Sunday, December 20, 2009

 busy, busy, busy, busy with my usual Christmas cleaning, and preparations.

But even so part of me is floating...

 by bittersweetdrean on youtube (or is it threadofate), from the movie and soundtrack, A Little Princess
(by the bye, I have no idea how to do this, I asked the 13 year old if he could, and tada.)

Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm still not done, and spent much of the last two days just typing up notes I found in different notebooks, trying to productively procrastinate, since I was sort of stuck since I couldn't find Dusky's/ Alesandro's back story. Anyway, 13 pages and 8,443 words later, some that will be helpful to story, stuff I forget to add, as well as plenty of stuff that wont be helpful because I went so far off in a different direction that I'm surprised to find out, originally I had imagined it differently. The good news is though, that while taking down these notes, I was of course also thinking, and I started a few lines about Alessandro, and those lines led to other lines that went on and on for over 2,000 words, and flowed out to form his back story.  SO I AM NO LONGER STUCK!!!! (and I believe I effectively explained why his final decision was the one it was, without having made him a total cad. Which was tricky he had to have behaved badly without having actually been bad.)
Okay so I still don't know 100% of all the pieces to the story yet, but I know most of it, certainly enough to keep me moving forward.  The only thing is, I wanted to finish the whole thing up today, and yeah, that just isn't going to happen.  I'm getting cross-eyed.  I am a bit worried though that now that NaNoWriMo is over, that I wont come back tomorrow and finish.  I have to keep going, have to keep going, have to keep going, till I reach...The End.
(and then after that, I have to go back, and do all the proper research, so stuff is...right.)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I would expect to be in a good mood. I've gotten much farther than I ever thought I would.
But....I'm still not done, and having trouble here at the end. So I am actually pensive, hesitant and petulant. I've got 9 notebooks scattered around me, and none of them have Dusky's back story in them.
I did find some lines concerning him keeping his human memories, and of his feathers becoming darker, but I knew all that, the only other thing is a mention of his hat, apparently very fond of his hat (that I had forgotten). This is not helpful. I really need to know this bit, I remember writing it, it had to do with the women in his life, and it is imporant, because within it was the rationale for the decison he ultimately makes. Which is something I really really really need to know. And when I search my mind for the info, the cupboard is bare.
Search and research is no doubt the answer, look here, there, and everywhere, till I find it, again, or create something else of him/for him.  But over the last two days what I have discovered is how much time research takes, and that while it is definitely important (required), that it wipes me out (physically and emotionally, tired, headache, cranky. Feel like I've spent hours walking up and down the aisles of a huge warehouse, searching in endless boxes, for scrapes of paper hoping one will have written on it, just the piece of information that I need.) before I ever get to the page. So long term insight for me, I suppose this means, writing days, and researching days, are to be different days.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Well my word count is still holding steady at 49,966 clinging to the edge of spilling over into 50,000.
I've been working on the story but not on my word count.  I had written down some notes pertaining to the end of it, sometime during this past year, and it took me a while to find the notebook they were in.  And now I am on my third page of typing these notes up, and as I flip through the notebook looks like I have at least three more to go.  These notes will prove helpful in my finishing the story, (but I would like to hit 50,000 before using any of them, so as not to have gotten my total word count by anything other than the work I did/created within this month), and I am finding that since I have been writing so freely, moving in whatever direction presented itself, there are definitely changes, and I will need to rework any ideas that I use from the notebook, so that they work with the story I actually ended up writing, instead of with the one I thought I was going to write.

well I guess I am done writing for today, though I haven't progressed the story. I did over 4,000 of typing those notes, and still have two pages to go, but the heat from the lap top, and my writing cat (cat who insists on laying on my left arm while I try to type, even has his right paw on that part I scroll with) are making me feel nauseous. (plus he is twitching having some sort of dream, which feels weird. He was here yesterday as well, not twitching but snoring. Oh and when he was awake he spent some time licking my left hand while I was trying to type, which wouldn't have been so bad, if it hadn't been like repeatedly having sand paper dragged forcefully across the back of my hand, ouch!)

ugh, ugh, ugh, I just went through and skimmed my notes, figuring I would skip ahead to the info on Dusky, which is what I was looking for all along, that character's back story, well it isn't in this notebook, which means it could be in any notebook in the house, on some page tucked in among all the others filled with notes, and research for other stories, I don't think this one has it's own notebook yet, Ugh!

Friday, November 27, 2009

again i will say weird writing today, at 49, 893 I am just shy of the 50,000 mark, but I intentionally stopped short, I want to make sure I keep going till I hit the end of the story, so I want to leave full incentive for tomorrow's writing.  Today's writing was off because I got waylaid a bit with research on violets and cats in 17th c France.  And because I know what happens when I hit my next mark (10 year period reached) but I basically had a year, 6 months of yesterday's writing, and 6 months of today's, when I had no idea what would happen, and physically nothing much does. Quiet, so quiet. So I went through the year quickly with just a butterfly wisp of a landing here and there at each season. And even so, I wasn't expecting the little bit that did happen to happen, so I am feeling unsure about what I wrote. But then again I am sensing that which I added needs to be there for that which happens next, to happen the way it does. (still the men in this story have been ad-libbing quite a bit, not just behind my back, but boldly facing me, while I try to explain to them that isn't the way I feel the story goes right here, they don't mind me, they do just as they please, and leave me to jot down their actions. Whose story do I think this is anyway? I have been bumped from director to witness. I guess they resented my thinking of them as minor charactors so have flung themselves more fully on the stage.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ugh, feel strange, just finished scene(s) I didn't know would be there, which I guess is sort of the point of NaNoWriMo, but I havn't been enjoying the surprises I've written. Usually I know where the story is going, and generally what is going to happen, but when i don't know what happens in a space, and then something I hadn't expected happens, rather than feeling, "wow that was cool the story has a life of its own." I'm feeling this time through like, I don't know what I am doing, or if I should be doing it. Is this scene a real scene, something that really does, should be happening, or is it, just the desperate reachings of a NaNoWriMo-er searching for words, any words?  Well, of course, I don't know, and I wont know till NaNo is over, and I have time to go back over it.  But what really is concerning me, is the tone of the thing, I hate sad stuff, and while the story is certainly romantic, what the heck is up with all the sad stuff happening? Freakin depressing fairytale.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

didn't quite make up my word count, from yesterday.  I didn't write at all yesterday, by the time I had time, it was 8pm, and I was having trouble staying awake.
Still I am pleased with the progress that I did make today, I am just finishing up now, which is way too late, but I was procrastinating getting into a scene which I didn't want to write. Even after I started writing today, I found plenty of words to stall with to keep me out of the scene, but I did eventually get there, and have written most of it.
Oh, and typing of which, I have decided that I best not make 50,000 my goal, but instead make getting to the end of the story my goal, otherwise, I might just throw all kinds of irrelevant scenes at the screen in order to keep myself from having to write the hard stuff, (whatever is painful, a.k.a sad, or makes me uncomfortable).
ugh, the research book I was reading yesterday (while my car was getting worked on), was sooo boring. Usually when I do research, I find it interesting, and inspiring, and these little light bulb sparks go off in my brain of ideas I can use, so many, like my  mind is a field of fireflies. But so far one little firefly and I can't think of that much I can do with one little firefly.

You know what I love, I love that progress bar thingy they have at NaNoWriMo, I have one too, but their's is more official, and makes me feel more accomplished when I put my numbers in, and hit update. It's like magic.

ut oh, husband just went up to bed and swore, seems washing all the bed linens is only appreciated by othes if you then, remake the bed. Guess I best put the sheets on the bed!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

8:30 pm on thursday.  Just barely made my word count. It has been a busy day with nothing happening at its usual time. I am glad though that I went to the far away library to get a book for research so hopefully I will find the time to read some of it tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

yesterday's writing made me uncomfortable, today's made me cry.  Surprising really, I knew yesterday or the day before that the pet would die, while main character was away, but today for some stupid reason i actually wrote the scene in, and my main character(Lily) was very upset, and I had the fun of finding myself crying over what upset her.  Well at least in doing so I found out for sure whether it was a cat or small dog, I was open to either, but her words where all for the loss of a cat, so that's that. Actually when she was talking about him, i saw him, some orange colored, tiger patterned being, not what I would have chosen. But now I doubt that I can change him. Hmm, I wonder if I will at least get to name him, she failed to mention his name.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

31,286.  When I started I only expected to greet 30,000 by the end of this month, so to have met that number already, I already consider the venture a success.  That said, today my words created a scene I am not at all sure I will keep in the story.  I was not comfortable when I wrote them, and I didn't do the scene well, but I knew I needed to write it, to get it out there, so I can look it over later and decide. I had intentionally skipped over it yesterday.  It's an "intimate" scene, and I'm just not sure I want that sort of thing in my stories.  I mean an allusion to, okey dokey, a kiss, an embrace, a fade to darkness, but this was a little too know. My other two stories are more young on the young adult scale, and so have none of that, this one is more teenage girl-ish.  I'm just not sure.  But whatever, this is NaNoWriMo, so I wont be spending any time tomorrow reading over it and fretting, instead, I'll move on, in a mad dash to the next scene, on and on, till I reach the end. Then and only then, will I go back, and in any real way, wonder about what the heck I've written.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

24,748  so tired, a long way past my bedtime.  My days have been too hectic for me lately, so that I've ended up having to exercise or write, at times when I normally would have been in bed.  Hopefully, that wont be the case tomorrow, or the next, or...   And now I am so tired, that it seems like so much effort to get ready for bed, almost too much of an effort.  I hate that, when I am so tired, that I end up getting less sleep because it seems like so much work to get up, and straighten things up, and go brush and floss, and take out my contacts and wash my face, and...
oh well, best get started with it already.

Friday, November 13, 2009

funny about yesterday's mention of missing sleep, last night was one of the weirdest attempts at trying to sleep ever.  I didn't exercise yet today, so I have to go do that now, otherwise I would tell my story of sleepless woe.
22,957 but that includes things like lines that go..maybe she will do such and such after such and such in the future or maybe she...(only of course the words written are filled in, not such and such). Which means I have questions, and different things I am considering adding but undecided on in it. Yep I have that stuff, typed in there right on the page, alongside the story, and I count it toward my word count.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

21,000 much harder working with hubby around, and running erands, and troubles with son's school work.  Didn't get to write yesterday, but tried to do that writing the day before, because I hoped to go to the local writer's meeting at Borders.  I made it. And I am really glad that I went.  But I am tired, missing out on sleep, and yesterday's workout never happened.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

19,262 is word count on laptop, but some of it is more notes than writing, details listed, not truly changed and worked in.  I'm not sure if I will have time to write tomorrow so I tried to do some of that today.  But it didn't flow well.  I needed to do some research and was having trouble finding it, and then the boy and the man that I live with kept interupting me to share really important stuff like, "hey did you know those snow blowers that I like cost $400 something."  me "yeah, that's great, super."  Why was he telling me that?  I guess because he wants one but can't see parting with the money.  But why yell it to me from in the next room when he knows I'm trying to write.  And my complaining about it, didn't deter him from other loud comments about TV, or just general observations about...nothing. And I do mean loud, as I had my ipod on to try and drown out any distracting sounds.  And when he finally relocated out of ear shot, the boy arrived.  So I did get some words in, and ones that do matter, but I wasn't able to feel into the story and really write.  I'm finding that researching while writing does help fill in details, but it definitely effects flow, and emotional energy.

Monday, November 9, 2009

16,785 for NaNo.  Husband has off this week.  And that is definitely making it harder to get my words down.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My 13 year old son helped me work on my html on the right, so I could bring my NaNo project Fountain of Swans up to the top and record my progress.  He laughed at me when I complained about my inability to make breaks between lines. I said, "I keep hiting return and making spaces, but nothing changes!" He quickly typed in the correct code, with a sideways shake of his head.  I swear I could read his mind, "Ugh, parents, they are so stupid, couldn't survive without me. What can you do."  Whatever, I'll take the condescension as long as he fixes my blog.
done for the night, actually I thought I was done before, and am surprised I kept going. It feels odd to stop now, as I am in a place that makes me sad ( if I keep going will I write myself past/out of this emotion, or merely be walking deeper into it?).  I was not expecting this, some background character has stepped forward and made me care about him, by making the main character care about him, which I don't think will change what happens in the story, but does effect how I feel about it.  It is getting late though, and perhaps it is best to let things set with me over night, and come back to them tomorrow. Actually I wish I could set this feeling down until tomorrow, rather then keep it with me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

not sure about the scenes I'm writing, I write whatever dialogue appears no matter how bad, and I am as always unsure about how to handle the passage of time, and there are gaps, and no discriptive details for setting(s). But, still, I am pleased that I keep going. Going where, with what, I don't know, but hey I am doing, I am going, so there, there is that. I have that, whatever that is. And I am happy about it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

7,850  Spent too much time at ortho with son, and then errands, wish I had written more.  Done for today now, it is almost 8pm on Thursday (aka I am going to watch TV).  I did manage to write notes, and pieces in my notebook while at ortho, so at least I have more stuff to add tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

5,800 not doing a lot but definitely doing.  And the words are new, so far I haven't used any from a previous try at Swans.
8:30 at 6,524
I wont work any more tonight, my mind needs time to turn off so I can sleep.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

4,779, Day 3 of NaNo, behind if I am going for the 50,000 goal, but I am going instead for 1,000 a day, so I feel fine with where I am.  Writing this is a lot different than the year before last when I did Echo.  This is much more just writing down whatever, sometimes just stating what will happen next, rather than discribing it, not even trying to. If I don't know, I vaguely suggest it, then move on.  My words are not at all well chosen, they are more merely thrown down.  Whatever comes, down it goes.  Nothing finished, nothing precious about it.  At best it will be an underpainting, maybe even just a primer.  There is dialogue in it, and all that, but with Echo, I knew more ahead of time, there was research and preparation, this time I still don't know my character's voices, who they are.  It feels so strange to just keep plowing forward without worrying about all the unknowns, or about getting it right.  I am writing badly, but freely, and today I must say even easily.  Because nothing I wrote needed to be qualified. When going for quantity rather than quality so far, it is easier to move things along.  And knowing I will have to rewrite it, and rework it all later, I'm finding appealing rather than making me feel like writing it this way lacks value. Writing this way means it is okay to get it wrong, okay to guess.  Later I will still have tons of questions I need to answer, I will still struggle over sentences, and the best way to say something, but while I am doing all that I will have some structure, a lot more than I had before this.  And I will have answered some of my questions.  So even if I stop NaNoWriMo tomorrow, I will have made some useful progress, moved myself farther along this story path.  And knowing that, I see no reason why I should stop tomorrow.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I didn't write anything yet today.  I did do some research which has resulted in my being even more confused about the time the story takes place then I was before.  Yeah!  Oh but I have narrowed it down to 1450-1850, like that's helpful.  I really need to do more research, but I also feel the pull to work on the word count, to force myself to write something, and to figure out the details later.  But I really do need to narrow it down to no more than a 100 year span.  Or else I don't wont know enough to write anything.  Ugh.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I can't seem to work the type out right.  Anyway, started NaNoWriMo today.  Not going so well, but whatever, I've started working on it, and that's um...something.  529 words, if it isn't too cold I'm going rollerblading for a few, to wake up my brain a bit. Then I will write some more. So far what I've got isn't anything interesting to read, no good opening paragraphs, more like I'm discovering information and writing it down, like I am introducing me to the characters in a rather straight forward uninspired way, but I must start somewhere and somehow, today, and leave making it better to the future. Or else I shall just spend the month staring a blank computer screen.
    Admittedly though I am still not good at editing.  Last year I also intended to work on writing A Fountain of Swans but spent the month attempting to edit Echo instead; something that I am still struggling with figuring out how to do right/well.  But this year, I figure maybe I can learn more from working on another story; maybe each one will teach me stuff I can then lend to making both of them better.  So here I begin a month of trying to write, what is pretty much a fairytale, A Fountain of Swans.  I doubt I will finish (meaning 50,000 NaNo mark).  I've got plenty of research that needs to be done, but I am commited to spending time every day with my but in a chair, researching, writing, and dreaming my way into this world, and it into mine.  Wish me luck, and wings.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Icky day with Husband*, got lost (couple of times), got stuck in traffic, two hours spent in transit one way. By the time we got there we had no time to actually be anywhere we tried to go.  But do to extreme boredom while trapped in car,  I did manage to work on my writing a bit.  I am trying to make some of the changes suggested by reading How to Write a Damn Good Novel 2.  I was pleased to have immediately seen where and how I could apply some of them to what I already had going on. But as I worked on it, I was a bit surprised by my own resistance. I've read my work, there is no drive forward, no suspense; it would seem logical seeing this need, to supply it.  But, so doing the tone is different.  It was light before, flitting above the surface, mellow and calm.  It had a certain kind of poetry to it, soft breeze. If I make these changes (a colder more tumultuous wind, that bandies one about a bit), then the whole mood changes; which part of me realizes is necessary and the rest of me is throwing a fit against.  I wrote down the changes, and worked on the scenes, but it is all still on separate pieces of paper. I am hesitant to step fully into a different version of my story. Hesitant to surrender calmer weather, for more storms, in the hopes that someone will turn a page.

(*husband himself is generally not icky)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

 In my last post, I forgot to mention that (getting distracted along my way to making a point as usual), later that day, I read an email from the local writer's guild, and for our annual conference, James. N. Frey (not the guy who wrote a million little pieces) will be the keynote speaker.  So having just been inspired by him, I am now really looking forward to this conference. 

 The bad news is I am already behind today with getting my workout done.  The good news, the reason is because I was writing, adding more to a scene in Echo.  Finally, finally I am writing again.  And I don't just mean plunking my butt down in a chair, and staying there till I get nice long strings of words on a page (though that is the most important part); I mean thinking about the story and writing in my head, when I am brushing my teeth, and driving the car.  Story has come back to weave in and out of my every day life again. Little whisperings.  Perhaps then there really might be a writer someplace inside me.  Hopefully I can stay attuned to this, and keep working, and learn new ways of working, so I can bring my life closer to a time, when I can know she is there, and be that writer.

Monday, October 5, 2009

As usual time is flying by.  October, really?  I've set this month down for getting back to work, aka editing.  I was sitting in my car today, in the public library parking lot, reading an overdue book.  I was trying to get as much of it read as I could and drop it in the overnight bin, before the library opened, increasing the amount I owed.  I got halfway through, sorta sad really when you consider I hadn't managed to read any of it in the three weeks (or was it 6?) that I had it at home.  The reason for my mentioning it at all is, it was James N Frey's, How to Write a Damn Good Novel 2.  And I understood it, and it made sense to me, and I actually felt inspired (to fix my mistakes, and develop new skills). Which is quite a feat as nothing else I have read, in trying to learn how to edit, has done that.  I think I actually understand the why and how of my lacking suspense, and I feel like I may be able to create it, or at least now I know how to try to.  So to me, internally, sitting in a library parking lot today, was a great big deal.  The rusty cobwebbed cogs are turning!  Go gears go.  The whimsical me is all set to go dreaming again.  And the worker to forge a path by hacking away the underbrush and overgrowth.  October, what I need during thee is to believe.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My husband saw this photo the other day, that I took on a day trip to the shore, and sadly used it to to check for hair loss on the back of his head.  Perhaps I should have told him why I took it.  I was walking a few paces behind them (because my right foot hurt), and as I looked forward (wondering who these people were that I was hobbling after and why I was bothering) thought, "that is my whole life right there in front of me, my whole world contained in two people."  Now I don't mean I am not about anything else, for of course I am.  What I mean is, I felt how deeply important they are to me.  I felt there inherent value in my life, and how connected we are.  I am a mom and a wife, and in the whole world, these are my people, and I am theirs'. And it was all good, it was better than good. My family, our family, us. There was peace in it, contentment, and a bit of that wispy butterfly...happiness.

And lately I am finding that my happiness is not wispy and sheer, feelings of joy do flutter, they come and go, intense for a moment then fade, I do often feel tired (and look it), and I am still surprised by how often I get stressed out over things that ultimately don't matter, but as I get older I find that underneath these moments of feeling, running through connecting all to each other, is a stability of feeling which I would call at its core happy. I would not describe it as the happiness of giddy laughter, but the happiness of things feeling right. We are still working on the details, as individuals, and as a family,  of how we want to be in the world, and how we want to be with each other, but it's good. It's better than good. And I am grateful. Grateful to have these two people to hobble after on a sunny hot August day, these people who can really drive me nuts.  My people. My family. Us. I don't want to be part of any other story.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Check out the Bleeding Espresso link (down quite a bit and over to the right) for a contest which hopes to increase our ovarian cancer awareness (and thus decrease our risks).
I will be reading more about it myself, but can't now as my husband is sitting next to me; he is a nice and rather chatty fellow (who likes to share whatever he is thinking or looking at, like showing me pics of, "rad skateboard designs"), rendering me unable to read or think.

I do know there is some connection with foods that have the letter O

Thursday, August 27, 2009

favicon- my son made me one; and he is insisting that I mention it here, right now, (and show you a larger version of it) before we can go to sleep, so...

Hey look, I have a favicon!
It's a pink bunny in a peachy peach.

and he also encouraged me relentlessly today, until I did, to make some appearance changes to my blog.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Portrait of a couple

Family portrait

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rollerblading at twilight. I'm gliding down the street, the trees and houses taking on the glinting light from the setting sun. The warmth of day mingled with the cooling breeze of darkness. Birds, dragonflies and butterflies, my fairy companions, as we occupy the same space at the same time, yet remain in separate worlds. My hair flows back behind me, my checks take on heat and color. I skate along to the music of my ipod, and I realize, I am happy. I feel both old and young in the activity. I am 39 and this is my version of going out on a Saturday night, which doesn't seem quite right, I tell myself surely I should being doing something more exciting, or something more dutiful, but as I search for other options, I realize there isn't somewhere else, or something else I would rather be doing at the moment. My husband is still at work. And my son is inside making his dinner; he refuses to eat what I make, though often employs me as his sous chef, and always as his dishwasher. It would feel different if my son was here with me, more of a legitimate activity, a family activity. But as I have taken up rollerblading, he has taken up learning htlm, and c++ code. Odd to think that as I have been outside doing something akin to play, he has been inside working. But of course I approach the skating as exercise, and he approaches computer code, as entertainment. And on that idea is where I have come to rest. How I view what I am doing effects how I experience it. So why don't I set down the calorie burning thoughts and think about fun instead? Well, because it would feel wrong, it would feel too luxurious to admit the truth, that I am playing. With everything that needs to be done, and all the things everywhere that have come undone, here I am, and like a child I am playing. And so that is the question of it. Work or play? On the one hand the answer is nothing of consequence, for the activity, the time it takes, what happens, is the same either way, but on the other, the way it feels, it is everything. Do I hold onto laps, and calories, and notions of cardiovascular fitness to legitimize my rollerblading, or do I toss that merrily aside and embrace freely, brazenly, playing.

by the bye,
writing. realizing the problem with the whole actual sentence thing. Feedback I got from cousin on Echo about how I try to push some nonsentences as sentences which of course makes no sense to her. So I did put IS and ARE in some sentences here to make them um...sentences, but for some reason they just didn't sound right to me, though I knew they were right. (The warmth of day is mingled with the cooling breeze of darkness. Birds, dragonflies, and butterflies, are my fairy companions, as we occupy the same space, at the same time, yet belong to separate worlds.) Yes, I suppose is and are should be there. But somehow they seem like pebbles, in the way of my skating wheels, something I would trip and fall over. Why? Of no interest to you I am sure, but I have to work this one out. Tune my ear.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I've never had a summer of so little sleeping ( well except of course for when my son was a baby). I don't know what's wrong. Nothing exciting is happening, nothing stressful. But for some reason I am fighting to sleep. I am always tired, so each night I feel grateful as I climb the stairs, and plop myself into bed. But I am also wary and weary, anticipating the struggle, that stands in place of the longed for serenity of sleep.

I'm exercising so it isn't the lack of being physically tired. And now I keep thinking I'm running out of days, too soon it will be September and I will have less time and more stress, taking away sleep. (which of course isn't helping me relax and go to sleep, "hurry up and sleep now, who knows when you will get this chance again!"

I keep wondering if it is the writing, I mean the lack of it, perhaps creating a subconscious gnawing feeling, like hunger that keeps one awake, the distant uneasy feeling of something left perpetually undone. I don't know if that could be it, that seems too simple, but then as it is so simple why not try it? yet somehow I resist again and again doing it to see if that would make a difference. I know I wander in unease at night. My body seems still, my mind seems still (filled with nothing), but I am perpetually wandering in a place of unease, that lies vast and long, between being awake, and being asleep. I set my daydreams in my mind, as I have always done, to lead me from one state to the next, but I keep losing them along the way, and am lost in nothingness.

An unusual photo to pick. I was looking for one blurry and grey, a blue rain day. But this one called to me instead. The fire somehow being sleep, bright in the darkness, and the one tending the fire, being a gate keeper of sorts, the one who would keep me out, or invite me in. And that is my riddle, what tasks must I do so the guardian of sleep will let me enter. (if I knew how to photo shop, I could be rid of the chair, which detracts, but perhaps then that represents the so far, immovable object)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

just back from a week at the Jersey shore; I'm very grateful that it didn't rain. I had a wonderful time, but I did get a bit stressed over stuff like trying to pack up my family's life, and squish it into my little green beetle. It would be different if things like pillows, blankets, towels, beach towels, tissues, tp, spices, hand soap, etc., didn't need to be packed. And also if I wasn't a woman, and didn't need to pack for rain for shine, for heat, for cold, for sun with a breeze, for beach, for boardwalk, for bike riding. Oh wait, I miss it already, I would gladly make another go of squashing it all back in there if I could have another week.
Read Twilight while there. I had no intention of reading said book, but my sister in law was fourth person to recommend it, and did so the day before I left, and with a flush of enthusiasm for Edward (male lead). I could prattle on now about the things that do not impress me about that book, and maybe later I will, but perhaps I should just be mute, for the point is moot, I am hooked, I am on to New Moon, and know for certain I will not stop till I have read all the books in the series. In fact I wish to be reading one right now. It is just that at the beach one can sit in a chair, feet in the sand, nose in a book for an hour, or three, and it all seems perfectly legitimate, but at home, if I take the same beach chair and set in my backyard, and plop myself down there for a spell, well it just seems indulgent and lazy, and a bit odd. Though I do keep declaring that I am doing laundry at the same time, but there is this nagging feeling that the washing machine and dryer are actually doing the majority of the work while I'm not really doing anything. And I can't help but notice all the weeds that took to my yard vibrantly while I was away. But still it is Sunday, a designated day off. I could be on vacation for one more day; I could take the linens from the dryer and toss them on my bed, and shove the clean wet towels into the dryer, and put another dirty pile into the wash, and..and..go outside, with a book and sit in the sunshine, with the lovely breeze, and only notice the flowers in my yard (not the weeds), faintly hearing the birds, and the children of summer, till I drift away, from seeing a page of printed words, to that magic when you no longer see the words, and see only pictures, as you peer into another world.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Joined facebook, because both a friend and my mom asked me to. Still not really sure what one does there, but assume I will figure it out by and by.
Tired of the whole raining thing.
Looking forward to Harry Potter movie coming out.
Writing? I know I need to do a rewrite; now I've just got to get on with doing it. All I really need is the right frame of mind. I just don't seem able to find one.
I've still been focusing on losing weight instead of writing. I've lost about 10 pounds, which has me thinner than my chubby clothes, but heavier than my thin clothes. To truly wear my thin clothes, I probably need to lose 5 more pounds; I'm just not sure about that actually happening; but I am happy to have made it this far. I feel (and look) more like myself.
I went rollerblading down our street yesterday. It was embarrassing because I know I look old, and at first I was very unsteady (it's been years). But I ended up having a good time, and because I felt foolish, the activity brought forth a childlike giddiness. It was good to have a nice laugh at myself.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The start of summer. Not officially, but the start of summer vacation for my son, which makes it the start of our summer schedule, or lack there of, depending. For the past week I've been thinking that I need to create a summer schedule, but I also don't like the idea as it seems anti-summer to do so. Summer, ideally, lazy unstructured days focused around sunshine and fun, days by the pool, trips to the beach, barefoot in soft green grass, sitting under a shady canopy from trees, smelling the flowers; outings of mini-golf and amusement parks for Bob and Cheese. But I might not get things done without one, or I might spend all my time worrying about, stressing over trying to get this or that done, and not know when to relax. So..
I'm trying to work out my summer schedule. So far all I have is Sunday off (yep thought of that all by myself I did. :) ) no exercising, yard work,trying to learn how to sew, writing or editing, on Sundays. Now all I have to do is figure out how many days and what times of the day I'm going to do all of that stuff. Writing of which, I'm supposed to be exercising right now, 6 days a week before 12 in the afternoon, is my idea for that one. I have let too many days get away from me lately, and I am miserable when I am working- out at 9 or 10pm. Oh well, I guess I best do that now, I haven't figured out when my blogging time will be, but clearly it can't be before my working out time; because that just wont work out. :)
I know I wont be back today though, as I must, I must, finally finish my planting.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

I'm still around. Just can't seem to find time. First exercising and son playing with 8 year old triplets from next door. Then exercising and planting (oh and weeding, have some kind of itchy red poison on arms; it is easy to stop the itchy feeling though, all you do is scratch till it is displaced by pain). Spent time cleaning for home appraisal with intention of getting better mortgage loan rate. Two weeks left of school (keeping after my son to do, and then actually turn in his homework, is strangely a full time job). I haven't been blogging, blog visiting, reading, writing, editing, or researching. My intention is that, that will all change any gosh darn day now.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Me in an apron.
It's a funny thing getting older, I've discovered I like aprons. Primarily because I am a mess and they keep me from ruining my clothes, but also some of them are kind of cute, and there is something about putting one on, something ritual, routine, and yet costome-y about it, my domestic cape, that is warm and encouraging, while I am certainly no super mom, no super cook, still I find a charm in wearing one, which is quite the opposite of the effect I would have expected.

There is of course more going on in my life then wearing an arpon, but this is it for the time I have at the moment. I hope to be back Monday to discuss the writing conference. Happy almost Easter.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

easily replaced?
I was amazed at how happy the cat was for this stand in. I actually had to chase him off of her twice during the building process; he just couldn't wait to nap on her lap. It is rather a shame though that I can only get a double to take up leisure activities in my place. If only she could replace me by doing stuff like fixing dinner and washing the dishes. The cat did not enjoy her for long though, Cheese insisted that this St. Patrick's day leprechaun prank was creepy, and had me disassemble her. (this year since he knew that I was the pranker, he critiqued my work)
I've been pretty busy lately with Cheese and troubles with school, primarily over his homework, lots of late nights, plenty of fights, and tension, but we are both working on a new attitude. And the school guidance counselor told me how important it is NOT to let such things become the focus of our relationship. So I am trying not to tuck my frustration in my pocket, but to just let it go, while still offering structure and support (and discipline). And it is going much better, perhaps because Cheese has been begging for a husky, and Bob has told him we will only consider it if he starts keeping up with his current responsibilities, aka school. Or because we have all changed our emotional approach to the situation.
Cheese and I have started going to look at puppies (though personally I am not keen on the idea), and we were going for long walks (walk and talks, 5 miles for our feet, and Cheese tells me what is on his mind, including chatting about girls, and making up stories). But we haven't done much of that lately as he has started hanging out with the 8 year old triplets from across the street (two boys and one girl) and that has been a bit of change in our day to day lives. We never know when they will come over, we might not see them for days, possibly a week will go by, or we might see them four days in a row. Their presence brings quite a different energy to our house, unlike anything we are used to. We enjoy them but we do get overwhelmed at times (setting boundaries and enforcing discipline are not my strengths). And now when they aren't here Cheese complains about how quiet the house is. (I have noticed that they distract him from asking for a puppy :))
I really haven't been working on my writing, it seems like I never have any time to...I have started exercising regularly again (which is good), I just need to figure out how to fit everything I need to into my days. I am very nervous about the writing conference this Friday and Saturday, but I am excited about it informing and reinvigorating my writing. Give me those spark plugs baby.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

busy with the day to day, we had water intermittently over the weekend, then none Monday. We now have a new well pump in place, goodbye $2,651 dollars, hello water. (we still can't drink it, but we smell better, and so does the house.
Science fair (part 2)on Sat., orthodontist today, DMV tomorrow.
Still having quite the struggle getting Cheese to do (and hand-in) his homework.
I was getting all sorts of cherry (duh, Cheery) with the warmer days, but my mood has gotten a bit chillier with the snow and frigid weather. I'm also boo-hoo-ing a bit because I can't really afford to go to the Philadelphia flower show, but I have signed myself up for the totally terrifying writing conference that is happening later this month. I will be totally out of my comfort zone, but I think it will be good for my writing. I haven't made any hands on progress with it lately (2 months), but at least I have made some mental progress, as far as being able to see more clearly, and understand that some things need to be changed. I'm learning a bit about my editing style, or absorbing of info style, read how-to book, or hear some practical information regarding editing, throw fit, slam down book, walk away, say, "You don't know what you are talking about. You are an idiot." Have myself a nice little tantrum. Find self thinking about the info for days afterward, till finally most (but certainly not all) of it sinks in, and seems worthwhile and to make good sense. Then I start thinking about how I might apply it to my work. Still working on my follow through strategy as I tend to stall out, pages in hand, pen poised midair. Like Pooh Bear all this straining to think seems to get me nowhere except off to look for pots of honey, and wondering what Piglet and Christopher Robin might be up to, and worrying if there might be a woozel hiding under my bed. Oh never mind honey pots calling me, I see plenty of pots calling to me from my kitchen sink, all of them dirty. Well as my water supply has been restored, so too should cleanliness be. I just tried to do like Mrs. Weasley and have my magical mind make it happen from here, didn't work. Drat.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I found this on the back of my son's homework.
Family portrait by Cheese.

I was going through his papers and I am sorry to say I easily spotted my frizzy haired self. Cheese told me originally my head was much larger like a giant balloon but he couldn't focus for laughing so much, so he made it smaller.
Obviously I added color to create the series. I like how doing so seems to effect the mood of the family.
February 13th post that has been hanging around in drafts

I'm feeling more optimistic about editing. I hope this feeling will last through some actual editing.
(that was three days ago, since then.)
I got irritated with the people I know for not enjoying my writing, so I decided to do some simple tweaking of it, so I could show it to other people....I printed it out, and read several pages. I didn't enjoy it at all, no energy, no atmosphere. No wonder my readers aren't excited. This realization caused my mood to plummet. I had the woe is me-s. I am so awful at everything, there is nothing, NOTHING, I am good at. I have no graces, no talents, I stink at this, that, and the other thing. Bad wife, bad mother, no domestic skills, not attractive...yada yada yada (I mean why limit myself to a writing bash when I can bash myself about everything?)
That was the mood I was in Wednesday while I went on my walk. It was a beautiful day. It is better though to walk angry than sad, angry moves quickly, sad meanders and mopes, feeling sorry for itself, drifting back and forth between edge of road, and grass.
During my walk I saw a low stone fence, created without mortar, just round stones, and sharp ones, resting, wedged, interlocking like a puzzle. And suddenly I wanted to be that fence, to be something, anything, connected, solid, holding. A low break against wind and snow, standing year after year.
Reading my work I felt it as a visible struggling, that was what it manifested, the stress of a writer desperately trying to say something, not the concerns of the characters, not their story, but mine, I saw the ugly strain of my attempt, I read failing. Struggling, like I can not hear my own voice and am wildly screaming and screeching, trying desperately to hear, to be heard, but without confidence in my ability to make true sounds, nerves and stress mangle my thoughts into harsh broken noises.

Last night I didn't feel up to going to the writer's meeting at our local bookstore. I had never gone before, but thought I should because next month is a writer's conference, which is expensive, and really scary to me (alone in a prolonged social situation with many strangers in places unknown.) and if I intend to attend, I better start by dipping my toe in this bracing pool now. I decided to just go check it out from a distance, pretend to read a magazine or something.

I'm so glad I went. I was nervous and had to be invited over by the woman who gave the editing talk at the library on Monday. I thought it was just going to be random talk about the writing life, but there was a topic and a print out, and then reading aloud and critiques. Anyway..they were inviting, understanding, and energizing. Others who have traveled the road I am on. They were encouraging and eager to offer ideas and tips. Rather than a lone failure (I'm a loser baby..), I felt like I was part of something, connected to others also working on trying to become authors.

They talked about editing, ways of approaching it, ripping out sections (ripping out your heart), of the possibility of needing to set the draft aside and start writing all over at the beginning. Bracing words, a shiver at the thought of doing such work, tearing stuff down, starting over, yet also the bracing support of others holding me up making me feel strong enough to do it.
I didn't want to go, but now I know I needed to. I could join this group, be part of round and jagged stones, set together, creating a low lying fence, a break against wind and snow. Forming something, a group of people who write, we could stand together year after year.
In this simple act of going from a lone stone at the periphery of my yard, to a stone set with other stones, all jagged and smooth in different ways, but each striving to be more, a boundary of being could be built,

this post is almost two weeks old, and both long and incomplete, but I've decided to publish it so my thoughts can keep moving forward.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nearby, even have an unfinished real post. But currently all tied up in knots over child and school.

read cat picture as SCREAMING, not yawning (though I am indeed tired.)

Monday, February 9, 2009

I've been quite busy lately with..It takes a village. As in it takes a village to get my son to do any of his school assignments. And this year there are all these big long term project thingies, history day, science fair. I am trying to readjust my mindset so that it stops being a continual source of stress. Because a stressed out me is no good for me, and no good for my son, or for my husband who I keep trying to get to take my place in the whole helping our son get from point A to well actually maybe that should be from point D to point A.

A person who does manuscript editing for cash is speaking at my local library tonight. I went last year to hear her and I'm thinking she is just going to say the same things, but still I'm probably going to go. I need to get back on track with my writing and maybe this will help me to do so. I did make the tiniest bit of progress the night I was so sick I couldn't sleep at all. Just little things that I liked...a swan graveyard, a secret door leading to a hidden staircase, etc. little clues and riddles to decorate the story with. Little things certainly but for me emotionally helpful flourishes.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

mood a bit..I don't know what word fits..
Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 39, probably a good time for self reflection and what not, but my stomach virus had derailed any deep thoughts into merely, "God, I never want to feel this awful again."

Yesterday I felt my energy coming back, felt more like myself. I took Cheese to an orthodontist for a second opinion concerning Invisalign (this one recommended braces instead). After school, I was a bit bummed that not only did my husband not take off for my birthday but he was also working till 10PM. But I was able to put butter on the raisin bagel I ate, that was festive. At about 9PM my best friend from college called to wish me a happy birthday and that meant a lot to me, and suddenly I was cheery and chatty. After I got ready for bed I did what I always do before getting into bed, I went in to check on my son. Sometimes I just look in on him, but often I still lean in to listen and make sure he is breathing. He sleeps with a CD (on repeat) now (a woman singing in Japanese) so I have to lean in close for a second to hear him. As I did this, he popped up abruptly (which he sometimes does, as a 'haha I'm awake!') and his head crashed into mine. I grabbed my nose, started whimpering sharply, and felt the blood coming down into my hand. I ran for the bathroom leaving a blood trail behind me. Blood dripping down my chin, all over the sink, my hands, running down to my elbow. Thank goodness Bob was home by then, he had been yelling, "what's wrong?" forever downstairs and now came up to find out. He ordered me to apply pressure to my nose, and tilt my head back slightly. I started to feel nauseous and faint (probably from some blood dripping into my stomach and because I was hyperventilating a bit). I got into bed, took tylenol, applied an ice pack to my face (which Bob told me to do, but which I had to go downstairs to get for myself). Oh how I wished I was sleeping. I couldn't figure out how I had come to find myself in such a situation. It took a lot of harassing Bob to get him to at all clean up the blood trail on the carpet, he kept saying he didn't know how to clean it, and trying to go back downstairs to watch television. I didn't fall asleep before 1am, I couldn't breathe through my nose, and my nose hurt, and after awhile I realized there was no rest till I washed the blood off of my elbow and foot. But I did finally sleep. Ah sleep. Sleep is great.

I was a bit disappointed that Cheese didn't ask me how I was this morning, he never even got out of bed last night when it happened. Though clearly an accident and not his fault, I still would have liked an 'I'm sorry." Whenever I have accidently hurt him I have always said, "Im sorry". He didn't wish me happy birthday yesterday either. Of course he did both after some serious prompting.

Anyway so here I am, no much swollen and only a bit black and blue along the left side of the bridge. I'm fine. But it was an odd sort of a birthday. And I am in an odd sort of a mood. You know being sick leading up to my birthday in a way I hadn't been sick in 11 years, and then the finale of closing that day like that. I live a rather careful slow paced life, and am not used to any sort of physical trauma, and though the damage is slight, for me it was indeed traumatic. I truly hope that last night was the finale, I am a bit concerned about what might be lying in wait round the corner.
Yes, I seem to have lost my pep, maybe that is it there upstairs staining the carpet, perhaps after I go up and truly clean it out, it will be abosorbed back into me.
Well the good new is, all this has distracted me from any trauma I might have felt over turning 39. It is just good to be here, be well, and not have any parts broken.

(Cheese says the discoloration doesn't really show because my face is rather multicolored already. I'm sorry to say he is right.)

now if I could just get some decent pancakes...I know my mood would brighten.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

sick. At least finally well enough to go online for a couple of minutes. I hadn't been sick like this in 11 years. I can't remember ever having gone an entire day without eating anything like I did on Friday and I was too sick to sleep or watch tv. Miserable. Yesterday I had a small banana and a soft pretzel, and was able to watch movies :)!! Today my son, who has no other interest in the super bowl, keeps asking, "what are we going to make to eat for the super bowl!" Actually we were supposed to go out to eat to celebrate my birthday (which happens later this week), but my current food ambition doesn't go beyond hoping I can eat some diced pear and not regret it.
"What do you think, fish and chips or corn dogs?" He just asked me. Obviously I can't eat either. I just hope whatever my husband and son make the smell isn't nauseating, and that they clean up afterward. (my refusal, over the past two days, to clean up after either one of them has caused some tension between them, but eh..I have faith that they can survive one more day.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sunday night, I was flipping through channels, and stopped now and again on a PBS show about Iran

It was wonderful, it was beautiful to see. Always I see certain countries through the lens of politics, of troubles, in the news, always sand and guns. But this was different. Travel. Hills like red clay, separated by glowing green grass. Cream colored building taking on warm tints of coral. Food, architecture, culture, people. Beautiful people. Young people who were not saying anything about hate; warm, lovely, friendly, faces.

Now, I know the world is still the same as it was before, the politics, the troubles, they are not gone. But I thought of how nice it would be to only look through this lens. Just being interested in other people and how they live. What a beautiful world it would be. It did my heart good, made me happy, to see this country in a different way.
Sometimes the news drags me down, till it all seems war and strife, and that everyone hates us. I realize I too often let myself be fed a media diet of limited images. Yes there is war and strife, yes there are those that hate us; but there is also so much beauty. And mostly people are just people, wanting the same things, and wanting to harm no one.
Like my prayers at night, not limited prayers for one country, but prayers for all people everywhere. I want to say something that sounds a bit deeper, but the trouble is that Peggy Lee song keeps playing in my head, and I might as well just surrender to it,
"My wish for you, sweet happy life."

all images off wikipedia, except the last one, that was off a politcal wordpress.

Monday, January 19, 2009

starting of a brand new day

I'm still working on my New Year's resolutions, you know it's not good to jump into these things to quickly. I'm trying to decide what is really important to me, and what goes at the top getting the most time and energy and what gets fit in when it can. Last year I put writing on top and gained weight. I don't want to remove writing from the top spot (of personal pursuits). But I am not enjoying the way my body currently looks. I don't feel like me. I wish I could lose weight without making that the primary focus of my time and energy.
So far the feedback for my writing (Echo) has been scant. My mom did say some things about the prologue needing work, and my cousin did tell me that the grammar is very bad, "at times not really even writing sentences." I took those kind of hard. As I did the fact that none of them have made much progress with reading it. The energy for writing has really been knocked out of me, it has felt rather pointless to pursue. (Why bother? is the attitude I keep trying to ditch) But my husband not known previously as a pep talker, has certainly decided to be one now. He has told me to keep going forward, keep writing, telling me he likes my writing, and that the areas that need improvement, are areas, with work, that can without a doubt be improved. I say, "But why spend my life pursuing a dream that can never be, it is pointless." And he says, "What other way is there to spend a life?" And then I think of that, what other way would I want to spend my time. To let go of the dream, to pursue nothing, is certainly not an improvement. I wouldn't like such emptiness. One can of course change one's dream and pursue something else. But he is right in knowing that I am not at that point yet. I am still only at the beginning of this journey. I must fail a lot more before I know whether or not I can succeed. And I might as well finish the stories I have started that I long to see all the way through.
I wish I wasn't taking it so hard, this lack of feedback, and then a few negative words, but handing someone Echo is like handing them a fragment of my soul. Dramatic words I know, but it feels entirely true. My other storeis are part of me too, but not in the same way, not to the same degree. I knew it needed work certianly, I asked for feedback to help me improve it, but they are finding things wrong with the parts I thought were fine. And no one seems to be connecting with it, feeling and seeing any part of it as meaningful or beautiful. So that is the source of my sadness.
So I am trying to move forward with the writing but I am doing so on wobbly legs. On the positive side, I am really touched by my husband. I mean perhaps when married it should be obvious that one loves the other, but I haven't truly felt it so, merely so, but not deeply so. But in this, that he didn't say, "Yeah you suck, why are you wasting your time, and our time. You should be learning how to cook better, and looking after us more. Go get a job outside the house to bring in more money." I have felt keenly his love for me. He has validated my pursuit of a dream, knowing it may bring him nothing, and even take time away from him. He has validated it knowing I long to pursue it, knowing how much it means to me. There have been times when I would have, and have, fought for this privilege, for time, mine. But not lately. I have stood before him more or less defeated, feeling I had no right, to take such time as my own, to sit alone for hours with pen and page. Sadly at this point I felt, I feel, I need permission, and I have been amazed that he has given it to me. Not reluctantly, not under coercion, but freely, abundantly, heaping it on me like a directive. With a little bit of tone that I would ever leave the question of pursuing my dreams up to the opinions of other people.
God am I grateful.

I don't have my new year's resolutions down yet, I'm still forming them in my head, but I do know that writing wont be pushed down around the edges. Not this year. I must finish the other two stories.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

We have a temporary house guest. We named her Poppy Strudel.

Sebastian keeps begging for just a little taste.
She likes to sit in her food dish while she dines.

She is soon to be joined by 5 brown mice, if we can ever find such, so far we can only find white mice with red eyes which I sweetly call possessed or evil mice. Why the rodent invasion? Science fair project. Which involves having them run on a wheel(with a generator) to see if they can generate enough power to light a night light or some such.
I've read Robo hamsters can go up to 20 miles a night on there wheels and watching her I believe it.

Here she is in her litter box. Yes! A hamster litter box. She loves it! No she doesn't go to the bathroom in it (like the box claims) but she finds it makes a great tunnel and she likes the way the little balls feel under her feet.

I have nothing to do with the science project, as it is way over my head, my job is care (aka clean-up) and feeding of critters. And I have no intention of keeping any of them (though I do find Poppy quite cute).

I do hope we are able to find them suitable homes after the project is completed.

by the bye,
I am having a little bit of trouble picking a theme that shows all the type. And since I can't figure out how to adjust the color within a theme, I'm choosing a theme based on text visibility.

I don't know if anyone of my family members has made progress reading Echo; I think not. And the research for Swans is slow going, as I am not at all enjoying reading The History of Private Life, so far. It seems to take a ton of words to say anything, I just want info, short and sweet, not ideas. Usually I like ideas, but not when researching.