Tis The Season

So obviously keeping a blog with everything else I’m doing isn’t working.  I’m rethinking what I’m going to do with all my social media and blog.  I’m thinking of turning this into more of a personal journal than official writing blog.  Apparently that will suit my style.

For those who met or followed me on Facebook.  I don’t do that any more.  Ever since Facebook updated their system to track you even when you sign out, I stopped using them.  I considered that an invasion of privacy and apparently so did the FTC.  You can now find me on Google+  because it’s a system that turns off when you log out. They already had their brush with the FTC with Google Buzz and cleaned up their act.  I’m me over there too, Mary Louise Eklund feel free to circle me any time.  Also say hi in the comments.

I’m also on Twitter.  Love it as I can shout out to the world from my phone when a thought is worth sharing.  I’m marylouiseklund over there.  Note one e for the end of Louise and the start of Eklund in that handle.  Also over to the right my tweets run so you’ll see links I think are interesting shared there.

Now to tell you what I’ve been doing since August.

Jewelry Booth

Three Gems – Jewelry Booth

Hmm, I’ve been doing craft shows selling my jewelry.  I’ve had a booth with two of my friends Paula Lawlor and Jean Rabe.  We’ve had great shows and really bad shows but in the end I just want to support my craft addiction.  After the first of the year we plan to open an esty store.  I’ll let you know about that when it happens.

Jean is moving at the end of January, her husband has taken a new job a bit south of here.  He’s already moved there.  I sure will miss them.  Jean was a bit part of our writer’s group.  She brought years of experience in writing and editing to our group of newbies.  Now we’re on our own after January.

As for our little jewelry/craft group.  We’ll go on with lessons learned from this year.  There are some other crafters interested in joining us. After the holidays we’ll meet, choose what craft fairs we want to do starting in the Spring and start the application process for them.

On his day off Mike toured the ground of the Emperor's palace

Mike a the Emporer’s palace Tokyo

Mike had active duty in Japan. This was months after the big earthquake in northern Japan. He did get to go sight see once before the work started. We got to chat regularly over the internet. No we didn’t use Skype but instead Yahoo IM but the voice chat. I think he enjoyed Poland more last year because with that group he got to see more of the host country. Here he was on base most of the time working the night shift. Never know what you’ll get but the Navy still lives up to its promise of seeing the world.

Dorm room in Cole Hall at University of Wisconsin Madison with bed lofted

Aaron in his first dorm room

Aaron moved out into a dorm at University of Wisconsin in Madison.  He’s doing so well.  He comes home regularly to see his girlfriend Sara.   As a result we get to see him regularly. As you can see he’s having a great time a college discovering odd things like an old gas mask without the filter and public transportation.

Must be stinky on the bus to wear a gas mask. LOL!

Having a great time at college!

I rediscovered the fun of having ideas, doodles, plans, notes, and such all in one nice book. My new journal book of choice is a large moleskine with grid paper. The great thing about gridpaper is I can draw out floor plans of settings I create in my stories. I can do calendars, and such. Also when I take a notion to sketch it helps having a grid. I’m not a good sketcher but at times it makes me happy.

Large Alligator and yes we were that close to him!

Yes we were THAT close to him

We didn’t just sit around all the time but did do a few things without going to a single theme park. We took an airboat ride out on a local lake. That was lots of fun. We got to see alligators and other wild life. I told Mike it felt like I was riding a couch across the water. I loved it and would like to go do it again sometime.

Coral color Cabbage Roses

Leu Garden Roses

We toured the Leu House and Gardens. There they have a wonderfully historic house with beautiful gardens. Mrs. Leu loved roses and her rose garden was unbelievable! The roses were in bloom and I did enjoy making pictures of them until the mosquitoes came out at dusk! Didn’t see the rest of the gardens as we ran to our car to avoid the blood thirsty swarms! Next time going more toward mid day when the sun is high and mosquitoes are low.

Early Stages of the clean up from the plumbing disaster

Early Stages of the clean up from the plumbing disaster

Life’s not all been crafting, moving and vacation. We did deal with a huge plumbing issue that happened when the sewage pipe from the second floor cracked and drained through our walls and into our basement. The whole basement had to be redone. That took a while to get in order but our insurance covered most of the cost. THANK GOODNESS!

Grandpa Mac holding Baby Aaron

Grandpa Mac holding Baby Aaron

We lost Grandpa Mac this fall.  He was Mike’s maternal grandfather, Dale McAllister.  It was sad but a blessing Grandpa was freed from his body.  He’d not been in good health and had to be in a nursing homes.  We’ll miss him.  The funeral service was excellent the minister recounted many of his funny tales make all of us smile remembering the man we knew.

As for writing, I’m working on a Steampunk novel. I’m using the characters from my two published stories. It picks up just after the Steampunk’d story. All of it takes place on the Plebeman estate. It’s been fun and soon the first draft will be done and sit on the hard drive to cool before my editing/rewrites. Then it’ll be out to betas.

Next big project will be an urban (but really rural setting) fantasy set in town I grew up in and my parents still live, Greeneville, Tennessee. I’ve been working on that story concept and plot for months. It should be fun to revisit the area but with a fictional twist of course.

As for genealogy, I’m still plugging away at it. I’ve come to terms that I will always have a filing cabinet of information awaiting input into my family tree program. I’ll always be collecting more documentation and always be behind. All this despite I only deal with dead ancestors and relatives. Such is the life of an amateur genealogist.

We haven’t had any snow that stuck to the ground until today. I’d been counting my blessings and hoping for a snow-less winter but that’s too much to ask for in Wisconsin. I count my blessings that it is late starting this year and hope for an early spring, say oh in March!

Hope the holidays are treating you well. Now that you know what I’m up to give me a shout out to tell me what you’ve been up to. You can reach me here, Google+, Twitter, Flickr (where you’ll find this photos in large sizes and many more from these events & other things), or at either of my e-mail addresses marylouiseeklund at yahoo.com or gmail.com. I try to make it easy to be found.

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