Weekend Coffee Share: Groundhogs, Girl Scouts & Stephen King


Can it really be the weekend already?  Seems like I just posted last weekend’s coffee share.  Time goes by much too quickly for my liking.

Having said that, I’ll now backtrack.  When it comes to winter, time cannot pass quickly enough for this Pennsylvanian!

Seduced by a virtually snowless January and February, and caressed by temperatures in the balmy seventies several times throughout the winter, I was convinced that Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most devious groundhog, was smoking some really good stuff when he prognosticated six more weeks of winter. I mean, seriously, folks: I was getting ready to dust off my bathing suit and declare winter DEAD. But nooooo – on February 2nd, that fat little rodent’s body cast its shadow, and subjected me to six more weeks of winter slop and malaise.

PhilI hate groundhogs, especially those from Punxsutawney.

I’m a rational woman and I live in the 21st century, so how much credence should I place in a furry old woodchuck’s weather prediction?  NONE!

Well… that is what I was saying to myself last Monday afternoon when there was a definite feeling of spring in the air.

But that damned rodent was correct.  In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, we got hammered by a nor’easter that brought significant sleet and snowfall – and plunged us back into the frigid depths of WINTER.  From spring-like temperatures we went to well below freezing. How is that possible? It’s more than crazy; it’s an affront to God and all that is holy!

The Corporation I work for closed its offices in advance of the storm. They apparently trusted Phil more than I did. Because the roads were so icy once the snow stopped falling, I spent an additional day at home, cursing all groundhogs and working on my laptop.

Which brings me to the topic of working from home.  I’m not a fan of it.


Why?  Because I work too hard when I’m at home!  This means that when I say I’m going to work, I work. I don’t pop laundry into the dryer; I don’t paint my fingernails; I don’t watch soap operas. I really do work.

And that’s the problem. When I’m at the office, I enjoy the camaraderie of my colleagues, the coffee breaks, the people who stop by my desk to chat. At home, it’s me and the computer. Mano a mano, we are locked in a fierce battle to accomplish the day’s objectives, with me fully cognizant that at any given minute a work colleague may send me an email. What if I step away and miss it? Will they think I’m slacking off?  Oh, no!  Not me!

While in the office, I don’t feel this burning need to immediately answer every email I receive but when working from home, it is different.  My ‘good girl’ nature takes over.

girl scout salutingI blame Sally Groves’ mother for this. Sally was a neighborhood pal whose mother was our Girl Scouts’ leader. That woman drummed into my impressionable head that it was our duty to God and country to never lie, to be productive citizens and to help other people at all times. Whenever I am tempted to slack off or do something seemingly harmless, I hear Mrs. Groves’ high pitched voice telling me what my duty is to God and country – and the world at large.

St. Francis Xavier said, “Give me the child until he is seven and I’ll give you the man.”

I think Mrs. Groves subscribed to this credo. I am the woman she fashioned me to be from a young child:  a drudge.

I was happy to get back to the office on Thursday – I needed the rest.

What other similarly fascinating things can I share with you from the past week?

As you know, I am trying to write fiction in my off hours, not that there are many of them. It is a continuing challenge to find the time and the energy to write after a full day of work and fighting the highway wars. You know what I mean by highway wars, right? The constant maneuvering around other cars and 18-wheelers to get to one’s destination before the hair turns gray? Sitting in traffic has become a pastime for me. I spend a lot of time in my car. If it had a shower and kitchenette, I could probably live in it.

I have latched on to a new author – sort of. I am reading Robert Galbraith’s detectiveIMG_3875[441] novel, ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling.’ I had never heard of Galbraith but I love detective novels, so when my pal, Belinda, mentioned I should give his books a try, I was all in.  This one has a strong central character with a good back story, and I’m greatly enjoying the novel. Imagine my surprise to learn that Mr. Galbraith is in fact a female writer, and a famous one at that. Galbraith is the pseudonym used by J.K. Rowling for her detective novels.

I had read the first Harry Potter novel by Rowling, and I enjoyed it. I didn’t feel a compelling urgency to read the others, however. I may have to remedy that.  Maybe.

Since we’re chatting about authors, I will share with you that Mr. Loveton and I are watching the miniseries adapted from Stephen King’s novel, ‘11.23.63,’ about a high school teacher who travels back in time to prevent JFK’s assassination. I love time travel stories. I love Stephen King stories. I love JFK. This is definitely a win-win scenario for me. The miniseries is on Hulu in the US, and we discovered it Friday night. While we have only watched two episodes, the series is a big hit with Mr. Loveton. I like it too.

But, Gentle Readers, tell me:  what is up with Stephen King’s need to write in a vomit scene in every book that he writes?  I have learned NOT to read Stephen King’s novels while eating lunch.  If I should, there is no guarantee my lunch will stay down.


Reading one of his vomit scenes?

So, of course, there was the obligatory vomit scene in the TV miniseries, ‘11.23.63.’  Seriouly, friends, I really don’t need to see TV stars vomit on television shows.  Heck, I don’t even like to see my dogs vomit.  So, note to the very talented Mr. King:  Could you maybe, pretty please, write some stuff where people don’t upchuck all over the place?  Thank you, your slightly green fan, Kate Loveton.

And that, Gentle Readers, wraps up this weekend’s coffee share. I hope your week was a good one, and that the coming one will be even better. Until next time, be good to yourself – and to others! If you can find the time, join the weekend coffee share generously hosted by Nerd in the Brain  (here).  We’d love to know what’s going on with you.

© 2017 All Rights Reserved Kate Loveton, Odyssey of a Novice Writer


About Kate Loveton

Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I'm a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are 'Once upon a time... ' Won't you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?
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19 Responses to Weekend Coffee Share: Groundhogs, Girl Scouts & Stephen King

  1. Haha–vomit scene. That’s funny that he does that. I wonder does he realize his obsession? For me it’s lopped off body parts. My excuse is I write about a past before reconstructive surgery :). Vomit holds no appeal.
    What you write is so true about being at home. On the face of it it seems great to have flexibility, but with perfectionists like myself, there’s always a cabinet that scolds me for not having been cleaned. I’m happier when I have some camaraderie yet then I get less writing done. Balance is a very elusive thing.

  2. Julia Lund says:

    We awoke to sleety rain this morning – snow without any of the beauty. It came as a bit of a surprise, since Spring seemed to have well and truly sprung chez nous.

    I used to work based at home, and can identify wholeheartedly with your description. I may not have had Mrs Groves sitting on my shoulder, but when your early days were shaped by a mother who, as a child, used to put herself to bed if she judged she’d been naughty (whether her mother knew or not), there’s not much scope for slacking …

    I hope your week is turning out to be warmer and less fraught than last.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Julia, we were caught off balance with our snowy mess as well. As for today, it’s pretty darned cold, but temps are supposed to be spring-like tomorrow. Crossing my fingers!

      Your mother and Mrs. Groves would have gotten along just fine! 😀

  3. noelleg44 says:

    I’m with you, my friend. I was happily breathing in the delicious smell of my hyacinths when the temps dropped to below freezing and stayed there. Everything stopped – the cherry blossoms froze in place, the red buds got caught trying to emerge. We didn’t get the snow though. You will like working from home when you are retired and just writing for yourself. I turn off the world when I’m writing. NOTHING can disturb me and Hubs has gotten his share of dirty looks if he tries! Hanf in there- spring is inevitable. Gotta read that book!

    • Kate Loveton says:

      I am very much looking forward to retirement so I can write! This week I ended up working two twelve hour days – I don’t much like feeling that I come home, eat dinner and it’s then it’stime to go to bed! I will certainly be ready to trade in the commute, too.

      We have a lot of sorry, limp daffodils around here. They looked so cheery before the snow fall. Now? Very, very sad!

      Do read the book. I am just about finished, and can heartily recommend it.

  4. Lauren says:

    I love the Cormoran Strike series. I generally don’t read crime novels, but I though I’d try something new from my favourite author and I’m glad I did. The third book in the series is my favourite, so far at least. I hope you enjoy!

  5. The snow buried the outside world and you allowed yourself to be snowed under with work. Someone needs to show you how to have a bit of fun – not Mrs. Drudge. She’s probably running the snowplow all over town. Thanks for the update on your very interesting week.

  6. I like Kate the thinker and Kate the doer

  7. The strange weather we are having is confusing the plants. My photos show the star magnolia should be in full bloom now. No buds on it.

  8. Belinda P says:

    Another great post from you, Kate! ❤

    You never fail to engage me with your posts and I really enjoyed how you dealt with such a trying week with good humour and grace.

    Here in the UK it has been relatively dry and mild recently and Spring is definitely in the air over here with daffodils and cherry blossom in full effect. I am so sorry to hear that the blasted groundhog was right about your weather, although I have to commend his meteorological skills!

    My current job role sees me classed as 'working from home' and while it has its advantages in that I can sometimes answer my emails in my pjs without anyone knowing, I also feel the need to work flat out to prove that I am 'earning my crust' so to speak. I have a separate office in my apartment which means that at the end of a work day, I can close the door, literally and metaphorically, until the next day.

    I'm glad to hear that you're still enjoying the RG book! I am currently listening to the second in the series and smiled when it referenced a placw I walk by every day when I am working in London!

    Another great post Kate, I await the next one eagerly as you can never have too much coffee! 🙂

    • Kate Loveton says:

      I know you, Belinda! You are a fellow drudge – like me! You work all day on that darned computer while at home. Having a separate office in your apartment is a good idea: that way you can separate your work life from your home life.

      Thanks for the kind words about the post. You are such a good friend!

  9. HA! What a trademark of Stephen King I hadn’t thought of before. Did you see the movie ‘Jackie’? Natalie Portman did a fine job. Brought back a lot of memories. Sorry to hear of your Noreaster. We have relatives outside of Erie. Their descriptions sounded horrible. I’ve been working at home, grading on-line essays. Ho-hum. I do whatever I can to stay alert by taking frequent breaks. My floors and fridge have never been so clean.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Your remark about the floors and fridge made me laugh out loud! 😀

      I’ve not seen ‘Jackie,’ but perhaps I’ll look for it. I am always up for movie recommendations!

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