Monday, December 31, 2012

First Post in a While...Last for the Year!

How do I spend NYE?  Typically, I hide in my house and avoid contact with people.  Oliver is with his dad tonight, so I took the tree down and watched some Criminal Minds.

So, since I'm not a NYE person, it should go without saying that I'm not a resolution person.  Really, I can't recall the last time I made resolutions on NYE, or any other time. It's not like I don't set goals...I just don't make resolutions.  There was some study done on resolutions made on NYE, and like...all of them were broken. Someone said something about them being a sure-fire way of setting yourself up for failure.  For the most part, that's always how I've seen them.  Thing is, I've done plenty of failing all on my own, without the aid of resolutions.  Perhaps for someone like myself resolutions aren't destined for failure.  And in any case, what could it hurt?

So here first list of resolutions in a very long time:

1.  Let go.  Seriously.  I've spent the better part of the last year wasting time and emotion on a person who isn't the least bit deserving of my attention.  My subconscious may do as it pleases...I have no control over it...but the rest of me is well within my control.  I'm not even saying that I'll remove this person from my life.  I'm just not going to give a damn anymore.  It's not worth the ups and downs.  And, at the same time, I need to be more real in the relationships I have that matter...I need to let people in... allow people to know me, not just about me.  I also need to treat people more as people and less as character studies or psychological research projects.  And one more thing in this fucking honest.  So many issues in the last few months could have been cleared up if I'd just said exactly what I was thinking or asked the things that would have cleared things up.

2.  Finish something.  I'm not even concerned about WHAT I finish at this point...just that I FINISH something.  Anything.  Really.  I have 4 projects in the works right now, all in various stages...and many more ideas that are just hanging around waiting to sidetrack me at any moment.  I look at my stacks of note cards and can just see myself turning into my father.  One of the first arguments I ever heard he and my mother have had to do with a 3-legged deer painting.  My mom was furious that my dad had unfinished paintings everywhere...the most annoying of which was a 3-legged deer.  My books are just like that damn deer.  I need to stop this before it gets any worse.

3.  Read 50 books.  I have more than 50 that I haven't read, so this shouldn't be a challenge... :)

4.  Be proactive about my health.  The last couple months have kind of sucked, and I'm just getting tired of feeling awful all the time.  So, that'll end.  I shouldn't be so scared of docs, but...I am.  I just don't like 'em...and I don't like the thought of medical testing or procedures of any kind, or medication.

5.  Less time on Facebook.  This one should be fairly self-explanatory.

And one that's not just for me...
6.  Teach Oliver some basic little kid how to make himself one meal, how to put away his clothes, how to sort the laundry... get him better at phonics...he's so good already, but I'd really like it if he could do some basic reading by the end of the year.

There's that.  I could probably have added some other things to that, but....I'm new to this.  Six seems like a good place to start.  Wonder if I'll remember having written this in a year so that I can check my progress.  Someone want to remind me in a year??

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

There's No Place Like Home....

It's finally over.

The last week was one that needed to happen, despite all my reluctance to let it.  I'm now absolved of any guilt I could have possible felt from saying that I won't ever go back there.  It was a horrible week full of all the things that demonstrate so very clearly how I just don't fit there...and how I never will...and how happy that makes me.  It feels good to let go.

It's weird to learn a lesson that I'm planning to teach a character I'm writing...and weird that I'm learning it so late in the game.  While it's true that there is "no place like home," that home is not necessarily the place you were born or raised; it's the place you make your home.  I'm using the word "place" wrong, I guess... I mean the people, too.  Technically, KS should be my home...and in that sense another saying is true, no matter that its contradictory: "you can't go home again."

It's also nice to see home for the first time...again...every once in a while.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Apples and Trees

Fairly recently I made some derogatory comment about apples and where they fall in relation to trees... and I'm pretty sure it had something to do with one of Romney's douchebag kids.  While I don't take that back, I think that the last couple days have shown me just how far apples can fall.  I'm sitting in Middle of Nowhere, KS, giving some serious thought to my family orchard.

It's one time there was a hilltop covered in little trees that were my ancestors... and for the most part, they all stuck to the hilltop.  My parents may have been born on the hilltop, but in time they were located somewhere on the side of the hill... and little apple me, having never been anywhere near the top of that hill, fell...rolled down the side of the hill, fell off a cliff and into a river, and then floated all the way to the ocean...where I floated in and out with the tide for a while before coming to rest in the sand in some sunny, beautiful place.  I'm like... a beach apple.  I see so little of myself in my family...apart from my mother, and to some smaller extent, my father.  The important thing here is that...I'm glad.  I don't mean to be talking shit, but it's just that...I can't imagine what I would be like if I held such horrifying beliefs.  I can't fathom what would lead anyone to the REALLY think the things I've heard in the last day.

And yes, I did (stupidly) watch a little of the presidential debate with family.  I knew better.  I didn't make it very long, and ended up with the kind of headache that comes with nausea.  Not exactly worth it.

I'm sitting in the only coffee place in this little town... which is an odd improvement over home - I'm not sitting in Safeway.  AND they have wifi, which is good since my phone says I've reached my data limit.  The place is cute... wood floors, tin ceiling, exposed stone wall (not brick...i can't remember what it's called, but pretty much all the old buildings here are made from it).  The only problem I have with this place is that it closes at 3:30... who does that??  It's a terrible time to close.  Normally, I'd be sitting here with my headphones music...listening to the conversations around me.  Considering where I am, I think it's best if I avoid eavesdropping.  I know it'll take little time for me to end up horrible offended, and I'm trying really hard to behave while I'm here... at least behave well enough to not end up lynched.  Opening my mouth in a public place would prove dangerous.

There's also an archery shop right across the street....

Ok... I should do my homework before this place closes...

Thursday, September 13, 2012


And I apologize for the intentionally vague nature of most of this... but I find it frustrating when my deep, foundational beliefs are challenged and found to be lacking.

No, I don't believe in any deities.  Sorry if you got your hopes I know some of you did.

It's just that perhaps I'm  not the pacifist I have always thought myself to be... and the challenging aspect of this is that it's a side of myself that I've been shying away from for some time...yet I've been unwilling to admit my own changes even to myself.  It's only in the last weeks that I've actively sought the changes...rather than passively searching out the possibilities online.

What do you do when you really want to do something that goes against everything you've ever believed?  And what do you do do it.  And like it.  I spent too much time justifying this before acting... and it brought me a lot of peace...but I am still stumbling a little.

It's good for me.  Change is good.  It wasn't a bad foundation, but it's served its purpose and now I need a new one.  Reconciling the acceptance of this new side of myself into the hippie mold I've always lived in will take some time.

Over-analyzing is tiring.  Why am I unable to over-analyze in just one area of my life at a time???

And no, it's not a bdsm thing...I've read over this a couple times and every time it seems worse.  I just want to shoot things with arrows.  Nothing that's alive.

Good Days Cause Bad Days.

I should have known better than to revel in the pleasure of a few good days.  That sort of thing rarely lasts... and when it falls apart, it falls apart in a really destructive way...destroying foundations that were in place long before the good days.  It's like a toddler playing with blocks; all I can do is sit back and watch as the towers fall.  Fitting for this time of year, right?

I'm sitting here now, listening to gentle rain and feeling like my heart, along with various other body parts, have been torn to bits and put in a jar with rusty razor blades and barbed wire and salt, shaken, and then poured into a fancy glass over hot coals.  When things are already pissing me off, my memory has a way of connecting things that may or may not actually be related, and then spiraling out of control.  Damn synapses. I've had 3 nights of difficult sleeping... I never sleep well on Mondays, but I have no good excuse for the next two nights.  The way my brain is working right now, I can't count on more than 4 or 5 hours tonight.  This is wearing on me.  And the fact that it's 7:18 and Oliver has been asleep since returning from his dad's means this might be a long night in more than one way.

And...when I'm worn down, I shouldn't listen to music.  It just speeds those possibly-false connections along even faster, and I end up sitting on an ottoman for an hour turning over my unnecessary thoughts.  I don't like having some of the thoughts I've had today...and I really don't like applying "what if" to situations that, years ago, were way outside of what ifs.  I cherish my memories, but sometimes I wish they were unavailable for over-analyzing years later.  I think I should say yes more, and spend more time as far from my comfort zone as possible... but after today, I think I'll be spending some time hiding out and licking my self-inflicted wounds.  Wonder how long it'll take...

If Oliver hadn't started school, I wouldn't have time for all this thinking.  He's doing great at school, though.  Loves it.

But...anyway.  What should I do with the mood I'm in right now?  Use it against myself...because under normal circumstances I would not share my homework with anyone outside my class (and I'll only share it there because it's required).  I wrote a poem.  We all know how I feel about poetry.  The writing process was upsetting and emotionally exhausting.  My book dredged up all sorts of uncomfortable and painful memories, but then told me to discard them if they were too painful to write about.  That seemed very inauthentic...why would I want to be emotionally dishonest in my work?  There's nothing real about avoiding the things that make me uncomfortable...and I want the things that I write to feel real.  Anyway... I'm sharing my super-depressing poem with you...whoever you all its trivial glory.

The gray morning hung outside the window
Like some limp sheet
Wet from days of autumn rain
Stray leaves were plastered to the glass
Some trailed through the house
Its doors open to the elements
Its doors open to let out the smell
The leaden sky muted the world
“He always talked about you, wondered how you grew up.
He hoped the world never got to you.”
I sat at the table, empty
Tapping a pen on a notepad
My eyes fixed on the stained coffee cup
The one that stood beside the coffee pot
Full and waiting
Hot until it was cold
For a week, maybe two
“I want his coffee cup,” his best friend said. 
“That’s all I want.  Something to remember him by… we had coffee on Sundays.”
I made a list of little trinkets
Memories for others to hold on to
Gathered these artifacts on the table
And I made a list of to-dos
Check the attic for marijuana
Find bank statements and bills
Call biohazard cleaners about the smell
“We’ve never had a turn-out like this.  Standing room only. 
He touched a lot of people.”
Find address book
Send thank-you notes
See lawyer
Which copy of this manuscript is the newest?
Probably the one on the coffee table,
Half face-down with notes
“That walnut is special, don’t throw it away.
It was his pet.  It had a name, but I don’t remember it.”
Box up a life
Put it in storage
Or don’t, because the smell will linger
The choking sweetness
A smell you’d know as death
Even if you’d never smelled it before
Which memory would I pick to keep?
Which borrowed memory of this man I did not know?
“He took the strings off the guitar.  He always said that if it had strings,
It would distract him and he’d never get anything done.”
But today it had strings
And I remembered a golden summer evening
The last rays of sun warming my tanned skin
My little white sundress billowing in the wind
Chasing fireflies
My father on the back steps, guitar in hand
And his smile as he sang

And now I feel all the things I felt before...and also exposed.  Oh well.  Here's to now and don't look back (says Better Than Ezra)... Here's to honesty.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's been a long day...

My little one started preschool today, and I think he handled it better than I did.  He was screaming and collapsed on the floor at one point, if that tells you anything.  I know this is one of those things he has to do, and that it'll be good for him...but I missed my little boy.  I found myself wishing I'd had more time with him when he was a baby, or really, that he'd been a baby for a lot longer.  One childhood just doesn't seem like enough...

I love all that he's becoming and I'm proud to be his mom :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Another Monday Arrives...

I usually don't have the luxury of sitting down so early on my Monday.  It rained yesterday...and last night... so I didn't have to water this morning.  I've also decided that there's really no use in cleaning up the toys until tomorrow, or starting the laundry until much later today.  As it seems I'm not capable of working on my REAL writing until 9:30AM, I'm here...warming up my hands for typing.

I've made two more changes to the story.  The first was tiny and had to be done.  I was really just fixing a mistake that I'm not sure how I overlooked for so was so OBVIOUS.  The second was yet another time issue...I have spent more time dealing with time than I have with anything else lately.  I suppose that's to be expected, considering the importance of time in this story.  Once these two little bits are cleared up, I can get things moving forward again.  I'd really like to see this done by the end of the month.

In the last week I've also managed to outline a few short stories.  At this point, I'm not sure when I'll find the time to write them, or if they'll have the potential to be expanded into longer works, but it was nice to bleed the creative vein onto something new.

In addition to my names lists and words I like list, I think I'm going to make a list of catchy phrases.  I have a few on my phone, but really need to relocate them.  I don't know what I'll do with them... but some feel like titles to things.

I'm starting a poetry-writing class this month...and having mixed feelings.  I really don't like poetry.  It's not an intimidation factor.  I get it.  It's just that so much poetry is terrible.  I used to waste many nights writing terrible poetry with other people who were also writing terrible poetry... and now I'm not even sure I could produce something terrible, because I'm just so reluctant to add to the mass of terrible that already exists.  I'm taking the class to gain some appreciation for poetry, and I hope my mind opens a bit more to the topic before the class starts.  Right now, the idea of doing a peer evaluation on a poem is nauseating.

My latte is cold and I haven't yet scavenged the kitchen for I should probably get up.  Only 12 minutes to go!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Nation of Fear

After getting all the gun stuff out of my system... I realized something else was really bothering me.  People.

I am just so mad that there are people who are so alone that no one even notices how far gone they are until it's too late....until we have a pile of bodies to contend with and even more fear instilled in everyone.  How do people end up so alone?  And how do we (yes, we...we're all responsible for this one) let anyone BE that alone?  Are we really that scared....of each other?

Monday, June 25, 2012

I think it's Monday night insomnia...

This has been a real waste of a day.  I'm sitting here, wide awake, despite my relatively small caffeine intake.  Maybe it's just the typical Monday night insomnia.  I had a rare case of Sunday night insomnia last night, coupled with some pretty bizarre dreams that I don't remember.

I suppose the day started off pretty productive.  I got the kid pre-registered for preschool.  It was a bittersweet moment.  He's a big boy now...and I love him...and I miss my little boy.  Three is a really great age.  Selfishly, I'd like for him to stay three for a few years.  Everything that comes out of his mouth is gold.  He's just hilarious.  And he's growing up...

That was about where the productivity ended.  I spent a while drawing little black lines and dots and squiggles on the table top I've been working on, and then I gave it 5 coats of polyurethane.  It's not yet done.  After that, I settled in to write.  I've been doing a pretty big rewrite in the beginning, and have gotten to a sticking point.  It's frustrating...I know what comes next, but really want to get through this little part first.  It's just a couple pages, but I'm stuck.  Over-thinking is probably to blame.  So I paced around and drank my coffee and paced around some more.  There was just no writing it today.

And then I heard a song...and there was that little movie in my head.  That's how I see the story, by the way. It's a movie and I just have to write down what I see.  The movie was that it was really good, but so depressing that I couldn't write it without crying. So I sat there, listening to the song on repeat and crying as I wrote less than a thousand words.  I'm terrible at goodbyes in any context.  This one is right up there with...well, I haven't had a goodbye like this in my life.  I think I'm thankful for that.  It tore me up pretty bad...and the thing is, the part that I wrote isn't even all that upsetting.  I just know what it takes to get there and what's about to the tiny moment of calm that my characters have makes me ache for them.

I also made salsa, picked up the outside toys, and went for a walk.  The walk was at least partially rewarding in that I got to spend a considerable amount of time completely lost in my head.  I have a playlist for the book, and I was listening to it.  The fact that monsoons are starting and so much of the story depends on the's good for inspiration.  I was really hoping to get more focus from my walk, come home with a clear mind and motivation to spare.

It's almost midnight... I should be sleeping.  I should be dreaming...

I should put some of that sweet dream stuff on my pillow and try my very hardest to not think for a while.  Maybe do some progressive muscle relaxation...I used to really love that...and it worked great for insomnia. Becoming a mom seems to have been the ultimate insomnia cure, though.  Except on Mondays...sleep never comes easy when the kid's not home.

I think my chances of falling asleep will be greatly improved if I turn off the computer...

Monday, June 4, 2012

What's in a Name?

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a thing for naming things.  I once had hundreds of rubber duckies, and almost all had names.  Yes, I knew those names.  My computers are named (Friday, Dexter, and Howard).  My son has two middle names, and I would have given him a dozen if I'd thought it socially acceptable.  Two is kind of the limit on that, right?  Maybe three.  I don't know.


I haven't officially named the series I'm writing.  It has a working title, as an overall kind of thing for the whole series.  However, not a single one of the individual books has been named.  I feel that this is a hindrance, and that by leaving them unnamed for this long, I'm losing a valuable piece of my story.  What if the name is important to the story?  What if, once I know what it's called, I have to rewrite the whole thing?  That seems all too likely.

The naming issue has been in the back of my mind for over a year, and it's never mattered nearly as much as it does right now.  Why?  Because I named something else.  It's another story that's been in the back of my mind for close to a year now.  I could blame Rumi or Deepak Chopra for it, because I'm sure one of them had something to do with its origin, but I don't remember.  It's not that I'm unhappy that I named it, it's just that... doing so makes me wonder about what I'm doing.

If that name came so simply, does that mean I should shift my focus?  I wasn't even working on that story...I just have a couple notes written down...but the name is there, and it's a real driving force.  I already know I'll be starting the story in August.

I'm not burnt out on the story I'm working on... I hope to have the entire first draft finished relatively soon, but have already gotten caught in a seemingly endless cycle of edits.  I have this terrible habit of putting in placeholder gets a very vague idea across, but isn't what I actually want to say.  Then, I have to go back and clean it up...and sometimes I'm not yet prepared with the right words.  Today I found  a few of them, but not many.  It's been exactly a week since I sent out a section to early readers, and it's already changed quite a bit.

Also, I'm not sure if it's just MY version of Word, or if there's some universal issue with the program.  After page 60, the grammar and spell check functions seem to go insane.  They're missing things that are incorrect, but wanting me to make changes to things that are correct.  I know to, too, and two; I know their, there, and they're, tyvm...but Word is trying to make it look like a text message composed by Swype (which is typically grammatically incorrect to an embarrassing degree).  No, Word, the water did not "creep too her feet."

All that said... I should be writing :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

On Reading and Writing...

Yesterday I finished reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I was left feeling both overwhelmed by the excellence of the story and depressed because I don't have that level of conflict in my story.  I have been reminding myself all day that I am not writing the same kind of story, but I still feel somehow disheartened.  It's tough to see something so good, and to then sit for hours comparing myself and my work to that something.  It'd be nice to just appreciate it for what it is and then move on.  Or, not even necessarily move on, but just not beat myself up over it.  The worlds are so different that I shouldn't even be thinking the things that I'm thinking... (oh no, I'd better add some more violence and kill a few more people or no one will keep reading!!).

Insurgent was fantastic, though.  The first book in the series, Divergent, was also pretty good.  It's just nice when a second book is as good or better than the first... the story didn't slump at all.  The character development improved, the world building was amazing and far more detailed than in the first book, and the conflict...omg the conflict.  There wasn't a moment to breathe; no peace, no safety.  It was intense from beginning to end.  The end, for me, was predictable but really great.  It's taken the story from the average dystopia to something much more shocking.  It's a direction I've not seen in YA before... and it's just sooooo good.  I hate that I have to wait a year to find out how it all ends.

But here I am, comparing my otherworldly YA speculative fiction to a dystopia.  Some of the overall themes are similar, but the story...the things that happen to the characters to drive them to the conclusion are completely different.  I worry that the basic conflicts I'll present aren't dramatic enough... especially when you take into consideration the complete lack of vampires, werewolves, angels, fairies, or any other fairy tale creatures.  No magic, either (not in the traditional sense, anyway).  I'm not even going to have a genuine love triangle...or a love-at-first-sight thing (because those totally piss me off).  I'm actually so caught up in the 'what-ifs' that I'm stuck.  Should I add a bit of violence?  It'd only make a complete mockery of the world I'm creating.  Book two will have violence..plenty of it, I'm sure.  Should I throw in a glitter-covered something-or-other as a love interest, just to get the love triangle thing going?  Maybe, rather than having my male leads be science geeks who doing things that seem like magic...I'll give them actual magic.  But wait, no...that would ruin the story, too.  :|  There IS government conflict, but the point isn't to drive the story with conspiracy theories.  That'd make a great book, and I'll probably go there someday... but not now.

I just need to stop beating myself up.  My story is different.  I can't compare myself to everything out there.  It's a GOOD thing to like books... :)  Mine included... damnit.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why I've Been Away...

Wow, it's been a while.  The last time I wrote here, I liked the layout.  Now, not so much.  This is pretty...ugly.


Why have I been away?  Why have I not been writing here???  Simple.  I've been writing somewhere else.  I'm now over 30,000 words into book one of my series.  It's a process, lemme tell ya... but it feels like the right thing to do.  It's a bit sloppy right now, and totally a rough draft, but I'm getting it all out and when it's out, I'll figure out what to do with it.  I'm learning a lot about my characters by having them interact.  I'm also figuring out pieces of the story that work...and don't work.  It's a lot of fun :)

But, writing about writing isn't actually why I came here... I'm here to vent.  And I'll do it in another entry, because it'd just be messy to put it here...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sleepy feelings

There's this feeling I only get easily when I'm over-tired.  It's like butterflies in my heart..  It's a very fluttery and good feeling, though it's so delicate that I'm sure it could easily turn to crushing heartache.  My defenses are down, so I'm more susceptible to all the stuff around me.  I'm blaming haunting music and joyful music... and tomorrow I'll be writing out the scenes I outlined tonight.  I wish I could carry the fluttery feeling into my days.  And I really hope that I can remember the feeling in the morning so that my writing will come quickly.

This morning I decided that I need to stop thinking about killing off characters.  I like closure, and the quickest way to tie up loose ends is to kill everyone... that way there won't be any what ifs.  The thing is, I don't have much reason to kill people who matter this time.  I'm still not sure about happy endings; while I understand there is a formula for things, I also think that, no matter how surreal the reality is, it's still a reality...and I need to respect that.  I know all of the endings, and they're all a bit sad.  The last will at least feel complete... but I can already picture Ivy at the end; I can see her expression and know what she's feeling...and it's bittersweet.  I want to kill her to take away THAT suffering, but I can't...because there's still hope.  The hero doesn't have to die to create a legend... not all of her, anyway.

And even though I've decided not to kill her, and I'm certain of that... I've also decided that I'm sticking with third person limited.  I re-wrote the first chapter in first person, just to see how it felt.  There were some things that I thought were definite advantages, but when it comes down to it, I'm just tired of YA being written in first person.  And I don't want to limit the POV so much.  Sure, Ivy is interesting... but I like the idea of developing empathy in the ways that we do as people.  I read a great article earlier about how humans are feeling creatures - how we read those around us and feel with them - and how writing in third person allows us to have empathy in a way that first person does not.  First person is so much more tell than show, and I want show.  I want feel.

I'm going to read some more third person books to see the style in action.  Lately I've been reading a bunch of first person, because I read YA...blah.  I searched around for lists of third person YA speculative fiction, and some of them are really great (Cassandra Clare, for example).  I'll pick up a few of the other titles I found and go from there.  I have such an extensive reading list...and that's something that makes me VERY happy.  The last three days were spend with the Hex Hall series, and I really enjoyed the books.  They were short and fast-paced, with snarky characters (and the tall, dark, and handsome bad boy, of course).  The basics were all there, and yet, there was something original in the telling.  It was first person, but the person was interesting.  I love a good sarcastic character... laugh in the face of danger!  It wasn't deep, but there was a point in the third book that I was actually impressed by how deep it was in the heat of the moment... I wondered if it was intentional.  I wondered if the writer realized the power of the couple sentences about how the most terrible evils are those done by people who really think they're doing the right thing.

And I should sleep...before I get all political.  :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

My son turns 3 this week.  He's taking it about as well as I took turning 30...I may not have literally cried, but he certainly has.  His tears have been related to frustration...mommy must not be very smart if she keeps insisting I'm going to be 3, when I know very well that I'm 2.  I'm handling his turning 3.  Not well, but...I'll survive.  I love all the new and interesting things he's capable of these days.  I love how fast he learns, and how eager and curious he is...about everything.  It's an amazing journey.  Sometimes I miss my little baby baby smell and dino talk...him ALWAYS wanting to cuddle.  I'm lucky because he's still a pretty cuddly kid.  I'm going to take full advantage of it because I know it won't last forever.

My little boy is growing up...

In other news...things have been good and bad.  Re-entering the world of the unemployed is never really desirable...but this time around it came with such a rush of creativity that I can't help but draw the conclusion that I was creatively stifled.  I was.  I think that most people are... :\  I know I'm the square peg in the area with only round holes available.  I also know that I'm at a disadvantage because I've been mostly home for so long - away from people and their germs.  I've been told that normal companies are more understanding of similar situations...they realize that people get sick when they haven't been exposed to germs for years...and I can't help but think I'll never know the whole truth in this situation.  There's not much sense in thinking about it, which is why I haven't.

Right now I'm relaxing...laying in bed, listening to Five Mile Town...and the prayer flags beating against the screen.  It's nearly time to get back to writing... but I'm easing into it tonight.  After the dreams I had last night, I think I may have to get some other stuff out before I can get on with the real  My dream was a bizarre combination of Cars 2 and the Hunger Games movie.  Everyone had to take pills, and the pills may or may not kill them when they're placed in front of a screen.  It was some kind of population control.. weeded out the weaker people?  I don't remember the details of why it was done.  The guard walked away after giving out the pills, and was talking with someone down the road.  The girl in front of me stepped in front of the was more of an arch that looked something like a time travel portal.  She immediately went into violent convulsions.  Her skull cracked as it hit the rocky ground, there was a lot of blood... I ran in front of the screen and tried to hold her down.  I felt her die.  Other people who were waiting around freaked out because I'd gone in front of the screen to help her.  I broke the rules; they also thought I was going to die, too.  When I didn't die, they quieted and stared.  There were big screens above us broadcasting what was happening.  I was covered in her blood.  I got up to try to find the guard...mostly because I was mad at him...but I couldn't approach him.  As soon as I walked around the corner, I saw him...and he was laughing with another guard...I felt so nauseated that I turned and walked away... and then I woke up.  I felt sick for a little while after waking up.


Now that that's out, I feel a little more clear-headed.  :)  I think I can get back to what I need to be doing now.  :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Childhood Fears

Oliver is afraid of owls.  At least, he says he is.  He talks about where owls are, and how he would rather not be in the same places.

I'm not afraid of owls, but I do have complicated emotions when it comes to the dark, coyotes, and bugs.  Just a few minutes ago, I was relaxing in bed.  I guess I was trying to watch Seinfeld, but it's hard to do with a pack of coyotes outside the window.  An ambulance broke things up for a few minutes, but once whatever the fuss at the other end of the street was dealt with, the yipping and howling rose up again.  And then I remembered my first real fears.

When I was little, 3 or 4 years old, we lived out in the country.  In the summer, we'd sleep with windows open and screen doors letting the night breeze fill the house.  We also had dimmer switches in a few rooms - my bedroom being one.  I was terrified of the dark, and slept with the light dimmed about half way.  Moths and what I assume to have been all forms of winged monsters gathered on the ceiling of my room, right above my bed.  If I slept (or tried to sleep) on my back, I would see the bugs.  That didn't work for me.

I tried sleeping on my stomach, but my bed was right under the one window I had...overlooking the front yard.  On a clear night when the moon was full, it was a massacre.  The coyotes would gather to eat our cats. They'd roam the lawn in silence.  It was chilling.

So those were my choices: the bugs on the ceiling, or the coyotes on the lawn.  I vividly remember many a night hiding under my sheet, swatting at things that I thought were crawling on me, doing everything I could to keep my eyes closed.  After all, when you're a kid, the dangers are less real if you keep your eyes closed.  Sometimes I'd cry.  Sometimes I was too scared to sleep, and instead, I passed out from exhaustion.

I'm the grown-up now, and I protect my little one from the owls... he says, "there's nothing to be scared of" as he walks down the dark hall to go to bed.  He talks about the ghosts and the owls and the bats.  He's a tough kid, but I wonder if he'd tell me if something really scared him.  I never told my parents about the bugs or the coyotes.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I came here with the intention of writing something much more meaningful...and instead I wrote the previous entry...a work-related rant.  Boo.

The other day I was asked a very simple question, and yet... it's changed something in me.  "How's the book coming?"  A person I hardly know at all is aware that I'm writing something.  I felt a bit of fear...pride, too, but there was some fear.  I've admitted to myself and to others that I am writing.  There's an expectation out there... and apparently it's no longer just my own.

There was a bit of unexpected good fortune in my writing class - those students who are working on a longer piece are able to submit the first chapter in place of a short story.  I had so hoped to be able to use this class as a method of fleshing things out.  I want more feedback.  I want some insight... the first book is still my stumbling point.  If only I could start with book two...I already know that world.  Creating a whole world is difficult...much more difficult that I'd imagined.  A small-scale world is one thing...a town, a house, a park... this is a whole world, its universe...the feel, the look, the people... it's every little thing that makes it real.  I can see it so clearly, and I know a few of the people who live there, but I don't know the world; I don't know the rules.

Oddly, despite the lack of a world for my characters to toil in, I am feeling confident.

My biggest fear with the class is that I have to tell my class how the story ends.  I've given details to 3 people...but haven't told them the most important thing about the story.  If I'm not even able to tell people I trust, how can I tell all these strangers??  It's too close to me.  If I believed in souls, this'd be a part of mine.

Anyway... I'm trying to avoid getting Oliver's current illness... The effort is entirely futile, but it's best that I sleep now anyway.  Monday morning always comes too soon.

Worker Bee.

I've learned some things in the last six months that I could have gone a lifetime without knowing.  In fact, I wish I didn't know...

I wish I didn't know that one stinky person is able to make an 8000 square-foot building smell so bad it makes your eyes water.  A few stinky people at once is probably someone's hell.  It's pretty close to that for me.  I have a low threshold for such things.  How do you tell someone that they're making you feel an almost uncontrollable urge to dry-heave over a trash can?

A while back we got a book about crafting with cat hair.  I'm serious.  Felted cat hair finger puppets.  It's pretty fantastic.  But, after checking in books for...all this time...I've decided that we need a Crafting with Patron Hair book.

I'm also genuinely appalled by the things that people seem to think library books are used for... a library book is not a plate or a coaster, yet they so often come back with bits of food stuck inside the pages and the tell-tale coffee cup-sized circle of dried liquid on the cover.  I would really like to NEVER again have to ask myself, or anyone else, "Is this chocolate or...?"  I'd be so happy if I never again found a piece of toilet paper being used as a bookmark.  At least I haven't yet had the thrill of picking a condom out of a book.

It's upsetting.

What little tolerance I had for people is quickly fading.  I do have my moments of being genuinely friendly, but it's tough.  I like the books far more than I like the people.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I see the sun peeking...

Literally and figuratively.  It's probably going to be a pretty fantastic day outside...I'll be inside for the most part, though. I'm on day 4 of whatever illness this is, and I'm thoroughly tired of being sick.  Getting a job is supposed to be a good thing, full of new goodness and new money...but it's hard to get either of those things when you also get new illnesses that keep you firmly placed on your couch, rather than in your place of employment.  In an effort to change the pace of this last week and a half, I've decided to write about the good aspects of all that's gone wrong.

First and foremost, I'd like to address this random illness.  My inner ears have always given me issues...from room-spinning dizziness to throat infections.  It's not much fun, but it does lead to weight loss in the new year!  It's really hard to eat in a spinning room...and the results are often exactly as one would expect.  While illness may not be my preferred method, it's a method none the less.  And let's face it, most women secretly (and some publicly) wish to drop a few pounds each January.  I'm not one for resolutions, but I'll take a happy coincidence any time :)

The POS car breaking down at the grocery store...after I got produce and frozen foods... well, that could have been much worse.  My mom had planned to drive that car to Tucson over the weekend, and it would have been much more complicated getting it towed from there to a place that would have been closed.  And she didn't end up stranded in Tucson.  And I found out just how quick and well AAA works.  But I think the most important thing I learned from that is that my son is a real trooper.  He didn't whine AT ALL.  He was stuck sitting in a hot car, and all he asked for was a drink.  He didn't cry, he didn't kick the seat... When we got out to let the tow truck do its thing, he watched with quiet excitement (quite a task for a nearly 3-year-old).  When we got to the mechanic, he stayed where he was supposed to stay.  He read an old issue of Guns and Ammo (not really my idea of good reading material for a toddler, but whatever) and looked at model cars.  He was just an absolutely perfect child.  I was pretty proud... pretty impressed with his attitude.

And besides, the car is fixed now.

The lack of a hot water heater for a few days... every single shower I've had since getting the new hot water heater has been amazing.  I've been much more grateful for what I have.

The blown up microwave and outlet got me a nice new microwave.  The outlet is fixed, too.  I still haven't figured out all the buttons, but it's pretty.

All my textbooks arrived on time, for once.  I really miss shopping at the UA bookstore, but at least this semester I'm prepared.  The best part of this is that I actually bought the books for my writing class, and I really like one of them.  I can see myself referencing it in the future.

I've had an iPad to play with for a few days now... and I have to admit, the thing is pretty cool for Oliver.  It's mostly useless for me...I can't type fast on it and it's just not fast enough for me overall.  The little kid phonics games are lots of fun for Oliver, though.  He likes it a lot more than I do... so maybe I'll look into other tablet-like devices and see if I can find one with similar games.  There's just no way I can justify buying an iPad.  It's nice to see my kid getting interested in a tech toy and actually being able to learn from it :)

Then there's the accidental 8-week writing class.  For some reason, I think I knew I was signing up for an 8-week class during registration.  I just completely forgot.  I'm sure I thought it'd be an excellent idea, because I'd get it out of the way and have less to do in the end of the traditional semester.  That's still true, and if I survive the next few weeks, it'll be nice to have a break.  I wanted to be forced to write something...and now I'm REALLY forced.

There's one good thing that's happening this week that doesn't have roots in anything bad.  I'm paying off a credit card.  Two down, two to go!  I'm very excited :)

And finally, as the room is not currently spinning, I think I'm going to have a brownie.  :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Return of the Bad Blogger

It's a new year and this is a new blog post!  I'm doing my best to remain positive this year, and this year is raging back - saying, "I CHALLENGE YOU to keep that unnaturally cheerful disposition in the face of all I'll give you, AND raging pms."  You're right, you're right...I am not a particularly cheerful person, but I am generally capable of finding the good and/or humorous side of whatever is going on.  It's been getting increasingly difficult, though.  Last Monday I was really not looking forward to going back to work.  Having only one day off was insufficient and I was cranky.  I got to the parking lot, picked up my purse, and noticed that it had cat puke all over one side.  Awesome, right?  The next day, the hot water heater broke.  I can survive one day without a shower, and without killing anyone as a result of not having showered.  At the end of that day, I was boiling water on the stove and preparing a lovely 6-inch bath for myself.  This went on for a while.  Please keep in mind that, with raging pms and not nearly enough chocolate on the face of the earth to calm me, saying that I was unkind would be an understatement.  Looking back, I'm not sure how some people survived.  Friday morning I finally got a wonderful shower, and thought that just based on that, the whole day had to be excellent.  And then the dreaded monthly visitor arrived.  19 years and I still whine... Anyway, I had things to do!  I had to go get a storage unit so that I can re-do Oliver's room, I needed to shop, and I wanted to take Oliver to the library.  We made the rounds, but at some point I managed to lose my coffee, so we had to go back to Starbucks.  Convenient, I guess, because I also needed some produce and a bag of coffee for home brewing, and Starbucks is in Safeway.  I always park way out in the middle of nowhere, partially because walking across a parking lot IS exercise, and partially because I'm terrible at parking.  This came in very handy when Oliver and I got back to the car...loaded it up with even more groceries...and the damn thing wouldn't start.  I am so glad I have AAA.  And so glad I parked in bfe, so that the tow truck could get to us...  The tow truck driver was nice... Oliver thought the whole process was a huge adventure...and the fact that I wanted the car relocated to the railroad tracks and lit on fire was met with many laughs (though all concerned understood my frustration with the thing).  It didn't go on the railroad tracks, and there was no ceremonial burning... but it does have to get a new fuel pump.  :(  I really need to buy a car.

We stayed home yesterday, to avoid anything else going terribly wrong.  And also because we don't have a car until Monday afternoon.  Oliver got all mucusy and fevery about half way through the day.  The only really good things that happened well, the Red Wings won (always a good thing)...and I made some pretty awesome fried pickles.

Today I woke up with a massive headache.  I still have the headache, and have taken motrin... and there are still tears streaming down my face because it hurts so much.  My ears are stuffy.  My eyes feel like they're going to pop out of my head.

Such a fun week.

At least I'm getting this out of the way early in the year.

But I think I need to lay with my eyes closed for a while...