Wednesday, September 30, 2009
A 24 year old mother of three died from the H1N1 flu, only about a month after giving birth to her third child. They said she was so week the last couple weeks that she could only look at her newborn, not hold him. She'd been sick for about a month. The docs didn't give her anything. A couple days ago she was placed in a medically induced coma, and just the other day, she passed away. Obviously, this is a tragedy, and my next comment is not meant to take away from that, but I wonder, if she was sick for a month, and too weak to hold her child, why didn't they do something for her sooner? If one dr. wouldn't do something, what about another? How sad is that? But that's not the only thing that made me cry. Her husband is a KC police officer, and the guys in his department all donated their sick time so he could be home with his kids right now and not loose any pay. I love the example his department set. So many times people see suffering, or people who need support in some way or another but we keep moving because we don't know what we could possibly do that would make a difference. These people used what they had and I'm sure if you ask this widower if it made a difference, you would get a resounding, "Yes."
I have a very high word count, but I think I'm almost finished. I think I might take a break today (my hands need a rest). I was out with my friend Kathy last night, and we were talking about this book of mine, and the high word count, then we started talking about where I could cut somethings to bring my word count down. So, here are my plans so far, when I get to that point: There's an antagonist that I'm going to cut before I even add him to the story - I just don't have room. I'd finally come to the conclusion that I was going to kill him anyway (which is, strangely enough, a hard decision - at least for me). Then, there's about 18 pages at the beginning that I can take away most of - it can always be a deleted scene on a website somewhere ;) But really, it's great info for me, but I think, if I do it right, no one will know it used to be there. There's another place towards the end, that, although it's a great story line (for me anyway) it's probably not part of this story, so I can shorten things there too. Kathy and I appear to be different types of writers when it comes to the writing process. When she finishes a first draft, she said she has to go back in and add things, because her's is pretty general. Obviously, I'll be removing things. It's a lot of fun to see how other people do something, and how different the same process can be for different people. We also worked on title ideas for the first three books bouncing around in my head! We had a blast! I might even use some ;) Thanks Kat! Anyway, I still have a few more scenes, but it's still wrapping up. I hope to get this very detailed first draft finished in the next two weeks, then start editing. Wish me luck
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Instead of adding more pages last night like I planned, I I watched tv with Paul, and it was a much better way to spend the evening! We cleaned off the dvr a little by watching: Monk (it's the last season, you know), House, & Dancing With the Stars. Paul wasn't the most willing contestant for the last one, but he did want to see Chuck Lidell (?), a UFC guy dance the Tango...and then he just sat and kept me company :) This looks like a full three hour time slot, but it really wasn't, not when you skip past the commercials and forward through the extra time fillers on DWTS - I love dvr, but it's not helping me learn patience at all. About 9pm our doorbell rings, and Paul looks at me like, "who's that?" Like I can see through the door or something -he gives my superpowers too much credit ;) Actually, I'm sure he was wondering if I was expecting anyone. I totally played the girl card and told him he had to get it. To our surprise (and delight) a family from church dropped off a freshly baked, homemade apple pie. Paul and I shared a little of it last night and it was WONDERFUL! Two of the kids in their family are in my Sunday School class, one of them will be come January, and the last has been in with me a few times when we had to combine classes because the other teacher wasn't there. This just helps prove my point about how great these kids are! They've got good parents too, and that helps :) So, a big thank you to the Phillips family! Now, onto some more writing :)
Monday, September 28, 2009
I snuck in four more pages, I have more, but it'll have to wait until my house is quiet again :) My husband is a sweetie and while he was looking at motorcycles on craigslist, he must have looked some othet things up. He found an add for an author in our area looking for an editor, so I replied. We'll see what happens :) I have a grounded 5 year old, and he's not enoying himself - which I guess is the point. Luckily, it's only for one day, he's driving my kind of crazy with his misery.... Happy Monday!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I miscalculated pages earlier, I had only done 6, but I just added another four, so that's 10 for the day, and it's a scene I've been eager to do - I hope it doesn't come across too rigid, or stupid...that would be bad ;) Anyway, this scene opens up some important developmental points in the plot and in the characters' relationship. But it's almost a quarter to two...in the morning...it's time for me to hit the hay! Thanks for stopping by!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I got another 8 pages done, but I'm not finished, I just had to stop to get some other things taken care. I have a Sunday School lesson to plan for tomorrow and then I can get back and finish up the scene that keeps playing through my head. Today was a "serious" writing day...I cut my nails and everything ;)
Friday, September 25, 2009
I forgot a story line I was going to introduce in the scene I worked on today, so I went back and added it, adding an additional three pages of work, making today's total 11 pages. Everyone went to bed early tonight, so I was able to get back on this evening. I know what the next scene is, so I might barricade myself in my room tomorrow and work, if not, it will keep until Monday. For now though, I'm going to read a book. I picked The Other Boleyn Sister. I just finished reading The Borgia Bride by Kalogridis, I think her first name is Karen. It was historical fiction. Real historical figures, real events that happened in their lives (and probably some rumor and speculation) woven together with fiction. I found it very interesting, even if it wasn't an uplifting, happily ever after story. The Other Boleyn Sister is also historical fiction and since the other was so intriguing, I thought I'd give this one a try. Another reason I picked up this gigantic looking book was because of another piece I read a couple months ago. It's called Hank Shank VII, but John Walker. He had this great idea to tell the story of Henry the 8th, but in modern time, and that piqued my curiosity about Henry, and about the multitude of women in his life, so now, I find myself with this new adventure to start, and it begins when I put away the computer and open the cover of the book. Happy weekend!
I just finished 8 pages, one scene that's been stuck in my head for awhile now. It feels good to get it on paper! But my brain is fried now. I'm going to take a break and read some mindless reading to help my self recover a bit - or maybe a nap would be in order ;) I'm so glad tomorrow's Saturday - are you?
There's a dance in my book, so I've been getting the girls ready. Guys are easy to dress, but girls! This is good practice for when my girls are going to school dances like prom or homecoming. I've already practiced being shocked and saying, "no way!" Luckily, since I'm dressing fictional characters, I haven't had to worry about price! I've spent the last couple days trolling the internet looking for the perfect dress, shoes, and hair. One particular character's shoes took me the longest to find. I had no idea there were so many shoes out there! This search rekindled my love of shoes I think. It's a good thing I don't have a lot of "disposable income," or I'd have a room full of shoes! And not just any shoes, cool, no one else in the room has them kind of shoes! Oh well :) I can live without a shoe room I guess. Anyway, my characters have a dance to go to, so I gotta go, I kind of feel like the chaperone ;)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Last year, in 6th grade, they took the standardized tests. Because of his scores he's been offered a couple of opportunities that are really kind of exciting. First, he's been invited to participate in the Duke University's TIP program (Talent Identification Program). He gets to take the ACT or SAT tests as a 7th grader. He also has access to educational guidance from the Duke TIP staff through his 10th grade year. There are more, but that's what I remember right now :) The second opportunity we found out about today. We were asked for our permission for him to be nominated for participation in the Joseph Baldwin Academy in conjunction with Truman University in Kirksville, MO. Participants are nominated based on the same criteria as the first opportunity - scoring on standardized tests. They must take either the SAT or ACT test before they can participate, but many of these students are the same ones that are invited to participate in the Duke TIP program, so they'll be taking it anyway. The students get to spend three weeks during the summer at the academy, living in the dorms, with a room mate, eating dorm food, participating in activities, and taking a college level class that's been condensed into a 3 week course for them. They will experience the complete college experience (minus hazing and drinking games - these are middle schoolers) from taking the ACT/SAT, waiting for an acceptance letter, to filling out financial aid and scholarship paper work, choosing their classes, getting student id's, using the library, etc... Three weeks seems like a long time for my boy, who's not so little anymore, to be gone, but he's very excited, and so am I. He understands that these are really good opportunities, and that they are only offered to a handful of people. He will be contributing some of his own money, to help him appreciate it all the more, but we will be looking for a way to raise the funds for this second opportunity, because it's not cheap. This cost is about $1700.00, but we hope the experience will be priceless. We are so excited for him, and as a parent, to see my son have these opportunities, it's just an amazing feeling. He is a wonderful young man, in so many ways. Out of all the families God could have sent this beautiful child to, he picked ours, and I will be forever grateful.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I figured out how to link my tweets to my blog! Now, this may not sound like a big deal to you, but technology really likes to stick it to me sometimes and make my life frustrating. Today was not one of those days :) Now, the next question, can I make the most recent tweet perch on the top of my twitter screen instead of the bottom? Do I want to?
Technology amazes me. All the ways we have of staying in contact with people we've never met is amazing. The wow factor goes up even more when we get to meet people on different continents or in different timezones without ever leaving our couch! And even better, is when we can communicate in all these different ways with people we know and like - it's great! I'm setting up a twitter account today, one more way to stay in touch! Now, if I can just figure out how to get the tweets to show up here...it shouldn't be too hard, right?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
There's glitter every where...On me, on my couch, but I managed to add another eight pages. I finished page 151 today. I checked out my word count and it's about 77,500. And, I remembered to get all my kids from school. Now, I just need to make some dinner and try not to get glitter in the spaghetti.
Today I got kids to two different schools at two different times, and none of them were late :) I also got some shopping done, dropped cough drops off at school for Christopher, and made it to a Dr. Appt. on time - all of this before 11 am. I still need to go to the library, a new book came in - although I need to look it up because i can't remember what it's about, and I still have to take the dog to the vet for a weight check and heartworm meds. WalMart is putting out their Halloween things :) Just yesterday I wished for a cute little set of pixie wings. I thought they would be fun to wear while I'm writing about pixies, fey, and garden fairies. So today, I'm the happy owner of a brand new pair of hot pink pixie wings stacked with freely flowing silver glitter - it's all over the place I think. I had glitter on me before I even took the wings out of their packaging. My friend, and author John Walker, gave me the idea to have something tangible from the story that I can focus on and help motivate me when I begin to get tired, but I'm just not done yet. So, here I sit, laptop on my lap, wings on my back, tummy happy from lunch, and I'm ready to get back to work. Oh yeah, that twin book I started reading yesterday? I put it away, I'm pretty sure I have it all figured out, so I moved on to something else.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Managed to get five more pages done, as well as dishes, a library trip, drop off medicine at the middle school, pick up elementary kids, and then go to a cross country meet at the middle school. My characters drained me a bit today. Poor Rafe, it's getting increasingly more difficult to be him. Tomorrow will be Taffy's turn to try to drain me dry! Now, I'm going to read a completely senseless romance involving twins and one brother being the father of the baby but the mom thinks its the other brother...see? completely senseless, but what a way to veg :) Oh yeah, have to find something for dinner...I'd be happy with a blizzard from DQ (had my first one on Friday!) but that's just not going to be good enough. I think that might be classified as neglect, but I'm pretty sure my kids would classify it under either, "Mom's awesome," or "Mom's lost it," either way, they'd have a blast!
After a weekend or so of reading - I got new books, what can I say? I picked up my story again. I'm shocked...Rafe just walked out of the story....I so did not see this coming. I might be as shocked as my characters. So, now I've got two adults looking at each other, wondering what to do, because a very moody vampire just stormed out of the house, declaring he won't be back, and they've got a devasted 17 year old girl upstairs because of all of this. I knew Rafe was getting upset, but I didn't realize he was THIS upset. Okay, gotta go smooth things over with my imaginary friends...wish me luck!
Friday, September 11, 2009
I bet you remember where you were and what you were doing eight years ago today. I know I do. I was in bed when my friend called and told me to turn on the TV. At first I didn't understand what was going on, and when I saw the second plane hit the other tower, I had no idea that I had just witnessed a live attack on my country...I thought it was a replay. Then we did what we always do. Our First Responders ran INTO a burning tower while others ran out. They risk their lives everyday on the job....I wonder how many of them thought this would be their last act of bravery, heroics, and compassion. Then, I watched, in stunned silence as the towers crumbled and fell. As that eruption of cement dust rolled through the streets of downtown New York, cover everything in it's path. That's when you saw the faces of the tragedy, running. They had escaped with their lives once already that day, and they were running again. I was pregnant with my third child then, she would be born 31 days later. I cried for the innocence lost to her, before she'd ever experienced her first breath. I worried about what kind of world this precious child would be born into. For a single moment, and for the first time in my life, I regretted being pregnant...how could I shield her from such a world...a world that had changed in the blink of an eye? That regret faded quickly and different things around me gave me strength and courage to put those worries aside and just trust God, so I did, and we didn't stop with that child, we added one more. I remember sitting in front of the news station for hours on end, waiting for, hoping for a miracle, for them to find survivors. I printed off updates and lists. I have hand written notes of noises they heard, clues they found, and miracles that they hoped for. I couldn't leave because I felt like I was abandoning hope. I still stop when I hear an airplane over head. I wait and listen to make sure that it's passed safely by. It was remarkable how quiet the skies were for four days. My heart swells with humbled pride when I think of the good that came out of that day. The patriotism that exploded across our country so quickly. Nearly every home had a flag flying out front. Cars were decorated with our colors. Songs were written and dedicated to those whose lives were prematurely snuffed out. Do you remember Congress standing together and singing God Bless America? I remember the need to do something, and I wasn't the only one who felt it. Lines snaked for blocks around blood banks with people who just needed to give. Friends and families got together just to be together. Congregations met to share their burdens and bring peace and comfort to their members. In a way that nothing else could do, that terrible day solidified our citizens. I think many stepped back and looked at what was truly important in their lives, I know I did. So, where were you that day? How has it changed you?
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I think we may have come to an understanding yesterday. He's developed this terrible habit of filching stuff from the counters, table, and/or sink. Nothing is safe from him. Yesterday he grabbed the loaf of bread that the kids left out. I was trying to clean up after I dropped them off, but he beat me to it. It's a game to him because he leads, we follow. And I'm sure he does it because he wants the attention and he's full of energy, but somethings he just can't have (Like sharp knives, I've taken those away from him too). Yesterday I made my displeasure and frustration known, without laying a hand on him or even being too close. Eventually he realized it wasn't a game anymore and dropped it. We went through the same game with a different object later, and after a few minutes he read me loud and clear. Today he has very easily given up objects like stuffed koala bears and measuring cups. He's rewarded with lots of praise and love, which he soaks up. I also took him for a walk this morning, before I sat down to do anything, so he could get some of his energy out. I know it's not completely his fault when he's being rotten ;)
Got another five pages down yesterday, but they were feeling kind of forced...today I may focus more on reading a book I just got from the library, the one I was supposed to have last week except they lost it. Unless my branch got two copies though, they didn't loose it, they just checked it out to someone else AFTER they told me it was waiting for me. Oh well, it's not like the story's going to change before I read it - or even after, for that matter. But what if it did? Hmmm...that could be a fun idea to play with!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I've done my finger excercises for the day to stretch them out and get them all limber. I've read over where I left off, and I've set up some plans for today. I'm ready to get to work, and even though, at times, this process feel overwhelming (okay, all the time) I'm kind of excited because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. I have about 11 more "scenes" that need written. I probably need to fill in some gaps when I go back through, but I think I'm on the down hill side, of the draft at least, and that's got me excited. Besided motherhood, I've never taken on anything of this magnitude, so to see the end in sight, to have the momentum propelling me, and to have my friends encouraging me, it feels good. So, 11 scenes left...yay! I need to finish this because some of the other characters are clamoring for their own stories and beginning to stalk me... They're getting impatient.
Monday, September 7, 2009
My husband had a birthday on Saturday - Happy Birthday baby! I used a castle stencil and the stamp is from Coronado Island stamps. Now that I look at this card, it doesn't look like it should have taken me as long as it did to make it :) But, considering I traced, colored, cut out the stencil pieces, and applied them to the card front I guess I shouldn't be to surprised ;) Serendipity Stamps is having a monochromatic challange. I thought it would be fun to play too, not only did I have a blast, I used up some scraps! I think every paper element on this card was a scrap of some sort - even the oval was cut out when I came across it, just begging to be used. I used the small Flowers - hydrangea cling set, cultivate love, and serendipity stamps. I also cut out the queen anne's lace and butterfly and used foam tape to lift them up a bit for added depth, and of course, stickles!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Okay, the library lost that new book I was so excited to pick up this morning, so I didn't get to read it :( I don't know how they lost it. It's a brand new book. Came from headquarters directly to them. Got checked in. They got it ready for me to pick up and somewhere after that lost it. So, it's now listed as missing, but I'm sure it's just misplaced, and I'm back to being next on the list. On the bright side of things, I got seven more pages done :) I'm up to page 120...I think. And now it's time for some hot spearamint herbal tea with honey. We've had great weather here and I've had the windows open in the car and the house and my allergies are running rampant now. Hoping the honey will help soothe my sore throat. Seven pages, yay! Not sure where I'll pick up tomorrow. I need to look at my notes and see where I am.
I haven't made it too much farther with my story, only to page 113, but I did accomplish getting some scenes out of my head - that's always good! It frees up the space to think of the other things and see what happens :) I've been reading instead, I have books that need to get back to the library - but I have scaled that shelf way down so they don't distract me so much! So, today, I might get in some more writing, or I may not...I'm bringing home a brand new, unread, unbroken book from the library that I've been waiting for for quite a few months...it may suck me in completely. So, off to run some errands so I can bring that book home!