Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!

The pneumonia has made a return so I'll be concentrating on getting well until the new year is here.
I will try to pop in and visit blogs when I'm awake and able to do so!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Déjà Vu Blogfest

Today I am participating in the Déjà Vu Blogfest hosted by Lydia Kang, DL Hammons, Creepy Query Girl, and Nicole Ducleroir! We are posting a favorite blog post from the past. I can hardly wait to blog hop - to read some for the first time that I missed out on and to rediscover some from favorite bloggers!


A lot of writers don't like the rewrite process. It's not as creative as that first draft when everything is flowing, including great little nuggets that seem cool at the time but no sense with the story (how many times have you said to yourself, "I'll come back to that later"??).

You stare down at that HUGE manuscript that seems to have multiplied in pages now that you have to edit the thing and think "now WHAT?"

You do what you do best - avoid. You clean the house. You run every errand you can think of, including ones that have been on the list for two years. Suddenly, that closet in the guest room that you haven't organized in three years seems to bug you so much that you must do it NOW. You go have lunch with the friends you've been putting off for the last few months as you finish your book. You take the dog on all those fun adventures you've been wanting to do but didn't have time.

Then, that feeling sets in - you haven't written in a week or two or five. You start to get antsy. Your chest is tight. You need to create. Briefly, you're tempted to chase that shiny new idea. But you don't. You force yourself to sit down with your colored post-its and your favorite pen. You sit. And you sit. And you sit. And then the phone rings so you have an excuse to get up.

I forgot to bring a book to school last week when I was teaching. Best. Thing. Ever. I had one scrap of paper - my schedule of classes. I flipped it over and did some sketching. Redesigning. I remembered why I love rewriting so much. It's every bit as creative as that first draft. I rolled up my sleeves and got muddy like a five year old in a puddle.

And it worked. Like, really worked. Everything flows now in the story. Scenes have been moved around, forward, deleted. There is nothing hitting that moment where it all comes together. Rewrite euphoria. The Writer's High.

I was going on less than five hours sleep and I could not wait to get home. I was actually irritated that I had to run a real errand on the way (Lily has to eat, you know). When I sat down to my computer, it felt like I had slept ten hours! My fingers flew across the keyboard. They've been flying ever since! Who needs sleep?

Now, the laundry has piled up again. Cupboards are bare. The dog is wondering what happened to all that fun hiking that she got to do with Mom the last few weeks. That five pounds I lost is finding it's way back to me. But I don't care. I'm on that writer's high!

What about you - have you had a dose of that Writer's High? That Rewrite Euphoria?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday Wishes

This is Wednesday leaning out of her cat tree. She may look like just your average gray tabby cat, but she has many skills. Most of these skills, she uses for The Good. Okay, 'most' might be a slight exaggeration. Wednesday is a good little kitty, though, at heart. She loves her family, loves her sisters, loves annoying those sisters and she also loves to grant wishes. Every Wednesday morning, I will rub the side of the cat house and summon our magic cat!

My Wednesday Wishes for the week:

1) House of Wormwood C No. 20 - At the Renn Faire last year, I purchased a candle that smelled like eucalyptus. It's an odd fragrance that I love. I think I burned it once and then we had company over so the tin was closed and put away. I rediscovered it tonight while riffling through the hall closet for wrapping paper. It made my night. Possibly even my entire week. The house smells of eucalyptus. The migraine that was starting vanished. I went online to search for a new candle only to find that they didn't have this number anymore. Boo. I've tried many eucalyptus candles over the years and this was hands down the BEST. So I'm wishing that somehow I will get a new candle. I think that's an easier wish than the fast forwarding of time so that tomorrow is suddenly the Renn Faire.

2) Donations - We're wrapping again (Paws and Learn), but our first day was not very lucrative. Our organization relies mainly on donations in this down economy because most of the grant money has dried up. We do not get a salary. This is a labor of love for Meredith and I because we believe so strongly in the importance of Humane Education (especially reading stories like this). But handouts do not come cheap and these children need to take lessons home with them (in the form of fun activities) to reinforce what they have heard in class, and to counteract what is being taught at home and in their own neighborhoods. Every cent we make goes right back into our presentation materials and programs. We spent 8 hours at a Barnes & Noble last week for a whopping $10. So here's to hoping the rest of the week is far more productive, especially now that we've gotten them to move the table downstairs next to the register.

3) A Day - I would love to be able to choose one day of my life and go back to relive it. I wouldn't change a thing. I just want to be back in my grandparents house to spend a day in their presence. Grandma would be cooking up something that makes the whole house smell like...well, like their house. I know that I've talked about my grandparents before and how close I was to both of them, but especially to my grandma. There are usually days that pass without much more than a quiet thought of them. Then there are days like today - after a particularly vivid dream the night before - where the ache of missing them drives me nuts. When my grandpa passed, my mom and aunts put their house up for sale. I was far too young and it was crazy expensive given it's location, but I wanted to buy that house so badly and just keep it exactly as it was. The Mirror of Erised would have been so dangerous for me. I might have been like Harry and spent far too many hours in front of it. So I would wish for a day, any day of my choosing, to step back into that life - with grandma's cooking and her laughter that rang through the house (you could hear her in any room no matter how far away you were), to wander through grandpa's garden with him as he showed me all the new plants he had just added and what was in bloom, to hug them both and hold them tight. How cool would it be if we could do that occasionally? Oh magic, why can't you be real? I guess that's what memories are for, though.

What about you - what are your wishes for Wednesday our magical cat?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

FUN Friday

Belated. This is what happens when I start posts early...I forget to check the post options and actually give them a date. Oops!

WARNING: Strong language. But it's so worth it.

I wish I had the courage to do something fun and crazy like this. When I was in high school maybe, but not now.

The original Footloose music video

We celebrated another year of my life tonight. As I got toward the end of my 20s, birthdays depressed me. Now, I love them. Love. Because I have lost friends way too young. Every year is a gift and I've learned to be thankful for them. I spent the evening in the company of the best of friends. Lily thought the party was for her. She was hilarious with her enthusiastic greeting of the guests at the door. But they were here for ME! I am very blessed. You wouldn't believe how far these wonderful will drive to celebrate with me. Special, special people. And we had delicious food. Three words, my friends - Red velvet cheesecake. Oh yum. So yum!

Off to bed, then a hike in the morning and Sunday football. Weekends don't get any better than this.

Did I mention the red velvet cheesecake?

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Wishes

This is Wednesday leaning out of her cat tree. She may look like just your average gray tabby cat, but she has many skills. Most of these skills, she uses for The Good. Okay, 'most' might be a slight exaggeration. Wednesday is a good little kitty, though, at heart. She loves her family, loves her sisters, loves annoying those sisters and she also loves to grant wishes. Every Wednesday morning, I will rub the side of the cat house and summon our magic cat!

My Wednesday Wishes for the week:

1) Living Room Furniture - I have had this current set for a decade. My aunt donated it to me after it had graced her living room for five years. I don't buy things for myself often. It's time for a new set. I don't like to do a lot shopping so I would really like to find a complete set somewhere and just be done with it. No luck so far. But oh how I am wishing! Just let me walk in somewhere Saturday morning and have it jump out at me. I want to shout "That's IT! Wrap it up and deliver it this afternoon!" No?

2) Health - I have a major sore throat that I'm really hoping is allergies. I had to cancel our last game night because of the pneumonia and it would just be dumb rotten luck to be getting sick again when we have company this weekend! So sore throat be gone! And take the virus with you as you flee my body. I want a fun Saturday evening filled with friends and laughter!

3) Memory - There's a wish that has been in and out of my head for a good month now. Every time I sit down to type this list? It's gone! I guarantee in an hour, I will remember and think "DOH! I should have written (wish)!" Sometimes I worry about my memory. It seems if I don't write everything down, I forget. And there are times when it's written down and I still forget! Appointments, lunch dates, things like that tend to escape me. The best is when I write it on a post-it and find the post-it only a few minutes after the (insert appointment) was scheduled! So I guess my wish is to improve my memory over all. I remember random dates, conversations word for word, our very first telephone number at the house we resided in when I was five...but schedule lunch with me for next Tuesday at 1pm and there's a chance that I might not be at the restaurant if you didn't send me a reminder or I forgot to look at the calendar!

What about you - what are your wishes for Wednesday our magical cat?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Editing Fun

I'm not above rewrites. For real. I love them. Or like them. Depending on my mood. Mostly, though, I love them. It's a great excuse to pull out the post-its and markers and color code everything. I like the idea of building on and filling out. The foundation is laid, the beams are in, but we need walls and windows and doors. After that, I'll go back through and decorate with art work and furniture and family photos (got to have lots of those!).

But right now? I'm at the not fun part.

I spent the last week really buckling down. You should see all the post-its and mark ups. It's a thing of beauty! I'm done with the initial handwriting part so it's time to move onto the computer.

Here's where the downer's not my computer. My laptop crashed and I have been too cheap to replace it. Oh sure, I toyed with the idea of going to WalMart's Black Friday for that $198 laptop deal that they had. But ultimately I decided that being warm and uncrowded in my mother-in-laws living room was more important to me. Silly me. I truly regret that decision.

I am forced to work on the hubster's computer in his den. The chair is so uncomfortable. The lighting is awful. No fun. I went from the excitement of rewrites to the PAIN of rewrites. Literal, physical pain. But I'm plugging through them anyway.

By tomorrow, I bet I'll be online looking for a great deal on laptops. Or netbooks. Any recommendations? Pros and cons of each?

If you're looking for a laugh (even though it's Monday), pop on over to Michelle Hodkin's blog here. Best story ever. I laughed so hard. Her brother is amazing. It must run in the family. She writes her amazing stories on paper and he just lives his.

Friday, December 2, 2011

FUN Friday

TGIF! I was so happy to see the weekend roll in (unlike the 55mph winds that heralded its coming)

We lost a great man this week. Patrice O'Neal was an incredible comedian and a heckuva guy. Heaven just got funnier while earth lost some laughter.

I have been waiting for a campaign like this. I find it brilliant. If you are easily offended, don't watch. I heart Katherine Heigl for tackling the spay/neuter issue with humor. I'm embarrassed how many times I've watched this. I laugh just as hard every time.

Trying to take a family photo with the dogs can be this couple found out.

I can't tell you how many shots it took to get this.

I'm pretty sure that I've shared this one before. It's one of my favorites. I find it fascinating. It's like they're having an entire conversation. I love how the one twin laughs like his brother is cracking jokes. Amazing! And adorable.

I'm kicking off my weekend with Crit Group! No big plans really. Some furniture shopping, but it's doubtful I will decide on anything again this weekend. It's fun to shop, though.

What about you - any big plans this weekend?