Thursday, December 31, 2009

The best New Year's Kisses

Usually, I get one of those kisses. The ones where you get bent backwards at the waist and a mouth closes over yours and your eyes close and you sigh just a little. Usually that is how I bring in the new year. Usually this happens in a less than sober state as by midnight or shortly thereafter I have had at least a few drinks. Usually. I am very superstitious, so I try to arrange it so that it works out this way.

This year, well, I played it a bit differently.

This year me and the kiddos went to Michelle's and I ate sushi. I did have a drink as the ball dropped. I did get three very lovely kisses. But I had to bend at the waist to collect them. The people I was collecting them are short. I hung out with the kiddos this year for new years. We watched the ball drop and played Poker. I won. All I got for winning was rights to put the game away. Seemed a bit unfair, that, but the other players are all mean old cheater butts anywhoo.

It was a good new year. I had my superstitions in play still. Kids there. Money in pockets. And I wrote (this) but the kiss... yeah, did not go for that. I am going for a man free year.

The chances of that... lol. Well. I have tried many methods to simplify life. No kiss on New Years seems almost too simplistic an answer to simplify all stresses in my life... the chance of that being the key...

Well, a girl has got to try.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Wordy New Year

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a wordy new year.

That is my new writery greeting for the holidays. Because to run out of words would be the ultimate disaster for me. I always have something to say. It is not always something good or something productive, but it is something. I have three or four WIP at any given moment. I write thousands of words. I talk on the phone all day. Words failing me... utter catastrophe.

So from here on out I have given up on Peace for my new years wish. Peace is not part of my life, apparently. Wealth is too easily spent. Health has been something that is fleeting and fickle. Words... those I have thrived on for years. Those are my heartsblood.

May your words slide off your silver tongue with grace and ease.

May your children actually hear a few of them.

May this snowstorm blow away from my drive to work.

That is my new years request list. Short, for once. But that is what I ask for.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mystery, Romance and the New Divide...

The lyrics to Linkin Park's New Divide (I know... Transformer's soundtrack. Hello. Two sons. But really, listen to the lyrics...) are as seen at the end of this post. I posted them because it is my theme song of the week.

Things are a flutter in my world. Busy as a bee, as usual. Thoughtful.

Memories, though, are coming back. After the stroke issue, some stuff was left muddled. I can't say as I minded. There are things and times in our lives that if we forget or if time numbs or dulls we don't mind so much.

Some of them hurt.

That is why the mind builds lovely scabs and loss of memory over them I think. To help you heal. Because if you walked around all the time with all of the wounds you had gaping you would bleed out (another really decent song by Linkin Park if you feel the need to look it up...).

Anyway, just wanted to post these lyrics. And to checkmark another little thing off my to do list for the week.

I have joined an accountability group. So far it has driven me to go ahead and finish the dreaded synopsis and edits on Siren's. I am still on 2nd round edits for Odd Stuff and haven't got much written on Odd Fate but otherwise I have hit all of my goals for the week...

Once I post this ;)
New Divide lyrics
Songwriters: Bennington, Chester Charl; Bourdon, Robert; Delson, Brad; Farrell, Dave; Hahn, Joseph; Shinoda, Mike;

I remembered black skies, the lightning all around me
I remembered each flash as time began to blur
Like a startling sign that fate had finally found me
And your voice was all I heard that I get what I deserve

So give me reason to prove me wrong, to wash this memory clean
Let the floods cross the distance in your eyes
Give me reason to fill this hole, connect the space between
Let it be enough to reach the truth that lies across this new divide

There was nothing in sight but memories left abandoned
There was nowhere to hide, the ashes fell like snow
And the ground caved in between where we were standing
And your voice was all I heard that I get what I deserve

So give me reason to prove me wrong, to wash this memory clean
Let the floods cross the distance in your eyes across this new divide

In every loss, in every lie, in every truth that you'd deny
And each regret and each goodbye was a mistake too great to hide
And your voice was all I heard that I get what I deserve

So give me reason to prove me wrong, to wash this memory clean
Let the floods cross the distance in your eyes
Give me reason to fill this hole, connect the space between
Let it be enough to reach the truth that lies across this new divide
Across this new divide, across this new divide


these lyrics are submitted by Linkin Park (Official Lyrics)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Where is my Christmas spirit?

Since the question has begun, "Do you know there is a Santa Claus, Virginia?" followed by the inevitable laughter, I know we are well into the holiday season.

The tree is up. The stockings hung. But I have no desire to light it.

If you know me, I am usually high on holly by now. I am usually the first one to put up no less than seven trees and hang my house in spangles and sparkles and look out into the night with a glitter in my eye and a wondering glow that has some resemblance to that of a child. I usually have shopped until my bills are screaming to be paid and am driving everyone nuts with my Christmas cheer.

This year... I feel...

I feel no desire to look at the tree lights glittering. I had no desire to get my trees out of storage, instead borrowing one. I have done that which the kids have asked for Christmas, nothing more.
I have done nothing because I felt driven by the Christmas spirit to do it.

I love Christmas. The wonder of it. The magic of people going out and doing for each other what they do not do any other time of year. For the sake of baby Jesus's birth we remember this one time of year a feeling of brotherhood and helpfulness and charity.

This year I don't see it. I am disenchanted. The economy has tanked and everyone is just... so sad. No one is worrying about helping others this year. They are in a dead panic about how to provide for their kids. Their families.

Which sort of is what is bugging me and sucking all the joy out of my Christmas, I think. And my job. It is sort of a Christmas vacuum. My current employment is a great way to look at human nature at its more primal greedy core and say, hmm. Not terribly kind are you? We, as a public, have far more than any other tanking economy. Our poor kids have toys. They do. Maybe not the newest toys coming onto the shelves but they do not play with dolls made from cornhusks or rocks because they have NOTHING for the most part. They have Barbie. She may be a bedraggled Barbie and (gasp!) be wearing last seasons fashions but she is still in all her plastic glory.

My babies have clothes on their backs. Food in their bellies. Toys in their toyboxes and more in storage. They want more. They want new.

They don't have nothing though.

The constant desire for newer, bigger, better, faster is not what Christmas was supposed to be about and my inner Charlie Brown is screaming and tearing out his three little hairs in frustration.

I want my kids to want to help. I want them to see how lucky we are. We have each other. I would rather have hung a paper tree that we had gotten together to make than light that borrowed tree. It would have meant something because we did it together.

What do we do together as a family during the holidays now? Shop? Cook food? What happened to singing? Raising our voices to the sky in joy and reverence. What happened to talking because we love each other and want to hear what we have to say?

Where is my Christmas?

Where is the joy?

I see want. I see need. I see hurt and anger. Where is the JOY?

I cringe and burrow down into my non-holiday affiliated sweater and look out into the night that is dotted with stars. Faith, a long time ago, led people to follow a star. I look at those stars and wonder what we follow now? What are my children learning in this world? Love? Joy?

Or need and want and a constant drive for instant gratification that can never be filled because nothing is ever good ENOUGH. Something will always be better. Faster. Newer.

I want to cry. My joy has been eaten this year. I hope it comes before Santa does.

If, yes, Virginia, there is a Santa... I hope he brings us Joy.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Life, Sunshine, and the common edit

Having gotten plenty of sleep, if by plenty you mean broken by waking every hour on the hour for more than eight hours, I am cheerily at the computer again for a day of second round edits on Odd Stuff.


My boys woke up in the middle of the night ill. Projectile ill. Clean my carpets ill. Because why on earth would they have made it to the bathroom ill.

Then at about three am, Justice, in ever infinite wisdom, thought it would be a darn good time to write a letter to Santa. And turn on all the lights. And then tell me about the letter to Santa.

At three am.

I yelled at her to go back to bed and what on earth was she THINKING.

She said she had time to do it.

She also had time to be asleep.

By the time she went back down, another son was waking to make an unsuccessful dash for the bathroom.

I finally gave up on the whole sleep idea at eight and was thrilled that I had already given up my hours at work today due to a childcare conflict. So, I did not have to work or call off work.


That was my overwhelming happiness. Can you hear the cheer?

It is not swine flu. No one has fevers. Still dodging that bullet.

Speaking of Bullet, Laurell K. Hamilton has started writing Bullet and Divine Misdemeanors is coming out on the 8th *happy dance* which is also my friend Michelle's birthday. So for her birthday, I am going to buy myself the book. *shrugs* Okay, makes sense to me.

Other author news, Robin McKinley is still working on Pegasus.

I love her. Love. Not like hearts and flowers. Like her writing is beautiful and thought provoking and funny and she just freaking ROCKS. When I grow up I would love to be like Robin. Or like me, but with Robin's attitude. That would work. I would hate the world to miss out on me. I am so darned cool.

Aside from the Damar series, consisting so far of The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword (to which my first book crushes as a kid probably really evolved. I mean, I really liked Colin from Secret Garden... but that was puppy love. My first real literary crush was Luthe. Then I met Corlath. I discovered I could love two men. Ah.) she also wrote Outlaws of Sherwood. This retelling of the Robin Hood story not only won me the Kent State Impromptu Writing Contest (I wrote about Cecily and Big John as I had the biggest crush on Big John... not Robin. I know. Secondary character... but I identified with Cecily not Marian. *shrugs* I am not Lady... I am Lady who runs away, hacks off her hair and pretends to be a boy. That was way more where I was at the time.) and won her a boat load of awards, it also cemented my childhood and adulthood love of McKinley.

I then, as a grown up who can pick and choose what she reads and has this handy piece of plastic that allows me to buy books that aren't at my library, searched out the remaining works of McKinley and found she had never written a dull word in her life. She retold Beauty and the Beast twice in two very different ways. I must say, I prefer Spindles End. Then again, still the tomboy, not the lady.

As time went by, I had read them all. And it seemed that she wasn't writing.

Then one day, in a bookstore I looked for her as I always did. There, amongst the McCafferty, was McKinley.

And there was a title I had never seen. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley. Mind you, it was already a given I would buy the book. When I flipped the jacket in trembling eagerness to see what she had written about and found vampires...

*Giddy dance*

Robin spun vamps in a way that I had not read yet. Of course! Constantine, her name for her vampire, was nothing like Lestat, Jean Claude, Tristan... he was not like Nosferatu. He was a McKinley version. I mean, he drank blood but from there she took it a new direction.

And again, I fell madly in love with a McKinley character. That is her gift. Other authors give grand details. The slide of flesh on flesh. The scent of a body moving against you. The taste of salt on your lovers lips. Mind you... not opposed to this as I am a huge fan of those books as well.

The true gift of McKinley, in this reader/authors opinion, is the ability to make you shiver by what she does NOT say. The line, "Then you can look forward to no sleep whatsoever," from Hero and the Crown, made me sigh for years. That was it. And the soup spoon dropped.

She never said more.

She didn't have to.

I love that. I love that somehow, it is enough.

Other author news... Still waiting impatiently for Kim Harrison to move on with the Hallows and 2010 seems like it will be another book. Charlaine Harris is going to give us another tale of Sookie and Eric in 2010. As a reader, this is going to be the best year EVER.

I also am super excited for this new author I found, Saranna DeWylde that I read on this site :

She has a book coming out with SBP and I am excited to read it since reading How to Lose a Demon in Ten Days. Okay, should have been editing. Busman's holiday...

Other than that, just excited about my own series really. What are you reading?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I'm a WINNER and Ashtons EYE!!!

Okay, since everyone is probably very sick of hearing about it... I finished NaNoWriMo *YEAH* The crowd goes wild!!! 50,000 words later... and Odd Fate is not done as it is plotted to be 90,000 words and nano is only 50k. Well. Um. Okay. But I finished 50K in a month!! Okay. Well. Erm. Okay. So, you say I wrote Odd Stuff in a month and it was 90K so not impressed? Well, shuddup. That is darned impressive! There are tons of people impressed by that word count. Okay. So I am a blabbermouth. And I probably SAY about that many words in a day. To type them is an entirely different thing and to do so with things like sentence structure and spelling and plot and research... okay, these things take mad skills. MAD skills. Get jiggy with me here. I am a cool writer girl this month and this is a big deal.

*blows party favor*

Okay, that said and much work left ahead of me, tonight, the night I had allotted for some mad (yes, mad is the word of the day as I feel a bit like the Mad Hatter... or a Mad Scientist... or at some random points, simply mad today) editing and writing and yes, the posting of my nano numbers so I could validate and get my nifty nano winner pic seen here. However, single mom, three kids.

And Ash has inherited my grace. I say mine due to the fact Ray seems to be one of those people who can make puking look somehow graceful. The man can flip a pizza behind his back and catch it. And look hot doin it. He is that darned cool. I am not. So it has to be my genetics that cause the poor boy to spend so much time in the ER. I will take full cred for it. ALL ME. That said, after the 'broken finger in gym because he was running too fast and crawling and managed to bend them backwards incident' we have evolved to todays fun.

Today, whilst I was off working and staring at the tan walls of my cubicle and trading banter with Noah, Ash was playing with the kids. It was something about throwing him onto a couch and him laughing uproariously. His arms, apparently, were flailing about madly (see? mad again.) which isn't altogether unusual for Ash. He is almost always yelling or flailing. They are two of his trademark moves. That and picking his nose with his tongue. But I digress.

So while flailing, he caught his own eye with his own finger and scratched the corner.

And began to scream. He screamed that it hurt and it burned and he was dying.

As Ash is a dramatic child, no one was sure if he was hurt or not. He had a tiny red mark next to his eye. When the eye was inspected, nada. However the howling began around noon. When I rescued the sitter at 4pm, it was still going on. He, at this point, was puffy.

She was looking a bit tired, drawn and her eyes were crossed.

I took my youngest to the ER to see if it was drama or trauma causing the bellowing.

After some eye drops (which is a tale too dark and twisted to be related... anyone who has tried to get eyedrops into a pained childs eyes knows the severity of this situation. If you haven't, pray you never have to.) that turned his eye an awesome glow in the dark green under ultraviolet light, a large spot was found on his cornea.

By large, I mean uber huge.

He had caught the cornea and scraped it off at the center. A chunk about the size of his pinky nail.

According to the friendly nurses (one was wearing the cutest lab coat... hunter green with a little black helicopter on the back...) a 55yr old man had been in earlier with a SMALLER hole in his cornea and had cried like a baby. They are excruciating. My son, apparently, was a tough cookie and was feeling like someone was shoving a knife in his eyeball. A burning knife. And he was valid with the screaming. So I get to give him eyedrops every 4hrs and he SOOO got China Buffet for dinner.

Poor dude. Just now he is crashed out and looking pathetic. He insists he is blind. He passed the vision screening and light hurts. He is clinging to me. I must admit, having Mr Independant clinging is nice. Wish it wasn't under such horrible circumstances. Wish I could make it not hurt. Wish I could make it all go away. Best I can do is wake him every 4hrs and torture him so he does not go blind....

Not really the most fun job. Not really fun for either of us. Less fun for Ash.

So, Nano done, son blind. Eyes tired. Butt sore. Oops. Forgot that one. Wiped out yesterday on Michelle's front steps and landed butt first on slate. So sitting hurts.

But not so bad as Ash who just woke screaming. Again.


Okay,he is asleep again.
Anyway, that's my day in a nutshell... or nut house.
Take your pick.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Eyeballs burning.

Brain leaking in a gelatinous ooze out my ears.

Fingers itching to tap on the keyboard but the tips are slightly numb.

Ah. The smell of procrastination mixed with National Novel Writing Month. Yes, this year I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo for the first time and it has been fun. Although I know I blast out a very nice number of words in a day when I sit down to write and although I know I can write a book in a short period of time, I had never sat down and tried to see how many precisely I write or could I write a given number if there was a goal looming over my head.

And I think it felt like homework.

I remember homework. It was that stuff I stalled doing until the deadline because-- pshaw-- I could blast through it in no time so why bother stressing over it now? I could do it later... and later.

And NaNoWriMo became that for me. If I missed one day, no big. I could write 2k tomorrow and play catch up. A couple days... yeah, well one 7k day and I am back, baby.

The flaw was that if you spend big portions of the month skipping around like that, you inevitably get behind. And now deadline looms. And I feel dumb. I look at my bar graph on the Nano site and wonder why there are so many days that flatline. It wasn't like I couldn't have written SOMETHING those days. Normally I would have had to write. Actually, I did write most of those days...

On non NaNo work so that it did not 'count' because I am only counting my words written on Odd Fate. Procrastination. I procrastinated and wrote other things so that the deadline would loom closer.

So tonight I was left blasting out a monumental... how many did I write?

Hang on.


And that was a mix of a half an hour today and from 5pm on tonight.

Brain in a puddle. Probably all crap. Will have to reread tomorrow to see what I did because if I do tonight I will trim the good with the fat.

And then tomorrow after I clean that I need to blast out one final day of at least 3042 words to get my 50k for nano.

*rubs hand over face*

So if I can do that, why on earth am I doing it now rather than spreading it over a month?

Masochism. Sheer masochism. I am a sick, sick puppy.

And the worst part? Odd Fate is a 90k book or thereabouts. Once I finish Nano... so not done with the book... Nano will end with me mid climax.

And I can't not write once I am mid climax. Musey will allow some slacking. She will let me take days off if I allow her days where I sit and do nothing but blast out story. But once I get to climax the story rides me and I just hang on and try to tug the bit every now and again if the story gets too out of line.

I no longer will have the reins. So I will be thinking and dreaming and eating Odd Fate by the time this week is over....

Wait? It is Friday?

Something about shopping?


Hey... yeah. I should put up a tree, too. *scratches head* Can't we just pencil one into Chapter seventeen????

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Funny things kids say-Thanksgiving

Me- "So why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?"

Justice- "Because of the Mayflower."
David-"Uh, yeah a boat."

Me-"So we eat turkey because of a boat? Why don't we all ride boats instead?"

Justice-"No, Mom. The pilgrims came on a boat."
David-"Yeah, and when they got to the Americas they had a five day feast."

Me-"Why? Were they hungry from being on the boat, or what?"

Justice-Frustrated. "No, Mom. They did it because the Indians helped them."
David-"Yes, the Indians taught them to plant food and maize and to hunt and so they ate a lot of food." Nodding. This made sense.

Me-"So they got off the boat, ate a bunch of food, met some Indians and took up farming?"

David-"No they celebrated!" Now he is frustrated too. "They were eating because they were celebrating being free from religion."

Me, laughing- "Free from religion? So they had no religion, and were so happy they ate for five days and then met some Indians and took up farming?"

Both my kids glare at me. I am just quoting them, here. No reason to get annoyed. No reason at all. I think they have realized this is a quiz.

David- Lecturing. "They left England to get on a boat to get free to do what ever religion they wanted. They found America. They met some Indians who taught them how to hunt and farm and then they had a harvest and ate for five days."

Me-pondering- "If the Indians were here... Did the pilgrims 'find' America?"

Both kids stare blankly. This was not covered at school. But they can make really nice pilgrim hats and got cookies.

Apparently Jordan thought the Indians fed the Amish.

Ashton's turn.

Me- "Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?"

Ash-"Because the pilgrims went to America and we give thanks because the Indians helped them and it really gave thanks because all the, pretty much, when the Indians and pilgrims died... the pilgrims said from now on, in the fall, we harvest food and it will be a new holiday called Thanksgiving. The pilgrims had run from London and cuz they wanted to be free from people telling them what to do."

Me- "An Indian died?"

Ash- "A pilgrim died?"

Me-"What pilgram? What are you talking about?"

Ash- "The one they voted for. The management dude."


Ash- "When he died they said they can't give up and he said every fall they should harvest and celebrate Thanksgiving in the month of November."

Me- blank stare. "The pilgrim manager"

Ash- "I forgot his name."

Me- "Who discovered America?"

Justice inturrupts- "The puritans!"

Me glares. Puritans.

Ash- "This is my turn Justice. The pilgrims and Indians."

Me-"Who first?"

Ash-"Indians. They worked together and pretty much all they did was the Indians helped them and the Pilgrims made it their world and that was that piece of America. Can I go now?"

Me-"Yup. Nuff said."

Happy Thanksgiving.

Education Rant

Random tidbit off
It is an article called autism is real but this question and response really meant something to me so thought I would use bloggie here to share:

Mother-"My fear is that neither one of them will be educated to their full potential in any type of school.

Answer-" That's a virtual certainty, because (1) schools only teach us how to teach ourselves, and (2) education never ends. For a "full potential" education, one must be willing to learn new things perpetually."

Due to my Aspergers/ADD/ADHD kiddos I was reading the article but this particular bit seemed to kind of sum up my problems with education nicely. Maybe that is why I am so frustrated with the public schools lately. It just doesn't seem like they are trying to teach my kids to LOVE learning. If they don't LOVE learning, well, why keep doing it? If they are made to feel stupid, unsatisfactory, unable to compete on a level with the other kids due to disabilities LISTED on their IEP's then how are they going to want to further themselves? If every nominal thing is berated, shunned... every independent thought squashed like a bug, why have them, why try? My kids learned the phrase, "I can't" at Jefferson. I hate that phrase. Rock Creek and I went round when Jus was in kindergarten due to a teacher (one who apparently since has retired) telling me in a conference that she could NOT LEARN.

I flipped out and stormed the principals office. The same principal who is currently in administration and apparently has forgotten this incident if present circumstances are any suggestion of memory retention. My speech to him involved Helen Keller. I blasted him with, "If Helen Keller, deaf, dumb and blind could learn and go on to do all that she accomplished as a person in her lifetime, which she did, then do not TELL me that my daughter, currently in possession of all of those abilities CANNOT learn. If we have to go about it in a different manner to get through to Justice, show me the way. You people went to school for education-- This is supposed to be your area of expertise. But to say a child, any child cannot learn is both arrogant and ignorant. And actually, while I am throwing out adjectives, laziness on the part of the educator." Or something along those lines. I was mad.

I can't say as I was a favorite that year. Possibly, that is why my kids are trotting through the school with bullseyes painted on their foreheads currently. Maybe he does remember...

Regardless, that is the point of education. It is supposed to be the basic building blocks for a lifetime love of learning. I learn something new everyday-- because I love it! I have always loved it. Then again at their age I, when asked, did not want to grow up to be a firefighter or a supermodel. I wanted, and I quote, to be "someone who never stops growing."

And at the end of the day that is what I want. Three kids who want to learn. Three kids with the basic building blocks so that they can go on and do what they dream and KEEP learning.

Is it too much to ask?

Apparently. My kids go to school largely because that is where you go. My daughter, who last year Loved school and thought that someday perhaps she would like to be a veterinarian, hates school and does not want to do any work at all EVER. Puberty. They are blaming it on puberty. Or something. I am not certain. They keep asking me if it is normal. I keep saying, as a matter of fact NO. She just started this year. At your school. After school started. After about a month or two. Suggesting something here is bugging her. What are they doing?

She is passive aggressive, they say. Let's skip her a grade. Get her with kids her age.


Get her out of your school you mean? Because you have no clue how to deal with a kid like her?

Ok. Because that is not going to create a BLACK HOLE in her education. Maybe socially great. Maybe a train wreck. She has never been around kids her AGE. Because of this school system.


YES YOU! Rock Creek messed up kindergarten so I repeated it homeschool. Then she completed first and I put her back in public at Jefferson, all nice and diagnosed as aspergers thinking you guys could help me and you said... well, lets put her back in first for a week or two and see how she does. Again, I had asked and you said it was a trial period. The trial period went a year and then you promoted her to second. When she was supposed to go to third. So Jefferson Area Schools did both of her grade "adjustments."

Hmm. Well, perhaps...

I scream and pull at my hair and continue to watch my daughter fall behind... Yeah, right through that NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND crock. My kid always gets left behind. And I am standing there yelling at the school and they then call me and ask me things like:

"Three boys were on the playground making fun of Justice because of a boy she liked. She then said to one of them, 'I am going to wring your neck.' Mrs. Nelson, do you feel this was appropriate and how should we handle this."

Me- Um.... thinking. "Did she wring anyone's neck?"

"No, but we do not condone that sort of talk. (or something like that) She should have gone to a teacher to handle the situation."

Me- Nod. "True and she knows better than to threaten violence. Years of counseling and psychiatry have taught her better conflict resolution than violence."

I stare and do not comment further.

"The three boys were good kids and I know, Mrs Nelson."

Me- Mentally screaming because if I get called MRS one more time, heads are rolling. "My kids are good kids. And three boys harass my daughter on the playground and all she does is threaten violence and you are asking me what I want to do to handle the situation? Where were the teachers when my daughter was being ganged up on by boys and wow, she really showed patience only threatening when being ganged up on by three BOYS. My little daughter. I am not going to teach my daughter to accept that or to stand and allow it to happen if the administration that is supposed to be protecting her so obviously failed."

"They were good kids and they came to the office because they wanted to let me know about this situation." states administration, cheerfully oblivious to the fact he is WRONG.

Me-Thinking that they came to the office to get my kid in trouble and because she took their abuse and only retaliated with one measly, halfhearted threat, she is in trouble and he wants me to punish her for getting bullied??? "I see your position."


That is one of many instances. The one that made me so mad that I could spit fire and wring necks myself. That is not the long list of calls I have received. The multitude of calls. "Justice said" which she states was a rumor started by a girl in her class. "Ashton said a bad word at school today." Gasp! An eight year old boy says a bad word? I am sure that my eight year old boy is the first in history to try out a bad word. And that surely is cause for a principal to call.

A note home? Sure. A phone call? Seems drastic. I like the attention. I wonder though if they are giving me this kind of "attention" how much "attention" my kids are getting at school? And how much of it is positive. *laughs* Positive reinforcement... yeah, oh. Funny. Where do I come up with these REVOLUTIONARY ideas?

Okay, this turned into a rant. Shutting up now.

Quietly goes off to not sign more assignment books and continue to self-educate failing children. Feebly hopes this year gets better... it has to get better... right???????????

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


So it is that time of year again. It is time to give thanks for the things we should be grateful for each and every day and yet we are too bogged down by the ordinaryness of life to see. The three things I am most grateful for are pictured here... They are also the three things that motivate most of my choices. Not bad motivations. Pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself.

Last night the tooth fairy forgot to come. We think it was a combination of factors. David and I had a serious discussion this morning as to the possible reasons she totally missed the house. For one, we aren't home. House sitting. That alone is enough to throw off a fairy. Then he lost it really late. Like later than he should have been up on a school night late. So probably the work order wasn't on her desk when she went out on her runs. Then on top of all that he put it on the coffee table. Everyone, and I mean everyone knows, the acceptable placement for a lost tooth is beneath your pillow.

When given these logical, and quickly determined on a coffeeless brain, reasons, my exceptionally logical son nodded briefly and said, "I knew it was something. Knew you would have figured it out. Thanks, Mom."

Disaster averted. And another cool moment in David history. David is the guy that at the age of four looked at his little hand and asked me what the wrinkles were. When I came up with they were creases and where his hand bent, this wasn't good enough for David. He then nodded to himself and said, "Nevermind. I know. It is where God stitched me up when he was done making me." He is the kid in the backseat of my car discussing half-sibling-ness with his half brother and determining they have two different dads. Before I could intervene with a "You are raised together" speech, David said, "The other half is friend."

He is the kid who reads his math homework and if the story problem reads, "Jack had 8 lures and four slots in his tackle box. How can he divide the lures and put them in the holes evenly." David looks at me and says this problem makes no sense. I ask why. Seems pretty cut and dry to me. He shakes his head. "No, if he puts more than one in each slot, he is gonna get a hook in his finger, Mom."

But to David, the toothfairy reasoning made sense.

Children are magic. Children are more magic than I can write. A child has an unlimited capacity for love and creation and they take in all that you give and give so much more in return than you could ever ask. I am so thankful for my kids.

I am thankful, also, that they are weird little ducks. Not many kids ask what mom is reading and then tell her, "That scene drags... could there be more blood?"

Huh... well, yeah. There could be more blood.

And they are right. And not many kids make coffee because their mom is chasing a dream and they like her stories enough that whether or not she makes a dime on them... they wanna know what happens next. And if she doesn't burn the dinner... they may never know. Also, not many kids remind you to feed them... or feed you. Because they state... "Well, you shouldn't have to do it every night."

Actually, I should.

But sometimes, not all the time because they are kids and they have an XBOX and other distractions, sometimes though they look at me and just do things like that. I guess I did something at some point that made them think that was how you were supposed to treat others. So I am proud I got that bit right. I am not sure how or when I did, but they got that. And picking their noses with their tongues, but I did not teach them that trick.

So I am grateful this Thanksgiving for the three greatest, funniest, most patient... even though they argue all the time and NO SHE IS NOT TOUCHING YOU kids in the world.. Justice, David and Ashton. I love you guys. I hope all your dreams come true and that your stories have happy endings...

I will continue to do my best to give you a happy today.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon Review--Midnight Premiere

So the kids earned the midnight premiere of the sparkling vampires. I admit it. I liked the Twilight Saga. I read all the books... in reverse. If I had not read Breaking Dawn first, however, I would have gotten mad at Bella and never made it through. But I am not ten or twelve, my kids are, so their devotion is not tainted by adult perspective and frustration.

The movies, however, are twice the fun for me. Not only do I get to enjoy something I enjoyed in print on a big screen... I get to enjoy seeing my kids and seeing it through their less critical eyes.

Then again, at some points, they were more critical than I was.

All in all, the directors and actors and everyone involved did a truly fantastic job bringing Meyer's world to the big screen. I was laughing out loud at some lines. "Sure, when you put the dog out," quipped Alice and I was rolling. One of the werewolves fights had my daughter cringing, my son breathless and me grinning. Edward said quite charmingly at one point, "Bella, I will protect you from anything and everything..." In the background you hear Alice calling them. "Except my sister." I roared.

Other bits were disappointing. Victoria had zero lines. I could have sworn she had SOME. I love Victoria. Okay, I love Jane, too. I just love sparkly bloodsucking vampires. So much cooler than vegetarian vamps. Jane was awesome, by the way. But then again, as I have raised a beautiful little blond girl and realized a long time ago the true creepy potential in a blond sweet girl and always thought Dakota was missing her calling, I knew she was MADE for this role. She nailed it by the way.

Oh, and Aro? Yeah, creepy buggar. Other than the fact that his and Dakota's makeup looked a bit gooped on and with modern photoshopping I was sure we could have made them pale without using an inch of putty (couldn't we have?) he was wonderful. Three fave characters stayed the same as the book... Alice, Jasper and Jane with Victoria running a silent but red, banner of hair flowing third.

And my daughters one true love, JACOB?? Yes, my kid is a team Jacob. Actually, my whole brood are team Jacob (how did a vamper raise three shifter kids?) and he was great. Sharkboy has come a long way. I think he looks... A lot like little Carl. Really. And I mentioned that to Justice. She glared at me. Okay, that said, don't really get the tattoos other than great marketing idea, pretty and I still do not remember a darn thing in the book about shifter tats. Anybody? Tats?


Okay, that said, they were awesome looking and well done and those were really big MUFFINS. WTF. They were the size of Bella's HEAD. When you see the movie, watch for the werewolf muffins. Just saying.

Moving onward and upward, lovely cliffhanger ending to which I advised my kids they will have to READ ECLIPSE to find out what happens next *snark*

Actually, as it cuts off, I believe a ch or two into Moon, they may have to read a bit of that *chuckle*

But only if they want to know what happens next in a timely manner...
*Smiles sweetly*

Not that I planned that or anything when being a cool mom and bribing them with this movie... Nah. I am totally not that devious.

*Goes off to plot next 'way to get kids to read' plot*

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Monsoon season

If I were a body of land, I would liken myself to the Sahara. The Sahara is most famous for being a desert, dry and barren. I have three kids, so some of you may be lost already.

But let me explain some more about this interesting place. Let me also mention that my kids and I love things like Discovery Channel and Science Channel and I am a big dork who enjoys research, hence my literary choices and enjoyment of writing. Also, pictures are from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Many creatures depend on the Sahara for survival, some of them rare and unique and only found due to the distinct ecoregions that take place in this fasinating place. However, sometimes it rains. When it rains, it pours.
The rain is generally a good thing, bringing a spurt of life and water and refreshing the desert. But it pours.
It is pouring just now. After a few years of drought it is pouring. The water is washing over me and my unique inhabitants and we are blinking and wondering where all of this has been for the past eight or so years when we were so desperatly searching for water.
And now I am going to flip-flop analogys mid blog and go, where is Snuffleupagus? My imaginary friend, called this due to the of late nearly onesided nature and near invisibility of him, would be darned handy in a monsoon. Advice from Snuffy is not coming as Snuffy has chosen now, again, to go non-corporeal. *Shrugs* Why not? Perfect timing.
So I am standing mid-monsoon, blinking in the rain, thinking if I just wait it out, this too shall pass. This is an unusual storm. Usually if we just stand around doing nothing long enough, the rain passes on its own. Or if the Sahara pushes back, being such a big and overwhelming land mass, the rain moves along.
More rain keeps coming in offshore.
Blink. Blink. Blink.
Perhaps I should buy an umbrella.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When it rains...

My body and I have a love/hate relationship. I love it because it is conveniently attached to my brain which I love. <3 I hate it because it is an uncooperative lump that generally fails me when I most would like it to function properly.

Case in point: When in the USAF basic, having ones kneecap snap is bloody inconvenient.

Case in point: When one is closing on a dream house, losing time at work due to strokes is bloody inconvenient.

Case in point: When writing a book, editing another, working full time and having three exceptionally active kids, having it go wonky is bloody inconvenient.

Here it is, putzing out on me again. I have been plagued by gray dotted headaches and nausea for DAYS. I can hear doc pirate. Blah blah blah eat right. Blah blah blah lack of stress. He never says, "blah blah." He usually looks at me kindly and offers suggestions that probably are wise and would cause longevity and other frustrating things that I have little interest in. My brain hears them and automatically substitutes the 'blahs' when he says something I have neither the time nor the patience for.

Just now I am feeling impatient and snappish and have put the phone in the car as if I talk to anyone I would probably snark off their heads. As headless friends and family members are frowned on, phone gone.

My brain is still rattling along, cooperative as ever. As a matter of fact, it loooooves when my body goes into revolt. My page counts soar if I can stay propped up at the computer and see it clearly enough to type. The ideas are fantastic. I think of Van Gogh and his mental issues causing the pretty colors to be brighter and wonder... Hmm. Regardless, the story is fantastic. There is a scene I just wrote that involved a were robbing a drive thru and it was hilarious. Right on the outline money and going swimmingly.

Edits are going fantastic. No longer frustrated by them, instead viewing them as the educational experience they are meant to be, I am having a blast shredding Odd Stuff. Probably I am shredding more than planned. But having a blast doing so.

Now, the thing that is going to the wayside is my gainful employment as I am forced to call off due to partial inability to see straight out of one eye and nausea and all. Fun stuff. Normal me stuff, but still not terribly conducive to the whole, hop in the car and drive an hour then sit in my cubicle day. Tomorrow I am going back but for today I am annoyed that I am, yet again, missing out on whatever my day would have held, had I not fallen ill, and then fallen victim to my own bodies irksome inability to snap out of it.

*Flicks innocent computer screen in frustration*

So, that said and rant ranted, off to do some more NaNoWriMo or perhaps flesh out a bit more Odd Stuff before I get too poor me and try to do something else that my body will not like and will rebel against by shoving me into the bathroom to gaze at my now pristine facilities. I have been home so much, my house has never been so clean. Because, you know, even though I am off work, I cannot just sit around and do NOTHING. *gasp*

That would be, like, *shudders* wrong.

Friday, November 6, 2009

NaNo Nanoo... Am I the only one with the Mork Lines?

So, NaNoWriMo is going well. It will go better if I, well, write today. Since I still feel like a Mack truck has taken up residence between my ears, page count will be nominal, however... I will make every effort to go above goal because I am back into the interesting stuff, having rehashed all that needed rehashed. That is the one great flaw when writing a series. I have to write an interesting beginning, yes, while reintroducing all pertinent information just in case you have not read the prior stories. For me... rehash the entire series in a nutshell, reintroduce my characters in a fun way and feel like I am slogging through mud.

Having slogged through that primordial muck and now feeling like I have made it interesting enough that my new readers will not realize they have heard a recitation of prior books and introduced my plot line to them while at the same time introduced new readers to everything for the first time I can finally get down to telling everyone the story. Ah. We are all on the same hypothetical page. New story telling always writes easier for me. So, ill or not, I can now blast through pages. If I can blast through this icky, headachy, fevery, dry, chapped lipped feeling. I so hope this is not swine flu.

I have no symptoms other than I have a horrendous headache and feel as if I may have a fever and my lips are cracking. I want to crawl in a cave and die. The headache has caused the nausea, the nausea caused the dizziness and the dizziness caused the crabbiness.

Altogether, not the most creative combination.

Edits are going well. After initial frustration (how does it make her feel? She is a fly-by the seat of her pants kind of gal... she doesn't stop to think things through or else she wouldn't do fill-in-the-blank. How can I make her think things through here, then be oblivious to the fact she should be thinking them through here?) I realized I was over thinking it all and stepped back from the process and really looked at it. I then realized I was wrong and touchy and a moody author (No! Not me! Never a moody artistic type! I am an even tempered, calm... okay. No I am not.) and that the edits were right and I needed to shut up and get to work.

I got down to it and am half way done. I am so happy with my editor as she is brilliant. And deserving of a raise. If the editorial gods are listening to me, perhaps she will get one. And kind. She was not as harsh as she had to be when correcting one particular error repeatedly in my work. Probably after the tenth time, she had a burning need to find me and staple to my forehead a post-it advising me of one particular correction for future reference. As I have no post-it on my forehead... well, she is more patient than a certain author I know.

On the kid front, Justice has continued to survive the week and her love of a certian composer named boy has waned since speaking with his parent... who is actually pretty darn cool. Since David and he are friends, that is handy. The boys may get together.

Oh, and I may add one more pot to the ever increasing list of things I have going...

I may attempt a social life.

Cheese, wine and conversation. One would think I can handle that. Hmm.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Odd and Odder

I find that the more time passes, the more things I toss onto my plate. It is like this never ending buffet and I am just driven to try that one thing over there... it might be good so we will put just a little on the plate. And my plate gets heavier and heavier and I just add more onto it. Just one more tasty tidbit won't hurt.



So, aside from being a single mother of three kids working a full time job and juggling a home life and all of the normal things that a mom who has a full time job and three kids juggles (envision balls flopping and bouncing with wild abandon all over the place, few being caught by the juggler, who is left looking mildly confused)... and aside from the fact that said children all have a mix of ADD, ADHD or Aspergers which leave even the most normal and well adjusted parents looking confused and a bit frazzled (and everyone knows I am not going for medals in either of those categories)...

Well, aside from my normal *outright laughs* noble feats, I decided that my writing, which I do prolifically whether I was trying to publish it or not, was going to come out of the proverbial closet. So I became WRITER. And I began the exhaustive process of learning how one goes from dabbler to writer. Time and undisclosed rejection letters later and I have a contract and quite a few finished manuscripts laying about.

While contracted on the one book, I went ahead and wrote the second book to that series. Because, well, you know, I have so much extra time on my hands.

And an insane workaholic streak.

And a story digging its way out my eyeballs and fingertips.

That story done, I heard about something called NaNoWriMo. Funny name, that. National Novel Writing Month is where a bunch of people, myself included, all get the idea that they can write a 50,000 word novel in a month.

I signed on. It sounded like fun. And with book two done, book three was waiting to be written. November seemed like a great time to write it.

The thing I am not mentioning is that book one is still floating out there, contracted and in edits. This means that at any given point in time it is going to come back from edits and I will then be expected to edit it. As I have no personal assistant... that leaves me. But what are the chances it will come back if I agree to NaNoWriMo...

Odd Stuff's edits came back on day two of NaNoWriMo.

Hmmm. Well.

Right about this time, Justice decided to go insane.

Justice, my angel, the love of my life, my daughter, my princess... has flipped her bloody lid. She has decided in her infinite wisdom that she is no longer going to participate in school. In gym, she lets them beam her with balls in four square. In class, she puts her head on her desk. They are calling it "passive aggressive."

I am calling it brilliant. I mean, come on. At twelve, I had not figured out that although they can make you go to school, they really have no way to make you do anything while you are there.

And they call her retarded.

Yeah. She is not. She is brilliant. She is an evil genius. She is grounded for the rest of her life. She is back to participating (thank you, Stephanie Meyer and the producers of New Moon for timing the release of the movie with my daughters rebellion in mind so that I could use it as leverage) and is no longer "angry."

I am shaking my head and smiling at the school. No, I have no idea where she came up with the plan. *scratching my head wondering... do I? Have I somehow given her a rebellious spirit or a streak of antifoursquare behaviours? Not sure.*

So back to edits and the writing.

Odd Stuff took place... two books ago. I am editing it and at the same time writing the book two books later. One hour I am discussing something that happened a long time ago, then I am talking about "now."

It is sort of like running into someone you knew from college at work today. My worlds are colliding. I am running between them and trying not to influence the prior world with what I know now and at the same time trying to write the new world while not forgetting what has happened since that first book ended... remember a whole book place in between.

*Spins faster and faster like a top*


So, that is why less blogs lately.

I hardly have had had time to write my name... sorry I have been late on this!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Just dropping a quick line to say, Whew! Done!

Siren's Song is done. Must still, of course, do edits and write an outline that is viewable for submission purposes as the one I have was a working one, not one for anyone but me. Oh, and a synopsis, which, since I am mentioning it is my FAVORITE thing to write. After saying something in about 90,000 words, nothing is more fun than finding a way to say the same thing in two pages. NOTHING. Oh, and saying it cleverly and with a hook. I can do it but, really, my FAVORITE. Every time I write one, I feel somewhat silly. It is needed, it is important. It also makes me feel sort of silly to make my book sound cool. I know it is cool. But it is sort of like your children.

You love your children. You are absolutely sure your children are the most clever children and are by far the cutest children in the world. If, to for instance enroll them in elementary school, you were required to make an advertisement for them, well, and at the same time summarize them, it just makes you feel a bit silly. Sort of like a combination of braggart and car salesman. Yes, see? This is the very best and most terribly interesting child you will ever meet. It is four foot tall and its hair is sandy blond and if you look closely you will see that those are the bluest eyes on the entire east coast.

I can retell my story. It is the "hey, look" bit that makes me shuffle my feet and get the "aw, shucks" look. I really must get over it. However I still glance at the blinking cursor and do a lot of forehead rubbing for the synopsis and query.

Then again, from what I have read, no writer does a happy dance for that part, so maybe this is a common problem, just not one everyone admits to in gritty, oily stomach, palm sweating detail.

I am an odd duck.

Actually, I am a tired duck. The words are blurring even as I type this. I was trying to stay up in hopes that my edits would get here for Odd. I am beginning to give up the ghost.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Manic Monday

Another day... another dollar. Well, six hundred of them. There was six hundred dollars in my bank account this morning and I had no clue where they had come from.

I looked at the atm slip and tilted my head and tried to figure out who my mysterious benefactor might be. Court case pay off? Stimulus check direct deposit? Deciding to call the bank when it opened on a break, I headed into work, munching cheerfully on an onion bagel.

Bank error in my favor: Collect $600

I got to work and worked for two hours. I called the bank. I asked for a history of my deposits. They said cheerfully (it was a Monday. I think Officeland is run on High Octane Coffee on Monday and everyone is cheerful or at least blasted on caffeine and sounds like it.) that I had deposited the money on Thursday.

No. Really. I had not.

I asked what check I had deposited. They said they did not know. It just said check. I admitted I hated to say it but could they find out. Because, honestly, no, I had not. I do not know who had but it was not me. But if they wanted to give it to me, hey... I will take it.

They quickly advised me they would research it and call me back.

On my next break I went out and found out that:

Bank error corrected: -$600

Sigh. Well, easy come, easy go. But on the downside I would have to deposit my paycheck now. And had I spent any of that check? I would have to call the bank again.

But before I could, I had another message.

My youngest had fallen and 'maybe' broken his finger in gym, probably not, and the school had taped it to the next finger and given him an ice pack and sent him back to class and what would I like to do?

I would like to become an alcoholic but I hate the taste of strong spirits.

I did not, however, think this was the appropriate response. I called the school back and without telling them that I was already bummed because I had just lost $600 (well, I had!) and was already crabby and here they had gone and broken my baby... I asked how they had broken my baby.

I then left work (more money... can you hear the flushing noise?) and headed to Rock Creek to get the young one. An X-Ray was in order. On the way, I made that call to the bank. On 422 somewhere between Niles and Howland, I was talking to the bank teller when I noticed everyone else had gotten in the far lane. I no longer could. They had done so due to the line of police cars along side the road. The lane was still free, so I could still pass. I wondered why everyone else had gotten over.

That was when I noticed that the road was on... FIRE! There were patches of fire on the road. And I had a gas leak. Not a major one but I was driving over fire and I could smell the fire and that was probably not good and where were the police officers from the cars if the road was on fire and I was driving over it?

Oh! There they were! Up the hill... leading... Pigs??? Pigs on leashes??? Large sow like pigs not cute little piglets too. What on earth were they doing and why was the road on fire?

I did not even realize I was doing a running dialogue until the bank teller began answering me.

She was asking me where I was that this was going on... and how and why. Like I knew. I was only looking. I mean, hey. I am just the observer.

So, I got back to my kid, took him towards the hospital. But we stopped for gas. In a continuation of my random luck, he won a pack of Mentos and I won 1000 bonus Speedy Reward points when we got gas. He held up his finger and said, "I started today grounded. I went to school, was having a good day, got hurt. Then I got to go home, which is cool. Then I win Mentos. Today is a weird day." I could see his point. It sure was. For me, too.

We went to the hospital. They did not make us wait to go back. They quickly took their pics and it looked like we were going to be on time to get the other kids from MJ's.

I curled around Ash in the hospital room. We waited for his results. We crashed and fell into deep sleep. I woke with my mouth tasting like glue, looked at the clock. I realized that although I was refreshed from my nap, I was also late to get the other kids and WHY WERE WE STILL IN THE HOSPITAL.

I asked the lady in the middle that. She advised that our results just got back. She smiled. Kindly. Cheerfully. I brushed my hair out of my face and wiped the drool from my chin.

They came in. They put a splint on his (lucky again) non broken two (not one, unlucky) fingers. Off we sped and gathered the other two kids.

And in the words of the Bangles..."Its just another Manic Monday..."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Book edits... and life getting in the way :)

Sorry about the delay on the posting of more of Boo! but book edits on Odd Stuff are coming back on the 23rd and Siren's Song is nearly done so although the plan was a more steady flow of words, life got in the way. More is coming by Weds, but until then... here is what I have been up to.

Siren's Song, book two of the Odd Stuff series, has been pushing me to finish it and has resulted in me losing more sleep than I can afford to lose. I have been running on mostly coffee due to the plot coming out as fast as I can type it and although this is great and my word counts are at an all time high, I keep looking back through and rereading it assuming that I must have done it wrong. None of my work comes quite this easily. But the flow is within the parameters of the outline, the word count per chapter is where I wanted it to be so I have not gone on long rants... it is both numerically and plot wise going great. My prereader is eating it up as it apparently sounds just as great as it has felt like it was going to sound.

I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. For either something to trip me up or for it to suddenly not flow so well. But it hasn't and I keep writing it. I am kind of amazed by myself at this point. I think that I have just spent enough time with these characters and enough time in their world that I know what is going on and once I got the set up done, the middle and climax are just... well, easy.

I am going to regret those words. Eight more chapters left and I should not have applied the word easy at this point... I just know it.

Kiddos are doing well... at least two out of three are. Justice has decided it is her new life's work to drive me batty. Apparently my hair is not graying at a pace that suits her because she has gone utterly boy crazy. Her studies have tanked, I am getting calls from the principal and she has suddenly become belligerent.

Where has my sweet princess gone?

Oh, yeah, puberty. What was I thinking?

The boys have settled into the new school with an ease that has amazed and thrilled me. They both had friends and "engagements" (David's word for his plans for the weekend) set up. I am now little more than a taxi. But I am still a cuddleable taxi, so no beef on my part and their grades were awesome, so they shall live yet another day.

Now if I could just get the dishwasher here from the farm... all would be well and right in my world...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September Party

Every year for our birthday there is a party. Technically it is Santino's birthday party, but since a bunch of our birthdays all fall in September it has gotten named the September party and we all crash it and celebrate at once.

Last night (well the whole weekend really) is the September party. Me, Jus and Ash and this year Jamie, loaded up my grocery-go-getter and headed over to the barn for our "life" reunion. Better than any family reunion, better than any class reunion, the September party over the years has evolved into a reunion of all the people who matter because you chose to make them matter.

Class reunions are reunions of people you went to school with because you had to. Family reunions are people you were born into. The September party was a bunch of us who became friends, for some reason or another over the years (I got in by default at age 17 and then got custody of Santino through the divorce, or so I like to joke) and have stayed friends through thick and thin. When we were younger it was a drunken mess of us all slogging around. As we have aged, it has evolved into a tri-generational party. There is the parent generation, the our generation and then the herd of kids. It boggles my mind sometimes that the kids are now getting to be the age that some of us became friends.

For instance one of the kids used to come strolling over to my apartment when she was nine or so for "high tea" and to do art. Now she is seventeen. The age when I first started appearing on Santino's hood at Chanel Products. About a hundred years ago. About a minute ago she was even tinier and I could pick her up and carry her. She was a tiny little thing on Chestnut Street, all hair and eyes.

I stare at her the most as she reminds me how very old we are all getting.

Anyway, once a year we all herd to Santino's and eat and drink too much and visit. There is some drama, some laughter, some romance, some tears. Always it is a huge chance for writer me to people watch. Always it is a huge chance for me to let down my hair (which I don't do) and be a person not just a mother, worker and otherwise upstanding member of the community. At Santino's I am The Virg and nothing greater or lesser. I am all that I was at seventeen. I am all of my mess ups, all of my flaws and yet they like me any way. All of the gritty bits no one in the real world knows are out there when I go there... divorce bits. Nasty hide in the closet bits. Dumb things I did when I was a kid bits. And none of it matters.

And as well it is a time when I get to be proud of who I have become. I get to talk about what I have done. I sold my book. I am still able to be on my own with three kids. All of the health stuff has not gotten me down. They are my friends. It is a strange sort of safe zone. I feel really lucky to have it.

So after all that lead in, I went to the Sept Party last night and as advertised it was all of the above. I had a few dramatic moments. I had a few exceptionally deep conversations that may or may not be remembered by the people I was having them with due to alcohol consumption. I planned two weddings and one divorce (well, I have to divorce one of them so that I can marry the other and have the second wedding...) and I got more hugs than I get in a year outside my family.

I am relaxed in a way I won't be for a year and I have a smashing headache that is fortunately my only hangover side effect.

That and lack of sleep were my only bad side effects. I have to go over and clean up. I have to get some laundry done. But part of me wishes reality could back off for another day. I have a feeling one conversation I had is going to result in an argument... but life is dull without some drama and you only live once. Once spin around per person and my friend in Warren is going through something right now which sort of brought home to me, in combination with my own health issues, that if there is something you want to do, you kind of just have to do it and let the consequences be damned. God does not promise us tomorrow. He only gives us this moment. And I took my moment. I am content with that.
For now. Then again, that is easy to say in my cocoon.

Speaking of the moment, Pray for Lucas.

Lucas is a little boy in Warren. He went to a minor league baseball game. He was sitting in the stands in his parents lap. He is four. He got hit in the head by a foul ball.

He is now and has been in Akron Children's Hospital and has had multiple surgeries due to the major trauma to his brain. They almost lost him and don't know yet what will happen to him.

All in a moment. And he is four. He went to a baseball game and was safe in his parents lap. In a moment it all changed. The team was the Scrappers and it is all over the Youngstown news but isn't getting any coverage down here. My friend Penny is his great aunt. Can you imagine?

Between that and my issues lately, I have been praying for Lucas and thinking hard about my choices. No one promises you tomorrow. Live for now, do what you can, and never regret.

*Grin* Probably I should wear a warning to that effect.

This was the newspaper article re:Lucas
He was on the news too, but I can't find the link to the show.
This is the link to the hospital if you would like to send well wishes to Lucas, he is having a rough day...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Well, we're movin' on u-u-up!

Today I woke up to Ashton having a conniption because he thought we had overslept because the sun had risen and I had not dragged his butt out of bed. I giggled and tried to curl him into my side and explained that it was my day off.

He was unconvinced, sure he was missing school, and trudged off to get dressed and find food.

Ah, I am such an inspiration of organization to my kids. By being a walking disaster, I am driving them to organize their own lives and become independent. Truly, it was the master plan all along.

I got out of bed, looked at the clock, and decided we had time to move some stuff to the new place. Deciding I was in much better health today (as I felt I could do, haha) and realizing I had access to strong young backs, I put the kids to moving once they were ready for school.

I can't say as this was met with unenthusiasm. They are excited about the new place. Either that or (grr) they are worried about me. And they know I am a bullheaded Irish/Italian who will and has just done it herself, so it would be done today because I hath ordered it so...

Once the car was loaded, I realized we were no longer early for school.

Actually we were tardy.

I don't know why, but this school system does that to me. Get me to Summit and we had one absent for 2 of the kids and 2 tardies the whole year. Put me in Ashtabula county schools and we max out our limit every time. I think it is that the Apathy Bug bites my ass in Bula. Apathy Bug flies in and says that if the school is disorganized and argumentative, well, I can be back.

If the school is cooperative and tries to meet my kids needs, well, I feel mean and stupid not following their rules.

Apathy Bug had a lunch lady bugging Ashton so far this year. Apathy Bug had someone call me and ask if David, who has food allergies, can sit next to someone eating beef. Airborne beef? I was appalled. I explained that food allergies were from ingesting. I explained that it is like peanut allergies. Do they separate those kids from kids eating peanut butter? Apathy Bug has bit me twice already and my bum is a bit sore over it.

Apathy, Apathy, that's our cry... a-p-a-t-h... ah, the hell with it.

So the kids were late going to school, which made Ash have more of a conniption. Which, bad mommy award, I found funny.

I then went back to look at our new home and fully invade it with Jordan in tow.

Tony had remodeled it. Justice has a room. It has an antique dresser that folds out into a desk and this pretty little chair and a lovely desk. I put her clothes in it and Jordan made the bed and I need tacks for her Twilight poster. She has her own room again.

The boys are bunking up together. Another lovely old dresser. David has a full and Ashababy has a twin. I giggled. They have a room again.

I have a room. I have a desk to write at. I have a room.

He made a little dining room by the furnace and He arranged the living room around the huge projection TV and I have a breakfast bar. I was thrilled.

We are on our own again. No roommates. Just us. I sighed. Our space. Our home.

Told you I felt better today.

Now off and going to argue with the school and US gov. Good times.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lots of Blood and Gore (Graphic-Adult only)

I awoke feeling sticky and a bit moist when I heard the alarm go off at 4:30 this morning. Blearily I silenced it and fumbled for the lights. I glanced back at the bed and saw the blood and tried to decide where it had come from.

Honestly, I never guessed me.

I went to the bathroom, deciding to deal with it in a minute, having more urgent morning matters to deal with and found out where the blood had come from completely by coincidence.

Huh. Well that was odd. I cleaned the sheets and the mattress cover which had been saturated as well (still not really thinking too deeply what that amount of blood could mean) and woke up the kids for school.

We all know, show must go on, and this is what pads are for. Not that I have ever had anything remotely of that nature happen. Actually nightly nothing ever comes out. I lay down, stuff stops. That's how I flow. But, hey, I am old now. Maybe stuff changed. Whatever. School to be gotten to, work to be done.

I dropped off the kids and went to work, still determined that it was going to be a normal day.

The pad was full and there was way more still coming.

I cleaned up again and it had only been an hour.

Again, whatever, clocked in and a little voice in the back of my head popped in with a service announcement. I have little voices that do that. It reminded me of a fact learned at some random point. The average menstruation is something like a few tablespoons of blood. This had to have been more than that. Like this had to have been cups by now.

And it was bright red like I was bleeding. But what could I be bleeding from? I was not injured. I had not had... ahem, interaction, so I knew it was neither pregnancy nor failed pregnancy.

What was bleeding and why so much?

I again decided I could ignore it. It was probably just something I ate, didn't eat, hormones, stress, something dumb. Nothing to fear.

By 8:30, I had filled another pad and I passed a clot the size of a baseball.

This, even I could not ignore. This was something wrong. Something was wrong and I could not explain it so I was going to have to do what I hate most of all...

Get it looked at.

I HATE HOSPITALS. I ALSO AM NOT FOND OF DOCTORS. I respect their position. I have an enormous crush on House. I am, however, terrified to the 9Th of medical professionals the way some people are of clowns and spiders.

There is actually a story behind this and it is longer than this blog was initially intended to be, but what the hey, I am feeling chatty and am stuck with my feet propped up anyway and you are still reading, so here is the root of my medi-phobia.

My best friends growing up were members of our church. Their names rhymed and were Wayne and Kane. Yup, boys, go figure. We won't go into Kane as he has no bearing on my phobia. Wayne was awesome. He had curly blond hair that was long, as was cool in the eighties and now, and freckles. His eyes were always a laughing blue. He was clever and fun and loved Lego's and Star Trek.

Wayne lived in Mentor and I lived in Painesville and we never would have met had we not gone to the same church. His parents were awesome. Wayne Sr. taught me lots that I, as a growing techie, wanted to know. Of course this was back in the day when my Commadore 128 was cutting edge as it ran both the 64 and 128 (only old folks would even get that, but then again, I still own Wayne Jr's Atari... not game system, computer. Talk about a dinosaur.) He also introduced me to the wonders of Carl Sagan's Cosmos. Debs was everything I used to wish my mom was. Stay at home mom, which my mom wasn't and I can't afford to be and she was fun and liked to laugh and hang out and was cool.

He was my first "real" boyfriend. I wrote his name in hearts in my books. He took me on my first date. I won't go into the traumatic scene with my mom before (aren't there always at least one) but I will say I was teary eyed when my makeup was finally on. We were going on a Valentine's Day trip with the teen group (he was 15, I was 14, Gods we were young!) to Brown Derby. I walked into our dining room and he had gotten me a four foot tall Ziggy card. He had also gotten me a heart shaped box of chocolates, a red heart shaped pair of earrings, a dozen red roses, and a golden love knot ring with a real diamond in it (it was tiny, diamond dust really, but it was my first 'real' piece of jewelry as well).

I looked at it all and looked at him and those laughing blue eyes. Those same blue eyes had laughed at me from up in a crab apple tree as he had pulled me up and taught me how to climb a tree. Those same blue eyes had laughed at me as he had reached out and pulled me onto a merry go round the first time we had met. Those same blue eyes had laughed at me more recently when he had pulled me close in a corn field when we were playing hide and seek and I had thought he was going to kiss me. He had not.

Now they laughed down at me and he had said, "I wanted to give you a date you would never forget. Figured this would be hard to top." I reached out and his eyes laughed down at me and his strong fingers closed around mine. I remember thinking they always would. And that it was good.

I am thirty-two in a few weeks. He still hasn't been topped. It was the best first date. He was the best first date.

A few weeks later, the back pain he had been having, the pain he had gotten a new bed for because no one knew why a fifteen year old boy with a history of only asthma who never had been one to complain and now said his back hurt all the time... well, they figured out what was causing it.

Cancer. His kidney was the size of a cantaloupe and it was all cancer. Vigorous, aggressive, life altering cancer.

I remember he didn't seem scared. His faith, always more indomitable than mine, did not waiver. I was always, still am, one to curse God and shake my fist. He just said, it would be okay and gave me a hug.

There was talk of hope, and prayer and how strong he was being.

Everyone continued to watch me do all the wonderful things I did. I was still golden and healthy and terribly smart, or so everyone said. And I hated it. I hated being me because I watched as his curls, curls I could wrap around my finger around, when we were in the car and he rested his head in my lap, and coil them tight and then watch them bounce back into place, fell out. They fell out and I stayed healthy. We listened to Free Fallin' by Tom Petty and I continued to play with those last few strands of curls as he got more tired and more sick. Finally, there were no curls.

I got a pin that said, 'bald guys are sexy,' which he showed proudly to his nurses. The nurses all knew who I was. How could they not? He had my picture, pictures of us, pictures of me modeling, pictures of me healthy while he was sick and dying, plastered all over his wall.

It made me hurt. I smelled his skin and it smelled of medicine and not of Wayne. I saw his backpack, the one that had liquid food in it because he was too sick to eat, and I hated eating because why should I be able to eat when he couldn't? Nobody noticed I lost weight that year. They put a tube in his chest for the medicine, that was supposed to make him better, but that just made him so frail and thin. They taught me to clean it out. I smiled and joked with him but inside I was screaming.

I hated the doctors. I hated the hospital. I hated it all. They kept saying it was getting better and they lied to me. They smiled and they talked of hope and I smiled because he smiled and I watched him get worse. I kissed his head and I would leave and I would hope that I wouldn't make it to see him because it hurt to see him. But always when I did, those blue eyes laughed at me. And his hand, his hand that was always so much stronger and bigger than mine, would reach for me. And when it did, maybe things weren't so bad. Because, really, as long as he reached for me, it was ok.

And I would curse God because Wayne was good and kind and had faith and could make good things happen and I was really good at messing things up. I was good at not having faith. I was good at being bad. What kind of world was God making it if he would take someone out of it like Wayne who could do so much good if given time, and leave someone like me, instead?

I was fifteen when he gave me Goofy for my birthday. Goofy was a stray cat, meaner than piss. He knew we would like each other. (We did and I kept her, then one of her kittens until last year when he died of old age.) We had a date scheduled. Wayne was now sixteen, and had gotten his license. We were supposed to go on our one year anniversary date for Valentine's Day. He had gotten tests back that said he was in remission.

I woke the week of Valentine's Day at 1:15 in the morning. I stared at the clock. I remember I could have sworn I heard Wayne say my name. I went to school and wrote my friend Trish a note and told her all about it. She still has the note. She wrote back that I should call him and make sure he was ok.

I came home and was going to call Wayne and tell him. I asked my Dad to use the phone to call him. It was long distance and remember, fifteen. He said no and that my mother would talk to me about it when she got home.

Like a typical kid though, I didn't let it go. I pestered and wheedled until he said, "He died, ok! He died so you can't call him. It happened last night."

I looked at him and I remember I felt nothing. I remember I told him that he was going to get in trouble for lying to me.

I called my mom at work. She said, yes, he was gone.

I still did not believe it.

I called Debs and she said that the tests were wrong, switched or something. He was worse. Basically, the cancer had taken him over. He had come home to die. No one had told me. No one. He had sat in a chair and fallen asleep and just stopped breathing. Peacefully.

At one-fifteen.

When she said one-fifteen finally, I don't know why, I believed her.

I still did not cry.

Through all the funeral preparations, of which Wayne and Debs made me a part of, through the beginning of the calling hours in which I, like a raving bitch ordered they take the lipstick off him as it was wrong, I did not cry.

Until my mom showed up. She asked me if I had touched him. I rolled my eyes at her. I was, after all, a teen. "No."

She took me back to his coffin. I looked at him again. His hair, if memory serves, was dandelion fluff. Not grown in. Not full bald. His freckles were even on his head. His face was well remembered and he looked asleep. His eyes did not laugh up at me and he did not smell like medicine. That, at least, was good. I touched his face. I adjusted his jacket. I talked to him.

I don't remember what I said. Something stupid, I am sure. "Hi, me again."

Automatically, I reached, since I was touching him now and talking to him, to twine my fingers with his.

And for the first time since we had met those fingers did not catch mine. He had always closed his fingers around mine. He had always held me back. Wayne was the one unconditional in my life. My mom was not. No one else unconditionally just caught me, no matter if they should have been mad or not and just held on. Wayne's fingers always wrapped around mine. My fingers tightened in his and reality crashed. I was alone. He was gone. They had really all lied. There was no hope, he was gone forever and I was really alone.

And holding his hand desperately I broke on the inside. I cried, finally. I am not entirely sure I ever entirely fixed that broken piece to this day.

And I learned that doctors don't always
a:know for sure what they are talking about. Sometimes they guess based on the information and they are just plain wrong.

b:tell the truth. Sometimes, when talking to the dying, the young, the love of the young, or the weak, they lie, sugar coat or otherwise give you false hope. AKA LIE. the information correctly. He was never in remission. There really was a test that came back and said he was. The test was someone else's and it got swapped. Based on that I was able to delude myself further into denial.

Based on all of the above experiences, I do not terribly trust diagnosis.

Further, I have never been able to convince myself entirely that I was not meant, as obviously the greater evil, to expire in his stead. God knows, literally, I offered.

So when I was bleeding profusely and realized I was going to have to hop my happy butt into the hospital or risk bleeding out from the... ahem, nether region, and that I was going to have to do it alone and that it was likely going to require an exam... which I detest as it is humiliating...

I chain smoked and was shaking. Blood loss I can ignore. A looming building thick with nurses and doctors... I was trembling like a leaf in a hurricane.

I went in and advised them as to my condition. They proceeded to poke, prod, test and retest me. The diagnosis?

More tests. 'Something' is very wrong. You are bleeding. There are many clots on your ultrasound. You are not able to work. You cannot work tomorrow. Here are some meds for pain.'

Me-"I'm not in pain. I don't need pain meds. Why am I bleeding like a stuck pig? Why can't I go back to work? Look, can you just make the note cover that I was here so I can go back and so that today is not a complete wash?"

My thoughts- If you people took my blood, looked in my body, used an ultrasound, made me drink a gallon of water, did another ultrasound, and you still are not coming back with anything better than 'something is wrong' I am going to work. And apparently you are all deaf. I am not in pain. I am just bleeding. A lot.

"Let me get the doctor."

So she hustles out and comes back with the doctor. He looks at me. I am fully clothed now, cell in hand, name tag for work back on. I am ready to leave.

"You have clotting and blood loss. You need to go home and relax today and tomorrow at least. I am not releasing you for work. You are not able to work."

I glare at him.

"I sit. At work, I sit."

He cheerfully glares back, "Go home. Relax. Go to a gynecologist. Find out what is causing the bleeding. It may be stress or it may be hormonal, but you may need it taken care of. After the rest and follow up, you can go back to work. I released you to work Friday."

I glare more.

He does not release me.

I cannot work. I am not released. I cannot not (double negative makes a positive, so yes I have to) turn the paper in. If I don't, then it looks like I just bailed work mid-shift for no reason.

I stomp out of the hospital and am hit by dizziness. I glare at the cement and grit my teeth. I light a cigarette. This raises blood ox levels. I figure this will counteract the blood loss. This, my friends, is called Virg-logic.

I call work and cannot get my boss. I bicker with one of my best friends who has my best health interests at heart, dammit.

I am so not happy. I foresee more tests. I loathe tests. Then they are going to make more guesses. Then I will not like the results and they will call for nasty things. Surgery. Medicine.

Things that I have absolutely no faith will fix anything.

I have faith in God. I have faith in many things. Sadly, a long time ago, I lost my faith in medicine when I realized they don't know everything. And they lie.