Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

Posts Tagged ‘dog

First revision of a short story – still more work to do!

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UntitledI just finished the first revision of my short story that I’ve been working on for awhile. First I scribbled all over it in red pen, then I set to typing up all of those changes. Since I was adding a character, many of the changes involved writing new stuff, and that’s where I always get stuck. I think, “I’m supposed to be editing!” and I get myself into a different mindset than the one that allows me to freely write rough drafts. I stuck with it, though, and now I’ve gotten one step farther in the process. I’ve only ever finished one short story before, and that was because it was for a class. Doing it again paves the way for more successes, since I’m learning more about my process and what works for me and what doesn’t. My hope is that eventually the process will go faster because I’ll be more used to it and it will become more of a habit.

Camp NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, and I’m trying to prepare myself to be immersed in my novel again. I have a lot of changes I have to make, and it will be mostly a complete rewrite. This is technically “cheating,” since the rules of NaNoWriMo are to write a new novel, but I am using NaNoWriMo as a motivational tool. Camp NaNoWriMo is cool because it puts you in a virtual cabin with cabin mates. When I first signed up, it was too early to have cabin mates, but now I have them! I’d better go introduce myself soon.

Last week, we had some spectacular thunderstorms. Gru is afraid of the thunder and lightning, but we enjoyed the storms. Storms are a perfect opportunity to hang out in a cozy coffee shop and write, or have a fire and hang out at home and write. See picture above: fire, wine, writing, and scared dog. A perfect memorial day weekend!


Written by nikkinbird

May 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Being busy and making kids cry

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Today was just one of those days. In the two separate half hour chunks of time I had to get things done, I couldn’t do it all, and felt pulled in so many different directions. Then I finally reached the home stretch. I prepared little baggies of goldfish for afterschool classes. I checked in all the kids for Homework Club, then marched them up to my room instead of the Library, because I’d forgotten that a staff meeting was using it today. Finally, to top it all off, I made two kids cry during homework club, one of whom was still crying when his mom came to pick him up. I felt horrible. And I still have about 5 different things I’d like to have done by tomorrow, which I’m not going to do tonight because my head feels like it’s going to explode.

On top of that, the Destination Imagination tournament is coming up fast (on March 10) and in trying to schedule extra meeting times for the teams, I’m seeing just how few calendar weeks are left for these kids to work on their projects, which they’ve barely started. I also had hoped that none of my teams would make it to the state tournament, because the fees get expensive. I found out, though, that one of the teams is almost guaranteed to go to state, because they are the only elementary team to pick the challenge category they’re in! So they are competing against noone and will advance by default!

Here is a picture that I like:

Written by nikkinbird

January 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Rainy day, sick day

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I guess I’ll take advantage of this rainy day to update my sad blog. I must get back into the post a day spirit! I would be working today, but I had to call in sick because of a bad stomach bug that’s going around the daycare. I came home last night after a day of twisting sharp pains in my stomach and fell asleep from 6:30pm to 7am. Over 12 hours of sleep, and I slept straight through!

It’s been busy around here, but sadly not busy enough in the crafting department. The good news is, I put in my two weeks notice at my part time job. It’s also sad news, because I’ve been at that place for a long time, and it’s a great place to work. However, I need my weekends if I’m going to make any kind of headway in my goals to start selling my crafts. On top of that, I’ve begun teaching community ed classes. This week and next, Chris and I are teaching an iPhone and iPod Touch Basics class. I was really nervous for the first one, but it turned out great! Then, the next two weeks, I have a beginning knitting class using my Beginner’s Garter-Edge Mitts pattern. I’m excited for that one, and for the possibility of doing more classes.

We’ve also been going on some nice hikes on the trail near hour house. These pictures are from a couple of weeks ago, when we still had some fresh snow on the ground. And we could still get more snow, here in Duluth!

This is Chris with Gru and our friend’s dog, Dak. We were dogsitting for a day. We went for a short hike on the Tischer creek trail, a little hidden gem in our neighborhood.

And here Gru is enjoying a sip of water from the creek. We’re so glad that he’s turned out to like water, because he’s going to get awfully hot in the summer! He likes today’s gloomy, chilly weather, and is currently sitting outside sniffing at all the fine scents in the breeze.

But don’t even let me get started on the fact that it turns out that he likes to chew wood knitting needles.

Written by nikkinbird

April 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Finishing mittens just in time for spring.

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Remember these mittens?


I started them back in…what? October? I remember bringing them to knit on during my breaks at my brand new job at the nursery school. Then, one day, I discovered that the second mitt was noticeably smaller than the first. I was knitting it at a tighter gauge because I’d gotten used to the two color knitting. Apparently, this disheartened me so much that I had no desire to work on these mittens all through the winter months, even though I had no other mittens. Yes, I got through the winter with a couple of pairs of fingerless mitts. Which, when your outdoor activity mostly consists of walking from the house to the car, and then from the car into work, suffices even in a Minnesota winter. I did also borrow some mittens from Chris when I needed them, so I’m not that crazy.

Now that we have Gru, I’ve been borrowing Chris’s mitts every day when we take him on cold spring walks in the morning and in the evening. So I decided it was high time I revived the mitten project.

Now, after a couple of days, my mitts look like this:


I started them up again just in time, too! We have a blizzard warning in effect for tonight and might get up to 11 inches of snow! The snow hasn’t started yet, but it’s been super windy all day, more so as the day went on. The wind practically pushed me to the door when I took the garbage out tonight. After work, Chris and I drove down to Brighton Beach to watch all the big waves roll in. Now, I can enjoy the sound of the wind pounding at the doors and windows from the couch, knitting and tea in hand. Mmmm.

Written by nikkinbird

March 23, 2011 at 1:51 am

Organizing my yarn stash

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This is the chaos in my living room right now:


I’ve never thought of myself as having a yarn “stash” before. I think that’s probably because I don’t have a lot of yarn that isn’t leftovers from something. I guess I do have several untouched skeins that were purchased for a specific project and never started, but I don’t normally buy yarn with nothing in mind. Unless it’s on a trip, then I get souvenir yarn.

I’m calling it a night and finishing this sorting in the morning! Tomorrow afternoon, we go on a road trip to get our puppy! Right now he is being transported by a lovely group of volunteers relaying him all across the country to get to us! We’re meeting him in Eau Claire, WI. The person keeping him overnight sent us this picture of him:


Up until now, the only picture we’ve had straight on of his face was very sad looking, so we are happy to see that he has an adorable doggie smile. I can’t wait! We’re going to have a dog!

Written by nikkinbird

March 13, 2011 at 5:01 am

It’s so fluffy!

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No crafting today, because after dinner we went shopping in preparation for a new member of our family!


We’ve always wanted a dog, and then lately we started sort of talking about getting one. Tentatively. We bought a Siberian Husky book the last time we went to get cat litter. We mentioned to friends that we eventually, someday soon, might want a husky. Well, one of those friends located a husky in need. This guy was at a shelter and on his way to being euthanized. We couldn’t say no in that situation! Besides, look at that face!!!


Details are still being worked out, as he is going to be transported from Alabama to Minnesota somehow. Now that the ball’s rolling, we can’t wait to have a dog in our house!

We’ve even already decided on a name:


The name is from the movie Despicable Me. Gru is a wooly husky, which I didn’t even know existed even though we had one in our family when I was growing up. My stepmom’s dog, Jazzy, was a rescued wooly husky, but all of us assumed she was a husky mix because of her long fur. After seeing Gru described as a wooly husky, we looked it up and found out that it’s a rare coat variation that is considered a fault in purebred siberian huskies. But we don’t care. He’s so cute, and HE’S SO FLUFFY!!!

Written by nikkinbird

February 26, 2011 at 4:13 am

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