Life is full of adventures. When I was little we would drive from New Jersey to Vermont to visit my mom’s family (or when we lived in Vermont, down to New Jersey to visit my dad’s family). Being in the dark ages, before GPS, we got lost a lot trying to avoid traffic through New York and Connecticut. And we loved it.
Being lost was part of the fun of traveling. We saw things we would never have seen otherwise and got to spend time as a family just goofing around in a place where nothing else could distract us. It’s harder to get lost on purpose now, but it is just as easy to have adventures.
We took the kids to the aquarium today. It was a blast! We saw giant fish and tiny fish. We got to pet sharks and stingrays. Kid #3 got to see at least ten different kinds of turtles (his favorite animal at that moment). And all three of them got their picture taken with a live 14-foot-long alligator.
The alligator’s name was Big Mike. Big Mike was behind glass standing statue still in the water, just chillin’. The kids all sat down in front of him so we could get a picture. Of course, as soon as they did, Big Mike moved.
Kid #1 wisely decided he didn’t want to sit next to Big Mike anymore and that we should go see the fish again instead. His brothers heartily agreed.
I don’t normally post pics of my boys online, but this picture is too good not to share.
Kid #1 is the one on the left. XD
Aside from adventures of the undersea kind, I’m starting out on my own adventure. An adventure into short story writing. I’m currently 900 words into a story that is set in the world of my Fading Marks series, but not involving any of the characters in the series. It was harder than I thought it would be to switch to another story after working on my novels for so long. It took me two weeks just to come up with an idea. But now that the idea is there, it’s shaping up to be a really interesting and unexpected addition to my story’s universe.
I’ve also been working my way through my portion of the Entry Plus critiques for the Fantasy Faction Anthology contest. That has been an adventure in and of itself. At first I was a little nervous giving out critiques for writers I’d never met, but the responses I’ve gotten have been great. It’s so rewarding to be able to help people with their writing, and critiquing other people’s work is helping me have a more critical eye for my own work. It’s an adventure that’s win-win in the best possible way.
Speaking of which, I should get back to work.
“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.” – Dr. Seuss. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
Title image by favillephoto.
Hello again everyone! I’ve been gone from the blog for a bit now haven’t I? It’s been a busy year for me, but most recently it’s been a very boring/trippy month. I had hernia surgery three weeks ago Monday. Since then, I haven’t been able to lift anything over 5lbs. (a gallon of milk is 8lbs.), walk or stand for any length of time, or laugh too hard without hurting. Until the end of last week I wasn’t even able to sit at the computer. Good bits about having surgery: you don’t have to do any cleaning or shopping, and you have an excuse to sit and watch TV all day. Also the pain meds I was on the first week apparently made me a lot more fun to be around.
This was the first time I’ve ever been put under for surgery. It was so weird. The nurse (who was very nice, but a liar) put a mask on me and said, “Okay, this is just oxygen. Take deep breaths to relax yourself.” I knew that wasn’t true. I’ve seen medical shows on TV before. And sure enough, as she’s talking to me the lights above my head started getting closer, like I was floating towards the ceiling. Then I fell asleep and the next thing I knew I woke up in the recovery room! It’s such an odd feeling to fall asleep against your will. It wasn’t scary or anything, just surprising. I somehow didn’t believe I would simply fall asleep than be awake somewhere else as if no time had passed. But that really is what it felt like. But I digress.
The point of this post is I’m now able to sit at the computer again. Which means I’m back to work on Fantasy-Faction, two weeks later than I thought I would be. I saw the doctor today and he said only two more weeks of reduced activity and I’ll be at 100%! Which means I still can’t lift anything and my house is going to stay destroyed for a bit, but he was very happy with how everything was turning out.
In the not so good news department, on top of me being laid out for three weeks from the surgery, my husband and I have had the cold from hell for two weeks. Which wouldn’t be too bad if the kids hadn’t all gotten a stomach bug over the weekend. It’s like my house is cursed with a plague. I’m not sure who I upset enough to get a pox put on my house, but I promise I won’t ever do it again.
So here I am now, two weeks behind schedule, tending sick kids, and so bored from staying put for three weeks that filing papers sounds fun. I have never been so ready to get back to work before in my life. I promise if I owe you an email or response to something I should have it to you by Friday. Hope you all are doing well. I also hope I’ll be caught up with everything soonish, because I am really missing my writing right now. All this sitting around has given me way too much time to plot and worldbuild in my head. Time to write it all down!
A big thanks to all the Fantasy-Faction staff that covered things while I was out and to all the well wishes I’ve recieved from all my online friends and family. You guys are the best!
Title image by Dongedyframe.
Today I am working on my query. This is the first day I’ve worked on it in a month. This is the first day I’ve done any writing in a month. I’m confessing this for two reasons.
Reason One: If I admit I’ve been slacking, I’m more likely to get back to work.
Reason Two: There is a lesson to be learned here.
Just over a month ago, I thought I had my query pretty much squared away. I showed it to a couple people and found that no, it needed work. And really it didn’t just need work, it needed an overhaul. It’s frustrating to work on something, think it’s done and then realize you really need to completely redo it. But that’s life as a writer.
Luckily for me, I have amazing online friends and colleagues that gave me great advice on how to fix my query. Almost exactly a month ago, I sat down at my writing club and for three hours I tore words from my head and fixed them to the computer screen in front of me. It was painful to the point where now and then, I would get up and pace in the cafe because I couldn’t find the word I was looking for. But at the end of three hours I’d done it! I had a great, unique query opening, a couple of paragraphs long, that fit my story and got the astounded approval of everyone in our little group. I closed my husband’s laptop and went home happy.
Now rather than finish it up that night, I decided to give it a week to settle so I could go back and look on it with fresh eyes and see any mistakes that I might have missed while writing it. Then I could finish my query and send it back to my online friends to see what they thought.
A week passed and my husband and I were working on various things after we’d put our kids to bed. I asked him to email me the file, as I had forgotten my jump drive the night of writing club and saved it to his laptop instead. At least…I thought I’d saved it. Apparently I hadn’t. Or I saved the wrong file. Or computer gremlins ate it. Regardless of what happened, the file was gone. Not just partially there or corrupted, but simply not present.
Needless to say I was heartbroken. All that work lost. And since I’d waited a week to look at it, the only part of it I remembered was the first two sentences. After an exhaustive search of almost every file on the computer, we gave up and I was forced to admit that I need to start from scratch…again.
But I didn’t. Instead I avoided it any way I could. I read, I drafted articles, I played on Twitter, I played on Pinterest, I played on Minecraft, anything but think about my story and its query.
This was a dumb idea, and very immature really. Rather than attack the problem, I let it get the better of me. If I’d thought hard enough about the query when I first noticed the file was missing, I might have been able to remember more of it than I do now. But more than that, I’m now a month further in the future and I still need to finish my query. So yeah, not smart.
The lesson here is don’t let disappointments get the better of you. Writing has its ups and downs, but if you can push through the downs, the ups are worth it.
Also make sure you really save your work. And back it up. Every. Time.
Title image by JacobVanVoorenPhoto.
…I’m soooo tired, my mind is on the blink.
I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink? No, no, no!
Okay so I have slept, but it’s been a rough couple of weeks. I feel like I’m so far behind, that life is starting to lap me. For example, last week.
Last week, on Tuesday I had an MRI of my head. It was so relaxing to be stuffed in a tube where I couldn’t hear anything but deafening buzzing and beeping noieses, and no one could bother me even if they wanted to, that I almost fell asleep. Then on Thursday I had to get an infected and cracked tooth pulled and I got to take a nap in the afternoon because my husband was home to watch the kids. It was like being on vacation!
If that sounds sad to you, then you should be me! It just feels like whenever I start to get things straightened out something comes up and I fall behind again. I haven’t had a chance to read anything, except when waiting at the doctor’s office, in weeks. My house is a mess and I’m behind with all of the (probably too many) projects I currently have running.
I’m not actually saying this because I want to whine, or have a pity party or anything. I just feel the need to explain why I haven’t been around and answering emails and such as quick as I normally do. I feel like when I get this far behind I’m letting everyone down.
I’ve decided that this week is going to be better though. Today I got a TON of stuff done. I got 1/3 of the way caught up on my Fantasy-Faction articles. I paid bills, I cleaned my office area and made a bunch of phone calls. So, even though my house looks messy and I didn’t step foot in the forums today (bad mod!) I did get a whole bunch of stuff done that was hanging over my head. And it’s the kind of stuff that once it’s done, you don’t have to do it over again. (Those are my favorite chores!)
I’m still way behind with my writing group critiques, I need to finish answering emails, and editing articles, but it’s only Monday, and I have a whole week left to catch up.
I should also mention that my tooth (well lack of tooth) feels much better now, and I’d like to thank all my friends who sent me well wishes. You guys are the best.
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Oh, you may also have noticed that a couple weeks ago I moved over to WordPress. When and if I ever figure out how to setup a proper redirect I will. As a matter of fact, if any of you know how to do that and could help me out, I would appricate it.
Title image by jawsphoto7.
This weekend I got a lot done. Okay, I didn’t get a lot done, but I got a good amount of things done. Many of which are my favorite kind: the kind you only have to do once. But that’s not why I am here today. Today I want to tell you about koi fish and Pinterest.
It all begins with the best part of last weekend, which was when I got to go out to lunch with my husband and no children! This is related to the koi pond, but first let me just take a moment and remember what it was like to go out and eat dinner in peace and quiet.
Okay, I’m done. Moving on.
Where did we go? Well, some of you may know this, but in my pre-mom life, I worked in the restaurant industry. I was trained as a chef apprentice at my local community college. I was actually in the first year class, of their now, amazingly successful program. One of the classes they teach is the restaurant class, which is exactly what it sounds like. The students come up with a restaurant theme and menu and then open it to the public once a week during class. They all take turns at each station, including waiting tables, and learn what it’s really like to work in an actual restaurant. They’re only open for an hour and a half and you have to buy tickets in advance, but for $14-$18 per person you get a four to five course gourmet dinner, and you get to watch them cook it because the classroom walls are made of glass. I had a great time pointing everything out to my husband (he’d never been there before) and reminiscing about how it was ‘back in the old days’ (read ten-ish years ago).
As we were leaving, I called my sister who was watching the kids and asked if she needed us to come back right away. It was beautiful out and we were trying to get as much time away as we could. She said that we could stay out, because my mom and dad, my aunt, and her friend were going to take everyone to the park so no rush. Yes! More free time!
Of course, since we are boring and couldn’t go too far away, we ended up stopping at the local hobbie shop and buying a new set of dice. (Party all the time, that’s me.) We decided after that, we would head back to the house and enjoy the half hour or so of complete quiet before everyone returned from the park. About fifteen minutes after we arrived home, I got a phone call. It was my mom, she was laughing, and she said, and I quote, “We may have had a couple incidents.”
Now we can go back to the koi pond, pictures of which, you may have seen in my Flickr feed. It’s in the middle of a flower park with trails and a gazebo. Lots of people have their weddings there, or at least get their weddings pictures taken there. The pond itself is pretty big and deep in the middle and it has a curved bridge at one end. The pond has turtles, ducks, koi fish, and a garter snake that we’ve seen a couple times. Every time we go, we bring crackers to feed the fish, some of which are huge!
This was the first time I didn’t go with the kids. But there were five adults and only four kids (including my nephew) what could possibly go wrong?
I’m sure you can see where this is going. My youngest was the first one in the water. He slipped into the pond while standing between my dad and my aunt and got wet all the way up to his shoulders. Then kid two slipped in, though he was only wet up to his butt. The last child, my oldest, saw his twin getting pulled out of the water, looked at my aunt, smiled, and jumped into the pond.
So ten minutes after she called, three soaked to the skin toddlers in squishy sneakers, dripped through my kitchen and into the bathroom. Luckily, it was warm out and the pond was shallow at the edges. They are also lucky that I have a good sense of humor, but then I think that might be a prerequisite if you have kids.
That was Saturday, day. The rest of Saturday, I spent cleaning and posting things to Pinterest. Now I have a lot of things to do during the day, I really didn’t need another one. But my cousin Amber (@wanderingknits) was ‘nice’ enough to show me something else to distract me from my work. Pinterest is sort of a like a bookmark site, which sounds kind of boring, but really it’s amazingly addicting, because it’s all visual. And to prove how addicting it is, I spent over four hours adding stuff to the boards I created. You can check out all the neat things I found here. What kind of things you ask? Well things like this:
And of course this:
I also set up a board with all the reviews Fantasy-Faction has done since we started. It’s really cool to be able to see all the book covers lined up like that. It’s kind of like my own virtual review library.
Anyway, I think I’ve rambled on long enough, so I believe I will wrap this up now. And possibly go play on Pinterest some more.
Title image by aroundtheisland.