Saturday, October 30, 2010

A dream is a wish your heart makes

Once upon a time, I wrote a book. I talked about it here, and I was going to show it to people at the writer's conference last week. I missed the official deadline to send in pages for a critique and used that as an excuse to mess with it a little more.

If my book were Cinderella, she'd be standing here, in rags. She was dressed and ready for the ball, looking all put-together and then her stepsisters ripped the entire thing apart. I did the damage of two evil-stepsisters, all by myself! Now I'm just hoping I can also take on the role of fairy godmother and craft a new, shiny dress, complete with glass slippers. I am praying that there will be a happy ending to this revision journey so I can stick with the Cinderella analogy. I can't think about poor Humpty Dumpty.

I am reading Souvenir, by Therese Fowler. I love it. My problem is, I know it. The Theme seems very familiar to my Cinderella. I can't decide if that is a good thing or not. It might have been Shakespeare, or my creative writing teacher in college, who said "There are no new stories." But these two are very similar when you look at the bones. I have not finished the book but I think I know how it ends. (Maybe it does not end like mine--stay tuned!) The details are different, of course. Hers is set in Florida, while mine is in Alaska. Hers takes place now (or a few years ago) while mine takes place a century ago. I have not come across a moose in her story but she includes sex, drugs and rock and roll. My Cinderella just has sex.

I hope the next post will involve my Cinderella, pages fluttering in the wind, heading towards the sunset in a carriage pulled by two horses. I really hate to involve all the king's horses and all the king's men.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chompin' at the bit

I signed on to Nano again. With no clear idea of what I would be writing about. Again.
Then, I got a shower!
In the shower, I got an idea for a novel!
I wrote a note about the main idea, almost got to dinner and saw the whole thing. This one will work! (I love the current WIP but I've been having a "relationship" with it for 8 or 9 years. It's not it it, it's me.) The new idea is great! BUT. I can't cheat. I can't write the first word now, if I want to count it as my Nano novel. Right? Right. Right?


No nap on Monday, no nap on Tuesday. It was starting to look like my youngest was ready to give up his naps! He will be three on Monday--the same day Nano begins. Which is why he cannot give up his naps, just yet! ;)

He argued about it today. (This is the child who has never given us any trouble about going to bed or taking naps). I know the end is near but I really need him to keep napping, for at least another month!

I had to wake him up, this morning to get him and his siblings to their dental appointments by 8am. After HIS first visit to the dentist (he has been dying to get behind that magic door!), I dropped his siblings off at their respective schools and took him to his Time Out program. He played with kids and had a snack while I went back to the elementary school for library time. When I picked him up, he had a few treats he'd been given for Halloween. He had a little sugar in the car and a little more with lunch. That was probably not the right menu for someone getting ready to go to bed!

He is finally asleep! I played fetch with the dog and now she is asleep. I have an hour until I have to leave to get the older kids. I can finish the dishes or fold clothes or take a shower or write or read. But I am daydreaming about taking a nap.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hum dum dum ditty dum

Oh the wind is lashing lustily
And the trees are thrasing thrustily
And the leaves are rustling gustily
So it's rather safe to say
That it seems that it may turn out to be
It feels that it will undoubtedly
It looks like a rather blustery day, today
It sounds that it may turn out to be
Feels that it will undoubtedly
Looks like a rather blustery day today
~ Winnie The Pooh and the Blustery Day, Richard M. Sherman & Robert B. Sherman
Long days, Mondays. Longer yesterday--middle child had to be at school at 0-dark-thirty to ride the bus to the Red Ribbon Breakfast. Poor kid had a nosebleed on the way to school (yes, they wear uniforms--nice WHITE shirts). He received a new, red t-shirt at the breakfast to wear over his uniform and won a prize from a drawing: a giftcard for Playstation Network! So, he's good!

My daughter has gymnastics until 9pm on Mondays so everyone (but the little guy) seems to go to bed a little later on Mondays.

Tuesdays are the easy days. Tuesdays are the days I know I will have time to get the stroller and run with the dog while I get the little guy to the playground. So the three of us exercise, on Tuesdays. But it is WINDY. And WET. I can't open the windows so my house smells like a mix of new carpet (installed yesterday) and wet dog.

But I have time to sneak in a little writing, during Dora the Explorer episodes. Maybe I will even get around to sharing more details from the conference last weekend. (I promised details after I'd slept, which hasn't really happened yet, so maybe...) Or read a few more pages. I started Therese Fowler's Souvenir on the plane ride home. I hope to finish it soon. The first half rocks!

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Conference

I have written three accounts of the South Carolina Writers' Workshop for you. All of them are FAR too long for any of you to want to read. I'm working on that. Here is the (very) condensed version. (Which, I think, is fair. I promised an account once I'd slept--and that has not happened, yet!)

In the meantime, I will just tell you that it was an amazing weekend! I wanted to walk on the beach and hear Joshilyn Jackson's keynote speech. I walked on the beach, took her course, talked to her, had her sign my book, and talked to her a little more!

Getting there, Thursday, was Hell and I was sure I had made a mistake. Friday was great! Saturday was amazing! (Did I mention yet that I had a conversation with Joshilyn Jackson??)Sunday was a blur!

Now I am tired, inspired, have new friends to email, a draft to revise and a better blog post to draft. At least there is still a week until Nano! ;)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mission accomplished

I cannot say that I got much sleep or got much writing done. I learned a lot, met some new friends and, most importantly, got that new mug! ;)

(The old mug. I swear, it says "Haystack!")

More on the conference and the writing after I have actually slept!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I need a new coffee mug

My favorite coffee mug sprung a leak, years ago. It now holds pens, pencils and whatever-else-the-kids-put-in-it, next to the big computer in the basement.

"My" mug (when I'm not using a travel-mug) was the "Mama Bear" mug I received at a baby shower for my oldest child. It started leaking around the handle, last month.

So I'm down to my green, glass mug. It used to have gold letters saying:
Program in the Arts & Sciences
Canon Beach, Oregon
School of Extended Studies"

No leaks, yet. It has held up fairly well. Except now, the gold letters read:
Pro am in the A s & Sci
Canon O gon"
(and the last row is simply a blur)

I am headed out-of-town this week to see what conferences are like in the 21st century. I wonder if they still sell things like coffee mugs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

These genes don't fade

It is that time of year again--people need new jeans. One child's were too short, another's are too tight. Some of them have holes and they're all a little faded.

I wish I could stretch, tear or fade a few of the other genes they've inherited.

After school, my son will go up to his room to change his clothes. Before he has his belt off, he realizes he needs to visit the restroom. (He usually leaves the belt in there, on the floor, to make sure that he has to step over it the next morning before telling me he can't find it.) Then, back to his room, he shuts and locks the door. About a half an hour later (after some Lego ship has been reassembled, another disassembled, "Tech Decks" relocated and "Mighty Beans" counted) he emerges from his room in play clothes. He comes downstairs for that after-school snack and settles in to complete his homework. "Settling in" requires sitting on the dog, running with the dog, falling to the ground and allowing the dog to sit on him for several minutes before yelping for help, running outside with the dog, running back inside and taking something away from his little brother and asking if he can have that snack, yet. Once he finally eats his snack and asks what else he can have, I forcibly move him to another room, lay out his homework, hand him a pencil and shut the door. He will break that pencil, come out for another one, s_l_o_w_l_y walk back to that room, shut the door, play the piano, get back into his chair and yell for help, because he doesn't understand what he is supposed to do.

By the time I get to that room (I have to pacify a toddler and dog before I can get in there) he is rolling his eyes. After I read the directions and either ask him questions or begin explaining one way to approach the homework, he will yell that he doesn't need me, tell me he isn't stupid and demand that I leave NOW.

By now, he has killed at least a good hour and his sister is completely done with her homework. She will skip by and say something like, "If you could EVER finish that, you could probably have time to come play a video game with me." He will then proceed to finish all of his homework in less than 10 minutes. (I should really have her skip by earlier in the afternoon!)

It is just frustrating to watch him waste so much time every day.

As for me, I have some "quiet time" this afternoon while the two-year-old and the dog are both napping and the other kids are at school. I have been obsessing over the first pages of my novel as I plan to show them to real, live people at a conference next week. I was so happy to have this time to revise them again. So. I have consumed not one but two bowls of soup, checked in on facebook and have--for the first time in years--changed the layout of this blog. Isn't it pretty?

After I rinse out a few dishes and fold a basket of laundry, I should be able to get to work. Unless I need to play with the dog.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Delirium has set in!

Reviewing for the upcoming religion quiz went well, tonight.

Me: "Tell me who persecuted the Jews but then converted, even became an apostle and a saint?"

My child: "I know his name starts with a 'P' and has four letters."

Me: "Okay, good. A little more?"

M c: "Is it Peru?"

Me: "Yes. Exactly. Saint Peru. He was from South America. Now can we try again?"

M c: "I don't know."

Me: "What is my mother's name?"

M c: "Paula?"

Me: "Yes. Now...if you needed a name with only 4 letters that sounds like Paula, you'd have..."

M c: "Aula?"

And we're done.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Deadlines and such

I am still around, just not updating the blog as I should. I am coming down to the wire on the Final Draft.
Ran into some issues at the end of the summer, so I did not get the pretty draft done in August, nor did I post any of it here, as I had intended. I wanted to have a cohesive draft done then, so I would have time to polish the whole thing in time for a conference in October.
I registered for the conference to give myself an absolute deadline. (Sad, at this age, that I still need a deadline to really put anything together). Sad or not, the conference is now 3 weeks away and my draft still looks like a bloody puzzle. It's chopped up, marked up, scratched out and out of order. But I have 3 weeks.