Monthly Archives: March 2009

Letting Go

Events lately in my personal life have led me on a long trip down memory lane. A lot of stuff long ago forgotten has come to mind – some good, some not so good. And I’ve come to one conclusion – everybody has regrets. Things we wish we did differently. Tiny flutters from the wings of a butterfly that may not change the world, but can change the course of a person’s life.And there comes a time to stop beating ourselves up about our mistakes and let go. Otherwise, we can’t move on.

When I was first writing Another Time Around, this was one of the themes I wanted to incorporate. Looking back and wondering how things would have changed if a few words were left unspoken, or a single gesture wasn’t made. Brin has a lot of regrets, and blames herself for Max’s death. She can’t forgive herself enough to move on – to give David a chance. Not because of David, though she tries to convince herself she’s suspicious of him. No, it’s because she can’t trust herself not to make the same horrible mistake again.

So what pulls her out of suspended animation? What is the one point she lets go and lets herself love again?

Good damned question. I’m in revision hell on this book right now, trying to get to that “a-ha” moment when Brin lets go and lets herself live again. And I’ve given myself a migraine doing it.

I guess there’s a writing lesson in this, too. Knowing when there’s a time to close the program and give your brain time to reset and find the solution to the problem. Because just like Brin can’t magically flip a switch and let herself love again, I can’t magially push buttons and fix a chapter.

So off to bed with me. The solution will come to me. I just have to let go.

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Filed under It's A Writing Life

Michael

Michael was a huge part of my high school years. He and I met auditioning for the musical Kismet back in -oh heck…85? Long damned time ago. A different lifetime. We had a pretty classic high school romance, I guess, but it didn’t feel typical. We had our ups and downs, but always came back to center – to one another. And then, at last, we didn’t. He found the woman who would become the love of his life, and I moved on to another someone special, and eventually met my own husband. The last time I saw him was when we ran into one another – each of us with our respective spouses – at a mall in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

Michael and I went to many school dances. Doubled because he went to one high school and I went to another. We loved theater, and every time I see Prisoner of Second Avenue, I think about how he played the lead role. I can still hear his terrible New York accent. He was the first person who ever read anything I’d written, and he himself was an amazing writer. We were not destined to end up together, but I am not naive enough to think he didn’t have a part in shaping who I am today. He was the first man I loved and the first man who loved me back. In that, he was always a part of my life and I thought of him fondly.

I don’t know much about his life past about 1990. We drifted apart, as people do. We shared mutual friends and I was somewhat familiar with his life and profession, and I kept up with his writing at the Speculist. All that came to an end last Thursday when he was killed by a wreckless driver who broadsided his car.

I don’t know if this blog post is appropriate, but honestly, I’m not sure I care. Everyone should know that the world is missing an amazing individual, all because someone was in a hurry, possibly drunk, and ran a red light. A wife is a widow, a sister lost her brother, and parents lost thier son. And though I hadn’t talked to him in many, many years, my world is a little sadder knowing that he’s gone.

My thoughts are with his wife, Peggy, with his sister Mary, and with his parents John and Judy.

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What I Don’t Get…

I have missed the reality TV train. Not missed so much as never bought a ticket. I watched five minutes of Survivor once and thought to myself, “There’s five minutes I’ll never get back.”

Of course this comes from a girl who when I first saw a commercial for Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles I thought it was a joke. Seriously. I was watching German TV and thought they were kidding.

So here are a couple shows I just don’t get:

Dancing with the Stars. People LOVE this show. First off, I find watching people dancing is boring. Yes, the classically trained musician finds ballet tedious. Add to that the fact that these people (for the most part) suck, and I just don’t get the appeal. For guys, yeah, I get that they like the girls half naked jiggling around. But Steve Wozniak? I just don’t get it.

This was another “they’re kidding, right?” reaction when I first saw the show advertised.

Real Housewives of ____ (fill in the blank – they’re all the same)

Why would I spend my time watching women be vicious to one another? And be completely clueless about money. “Oh my GAWD, Dahhhling, you can’t be seriously considering buying the $5,000 Italian leather pumps when the $10,000 Parisian alligator skin and diamond heel are such a better value.”  I really love the chick that talks about having class. With her mouth full. As she ignores her kids.

ESPN – Not a show so much as an entire franchise of television stations dedicated to WATCHING sports. Isn’t the point of sports to DO them? Guess not, since 99% of my HD channels are ESPN something. What I really want is another Discovery Channel.

NASCAR -My husband and son spend hours watching left turn, left turn, left turn every weekend. Road races I get. Kinda. Circular tracks? Snoooooze.

So does anyone want to clue me in? Come on. Change my mind. Or not.

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Filed under Just for Fun

Movie Night

Last night we sat around as a family and watched a couple movies. First we watched Journey to the Center of the Earth, then Made of Honor.

First off, Journey is amazing, not for plot so much but for the fact it held the attention of my hyperactive 11-year-old. At one point he said, “Somebody make some popcorn! This is getting good!”  It was a fun fantasy flick without too much swearing and with just enough scare factor to keep the kids riveted. Might have to buy this one. Never mind my Brendan Fraser obsession. That has nothing to do with it.

Made of Honor? Well…it didn’t suck. Honestly, it was kind of fun, but predictable and really plotless. It’s pretty typical for a “hey, we have a hot TV star we want to cash in on” movie. Can anyone say 27 Dresses? Patrick Dempsey pulled off much better roles – and did them better – back when he was playing a teen aged geek. Then again, since he was a teen aged geek at the time, was that really acting? Yes, I am committing romance writer sacrilege and criticising Patrick Dempsey. I still watch Grey’s Anatomy with frightening regularity. But all-in-all? Definitely a one-time-is-enough movie.

Funny thing? I’ve used both Brendan Faser and Patrick Dempsey for placeholders in books, and it was just by coincidence I watched both movies last night. Well, coincidence and the fac that I’m avoiding a revision like the plague. Shhh…don’t tell my editor. Unless, of course, she wants a recommendation for a good movie.

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Filed under Life? You Mean I Have To Have A Life?

Feeling My Age

Many of you here know that there a leeetle bitty age difference between my husband and me. The unfair thing is he has less gray hair than I do, and I’m starting to develop what are politely known as “laugh lines”. Not him. Must be all those hot dogs and processed sausage he ate when he was single. Gotta be all those preservatives.

He teases me about this. Says I’m too concerned about coloring my hair, etc. and that I should just age gracefully. Well, that’s not working so well for me.

We were out to dinner last week, and I was trying to eat healthy, so I ordered a chicken breast with vegetables. It was right there on the menu. Didn’t know it would be a landmine. We get the bill, and it’s slightly less than I thought. Then I see it. Our eighteen-year-old waitress had put down that I had the senior chicken.

Senior.

Ron about had a coronary laughing. What a turkey. It’s bad enough I carry an AARP card in my late 30s (spouse joins free), but now I’m getting served the senior meal while chuckles gets a kick out of it. Kids thought it was hilarious, too.

Oh, who am I kidding? It was funny. Still, I don’t think I’m going to take quite as much grief for coloring my hair now. Maybe.

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Filed under Life? You Mean I Have To Have A Life?

Recession Chic

Well, the Dow is down again today, but just a little. Still, it breaks the four-day gain. Darnit. So in this day and age, a lot of us are having to watch our Ps and Qs – and dollars and cents. Even us rich and famous writer types.

Okay – I couldn’t even type that with a straight face.

Here at Casa del Catie, we have a fridge that’s about ten years old. It’s not stainless steel, it doesn’t have ice and filtered water in the door, but it keeps my stuff cold so I’m a happy camper. It’s got character, too. When my second son was a toddler, there wasn’t a child safety lock he couldn’t crack. Don’t ask me how much we spent on plumbers trying to get out Hot Wheels from the trap under the toilet. I learned to snake the sucker out of necessity. His second favorite object to break into was the fridge. At one point, I resorted – out of desperation – to Super Glue to hold the child safety lock on. It didn’t work. He ripped that off, too. Sigh. So one side of my not-so-perfect fridge also has Super Glue remnants.

My charming fridge has one more character flaw now. About a month ago, the little bar in the door that held in the milk jugs finally gave way. It’s called ten years of little boys pulling out gallon jugs of milk multiple times a day. The plastic that held it just gave way. We moved the milk and put the syrup, ketchup, etc. in the door, but the stupid thing still kept popping out every time it was opened. I had to figure out a way to fix it. There was no way I was going to buy a new fridge just because of a stupid piece of plastic.

Being a fan of Red Green, my first thought was the handyman’s helper – duct tape. But that was a titch tacky, even in these times. But it led me to the next best thing. Just about as strong, and hardly noticeable. Packing tape. Clear packing tape. Genius! No more plastic letting loose of my condiments. It works like a dream.

So if you ever find yourself in my kitchen, be sure to check out the fridge. Might be a little surprise in there. Like handygirl’s helper.

Oh, and as for the toddler I couldn’t keep out of anything? He’s a straight A student now. The price of intelligence, I guess. Remind me to tell you sometime about the fish tank heater.

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Filed under Life? You Mean I Have To Have A Life?

Home Again

Well, it’s been one heckuva week. And then some, actually, but it looks like life is calming down a little here. As much as it can with three kids, a full-time job and a writing career. I do apologize for my absence this week, and I’m sorry I’ve been so criptic about my whereabouts, but we had a sudden and unexpected loss in our family last weekend. I wanted to respect my family member’s privacy.

But I can share where we went this weekend. As some of you out in cyberland know, my oldest son has a form of autism called Pervasive Developmental Disorder. One of the fun things he gets to do is take part in Special Olympics, and this weekend was the State Basketball Tournament. son #1-at-state-09Last year was his first year, and let’s just say he wasn’t the best player on the team. This year he had improved so much! He went after the ball, and even made a basket! Never won a game, but he didn’t care. He had fun. On Friday night, they had a banquet and dance, and apparently my boy shook his groove thing all night long. As you can tell from the picture, he enjoyed himself. A lot.

He rode the team bus home with the other players, and as I watched it pull up, I realized how much I love the kids on his team. Especially this one right here. Some people try to give our family credit for parenting a “difficult” child. There’s no difficulty here. Just a great kid. Now his brothers on the other hand…

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Filed under The One Where I Waffle On About The Kids