Thursday, December 6, 2007

Terrebonne Depot

In 1911, the Terrebonne Depot was a stop on the brand new train route cutting across Central Oregon. The route connected Washington and California and opened up the realm of possibility for this rich desert land.

Today, the Terrebonne Depot is open again, this time as an American Cuisine restaurant. On a Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago my husband and I stopped in for our first sampling of the fare.

Our main reason for stopping in? My story. The Good Earth Series of course includes key details for the coming of the railroad to Central Oregon--more specifically Hillman/Terrebonne. What a pleasant surprise to find a truly enjoyable respite. The Terrebonne Depot boasts tables and a bar fashioned from the original 8" x 8" old growth fir pier supports on which the original depot stood. The combination of modern elegance and rustic ambiance is quite pleasing.

My husband enjoyed a Mediterranean Burger, complete with feta cheese and Greek olives. Part of the novelty was the buffalo meat patty. House fries accompanied his meal and were a definite treat with the spice adding a surprising kick.

On the lighter side, I tried the tomato basil soup--not for anyone squeamish about basil--and the salad with honey mustard dressing. I know it was only a dressing, but the honey mustard was "to die for." I wanted to lick the plate, but of course refrained.

To complete our meal we splurged on bacon wrapped shrimp. What a find! The bacon added an interesting flair to the jumbo shrimp and was perfected by another tasty sauce highlighted with cilantro and a delicate blend of sugar and spice.

Despite the fact that there was a workable selection of kid friendly dishes, we will not likely make this a weekly stop. The Terrebonne Depot earned a spot in our elite list of "for parents only" guilty pleasures.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The End of NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writer's Month ended at midnight on Friday night. One of my students claims that NaNoWriMo is Japanese for "suffering." Don't believe it for a moment.

Today we totaled the students' word counts. The seniors, a class of eleven students, proudly boasted 90,440 words. The juniors with a smaller class--eight boys and one girl--finished with
103,000 words!

Fifteen of the students wrote at least 9000 words, and one student excelled with 20,280 words.

Overall, this was a great month. Comments heard around school this month included:

"I never thought I could write this much."

"After writing a 10,000 word novel, it will be tough to limit myself to a two page essay."

"Now I am going to have to finish writing my story."

Students accomplished something they never dreamed possible. Even the students who did not reach their goal wrote more than they ever dared before. The writing is not perfect, and is certainly not ready for publication, but students put words on paper. Their fluency improved, their confidence grew and for a few short weeks they knew what it is to be a writer.

The question has been posed, "Do we have to do it again next year?" accompanied by the requisite moans.

However, my resounding "Yes!" was followed by a fiery discussion of the possible stories each student could use next year.

Perhaps the suffering was worth it.


Senior Total 99,057

Juniors 103,000

Total Word Count for November: 202,057