Friday, October 31, 2008
Anyway, I am going to make about 4 tons of sugar cookies and the kids and I will have fun decorating them. And we'll have a bonfire tonight outside in the fire pit--with hot cider and doughnuts. Mmmm!
And then, at MIDNIGHT...I'll start writing!!! WOO HOO! NaNo will have officially begun.
Yesterday was a weird day--Thing One had a high fever and a sore throat. So, I put her to bed with medicine and she was whiny and impossible, but today, she seems fine?? That is strange. She's currently in the kitchen making scambled eggs and pancakes. I told her to WASH HER HANDS REALLY WELL.
Also, I got a rejection from my dream publisher in the mail. As soon as I saw that large envelope in the mailbox with my handwriting on it, my heart sank.
It happens. I was shooting for the Moon, and really I should be somewhere up in the trees. So, I'll polish up another submission (thank heaven they accept everything electronically--this last publisher did everything by snail mail!) and send it off this weekend. I refuse to let this rejection get me down, because frankly...it was a long shot. But I'm all about long shots. Because there's chance in everything...
ON THE WRITING FRONT:
It's NaNo's Eve! I have outlined and plotted, made up stuff and I woke up this morning at 4am with a headache soooo bad I took one of my prescription painkillers to get rid of it quickly. So, I'm a little woozy. I seriously thought my right eye was going to explode--and the pounding was unbearable. But I'm better now. And I have the first three sentences of my story, playing over and over in my head, so when I actually DO start writing them, it will be effortless.
I have a good support group (it's small but choice) and a great mentor, who has been around the NaNo block many times and will inspire me. I am set!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Okay, so I've filled up half a notebook. I'm being a purist about it. I am not writing ONE word, until midnight on Friday night. My friend Michelle and I are going to get online and IM and keep each other awake, as we get our first words in. We're excited to kick start our novels!
I've been planning and figuring out how I am going to write an entire 50+K novel in one month, AND be a mom to four kids and keep a house clean and run around like I do. And I've got the answer:
I am determined, to get my word count in every day. And, actually, I am going to attempt to finish up a week early, because, as fate would have it, I have family coming for Thanksgiving, and they are flying in the 24th and leaving on the LAST day of NaNo: the 30th. So, if I don't get a large chunk of my writing in before that last week, I'm in serious trouble. So, I just WILL.
Simple as that.
It will be a juggling/balancing/tightrope act, but I've got each day plotted out, and I will take advantage of "stolen moments" to jot things down and type out later. It takes me around 1 hour to get 1000 words out, so I figure if I just write two hours a day, it will be enough.
Excited? Yes. Nervous? Yes. I was asking my sister last night if she would consider NaNo and she said she wasn't ready. I've been saying that for a few years now, and you know what? I don't think anyone is ever truly "ready." You just need to plug your nose, take a deep breath, and jump in. I know getting pushed out of my "comfort zone" will be beneficial for me as a writer.
My only worry is my body wearing out. I get shoulder/neck pain when I sit in this *#!@!^&!! computer chair for too long. And it's a nice chair. Lumbar support, you name it. I will have to stretch before my marathon writing sessions.
Hubby is supportive, my kids promised to leave me alone (granted, I will be writing when they're either asleep or at school) and I'm pretty much set. Tomorrow night at Midnight.
I am so ready. Bring it ON!!!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I read an article recently that claimed airports were on the path of becoming "ghost towns." With all the nickel-and-diming to death the airlines do these days, it's no wonder. Unless you have money to burn, it's not practical to lug a big family on a pricey getaway any more.
So, the kids will be home with me for two days. It will be just like summer--only we won't go outside because we'll all freeze our whateveryoucallits off. For some reason this week, there has been a strong, bitterly cold wind out, and it makes things pretty miserable.
We'll probably make a trip to Half Price Books, and watch a few movies, and of COURSE go to Target, because it's like going to Disneyland, and that's about it. I finally got the coupon for Thing Four's crib (that got recalled) so I need to go to Babies R Us and select another one. I am taking a spindle from the one we broke down so we get an exact color match. HIGHLY ANNOYING.
ON THE WRITING FRONT:
Halleluliah!!! Eureka! Whoopee! I finally have a plot for my story! Yeah, I know, it's cutting it pretty close since NaNo is in THREE days, but I got one. Last night after we put the kids to bed, I told Hubby I was heading to bed. I was tired. (I have a nasty head cold so I've been sleeping in the Guest Room--it's where Hubby or I camp out when we're sick so we don't pass it to each other.) I went into the Guest Room, sat on the bed and started writing notes. Plot notes. THEN the vital middle portion of the story came to me. I knew exactly how I was going to have things progress--and END. Now I just need to map out the details. That's the tedious part. I have pages and pages of names and made up creatures and "rules" of the world I've created. It's a pain to keep track of them all. But it's great fun, because I'm "making it all up" not spending my time in front of a computer googling or buying lots of research books just to ensure I get the details right.
This story will definitely be VERY NaNo friendly. Hooray!
--I'm also getting ansty about my submission. The publisher told me eight to ten weeks, and it's been SEVEN weeks. They must have one heck of a slush pile! I am really antsy to submit to another publisher, before the "holiday slump" happens, so I hope I hear from them soon. Granted, I would LOVE for it to be good news, but I am thinking since it's been so long I will be getting a form rejection any day...dang it...
Oh well. Expect the worst but hope for the best. That's my motto on submissions.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
And here, for your viewing enjoyment, is the new international trailer for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It sorta makes me wish it was July already:
ON THE WRITING FRONT:
I can't believe it's only THREE days! I'm starting to freak! I am getting EVERYTHING ready. I have a plan. I just need to DO IT. EEEEK!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Thing One's party went very well. There was a lot of energy, and the High School Musical3 movie was OK. It wasn't as bad as the first two. Still fairly corny --and East High resembles typical high school like a ferret resembles an allligator, but eh, it was all good clean fun.
The girls stayed up until 4:30. I thought they went to bed at one am. Sneaky girls. They closed themselves in the theater room in the basement and stayed awake. Their moms were supposed to pick them up at 10:30 and they were still asleep at 9:45, when I finally woke them up to have breakfast.
Saturday night was Trick or Treating, and of course there was an icy wind blowing through. We all have the sniffles, now. And like dumb-dumbs, we set out a bowl of candy and put a sign that read "Out Trick-or-Treating, please take some!"
We got back and the bowl was EMPTY. And it was a big old bowl. Luckily I had enough candy to fill it three times. This morning I dumped all the leftover candy in a bag and sent it to work with Hubby. There's NO WAY I will have that stuff in the house.
Sunday was crazy too--but after I put the baby down for his morning nap, I crawled back into bed for a nap myself and woke up two hours later with Hubby next to me, reading a book. It was wonderful. I haven't had a Sunday nap in FOREVER, because our church is from 1-4, and usually I spend the morning running around getting everyone ready and getting my singing time stuff done.
So, I've recovered, somewhat, but this morning it's freezing, in the 30's, and the forecast is snow. Probably not enough to stick, and we're supposed to be sunny and 60 degrees the rest of the week, but today is reminding us that Winter is coming and we'd better do all the stuff we haven't done yet.
Time to tidy up from the weekend!
ON THE WRITING FRONT:
The writing was mostly stalled this weekend, I couldn't even get on the computer! But now that it's T Minus four days till NaNo, I really need to get my butt in high gear. I have pages and pages of notes, and I still need to iron out some plot. I may be "pantsing" on a few things, but hey, that's what NaNo is a good time for.
I've also had to become an excellent manager of time. Normally, I plan out 4-5 things and the rest of the day I just see what happens, but I am going to really have to PLAN to write 2000 words a day. Especially since Nov. 3rd, we'll be at the hospital all day for Hubby's tests, (thanks, all, for the well wishes) and I have family coming for the entire week of Thanksgiving. So I'm going to have to take up some slack and have heavier daily word counts at the beginning of the month, to make up for some of that.
I will have an hour and a half in the morning, from 5am to 6:30, then I will have an hour from 11-Noon, every day. That means going to bed on time. It will be hard, but I have to do it. I WILL do it. Hooray!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Check me out! I CAN keep things alive! (of course that's a fake plant next to the real ones. I LOVE greenery, just it has be be fake so it will stay alive!)
ON THE WRITING FRONT:
I took a break from plotting last night, because I had to get some cleaning done. I have a lot of ideas percolating (I love that word!) in my head, and as soon as they're ready to spill out, I'll grab my notebook and start outlining. I am trying to figure out a major chunk of plot, and I'd better do it soon, or this story will only be 20K words. I want to do something that hasn't been done a lot, or cliched. I want something fresh. That takes a lot of mulling. Hopefully inspiration will hit. November is coming up!
Have a happy weekend, all!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I didn't do much yesterday. I stayed close to home, and I only went out twice--once to Target (to get goodies for Thing One's birthday party goody bags) and then to pick Thing One up from her after school commitment. I even took a BATH, and just relaxed.
It was...nice. Thanks for all your well wishes. I needed a day of laziness. Now, it's back to cleaning for the party, and getting stuff done. I feel much better. Although I'm a little tired, because...
ON THE WRITING FRONT:
I have a winner for NaNo! I have been struggling with the sequel to the story I wrote last month--the research is very tough and the plot has not come easy. I was frankly, getting nervous.
Then another story idea surged to the forefront the last few days--one I have been thinking about for the last year or so. It's a fun modern YA fantasy--with magic and adventure and a touch of romance--and it's been coming up and occupying my thoughts every now and then.
So I made the decision to go with THAT story idea, instead of the sequel. The easy part is, I get to make it up as I go, because I've created the world my characters exist in. Also, I don't have to stop and research, which ultimately would have happened had I gone with the sequel. That cuts into the writing time, AND the momentum.
It's like a weight has been lifted, and suddenly, I am bursting with energy! I watched a movie last night after the kids went to bed, then made my "writing file box" to hold my notes and thoughts and started plotting out the story, and it was after 1am when I finally realized how tired I was.
So, yeah, I'm a little sleep deprived this morning, but I'm very happy with my decision. NaNo isn't seeming as daunting as it was before. I am very much looking forward to it!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Looks like I have found my limit. Unfortunately for me, (and Hubby) I had one of the balls I've been juggling lately break loose and bounce off down the street. I've been doing a little too much running around.
It happened yesterday. Innocently enough. I decided to look up how to get to a certain school my daughter's basketball team was playing, and when I mapquested the location, I started screaming, because her game was in 30 minutes and it said it took 29 minutes to GET THERE.
I piled all the kids, the stroller, the jackets and a bewildered Thing One in the car, and we were off. They had gotten home from school fifteen minutes earlier, and were still in Dazed Mode.
Luckily I had emergency snacks in the console of the Expedition, so I doled those out while I raced to the game.
Well, traffic being what it was, we got there five minutes late. I still had to put socks and shoes on the baby, and situate the stroller and diaper bag, and Thing One decided all of a sudden that her confidence was out the window and stubbornly refused to go inside the strange school and find the gym to join her teammates.
I finally told her through gritted teeth that she was GROUNDED if she didn't march in there right that moment, and luckily her younger (and apparently much braver) brother volunteered to go with her.
Five minutes later, I went in, and no sooner had I sat down then my sons began whining to me about how hungry they were and why couldn't I buy them concession nachos, pizza, etc. I curtly told them that they would survive the game, and we would go home to have a "real" dinner, not the crap that everyone else was eating.
The game was good, except one moment when Thing Three, whose friend had bought him a large grape Powerade, spilled most of it all over the gym floor. I had to run and get paper towels and wipe it up, because it was on the court. UGH.
Anyway, on the drive home, Hubby called with the results of his test and they weren't great, he needs more tests now and by then, I had had it. We got home, I gave the kids corndogs, and told them they were missing Cub Scouts. I just couldn't do it. I needed a break.
So I went downstairs, got on the computer to check email, and...LOOKED AT THE CLOCK. It was 6:59 pm. I SCREAMED. I ran upstairs, still screaming, ran out into the garage and got into the car, and sped off, leaving a shocked Thing One to watch the kids while I ran down the street.
My problem? Two days earlier I had taken all the clothes Hubby needed for his L.A. trip to the cleaners, and I had forgotten to pick them up, and they closed at 7pm.
Usually, our cleaners is open past 7--they are very busy. So as I raced at breakneck speed down the dark streets, cursing my forgetfulness, I prayed they'd be open for me.
Nope. I pulled up and the store was as dark as dark could be. I knocked on the glass windows, hoping someone would be in the back. It was 7:03 for Crud's sake--had they left EARLY?
Yep. I even, in my desperation, ran around the back, to try and catch them leaving. They were long gone, and everything was locked up and dark.
I started to panic. MAJOR panic. All of Hubby's nice shirts, pants and sweaters were locked up inside that building, and I wasn't going to get them. He needed to leave for his flight at 5:45 the next morning, and they didn't even open up until 7am.
I was screwed. So was Hubby.
I actually cried in the car on the way home. In nearly 13 years of marriage, I have NEVER forgotten the dry cleaning.
Clearly, I'm a little "too" busy. I guess that's the way it gets, when you have three older children in activities and sports, and a busy toddler, AND a husband who lives at work and travels often. Sometimes you drop a ball or two.
Hubby was remarkably understanding. Probably because I greeted him at the door in quite a state, my eyes red from crying.
He looked in his closet and figured it out, and everything was fine. Luckily he had some new clothes he could incorporate.
Today there isn't any basketball or craziness, only one after school club I need to pick Thing ONe up from. I could sit inside the house all day and not go anywhere, and I might just do that.
ON THE WRITING FRONT:
I guess its inevitable. I have been researching and plotting this story for a few weeks now, and I have ANOTHER story that wants to get written, so much so that it's beginning to occupy my thoughts a LOT more than the other one. I wrote to a seasoned NaNoer for advice, and she said it happens. So I will make notes on both stories, and see which one "wins," by October 31st.
Ooops, better get the kids on the bus!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Today is going to suck. Why? Well, we've already been to the hospital (Hubby had to have a test done) and after the kids get home from school it's run run run to Thing One's away basketball game, and then we get home and run run run to the church 30 miles away for Cub Scouts and Activities.
We will be going from 3:30 to 8:30, with no time to do homework at all. I'm going to have to write a note to the teachers, or wake the kids up early tomorrow. Poor things. Tuesdays are always like this.
Other than that, I have to clean my sty of a house. Thing One has her birthday party/sleepover this Friday. We got reserved seating to the High School Musical movie, and we're taking all the girls. Then they'll come home for a bonfire and cider and cake. We have to omit scary stories, because Thing One gets nightmares. ;-)
I can't believe she's going to be 11. Well, I sort of can, because she's already as sassy as a 16-year old, the stinker. I'm always telling her to not be a smarty pants. But she usually only sasses when she's really mad at me. I remember being awful to my mom. I was a total brat. I think the fact that she loved me unconditionally is the only reason I'm still alive today, heh heh.
ON THE WRITING FRONT:
I'm getting excited about my plot. I sat down yesterday and last night, late, and handwrote out tons of pages on the modern plot. I had to email some questions to the Neal A. Maxwell Insitute (formerly F.A.R.M.S) about timelines--and to my surprise they replied that there was "insufficient information" to answer my question. Which works to my advantage in the sense that I can fill in the holes with my own theories.
So I can proceed with my ancient-day plot, but I still have a TON of research to do, before I can proceed. So I'll stick with the modern plot for now. It's a little thin. I have a beginning, and a strong end, but the stuff in between is what I need to figure out.
Happy Tuesday Toast Day!
Monday, October 20, 2008
What didn't happen this Saturday? We had to get up at 6am to go across town for Thing Three's last soccer game of the season--coach wanted him at the playing field by 7:30 since their practice last week got cancelled due to rain. The game started at 8. It was dismal. They played a SUPER good team, and lost 9-0. It was just plain embarrassing. Thing Three almost got a goal a few times, but the other team was just too good.
Then it was back across town to Thing One's soccer game, where they also lost, but it was only 3-2. Not horribly embarrassing. But a lot of girls were out due to injuries. (Don't get me started on that one--they played some dirty teams and the ref's weren't calling the blatant fouls--which resulted in the injuries. We're talking shoving, tripping, etc. I plan to email the head of the League about it, as do all the other parents. LAME.)
Then we headed to the new burger place that just opened up--Five Guys--and I don't think I've ever had a better burger in my life. I mean, these guys are better than In-N-Out, and you know how good THOSE burgers are. Hubby, who is usually very critical of food places (I call him the Walking Zagat) raved about the food. It was very funny.
Then we went home, mowed the lawn (TWENTY bags of grass and leaves, EGADS!!!!) and made a run to the mulch dump, then finished cleaning the yard and played basketball with the kids. Then we made them do their homework. UGH.
After that it was dinner time, and I was too physically tired to cook, so we ordered Mexican food in. After that it was popcorn and a showing of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. The kids loved it. By then it was nearly 11pm and we collapsed into bed, only to have to wake up for church the next morning early. Why? The annual Primary Program was happening and I happen to be the Chorister. I've been teaching the Primary kids songs all year and at the end of the year they take up the first hour of church and perform for the parents and congregation.
It went, I have to say, FABULOUSLY. And no, that's not sarcasm. The kids sang loud and clear, and we only had one case of giggles at the microphone during the performance. (The kid was FOUR, so I forgave him.)
I made a big sign that said "LOUDER!" on it, and I only had to hold it up twice. The teachers seemed to think it was a very funny sign, but the kids got it and sang accordingly. Lots of compliments and congratulations afterwards, so I was very happy about it. The kids did very well.
After church it was nearly dinntertime and of course Hubby and I had promised to make homemade pizza so we had to get started on that immediately--and after dinner we had to play with the kids and get them in bed and FINALLY got to veg on the sofa and stare at the TV for an hour before bed.
WHEW. TGIM. Thank Goodness It's Monday. Not that it's less busier, but it certainly is quieter. I've already driven the kids to school and dropped off clothes at the cleaners. I love this time of morning, because I play with the baby and he takes a nap, and I have a few hours of peace before he wakes up and we have to run errands again. I almost don't know what to do with myself. Sure, I have a few places in the house that are calling my name, but I'm ignoring them.
For now. ;-)
ON THE WRITING FRONT:
Nothing this weekend, naturally, but I got one of the two final books I ordered, and I should get the last one today. I am going to start plotting the divergent stories (and figure out how to finally make them converge) and I still have lots of research to do. But that's what I will do these last two weeks. Get READY TO WRITE it all out. Woo!
Oh, and I have a shout out to my friend Devon, of Ink In My Coffee. Hop on over to her blog and you can read her good news today. CONGRATS, DEV! WOO!
Friday, October 17, 2008
I survived the long drive AND the Basketball game AND the drive home. The baby was an angel. I was smart this time and had lots of snacks and toys to keep him occupied. But mostly, he cheered for his sister! It was so cute!
Thing One's team had an early lead--8-0, but by the end of the game, with three minutes to go, it was 18-16. A real nail biter. ;-) Thing One scored the last hoop of the game, and it ended up being 22-18. They won! Of course we weren't on home turf, so the gym pretty much went silent when we won, but all the parents cheered pretty loudly to make up for it.
I am surprised at how well Thing One handles herself on the court. Then again, she inherited most of her dad's grace, and only SOME of my clumsiness. So she's pretty lucky.
The coaches decided to invite the team out for custard (here in Wisconsin it's all about frozen custard instead of icecream) which presented a problem, because it was 7:15 and my kids hadn't even eaten dinner. Luckily one of the moms volunteered to take Thing One so I could go home and feed the boys. It was so late I just picked up Quizno's on the way home.
Tomorrow is the last Soccer Saturday! Hurrah! I signed up Thing Three for indoor Winter soccer, because he loves it so much, but he only has games on Fridays, so it won't be too crazy. Thing One has her basketball practices and two games a week. I wish Thing Two was more athletically inclined. He's my "cerebral/fine arts" kid. He's just not into sports. They aren't his thing. :-( But he does like to swim. I need to enroll him in some classes.
I think the baby will be into sports. He can already give me a black eye with his bouncy ball from five feet, and he's extremely active. So we'll see.
I have kids coming over for playdates after school--fun fun fun. I bought Indiana Jones at the store and we'll watch it this weekend. The kids haven't seen it yet! I'm excited for them to watch it, because they love all the other Indy movies.
ON THE WRITING FRONT:
Nada. I wasn't able to do anything yesterday. I glanced at my stack of research books, but that was it. I am bad.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Why in the heck would my daughter's school basketball team be playing a school that is a TWENTY-FIVE minute drive away? That's an hour round trip. Add in one 16-month old who will NOT want to sit in a carseat for half an hour only to transfer to a stroller for another hour (and then back to the carseat for a grand total of two and a half hours being strapped in, ugh), and two boys whose idea of watching a basketball game is to run up and down the bleachers and "tell" on each other about their assorted misbehaving deeds.
Can't I just lock all the kids in the basement with a dish of food and water and leave them while I go to the game?
No, because times like these are CHARACTER building. As in, what doesn't kill me will make me stronger. Right? Yeah, I just keep telling myself that.
It is COLD this morning. It was in the 30's. I am starting to think Winter, and getting the house ready. Gotta clean the garage. Gotta move the grill and patio furnture INTO the garage. Gotta get the sprinkler system blown out. Gotta whack down the ornamental grasses and perrenial shrubs. Gotta dump the pots. Gotta paint the trim around Back Door #2 because for some reason, even though the house is only three years old, it's decided to chip off and expose the wood.
Oh, and I bought bags of tulip bulbs, gotta plant those before the ground freezes. AND pound in the driveway stakes for the snow plowers...
*SIGH* I don't want Winter to get here, just yet. But it will. It will sneak up on us soon! How depressing.
ON THE WRITING FRONT:
I need to sit down and let the Muse take over. I need to just sit in a quiet place, and plot. I will be able to starting next week. This week is craziness, the next two weeks will be all about NaNo prep.
I folded and bought an Archaeology coursebook. You know, the kind that basically should be titled "Archaeology for Dummies or Researching Writers" so that people like me can write stories about archaeologists and make them sound plausible. I should have bought it for the first book, but Google came to my rescue. This sequel is going to be a little more intensive on the technical terms. I need to keep it REAL, you know?
In a way, I'm living my dream vicariously through my characters. That's what I wanted to do when I was a kid. While all my other classmates, as early as second grade, were checking out school library books about trains and butterflies and spacemen, I was checking out the big books on Egyptology and reveling in my ability to shock kids by telling them how Egyptians removed the brain during the Mummification process. I was GOING TO BE AN EGYPTOLOGIST. Later I was GOING TO BE AN ARCHAEOLOGIST, like Indiana Jones.
Now I realize, I don't have the patience or brains for Archaeology, so I'm content to be an amateur historian, and let my characters live my dream. Living vicariously does do it for me, so I'm good.
I've made a big list of all the topics I need to research, and I'm knocking them out one by one, and what I can't find info on, I'll need to look for in a bookstore. Amazon usually has what I want. I've tried other bookstores, but for some reason, Amazon seems to triumph 90% of the time.
Well, the sun is out, and it's warming up! I'm going to get the car washed. It looks like a giant Dust Bunny. Cheers!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I'm so efficient, aren't I? *wink*
So, here we go:
ON THE SUBURBAN FRONT:
I never want to eat at McDonald's again. Yes, I was a bad mother, because Thing One had a soccer game across town at 5:30, and by the time she was finished it was 7pm and we were starving and I didn't want to waste another half hour banging something together once we got home, so I folded and took the brood to McDonald's.
Hubby and I both woke up at 3:30 this morning, in desperate need of antacid. We vowed never to eat such toxic food again. At least for another month or so...
I swear, I don't want to know what they put in their food. I might as well take a big scoop of lard and put it between two slices of bread. Lesson learned. My kids are more excited about the Happy Meal toys, than the actual food, anyway. (Brilliant marketing on McDonald's part.)
I cleaned the basement yesterday. It's amazing how long it takes to clean, when you DEEP clean. And that I did. I scoured, vacuumed, wiped down, dusted, vacuumed again, and it looks so nice down there. I found enough empty granola bar/fruit snack wrappers to choke a goat, and had a lengthy discussion with the kids about how we DON'T eat food in the basement, unless we sit at the bar and throw it away when we're finished. Yeah. That will last about a week.
Have you ever noticed that when you get on your kids about something, they are reeeeeally good for about a week, and then they start to revert to their old ways? What is up with that?
I guess the fact that they're KIDS is the main reason. They need to be kicked in the rear ends by their mothers. Otherwise we'd be obsolete.
ON THE WRITING FRONT:
I'm counting the days until Saturday. Then soccer season ends, and the craziness will officially be over. I can really get my teeth into the plotting aspect of my story. I've been researching every day, and I'm intimidated by the amount of research I need to still do. But I'm getting there. Can't write the plot until I have the facts. I'm currently researching the war patterns of a people we know very little about. So much is supposition. Since my topics aren't very "mainstream" I have to order books that are specialized. But even the one book I was really needing, is very thin.
I guess that's where my "poetic license" comes in--I get to fill in the blanks with fiction! But I need to be dignified about it, because this is very heavy subject material. LDS fiction can be that way. But I'm enjoying the journey. Building the scaffolding!
Time to run my errands before it rains! Happy Wednesday!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I had the kids empty the garbage cans yesterday, and I noticed that almost the entire package of dental flossers was in the garbage. I bought the boys a new bag last week, because they said they were "out of them." I got SO mad. I accused Thing Three of dumping the new bag of flossers in the trash, and he, very sincerly, shook his head and said "we used those, Mom, honest."
I scratched my head. How could they have used all those flossers so quickly? Then it dawned on me.
They were using ONE flosser per tooth.
I would have started yelling if it wasn't so dang funny. I had to patiently explain to the boys that they used one flosser per flossing, not per tooth. We recently switched from string floss to the flossers, because I thought it would be easier for the boys. I guess I should have been more specific about the USE of said flossers. Now I have to buy another bag, but I foresee it lasting quite a bit longer than the last one. :-)
Thing One had her first basketball game yesterday. It was quite humorous. None of the girls had played basketball before, and Thing One was the starting center, and she didn't know what was going on. She didn't even know how to tip off. When she got fouled, I was sitting close enough to hear her whisper to the ref "What's a free throw?" Certainly she knows what it IS, just not what the technical term is. I suspect the coaches will be giving the girls a crash course on Basketball Terminology, since they spent most of the game looking like Deer In Headlights. Poor girls.
But I was very impressed with Thing One's hustle. There was a girl on the other team (isn't there always?) who stood a good foot taller than everyone, and she got the ball and ran it down to the hoop and shot it every time. She wasn't a team player. She ran it down all by herself and shot the hoop, and most of the time, she made it. She scored about 26 of their 34 points all by herself. Her coach needs to tell her a little bit about teamwork. Her other teammates mostly watched as she broke away time after time and ran the ball down and shot all by herself. It got old, REALLY fast.
But what can you do?
Anyway, Thing One has a soccer game tonight at 5, and she has to miss basketball practice for it. This crossover of sports is for the birds. It's making her very tired, and ME, too. Luckily gas is $2.99 here, or I'd be complaining a lot more.
Oh, and the baby was AWFUL during the basketball game. Now that he's walking, he won't sit in his stroller or sit on my lap. He wasnts to be FREE. And since we're courtside, that doesn't exactly work. So he whined and cried for most of the second half (after he ran out of Fishy snacks) and at one point I wanted to give him away to anyone who would take him.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Thing Four is walking now, and he's also decided he doesn't like afternoon naps. We're down to just one in the morning. We're still having soccer practices and games, add those to Basketball practices and games (every night of the week) and throw in some cub scouts, girl scouts, Student council meetings, after-school clubs and all the other running around I normally have to do, and I'm a mess.
And Hubby's back is out. He's in extreme pain, and couldn't do ANYTHING this weekend. So everything was on me. I finally snapped Sunday morning and told everyone I WASN'T their servant, and they could get their own food/clothes/ etc. etc.
I just couldn't take it any more. I yelled at them all in the car on the way to church. Yeah, I was feeling the Spirit...NOT.
So, today, I'm better, but I've already been to the store, the cleaners, the bank, and I just fertilized the lawn while the baby was napping. Thank heaven he still takes a morning nap. I am counting on those to get me through NaNo. He takes about a two hour nap, between 10 and 12. That will just be my SACRED WRITING TIME, the entire month of November. I won't plan anything during that time, and I won't let anything else get in my way.
We just had lunch and now I have to run to Sam's Club, because we're out of some things, and as soon as the kids come home from school we have to turn around and go back to school for Thing One's basketball game. At least the baby can be loud all he wants, and no one will care! Then we'll have to have a quick Family Night and dinner.
Heh heh, Hubby just called and asked me if I would help him with some of his work tonight, after the kids are in bed. (This is usually another "sacred" time for us.)
Bring it on.
Friday, October 10, 2008
I started with my Senior Portrait, taken in 1990:
Here's what I'd have looked like in 1952: And 1958 (My Patsy Cline Phase):
Don't forget 1968:
1974 was a good year:
I am happy to report that I NEVER had the 1984 hair. Even when it was cool. Now I'm going to go "yearbook" Hubby! Bwahhahahahahahahaaaaa.....
Have a good weekend, everyone!
Thursday, October 09, 2008
I've been too "scared" of NaNo for too long. And I know it's something I can accomplish. In order to be a NaNo winner, you need to write 50,000 words in 30 days, during the month of November. Sounds easy, right? Well, it's not as easy as it seems. Especially if you're not prepared. Or wholly committed to making the time each day to write.
I have decided I AM. I've recently written a novel of over 60K in 45 days, so I know it's an achievable goal.
Sure, I'm a busy mom. I have four kids (one of them is 16 months) and they're all in extracurricular activities and sports, and my Hubby is an always-traveling workaholic, but you know what? I want to do this. For myself. I can make the time, whether during nap time, or at night. I just need to be smart and efficient. AND NOT A PERFECTIONIST. That's a muscle I'll want to use. I am the type to revise a chapter until I feel it's right. Can't do that with NaNo. It's basically an organized stream-of-consciousness thing. NO editing. That will be weird. But it will also help me to get more done in a shorter time, if I'm not stopping to re-read and fix stuff.
I have a good support group. One of my good friends is determined to do it, too. It's always good to have that common denominator. We can cheer each other on!
ROCK ON, NANO!!!
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Last night I was so tired when I fell into bed I don't remember falling asleep, OR dreaming. I think I was lulled to sleep by the debate last night. It was booooring. Same old stuff they talked about last time. *Zzzzzzzzz*
ANYWAY, I woke up at 5am this morning and couldn't go back to sleep, so I decided to clean my office. It sure cleans up nice. Then again, before I started on it--it looked like a category 3 tornado had blown through. When I write, I'm not "clean." I have notes and books everywhere, slips of paper, rejected printups, gum wrappers, empty Postum/herbal tea cups...you name it.
Now it's immaculate, clean and dusted, and I filed all my research and papers. It also helps that it was supposed to be a bedroom originally and I have a big walk-in closet that holds lots of...stuff. ;-)
The kids have the dentist after school today. Things One and Three have been immaculate about their teeth, but Thing Two would go WEEKS without brushing if I didn't get on him about it every day. So, I'm worried about him. His idea of a good cleaning is brushing for about ten seconds total. And it's not like I can stand right next to him and make sure he brushes for the full two minutes--so, yeah, I'm nervous for him.
I need to do some sort of "brush your teeth" reward system for him. He's tough to motivate when it comes to teeth. Sounds like
Hubby comes home from L.A. today. Apparently it's been warm and sunny there, the OPPOSITE of here. We haven't seen the sun for four days. It's depressing. I don't mind rain and clouds, but several days in a row and I start to want some sunshine.
I have a story idea that's been percolating for about six months now. I've written notes on it, and morphed one of my other story ideas into the beginning. I think I might rest on the sequel for a bit (since I'm still waiting for my research book--they asked me to give it a few days and THEN they'd give me a refund) and work on this story. Can't hurt. I want to see where it goes. I haven't plotted it out at all, which is not the norm for me. I like to plot plot plot, and have it all down before I even start writing.
We'll see what happens! Happy Wednesday! I get to go to Home Depot today. Why is that exciting to me?
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
I dreamed these people invaded my home, and as the kids and I cowered together (inside the shell of an old car inside the house) one of the ladies walked up to us, brandishing something, and started...shampooing and conditioning my daughter's hair. She was giving her a "bath."
Then they started on my sons, and I saw a lot of them, darting back and forth, and they were cleaning my house. They were mopping, vacuuming, dusting, etc. There were dozens of them (only it was some freaky trick, they all had the same face as the blonde lady who was bathing my kids) and there was a man in the midst of it all, who looked a lot like Fred Willard, the actor. I had run to one of my bathrooms and was scrubbing the toilet before the lady came in, because I was embarrassed of how dirty it was. Only this toilet was BEYOND. It had sludge in it, and I was trying to dislodge it, and Fred Willard came up to me with a clipboard and a pen, and said "Are you so-and-so?" I nodded my head, and he motioned me to the kitchen table.
By the way, I wasn't even in my own house. I was in some weird house I'd never been in before. There was a lot of white in it, and it didn't look a thing like a house I'd ever lived in.
Well, Fred looked at me and said "I have you down as ordering some NuSkin products way back in 1993, and according to our records, you haven't ordered any since."
I just looked at him, mouth agape.
He told me that they were cleaning my house, in an effort to get me back as a customer. They had been hunting down their old customers, and hoping a deep house cleaning would convince them to order more products. I felt like I HAD to order something, since they had cleaned my WHOLE house for pete's sake, and one of the blonde clones sat down at the table with me and showed me their catalog of NuSkin products.
That's when the alarm went off. I just sat up in bed and was like, WTHeck?
Anyone care to decipher THAT one? Sheesh. I think I'm going nuts.
ANYWAY, the baby has become obsessed with eggs. He thinks they are THE BOMB. First it was bouncy balls, then clocks, and now, it's eggs. He just loves their shape. I have all these old wooden eggs that look real from my Easter decorations, and I let him play with them, and they're his favorite toy. He holds the eggs really tight in his chubby little hands and looks up at me with joy. "EGGS!" he says, with a big grin on his face. And his favorite book is "The Big Red Barn" because there's eggs in it. Yeah. We read that one about 20 times a day. And he has a baby heart attack when he sees me taking eggs out of the carton to make for breakfast, and he wants to hold them. Um, sorry sweetie.
I wonder what's next? Hopefully something less fragile. ;-)
Monday, October 06, 2008
It's running soooooo quick now. I love it. I've alreayd re-installed everything, and all my files, and now I'm just fixing odds and ends. When I first got the computer, we had two users, me and Hubby. All the switching back and forth caused problems, so we tried to "morph" everything into one and delete one user. But then we had confusion, and it made the computer run slow. Now we have ONE user and everything is common, and I can't believe the difference. I should have reformatted the hard drive LONG ago.
Watched "Made of Honor" last night. Adorable movie! Patrick Dempsey was perfect, and his chemistry with the lead actress was wonderful. I laughed out loud at more than one part, and although it was a tad predictable, I still loved it. HIGHLY recommend to my fellow "chick flick" watchers.
The weather is gross today. It rained all day yesterday, and today is not looking so hot either. I need to mow the lawn! But I can't when its this wet. And it looks like rain the next two days, too. UGH. I don't like it when weather messes with my plans.
I am highly annoyed because THE research book I have been waiting for still hasn't come yet. I finally emailed the store and told them to research it's whereabouts--if they can't find it either they need to resend one or issue me a refund. It came from the U.K., but I've been waiting since September 12th. Certainly long enough to send a book. It's the one book I need to read before I can even start plotting my ancient-day storyline. But I did get a lot of other research done this weekend. I had to look up the archaeological excavation of mounds, and how it's done. FASCINATING stuff. Well, tedious and boring stuff, but the FINDS can be cool. :-)
It's Monday! I have to run around but I don't feel like it. Hubby is in L.A. soaking up the sun (as he runs from meeting to meeting, I know, but at least its sunny) so I'm on my own for a week. I'd better get going. I have to get some laundry done before something rises up out of the dirty sock pile and kills us all in our sleep...
Sunday, October 05, 2008
If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals, or are they members of your family?
No pets. Hubby and Thing One are allergic to anything non-human. We had beta fish once, and they WERE part of the family. We even moved them with us from Wisconsin to Colorado and back to Wisconsin again. Since they’ve died, we still don’t have the heart to replace them.
R.I.P Paulie and Blueberry.
If you could have a dream come true, what would it be?
To go on an archaeological adventure—and DISCOVER something. If I had to be really specific: I'd LOVE to unearth a portrait of Mary Newman Drake, Francis Drake's first wife. Nothing of hers has survived. Not a letter, a hanky, nothing. I'm on a sort of "mission" to find something...
What is the one thing most hated by you?
Anyone who would steal my children’s innocence.
What would you do with a billion dollars?
Pay tithing on it, have some serious fun, and make sure my family was well taken care of. Then I would donate to Breast Cancer Research, and other charities.
What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
Hugs, playing with the baby, SHOPPING. But not for clothes. For “stuff” at a fun place like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s or those sorts of places.
Choose one letter of your name and come up with a word to describe yourself.
L—Lively. I’m very animated. My college roommates called me a “female Jim Carrey.”
What’s your bedtime routine?
Don’t have one. I am sporadic in everything I do. Sometimes I remember to wash my face and brush my teeth, but sometimes, you just are too dang tired and you just want to fall into bed.
What kind of books do you buy?
RESEARCH books, for whatever subject I am currently writing about. Otherwise give me a mystery or adventure with a touch of romance, and I’m hooked. I buy those in abundance.
Where do you want to be in ten years?
Inside Barnes & Noble, admiring my own shelf of books written by me…
What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Brenda and I have known each other for years. I think Brenda is a genuinely good, large-hearted person, who sees Life for what it is and handles things with amazing inner strength-- and rolls with whatever comes her way. She’s loyal and funny, and a good mother. She’s also human, just like me. She’s relatable, she’s personable, and she doesn’t take crap from anyone. She rocks.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Drink a glass of orange juice before going upstairs and attempting to WAKE THE DEAD.
What’s your favorite food?
Formal Wear or Casual Wear?
Please. I LOVE vacuuming in my Donna Reed pearls and After-Five dress and heels. Okay, that was sarcasm. CASUAL.
Sports: Football or baseball?
It’s a tie. If BYU is playing, it’s FOOTBALL. If the Yankees are playing, it’s BASEBALL.
What do you consider your guilty pleasure?
Can I have more than one? Let's see--IBC Rootbeer floats, POPSUGAR (Gotta have my “news” fix!), Sunday naps, and trips to the grocery store SANS kids.
People I'd like to tag: Mik and Devon and Karen. (If they have time!)
Also, at the risk of introducing politics into my blog, someone please explain something to me: All these richer-than-rich celebrities who are pro-Obama--aren't they going to get the PANTS taxed off them if he gets into Office? I just thought it was sort of funny...
Friday, October 03, 2008
So, as parents, Hubby and I can be very sarcastic. The problem with that is, sometimes (okay most of the time) young kids take things very literally. I learned this early on, when Thing One had an irrational fear of going to the Dr. She was seven, and I was sarcastic. Ooops.
Thing One: Mom?
Thing One: "What happens when they give you a physical?"
Me: *Heavy sigh* Honey, I've already told you what happens, about ten times.
Thing One: I know, but I want to know again.
Me: (Frustrated voice) They listen to your heart, check your ears, mouth, they press on your tummy and check you out, and make sure everything is as it should be.
And you hardly feel it when they stick the needles in your eyes for the eye test. It's just a little "stick."
I gave her a little wink, but I forgot that she was seven, and sarcasm was lost on her. She started to cry and I had to comfort her (all the while feeling like a jacka**) and I had to reassure her about 49372 more times before we got to the dr's office that NO, they weren't going to stick needles in her eyes.
But sometimes, sometimes you have to tell "little white lies" to get your kids to do what you want. Dont' shake your head and act like you've never done it. Because I know you have. I have been the victim of such maliciousness. For years I thought a horrible, terrible, mean-spirited man named "Nutrition Man" came the night after Halloween and took all my candy away, not even leaving me one little piece left.
Yep, that's what my parents told me. I HATED Nutrition Man. He was evil.
Hubby and I, two houses ago, took advantage of all the animal footprints in the snow around our house to tell our kids they were ELF footprints and that Santa's elves were checking in on them, to see if they were naughty or nice. (heh heh, I've never seen a more guilty look on Thing Two's face when we told him that!)
Oh, and I told my daughter that dutch mints were "Mommy's medicine" once. (Okay, she was two, and would have choked!)
So, I felt really really bad about a recent "lie telling." Thing One has a boy at school who walked up to her one day, and said "I like you" and ran off. Shocked her to the gills. But she was elated, because apparently she'd liked him for AGES.
So, naturally, we've been having all sorts of conversations at home about this boy, and how he sits with her at lunch, and during reading time, and (THANK HEAVEN) all they do is smile at each other and make small talk--and she asked me if I ever kissed a boy when I was in fifth grade.
"Well, I don't want to turn into a troll."
"If you kiss boys on the lips before you're sixteen, your face becomes all deformed and you look like a troll--for the rest of your life."
I WAS KIDDING, PEOPLE! TOTALLY DEADPANNING!! SHE'S NEARLY ELEVEN! SHE GETS SARCASM NOW!!!
Or so I thought. She got this terrified look on her face, and asked me if I was serious. I quickly laughed and said "No way!" But of course then we had the lecture about how she was wayyy too young to be kissing boys, yadda yadda yadda, and every once in a while she would ask me if I was kidding about the troll thing. I felt TERRIBLE.
So, word to the wise: please ABSTAIN from being sarcastic with your children. Unless they're teens, they won't get it. And you may freak them out for life!
Time to go play with my kids. We have some cupcakes to make, and a trip to Half Price Books with our name on it!
Thursday, October 02, 2008
The day started out okay--just had to do about twelve loads of laundry. So I got started, and then I got The Bug. Or rather, the Target Bug. I realized I hadn't been to Target in AGES, and they usually have a lot of fun seasonal stuff. Naturally, I was just going to look, mind you. I only had in mind to buy the Ironman DVD. And I had to buy a basketball for Thing One, who has started practices.
As soon as the baby woke up from his nap and we had lunch, we went. It was like...a candy store. I had to walk up and down every aisle. Suddenly, things I wouldn't need in a million years I HAD TO HAVE, THEY WERE SO CUTE/ADORABLE/COOL/NIFTY/EDUCATIONAL/WHATEVER RATIONALIZATION I CHOSE AT THE MOMENT.
Then, $120 later at checkout, it hit me: when have I EVER shopped at Target and not spent over $100?
Looking over my purchases, they really were things that were important: six white long-sleeved boys shirts (my boys wear them under their short-sleeved shirts and VOILA, they can wear them in winter too) socks and shoes and jeans (and a really cute winter hat and mitten set) for the baby, two really cool nail polish colors, a basketball, my Ironman DVD. (Okay, so the DVD was frivolous, but I consider any purchase with Robert Downey Jr. in it a necessity)
I didn't buy one Fall decoration, or any costumes. Or candy. Or kitchen stuff/dishes, or books. I was actually pretty good. Yet, I still spent way over what I'd planned.
I just need to stay away from Target from now on. Period. Times are different than they were...say...LAST YEAR. Last year (and every year before that) I went to Target weekly and spent some serious $$$. Now, with gas and groceries as expensive as they are, not to mention feeding and clothing and paying for sports/activities/etc.etc.etc. for four children...well...I'm on a budget. I've cut waayyyy down on my spending.
It's a first. But it's necessary. These are precarious times. You really can't take anything for granted any more. I clean my own house. My personal trainer is gonzo. (I've found that with her structured workouts, I can manage just fine on my own, surprise surprise.)
Yeah, I'm not being funny today. But yesterday reiterated to me, how careful I need to be. How careful we ALL need to be.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
*ahem* Got that out of my system. Today I had to put hats and gloves on my children. The house is cold. I've been wearing my pashmina around. I'm craving a pot of Postum, from my soon-to-be-extinct stash.
I don't want the cold weather!! Although I love chunky sweaters and jeans and cute boots and all that stuff--I just am psychologically not "there" yet. Maybe because we had such a nasty winter last time, but I just want those "crisp" days of fall, not "freezing" days of fall...
So, I had a friend as me what my favorite things about Fall are. They are as follows:
1) Hay rides and Hay mazes (it was a tie)
2) Hot cider and doughnuts around a bonfire
3) Trees changing color
4) Halloween decorations (but NOT the gory/ghoulish/creepy/Night of the Living Dead type)
5) Mellowcreme pumpkins
That's about it for now.
I had a productive day yesterday. You can now "walk into" my walk in closet, my bathroom is scoured to perfection (why is it so HUGE when I'm cleaning it, and normal sized otherwise?) and my room and the workout room connected to it are all pristine. Dusted, vacuumed, perfect.
I'm still exhausted.
Today is Laundry day. Excuse me while I run outside and turn a few cartwheels on the lawn. At least I know for sure there aren't any covert "clean clothes" snuck into the dirty piles. I was the Laundry Basket Nazi all last week. My boys won't do THAT again! :-D
Well, time to do what I normally do...