Saturday, August 25, 2007


Yes, yes, I've been away. I have been insanely busy. I mean that literally - I have gone insane...

Just before we left San Diego, Elizabeth swallowed a penny. That alone took an entire day. We sat in the ER for a few hours, then got x-rays, then sat in the ER for another few hours. Then she had surgery. There were 20 people there for it - all of the pediatric surgeons, the ear-eyes-nose-throat surgeons, the anaestheticians, and their residents. The scariest part was when I had to hold her down while they gassed her. Part of me thought, when she passed out instantly, that it'd be nice to have one of those at home for those non-napping days, but most of me just cried. It was horrible lifting her limp body and placing her on the surgery table. The docs quickly ushered me out to join Jim, and within twenty minutes, she was out of surgery and completely fine. By the time we got home, we were all exhausted - but not so tired that we didn't scan the area to make sure there weren't any other items she could suck down.

Then, on Sunday, we left our house. It was empty, too - everything had been put in storage. We jumped on the plane and flew to San Fran and then to Honolulu, and have been here since. I started my Air Force Reserves job on Monday, which was quite a shock to my system after a year of being home with Elizabeth. By Friday, we had gotten into the swing of things. Jim has been taking care of her all day, but starting this Monday, she will be going to day care for four hours a day (he needs to study for his GREs). I've been trying to finish up my homework during lunch hour, but I haven't managed it yet.

And writing? No. Nada. Nothing. I haven't even looked at my manuscript in over a week. I have, however, been thinking about it. As soon as I've got a free minute with more than 5% energy level, I'll write again. Maybe next weekend, during my lunch break. (I have to work 7-days-a-week after next Friday or the USAF won't pay for the hotel.)

We are here until the end of September, when we return to San Diego for a few weeks prior to our New Zealand trip.

Oh, and I may have to go on Active Duty in November for 6+ months. I just found out that I'm highly vulnerable to another deployment to Iraq, even though I've already been. (The only people who are free from getting called up are those who have been involuntarily told to go before, so my voluntary deployment doesn't get me out of the hot water.) I'm trying to see if I can just stay here for six months (they need people here, too), and get a waiver of some sort to keep me from going back to Iraq. It's not that I'm afraid of going - I just don't want to leave my family. If I didn't have a child, I might have volunteered again just to get it out of the way.

*Sigh* I am looking forward to a change in the Administration...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nearly all Packed

I put this pic in because it's just too cute. Isn't she adorable? *gushes* Even though she likes to scratch at my face, bite, and not take naps, she's still cute. :-)

Packing... hmm... Well, I didn't do much throughout the day because the Queen didn't take a nap and kept wanting me to hold her. When Jim came home, she was happier and let me put her on the floor as long as we played music and danced.

This morning, Elizabeth and I met up with two writing mamas from my critique group. They're both writing fantastic novels and have progressed far beyond me at this point (but their kids are a bit older and they're not moving - that's a reasonable excuse, right?). Cindy is writing a great fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore, and Kirsten is writing a very smart, dark-humored psychological tale. See? I have smart friends - and smart friends make me feel smarter!

I called my best friend Kelly, who lives in England, and told her all about the SCBWI conference. I was talking about the time when I will send my manuscript out, and trying to sound confident (to psyche myself up), I said, "I think Scholastic will like my book because it will be great - as long as I keep working on it until it's great." After I said it I realized it sounded a little arrogant, but what I meant was that as long as I give it my best effort, and really work at it so the pages are well-crafted and the story itself is better than anyone else could make of it, it will be great.

I have to remind myself this at times like these... when the only time I get to write is at midnight, blogging.

Yes, I know, I could be writing instead. Well, I will - when my copyediting and grammar lab homework is done and the house is packed up. You see, I can dip in and out of blogging much easier than I can my story; it's mindless most of the time. Besides, when the only time I get to write is at midnight, my mind is a little too sore from a day's work to do any justice to Rohana.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

SCBWI, Denver, Disneyland, and Packing-up

Yes, quite a long list, so I'll list out the highlights of each event:

SCBWI LA Conference:

I got there too late on Friday to partake, but I did have a blast Saturday and Sunday... The best part of going to the conference was that I got motivated and encouraged to finish my book. (I will do a great job, as long as I don't give up!) I got to see Walter Dean Myers and Kirby Larson - I'm a fan of both writers. I met up with Laini Taylor and Jim Di Bartolo again, which was great because they're funny, friendly, and (here's that word again) encouraging. :-) I also met some new people that I'm planning on keeping in touch with... Having Jim and Elizabeth there in the hotel made it stress-free for me, and they had a great time at the pool (even though Jim forgot he had his cell in his pocket).

As for networking and learning things, Laini and her husband Jim introduced me to some very nice people at the By the Light of the Silvery Moon party. At one time, I got to speak some (very weak) Russian, and when I asked if the gal was a writer, she replied, "No, I'm an editor." So... editors are real people, too! I enjoyed talking with everyone that night, and then the next day, I got to sit in on a workshop with Arthur A. Levine and Rachel Griffiths (the Russian-speaking editor). Listening to them talk about their imprint (well, Arthur Levine's imprint) inspired me. I think, just maybe, they would like my book. (When it's ready.)

I had to leave early, unfortunately, so I missed a lot of activities on Sunday night and Monday, but I felt like it was all worth the money, the time, and the temporary feelings of ineptitude.

Then on Monday, Elizabeth, Jiji, and I drove to Denver. Only, we only made it to Utah on Monday. We didn't get to Denver until Tuesday night. The main reason we went out there was to deliver the cat and the car to my parents so they can both be watched while we (Jim, Elizabeth, and I) go circling the globe the next few months. Elizabeth and I flew back Friday, and then yesterday, we went to Disneyland.

It was Elizabeth's 1st birthday, so we had to do something grand. (Besides, we hadn't been in ages.) The first hour we were there, she cried, but then calmed down after I realized her toe had been mangled in her shoe (my fault). After that high-intensity period was over, she had fun in the It's a Bug's Life area, splashing in the water. We met up with a friend from college, did the birthday-day cupcake thing, and spent the rest of the day walking around. It was a completely different Disney experience for me, since we weren't trying to ride all the rides (I think we rode three). The best parts for Elizabeth were the little shows with live animals and princesses. I was surprised that she paid attention - she was enraptured, especially when Belle was telling a story. We stayed until the fireworks... and by then, she was zonked in her stroller.

Today, which is our 2nd anniversary, we are moving stuff into storage boxes. We'd be done by now, but the company that dropped them off yesterday only dropped off one (we ordered two), and they aren't the advertised size. I was (just a tad) annoyed, especially since we couldn't get ahold of them today to fix the situation. So I called a different company which is going to deliver two (bigger) boxes this afternoon. Anytime now... In fact, now would be good, since Elizabeth is napping...

I apologize if this whirlwind of events wasn't told in all that of an interesting manner, but I'm tired. Really.

I plan on emailing the writers I met at the conference, as soon as I can. My computer is getting boxed up today, but I'll have Jim's to use, and then we'll be off to Hawaii for our next job-adventure on Sunday, so I'll be out of commission until I figure internet, etc. at the hotel.

Ciao! Or rather, aloha.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Feline Fan

As you can see, my cat Jiji has found a use for the new Harry Potter book. Unfortunately, he's the only one who's spent any time with it yet. This past week has been spent packing, doing homework, and guiding Elizabeth as she pattered around on two feet (!!!).

The last two or three hours have been spent going over my manuscript. I wanted to make sure it was as clean as could be before printing it off. I've got to bring at least one copy with me to the conference - all 13,986 words! (Thus far.) It's not finished, obviously, but at least I will have something to show anyone should they be interested. Should I be so lucky.

Now, off to bed before she wakes for her midnight feeding... tomorrow night, I'll be in LA!