Tag: oh the horror!

Insights I hate


When the quick-and-dirty synopsis for the second novel rears its head two days later and murmurs: Hey, you know that bit in the middle? It really goes at the end, for the third book.

The third book.


But that little voice is right. It makes far more sense for the series (*shudder*) to have the first book focused on an internal merge of divergent personalities, the second focused on the cultural merge, and the last to focus on the merge of two warring nations.

Despite the logic, I cannot express how much this horrifies me.

Three fricking books.

Comments Off on Insights I hate | stuff that scares me

In which children (and novels) are out to get me


The writing hasn’t gone as smoothly this year as I’d hoped. I’ve been derailed many times by stuff that absolutely needed to get done right now today or the dreaded laziness that loves to ambush me over the summers.

But I had to write this weekend–it was my turn for Posse rending. Which, amazingly enough, wasn’t too bad.

However, the fact that it was the end of the first draft was bad.

Now I am in the midst of writing the fourth draft (because if you don’t finish the second and third drafts completely, you get to skip ahead) and that’s going okay. The first fifty actually look very good. I just need to finish the damn thing.

But the question (and horror) in my soul is: OMG, what will I send them in two weeks? Because I’ve got to have something other than the novel. And I’m not sure I’m ready to craft the outline for the sequel. (And, of course, the Posse members pointed out that Mareet will get her worst nightmare in this one, and I screamed noooooooooo! at the thought, which probably means I should DO IT. Dagnabit. I hate it when they’re right.)

So yeah. There might be novel outlining in the next two weeks. *shudder*

I also became aware of some more holes in that first draft that I’m going to have to fill. Bummer.

Voice is coming along–we’re working on focus this week, and I can finally say I’m truly aware of singing in the mask. My head voice is a higher placement than ever before, and I’m hoping that’s as high as I have to go–I’m thinking outside my skull as it is to get it there. I’m looking forward to an actual choir rehearsal tonight–it’s been five weeks since I’ve sung with the big group and I’ve missed it.

Yesterday was our anniversary (36! How did that happen?) and, as usual, the Spouse was at a Scout camp with a couple hundred boys. I celebrated with a pedicure. Each to his or her own, but I think I win.

In other celebrations, the Eldest turns 30 next month and there are family camping plans afoot. I should be grateful it’s not family climbing plans. It could have been a cozy family parachuting or bungee jumping outing. The Daughter brought up how she’d like to get a motor scooter for her next vehicle and I totally spooked. It’s bad enough the Eldest zooms around on his second–because he wiped out in a parking lot on the first, and while he survived, the scooter didn’t.

Really, I don’t know how these children are mine. I would complain, but I carried each of them for nine months, so I’m culpable in some ways. I have no idea why they don’t have my common sense. (Which basically says if you don’t try some of these dangerous tricks, you can’t die. The Eldest still wants to ski Chile (and I’m sure it’s backcountry with the accompanying threat of avalanches); all I’d like to do is get to the Atacama Desert for stargazing. Which of us is more likely to survive?)

Comments Off on In which children (and novels) are out to get me | family, write-a-thon



Today’s the day we find out our classroom placement for next year.

We have a roving sub, and if the roving sub appears at your door, it pretty much means you’re moving somewhere else (either grade, site, or both) and you’re off to chat with the principal to find out just where.

The leadership team (and I’m a member) are working together on next year’s schedule and an easy target to hit. Since we already have a sub for the day, we’ll be easy to yank.

But I’m not sure how you go back and teach the remainder of the day normally if you’re horrified by the news. At least if I fall apart, I’m with the team and away from kids.

I also would not want to be my principal. (This is giving me second (and third! and fourth!) thoughts about the one-year administrative credential program through Pepperdine, let me just say.)

Think good thoughts, please.

Comments Off on Doom-de-doom-doom | Uncategorized

Things I would rather do than write today:


Prune the false cherries along the back fence–20′ long x 7′ high and a foot back.

Mow the back yard.

Sweep the back patio and wash it down.

Walk the dog two and a half miles. Fall flat when Harley zigs and I zag to avoid stepping on him. Pick myself up and keep walking. (If I had cut the walk short, I would have had to write. D’oh.)

Clean the remains of a shattered glass jar and sort through the dog biscuits looking for tiny glass shards. There were none. But hey, I wasn’t writing during that time.

Vacuum. See above.

At this point, the body has thrown a hissy fit and insists that I sit.


*grumbles* Fine. Next scene.

Comments Off on Things I would rather do than write today: | Clarion West write-a-thon

The big questions are…


How many more times will I forget to check a pocket or two before I run a load of laundry? And how many times will I discover–all too late–that any pockets I forgot to check hid tissues?

The last load was the best. Mom had a whole packet of tissue in that jacket pocket. Shredded tissue everywhere, and the jacket (fuzzy, of course) had a horrible case of tissue pox.

Writing, not much. I thought about the story, but not about the novel.

The big choir director saved my life by recording individual parts and the entire piano reduction. Still can’t sing it perfectly, but it’s closer.

Every sibling called today. That’s a bunch of talking on the phone, let me tell you.

Mom and I watched American Idol closely tonight–the Spousling, the Slug, and the token adopted daughter were at the taping on Monday. No, we never saw them. Mom wants them all to know how much she sacrificed to watch–she only liked Summertime. However, she didn’t wince too much, and she liked two other singers, which counts as a miracle. She is now recovering by listening to Henry Connick, Jr.

Mom’s pushing the limits here–she’s wiping counters and carrying dishes in one hand while manipulating the walker with the other. We’ll see how much tomorrow does her in. She’s got a chest x-ray and then an appointment with her primary. I am looking forward to leaving the house, even if it’s only to wander the hospital corridors. So far I’ve only been to the mailbox and back in the past three days.

The Slug gets here on Friday, and there will be an official changing of the guard on Saturday. I’m glad, but I suddenly realized I haven’t done any report cards. Guess what’s happening tomorrow if I survive the Kaiser trip?

At least, neither one of us will be wearing tissue-covered clothing. I’ve… uh, fixed that issue.

Comments Off on The big questions are… | this and that

Day–Oh, hell, I don’t know how long it’s been. Forever? Time flies on a ladder.


Only half the ceiling got scrubbed yesterday. Turns out that scrubbing above your head is a major pain (mostly in the shoulders and neck) and that for some inexplicable reason there’s more glue on the ceiling.

Or I’m wearing down.

Lucky for me, I’m halfway, and I got other stuff done around the edges. Up on the ladder, softening a section, down to do something else, up to scrub and soak, down to finish that something else, up to finish mopping the section, down… repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Oh, and for God’s sake, keep your mouth closed, dummy.

But since the Spousling is off to camp to work this weekend, there will be no more painting before Monday, unless I do it. It’s not going to happen. I’m going to shove the refrigerator back against the wall when I’m done with the ceiling, scrub the hell out of the sticky counters and floor, and PUT EVERYTHING BACK.

I cannot deal with the chaos any longer. And if he has to move stuff to paint, so be it. I’ll be at school, and I’ll avoid the kitchen as long as I must. I have other cleaning to do, and the kitchen is not going to suck any more time out of my life.

Who knew wallpaper removal and painting was a black hole? (I mean, I read about creating white holes in your kitchen sink, but black holes? Someone should fund a study for the relationship between black holes and house remodeling.)

Not quite so tired today, which means I’ve grown used to brutalizing my body and that school will seem a vacation after this.

Ha. No.

And in other news, Harley screamed in the wee dark hours and terrified me out of a dead sleep. Seems there was this attacking bedspread that had hooked itself around a dewclaw and wouldn’t let go….

Also the Slug is making her first quilt–one for a dear friend’s first baby due in January. There has been much consulting over fabric selection (she pulled great fabrics, btw. Bright colors and lots of visual texture with the patterns.) and last night, I got another phone call about preshrinking the fabrics in which she got a mini lecture on overdyeing fabrics and getting all that bleeding color out of the blue before mixing it up with that orange. Nothing like ending up with a muddy brown/orange if you don’t.

And no matter what she claims, I did send my extra rotary cutter out to Colorado. I don’t know what happened to it after it left my hands, but it did leave my hands.

Right now, I’m blathering on and on because that way I don’t have to get back up on that ladder.

God, I hate insights. And ladders. And dried wallpaper paste. And ceilings.

However, I might feel differently when it’s all done tonight. But don’t hold your breath.

Comments Off on Day–Oh, hell, I don’t know how long it’s been. Forever? Time flies on a ladder. | the stories I could tell

So tired


It’s gotten to the point that falling into bed and zonking out for seven hours isn’t cutting it.

I admit I had no idea how exhausting this would all be. Yesterday we finished stripping the wallpaper, returned the rental steamer, and I began on the next stage: removing wallpaper paste.

If you have never had the luxury of experiencing this activity, let me just say that you’ve missed a defining moment. How much patience do you have? And is your arm and shoulder strength equal in power?


Sucks to be you, then.

I resorted to a scrub brush and water laden with TSP. Sloshed the mixture onto the wall section, let it sit, and then wiped the softened gunk off with a rag. It usually takes three repetitions before you get it all, and there’s lots of scrubbing with that brush on the last two passes.

Repeat. Square foot by square foot. Gluey water runs down your arm. Bits of sticky paper adhere themselves to you. Paper, paste, and water decorate the floor. And if you leave it on any surface to dry, removal is ten times harder.

And mind you, I have yet to do the ceiling. Guess how thrilled I am at the thought of sticky TSP water dripping into my hair and eyes today?

The surprise to me was how much I had to use my pincer grasp to peel off recalcitrant bits of paper, particularly the ones that line counters or cupboards. The muscle that opens and closes my thumb is overtasked. Kind of like my neck and shoulders and lower back.

However, there is progress. Some of the walls are already primed and painted. I’m unsure about keeping this color–it’s what we had left from the bedroom project, and while I adore the shade, I’m entirely uncertain about moving that same shade downstairs. But it’ll do for the moment, and repainting will be so much easier than what we had to undergo to get to actually paint this room, that it doesn’t boggle my brain.

What has suffered (besides my poor tormented body, I mean) is the writing. I am so wiped out by dinner time, that it’s all I can do to not fall asleep where I sit. I’m not even pretending to open a file, although the goal today is to crit a friend’s work in and around the kitchen ceiling.

I’m taking a lot of breaks, I betcha.

But it’s kind of sad that I’m looking forward to school on Monday, because then I won’t have to stare into the kitchen abyss. I’m hoping that the refrigerator gets moved back to its station against the wall, that all the counter stuff returns to their rightful places by the end of the day, and that I’ve cleaned the floor and countertops thoroughly.

Oh, yeah, and the glue is off the ceiling.

The only good news is that I have eight panels above my head for the lights, which meant the prior owners could not actually wallpaper there. Otherwise they would have.

It’s my only solace this morning.

Comments Off on So tired | the stories I could tell

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