A Couple of Things...
The house next door to my mom's house has been sold!!!
Those of you who are savvy to the Waynesboro scene may know that our erstwhile next-door neighbors abandoned the property fifteen years ago or so. They just packed up their clothes and took off, leaving everything else behind (including, according to the new owner, a refrigerator and a big freezer full of food...ewwww). The house has been falling to ruin ever since then--a neighborhood eyesore and, as you might imagine, an attractive nuisance for less-than-law-abiding youths. Once, in fact, a group of kids broke into the house and lit a fire in the living room; fortunately, the daughter of the owners was driving by, saw that someone was in the house, and called the police.
The city has been cutting the grass in the front yard at the beginning and end of every summer. They would get around to clearing the jungle that took root in the back yard only every other year or so. Saplings were growing out of the gutters. Windows were rotting. Trees and shrubs were obscuring most of the property. There was a mound of dirt on the porch near the front door that was growing weeds and such; the new owner said that most of it was old newspapers that had piled up, somehow gotten covered in dirt (squirrels? pesky kids?), and sprouted foliage.
Now, you may picture my mom's neighborhood as some run-down shanty town, but you would be wrong. It's not an overly affluent street, certainly, but it's solidly middle class. Large lawns, mostly four-bedroom homes, near the local park. Only this house, once a modest but cute Cape Cod, could claim the moniker of "shanty."
And the neighborhood folks, well, they tried to get the city to seize and condemn the property. However the city claimed that the owners were paying their taxes and all the fees and fines associated with cutting the grass, clearing the backyard, etc., so their hands were tied. Go figure. The owners remained (and remain) in the area, staying in motels here and renting apartments or other houses there. There were lots of rumors as to why they left the way they did and why they didn't just sell the place, but until they reveal the truth (and I don't think they ever will), speculation is all anyone has to go on.
Anyway, according to my mom, who heard this from the new owner, the wife of the couple is now in a nursing home, suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Apparently they sold the house to help defray the cost of her treatment. Now, no matter how bad these folks were as neighbors, no one deserves the suffering they are no doubt going through. I hope the monies from the sale help make her comfortable and keep her well cared for.
I would be lying, though, if I didn't admit to being overjoyed that this house, so long neglected, is going to be brought back to livability. Sometimes, indeed, good things come to those who wait. And wait. And wait.
Second, it's nearly that month again: National Novel Writing Month. Some of you may recall that, although I did not sign up to write a novel last year, I did my OWN personal version of NaNoWriMo to try to FINISH the novel I've been writing on and off for lo, these many, many, many, many years.
My goal was to write 30,000 words in November: 1,000 words a day. And I succeeded. But I was still about, well, 15,000-20,000 words or so short of having that first draft. I figured I could do that by the end of the year. But no. I skived off of it yet AGAIN, only picking at it a little here, a little there... until here we are a year later, and I still have those last few thousand words to go.
And to add insult to injury, in the time between then and now, Jeff not only finished one novel, he's closing in on the last few chapters of a second novel and outlining a third.
So I really need to get on the stick.
Here's my pledge: I will write 20,000 words on the novel this month, or as many as it takes to finish a first draft.
That's only about 666 words a day. Hmmm. Maybe I should change that to 700 words a day! Heh!
Here's the counter:
Let the writing begin!