In other news, the diet is going well...

The morning routine. I shuffle to the bathroom, relieve myself, turn on the water for the shower to heat up, and then stare bleary-eyed at the scale as I inch it around the floor to find the perfect "weighing spot" (i.e. the one that shows me the answer I want to see).  Once the water begins to steam I ditch the scale and hop into the shower.

Scant moments later (OK, 20 minutes if I'm lucky) I emerge from the shower refreshed and much more awake. I jump back on the scale. 

"Huh," I say, inching it around again, "That's a mathematical conundrum."

POOF!

"Einstein! What are you doing here?!" I exclaim.

"I heard "mathematical conundrum" and assumed someone needed help with the secret workings of the universe," said a white-haired man in a tweed sweater. "If you have questions just ask me."

"Oh," I say, feeling a bit silly, "Well, I don't know about secret workings of the universe..."

"Go on, ask anything," urged Einstein.

"You know I feel awful dragging you away from Heaven... or wherever..."

"No, no, I like to get away every now and again. Go ahead, tell me your conundrum."

"OK, if you're sure," I say, "Well, I was wondering why when I weigh myself before my shower I'm always one weight, and then when I weigh myself again after my shower I'm always one pound lighter than I was before. On the same day and even with variations and everything!  I'm always lighter after my shower than before.  Now I don't remember much from Algebra II but that doesn't seem like it should happen, right?" 

"Oh, that's an easy one but still quite a fascinating subject you've stumbled on to.  You see, when you first step on to the scale you've just woken up, you are groggy, limbs dragging, and in essence you are closer to earth. But!" Einstein pointed one finger in the air, in emphasis, "As you take your shower, get dressed, cleaned up, what have you, you start to plan out the details of the day. And so it goes with these details come little bits of anxiety, some little tensions, new ideas, old worries, etc... even for good plans this happens, it is the nature of planning. And as we know all things are energy, and these little bits buoy you up, they straigthen the spine, so to speak, until they lift the whole body and by the time you are out of the shower you have a spring in your step! So my dear," said Einstein with a smile, "it is not so much that you are one pound lighter, but rather that you are floating one pound up in the air!"

"Really?" I say, "That's amazing!"

"Yes, it's quite interesting. In fact, I've been studying the phenomena a bit in Heaven. I'm still in the early stages of research mind you."

"So how do I float ten pounds off the ground?"

"Oh, I think that would require planning something of a very complicated degree."

"Hmm," I mumur, "like doing taxes?" 

"Ah!" exclaims Einstein, "Strangely enough, taxes have the opposite effect. They weigh you down terribly, upwards of 50 pounds!"

I brighten, "How about a bank heist? That would take a lot of planning!"

"Hmm, that just might do it," Einstein stroked his chin. "Tell you what, you try it and I'll check back in with you. But please keep an accurate and consistent weight log! I'll add it to my studies."

"It's a deal," I say, "Hey Einstein, thanks for coming to help. It might not be the secrets to the universe, but I'm glad to know how it works."

"Of course, my dear," said Einstein as he starts to fade away in a misty glow, "Oh, one last thing..."

"Yes?"

"Even though you are floating one pound off the ground, your pants are still going to fit the same."

"DAMNIT!"


Time to get back on the horse

Not that I can think of a damn thing to say at the moment but that's always the way of it. In the middle of the night I will be SO eloquent, omg. I am brills at 2:00am!  After midnight my high school career aptitude test can SUCK IT!  (I know it still cares because it tried to friend me on Facebook.  Give it up, career aptitude, you're not getting any validation from me.)

Actually, I don't even remember what my test results were. I just remember they were so far off base I immediately chucked 'em and stomped my disaffected butt out of the "career center". Do they still have career centers in high school anymore?  Or are they all "take your SATs or you are a huge failure centers" nowadays? SATs... yet another thing I chose to eschew in high school.  Like I need your stinking vocabulary words.

Ahem.

It's funny, I find I'm in my 40s and I still feel fits of rebellion.  I guess some of us just have the aptitude for that.


Over the Top

I have the best conversations with random strangers in stores. I was just chatting with this woman in Target about how our kids turn into spoiled rotten terrors when we take them to Disneyland. She said her friend took her kid to Spain and the kid was perfectly behaved. The kid was on a grown-up chosen vacation (I.e. just like in the old days when we kids didn't get a choice) and acted appropriately. But when we take our kids on the vacations of THEIR dreams they totally revert to brats.

Then the woman said, "And I know it's because I grew up poor and so I'm spoiling them!"

And I went, "ME TOO! And thank you for saying that because everyone in California pretends they come from money!"

Which was totally a thought I didn't realize I had until it burst out of my mouth.

But I DO think there's been a trend, especially in the last decade or so, for people to act like they're more glamorous than they really are. In the middle of a recession. In what was once, not so long ago, farmland. For instance, our local mall was recently renovated. It was really nice before and it had good stores, a mix of upscale and midscale, but still had a Forever 21, you know what I mean? But NOW... it has mood lighting and (faux I'm sure) marble-top tables in the foodie food court. I asked one of the sales girls in a store why they remodeled (because again, it was still nice before) and she said, "Oh, you know, our clientele expects a certain standard." I was in Old Navy, on our way to McDonald's in the foodie food court. I'm your clientele lady.

And I couldn't help it, I rolled my eyes.


The Thread Count is In

A couple of years ago when Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion came out I quickly downloaded the book to my kindle and tore through it.  Partly because I hadn't heard the phrase "fast fashion" previously and I was curious about all things fashion, but also because I HAD noticed the quality of clothing available was going down. There were a lot more options to shop but the t-shirts, and fabric weights in general, were getting thinner. Now I will admit, when some of the newer stores came on the scene I was pretty happy with them. I like to shop and suddenly there were stores like Forever 21 that had a lot of variety to choose from and some cute retro-inspired styles that I wasn't seeing in other places.  But that was also back when a "layering tee" - a t-shirt so thin you have to wear another tee or tank underneath it - was it's own category and you could still also buy a regular weight t-shirt on the next shelf over.      

Now EVERYTHING is as thin as a layering tee!  At some point the demand for quick turnaround "fast fashion" became more important than the quality of that fashion. And honestly I'm not sold on the "fashion" part of that either because I'm seeing an awful lot of basics sold in stores, with nothing special to recommend them. Not to mention how the whole industry has changed and what it's doing to the environment.  I'm really at a point where I'd rather pay more money for good quality, interesting styled clothes that will last, than another cheap tee that will have holes in it in a few months.

Of course I started ranting and raving about these trends and most of my friends looked at me like I was speaking gibberish.  So I'd like to share this lovely video that encapsulates the major concepts of fast fashion and its impact all in under two minutes. 

 

Created by OnlineMBA.com

And if anyone out there has some good sources for good high thread count clothing, please let me know. 

             - the weirdgirl

 


Microproblems

Swamped. Utterly swamped. PTA is a major job. And on top of that, my computer has crashed every time I've tried to post to my blog. It's kind of crazy. It's like my browser has a beef with Typepad. I have a product review post all written that I've literally been trying to publish for over two weeks. So apologies to those I owe some words.

I might have to microblog for a while. Or, I don't know, blog in chunks? And back up EVERYTHING on my computer!

I guess I better start pricing out a new laptop. Le sigh. - wg

#bloggingonphones


Body screwiness for fun and profit

I think I might have accidentally taken an extra beta blocker today.  I don't think it will do anything bad (I think) but I'm feeling awfully sleepy.  I might have only taken one pill, and it could just be that's it hot or I'm hormonal or something, but I honestly can't remember. This summer has been weird.  I seem to be vascillating between being fuzzy brain or being wide-awake at 2:00 in the morning and wanting to jog.  (I mean, when have I EVER wanted to jog?!)  I'm not gonna lie, this thyroid crap is kind of fucked up, but it makes for some interesting conversations.

Hey wg! How you doing?

Hi! It's so nice to see you!  Oh, you know, maybe overdosing a little, I'm not sure.  But I feel OK!  How are you?

Oh my god, did you accidentally take an extra pill?  I've totally done that!

I know!  And then you get all panicky because you don't know what it's gonna do!

And THEN you have to pop an extra anxiety pill!

And worry about THAT!

Ha ha ha! Snort! Ha ha! Woooh!

I bet nurses hate us.


On the nature of nets

Alright, so something big has happened... has been happening, really, over the last few months, and I haven't been able to talk about it before now.  If I was a more attentive blogger (and perhaps a more successful one) I would start this off by first sharing an anecdote of childhood, its emotional impact on my perspective, and relating that to our present circumstances. Build the drama, so to speak, show the emotional importance. And all of that would be true... but I'm not going to do that, or at least not in the typical order.

My husband, Keen Dad, quit his job!  He's starting his own business.

I feel a profound relief and a lot of pride.  He's been unhappy for a long time.  He totally deserves to do his own thing. 

As for childhood anecdotes, yes, I didn't grow up with a whole lot of money; much less than I have now.  But I didn't grow up completely destitute either.  The funny thing about growing up on a tight budget is that it makes you work really hard.  You can also grow up either anxious or fearless about money.  I think most people would expect me to be a mess.  I don't work so we don't have a second income.  (Actually, I work A LOT, but I don't seem to get paid for any of it.  What?)  But I have utmost confidence in Keen's ability; he knows his industry, he loves his clients, and he works his ass off.  I know he's going to be successful. 

I also have this strange confidence that I can go get a job if I need to. Or even if I just want to.  It might not be in the same industry or at the same level that I used to have but I don't care.  I think it's another side effect of working hard... there can be a lot of satisfaction in it.  And once you get in the habit, sometimes it's hard to stop.


It's for the earth

Here's a fun project for a summer's day... our household ended up with a lot of old crocs. See, Chance likes to wear more than one color at a time, like one red croc and one green croc, so we'll usually let him buy two pairs so he can mix and match. Then one year there was a sale or something so we bought three pairs.  AND then one of us, me or Keen, got confused and came home with another pair in the same size and color because it was also on sale and we couldn't remember what shoes our kid had. (Shut up. We are old.) Lucikly for us Chance has feet that are both on the small side and grow slowly so he's worn those crocs for a couple of years!  

Now I had four pairs of outgrown crocs to deal with and that's just way more than I felt comfortable tossing in the trash or recycle bin. So I decided to turn them into planters!

It was super simple: I packed a bit of dirt into the toe, making sure there weren't empty gaps, then planted the flowers. After I got the plant in I put them in a bucket of water to soak.  They already have their own drainage holes after all.

I decided to use mine as upright hanging planters so I wrapped wire around the heal band to hang them. Alternately, you can also wrap the wire around the plastic "buttons" that hold the band on if those are missing (like in the dark blue ones I bought from the thrift store).

Crocs as planter

I also hit the thrift store for a couple more funky colored items to work with and one more larger pair of crocs.

070

Here's how they look hanging on the fence.


Crocs as hanging planters

It was fun, looks cute, and won't fill up any landfills!  I bet you could also shove a small glass into a croc and use it as a vase or centerpiece.                      - wg


Neuroses what?

I am nothing but a languishing pile of swollen tissues. 

So I've come to the conclusion that being in your 40s is definitely a mixed bag.  On the one hand you've got more experience, confidence, and usually a little more money.  You do things that you've never tried before. You speak your mind.  On the other hand, your body is going to pot and the older generation starts passing away.  Everyone turns the 40s into jokes about being too tired for sex, but the fact of the matter is they are just fricking hard!  It's probably a good thing everyone has their neurotic period in their 20s and 30s, because you just don't have time for neuroses while you're busy taking care of everyone later.

Sorry, non sequitor rant there.  My throat is swollen, my sinuses are swollen, and the rest of me is starting to swell up because I'm doing nothing lately but hiding from pollen and waiting for my radioactive throat to heal up.  (And, obviously, having too much time to think.)  The throat is being problematic by the way. You'll probably hear me bitch about it for the next two to six months because that's how long it could take to heal!  I'm starting to feel really lazy.  And not the good kind of lazy where you watch a movie and take a nap and feel justified about deserving it because you spend all your time taking care of other people.  This is the bad kind of lazy.  The snowballing type.  I had a fitness plan in place for the summer that I am not meeting!  OK, wait, that sounded snottily healthy.  I had a vague notion to take some sort of fitness classes for the summer that I am not meeting!  Instead I'm eating a lot of popsicles.  For my throat.  But they're the one's that are made from squished fruit so I'm going to count them as nutritious.


Swimwear Must Die 2013

Oh yeah, it's swimsuit time again!  For those of you just joining us, I feel compelled to make fun of the swimsuit industry every year - the photos, the styles, the posing.  I don't know what it is, but the mockery just bubbles up inside me until it has to come out.  Plus, some of these shots are silly.  (Or maybe it's just shopping for swimsuits make Hulk mad!)

You want more? Just click under the category Fashion Rules According to Me.

This looks like a brothel lineup from Game of Thrones.  Sports Illustrated didn't even bother to use real bikinis, just CGI'd those suckers.  I'm waiting for a direwolf or dragon to pop up.

2013 swimsuit Sports Illustrated

In Mother Russia the hats keep you warm but the swimsuits give you very interesting tan lines.

2013 swimsuit furry hat

Dude, I don't care how hard you partied the night before but when you get up in the morning you still need to put on your swimswuit, not your girlfriend's.

2013 swimsuit men

Side view, so you can really see the floral and the satin trim. What?

2013 swimsuit Logan_Taylor_Rufskin

Gingham and bonnets?!  Holly Hobby is all grown up!

2013 swumsuit Holly Hobby

One glove is back!  FINALLY!!  I don't know how I lived going to the beach without a glove.

2013 swimsuit one glove

These ones would be cool if the faces weren't so tortured. Like, do I want a drug-addicted morning-after teen on my swimsuit?

2013 swimsuit faces

This isn't even a swimsuit, it just made me laugh.

2013 swimsuit skiny-banner

No risk, no buns!  (But plenty of horns.)                        - wg


Hot under the collar

I'm in day two of isolation.  Friday I took radioactive iodine to burn out poison me turn me into a huge rampaging lizard monster treat my thyroid.  I have to stay 3 feet away from people for four days because of the residual radioactivity.  The cats are taking it hard.  I've gotten a few pitiful "why won't you pet me" meows while I'm holed up in the den. However, my beloved child, he of the incessant lap climbing and ambush hugs to ad nauseum, won't come closer than ten feet.  He also whimpers when I walk past him from across the room!

So far, I've felt OK; just tired and thirsty and my stomach is upset.  But that could be from anxiety and the low iodine diet.  (Yeah, right.)  And to be totally grossly TMI it feels unusually hot when I pee!  Freaky.  I'm disappointed that there's no glowing, though.  You'd think that if you were going to purposely poison yourself with radioactive materials you could at least glow a little.

The worst thing about this process is the low iodine diet.  I didn't think it was too bad at first; I'd figured you couldn't eat a lot of salty or processed, canned foods.  We always use Kosher salt in our cooking so I knew I could eat stuff at home. What I didn't expect on the "Do Not Eat" list were things like all dairy products and chocolate!  Then came "don't go to restaurants", nothing from a commercial bakery, no lunch meats, and nothing with "red or pink food dyes", and on and on.  But then down at the bottom, almost hidden, were the words "no tea"!  Christ on wheels that is crazy talk, right there!  I mean, you might as well just let the clowns out of their cages.  I think I got the shakes as soon as I read that.

So I was supposed to have dinner at this great French Vietnamese place for my birthday on Thursday which totally got nixed because of the diet.  My best friend baked me a cake instead and brought it over before she knew about the "no chocolate" restriction.  After I blew out the candles and everyone else cut themselves big slices of Mexican chocolate cake and huge scoops of ice cream, my best friend turns to me with fork in hand and says,

"Wow, you know... this is kind of sad."

Munch, munch, munch.

Me: "YES I'M WELL AWARE OF HOW SAD IT IS, THANK YOU!!"

Happy Birthday, thyroid, you rotten bitch.


Sometimes ya just gotta punk it out

So a lot has happened.  First, school has ended, and as usual the end of the school year kicked my ass!  It's actually rather pathetic.  I just can't seem to remember from year to year how busy those last two months are.  I'm totally living in a delusional haze, my childhood memories of blissful spring and early summer completely overriding what my brain tells me is actually reality.  I can only blame it on some sort of mid-life dementia.  Watch I do the exact same thing next year.

Since it's now summer, I cut my hair!  Whee!  Because if you're gonna make a radical change you might as well do it in summer!  (I don't know why I think that's logical but I do.)  It's now the shortest I've ever gone.  And it's not bad.  Short curls/waves all around my face.  A little boyish.  Super easy.  I'll admit I've had other cuts I prefer but it's still pretty cute.  For a change I think it's perfect.  I get bored you know, and hair grows... which makes it the perfect creative outlet!

Oh, and check this out.  After a long and nonexistent campaign, I was voted in as a co-president of our PTA.  I know, I'm shocked, too!  I thought for sure someone better would come along.  It was really like I was just holding someone's place in line to buy movie tickets.  And then BAM! All of a sudden I'm on the board.  I'm really not the poster child for soccer moms everywhere, what with the punk red hair and swearing sass mouth.  And, you know, letting people cut in line.  But maybe that's just par for California. 

Also... as long time readers might remember I have a thyroid disorder, Grave's Disease.  Here's how that breaks down.  My autoimmune system, who is in general kind of belligerent, starts up the shit with, "Hey thyroid, guess what? I'm going to make you MY BITCH!!"  And my thyroid is all, "Oh no, you did not... I will cut you!  Don't test me, I WILL CUT YOU!" because she tends to overeact and spazzes out (which really, she should have figured out by now is just what autoimmune wants her to do. Don't take the bait, kids.)  But it's all good because I have meds that run negotiations between the two and generally keeps the antagonism at a simmering stalemate.  Except... just recently... my meds decided to totally pussy out of the drama (I'm sure they were sick of it, but still... rude!) and instead they went and hung out in the body's bar with the other miscreants.  Now, because of their loitering, I have liver damage!   Which basically translates to being itchy, tired, and having headaches because I've had to cut out all medications so my liver can recover.  It's amazing how much antihistamines and vitamins make a difference in your life until you cut them out!  I will never take you for granted again.  Well, there is one medicine I'm still on, a beta blocker so I don't have a heart attack while waiting for my radioactive iodine treatment to be scheduled. Yes, those are my choices. I can possibly have a heart attack from hyperthyroidism or I can become radioactive.  Which is just not as cool as Imagine Dragons makes it sound.  Not quite the relaxing start to summer I had anticipated.  But maybe I'll get some cool mutant powers out of this.  I'm hoping for time manipulation.  (Although I admit, all of this has been slightly useful for getting out of stuff when I just want to stare at the TV... "Oh honey, I would give you a backrub, but you know... liver damage!") 

Anywho, one of the possible side effects of making your body radioactive is your hair might start to fall out! Yay!  Which if it does, and since it's summer, I'm totally going to dye it blue.  Take that to its furthest conclusion and it's quite possible I could start the autumn with people wondering who the baldy-patched, blue-locked woman is. Oh her? That's our president.

I imagine membership will be leaving in droves!


Spring Break and I'm Exhausted

What's up with vacations tiring you out?  Spring break week just finished.  I was sooooo looking forward to sleeping in.  But apparently, I negated that extra sleep by just having too much damn fun!  I can't keep up with my own fricking party schedule.  We had playdates, went to museums, the amusement park, and the beach. I don't know what I was thinking.  I'm ending the week feeling frazzled and burnt out.  Chance isn't much better but, you know, he's younger so he recovers way faster or compensates by working mommy's nerves as a form of personal entertainment when he's too tired to watch TV. (Also, I think my period might be starting so there's that.)  I would like something chocolatey and alcoholic now, while I chant the eternal parental mantra...

School starts tomorrow, school starts tomorrow, school starts tomorrow.


My Smelly Pants

So I bought this new pair of jeans. Skinny, soft, they've got a couple of those pre-made holes in them (which I'm not crazy about) but they are oh so comfortable! I figured, what's a couple of questionably fashionable holes when they feel that good? It's not like they're work clothes. In fact, I was so excited about these jeans that the first time I wore them I just cut off the tags, put them on, and went out. I know, ew. But that wasn't the icky part!  As I wore them I started to notice a distinct odor. It wasn't horrible but it was definitely odd, in a decidedly bodily fluids kind of way. I'm not saying my pants smelled like poo, that would be going too far, but it was in the realm of an infected hangnail or maybe a stale fart. Did I mention these jeans feel like pajamas?  I thought, well, that's what I get for not washing them first. This is probably what an Indonesian truck smells like.  I threw them in the wash and didn't think any more about it.  Yesterday I wore them again, my deliciously comfortable pants. I didn't notice anything at first but as the day wore on I again began to smell that funky, body-gone-wrong odor.  It started wafting up every time I moved too much or squatted down to pick something up.  It still wasn't super noticeable. I probably was the only one getting a good whiff from my jeans that felt (and smelled) like a kitten's butt. But they are so comfortable!  So it really begs the question... how much stank do you put up with for comfy jeans?


Your Valued Opinion Please

I need your thoughts, please. The kid's chapter book I wrote is called The Psychic Cat.  It's about a cat named Zach who can see ghosts.  When a new cat moves into the neighborhood he goes to Zach for help with a haunted basement. Zach not only finds ghosts but he also finds a bigger problem threatening the entire neighborhood!  Da da dun!  It's up to Zach, his friends, and their new ghosts buddies to protect their families in time.  That's my basic pitch, minus the sounds effects. 

However, The Psychic Cat was always more of a working title because I basically ran out of creative juice at the very end of writing, and I thought, at the very least, the title will give an instant clue about what the book's about. So I was wondering if you all out there could weigh in on title suggestions. I'd really like to write this character as a series so I'm thinking about Zach and the Haunted Basement for the first book. 

But at the same time I'm wondering if that type of mystery title is overdone?  What do you all think?  Especially those of you who may have been reading to your kids.

To get an idea of the flavor of the book here is the first page/intro.  (P.S. Critique is always welcome!) 

 

Chapter One

            My name is Zach. I’m psychic. I’m also a cat.

            Humans usually don’t think animals can be psychic. Either that or there are those few humans who think ALL animals are psychic. Those are the goofy ones who are always following us pets around waiting for us to predict an earthquake or something. But animals can be psychic too, and I’m one of them. I see ghosts.  

            It’s not nearly as scary as it sounds. Ghosts are just like people. Or rather, the ghosts are just like animals. Those are the ones I see--the ghosts of animals. As far as I can figure human psychics see other human ghosts and animal psychics see animal ghosts. I think it’s due to a communication issue. I mean, humans can’t understand us animals, right? And we really can’t talk to people. Every once in a while I’ll see a human ghost… but believe you me, there’s certainly no discussions of the weather going on.

            Being psychic doesn’t have much to do with my day-to-day life. I live in a great house, in a great neighborhood, with the best little girl a cat could have. Her name is Samantha and she never welches on the affection. I get lots of petting, great food, and plenty of sunny spots to nap in while she’s in school. The edge of the neighborhood butts up right against forest and foothills, so if you really want to explore or even just commune with the real wildlife you don’t have far to go. Not that I go looking. I know the good life I have and it sure as heck beats living out of dumpsters. Or, yuck, hunting birds.

            Yep, there’s plenty of adventure to be found without the ghost thing ever raising its--ha ha--dead.

            But somehow that ghost thing always seems to find me…

The Story vs. the Selling

When I worked for startups I had to change hats constantly.  At the time I could switch my brain over to a new, unrelated task pretty easily... one minute you're writing, the next you're negotiating ad prices, then you're looking at art comps, and then you're picking up Jamba Juice. (I always got the Jamba Juice runs.) It was all part of the job.  You would think that working in marketing would make the selling aspects of creative writing - writing the query letter, pitch, synopsis, etc. - easier but it's not!  I figure part of it is because my brain was then. Nowadays, I find I have to make a major brain switch, and sometimes pretend I'm someone else, to do it. 

(Actually, I think it would be much easier for me to write a query letter and pitch for a client than for myself. Not that I'm offering! (Although, hmmm... I bet there are enterprising writers out there making a living writing pitches for authors. Writer for writers for hire.))  

Anywho, I am doing it. I've written the pitch, the query letter, and a synopsis (that I am almost happy with). Usually I need a bit of a break from creative writing and a lot of research before I feel back in the marketing mindset, and maybe a little bit of minor panicking. These are the times that I miss school deadlines. Or actually, any authoritative voice giving me a deadline, because apparently I don't listen to myself at all!

So I'm wondering, for those you who write or anyone who has to switch between creative and business, what are your tricks to get in the right mood?  My main trick seems to be over-researching until I'm sick of the subject and then either 1) taking a hot shower or 2) going to sleep. I think it's the "relax and let your unconscious brain work on the problem" method.  What yours?

                - wg


Lessons

I'm working on my final edit pass of my first complete book. I was kind of anxious to do the sit-down-read-through but now that I'm there I'm actually enjoying it. See, I can live happily in edit-brain, just as I can live happily in writing-brain... BUT I CAN'T DO BOTH AT THE SAME TIME!  The things you learn.

This entire project has been a learning process that I'm really, really thankful I went through. First thing I learned... I write creatively A LOT slower than I used to. All those years I wrote marketing copy quickly, I got rusty on the creative side.  So early on I made a decision to switch projects.  I originally took the hiatus to work on a YA/Adult novel.  When I realized my writing process had slowed down I switched over to a shorter project, a kid's chapter book that I had started previously, and concentrated on completing it.  Because really that's what it's all about, we can start a million books but it's finishing one that's the challenge.  I was trying to be organic about the process in general because I wasn't sure what my process was yet, and allowing my type-A self to switch writing projects midstream was part of the learning curve.  

So the book is short, about 11,000 words, and that might not mean a lot to some people but it is done!  And I'm happy with it, to boot. I also feel like I can totally accomplish a larger novel now.  I just need to allocate more time to do it. I'm also confident that my creative writing will get faster with time.

I learned more, though, than just that I'm a pokey writer. I learned where the pain points are, I know where I need to improve organization, and I learned when to allow myself to breathe and when to push myself.  I honestly would tell anyone who wants to write a book but is afraid to try... do it. Just try it.  At the very least, you'll learn a lot about yourself. 

                  - Mary, the weirdgirl       

On a different note: Apparently, my blog has been eating comments. Sorry about that. I'm not sure why it's so hungry. When I'm not completely ignoring it I feed it some lettuce scraps at least once a month. Fiber is very important, you know.


In-betweens

The problem I have with maintaining a blog (and this isn't something that can be helped because it is part of life) is that there are long periods where nothing happens and then everything happens all at once.  My brain gets jumbled when everything happens at once and I flub around trying to get all the words down, trying to cover everything with the proper amount of gravitas each element is due. Which is, of course, impossible because this is LIFE so something tragic happened, and something silly happened, and something good happened, and something ridiculous and infuriating and hilarious all occurred within the same span of time and if I really wanted to capture all of it I'd have to be sitting typing blog entries all day. Then there's another long period of nothing going on.  (Which is undoubtedly why the term "blog fodder" came into existence.)

It's funny though, all my anxiety lives in the in-betweens and not the durings.  You'd think the in-betweens would be the relaxing portion.

Keen's grandfather just recently passed away.  Keen's grandfather who was a character, whom Keen was close to; it's been very hard on him and the family.  It shouldn't have been but it was unexpected.  Grandfather was 96 years old and he was healthy and we took his health for granted.  That's on us. But he was very much loved and will be missed.

Very shortly before that, I finished my first book.  It's a kid's chapter book so it's not as long as an adult novel but it's a start.  I'll talk more about that later.  

It was high time for me to unjumble my brain and get back here.  Emails have been trickling in, checking up on me, which I truly appreciate.  Thank you guys.

                                 - the weirdgirl


The Hiatus Challenge

Hi Everyone!  As you know, I've been writing on this blog for seven years.  And, as I think happens with a lot of people who start blogs, I thought I would get a lot of other projects done in that time, too. Then I thought, when Chance started school I would have more time to do other writing. However, in the two years he's been in school I really haven't gotten much done and that's two whole years!  I think one of the problems with blogs is that when you're a writer you generally feel compelled to write; it's like a burning itch - especially if you haven't written in a while - and you just need to get something out onto the page.  And what happens with a blog is you start feeling that way and you dash off a post and you feel a little better (even if the quality isn't very good) and the desire wanes.  (Yes, writing is like an addiction.)  That all kind of eats away at your energy for what else you might write, besides the time that writing a blog takes. 

So I've decided to take a hiatus from here for a few months. I've just started a novel and I want to concentrate on just that for a while.  This is really a giant experiment to see if I can get through writing a whole book.  And also to see what happens when I lighten up my tendency to overschedule myself!  Ha ha.  I know I have a tendency of getting very committed and I'm also constantly volunteering to help everyone else.  (Let's face it, I'm so busy I've been barely blogging as it is.)  I want to see what it's like to not feel like I HAVE to post, you know what I mean?  I think it's time I do something for me, and something that's bigger and harder.  I'm also reducing the hours I volunteer at school this year (or I'm gonna try) because I was there A LOT the last two years (besides picking up Chance for lunch, which we're changing this year).  I think having fewer commitments will force me to spend time writing.

And I've just announced here that I'm working on a book so feel free to pour on the pressure!  I need it!   

It took a long time before I was ready to let go of this blog.  I'm not planning on shutting it down permanently; I just need to take a break.  I'll still be on email and Facebook so you can find me there, and I'll still be doing Cougar Beat because that's pictures instead of writing.  I may still blog an update now and then, but no promises.

I'll see you in a few months.  Love you all!             - the weirdgirl 


I swear I'm not doing it on purpose

So I keep accidentally reading porn. And this isn't like that time when I accidentally got a Brazilian bikini wax (hint: if you hear the wax technician say, "whoops"... stop it right there!) because going in to it I knew that we would be dealing with that bikini region but then it suddenly just all got more involved than anticipated.  Like a bad date but with hot wax.  No, this is me picking out books that look interesting and then reading a bit into it and then totally getting sideswiped by porn.  I blame it on my Kindle, actually.  There isn't as much detail as on the regular Amazon page or maybe the info is in a different section so I'm missing it, or maybe it's because I'm being exposed to newer authors that I'm not familiar with, and I also didn't realize that steampunk has kind of been co-opted by the romance industry, but where it really gets me is the samples!  See, you're allowed to try to a sample of a book before you commit to buying it.  But see, these wily writers?  They never put the porn in the first two chapters!  So you buy the book and get into the THIRD chapter and then realize that what you thought was a plot was just a flimsy set up for the porn!  Or the other thing that has been happening is there is a perfectly decent plot that I'm rather enjoying and then the side plot starts dominating with a lot of pulsating and blossoming and other things that anatomically don't really happen the way they describe. (And really, if a boob suddenly "blossomed" in front of you wouldn't that just freak you the fuck out? I mean, that is like some Alien shit going on there! I don't need boobs changing shape, thank you very much.)  Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against porn. I like a good romance with a hot sex scene just as much as the next person (which was SO the problem with Twilight, amiright?).  But I don't want to read a whole book of it.  Because after awhile?  Yawn, manroot, yawn.