Wednesday, November 28, 2007

You Say Headache, I Say Migraine

Today she wrote nothing...

I don't know if I could even recognize a regular headache anymore. For ten years now I've battled migraines. They used to come with nausea. Bad nausea. Now the stomach ickies are better, most times, but the pain grips at my hairline, rendering me useless. Most of today was spent in bed, willing some relief to come over me. Hours later I feel much better, but that "after" sort of daze is hangin' round. To look in the mirror is a scary thing; I've large dark circles under my eyes and an unsettling pallor is apparent. Ugh.

Hubby was most understanding today. He kept the girls in a separate part of the house and took care of getting our oldest to and from preschool. Bless him. Now, she's gone for an overnight at my parents' and the house is reasonably quiet. I'm soaking it in. Trying to muster up the gumption to work on chapter two... I've completely reworked chapter 1, as it didn't have the right amount of conflict to hook the reader. And now that it's better, I have to revise chapter 2... flow is everything, you know. Then again, sitting in a dark and quiet place sounds quite nice...

Wish me luck... on my writing and my migraines.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I Don't Like Sharing

My husband and I each have our own computers. They're set up side-by-side in our basement office - or what he likes to refer to as our "Internet Cafe." Trendy, eh? It works well this way. He runs an eBay business... which means he's on the computer a lot. I'm a writer... which means I'm on the computer a lot. Most times (down times, when our daughters are sleeping or occupied, to be exact) we sit next to each other, working on our respective projects. You might very well hear dueling keyboards.

However, a few weeks ago the video card in my husband's motherboard (or some such) blew, busted, (insert appropriate term here). Being the bargain buyer he is, and not having found a sufficient deal for a replacement, his computer sits quiet, unused, lonely. Which means my computer gets double duty. And we have to share. :( It never fails: I'm in the zone and need to write, but he's hogging my stool to maintain his online auctions. Or he needs to check the status of something, and I'm pecking away like a madwoman, not to be disturbed.

It's become a game. One waits for the other to rise from the desk, if only for a second, so as to pounce on the stool and claim victory! Woe be the man or woman who needs a potty break...

Oh, to have two working computers again.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Yup, Still Writing

Still writing. Well, revising. Making some areas that weren't working very well, um, work. Then I'll get back to finishing the manuscript. I suspect my original goal of looking for a literary agent by Christmas is unattainable. *gulp* Maybe I'll set a new goal of... Valentine's Day. At least then there's something about February 14th to look forward to, no thanks to Hubby...

I've been doing a lot of beta reading, too, and I'm seeing some good stuff. I enjoy the process of betaing because it gets my mind off what I'm writing, gets my brain working on cut and dry stuff, then proves to motivate me on my own projects. Cool, huh?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

So. Darn. Cold.

Though rumor has it our weather is supposed to get in the 60s again in my area of the Midwest (did I hear wrong?), it's blasted cold today. We've just had our propane tank filled and the heat is cranked - I even sat with my back mere inches from the fireplace - but I'm turning to ice! Makes for cold fingers that don't want to navigate a keyboard. Still, I plug away because I have to. I'm making headway on the book - almost finished with chapter 14. Wahoo!

I think, though, I'll go get a mug of hot chocolate, hold it in my hands to warm my fingers and beneath my face to thaw my nose.


Monday, November 12, 2007

BLTs, Bruised Arms, and Box Elder Bugs

Curse the bugs.

I merrily plunk away at the keyboard, adding words to my chapter. I get through the dinner scene and a bug dive bombs my head. I flick it away and move on to a character's fall down the stairs. Two bugs meet each other on the monitor and walk across my freshly-typed sentence. Argh.

These suckers are everywhere! We've had warmer weather than is usual for this time of year. That, coupled with whatever it is about our house that allows easy entry, makes for over-population of Box Elder Bugs. They look like ladybugs, only they're orange-y in color and have wings that unfold from their bums. They fly, they hover, they crawl. They try to eat my snack, drink my water, and pile on the bathroom counter. I've swept up nearly two pounds of them. Thanks heavens they're not flying spiders.

Pardon me. I must scrape the bug carcus from between the "r" and "t" and finish my paragraph...

Movin' Right Along

I'm actually making progress. Who would've thought that making an outline for the last third of my book would help? Not me. I'm not an outline sort of person. I don't want to feel bound to anything I sketch out in advance, or feel like I'm writing without really doing the true work. But at an acquaintance's suggestion I quickly jotted down where I wanted chapter 13 to go... and viola, I finished it! So, now I trudge ahead with notes for each chapter from here on out.

I've always said (in reference to my novel) that I would just write until the story's told. I still feel that way, though I've outlined what appears to be enough for 23 chapters. We'll see how much gets changed as I move forward. Undoubtedly there will be unexpected details that creep in, and surely I'll have some tweaking to do. But I'm looking ahead, ready to get this puppy done.

For today, though, I'm taking a slight break. Leaving the girls with Hubby and escaping for a day with a couple of friends. Lunch out and some shopping are just what this mama needs. But I'll write more later. Promise.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Frisco Exit

What a fabulous week we had!

Tuesday morning dawned and my girls and I loaded into the van, leaving the driveway at 5:15 a.m. (No easy feat, mind you.) We met up with I-70 and aimed for Colorado.

A long drive and several Disney movies later we climbed the Rockies, eager to join my husband (who'd gone out earlier with friends) for some family time in Breckenridge. We took the Frisco exit (or Frisco Eskit, as I kept spitting out), taking in the sights and breathing in the mountain air (the altitude only made me lightheaded and weak for the first four days of our five day trip).

Our condo was amazing. Lots of room to spread out, with housekeeping to do the dirty work (including dishes!). Hubby gave me a break from cooking duties, which was flippin' awesome. Our girls entertained themselves, while Hubby and I skied and caught up on some reading, respectively. (I highly recommend Patricia Wood's LOTTERY.) We, as a family, walked the town of Breckenridge, hiked Swan Mountain, and visited the outdoor hot tub in 60+ degree weather. We watched Disney Channel, took naps, and gourged ourselves on chocolate chip cookies.

I stewed on my novel, which has been moving slowly the last few chapters. And months. The good books I read served to jumpstart my motivation, and I completed a rough outline for the remainder of the novel and renamed it. Good times.

We drove home yesterday, stopping only for food and potty breaks. We made it to our home state after dark, pulling into the driveway beneath tired trees and the starry sky. A good night's sleep was had by all and today we settle into the routine of home.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must rescue the toddler from her big sister (or is it the other way around?). Then lunch calls and a nap awaits.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I Shoulda Stayed Home...

My original plan was to stay home from church this morning. It's been a long, busy week with days of not feeling well and, especially with my hubby out of town, I figured it'd be a good chance for my daughters and me to rest up. But then this a.m. dawned and I was feelin' pretty good. And I realized it's Communion Sunday, which is as important a reason to go as any. True?

I should have seen early on that things weren't going to go smoothly for me. (Where's a Blue's Clue when ya need one?) Despite my continued reminders to family and friends over the last few days... I forgot to set my clocks back. So not only did I miss out on my once-per-year opportunity to keep the kids in bed for an extra, glorious hour (yeah, right), I rushed around madly, trying to primp this, dress that, and get us out the door - all before I realized it was an hour earlier than I thought.

So with our extra time we stopped at Wal-Mart. I figured we'd get that errand done; save some time after church. Instead of the quick in-and-out trip I always hope (pray) for, it turned into a thirty-plus minute ordeal. First we had to look at all the clearance Halloween stuff, at the request of my daughters. I did end up buying a costume for each daughter (super cheap!), yet I can't help but worry that in a year's time they'll have changed their minds about being a Barbie bride and Snow White. Guess Hubby and I'll have to wear 'em... Then we couldn't pass up the aisles of Christmas goodies. We knocked down an entire case full of tubed wrapping paper, set off a group of singing tree toppers, and I discovered the zipper on my pants refuses to stay in the up position. Hello world! All this in the first quarter of the store...

Church, once we got there, did not go well. Our family of three (minus Hubby, remember) ended up in the nursery after multiple pew-escape attempts from the little one. (To set this scene better - the nursery is a 6'x6' uninsulated room, directly off the sanctuary. Whichever mom makes it to the nursery first becomes that Sunday's attendant. The honor was mine today.) My daughters were already loud and halfway-obnoxious, but when a rambunctious four-year-old boy joined us, true chaos ensued. Toy tractors took flight, buckets of crayons were dumped, and the table-dancing began. Another mom (who parents her children differently than I do mine) swept into the room demanding to know, "What's going on in here!?" ...I snapped. She offended. I excused her. She left. And I felt horrible. I was so upset by the situation I felt unworthy of Communion. So I didn't partake and stewed over what had just happened. Pfft. But before I could sneak out of the building, unseen at the tail-end of the service, she returned to the nursery. We apologized, we hugged, all was forgiven. (And in all honesty, I do love this woman as one Christian loves another.) A happier spirit was within me and church was over...

We were leaving the church parking lot, headed to lunch. A man who's both a friend and priesthood member approached my van. We chatted a bit and he asked where my husband was. I explained he's gone to Colorado, having gotten a stupendous deal on a condo in Breckenridge. (The kidlets and I are to join him later in the week.) But instead of what should have come out of my mouth I said, yada yada "the condom he got." YIPES! *smacks hand on head* I couldn't - and still can't - believe that came out of my mouth. Despite our giggles and the friend's assurance that it was no big deal, I sank low in my seat and turned as red as my mini-van, I'm sure. Then I waved a friendly goodbye and high-tailed it outta there.

...So now we're home. I'm going to stay here, do chores, and keep myself out of trouble. I hope.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Color Me Embarrassed (An Update)

It turns out last night's dinner party was... nothing more than a dinner party. So glad I mentioned my thoughts of it being a surprise birthday get-together to only my husband. And everyone on blogger.

I feel really silly for having read more into comments than was actually there. I let my writer's mind get carried away (we all have grand imaginations, no?), complete with notions of decorations, surprise guests, and yummy dessert in my honor. *sigh* I have to admit, rather sheepishly, I was disappointed. But the dinner party was fun for what it was: a casual gathering of a few friends for food. And in a week's time my birthday will have passed as any other day.

As for today, my flu symptoms are worse. I'm trying to figure out how to get through the day with Hubby MIA and my two daughters running freely, not to mention what I'll do about big family plans for this evening. Wish me luck.

Friday, November 2, 2007

All's Quiet On The-- COUGH.HACK.WEEZE!

This time right now - early afternoon on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays - is my "me time." The oldest is at preschool; the youngest is napping. And I'm at the computer with my requisite Starbucks, doing my own thing, sans interruptions. Aahhh, 'tis the life.

But wait! What's that achiness I feel? Why is my head stuffy and light? Why am I continually wracked by hacking spells? Oh no. I think, folks, the flu has hit.

Our family of four has been sniffling and coughing with each other for a few weeks now (because like any good relative, we share...). My littlest has had the roughest go of it; poor Sweetcheeks'* congestion just won't clear up. My husband, who rarely lets anything knock him down, spent a couple of days taking it easy last week. Fortunately, the ickiest of the ickies seem to have by-passed my oldest, for the most part, but this is my second go 'round. Doesn't the ol' influenza know the rule? Not da Mama!

Granted, I'm not feeling the worst of the worse. I'm still able to function, but I'm worried about tonights plans. Some friends of mine are getting together for a friendly dinner... but what I secretly think is that they're intending to celebrate my birthday (tomorrow's the big day). Please, don't tell anyone. I'd die of embarrassment if A)they found out I suspected something was up or, even worse, B)I've imagined it all in an overly-grandiose way and it truly is just a normal get-together... *blushes wildly* But what fun will it be, either way, if I'm feeling like a bus ran me over and left me in the ditch?

I guess I'll just load up on my Walgreen's Severe Cold pills, and take 'er as she comes. I think I have to go tonight, regardless of whether a birthday celebration ensues. If it just happens to be true, though, I'll eat a piece of cake for you...

*Not her given name.