February 28, 2008

Progress Report Cards

Well, the oldest brought home his progress report card earlier this week. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Of course, after I took a minute to figure it out, I realized he's only been on the meds for about three weeks, which likely isn't long enough to impact his grades.

So we still have a chance to bring the D up to a C and the Cs (of which there were many) up to Bs.

The marking period ends March 20th. Keep us in your prayers. He needs this to work more than mom and dad do. He's starting to get very pessimistic about his scholastic abilities and it's breaking my heart. Listening to your child say "I'm no good at this" over and over is very painful.

Oh, dear.

As you may have noticed, the word meter on my sidebar has been steadily progressing toward completion. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am that I'm making some real progress on the story. It's such a relief to know the end is in sight.

However, that being said, I'm beginning to wonder if I can really wrap everything up in 125,000 words. For some reason, I'm not feeling the love. Seriously. The relationship between my hero and heroine still feels very fresh and awkward. It's on the verge of developing into something bigger and better, but they've just not had enough time to know each other well enough yet for the final scene to ring true.

Oh, I know how this all ends. Yes, indeedy. It's just getting the two of them there that's going to be difficult.

Perhaps I've focused too much on the problem that brought them together and not enough on them. I've been worried about this for awhile now, but the more I write toward the approaching climatic scene, the more certain I am that I need to give my characters time to fall in love and not just lust.

Like all good love stories, this story will only work if the reader believes the hero and heroine are truly, deeply in love. Soulmates.

I'm going to keep writing in hopes that the upcoming scenes will give me a chance to allow them to naturally drift out of lust and into love. Wish me luck. I feel like I need it!

February 27, 2008

The Pointless Post

I'm not really sure what to write about today. Nothing really strikes my fancy. Maybe it's just too early. Maybe if I give myself a little time to wake up, I'll think of something that's worth sharing.

Right now, I just want to go back to bed.

February 25, 2008

Freedom Train at the Temple Theatre


Today is my oldest son's birthday. At 7:38 PM he will officially be ten years old. Ten!!!

Although he's going to have cake and ice cream after dinner and get to open a present or two, his birthday started early. It just so happened that his fourth grade class had scheduled a field trip for today. Of course, I couldn't let an opportunity to spend the day with my birthday boy pass me by, so I volunteered to chaperone. Although I didn't ride the bus to and from the theatre, I did get to sit with my son and one of his little friends during the hour-long play.

As you'd expect cameras weren't allowed during the actual performance, but I was able to take a few shots prior to the curtain opening. Of course, now that I want to post them, Blogger is going to be a pain.

At least a got the picture of the two of us up there!

February 22, 2008

Me? Productive? You Must Be Mistaken.

Actually, I felt semi-productive yesterday. I managed to write just a little over a thousand words again on the WIP. No, the hero and heroine aren't free yet. I'm beginning to think it's never going to happen, which is going to make for an interesting ending. ;-)

What else? Oh, yes! I made it to kickboxing. On time, even! Thought I'd see my sister there, but apparently her church classes were changed and now she's coming to class on Tuesdays instead. Maybe she'll be there tonight. We haven't really talked in awhile and I'd like a chance to catch up. See how she's doing.

I did, however, get a chance to talk to my SIL, so that was nice. She really is the smiliest (is that a word?) person I know.

Also got invited to a women only adult party in a few weeks. That should be funny. Part of me wants to go just for the giggle.

After working out I had to run to the store and pick up some toiletries. It's crazy how much you can pay for hairspray, gel, and mousse! What a rip-off.

The only thing I didn't do and should have was homework. Mine, that is. I really need to get busy on at least one of the two papers I'm supposed to turn in. I have lots of resources but no time to read any of them. I guess I'm just going to have to force myself to turn off the television, the computer, the playstation, or whatever other distraction there is in order to get anything accomplished.

February 21, 2008

Update

I don't know if you've been paying any attention to my Word Count meter over there in the sidebar, but it's slowly moving. I added just a little over 1K yesterday. Finished a sex scene and set up the hero and heroine's upcoming escape from their demon captors. I'm hoping today that I'll make it through that scene, which would end the chapter.

In non-writing related news, I really don't have all that much to report. I think my oldest is trying to get bronchitis again. I'm beginning to suspect allergies might be involved. Pet dander could be the culprit. Of course, I'm only guessing, but it seems unlikely there's not some kind of irritant responsible for the repeat business in his lungs.

Other than that things have been pretty uneventful. I have yet to make it back to kickboxing class since paying for the month. Go figure. I meant to go Tuesday night but grocery shopping took longer than anticipated and the class was half over by the time I got home and the groceries tucked away. I'll do better tonight. I don't have anything else going on, so nothing should prevent me from getting out the door.

February 18, 2008

Busy Weekend






These are some random pictures from our weekend. The only night I didn't have the camera with me was Friday; I went to a poetry open mic event.

Above are pictures from my oldest son's basketball game Saturday afternoon. (I forgot the camera for the earlier game where my youngest played.) Unfortunately, while my oldest did fairly well in the game, his team still got spanked.

After showers and packing we headed up north for the night. Got to hang out with my cousins and their children. It was very enjoyable and something we don't do often enough.

February 15, 2008

Committed

I did it. I paid my monthly dues to join kickboxing. That $50 check entitles me to approximately 20 hours of sweat and tears.

Can I just say it was damned hard writing that check. There's so much I can do with $50! I could buy six or seven books. I could build up my camera fund that much faster. I could buy a couple of pairs of jeans (desparately needed). I could buy a replacement pair of snow pants (thanks to my son who lost them on the school bus).

Yet, I spent it on exercise.

If I don't start losing a lot of weight, I am going to get pissed. Or at least a pant size, dammit. Okay, really, I just want to look decent in my bathing suit. That boat trip isn't getting any further away. Quite the opposite.

Which is why I paid.

Stupid bathing suits.

February 13, 2008

Poetry

So I'm going to talk about something I really don't know all that much about: poetry. I think it's because of the post Jan Worth-Nelson, author of Night Blind, put up on her blog a few days ago. It got me thinking about my own relationship with poetry and how that relationship developed, or more accurately, how it failed to develop.

I love words.

I love short stories and novels.

I love writing.

If you know me in real life or have followed this blog for any length of time, this should come as no surprise. Only someone who has a passion for the written word would spend hours and weeks and months of their lives attempting to create stories of their own. Only someone who has a passion for the unique kind of entertainment found in a book would admit to having a reading problem like some people have a drinking problem.

Yet, I've never liked poetry unless it could be found in books like Where the Sidewalk Ends. Oh, sure, there are random exceptions to this rule. I quite enjoy Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven. So much so that I find myself reciting the first couple of lines every now and again. There's also a poem about being a Christian that I quite enjoy.

But that's pretty much it. The intricacies of poetry escape me if they aren't telling me a story I can almost imagine as prose.

Why, though? Why would somone who professes to love language be turned off by poetry? It doesn't makes sense.

Well, I have a theory.

I'm basically blaming it my public school education. Although we were forced to read poetry by people like Keats and Byron, we never got into modern poetry. Not once that I can recall. While I understand the historical signifigance of the creation and publication of poems like an Ode on a Grecian Urn and She Walks in Beauty, these poems did not lure me into the world of poets and poetry.

What if my teachers would have brought in the art of poets like Margaret Atwood or any of the other people listed on famouspoetsandpoems.com. Mind you, I have no idea if any of these poets or their poetry would have changed my initial impression of poetry, but the possibility definitely exists. Perhaps one of them would have opened my eyes to the power and persuasion to be found in stanzas instead of paragraphs.

This realization has come about only because I've taken to attending open mics at local bookstores. It seems open mics draw poets more than prose writers. At first, I was a bit disappointed, but by the end of my first open mic session I found myself thinking long and hard on the political and social commentary to be found in the spoken word poetry I had heard. I also realized there were many talented people I may have never given a second thought to if I hadn't decided to sit in on one of those sessions.

Going back to the lack of exposure in the average public school system, I realize the type of poetry that may actually grab a teenager's attention likely wouldn't be allowed inside the classroom. Can you imagine a student taking home a poem that their parents found offensive or controversial? Or one that contains cursing or references to drugs and alcohol being read aloud in a high school classroom? Can you imagine them bringing in artists like those found on the SpokenWorks Inc website? I can already hear the public outcry.

Yet, by sticking to the safe and sanitary, are they creating a generation that has little to no exposure to a powerful form of expression? I certainly think so.

This, of course, means if I want my kids exposed to spoken word poetry or more contemporary poems, I'm going to have to be their teacher. I'm going to have to introduce them to a world I'm only just discovering for myself.

February 11, 2008

I'm Back!

If you ignore the nasty food we were served, I had a lovely weekend. I managed to create 22 pages (that's 11 2-page spreads). Most of the pages were of our trip to Maine back in 2006. However, just to change it up a bit, I did manage to do one page of trick-or-treating in the campground. I'll try to either scan & stitch the layouts together or take a picture of some of my favorite layouts. They weren't masterpieces, but they count!

As for the hotel accommodations...let's just say the change in venue was not a good idea. The Quality Inn apparently has issues with quality lighting, quality food, and quality equipment. The most frustrating thing was the food. In past years we were fed very well, as in all-you-can-eat-crab-legs as our big Saturday night meal. This year our big meal was Stouffer's frozen lasagne and a piece of garlic bread. I couldn't eat the lasagne. Although it had been cooked, it was cold. After a couple of the ladies had to run to the restroom a half-dozen times later that night, I'm grateful my picky palate kicked in.

To make up for the rotten food all weekend, we picked up Little Cesear's pizza Friday night and Taco Bell on Sunday. The two best meals were ones we shouldn't have had to buy!

This wasn't the only thing that threw off our rythym. Although the hotel had a bar, it only had a DJ scheduled for Saturday night. Now, every year previous we've gone to the bar Friday night and scrapped as long as we could stand it Saturday night. This time we were forced to do just the opposite. The only nice thing about the bar was that we were pretty much the only people there. The owner and his wife wandered through as did their son and his 14-year-old boy. This meant we pretty much got to listen to whatever we wanted. It also meant we could sing karaoke to our heart's content. Heck, since there was no one there to hear me caterwailing, I even sang!

The only thing left to mention was the bitter, frost bite temperatures we had to pack up in. -25. Yes, with wind chill, it was 25 below zero! If you had any idea how much junk a bunch of scrapbookers are compelled to tote around, you'd realize packing up on Sunday was not a five minute job. Still, we managed and we made it safely home.

The Krista Cocktail

The Recipe For Krista

3 parts Playfulness
2 parts Uniqueness
1 part Shrewdness

Splash of Happiness

Limit yourself to one serving. This cocktail is strong!

February 7, 2008

February 6, 2008

Pretty White Stuff Outside My Window..

please, please, please go away.

Yes, it is once again snowing. In fact, we're supposed to get between 10-12 inches between now and 1 AM. Doesn't that sound just lovely? Driving home should be such fun. The hubby even said we should have driven Big Red (a.k.a. his truck) instead of my little Malibu. So I assume he's not looking forward to braving the roads, either.

Oh, and the kids are getting out of school two hours early. I swear they're going to have to make up snow days if this nonsense keeps up. Snow days we cannot afford! We're leaving for Florida in early June...the trip is already paid for, so rescheduling isn't really an option.

Stupid snow.

February 4, 2008

Crossing My Fingers

Today my oldest had his second trial run of the ADHD meds at school. We gave him a dose yesterday just to make sure it wouldn't upset his stomach - it didn't.

He called me a little after 8 and said he thought he was going to throw up. I told him to get his little fanny back to class. I wasn't buying it.

Of course, the rest of the day I've been waiting for another phone call. You know the one. You're kid just vomited everywhere and you need to come get him ASAP.

Luckily, that didn't happen. He made it through the whole day without getting sick.

Now for the really amazing part of the story. After school today my husband received a phone call from the boy's teacher. She wanted us to know how the day went. It went amazing!! She said he was a totally different child and she meant it in a good way. He was focused. During their spelling test he wrote out the word, read it, fixed it if he could. He didn't get a 100%, but he got a smiley face on the paper if that's any indication of how well he did. Then she told my husband about math. I think her exact words were "He did things today that I've never seen him do." Like multiplication in his head. Not small numbers, either. These were problems that could result in sums like 44,000. Although, I think they were significantly less. Like 61 x 5. Anyhow, she said he was one of the first kids to raise his hands and, even more impressive, he got quite a few of them right!

She's very excited. Hopeful.

I'm praying it's not a fluke. I'm praying that the meds we fought so hard to avoid are working some kind of modern science miracle. Maybe school won't be the uphill battle it's always been for him. Maybe it'll get easier. Maybe he won't feel incapable and inadequate any more.

February 2, 2008

Upward Basketball

Today the boys had their first basketball games of the season. I wanted to take the video camera but I forgot to charge the battery. That left me with the digital camera (the one I need to replace because the pictures are getting progressively worse). Here's the end result from the littlest guy's game...






Now I know gym pictures are a bitch. Still, these are pretty rough even when the subjects aren't running around (see picture #2). This is why I've started taking just a wee bit out of each paycheck and setting it aside for a digital SRL. It may take me six months to save up enough, but I'll get there eventually.

As a scrapbooker these kind of photos make me crazy. I can't fix this level of blurriness. The sharpen feature in Picasa or even Photoshop can only do so much.