I Hate the First Week of Class

Friends, I am exhausted. This week has been long and brutally busy. Work is INSANE. I expected it, prepared for it, and am still blown away by the level of activity and, dare I say it, the neediness the first week brings. Students suddenly recall they actually have be enrolled in classes in order to receive credit. It's amazing how a whole summer can pass and it's only when matters become critical that people act. I guess you could say procrastination makes the world, and the University, go round!

But anyhow. Busy. Exhausted. Ready for bed.

What's that? Editing? The novel? Is it ready to be distributed and read? Um. No. My good intentions have been foiled by the complete shut down of my mind and body by the time I can manage to steal a few moments at the computer.

I don't even feel like reading.

I just want to veg out. But that's not even possible because...FOOTBALL! Mother of All That Is Holy, I hate football season. It consumes our television, which is why I'm actually counting down to the end of camping season so I can get my bedroom television out of the camper and back into my room. How am I supposed to veg out to shows like America's Next Top Model or other mind-numbing television when I don't have a tv to watch? Gah!


My home computer is once again up and running. I am now able to work on my revisions at will. Or surf the internet.

Of course, I didn't do either last night because I was simply too exhausted. After a long day of work, I came home to a dog kennel filled with urine, feces, and vomit. Oh, yay! Lucky me! After cleaning that up, I had to get dinner together and run my oldest boy to his first soccer practice of the Fall season. The field is huge! Then it was home to give the puppy a bath and wipe out his kennel a second time. Again. Yay, me!

Did some laundry and crashed on the couch.

That's it. That was my night. No editing, no reading. Just vegging...

Computer Woes

When we upgraded my hardware at home, it seemed like a good idea to upgrade the software, too. Vista looked good. It's supposed to be more secure and heaven knows I can use all the security I can get, especially since I tend to use a lot of downloadable programs (Picassa, Flickr Uploader, etc..).

Vista is a pain.

I got a new external harddrive that came with its own drivers and one-touch back-up software. Yeah. As soon as I installed the driver and software, Vista started flaking out. Hubby now has to fix the new computer so I can use it. Right now I can only get the internet. While that may sound just fine to most of you, I need Word and Picasa and the Flickr Uploader.

So...updates here may be slim until this issue is resolved.

For Love of the Hunt

So Grown Up
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

Today is Love Thursday over at Shutter Sisters, and since I like this weekly ritual so much better than the Thursday Thirteen, I want to contribute every week. That being said, here's something that makes my heart warm.

This is the first year our oldest boy will be old enough to hunt with his Dad. Although I find it hard to comprehend, it seems 10 is the magic number when it comes to Youth Hunting. He'll get to take his little bow and arrow - or a gun - out into wilderness to shoot either deer or ducks. (I know both are on the agenda for this fall.)

Since he's reached this magical age, my husband has been diligent in teaching him adult responsiblities as they practice. Although the practice sessions really don't last for more than 15 minutes most nights, my boy and his Dad get to spend some meaningful and memorable father-son time together.

The other night one of our good friends - okay, one of our very best friends - showed up with his son to see the progress we had made in the woods (we're clearing out a huge amount of scrub brush and dying trees, in case I haven't mentioned it). After they were done checking things out, it was time for bow-and-arrow practice.

The picture above is a great testimony to the love that extends not only between father and son, but also the power of friendship. If my husband weren't able to teach our boy these basic techniques and hunting rules, I know there would be someone willing to take on the task, not just because they love us, but they love our children, too. Just as we love theirs.

Almost There

I really think I stand a pretty good chance of finishing up the edits by Sunday night. Here's why! The amount of pages left to go is less than 100. Tonight my hubby is going to be working a booth for the CRIM Festival of Races, so I'll be home alone with the kidlets. This means I will have time to edit if I want to take advantage of it. The same opportunity will present itself on Sunday when the hubby is off being a good little workerbee and helping students move into our brand-spankin' new housing units.

So...I'm thinking type-ins will begin next week! Yay!

A Puppy Apiece

A Puppy Apiece
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

Sunday afternoon we had a little four-legged visitor. Whenever his owners fail to keep a close enough eye on Hercules, he comes over for a visit. I don't know how he makes it across our busy rural highway without getting hit, but he does.

I can't even begin to express how thrilled Cash was to see another dog his size, one that doesn't snarl or sulk whenever he comes near. Hercules pranced, pounced, and raced through the wooded trails and across our front and back yards with Cash, forever ensuring him a spot on Cash's BFF list.

So I guess it wasn't all that surprising to see Hercules show up again last night. Once more I took my puppy outside so he could enoy a little play date with our neighbor dog. As they raced around the house, I took quite a few pictures as I tried to capture their energetic and joyful relationship.

Memoir Writing

I don't know if I've mentioned it or not, but my writing class this Fall isn't so much fiction writing as it is more about memoir writing, something I've never really tried. I have too many reservations. If I told my story, or the stories of the people I know, I might have to change my name and move far, far away. Our family stories aren't all rainbows and sunshine, if you know what I mean.

So, as you can imagine, I'm a bit nervous. I'm worried that if I try to keep everything safe, if I try to protect myself and the other people in my life, my stories will be boring and flat. I'm also worried that if I give myself permission to write the truth as I know it, I'm going to be met with disbelief. And then there's the whole question of whether or not I have to have a staring role in the stories. There's one story in particular that I've always thought could provide enough fodder for a full-length novel, but I'm only an observer in it and not an active participant.

I know many of these questions will be answered in class, but I can't help but to think about these things right now. It's the way I'm wired.

Love Thursday Tribute

It's thursday! That means it's time for some lovin', people.

This week I'm going to post a picture that depicts something I love about my oldest boy.

I don't know why or how it came about, but despite what others may think, the boy unabashedly loves the color pink. Still, it's not often you can find him sporting mom's soft, cushiony and oh-so-pink slippers! Of course, I had to take a picture. Not that he cared in the least.

I love that about him!

Want to know what others are loving today? Visit Shutter Sister's and find out!


As always money is tight, but I've just discovered something else I want. (Shhh. Don't tell my hubby!) Of course, he already knows about this lens and this tripod. He also knows I have a terrible book buying problem that may someday require professional interference. So I imagine he wouldn't be at all suprised to hear I want something else. Although, this particular "I want" is a little different from my norm and might surprise him.

I would like to purchase a season pass to the University's Theatre productions. I thought it would be pricey and out of my reach, but it's only $25 for those with staff, student, or faculty IDs. That means hubby and I could both get a pass for $50 combined! Not that I expect him to join me for every single production. Maybe a friend or family member could take his seat when he's not interested, which would probably be most of the time.

Hmmm. Somthing to think about...

Photos Added

I've updated my Flickr account. Go! Look!

Remember: If you've been invited as a friend or family member, you can see so much more! Haven't been invited and want to be? E-mail me at krheiser at gmail dot com.

Fess Up Monday

Borrowed that title from one of my favorite bloggers.

First thing I should fess up is that I didn't edit a single word of the manuscript. Not a one! This might have had something to do with the fact that I left the WIP sitting on my desk at work. I've been trying to use my lunch hours for reading (while I eat) and editing (after I'm done stuffing my face). Believe it or not, even a half-hour of uninterrupted editing time makes a huge difference.

There. Guilty admission out of the way.

That leaves everything else. This past weekend the hubby and I were going to take our boys camping at the Reservoir. Well, plans change. We ended up staying home and enjoying the annual Old Fashioned Days Fesitval in our small little hometown. Somehow we even made it to the 6 o'clock parade on Friday night. After the parade we had an openhouse we had to make an appearance at and then it was back into town for the Beer Tent.

I haven't been to a Beer Tent in about three or four years. The last time I was there my entire family got thrown out for starting a big ole brawl. Not good.

Well, this year we did something a little different and went with some friends of ours instead of my family. Well, my sister joined us, so I guess that's not exactly 100% true. Mostly, though, it was just a bunch of our friends. We drank and chatted and danced a little. I ran into a few people I had graduated with and a couple of kids I had babysat when I was younger.

I thought we had made it through the night without a mishap, but as soon as we left the Beer Tent, we found half of our original group standing outside the entrance. It seems a punch or two had been thrown and a couple of guys in our group were at the jail giving a statement. One of them had been sucker punched and the other had defended him. And here I thought only my family members were capable of such drama!

After getting home around 2:30 in the morning, we were able to sleep in because...no kids! They had stayed the night at the sitters. While I lazed around the house, the hubby picked up our oldest (the youngest had decided to go with my sister and her kids that morning), paid for soccer registration, and ran a couple of other errands in town. Later that night we went to my brother's place to watch the UFC fight.

Yesterday I was beyond lazy. The only thing I did besides lounge around in my pajamas all day was laundry. I'm blaming this on a promise I had made to my youngest the day before. When he was having a little mental meltdown over who-knows-what at my brother's place, I had promised to spend the next day watching movies with him. And that's pretty much what we did.

A Little Better Today

I'm feeling a little less pessimistic today. Maybe it was spending an evening with my hubby and kiddos at the festival. We let the kids play a few games, shoot bb guns (wow! they did so well), and ate funnel cakes. We even walked back to the old football field where one of the local churches was putting on a Christian rock concert. If we wouldn't have had the puppy with us, we might have stayed and listened because the music was upbeat and the message uplifting.

After we got home from the festival, we got some hopeful news that did even more to lighten my heart. I think your well wishes and prayers are working!

I also took a little time yesterday to listen to one of my favorite podcasts, I Should Be Writing 2.0 by Mur Lafferty. The one I listened to was Confidence Part 2, in which the author talks about, you guessed it, confidence. Considering how very critical I've been of my WIP, this came at a good time. It reminded me that no matter what anyone says about the story, I know I'm going to keep writing because it's what I do.

And, yes, I've been editing. My self-imposed deadline - remember the one I can't seem to stick to and have to keep readjusting on account of my incredible procrastination skills? - has been given new life. My kids go back to school in about 3 weeks. 3 weeks! This means I go back to school in a little less than a month. My homework + my children's homework = little time for the WIP. This means I'm going to try to get the hand-written edits done by August 17. The type-in by September 1.

Now, since I've never been very good at self-editing and this will be my first major overhaul of a manuscript, I have no way of knowing if those are reasonable dates. I have approximately 250 pages to turn red with ink. The type-ins so far look to be 60% easy, 40% challenging.

This weekend looks to be busy, though, so I'm going to have discipline myself and carve some time out for the editing. Tonight there's a parade and a BBQ at a friend's house. Tomorrow there's Monsters & Mud, my nephew's birthday party, and a UFC fight to rent. Not that I know any of the fighters or even care to watch. It's more about hanging out with friends and family.

Sunday I should get a chance to hang around the house while the hubby and his sister go visit their dad. This is good. I can edit while doing laundry!

Rollercoaster Ride of Love

Today is Love Thursday over at Shutter Sisters. Every week they invite their members to participate in this weekly declaration and visual representation of the love we find in our lives and in the world around us. Pictures of children, husbands, pets, art, and even nature have a way of turning up in these weekly collaborations.

I don't know what picture to post this week because love is more than holding hands. It's more than a hug or a kiss. Even an eloquent glance does not encapsulate all there is to the complexity of love. You see, without love, there would be no heartache.

Love has has teeth and nails. It can leave you bruised or even bleeding. For without love, feelings of hurt and betrayal would lack the power to cripple us. If we didn't care so damn much about that other person, we wouldn't feel so miserable when they do or say something careless or hurtful.

The love we feel for other people gives them incredible power of us, over our emotional and mental states. Considering this, you would think we'd all be more careful with those we cannot imagine living without. You would think we'd soften our tone, bite back the cutting remarks, and weigh our actions more carefully. Yet, the truth is we often lash out at those we care most about becuase we unconsciously count on their forgiveness and understanding. We count on their love being strong enough to withstand the ugliness within us.

The miracle is that most of the time, it is. But how often do we risk pushing past that line and beyond the heart's capacity for forgiveness? How much damage do we do in those careless moments to those we've vowed to protect from all harm?

Worrisome News

It seems every way I turn there's an unfortunate situation brewing. Some of the situations are almost comical in their absurdity, but a couple of them are just plain worrisome.

So, if you're the praying type, I'd really appreciate you sending a prayer out for my sister and my father-in-law. Their situations are unrelated, but they could both use a little assistance from the Almighty as they struggle through.

If you're not the praying type, good vibes and well wishes are welcome, too!

I Think She Could Take Him

Originally uploaded by Krheiser

My dad started harrassing my sister while we were watching the kids play games at the family reunion. I got a series of pictures of the two of them mock fighting. How cute!

My Not-So-Little Boys

Waiting in Line
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

I've been thinking a lot lately about how fast these two little boys are growing up. It's not just the fact that the oldest will be driving in less than six years (really?!?!). It's not necessarily the idea that we're only going to have to pay for daycare for a couple more years, either. Its both of those milestones and so much more.

There are so many things that have disappeared from our lives. Some of which I've been very happy to see go, like diapers and bottles. Still, there are so many other things I thought would be around forever. Monster trucks. Matchbox cars. Stuffed animals they couldn't sleep without. Tricycles and training wheels. All things of the past now.

Toddler toys have been replaced by the necessities of early adolecense. Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards litter my house and end up in the laundry. Gameboy consoles and mindlessly dropped game cartridges can be found in almost every room. MP3 players have replaced portable CD players. Cartoons, while still part of their lives, have been overtaken by shows like iCarly and The Suite Life of Zach and Cody. Just a few weeks ago we bought them new bikes because their knees were beginning to jut out abnormally to the side, a sure sign of a long-overlooked growth spurt.

They're not just outgrowing their toys, either. Oh, no. They both need new pants for the upcoming school year, and not just because most of the old ones have holes in the knees. The oldest is already up to my nose!

I think the most striking trait, though, isn't their chosen forms of entertainment or their too-short pants. The most shocking change is in their personalities. My oldest is maturing. It's a gradual process, to be sure, but it's also a noticeable one. He's kind and gentle and thoughtful. Not that his brother doesn't push his buttons on a regular basis - of course the little rascal does.

Speaking of the little guy, he's changing, too. The quick-tembered hothead is still there, but I've also noticed how easily his feelings are hurt and how tears are just as likely as fists. Then there's the tenderhearted lover of all things small and furry (maybe he'll want to be a vet someday...)

I try to imagine how they're going to continue to grow and evolve. I try and I fail. They're already so much more than I ever could have hoped for. We are so very lucky.

Still Slogging

I managed to get two more chapters edited last night.

It's killing me. I just want to start working on the type-ins. The red pen feels very ineffectual when I know the actual Word doc is sitting there in all its rough draft glory.

I'd like to say I'm going to really hammer away at the darn thing this weekend, but I'm not sure how much time I'm going to have. Tonight I may or may not end up going to see the Mummy III with one of my dearest girlfriends. Tomorrow I have a family reunion I'm supposed to attend and help "run". This means Sunday may be the only full day I'll have to do laundry, clean the house, and edit.

And you know my procrastinating butt will decide housecleaning is so much more important than slogging. Doesn't matter that I detest cleaning the house. It'll be the appealing alternative to dealing with the messy manuscript from hell.

Seriously, I'm beginning to think I can't write at all, that I've been deluding myself. I can't even count how many poorly written transitions I've encountered so far. I keep hoping things will get better, but I'm not seeing the light at the end of this tunnel. Not even a glimmer.