Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the bad, in the with the good

Daily Stats:
Words: Grease (it's the word, it's the word, it's the word)
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: peanut butter cookies
Reality TV: No time. New Year approaching.

2008
was not great
it was not great
2008
it was not horrid or evil or vile
nor morbid or dreadful or dripping with bile
it was simply not great
not stellar
not keen
2009
better not be as mean

Okay, no more rhymes now, I mean it
(anybody want a peanut?)

No, seriously, I'm done. It's all my son's fault. He forces me to read The Cat in the Hat 4000 times a day. At times, I feel just like the fish in the pot. Do I like it? Oh, no I do not!

Sorry.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a few of my resolutions:

1. I will treadmill at least six days a week (notice how "treadmill" has ceased being a noun and has become a verb, as in "please don't put the cat on the belt, mommy is trying to treadmill")

2. I will avoid Law & Order marathons on TNT and will only allow myself to watch them if I'm doing something useful, like folding laundry (or if Jesse L. Martin is in the episode. C'mon, I'm not made of wood, people.)

3. I will not throw things at people for ordering triple vente decaf nonfat sugar free strawberry/kiwi/mint/cardamom mochas at Starbucks. I will accept that to acquire a taste for coffee is a sign of character, and a hell of a lot of people just don't have character.

4. I will, WILL, WILL, WILL finally learn to play something relevant on the guitar that is currently collecting dust in our spare room, because a) there's always time to become a rock star and b) it will get the boy interested in music

5. I will write. I will write and write and write and write, and I will love every minute of it. And when I don't love it, I will let myself hate it just for a minute, so I can love it again

6. I will learn to make paella, tempura udon, naan, a really good curry dish of some kind and creme brulee

7. I will stop wearing my drawstring fat pants in public (maybe...still on the fence about this one)

Care to share any of your resolutions?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Aftermath

Daily Stats:
Words: hot diggity
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: leftover desserts from Xmas...mother-in-law's cherry pie that gave me heartburn but it was worth it
Reality TV: Top Chef reruns on Bravo

Well, we survived our first "ain't buying shit" Christmas, and I have to say it went over pretty well. Even with charred index finger and a seven hour power outage on Christmas Eve, we still managed to show up for the festivities with massive amounts of homemade yummies. Everyone went a bit mute when we handed them over. I'm not sure if this is because a) they're petrified of my cooking or b) they weren't expecting so much stuff. I'm hoping it was the latter, however, there was lemon pudding cake incident about four years ago that would certainly validate a fear of getting within three feet of anything I had hand in making.

And though we got some lovely gifts in return, this, by far, is the winner:














Oh, yes. A de-fat-ass-inator. From us, to us. Could we afford it? No! Were we being irresponsible? Yes. Will we be poor but svelte with rock hard butt cheeks? Yes! (Okay, actually, no, I won't, only because I'm of good German stock and I don't believe rock hard butt cheeks are in our DNA.) I tumbled right into my sordid affair with the Crosswalk 480, and already my calves feel like fiery wads of goo. She's a cruel mistress.

Was Santa good to you this year?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

...and I heard him exclaim

...as he drove out of site. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good Clive.

(Adult content. No Veenie Babies allowed. Not suitable for children under 30! )


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas casualty















Daily Stats:

Words: ouch
Caffeine: ouch ouch
Evil Calories: ouch
Reality TV: son-of-an-ouch

Crafty? Yes. Graceful and coordinated? Hell no. Speaking in fragments because I burned the crap out of my index finger. Was making oatmeal and cardamom pancakes. Last minute addition to the list. Confused flesh with lumpy batter and sizzled tip of finger. Swore. A lot. Now we have a problem. French baguettes are sitting on their second rise, will soon need to be manhandled. Will have to use elbows or toes, I guess (now aren't you glad you're not on my xmas list?) May start drinking heavily to dull pain. Have doused finger in above pictured ointment (god i hate that word), but 'tis not helping. 'Tis pissing me off. 'Twas almost $10. 'Twill write letter to company once flesh on finger is no longer crispy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

She's crafty

Daily Stats:
Words: snow
Caffeine: morning cup+ midmorning cappuccino from girl at Macy's cafe who made really good foam
Evil Calories: currently obsessed with making the perfect carrot cake...still not there but am eating my way through
Reality TV: Top Chef reruns

Did I mention we're not doing any Christmas shopping this year? We're not skipping Christmas altogether, mind you. We still put up our sad little $20 fakey-fake tree from Target, still went to the mall this morning to walk around and see all the decoration, still plan on ordering our traditional Chinese take-out dinner on Christmas eve and watching TNT's marathon of A Christmas Story. But, no shopping. Everything we're giving this year is homemade. That is, if you live within a 30 mile radius. If you don't live within a 30 mile radius, you're getting a long distance high-five from us and that's about it. I don't mean to sound like a Scrooge, it's just that the industry that basically keeps my cute little homestead afloat is in Washington right now begging and pleading for money. I told them not to throw all their eggs in the SUV basket, but did they listen????? Noooooooo!!!!!

I could go on and on for days about this because I spent many years of my life producing commercials for one of "The Big Three". Asshats. That's all I'll say. Asshats who wouldn't know a good idea if it came up and started madly humping their leg. That's why they're broke, peeps. But I digress...

So, you may not know this, but I'm crafty and have mad skillz. When I say we're giving homemade presents, I don't mean cookies and "free hug" coupons. If you live within a 30 mile radius, and I give a crap about you, you will be getting the following:

homemade French baguette
roasted garlic butter
sweet potato biscuits
honey butter
homemade beef jerky
eggplant bolognese
pasta e fagioli
ratatouille
herb stuffing (made with homemade bread, cuz that's how I roll)
carrot cake cookies
English cream scones
three legged wheezing cat

Okay, I'm not really giving away that last one, but am tempted to since evil feline monster has chewed off bottom branches of aforementioned $20 fakey-fake Target Christmas tree. This is why we can't have nice things.

Anyone else boycotting the blue light specials at Kmart and giving homespun yummies instead?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Movement

Daily Stats:
Words: feelin' it
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: "trapped inside due to mother of all snow storms" breakfast - homemade hash browns, bacon, eggs...hospital please...
Reality TV: DVR'd Celeb Rehab

First, thanks to all my peeps who talked me through my brain clog. Words are moving again, not quite tumbling, but coming in at moderate speed and I no longer feel like I want to close my head in the dryer door. And thanks to awesomely funny dude Bryan B. for spurring the "pom pom" controversy. I gotta go with Big Plain V on this one. As a former Pop Warner cheerleading captain, I can say for sure that it's pom poms. (Here's where you're supposed to be impressed. I won't mention the fact that anyone who tried out for Pop Warner cheerleading made the squad. They just grouped all the rejects together and assigned them to the reject football team. Guess which squad I was captain of? Yep. We were sad. We had three girls with asthma, a girl who was pushing 200 lbs and a girl who broke her foot at tryouts. Did you ever see Wedding Singer? Remember the rejects at table nine? That was us.)

Anyway, since it's Friday, here another video to make you snort!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brain clog

Daily Stats:
Words: trying
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: more carrot cake
Reality TV: Top Chef NY

I really need my brain to cooperate with me right now. I'm trying to finish my WIP by the middle of January, but at this rate, it will simply sit in my "poo lives" folder getting crusty edges and collecting dust. I don't quite understand what my problem is. I have my entire book mapped out, I know exactly what is supposed to happen, yet, when I sit down to write it out, it feels like I'm trying to tap dance in in quick sand. Why is it that sometimes the words just tumble out and fall exactly into place, but other times I have to practically reach up my nose to dig them out?

I think I need to get that book that my sister is always talking about. The one where you write like mad in a journal every morning to unlock your inner genius. Of course, with my luck, I'd unlock her just as the boy started a defcon-5 toddler "sick of being cooped up inside" shit-fit, and I'd end up sitting at the play area at the mall writing on my arm. That's just what I need. Anther reason for the other moms to give me funny looks.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nailed

Daily Stats:
Words: many
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: carrot cake
Reality TV: trashy things on Vh1

About a week ago, I found a nail in some coffee beans I bought from one of our foofy local grocery stores (you know, the ones that try and push $5/lb bananas and gourmet, organic, free-range toilet paper). Of course, I didn't actually find it until it was jammed in between the burrs of my grinder. This is bad. You do NOT want to mess with my grinder. That is the wrong thing to try and break. I will kill you and eat your soul if you keep me from my coffee.

So, in order to keep me from going totally postal, hubby took the whole thing apart so we could get it out. Luckily, we managed to stop the grinder before the nail did any major damage (had it stripped the gears or chipped my burrs, you would have surly seen me on the news). Once I was able to speak in normal, non-howler monkey
tones, I returned the coffee and the nail to said grocery store. The manager just stared and me, looking like he was going to throw up and/or piddle himself. I was little irritated because he wouldn't say anything except, "oh, geez." Ummm...hello, you almost killed my grinder, I think you need to be the one carrying the conversation. So after a looooooooooooooooong uncomfortable pause, and several more "oh, geez"s, I suggested he give me a refund. He did...a whole seven dollars. I gotta say, if I were the manager of a store that just sold someone nail ridden coffee beans, I'd be falling all over myself to make it better. How 'bout a free pound of coffee? Nail free, I promise! Or how 'bout a nice bunch of flowers. Maybe some mangos?

Whatever. I'd love to stand here all day and watch you on the verge of tinkling, Mr. foofy grocery store manager, but I gotta go.

So, when I got home I decided to an email to the roaster. They're a small, local company, so I hoped it would find its way to a non-piddling manager who would freak out, send me a truckload of free coffee and even possibly do something bold like name me woman of the year for not suing them. But it's been a week and nothing. No response, no free coffee, no plaques with my lovely face etched in bronze. What has this world come to? What's happened to customer service? I realize a nail is better than a human finger or a dried wad of poo, but it's still bad!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Funny

Daily Stats:
Words: soon
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: sugar cookies
Reality TV: DVR'd Celeb Rehab

My hubby finds the best videos. He's Bonehead Racing over there on the right. Now, this may shock you, but racing is not exactly my thing. However, he built his little racer from scrap, so that's pretty impressive. If you visit his blog, you must leave a comment. It would totally freak him out.

So, when hubby's not obsessing about race cars or engines or stock bla-bla things or turbo injected fruppel-cupped bling-blongs (I have an attention deficit problem when it comes to racing), he's making me laugh in some way. This got me the other evening as I was trying to make dinner. If you've never seen David Blaine Street Magic, you might not find it all that funny. But the "David Blaine" guy in this made me spit my wine every time he looked at the camera.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Guest blogger Amy Ellis!

So, back in October, I held a (lame) "name that movie" contest, and the lovely and talented Amy Ellis was our illustrious winner. The prize, of course, was an opportunity to guest blog while I was busting ass on NaNo. Now, there was no question in my mind that winning this (lame) contest was the zenith of Ms. Ellis' existence, however, she has one of those nifty things called a job, and things went a bit headfirst into the shitter at said nifty job, forcing the poor girl to divide her time between comforting disgruntled employees and chain-swalling carbs and therapeutic bacon.

But, since I'm her sister, I get to do tacky things like bug her about guest blogging when she clearly has far too much on her plate already. She asked if she could do something else, like guest-handbag shopping or guest-wine tasting instead. I said no (mostly because she does that every day anyway). Finally, after one more attempt at dodging her "prize" by sending me seven pages of U2 lyrics instead of a guest post, she relented.

"The Guest Post to Get My Sister to Shut Her Yap, in the Form of a Letter to Santa"

by Amy Ellis


December 10, 2008


Kris “Santa Clause” Kringle
North Pole

Re: Vivi Alden

Dear Santa:

I know that it’s only socially acceptable for adorable little children to write precious, misspelled letters to you. But here’s the deal. The world is a pretty rough place right now, and, when you think about it, kids have it easy. Somebody else pays the bills, makes the food, cleans up the poo/projectile vomit, and has to love you even when you’re having a completely uncalled for and ridiculous meltdown.

So I think it’s only fair that you start accepting letters from bill-paying, cooking, poo/vomit-cleaning, loving-even-when-it’s-irritating adults.

And in order to sweeten the deal, I’m writing you on behalf of my sister. Before you look her up, I’m quite confident that she’s been good all year. (I really don’t think that making fun of a short Chippendales guy in Vegas counts as a bad deed. And before you say it, your sleigh has never been cut off by a Detroit hoopty, now has it?)

I respectfully request that you send my sister good hair days for Christmas, and make sure that the Feria does not turn her hair strange shades of green like happened to her in high school. Granted, her hair was much larger then. But so was mine. Combined, our hair could have taken over the planet. However, I know for a fact that girls in New Jersey had much bigger hair than we did.

Anyway, that’s not really the point, is it?

Second, I think she needs hand-crafted cappuccinos every day. No, I don’t know how you’re going to accomplish that, but you’re Santa. You can do anything. And please make sure they have good foam, and don’t – under ANY circumstances – put syrup or sprinkles in the cappuccino. Hasn’t she been traumatized enough by the questionable coffee-drinking habits of Michigan residents? Besides, think of all those mornings she spent getting up at 4 am to open the cart in the cold, dark, and rain in Seattle only to have to pretend to care about those goofballs who worked at KOMO 4 news.

Next, please give her Clive Owen for Christmas. Make sure he comes with a big blue bow to match his pretty eyes. Yes, I know, she’s a married woman, but all I need him to do for her is shovel snow, get things down from the tall shelves, and mix her afternoon cocktails. This would make up for the fact that she missed that party that Kiefer Sutherland attended a few years ago, and you know how many times we watched The Lost Boys when we had hair big enough to take over the planet.

Then, I need you send her an agent with a brain who will get her published. See, she writes really brilliant stuff I’d pay good money to read, and that’s saying a lot coming from me. If I’d buy it, that means all the other millions of women who buy the crap that’s already published would want to read it, too. I mean, really, Santa. NASCAR romance novels? What brand of crack are these publishers smoking?

And then, if it’s not too much trouble, please give her a Burberry coat. It would go well with Clive’s accent; plus, if you could slip around $10 million in the pockets, I think she’d be all set.

Thanks so much, Santa! And by the way, I had nothing to do with that little incident involving the screen door and the scissors when I was 10. Just so you know.

Sincerely,
Amy Ellis



Amy Ellis is an English major, writer, semi-professional shoe shopper, Star Wars junkie, closet super-hero, and possibly the best sister in the history of time. She lives where it rains every 4.2 seconds, and though she is officially Bono's soul mate, she went outside the box and married a really cool viking. Someday, she will live in Paris, where she will eat pan au chocolat and shop Christain Louboutin on a daily basis. In the meantime, you can find her at girlworks.blogspot.com

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A book is like an onion (actually, not really)

Daily Stats:
Words: 700
Caffeine: morning cup + midday cappuccino
Evil Calories: left-overs from boy's happy meal
Reality TV: probably something on Bravo

As I write, I find myself wanting to be understood. Wanting people to pick up what I'm putting down. Wanting people to catch what I'm throwing. But I walk a thin line between "subtle" and "overtly obvious". I like subtle. A little hint, hint, nudge, nudge is much better than several large whacks over the head, yes? But it dawned on me today how much we have to trust our reader. I'm just going to drop this little crumb here in chapter 10 and hope you pick it up, because if you don't you'll be really confused in the chapter 19. But that's what I love. That's what makes me read a book or see a movie over and over. Those teeny, tiny little microscopic details that you don't pick up the first time around, but often lend to the overall symbolism of the book.

Ugh, I just said symbolism. Am now having a flashback of my 12th grade English Lit class. My teacher....Ms. S - something, can't remember, she looked like a flagpole with limbs. She had alarmingly long fingers (and you know what they say about people with long fingers. Long gloves.) She would go on and on about symbolism, which I always thought was pretty cool, but my classmates, especially the stoner dudes who sat behind me, thought was lame. "Why can't we just read the books? Why do we have to talk about symbolism?" Then Ms. S would get all fidgety and twittery and look a little like her head was going to launch into orbit and the stoner dudes would "dude" each other ("dude, high five, dude, she's freakin' out, dude, look at her dude, she's gonna crap herself dude, awesome, dude.") Meanies. I felt so bad for her and she'd spend the rest of the class trying to actually explain to dumb-ass A, B and C behind me that symbolism was important. Ms. S...they just snorted some of that powder soap in the bathroom. They don't hear you right now.

Anyway, I digress...

My whole point is that it takes us definitely two, sometimes three and in many cases four or five drafts of our books to finally get all the little pieces exactly where they need to be. But it never occurred to me until now that it could take just as many readings to pick up all those little details we've so meticulously placed throughout the story. This makes me a little sad. I would never be so bold to think that anyone would read a book of mine over and over, so that means they'd miss some of the juiciest little morsels.

Guess I should just shut up and enjoy writing them...

Monday, December 8, 2008

bad hair day

Daily Stats:
Words: where's your hat?
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: chocolate chip cookie bars
Reality TV: bad things on Vh1 that I won't openly admit watching

Okay. The post-parental unit visit haze has lifted, and I remember where I was in my book. I was standing in the entry way of the apartment with Beatrice, trying not to offend her. Well, I wasn't , my MC was. I was huddling in the corner writing and cramming my face with cool ranch Doritos. By the way, you can't not offend Beatrice. She's just one of those people, but my poor MC is not aware of this yet. She thinks she's just caught Beatrice in an off mood. Silly MC.

Today, I will finally get on with the next chapter. I have vowed not to leave the house, not just for the sake of writing, but we're also having a very bad hair day. And when I saw "we", I mean my poor child. See, hubby and I decided that we weren't going to pay the stinking $15 to take him somewhere so he could scream his head off while some poor woman tries to maneuver scissors around his head. Instead, we pulled out the clippers and went to town. And now it looks like he got his head caught in the vacuum cleaner. It's all patchy and different lengths. It's not even messed up enough to be considered punk rock. It's just bad. And, due to the odd, hair clogged noise the clippers made, any mere suggestion at letting us try and fix it launches operation toddler shit-fit. He's now convinced the clippers are trying to eat his soul. So, until we can come up with a plan B, we're staying in.

Friday, December 5, 2008

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Daily Stats:
Words: Once upon a time...
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: more sugar cookies
Reality TV: Celebrity Rehab w/ Dr. Drew

Hubby and I had a (rare) and wonderful chance to actually go out to a nice dinner the last night that my parental units were in town. I say rare because a) we usually eat at home and save our money for neat things like diapers or laundry detergent and b) if we do happen to splurge, it's at our favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint, and spazzy three year old is always with us. It was very nice to be able to have a conversation without having to be on "child possibly sticking fork in his own eye" patrol. And this was a good thing because we ended up talking about the worst ways we've ever been dumped, which requires full attention.

Now, let me preface by saying that I'm sure we've had this conversation before, seeing as it is more of a fourth or fifth date topic and we've been together for almost 9 years. But your brain melts and turns to lumpy pudding after you have children and you often don't remember anything that occurred PSC (pre-spazzy child).

Of course, my famous "worst dumping" incident was back when I was in my early 20's and my pseudo-sort-of-but-not-really boyfriend showed up at the coffee house I worked in and broke things off during my 15 minute break. It was horrible. I had to go back to work and make double tall nonfat mochas serve people croissants. I believe the world should stop for at least an hour after pseudo-sort-of-but-not-really boyfriend breaks up with you in the back hallway next to a case of soy milk, but that's just me. (oh, and just a side note...he worked near by and came in a few hours later to order a coffee and see how I was doing. Boys are so stupid.)

Hubby's story wasn't quite so dramatic. A girl he was dating in high school ended things by turning Goth and never speaking to him again ("wow, what did you do to that poor girl, honey?") Of course, his story was better when he was dumper instead of the dumpee, and admitted to dumping an old girlfriend during her birthday dinner (ouch!). I was just about to give him a decent tongue lashing on behalf of all women, when suddenly something surfaced from my lumpy pudding PSC brain that might trump my 15 minute break story.

I worked at a music company many many years ago, and I was asked out by one of the tech-heads who worked in our other building (we'll call him "Dill-hole"). Dill-hole and I went out a couple times, and though he was really nice, there just wasn't a lot of chemistry there. But, whatever, I was young and he was in a band and really when you're 20-something, what more do you look for in a guy? So we were in that "after date two with strong possibility of date three" phase when my friend Wendy found me at work on a Monday morning and told me she'd heard that Dill-hole had hooked up with another girl we worked with over the weekend. So, I put on my mature face and decided to pay him a visit. When I walked into his office, he said the following words to me:

"Hey, champ!"

I feigned being in a hurry and pretended I was actually there looking for "so-and-so" and busted ass out of there as soon and I could. I'm a smart girl. When a guy calls you "champ", it is over!

What's your best dumper/dumpee story?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

aftermath

Daily Stats:
Words: maybe
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: crazy chocolate espresso mousse thingy that made me see through time
Reality TV: Top Chef

Parental units have departed. Have house all to myself again. No more funny sounds (unless they come from me). Now, if I could just remember what I was doing before they got here...

Oh, right. Trying to write a book. That's it.

As soon as I remember what it's about, I'll get back to work.

For now, I'll just listen to my new favorite song:


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tales from the back seat

Daily Stats:
Words: two more days, two more days, two more days
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: sugar cookies the size of my head
Reality TV: Top Chef reruns

So, the road trip...

It wasn't bad. Really. Really. Okay, there a few moments when I looked around for the emergency exit. We were only five minutes from the house when I realized my mom had decided to douse herself the latest and greatest overly pungent Avon body lotion. I just sat sniffing my Burt's Bees chapstick for the first twenty miles, hoping that may deflect it, but by the time we hit the "Live Nude Girls" sign on I-94, I had one of those fabulous white hot poker through the eye headaches. No problem, I packed EVERYTHING in my tote bag - Advil, Aleve, Pepto Bismol, Sudafed, Valium, Premysn PMS, Vitamin C, Iron supplements. Then I realized my tote was buried in the back under 400 piles of far-too-much-crap-for-a-four-day-trip. I rested my head on the side of the boy's car seat and whimpered. He then looked at me and said, "don't cry, mommy, you're a big boy."

Right. I'm a big boy. I'll just get my computer, put on my headphones and watch my Law & Order DVD. Nope, sorry! Opening my computer has initiated the launch sequence on operation toddler shit fit. If I do not hand over the device and play his favorite Jorge the Hawk/Go,Diego Go DVD, he will scream like a rabid banshee for the remainder of the trip, turning aforementioned white hot poker through the eye headache into head simply exploding into tiny, gooey bits all over rental car. So, I forked over my computer and tried to get comfortable in the 4 centimeters of butt space I had crammed in between the door and the boy's super-mega-ultra-gargantuan car seat.

Husband was in the front seat with my dad, at one point I caught him trying to stick a pencil in his ear. Not sure what exciting sound/sounds my dad was making. I officially love the people at Toyota and shall send them cookie bars. With all the road noise in the RAV-4, I couldn't hear anything that was going on up there. Shockingly enough, I fell asleep. Woke up a few hours later to find husband driving and dad sitting in passengers seat. Not sure what happened. Assuming husband somehow bribed dad into letting him drive in order to get to my aunt's house faster so he could then find a nice doorway to bang his head against.

Oh, by the way, I have seen the seventh level of hell, and it is the I-294 freeway through the Chicago suburbs. And since hubby is now driving, dad is in charge of toll money. This is bad. My dad is the biggest spazzy, control freak ever in the history of time. Toll booths along the I-294 freeway are a bit willy nilly at best. This does not comply with federal standards of spazzy, control freakism. They sort of post how much the toll is, but it's on a little sign off to your right, and if you blink, you miss it. Of course, my dad misses it, and starts shitting himself as we get up to the little booth thingy. Yes, tearing ass through the poor little zip-loc bag of change and swearing at top volume is definitely called for. I kept saying, "I'm sure they'll tell you when you get up there. Calm thineself!" But no. For some reason my dad believes that if you do not have your money ready when you pull up to the booth, the seventh level of hell toll booth police come out and start flogging you with angry bunnies. And then my mom starts in, "It think it said sixty cents. Or fifty. No, look it's a dollar fifty! A DOLLAR FIFTY! That's ridi--oh, wait, that's for trucks. I bet it's seventy five, cars should be half of what trucks cost. Or maybe they just charge a dollar, that would be easier, then they don't have to make change. Oh, look, no parking, no standing, violators will be towed at owners expense, merge ahead, roadwork next four miles, give 'em a brake..."

Oy...we should really be able to remove our brains and soak them in warm, soapy water from time to time, don't you think?

Anyway, aside from those little low points, it wasn't a bad drive. Though, once we finally made it through the seventh level of hell, we realized we'd passed the very last "Oasis" (rest stops with gas stations, Starbucks, and every fast food joint you can dream up). We had to scour through no mans land between Chicago and Madison, WI for a place to eat, and finally found a Subway that was about the size of my left coat pocket. Eating Subway on a road trip is just wrong. Road trip = fast food and donut holes, not healthy turkey subs and Sunchips. Of course, we made up for it when we finally reached my aunt's house and consumed massive amounts of pizza and cheese curds.

So, that's the story. And now I have to simply survive two more days of my parents just sitting in my living room all day. I can do this. I can, I can, I can, I can...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I have seen the future, and it is made entirely of cheese

Daily Stats:
Words: whatever they are, they are written with a tangy Wisconsin accent
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: let us not relive the last four days, shall we
Reality TV: suspended due to NaNoWriMo (yeah, right)

We went to Wisconsin. We did everything you're supposed to do in Wisconsin.

We ate these:



















Cheese curds. The real ones that squeak with joy when you bite in to them.

We drank this:








which tasted a little like bland sock fuzz.

And we did this:















...and I realized that I still suck the moose at bowling. My three year old beat me. I'm not kidding...look (he's "Z"):















We also played 500,000,000,000 games of pool in my aunt's "rec room". Yes. Wood paneling and all. And no Wisconsin bathroom would be complete without a creepy perfume duck (which my cousin Krissy and I immediately took on rec room tour):











































Am home now. Feel as if body is made completely of cheap beer and squeaky cheese. Have sudden strange urge to watch football and get spiral perm. Will say more interesting things later...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Run, poor little turkeys! Run! Run!

Daily Stats:
Words: gobble gobble
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: pre-dinner donut last night
Reality TV: suspended due to NaNoWriMo

a) Happy Thanksgiving a few days early, dear friends, even though some of you already celebrated your giving of thanks back in October. For what it's worth, I give you full permission to eat massive amounts of mashed potatoes and pie this week.

b) I am officially reverting back to my teenage years. I am this close to dying my hair black, digging out my old Doc Martins and listening to The Cure incessantly. See, when my parents come to visit, they don't do anything. They just sit in my living room all day. All day. My dad sits whistling or blowing his nose or clearing his throat or tapping his foot or making those "choo-choo-choo" sounds, or doing a combo of some or all of those things at once, and my mom sits and reads, sneezes forty times in a row, and does this weird head shake/nod thing that makes me want to tear my own arm off and beat myself to death with it.

See? Teenage angst.

But see the nice thing about being an adult with teenage angst is sometimes you get married and then have someone else to validate said angst. Things pretty much all came together for my husband once he met my parental units. "Oh, so this is why you're so weird! They broke your brain! I get it!"

Lucky for us, we get to spend 8 hours in the car with them tomorrow. Oh, happy day!

c) Speaking of tomorrow...three years ago around this time, I was huge. HUGE. I was the most pregnant woman in the history of time. I was a week late, busting out of my maternity clothes, and was seriously considering changing my name to either Fatty McButterPants or "Damn! How many you got in there?" (which is what I heard about eleventy billion times in the three weeks leading up to my son's birth).

And then I woke up the day after Thanksgiving to a small twinge in my belly, which, by 11:00pm that night, turning into a large twinge, similar to the large twinge you would feel if you were trying to shit an oven (I'm just guessing here). Nineteen hours later (oh, yes, it was a doozy), I had this:















He was, and is, so many different kinds of awesome. He'll be three years old tomorrow, so happy birthday, my little baby boy. You will always be my greatest masterpiece.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Break-ups and breakdowns

Daily Stats:
Words: la-la-la
Caffeine: morning cup so far
Evil Calories: 4000 cloves of roasted garlic with dinner last night. I smell like feet.
Reality TV: suspended due to NaNoWriMo

Oh, NaNoWriMo. We had such a good run, didn't we? Stealing time in the wee hours of the morning, slipping away in the afternoons while the boy watched far too much Noggin. But I fear that it is not meant to be this year. It's not you, it's me. I just have a lot on my plate right now, and need to be with a novel writing incentive that doesn't move at shotgun, break-neck speed. I hope you understand. NaNoWriMo, don't go away mad. Just go away.

*insert bad 80's song from butt-rock group whose name I can't recall*

Yep. NaNo go poof. Don't worry, I'm not totally throwing in the towel, but I have officially snubbed the 50K word goal. There's just no way. Not with parental units in house and road trip to Wisconsin next week for the holiday. My new goal is to finish by the end of December.

Speaking of road trip...

Let me paint a little picture for ya. Take my dad, who cannot go a nanosecond with making some kind of noise - clearing his throat, blowing his nose, humming, making weird "choo-choo-choo" sounds for no obvious reason. Add my mom, who must read every sign she sees ("oh, men at work", "bump ahead", "road may be icy, hmmm"). Then throw in my almost three year old, who can (and will) recite lines from Go, Diego, Go! for HOURS on end. Add in my husband and I crammed in the back seat with him, husband trying to give himself a lobotomy with a coke can and the corner of a Cheese-Its box, and me, sneaking some left over Valium from when my neck was all wonky and slipping back into my "happy place", where I spent most of my childhood.

Ahhhh...memories in the making.

*insert theme to Vacation...holiday ro-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ad, holiday ro-o-o-o-o-o-o-ad*

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rah-rah-rah!

Daily Stats:
Words: eh
Caffeine: morning cup + midday cappuccino
Evil Calories: none, prepping for Thanksgiving
Reality TV: suspended due to NaNoWriMo

Before I really got into this whole novel writing thing, I very rarely ever read the author's little forward at the beginning of the book, thanking everyone who'd helped make it all possible. But now, it's the first thing I read, mostly out of curiosity to see who their agent and editor are (little hint, by the way, if you are dying to know who reps a certain author, look there. If they don't thank their agent and editor, then there's something wrong). But I've also noticed the over-freakin'-whelming support that some writers have. I suppose it can be a little like winning an Oscar...you just thank everyone you ever met because you're so excited to be tasked with writing it in the first place. Or perhaps once you begin down that road to being published, a huge cheering section begins forming at the sidelines, blowing you kisses and tossing confetti in your hair.

But...what about the cheering section now?

See, my friends suck (and I can say this openly because NONE of my friends read my blog.) I sometimes actually have to remind them that I'm trying to be writer. So no cheering section there. My family? Well, my sister has an enormous set of pom-poms for me (Ewww! That sounded a lot better in my head) but my parents have a very "fly be the seat of your pants" approach to encouragement and support (which is probably why my sister steps up to the plate, as she's very familiar with this method and knows how annoying it is). My husband? A huge part of my cheering section, mostly because he takes it seriously and always makes sure I get time to run away and write for a few hours a day. So, at this moment, if I had to write that little page, it would be very short and sweet: Sister, hubby, you, my fellow writer/friend who actually reads my blog, and darling son (even though he flips out every time I try and open my laptop).

How's your cheering section looking right now?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Poo

Daily Stats:
Words: poo
Caffeine: morning cup + midday cappuccino spiked with Baileys Irish Cream (not helping)
Evil Calories: 900,000,000 Runts (you know, those yummy-ass Willy Wonka sucky things shaped like fruit.)
Reality TV: suspended due to NaNoWriMo

I am officially having a brown out. I am preparing for the arrival of my parental units, which means I'm running around trying to make my house look as if actual humans live there as opposed to cave dwelling folk who bath in dirt and eat tiny bugs. Evil wheezing three-legged feline monster missed the cat box this morning and le poo'd all over the laundry room floor (I swear to god, can there be a day in my life when I'm not handling everyone else's poo? Toddler poo, cat poo, neighbor's dog's poo, more cat poo, I mean, for f*ck's sake!!!!!) I'm SO behind in NaNo right now, and on my god, I am spewing pure crap. It has gone from flowy ribbons of yumminess to crap dipped in crap, stewed in crap, then covered in crap and sprinkled with crap, served with a nice side of crap. I suck and have no business being a writer, and feel I should report myself to the FBI (no idea why, it just sounds like a good idea.) I need to join a 12 step program for delusional people who think they are writers, or seek alternative experimental therapy where they rig a laptop to slam down on my fingers every time I try and write. Then, to dip the day down even lower into the fecal abyss, I can't find my favorite pair of fat pants, so I'm wearing a pair of "not" fat pants that make me look like ten pounds of shit crammed into a five pound bag, and every time I pass the mirror I want to crumple into a heap, but can't because I have to keep cleaning!

send medication...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

go away, me

Daily Stats:
Words: le poo
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: none, must fight onset of winter fatassness
Reality TV: suspended due to NaNoWriMo

This video is a perfect metaphor for the relationship between a writer and her inner critic:


Friday, November 14, 2008

We don't eat our kitties

Daily Stats:
Words: I'm going to kill the cat
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: Had jar of Smarties at desk, now Smarties scattered about in office due to annoying feline monsters
Reality TV: suspended due to NaNoWriMo

My three legged, wheezing feline monster is plotting against me. He sits on the bed in my office/spare room and licks himself. Constantly. I believe he has a bit of a Fabio complex...totally obsessed with himself, unaware of just how much of boob he actually is. I mean, for craps sake, who needs to lick their belly for an hour and half? IT'S CLEAN ALREADY! You're an inside cat and I'm fairly up on my domestic abilities so you can't be that dirty! (Okay, that's a load of crap, my house would probably make you itch, but in my defense, I'm trying to write a novel in 30 days. One cannot type and Swiffer at the same time. Yes, I've tried it.) I sit and try and write, and within thirty seconds I hear thwick, thwick, thwick and it's not a clean, dry thwick, it's a wet, slurpy kind of thwick, that makes me want stick my finger in my eye and swirl it around into my brain. And cats aren't like dogs. If you try and scold them, they just sort of look at you like, "Stupid human. You know I could eat your face while you're sleeping."

And then there's Pele, feline monster #2, our old pissed off bitty of a cat, who hisses at air. If she had a purse, she'd swing it at you. So, when Pep (three-legged monster) isn't licking his foot 7894 times on the bed behind me, Pele comes in and licks the filing cabinet. Yes. The filing cabinet.

Kill me please.

Oh, and this what I would look like with Fergie hair - though
I believe this hairstyle went down in popularity after her Today Show appearance, when she sang (destroyed) Heart's Barracuda and humped the stage in front of a large group of children:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Update

Daily Stats:
Words: shoo-be-do
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: I now have a candy jar at my desk. I write, and I eat Smarties. Happy girl.
Reality TV: suspended due to NaNoWriMo (not really, am watching ANTM and the premiere of Top Chef NY...shhhhhhh, don't tell!)

Just a quick update:

a) It snowed here yesterday. One word: PUKE!!!! It's not even freakin' December. I loathe snow. Don't try and make me like it cuz it won't work. Don't give me crap about how great skiing or snowboarding or cross-country-yoga-snow-shoe-spoon-hockey is. I spent 10 years of my life in Alaska. Been there, done that, now want sunshine and swimming pools year round.

b) I'm NaNo-ing like the wind. So much so that at this very moment, I cannot remember when I last showered. Gross, I know. But, hubby hasn't kicked me out of bed yet, so I guess I haven't reach the yetti stage yet.

c) This is what I would look like with Gwyneth Paltrow hair:



















In case you were wondering...which I'm sure you were. Now you can sleep at night.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

NaNo-Go!!!!!

Daily Stats:
Words: taking donations
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: chocolate chip cookie bars
Reality TV: suspended due to NaNoWriMo

And I can move! Oh, yes. I can look from side to side, up and down, I can reach for things. I can even put on socks without wanting to dry heave. And last night I slept w/out drugs and w/out the foam neck thingy. I have yet to do The Robot, but I'm feeling confident I'll be there by the end of the week.

With that said, I am SO freaking behind in NaNo it's not even funny. I'm busting ass as much as my ass allows busting (okay, that sounds kinky...you know what I mean), but...I'm also approaching a significant part of the book, and I don't want to thrash my way through it like a drunk howler monkey. Yes, I know, the point of NaNo is just to go, but, I'm telling you, this draft has to be a solid, workable "first" because I'm only willing to give it one, yes ONE rewrite, because I've been dragging this thing around for almost a year, already having written it 40K words in the wrong direction, and I need to just freakin' pass it already. Push it through. Get it out. Call it done. Think about something else. So, I am stopping for the moment. Will resume once insane almost three year old goes to bed tonight.

Now, side bar...those who've been reading my blog for a while know that I'm a total coffee snob, so this will come as no shock to you, but when I was at Starbucks today, I heard a woman order a triple decaf vente three pump sugar-free vanilla nonfat latte. And a brownie. Obviously I still have traces of Valium in my system, or I would have begun assaulting her with Sugar in the Raw packets. What the f*ck is the point of ordering that??? For those who haven't a clue what that is, I'll break it down:

triple = three shots of espresso, which is more than any human should ever have in one sitting
decaf = okay, so three shots of espresso for no reason. Okay, maybe you just like the taste of espresso. Oh, nope, that can't be it, cuz you want...
THREE PUMPS of sugar free vanilla syrup = offensive, offensive, offensive and only serves to mask the flavor of the espresso. The espresso that is pointless because it has no caffeine. And sugar free? It's syrup! hello! Perhaps rethinking that noggin-sized brownie would be a better "sugar-free" option for you.
Nonfat = Seriously? Okay, so no caffeine, no sugar, and no fat. Yet, you're paying $4.50. How 'bout you just sit there and get nothing. It's basically the same thing and you save a few bucks. P.S. you might need a psychological evaluation.

My dream one day, aside from being a professional writer, is to own my own quaint little espresso shop. Of course it would close in about five minutes because I'd yell at all my customers. I'd be like the soup nazi from Seinfeld (only with a thinner mustache.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

NaNo-Bump

Daily Stats:
Words: ouch
Caffeine: morning cup through straw because coffee cup too heavy
Evil Calories: would require reaching
Reality TV: suspended due to NaNoWriMo

I'm broken. I did something to my neck and holy shit, oh my god, I'm gonna die. It's the muscle starting at the base of my hairline and reaching all the way down to my shoulder blade.
I have NO clue what I did to bring on this agony. I didn't get into a car accident, I didn't jump into any mosh pits, I didn't get stuck in a size 4 blouse at H & M and contort my body in order to free myself (okay, that did happen, but it was like six months ago). I cannot move my head, cannot reach for anything, cannot lay down and, the best part, I can't type for any length of time. It's as if my neck muscle suddenly can no longer bear the burden of holding up my head. Even not moving my head hurts. The only thing that I feel would provide substantial comfort is if I was were suspended entirely in Jell-O.

But, since breathing seems to be an essential part of life and I'm unclear on the oxygen levels in Jell-O, I did the next best thing and dragged myself, shoulders all hunched and crooked, to see good ol' Dr. Soulias. Her first words were, "What the fuck did you do to yourself?" (I love doctors that curse. There's something comforting about it.) Her second words were, "I'm prescribing you Valium." Then I hugged her. It hurt like hell, but it was worth it.

The downside of all this, aside from the obvious (walking like a 90 year old, having to wear one of those foam neck thingys, it taking 30 minutes to put on one sock) is that I can't write more than a paragraph or two without wanting scream and cry, even when I'm on my cocktail of Aleve and Valium. So, I'm officially NaNo-screwed. I'm now approximately 5K words behind. My hope is to make up for lost time this week, however, I'm also preparing for the arrival of my parental units. But, I shan't give up. I will do copious amounts of busting ass, and if I don't make it to 50K by Nov 30th, I'll at least make it to 45K, which is much better than being at nuthin'-K. Right?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

She's got (questionable) legs

Daily Stats:
Words: more
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: celebratory peanut butter cookies that husband made on election night
Reality TV: suspended due to NaNoWriMo

The awesomeness of the last day have put me a wee bit behind with NaNo, so I'll have to make this brief. But I wanted to post because I discovered something the other day that was quite alarming. I stopped by hubby's work and used his client computer, and noticed when I went to my blog that the monitor, one of these fancy schmancy flat screen jobies, distorted the picture of the legs in heels over there on the right. So, just clear things up for those who may have similar fancy schmancy flat screen jobies, those are fishnet stockings. That is not a picture showcasing prickly, unkempt, Aunt Patty & Aunt Selma legs. I assure you that I am always well groomed in my heels. Now I admit that sometimes, in the cold, dead middle of winter, when I'm wearing fleece socks up to my elbows, I may get a little "behind" in my "duties", but if asked I'll completely deny it (or give you some dramatic excuse about the chance of another sudden ice age.)

I truly have no clue how to segue into anything else after talking about my leg hair, so, I'm just going to go now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of NaNo

Daily Stats:
Words: Yes!
Caffeine: morning cup + gag-me-with-a-fork cappuccino from bad coffee place I won't mention lest my ears bleed
Evil Calories: none for large bottom girl
Reality TV: suspended due to NaNoWriMo

And here is the splendor that is NaNoWriMo. One day you're a NaNo-bitch, spewing buckets of crap at lightspeed, and the next day you're a NaNo-genius, writing something that makes you so happy you want to clap and do a little dance around your kitchen. It is beyond explanation why what I wrote today in my 1600 word sprint makes me giddy to the point of hand flapping. It just does. And, so, I'm posting it, because I'm a show-off at heart, and I'm no longer an eight year old who can go running to her mommy with the nifty drawing I did in school. This blog is my proverbial fridge, so here it shall hang.

It won't make a lick of sense, I'm sure, since it's smack out of the middle of chapter 5. You can read it or not read it. Agree or think I'm deluded. Smile or give me that look (the one that suggests I spent my formative years eating paint chips). Whatever.

She was pretty. Not in a scary, intimidating way. Not in a way that made you instantly feel ugly. It was a normal pretty. An accessible pretty. A comforting pretty. The kind of pretty you’d hope to find in a nurse about to take your blood or in a woman measuring you for a bra at Victoria’s secret. The kind of pretty simply to help put you that much more at ease.

Annie had noticed this about her the instant she put the towel in front of her, but when she looked at her again after seeing the nametag, it seemed much more pronounced. Though she looked a little tired, time having left its mark with tiny lines around her eyes and mouth, she looked young. Her hair was a long golden blond, pulled back into a ponytail, wayward strands escaping and dangling around her ears, her eyes were blue and bright and her face seemed to fall naturally into a smile. She wasn’t frail or scowling. She wasn’t visibly drunk or missing any teeth. She wasn’t sputtering obscenities or snapping her gum, and now that Annie was actually looking at her, in some strange, unexplainable way, she was exactly what Annie had expected. Undoubtedly the absolute polar opposite of her mother.

“We have other stuff too,” she said, hurrying a menu in front of Annie. “I just thought the soup would be good if you’re feeling a chill from the rain.”


On the contrary, Annie felt rather warm. “Soup sounds perfect,” she finally managed.
She watched Pepper Ann replace the menu, shuffle some silverware out of a tray and refill the shriveling man’s coffee cup, all in one coordinated movement. She imagined Charlie being taken in by such a subtle grace, a man so focused on the minutia of every ticking moment, slicing life into cross sections, holding them up to the light to see them from every angle. Everything to him had depth and meaning, symbolism saturating what would seem to be the most mundane of situations. She imagined an eighteen year-old version of Charlie Winslow, a rucksack of hardcover Henry Miller and Oscar Wilde, sporting a beret and a goatee and some sort of ill fitting corduroy sports coat, his nose in the air, spouting esoteric crap ad nauseam, crossing paths with someone like Pepper Ann, who had a simplicity about her. Annie watched Pepper Ann scratch the back of her neck with the end of her pen and wondered what she would have seen in Charlie at first. Even before she arrived at Luna & Cake, the mere mention that Pepper Ann was a waitress was enough to tell Annie that they were clearly from different worlds. On paper, Charlie was much better matched with Annie’s mother, both attending the University of Washington, she from a somewhat affluent family and majoring in art history, sights set on becoming curator of the Degas collection at Seattle Art Museum. On paper, it was a perfect pairing, but in reality it was a train wreck on top of a nuclear disaster. And now that Annie knew the truth, all that perfect pairing was just coincidence. Had it not been for the surprise of a pregnancy, Charlie would have married Pepper Ann. The one that didn’t make any sense. The one that would have actually worked.

A piping hot bowl of split pea soup arrived in front of Annie, this time delivered by a girl with short blond hair and a button nose, the kind that you had to hold back from pinching. Annie sipped the soup, watching the button nosed girl and Pepper Ann interact with each other, Pepper Ann clearly in charge and asking the girl, who she kept calling “Feebs” for various things like sides of ranch or slices of something called “porky pie”. The girl always obliged, and though she seemed to know where everything was in the café, there was something scattered about her. Like someone trying to watch TV and fold laundry at the same time, getting sucked into the show and pairing mismatched socks and mixing up his and her underwear.

She nursed her coffee, taking tiny and occasionally fake sips, listening to Pepper Ann and the younger girl “Feebs” engage the customers. They were friendly, not in a forced, well-rehearsed “the customer is always right” sort of way. Most were addressed by name, including the shriveled little man next to Annie, who “Feebs” called Len. He never spoke, just raised his fork or coffee cup or whatever he happened to be holding whenever she’d inquire about his food. Pepper Ann smiled naturally at everyone she spoke to, looking completely at ease, taking their orders, or in some cases, not even having to go that far. “Your usual?” she’d ask. It made Annie cross her ankles and swing her legs back and forth. She could see coming in here, ordering a nice hearty breakfast of cheesy eggs and sausage, nibbling toast with butter all the way out the edges and little dollops of marmalade, because no one ever eats marmalade anywhere but at a nice, cozy little eatery such as this. She would read the funnies or do the crossword puzzle, occasionally asking Pepper Ann or “Feebs” what a four-letter word for a slangy hello would be (“hiya”). She could see becoming someone with a “usual” very easily. Much easier than she could see taking on the looming task of delivering Charlie's letters.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Clumsiness of action

Daily Stats:
Words: soon...
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: none, feel icky...made homemade teriyaki sauce last night, tasted like sock mixed with pez, can still smell it in kitchen
Reality TV: suspended due to NaNoWriMo

Does anyone else have trouble with action? It's always been a bit of a thorn in my writing side, and I try and take extra care getting my MC from point A to point B without it reading like a screenplay. However, the tall order of busting out 1600 words a day for NaNo leaves me with no time for delicate forethought or fine tuning, and I often get up from my keyboard feeling like I just spewed gagworthy poo (sorry gotta save all my creative descriptors for my actual writing).

I know I just need to turn my internal editor off. Throw her in a muu-muu, give her mojito and send her on a nice sabbatical to Boca. But she keeps rearing her annoying little head, making me thoroughly grouchy. I'm officially a NaNo-Bitch.

And it's only the 3rd day.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rocky start

Daily Stats:
Words: none so far
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: far too much halloween candy
Reality TV: suspended due to NaNoWriMo

I had the most craptastic start to NaNo yesterday. For some reason, writing the beginning of this WIP feels like I'm trying to do the breast stroke in a pool of gravy with angry badgers tied to my limbs. But I pushed through, came in 200 over my daily word quota and am now at the point in the story that I'm excited to write. Beginnings always feel clumsy to me. Trying to introduce everything w/out the feared "info-dumping" pitfall. *whines* It's hard!!!!!!

Anyhoo, I was delighted to wake up and realize that we're off daylight savings this morning, so I've earned myself a whole additional hour of writing (as long as I stick to my plan of ignoring laundry, yard work and the evil beckoning of the mall).


Friday, October 31, 2008

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

Daily Stats:
Words: boo!
Caffeine: goulish morning cup
Evil Calories: brains! eyeballs! entrails!!! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!
Reality TV: DVR Celebrity Rehab (scary shit, man)

Hello, creepies! You come to visit me on my favorite holiday of the year, and for that, I will forever want to eat your brain (in a nice way). May your day be full of frights and copious amounts of candy. And make sure you remember to give mad props to the Celts, for had they not celebrated the festival of Samhain 2000 years ago, building huge sacred bonfires and sacrificing little furry friends to the Celtic deities, today would just be another boring day in October.

On this most festive of occasions, I have decided to hold a contest. Since I'm totally broke and am serving shaved ice salads for dinner, I can't promise an outrageous monetary reward. In fact, I can't even promise a meager monetary reward. Basically, you get nothing substantial if you win. But, if you're up for shits and giggles, the winner will have an opportunity to guest blog on Cursing in Heels sometime in November, when I'm eyeballs deep in NaNoWriMo!

(of course, most of the people who read my blog have their own blogs, so...this will basically be creating double to work for them. Sounds like a fun, yes?)

So, to win this exclusive (lame) prize, you must be the first person to name which movie the title of this post is from. I'll give you a hint...it is spoken twice in the movie by the same character, once at the beginning, and once at the end.

Speaking of NaNoWriMo...the countdown is on and come tomorrow morning at butt-crack-of-dawn a.m., I will be plunging in head first. 50K words by the end of November. Holy bat shit. I have no clue how I'm going to pull it off. However, I am committed to my blog and will continue to post, though the posts may veer a bit from the usual. I may post my favorite youtube vids, horrifying teenage pictures of myself, excerpts from my NaNo novel. Hopefully you'll continue to be entertained. Or mildly amused. Or at least you'll still visit in hopes that I'll say something really stupid (you know it'll happen).

So, a sinister, spooky, most frightful Halloween to you, my creepies!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Still feel the sting

Daily Stats:
Words: more than 2, less than 5000
Caffeine: morning cup + lunchtime cappuccino
Evil Calories: none due to alarming size of bottom
Reality TV: Biggest Loser

It's been one year since I began querying the daylights out of my first book. One year since I received that request for a partial from my dream agent, sending me on jaunts into la-la land. I'd been following his/her blog for what seemed like forever, now he/she wanted a partial. It was fate! All my hard work had paid off, and I finally stumbled into some decent karma. Soon we would be meeting to discuss the wonder that is my writing, and how for sure, without question, my book would go into auction, sell millions and I would end up on the cover of Vogue (not sure how, but we'd work that out later).

Of course, I quickly watched that karma flip me off, grab a cab and go screaming away down the street. A rejection from him/her quickly followed, as well as a truckload of rejections from every other agent I'd queried. For three months, I walked around with same expression, that if manifested into a verbal reflection, would have sounded something like, "But...but...but...I thought it was good...".

Oh, silly little naive self. How you keep me endlessly entertained.

But, in my defense of my little naive self, I'd already gone through something quite harsh by the time I received these rejections, and it wasn't that I was just thoroughly disappointed, but I was really confused and slightly disillusioned. I had taken a writing class, and the instructor, who had been published before, was very complimentary of my work. When the time came for the class to end, he/she asked for me to keep in contact. I did, and when my book was finished, he/she offered to read it
and give me some feedback, as well as help me with my query. I must emphasize the word "offered". I never asked or even hinted that I wanted he/she to do such a generous thing. I was so excited, had serious delusions of grandeur, got everything polished, and when time came to send it...he/she flaked. I don't mean, "oh, sorry, I changed my mind". I mean, he/she never responded to any of my emails. Ever. Even the emails I sent months later trying to be the bigger person and thanking he/she for offering to help, but saying that I knew he/she was very busy and that I'd just go forward on my own. Nada. Zippo. Zilch. There I was again, "But...but...but...??"

It sucked and to this day my stomach still turns icy when I think about it. In some ways, I think it gave he/she a little thrill to perk my hopes and then dump me into a puddle of worms. A published writer squashing the hopes of their pathetic little students to feed his/her ego. Of course, I took what I could from the situation and decided very early on that I would never, ever be that way to another writer. But, honestly, we could have skipped the whole shitty experience altogether because I already knew I didn't want to be that way. Last I checked, I have a soul.

Anyway, onward and upward. Take what you can, chuck the rest and move skyward.