Wednesday, August 31, 2005

And that's all she wrote

Well, I'm done. I have finished my first book. 56,080 words. Of course, I've already thought of 2 scenes I want to add in during revision...and who knows what I'll find once I actually read back over the thing. Some of it I haven't looked at in ages.

But it is done. Whoo-hoo! Dance of Joy! So, anyone that wanted to help be a reader, drop me your email at . And I seriously do want your honest thoughts. If you think it sucks rocks, then tell me. If you hate the heroine, tell me. If you hate me, well, you can just darn well keep that to yourself.


New Orleans is essentially gone. I can't even imagine what it must be like there right now, the proud houses buried in water and debris. It makes any little problems I have seem trivial, eh? I don't want to even think about the potential death toll. When did we start using the phrase 'death toll' anyway? That's almost up there with collateral damage.

Anyway. I got a bit more in last night: 53,849. Essentially one chapter left to go. I'm working on that now, sitting out on the porch. After yesterday's rain, it is absolutely beautiful today. Glorious.

We were talking last night at dinner about what people value and how different each list must be. We each had to pick 20 things. I wish I'd written them down as I'd said them, because today's list is bound to be different. And I have a challenge for all of you -- Muhammed, Dave (ha, maybe I'll make you start a blog), Pam, Saundra, Kim...anyone else reading. What are your 20 things?

  1. art
  2. creativity
  3. kindness
  4. harmony
  5. beauty
  6. intelligence
  7. a willingness to learn
  8. love
  9. truth
  10. originality
  11. conviction
  12. taking a stand/not standing by
  13. justice
  14. honesty
  15. desire for new experiences
  16. knowledge
  17. joy
  18. comfort
  19. acceptance
  20. quirkiness

So, that's my list. At least today. I know it's different from yesterday's.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Grumble Grumble

I'm at 53,391, but I'm going to write more tonight. But right now, I'm going to go collapse on the bed. I dunno if it was the curry soup I had for lunch or something else, but my stomach is protesting and spinning around like a whirling dervish. So's my head.

I do feel a little better about my icky reaction to the 'blasted pill' though...I went to the chiropractor today and Dr. B asked me how many milligrams he was giving me of the nastiness. I said 150mg and she was totally shocked. She said she couldn't handle 100mg when she had to take the same thing and she couldn't believe he was giving me that much, given my size (we're close to the same height, but she weighs a bit more than me). So at least I have an excuse for my bad reactions.

Highland's Coffee Shop

Tony forgot his wallet today, so I met him for lunch at Highland's Coffee Shop on 4th Street and now I'm hanging out waiting for my 2 PM Chiropractor appointment. Yep, doing the whole coffee shop writer thing. They even have one chair with a massage pad thingy, so I'm sitting at that. It's okay. Not as good as the real thing.

I've tied some pieces together and I'm about to work on one of the big scenes (George turns and finds out his parents are still alive...well, dead, kind of, since they are vampires. But not gone.).

The entire Sahara desert has taken up residence inside my mouth. This isn't just normal dry mouth. If my feet caught on fire and I was dancing around in flames, I don't think I could work up enough saliva to even spit on it to save myself.

Still Monday...

Currently at 52,059 and still going. It's coming along pretty well. I still wonder if I have enough conflict in there. Am I ending on too weak a note? I dunno. It's a lot easier to critique other people's stuff.

Which, incidentally, I am now offering to do on Ebay. I don't know if I'll get any bids or not, but I thought it might be a way to raise some money for the site. We'll see. I might not get any interest. I'm actually pretty good at critiquing. Not the best, I imagine, but pretty good.

If I could just get rid of this blasted headache, I'd be doing okay. Ach, forget that. I am okay. I just happen to have a blasted headache.

Thinking positive. It takes practice.

I will finish my book by the end of August....

Monday, August 29, 2005

3 Days to Go!!

I will finish this darn thing before the end of August. Yeppers. I've added a bit more, but not so much as to call for another word count. I need to do some laundry, go to the store and the Post Office, and then I'll settle down to write.

Also possibly have a new freelance project with a relatively short deadline (9/12), but I'm not sure when I'll be getting the content guidelines. Woot! Some income!

Saw this in Yahoo News today...I like the quote from the cop.

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Three men trying to steal fuel from a New Zealand farm Monday ended up setting fire to their own car.

Police said the trio had siphoned diesel into a petrol-driven vehicle. When their car would not start, they examined the fuel pipe using a cigarette lighter.

One click, a boom and the car burst into flames.

"It wasn't a major whodunnit," senior sergeant Ross Gilbert told Reuters, from the small North Island town of Waipukurau, about 140 miles northeast of Wellington.

"Fortunately for them, there is no criminal charge for stupidity."

The men, aged 18 to 19, escaped injury but were charged with theft.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


I'm at 50,998. Through the part where Mina has a breakdown and tells her best friend what's up. Either 4 or 5 more 'scenes' to go. I will finish this darn thing by the end of August.

Anyone want to be a reader for me? You just have to promise to be honest. And like YA. I'm making my husband read it, but if he totally hates it, I'm sure he'd have a hard time saying it. And his normal reading are books about Chess and Chess Openings and How to Do Something-or-Other in Chess better. I don't think he's read a YA book maybe ever. Even when he was young he read non-fiction stuff.

Anyway, mom-in-law about to arrive. Gotta go.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Movin' on up

So I only stayed out on the porch until the afternoon sun took over. But it was nice. Grace was doing okay until - at the same time - two semi's went down the street and a huge plane flew over head. I thought she was going to jump out of her skin. She got over it though and went back to presiding over the porch like the queen she is (as in the Queen Latifah sense).

I took it to the parlor afterwards, helped Brian on his resume, and then went back to writing. Another good day: up to 49,503. Only 500 words from my original goal!! Whoo-hoo!

Of course, I still have about 7 or 8 scenes (not necessarily chapters, but probably) to go. So it might be I wind up around 57,000-ish. Not sure. I'm not very good at judging length yet.

I really do need to do some work on the site tomorrow. I've been ignoring it a little bit this week, but I need to get the newsletter out, do some maintenance and other stuff. I just really want to get this book finished up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A new afternoon

I'd say a new day, but the morning was a bad one (all maudlin), so I'll just stick with afternoon. I know I talk about it too much, but when you feel like something is taking over your life, it's hard not too. I really can't wait to get off these pills. Mornings are so awful. It's hard to even describe.

The listed side effects for the blasted pill are...

  • Dizziness (uh, yeah)

  • Nausea (off and on)

  • Sleepiness (yep, but that's also from the other two pills I have to take)

  • Abnormal ejaculation (er, not so much)

  • Sweating (yes! in the mornings. This is DISGUSTING.)

  • Dry mouth (incredible dry mouth)

  • Gas (no, thank goodness)

  • Abnormal vision (I don't think so, but my eyes do go all wonky sometimes)

  • Nervousness (yep, but pretty much just in the mornings)

  • Insomnia (sometimes, fighting it out with the sleepiness)

  • Loss of appetite (yeah, but I don't actually mind this one...I'm currently down 11 pounds)

  • Constipation (no comment.)

  • Confusion/agitation (yes, again, in the mornings)

  • Tremor (ditto)

  • Yawning (er, how much yawning do they mean? I've always yawned...)

  • Palpitation (every now and again)

Tell your doctor right away if you have:

Increases in heart rate

Extreme confusion or seizures, which may indicate very low levels of sodium in the blood (how extreme is extreme? Like I've said, mornings SUCK. What, should I start eating salt?)

Abnormal bleeding or bruising (hmmmm, I have noticed even more bruises than normal. Every time I run into something even just a little bit, I bruise.)

Sudden, unexpected eye pain, eye redness, or changes in vision, which may indicate increased eye pressure

Symptoms of mania or hypomania, such as persistently elevated or irritable mood, a decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, hyperactivity, and rapid, excessive speech (MORNINGS!! Except for that decreased need for sleep bit.)

It may cause an increase in your cholesterol. Your doctor may want to do blood tests to check your serum cholesterol periodically. (Great. I just finally got my cholesterol down to normal levels.)

Anywho. It basically sucks rotten eggs. But I'm going to put all of that aside and work on my novel today and a bit on the site and hang out on my nice old porch in my comfy wicker furniture with my big fat cat and just be.


I wrote a bit more tonight, so I'm up to 47,800. Not sure how I wound up exactly even like that. I don't think I could have done it if I'd tried. I'm guessing now that I'm going to end up around 55,000 based on what I have left. Then there's revision...

I feel kind of unsettled tonight. I don't know why. Can't really put my finger on it. Just feel...odd.

I'm going to go pet a cat and then I'm going to eat dessert.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Jeremiah was a bullfrog

The morning was a waste, but I had a pretty good writing afternoon. I'm at 47,370 words. Through the part where she's trying to hook up Nathan and Serena and now I'm at the point where Lorelai is hooking up Mina and George for the Prom without consulting with Mina. So the good stuff, basically.

Very excited about getting my built in bookcase in. The quote wasn't too bad and since the Leapfrog people contacted me to do another project, it should cover the price. Whoo-hoo! I don't think this project will be as fun as the last one (nothing serious about tequila after all...well, actually...) but it'll pay and that's what counts. Repeat to myself: I can write anything.

Monday, August 22, 2005

As I suspected

Well, as I suspected, setting up the new router is a pain. I got the Internet connection up and running fairly quickly, but it won't let me change any of the admin settings, so I haven't been able to change any of the defaults or set up encryption. Grrrrr. Trying out an online chat with Linksys representative 'SabariD (55060)' now, but they've sat there for a good five minutes not saying anything.

It's a stupid, stupid thing...the router just won't recognize any password, including the default one. Sometimes I'm not sure if technology is good for us or not...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The ickies

Having trouble losing the ickiness in my stomach today, even after the blasted pill. Maybe it's a Sunday blah kind of thing. I have no motivation. If I could stay in bed all day, I would. If you've sent me an email and have received no response...that's why. I'm so far behind I despair in ever catching up. That's a project for next week.

On my short list of to-do's:
  • empty all bookshelves so Tony can install reinforcing brackets
  • figure out a way to clean the third floor...floor.
  • install new wireless router without losing all Internet access. try not to curse when something inevitably goes wrong
  • write. then write some more. must-finish-novel-before-end-of-August
  • figure out what filing cabinet I want and order it
  • write some reviews
  • move guest bed back upstairs, all the better to take anonymous naps on
  • organize books
  • get quotes for built in bookcase. pray they aren't too expensive
  • try to wake up
  • make an appointment with Dr. B
  • call Cici, but first prepare a list of questions
  • buy more pop tarts

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Happy Birthday, Dad

Today was my dad's birthday. He would have been 72. I played a game of chess with Tony as a way of remembering him. He was an avid chess player. Dad, that is. As is Tony. I'm just a dabbler. I wish I remembered all the 'tricks' that Dad taught me when I was young. Perhaps I'd be formidable instead of merely rusty.

Amazingly, I beat Tony. I actually played a good game (I'll chalk it up to Dad watching over my shoulder). Two really good moves that Tony wasn't expecting. I hate to admit it, but I like beating him at his own game. He practically lives and breathes chess. It is his consuming passion and hobby.

I'm not a bad chess player, but I'm not a great one. I can see usually up to 3-4 moves in the future. Sometimes up to 5. But I'll often miss obvious moves and I'll never get chess notation. I just don't think that logically. That's usually the only way I beat Tony. I play a move that he would never expect with his straightforward, logical style. It's the creative trickster in me.

I miss my dad sometimes. He died when I was, what, 14 or 15? I don't feel like I really got to know him and Pam definitely never really got to, since she's 7 years younger than me. It's the little things more than the big things that I remember. So, in honor of his birthday (or dishonor, if it turns out rotten), here's a poem to dad. Again, I'm just typing this out right here, right now (Jesus Jones song, probably his only good one), so if you don't like it....tough. This is really about the only way that I write poetry, actually. If I don't finish something and leave it for never gets finished. I've got a fair amount of pieces of poems. Maybe I should just lump them all in together and see what happens. Heh. I'm just not a dedicated poet. Well, I'm not that great at it either. I'll leave it to the experts. My poetry is primarily for me.

For My Father

My dad had dandruff
thin white snowfall on stooped shoulders
grey at nineteen,
he always seemed old
but maybe that was the cancer
that ate away at his insides
for years and years until the gnawing teeth
finally broke through.

He could click his heels,
but only once,
and with a running start --
a big grin on his face that he could still do it
after all those years.
And toss a football or catch a pitch
with the joy of youth shining in his face.
I think he wanted a boy,
but I would do,
punting and kicking and sweating,
learning the rules of the game.

He always said how he loved to read
but I almost never caught him with a book.
those days were behind him
and in front,
stretched across time,
was an endless procession of flickering televised
football games (Go Niners!), Dallas, and Knot's Landing.
Hard to believe a former merchant marine
would fall prey to such stuff.

He played chess with religion
Queen's gambit, accepted, declined.
So proud when I won my first game
against an adult.
I was only five,
but triumphant, elated, stunned,
my father's daughter.

Friday, August 19, 2005

With a bow on top

I'm up to 45,786 now. Got through some important bits. Next up, Mina frantically trying to find George before he asks Serena to the Prom (because she told him to) and Nathan so he can re-ask Serena before he winds up going with some other girl just because she's got big....personality. Or something like that. She's found out that Nathan doesn't like her and she thinks it sucks, but she'd rather he liked Serena than anyone else.

So I'm happy to be through with those bits. Maybe I'll even write some more later today. At the moment, the couch is calling my name.

This is a public service announcement...with guitars!

I wonder what it is about the Clash and writers. I recently interviewed Libba Bray and she's a big fan of theirs (as am I) and I was just reading a bio of Daniel Ehrenhaft and he's also a Clash lover. I wonder how many other writers out there are Clash fans. I always thought that Monty Python was one of the big shared experiences for creative people, but maybe it's really the Clash.

I wish I could play guitar.

However, I look ridiculous with one. They are nearly as big as I am. Well, height-wise. I'm sure I weigh more. And I stink at reading music. A triangle or something of that nature is probably my best bet. The last instrument I 'played' was a recorder. If I never hear Mary Had a Little Lamb again it'll be too soon.

Anyway, I'm off to Rock the Casbah.

There ya go

I got to 43,499 today. Not too bad. Now I'm at a 'delicate' scene where Mina gets the second shocker. I'm a little worried that there isn't enough conflict in the book, so hopefully I make this convincing enough. I feel like I'm kind of rushing through these bits, but it's okay, I can always go back later and add some more stuff in. Hopefully tomorrow will also be a good writing day. Maybe I'll do the porch thing again.

This weekend I hope to get the third floor organized so I can move my old desk up there and start looking for a new 'nice' desk for the second floor. I need a filing cabinet so bad I'm practially ready to scream. Not that I'm the most organized person in the world, but I've literally got boxes full of paper and it is driving me crazy.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Porch Sitting

I'm at 42,560 and still going. Hanging out on the porch today with fat Gracie. She's been very good -- staying on the porch and not wandering off all over the place. A periodic airplane overhead and a large truck or two passing by seem to have cowed her into submission. Works for me. Every now and then she'll roll over so I can rub her jiggly tummy.

I'm now on to the wrapping up the story bits. I'd really like to get a couple thousand words in today. I've still got some time - it's only 3:21. I did also write a review and post it and do a little bit of site work. Oh, and cleaned the bathroom. And did some laundry. I wish I had a cleaning fairy. Or a brownie. That would be perfect.

And I also talked to Lisa on the phone, which took up at least a good hour or so. I got the scoop on all the kids, how school is going for them, what the Orlando trip was like (with the surprise from Kevin & Co.), and all of that.

I wound up with two copies of Eldest, the latest in the Inheritance Trilogy, so I'll be sending them a copy of that tomorrow. That'll make Ryan happy. I'm still reading the other one, but I'm not allowed to post a review of it until at least August 23rd, the release date. An unusual move by the publisher (Random House). The only other book I've dealt with that had that stipulation is Harry Potter and they won't even send the book out to you until after the release date. I didn't even request a review copy of HP this year. Too big a pain.

Anyway, back to writing.

All shot up

Well, I finally figured out who/where my doctor was after digging through mounds of paperwork for the letter they sent me to tell me that my cholesterol level was (finally!) within normal range. It turns out I was right -- it was Annette Davis that I saw. So at least my brain isn't total mush. Of course, I got lost on the way there...

As for writing, I'm at 42,032. Not as far as I'd like, mostly because I just can't get out of bed. Seriously. It's like concrete blocks laying on my chest. I just lay there and feel miserable until around noon. Then I force myself to get up because if I don't, my bladder will explode. I'm hoping tomorrow will be better.

Here's a poem that my dad wrote. Bridey Murphy, according to the Skeptic's Dictionary, was a 19th century woman that Virginia Teghe claimed to have been in a past life. She kicked off the whole reincarnation fad for a while.

Bridey Murphy

From womb to tomb
and then return,
to me is most confusing.
I'd always thought
that haunting houses
would be much more amusing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Hmmm. Where is my doctor?

This is going to sound really retarded (and no offense meant to any handicapped persons or anything, but there's no other word that fits this situation), but I need to go to the doctor for a shot (my 'woman' doctor) and I have no idea where they are or what their name is. I went a few months ago for my checkup and I had a card that I did something with, but now I can't find it. I can't remember their name, having been there only once. I don't remember where it was, since it was an area of Louisville I've only been to that once. I have no idea where to go.

This is just ridiculous.

I vaguely remember the last name of 'Davis' but I could be completely wrong on that. I'm searching through Aetna's doctor listing in the hope that something with stand out. I feel like a total idiot.

Monday, August 15, 2005


Trying to get organized and motivated and just .... going! So far I've managed to go through all my snail mail and bills, clean out my Yahoo inbox and now I'm working on my regular inbox. I feel buried under mail. But I'm slowly climbing out of the quicksand.

I really need to mail two books out, but I think it will have to wait until tomorrow. I wish the post office were a tad bit closer so I could walk to it. It's about 2 miles, which isn't actually that's just that it's in an iffier neighborhood that I don't really want to walk through. I'll at least get them ready today and hopefully I'll get in gear early enough tomorrow to get them out.

Cutting back on the pills is good/bad. I'm aching, but a bit more awake. Bleck.

I'm still at 41,480 words. I want to get at least a 1,000 written today. I can do it. I can do it. I will do it.

And then I'll have some ice cream.

Photo: Leaves in Boston

No writing done this weekend -- we spent too much time watching (and playing, in Tony's case) cricket (if you're interested, check The Pauley's Go to Louisville blog for this week). Tomorrow I definitely need to get back in the swing of things. I've been cheating a bit on the pills -- cutting down on them some. A bit of pain is sometimes better than a fuzzy brain.

Anyway, this picture I took in Boston in October 2003. We were there to see Eddie Izzard and eat at some restaurants (Radius was AWESOME). We were walking through a park when I took this one. I love how it came out and how the colors look. I actually have a picture that I bought at an art show that is very similar to this one. Guess I could have saved myself the $60 bucks, eh?

Sunday, August 14, 2005


Here it is after midnight and I find myself awake. Amazing. A used-to-be common occurrence is now a strange and wonderous thing.

I was in bed having random thoughts swirling around, so I thought I'd just write them down so I could actually sleep. Often, my random post-bedtime musings are poetry-ish, but since I generally never send those out for possible publication (am I chicken, or a bad poet? Who knows.), might as well post it here. Feel free to skip.

Firstly, I was thinking that if you took a cocktail wienie and put a toothpick in it longways, then dipped it in batter and quick fried it, you'd have teeny weeny corn dogs.

Then, inexplicably, I was thinking about this guy that was in my old writing group. He's the kind of poet that I just detest: pompous and in love with his words. Not that we aren't all in love with our words, but there was something about the sameness of all his poems, all read out loud in this ridiculous ponderous cadence (the kind that brings to mind a metronome...or Chinese water torture) that was like fingernails against the chalkboard of my brain.

So that's the inspiration behind tonight's poem (not edited even remotely and just being typed out as I think it, so if you don't like it, tough noogies). There's certainly a place for all kinds of poetry. Just not in my particular brain.


I like my poetry
simple and honest --
no sonorous suckling sniveling excuses for sympathy,
no words-that-aren't-words,
no rhymes forcibly raped of meaning, nor
fashionably late punctuation, out for a late night driveby--
the kind of poetry that screams out
"na-nee-na-nee-boo-boo, I know more words than you do!"

I don't have the patience
to wade through trollops and dollops
of rhythmic self-flattery, or words so
twisted and torn they have lost
all self-respect and meaning --
save for you, the torturer, the poet.

I say leave the words alone and
let them work with you, for you.
You will never be able to trap those fleeting thoughts,
those glimpses of immortality --
no words will ever be enough,
their simple lives cannot be flayed
into the shape you see in your mind

You can only ask that they
settle long enough
to let someone see,
for just a moment,
into your life.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Photo....Chicago in a Mirror

I thought I'd periodically post some of my favorite pictures that I've taken when I don't have a whole lot else to talk about. Or my brain is full. I'm kind of an amatuer camera buff, which I got from my dad. I'm not even close to his level though -- he actually had his own dark room and all kinds of stuff. Me, I just take my digital camera around with me when I remember it. Every now and then I get a good shot. Someday I'd like to get a camera with a supernatural zoom and a great Zeiss lens. Digital, though. Who wants to wait around for film anymore? Instant gratification, baby.

This picture is from a trip to Chicago we took in 2004. They have this giant mirror ball art piece doohickey (yes, yes, I'm sure it has some official important sounding name, but that's essentially what it is) at one of the parks. You can see me taking the picture (I'm in red) with Tony standing next to me. I just thought it came out kind of cool. Not my absolute favorite picture, but kind of a fun one.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Mostly alive

I made it through yesterday. My head did not explode. Amazingly. I've never had a headache so bad that my teeth ached before. I could barely move.

In a word, it sucked.

The head ache is finally gone, but I'm left feeling a bit like a wrung-out washcloth. An old one, with holes in it and that mysterious stain you have no idea where it came from. You want to throw it away and start over, but you just can't quite bear to part with it, since you had it when you were three and used to make barbie tents with it.

Er, whatever.

I did think of some new bits for the book, which I need to get down.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The new pill is evil. My brain is being slowly squished to death by a vise. If I turn my head too fast to look for the culprit, I nearly fall over.


Can feel my blood sluggishly pulsing through my veins.

Going to bed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

And we have air!

The third floor has air now! It's still 92 right now, but it's on the way down. Yippee! I can't wait for tonight. Actually, tomorrow - to see what difference it makes on the second floor as it trickles down the stairs.

So, I went to the Dr. and he didn't take me off any pills. In fact, he's actually given me one more to take. This one is a high blood pressure pill (though my blood pressure is perfectly fine) that's supposed to stop the morning shake, sweat, and shiver. But if it wasn't bad enough that all the pills already have a "may cause dizziness" warning - he warned me to "try not to stand up too fast" with this new one, since my blood pressure is already on the low side. Great. How about I just stay in bed all day and never get up at all?

Except I know what he'd say to that -- "That would be great!"

And I'm officially to not attempt to clean house or do any bending, lifting, scrubbing, etc. And if I don't feel better in a month, we're going to shots.


Got the teeniest bit of writing done today. 41,480. Hopefully will do some more tonight. Kind of feeling icky -- the pharmacist was out of my muscle relaxers (until tomorrow) and I haven't had one since bright and early this AM. Pills, pills, pills. Blech.

What's wrong with my desk?

I can't seem to get any writing done when I'm actually at my desk. I sit here and sit here and no words come -- but go to a too-warm coffee shop or camp out on the couch, and there I go. Sigh. At any rate, I'm at 41,253 words today. My last scene turned out completely different than I had planned because the character that was passing through just insisted on being odd beyond words. I think it worked out okay though. And I got a laugh at Aubrey's expense.

I've got a Dr. appt. in a few minutes. Hopefully he'll tell me I can get off these darn pills.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Channeling Jim Croce

For some unknown reason, I woke up this morning with a Jim Croce song running through my head.

I've got those steadily depressing,
low-down mind-messing,
working at the car wash blues

No idea why. I haven't heard a Jim Croce song in ages. I wonder what I was dreaming about.

No writing yesterday, since I spent all day shopping and cleaning. But definitely some today - I've got to stick around the house while they are putting the air conditioning in the third floor. Yay!!!!

So I tried to take a picture of myself so I could update my portrait on blogger. Heh. A wholly unsuccessful venture. Would you like blurry me, wrong angle me, double-chin me, or flash bulb me? One came out kind of funny (see #2 below - at least it captured my sense of humor). And one came out almost decent (me next to my giant frog), but I don't think I have a winner yet.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Chanting: My book will be done by August...

I got in enough writing yesterday to hit the 40K mark: 40,138. It's a silly thing we humans have - marking things off in increments. But it always feels good to hit another mark. I've still got a fair amount of scenes to go, so I'm thinking it might go a bit over 50K, but we'll see.

Today I've got a lot of shopping planned. And cleaning and rearranging. Since the air conditioning guys will be here tomorrow to put air up on the 3rd floor, I need to move some books around so they can actually walk around up there. It's so hot that I've just been putting it off, but I can't put it off any longer. Eeep.

Hopefully I'll also get some writing in. :-) I must, I must, I must increase my word count...

Hmmm. Doesn't have quite the same ring to it as the original, does it?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

My favorite picture books

I keep meaning to send this note to One Caffeinated Mom, but I somehow never get around to it. So, since she reads this thing, I figured I might as well post it here and kill two birds with one stone.

I'm picky about picture books. I don't have very many that I truly love, love, love.

#1: Tuesday by David Weisner. Almost completely devoid of text, the story is instead told through beatifully delightful and quirky illustrations. I love everything about this book. Great for the imagination.

#2: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. I'm not sure why this is one of my favorites. It's a good little story that anyone can identify with -- the day where just nothing seems to go your way, no matter what you do. Illustrations aren't the best, but they convey the message well enough.

#3: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. This was one of the books that we studied in class. The coolest thing about it is what Sendak does with the illustrations. At the start of the book, the illustration takes up just a fraction of the page. As Max's imagination takes over, so do the illustrations, hogging more and more of the page until there's nothing but the picture at all: at the climax, when Max and the Wild Things are partying away. Then, as Max gets sleepy and 'comes back to earth' slowly, the illustrations again begin shrinking down until they are once again just a fraction of the page and Max is home. That's a cool thing I've never noticed another author do.

#4: The Cinder-Eyed Cats by Eric Rohmann. Another beautifully illustrated book. The images are evocative and imaginative. It's like stepping into a poem. I passed my review copy of this one onto my older sister and it's one of her favorites to read to her kids. Just a really beautiful book.

There are others that I like, but none as much as these (at least, not coming to me at the moment). I had some favorites when I was a little 'un myself: Robert the Rose Horse, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Home, and The Story About Ping. I still enjoy those as well. Everyone needs some Seuss in their life.

As for writing yet, but I've only got 500 words to get to 40,000, so I've GOT to get at least that much in today. Right now...a nap. I had 2 biscuits AND a pancake for breakfast and I'm in a carb-induced coma.

That's nice

For the first time, I've had someone who earned a book ask that I donate the book to a local orphan's home or public library rather than send it to them. Nice. Definitely a first. I do try to donate some to those type of places every year myself. I think it was last year I got HarperCollins to give me a box of books to give out to disadvantaged school kids during the Teach In.

I got some writing done today while I was sitting outside with the yard sale junk. Up to 39,549. So almost 40,000 words. Should hit that tomorrow. Would have gotten more except that a) I'm chatty and b) it was freakin' hot (and the laptop gets hot on your lap too). We did okay with the yard sale - $140ish. Most of that was one item, but hey. We're going to put it towards a new KitchenAid stand mixer.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Old picture

I just figured out how old the picture is of me that I'm using for the blog. It's like 5 years old. I guess I need to take a good picture to replace it. Hahahahah. The thing is, I'm hardly ever in the pictures. I usually take them. Maybe I'll just go the other way and dig up a picture of my skinny days back in college and use that instead. Heh. Big late eighties/early 90's hair and all.

I'd like to be awake now, please

I feel like I've been in a haze the last couple of days. Lots of sleeping. Little bit of writing. Lot of reading. I've finished up Pretties by Scott Westerfeld. Introducing Vivian Leigh Reed, Daughter of the Diva. The Principles of Love. Heroes. Septimus Heap. It's like I keep getting sucked into books to the point of no return. I'm even reading a Gossip Girls book right now, I forget which one.

And some online stuff. Found I am a Japanese School Teacher from another blog and had to read every editorial posted. Ohmigosh. Funniest stuff ever. I even shared this one with Tony and he laughed his serious laugh where he can't help himself; it's like a combination giggle/snort/bark thing. It's that funny.

That wasted a good deal of time. You just can't not read them once you've started. And I swear, if I ever travel to Japan and I hear someone utter the word "Kancho" I will just cover my butt and run like the fiends of hell were after me. No looking back.

I'm at a whopping 38,714 words. And a promise to get my butt in at least 2nd gear today. Maybe I need to go back to the coffee shop and imbibe some more caffeine. Maybe I need to be a bad girl and skip a day of pills. Hmmmm. It would be so nice to be fully awake and not fuzzy headed.

I had two good thoughts for the novel last night while I was waiting for sleep to take me (heh, not a long wait). One I remember today. Sigh. I need to put a pad of paper and a small light by the bed so I can scribble things down. I had briefly considered dragging myself out of bed and to the office to write it down, but never quite made it. Hopefully I'll remember what the other one was while I'm writing.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I don't want a pickle

You know how I have this blog labeled as my writing / whatever blog? Well, this will be a whatever post. If you're looking for writing insights (ha, ha, ha) or inspiration, this won't be the place to find it today.

I've been thinking lately about having a baby or not having one, probably because I've been asked so many times about it now that I'm at home all the time and I've also started reading this great blog called a little pregnant. Sometimes I waver and think that we should have a kid. You know, carry on the family line and all that. Something cute and cuddly that sometimes smells really good (after a bath) or really terrible (after, well, you know).

But I don't think I'm ready (so Tony, if you're actually reading this, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Or regret. Whichever.). I've just really started my writing career and I can barely find time to get dressed some days. I take more naps than little kids do. And I'm still a kid in a lot of ways, age notwithstanding...I like to play computer games and build things with legos. I don't (I hope) think I'll ever lose that, but who knows, maybe after I sell a book or two (please!) I'll revisit the question.

And I also know how I am. I know exactly how the pregnancy would go, and it wouldn't be pretty:
  • Get off the (amazing, wonderful, life changing) shot and return myself to normal womanly monthly mood swings and cramps. Drive my husband crazy once a month and weep uncontrollably at Hallmark commercials, cute puppies, and just about anything else I happen to see.
  • Then, I would either a) get pregnant immediately before I am even mentally prepared, like my fertile myrtle older sister or b) struggle for years to conceive like my aunt.
  • Get pregnant.
  • Immediately commence throwing up in the mornings. Actually lose weight the first two months as I struggle to keep down bread and water.
  • Find out I'm having twins. Panic.
  • Finally come out of the morning sickness to immediately progress right into bloated whale stage as I pack on more pounds than a sumo wrestler getting ready for a match, no matter what I eat.
  • Experience all the 'bad' pregnancy side effects: water retention, thick ankles, bad hair, breaking out, stretch marks, my first cavity, big purple veins, etc. Do not experience that much-talked about but almost never seen 'glow' of pregnancy.
  • Discover I can no longer drive because I can't fit behind the steering wheel any more.
  • Receive 4 copies of the same "While You Are Pregnant" book.
  • Decide I can't possibly be someone's mommy. After all, I'm only 4' 11". They'll be taller than me by the time they are 5. But it's too late. Have nightmares about breeding a basketball player.
  • Discover that yes, you can go to the bathroom more than 30 times a day.
  • Be confined to bed rest the last month (because of the twins and my gargantuan size) and forced to watch day time television until my eyeballs feel like jello and I start thinking "Jerry" really isn't such a bad name after all.
  • Lose all concept of privacy and private parts as I am constantly poked, prodded, and tested.
  • Go into labor. Stay in labor a record 46 hours (beating out my cousin who topped out at a measly 35 or so).
  • Have huge 10 pound twin babies. Am warned by nurse that "boy, you'd better get used to running for the bathroom."
  • Return home with two kids and no idea of what to do next and realize that we live really, really far from any grandparents. Darn.

Anyway, that's about it. Tony's probably right. I think about things a little too much. Heh.

Frozen Coffee Drinks = Good

I hung out at the coffee house for a good 3 hours until it got too hot in there to stay any longer (their air conditioning leaves a lot to be desired). And I wound up writing around 2,500 words, so I'm at 38,483. Yippee! That makes up for yesterday and covers today. I also had to leave because I was on a total sugar / caffeine high and about to go into an involuntary jitterbug. I don't usually drink soda or coffee, so I was as wired as a tightrope walker with no safety net.

Note to Self: I must limit myself to only one frozen coffee drink per day. No exceptions. No, really, I don't care how good that caramel crunch looks. Put your wallet away! Agggghhh!

And the best thing is I made it all the way through the darn double date scene. Yay!! Cartwheels of Joy! Handstands of Happiness!

It worked out fairly well in the end and I even got to throw in some truth or dare action, which I hadn't planned on, but George (the good guy) insisted on tossing caution to the wind. He's got a secret agenda, that one. First he insinuates himself in the book after being introduced only as a minor (very minor) character. And here he is making demands.

I also met an older lady (Lynn) that crochets, paints, and writes (autobiographical fiction) and a theater person (Marissa) moving here from Texas and/or Louisiana (a little unclear on this point) who also knits. Next time I'll have to bring my knitting along too (it didn't occur to me today, being the middle of summer and REALLY FREAKING HOT). Other than that, I think everyone else hanging out was either a) a lesbian or b) a student or c) both. Justin was the coffee house guy's name. He makes a mean frozen mocha.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I've gone bohemian

Actually, I've just finally made it to the Old Louisville Coffee House to hang out and write and drink yummy caramel coffee frozen thingies. I thought it would a good idea to just get out of the house for a while, leaving behind lots of laudry, two whiny cats (I fed them just before I left) and all my cares. I've got 6 hours of battery on my laptop and a hopefully full mind to unleash on my manuscript.

Note to self: I need some more bohemain-ish clothing.

Shiver me timbers

I woke up this morning around 5 AM completely soaked in sweat and freezing. Literally shaking with coldness that went all the way to the bone. I (sad to say) woke my husband up so he could lend me some body heat. I didn't know what else to do. Then I drifted in and out of sleep, constantly shivering, for another hour or two and finally asked Tony if he could please, pretty please, get me the damn pill. Actually, I didn't say damn, but that's what I was thinking, along with some other choice words. By 8:30ish, the shivering finally wore off.

In case you're wondering, the temperature in the bedroom: 77 degrees. And me under a sheet and coverlet. Which I now have to wash, since they are drenched in sweat. My poor husband.

Have I mentioned that I detest these pills?

Anywho. I'm going to try and get past my blah-ness today. Maybe sit out in the backyard with some lemonade and let fat Gracie wander around and eat grass while I write. She's been begging to go outside constantly. Strange for a cat that used to take an hour to even approach the front door, but it's the lure of fresh grass to chomp on that does it.

I am determined to think positive. No more wallowing. It doesn't do any good, and besides, I'm fresh out of ice cream. You have to have ice cream to properly wallow.


I feel kind of depressed. And I'm going to be self-indulgent and wallow in it a little, so please feel free to skip this post. I don't really know why I'm feeling this way. I'm not super depressed; no need to worry or anything, I just feel really blah. Icky.

I don't feel like I get to spend enough time with my husband. I don't feel like I'm getting as much done as I should. I'm tired of being sleepy all the time. I'm generally annoyed.

When I first quite my job, I thought I'd churn out this book in maybe 3 months. Maybe less. That didn't count on moving, packing, unpacking, throwing out my back, throwing out my leg, being on hardcore medication. But still, I feel like I should be able to get out 3,000 words a day instead of somewhere between 600 - 1200 that I've been getting. After all, I am home. I know I'm doing okay, I just want to do better.

And then I fall asleep.


But mostly I just feel this general malaise. I don't want to deal with any real live people. I'd like to wrap myself and my husband in a cocoon and just burrow for a while in the comfort of it. No sounds but our breathing. No interruptions. No emergencies. Just us and quiet.

Anyway, if you're reading, I told you that you should have ignored this one.