Monthly Archives: October 2007

Life Goes On – Even if I Catch Crap About the Rockies

I was at the dog park last night and a guy threw a ball for his dog. He threw it so hard it nearly went out of the park. I told him he should be pitching for the Rockies. Another guy there chuckled and said, “Somebody should.”

At work this morning, the janitor came up to me and said, “Hey, what happened to your ball team?” They sucked. That’s what happened.

Yep. And now it’s over. The Sox swept ’em. But hey, they still made the series! And Denver (and Colorado) will always love the Rockies, winning or not. And I guess I will, too. Heck, I still even claim the Broncos even though we’ve been telling people for years that they are professionals at grasping defeat out of the jaws of victory. But there are some loyalties, sports fan or not, that transcend winning and losing.

But now life continues. Over the weekend we had our neighbor’s son re-shingle the garage and rebuild the soffit and fascia. Now I need to prime the bare wood before winter sets in – in five minutes or so. But I also need to paint the living room and hallway this weekend so it can have a week to “cure” before they put the carpet in. I know, what problems to have! All the work I’ve wanted done on my house is finally coming together! And now the shower in the basement is even done (so I can turn to the other side of the room and put in a new sink).  Then, after caulking the upstairs tub, I am taking a break from home improvements for a while. I’m exhausted.

In case I get bored, the calendar is also throwing me a massive curve ball in two days. Halloween is looming, which means Thursday is November. NaNo. Oh my God, here we go. In fact, it’s not 50K I’m going for, but a finished first draft by mid-December. I want to be editing this sucker the first of the year. The ultimate goal, of course, is to have a finished, polished draft by July so I can pitch in San Francisco. That is if I get to go. The husband might have to have surgery on his other ear this summer, which would cook the whole trip. Still, I want this sucker sellable by summer, whether I go anywhere or not.

So Wednesday we Trick or Treat, and Thursday I try to pull off the big trick. Let’s hope I have more luck than the Rockies.

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Game One Owie

Okay, so the Rockies got trounced. Pretty damned efficiently, actually. But it was just game one. There are still at least three to go – and there had better be more than three, guys! – so the Rockies still have a chance to prove that eight days off doesn’t kill a team.  They can do it.

I just have one suggestion for them. It’s called the strike zone for a reason, guys. Throw the ball there, the batter doesn’t get to take a nice little carefree stroll to first. That’s all I’m saying!

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Hardly Plotted and the Month of Madness

NaNo is right around the corner, and I’m starting to panic a bit.  Not because I don’t know what I’m going to write. I never know what I’m going to write. Nope. It’s just that my schedule is filling up pretty quickly here. And I didn’t mean for it to!

November 10th is a day I dread the most. A while back, we scheduled a baby shower for a friend at work. From 1-3, with a little set up and tear down around the edges. No big deal. Then Son #1’s teacher asked me to play hostess at a banquet that night for Special Olympics. Again, not that huge of a time commitment. I can do that. Oh, but there’s a whole Special Olympics Bowling Tournament attached to that, which runs three days, and yes, Son #1 will be participating. Okay. I can do this. Somehow. But then add to it it’s the day we pick up our Cub Scout popcorn orders and I’m starting to panic a little.

Oh, and did I mention I’m getting carpet installed that following Monday? And need to empty and paint the room first?

I think we can officially call that the weekend from hell.

So let’s assume I survive it, and come home from work Monday afternoon to a room full of gorgeous, luxurious new carpet! I’ve been waiting for this for ten years! Yes, I am excited. But I’ll have this gorgeous empty room. I will need to put furniture back into it.  And since we’re putting new furniture into it, some of which we’ve already purchased and are storing, that means I get to spend that day and evening putting together my new furniture. And hooking up the cable box again, which could take days.

Basically, I think I’ve just written off a week of NaNo for the bloody house again. (Did I mention that the basement shower is allllmost done? Just need to seal the grout and hang the shower curtain! And then do the rest of the bathroom. Hmmm.)

But on the up side, I can spend the last two weeks of November in my lovely redesigned living room writing brilliant prose.

Yeah, like I’m going to get a shot at the living room. And brilliant is a subjective term.

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Finally Going to the Series

I am not normally much of a sports fan, but I have to admit a certain amount of loyalty to the Colorado teams. Specifically the Broncos and the Rockies. So I’m way jazzed to be able to say for the first time –

Colorado Rockies

They’re Going To The World Series!!!!

Now if the Broncos can win a Superbowl this year, my parents will be in hog heaven.

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The Vampires Strike Again and the Kid Can’t Even Get a Scholarship

I donated blood again today. After last May feeling like the floor of a taxicab, I went against my better judgment and did it again. God. I’m. Tired.

I was on the borderline to do it this time, I guess. Iron had to be X amount and I was X +1 or 2. Do you think they asked me if I wanted to go ahead? Nope! They just stuck me and I started bleeding. I was tempted to speak up and ask if it was really okay to donate if I was so low, but I wouldn’t want to look like a wuss, you know. Sigh.

Yes, this is all my boss’s fault again. I love her. I do. But how come working for her means I have to open a vein every 3-4 months?

So now I’m a tad woozy (wah wah, poor me) and feel a bit like falling into a coma for a week. No such luck. After work, I have to take the puppy to obedience class. Shoot me now.

In happier news, we recently received mid-term grades for sons #1 and2. (Son #3 is too young for midterms just yet – wait two years.) Son #1 is doing extremely well in middle school so far, and when I questioned the teacher as to what standards they were using (he’s in a special Life Skills room) she was actually able to answer. I was stunned. And very proud.

Son #2 is my little Einstein. Not that I can spell that. He could. He can spell anything. He was giving his little brother a lesson on friction the other morning while they were dressing and telling him what the surface temperature is on the sun. Hells bells, I have no clue what the surface temperature is on the sun. Nor do I really care. But that’s beside the point. Son #2 is getting pretty much straight As, and those As are in the high 90s percentage wise. And yet, there is reading. He has a B in reading. He would have an A, as all his grades there are equally astronomically high, except for one unit test on which he earned a 73%. He still has not explained what the hell happened on that day. I have no idea what it could be, but if it happens again, there’s a woodshed he can go to.  In fact, he’s facing grounding tonight if he doesn’t bring home his science notebook to study for a test tomorrow. Odds are pretty good he doesn’t need to study for it, since it’s his strongest subject, but I’m not letting him slide. He’s known about this test for a week and that notebook has yet to make an appearance.

But I digress. We’ve established Son #2 is freakishly intelligent. I’m thrilled, I am! I just wish he could tie his shoes. Or sit still for five minutes. He wishes he played a sport better and, upon reflection, maybe I do, too.

Assuming his academic career continues on this way (he’s only in 4th grade, we shall see) odds are pretty good he’d have his choice of colleges. I’d love to see him go to somewhere slightly more prestigious than State, but whatever he wants. He’ll get to choose, and then we’ll try to help as much as we can. Here’s where that sport comes in.

These days when you say the words “academic” and “scholarship” together in a sentence, most high school guidance counselors look at you like you’re smoking crack. Right there. On school property. See, if Johnny can read and put together a semi-coherent sentence, we’re very proud of him and want his scores on our district test results. But if Johnny can’t pass or slam dunk, we really don’t want him at our college. Because we all know playing sports is why we go to college.  Or perhaps I’m just saying that because I work at a state college.

Or not. I went to a small, private, religious college (yes, I went to a religious college and am still agnostic as allgetout) where academics was supposedly the focus. Tuition was sky high! And yes, I got an academic scholarship – that paid about half of my books bill for the first semester. The girl down the hall, though, had a full ride on a volleyball  scholarship. Same with the football players. Most of them got generous scholarships, if not full tuition. And we had no prayer of making any main college athletic rankings. Trust me.

So in a world where school teachers make barely above minimum wage and professional athletes can buy private islands,  is there hope for a bookish kid with straight As anymore? Even if he can’t tie his shoes or get his shirt on the right direction without parental intervention?

Or is it just the anemia talking?

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A Fifth Shot of Lunacy

So who’s with me? Come on, you know you want to click that link! Give in to the peer pressure. Go ahead. It’s only your sanity!


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One Year Ago

A year ago today, I was in Newark, NJ. From the plane, I’d seen Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. For a girl who doesn’t travel much, just the part of that sentence reading “from the plane” is a huge departure, let alone the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge bit. Yeah, that was cool, but that wasn’t the coolest part of the trip. Nope. That was meeting all the ultra-cool ladies I’d known online for a million and ten years, not to mention getting a double request from a book editor at NAL.

That little trip to Newark was planned to meet those friends, but also to jolt me out of the rut I’d been in with my writing. Hanging out with other writers, I figured, would get me in a writing mood. It did, for a time, but then I got all excited about my mystery and then pipes of my creative brain got clogged with plot twists and the whole thing ended up in the bottom of a very sloppy mental bucket.

I personally blame the smog.

So this weekend there is another conference in Jersey, but I’m not there. A fact much bemoaned by my friend Rebecca (who I’d link to if she ever got a website or a blog), and to be honest, I kinda sorta wish I were there, too. This year, though, it would just be a waste of money. This year, the motivation is going to come before the conference.

I’m going to National Convention in San Francisco in July. That’s the plan, anyway, money permitting and depending on what my buddies can do. No, I’m not going if they aren’t, so there! So I need to make sure my buddies can go. Well, one of them, anyway. For the other – well, I can’t control publishers. If I could, I wouldn’t still be pursuing that first contract. The other, though, I can help. She won’t go unless she has a book written and polished and ready to sell. So that’ my goal, too.

In a fit of unbridled stupidity, a bunch of us who have half-assed NaNoWriMo for a few years are going in full force this year. That’s right – I signed up yesterday and updated my profile. GUYS AND DOGS will be written in November, though maybe not completed in November. Face it, 50K does not a novel make. But I will keep going until I can type “The End” and hopefully drag my buddies along kicking and screaming.

I really really really want to go to San Francisco. Maybe by the time I leave, I won’t have to think about how to spell it! So here we go – less than a month before I start my writing sprint. I have some basic plotting done, know most of my characters and have placeholders for them, and will work out the rest as I teeter down the rickety bridge that is my imagination.

Who’s with me?

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