Monday, February 29, 2016

Another Monday

Another Monday, another early morning sitting in the car dealer, trying to figure out why my car is ticking. At least the service guys behind the counter didn’t look at me like they thought there was a bomb in it, unlike the service lady I spoke to on the phone who did not sound pleased. Once again, the radio is playing just loud enough to annoy me and someone is talking on their phones in the waiting room, although at least this time, the man is speaking in a low voice out of respect for the rest of us. And I, as usual, am sitting on the remote control to prevent the TV from being turned on. I considered stealing the other remote too, but that controls the TV in another area, and I decided that wouldn’t be fair. This time. I’m starting to think of this waiting room as my office. Some writers take pictures of their beautiful views—Jill Shalvis’ Tahoe views make me jealous. Some writers take pictures of their desks—never trust a writer with a neat desk. Mine is going to be here:

Another Monday, and The General is home sick. I forced her to go to Urgent Care yesterday, after feeling lousy since Friday. The amount of complaining, questions about what treatments she’s had or not, which facility to go to and just general ickiness yesterday made me convinced that she was going to be responsible for the world ending that very moment. But when I returned home, having left all that loveliness to my long-suffering and ever-patient husband, she was almost back to her normal self. I was convinced she was on the mend. Until last night, or actually super early this morning, when I couldn’t sleep and she joined me downstairs, claiming she couldn’t either. Waking up for school today was less than successful, so she’s home and I’m waiting to see if her yuckiness is due to exhaustion or to still being sick. Regardless, she has the SAT this Saturday, so whatever bug she has needs to leave.

Another Monday, which is usually my favorite day of the week, but this week is crazy busy and something feels off. Maybe it’s because I’m waiting to hear about a bunch of things. Maybe it’s just me. Either way, it’s Monday.

Happy Leap Year!

Monday, February 15, 2016

It's All About The Cookie

We had an abbreviated set of college tours this past weekend. The General and I drove down south with the intention of looking at three schools. In between, we had plans to see my college friends, our family friends and her camp friends.

There were lots of positives:

  • She loved the big state school.
  • She enjoyed the car ride more than she would have (her words) because we drove one of her local camp friends down with us.
  • She got to stay overnight at her camp friend’s house.
  • I got to visit some great college friends spur of the moment.
  • The hotel we stayed in was in a beautiful area (the last hotel we stayed in required we park in an abandoned lot next to a 24-hour car wash that I’m pretty sure wasn’t washing cars 24 hours a day).
  • We had a terrific dinner with family friends the next day.

There were a few negatives:

  • The camp friend’s parent who we drove down south tried to weasel me into driving her home.
  • She didn’t like the city school.
  • We had to cancel our visit to the third school, plus our dinner with my other college friends, due to an impending snowstorm.
  • She didn’t get to see her camp friend who was going to tour the third school with us.

But by far, the BEST thing that happened, as far as I’m concerned, is that she ate an Oreo.

Now, this is the child who hates Oreos, unless they’re fried. But we were at dinner with family friends and they have two children, a nine-year-old and a four-year-old. She was sitting next to the four-year-old, who had a backpack filled with activities to keep him entertained during dinner. It also had snacks, because, well, he’s four, and on parent in their right mind goes anywhere without snacks for their four-year-old! As the General and the Four-Year-Old were talking and playing with stuff, he pulled out a package of his Oreos and gave her one. She thanked him and ate it, despite the fact that she hates Oreos.

Because, as she said to me (and to his mom who tried to tell her it wasn’t necessary), you don’t say no to a four-year-old when they offer you something.

Monday, February 8, 2016

It's JeRoWriMo Time!

I’m participating in my local writing chapter’s version of NaNoWriMo this month. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, is held in November each year and participants write 50K words in a month. It’s a huge undertaking and I’ve never done it before.

However, my local writing chapter has adapted it to JeRoWriMo—Jersey Romance Writers Month. Every February, we write 30K words. Still a huge undertaking, but doable, even if the month is shorter. Basically, it boils down to a little more than 1,000 words per day.

I love participating in the challenge because it gives me a clear goal every day that I have to hit. We email our word counts to our head cheerleader (who also happens to be one of my critique partners) and at the end of the month, everyone who has successfully completed the challenge wins chocolate.

Seriously—public deadlines, head cheerleader whom I know and chocolate at the end? It’s perfect for me.

This time around, my goal is to finish a manuscript I’ve been working on. It was at approximately 50K when I started, so it will be complete by the end of the month. Not sure exactly why I’m bothering, as absolutely nothing is happening right now with my writing, but hey, I can always store it somewhere and know it’s complete.

Writing during the week is pretty easy, as no one is home to distract me. On the weekends? That’s another story. This weekend, I hid, and I was able to complete each day’s goal, despite not being allowed to count the words in the multiple texts with my husband who was at the grocery store. Next weekend I’ll be gone, so I’m trying to write extra words before I leave. And by the time I come back, half the month will be over!

Forcing myself to write and to turn off my internal editor is a challenge, as it is for all the participants. I’ll have to go back in March and significantly edit what I’ve written, but I’ll be a lot further along than I was when I started. And working on this manuscript regularly allowed me to plot the ending, something I wasn’t sure of when I started.

So if you need me, I’ll be writing!

Monday, February 1, 2016

She's Seventeen

She’s seventeen. She can supposedly drive a car—I’m keeping my thoughts to myself on this until someone actually gives her a license. She can see an R-rated movie by herself, provided I let her. She’s taking the SAT and touring colleges.

Yet all I see is the eight-month old in the pink striped overalls and white hat, with big blue eyes (they were blue then, instead of green as they are now), sitting on a blanket outside in the grass, waving at passersby and waiting for Daddy to come home from work.

It’s weird. A good weird, but weird, nonetheless, because I don’t have any desire to go back in time. Sure, there are elements I’d love to relive, like the new-baby smell, or the neighborhood walks, or watching her sleep, or the cuddles. But there are plenty of things I have no desire to go through again—the hyper-alert status that goes on for years, the tantrums, the constant entertaining until she learned to entertain herself (at least for a little while).

I’m having a hard time with how old she’s gotten. She’s on the cusp of adulthood and I can see it, taste it almost. She’s going to be an amazing woman. My cousin and I used to talk about our daughters when they were tiny. A year apart, and stubborn as anything, we used to say they’d turn into strong women, if we lived long enough. Well, she’s going to be one heck of a strong woman, a fact I’m infinitely glad about.

I’ve lived just about long enough to see it. And this next chapter is going to be amazing.