Saturday, March 30, 2013

We'll Soon Be There

Moving day is set for Wednesday.  Where will we be moving?

We'll be moving to the 'A'.  And the red dot over the I in United States is where we're moving from.  It's about 700 miles, so don't expect me to be online from Wednesday to Friday (and maybe Tuesday if we get crazed about packing the desks the night before - I'll let y'all know when I go dark.)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Deciding What to Take and What to Leave

I've done this 'move hundreds of miles' thing before.  In 2001, I left my old life in Michigan and moved to Florida.  In 2002, the man I was with at the time got a job in Salt Lake City, so we packed it all up and moved across country.  In 2004, after that guy and I broke up, I found my husband - he just lived 600 miles away in eastern Colorado.  So we moved again.

And now it's time for the process one more time.

When I left Michigan, I got rid of most of my stuff.  I only had the one trailer with which to move.  Pare everything down to basics.  We're back to that again - only this time it'll be a small truck worth of stuff.  The moves from Tallahassee and from Salt Lake were done with movers and a big truck, so I took everything I could.  But even with those, there was a paring down.

What to take?  What to leave?  Am I going to regret taking something because it took up room and I could've re-bought it once we got there?  Am I going to regret leaving something because I'll discover too late that it had sentimental value?

It's no wonder I have crispy-brain.

Then again, it's kind of like editing.  Only what you choose to take or leave - if you regret either one - can be rectified by going back to an earlier version. 

There are no earlier versions here.  The best you can hope for is finding another likeness of the thing you lost, or that you didn't waste too much money moving that bag of dirt.  (Yes, I paid United to move a bag of potting soil, and I still kick myself for it.  It was DIRT for petesakes.  It cost me more to move it than I would've paid for a new bag of dirt.)

Yesterday, I got rid of the rest of my 'books I don't want to move'.  Do I regret it?  A little.  They're books.  I would've taken them all, thrown them on the floor of my new house and rolled around naked in them if I could've.  But that seems a little extreme.  A friend asked me why I didn't just keep all the ones I hadn't read.  Think about it - Let's say I hadn't read half of those.  That's a thousand books.  Let's also say I read a hundred books a year.  It would take me 20 years to read those books - and they keep printing new books I want to read! 

Umm, yeah.  The books went bye-bye.  I kept the ones I really did want to read, and the ones that were precious to me, but the majority... :waves:

Now, I've also had some inquiries into the kitties.  Rest assured, Max is going with us.  And, of course, Her High Grand Princess Kira.  The rest of them will have to go back to their regular routine of scouting out food sources without having my house on their route.  I'd take them all with me, but the boys are all feral, and the girl would be one cat too many in my car.  (I'll find a home for her if I can.)

Okay, so that's enough about me and my decisions.  What about you?  Ever take something you regretted taking when you moved?  And since we've all left something behind at some point, tell me what you left that you regretted most.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Well, we're supposed to close on a house tomorrow.  And if all goes according to plan, we're supposed to move next week.

Of course, this means my brain is absolutely fried.  And the whole crispy-brain phenomenon is having a cascade effect. 

I can't sleep.  Correction, I can't nap.  Every time I lay down to take a snooze, my brain kicks into overdrive.  Case in point - yesterday after running around town dropping books off at various locations, I was freakin' tired.  So I hit the couch for a little down time.  I closed my eyes, and the brain starting whirring.  I fought it for fifteen minutes.  And then got up and brushed the window blinds - because that was driving my crispy brain nuts.  Of course, the same thing happens at night, but I do manage to coax myself to sleep.  (Last night I went to bed at 8 and slept 'til five - I was that tired.)

I can't remember shit.  Okay, so this isn't anything new.  I'm brain-damaged and having a leaky memory is just part of life for me.  But with my brain all crisped like a barrel of pork rinds, it's even worse.  I find myself finishing a lot of statements with "...if I remember correctly..." because I seriously doubt I'm remembering anything correctly.  (If it isn't written down, that is - which encompasses about 90% of my life.)

My focus is kerput.  I remember telling myself yesterday morning that I needed to do the laundry.  Then I started repacking books for delivery*.  Then I thought about the fact that I needed to get the Kid's computer wiped clean so I could give that to the neighbors - which led to cleaning a USB stick so I could transfer anything she might still want.  I got that project started and went back to the book thing.  But I had to call the title company.  And Max needed food.  And the outside kitties did, too.  Long story shorter than it would've been otherwise, I never did get the laundry even started.

So, you see what I mean.  I've got the crispy-brain.  Here's hoping I'll be back to what passes for normal for me by mid-April.  (After the move and the unpack and the delivery of furniture... etc. etc. etc.)

* With as many books as I have to unload, no one will take them all, but everyone has put in requests for certain genres or authors.  Since I already packed them all up, I had to go back through and cherry pick.  Paperbacks and large print for the old folks home.  Romance for the bagger gal at the grocery store.  'Scary' for my friend in the produce section.  Suspense for my friend the cashier.  Newer hardcovers and easy-to-resell for the library.  I love sorting books, but this is getting a little beyond that.  The good news is I made most of my deliveries yesterday, and today will be 'here's a box of assorted books - do with them what you will'.

Is it any wonder I'm totally loving my Kindle right now?  A hundred books all in one tiny, light-weight gadget.  :happy sigh:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I Did It

As much gnashing of teeth that went on last week about posting a bit of RTL to Tabula Rasa, I went ahead and posted a snippet today.  It's not the one I had thought about last week - I'm not that brave - but it is a good bit of scene.

I hope you all enjoy it. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

The News (Or the Final Point)

Do any of you remember a post I dropped back near the beginning of the year?  I mentioned a big change and made a couple points out of it.  Well, I've been keeping this last point to myself since January.  It was a necessity.  I live in a tiny town filled with gossip-mongers and we really aren't interested in adding to that.  (Lord knows enough speculation has been filling this place anyway, but I didn't add to it.)

What the hell am I talking about already? 

Today is my husband's last day of work.  He's been managing this city for the past 11 years and he can finally be a private citizen again.  YAY!

So yeah, he's retiring and yeah, we're moving.  Which is another thing I've been keeping to myself - mostly because we haven't notified the landlady yet.  And we haven't notified the landlady because we weren't sure when we were moving or where we were going. 

Not until recently.  Not for sure until last night actually when we hammered out the last wrinkles in the house we've made an offer on.  But now we're sure.

We close on this lovely house in Missouri next Friday.

We're hoping to be moved by the second week in April. 

For internet security purposes (and my own paranoid privacy issues), I'm not telling exactly where in Missouri, but suffice it to say it's close to lakes and rivers and most importantly - TREES.  Living in scrubby, flat Colorado has damn near sucked the life out of this Michigander.  (And moving back to Michigan was out because it's too freakin' cold.)

I'll be up to my ass in alligators until after we get settled, but it'll be worth it.  Just bear with me.  And since I use gmail, my email address will not be changing - just the speed with which I'll be replying to some things.

Needless to say, I'm excited.  And a little freaked out because hey, we're moving hundreds of miles.  (Not that I haven't done that several times in my life already, but it's always a little freaky-making.)

Keep your fingers crossed everything goes well.  ;o)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Book I'm Afraid Of

Several years ago I wrote a book that I love with all my heart.  It's a big book - not in terms of words or pages, but in terms of ideas.  It touches an important issue I think needs to be addressed - in a gripping fictional form.  And this issue throws people into two vehement camps - both of which sling venom every chance they get.

I pulled it out this morning and took a look at a couple pages.  Since the hero's name is Sean Finnegan, I had this idea I could post a couple pages of this book over at Tabula Rasa to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  Reading the pages where I introduce Finn and lay down a little of his backstory made my heart soar.  It really is good - it's not just my imagination!

Then I thought about the reactions it would likely draw.

I envisioned an inbox full of nasty-grams.  I imagined friends becoming not-friends, acquaintances disappearing and perfect strangers hating me.  My heart pounded and I moved over here to write this post.

I'm afraid of this book.  I knew when I wrote it what it would be.  I wasn't afraid to write it.  I'm just scared as hell to have anyone read it...

Well, that's not strictly true.  I'm scared as hell people will know it's me who wrote it.  I'd be perfectly happy having millions of people read it as long as it was under a pseudonym.  I just don't want a target on my chest.

Although I'm afraid, I did send this sucker out on a round of queries.  Most typical, and a couple really negative.  One turned into a big, fat full request (which turned into a 'no response means rejection', but that's neither here nor there).  After which I gave up, stuffed it into a corner of my hard drive and let it gather dust.

Every once in a while, I take the book out and pet it.  But it reminds me of that textbook from Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban.  Like it's going to sneak out from under the bed and bite me.

Yeah, I'm probably blowing this way out of proportion.  My fears are probably irrational.  But then again, maybe they aren't.  And I can't risk that.  Not yet.  I'm not brave enough.

What about you?  Do you have books you're afraid of?  Do you touch on issues or do you stay away from them?  What about as a reader?  My mother hates books with deeper issues - unless they're done really well and the book doesn't shove the issue down her throat (which I like to think I did here).

(Added on 3/18/13 at 5:33am: Talk about kismet.  Here's a post about a new literary agent looking for speculative fiction that touches on social issues. Not sure if I'm going to jump on this now or wait until my life storm has passed, but I will be querying her as soon as possible.)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Little Self Pep-Talk

My house is a pigsty.  My 'to-do' list is half-forgotten under a pile of other notes and it doesn't have a third of what I really need to do on it.  My story sits on a 5-subject notebook buried in a pile on the edge of the dining room table.  (You should see my dining room table.  Seriously, have you seen it?  Because I haven't seen it in days.)  I don't even want to think about the pork roast I meant to cook three days ago that's sitting in the fridge (hopefully not rotting). 

Today, all that crap stops.  Regardless of what else is going on in my life right now, I need to get my head out of my ass and get to work.  So what if I'm scatterbrained?  So what if things that are happening stall me to the point where I drop on the couch afterwards and embrace the TV coma? 

"Geez Louise, girlfriend, you're pathetic."

Today I will work, regardless of distractions.  I have too much to do and too little time to do it in for all this lollygagging.  And if something does pull my focus elsewhere, I will take care of the immediate issue and then get back to work.  I will not be lured into watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy, or Dr. Phil (my new secret shame), or leftover Frasier and Friends episodes.

And if I'm all done with the stuff on my list for today, if I'm sort of close to getting my daily life in some kind of order - I will sit down with that damn notebook and WRITE.  Because regardless of what else is happening in my right-now life, writing is my forever-life and it doesn't deserve to be shunted aside like the ugly girl at prom.

So there.  =op

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Not Dead

Hi folks!

I know I've been busy.  Scattered, in fact.  But I'm not dead.  Running on like 4 hours of sleep, but not dead.

If you remember, way way back at the beginning of the year I mentioned a couple thing that would be making my start to 2013 all crazypants.  Thing one - the moving of my daughter to Michigan - is done.  Thing two, and all its component parts, is rolling right along.  The story up there at my Killer Chicks 'Scattered' post should give you a glimpse.

I'm still not quite willing to come out from under the rock on that one entirely, so you'll have to wait for official announcements and stuff.  Suffice it to say, it's a wild ride.

So, I'd just like to say sorry for neglecting my blogs and all of you who come to read along with the Spectacle, The Guide and Tabula Rasa.  Bear with me and all will become clear shortly (I hope).  And thanks for being one of my faithful followers.  I love you guys.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Advice: Take it or Leave it

If you haven't noticed by now I'm one of those people.  You know the ones - always ready with a piece of advice whether you want it or not. 

Okay, so I'm not one of the worst kinds who offer advice even when it isn't asked for...  Yeah, maybe I am.  But I don't think I'm one of the pushy ones.

I like to think I only offer advice in cases where the person genuinely seems like they need it.  A gentleman gazing at the shelves next to me for a long enough period of time will elicit a 'can I help you find something?'  And if his reply is that he's looking for X, but doesn't know which brand to buy, I'll try to help.  If he says he doesn't need help, I leave him alone. 

The thing about advice is that the person on the receiving end can always take it or leave it.  I won't be offended - especially if the advice I'm offering was unasked for.  Hey, it's just my opinion and if you weren't interested in the first place, it's your choice to listen or not.  If you asked for my advice, and then ignore it entirely?  Well, that might get my undies in a twist a little.  But hey, that's the chance we both take in the advice game.

Do any of you ever watch those shows where an expert is called in to help a failing business?  Restaurant Impossible, Hotel Impossible, Tabitha's Salon Takeover, Kitchen Nightmares, Bar Rescue... I love watching someone come in, takeover a business that's on the fast track to bankruptcy, and turn it around. Now there's some good advice on those shows.  Experts in their fields.  In those cases, it would be wise to listen when they talk - but even then, it's advice that can be taken or left.  Those that listen, thrive.  Those that don't?  You can usually check back on them 6 months later and find they went under.  :shrug:

Not that I'm saying my advice is anywhere close to expert.  Oh hell no.  I'm just out there giving tips, hints, suggestions on what might work for me.  If I tell you to do X, and it doesn't work, try Y.  I'm not infallible.

So, if you're out there wondering about something, don't be surprised if I jump in with my two cents.  Accept it or don't.  Your choice. 

What about you?  Are you an advice giver?  Do you ask for advice or do you hint around that you might need advice and hope someone jumps in?  And if someone gives you unasked for advice, what do you do?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

This Morning's Blogroll

For kicks, I thought I'd post the first ten links from my morning blogroll (you know, before I refresh it and see what else is out there)...

Happy Release Day! from Confessions (by Suzie Townsend)

REVIEW: Planesrunner by Ian McDonald from Book Chick City (by Melanie)

Muse Takes Over from Janet's Journal (by Janet)

Teaser Tuesday (March 5) from Alli's World (by Allison Kirk)

Tell Me a Story from Random Thoughts (by Cynthia)

Lucy the Wonder Weenie - Book Review from Pearls Cast Before a McPig (by Sullivan McPig)

How to Find Public Domain Photos, Music, Etc. from Jenna Scribbles (by Jenna)

*SHIVERS* Death's Awakening (Cover Reveal) from Writer's Alley (by S.A. Larsen)

Author Spotlight: RaShelle Workman's Blood and Snow Series from Christine Fonseca, Author (by Christine Fonseca)

Apropos of Nothing from Murderati (by Gar Anthony Haywood)

These are in the order they posted and not in anyway meant to show which ones I liked best, or even the ones I commented on.  (These days I read more blogs than I comment on.)  Lots of release news and reviews - but of course, since it's Tuesday.

What's on your blogroll this morning?

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Trip

Despite the long day I had on Wednesday, I have to say that the trip overall was a success.  I got to see my sister.  I got to see my Mom.  I played with my sister's dog and got to know my nephew as an adult (because I haven't seen him in twelve years and he was just a tadpole then.)  I met my sister's husband for the first time - even though she's been married for ten years. 

And I set my little bird free.

But enough about that.  I'm doing an excellent job of not thinking about it (and therefore not crying about it) and I plan to keep it that way.  She's out there, taking the first steps into her adult life and I'm proud of her. 

Anyway, here's the beginning of the trip...

We weren't supposed to sit together, but thanks to 'online check in', I managed to move our seats around.  Yay.  It's not as much fun flying alone.  And trust me, we have fun flying. 

And here's a shot of Chicago as we came in for a landing...

Not a bad shot through the plane window, eh?

We got to my sister's house about 6-ish, and then just hung out, catching up and getting to know our family members again.  Nice and relaxed.  The next day was pretty cool.  We drove up to Lansing, did some stuff, and then drove back.  I even got to eat lunch at Big Boy!  (Sure, not an exciting thing for most people, but I haven't eaten at a real Big Boy in over a decade, so it was a highlight of the trip.)  I also got to drink Vernors*.

The next couple days were just spent hanging out, running errands, catching up and getting things set for the Kid to transition from living in Colorado to being a Michigander again. 

Sunday I snatched my sister and my daughter up.  We drove a couple hours east to see my Mom...

She wasn't laughing at me, she was laughing with me.  (Although, from the look on my face, she should've been laughing at me.  I had a total 'ermagerd' look going on.)

Unfortunately, most of the pictures I took turned out blurry.  I blame it on a lack of sleep making my hands shake.  Here's a slightly blurry pic of my sister**...

I took a picture of her while she was taking a picture of me - because we're silly that way.

All in all, it was a great trip.  It was nice to be able to hug my mom and my sister again.  The internet is a wonderful thing for keeping in touch, but really being there is so much better.  Now I just need to make sure it isn't another 12 years before we're together again.

* If you have never had Vernors, you will never understand why I make it a point to drink a bunch while I'm in Michigan.  Oh, the gingery goodness.

** I could never get away with posting pics of my mother and my sister if their faces weren't obscured in some way.  Trust me when I say they're both beautiful, though.