my grandbaby, oh Lord! How vast the sum of them! You love him even more than all his parents and grandparents combined.” 😉

Naturally, I came right home and knitted hard. I’m making him a giraffe.

capThe beginning stages.

melonWhere I am now. (Looks kind of like a squash, gone wild.)


 This is the picture in the book. Hopefully, it’ll be ready by the time he’s ready to play with it. LOL.

When I got to the stuffing part, I thought, “Oh, those plastic beads might weigh too much for the little guy.” So I stuffed without beads, but it looked as if I was going to make a misshapen Big Bird instead of a giraffe, so I unstuffed and added plastic beads.

Did you know plastic beads can make their way out through knitting, no matter how tightly knit it is? Okay, I’m not that tight a knitter, but they kept falling out. So I shoved a plastic bag in there and filled it with the beads. The stuffing is on top, and he’d have to work really hard to get to the bag, so I don’t think it’ll hurt him. Or the giraffe.

BTW: When we went for the ultrasound, both #1 son and DIL were wearing converse tennis shoes. Next on my knitting list: Knitted baby high tops. Red ones. 🙂

3899764262_172334eabaThe boy has gotta have something to walk home from the hospital in! 🙂

We’ll see if I can get everything finished in time.

“And He took Woody in his arms, placed His hands on him and blessed him.” Mark 10:16–a grandmommy’s version.

Since I’m like the last one of my friends who has kiddos to get grandbabies, I need your advice. What did (do) you do to get ready for them? Knit? Quilt? Pray?

Please share!