Friday, June 27, 2008


Today is like every other day. I worked. I wrote. I exercised. Today is my birthday.

Everyone keeps asking me what I want to do on my "special" day. It's difficult to answer as I don't really know what I want to do. However, I do know what I don't want to do.

I don't want to clean the cat box, the fish tank, do laundry or change the sheets.

I don't want to clean off my desk, the kitchen counters or sweep the floor.

I don't want to argue, criticize, make anyone sad, gossip or speak badly about anyone.

I don't want to be separated from my family cause I absolutely LOVE having them around.

So what do I want to do on my "special" day?

Hug, laugh, share, comfort, feel contented, peaceful, and loved.

Yeah, that's it. What more is there?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

101 Reasons

I've discovered this fabulous blogsite that is slowly detailing 100 reasons to stop writing. It was created "... to mark International Slush pile Bonfire Day, 101 Reasons is proud to reprint the article that started it all. Edgar Harris’ groundbreaking coverage of this previously secret industry event was originally published in RevolutionSF."

Evidently, various contributors publish a new reason and by the time all 101 reasons are written, it is estimated to be September 6, 2016. The most current reason is #17 . Humm, wonder how frequently they add to the list??

Catch this picture of NY editors standing around the slush pile as it burns.

Bonnie's back in town! I'm in good spirits cause tomorrow we're going to WRITE!!! Wooo Hooo!

The end of my dawdling, I hope...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Amazement & Confusion

After rising early to ride my horse with a couple of friends, I took a walk this afternoon and was amazed. Astonished. Totally awed. I actually was feeling a little bit more fit.

I joined Curves last Tuesday to try and remove some of my rolls and, while I worked out four days last week, nothing happened. I began including a walk and thus far have put on 4.25 miles in 6 days. Not bad for just starting out, is it?

Anyway, today while I was walking, there was a change in how I felt. The book I was reading (yes, I read while I walk - it's actually pretty simple to do and helps the time go by more quickly) didn't distract me enough for me not to notice my legs felt good. And I was holding in my stomach, working all those muscles. And I didn't get totally exhausted after a mile.

Wow! I'm amazed!

But now my butt aches because I've been critiquing manuscripts most of the afternoon and I'm tired of sitting. I'd write, but I can't seem to focus on the book. Why is that? Why am I having so much difficulty in using my free time to work on my book? What am I actually avoiding? I"m completely confused as to why this is happening. It's not writers block because I know the details of the story line and what's going to happen next. The story is there. But I'm having difficulty disciplining myself to buckle down. Is this a form of writer's block?????

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Sitting at my desk, the strumming on a guitar floats into my office. A smile spreads across my face as peace swells inside me. How can you ever stay tense when the gentle strands of music fill your soul.

Until you hear the cry, "Mom! The Internet sucks!"

Shattered. Good thing I tried to be creative while everyone was at the store this morning.

A good friend called. We haven't spoken in several months - she lives far away and we haven't even seen each other in years. But she's the kind of person who will always close to me.

Speaking with Rose conjured up many memories of the life our families shared together. The beach, the pool, the parties, laughter, tears, skinned knees and fake nails. You can't forget a relationship like that.

It was during the 'Rose Era' that I began writing. It was during one summer that I sat at my computer after the boys went to bed, and wrote. My husband traveled so I gobbled up the time he was gone to write and write and write. I finished my first book in two weeks. That was back in 1995, a year that changed my life.

HA! I laugh and scoff at it now. But then I was ignorant and didn't know any better. Back then, I was somehow wise enough to attend my first ever writer's conference (SCBWI) and that changed my life. That first conference - completely intimidating, overwhelming, nerve-wracking. Too nervous to speak with anyone, I played sponge and soaked up every nuance I could until I was over-saturated. My newly acquired knowledge oozed into my story. Then I attended another conference. And another. Each time learning more and more, improving my abilities, becoming more professional, creating a better story.

I'm on the fifth reiteration of the same novel I began in 1995 and am still only about two-thirds of the way through this re-write. I've hit a snag - it's difficult to continue. The story is still there, but my motivation is not. Today I created only one-half a page, but that is good. For in the last two weeks I've created nothing.

It feels good to create again. My son says I'm wierd.

Friday, June 20, 2008

What Happened to My Writing?

My day was completely planned. My writing buddy, Bonnie, had appointments and couldn't meet with me again (two weeks in a row!). So I decided to help myself and schedule my day. It began early with the buzzer awakening me to rise and head to the stables to meet a friend of mine. We rode the trails before the heat and flies became overwhelming for both us and our horses. Plus, it allowed me to return home before all the motorcycles began swarming the local drag strip.

Just so you know, there's a "Smoke Out" biker rally this weekend and they anticipate between 7,000-10,000 bikers zooming down our quaint country roads with radios blasting and mufflers booming. My county is a dry county - what this means is there are no alcohol sales within the county lines with only a couple of exceptions. Wal-Mart is one of the exceptions where you can purchase beer and wine. The drag strip people (I'm guessing) sent to all the bikers, directions on how to get to the "nearest" liquor store (Wal-Mart). Now, can you imagine how many bikers will be sober while driving the roads??? Oh, and the county's spending $60,000 on extra police protection patrolling the roads etc. And yet the county won't pay for a new high school???? Don't get me started!

Anyway, back to my day. The ride was wonderful and completely relaxing. While I was sitting in the car all sweaty and dirty, I decided to hit Curves (30-minutes exercise place) and then home to work on my novel. Bonnie would be so proud. But that's not what happened.

A client emailed me changes to a website. Then we talked on the phone, after which I worked on his project until I had created a revised layout for his approval.

It was suddenly 4 pm. The sheets! I forgot to get the sheets laundered. So hustling and hugging the dirty cotton against my chest, I stuffed the washer with the stinky mess and sighed.

OK. There's still time to write.

The boys come home. Tom falls asleep on the sofa and Jim stays long enough to say HI, and to NOT get his clothes out of the dryer as he runs out again to play volleyball.

Ed leaves work early and is home by 5:15, wandering around the house looking for dinner.

Tomorrow? Will I be able to write tomorrow??

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Behind the Eight Ball

My parents and sister returned home today. It left me sad because it will be six months until I see them again. Everyone's schedules are so jumbled and it's difficult to just "pop in" to visit when they're 9.5 hours away. And you know what I just realized? For the first time ever, we forgot to take a family portrait! Turn the car around - we must take care of this!!

I cannot see the top of my desk. The bill pile has fallen over, scattering on top of the return address labels I printed for Jimmy's graduation announcements that were finally mailed the day after graduation. OK, I admit it. It was my fault. Somehow I couldn't remember where I stored all my addresses (they're not on this computer so I thought I had lost them). It finally occurred to me they were on my other computer, the old laptop. By the time I copied them to the new computer and sent them to Jimmy, it was already the day before graduation. So if you receive yours a bit late, DON'T BLAME THE KID! HA HA HA HA

I'm far behind in my online class and in the review of manuscripts for our critique meeting tomorrow night. I'll begin tackling the ms in a few moments but it will take more time to catch up with the class. Then I also need to get back to my novel.

It's funny how company made me fall behind in just about everything! Or perhaps it was the excuse of company?

Ah, well, there are no more excuses. Time to buckle down and get out from behind the eight ball. Don't you just love cliches??

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Beach Trip Blues

Today's Sunday and the house is quiet. 100+ temperatures has drained everybody. The stifling heat was brutal during the graduation ceremonies, and again yesterday as we toured Chapel Hill and NC State campus' in a van blasting a/c. It's hot.

Did you know you can be cold and still sweat?

The family leaves Tuesday morning and it makes me sad. It's so much fun having them in the house that time speeds by. It seems they have just arrived loaded with goodies and then they're gone.

OK, enough of this. I'm just feeling a bit blue because my son is at the beach and I'm not. :^))

I love the beach - sitting in the sand under an umbrella, reading, but mostly listening to the surf which totally relaxes me. Closing my eyes reveals scents in the ocean spray, the cries of the gulls, the far-off laughter and screams of children.

I don't think we're taking a vacation this year. Everyone is working and schedules are becoming very complicated. We might be able to squeeze a long weekend rafting trip on summer low rivers. Not the excitement of fall dam releases where water slushes high and fast. Our trip will be more like coasting on a lazy river in an inner tube, laughing while sluggish waters carry you in the warm summer sun. Then home to the campsite with smokey fires cooking burgers and beans. I can hear it already -- there's no wi-fi connection up here -- we don't have cell phone coverage -- there's nothing to do -- isn't there a TV around somewhere? -- can we take the car to go .... anywhere?? Perhaps I exaggerate how a 20 year old and an 18 year old would react to the trip? HAHAHAHA

I miss the beach and our friends who usually accompany us. So this is a big beach HELLO to everyone. :^))

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Graduation Day

My youngest son graduated high school today. It was a of day mixed emotions - happy, sad, scared, elated, contented... for Jim. For me it was a day of errands, family, preparing camera batteries, and trying not to feel.

It began innocuously enough, eating humongous pastries bought by my parents who are visiting for the occasion. Then snacking throughout the day as Jim packed for his week-long trip to Myrtle beach with his friends. It's the typical Senior Graduation Trip and I dread it.

We iron his National Honor Society sash that he'll wear over his black gown - finish washing his new black gabardine pants and shirt - load charged batteries into cameras and those fans with the water misters.

Jim needed to be at the high school by 6 pm. The temperature was close to 100 in the shade - and our seats were in the sun. The Senior boys had to wear ties and long pants, while the girls wore dresses. A tad unfair in this heat wave.

We arrived around 6:45pm. Sun blazing, pomp and circumstance played by the band members sweltering in the heat, graduates dressed in their black caps and gowns, family and friends hiding under umbrellas to block the sun. I suddenly realize the fans with the water misters were left on the kitchen counter.

Tears fill my eyes on a few occasions during the ceremony. I'm proud of my son and all he's accomplished. I'm sad he's finished living at home. He's excited about his new life and I don't blame him. But I'll miss him.

For Jim, there is much to explore, much to experiment, much to live. May you live a long, healthy and happy life, Jim. I shall miss the boy I used to know. I am pleased to meet the young man before me. And I'm excited to grow with the man you're going to become.

Congratulations, Jim. We love you.

ps. Notice I didn't call you "my baby?"