Friday, December 31, 2010

Week of Turmoil...

It has been an interesting week for me.  I was hoping to get lots of writing and home things done.  I got some writing and some home things done but unfortunately there was also a lot of turmoil....

First I was dealing with our mortgage company who didn't want to pay out from our escrow account.  I'd contacted them last week and was told everything would be fine and they'd take care of it.  Never trust banks.  I called this week only to be told no it wouldn't be paid.  I went round and round with customer service people and then asked for a supervisor.  Our taxes are paid - at least a check has been issued to pay them.

My brakes have been making noise so I took my car in to have them looked at.  Now in June I spent 750 on my car to have the back brakes completely redone and the front brakes worked on.  Six months later my front brakes now need a complete overhaul.  I spoke with the manager there too - apparently it is my week for it.  I negotiated with him to give us a $90 discount.  When I got there the cost of the repairs was still over what I'd been told.  I objected and they tried to say they'd given me an estimated cost.  I said if it was going to be more you should have called me.  I would have said no to this additional $45 cost.  Because I complained I got a 10% discount on the entire bill so it was then lower than expected.  Still by the time we were done it was a lovely $550. 

There have been a few family issues this week as well.  In an effort to respect the privacy of those involved, I will just say that there have been some hurtful things going on and I feel as if I've born the brunt of these things.  My relationship with my family is often tumultuous.  There are many strong personalities in my family and we don't always get along.  I'm not blaming anyone.  It just added to an already stressful week.

My writing this week has been sporadic but I'm still making progress.  In my head I have at least two more chapters I want to get down.  Probably there is more or more likely once I get these two chapters out of the way then more will pop in there. 

For now to relieve some of my stress I'm listening to classical music, writing, and withdrawing from everything else.  I'm definitely taking my last three days off for me. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Options

Today is a day for ME.  I'm being selfish today and ignoring the world.  After I make a few calls and take care of small amount of business, I'm going to work on writing.  Yesterday in a short period of time I got more than two chapters done. 
Last night Vicki came to tell me good night and I was struggling a bit with a moral dilemma in my story.  My characters were trying to decide the "right" thing to do.  When I told Vicki the options I saw, she said "Take the fourth option."  I laughed and said I didn't have a fourth option.  She said yes and then told me what it could be.  I laughed again.  Me who normally sees all sorts of options in life had narrowed my focus so much I couldn't see this other option.  As soon as she said it I was like - Oh!!!  Yeah... okay and soon the story wrote itself. 

This is a nice kick in the bum for me.  It reminds me to see more options than just the obvious ones.  Sometimes we stumble through life just going with what is obvious.  Do you ever stop to wonder what would happen if you stepped away from the obvious and looked at life from a little different perspective? 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Errands

Today is errand day for me.  I've got an appointment and I'm running errands after that appointment.  Then when all the hassle of those errands are done I'm going to write.  I have this week off and I'm hoping to get a lot of writing done. 

Christmas was bearable.  Thankfully no extra drama.  It was wonderful to see my brother at a family function.  It was also nice to have a fairly quiet day with the family. I had some lovely conversations with two of my nieces and some others.  Those sparkling moments made the day but I am glad it is over.  The anxiety of the day has faded.

I look outside my window this morning and I have a white overcast day with white snow on the ground and except for the stark gray/brown of the trees, deep green of the evergreens, and the houses I think it would all be white out there.  The bare trees stand out against the white like sentinels demanding we pay homage.  Father Winter is definitely in his prime. 

We are past Mid Winter now though so the days grow ever so slightly longer each day.  We have just a minute or two more of daylight every day to encourage us to keep looking forward.  This is Wisconsin though so who knows how long winter will last....

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas...

Those who know me, know I don't enjoy Christmas.  For others it is a great time of celebration and shopping.  For me it is stressful, loathsome, and difficult.  I always feel stressed out about being in such large groups - both shopping and at family gatherings.  I'd much rather meet one on one and have a quiet gathering than to have 20 - 30 people in a small space. 

Over the years I've learned to not shop after Thanksgiving.  The stores are crazed and people are insane.  When I go into the stores I feel a greediness so opposite of what the season is supposed to be about.  I watch the other shoppers rush around, grump at their kids, and be stressed out.  I think to myself - why are you doing this? 

Family gatherings are difficult.  It is always chaotic and loud.  There are always so many people around you can barely hear your own thoughts let alone conversation.  This year we went to Ken's side and it was better.  I spoke with nieces and nephew who I enjoy and have something in common with.  I listened to stories from brothers-in-law.  We had conversations which were fairly pleasant.  I know Ken would have liked to stay longer but I'd had my fill of crowded loud gathering. 

We came home and I napped.  I think I just needed to gather some peaceful energy around me to recuperate from the overload. 

Today we go to my family gathering.  I'm trying to not get stressed out about the whole thing.  I would rather stay home in front of the fire and read all day but I won't.  I'm sure it will be loud and stressful for me.  I'm hopeful that there will be some good quiet conversations while I'm there.  Only time will tell...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Why are females not valued?

Catching up on my DVR last night, I watched parts of the View from this week.  At one point, the women discussed the nun who was excommunicated because she allowed doctors to perform an abortion on a pregnant woman.  The woman would have died if the abortion hadn't been performed.  They brought up all sorts of other details like this woman also had four other children at home and other things.  The women were outraged that this nun was excommunicated - as am I.  She did what was right.  It isn't like the fetus at 11 weeks could survive without the mother.  So they couldn't do a C section to deliver it.  If the woman had died trying to complete the pregnancy, the baby would have died. 

I understand the Catholic beliefs that life begins at conception.  I understand why they don't think abortion is good.  Really does anyone?  However, in this particular circumstance abortion may have stopped a pregnancy but it also saved a life.  No one mentioned the hell the mother must be going through.  First she isn't able to carry a child she must have wanted (I'm assuming here) to term.  So she is grieving the loss while at the same time being grateful to be alive (talk about conflict).  Then the Catholic church (some bishop - a man) turns around and punishes the nun who helped to save her life.  In essence, the Catholic church is saying it was wrong to save this woman's life. 

I could rant for paragraphs about how I feel about this.  However, I want to go back to the fact that the View discussed this topic one day.  Apparently overnight they received numerous emails, most of which started with I don't watch your program... well if you aren't watching what do you care?  There was an email from a gentleman who called the women of the View not good Catholics because they criticized the church.

If the church can't stand up to a few women criticizing it then perhaps it shouldn't be in business.  On top of which isn't it the duty of the membership to keep the organization honest and fair?  The women of the View asked why this nun (a woman) got excommunicated when the priests (men) who abused all the children didn't?  This is a severe double standard.  I understand that the nun "broke" the rules in the eyes of the church.  Didn't those men?  Why implement a harsh punishment against her when you didn't against the men? 

I'm not Catholic.  I think Catholicism is out of date and out of touch with the reality of our current society.  I think the Catholic church is a bunch of old white guys who are trying to desperately hold on to power they don't have any right to.  They are the worst case of good old boys society.  This is why I'm not Catholic - well and a whole bunch of other reasons.  However, when they apply their own rules and standards so unequally I question why anyone remains in this religion.  The women from the View didn't hurt the image of the Catholic church.  The Catholic church hurt its own image.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Solstice

The girls are back in Georgia with their 50+ degrees for temperature and much milder weather.  Wisconsin got hit last night with a snow storm which includes snow, rain, and crappy roads.  I look out my window and see cruddy weather.  Yet I’m not discouraged by it.  It is just weather and if we wait a bit, it will change. 

The gray, gloomy day makes me want to curl up in front of the fireplace with my laptop and complete quiet.  I’d love to be working on my story and ignoring the world.  This time of year though the world seems to think we should all gather and celebrate.  The weather seems to be saying hibernate but society demands we gather.

Today is the shortest day of the year.  It is meant to be a time of letting go.  Winter allows the world (at least in the northern regions) to rest from the growing season.  It also allows us to rest.  In our ever moving and constantly busy lives we rarely take time for ourselves.  This is the time of year to do it.  The weather certainly seems to be encouraging us to snuggle in for the duration.

Darkness, physical darkness, dominates this day.  When most people look at darkness they attach a negative label to it.  Darkness to them represents evil.   To me though, darkness represents time to reflect on what is within me.  It is a quiet peaceful time meant to hear that inner voice.  To let those deeper questions surface so they can be examined and maybe an answer found. 

For some people this is the time when they catch up on sleep, snuggle in to do nothing, go skiing or snowboarding.  For me it is a time of reflection on where I am now, where I want to be next year, what I’ve accomplished, what I want to accomplish. 

The older I get the more I appreciate these quiet times, the time to let go of the expectations of others so I can focus on my own expectations.  It may sound selfish but now instead of putting my family’s needs and desires first, I am looking at my own.  It is my turn to be first in my own life and work towards my dreams. 

It’s funny how dreams are.  I know that there are people out there who want to do big things. I don’t necessarily.  I want to tell good stories.  I want my daughters to be happy.  I want to lead a quiet fulfilled life.  Not big dreams but definitely worthwhile…

Happy Solstice…

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Life, Laughter, Love

I'm pretty sure I'm stealing this phrase from Stephanie but it very much fits my weekend.  It has been joyful to have all my kids at home.  We've enjoyed a lovely weekend being together and enjoying each other's company. 

Yesterday we had our Christmas celebration and it was great to be together.  We also had an open house and what a reminder of the great friends we have because so many of them stopped in.  There was lots of laughter and conversation. 

Today was more insular.  We just really hung out at home.  We watched movies, played Euchre and other games.  We had meals together.  There was so much laughter and love flowing none of us wanted the day to end.  Nothing spectacular happened today and yet it did because we all just hung out together enjoying being together.  We laughed a lot and enjoyed our time together.  It has been a wonderful weekend.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hot House Flowers...

The girls arrived safely finally.  Their plane was delayed an hour and being goofy I watched online while they traveled north.  I kept bugging my sister giving her status updates...

Ken and I ran errands after work.  When we got home, there they were peeking around the edge of the door.  Almost the first thing they said was can we open gifts.  Reminded me of when they were little (or last year).  Patience has never been one of their stronger virtues...

Ken had to start a fire because they were cold and we spent the next two hours chatting and catching up.  It has been wonderful.  Now the girls and Ken have gone off to shop.  I'm home alone in the blissfuly quiet house.

Tomorrow will be busy.  Our Christmas stuff in the morning, traditional tacos for lunch.  Then bunches of people in the afternoon.  I have no idea how many are coming but it will be a good time with friends and family coming to see the girls and hang out. 

Sunday will be a quieter day, I think.  I'm not quite sure what we are doing yet.  I'm sure it will involve a lot of laughter and joy... and maybe a bit of grumbling.  There usually is in our household but it is all good because we just deal with it. 

It seems like such a short time but at least we are together and can enjoy each other no matter how long we have.  It is wonderful to have the whole family together....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Frigid...

I know it is December.  I know that I live in Wisconsin and not Hawaii. But when the starting temp for the day is minus five I consider that damn fucking cold.  Brilliant me, I was tired Monday night and just wanted to get home.  I debated about getting gas.  We were at a nearly balmy temp of five degrees so I thought maybe if I’m lucky it will be warmer in the morning and I’ll get gas then.  I didn’t believe myself but I was tired…

Tuesday morning, after getting not a second of sleep all night, I realize I can’t squeak out one more day from the gas in my gas tank.  Well okay I probably could have but what if I got stuck in traffic or a snow bank…

I’m all bundled up but still that sneaky wind finds little cracks and crevices to sneak into and chill me to the bone.  I pumped my gas and swiped down my windshield with a dry piece of paper towel in order to see.  My washer fluid isn’t working because it is DAMN FUCKING COLD.  Plus if I sprayed my windshield washer it would have formed a film of ice even though my car was edging towards warmish…

I don’t mean to complain.  I know we have to endure winter but couldn’t we stay in the damn cold range?  I mean I know it may not seem like a big difference but feeling like each breath is going to make your lungs shatter apart because of the cold is sort of a big step.  In the damn cold range it is the time to consider maybe just zipping up the jacket or adding a scarf.  The DAMN FUCKING COLD level means you are walking around with a comforter duct taped around you to block out the frigid fingers of the winter wind.  Of course you have to have eye holes and maybe a heated tube to be able to breathe but still…

The wicked wind plays tricks on you too because while we might have temperatures in the minus five range the wind chill (trust me it isn’t just a chill) drops the temp to minus twenty.  This of course edges the temp range from damn fucking cold to way too damn fucking cold.

I don’t know about the other walking comforters but I’m ready for the DAMN FUCKING COLD weather to be done and move into a more reasonable range… heck I’d even take fucking cold or damn cold instead… 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Winter Storms

Old man winter breathes his cold breath and covers our land with snow.  With ferocity, the snow blows across many states and pushes humanity into hiding.  With the fierceness of the storm, I'm happy to sit in my office and watch the tree sway and dance with the north wind.  In moments of quiet the snow looks almost beautiful but then the wind picks up again and whips it around like a wild fire.  Though it hasn't happened yet, the temperatures are supposed to drop below zero today.  My fireplace will help keep the frigid cold at bay. 

Somewhere on our street, a mere mortal attempts to slay the winter dragon with a snow blower to clear the deposits of old man winter.  The north wind laughs at his foolishness for he will just blow more snow to replace that shifted away. 

On days like this I'm grateful I don't need to go out.  I can sit in my cozy office with the furnace blowing hot air on my legs.  I can wander to the fireplace and enjoy the flickering, fiery flames dancing in defiance of the north wind. 

Hopefully once this all blows out, no one will be seriously hurt and winter will calm to the less ferocious state it normally employs. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter Waddle

Winter has definitely come with just having cleaned out from one storm and another on its way.  This one promises to be several inches – they are calling for up to ten inches depending on where you are in Wisconsin and how the storm tracks.  It sounds to me like a good day to stay in the house, sit by the fire and relax. 

Leaving work the other night in the middle of the snow coming down, offered a bit of a challenge.  Most people were doing what I call the winter waddle – widen the stance and shorten the step.  Small steps to make sure when you put your foot down it doesn’t go whoosh out from under you. 

A white cold blanket of snow covers most everything now.  There isn’t any sign of green or brown peeking out to remind us autumn just left.  Old man winter has definitely come for a stay.  Temperatures have dropped to the damn cold range.  Life has to go on though.  I still have to go to work and earn a living. I have to run errands and get around.  It is just a matter of leaving more time and being cautious.  Oh and hoping the other idiots on the road are willing to do that too. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Politics - again

I belong to a union.  I’m required to pay union dues for my job so if I’m going to pay for the union I figure it is best to have a say in the union.  I’m reading all the news articles and listening to the blurbs that our governor elect has been spewing out. 

This man seems to consider his employees the enemy.  How are we the enemy?  Union members go to work daily and provide needed, in some cases critical services to the public.  State employees put up with a lot of criticism on all levels.  Yet without us, how would the driver’s and car licenses get out to the public?  How would criminals be guarded?  How would funds go out to the unemployed?  These are just a few of the services that are performed by the state workers. 

I read today that there are 39,000 union workers employed by the state of Wisconsin.  Can Scott Walker really afford to piss off  39,000 workers?  The unions have worked with management with the short falls in budget.  But here is the thing – the legislators got a 5% raise when we had this short fall.  What did they do about it?  Did they give it back?  This is as bad as the stimulus money being given to banks who then paid huge bonuses with it. 

If my income is X, I can’t spend more than that.  It is time that our legislators realize that.  Raising taxes should not be an option.  Wisconsin is already in the second highest level of taxes paid as a percentage of income.  (http://www.newgeography.com/content/00754-local-and-state-tax-burden-maps)  Unemployment is down slightly from a high of 9.7% to about 7% but that doesn’t mean people have gotten back on their feet yet.  (http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=usunemployment&met=unemployment_rate&idim=state:ST550000&dl=en&hl=en&q=wisconsin+unemployment+rate)  It means that some people are back to work.  The question becomes are they in a level of position that pays them enough to cover their bills or are they under employed?  Plus I just saw where the unemployment rate was back up to 8.3% (http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/newsreleases/2010/unemployment/100121_state_unemployment_rate_dec.pdf) for December.  This increase has been since the election.  I guess that says what sort of confidence businesses have in the new leadership.

Our government needs to live in the now.  Gas prices are at $3 a gallon.  There is very little affordable public transportation outside the major cities.  Prices are up, unemployment is up.  It is time for the politicians to come out of their ivory towers and see how the real people they represent live and struggle daily.

Unemployment has been further affected by Scott Walker and his tantrum over the high speed rail.  He threw such a fit that we will no longer be getting the funds for this project.  A project which would have brought in 800 million dollars into our economy is now going elsewhere.  There were contracts already awarded and ground already broken on a couple of them.  Scott Walker just pissed that away.  An international company that makes trains will be leaving as soon as their contract here is up.  This means the people who are employed by them will be joining the unemployment ranks.  The contractors who were going to hire people to build the rail, won’t be hiring them and may even suffer severe economic failure because the contracts are no more.

Scott Walker may think he knows what is best for Wisconsin but has he bothered to ask the Wisconsinites what they want?  Sadly this man is supposed to represent and lead us for the next four years and I am fearful that he will put my family and my finances at risk.  He needs to apologize to Obama and suck it up to attempt to get that money back into our state for the rail.  He needs to listen to the people who he is supposed to be representing .  He represents everyone not just the people who agree with his rhetoric.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Romance and sex...

I've got a romance manuscript and in my manuscripts targetiing adults I include characters having sex.  One of the most difficult things in writing a sex scene is finding the balance between describing the anatomy and act of sex without making it pornographic.  How many euphemism can you really write about an erect male organ or to describe the joy of an orgasm? 

To delve into some of the possibilities, I opted to do a bit of research on the Internet.  Now I'm not looking for porn - nothing wrong with it but not the purpose of this research.  I was concerned about getting to sites that were ... to put it politely ... gross. 

I found a couple of sex dictionaries which were educational I guess.  I never knew there were so many terms for a penis.  Perhaps we are just a tad too obsessed with them?  Don't get me wrong - I like the anatomy of a man quite a bit but really some of these terms were a bit much.  The one that sticks in my head that I don't think men would like is penie... I just keep hearing teenie wittle penie... and yes that is in a cutsy baby type tone.  I'm pretty sure if that were said to an aroused man it would have the same effect as cold water.

My foray into these dictionaries was amusing and a bit sad.  Do we really not have better phrases than "his burgeoning male member"?  Thrusting is another term that is frequently used... how many appropriate synanims are there for thrust?  Push, shove, propel, drive, force, propel, plunge are on the list and some of these just sound painful not romantic. 

If we can't describe the act of sex (hopefully wonderful and fulfilling sex) then do we just describe the emotions behind the act?  What if a character doesn't have emotions and it is just sex to them? 

I did find one site which does discuss and list many euphemisms.  I have to say that after the other sites, I bookmarked that site and stopped.  For anyone who is looking for a good euphemistic resource here is the site  http://home.epix.net/~jlferri/sexrom.html

For myself, when I work on these scenes, I am usually pretty raunchy the first time through.  Some of my best work is done when I edit it.  Until I figure out a better way - I'll just keep fumbling in the dark... :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ridiculous...

I know that my alarm goes off at 5:30 every morning.  I hit my snooze and am out of bed by 6:06 almost every morning (sometimes I take an extra 9 minutes).  Unless I'm on vacation, this is my routine - boring, normal, typical, routine for the evilness morning is - so not a morning person. 

Last night I saw 10:00 pm hit the clock on my computer.  I said to myself - no more than an hour more. I have to get some sleep for work in the morning.  The next time I look at the clock it is nearly 11:40.  I haven't gathered anything for work.  I've not gotten my purse together, thought about what needs to be gotten organized for the morning.  I've just been lost in my writing. 

I know the alarm will have a death sentence in the morning because I'm not going to make it into bed before midnight.  Yet I still look at the clock and where I am in the manuscript.  The question on my mind - Do I dare delve back into writing?  That's crazy right?  6 am is early and mornings suck...

My creative flow on this story is fabulous.  I can't seem to type fast enough.  When the words slow to a trickle, I have only to go take a nap and suddenly I'm filled up with words.  That's the other thing, when I sleep I dream of the story.  When I drive I'm analyzing what I've written. 

Today on the way home I kept turning over a scene I'd written last night.  There was something about it that wasn't right - I knew it when I wrote it.  It wouldn't let me be and suddenly as I'm driving down the highway cursing a putzy driver, the solution presents itself.  I'm so focused on figuring out the details of reworking this one scene I can't find my own house (yes I am a dork)... I turn on my road on auto pilot and suddenly I realize I don' t know where my house is.  Fortunately I didn't drive passed it.

I come in the house and my daughter has made cookies and lasagne for supper.  I tell her how great it smells and that I'll be back because I have to fix this scene.  When she calls out that supper is done, I am stunned that I've been sitting at my computer long enough for her to assemble and bake lasagne...

I've fixed the scene.  It is so much better now, funnier and a better fit.  I've written another scene and I've made some decisions on the next set of scenes.  I'm excited about them and I can't wait to write them. 

So why am I writing in my blog?  Well a friend told me she was going to call.  I don't want to get interrupted in the middle of a scene so I'm taking a break and waiting for her call.  Oh yeah and let me not forget - I want to talk to her as we haven't had a lot of time together lately...

Somehow I think it is going to be a very short night again....

Home for the holidays!!!!

What a surprise I got when my daughters text me to say they will have a few days off in a row and with a bit of help for gas money they could come home!!!!  I immediately turned to my budget to determine how much help we could give.  With a bit of juggling and some help from a friend, the girls will be home for Christmas.  It will almost be like old times. 

Beth will be here as well as all the girls.  The six of us can be together and enjoy each other's company.  I'm sure there will be a touch of bickering and a lot of laughter.  Those are two factors in the mix of our life that never disappear. 

Ken has been working in the basement to get beds and areas cleared enough to give the girls comfortable and private places to sleep.  Hopefully they will have time to decide what from the stack of things in the basement they want to take back with them.  I don't know if they will have time though.  They are pretty much driving one day, being here one day, and driving back the last day.  It is a quickie visit and I can't wait.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

First Snow

Well this morning I got up to about 4 inches of snow on the ground.  The trees are covered in a pretty layer of snow with white topping the gray brown of the trunks.  The evergreens are frosted with snow.  The world was somewhat silent but a neighbor is snow blowing their drive now and the hum of a working motor interrupts the peace of the picture outside my window. 

It's still snowing.  No wild wind, swirling blizzard but the snow keeps falling.  I've not been out in it and am hoping to avoid it for as long as possible.  There's a fire in the fireplace in the family room and the house is a comfy haven from the cold outside. 

It almost seems holiday like with this first snow.  Our holiday will be early this year.  Gin and Stephanie both have enough days off in a row that they are going to come home.  I can't wait to see them and hug them.  We will be able to share a family Christmas with Beth.  It will be the six of us just like it used to be.  Really that is the BEST present I could have.  I'm very excited to see them and to have them spend a day with us.  I'm sorry they will spend two days driving to get a day with us but I'm glad they are coming home.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Finally another weekend...

I went back to work on Wednesday hoping to have time to write at night... sadly that didn't happen.  So here it is Friday night (finally) about 9 pm where I'm at and I'm sitting down to write for the first time in three days.  It's been a rough week even though I only worked three days.  I've not slept, I've got headaches, and I'm generally pretty darn grumpy...

I think my biggest problem is that I've stalled on my story.  I can't move forward in my head with the story till I get what is already there in my head down on paper.  Instead of being a good responsible adult and going to bed at a decent hour, I'm going to write.  I'm hoping if I write for an hour or two or three, I'll sleep better and feel better.  Then the creative part of my brain will be able to work out the next part of the book. 

We are supposed to get snow tonight and tomorrow.  I hope I can still go to my brother-in-laws birthday party tomorrow night but I also hope that the snow keeps me cozy inside working on my book.  I also need to take the time to reread the one manuscript I think is done and get it prepped with a nice letter to go off to the publisher.  Mostly though I'm hoping for some good times working on the manuscript this weekend...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

End of Vacation...

Ken is back.  Vicki and I picked him up today.  He had a great time with the girls.  They either had him out site seeing or he was sleeping on their couch.  They kept him VERY busy. 

Tomorrow I return to work.  I'm almost afraid to see what my desk is like when I get back there.  I'll have a short week and I'm sure I'll get caught up. 

This time off has been extremely productive for me.  I think I've finished making edits on the Moon manuscript.  One more read through I think and then I'll send it to the new publisher.  Cross your fingers and toes....   I got some of the work done on the poetry manuscript.  I started a new story and spent the bulk of my time working on this story.  I have 31,000 words written (that's nearly 100 pages double spaced).. I'm sort of wishing I had the rest of the week off to finish writing the first draft.  I think I might be able to get it done if I had till next Monday.  It has been great because I write and when I"m tired of it I nap.  When I get up from napping, I go back to writing.  I've been writing a lot of hours a day - up to ten hours a day maybe...

Reality is though I won't have time off like this again until the end of December.  I can only hope I can get a lot done in the couple of hours I have at night because tomorrow I am back to the normal routine. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Good writing day...

This morning I woke up thinking about the story I started yesterday.  It is amazing to me how I can SEE how this story will work out.  I have chapter headings in my head.  I have a plan and a climax and KNOW where this story will go.  Now all I need is the time and peace to get it written. 

I did get the edits done on Moon Affirmations.  I'll be printing it and reading it one more time before I send it back to the other publisher.  Hopefully it gets accepted.   I also did an initial sort of my poems so I can begin to think about the groupings / chapters I might want to include in this manuscript. 

Mostly today while Ken, Gin and Stephanie were at the football game and having a grand time, I was busy writing.  I went from just under 5,000 words to nearly 16,000 words.  I'm working on the fifth chapter and don't want to stop but it is already 12:15.  At a couple of points today, I got hung up on little details - like a nickname for a character.  It was holding me up.  I couldn't hear the conversation between her and her foster father because he needed to have a nickname for her.  Once I got the nickname I could hear the conversation.

Oh and I made Vicki and I breakfast today too.  So I'm not a complete hermit.  I'm going to bed now though because my ears are ringing and I'm dropping from exhaustion.  I can't wait to wake up tomorrow and start writing more.  I love where this story is going.  Hopefully I can get a nice chunk of it done before I have to go back to work.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Life... interrupting my writing...

I woke up yesterday with a story in my head.  It has been mulling about there trying to gather form for a while now.  Yesterday morning I woke up, showered, sat down to the computer and wrote about 1000 words in roughly half an hour.  I was dragged away to take Ken to the airport and spend the day with my daughter and her godmother. 

As I'm driving in to the airport, I'm thinking about where I left the story.  I am adding layers in my head and working out details.  I kiss my husband goodbye and watch him walk into the airport to fly away to Georgia.  There are pangs of missing him even though he just left.  I have a moment of worrying about him flying for the first time.  But I have to let that go...

Vicki and I drive towards home and picking up her godmother.  We are off to the movies and lunch.  All the while I'm thinking about this story in my head.  I can't let it go.  It keeps pushing its way into my brain.  We saw Tangled.  It was good and light hearted.  Even while I'm watching that this story is poking me.

We go out to lunch and back to our place for cards and games.  It's fun.  We have a good time.  Still that story pokes at me.  I take her godmother home and my thoughts are all about the story.  I have supper with my daughter and the story is all but jumping up and down in front of me demanding my attention.

Finally after a shower to warm up, I sit back down to the computer.  I write.  My mind is happy filling in the details, finally being able to tell the story.  Vicki interrupts me with her giggling - it makes me smile a lot.  She comes to talk to me, bring me fluid, chocolate...

Somewhere around 11:30 she nudges me (okay really she hit me over the head with a large mallet) to go to bed.  I look at my story.  Realize I'm at a good stopping point and decide she's right - I should sleep.  Nearly 5000 words into this story and I'm still focused on it so much I woke up this morning thinking about it. 

Today - I'm going to get the edits for the Moon manuscript on the computer.  Then I'll see where my writing takes me... want to guess where I'll end up? 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sleep and Work...

Sleep has been as elusive as the Easter Bunny for me.  Wednesday I woke up at 3 am and never really got back to sleep other than to doze.  I was up till 2:30 am Friday morning (my own fault here I was reading and talking to a friend) but when I went to bed I couldn't sleep.  I tossed and turned for three hours.  I got up for a drink of water and bathroom break.  When I went back to bed, Ken was getting up.  I told him to wake me up at 10.  I only dozed.  You know the sort of half sleep where you know you aren't sleeping but you aren't awake enough to get up.  I gave up trying about 9:30.  It was a rough day yesterday.  I crawled into bed at 3 yesterday afternoon and attempted to sleep.  By 8 pm I gave up as I didn't do more than doze. 

I decided well if I can't sleep then I might as well get some work done.  In my office I gathered up the projects I wanted to work on and took them out to the dining room table.  I worked from 9ish to 11:30 on my Moon book and got all the edits done including a rough draft for the Resources / Bibliography section.  That felt good though it was very hard to focus. 

Finally about 2 am this morning I fell asleep - completely unconscious.  Now I only got about 5 hours of sleep but to be completely unaware of evrything is amazing... Whether I finally slept because I actually got work done or just complete exhaustion took over I don't know.  But both things I needed to do got done - sleep and some work. 

While Vicki is off at the library I'm going to tackle one more writing task - I'll see how things go maybe I'll make a bigger dent in the other two projects than I think...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving...

Well it is Thanksgiving and I know that most writers are giving out their list of things they are thankful for... Mine is the same - family, friends, job, home... It seems a bit trite to sit in my comfortable home and spew some mushy spiel about how grateful I am for my life.  I am grateful. I try to be and show my gratitude every day.  So instead I'm going to talk about the things I think need to be worked on either by myself or in general. 

I know I'm not as patient as I could be.  I want what I want and I don't want to be bugged while I work towards getting it.  This last month I've been very focused on my writing - to the point where I get easily annoyed when I get interrupted.  I don't know if it is the coming winter season (which I think we should all hibernate for) making me feel more hermit like or the fact that I'm on a roll with writing and I just want to focus on that.  Either way I need to have patience with myself and the process.  I also need to have patience with my husband and daughter who live with me and expect me to be a contributing member of the household. 

I am grateful for the men and women of the military who go to the useless and senseless battles they are told to go to.  I see our world battling over stupid things - the middle east, Korea... When will the people in our society learn that might doesn't make right and we have to somehow learn to live on this planet together.  If you don't like your neighbor then don't socialize with them... Yes I'm talking about the individual but I'm also talking about countries.  North Korea wants the world to know they are a bad ass... fine woo hoo you are a bad ass... now go back to your corner and stop messing up the environment and wreaking havoc... You don't like South Korea - fine don't like them but leave them alone. 

The TSA stuff everyone is up in arms about... I'm somewhat on the fence about.  I don't want to walk through an xray machine if it is going to cause damage to me and show off my private parts.  At the same time I've seen the pictures and there is really no way to tell who it is.  So do I really object?  I don't know... Also the pat downs... well I sure as hell don't think I want someone touching me the way I've seen some of those pat downs go... but having said that - I sure as hell don't want to get on a plane where someone was missed who is carrying a bomb or a weapon... Which is the right way to do things?  I don't know.. I got an email from Stephanie about having a room where you step into it and any bombs a person is carrying will be exploded ... This may be slightly barbaric but it sort of makes sense to me... Would you walk into an airport with a bomb if you knew you wouldn't attain your target and you would still lose your life?  I know the system isn't perfect but at least they are trying to protect travelers... and if you don't like the system - go by car, bus, or train... or stay home...

Well I have to go make stuffing now... so there are my rants and gratitude for the day... what are yours?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Published...

The new issue of Circle Magazine is coming out in early December.  I was pleased to note that they are publishing two of my articles.  If you want to read more of my work then go looking for a copy.  Here is there website http://www.circlesanctuary.org/circle/.  It's nice to have my work in print.  It will be great to see the issue.  Circle does a great job in the Pagan community offering a lot of resources and even going to bat for Pagans.  I'm always please to submit my work there and have them publish it.

They have a call out to authors for articles.  Anyone interested should check it out.  They are fairly stable and consistent with publishing.  Plus it is a good organization to contribute to. 

Today I'm going to work on the writing projects and hope that I can get them to the next stage for publishing.  I worked for three hours last night on editing one manuscript.  I made pretty good progress too.  But when the words on the page are all blurry then it is time to stop and go to bed... :)  I'm not sure which project I'll start with.  Maybe one of the shorter ones so I can feel like I'm getting more done.  I know it all has to be done but when it takes me 3 hours to go through 70 pages and the manuscript is 300 pages it can be a bit disheartening. 

Also it gives me a fresh perspective if I switch off projects.  I don't get bogged down in the one project and can come back to it with fresh eyes and thoughts. 

It is funny how some people think writing is just a matter of putting pen to paper and saying what you think.  That is of course the first step.  Then you have the editing, editing, editing, editing phase.  Then you have to find a place for your work - so selling it.  If it is a book you also have to do marketing - lots of it because there are a lot of other books out.  They are all vying for people's attention and you have to find a way for your work to stand out.  It's a good thing I enjoy the process...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekend, fun, writing… need more weekend…

This weekend will likely be a busy weekend with all the errands that go along with pay week.  I’m hoping to get some writing done but I’m not holding my breath.  We are going to the new Harry Potter movie this weekend.  I’m hoping this one will be better than the last ones.  As an avid fan of the books, it is hard to sit through the movie and know they left out the best parts.  Hopefully by splitting this one up, they will be able to fit more of the actual book into it.  The fifth and sixth ones were particularly disappointing since they added things that weren’t in any of the books and didn’t put in some of the best parts.  The books are amazing, graphic in their description and exciting so why would you need to add in things that weren’t there – I don’t know – perhaps artistic license.

This weekend is already filling up but hopefully I will still have time to keep moving forward with the three projects I have looming.  Hopefully I’ll get the edits done on the Moon book.  That is probably the quickest project to work on.  Though I’ve had recent disappointments with the latest editor/publisher, I feel like this one is nearest to being ready for publication.  If I can convince a publisher to put it out in print I think it will do well. 

The romance novel I think needs another round or two before it is ready to hit the publication rounds again.  The poetry book is an idea which needs developing.  I’m hoping to gather up about 50 – 80 poems out of my collection of poems and put them out for the Kindle.  The hard part on this is narrowing it down to so few…

After these three are done, I have a mental list of what I want to work on.  I have a children’s book that I need to finish writing and a list of other projects which are pulling me.  All I can do is one at a time though so I can only hope for a good weekend where I can finish things off.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sleep Deprived

I can’t remember a time in my life where I haven’t cycled through times when I can’t sleep.  There are times I can sleep 8-10 hours a night or longer and still want more.  More often I’m working on 6 hours of sleep and happy I got that much.  Lately though I’ve been struggling with sleeping.  I go to bed and lay there for over an hour just trying to get to sleep.  Then when I do get to sleep, I only stay asleep for 20 minutes or so at a time. 

As I said I’ve been doing this a long time and I’m sort of used to it.  I’m noticing though that when I swing down into one of my sleep deprived periods that odd things happen to me.  I feel every possible ache in my body.  My arthritis usually only affects my knees and ankles but when I’m sleep deprived I feel it in my arms, hips, back… yeah pretty much everywhere.  I also have many more headaches.  These are the negative side effects of  my crazy brains sleep disturbances.

The positive side is I am so much more creative.  I find myself dreaming about my writing projects.  I write more poetry.  I am more productive in my writing.  I may be crankier (and yes you can tell) with people but when I sit down to work things just flow for me.  I can’t seem to get the words out of me fast enough. 

So while I’d like more sleep… I’d like more sleep and to continue to be as productive in my writing.  Now if I can just get my brain and body on board for that… oh and I’m sure those living and dealing with me would like me to be less cranky...

Age..

When I think about my own age, I don't really care what the number is.  I'm 46 and just getting better with age.  However, every now and again I am surprised by the ages of those around me.  My bother-in-law will be 60 shortly.  I have known this for a while (obviously) but when my niece told me that they were throwing a party for his 60th birthday it surprised me.  He doesn't seem 60.  He is an amazing man who has been a wonderful addition to our family.  He's been a part of my life since I was 9.  I respect him a lot and when I think of him I don't think of his age but of how good he is in our family.

His turning 60 though is sort of the beginning of a cascade of "big" birthdays for our family.  My mom will be 80 next year.  My oldest sister will be 60, husband 50, oldest daughter 30, youngest daughter 25... Lots of mile markers. 

For me - maybe because those numbers don't mean much - I don't think of them as being a particular age but just them.  The person I love and enjoy being with.  I know that others struggle with the numbers and how it makes them feel old (or whatever) but I just consider these people to be getting better and better...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Writing ups and downs...

I've been making leaps and bounds with this one project.  I am thrilled with the progress and think it is a great project.  I can't wait to see it published.  This project is dear to my heart.  Unfortunately, the editor I was workiing with told me tonight that the publisher has decided to not publish that genre any longer. 

I'm disappointed.  I thought I was headed in the right direction this time around.  I thought I had a chance - a good chance - to actually get this book out in the world for people to read. 

While this downswing has certainly bummed me out, I'm not letting it stop me.  I am in the process of adding information and rewriting parts of it.  Once I'm through that I'm going to hit the market place and find a niche for this book.  All anybody can do is say no... and all that does is make me dig in my heals and work harder...Hopefully my stubbornness and determination will pay off...

Strong Men

I dvr a number of shows and skim through them.  I like talk shows like the View and the Talk.  I was skimming through an episode of the Talk and watched an interview with LL Cool J.  Now the man is a fine looking man and easy on the eyes.  I did not know that he was married (not a big follower of celebs) or that he had four kids.  He was impressive - and I'm not talking about his body or his looks.  He came on the show bringing gifts to each of the hosts.  This was very gentlemanly - even if it was a plug for his wife's jewelry line.  It put a smile on all of the women's faces. 

Then he talked about his wife and kids.  He was loving, proud, sweet, and amazingly mushy.  Now that may sound like he was effeminate but he definitely wasn't.  All of these women were drawn to his quiet strength and his love of family.  It was a turn on in the best way. 

This man was strong enough and confident enough to come on this show and discuss family seriously.  He showed his softer side and it was impressive.  There are many men out there who are willing to love and cherish who don't care if the world knows it.  These men are the ones women need to embrace. 

I also watch 16 and Pregnant / Teen Mom and have serious issues with the tolerance our teenage girls have for abusive and cheating boys.  The girls get pregnant and have to get serious about taking care of baby but the boys disappear.  Where are the parents of these boys to say - you played now you pay.  Get a job and pay for diapers, formula, clothes, etc.  Be there to take your turn caring for the baby so the mom can study and finish school so she can get a job too.  Where are the parents when it comes to these young men?  If these young men are dead beat dads at 16, 17, 18 - how are they going to be anything but deadbeat all their lives? 

I've had wonderful examples of men in my life.  My father and husband have given me amazing examples of loving men.  To see a celeb come out and speak so eloquently and lovingly was a pleasure.  LL Cool J was confident enough to speak from the heart.  I wish more men would express that confidence and have that respect / love for family.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Writing day...weekend...

I'm actually out of bed before Ken.  It happens just not too often.  I am clearing out my emails, reading blogs, and getting things out of the way.  Then I'm going to work on the writing things I have to do.  I got an email from the editor for my moon book.  I need to work on the suggestions she has.  I also need to work on the edits for my fiction manuscript.  I also want to pick out poems for another manuscript.  Madison sent me a link for a Wisconsin writing contest so I need to check that out.  Plus I'm behind on all my other newsletters.  Today and this weekend will be about writing ...

For other activities (like the writing isn't enough) I need to go to Earthsong as Vicki has asked me to and I need to go to Verizon to look at phones.  Stephanie is upgrading and I might upgrade as well.  I hate phone shopping.  I just want a phone - it doesn't have to be fancy and I don't want a dataplan.  I just want to call and text - that is it. 

On top of my other writing projects I've had this story in my head that I want to get down on paper.  I know once I start writing it will flow nicely but at this point I have so many other projects going that I don't want to start another one - yet.  That's not true... I really want to start this one but I'm concerned about having too many irons in the fire.  Hopefully if I'm diligent this weekend I'll get several of these projects moved off my to do list and I'll be able to work on the new story.

I need a personal assistant but I can't afford one.  Then I could hand off all these other tasks to her and I could say "Give me a pad of paper and a pen and leave me alone so I can write ..."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Might Does Not Make Right

On the campus I work on there was an assault of a young woman by two men who allegedly objected to her sexual orientation.  One of the guys was 6’ tall and the other was 5’6”.  Both of these men were in all likelihood stronger than the woman they attacked.  This is reprehensible to me.  I don’t care what the person believes or how they behave this does not give anyone the right to intimidate or attack them.  If you don’t like them fine – don’t be around them.

Might has NEVER meant you were right.  Just because you shout louder, hit harder, have bigger guns or have a better army doesn’t mean you get to be big man (or country) on the block.  I feel we are forgetting our roots in this country.  We are a bunch of rebels – descendants of people who fought against the bully of Great Britain.  We fought against the injustices that the king tried to implement against us. 

So why are we now trying to make everyone conform?  What is wrong with the people in this country?  We have gone from a country of independent thinkers to a country of conformists and religious zealots.  Believe the way I believe or else we will… and you fill in the blank.  Well isn’t that exactly how the Taliban thinks?  Isn’t that what they are trying to do is make us conform to their beliefs?

Somehow we need to get back in touch with these roots of our and become the rebels of the past.  No one should force us to conform to their way of thinking.  It should be a personal choice and we should be able to respect those choices – even if we don’t agree with them.

I know it is small town Wisconsin here but it saddens and disgusts me that this happened.  Where has our compassion and our sense of right and wrong gone?  People can respectfully disagree – at least I believe we can.  Apparently small town leads some to think they can be small minded.  This is a sad statement of our society…. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Scientific advancement or invasion of privacy?

On the Talk last week, Sharon Osbourne talked about a new medical test which gave all the possible issues with a person medically.  It will give an indicator of whether you will have cancer, diabetes, mental illness, and so on.  She was raving about how her husband and herself had the test done and they were promoting it.  My first question is who will that information be released to?  If it is going to the insurance companies are they going to be able to deny coverage because this test shows something negative?  Will the individual be denied admittance to schools or jobs because it shows the individual isn't at the intelligence level required? 

I think science is fabulous and has had some amazing advancements but this is one where I think we are opening a can of worms.  I think it puts us one step forward into a situation where people will have this test done and be discriminated against because of the results. 

Did anyone know that all babies DNA is taken and put into a national database?  This has been done since the mid-1980s.  Now I have three girls born in that era and I have no idea whether their information is included in that database but I sure wasn't asked if I wanted it done.  I don't believe it is even told to parents that some of the blood taken from their newborn is going to that.  It might be useful to have that information in a database but my question is - how protected is the information?  Who is watching out for the privacy of these children? 

Science is great but how are we protecting our privacy and our rights with each advancement?  I'd rather be proactive about it than reactive...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Great afternoon...

I've had an amazing afternoon.  TJ's pictures are fabulous.  She is so talented and her work is so beautiful.  I can't wait to see it in print.  It enhances my words and brings the book to life.  Everytime I look over her work and we meet to discuss I am more excited about the project.  We worked on the book and then discussed three other projects.  I'm so excited for all of them.  I can't wait to see her ideas on them.  They are all so different.  It is an exciting process.

After the work was done it was relaxing and fun to sit by the fire and talk.  We had an afternoon filled with stimulating conversation and laughter.  It was cozy and comfortable.  The conversation covered a variety of topics (way too many to even list).  TJ is thought provoking, intelligent and entertaining. 

Great day... lots accomplished... and now a bit of play time.. maybe some crocheting and dvr watching...

Morning errands

What does it say when I'm exhausted by 10 am?  Now granted I've been pretty busy this morning.  My daughter and I went to the gas station, Sorgs (butcher shop), two libraries, met with a friend to drop off something, and came home.  I've been on the phone to talk about the new phones for Stephanie and I - have I mentioned I hate phone shopping?

Now I'm home and planning to go sit by the fireplace until TJ shows up for lunch and work on the book.  I'm hoping for a bit of quiet before more chaos.  This afternoon will hopefully be creative and fun in going over all the amazing pictures TJ has created - I can't wait to see them.  She is an amazing artist and I love her work. 

We also click when it comes to our vision for our work.  My words inspire her in a way that inspires me.  If that makes any sense at all...

So a little down time before a productive and creative afternoon... care to join me?  The fireplace awaits...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Weekend plans

Another week comes to a close for me and I’m looking forward to the weekend.  Hopefully my artist will make it to my house on Saturday.  We have art to go over for a meditation book we are working on.  I also want to get more of the edits done on the manuscript I’m working on.  I’ve a third of the edits in the computer and am hoping to finish updating the manuscript.  If I manage to finish that off then I need to reprint it and edit it one more time.

A wonderful friend of mine created a database to track people, places, and details in different manuscripts.  I need to get that on my computer and set up so I can start using it.  It would be good to convert the paper lists I have to electronic.  While I’m at it I better do a back up of my computer and all this new stuff.

If I get a chance I should work on the baby blanket for my friend’s new grandson.  I should get that finished before he outgrows the baby size afghan.  I can work on that while I catch up on my DVR watching. 

These activities are of course on top of all the normal ones like grocery shopping, drug store run, butcher shop and so on.  I’ll never get this all done in one weekend but it will be fun to try…

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Raises and benefits

Three weeks into my job and I’ve realized I’m not taking pain killers at all.  I’m not sitting in my office counting the minutes until I can take more pain killers.  I’m not coming home in so much pain I don’t want to get out of my car. 

I didn’t get a raise with my new job.  It was a lateral transfer just to a different location and job duties essentially.  This lack of pain – that is my pay raise.  I feel more creative, energetic, and happier.  Heck I have a cold and I feel better than I did when I was in so much more pain.

I’ve been going to the pool more regularly.  I haven’t quite made it four days a week yet.  This is mostly because I refuse to go when I’ve got a cold so that is my choice.  I can say that when I end my day away from home in a hot tub, I go home in a much better frame of mind.  If I’ve been coping with some pain during the day the soak in the hot tub makes it all melt away.

In addition to my love of the hot tub, I am also working out for about 15 minutes with exercises and walking in the pool.  This feels great.  I feel like I have more ability to move and do things.  I feel good about myself for doing it.  Amazingly I miss it when I don’t go. 

With this renewed energy I’m finding that I am able to do things again that I had given up.  It gives me hope that maybe if I keep working on it I might have more flexibility and ability to get around better.  Like everything else in life - it is a matter of determination. 

Shocker for me…

I was catching up on DVR programs the other night.  One of them, as I’ve said before, is The View.  I was watching hot topics of one of this week’s shows where they were discussing the governor’s race in Oklahoma (I think).  Apparently one of the candidates said she would make a better governor because she has six kids and a husband and her opponent has never been married or had kids.  They were bickering about it and Elizabeth (who I never agree with) came out with a statement that surprised me.  Did I mention I never agree with her?  Well she said this should not be used in the race because if they use motherhood etc as an argument for being a good candidate for governor (or anything else for that matter) then they can also use it as an argument for being a bad candidate for governor (or anything else). 

I completely agree.  If you are applying for a job and they ask – are you married?  Do you have children?  - that is discrimination.  Marital and parental status has little bearing on how well someone is going to do in a job.  Plus why are women being held to this standard (which Joy brought up).  No one asks a man – well what type of husband / father are you? 

Sherry made a point which annoyed me.  She said that parents are more compassionate.  The example she used was that people who become annoyed with noisy children in an airport / airplane are typically not parents.  I have to disagree with her completely.  I’m a parent and noisy kids annoy the heck out of me.  Now I understand that there are times when you have to discipline your kid and also when they are fussy.  But I’ve seen parents do the dumbest things when it comes to their kids.  They either cave in and give them what they want when they shouldn’t or they ignore the bad behavior and wonder why everyone else is annoyed with their kid.  They are annoyed because you aren’t doing your job. 

Kids cry and fuss.  That goes without saying.  How a parent handles it determines whether I’m annoyed or not.  If the parent is ignoring the behavior and the kid is misbehaving then it annoys me.  If the parent is making every attempt to distract and maintain discipline with a child then I’m not annoyed because you can see they are attempting to parent. 

There was one other issue which annoyed me.  Apparently some woman put up an ad in a church for a roommate.  She advertised for a Christian roommate.  Well this is discrimination.  All the women on the view said she should not have gotten in trouble for it.  I think she should because she was discriminating.

First she put it up in a church so most likely she is going to get someone from that targeted group.  Second all she had to do was say while interviewing that I’m a Christian and this is an integral part of my life.  Then she could have asked if that would bother or interfere with the relationship of roommates.  She really only had to put in there that she wanted a like minded roommate and then she wouldn’t have been in trouble at all.

If we let even individuals discriminate then we are allowing it everywhere because it isn’t groups that discriminate willy nilly.  It is individuals within the group who set the policies.  So if this woman were on a committee for a homeless shelter would she be willing to allow Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, etc in to the shelter?  Or would she require that everyone within the shelter be Christian? 

One more and then I promise I’m done ranting about The View.  They had a discussion about an article on the Marie Claire website concerning fat people.  I didn’t read the article or go to the website – I just know what was discussed on the View.  Apparently this author had issues with fat people in general but specifically about fat people on TV.  She objected to the Mike and Molly show (I think that is the name of it) which features two overweight individuals.  I’ve not seen this show either.  The author was very disparaging and critical.  It is obvious she has body issues of her own from the quotes I heard.  Fat people are the one acceptable discrimination left in our society.  It is okay to tell fat jokes, to look down on overweight people, to disparage and denigrate them.  This is also discrimination.  Apparently the writer got blasted because she did write an apology.  The question is did she write the apology because she rethought her point of view or because she was getting so much flack about her opinions.  One other question I have is where the hell was the editor that they allowed this to go on the website with such discriminatory wording and opinions?  Why didn’t the editor take a step back and say – hey wait a minute.  Maybe because at Marie Claire (being a fashion magazine which probably perpetuates the need for women to be size 0) doesn’t think about how those women of any size would feel about such an offensive piece. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crazy I tell you...

I must be crazy.  I worked on 50 pages last night, reading and editing.  I got through it all and went to bed at a reasonable hour (for me anyways).  I lay in bed and thought – that whole scene needs reworking.  Over and over in my mind it rumbled and  I knew it had to be redone.  For 15 minutes I lay there thinking about how it should be rearranged – the pieces were mostly good but they were in the wrong order. 

Could my brain shut down and let me sleep after I made the decision? Oh heck no.  I got up at 11:30 last night to redo part of the scene – did I mention this is 50 pages I’d worked on for 3 hours? 

I worked for 45 minutes rewriting and rearranging.  I got several pages redone and moved around.  To be perfectly honest, if I didn’t have a day job I wouldn’t have quit working last night but I had to get up this morning. 

It is times like this where I wish I could be doing this full time.  If I made enough money to cover my current income and our insurance needs then I would quit working my day job.  I’d write full time and hopefully sell lots of books and articles. 

Sadly I am not making enough writing so I will continue to go with little sleep and a bit of frustration.  The thing is I love the challenge.  I knew this story needed an overhaul and as I’m doing it – I am LOVING it.  It’s a challenge to let go of the ideas I had before and allow new ones to take their place.  It’s fun to see how the story will wrap around itself differently with this tweak or that change. 

The words tumble and almost trip over themselves to get on my paper.  It is amazingly enjoyable for me to struggle through this work.  Hopefully when I’m done there is a story that others will want to read and enjoy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weekend of work...

After a weekend of editing, rewriting, and reviewing, I've managed to get about 100 pages edited.  I'm not surprised because I made some pretty big changes to the beginning of the novel.  Now it's going quicker but I know there are several sections coming up that I'll be making more big changes to.  Hopefully one more weekend of editing (or maybe several long nights) and I'll have it done.  Then I have to get the edits into the computer and investigate more on publishing it on Kindle. 

I've not read this novel in over five or six years.  I've tried to market and sell it but it has been no go.  In re-reading it, I think it is a good story.  It moves along at a good pace.  It keeps the reader involved - at least I think so. 

The changes I've made this weekend were definitely needed.  They make the story more believable and realistic.  Revisiting it like this has helped me be objective and see the changes needed to update the story and improve the entire manuscript.  It isn't a matter of putting commas in the right place or fixing the typographical errors but of refining the story.  It is work - a lot of it - but I'm glad I'm doing it.

It is hard to be objective about my own work.  I read it and I see the flaws.  I'm also my own toughest critic.  But in reading this again, I find a good story.  I'm pleased with my work and how it's turned out.  This was my first full length novel and I think I did a good job.  Now I have to see if others agree...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Editing...

For about ten years now I've had a romance novel that I submit to different publishers.  I've never sold it unfortunately.  I had somewhat given up on selling it. 

Recently I decided that I needed to revisit this manuscript.  I am going to edit and revise it.  It's been a long while since I've read it so it will be interesting to see how this goes.  It is nearly 300 typed double spaced pages long and over 100,000 words. 

What motivated this sudden interest in this manuscript again?  Well my youngest daughter, Stephanie emailed me a link to the publishing guidelines for Kindle. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=amb_link_352814142_14?ie=UTF8&docId=1000234621&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=left-1&pf_rd_r=039VVXERM92NS9FNV14H&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1276313662&pf_rd_i=133141011) The small bit that I've read seems like a good idea so I am going to edit this book and see if I can get it published there.  I might also try to put together a couple of poetry books to see how they do as well.  It can't hurt and maybe there will be a demand for my work.  If that happens then it might help to move my other manuscripts forward with either traditional publishers or more on Kindle or even other self publishing opportunities.

The day is rainy. I've been cleaning my desk and doing all sorts of different things for writing and the house.  I have at least made organized piles.  I will at some point need to go through those piles and deal with the items in them - some sooner rather than later. 

This is all part of my prep for getting ready to write.  It may sound strange but it helps me organize my thoughts and gives me a chance to clear out the clutter quite literally as well as a bit figuratively.

Today I'm hoping to get through a complete edit of this manuscript but I'm sure that the others in the household will have impact on my progress.  Ken and Vicki are both under the weather.  Now if I could just get the two of them to sleep and leave me alone I'm sure I could get more done....

Since I've been up for nearly two hours now, I should stop putzing around and dig in....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Second week on the job...

I'm halfway through the second week on the new job.  It has been exhausting and exhilarating all at once.  I've been tired for the last two weeks but I'm also learning a lot. 

The difference in the atmospheres and environment is very interesting.  The DOT was sort of casual for dress and in some ways for the working environment.  There was a lot of stress but we also knew how to blow off some of that stress too.

The university is definitely dressier and a bit more formal.  I think the people are a lot more understanding.  I've worked with a lot of men over the years - a lot of engineers.  Now I'm working with mostly women.  I think I like it.  They kind of do their thing and I do mine.  There isn't a lot of interference and there is a lot of respect for my knowledge and ability.

I got a great compliment from my boss today.  She said she couldn't understand why she was getting so much done.  She had cleared so much off her desk and had been very productive.  Then she came to my office and saw that I'd also been very productive.  Piles that had been cluttering up the office had been cleaned up, dealt with, and put away.  I still have a few little piles but mostly I've gotten the piles on the surfaces cleared up. 

I have not conquered this job.  I've removed some of the backlog of work and learned one or two aspects of the job.  There a lot more layers to learn and adjust to.  I'm looking forward to the challenge of them. 

Another bonus... I've started going to the pool nightly.  I started last night and went again tonight.  It is heaven to end my day sitting in the hot tub.  I de-stress a lot and the aches in my bones go away.  I come home in a better mood because I'm not in pain or on drugs.

I'm still exhausted.  I'm still waking up at 4:30 (wish that would stop already).  I am thrilled that I went eight workdays without filling my gas tank.  I used to put two tanks of gas in my car a week.  I've gone a week and a half on one tank.  That is an exciting savings.

This is a good move...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Who can't google... really?

Obviously politics is a hot topic and on every one's  mind.  I'm not going to get into a debate on who is the better candidate or whatever.. I think we all know that the decision when we go to the polls is generally  a matter of who will do the least damage (though there are a few good candidates).

Christine O'Donnell from Delaware I think is a tea party candidate and has been sticking her foot in her mouth.  Like Palin she makes women look bad.  The latest hoopla is concerning the first amendment. 

I'll be the first to admit I don't know the amendments or their exact wording.  I'm also not a candidate for a public office.  But I do know google.  I know that if I go to google I can find a reputable source that will give me some information on almost any topic. 

I don't know what O'Donnell said as I didn't hear it but what I heard was that she was questioning whether the constitution actually says separation of church and state.  She apparently sees nothing wrong with mixing the two. 

If you are like me you want to go to the source and see what the constitution actually says.  So here it is from a fairly reputable source:"

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am1

Now what people need to realize is that this was an amendment tapped on to the constitution in 1791 (that is from that site too).  Since 1791 we have had laws and other legal documents that have refined, updated, and clarified these amendments (and the constitution).  If my math is right that is 219 years of modification.  But one thing I think O'Donnell needs to do is read the original content.  It says clearly that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.  That is the opening phrase. 

She seems to want Christianity to be the state religion.  Well not everyone in the US is Christian.  So what does she propose?  For a month we all be Christian.  Then the next month we can all be Buddhists or Pagan or Muslim. Or if we are all going to be Christian, then which Christian?  Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran? 

The point of this amendment is so that people will be able to choose what they want to believe and the government can't dictate those beliefs and ideas.  This is my opinion and I'm not a constitutional scholar or anything.  Historically I believe (if I remember my history lessons right) that one of the biggest reasons that people came to this country was to escape the religious oppression that they were enduring in England and Europe.  We fought a war to be free from those beliefs.  It was in my history book.  There was a pretty big section on it - it was called the Revolutionary War.  Do we really want to go back a point where people can be persecuted, prosecuted, and demoralized for their ideas and beliefs?  People need to study history in order to understand the mistakes made and and learn from them.

Is it November 3rd yet?  I can't wait for the idiocy to be done.  Of course then we have to see what sort of idiocy the American public opted to do... it is one insane cycle....

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Good Book or Three...

I spent a very lazy day yesterday reading and lounging in front of the fireplace.  It was a spectacular day which I enjoyed no end.  It was very energizing.  The books I read were Dragon in the Driveway (young adult book), Libraries of Ancient Times, and Lady Knight.  The libraries one is a non-fiction and I read a chapter or so in it.  The other two were fiction and exceedingly enjoyable.  I laughed and cried with the books.

The other day at work I listened as a woman explained she could not read books because of her learning disability.  This is such sadness.  I think of all the books I have and read.  I would be lost without my books. 

I was reading Lady Knight last night and forced myself to put the book down because it was 11:30 and I had to work today.  I only had another 120 pages but I wanted to thoroughly enjoy the ending of this book.  I finished it off tonight and did just that.

Reading takes me away from everything.  If done right it can make me laugh, cry, and ache for the characters to win through to their goal.  It doesn't really matter the genre if it is well written it can move me.  For those who don't get to read or won't read - I feel sad that they don't know the pleasure I know in reading.

Tonight I've finished Lady Knight and there are two more lovely fictional books to read but I'll be good and go to bed.  I've got my book on ancient libraries to read during lunch tomorrow.  I'm almost done with that book.  Then I have the Gerda Lerner book on the Creation of Patriarchy.  The non-fiction books make me think.  They don't necessarily transport me to a different time and place (well that depends) but they make me think about the topics covered.  I think this is why it takes me so long to read them - I need time to digest all that I take in.

I realized today as I was packing up at work and thinking about reading tonight that I was actually still reading three books - the two non-fiction and the one fiction.  Now I'm down to two and thinking I need more.  I must be sick or something....

Crafting Escape

It was a good weekend.  Friday I left work to go to the doctor with Vicki.  We were forceful about her needing a different antibiotic.  She ...