June 30, 2006

I'm Losing My Mind

It's official. We all knew it was coming, and now it's here. I've lost my freakin' mind.

My memory has always been questionable. I can remember the most bizarre details and facts, but not what I had for dinner yesterday. I'd like to say this has always been true but I honestly can't remember. Maybe once upon a time I remembered not only the bizzare and unwanted things but those things I deemed truly important.

In the last week I have forgotten three major events. Not things, people. Events! I missed two open houses last weekend. And, no, I didn't blow them off. I truly, honestly, sincerely FORGOT! Okay, so both of them were on the same day and it stands to reason if I was going to forget one of them, I would forget both. Now I might have been able to shrug this unfortunate "oops" off if the lastest instance of senility hadn't happened less than a week later.

My nephew, who is adorable beyond words and I just love to pieces, had a birthday party last night. I knew about the party in advance. I have no excuse for completely forgetting about his party. I got a phone call at 9:30 from my sister (not his mom). I am such an idiot! And a terrible aunt.

They even moved the vehicles around so my oldest boy and their oldest boy (another totally adorable nephew of mine) could play basketball or ride their bikes. So I didn't just disappoint the little 5-year-old birthday boy. Oh, no. I disappointed six nephews and one little niece.

Ug!

June 29, 2006

Still revising

Okay, so the line edits were a breeze. It stands to reason, then, the actual revision would take a bit more time and attention, right? Right! The good news is I think I've managed to redo the opening chapter without forgetting to re-introduce any of the necessary threads I had felt compelled to cut.

As I progress through the novel I'm discovering I really loved the word "was" during the rough draft stage. It seems as if every other sentence needs to be slightly restructured in order to do away with the unnecessary "was"es. Fun, fun! Not that I'm a purist. I will admit I've left in a few here and there.

Something else slowing down my progress is my desire to create a nice and tidy NewNovelist file for the final revision and polish. This organization, while painful now, will become a lifeline to my sanity when I begin writing the sequel. So many little details have escaped my memory. Taking the time to not just read them but to extract them and organize them is going to help make this world come alive once again within the depths of my imagination.

June 22, 2006

Edits done.

It took me two days to get through the grammar and clarification corrections on Return of the Fallen. I expected to take a bit longer, but I'll manage I'm sure.

So now I'm onto the revisions. I'm cutting scenes, adding words, and praying what I'm writing makes sense. If I leave out something important the whole story will fall apart. Threads will unravel. This makes me more than a little nervous, but I'm pushing myself to keep going.

June 20, 2006

Editing

Minor Annoucement: The book formerly known as Dragonborn will henceforth be referred to by its newest title, Return of the Fallen.

There. Now that that's out of the way I can get onto the writing news. I am editing RotF. My beta reader, Brenda, has given me her electronic and manuscript notations. I have already worked my way through 100 pages, which leaves approximately 450 more to go.

I must admit I'm feeling pretty pleased with my little self right now. I have a plan and plans are good! I intend to fix all the little grammar issues first, clarifying where necessary without adding or deleting too much. I expect this will take the rest of the week--she really didn't find too many errors (thanks to all the wonderful critiques I had from my crit partners at FM & the Mighty Quill).

Once the simple fixes are taken care of I will then address the two major aspects of this revision. The beginning needs to be strengthened. The action needs to be tighter, more fast-paced, and provide more of a hook. Once I accomplish this, I will focus my attention on the ending. Although what I have works, I'd like to see something a bit more positive. Instead of leaving my characters amid the destruction, I think I'm going to follow them to the horizon of their new beginnings.

Hopefully the entire revision process won't take me more than three weeks. A week for grammar/clarifications and a quick re-read of the entire manuscript, a week for the new beginning, and a week for a revised ending. Once I'm satisfied it's as good as it's going to get, I'm going to do some serious name and address collecting.

See. I do have a plan!

June 12, 2006

Updates

The Dog: Came racing down the driveway as I pulled in Friday night. Didn't even need the hubby's magical voice to bring the little darling home. Funniest thing...she was clean! Someone had bathed her. She's so fluffy and soft right now.

Christian: I made a trip out to see my newest little nephew yesterday. He's so darn tiny! I can't believe my oldest son was the exact same birth weight. It seems impossible to reconcile the 8 year old giant with the tiny, frail infant I held in my arms.

Writing: rotflmao. I'm hoping to get back to it sometime this week.

Scrapbooking Gift: Completed and delivered to the lucky grad. Damn, am I ever grateful to have that thing out of my hair.

June 9, 2006

TGIF

Seriously. You have no idea...

I've been doing the single mom act all week because the hubby has been in Chicago attending a conference. I really don't care for the single parent act. I don't know how people who have no choice but to be a single parent do it. I think we should award each and every one an award for heroism. Because seriously, it's a lot of work. It's exhausting. It's time-consuming. It's difficult. And that's just scratching the surface.

The boys had five games between the two of them this week. My Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings were consumed by cleats, baseball bats, gloves, and rushed dinners. Last night was made even more exciting by having to have my oldest son to the field 45 minutes early for pictures.

None of this would have been so bad if I wouldn't have had offered to make a scrapbook for my co-worker's daughter. She just graduated from High School and the Open House is this weekend. Of course, I didn't have all the pictures I needed until Wednesday, so I'm terribly behind. Even after recruiting my sister's help (the single mom with 3 kids), I still have 8 blank pages I need to complete. I wonder if I'll be able to pull the book together before 1:00 tomorrow?

Of course, because I've been running here and there and working on the scrapbook project, my house is a wreck. I have four or five laundry baskets full of clean clothes in need of folding. The dishes need to be done. The bathrooms are disgusting. The floors are a wreck.

To top all of this off, my dog is missing. I let her out yesterday morning to go potty and forgot to put her back in the house before leaving for work. I walked in the house last night and knew something was wrong. She's always at the door to greet us. I must admit my first thought wasn't that she had ran away. She's old and I feared the worst. I called her name, checked each room in the house (expecting to find she had passed away in her sleep), but found only the mess we had left from the night before. Relieved but worried now for an entirely different reason, I went outside and started calling for her. Normally she stays really close to the house but yesterday there was a thunderstorm and she totally freaks out in bad weather. You would think she'd curl up somewhere close to the house but...no. The last time something similiar happened it took three days for her to find her way back to us. If she's outside and we're not home to let her in the house, she runs. And runs. And runs.

Of course, the boys started to get upset. They started going out toward the woods, calling for her at the top of their little lungs. Nothing. She didn't suddenly dart out of the woods, tail wagging and covered in mud (I know this is how she will turn up...she always turns up muddy).

Try getting your kids ready for pictures and games when they're dog is missing. It's not easy and it's not pretty, but eventually I prevailed and we left. I really thought she might have heard us and we'd find her waiting for us on the porch when we got home. No such luck. So I put a blanket on the front porch, hoping scent would draw her home when our voices hadn't.

It's been 24 hours now and she's still not shown her little face. Convincing the kids she's okay and will turn back up is getting progressively more difficult because I'm starting to wonder myself.

On a happier note, the hubby comes home tonight. We're supposed to pick him up from the train station after work. Maybe the dog will coming running when he starts calling for her. After all, she does think he's the best thing since puppy chow.

June 2, 2006

Nephew #10

Well, it's a boy! This means I now have 8 nephews from my side of the family and 10 nephews overall. It's so funny when you consider my parents have 10 grandsons and 1 granddaughter.

Christian Alexander was born last night at 11:16 pm. He weighed 7lbs, 6oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. He has a fair amount of light bown hair and an impressive set of lungs.

My sister's blood pressure was dangerously high (195/120 I think I remember her Mom telling me), which is why they decided they couldn't continue to let nature take its course. Although she was contracting, she wasn't really making any progress and the doctor didn't want to mess around with the blood pressure issue.

By the time I got to the hospital she was already in surgery. I kept my brother-in-law, James, company until the rest of the troops began to arrive. Sarah (my cousin and good friend of my sister's), and my dad and his fiance had a little bit of a wait but not much. Within 20 minutes someone had come out to announce it was a boy. Another 15 minutes or so and the baby was rolled into the birthing room for the new dad to see.



It was quite some time before my sister made it back to the room. They kept her in recovery for a little while. The nurse had time to show James how to bath and diaper his son. Explained how to properly care for the umbilical cord.



We also had lots of time to take pictures of the baby. Camera flashes were going off all over the place.



(Do you notice the little mark on his butt cheek? We think it's a birthmark.)

Eventually we also got to see the new Mommy. She was still recovering from the surgery and looked very tired. I only stayed long enough to tell her how beautiful her son was, snap a picture of her holding him, and kiss her cheek. I remembered how darn tired and out-of-sorts surgery had made me and I thought sleep would do her good. Well, as much sleep as a new mother gets with a crying baby in the room.

June 1, 2006

She's in Labor!

My baby sister is finally having her baby! It's about time, too. She's looked ready to pop for several weeks now.

Of course the baby doesn't seem to be rushing out to meet any of us. It seems content to move at its own maddening pace, which is somewhat faster than a snail. The contractions are slight and not doing much. The only reason they admitted her to the hospital was because of Chrissy's blood pressure. It's been high on and off for a few weeks. Since the baby is due tomorrow, the doctor seems to be willing to move things along regardless of the baby's wishes. If the contractions don't strengthen and begin dilating her cervix, there will be pitocin.

I'll keep you posted. Hopefully I'll have pictures of my newest neice or nephew to post very soon!