Euphoria and the Real World

As I was taking my shower today, I thought about a few things. (You must know I was taking my shower, because many times I sing and few times I think. There’s something about the scent of sandalwood that causes my mind to synapse.)

One thing I thought of was euphoria.

The event that came to mind was when my youngest, darling Ms. MiniD was born. I had spent twelve hours in labor and was really proud of myself for my counting abilities. Mr. D Jr. was born by emergency C-section meaning I was heavily drugged and missed the entire show. Mr. D also missed the birth of D Jr, because as he was getting ready and putting on his scrubs to go into the operating room all pristine and pure, he put the hat on his feet and his footie on his head. The doctor took one look and told him to wait outside.

Ms. MiniD’s birth, however, was splendid by comparison. I was counting to a song which vanished from my memory as soon as she squirted out. I was so involved in counting that I didn’t notice anything else, including my husband. The baby had crowned and the doctor, who had a cheesecake waiting for her in another room, admonished me to push. I wasn’t ready, so I held her in. Besides, I was going for midnight, when I would have two whole days in the hospital instead of one day. Insurance, you know.

Ms. MiniD ruined that for me by bursting forth eighteen minutes early. Mr. D placated my ire by bringing me steak and lobster take out the next day.

What does this have to do with euphoria? Well, euphoria kept me counting. Lamaze was going well.

Euphoria also caused my husband to say just moments after Ms. MiniD was placed on my stomach, “Let’s do this again!” Mind you, she was still covered in goo and slimy. The doctor took one look at him and then at me and shook her head.

Of course, he doesn’t remember saying that. He was in the rapture of the moment.

Love often makes one euphoric. For women, it causes them to remember. I can remember the day I met Mr. D. It was October 29, 1983. I also vividly remember our first date which was January 13, 1984. There’s something about a red rose hand delivered in a raging snowstorm that sticks in the memory banks.

I can see why some people fall in love with being in love. There’s something seductive and addicting to the euphoric state. It’s a lot like falling out of an airplane. I imagine it might be like shooting up heroin.

I’m imagining there’s a bit of euphoria in the Mr. D Jr house these days, he and the wife being married and all. (Boy, does that feel funny to call her “the wife.” That’s what my husband used to call me. Now he doesn’t call me anything. He doesn’t have to.) Mr. & Mrs. D Jr have always been a mushy pair.

I suppose Ms. MiniD is euphoric being back in SoCal. If I were in California, I’d be happy too. It would mean I somehow came into a pile of money and could afford to live there. I’m still stuck in the Tundra so it’s a pipe dream and my happiness level is a little low.

Come to think of it, when you get older, euphoria is not a waste a time but it’s just so unnecessary. I can’t remember the last time I felt that way. Well, yes I can.

🙂

Gah! Tearing My Hair Out!

For those of you bemoaning my lack of presence here (or not) it’s not that I don’t like you (or love you), because I really do. I’m up to my eyeballs in work, and trying to get those damnedable first four or five chapters re-written.

I spent Monday and Tuesday of last week poring over the sentences, barely able to take anything out but adverbs. That’s because my protagonist is an intelligent person, but her brains have been reduced to ditziness after 20 odd years of marriage. It’s hard to convey those abstract qualities in few words.

Wednesday I came to my senses. Though I had eliminated 5K worth of adverbs and “thats” 170K words is about 50K too many. I took to the knife and wacked out entire chunks, paragraphs falling to the wayside willy and nilly.

Re-reading my weeding, I couldn’t make any sense of it.

I took a step back on Friday and Saturday due to nice weather. Since a week’s worth of rain was in the forecast, I had to get in grape vine pruning and raking during the two good days I had available.

By Saturday night, I was feeling quite irritated with the whole thing.  I really want to get my portion of the re-write completed by the end of May, and that’s going to be tough since 1. I’m a world class procrastinator and 2. I’m lazy. “Daunting” is not a strong enough adjective to describe this task.

In addition, there’s some truth to be said for the fact that writers are often weary of their work, especially during the re-write process. Then Saturday night, I had a dream about my book, which is good. I woke up at 3 a.m. and began to think.

Such a revelation means only one thing: I’m going to have to re-write the entire first 13 chapters from scratch, taking bits and pieces from the 50K or more words I have written to describe the first part of this journey.

So, if you’re wondering where I am, I’ll be up to my eyeballs in angst.

Lost in Translation and a Few Other Places Chapter 1

When I last left WordPress, I was suffering from a terrible neck pain. My subsequent visit to the doctor pumped me full of muscle relaxers and pain medication. This did NOT work, much to my dismay. My appointment with the physical therapist isn’t until next week.

I spent a week in torture, and then more torture occurred. I was felled by a cold, a really bad one. My #2 contracted one from her boyfriend, and seeing that she was sniffling and sneezing for three weeks straight, there was no way to avoid her germs. There’s nothing worse than having a head full of boogers whilst one cannot turn said head to the right.

As a result of my assembled maladies, I became lazy beyond belief.  No, really, I am not exaggerating. I haven’t looked at my now-completed novel in a month. Instead of writing, I played on Twitter and Facebook. I think I am even “getting” Twitter now.  However, it wasn’t really playing… I logged on in bed and then promptly fell asleep. That’s what a combination of Nyquil and Flexoril will do for you.

All of this uncomfortableness caused me to seek another trip to the doctor this week. She sent me for X-rays, and a couple of days later I learned that I have developed minor arthritis in my vertebrae not far from where my neck is located.

I knew I was getting old, but to be slapped in the face with arthritis is the wakeup call. I restarted my stalled exercise of Malibu Pilates, purchased a huge bottle of glucosamine chondroitin from Sam’s Club and started taking the dog for afternoon strolls.

I thought long and hard about dying, which is something I do on a regular basis anyway. When you’re over the hill and coasting downward, you want to get in everything before the final farewell.

So, I am now reformed and on my way to productivity and creativity.

In the meantime, there has been a little drama going on with the Drunk Manager, which I will get to as soon as I send a care package off to Ms. MiniD. All it takes is one email titled “Moooommmmmyyyyyy!!!” and I’m there.

And Now For Something Silly…

Okay, I know I’ve been entirely too morose lately. Blame it on economics, SAD and an extended winter.

My next novel is already cranking. It’s a bona fide chick-lit piece, and I’m trying to use all of the concepts I learned during the recent writers’ conference I attended. It’s light, it’s funny (I hope), and it’s a diversion that I am counting on changing my mood.

So I will share with you today the first couple of paragraphs.

Chapter 1

If you think I wanted to come back to the imagined warm embrace of the family home, you don’t know me at all. To return as a grown adult, contrite and groveling, tail between my legs, and hat in hand looking for a soft place to land? Oh, no, no, no. That’s not the life for me. I left this burg fifteen years ago for the sole purpose of avoiding my mother’s utterance of those death knell words “I told you so.” Making my escape from the confines of small-town living in Royal Oak and turning my back on its soul-sucking heartache was my life’s crowning achievement. The operative word is ‘was.’ My unblemished record of success now sports the big, fat ugly zit of failure.

My mother, the infamous Diana Ventimiglia, took an uncanny skill for inflicting guilt and formed a lifelong career out of “I told you so.” The “I told you so” business is so lucrative, it’s afforded her a fat retirement account. I’m sure she even gives herself periodic bonuses for outstanding performance in “I told you so.” If she ever retires as Jewish mama wannabe, which will be now… let’s see, never? perhaps I’ll find peace in my heart. By that time, there’ll be a colony on Mars, the budget will be balanced with plenty of zeros in the black and thousands of years of Middle Eastern conflict will be but an unpleasant afterthought, too. Oh, yes. And don’t forget; donkeys will fly.

I think I will go and do something creative now.

Happy Belated Birthday to Me

I’ve been busy, but yesterday I noticed this post by Mr. Random, patting himself on the back for surviving yet another birthday.

I thought that peculiar, because as luck would have it, last week it was my birthday too. I only think it peculiar, because I share some sort of affinity with Mr. Random. This is not the same bond I share with my Internet-Boyfriend-Now-Friend. I think Mr. Random and I are brother and sister separated at birth.

I’m not going to tell you which day was the dreaded day. I like to completely avoid acknowledging the fact that I still have birthdays. I can tell you that I spend it the same way every year: I do nothing.

I don’t come into work, and I usually amuse myself somehow. In past years, I have trekked to San Francisco (or Alabama) for my birthday. This is because my family is so mean to me, I would much rather spend the day being somewhere I love.

Sidebar: I don’t really love Alabama, but my friend moved there, and she is very nice. She threw me a huge birthday party with her friends, even though they didn’t know me from a random guy at the Publix. I brought my violin and played with her cello friends.  She invited me this year too, but since I’m leaving for out of town next week, I declined.

My husband is nine months younger than me, and for three months out of the year, we are the same age. The other nine months, he is razzing me about me being so much older than he is, even though we graduated from high school in the same year. My daughter, Ms. MiniD, hopped on that bandwagon long ago. To hear the two of them, you’d think I was ready for a wheelchair and the nursing home.

This year, I wrote a chapter and a half and a piece for another forum I write for. Then we went out to dinner at a very chi-chi French place. It’s the kind of rich food that you must savor over the period of at least three hours, accompanied by wine and champagne. (Their housemade truffles are to die for.)

Something else also happened that day. (If you are of manly persuasion, you may want to fold up this post right now and move on.)

It was the return of The Curse.

Damn it, but I had been reveling in menopause for the last year! I practically told everyone I knew (including co-workers) because I was so happy to 1. not have that monthly thing going on and 2.  was finally warm enough at night that I didn’t need to hog the blankets. Of course, with over a year’s enjoyment of no need for feminine protection, I was caught with my pants down and no help. I even scoured Ms. MiniD’s bathroom, but to no avail.

I know if I go to Sam’s Club and buy the economy, jumbo box of tampons, my uterus will dry up completely next month, and there I will be. Of course, if I choose the other route and only buy as much as I need, I will have a great, big need for the jumbo box next month. (And the next, and the next.)

I was depressed before over the fact that I am again wintering in the Tundra. (In January, there were only three days – THREE – count ’em, that reached the 30 degree mark. That’s cold, people.) Now I am truly despondent. Here I am, 53 – friggin’ – years old and still not over it yet!

Well, that’s it for my birthday.

Happy Birthday to Me.

The Chicken Begins Running With Her Head Off

In eight days, I will be in San Francisco, in advance of a writers’ conference I signed up for last year.

I had good intentions. I paid for the conference back in March. I paid for my plane ticket back in September. I have lined up a rental car using gift certificates, so that’s taken care of. I even have my son dropping me off at the hotel location, because it’s in a very congested and chi-chi area of downtown and parking is $80 a day.

I have toiled at my novel full steam since the first of November. I’ve somehow managed to add an additional 100,000 words since then. There are three, maybe four more chapters to go. I’ve been good, even though I’ve done other things, like work, eat, play the violin, make jewelry, etc. There was the holiday and the extended stay of Ms. MiniD, always a disruptive influence. I’ve even had time to be sick.

Now comes crunch time, and I feel like a chicken with her head cut off.

I have been working with an online business card company that specializes in authors. I had trouble sending in my photograph (actually, the real trouble came finding one that doesn’t make me look like a serial killer) and my emails kept bouncing back. It’s been ten days, and so far no word. In a panic, I emailed again on Saturday. Nothing.

I still need to get with an attorney so I can wrap up the novel. That’s because an attorney plays a prominent part in the ending. I have emailed our business attorney, hoping for some free input. The guy is nice, but he’s one of those super-slick shyster dudes, and his office, in a very trendy neighborhood, likely has a high lease. However, I feel comfortable with him, so I even promised to pay. Hopefully, he’ll be like my other advisors and will take a mention in the beginning of the book instead.

Finally, I have new clothes and have been exercising like a fiend to fit into my old ones. Some writer who sends me newsletters suggested I get a smokin’ hot red dress. I don’t want to look like a hooker, so I bought some red cashmere sweaters instead. After my daughter returned to school (that was the longest six weeks of my life), I found out she raided my bathroom and all my cosmetics are GONE. (I might slap on some make up once in a blue friggin’ moon, so I expect it all to be there when I need it.)

I hope I don’t look like a boob. There’s always the possibility I might laugh too hard, look needy, or become unexpectedly mute.

GAH!