Two New Writerly Books

First of all, I don't think writerly is a word...but I'm using it anyhow. Enough said.

Okay, so I've already mentioned I'm having this odd little fixation on getting the next scene right in my book. I know I should just wing it and worry about fixing it later, but I can't. I seem unable to proceed past the yellow crime scene tape, which reminds me, would the house be taped off even if the police weren't actively hounddogging the case? Don't know.
Thus...

I've just sent an order through Amazon for..(drumroll, please):




I was going to expedite shipping but decided it wasn't worth $13. So, I went with the super-saving shipping option that takes FOREVER but is FREE. I'll probably get the books next week. This is actually a good thing. As much as I want to work on my story, I also have lots of homework I need to get done first.

Still, I'm excited by new book purchases. Ergo, I must be world's biggest geek.

Tiger's Game

Although storms blew through mid-Michigan, we were blessed with dry skies in Detroit. We arrived an hour early, which was a good thing since parking is always a challenge. Our luck held, though, and we were able to get right next to the stadium. It was worth the $20. This is Detroit, after all. Walking through downtown in the dark is not something I'm comfortable with at any time, but especially not when I have my children in tow.

Here are a few pics from our evening.











Finally!

The new season is here. For the first time in MONTHS I was able to watch television without being bored to tears. Yay for premiere week!

After getting home from school last night I pretty much planted my butt on the couch. While eating my spagetti and garlic bread - made and served up hot courtesy of my wonderful hubby - I watched Chuck. It's not going to be a favorite, but I found it entertaining enough to set up a Season Pass on my TIVO system.

Next we had Heroes. This happens to be one of the shows I quite enjoyed last year, so I was quite happy. I have to admit they've got me curious on a couple of points. What exactly is Maya's power? Why or how does her brother seem to be able to control her control over it? That's weird. Also...the boy at the new school, you know he spells trouble for Claire. Not to worry, though, I think she can handle him. And was that Peter in the shipping crate? He looked so different that I couldn't be sure (hubby insists it was Peter with a shave and a haircut).

After Heroes we watched the new JourneyMan. This is one could be very interesting, but I'm not going to cry if I miss an episode. Maybe the stakes will get higher as the storyline unravels.

Tonight there are more season premieres, but I won't be watching them. Thank goodness for TIVO! Instead of being incredibly lazy two nights in a row, the hubby and I are taking our boys to see the Tigers and the Twins duke it out. We were offered four tickets - FREE - this morning. So, of course, we're going.

I'll just have to wait to catch up on my television shows until tomorrow night..or the weekend. I do have a paper to write and some reading to catch up on. Darn it! This is the only time homework really sucks.

Police Procedure Questions

Okay, so I'm stuck until I can get accurate answers to a few questions. I have created a scene that demands the attention of local law enforcement. Here's the scenerio:

Important Fact #1: There are no dead bodies, but the entire family is missing.

Important Fact #2: There are bullet holes everywhere and signs of forced entry.

Important Fact #3: There is blood at the scene.

Important Fact #4: There is a car in the driveway with evidence of backing into a tree and a broken out driver's side window.

Important Fact #5: Said car does not belong to any of the family members.

Okay, given these facts, how would the police react/respond/investigate? Would this be considered a homicide scene or a treated more as a missing persons until a body shows up? Would the house be roped off? Would a detective be assigned to monitor the house?

Keep in mind this all takes place in a small town.

Blah

I just don't know how to title this post. I really don't have anything to say because I'm mainly just trying to waste some time here. It's a little after 10PM and I'm still at work proctoring an exam. On a Friday night. Friday, people! Friday!

I have done all the work I can do without being at my desk. I've attempted my homework twice. I've worked on the WIP (got stuck thanks to my inadequate knowledge of how a homicide division works). I have browsed websites. I have checked my e-mail.

I have also been watching the clock like my dog watches my dinner plate. I might even be whining a little bit, too, just like she does when things aren't moving quite fast enough to appease her never-ending hunger.

Gah! I just want to go home and get on my jammies.

70 Days of Sweat Challenge

I wish I could say I did it. I wish I could say that I met my goal and completed the rough draft of my novel.

I can't.

Although I started out strong and definitely made progress, I fizzled. School started for both me and the kidlets. I started exercising on a regular basis (I know! The shock!). Of course this meant that something had to give. Unfortunately, it happened to be my writing. I lost lunch hours to homework. I lost evenings to exercise, helping the kids with their homework, or inept housecleaning (seriously..my house is a wreck).

Only recently have I been regaining momentum. After I finished reading the last few pages of my reading assignment on my lunch hour, I pulled out the WIP and actually managed to get a couple hundred words.

At the end of the 70 Days of Sweat my WIP total word count is 61,086. This means I gained a total of 23,424 words. It's better than nothing, but I really wanted to get my 60K or more. I wanted to finish my rough draft.

I am disappointed in myself.

Weekend Happenings

I wrote a little bit Friday. Not much, mind you, but enough to keep the story alive in my mind. Unfortunately, I discovered I had goofed a bit and had to delete a couple hundred words. Luckily, I made those back up and ended up almost with same number of words I had when I first started. Weird.

That night my oldest went to spend the night at a friend's house, leaving me and the little guy at home alone. Little guy did not like this. He wanted a friend to come over. He was lonely. It wasn't fair! Of course, being the sucker I am, I tried to get him an overnight companion. My sister brought my nephew over and the boys ended up playing while we chatted. My nephew would have stayed the night, too, if my little guy wouldn't have fallen asleep on him...

Saturday morning started out with a mile run around the high school track. The little guy did a half-mile without stopping! I was totally impressed.

After the run we went to the grocery store to pick up some snacks and some movies - I was expecting one of my girlfriends to come over and scrapbook. Of course, now that I think about it, I didn't get any of the snacks out! God, I'm lame.

When she left I took over the entire table, which I had moved into the living room so I could watch TV while scrapping. The house looked a wreck but I got pages done! Five completed and two about half-way there. I just need to add some embellishments, type up the journaling, and make a title for the two-page spread I'm working on.

I also did homework this weekend. Lots of reading mostly.

The never-ending-housework-that-will-not-die even got done. I did laundry. I did dishes. Nothing earth-shattering, just necessary.

Sunday I took the boys to Chuck-E-Cheese. Should have been fun, right? Well, apparently when you're nine, you can find something to complain about no matter what you're doing. Mom didn't buy enough tokens. The stupid games don't give out enough tickets. The toys aren't good enough (granted, they really aren't worth anything and are more a waste of space than anything else). Then add to the misery your younger brother making noises...like humming. Or singing. Or talking. Or breathing.

This loveliness culminated in my 9-year-old calling me a "liar" on the way home. It went something like this:

Son: "Mom, you know what? You're a liar." Said with enough cockiness to earn said child a mouthful of soap. Or something likewise repellent.

Mom (in tone of total confusion as this comment came out of nowhere): "What?"

Son: "Yeah. You told me I could rent a Playstation game and you didn't let me."

Mom remembers the conversation from Friday and what followed. "You went to S's house, so you weren't with us when we rented the movies. I don't want to hear it. If you had been with us, I would have let you rent one. So I did not lie."

Mom, a half hour later, "Don't ever call me a liar again."

Gah! I couldn't wait to get them home and send them to opposite ends of the house.

Profile Picture

I've been trying to change my profile picture...and Blogger is simply refusing to let me input a new URL. I hit the save button and...it erases the URL and fails to upload a pic. This is very frustrating. Any suggestions?

Curriculum Night, Running, & Homework

Whew! What a busy day.

After work I had to run to the kids' school to meet with their teachers. The info sessions started at 5, but I couldn't get there any sooner than 6 o'clock thanks to my new work schedule.

Oh my.

They had warned me that things would be different in 4th Grade. Harder. Higher expectations. They weren't kidding. I must admit as I sat there listening to his teacher go over how things will work in her classroom (and every other 4th Grade classroom), I felt a twinge of panic. My boy, God love him, is a scatterbrain. Now you're telling me that he needs to be responsible and turn in his homework WITHOUT prompting? Oh dear. Wait! There's more! He's got to get a C, not a C-, a C in four main subjects in order to be eligible to proceed into 5th Grade. When I was in school a D- was enough to get you by....

Don't misunderstand. It's not that I want him to get anything less than a C. Of course I want him to get A and B marks on his report cards. But I also know this child has struggled from day one and will likely continue to do so. Not that he's not smart enough, because he is, but that he has trouble with focusing and organizational skills, both of which he must have this year to do well.

Alrighty then. The hubby and I are going to have to work with him and remind him every morning to turn in his work. We can do that.

He can do this.

I need to stop panicking.

On a slightly more upbeat note, the 1st Grade teacher tested our youngest on his reading level and said he scored right where he should. What a relief. She also said he's shy; I warned her that that wouldn't last.

After meeting with the teachers I met my sister and her three kids at the high school track. I ran the entire mile! I didn't walk once, well except as a cool down afterwards. Yay, me!

Now I'm sitting here waiting for my homework to print. I'm hoping I can make it through tomorrow's key reading assignment before bedtime. Wish me luck!

Bad Boys of Rock

Friday night was so much fun. It's been too long since I've been to a concert. I think the last one was two years ago in Wisconsin for Country Thunder USA. I've got some great memories of that trip and am so glad we went. My sister and I don't often get our dad to leave his house let alone the state. Of course, he might have regretted that when his fifth wheel blew a tire on an expressway in Chicago...

But I digress.

This Friday a group of eight girls was supposed to go see Hinder, Buckcherry, and Papa Roach. (Hey, I like a variety of music!) Due to work obligations there ended up being only seven us, though, which was a complete bummer! It didn't feel right being there without my concert-going sidekick!

Most of us met at a halfway point and car-pooled down to the concert grounds; this was an open-air venue with a covered pavilion. Only one of our group decided to meet us inside the gates, which made sense since she lives a jump, hop and a skip away from the place. Of course, we should have better coordinated our meeting place because 6 of us were waiting on one set of stairs while our other girl stood alone on a nearby, but completely obscured, set of stairs. Oops.

Alls well that ends well, though. We finally found each other and headed off to watch the concert. Buckcherry was in full swing when we finally found a spot to stand - we got kicked off the walkway railing by a rather unpleasant bouncer. I'm sure some people need to be talked to like their five-year-olds...but who cares! I was there to have fun and this sour puss wasn't about to rain on my parade!

Speaking of rain...it had been raining on and off all day. We were so certain of getting wet that we stopped to buy rain ponchos. That we never used. Not once. Didn't even get them out of their cases. The skies cleared and it got muggy...making the jackets around our midwestern waists totally unnecessary.

Since I had a DD, I must admit I took full advantage of the situation. I danced and sang and screamed. It felt great. Especially when I wasn't the only one in the group determined to have fun. We all danced and sang and screamed.

And laughed. There was this old guy there...dancing by himself...rolling up his cut off shorts to his hip joint...yeah, that was hilarious.

To top the night off, we stopped at Taco Bell for a midnight snack. Yum!

Of course, being just this side of young and resilent, it took nearly the entire weekend to get over feeling exhausted. Thank God I didn't have a hang-over to go with the weariness! That would have sucked.
*Image copied from Hinder's website.

Proud Moment

I am so proud of this little boy. He has been working with Miss Danielle for 9 (or is it 10?) months. He has worked so hard and its paid off, which is why Miss Danielle has decided its time to stop the tutoring.

Yes. He's done. The tutoring ended last night.

Strangely, I think I'm going to miss it in some small way. It was such a comfort knowing he was working with someone who genuinely cared about him and his schooling.

Of course, I'll enjoy having the tutoring fees back in my pocket. I might even have to celebrate in some small way when I get paid next week.

But money and lost time aside, I think the most important thing is that he continues to do well. School is back in session now and he's going to have keep working hard in order to keep up with his classmates. The great thing is...I know he can do it.

Interesting Name Facts

Joely put this info into a Thursday Thirteen post, but I'm too lazy to do that. So here are the results on my maiden name (first, middle, and last) as told by this site. Interesting. I wonder if the results will be the same tomorrow. I know they were completely different and totally inaccurate with my married name (first, middle, and last).

What your first name means:
Variant of Christiana. Follower of Christ.

Your number is: 3

The characteristics of #3 are: Expression, verbalization, socialization, the arts, the joy of living.

The expression or destiny for #3: An Expression of 3 produces a quest for destiny with words along a variety of lines that may include writing, speaking, singing, acting or teaching; our entertainers, writers, litigators, teachers, salesmen, and composers. You also have the destiny to sell yourself or sell just about any product that comes along. You are imaginative in your presentation, and you may have creative talents in the arts, although these are more likely to be latent. You are an optimistic person that seems ever enthusiastic about life and living. You are friendly, loving and social, and people like you because you are charming and such a good conversationalist. Your ability to communicate may often inspire others. It is your role in life to inspire and motivate; to raise the spirits of those around you.

The negative side of number 3 Expression is superficiality. You may tend to scatter your forces and simply be too easygoing. It is advisable for the negative 3 to avoid dwelling on trivial matters, especially gossip.

Your Soul Urge number is: 4

A Soul Urge number of 4 means: With the Soul Urge or Motivation number of 4 you are likely to strive for a stable life. You tend to follow a rather orderly pattern and systematic approach in your endeavors. You have an inner desire to serve others in a methodical and diligent manner. You want to be in solid, conventional, and well-regulated activities, and you are somewhat disturbed by innovation and erratic or sudden changes. Excellent at organizing, systematizing, and managing, you have a way of establishing order and maintaining it. You are responsible, reliable and in the final analysis, practical. Highly analytical, you can see your way through all sorts of situations and generally have a clear understanding of the issues. You are a very honest, sincere, and conscientious individual.

The negative side of the 4 is rigid, stubborn and somewhat narrow-minded. There is a tendency to hide feelings, or to really not be aware of real feelings. Avoid being too rigid and stubborn in your thinking, and try to always see the big picture rather than becoming to involved with the detail. Don't be afraid to take a chance once in awhile.

Your Inner Dream number is: 8

An Inner Dream number of 8 means: You dream of success in the business or political world, of power and control of large material endeavors. You crave authority and recognition of executive skills. Your secret self may have very strong desire to become an entrepreneur.

Knocking on Wood

The DSL was working when I got home. No re-cycling. No muttering or cursing. Just steady green lights.

I wonder if unplugging the DirectTV Tivo phone cord really made the difference. I guess only time will tell.

Keep your fingers crossed! I am!

Warning: Whining and Complaining Ahead

First of all...my feet hurt. I have blisters on the top of my feet from those stupid sandals.

Second of all...the DSL issues have NOT been resolved. I'm amazed it's allowing me to post this. Although, I've noticed that it seems to work semi-okay as long as I don't leave the computer for more than 60 seconds at a time. How weird is that?

The other things in my life that are pissing me off aren't fodder for my blog, but know there are a few things that are getting under my skin right now. Maybe I should take up meditation to help expel the stress.

I think it would help if I had time to write. I think about writing more than I actually perform the act of putting words to page. No, this doesn't count. And I know you're thinking that I should be writing instead of blogging, but writing takes time and thought and consideration. Blogging doesn't.

It's past my bedtime. I'm going to bed. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

I'm busy!

I was doing so well for so long. Then I ran into a little snag. The snag turned into avoidance. It's not that the story is dead or even stalled. There's not a single good reason for why I've been so lax. Laziness certainly isn't an acceptable explanation.

The truth is I need to start scheduling writing back into my life. I allowed myself a few days off and, before I knew it, a week had gone by.

Of course, I need to fit a lot of other things into my schedule, too. Here's the rough skeleton of my work week:

6:30-7:30 - Get out of bed and get ready for work
7:45 - Get children to bus stop
8:30-5:00 - Work (half-hour lunch somewhere in between)
5:30-5:45 - Pick up children from daycare
6:00-8:30 - Do the mom and wife thing until kids are in bed

That doesn't sound too bad. I should have plenty of time after I get home to fit in an hour or two of writing, right? Not so much.

Mondays and Wednesdays I have class from 5:30-6:45. On those nights I'm going to be pushing it to be home by 7:30. I know the hubby will take care of the boys. They'll be fed and their homework will be done. Knowing the hubby, he'll probably even do a lot of the household chores, too.

Yes, I am spoiled. I know this.

But what about my homework? I'm taking two classes this semester (more on those later). There are reading assignments, essays, and a journal I need to worry about.

I am also running now. Last month my sister ran the Crim Festival of Races and I promised her I would run it with her next year. Of course, I'm not aiming to run 10 miles. I'll be content to finish 3 miles. This means I need to make sure I'm running at least 5 times a week.

I am also taking kickboxing classes. My goal is attend 3 classes a week.

Now I need to carve out at least an hour a night for writing. I really want to finish this story. It's been too long since I've completed a major writing project. I not only want to do this for my sister-in-law, but for myself.

I think this means I'm going to have to set up a daily calendar to plot out my time, hour by hour. Ewww.

Internet Issues

I'm taking a couple minutes out of my lunch to let you know that the hubby and I are still dealing with Internet issues. Our DSL has been flaking out for about a week now. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.