Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Picture cracks me up. I don't know where that street is, but it reminds me of the time B and I were driving around hopelessly lost. The macadam road turned to stone, then to dirt, then to barely a path. We saw a road sign "cemetery lane" and turned down thinking it had to lead back to civilization. Only it didn't. We ended up in a really scary place - like we'd been led there to die. There was an old cabin with sheets hanging in the glassless windows and a man standing on his front porch with a shotgun. The road ended right in front of the cabin, and no, there wasn't a cemetery around at all.
No. I am not lying.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
June was a tough month for all of us. Daily writing was difficult and finding a routine seemed impossible. Hence, the birth of the writing challenge. We used page counts for five out of seven days - so if you worked all seven, you kept your five highest count days. That left ample room for summer fun/obligations. The scoring was: one point for each page of new work and one point for five pages of edits/revisions. We all kicked in some cash for the prizes, and at the end of the week, the winner got a nifty Barnes and Noble gift card.
Everyone won at least once. Some of us won twice (raising hand), but what's really amazing is the amount of work we did. We didn't count critiquing, even for each other.
Between the five of us in seven weeks:
We wrote a total of 1, 050.50 pages. (translates into 262,625 words)
We edited a total of 4622.50 pages. (which is the equivalent to about 12 books.)
Together, that's about 14 books between 5 people in less than two months! We even impressed ourselves. I'd just made a comment about feeling like I didn't get anything done over the summer. Then, our fantastic spread sheet guru sent the tallies. And remember, this challenge started after the fourth of July. We had an entire month before that without reporting in.
We also did critiques for each other and our other critique partners. I did four full-length books, two partials, a short story, and several chapter critiques. But, like I said, those numbers weren't counted because the point of the challenge was to get new pages/revise our own stuff. Forward progress.
I'm still amazed at how awesome we did.
Now that school is back in session, we won't need such a high motivator all the time - just an occasional kick here and there.
So, there you have it.
I have to tell you, I feel pretty darned lucky that these ladies are with me on this journey. They keep me moving, help me keep my hope, refuse to let me burn frustrating manuscripts, tell me when something sucks hard, and hold my hand when life hands over crap.
Enough sap. I need to get to work.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I usually don't post pictures/videos of my kids, but this one's a little different. I also refrain from religious or political commentary, but this, too, is different. K2 is in this video. She plays the lead girl. This is the performance that was recieved so greatly that they've performed it at other venues. It highlights the struggles teenagers go through on a daily basis. Grab some tissues.
I have never had a black eye.
I may have had a bruise somewhere near my eye, but as far as I can remember I've never had a swollen, purple and black eye.
I don't know the exact amount of stitches I've had during my lifetime, but it's not fifty. Probably closer to half that.
No one ever recognized me in the emergency room. Not even back in the day.
So, this one was harder as promised. Heck, it was even hard for me! ha!
Next week I'll do silly things.
Getting in the swing of the school routine just in time for a long holiday weekend. Go figure.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Two lies. One truth.
You figure out which one is true.
Today's subject: Injuries.
1. I have had an approximate total of 50 stitches in various places on my body.
2. At one time, they recognized me in the emergency room.
3. I have never had a black eye.
Hopefully this one is hard enough. ha!
Monday, August 25, 2008
We sent them off - three different schools, three different times...new experiences.
K2 couldn't stop saying that this is her second to last first day of school. It's hard enough thinking about next year being her last year of school. It's hard enough thinking about her being a junior this year. But, they're all off to their respective schools, and B and I are hanging out for the day. Which is kind of a lie, because I'm on the computer and he's on the phone taking care of work business. But, we have plans for lunch and other running in a little while, so it's really not a lie.
And I'm completely weirded out that school is in session again. It just does not seem like we even had summer. I think back, look over my previous posts, and still wonder what the heck happened. I don't know. Usually, I'm ready for the routine to start again, but I don't think I'm quite ready for that yet. I think the kids were though, so that's all that matters.
That's all for today. Excuse me while I wander around the house, reveling in the silence while I miss the chaos and the summer I feel like we didn't have.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Figures. I would have had some good pictures, too.
We had B's company picnic today. This year, they had it at a camp and all the camp amenities were available for us to use. It was a blast, but man, am I tired.
So, I'll tell you the pictures I would have had.
K4 all by herself in a kayak for the very first time. (she loved it and didn't want to get off the lake)
K3 nearly falling out of his saddle on the trail ride. (he'd never been on a horse before, but caught on quickly and had a blast.
K2 and her "friend-that's-a-boy-but-not-her-boyfriend" (this is what we call him) soaking each other while in kayaks.
Trail poop. (I know you would have loved both of those)
The top of a mountain. (awesomely cool to be there)
This little stone thing with a tiny little door.
The roof of a cabin with what looked like the entire inside contents on top. (It looked like a youth group camp out. And I'm assuming the boys did this to the girls from the pink towels and pillows on the roof. Very amusing)
A huge pile of steaming tan bark. Huge pile. (I wanted to drive over it, but B said that was a bad idea. Go figure.)
There you have it. I'll bet you already have some mental images for the horse butts and trail poop.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Today's the last Friday of summer vacation and we're heading out for school shopping.
Yeah. Pray for me.
I have three very detailed, very long lists of required school supplies and clothing. K2 has her own separate list of stuff she wants, which she will be funding, but requires my vehicle services and patience while I wait for her to make her selections. I have my own list of required items, that they'll have to be patient through. And we have to do the "meet and greet" thing with K4's teachers this afternoon. Then, there's the grocery shopping, which is probably not getting done today. I'm almost sure the only visit to the grocery store I'll make today will be to grab what is absolutely necessary over the next two days. The thought of coupons and long, detailed lists, hauling numerous bags inside and putting them away is like a nightmare on a regular day.
At worst, I'll have some interesting blog fodder from our adventure. ha!
That is all.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The winner? My mom.
She tried to post a comment (and for that she gets tremendous credit), but it wouldn't work for her. Of course, she knows me very well, so it's obvious she knew the answer. Only she wasn't 100% sure. She said she had a vague memory. (You know there's no prize, right, mom?) ha!
3. I once helped with pig birth.
It was when we lived in Iowa, so I was in 6th grade. I had a friend who lived on a working pig farm. Right now I can't remember her name. I'd spent the night and sometime after we'd fallen asleep, her mom woke us and said we were needed in the barn. It was cold. (the whole time we lived in Iowa it was winter! I swear!) The steam in the barn was weird to me. The sow was having problems and all hands were needed to take care of the piglets. I'd never experienced such a thing before, but after being shown what to do, I did my share of airway clearing and piglet care. It was a very cool thing.
As for number 1. Ha ha ha...I can sew buttons and patches, but if I ever tried to make my own clothes I'd look like I was wearing a sack. Then there's that pesky time issue Vicky B. mentioned. ha!
Number 2? I'm reasonably versed in the basics of engine mechanics (meaning old car engines-not newer ones), but definitely not auto body repair.
So there you have it!
Come back for more lies same time next week...
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Ready to try again?
Same format as last week.
Two lies and one truth.
Here we go.
1. I make most of my own clothes, though not underwear or socks, or jeans.
2. I am reasonably skilled at auto body repair.
3. I once helped with pig birth.
There you go.
Which one is the truth?
Still no prizes, but eventually...
Monday, August 18, 2008
I had wanted to use this week for total relaxation and a last bit of summer fun. Then I looked at everything that's on the schedule. Ha! Between orientations, schedule pickups, teacher meet-and-greets, school shopping, appointments, and other obligations...ha ha ha. We'll see what we can manage...
On the writing front...
I *think* I may have taken the challenge last week. Not sure yet, the final totals aren't up yet. If I didn't, it's not for lack of trying. This week is the last week and since most of us have the same pre-school events and obligations, the winner will be anyones guess. The new pages are finally flowing the way they should. I'm not in mourning over anything but the wasted time anymore. This week will be more pages, some owed critiques, and then more pages, though I am taking a more relaxed approach due to everything going on.
Tomorrow is another "Tall Tale Tuesday".
Look for it. Comment.
Bear with me as I fine tune it.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The coming week is the last week of summer vacation.
I've been thinking about what I expected out of this summer, and what actually happened.
So here's a list:
1. Sleeping in - expected it, and happened. Though going back to getting up at o'stupid-thirty doesn't make me happy.
2. Pool time - didn't happen as much as we thought it would thanks to schedules, rain, and other stupid stuff.
3. Fiesta Fridays - Only a few, they were fun, but still...a bust
4. K2 getting her license - hasn't happened. Yet. That's thanks to conflicting schedules, vehicle difficulties, timing issues.
5. Weddings - still working on them.
6. Grilling - happened a lot, then a dry spell, now we're back to it.
7. Camping - we had a nice extended weekend and two other "supposed to" weekends that didn't happen. There's still one on the horizon.
8. Writing time - I managed okay with this. Did more than I thought I would, but not as much as I would have liked to. If that makes sense.
9. Relaxed pace - ?? Bwah ha ha ha ha
That is all.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Ten random things I'm thinking about.
1. What's wrong with my caller ID? It's not working.
2. I'm out of stamps.
3. What to make for dinner.
4. Where the download cable for the camera is hiding.
5. Why my son is wearing two t-shirts and shorts. He says he's cold, but that doesn't make sense.
6. Pumpkin bread.
7. Where is the mail person?
8. One more week of summer vacation.
9. How much stuff is on the calendar over the next month.
10. Where is the sun?
Busy day. Lot's of administration duties and running around.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
My problem is...the book I finished recently? The one I'm working on revising? The one I mentioned going in strange directions? Well, it has to be mostly rewritten. Dang it. The first (nearly) half is fine. But the second half? I hit the delete button.
Now my struggle is getting over trashing that much hard work. And crafting new pages. It's kind of like trying to jog through quicksand. There's an emotional punch there, self-inflicted, of course, but still there. Worry, dread, fear...deleting that much work feels like a failure, even though it isn't really. At least the garbage is out of my system and I know what I don't want the story to look like. But...
Yeah, I know. Get over it.
I am. Honestly.
On the home front...
We have a little over a week until the first day of school. K2 is excited. She already has her schedule. She'll be a junior this year, so the world is kind of hers at this point. K3 starts middle school, and besides being a little nervous, he's really looking forward to school starting. Then, there's my baby...
In first grade, she decided she wasn't going anymore. She said she was moving to 'the french'. Last year wasn't too bad, probably because her teacher was one K2 and K3 both had, but we did have our moments. This year...sigh...she's got issues with pretty much anything that relates to going back to school. Pencils, reading challenge material, lunch money, a different hallway to go down, the earlier start time of school...you name it, she's worried about it. This all translates into high drama. On a daily basis.
We'll see if I get through it with my sanity intact.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Vicky B! You guessed right! And I guess A. too, even though you knew the answer and questioned the truth of the truth. ha!
The answer is....
2! I once was attacked by a Maine Coon.
Cat. (and yes, A, I was really attacked!)
I was 14 or 15. My friend, Wendy, had gotten a new puppy. We took the puppy over to her neighbors, (I carried him) who had these 2 huge Maine Coon's. I'd never seen a cat that big in my life. And they weren't happy with our presence. They kind of slunk around the edges of the room, watching us and growling a little. We decided we should go, and just as we were opening the door, one of the cats jumped on me. It was hanging off my back trying to get to the puppy. Then, it bit my left wrist. I had claw marks on my back and leg, and a pretty good bite mark. Scary! In retrospect, we should have known better than to take the puppy over, but what can I say...
So there you have it.
I have never taught a dog training class, and I was born in a hospital.
Look for more lies next Tuesday!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
And how said quiz ended abruptly when multiple weird things stopped showing up in the bathroom on a regular basis? (Not that I don't often find strange items in there)
Anyway. I started thinking about an alternative, and I came up with Tall Tale Tuesday. Every Tuesday (providing I remember - ha) I'll post lies. Either in multiple choice format with one truth thrown in, (you'll have to figure out what's true and what's a lie) or I'll tell you a story (you'll guess whether or not it's the truth). No prizes yet, but that's a future possibility.
Sounds easy, right?
Okay, then. Here we go.
Today is multiple choice. You tell me what's the truth.
1. I used to teach a dog training class at a local pet store.
2. I once was attacked by a Maine Coon.
3. I was born in the backseat of my parent's car.
So...have at it. Two are lies. Only one is the truth.
Tomorrow I'll give you the answers - even if no one comments! (come on, people, comment - I know at least some people read this! You don't need a blogger account!)
Monday, August 11, 2008
2. The store was busier than I've ever seen it on a Monday.
3. New kinds of Poptarts make my kids really, really happy.
4. Some people have absolutely no sense of humor and do not appreciate the way in which we shop.
5. There will always be a screw up at the check out when you have a very cranky baby. (this happened to the woman in front of me)
6. When you buy a box of pre-cooked bacon and it feels empty, it probably is. Luckily, the cashier mentioned how light it was and I opened it there. Not a thing inside. I would have been ticked off - amused, but ticked off - had I waited to open it while preparing dinner.
7. People get really mad if you mess with their gas points. Also, this has nothing to do with me, just an observation. But since gas costs so much, it's completely understandable.
8. I wonder if it's a good idea to shop where people know you. Just sayin'
9. I'm getting really tired of being asked "can I get something at the checkout?". Luckily, school starts in two weeks and I'll go back to doing the shopping gloriously alone.
10. I hate shopping.
That's all. Another stupid list from me.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
1. When only one of you really knows one of the people getting married, it's a bit awkward.
2. Having just your spouse to hang out with at such a wedding is worth it.
3. Waiting in hotel bars for the reception to start brings back memories of traveling to weddings and makes you nostalgic.
4. High heels suck - especially when you slip them off and then forget them because you're not used to wearing shoes at all.
5. Eating late and eating stuff you normally don't means you feel like crap the next day.
6. Rushing from a wedding reception to a surprise wedding shower is more fun than it sounds.
7. Especially when a wrong turn is made and you end up having to ask a state trooper who thought he was hiding for directions.
8. Catching up with old friends is good.
9. Having an entire afternoon and evening with just your spouse is awesome, even if you didn't get to dance at the reception.
10. Having a bloody nose and not being able to get it stopped and get your makeup put on will make you have to rush to get to the wedding on time. And it sucks.
And yes, all of it really happened.
A nap is definitely the first order of business for today.
Friday, August 08, 2008
So, today there's not much Fiesta-type stuff planned, but it's still Friday so the title is adequate.
This weekend starts the wedding circuit. I guess I should figure out what I'm going to wear. ha!
On the writing challenge front...I'm just a few points behind Simon (I think). We have a spreadsheet guru who keeps track of our daily reports and yesterday's totals aren't all quite in yet. She got me by 3 points yesterday, but there's still three days of challenge left for this week. To even be in the running this week we have to bypass someone else and she's pretty far ahead of us.
I finished my edits. The book's resting right now. I'll pick it back up next week and figure out what's next. I spent some time yesterday re-reading older manuscripts. Started editing one I really love, then the pull of revising the book I finished a few weeks ago reared and due to logic/book types, I changed my plan, or maybe it's really that I stopped procrastinating. I've had a new opening for the story for a few weeks and it was time. It's been time - when I think about the changes I want for the story I know I'm ready to tackle them. It's not going to be an easy trek though.
And let's see...what else?
Not much. I do not want to talk about school shopping. I do not want to talk about the fact that my Suburban's in the shop and needed more than we thought. I do not want to talk about finding something suitable to wear to this wedding.
That is all.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
2. K1 gets the stitches out of his ear today. It's healed quite nicely and he's eager to get them out.
3. Kids fighting. Fighting. Fighting. No one can seem to leave anyone alone. Ever. K4 is quietly playing by herself and K3 will not stop pestering.
4. Fighting gives me a headache.
5. It's a beautiful day today. Not too hot. Nice breeze. I swear I had to use a crowbar to get the K's outside though. Go figure.
6. K2 has made the decision not to return to her arts school. There were many factors behind the choice and it's taken her quite a while to come to her final conclusion. I'm a little sad, but also relieved because of the travel/schedule conflicts. The courses she'll pick up in high school will serve her better for her college choices.
7. Thinking about colleges gives me a headache.
8. Even though there's over 2 weeks before school starts, not an hour goes by that I'm not asked about going school shopping.
9. School shopping gives me a headache.
10. Revisions are coming along nicely. I made a lot of progress yesterday, and plan the same for today.
11. I miss Supernatural! When I sat down at my computer there was a lovely picture of the boys with their "anti-possession" tattoos. It will take all my strength not to spend the afternoon on you tube looking at Sam and Dean videos.
That is all.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
I'm about 1/3 done with my revisions and I'm eager to get this finished. I already have my document open, and have my handy dandy editing notebook ready on the proper page. I'm getting there - just moving a little slow despite getting a superbly good sleep last night. We went to bed at an insanely early time for us. I was sure I'd end up tossing and turning and not sleeping since that's been the norm this summer, but I crashed shortly after I convinced K2 that she needed to stop coming in our room and trying to talk to me about plans for tomorrow. Not plans for today - Tuesday - but plans for Wednesday. Anyway.
So, I do have to get busy, especially since I was tough-talking Simon about our weekly writing challenge. I've won once. So far. And so has she. We'll see who takes this week. Should be interesting. Except I've been spending far too much time reading author blogs about the national conference. I need to stop that and set my sights on the next conference, which means staying focused on my writing.
Oh, and a late birthday shout out to my sister-in-law! I remembered all day that her birthday was yesterday...until I blogged, and checked email. I did send her a note, but it was later than I'd planned. And I should have called her, but time got away from me in a major way. So...Happy Birthday, S! Now you're as old as me!! Ha! (and yes, I can get away with stuff like that, because not only is she my s-i-l, she's been my friend way, way longer.)
That is all!
Monday, August 04, 2008
We spent all day yesterday and last night at my sister's house. Today we said goodbye to my cousins (they're both cousins now since they're engaged - makes it easier). We had a really great visit with them - lots of laughter and carrying on. But I'm tired. Very tired. And we have stuff going on tonight, so there won't be much rest to be had.
Tomorrow we head back into our usual routine - which isn't really a routine except for the sleeping in part. School starts three weeks from today. I can't believe that. I'm not sure if I'm ready for it quite yet. I feel like we haven't even started summer and now it's almost over.
Stupid me forgot the camera all weekend, so I have no pictures for you.
That's all my tired brain can think of!
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Except now it's August 2nd, so there's really no point in lamenting July.
There you have that.
Today was my RWA chapter meeting. Always a blast. I get to see friends, laugh, and I usually always get chocolate (we get chocolate for rejections). I also threw my hat into the ring for our upcoming elections. I've been the chapter librarian for many years, and I'm ready to try something new. So...if it all works out, I may get elected for vice-president. We'll see. I'm excited about the opportunity to force myself out of my shell. It may not appear so, but I'm a very shy person and public speaking and I are not friends.
From there I rushed home to gather some things and the dog before heading over to my folks house. The younger K's were already there, thanks to my mom watching them for me this morning. My cousin and her fiance were also there. (Whoot! Recent engagement!! Fun wedding on the horizon!) My brother was there, but sadly, no one else from his family due to work schedules. Neither of my sisters were there due to previous obligations. It was still fun. We hung out, cooked some food, made my dog do goofy tricks, and laughed - much like last night. (which went really, really well. We had a blast.)
K2 arrived back home. Thank goodness. She had a fantastic time on her trip, but she's totally exhausted and was ready to head for home even though she took a nap while we were watching this really dumb movie about sharks with huge brains. uh...whatever...
And here I am. On my bed with my handy dandy wireless Internet. Ha! Watching an episode from season 2 of Supernatural, and thinking really hard about working on some revisions. Except I'm tired - exhausted really. Tomorrow promises to be even busier than today, but with more fun, more food, sangria, and lots of hanging out.
That's all for now.
There might not be a post tomorrow, but then, who really reads this anyway?
Friday, August 01, 2008
I don't know what happened to yesterday's post. I posted a Supernatural vid, but it never came through. Go figure.
So, today is really a Fiesta Friday!
My cousin should be rolling in here sometime late this afternoon. I'm nearly as ready for tonight's festivities as I can get, sans the shopping. We're heading out to take care of that in a few though.
This is going to be a weekend of Fiesta! I have my RWA chapter meeting in the morning. K2 comes home tomorrow afternoon. We're gathering at my folks tomorrow. Then Sunday is more gathering and hanging out.
I kind of doubt I'll have time to post, but, you never know. All this fun stuff doesn't bode well for my revisions, but it is summer and I am still making good progress. I'll fit some in if I can, but am not going to freak if it doesn't happen. We'll get back into our same old routine soon enough.
That is all.
Enjoy the weekend! I know I will!