Wednesday, March 30, 2005

This and That

Well, my bitterness over the Golden Heart lasted a great deal less time than I expected. A big piece of cake for breakfast will do that for you. I don't think I will enter again, not because I feel it an unworthy contest, but the stress of the week before the announcement was more than I cared for. Hopefully it will be a moot point next year. I don't think I will go to Reno, however. I'd like to, but I can't justify the time away from my family. It really sucks, but for me to be gone three nights would be an intense burden on everyone else. Geez, sometimes I really hate my life. My dears, money honestly doesn't buy happiness.

To keep me from jumping off a cliff as I contemplate the annoyances of my life, the weather has been awesome. I took my blue Mustang GT convertible out two days in a row. Hmmm...I love that car.

I've really kicked up my writing this week. I'm doing a BIAM (book in a month) this April and I would like to be at the mid-point of this WIP when I start. To whit, I ended up standing and writing yesterday. I managed to write 4 pages while standing at the kitchen counter.

My damned Linksys Range Expander is not functioning correctly. I upgraded the firmware in my router and it is working better than ever, but not this stupid expander. I've been looking for the reciept to see if I can take it back. I haven't had it that long. Linksys has a three year warranty, so I may have to ship off to them.

Well, I'm going to keep on working on my WIP. I had a glass of wine and feel better now. I'm fixing chicken fried steak for dinner, the family will be thrilled.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Why I love California

I took my blue convertible 2004 Mustang GT out today. I love the sense of freedom cruising around in such a car unleashes. It was a little chilly, but the kids didn't mind.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Why I love being a "Pantster"

Yesterday, while I was writing, I discovered one of my characters had done something terrible. I didn't know he was capable of it, but there it was. I was so happy. I couldn't have planned it, didn't see it coming until I started writing. I wish I understood the process my mind uses, but I can't. This stuff just emerges without rhyme or reason. I suppose my brain uses an impulse pattern when writing. I'm a pretty staid and stable person, rarely given to fits of impulse, so I imagine writing is an outlet for that "wilder" side of me I keep under control.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Bad Music to Write To

I was at Target yesterday and I was passing by the cd section when I spied "100% Dance Hits" and "1990's Dance" cds. All the favorite techno music. So I bought them. I like to write with a fast beat. For some reason, the speed of the music streamlines my concentration and I write faster and better. So me and C + C Music Factory are going to gyrate into my Regency era WIP today.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Cosmic Flip Off

I got up today and fired up my laptop. "Disk reading error press alt + ctrl+del." Grrrr.....
It will not boot. I tried booting from an XP disk but it won't. It wants me to re-install XP, ergo obliterating all of my files.

I don't have anything life-ending on the laptop except for my WIP. I have another copy on my desktop. What it frustrating is that I've come to rely on the access I get with my laptop. I can work and surf the Internet from my kitchen and family room and still keep an eye on my kids. It's like there is a cosmic force sticking its tongue out at me and daring me to be more than a housewife. If it looks like I'm making strides towards my goal as a writer, something strikes it down.

Days like this make me want to give up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Writing and Screaming

I finished most of my short story today in between screaming at my toddler. She as been on the warpath for some reason. Not sure what is up with her, but she has been gungho towards destruction. While this is going on, I managed to get quite a bit of writing done. I wanted to finishe my story so I could post at my ezine for St. Patrick's Day. Got that done and added a couple of cute St. Pat's graphics to the page. The advil is finally kicking in but I'm still sick to my stomach. I think it's the kid.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Waiting for the phone to ring

Everyday, I pray for my phone to ring or the magic email to arrive from an agent saying they like my book. It hasn't happened. Nothing has happened. It has been over 14 weeks since I mailed out my first two full manuscripts. I didn't think much about it for the first couple of months, but as I knock on 4 months, I can't help but feel resignation. I feel like I'm in a time vacuum and I'm afraid to take a deep breath. To make my myself feel better, I sent out more queries. One requested a full. While that's a great thing, I made me feel like I was going on another roller coaster.

Then there is the analyzing. Is it taking so long because they are interested? Is it a bad sign? You feel like you are reading tea leaves in the bottom of your cup. I haven't had my tarot cards read for awhile, maybe I should check'em.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

SimCity 4

My favorite time waster. I spent a chunk of the day playing SimCity. I'm starting a BIAW tomorrow, so I won't be able to play for the next week. Time spent on games could be spent on writing.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Tee Ball Time Continium

My daughter's tee ball only lasted an hour, but I swear there was some quantum effect that made the game feel like 3 hours. Why is that? I sat there and kept thinking "this is over, right?" But noooo....out they trot into the field.

Historical v. Contemporary

I really enjoy writing both, but I have found writing historical is so much tougher than contemporary. It isn't the research but the effort it takes to make my voice appropriate to the genre. I need to "translate" my voice into a historically flavored tone. The vocabulary is different although I tend to keep the same sentence structure. Heroine has to be different as well. She can't go running around with 21st century sensibilities and I feel the constraints of keeping her mindset in line with the era she lives in.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette?

I dunno. It seems odd casting to me. But putting Sofia Copolla at the helm feels kind of strange to me as well. Marianne Faithfull is playing Maria-Theresa. Yikes! The script is being written by Copolla and Antonia Fraser, based on Fraser's book. Well, I will hold judgment until the film is out. I just hope the filmakers don't try to give the story a 21st century slant. I hate when movies do that. I haven't seen "The Aviator" because the writer admits it is a fictionalized account of Hughes' life. But it made for better drama. Hmm...

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Mommy Madness

"Newsweek" published an article in their Feb. 21, 2005 issue about the myth of the perfect mother. The article was written by Judith Warner who has written a book about the subject. The gist of the article is about how women are losing themselves in their desperate attempts to be the perfect mother. They are sacrificing sleep and self to motherhood. And it isn't good. often have I looked at myself and wondered how and the hell I got here? This was not how it was supposed to be.

Why do so many otherwise competent and self-aware women lose themselves
they become mothers? Why do so many of us feel so out of
control? And-the biggest question of all-why has this generation of
mothers, arguably the most liberated and privlieged group of women America
ever seen, driven themselves crazy in the quest for perfect
mommy-dom? -Questions posed by Wagner

I dunno. When I was in high school, my plans included everything. I was taught I could have it all. Great career, family, nice house in the suburbs. No one mentioned the price. I made the choice to get married and have children rather than pursuing a career. I had my chance, I was 27 when I got married, but such was not my fate.I worked full time up until Nov. 2001 when I was laid off from my job as an executive assistant. At the time, I was thrilled. Gone would be the stress of being a working mom and I could spend time on my writing. Sigh.... The reality was far different.

There is an expectation to be a great mom, and to do it alone. Wagner points out that this generation of women have been bred to be independent and self-sufficient. I have to admit feeling that it is my lot to do this myself. I gave birth to these children, damnit, I should be the one to shoulder the burden. I've always been proud of my ability to balance home and family. I even finished a book in less than 4 mos. While I still think I did well, I also believe I was burning the candle at both ends.

And that is where I am at right now. I've been so busy trying to be June Cleaver, I've negleted the core of my being. I'm a writer and a good one. I love to write, but I have to admit, after a day of fighting with the kids, running them to school, practices, cleaning the house, cooking, getting the kids to bed, etc., I'm physically, mentally, and emotionally too exhausted to write. Lately, I've found myself dissolving into a puddle of tears because I see no way out.

Husbands do not understand. He has his own pressures. He is a very busy lawyer with a thriving practice. With the state of California real estate, he is hopping with business. While it is a good thing economically for us, it creates its own pressures for him. He can not understand the strain I'm under. We have the opposite problems: he deals with adults all day and wants to spend time with the kids, I spend all my time with kids and would love to talk to adults. Another issue is the way our roles have changed since I quit working. I am the traditional mother from the 1950's. I cook, clean and care for the children. I do the grocery shopping and the many miniscule errands that fill a day. It was an insidious transformation in our family and I did nothing to stop it.

Now what do I do? Not sure. Wagner's solutions seemed to focus on women who work outside the home, providing economic solutions so families wouldn't have to work so hard. But I think the problem is deeper. I believe we live in a society that glorifies perfection in everything, motherhood being no different. We have to be the best. Hell, you should see what soccer moms do when its their turn for snack. Who has the best goody bags at a birthday party. I'm still glowing because my daughter's 5th birthday party was a roaring success. Oh yeah, gotta impress those five year olds.

What's funny is when we distressed souls find each other. A mother from my daughter's class said "hey, you're like me," because I too was dissatisfied with my lot in life. In a couple of years the heat will ease because all of my kids will be in school. I will not spend as much time cleaning (I better not) and the kids can take more responsibility around the house. But it is still not the life I wanted. My aunt recently told me how "touched" she was because my daughter wanted to grow up and be a mom just like her mom. I wanted to scream "NO." Why do you want that for her? I would hate to see my child become what I have become. I want her to have dreams that remain unstifled. I want her to pursue life with a fervor I no longer have. I want her to enjoy the freedom I forfeited.

Rejection Letter

I got a rejection letter today. This in and of itself is hardly news worthy. I have enough of them I'm thinking about doing a scrapbook. I could show up at one of those scrapbooking parties with my box full of rejections and cheerfuly paste them on pretty paper with adorable stickers and die cuts. Would that make them less painful? Anyway, what was unique about this letter was that I had sent a query to this agent in May of 2004. It took her almost a year to respond to a query letter! I'd included an SASE (which look like it had been beaten to hell) and yet it took her that long to respond. Of course it was a form rejection, no "gee, sorry it took so long," or anything like that, just an "Author." Heck, there wasn't even a "Dear Author." Well, I'm glad she didn't ask for a partial.


Deadwood returned to HBO on Sunday and I'm happier than a dog who's found a rotten fish to roll in. I love the show. The characters are so compelling and the swearing.... Such creative uses of foul language...I am humbled and amazed. Ian McShane does such a wonderful job as Al Swearengen, I am rivoted to the screen when he appears.

Monday, March 07, 2005

My Kids, brought to me by the makers of Prozac

I swear, my kids one and only goal in life is to see me on heavy duty antidepressants. Every time I turn around they are up to something. Oh sure, they are cute, I will give you that. But for me.... For example, I just had to get up and chase my two year old out of the bathroom. She'd taken all of her clothes off and was spreading "Hello, Kitty" glitter body gel all over the mirror. I can find no other reason for her to do this but to drive me crazy. Does she enjoy the discordant screech of my voice as I scream until my head swells? Oh, pause for a moment, the five year old brought in a camelia flower and the two year old tore it apart all over the family room.