Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category
Seriously, I have more on my professional plate than ever before. Add to that the daily workings of a mother of three and yes, warp drive engine in the red light, warning siren blaring. Granted it is all good stuff and for that I am grateful but it will be nose to the grindstone for a while(or is it nose to the keyboard?) 2011 started off with a bang and I’m off and running. Edits, writing, promo, more writing, deadlines, washing dishes a few times, etc.
So TODAY, I will accomplish none of those things. WHY? Well, it started off normally with waking the kids for school. Then Spawnetta, after doing her hair and crap, promptly fell back to sleep. Which meant a mad dash to get her lazy butt to school after she missed the bus. Also Omen gets his casts off today and the wheelchair has to be returned. HALLELUJAH but that is a 3 hour drive one way. Long day, no word production. Dinner will be some restaurant along the way. Spawnetta will make frozen pizza for herself and Damien, which they are thrilled with (Shudder).
So I am revving my engines, prepared to hit warp drive but have to make a few stellar family pit stops along the way. But then, watch out!
Mr. Sulu… engage career plans! Warp factor 5.
Dear God, where did 2010 go? This year sprouted feathers and flew! I cannot believe it is over already.
I’m not ready for 2011. I’m not. I still have a submission in the polish stages I wanted to get out this year. That ain’t gonna happen. I’m not sure whether my autumn was sucked away by this ball practice and that game or if it was the scorching summer that melted the days away but somebody fast forwarded the calendar and didn’t tell me.
My Christmas decorations are down but the naked tree is still in the corner. There are still a few dessert crumbs lurking around and a few candy wrappers I’m sure stuffed in the couch.
Or am I procrastinating? See, 2011 is a big year for me personally. I am making some changes in my life(like I did in 2010 HELLO MOVING!!) Maybe those changes just seem too daunting right now. Maybe I am afraid I am setting myself up for one hell of a fall…or maybe I will fly, who knows?
Fear is a powerful motivator and a paralyzing hurdle at the same time. But the New Year has always been a time ripe with encouragement. So I’m going to close my eyes and jump, praying I don’t leave too large of a splatter pattern if I fall.
So my parents have this idea of retiring to Europe. It’s been pushed back a bit because my mom had a bad fall earlier this year and had to get a shoulder replacement – so they’re aiming at around a year from now.
Which means I’ll have a fantastic built in excuse for running off to Europe for the holidays. I have to – I have to see my folks for Christmas, right?
Anyway, their hunt for the perfect spot to retire (not in the US) had me poking around looking at what options are available. I found out something interesting – a LOT of Americans are retiring to other countries (not Europe) because their retirement dollars go farther.
There’s a significant ex-pat community in Mexico, a large one in India, and a number in various other locales.
There are whole websites devoted to matching people with their perfect cheap retirement option. It’s really interesting.
Anyway, so my parents wanted Europe – which makes no sense to me given that their dollars go LESS far in Europe than in the US, but whatever. Which means they had to decide where in Europe. Now, they ruled out the far north – too cold – and Eastern Europe – too iffy. They ruled out Britain, Germany, Switzerland for weather reasons. I have no idea why they excluded the Netherlands, unless they’re concerned about climate change and the fact that the Netherlands are actually below sea level.
In any case, they settled on the Med because of weather and attitude reasons. Spain, Portugal, Italy, south of France, that kind of thing. And yes, they have chosen where – I’m just not telling. Anyway, the whole thing just makes me shake my head.
And then I wonder….well, there’s a point. Will I be able to retire where I want to in the way they are? Or will I need to scrape everything together and move to Mumbai?
I love Christmas. I do. But I confess I don’t love it as much as I used to. I still have 2 firm believers in the house so it isn’t that the Christmas magic is gone. It’s that it is a chore to do it sometimes. I am kind of looking forward to the day when we can make our new tradition sleeping in and opening gifts in the afternoon or maybe on Christmas Eve.
But for now, we’ve written the letters to Santa, made cookies and visited the jolly old elf for pictures. We’ve got our Winter Solstice planned out. We’ve decked the hall and watched the movies. My youngests have discovered National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Home Alone (the original) so those play almost daily. I am a bit excited to introduce them to A Christmas Story and see what they think, if that magic transcends down through the generations.
I’ve got gifts stashed and need to get wrapping. I’ve got more shopping to do, more baking to do, more of everything to do it seems. At least this year we have better prospects for a white Christmas. I think what I may do is take one day, haul the gifts to the living room, watch *MY* favorite movies while wrapping, get myself more in the holiday spirit.
What are your favorite moments of Christmas? I have a secret favorite song that I have never shared with anyone but… we’re all friends here, right?
This is it.
Late again. Though not as late as last time.
Tonight I took my Munchkin with me to give a review session for a class I teach. She totally charmed them. And gave most of them hugs as they left. One of the guys asked me if she goes up to random people and hugs them. The answer is yes and no. She will if we’re right there and she thinks they look like they need a hug. Which is, at once both alarming and endearing. She’s a lovely, sweet soul, and she hates to see anyone unhappy. On the other hand, the world can be a hard place, and I want to protect her from that. It’s what I tell my classes all the time – it’s a continuum. On the one end I have the ability to keep my daughter secure. On the other end is her ability to be independent. Every bit of independence she gains costs me some bit of ability to keep her safe. But ever bit of safety I enforce costs her some bit of independence.
In the same way, I think authors can be really protective of their stories. And their characters. We don’t want bad things to happen to them, we want to keep them safe. But if bad things don’t happen to them, how can the reader see their character arc? How will the plot move forward. So, we, as writers, have to make a trade off. The safety of the characters in favor of moving the story forward.
Similarly, once the story is done, you face a similar dilemma. Do you send your baby out into the world, where it is sure to attract some slings and arrows? Or do you harbor it, safe and warm, in the desk drawer (or thumb drive)? Again, a trade off.
I’m not telling you that you have to send your stuff out right now. Maybe you aren’t ready (regardless of whether the story is). But I do think that you need to understand the trade off you are making. Yes, your baby is safe, but it will never shine. Yes, it’s safe, but no one will ever know it’s wonder. Consider taking a chance. Sure it’s a risk – but, like my daughter, you may just find that you brightened someone’s day.
I missed my blog date – I’ve been missing a lot of stuff lately. As I mentioned in a comment on Inez’s last post, I’m totally brain dead. I’ve been fighting off whatever the crud was/is, preparing for finals (giving, not taking), teaching, and supervising the installation of my new windows (hooray!). I’d probably be doing a bit better, but the cats have decided that the upheaval in the house caused by getting ready to move means they have to do their impersonation of Fight Club when I try to sleep.
I’m considering kitty Valium. Maybe for the kitties. Maybe for me.
In other news, I’ve revived an older project that’s been nagging me, and I’ve made some progress on the mystery-were project. That’s good news, right?
In the wake of releasing More than a Man – oh, wait. Have I even mentioned that? Yeah. Launched an interesting little story I co-wrote on Dec 1.
Here’s the blurb:
Manporium. It’s where women of The Future go to buy the men of their dreams…and where twice-widowed Noelle Lytton is going to buy the third man of her dreams. Like a child crafting a Christmas wish list and checking it twice, Noelle has poured every last measure of hope into the traits she’s selected to make up her third husband. She’s checked her list more than twice, weighed it against past mistakes and future anticipations, and as she uploads her life’s savings to pay the balance, she knows it’s this man or nothing.
Sometimes things don’t go quite as expected at Manporium, however, and a bride’s wish list is, er…subject to interpretation. A man might, for example, come out smelling like gingerbread cookies and possessing extra appendages. All of which Noelle discovers as she comes to terms with the husband who, despite mistakes, is everything she wanted and much, much more.
So…what are you up to?
I am supposed to blog but now I sit here and stare at the computer screen in terror. What do I talk about? I looked around my office for inspiration and thought, wow, I could write about dust and empty coffee cups but really, who wants to read that?
I wandered to the kitchen and unless you want to hear about my husband’s complete inability to load a dishwasher, I got nothing. Same thing in the living room and the hall. Other than maybe comparing my first attempts at writing to a sucking vacuum cleaner(which my carpet is in desperate need of) nothing came to mind.
I tried to go into the master bathroom but my husband was taking a shower. Ever since that embarrassing ‘Daddy, why is your winkie bigger’ intrusion from my twins, he locks the bathroom door. So I flopped on the bed and stared at the ceiling.
I got nothing. I am fast approaching brain death at this point. I am about 5 thousand words from being done with a new story and about 20 thousand into the next. I had a release last week. LIPSTICK ON HIS COLLAR is right now sitting at number two at MBaM and was #1(darn Vivi Arend anyway for knocking me out- better than knocking my up, I guess). I’ve been promoting that and as an added bonus, both JINXED and MYLA BY MOONLIGHT reappeared on their respective Comedy and Fantasy romance bestseller lists at MBAM. Nice.
My Christmas decorations are up. My anniversary and birthday were also last week. The twins’ birthday is next week. They don’t know it but we’re going to the Rainforest Café for a safari celebration. Life here is moving at a pretty fast clip right now. And we got snow. About 2 inches so far, enough to make me feel Christmassy .
I really don’t have much else to say. So… BYE!
I love the autumn like nobody’s business. I come alive during this season. Our schedules are hectic with sports, homework and activities but I manage to get more done despite the shorter days. I write more, I do more, I sleep better. It is just a better time all around.
I love to cook and the cooler weather just begs for certain dishes. Summer is too hot for heavier meals but Fall is the right time.This week I have made Chicken pot pie, veggie beef soup and scalloped potatoes with ham. My kids devoured a ton of chicken spaghetti and are asking for things like turkey and gravy, Chicken noodle soup(home made, TYVM) and kielbasa with sauerkraut. All are on the upcoming menu plans. I don’t mind the longer prep and cooking time when the colors are bursting outside and the inside is cozy.
This time of year I also bake, not as much as I’d like but the more I make, the more they want. Damien is begging for monkey bread and Spawnetta has a passion for pepperoni rolls. Omen isn’t chocolate crazy but he discovered pumpkin rolls and if I let him, he’d eat an entire one himself. Pumpernickel is a favorite here and I confess, I have never made it except from a mix. I might try from scratch… maybe… one day.
Do I even have to mention the holidays coming up? The requests change daily. For Thanksgiving(also my birthday) we are planning on steaks and French Onion soup. The kids want to make me a cake and I said sure. But I am pushing them to think outside the norm. See, I don’t LIKE cake and actually they are not that fond of it either. So maybe I will get brownies with a candle or even Rice Krispie squares, who knows? Whatever it is, it will be fine.
Autumn means chills in the air and warmth at home. That is all I need. And another serving of leftover chicken pot pie.
What foods do you prefer in the Autumn?
Fall has arrived and I was caught unprepared. It’s been so hot here up until this week that the sudden cold caught me unawares. We still have all the summer sleeveless shirts and shorts out. I had to go digging for my daughter’s long sleeved shirts and jeans and a light jacket for her to wear. Yesterday morning I mounted a hunt for one of my fleece pull-overs so I could take Munchkin out to the bus stop without shivering.
It isn’t that I mind fall – I don’t. Okay, not much. I must confess that I really despise being cold. I can handle heat. Even triple digit heat. I can’t deal with cold. The temp drops below 40 and I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to stay inside with hot chocolate, warm socks and myriad blankets. I’ve never been one for playing in the snow – that just gets you cold and wet. I like LOOKING at the snow. It’s pretty and gives me all kinds of excuses to read and write. But out in it? Ugh.
In any case, the cooler weather kicked me into gear with some projects getting the house ready to put on the market. I bought a dozen azaleas that will go in this week. I’ll follow this with a good mulching of the front beds, a final cut of the lawn, and a heavy shearing of the hollies (the hollies in front of the master bedroom are more than 20 feet tall now. I think we can safely say they need some serious pruning). Once all of that is done, I can concentrate on other things. Like finding some burly men to help me move the piano. Since I can’t do it and GN/DH certainly can’t do it alone.
I wonder if there are rules about bribing my students to do it….
In any case, here’s hoping that whatever your fall projects, you complete them with ease and mastery. Good luck!
I’m sick. I have this headcongestionchestcoughrawthroatfeversnottydrippynose thing from hell. The past four days have consisted entirely of my sitting on my ass, staring mindlessly at the computer screen and blowing my nose. I have not written, even though I am less than 5,000 words away from finishing a book. I have not read, although I have 2 BETA reads for friends and 8 new books. I have done no housework and boy, does it show.
I managed to cram some laundry in the machine just because Spawnetta needed her basketball uniform washed. I did take Omen to his ortho appointment. Other than that… nuthin’.
I have slept. I have taken an impromptu nap every day. Impromptu because I will just suddenly fall asleep. And I have gone to bed right after the kids every night as well.
Dinners have been crock pot things. I throw something in the crockpot in the morning and then at supper time, dish it out. Minimal effort.
Kinda like this blog. Here’s hoping next week I will have done more than been a snot factory and have something to say.