Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen books you can find on my desk that relate to writing in one way or another:

8. Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Source Book

12. On Writing by King

13. Holly Lisle's Create a Plot Clinic


Yesterday I found out that my dad's ex-girlfriend (ex by about a week) had lost her grand-daughter. The little girl was 12-years-old. She was shot by her younger sister and died instantly at a family friend's home.

My heart bleeds for this family. It's one of those senseless tragedies that make no sense. It's also every parent's worst nightmare come true.

If you're inclined, please keep this family in your prayers. They are going to need God's strength to get through this. Pray especially hard for the younger sister, who I believe is 10- or 11-years-old; she is not doing well.

Diagnosis Uncertain

Well, we went to the family doctor and had two more x-rays done. Apparently the ones taken at the Clinic weren't very helpful and our Doc needed a better view of the little guy's elbow. Even though the nurse was very gentle the manipulation hurt and he ended up crying again.

The doctor waited until the tears were done to come back into the room, something I'm certain he did on purpose. He doesn't like the kids associating him with any pain they may experience while in his office. He's told me before he doesn't want them afraid of him. His methods seem to work because my boys aren't afraid of him at all.

After reveiwing the new films, the doctor still wasn't able to identify the problem. He did have a couple of theories, though. It could be either "pulled elbow" or a bad sprain, both of which use the same treatment. Since he didn't see any breaks, dislocations, or buckling, he put a soft cast on the boy and kept him in the sling.

P.S. Did you notice the missing teeth? The tooth fairy had to make a visit during all this drama last night.

Third Strike..You're Out!!

My poor little guy. He had a rough day yesterday, which is why I failed to post my Thursday 13. Well, that and the fact that my Internet provider was experiencing some technical difficulties following a wicked thunderstorm.

But let's get back to the boy, shall we?

When the hubby and I got to the daycare to pick him up we found out one of his daycare playmates had attempted to strangle him. It had taken his big brother's interference to set him free. Big brother lost his m&m over the incident because there is no fighting at daycare. However, mom and dad both gave him "atta boys" because that's what brothers are supposed to do: stand up for and protect each other.

So that was strike one for the little fella.

Strike two occurred at home while playing basketball with his brother. This hurt didn't last very long, but it got them both in trouble.

Ten minutes later they were at it again. This time they were wrestling in the living room (a huge no-no) while I'm finishing up a phone call from the office. I no more than hung up the phone and turned off my computer, which still wasn't able to access the Internet, when I heard crying and screaming. I must admit I didn't rush in there to comfort the injured party. I stormed in there yelling at them about knocking it off and don't they know they're not supposed to be wrestling in the house. After checking out the little guy's arm and finding no hint of an injury, I sent them both to bed, telling the little one to dry it up.

He didn't. In fact, the crying lasted for almost an hour. He cried through his bath. He cried while trying to get dressed..we finally left his shirt half-on half-off. He cried while I called the doctor. He cried through Tylenol and ice. He cried and he cried and he cried. Finally, I decided the ice and the Tylenol weren't doing the job and I was going to take him to the After-Hours Clinic.

I'm happy to say the tears finally subsided during the 20 minute drive to the clinic. He even did pretty well during the doctor's manipulation of his injured arm. He also did well during the x-rays and hardly winced while they put the sling on his arm. Overall I'd say we had minimal whining.

The x-rays were inconclusive, though, which is why I'm at home this morning waiting for my doctor's office to open. Maybe he'll be able to tell if the little guy's elbow has been dislocated. The x-rays the Clinic physician sent home with me show that things aren't lined up quite right, but the doctor admitted to me that he wasn't a specialist and children's x-rays are very difficult to read. He actually told me he doubted my family doctor would be able to definitively diagnose the issue based on the two films. We'll see.

I'd like to say after we got home from the Clinic that the rest of my night was quiet and peaceful and blissfully restorative. Instead, I was awakened from a very solid sleep around 3:30 this morning by a tearful six-year-old. His arm hurt. After dosing him with Tylenol yet again and grabbing a fresh ice bag, I tried putting him back to bed. His sobs made that impossible. We ended up in the living room, sleeping upright in a recliner. When my discomfort became too much to bear, I finally moved him to the couch where he ended up spending the rest of the night.

This morning I thought we'd at least get an extra hour of sleep, but his arm woke him up bright and early. So much for sleeping in. I guess the only up-side to being up with so few hours of sleep is that I'm already clean and I have time for breakfast.

I'll update you later on the family doc's diagnosis.

One Thousand Words Tonight

That's about all I wanted to report. I got my words tonight. More than a thousand actually, but I'm too lazy to do the math again.

WIP Total Word Count: 60,008 words

Tonight's progress gave me a good start on Chapter 13. My heroine has just met the hero's ex. I thought the fireworks would be instantaneous, but so far they're more concerned with other things. I'm thinking the tension will appear a little later in the chapter when the ex has had time to process everything.

Lazy Weekend

I must admit I was spectacularly lazy this weekend. I watched movies, read one and a half books, and that was about it. I might have managed to throw in two loads of laundry and drag myself to the sink to do dishes once.

I don't know what got into me. I lacked motivation of ANY kind. I didn't want to write. I didn't want to scrapbook. I most assuredly did not want to clean the house. No, a near-vegetative state seemed to be about all I could summon.

Wait! I did get off my lazy butt! I went to an hour-long kickboxing aerobics class on Saturday and it totally destroyed me. My muscles are still aching. I could hardly walk yesterday, which is why the husband asked me if I had a corn cob stuck up my...

You get the idea.

I don't know why I thought I could survive an hour's worth of cardiovascular and light weights. I haven't seriously exercised in ages. It's a miracle I didn't have a heart attack. I know I certainly felt as I were in mortal danger a few times there when my face felt hot with exertion, which is why I took extra water breaks.

Strangely enough I'm intending to go back and do the same thing all over again tomorrow.

I am insane.

Thursday 13

Thirteen Things that can be found on my desk today:

1. A coffee cup, even though I don't drink coffee.

2. Trail Mix (Fruit and Nut variety) because I skipped breakfast.

3. Lotion. Right now I have two..cucumber melon and mango mandarin.

4. Cumumber melon hand sanitizer. (I need to replace this soon as its almost empty).

5. Business cards with the wrong street address on them.

6. Burt's Bees strawberry lip gloss.

7. Tropicana grape juice..see #2 for explanation.

8. Office keys, easily identifiable when shoved into my purse or backpack by the long pink lanyard.

9. Paper towel.

10. One of the original First Generation IPods. It's big and clunky but it still works!

11. My flashdrive, also easily identifiable by a long teal-colored lanyard.

12. Kleenez because its one of life's necessities.

13. WORK!!!

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Got My Words!

I managed to write over 1000 words tonight. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't terrible either. I'm actually looking forward to writing this next little bit.

Here's the numbers:
Last Night: 54,847
Tonight: 56,118

That's a total of 1, 271 new words. Not bad for a couple hours worth of "butt in the chair", especially when you consider I took time out to tuck the kidlets into bed.

Now I'm off to do another load of laundry. Once I get that done, I'm going to read for a bit before heading off to bed. Sounds exciting, doesn't it?

Itsy, Bitsy Progress

I'm in the process of setting up a rescue, but things are pretty slow going. I think I'm still trying to recover from the weekend. My brain feels a bit foggy. Slow. Tired. I only wrote a few paragraphs tonight before wimping out.

So, new word count is now up to 54,847.

Boat Trip 2007

This weekend we had our second annual boat trip. This was an adult only trip, no kids and no pets. We shipped our boys and the four-legged daughter (aka "the dog") off to the grandparents for a few nights. While they fished and swam, saw a movie, and made messes, we enjoyed some adult conversation and many relaxing hours on the water.

Here are a few pictures from our long weekend.

The hubby and my B-I-L, Troy

Kenny after he attempted to use the wake board

Us Girls (Terri, Ronnie, and myself)

Kenny water skiing

As you can see we had a lot of fun. The first day we spent almost 11 hours on the in-land waterway. We buzzed across two lakes and meandered through two rivers. We played on a sandbar and ate lunch in the back of the boat. We also applied layer upon layer of sunscreen. Of course, Terri and I got burned anyhow, but that's not unusual.

The next day our boat trip only took four hours. We went through a lock - 16 foot drop - and out into Lake Huron. Unfortunately, the boat decided to take a crapper. We started taking on water and the bilge pump quit working. So there we were on the river bailing water. Well, the guys were bailing. Us girls decided to lay out on the bow with the radio playing in our ear and let the men tend to keeping the boat afloat.

Me helping to keep the boat steady in the lock

Hey, I wasn't sticking my hands down by the engine while it was running. Oh, heck no! Better to just get out of their way.

We didn't let the boat problems ruin the rest of our trip though. When we got back to the campground we stayed in our suits and went to the beach. The waves were amazing. The swells were perfect for floaties, so we ran back to the camper and blew up the kids' rings. Still can't believe we managed to squeeze those over our shoulders! We might have looked hilarious, but we had so much fun walking out and riding the waves back into shore.

The fun didn't stop at the beach. We ended up having company show up right around dinner time. Phil and Beth, who introduced us to the In-land waterway last year, came up for the night. They went to the beach with us after dinner and then came back for some bonfire entertainment. I guess we were laughing a little too loudly because a park ranger came around and told us it was quiet time. Oops.

That pretty much concludes the weekend. We're home now. The boys and the mutt are back from Grandma and Grandpa's. The camper is unpacked and the laundry is in the basement waiting for me to get off my lazy behind. I really don't feel like doing laundry, though, so I think it'll be okay waiting one more night.

More Words

I'm up to 54,331 words.

My hero has just had sex with a succubus, something neither of us expected. He's been marked for death, but, right now, he's too drugged to realize it. Oh, how the guilt is going to eat at him! Don't worry though, I think I know how to save him.

At least, I'm hoping my heroine knows how to save him.

Of course, his sexual relations with another woman at this point in the story is going to cause havoc with their relationship. She's going to be PISSED.

Haircut, Tutoring, and Some New Words

Last week I got my hair cut. I wasn't thrilled when I left the salon, but I thought things might turn out okay once I'd washed and styled it myself. For a week I tried to convince my hair to do SOMETHING. I try not to be too uptight about my hair, but some bad haircuts are just beyond my coping skills. This happened to be one of those cuts.

So tonight while the little man met with the tutor, I went back to the salon. The girl who ended up fixing my hair (she cut off 2 inches!) wouldn't even take a tip. She felt that bad. Of course I would have insisted on tipping if I had had any cash on me. (Who in the hell goes to get their hair cut without cash to tip their stylist? Apparently, I do because I am a dumb ass.)

The short story here is that I got my hair cut off. It's short, but not too short. It's much better. Really. Maybe when I'm feeling a little more energetic I'll post a picture of the new do.

Of course, it didn't take the entire hour and a half to get my hair cut. I had plenty of time to hang out at the library while the boy gave his tutor a hard time. I sat at a nearby table and had a clear view of his antics. Let's just say tonight was one of those nights when a staple gun and some duct tape would have come in handy. While his ADHD usually isn't all that noticeable, it was as evident as a neon sign in the dark tonight.

Though I wonder if it was the ADHD. The little one was exceptionally annoying tonight, too. They were both full of piss and vinegar. Loud and excitable.

I put them to bed early. It was my only defense!

But let's go back to the library for second. While my eldest tortured his tutor and the youngest played on a nearby computer, I wrote. Granted, I didn't make a lot of progress. But I wrote!'s the latest count: 50,752 words total.

I am officially beyond the halfway point. Go, me!

Happy Birthday, Little Brother

Today is my brother's...31st birthday. Can that be right? Damn, I think it is!

This means I'm getting old, people.

I'm going to go pout in the corner for awhile.

A Night with the Hubby

Last night the hubby and I got a sitter for the kidlets and went out on a date. At least, that's what I'm calling it. I figure anytime we get to go out to eat and, eventually, spend some time alone together, it's a date. Who cares if the first part of the evening was spent at a restaurant with friends? After we left there, we were alone. Just the two of us. And that's a date!

There was a reason for our date night, though. My god-father was celebrating his birthday and had asked us to join him at Hooters. I'm pretty sure the choice of venue had more to do with the worn by the waitresses than the chicken wings, but who really cares? As long as the drinks and food were good, so was I!

It was really nice spending some time with the birthday boy and his family. I haven't seen his children in ages. They are so grown up! I guess that happens, especially after you attend their high school open houses. His daughter is married, but has no desire to have children in the near future. His son is still living at home and works right down the road from our house. The only child I didn't get to see was his 12-year-old daughter - her *mom didn't think the location was appropriate for an impressionable pre-teen.

Oh, and while I was there I ran into my best friend who was celebrating the upcoming marriage of her brother and future sister-in-law. Apparently the bride-to-be (a sweet, sweet girl) loves Hooters. I wouldn't have known this if Terri hadn't walked out of the bathroom as I was walking in. Imagine our surprise. After we each asked "What are you doing here?", I had to go say hi to the bachelorette.

After the birthday party died down, Ken and I decided to go shopping together. JC Penny was having some killer sales. 70% off clearance sales. I got five shirts, one pair of shorts, and the hubby got three shirts and a pair of shorts for under $90. It was like hitting the lotto!

Then we went to Barnes and Noble because they have Starbucks. The hubby isn't a reader but a frozen coffee frappicino got him through the doors. I browsed for a bit but didn't buy anything. (I know! I about went into shock myself!)

It was so nice just spending some time alone together. We don't do it often enough.

*The three kids actually were from his first marriage. However, their mom died of cancer when the youngest was about four- or five-years-old.

Speaking of Contests

If you don't read PBW's blog, I thought I'd post a link to her latest entry. It appears there are several contests running right now.

I think I'm going to enter the Writer's Digest. Might take some work, but I'm pretty sure I can write a complete story in less than 1500 words. Sure I can. It's slightly longer than flash fiction after all and I've been forced to write flash fiction in at least one creative writing class.

Now I just need to come up with some solid ideas. I think I'll try some visual inspiration first. If that doesn't work, I'll just have to trust the ole brain to come up with something.

I Think I'm Embarrassed

A couple years ago my husband and I worked very hard to put in a number of flowerbeds around our house. We hauled rock. We hauled dirt. Eventually the little gardens came together and I could begin planting. I started with hostas. Added some irises and mums. Rose bushes. Lilies. Glads.

You would never know it. The flower beds are barren this year. I'd like to blame it on the summer drought, but the truth is I haven't paid very much attention to my gardens. The only things that seems to have survived are the two rose bushes..and they're not doing well.

Close up the roses look okay. But let's take a more distant look, shall we?

Don't they look horrid? The only thing growing (other than the two rose bushes) are weeds. The pretty purple flowers that covered the beds in early spring have dried up and turned to straw. You can faintly see them as the brown crispies among the vividly green weeds.

I think I'm going to avoid this next year by investing in a soaker hose and a whole bunch of perennial bulbs. That way the only thing I'll have to remember to do is turn on the hose for an hour or so. Then I'll just have to weed them once in a while.

I definitely can't have another year of pathetic flower beds. It's horribly embarrassing. (Notice, though, how I don't mind sharing my embarrassement with you, dear reader.)