This weekend is going to be busy. There's so much going on. After work we need to pick up the hubby's truck from the body shop. Then we'll need to run to the store and pick up a gift for my son's best friend; he's turning 11 this weekend.

After all that running, I'm skipping out on exercising with my sisters in order to go watch my nephew play basketball. We weren't sure he was going to be able to play because his parents have been waiting on some test results to explain the chest pains he's been complaining about. Luckily, it looks like an inhaler should fix his problems. Yep, asthma claims another victim.

Of course, that's assuming my grandmother doesn't have open heart surgery today. Or, if she does, that everything goes well. The procedure they did yesterday found several plugged arteries and they think open heart surgery will be easier on her eighty-year-old body than the alternative methods for clearing out the pipes. I hope so. I am very, very nervous. And I know I'm not the only one.

Of course, they could wait until tomorrow to do the surgery. They told my Dad and Uncle they'd let them know sometime today what was going on.

Here's the agenda for tomorrow as it stands right now:

*full body massage & haircut at the Spa - courtesy of the Hubby (gift certificate from Christmas)

*A trip to Barnes & Noble where I plan on indulging in a Chai Latte Venti

*Taco Bell for lunch (what? Doesn't everyone plan a trip to Taco Bell as if it's a rare treat to be savored?)

*Possibly make my son's basketball game (Hubby told me not to worry about it..to enjoy my day and not rush, so this is a big maybe)

*Get ready for night out with the girls (my sister, my sister-in-law, and my best friend)

*Seether, Saving Abel, and NICKELBACK concert at 7PM.

Of course, all of this is subject to change if things don't go well with Grandma. I don't know what kind of readjustments will have to be made, but she's Grandma. Enough said.

You'd think that would be enough busy-ness for one weekend, but there's more! Sunday morning hubby is doing weigh-ins for our hometown wrestling match. He has to be there by 6 o'clock, if not earlier. Because he can't leave after our wrestler steps on the scale, I'll need to take the little guy up there and do the weigh-in with him. Take him home. Feed him. Motivate myself to get ready (yes, I'll probably be in my jammies when we weigh-in...what's your point?). Then it's off to the meet where I will be helping in the kitchen all day long and probably assisting with clean-up duty.

Whew. I'm tired just thinking about all we've got going on!

Scholastic Book Fair Find

Scholastic Book Fair Find
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

So, I've decided to start shooting in RAW format instead of JPG. Because I'm not all that comfortable with it yet I decided a few snapshots around the house would be a good way to start the experiment.

I think I'm going to like it.

Summer Memories

Taking it Easy
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

Just to torture those of us who are still plodding through winter, here's a little reminder of what we're missing! Summer sunshine, camping with friends and family, and warmth! Those are shorts, people, shorts and t-shirts!

Happy Birthday, Buddy.

Today was the day. He's officially eleven now.

Writing Update

Well, this will be brief. In fact, I can sum it up in two words:


There, wasn't that fun?

Zapped Again

My child. My lovable, irresponsible, flighty child. How many times are you going to get Zapped by your teachers before you remember to turn in your homework? How many privileges must you sacrifice to your scatter-brain ways?

Birthday Party without Mom

Today my oldest and four of his friends are off celebrating his birthday. His dad took them to Taco Bell for lunch, to the movie theatre to see Mall Cop, and then to Dairy Queen for ice cream (we're saving pie and ice cream for next week at Grandma & Grandpa's).

Meanwhile, the little man and I have been home snuggling on the couch. We watched Underworld Evolution and played two games of Sorry. Now he's entertaining himself with his brother's DS while I take a few minutes to post this.

I know this is a terrible picture of the two of us, but the autofocus on the darn camera was being difficult with the remote trigger.

Sickness - Take 2,212

The little guy is home sick again today. He started running a fever Wednesday night. Around 4:30 yesterday afternoon he starts complaining that even when he's laying motionless on the couch that he feels like "he's falling". Ear infection? That has to be equilibrium, right? But he's coughing, too. So maybe it's turning into a chest cold?

I tried the doctor's office as soon as he mentioned the vertigo but I got the answering machine, which indicated they were already closed up for the night. What?!? It wasn't even five o'clock and they were closed! Ug!

The fever didn't disappear overnight, though, and the little guy woke up this morning looking rather wan, his pale little face devoid of color. Onto the couch he went with a bucket (just in case...yes, we're paranoid, but if you've had this year's stomach bug, you understand!) and a cool washcloth on his forehead. Tylenol and cough syrup. One bite of Cocoa Pebbles. And cartoons. Mustn't forget the cartoons.

Of course, I didn't feel right taking two days off in a row, so he's home with his Daddy, who got him in for a 3:45 appointment today with the doctor.

While all of this is sad enough (well, it's sad when you look at him because PATHETIC just doesn't seem to cover it), he might have to miss out on his big brother's birthday party. We're taking the oldest and four friends to lunch and the movies. The little guy will be heartbroken if he has to stay home.

Funny Memory

So, I was reading this blog post over on Amalah. (You should read it as it is quite funny). When I get to the picture and the explanation behind it, I experienced a bit of a flashback. Going back almost 9 years to my brother's wedding. We're in the hall and it's time for the best man to give his toast. Up stands our youngest brother. He goes through many stories and says some very nice things about the newlyweds, but the one that sticks with me to this day involves some darts.

Yes, darts.

And two brothers.

I've probably got the details all wrong, but what I remember our baby brother saying is that his big brother told him "stand right there and don't move". Then, with all the love and compassion and tenderness big brothers tend to display, the big brother hurled a dart towards the little brother.

And it stuck.

In his chest.

I don't remember how the story ended. I think they covered the whole thing up like children will do because I think for many of us that night in the reception hall was the first time we'd heard of this particular torture.

You'd think shenanigans like that would have caused trouble in their relationship. I know I certainly would have had some issues had one of my sisters attempted such a thing. But we're girls. Apparently boys are lot cooler than we are.

Trying Something New

I don't remember what book it was, but recently I read a novel that gave me a great idea for getting to know my characters. In the beginning of each chapter, the author included a brief memoir excerpt from a character's POV. Now, this wasn't a memoir type of story. In fact, it was more of an epic fantasy, so these excerpts didn't really fit neatly into the chapter. Yet, they were interesting because they gave the reader (me) insight into the character's perceptions, aspirations, observations, etc.

I'm explaining all this because I want to share with you something new that I'm trying. You see, I have journals all over my house. They're tucked in dresser drawers, night stand drawers, on bookshelves, and on my computer desk. Strangely, most of them are empty. (It's a compulsion...I love buying them. I love the look and feel of them. I love the potential each one holds.)

So, I read these memoir-like excerpts in this novel, thought of my many empty journals, realized I was ready to start planning my next major project, and had an ah-ha! moment. Instead of stumbling blindly about in the first draft stages, perhaps I can give myself a roughly drawn map of my characters, their families, their hopes, dreams, aspirations, their private griefs, resentments, and flaws. I can discover who they are before I write a single word of their actual story.

So, I picked up one of my empty journals and grabbed the baby name book (everyone has one of those, right?), and sat down to channel the heroine of this nebulous tale. Her name is Eden. I've only written a couple of entries so far, but I've already discovered quite a bit about her. I know she was orphaned at the age of two, not because her family is dead, but because they went missing. When she's not working on a client's problem, she's looking for leads in tracking down her parents and sister. She's also had her heart broken by the man she thought would be the love of her life (she's torn between loving and hating him). Oh, and I know her work takes her off-world.

Apparently, this one will be sci-fi.

I also did a journal entry for her business partner. He talked a lot about his family, but the most interesting tidbit is that his oldest sister thinks he has a crush on Eden. Something he doesn't really deny. I find that rather interesting.

I don't have a villain yet.

I don't know anything about her family other than their basic facts (names, occupations, ages). I get the sense there was foul play involved in their disappearance, but I don't know what or how or why. Big blanks there.

I don't even know what her story is going to be about, not really. I'm thinking discovering it may take some time. Still, if and when I write her story, I'm thinking she'll be a very well-developed character.

Nothing Much to Report

Still reading Wuthering Heights.

Still trying to put together a comprehensive list of science fiction and fantasy novels dealing with feminist ideologies.

Still determined to finish our Maine vacation (I'm slowly adding pages to the scrapbook...)

Still anxious for spring (today was a beautiful tease!)

Wuthering Heights

I should finish reading One Hundred Years of Solitude first, but I picked up Wuthering Heights over the weekend. I did this mainly because my youngest sister was listening to it on tape and was having some trouble with it. I was trying to help her out and totally bumbling it because I think the last time I read it was in high school.

So, I'm reading it again. I'm about 1/4 of the way through it and things are slowly coming back to me. I'm remembering bits and pieces (in a deja vu sort of sense). Mostly, though, Heathcliff is just as miserly as I remember him.

Right now...

Macro Settings
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

This would be a welcome sight. I am so tired of the snow and freezing temps!


lI think most of the major edits for my novel are done. I've got the book out to two more readers - the last two, I believe! I wasn't really asking for more feedback, but when people ask you if they can read your book, how do you say no? And if they want to take the time to write comments and offer suggestions on how to tighten the prose, how do you turn that away?

Still, I can't imagine they'll find too much to complain about. There really can't be that many errors left! Although, I've learned because we all have different writing styles and reading preferences, there almost an infinite list of changes someone could propose. ~sigh~

I should have prefaced that by mentioning that I'm guilty of offering big and small suggestions as well when I agree to read/react to someone else's writing. I know this because over the last few weeks I've been editing two novels and proofing short stories for some newbies in my writing forum.

I always worry about giving feedback because you never know how the author will take it. Some are very mature and, while they may disagree with you, they're still willing to take your impressions under consideration. Others withdraw, scarred and angry, never to return. It's scary editing for someone. After all, how honest should you be? Should you really act like the grammar police? And what do you do if you simply don't care for the story for whatever reason? Should you just admit it's not your "cup-o-tea" and politely hand it back with an apologetic shrug?

I know how I usually handle these things - I don't think I've ever handed something back without offering at least some kind of constructive feedback. If something rubbed me the wrong way, not because it wasn't written well, but because it went against my personal belief system, moral standards, ethical framework, I let the writer know I left that element of story untouched and focused my attention elsewhere (grammar, sentence structure...).

I'm only thinking about this because I have been so inundated with editing requests that it's really forced me to evaluate my own critiquing methods.

For Fun

I wrote a short story for a blog/podcast contest on GreatHites. Mine is one of four entries. If you're feeling adverturesome and think you've got a few minutes to spare, you can go read the stories on the blog. (You can also subscribe to the podcast if want...)

Oh, and did I mention there's voting? Well, there is. Go vote! (And no, you don't have to vote for me. The truth is I didn't even vote for myself. I really liked...well, that's a secret for now!)

It was quite a kick listening to my iPod and hearing one of my stories being read. I liked it. The woman who read for me - the blog/podcast owner's wife - did an excellent job. I wonder if she'd be willing to read for me again if I can't get to any recording devices...

Quick Update

In bullets!

  • I didn't enter last week's 52 Sketches contest because I ran out of time.
  • The Superbowl commercials were not that impressive.
  • I managed to get most of my homework done over the weekend. Thank goodness I get one more night to finish reading!
  • I've found lots of great articles for my research project.
  • My dog had diarrhea all over the house. As in, both floors! If she weren't so old, I might have killed her...and she's lucky the hubby didn't wring her neck.
  • I am not doing well with my 365 Days of Photos. I'm already missing quite a few days.
  • I've been actively critiquing friends' WIPs.

There...I think that brings you up to date.