Thursday, March 28, 2013

Stop the Quarters!

Sometimes my brain feels like the little silver ball bearing bouncing around inside a hyperactive pinball machine. I'm not sure whose hand it is that keeps pulling on the handle to send out another bearing, or who is having so much fun operating the flippers on the left and right sides of the game, but I wish they would get tired and take a vacation for a while.

Currently, I am bouncing back and forth between these ringing bells and flashing lights:
*new companies hiring me and training me on multiple projects
*ongoing due dates that never seem to diminish
*various and sundry sleep issues of my husband and I
*various health issues that are not serious but do make life too challenging sometimes
*the IRS, an organization I cannot begin to explain my deep feelings of loathing for
*helping Coryn plan for some possible international travel this summer
*helping Caspian figure out adventure plans
*helping Nicole navigate the dating world and finding a second job
*doing two to three times work per month than I have been paid for in months
*explaining to places I owe money to that I know I'm behind, but many of the companies I work with take 60 to 90 days to pay me . .. it's on its way, but it sure takes its time

So . . . please, I would deeply, deeply appreciate it person who has an endless supply of time and quarters, if you would take a nap, pick up a book, go out to lunch, or visit the coast . .. please? I need some down time.

Thanks from the ball bearing in Portland

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Author in Portland's Head Explodes, Film at 11

Want to know why I am occasionally frazzled?

I finished a 10,000 word book at 1 a.m. and slept til 7:30.
Since I got up four hours ago, this is what I have done:
* wrote a 800 word passage and submitted it
*researched for a second passage and started writing it
*was called and hired by a new company and reviewed the project
*received two emergency assignments from companies, one is due on Friday and the other one on Monday
*prepared for a training session at noon on a new project
*took time to pee twice :)
 And it isn't even noon yet . . . . . .

First Quarter Reading List

As the first quarter of the year comes to an end, I am astonished to see that I have read 15 books already. When I was a teenager, this number would have shocked me, since I typically read that many in a single month. However, as mom and wife and full time writer, my free time is pretty limited, and so, for the last four years, I have averaged about 39 books a year, or less than one a week. This year is a definite improvement. It has not been because my workload is less, but because, thanks to Joseph's incessant pushing, I take an hour out each evening to sit in bed and read with him. It's peaceful . . just us, classical music on the radio and books.

Here is a list of what I have read so far. I would rate all of them A's and B's except one, which I will note for you. Wanna know my thoughts on any of these titles? Leave me a message!

Prepare to Die!/Tobin (favorite one of the year so far--read it!)
Niceville/Stroud (odd, but fascinating)
The 37th Hour/Compton (predictable mystery)
Desert Places/Crouch (creepy as always)
Warm Bodies/Marion (fun take on zombies and eager to see the movie now)
The 13th Hour/Doetsch (really great way to approach a thriller--in opposite order)
Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie/Bradley (adorable main character)
Eyes Wide Open/Dekker (although I'm atheist and he's a Christian writer, I've always enjoyed his novels. Not anymore. The last two I read were awful, and this one was just . . . . confusing, boring, and pointless.)
Rook/O'Malley (darn fine read--like a Secret Service for supernatural characters)
The Borrower/Makkai (implausible to the point of losing interest eventually)
Brain on Fire/Cahalan (fascinating autobiography of going crazy and getting better)
Ferocity/Knight (Jaws with a musky fish . . cliche but just so much fun)
The Wild Thing/Eggers (novel version of Sendak's classic)
The Con Job/Frobeck (novel version of the Leverage TV show; predictable, but love the characters, so I didn't mind too much)

What have you read lately that you think I should add to my list?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Insomnia . . Yuck!

This afternoon, I was falling asleep at my desk, barely able to keep eyes open. Joseph was struggling as well, so we curled up on the couch together and took a very delicious nap together. Almost 90 minutes snuggled up under a blanket. Lovely.

The problem, however, is that when I crawled into bed tonight, I was ridiculously wide awake. After lying there for more than an hour, I got up and am back downstairs, trying to decide what to do until I get sleepy. If I work, my brain speeds up too much and I end up just more awake than I was! I think I will end up reading on the couch and waiting for those eyelids to get heavy.

Why can't I be THIS wide awake in the middle of the afternoon? I need someone to reset my circadian clock or something. Last night I fell asleep at 11, trying to read. Tonight it is almost 2 a.m. and wide awake. Last night, Joseph woke up at 4 a.m. and came back to bed at 5. Each time he gets up, I wake up. I know some couples get separate beds as they get older, and I cannot imagine that. One of my very favorite moments of the day is crawling into bed with him at night in the darkness. We snuggle and talk and connect and drift off to sleep. Sure, our sleeping issues might mean we impact the other's sleep, but that sacrifice is well worth the time spent together in the darkness. Sleeping alone? Couldn't imagine it. YUCK. Give me skin--I'll sacrifice some sleep for it.

Back to counting sheep.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Side note . . . . .

When you click on my blog to read it, does the screen shake up and down? It does for me and I don't know why. The page where I write the post is fine, as are all other sites on the net, but the actual blog shakes on my computer, as well as my kids' laptops. Does it when you read it? Does anyone know how to fix it?



Not a lot to report on, hence the lack of posts. I spend so much of my day writing that sometimes, even though I know I should post and I want to post, the idea of typing more words on this big white screen is more than I muster up the energy to do. Yes, that is today's excuse for not posting daily like many do (and you know who you are, Amimental.)

The gout is not gone, but it is better. I find that if I get really tired and stressed, it tends to flare back up. I'm trying to get some really good sleep in each night so that doesn't happen. Yesterday I was sleeping wonderfully when I got a charlie horse in the GOOD leg. Watching me limp on both legs was amusing, I'm sure, although it did not FEEL amusing.

Work is keeping me hustling as usual. I am currently being considered for hire by three companies, and since my work load is already pretty intense, it could get interesting. Nice to be in demand, especially when I know people who are scrambling for work. If I could shove off some my overflow to them, I would. Topics fly left and right and today, yes, just TODAY, I will be writing about GPS systems, renaissance festivals, a new colony of emperor penguins, South American folktales, pharmaceutical careers, and astronomy. Fighting any chance of Alzheimer's left and right, baby.

Last night Nicole and I got to see my all time favorite author in person. Jodi Picoult was in town for a reading and I was thrilled to finally see her face to face. She is an incredible writer and does a fabulous presentation. Confident and interesting and funny. I had her sign my book and had her picture taken and tried and tried to come up with something to say that wasn't like what the other 200 people in line were saying. What I finally came up with was, "Thank you for writing books that make readers better people. You make us walk in other people's shoes to understand them and that makes us less judgmental." I think she liked that. Of course, I have been on the other side of the book signing table (although never with 200 people in line waiting. I think I might have hit 25 a couple of times.) and I know how you are often so tired that you sometimes completely miss what people say, and just keep smiling and signing.

Not much else new to report. Kids are busy. Nicole is flirting online, Caspian is searching for volunteer positions, and Coryn has applied to three international jobs that would take him far, far away for the summer. They keep me busy and oh, how they make me laugh. Nuthin' but joy, those kids. They make the stress fade away, and replenish me with glasses of ice water, hot heat backs, occasional back rubs, and frequent hugs. I'm a lucky one.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Time Keeps on Slippin', Slippin', Slippin' into the Future

(Apologies to the Steve Miller Band for the use of their lyric.)
Have you ever looked around your house and realized how fast time is passing and how quickly your children are growing, developing, and changing? That has been happening to me lately. My kids are growing up and moving in such interesting directions.

Nicole's traveling days seem to have come to a halt for now and she is in the midst of flirting online with some young men she met through a dating site. She shows me profiles and messages (which range from eloquent and articulate to pitiful and vulgar) and we groan at the one liners that took no effort whatsoever to compose and devour the long, detailed messages that show personality and intelligence.

Coryn applied this week to two jobs . . not just typical jobs, of course. One is for a travel assistant to a couple with two children who go all throughout the world. The other is to help in an alternative school in Germany. No flippin' burgers for this kid, no . . .. off to see the world. Amazing how I help him search for these opportunities, help him fill out papers, and then all I can think is how much I will miss him if he gets either one.

Caspian. . . my sweet boy who struggles to find his place and direction . . . is currently exploring different yoga workouts and has, once again, quit playing World of Warcraft, recognizing it is not always the best choice for him. What I'd really like to do is find him a great girlfriend. He is such an amazing young man and he would do as much good for the right girl as she would do for him.

So, there they are, changin' like crazy. Me? I just sit here and keep writing and wishing my gout would disappear (it's better, just takin' its darn time!) and marveling at the creatures Joseph and I created and how they make the world a much better place.

Time keeps on slippin . . . .

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pardon this brief vent . . . .

In the month of February, I wrote almost $10,000 worth of material, from items to passages, to books, to lessons to whatever.

In the month of February, I was paid 40% of that figure.

It is hard to stay motivated sometimes. Yes, I know . . . it WILL get here. Eventually. Could you please put that in writing to the bank and the utility companies and the IRS? Think they will go for it?

I think not.

Sorry. Lettin' off some steam.
Now pardon me while I take my nose back to the grindstone.