Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Shut Down For Vacation...

QUOTE OF THE DAY: If you expect the unexpected, do you unexpect the expected?

Spring Break is officially here, and my in-laws will be descending tomorrow. I have been frantically cleaning all this week (aside from the many other things I've been doing) and now that I'm completely frazzled and ready to throw the proverbial Hands In The Air--things have magically fallen into place (i.e. my housecleaning lady, after much bribing, has consented to come and clean tomorrow morning, right before they arrive--Hooray!) and I can take a deep breath and actually enjoy my vacation.
I'll be out of town for the next 10 days, so I won't be able to blog. *Sniff* I'll miss it. But I'll be back with renewed vigor on April 1st. Just in time for April Fools.


Friday, March 18, 2005

I Believe in Fairies!!!

QUOTE OF THE DAY (Seen on a car bumper):
I may be fat, but you're ugly, and I can diet.

I would like to believe in Fairies. I was watching Peter Pan the other night with my kids (the newest version with the delicious Jason Isaacs as Hook/Mr. Darling) and how nice would it be to have my own Tinkerbell. Or at least my own fairy. What would life be like if I had a fairy to grant me three wishes?

Hmmm, not too hard. A clean house. A vacation in the Bahamas. World Peace. (Not necessarily in that order).
But now, if there were different fairies for different things, I would definitely want a visit from the World Peace Fairy, the Vacation Fairy, and the Orgnanization and Cleanliness Fairy.
Unfortunately, those three are elusive lately, except the Vacation Fairy.(But we’re going to go on vacation in WISCONSIN, so I don’t really consider that a “vacation” per se.)

While I’m at it, I need to write a letter to the Metabolism Fairy, begging her to return because she deserted me in 1997, after the birth of my first child. Maybe I could plant a fairy tree in the backyard (next to the Money Tree we have growing in our backyard since my husband so frequently asks me if I “think we have one”) and see what comes out of it.
Okay, I’m being a little childish here, but I have to have a sense of humor about things. The realities and doldrums of the daily routine can get a tad…monotonous at times.
Thank Heaven for books and movies that can take us away from all of that. And here’s where I get cheesy and explain why I chose to be a Writer, or why Writing chose me (I’ve never figured out which): Because I think of the thrill I got when I was younger, being able to step outside of my skin for a few hours, and have an adventure—that is one of the most priceless gifts you can give someone. I want to be able to do that.

Now I just need to make an appeal to the Publishing Fairy…*wink wink*

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I CAN POST!!! (Catch-up Time)

Apparently, switching browsers has worked. I couldn't post for THREE WHOLE DAYS!!! I even emailed Blogger Support, and apparently they're stumped, because they still haven't gotten back to me. So I switched my browser to IE, and WHAMMO! I can post! (heh heh, the three people who actually read this blog can now join me in a cheer! HOORAY!!)

So, without further ado...

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Life is a tacky lounge act. You're on in five.

This would have been my post on Monday:

Pain Pain Pain
I’m in
Pain Pain Pain
My whole day’s down the
Drain drain drain
‘cause I’m in
Pain Pain Pain
Can’t take Vicodin for the
Pain pain pain
‘cause it makes me
insane insane insane
my hubby says it’s all in my
brain brain brain
I think he’s
Lame lame lame
And it’s a
Shame shame shame
My whole day’s down the
Drain drain drain.

Oh the
Pain pain pain.

And on Tuesday, this would have been my post:


And on Wednesday:

Feeling much better. I think I'll actually do something like NOT lay in bed...

Which brings us to Today...

I am feeling much better. Aside from freaking out because I have a ton of family descending on me in exactly one week (here we go with the full-on House Cleaning Panic Mode) things are generally good. Now I have to get my rear in gear and take care of all the things I couldn't do the last few days. Oh, and I will never, EVER have another tooth pulled. Apparently my tolerance for pain is nonexistent. And that really, really sucks.



Friday, March 11, 2005

To Each His Own (and so it goes...)

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Psychiatrists say girls tend to marry men like their fathers. That is probably the reason mothers cry at weddings

*DISCLAIMER* My novel is currently with an editor at a very large publishing house right now, so I tend to get a little philosophical during these times. That said:

I had a very eye-opening experience lately. A lady I know (here, not in any writing forum I frequent) suggested we exchange manuscripts for critique. Granted, the genre she writes couldn’t be farther from what I normally read. In fact, I struggled through her entire novel, because it was so heavily political, among other things (and of course it was the opposite of MY political views) and it contained graphic scenes and frankly, I hated it. HATED it. But the writing was superb and I found myself reading against my will.

We returned the manuscripts to each other a few days ago, and I told her my response, and to my surprise, she felt the same way about MY novel! She said that the writing was great, and kept her reading, but the material was “childish” and “safe” in her opinion (in my defense I write Young Adult fiction and my characters don’t even get to second base, and I'm fine with that) and we finally both agreed that although we have a knack for creating good stories, we are completely different in our tastes.

I like to think of it as the same with Peanut Butter and "Vegemite."
I had a roommate from Australia in college, and she, for the life of her, could not fathom why I liked to put Peanut Butter on my toast in the morning. It made her gag, and she pontificated at length about the evils of the stuff.
HER spread of choice was Vegemite—which, in my opinion, ranks right up there with boogers and cold snot on the “grossness” scale. To me, it resembled green Vaseline, and smelled like Geritol, and of course, she absolutely LOVED it.
So here we were, Peanut Butter Girl and Vegemite Girl, and neither of us could understand or empathize with the other.

Thus it was with this woman and I. We are so different, it actually made it harder for us to appreciate each other’s work.

That’s why the publishing industry is so damn hard to break in to—every editor has their “idea” of what the public would want to read, and they balance it with what “they” want to read. So if you’re submitting Vegemite to a Peanut-butter Person, you’re going to get rejected.
Such is life. Variety is the spice!

Hopefully someday I’ll get the spices right!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Skipping the Prom...

QUOTE OF THE DAY: how long a minute is depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on.

For some reason, I’ve been reflecting on my High School years a lot lately. Maybe at 32 I’m already having that dreaded mid-life crisis, because suddenly I’m thinking about the “What-ifs.” (What if I had let G.H. kiss me after all? What if I had gone for that role in that play? What if I had gotten brave and actually asked D.A. to the Sadie Hawkins’ dance? What if I had gone out for Volleyball instead of Cheerleading…)

But my biggest What-If, is definitely Prom. I am slightly embarrassed to admit it, but I did not partake in what could possibly be the definitive crowning tradition of High School. The reason? Simple: I just didn’t go.
Here’s a funny line from one of my favorite 80’s movies:

I had this girlfriend who didn’t go to hers (prom) and every once in a while she gets this really terrible feeling, you know? Like something is missing. She checks her purse…she checks her keys, she counts her kids… she goes crazy—and then she realizes, that NOTHING IS MISSING…she decided that it was side effects from skipping the Prom.”
--Iona, from the movie “Pretty In Pink

I didn’t go to Prom, because at the time, I really didn’t see the point. I didn’t have a boyfriend, and the guy I would have liked to go with (my best guy friend) happened to have a seriously mushy girlfriend situation. So he wasn’t an option.
Granted, I could technically say I was "asked" to the prom, but the guy (who happened to be a sophomore and was someone I would have referred to at the time as a “Major Loser”) had already asked three other girls before me (so I had to turn him down to retain my dignity) and he asked two other girls after me before one of them finally said yes—so never mind…I guess that doesn’t really count.
I figured it would all be O.K. I rationalized that someday, something would make up for the fact that I missed my Prom.
Then I decided that someday I would get an Academy Award for either A) Best Actress or B) Best Screenplay, and during my acceptance speech, I would tearfully confess (while waving the heavy statuette in the air):

I never went to my Senior Prom—THIS makes up for it!”

...But clearly, I won’t be winning an Academy Award in this lifetime, so I’m not sure exactly how I will get closure for choosing to skip the Prom. I still kick myself, because when my guy friend (with the mushy girlfriend situation) found out that I had missed it, he said he would have taken me, if I’d wanted him to.
Well Dammit.
So, I could have gone to Prom, even if it was just with a friend. This much I know. But honestly, in the grand scheme of things, is it really that important? Must be, otherwise I wouldn’t be dwelling on it now, 15 years later! I mean, think about it: Prom, Graduation. Those are pretty high up there on the “Importance” scale for the average high school kid!
But I am hoping the defective years of High School (now happily a distant memory) haven't played too big a part in who I am now. During High School I was worried about my image and self-conscious to the point of pain. But I think I've figured things out now. It's not that I consider myself better than when I was in High School, now I am just what I like to call: "Over It."

In that vein, I am invincible. I am the Non-Self-Conscious Woman of Steel. Heck, I can walk to the mailbox (across the street) in my PJ's and an overcoat and not run away screaming from embarrassment when my children hand me boogers in public or ask the lady sitting next to them in church (very loudly) why she's so fat--and I don't implode when the doorbell rings and its the neighbor coming for a visit and and my front room looks like I'm having a garage sale.
Get this: I can even run to the supermarket without having taken a shower first.

That is being "over it." I can call myself successful.

And also, yes, I will eventually get my closure about skipping Prom…that much I have decided.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

My Daughter, the Theorist...

QUOTE OF THE DAY: If Dracula can't see his reflection in a mirror, how come his hair is always so neatly combed?

Kids say the darnedest things, without a doubt. My seven year-old daughter (who shall remain nameless because this IS the Internet—I call her Thing One) has had a lot of “deep thoughts” about things lately.
The other day she spent a few hours at a friend’s house, during which they watched the movie “Princess Bride.” (One of my all-time faves.) I asked her how she liked it, and she said that except for all the “gross kissing” it was pretty neat. Then, after a long pause (during which I assumed the conversation was over and that was that) our conversation resumed. It went something like this:

Thing One: Mom?

Me: Yes?

Thing One: Did you and Daddy ever kiss like that?

Me: Kiss like what?

Thing One: Like they kissed in Princess Bride at the end? They kissed a long, long time.

Me: Well of course we…did. I mean, yeah. We still do!

Thing One: You do? I’ve never seen you.

Me: Hmmmm.

Thing One: Daddy only kisses you really fast.

Me: Oh.

Thing One: I’ve never seen T. and N. (our neighbors) kiss like that either.

Me: How about J. and R.? (our other neighbors)

Thing One: Nope. (thinks for a minute) Mom?

Me: Yes?

Thing One: how long have you and Daddy been married?

Me: Nine years next month

Thing One: That’s why. You’ve been married a long, long time. It’s probably not fun to kiss anymore.

I had to laugh at this, and set her straight. Granted, my hubby and I avoid "sucking face" in front of our children (for obvious reasons) but I find it funny that she would think of such things. She's become awful curious lately, about life and love and "how things work." *sigh* They grow up so fast!

In other news, I had my tooth pulled yesterday and it’s already healing up fine. Whew! I'm just a little sore today. My oral surgeon prescribed Vicodin, but clearly, in my profession, being in a drugged-out stupor is not a good thing. I have way too many kids to juggle and a lot of running around to do. So I'm opting for Ibuprofen. It works just fine.

Also, in the “It’s-not-so-important-to-most-people-but-it’s-exciting-to-me” vein, Scholastic unveiled the new Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Cover yesterday. You can see a supersized version of it here.
It appears (to me anyway) to be Dumbledore and Harry, peering into what seems to be an ancient Pensieve. Cool!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

My Nemesis Tooth

QUOTE OF THE DAY: You know the person who found out you could get milk from cows....what were they doing?

I have a little tooth my dentist affectionately calls his "Arch Nemesis".
Yep. Good ol' tooth number 20. Over the last 23 years I've had three root canals, 2 oral surgeries, 17 infections, and today, the war is over. I'm going to have it yanked.
Of course, my hubby, ever the pragmatic, had this to say about it. "Its kinda funny that you suffered pain and infection for 16 years...for NOTHING."
I mean, this little tooth has literally been the cause of a lot of trauma in my life.
One prime example: The summer before my Senior year in High School, (I was seventeen) it got infected badly and I had to endure cheelreading camp (in a pissy mood because my tooth hurt) and all my fellow cheerleaders cruelly ganged up on me during a "group circle session" and told me I was not a nice person (which to this day, ranks as one of THE single most traumatic events of my life--high school girls can be so damn mean) and then, it ruined my entire Christmas a year ago when I had to have the Root Canal re-done, and I spent the entire holiday drugged-out and in severe pain from secondary infection.
SO, today, as I said before, the war ends. And I win. My relationship with my Arch Nemesis is finally coming to an end. The tooth is going. Good riddiance. Adios. Au revoir. Ciao. See ya.

Kind of anticlimactic, actually.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Stuck In the 80's

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Have you ever noticed? Anybody driving slower than you is an Idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a Maniac.

They’ve been overplaying that song on the radio—the song that basically explains my life in a nutshell—“1985” by Bowling For Soup.
Granted, there are a few differences, for instance I never had aspirations to “shake my ass” on the hood of Whitesnake’s car, but if you changed the group to Duran Duran, I might have considered it. (I think I literally did a Happy Dance when I heard they had reunited)

I am a hopeless product of the 80’s. I still love Depeche Mode, Erasure, Yaz, Thompson Twins, Pet Shop Boys, U2 (before they sold out and became Pepsi-fied), and tons of other 80’s groups that I adored. So, in that vein, I admit I’m still stuck in the 80’s. (Let’s just say my kids know the words to “Our House,” “The Safety Dance” and “Video Killed The Radio Star” by heart.)

I am also in the process of collecting every John Hughes movie ever made, since they completely shaped my life. I even had the “Molly Ringwald Haircut” from the movie “Pretty in Pink” in the mid 80’s.
Another difference would be that I drive a red SUV. But other than that, there you have it. If you listen to the song, it’s the story of my life. I was going to be an actress, I was going to be a world-famous author, travel the world, etc.
In reality, I am a typical Soccer Mom, living quietly in Suburbia, and have been for some time now. I’m turning 33 this year. That seems like an odd age to be, and I am actually starting to feel my youth slipping away somewhat. I feel old. (Somewhere I hear my dear mother sobbing.)

Maybe that’s why I love to write so much. My heroines are bold, feisty, they travel, they fall in passionate love, and they do all the things I want to do. I live vicariously through my characters. I was having this discussion with my sister the other day (who, by the way, at the age of 24, has “lived” enough for at least three lifetimes) and we agreed that writing is a good outlet (I’m a novelist, she’s a poet.)

My hubby, who is in the fashion industry, has said that the 80’s are actually making a comeback. I’ll admit it seems weird to see leg warmers and heavy lip gloss and feathered bangs (not to mention BIG HAIR) again, but I swear on my children, my dog, etc., that you will never, ever see me in a pair of ACID WASH JEANS. Even if they come back big. Even if they’re HUGE. I won’t wear them, ever again. Nope nope nope.

(Then again, in the 80’s, I said the exact same thing about Bellbottoms. And now, I don’t think I own a pair of pants that doesn’t “flare out” somewhat at the bottom.)

Go figure.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Fell into a Black Hole...

QUOTE OF THE DAY: When life gives you lemons, squeeze them on people with paper cuts!

I amazed myself yesterday. I wrote over 10,000 words. When I was finished, I looked at the clock and saw that it was nearly 1am, and I had been inside a black hole for five hours straight, except for one "goodnight" phone call from Hubby, who is traveling. Kind of scared myself. I am working on a short story, and I feel compelled to just "get it out" so I can purge it from my brain, and I can concentrate again on my novel. This short story is a welcome diversion, but I'm sure it will be a few more days before I get it out of my system.

I am a little stressed today. It has been placed on my shoulders to "plan" the vacation with the In-laws, and I have no idea where to start. Also my cleaning lady is coming over in an hour and I have to take my boys and "disappear" for three and a half hours, and I never quite know what to do with them, because after about an hour they turn into whining messes because they're "tired of shopping" or "tired of the library" or "tired of driving" etc. UGH.

My boys (ages four and five) are finally starting to become competitive with each other. Problem is, my four year-old is WAY more "physically inclined" than my five year old, which means that in races or games of strength, the four year-old usually kicks his brother's butt.
I had to smile yesterday, I told the boys to go and get dressed for the day, and they decided to race each other up the stairs. They raced, and I heard my four year old exclaim "I won, I won!" and the response from my five year old was classic:

"That's ok. I won too, because Second Place is okay. Fourth place is bad."

Pretty healthy attitude, if you ask me!
Well now I have to get running--today is going to be a looooooooong day...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

I'll Never Get This Novel Written...

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not your sport.”

I’ve recently come to the reluctant conclusion that “surfing” the internet sucks away entirely TOO much of my writing time. I allow a couple of hours in the afternoons (usually during my kids' “quiet time”) and for some reason, the same pattern always seems to happen.

Sure, it all starts out innocently enough, I get onto the internet to check email ( or to peek into my writer’s forums), and inevitably, the temptation to SURF proves too strong for my fragile constitution. And off I go.

Some of the sites I find EXTREMELY high on the Time-Suckage Scale:

The Movie Spoilers Website: if you’re like me and have no time to go to the movies and DON’T want to wait until the DVD release, go here. (Warning, this site gives away ENTIRE PLOTS to movies!!!)
I also visit my little addictive helicopter game, and then run over to HPANA, where all the latest news of all things Harry Potter can be viewed. Of course I have to peek into Harry Potter Adults (a forum where adults can talk about all things Harry Potter with dignity, and not be subjected to the typical teen drivel, i.e.: OMG Harry is so HOT! Ron is HOT! I wish I could marry them! It would be sooo way kewl if Harry and Hermione got together and got married and my g-friend is always telling me that I should date Dan Radcliffe, he’s so…HOT!!!)
Anyway, I find myself in “Google Research” mode for yet another big chunk of time, and of course, the highly addictive Ebay. Sometimes I go for a little Bejeweled 2 or Bespelled. Then I might venture to see the latest at Fox News.

Then I glance up at the clock and see that it is now 4pm, and my children will be arriving on the front doorstep in approx. 4 minutes and 25 seconds, give or take 15 seconds. AND WHERE DID ALL THE TIME GO?
Down a little thing I like to call the “Internet Surfage Time-Sucking Drain”
I need to change my ways, or else I’ll never get this novel written.

I wonder if other writers have this problem?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Post-cold Lag...

Yes, thank you, we are all feeling much better. Life is back to semi-normal: Hubby is away on business (ah, I love being awake for 20 hours straight--ppbbhhttt) and the kids are back to school.
I haven't been as resilient--I guess it comes from taking care of sick people while being sick myself. I can breathe better, for sure, but I have absolutely no energy.
I am currently reading Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters, and I can't put it down. This woman writes the way I would love to write, and her heroine goes to Egypt in the 1890's.

I didn't write anything yesterday except a lengthy journal entry where I wallowed in self-pity (cold medicine aftershocks I'm sure) and a tidbit for a story idea.

I also got a phone call from someone in my church on how to Ebay properly. I have no idea how word got around but apparently some people know what an avid Ebayer I am. Lately I have just been browsing, because I think over the years I've purchased every out-0f-circulation Disney DVD available, every retired Stampin' Up! Stamp set I can lay my bony fingers on, and all the tea sets I could want to collect. I need to just browse for a while...

So what to do today...I am feeling tired but motivated, if one can feel both at once. I think I'll do some touch-up paint in the basement.

Heaven knows my brain is still too mushy for serious writing.