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…

Weekend?

Where did the weekend go?  Saturday I was up and dressed but didn't do a lot.  I crocheted.  I'm working on a kitchen set for someon...