Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Nested House

I woke up this morning full of positive energy. It was amazing, as if I'd been off to a dreamland where they gave me special powers or a dose of antidepressants. (Instead, I dreamt that I was at an Amway gathering and they were trying to force me to buy into the program AND vote for McCain.)

By lunch time, most of the house had been picked up, cleaned, organized, and dealt with. The laundry was finally put into the correct drawers. The bathrooms were clean. I was buzzing (and hungry) and Elizabeth was happy. The energy kept up until this evening, when we were at the library's Halloween party. Amazing. The only thing that held me back from doing everything today was my aching back and the feeling of a bowling ball between my legs.

Could this be the proverbial "nesting" instinct? Or was I just finally energized enough to tackle the chaos in my home? I do hope I'm not suddenly bi-polar, because after dragging my feet for several months and feeling pretty much like luke-warm oatmeal, I was happy and rushing around and even organized the laundry room.

Maybe the baby's coming soon. I am 37 weeks now and "full term," so the boy is fully-cooked. Any day now...or maybe in a month. Who knows?

By the way, for those of you who don't know, from now on most pregnant women are obsessed with when labor will start, and most are "done" with being pregnant. I am certainly one of those women. Which is why I have been avoiding this blog--I don't want to suddenly turn it into a "when will my baby come" blog.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Done Revising

I just finished this round of revisions on ROHANA and sent them off to my agent, Laura. Part of me wants to celebrate, but that part is very small. Mostly because I gave up. I'm sure there's more I should do, but I wanted to toss the whole thing into the fire (thank goodness for fire-resistant computer files). The Doubting Snake of Writing slithered into my writing room and wouldn't leave me alone.

Another reason I can't really celebrate is because it is now time to clean house. Elizabeth is at daycare (thank you, blessed drop-in care for us stay-at-home mommies who happen to have writing projects) for the rest of the day, and it's now time to participate in some house-wifey duties. The laundry has been piling up (clean, folded laundry that I just haven't felt like putting away). The floor needs to be vacuumed. The bathrooms need to be tidied. And all must be put in its rightful place before the wee one gets here.

Now, some Octobery delight:

Small, Medium, and Large Pumpkins

Running through the Straw Maze

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wisdom and Teeth...and a preggo pic

Elizabeth and I have something in common: we're both teething.

My upper wisdom tooth is coming in, strangely. I noticed it after lunch today. The dentists all said this one would never show itself and wouldn't even need to be extracted. Hmm. Could pregnancy have sped things up?

The last time I got a tooth removed was in Iraq, 2004. One of my teeth came up partly and irritated me to no end. The dentist, who had a whole lot of time on his hands (not a lot of dental work going on during deployments), offered to take it out. The only con was that he only had novocaine. I kept that tooth as a war trophy. I deserved it--the dentist had way too much fun.

Having a molar come through has brought up two things:
1. Teething isn't so bad. I don't need motrin. I'm not chewing on my hands. I'm not drooling. Why does she?
2. Getting new teeth makes you feel young. It's not something I expected to happen at the ripe old age of 28.

Now, since the cable that connects the camera to the computer is squished, I had to use my cell phone. Here I am, just minutes ago, at "36 weeks pregnant." This is not only to show you why my back is always hurting and I waddle like a Russian penguin on vodka pension, but because I do not have any high school pictures (a la Disco Mermaids challenge).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cranial Billboard??

Who wants to get their head shaved and tattooed? I just saw this ad from Air New Zealand and had to blog about it.

Thank goodness it's not a permanent tattoo. It would be cooler if they'd give you a full-on Maori facial tattoo, though.

I'd chat more about this, but I'm off to have lunch with the hubby (just us! *gasp*) and then immerse myself in the New Zealand of 1835, pre-cranial billboards.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Revision on a Roll

I woke up early this morning, as you do when you have a toddler, and then went straightaway to Target and bought myself a new desk chair. Nothing fancy, but it's super comfortable when compared to my old wooden chair.

Then I came home, locked myself in the office, and tried out the Shrunken Manuscript revision method. Only, I didn't read the directions first and I ran out of computer paper. It didn't seem to work out well for me, but that's hardly the method's fault--likely it's my interpretation of the method. At any rate, I decided to recycle the paper and print off the last four chapters, where ROHANA seemed to fray the most. Then I read, and thought, and read some more.

Then it came to me. Aha! A means to an end, literally. The only downside (if you can call it that) was that I had to re-write the ending, the last three or four chapters, from scratch.

So we went to the grocery store, had lunch, and put the kiddo down for a nap...and, since hubby was home, I left the house. I went to Starbuck's, since my critique group recently gave me a giftcard (a "congrats for getting an agent" gift--how cool is that? I also got a mug that says "My Critique Group Understands Me"). There, whilst occasionally cupping a hand over my ear as my coffee-house neighbors chatted too loudly, I wrote. And wrote.

I wrote 3,265 words.

I don't think I've done that in a long time, if ever.

Now, there's more to be written, but my bum was tired at that point and I had to get home.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


No, not NaNoWriMo. No, not Amnesiatic Novel Writing Month (unless the computer died and all was erased)...but Amber's Novel Writing Month. Yup. I'm going to do it. Just not in November. Seriously, that would be insane, unfair, and painful. I'll be laboring (no joke) in November, and that'll be insane, unfair, and painful enough for the whole year.

I haven't picked a month yet, but I'm guessing I might be able to do it in March. Or February. Wait, that month is too short. Yeah, March. Thirty-one whole days. The budding of Spring. A 2 1/2-year-old and a four-month-old. One crazy mama.

So I can't join the uber-cool NaNoWriMo crowd and use all of their nifty procrastination helpers and tack on writing friends like gnats to a lollypop, but I can challenge YOU to do it with me. That is, if you're brave enough. If you're not depleted by doing the actual, tried-and-true NaNoWriMo.

Who is game? You don't have to state yourselves now...I'll give you another chance in January when I post this again.

Of course, we'd have to change the name of the game if there's more than just me doing it.

Revisions Revisions

I like to blog after I've done something productive so I can brag, but today I'm muddled. I even made a special trip to the grocery store to get some Starbucks Frappaccino bottles, which is generally against my "tea only" routine. The problem with revisions at the moment is that I want to go back to bed. Last Friday I even laid down to write, citing it'd be more comfortable than my wooden Ikea chair, but I just ended up napping. Today's rule is: No Horizontal Revisioning. And I cannot use pregnancy as an excuse because if I do, then I'll soon be using postpartum as an excuse. And I just can't trust the re-writing to the dog, no matter how eager she may be to tackle the plot arches in my book.

Speaking of dogs, I wish mine would just turn into a cat. She'd be easier: I wouldn't have to take her out to pee, she'd shed less (did I mention she's half-German Shepherd and half-Collie??), she wouldn't jump all over the toddler play-dates, she wouldn't steal food off of the plates, and if she decided to lie in front of the couch, beneath my feet, she'd probably move when I needed to stand up. (Imagine an 8-months-pregnant lady trying to stand up off the couch without using her feet.)

Ha! I called myself a "lady." That's funny (to me) because I more resemble the palace laundry lady than any genteel ladies.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Rednecks for Obama

I don't want to get too political on my blog, but I saw this website today and it made me happier. Maybe it'll make some other people out there smile, too. It's nice to see that some supposed barriers for Obama aren't always there...

Rednecks for Obama website

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Revisions and a Bit o' Joyce

I spent the first half of the day at Panera, sipping tea and outlining the novel I'm revising. Curiously, I had never written down what happens in each chapter. I mean, I'd done that before all of the writing, but things changed, and seeing it all out in the open after writing the novel was, well, interesting. I was able to sketch out what needs to be done and then write some of the new stuff into the story.

Yet there is much more to be done. And it will be hard. (But oh so worth it.)

When my brain couldn't dump any more into my Dana, I headed over to the bookstore and checked out their 70% Off stack. As usual, it was filled with tour guides to places I don't need to read up on just yet (like Stockholm, although I'd love to go), various religious books, and random novels I'd never heard of. But there was a gem: yes I said yes I will Yes: A Celebration of James Joyce, Ulysses, and 100 Years of Bloomsday. I snatched that up pretty quick. Maybe, just maybe, it'll help me finish (and understand) Ulysses. I've read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Dubliners, and Chamber Music, but the "best book of the 20th Century" has continued to elude me.

I picked this photo because it was taken in 1904, the same year Bloomsday occurred. Photo source: National Archives of Ireland.

Why tackle the book? He tells me to, that's why.

"The only demand I can make of my reader is that he should devote his whole life to reading my works." --James Joyce

Also, I think I'm in love with him.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Teen Writing Workshop #2

Tonight I'll be doing another writing workshop. Yay! This time, we're focusing on character development and then wrapping up the class with a writing prompt about secrets. (Ooooh....secrets....)

I'll tell you all about it when I get back, and I hope to have some pics or videos of the class.

We are showing two YouTube videos from Jackson Pearce to spice things up a bit. Her videos are the BEST EVER. Here they are:

This one is about using the Disney process in your writing:

This one is about's like cake:

Hope to have a fun evening. After this, it's all work, work, work. I got my revision letter from my agent, and so I'll be just a bit busy the next several weeks. I've got so much to do, not to mention the revision! I have to basically re-write my book, get the house ready for baby Henry (due in about 6 weeks), potty train my Dinosaur, and finish unpacking from our move. And all of this I want done by Halloween because I'll be full-term then, ready to pop (or unable to move).

Speaking of which, last night I had the honor of having the baby head-butt me in my spine/tailbone. It was not so fun. The sensation was something akin to having an alien trying to come out through my back.