28 June 2011

I Must Hate Myself

There are about a million things I want to do every day. Bah! I just noticed that I haven't folded my laundry. You see, there are little things hiding everywhere. Things that want to be done. They long to be done, so they don't feel lonely and unfulfilled anymore. And I want to help them, I really do. But until someone can “alter time, speed up the harvest or teleport me off this rock” all I've got to work with is the same 24 hours as everyone else.

Some days I try to pack in as much as possible. Okay, most days. And I try to make the most of my time. I make unrealistic goals about pretty much everything. Sometimes I even accomplish them, which is nice.

But seriously, between writing, work (Ugh, don't even get me started. Like my job, don't like the recent chaos), Kung Fu class, going to the gym, eating, sleeping and a smattering of other “things” I feel a little maxed out.

Yes, it's my fault. And no, it's not likely that I will slow down anytime soon.

That's why I say I must hate myself.

I'll just give a few examples from today. I'm trying to edit the final red lines to my novel so I can finally get it out. Yay! The thing is, I'm fixing the “was” obsession that I apparently had/have, and it's taking me forever to get through it. Of course the final product will be worth it, but until I get there I feel like I'm trying to grind my way through a rock with a straw. Not even a spoon! (because it'll hurt more) I wanted it finished by the end of the week. Hah, yeah right.

Second, I went to a spinning class this afternoon with a good friend of mine. My legs finally recovered from Kung Fu class last week, and I think I did pretty well. Felt the burn and all that. The seat is where I had the worst, uh, feeling. Bike seat—haven't been on one in years. You figure it out, and don't ask me why I'm flinching every time I sit down for the next two days.

So I must hate myself. Isn't there medication for this problem?

25 June 2011

My Luck with Men

Tonight I got the chance to go see the Civil War up at the new Center Point Theater in the Davis County Arts Center. At least that's where I think we were.

I've seen the play three or four times before this, and I have to say that this one is my second favorite. The first time I saw it the whole experience hit me like a Mac Truck—right in the face and with force. I'm sure I cried like a baby. For whatever reason, war stories always do that to me, and the Civil War takes it to a whole new level. When I read the book The Killer Angels I started crying on the first page and kept it up until I got finished. Maybe I was there in a past life. Or I'm just a sucker for a man in uniform.

Anyway, I loved the performance tonight. Kudos to everyone involved.

Except for the man sitting next to me.

Men in general are intrusive. If a man sits next to me, he always seems to believe it's totally okay for him to fling his legs out and get in my space. Oh, except when it's a guy I like and want him to invade my space. That's the only time this doesn't happen. Space invasion with both the knee and shoulders.

Okay, guys have wide shoulders. I'm good with that. I'm even okay if they come over the line a little. Most of the time they're quite a bit taller than me so I don't have to fight for the space. But the leg thing. Ugh.

The guy tonight stood a good foot and a half taller than me. Lucky for him the theater is brand new and they have lots of leg room. Even with his long legs he still had a few inches before his knees touched the row of seats in front of us. However, the space must be cursed or something, because he refused to allow his knees anywhere close to it. Instead he felt it was okay to completely straddle his seat. Yes, his legs were spread apart so far that he actually had a third of the front of my seat behind his knee.

Really? I understand that guys don't sit with their legs together for a reason, but how much breathing space do the boys need? If my girls needed that much I'd be in real trouble. Heck the whole world would be in trouble.

I doubt any of my two followers are men, so this rant will go unheeded. But ladies, please let the boys know that women who don't know them probably don't want to rub legs with them during a play. Or ever, probably.

My one consultation—the guy broke down into tears during one of the songs. Hah! Take that.

24 June 2011

When Pain is Good Thing

I keep telling myself that in a day or two, when I can walk again without shuffling like an old lady, I'll be happy about the pain. Of course, at that point it should be gone. Things are always better when the pain is gone.

Kempo class has instituted a new regime. It's a “I'm going to make you suck less” regime laid down by Sensei because apparently we're all wimps.

I know I am. Sadly I still can't even do one real push up. I've got a thousand excuses for that, and not one of them holds water. Effort. It's all about effort, and mine has been seriously lacking lately. So I'm happy about the new regime.

Right now my legs aren't very excited about it.

Last night we did squats. I'm no stranger to squats, but we haven't done any serious rounds of them in a while. And, since this is all new and terrifying, Sensei had is squatting down, touching our butts on something and then standing back up. Okay. Ouch, but okay. We did like thirty of those.

Then—perhaps we weren't grimacing enough—we did thirty more, only this time we got to pass around a 4lb ball that we held over our heads.

So lower squats than usual, touching my butt to something that was, in my knees opinion, way to close to the ground, and passing exercise balls around over our heads. This is why I go to class!

Yes, I'm a wimp. Yes, I whined inside. Did I love it anyway? Sadly, yes. Will I go back? Uh, yeah.

Can I walk? No. Get up off the chair without clenching my teeth and sucking in a breath of “oh crap, that hurts?” No. I can't wait to hike the stairs from our apartment tomorrow.

Pain, pain, go away. Come again some other day.

22 June 2011

Writing is Like . . .

My friend Melissa tagged me. Not in a picture, that'd been easy, but in a tag, you're it kind of a way. So I'm it. So what? I guess that means I need to do something here. The title above is the prompt. I shall type.

Writing is like getting a group of my favorite people together and going on an adventure with them. I do have to drag along my not so favorite people as well, but we need them. Without a little conflict stories are boring! And if the classification of adventure is involved, then boring can't come along for the ride. Doesn't work that way. Besides, in my worlds nasty little fellows like that always get their comeuppance. Trust me.

Let's compare the adventure to going to an amusement park. Some people stick to the kids rides, other people go for the more exciting rides while the not so faint of heart will throw themselves onto anything that resembles a moving machine with a seat belt—with the seat belt being optional for some.

So I've got my friends, and we have a plethora of adventure lying before us, ready for the taking. What to do first? Start with the little rides? Someone might be deathly afraid of a twirling octopus that shoots water from its tentacles, even if a three year old can out run it. There's a conflict. What will we do!?! Make them “get over it” and force them on the ride. Push them until they leave? Have them watch all of our stuff while we get soaked? Tell them to go get us some snacks. They might psych themselves up into overcoming their own fear, or they might cry like a little girl the whole time, vowing to kill us all in our sleep. Depending on the characters, any of these things could be interesting. Or they could be boring. That's the beauty of writing. It can make nothing of something or something of nothing.

Let's say the character gets on the ride of their own accord, facing their fear. Good job. Now that that's over, what's next? Haunted house? Merry go round? Roller coaster? Happy go Pukey ride? (Sorry, had to throw that in there for anyone who gets it.) Who faces their fear next? Who spills ketchup all over their white shirt and then sees the guy she likes? Who makes a move on said guy, ruining everyone's day because then everyone is, like, so mad about it all and can't believe the she would do that to their friend!

When all of that gets dull, have a monster erupt from a ride. Up the stakes. Deepen, broaden. Betrayal, fears, love, anger, joy, laughter, action and fun. I fill the story with as much as I can fit in there (kind of like how I ate everything I possibly could on my cruise last week because when will I have unlimited chocolate chip cookies and soft serve ice cream available for “free” again?”) and shake it up a bit. When the good parts come to the surface I write them down.

Writing is like that for me. Maybe it's just me.

21 June 2011

Did You Miss Me?

I've been gone. Did anyone notice? Don't lie.

Wait. Lie. Of course you missed me!!!

It looks like I got tagged in someone's blog. I've written a semi-funny response, but I typed it on my laptop, which is at home . . . and our wireless is still out. I'll try to put it up tomorrow.

For now I shall dazzle you with a story from my vacation. I'll stick with the end of it, considering all of my pictures are at home too. Man I'm not doing well today.

So we left Seattle on our flight back to Salt Lake with cloudy skies and rain. We got lucky through the trip (cruise to Alaska) and only got a light sprinkle on one day. Blue sky peeked through the clouds twice. We got pictures.

Our pilot warned us that the approach into Salt Lake would be bumpy. Like I'd notice. Bumpy plane rides don't really bother me. Well, unless I get motion sick, but that's a lot of bumpy going on for a plane ride. Plus I just take the meds now. Hello Bonine--love you.

Usually, when I'm lucky enough to get a window seat I end up over the wing. I'm not sure how every single row of a plane is able to be situated right over the wings, but trust me, it happens all the time.

Stars somewhere in the universe must have aligned properly, because my seat ended up both by a window and well back of the wing. Great, I just used up all of my good karma for June and probably July. Figures.

As the plane started to descend I was editing my novel. I told you, bumpy doesn't bother me; I actually think it's kind of fun. We went through a layer of clouds and broke free. Just before we entered the next layer down I looked out the window. A streaking line of lighting leaped from the clouds above and nailed one of those little lightning rods on the end of the wing.

True story.

Unfortunately, my travel companion, who had her fingernails sunk into the seat, isn't one for, "Hey, I think we just got hit by lightning!" So I kept it to myself. One girl a few rows back saw it too, because I heard her telling her friend. Everyone else must have been asleep.

Then, as if in apology, we flew right over a rainbow. Ah, nature.

10 June 2011

Dive, Dive!

I need to remember that I'm not a teenager anymore. And I'm not exactly sure how I forget, considering my body reminds me about twenty times a day. Unfortunately, I believe the dojo has some special chi thing that makes me ignore the fact that I probably shouldn't do everything the teenagers do. Usually I can't do all of it (hello, frog jumps . . . not my thing) but I do try.

However there is one thing I can do. I'm sure I've mentioned it before. My one Kung Fu skill is forward rolls. Hey, everybody's got to have a skill. And I worked for this one. After trying to do them as a white belt, and not having done a somersault for at least ten years, I limped away with what could easily have been a dislocated shoulder and a broke something or other. I'm not joking. Not this time.

So I practiced. I lined my basement with pillows and started from my knees. It took me a couple of weeks, but the next time we did forward rolls I could do them from my feet. Walking even. Now, when we do rolls, I smile.

Last night Sensei decided to up the ante. I helped with the kids class, and we had them doing diving rolls over a small hitting pad. (Big for the short ones) It's always a pleasure to watch them try to figure this stuff out. Even more fun is watching four of them trying to put the mat away, but I won't go into that. Just trust me, it's like watching an old, funny cartoon.

With the last five minutes of adult class, Sensei put a pad up for us to dive over.

Huh, never done that before. Okay, sure, I'll try it. I tried it, and I did it! Like eight or nine times. I had one bad landing, and my back and hips are paying for it today, but no broken necks, so that's good. Of course I'll never think to do it when I fall. My life is like that.

07 June 2011

Passive Support Group

I've been working on this novel for just over a year. Let me up that. I've been working hard on this novel for just over a year. The learning curve proved to be steeper than I expected, and I'm still waiting for the other side of it. You know, actually sending a query and getting either a rejection (gotta love those) or a "yes please, send me your unique and riveting manuscript right away." If someone used those words, I'd laugh and laugh and laugh. But I'm off topic again.

The craft of writing is even more complicated than scrap booking. I'm not saying like I scrap book. No, no, that'd be typing up my travel journal, printing it out, putting my pictures in those pages with sleeves and sticking it all in a binder. No. More like my sister's scrap booking style. At least three tables of paper, scissors, markers, stickers, stamps, embossing stuff, more paper, books, pages, punches, ribbon, those punch out things you buy at the store, maybe a Cricket machine . . . Novels are more like that. I'd say noveling has layers, like an onion, but that's old news.

Every time I go to a conference, read a book on writing, get critiques from my writing groups or just read a good book, I find yet another tool that I should be using when I write. This past month I learned enough about passive voice to know that I've got it. Like a disease, it's infiltrated every single page of my manuscript, and left it less than it should be. Trust me, it's amazing what a highlighter on the word "was" will do for the color cartridge in a printer. At least in my manuscript. Anyone else? I'm thinking of starting a support group.

I'm on the final (before query) down hill slope of editing. With this latest passive voice tool I should be able to up the quality. Maybe someone will want to read it. Heck, perhaps an agent will want to read it! That'd be cool.

04 June 2011

Woe is Me!

Our wireless internet is down. Again.

I Google a lot when I write. I check me e-mail every ten minutes. (You know, just in case someone decided that they want to leave me a million dollars because they're moving to Iceland to become a fish whisperer and they can't take any money with them.) And I blog.

That would be why I haven't blogged all week. I'm beginning to suspect (wait, can you begin to suspect, or should you just go straight to the suspecting bit?) that my lap top is the problem child. It had a hard time connecting at the hotel last weekend, and I remember last year it took about ten seconds.

My heart secretly wants to get a new one. Please don't tell my existing laptop, he'd be jealous and angry. I've been eying the small ones. Mine is a 15" screen. I like the bigness, but I also envy the portability and long battery life of the little notebooks.

Don't go all crazy thinking I should get an IPad or whatever. My cell phone is over 5 years old. That sentence should convey the depth with which I (don't) worship technology. I should probably care more, but I don't. Once in a while I think, "Hey, I should find a boyfriend so I don't have to deal with car repairs and so he'll pick out all of my technology for me." Then I spend fifteen seconds thinking about all the single guys I know, shrug and go to get a snack.

Where is this going? I dunno. My excuse for not blogging for the past week, I guess.

I'll toss in a novel update. I've got one week to finish up my latest revisions to it. The plan is to have it ready before that. I may or may not take a hard copy on vacation with me. Frankly I'd rather read Hard Magic and I Don't Want to Kill You instead, so that's probably what will happen.

When I get back, the wonderful fun of querying for agents will begin. The "real fun." Until then, revise, revise and revise!

Oh, on a ninja note . . . we did so many reverse crescent kicks today in class that my hip went numb AND hurt at the same time. Crazy, crazy and ouch.