Sunday, April 29, 2007

Writing Plans

Starting tomorrow, I'm going back into writing full-swing from the lefty side of the plate. It's been a week since I've really had any time to myself, and I can't wait.

On another note, Jim got laid off on Friday. He and another guy from his work were "downsized," and told to get out by 2:30. He came home with his things in a bag and we stood in the yet-unfinished kitchen wondering how in the world we could pay our mortgage, how we could sell a townhome in a "buyer's market," and what comes next. And yet, he looked younger as he struggled with the realization that we were suddenly both unemployed. The past two years at his job had aged him, and I was relieved we were done with it for good. As the Buddhists say, in death, there is rebirth. As Maria says in the Sound of Music, "when the Good Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window." I, for one, am excited.

Better yet, today he got a call from the Navy Reserves saying they'd like him to go on Active Duty for 90 days. Bottom line: We will have medical insurance, a paycheck, and three months to find new jobs, a buyer/renter, and a new place to live. It's like a three-month warning.


Friday, April 27, 2007

working for money

As much as I would prefer to be a stay-at-home novel-writing mom, I have to transition into a working-full-time novel-writing mom. At least until my writing pays off, which will be in ... five years?

I am blaming the housing market on this one because if it had not taken a dive just after we bought our townhome, we'd have sold this place and moved somewhere cheaper. San Diegan weather be damned. I'd take rain, wind, lightning, snow, and drizzle over congested, crowded, and expensive sunshine any day of the week. It rained last Friday as I was lying in bed nursing Elizabeth, and I nearly dozed off to the pattering on the roof. It was beautiful, and I realized how much I miss it.

Bleh. Working for money. Now I have to scour the classifieds and job market for a job that is flexible, pays well, and interesting. Do they exist? I did find one as a Background Investigator and I applied for that. The best part of the application for that job was a spelling check. The quiz was online and quite fun! (Yes, I'm a geek.) I guess they don't want peple with poor grammar and spelling to be writing up investigation reports. Hopefully, I'll get that job because a) I can work mostly from home and set my own schedule, b) it sounds like fun, c) I won't have to look for any more jobs, d) I'll get to wear suits when I'm out doing interviews.

I've never worn a suit before. (Unless you count the fashion-backward Military Service Dress. I'd post a picture of me in that on here, but the internet would crumble.)

Oh, yes, we did paint the kitchen. Rather - paintING. It is taking much longer than anticipated. One thing I've learned is that I am completely out of touch with reality. (For some reason I am always finding myself re-learning that one.)
Reasons we are still painting:
1. Blue walls and green cabinets are not a good combo, no matter how much you may like those colors individually. Especially when the green reminds you of a Carnival Fun House.
2. Babies like to side-swipe painted walls.
3. Cabinets just take a long time to paint, dry, paint.
4. I am too wishy-washy with colors. Even now, I am unsure about the blue walls and white cabinets. We'll see...

Yes, I've rambled. You get a gold star for reading this far along.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Drill, Knit and Paint

In an ideal world, I'd have hours upon hours to write, but this weekend is going to be Computer-Phone-DVD Free. We are going to do some home improvement. Yay! I'm banking on the idea that a beautiful, organized home will bring the Muse here to visit a long while.

1) Jim is going to FINALLY finish the bannister. That way, no one will fall onto the couch if they should slip off the stairs. When we moved here, there weren't ANY bannisters, and I was always wary of walking on the stairs in socks. See how there are stairs going down on the other side? Scary!
2) We are repainting the kitchen. It's something we've been meaning to do for months. It'd be great if we could get a new stove, fridge, and cabinets, but paint is something that will change the look drastically without costing too much. It should be fun, too. Here's how the kitchen looks now. Yes, it's blah. Just wait for the color update!
3) When we're done with these projects, we're going to scrub down the house.

How's that for a Spring Makeover?

And for my knitting addition, here's a picture of what I've done so far. It's my first-ever knitted project, as you can see by the stitches (particularly the earlier ones). That really wide stitch - that was with baby-on-lap.
And just because I'm having fun with iPhoto today, here's a picture of Elizabeth and me last night just before bedtime:ZZZZZZZZZZ

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I don't have any comforting words, but I wanted to say that I am inspired by the unity the Hokies have shown since the shooting yesterday. I didn't want to have a happy turkey on this page, so I've posted a picture of a wall made of Hokie Stone. (It's what all the building there are made of.)

My husband is an alumni and grew up in Blacksburg. His dad retired from VT as staff, and his sister and her husband both work there now. Jim and I found out about the shootings from an email she sent, titled "we're okay." If the shootings have affected me even a little, I am sure they have affected him greater still. He hasn't said much, but we've talked together about why someone would do such a thing, just as everyone else seems to be doing.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I have a Title!!!

In the six months since I have started my novel, I've hemmed and hawed over a title. Recently, I've been calling it Rohana because that was the best I could do, but I didn't like it. It was boring, and I knew that some day, probably nearer to the end of completion, the title would come to me. It did - today! I am in shock...

The inspiration came when flipping through some pictures of the Chatham Islands and I saw this picture:
The title of my novel is now Growing Against the Wind. It's perfect in so many ways, but you'd have to read the book to find out. ;-)

THIS is why I am writing my story. Take a look at this graph (I know, it's tiny), depicting the population of the Moriori:
See the drop right in the mid-1830's? That's when my book begins...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Drive Thrus and Breakthroughs

Elizabeth was super tired this morning (could it have been her lack of sleep from 2:30am-4am???), but she wouldn't lay down for a nap, so I did the sneaky mom trick and took her out for a drive. While driving, I got a brilliant idea: find a drive thru Starbucks or Anti-Corporate Coffee place, get my usual, and get home with a mind full of writing ideas and a bloodstream full of green tea caffeine. Yes, green tea caffeine differs from regular caffeine. You see, it's green, and therefore full of color and inspiration. So what's the breakthrough? I have found a way to get my fingers tapping on the keyboard!

So, I am off to save the day in my novel. Well, ok, really to make the day really difficult for my heroine. It would be terribly tedious to take away the tension, don't you think? (a bit of alliteration, whoo hoo!)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Going to the Chathams!!

Saturday night, Jim and I went on a date sans le infant and made a crucial decision: we are going to New Zealand and going to the Chatham Islands!!! I want to do my story justice, so we're going there to experience the landscape, smell the flowers Rohana would have picked, and walk through the bush. We're planning on going this Fall (it will be Spring there).

Till then, I will be writing and Elizabeth with be hangin' out:

Monday, April 9, 2007

Thank Goodness for Critique Groups

... or I'd not have written anything this past week. It was my turn to submit, so I had to sit down and go over a chapter, polish it up as best I could, and face the storyline. I was very tired last night before I did that because my husband has pneumonia, my in-laws were here, Elizabeth has been waking up in the middle of the night wanting to play for two hours, and I've been losing my sanity. Oh wait, that last one is good - it brings my imagination into the real world. Anyhow, I'm glad for my Critique Group because they keep the fingers typing even when I'm tired. :-)

On a side note, Laini and my friend Claire inspired me to learn how to knit. My mother-in-law knows how, so she taught me. I'm glad she did because I tried learning from video clips I found on the web and it was a disaster. Claire knitted Elizabeth a dolly, and we can't wait to see it! I, on the other hand, am still trying to figure it all out. I'm a lefty, so I was a small challenge to my mother-in-law. Knitting is WAY more complicated than crocheting, by the way...

Well, Elizabeth is not happy that I am not giving her 100% of my attention, so I better go! The Queen is calling!

Monday, April 2, 2007


I'm stealing this idea from Laini's earlier post...

Goals in Fives

The next five days:
1. Write another chapter
2. Clean my house top to bottom (mother-in-law is coming to town)
3. Read something for pleasure
4. See a movie alone with my husband
5. Sleep more than four hours in a row

The next five months:
1. Finish my first draft
2. Finish my second draft!
3. Find a part-time nanny or babysitter
4. Read ten novels
5. Buy Laini's new book!

The next five years:
1. Get my book published
2. Write two more books
3. Have another baby
4. Help my husband start his PhD
5. Move to Colorado (or somewhere equally invigorating)

That's my message out to the Universe!