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.

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).