Monthly Archives: November 2007

If wishes were naps

Today’s lunchtime fortune cookie fortune:

Your persistence will pay off soon.

Well, we can certainly hope. Of course, right now, I’d settle for pay off = nice long nap.

In other news, Kyra is invited to another birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. And here I am, with nothing to edit. And get this, the party is scheduled for 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Now, I spoke to the girl’s mother on the phone and the woman did not sound insane to me. Still. Five hours. At Chuck E. Cheese.

Everyone’s going to need a nap after that.

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It’s all about me

 Jen was kind enough to think up some interview questions for me … and here I’ve been, sitting on them for ages. And sitting on interview questions isn’t all that comfortable or ergonomic. I recommend a chair. Okay, without further ado, my interview with … me.

1.     What has been the single most exciting thing since getting your agent?

Seriously? Every time I see her pop up in email, my heart kick starts. So the excitement = nonstop. In all honesty, while I know you got to write for yourself, do it because you love it, blah, blah, blah, I’d be lying if I said some industry validation didn’t matter. Even if none of this works out, it’s nice to believe I’m on the right track with this writing thing.

2.     What is a typical weekend like in terms of balancing the kids and the writing around your house?

Well, the last couple weekends haven’t been all that typical. Between line edits and pushing to get all of MacKenna into first person, and other crazy stuff, I’ve spent way more time on the computer than normal. Usually, I squeeze writing in when I can–early in the morning, when there’s a lull in the chaos, and so on.

3.     When are your best times of day to write and why?

Well, my worst time is the evening, when I’m tired, but I’ve written then. I’m a morning person, but I probably write more in the afternoon. I muse, and stew, and turn things over in my mind a lot. I guess I need to be awake for a couple of hours before things start working in my brain.

4.     What has been the most fun you’ve ever had as a writer?

I have a couple that qualify, and I can’t pick just one, so you get both.

I love the times when it feels like everything is working. Call it what you like, in the zone, inspired, whatever. And sure, if you’re even a tiny bit self aware, you know not everything is truly working. But the writing feels great; you don’t want to stop. If you exercise/run a lot, it’s similar to that endorphin high.

The other is working with Darcy. I remember the precise moment I knew we had something, when I read the master debater line and nearly fell out of my chair. I really love how Geek Girl’s Guide isn’t my story, and it isn’t hers, but Bethany’s. Something wonderful and magical happened. I even enjoyed the revisions and line edits. (Although, I’m not sure how Darcy felt about them. D? Have you recovered from me yet?)

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Writing update

Not that you’re interested. Feel free to skip this post.

Today, I finished the second draft, also known as the first person conversion of MacKenna’s story (The Fine Art of Holding Your Breath). Somewhere along the way, I added ~22,000 words and I’m now looking at 81,000 for the total word count. I’m really not sure how I did that.

Then, I revamped the synopsis to The Geek Girl’s Guide. I. Was. Dreading. This. Turns out, for no reason. I wrote a new lead into the synopsis, deleted the old, added a few lines here, delete a few there, and voilà: new synopsis.

So, I’m off the edit a partial. At some point, I’ll look at another synopsis (this will be, obviously, some point soon, I’m keeping it vague so I can fool myself into thinking it’s not that soon).

Then, I toss everything in the mail and forget about it. Which, after so much work, is a strange way for it all to end.

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White Thanksgiving

Yes, that’s right. We have snow. Maybe just a quarter of an inch, but it’s cold and it stuck. Kyra was very excited about this development, wanted to go outside, but thanks to one of our Thanksgiving traditions, she couldn’t.

 What’s that?

Someone getting sick. Poor Miss B woke up with a fever yesterday. This isn’t as bad as the year Andrew sprouted spots (chicken pox) on Thanksgiving Day.

Today, her fever was actually higher (pre-Motrin) and while she’s fairly perky, she hasn’t strayed from bed–that would be my bed, my side of it, which now has a lovely layer of cracker crumbs all over it. She’s been drawing pictures and making books all day long, and actually kicks me out of the room, because each picture and each book is a surprise.

In other Thanksgiving news, Anno has a thing against mashed potatoes. I’m still trying to work out how I feel about that. Marianne has a terrific cover for her latest story, Don’t Fence Me In. And stay tuned to the postings over at Jenn in MI–she grew up on the block where they inflated the balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

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Team Milk-bone

So the other day I did the unthinkable. I went to Target and bought pajamas … for myself. That’s right. Sure, I bought some long sleeved shirts for the kids, but I neglected to buy them pajamas. I know. What was I thinking? (For some reason, I can always be talked into buying pajamas, toothbrushes, and books–I’d probably buy a complete stranger a pair of pajamas, a toothbrush, and a book if he/she asked.)

It didn’t help that these pajamas have dogs and milk-bones on them, like so:

pjs.jpg

I mean, who wouldn’t want a pair.

So, yesterday at Target, I found two more pairs, in the boys’ section (shh, don’t tell Kyra, but it’s the reason Andrew’s wearing them). Same exact pajamas, red, with dogs and milk-bones. I wondered if Andrew would want to wear the same pajamas as me. Kyra–she was all over that. Remember those mother-daughter Laura Ashley dresses? Well, let’s just say it’s probably a good thing there aren’t any of those stores around here.

But with Andrew, I wasn’t sure. I’ve crossed over that threshold and now have the power to embarrass. And like a small nuclear device, just the mention of using it gets a reaction.

But the pajamas? Just too cool. By the time we walked through the door last night, Andrew had dubbed us: Team Milk-bone. They changed into them before dinner.

I’m hoping they change out of them sometime today. Go Team Milk-bone.

Today I need to pick up my Thanksgiving-in-a-box. I know. The sacrilege. How my foodie friends even read this blog is beyond me. We informally priced it one year and figured Thanksgiving-in-a-box costs the same as buying all the ingredients and making it from scratch.

But here’s the beauty part: tomorrow, when everyone else is busy turning their kitchens into disaster areas, I’ll pop everything into the oven, go write for few hours, then take everything out of the oven.

Now that’s something to be thankful for.

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About those line edits …

They are done–for now. In a marathon IM chat session (marathon = eight freaking hours), Darcy and I worked through all the line edits our agent (!!!) sent us. And this with only a minimum amount of off-color humor and talk about elves (someday, we may be able to reveal all about the elves, but for now, strictly hush, hush).

I’m pretty sure about one in the afternoon, Darcy was wondering what she got herself into, having me as a writing partner. I was in serious complete the mission mode, even if we go down in flames and bring civilization-as-we-know-it along with us.

Sometimes I’m like that.

She also wondered how I managed an entire chat (and one so long) without a single:

Kids killing each other. brb

So, I thought I’d supply a visual:

deskset.jpg

The Marvelous Miss B spent most of the weekend next to me, working on her own projects and drawings. True, at one point, I was spelling words for her (she likes to write) and doing line edits. We refer to this as multi-tasking.

Those are star stickers on her face, by the way. At one point, I ended up with star stickers on my face. Andrew, who was on the phone, said to his friend, “I’m really glad you’re not at my house right now.”

And that was pretty much our weekend.

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Suburban angst

So, I did a Target run last night. I do these at the last possible moment. When I start wondering whether they’re serious about the whole “do not reuse contact solution” or if that’s merely a suggestion, I know it’s time to go to Target.

And only today, in America, can you go somewhere that has so much stuff and not find what you actually need. Fortunately, the good people at Target realize that their “target” (oh, ho, ho, I slay me) demographic may want plain tuna fish, rather than tuna fish infused with lemon and pepper or sun-dried tomatoes.

Sometimes, there are simply too many choices. They recently remodeled our local Target, so I spend a lot of time wandering down aisles because I don’t know where anything is anymore. At one point, I got sucked into sparkly packaging clearly aimed at the teen girl demographic. I give you the new:

Secret deodorant — Scent Expressions.

(Click through at your own risk, graphic intensive, music, and purple prose.)

Because you’re no one if you don’t have your signature deodorant, no? So, I’m looking at the choices: kuku coco butter, arctic apple, brazilian cherry (I was going to make a waxing joke here, but I’ll refrain). But my favorite?

Vanilla chai.

I’m still trying to figure out why someone would want their underarms to smell like vanilla chai. Can’t you just see it? The back of mommy or daddy’s SUV, a passionate moment, the boy looks deeply into his girlfriend’s eyes and says:

“Wow. Your armpits are making me thirsty … wanna go to Starbucks?”*

I bought plain tuna fish (four pack), some contact solution, and the toilet paper with the puppy on it, because Kyra loves the puppy.

I passed on the vanilla chai deodorant.

*I’m calling dibs on the armpit line. I may want to use it someday. Just remember, you read it here first.

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