NaNo Finished & Stuff

This November, I’ve been a good little girl. I have NaNoWriMo’ed myself into shape. The 50K word mark was met on Saturday (two entire working days early) and I’m liking the story. It’s off-beat, whacky, a bit nonsensical but damn, it was fun writing it. It’s so out there, I’m thinking it’s my only hope to published stardom.

Now I need to keep the momentum going. I am the first to admit of my lazy, easily distracted personality.

As for other news, the kids did not come home. MiniD spent the holiday at Mr. Demonic Jr.’s house. They also did not ask for any money, which was a first. The older one is a bona fide adult, although I’m not sure how he’s making money. All I know is that he doesn’t ask for any and hasn’t dipped into the remainder of the college fund. Ms. MiniD, I believe – hope – pray, is learning to live within her means. She also found a team sport that keeps her out of trouble. (YAY! *doing happy dance*)

We spent a quiet Thanksgiving with our manager. Turkey, homemade pie, crab cakes for an appetizer. Yes, indeed. I have exploded into another pants size and it’s only been a few days.

I hurt my left thumb. I smacked it with a mallet during my jewelry class, but that’s not what’s wrong. I have De Quervain syndrome which is probably related to jewelry and the prolonged typing I’ve been doing lately. I have a brace, and plenty of drugs. Except for the pain, I am in bliss.

Business sucks, but that’s the breaks.

I will go into all of this in some detail at some future point. Right now, I want to remain in the NaNo zone and will write a few thousand words today. I will also visit blog friends who probably thought I dropped off the face of the earth.

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.

🙂

Home Alone

Mr. Demonic and his “boy” (I call him the other “b” word most of the time) are over on the West Coast of the state on a mission. They are moving a classroom from one store location to another one in the same mall.

This calls for an overnight stay. This is because the West Coast is a long drive away. They could come home, but it would be after midnight by the time they get back into town.

I have no problem being home alone. In fact, I rather enjoy the unencumbrance.

For one thing, I can do what I want, when I want. Like eat junk food. I had junk food for dinner, and it was sinfully awful. I will not divulge which form of junk I consumed, just know that my cholesteral is probably peaking even as I type.

For another thing, I can lay out my craft work. Take over the entire living room. I did this, until my fingers got numb. My fingers don’t take long to be numbed.

I can play my etudes on the violin. If Mr. D is home, I can only play melodies. Etudes are studies and they are not supposed to sound harmonius. No, they are supposed to confound your brain and your fingers at the same time, contain more flats than sharps, and sound like the cries from Hell. In fact, they are hellish for the first couple of weeks until I figure out when to shift and what the notes are. In the meantime, it sounds like a cat in heat.

I took the opportunity of Mr. D’s absence at work to get caught up on some other projects. I worked on some computer designed brochures, business cards and the like that I had been putting off for weeks.

I worked out a little too. I work out very little, because working out is boring. I can only take fifteen minutes of it. I cannot work out when Mr. D is around because his workout machine is next to mine. He likes to watch golf or the news, and I like music. He also sweats like a pig. I work up a mild sweat. Sweating like a pig I save for mowing the lawn in 100% humidity.

When Mr. D is gone, I can work on my writing. Thus, my presence here in the dark tapping at the keys. I’m about one third of the way finished with my YA novel. I am working slowly compared to some, but compared to myself only a year ago, I’m on freakin’ fire!

I haven’t heard from Mr. D. I think he took his friend to the casino. Good for them.

I think I will get a glass of wine and go to bed early. I’m entirely wiped out from my loneliness.

Busy with Business and Other Things

The past few weeks have been horrendously busy.

First I was busy with business, which is always fun. (NOT!) Our business had to endure a state audit. State auditors are notorious for having a lack of a sense of humor, but I’ve had a state audit with this woman before and she’s rather nice. So we talked and joked in between getting serious. There were a few failings, but nothing of consequence. Mr. Demonic was responsible for losing two very important pieces of paper that should have been in the files. (I made copies, but entrusting Mr. D to shuttle these two pieces of paper back to the other location was my bad. I’ll never do that again!) Ms. State Auditor let it slide, since last year at this time I drove to a far western suburb to hand her the originals. We are not so old as to forget something like that. She has a copy, even if we do not.

The sun has been out, it’s not been too hot, so I’ve spent every dry moment outside firming up the garden. So far the color bowls are finished and the tomatoes are in the ground. I moved rocks from one side to the other, but feel a need to move them again. It just doesn’t feel right to me.

The Zen garden is coming along. I’m at a loss as to the type of gravel to get. Sand is too light and will blow away in the wind, and slag is too ugly. Pea gravel is too big. This all has to be complete before Tuesday, because that’s the day I’m going to San Francisco for my son’s graduation (YEAH!), and after that, I’m thinking the temperatures will rise and the humidity will be deadly. By that time, I’ll want to sit on my deck and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Good news! The two koi we thought had perished in the severe Tundra winter actually survived! I guess that electricity we spent on the pond heater helped. We didn’t realize it until after I’d purchased three replacement fish. Now all five are happy as pigs in a poke.

The cat is spoiled, the dog is too, thanks to Mr. D. Now if I could get him to warm up to the cranky lovebird… Ms. MiniD is returning home for the summer and it was a mad rush to finish her room, which is now spic and span, sporting a new paint job, crown moulding and adult furnishings.

My first novel has been shuttered, but I’ve been poking at the second one and plotting out a third. Also playing around with a short story or two, which I’m not very good at.

Now, if I could only find the time.

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.

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.

Writes, Rites and Re-Writes

I haven’t been here much, because as some know, I went to the writers’ conference in San Francisco, and that pumped me up but good. My head is full of ideas and strategies, and I’m as juiced up as Ms. MiniD on her ADD meds. When I’m not working the day job, I’m writing.

In fact, I’m writing so much, I’m beginning to neglect the house.  I used to clean our bathroom and the dog’s area every couple of weeks, but it’s now been three weeks and neither has been done. Gracie’s bed is starting to smell like dog, and although I took out the rugs and swept the bath, I haven’t done much else.

The other thing suffering is my exercise routine and my violin practice. The middle of me is getting back to post-holiday spread, so I suppose I’d better make time for that. As for violin, thankfully the teacher has given me a break and I’m doing easy pieces, plus scales.

Thank goodness it’s not nice out yet, or my yard would be knee length in grass.

Why exercise, clean or play the violin when you can write?

The blame goes to NaNoWriMo. Thanks to November writing month, I have established a routine, which is quite amazing when you consider what kind of world-class procrastinator I am. Without fail, I go home in the afternoon and pound out a couple thousand words on my new book. It’s a relief in a way, because this one is light and hopefully humorous, whereas the first one was dark. There’s a happy ending in the first one, but no hook up. There’s a happy ending in the second one, and a hook up.

I know I have to go back to the first one and rewrite, but I’m letting that one marinate for a while, at least another week or two. I have an online friend looking at it first, then I’ll go in, then send it on for the “real” editing. My first baby is going to have to undergo massive surgery, and I’m not quite up for the challenge yet. But, I know I will be, once I get the bones going on the second one.

So, if anyone wants to volunteer to come and clean my house, I’m game. I’m sorry I can’t pay with money, but I can always whip up a good meal.