So, I finally broke down and wrote the clincher part of my story. The epicenter, the essence, the heart and soul; aka: the one scene that my entire book originated from. And I cried. I boobed the whole way through. My little four year old thought I was losing my mind, sitting on my bed typing and crying for no good reason. But I couldn’t help it! As it played out in my brain and I strove to capture it in in black and white print, the whole thing just got to me. I thought, “Why was I so scared of writing this? It’s just coming out…flowing like my ridiculous tears onto the computer screen.” I made it about half way through and decided to do a little proof read of what had been emotionally born – whether or not to inspire the second half or to just enjoy my creative genius, I’m not quite sure. All I know is that the second time through…it just really wasn’t all that great. How did this happen?! I bore my soul and wept for heaven’s sake! But I didn’t cry so much the second time around; unless you count the crying I had to do when I realized that no first draft is ever really what it should be. And so, I have a lot of work to do. Curse the literary gods.
Oh yeah, I’m that one person writing a book…and writing a blog about writing a book. Whatever happened to said blog? Said blog has become the latest victim in what is called ‘nesting.’ My husband let me paint one wall in our house and, boom! I now have to paint my entire house. You think I’m kidding? I’m really not. The only part I don’t want to paint is the basement and that’s because I just did it not too long ago. The rest of the house was done when we moved in, so we didn’t get to pick the carpet or color of paint. We’ve lived with it – it’s really not that terrible. That is until you put a brand new color up against it and realize how much you really don’t like pinky-brown. So, saint that he is, my husband is letting me get paint for one room a month. On top of that, when I paint a room everything has to be moved out giving me the excuse to rearrange everything when I put it back. Talk about spring cleaning! I figure its best to do it now before I can’t bend over any more. But, my book has suffered. Instead of thinking about plot concepts and character development, I spend my waking hours dreaming of color schemes and organization bins. I’m also supposed to be finishing my 2nd born’s scrapbook (I’m not one of those go-getter mom’s who scrapbook the entire lives of my children…they get their first year of life – that’s all my creativity can muster up). I have to finish that before number 3 arrives or it will never get done. And yet…I must paint!
I have learned some very valuable lessons this past week from my children. Here are my top 3.
1. Never, under any circumstance, allow your husband to leave for work while you are in the shower if you have a 2 year old. The result? Marker mayhem!
2. When both kids decide to hang out in the bathroom together, be afraid. Be even more afraid the more you hear the toilet flush. Turns out, an entire roll of toilet paper doesn’t go down so smoothly.
3. When your child throws up in the morning, no matter how normal she acts after the fact, do no ignore the subtle nagging of conscience to pull your hair back that day. The result of said negligence is worse than the guilt of having yet another ponytail day.
Do I dare get excited? I am finally in the single digits! I have 8 chapters left to write! Granted, I only get about a paragraph out at a time these days, so I’m not sure what my ending date figures out to be at that rate, but at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I actually had fun writing my last chapter. It was one of those ‘I have no idea what I’m writing about’ parts, and I really had to push myself through it. But I had a few lightbulb moments, a few phone calls to my sister for advice, and lo and behold…a chapter emerged. And I’m happy with it. Every now and then I have a panic moment about all the revising and editing I still have to do, but then I just squeeze my eyes shut and ignore those pesky voices…I will get to you. But right now, I really must finish. Although, I woke up in the middle of the night a bit ago with the sudden realization that I had potentially dug myself into a chronological hole by not paying attention to how old I had made people and how many years had passed, things like that. Luckily, there weren’t too many parts to adjust, but I’m glad I caught it before I rambled along on my merry way and messed up the entire last half of the book.
I hate money. I might love it if I had any of it, but sadly, that just isn’t the case. I want to replace my carpet and repaint my house, but I have to pay off a vacuum, a credit card, a car, and a fence first…no fair! The vacuum is great, but it should never have been bought – don’t let your husband answer the door when the Kirby salesman stops by. The credit card…well it’s a credit card. They eat you alive if you let them. The car was a necessity and I have no regrets whatsoever about getting it, even if it was a little out of our price range. The fence, my awesome dad put in for us because we have 2 dogs and the 3rd kiddo on the way and it really was needed we just couldn’t afford it yet. So, he helped us out, for which I will be eternally grateful to him – but I will pay him back! So, my carpet must wait. Even though every day when I vacuum, I grumble to myself thinking, “If I let the kids spill big enough, will that give me a better excuse?” Sigh. And my paint must wait, even though my house is pink and I just don’t like it. Sigh. And now its a new year and even though I felt good about our financial status at the beginning of the month, I just checked out bank statement, did a bit of calculating, and realized that once all the bills come out we’re back to bare bones. Again I say…no fair! We work hard, never go on vacations, try not to splurge or be reckless with our money…so where is it? Where does it go? How can other families afford to go to Disneyland every year, or Hawaii, and still have enough to put their kids in gymnastics and piano? I think I must be doing something wrong. I hate money. And I think it might hate me.
I love Christmas! And I am so excited this year for my kids’ presents. A couple of years ago, we did a big splurge for our then 2 year old, only to discover that she loved the first thing she got and ignored the rest. Sure, as the year progressed, she discovered those many presents we gave her Christmas morning, but it was kind of a let down…having all that anticipation only to realize that she really didn’t need all that stuff. Then came the re-vamp of Christmas gifting. We go small. We do a few really awesome things that we know they’ll love, then let Grandma spoil with the excess. =) But seriously, I’ve found that less is more when it comes to presents, and this year is going to be the best! We had the idea to build a stable for the slew of dollar horses I picked up from Walmart, but ran out of time last year. So this year, the idea was resurrected as well as a second castle with princesses and unicorns – so each kid gets their own. I imagined something with a handle on top that they could cart around, and hinges on the side so it could be folded small for storage then opened wide for play. We did internet research for design ideas, I sent Devin off to Home Depot for supplies, and he spent a few weekends alone at his parents’ house (they have all the cool tools) to put it all together. When he brought home the barn, my jaw dropped. Not only was it about 5 times bigger than I was anticipating, but it was beautiful! I didn’t even want to paint it because the natural wood looked so neat (I gave in and did in the end, but if I were keeping it for myself I would have stained it=)). He bracketed the roof and built individual stalls for each horse. There’s a loft and a sloped roof…just awesome. And then! He brought home the castle…or the pieces of it anyways. He cut out millions of little bricks to glue together. I said, “Why didn’t you just do one big piece? I could have painted bricks.” His response: “I know. But I thought real ones would look cooler.” On top of having to put them all together, he’s a stickler about staggering – he cut every single brick so that none of them lined up one on top of the other. That’s a cardinal sin in our house. So now, I am almost to the end of decorating the insides – cutting it close I know, but I can only work on them when the kids go to bed and did I mention I’m pregnant, tired, and achy? Not really conducive to staying up all night painting and gluing, but you do what ya gotta do. And it has so paid off! I just want to giggle with pleasure every time I look at them. And no one in the world will ever have one just like it. These are Christmas presents that my kids can keep forever and pass down as heirlooms, because their dad made them with so much love and detail – there is no better kind of present.
All right, so the big news is….number three is on its way! That’s right, I’m prego. Wonderful and exciting for our family, killer for my story. For anyone out there who has been pregnant, this funny thing happens to your mental capacity: it goes kaput. This time around has been really bad for me too. I’m due in May, and when someone made the comment that they thought it was June I responded, “I wouldn’t complain if it were June. I’d love to go early.” Yeah. It’s that bad. I can’t even keep the months of the year straight. I call my kids the dogs’ names and go to the store specifically for something – even written on a list – and come home with everything but that. I wear shirts backwards, and don’t even ask me to form a coherent sentence before ten in the morning. Needless to say, I have not made much progress on my book – I think I’ve gotten maybe a page more in the last month. Sigh. I am hereby declaring my goal of completion Christmas…of next year. I’m hoping against hope that my faculties return by then.
After much debate and inner turmoil…I have decided to post 2 more chapters of my book. I’ve been getting a lot of the same questions/critiques from the prologue and chapter 1, and before I perform open heart surgery on my story I want to make sure that it is necessary. Please take a peek and let me know if the questions are adequately addressed (mainly about the dulais – if you don’t know what that is, you haven’t read my snippets…shame on you) or if I still need to do a little revamping to the beginning.
Eek! Is it really almost Thanksgiving? I’ve finished three more chapters, but I still have ten more to go…I don’t think I’m going to make my Christmas goal. Alas. But instead of wallowing in my lack of authoritative drive, I’d like to instead make a list of the things I’m grateful for.
1. I’m grateful for my crazy, ragamuffin girls. No one can smile and melt your heart quite the way they do – right after they’ve broken something or told you that dinner is ‘yucky.’ =) They hug you and dance for you, make silly faces and tell you they think your beautiful on days you don’t do your make-up. I love them more than life itself.
2. I’m grateful for my sweet husband who does the laundry when I’m in a bad mood. He still hasn’t figured out that it makes me in more of a bad mood when he helps when I’m in a bad mood (don’t ask me…I’m weird like that), but that’s yet another reason to be grateful for him…he loves me even though I’m obviously insane.
3. I’m grateful to have a house. And recently, a fence – so now I don’t have to go out in the cold snow (new this week) and hook the dogs up. Now, I can just open the door and hide behind it so the cold air can’t get me, and let them run free. I’m sure they are pretty grateful too.
4. I’m grateful to have a garage on my house. Gone are the days of covered parking which is sadly ineffective – your car still gets too hot in summer and too cold in winter. These day I can pile the kids in and get the heat going before even opening the door.
5. I’m grateful to have a job that is secure and keeps us living comfortably – not lavishly, but we have everything we need and occasionally even get to splurge on things we want. During hard economic times like today, this is a luxury that I know many don’t have.
6. I’m grateful for sisters. God’s version of a very best friend.
7. Speaking of God…I’m more than grateful to him. For the birth of His Son that we get to celebrate next month and for the wonderful world he created for us to live on.
8. I’m grateful for good entertainment. I got to see Harry Potter #7 and the musical production of The Scarlet Pimpernel this week, and next week is Tangled. It’s nice to take a break from reality sometimes.
9. I’m grateful for music of all kinds. There is nothing more magical than music. It touches the soul and reaches across barriers of language, religion, and age more effectively than any other tool on Earth.
10. What kind of hypocrite would I be if I didn’t include books on this list? I am grateful for books and for the way they have expanded my imagination and understanding. For the education I’ve received through them and for the friends I’ve made by just discussing them.
I could go on and on. What a time to live in! We are blessed beyond all words to have technology and comfort that the Pilgrims and Native Americans that celebrated the very first Thanksgiving never even dreamed of. I hope everyone will take a moment – or two or three or four hundred – to be truly grateful for what you have. To recognize that bad things may sometimes out number the good, but the good will always out weigh the bad. Serve someone else, spread the love, and maybe this world will be better for the efforts of one small person who strove to find the true meaning of gratitude.
It’s been awhile since I’ve checked my little blog page, let alone write anything on it. But I am still alive…albeit, trapped in the bubble of reality where I don’t feel like I ever get much done, but somehow that takes all day. There have been a few days this past week where I should have managed something productive, but you know what I did instead? I read a book. My excuse was that both of the book clubs I’m in were sneaking up on me and I had to finish the material assigned. Which is true, but no one would get on my case for not finishing a book. And, as I have mentioned before, I’m not afraid of a spoiler or two…or three, so discussing said books without having read them isn’t exactly sacrilege to me. But, I used my excuse because sometimes its just nice to take a break, from everyone and everything. My kids didn’t think it was fair, and I can never really totally ignore them anyways – there’s this funny thing about being a mom where you have to feed and clothe your offspring and make sure they don’t kill themselves. Plus, they are so darn cute no one in their right mind would want to ignore them all day! So, they are my exception. In the end, I finished two who books. One I loved, the other not so much. But literature is literature! And I’ll take it.
P.S. Happy Halloween!