Friday, August 26, 2005

Another Day in Paradise


This post is in reply to the wonderful support I got in the comments from the last post. I'd typed it out, realized it was super long, so decided to post it here instead.

I knew I wasn't alone in my thinking. So many of us writers are mothers and wives so you'd understand my guilt with a messy house and my sitting at the keyboard. Today I did get some heavy cleaning done. MADE myself, but I did it, and now I'm glad. It was just after 10am when I finished, so not only did I have most of the day to myself before picking up the kids, but I felt lighter knowing I could do whatever I wanted with the good feeling that something on the house was actually done.

And it may not be so wicked if I was actually PRODUCING something - but alas, I'm not. I can't even get my brain into the IDEA of writing. I think of the scenes constantly though, so maybe my sub-conscious is working on something and I just don't know it yet.

Randy - it's interesting you say that about changing to single-spacing to get the juices flowing again (Whoa - sounds like something from a Blaze!!). When I first started writing, I knew nothing - including page format and double spacing and all that jazz. Now I have it set up to do 25 lines per page in Courier New 12 pt. BUT, when I started revisions the other day, I couldn't get that damn page set up right. (Yes, the revisions are so bad that they require a from-the-start-kinda revising.) I spent an hour getting madder and madder over FORMATTING. I should have said, "Screw it" and just started writing and then went back and fixed the format. However, by the time I got to writing, I got 5 pages done and they were crap and then I felt defeated. (sigh) Next time, I'll do what you said: Set it to single-spacing and just WRITE.

Kacey - you're evil!!! And I believe your threat of checking up on me!!!

Good news. I was laying on the couch just now and wallowing in self-doubt and the overall blahs, but I finally checked on the blog (can you say SPAM anyone? Gah! I get them in email and now they rape my blog, too.) Anyway, just reading what you guys said, such encouragement, and then typing this reply has my brain working again, so I think I'll dig out one of the craft books I've wanted to study and get at it. You guys ROCK!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I think I'm in a funk

or something similarly nasty.

I started the revisions on one of the requested books - the first book I did. I realized through a lot of editing and contests and crap like that that I'd lost my voice in it. It's still there, but later in the book which hadn't been picked to little bloody pieces yet. In addition to that, my heroine, Liz, is letting life happen to her, not doing something about it.

Here's the problem with that: I'm Liz. Liz has a lot of my baggage from my first husband (In the book, that's Jake. In real life, that's Jon.) I was so close to the heroine that all those insecurities came through loud and clear. So I took a step back and thought, "Okay, what if I had a chance to relive my life with Jon?" What would I do different? Liz had to be more determined than ever not to let Jake screw with her again (Jon was really into mental warfare - long story.) I had to take that attitude that's always been innately me (although he tried to kill it - here's the ironly - HE is dead now.) All that to say this: I DID START THE REVISIONS. After a year, I started actively writing again.

And it sucked. I mean, really sucked. Even Shari, who would NEVER say, "Bren, this sucks," said, "'s not your best."

That's Shari speak for THIS SUCKS!

Tomorrow is the end of week two for school being in session. Remember that little goal of mine, writing EVERYDAY while the kids were at school? Yeah - that hasn't been happening. Worst yet, I can say, "See? I knew I'd start writing just to realize I don't have the talent to think I can do this." I proved myself right.

But on the other hand, I'm such a tenacious bitch. Do I give up like a normal person? Nooooooooo, I have to go and prove myself wrong. So no, I'm not giving up.

I also decided that the huge mountains of clutter I have surrounding me are mentally giving me the shaft. My desk has different levels. Of stuff. Top layer is more of "this week's crap" and the layers under that level are for various different weeks or whatever. I'm not organized at all. My house is a wreck, and I feel like crap if I write while my house is in shambles. How can I be so selfish to sit at the computer for hours on end and ignore the house which my kids live in?

So, B's off for the next three days. I'm using it to whip this house in order. I did decide to have a garage sale again (which is quite funny since I don't have a garage), so okay, maybe a YARD sale. I didn't do one last year. Instead, I donated it all. I gave so many boy clothes to my cousin. I mean, we're talking a 27" tv box SHOVED FULL of everything a little boy would ever, ever need. I didn't even get a thank you or any acknowledgement at all that she'd received it. So then all I could think about was how much money I lost by not resaling it. Not again! I'm yard saling. (I think I just made up that word.)

So that gives me a PURPOSE. I'll use my neglected craft room and move anything for resale to that space and get it out of the living spaces. I'll declutter my house, and hopefully in the process, I'll declutter my brain.

Then come Monday, my brain will be able to write. I think. I hope. I'm so depressed over the pages I wrote that I have zero motivation - whether or not an agent is waiting to read it, or even to blog. That's pathetic.

In the meantime, I have worked on the new website with Dadio - and it's looking REALLY good. And I've read like five novels just in this week alone. I started the Stephanie Plum series of Evanovich. I have the first 11 of them, all but 4 & 5. I'm almost done with #3, so I gotta start lookin' to get me #4.

And I'm going to try to blog DAILY. It seems to get my brain thinking instead of staring at nothingness. I swear, nothing is as depressing as a blank white sheet staring at you from Word.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

What Kind of Crappy Gift Are You?

So someone posted this little test to see what kind of crappy gift you are. I took said test, and this was my result:

You are a losing lottery ticket. Full of hope and promise, but in the end, just a cheap let down.


Take it and let me know I'm not alone! Post what you are!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I so suck, and CF is up my butt

And in a really bad way, at that.

So I'm on Day Two of my own self-appointed Date To Start Writing Fulltime.

It's not going well.

Yesterday, I took a nap. The house was quiet, and I was exhausted. Then I had to run an errand, and by the time I got done, it was time to start the afternoon school run. Then I was gone most of the late afternoon/evening doing another school supply run, because the older two girls didn't even get their "real" lists until AFTER school started. Let me tell ya, Walmart is a nightmare the afternoon of the first day of school. We should get the stuff free - like hazzard pay.

So then there's today. At 9:30, CF (Control Freak - he's an attorny, so he can't help it - really) called for the first time in awhile. I'd sent him a schedule of what I'd hoped my days alone would be like. Being the total moron I am, I had put 9am - 2pm "Write, write, write". He, being ever so benevolent, said I should only make it 9-1. It's shameful how quickly I agreed.

So by 9:30 this morning, he THEORETICALLY should have been interrupting my writing, right? Yeah. Right. Hmm. Well, I was doing writing STUFF. I was reading about writing collages and pondering if that was something I wanted to try. I was reading different things different authors had said about the pros of doing it. In my I'm-left-handed-brain, that's WORKING because it has to do with WRITING. Right? Of course! CF disagreed.

Apparently, when I wrote "Write, write, write", he took it literally. We hung up the phone five minutes later, with a "I'm calling you back at 1:00 for a report back on how many pages you got done. And no lying about it either."

Gah! Does the man know me or WHAT? My first reaction, before he added that second comment, was, "He'll believe whatever I tell him, so I'll just make a number up." Then he made me agree not to lie about.

But dayum...I'm a writer! I make up fictious stuff that will make the reader smile (sometimes smile. Sometimes squirm. Sometimes get up and find out if the batteries are working in BOB, but I digress...)

So that was 9:30. From there, I called Shari to whine and bitch and moan about CF. That took twenty minutes. Suddenly, it's 10:45 and I'm more email to check, nothing new on the webpage....I guess that means I'm going to have to open up the freakin' story and actually WORK. Then I had an AHA! moment. The blog.

I could blog. And here I am. I suck. I'm procrastinating and I KNOW I'm procrastinating and I just don't get WHY I'm procrastinating. But I'm procrastinating nonetheless. See? As the title told you, I SO suck.

Okay. That's it. I'm going to open up the book from hell that needs revisions that simply boggle the mind. Right now. I promise. I'll report back tonight with a page number (since I have to totally re-write the beginning, the number will be FRESH pages...if I'm explaining this to you, does that mean I'm STILL procrastinating? Ugh. Thought so.)

Okay. Right now. Write NOW!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Countdown is on

Today is open house, where I have to be two places at once (thankfully, for the high school freak called Shandie, hers isn't until tomorrow night.) So I go to the elementary school, and for the LAST TIME, I see my last child's first teacher. Monday will be the LAST TIME I will have a "very first day of school" moment.

I thought for years the day wouldn't come soon enough, where I had time in my day with no kids around. With them 4-15, I've been home with kids for 15 years now, with a two year break between the sets where I worked. But if I've been home, there's always been at least one kid home, too. This year, that changes. And now I'm not too sure I want it to.

I mean, of course, I WANT it to. Cooper will love school. He's the only boy and he's always gravitating toward other boys at the store and stuff. We live across the street from the elementary school, so last year, when Syd was in Pre-K, we could watch her at lunch as she played on the playground. This year, I'll get to watch Cooper do that. I said, "Are you excited to play with other little boys?"

He replied, "Yeah! And little girls, too!"

(His dad had a proud moment there.)

So I have three days left. Three days where I can still pretend he's the "baby". Three days before my last one starts the grand adventure. Three days before he realizes that his world doesn't revolve around his mother. Just three days and then I'll look up, and he'll be like Shandie, taller than me, and almost done with high school. Three days will turn into 15 years so damn fast. I know, because I swear it was only a few days ago that I was getting Shandie ready for her first day of school.

It's easy to pretend that the older two girls aren't getting bigger. Another year of high school or middle school isn't that big a thing. But to watch the baby, the one 11 years younger than the oldest, step outside and wave "Bye, Mom!" I don't know how my heart will handle it.

And once they start school, it's over. It goes faster and faster and each year zips by me before I can scream "SLOW DOWN!"

Tonight they take their school supplies so they don't have to haul them the first day. Last night I double checked his brand new Spiderman backpack to make sure it was ready.

Cooper, "It's really, really cool, Mom."
(He's not quite four - a week from today - and I've already lost "Mommy" from him.)

Me: "I'll miss you while you're at school."

Him: "I know. I miss you, too." (He doesn't say "I'll" yet.)

Then he grinned his lady-killer grin and hugged me.

People told me I'd cry this year, being the last of the "first day of school". I swore I wouldn't. I swore I'd been waiting for years for this day to come. I'd get to be Brenda part of the day instead of constantly "Mom", so no, I wouldn't shed a tear.

I lied.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A week & two days later...

I'm back. Well, I've been back, I just haven't blogged. Thanks to those of you who emailed me find out where I've been.

I've been home. I think I marinated my brain in too much tequila at Nationals or something, because I'm still draggin' ass.

Nationals was a BLAST! Loved it more than words can say, and being that it was only my 2nd time, the difference was HUGE. THIS year, I knew people. What fun it was to put faces with internet names, to hear their accents, their tones, watch their hands as they spoke. And I do believe they had the best classes I've ever heard.

One was by Stephanie Bond in which she mentions career planning. I plan on making a career plan and putting it in bold, honker-sized print and putting it on my bulletin board here so I'm forced to see it everyday:

1) Where do I want to be in one year?
2) In two years?
3) What houses do I want to target?
4) What do I really, REALLY want in an agent?

Those are the kind of things I've been wondering about.

And speaking of agents, I met with Deidre Knight, and if you're a regular of my blog, you know she and Fogelman are my top two agents on my list. She requested the first three chapters and synopses of two of my projects...but she requested that same thing from EVERYONE, which makes me question how much she REALLY wants to read them. Of course, I'm still sending them, but I hate having to deal with self-doubt.

And it puts me on a deadline. The first is awaiting a crapload of revisions. The second one has the first two chapters. Chapter three won't be hard, I just have to get it done and then re-read the entire thing to make sure it's flowing right and tight enough. Yanno how that goes, right?

Yanno how I keep saying that come August 15th, I'm writing fulltime (once all the kids are in school)? That's Monday. Less than a week away. And now that the time is upon me, I'm freaked out. I'm back to the "What if I suck?" "What if the words don't come?" "What if the revisions are just too big???" Ugh. I hate that!!!!

I know this is a short post considering I've been gone a long time, but it's all I can do right now. My hips went out yesterday, so I'm hugely drugged up to keep from it becoming this huge thing that requires an ambulance and ER injections. And since I'm drugged, my brain isn't running right and I feel like I'm rambling. I do enough of that sober, so I can only imagine what this will be like.

For those of you I finally met, it was a blast. For those of you I never ran into, we have to take extra care in Atlanta to find each other! (Tess, Randy, I'm looking at you!!!) I'll try to post again tomorrow.

*smoochas, my freaky darlings*