Charlotte Rains Dixon  

Five on Friday: What’s Going On

Brown_pebbles_stone_251353_lWhat Who I'm in Love With: My new grandson, Owen Lewis Hopman, born October 13, thus becoming the 9th Libra among our extended family and friends.  He was two weeks overdue, and I'm convinced that he just wanted to make certain he had his very own birthday, rather than sharing it with a grandfather, grandmother, father or uncle (two of them), because he wasn't a big baby–7 pounds 6 ounces. 

What I'm Writing: My next novel, the one I started in France.  I'm the kind of writer who doesn't like to talk much about a book until it is done so I'll leave you guessing.  But I was struggling a little bit with the story, so this week I had a plot session with Cathy Yardley, in which she asked me a lot of questions about the story so far.  By the end of the hour, I had designated the inciting incident, plot points, pinch points, and my main character's goals, motivations and conflicts.  Since I no longer belong to a critique group, I really needed someone to bounce ideas off, and she delivered in a huge way.  Highly recommended.

What I'm Reading:  A silly Christmas/knitting novel set in a small English village, which I can't even remember the name of. It reads like a first draft, self published novel that has not been edited, and yet it was put out by a major house.  Of course, I'm still reading it–and I'm the queen of ditching books–so maybe that's why.  Up next is Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie by Beth Howard, (research!) and the sequel to Me Before You, the blockbuster-ish novel by Jojo Moyes, which I enjoyed a lot and we used as a teaching book in the 2014 France workshop.  And I still have the gazillion novels I downloaded on my Kindle before I went to France to read.

What I'm Obsessing About:  Knitting and needlework.  I just don't have enough time for all I want to do, possibly because I spend so much time drooling over blogs like Fringe Association, Mason-Dixon Knitting, Alabama Chanin, and Kate Davies, to name only a few. And let us not forget my Instagram feed which is crammed full of delightful feeds.

What's Going On:  You may have noticed that I've not been blogging as much lately.  I got out of the habit while in France and haven't recovered my momentum yet.  But I will.  This here blog has been around for eight years and counting, and its not going anywhere.  One of the problems is that I hate the current design, which looks the way it does only so it works on mobile devices.  Getting the design I want is going to require moving from Typepad to WordPress.  I've been twiddling my thumbs over what to do, mainly because of those eight years of content, which is a bit onerous to transfer from Typepad to WordPress.  But I think I'm coming up with some feasible solutions, so stay tuned.

What's Coming up:  Okay this makes Six Things on Friday, but oh well. We will be announcing the topic and location of our 2016 France workshop (hint: Ceret, Ceret, Ceret, my most favorite town in the south of France).  AND rumor has it there might be another European destination in the works for the spring.  I'll keep you posted!

Okay, that's it for me.  This weekend I'm going to finally finish setting up my office, which I moved from upstairs to downstairs right before I left for France, and catch up on work.  What's up for you these days?

Photo by Henkster.

0 thoughts on “Five on Friday: What’s Going On

  1. J.D.

    I love your grandson’s name: Owen Lewis. His is a perfect name for a writer. I think I like the full name on a cover better than the initials. There are a million details of the current design I never notice, but it seems fine to me. lol. I have to check out the blogs–se where you’re hanging out. Alabama Chanin–why do I feel like you’re cheating on me.

  2. J.D.

    Then I find out Chanin is a site to shop, learn about art and sewing and something? In any case it does not appear to be a rival author. It’s a good thing; that’s a slick website.

  3. Charlotte Dixon

    Oh J.D., I would never cheat on you, I swear it!  Alabama Chanin is a really cool fashion and needlework line. Natalie Chanin lived in NYC for years and came home to a small town in Alabama and created this whole business that employs locals. Check it out.  And thanks for the compliment on Owen's name, I like it too.  It suits him.

  4. Dyoung

    Chanins website and insta are great. I love her desire to bring great vision to a small town and keep things local. That’s what my boss is doing and it’s a beautiful thing.
    I love her marketing. Her presence. The brand she has created thru social media. Every small business owners dream.

  5. Charlotte Dixon

    I love it, too.  So enticing.  And its not just the beautiful goods, but the story behind it and her commitment to her home state.  I really want to try one of her patterns.  What company do you work for? Sounds very cool!

  6. J.D.

    Okay, you two aroused my curiosity. I looked and Chanin is in Florence, an easy day trip for me! Next door to Muscle Shoals, the music recording center of the universe. Here’s something to make your heart flutter: Florence, the home of Chanin, is 70 miles from Cullman, the home of Channing Tatum.

  7. Charlotte Dixon

    Okay, well sign me up!  I've actually always wanted to take a workshop there, so one of these days I may arrive on your doorstep!  And for me, you're way more important than Channing.  🙂

  8. J.D.

    lol. We’d love to show you the Rocket City.

  9. Dyoung

    Yes I already know all these things. Alabama is like my second home. The second one I’ve never actually lived in. I’ve been to muscle shoals. That was the time we took supplies to help the town of Phil Campbell after the 2011 Tuscaloosa tornado. In 2014 my daughter signed to play volleyball for a coach who’s hometown just happens to be Phil Cambell AL. There are a lot of good stories that come out of that state. Maters in Gadsden AL serves their pizza with a tomato as the center of the pie. The best football team resides there as well. I could go on and on.

  10. Charlotte Dixon

    Don't say that, I'll end up on your doorstep.

  11. Charlotte Dixon

    My good friend Linda's daughter came within a couple feet, literally, of having her dorm room wiped out by that tornado.  It was really something.  I didn't realize you had so many connections to Alabama!  

  12. J.D.

    Yes, Phil Campbell was one of many places devastated by the tornado. How ironic–that connection to your daughter’s coach. I’ve eaten at Mater’s several times. They serve great pizza.
    Mater’s is good and I’ll accept Chanin, but Alabama struggles mostly struggles for notoriety. We don’t really have our own cuisine. I’m curious about other places. Charlotte, what is Oregon know for, aside from the Ducks. I’m sure wine is in that list. Alabama doesn’t have a cuisine because for years we lacked resources. Seafood from the gulf is fantastic but no unique to the state. Oregon may simply be too young to have a food identity. And Charlotte, I love your second home, Nashville. I have fond fond memories of that place. Where is the best food there aside from Chuy’s at the edge of Vanderbilt. (I am told it is pronounced chewy’s.) Mexican food that will light up your life.

  13. Charlotte Dixon

    Okay, so Oregon is known for salmon, blackberries and other kinds of berries, hazelnuts, and Voodoo doughnuts.  Also our food carts and huge restaurant scene with lots of cool chefs.  (Can you tell I'm trying to get you out here?)  We really do have an amazing food scene here.

    I used to know Nashville restaurants like the back of my hand but I'm not going as regularly now, sadly, and things have blown up in my absence!  I used to go to J.Alexander's (really close to Vanderbilt) and BrickTop's and there's a pizza place in that converted dry cleaning factory that I adore.  And the BEST places are the Meat 'n Threes-Varallos's downtown, the Lovelace Cafe, Monell's, The Copper Kitchen.  I'm jonesing for some good southern food now that I've written all those down! 

  14. Dyoung

    To me Alabama is its geography. You can eat from a chefs plate if you want, or you can slurp up some waffles, even eat from a paper bag if you wish. I’m not concerned with those things. I love the south for its secenery, nearness to the waters edge, love of football, and sweet tea. And Alabama is at the top of the list.
    In Feb/Mar I will be taking an extended trip with my husband to TX, LA, & MS. Spending most of our time in Austin, we will also make stops in New Orleans, Gulfport, and Natchez. I’ll let you know how they compare.

  15. Charlotte Dixon

    I love everything you listed–except for the sweet tea.  But then, I'm not an iced drinker anyway!  Your trip sounds wonderful, can't wait to hear about it.

  16. Dyoung

    Sweet tea is the schnitz, Char!

  17. Charlotte Dixon

    You will never convince me of that! 🙂

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