Sunday, April 28, 2013

What to Do... What to Do...

Okay, so on my last post, I talked about losing my way in the story-forest.  I think I totally lost track of what the hell I was doing.  I loved how supportive you all were, and I was feeling pretty positive about forging ahead...

Until this weekend.  When I thought about where I was going with the story now, and... Well, I can't see it anymore. 

Then we watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  I tried to find the quote that kind of sparked me, but I can't, and now I can't remember it.  For me, the movie had this sense of not letting life pass you by - of going for it.  Of being exactly who you are.  And if life isn't what you want it to be, then making the best of what you have.

"Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end."  (That's not the quote, but it's pretty damn good.)

Anyway, I still love Sleeping Ugly.  It's not the end for that.  But I still love all my books, and it's not the end for them either.  I never did try hard enough to get some of them published.


I'm going to start reading through some of my older books.  Seeing what's viable and what's not.  Choosing one of them, and tweaking it until I think it's ready to send out again.  And if it's already ready, then I'm going to do my damnedest to see that sucker in print.

And when Sleeping Ugly wakes up and starts to spark me again, I'll tackle that sucker, too.

And... yes, I start a lot of sentences with 'And' these days - live with it...  if nothing breaks for me, then I'll look into self-publishing.  Because, what the hell.  I'm not getting any younger and the industry isn't getting any more free with their contracts. 

I will not be the old lady sitting in a wheelchair, bitching at the world, wondering where the hell my life went. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

I Should've Taken That Left Turn at Albuquerque

Okay, so there I am working on my WIP, trying to keep to the path when I look up and I'm at a totally different place than where I thought I was headed.  I'm not lost, per se, but I did not intend to end up here.  Seriously.  And I'm not quite sure how to get back onto the original path - or if I even want to at this point.  I do love where this new twist has dropped me, but it kinda craps out a lot of what I kinda had planned for later.

I love it when that happens.

And I hate it when that happens.

What about you?  I mean, if you're a plotter, this probably doesn't happen to you, but if it has, drop a comment.  And for us pantsers and plansterers, how do you feel about getting lost on the way to what you thought the end was?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lessons Learned This Month

And now for a little humor...

- Even though squirrels are supposed to be active during the day, sometimes one or two will go back to the nest to... I don't know... nap?  watch TV? 

- When you're absolutely certain all the squirrels are out, you'll find one or two left inside... AFTER you climb 18 ft, hammer a board over the hole and then put the ladder away.

- Once you leave the Wichita area going east on Hwy 400, there is NOTHING.  No hotels, no gas stations.  Not until you reach Parsons.  131 miles.  And Fredonia doesn't count because if it has any services, they're so far off the highway you won't notice them until it's too late.

- Correction.  There's one.  That roundabout in the middle of nowhere?  If we'd gone all the way around, we could've been at a hotel and a gas station, but there's no place to turn around if you go straight out the other side.  (Seriously, who puts a roundabout in the middle of nowhere?  And what's the point of those damn things anyway?)

- Max, when given enough time and boredom, will figure out how to get into the exposed rafters of the new garage.

- Max, having gotten into the rafters of the new garage, will be unable to find his own way down thereby having to be carried.

- Cats do not like to be carried down a ladder.

- Max, when confronted with a new neighbor, will kill said neighbor.  (Goodbye, Mr. Gray Squirrel.)

- At any given moment, Kira wants to sit wherever the Hubs is sitting - and will stalk his seat until he gets up.

- If Hubs gets up while Kira is on the other side of the house, she will run across the house to jump into his chair.

- Cornell and their bird watch thingie are VERY particular about bird sightings.  And despite the fact that other places do in fact show a particular bird to be in your area, if Cornell hasn't documented it, you need photographic proof before they'll believe you.

- Hummingbirds do not like to be photographed. 

- That thing you're absolutely certain you'll be able to find when you get there so you don't need to pack it to move because it takes up space you don't have?  It won't be there when you get there.

- Dish drainers are passe in Berryville, Arkansas. 

What have you learned this month?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The New Normal

I don't know if all y'all have heard about David Farland and his son, Ben.  David is a writer - mostly fantasy, as far as I know, and some good books on writing.  His son, Ben, was in a terrible accident recently.  Apparently, he was longboarding (a form of skateboarding with a longer board) without his helmet, and he fell going down a big hill.  Needless to say, Ben's in bad shape*.

And also needless to say, Ben suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Of course, his injuries are much worse than mine - both body and brain.  But still, seeing the posts his father makes every day on Facebook, remind me of what my own time was like. 

It was 19 years ago for me.  And sometimes, it's like it was yesterday.  Some days are good and I'm pretty much like most non-damaged people.  Other days, I can't remember shit.  Sometimes it has to do with how tired I am.  Sometimes it has to do with how much other shit is going on in my life.  (Believe it or not, sometimes when everything is going on, I remember better than when nothing is going on.)  I can't gauge what days will be good or bad.  They just are what they are. 

This is my new normal.

And it'll be Ben's, too.  Once he 'wakes up' into his head - or if he's already awake in there, he's dealing with his new normal now.  I hope his deficiencies are few, and that what he does wind up with, he can handle.  Having a family that cares helps.  Having a whole community of writers be supportive of the whole family can't hurt.

I've already advised David to locate a good therapy provider.  And he's already said it's high on his priority list - which is good.  So much more knowledge is available out there for TBI survivors and their families than there used to be.  Hell, a bunch of the people I was in outpatient therapy with didn't even know they needed help - until they realized it wasn't normal to be that forgetful, or have their emotions spike, or be that clumsy (depending on the effected part of the brain).

Now, I also saw someone tell him to watch that Regarding Henry movie with Harrison Ford so he'd get an idea of what they'll be facing.  Umm, no.  I hated that movie because it was unrealistic.  I had a friend in therapy who was a lawyer before she got hit by a car.  She couldn't just step back into her practice.  They made her 'pass' therapy, and then she was told she'd have to retake the BAR EXAM.  Which is hard enough for non-injured people.  I can't imagine trying to pass it after a head injury.  (And I never found out what happened there, so I can't tell you she beat the odds.)  You want a head injury movie to watch - try 50 First Dates.  Sure, it has it's unrealistic parts (it's an Adam Sandler movie for petesakes), but that scene where she finds out what happened to her.  It wrecks me every time, because it is so realistic.  Her pain is my pain.

The only other advice I have for David at this point is: Take it one day at a time.  That's all you can do because right now, that's all his injuries allow for.  And don't let anyone tell you what he can or can't do, will do or won't do - because he's the only one who knows that for sure and anything anyone else says can change his perception.  Let him try.  Let him fail.  Encourage him to try again because the only real failure here is accepting defeat.  And hey, failure ain't so bad, because at least he tried.

And I have a wish for Ben - that he never encounter any of the well-meaning types who try to stop him from failing before he's even tried.  Those people suck.  If he does encounter them, he needs to ignore them.

*If you'd like to help, there's a charity set up to donate money for his care - which could run into the millions.  If you can't donate money, buy some of David's books.  If you can't do that either, check his books out from the library and then review them on Amazon or Goodreads or B&N so that other people will be encouraged to buy David's books.  At this point, I think every little bit will help.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Working on It

Previously on The Writing Spectacle, you watched while our intrepid writer moved a third of the way across the country.  More recently, you got to see the spectacle of moving in and living sans appliances and hot water.

Over the past couple days, though, we've gotten the appliances and the majority of the furniture.  Everything isn't exactly what we want it to be yet, but we're working on it.  (And if the place wasn't such a disaster area, I'd post pics.)  Last night we got to take hot showers for the first time in two weeks.  Right now, the Hubs is doing laundry in our brand new agitator-less washer.  I've got a load of dishes going in our super-quiet dishwasher.  Today, I'm hoping we'll be able to get groceries so the fridge will be full and I can cook dinner on the new stove.

It ain't perfect, but it's beginning to feel like home.

Kinda like writing a book, I guess.  This would be like the 3rd draft stage - where you're loving it, but it still needs work.  ;o)

What are you working on lately?

And just so you don't walk away with nothing today, here's a pic...

I think they're apple blossoms... or maybe cherry.  Not on our property, but just down the road.  Ah, Spring.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Picture Pause - Flora and Fauna

We had a herd of deer in our yard this morning and I was so excited, I totally forgot to get pics.  But they'll be back.  They're here most every dawn or dusk.  For now, though, I'll just share a couple other pics of the new flora and fauna we're seeing.

The above is one of our dogwood trees.

And that is a white-crested sparrow looking for food under the azaleas.  (The silly titmouse wasn't cooperating this morning.  Those things are friggin' everywhere here.)

Lastly, there's the nest a lovely Eastern Phoebe couple have built under our deck.  I can just barely see into the nest from above, and this morning there were four little white eggs.  =o)

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Yesterday I washed clothes and took a walk, and now I'm sore.  Before you call me a wimp - which I am usually - realize I washed 2 loads in the bathtub by hand because our washer/dryer isn't due until Wednesday.  And the walk went like this - down a steep hill take a right, up a low hill, turn for home, down the low hill and UP the steep hill.  At one point, the Hubs offered to go home and get the car for me.  Gimpy leg and writer hands hate me today.

But I might just do it again today.  Those jeans aren't going to wash themselves and this stupid body will never get used to the terrain sitting here on my ever-widening ass.

Oh, and here's a newsflash.  I wrote last night.  Only a few pages, but it's a start.

And here's a quicky view of the road I walked...

Yeah, it looks innocuous.  But see how it looks like the road just sorta stops?  Well, that's the start of the decline.  Notice how you don't see it come up again on the other side?  That's because if you don't turn left or right where I turned right, you drive through a house and right into the river.

And the other way, it slopes down into a little valley right before it slopes up and turns.  I thought about getting a bike, but where would I ride it?  Back and forth on the flat strip in front of the house?  My knees would never make the hills.  (At least not yet.)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Hermit Life

A friend of mine posted about throwing some type of social gathering and it got me thinking...  I haven't actually invited anyone over for anything but a cup of coffee (which my former neighbor and I always drank outside while we smoked) in ages. 

Looking back, I can see that over the years, my hermit tendencies have slowly crept over me like kuzdu. 

And I'm okay with that.

Oh, I have no problem going out into the world and socializing with other people - should the need ever arise.  And I have no problem reaching out to people here on the internet.  "Come in and know me better, man," is what I say.  Here.  Not out there.  Out there, I'm a happy hermit.

Of course, moving out to the middle of nowhere in southern Missouri nudged that along quite nicely. 

Except for people keep stopping in the road while I'm outside, introducing themselves and carrying on conversations.  I do my best.  I really do.  The elderly couple who pulled into the driveway and chatted with my husband and I for a good 20 minutes were very nice.  But the gal who stopped while I was taking a short walk yesterday made me want to pull back into my snail shell.  Kinda snobby and uppity for someone who lives in this neighborhood, if you ask me.

Anyway, I am a happy hermit.  All y'all keep me properly socialized in what is probably my most public arena.  Otherwise, I'm in my hole, writing and reading and bird-watching - which are solitary pursuits anyway.

What about you?  How social are you in real life?  Does the hermit life appeal to you or do you need other humans around to be happy*?

* no value judgments there - we all do what makes us happy in our own way.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Warning: Tirade

Pardon me while I go on a bit of a tirade this morning.  Earlier I read a post about the term 'stay at home mom' no longer being politically correct - and wondering what we should all call ourselves now. 

And it got me to wondering...  What the hell should we care what other people think we should be called and whether it's 'right' in their eyes?

A long time ago I realized that the only way for anyone to get offended by what someone else says is if they allow it.  Words hurt - but only because we ascribe some kind of special value to the person saying them.

Someone wants to call me a bitch, more power to them.  Does that make me a bitch?  Not really.  Maybe in their eyes, I am.  But what do I care - unless they're someone I actually care about?  If my husband thinks I'm a bitch, then yeah, that would hurt me.  (He doesn't.  We don't call each other names.)  If Joe Blow on the street thinks I'm a bitch, screw him.

I used to be a secretary.  I liked being a secretary - even when the world wanted to call me an Administrative Assistant.  Six of one, half dozen of the other.  It's the SAME JOB.  Now, if they wanted to make be an Executive Assistant (and pay me the larger amount that goes with it) that would be different.  Executive Assistants generally do more managerial stuff.  I typed.  I filed.  I took notes.  Okay, so yeah, I did some stuff that could've qualified me for the EA title, but that's neither here nor there.  What secretary hasn't at some point in their career?

I'm gimpy.  Not crippled - which is a higher level of gimpy.  Not 'handicapped' - whatever that actually means (who comes up with these terms?).  Not disabled.  Definitely not differently-abled.  And oh hell no about 'handicapable'. 

In head injury therapy, they trained me to get upset about the word 'retarded' and the word 'gimpy'.  :shrug:  My bad leg wasn't really my 'bad' leg - it was my 'affected' leg.  Seriously?  Yeah.  Don't want that leg to feel bad about itself, now do we?  It's a leg.  It's not as good as the other one.  That makes it my BAD leg.  And it's cool with that. 

As for 'retarded'?  Well, since the accident retarded my mental abilities to a certain extent, then yeah, I guess I'm that, too.  Oh well.  It's not like attaching a word to it makes it any different one way or the other. 

They're words, people.  We ascribe to them the emotion and the meaning in our lives.  Society tells us which words are good and which are bad, but sometimes society has its head up its ass.  Then we just have to think for ourselves.

But don't worry.  I won't be calling myself a Stay At Home Mom anymore.  Since my kid is on her own now, I'm just a HOUSEWIFE again.  And if you don't like that word, you need to look at yourself and wonder why - when it doesn't bother me at all - it bothers you.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

If you haven't seen it yet, I put my short story "Time Stops Here" up at Killer Chicks today.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Over Here and Over There

Hi all.  I love being over here in Missouri.  Head on over to Killer Chicks to see what I was up to this weekend.

And here's a picture of one of the neighbors...

I think his name is Tom. ;o)

Friday, April 5, 2013

I'm Back... Sorta

Hi All!

I'm back on the internet again.  On my own computer... since for the past day or so I've been on the Hubs' laptop.  I really don't know how all you laptop writers get anything done.  Practice, I assume. 

Anyway, I just finished setting up my computer and I'm back online.  Yay.

The sorta part comes in when I let you all know I don't know how much I'll actually be online each day for a while.  There's still loads to do here.  Plus, this place is freakin' amazing, so I'm tempted to be out in the nature rather than here in the unnature.

I'm going to really have to work at working.  LOL

Don't worry, though.  I am committed to my work - which means part of the day spent online blogging and part of the day spent on the computer writing...

I mean, as soon as I locate the notebook with my WIP in it.

Talk more later.  There's loads left to do and I should probably sleep sometime.

Peace out.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Moving Spectacle?

Ugh.  At this point, I'm thinking I should rename the blog 'The Moving Spectacle' :cue carnival music:

But never fear. I will get back to the writing at some point.  Hopefully some point soon.  I know when I've moved in the past, it's taken me a while to get settled enough to turn the juices on.  But I'm going to try and not let that get me.  Keep your fingers crossed, eh?

Anyway, we're just about all packed up now.  Just have the office to do, which I'll do sometime today.  And a few sundry things otherwise.

The decor you see on the walls doesn't belong to us, so I ain't packin' it.  This place came furnished.  Thanks the gods of sore muscles I don't have to move that damn sleeper sofa.  Ugh.

And here's where we've got the majority of our sh-tuff shoved...

Moving day is pretty near.  Which means I'm about to go dark... but I don't wanna turn my lovely computer off...  wah.

I'll update the post when it happens.

Have a great day, folks, and if I don't see ya before I shuffle off to Missouri, have a great couple of days while I'm gone.  Behave.


And just for fun, here are my new shoes...

Because sometimes a gal's just gotta feel snazzy.

Update: 12:41 Mountain - Shuttin' 'er down.  Have a great rest of the week and stay safe.  I want you all here when I get back.