Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween & Happy NaNoWriMo Eve!

The countdown has begun.

The hubby and I are charging the laptop batteries and I'm dusting off my Viking helmet (with braids).  Tonight, at the witching hour, we begin NaNoWriMo 2009!  I'm really pumped about this, can you tell?

For the first time doing NaNo, we are going to a kick-off party & write-in at a local restaurant.  I have my title, some research saved to the desktop, and I've got a baggie of prompts to add to the laptop bag and I've set my 'puter to the power saver setting.  (Outlets are hard to find in restaurants.)

I'm hoping that in the spirit of Halloween, I become a creative vampyre and feed off of all the energy in the room.  I've done that at some poetry events where I'm able to sit in the back so I don't distract the performer.  It's just amazing what comes out of the pen during those moments.

Getting a bit sleepy and need to take a nap.  I'll write again in a few days to let you know how I'm doing.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Scene is Set

No, not to begin my NaNo novel, but to write my NaNo novel in.  My hubby, bless his heart, pitched in and helped me convert an unused guestroom (that was really the den but had nothing but the HUGE worn out bed to sit on while browsing through our wall of books) into:

Our new office! 

The carpet is torn up and dispatched with, the desks are moved in.  His is a beautiful desk a friend gave him a year ago for his workshop.  I hated putting it out there in the hot, dry, dust with no one to visit it.  So, without much tap dancing, I got him to agree to bring it in.  Easier said than done.  We actually had to take a door off its hinges.

But, we are set to go for NaNoWriMo!  (Six days away.  Gulp.)

Oh, yeah.  I called in sick today.  I needed a mental health day to ease the horrible  headache I woke up with and this sure did it!  I am so jazzed. 

There are a few tweaks that need to be made, but nothing that we can't live with for the moment.  Yeah, it looks hodgepodge with all the second hand furniture (an old bed headboard is my bookcase) and such, but the main factor here is function

Someday I'll even figure out how to upload pictures here and then I'll show you where I write.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My dogs are barkin'!

Hi.  Sorry I haven't written for a while.  I'm pooped.  63 hour work-week pooped with all 23 hours of overtime coming in the last three days.

I hope to be back at it soon, but another tough week is coming.  What am I saying?- I have a tough month ahead.  I'll be a bit better after November 7th or 8th.  Then this blog will just be competing with NaNoWriMo for my attention.

Stand by, folks...  I will return.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Write about avenues of escape.

She squeezed her eyes shut and then squeezed some more until she could see stars. Maybe when she opened her eyes she would be in a different place, in a different time, a different person entirely. Maybe when she opened her eyes...

No. He was still there. Head lolling off to one side, snoring. Feet, dirty and rough, splayed about on the clean bedspread. Dressed in nothing but his dirty underwear, he radiated alcohol and stale smoke from the casino's back room. At least this time, she mused, he hadn't peed the bed. But as soon as she thought this, the yellow water flowered through his underwear and ran between his legs soaking the bedding underneath. She began to cry.

They married young, right out of high school. Her college dream was shoved aside when he moved them to Los Angeles to avoid joining the family construction business. He worked many different odd jobs while she worked days as a waitress in a coffee shop and nights in a local bar. Then he decided to take up an offer by one of his buddies to work in Los Vegas dealing blackjack. It was the same story there. If he wasn't fired from the places he worked, he'd find a reason to quit.

That was thirty-four years ago and he'd been unemployed for most of it. She looked at herself in the mirror and wondered who that old woman that looked back was. Her hands shook as she ran thin fingers through her brittle grey hair. Brown liver spots littered her cheeks. She couldn't tell herself these were freckles any longer.

Suddenly she was angry.  She knew that no one else was to blame but herself. She allowed this to happen. She let things go rather than saying anything because it would end up in a fight and she would end up apologizing for some slight misdeed and then soothe it all away. He'd walk around the house, thin-lipped and demanding, "What if I go out for a drink now and then and what if I do a little gambling here and there? At least I don't take up with any strange women, now do I?"

A snort, a gasp, a growl, and then he rolled over. Silence lingered only seconds before a renewing of the snores. The smell from the alcohol, smoke, and urine pushed with body odor, made her gag.

And it made up her mind. She pulled the curtain covering the closet aside, grabbed a couple of canvas shopping bags and started to fill them with her clothes. Then she stopped. What would she do for money? He took it all last night. Maybe, just maybe he won this time? She went to the tiny living room and picked up the pants he'd shucked off in the middle of the room. She searched the pockets.

Keys. She put them in her pocket. She was taking the car. Coins. Also, in her pocket. A few wadded up bills, mostly singles. In her pocket. The wallet. Credit cards, mostly maxed out. In her pocket. No more money.

The kitchen drawer held the checkbook and address book. They went in her other pocket. The tiny notebook with passwords to the online bill paying sites joined them. What else? She looked around the kitchen, then the living room, scanning, searching for other things she could use. She would leave nothing for him. For a moment she considered taking the groceries, too, but ended up taking a box of granola bars and leaving the rest. He couldn't cook anyway.

Returning to her bags, she paused, pulled everything out and repacked with just her nightgown, some work clothes and underwear. Her cosmetics were few. Dollar store shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste and brush, a hair brush and comb. Then she slid her latest romance novel down one side. Looking around she saw the old Bible on the shelf and gave a snort. Fat lot of good that piece of crap did her. All lies.

Slipping the shopping bag handles over one arm, she slung her purse on the other shoulder and selected the car key. Praying to the Universe for a decent amount of gas, she walked out the door and into her new life.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Don't Quite Follow You

There are days when I feel my house is just not big enough.  Sheesh!  There are only three of us (and a small dog and a long cat) in a three bedroom house!  Yet, there are times we - inadvertantly - follow each other through the house.

It starts in the kitchen or laundry room.  I need to put something in the bedroom at the other end of the house.  I walk out of the kitchen into the dining room where my hubby has just gotten up from the main computer to tell me something he's just learned.  So he follows me as I walk to the bedroom to tell me about it.

Or

It starts in the kitchen or laundry room.  I have something to put in the bedroom.  My daughter has just grabbed a soda from the fridge and heads back to her bedroom & computer.   Hubby, in the dining room gets up to tell me something... and on it goes with variations on this theme.

It unnerves me.  I really don't know how they feel as I haven't said much of anything about it.  I mean, what's the point?  It isn't something deliberately done.  The only time I do say something is when they all follow me to the bathroom and sometimes INTO the bathroom to continue the discussion.  Again, sheesh!

My point?  I flash back to "Ghost Hunters" and "Ghost Hunters International" and their oft repeated comments about feeling creeped out by the sound or feeling of someone/thing following them.  Then I think about how creepy it feels when you are walking down the sidewalk and someone is behind you walking a bit faster than you.  That moment when they overtake you is one that freezes time for me.  It might be the inherent fright I feel living in a big city.  It bothers me.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sidesaddle Temptress

(Prompt courtesy of Easy Street Prompts)

Sitting astride the metaphorical stallion
I pull the reins to halt the beast
Distant horizons entice me
East or west, north or south
Such is the question
And I wait for the answer
Decide!
Decide!
Life will not wait
Everyone must make

THE decision.
Everyone must live with it, too
Many regrets and
Possibilities are left behind
They nip away at our peace of mind
Releasing those thoughts are difficult
Everyone has them, and
So do I
So do you

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nagging feeling

I hate this.  I have this horrible feeling like I'm forgetting something.  Something important.  I have 2 meetings coming up that I am in charge of.  Both seem like they are under control and I'm prepared completely except for the usual last minute stuff: printing and stuffing.  I've checked, re-checked, and checked again.  What am I missing?

Or is it that I'm so used to flying by the seat of my pants and grabbing and clutching at last minute items?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"You have stayed too long."


"I know. But, I just can't..."

"Yes, you can." It sat down on the chair across from her and leaned close, "I know it's scary. New things are always scary." It sat back in the chair and seemed to sigh.

"What do you know about scary? You DO scary but do you feel scared?"

"Yes, sometimes. I feel scared when they bring psychics and mediums here. I feel scared when they carry new devices. I never know what will happen then."

"Why?"

"Because they might find a way to send me over."

"So? Aren't you supposed to go over?"

"That's hard to say. I stayed here and then it was too late to go over. My doorway closed."

"But if they opened a new doorway?"

"I don't know." It sighed again but this time it was tinged with aggravation. "This isn't about me. It's about you. You need to move on."

"You don't. Why should I?"

"Because you are still alive. You have a life ahead of you and that life is meant to experience things, see new places, meet new people."

She fell back on the bed, arms spread wide. "I'm just not ready, okay?"

"You can't sit here and talk to me all night."

"Why not? Where are you going?"

"Nowhere. Stop this arguing now. Get to bed and in the morning I want to see that suitcase packed and you waiting for the taxi." It softened its voice and added, "You can send me postcards, you know. I can flip them over and read them when the mailman drops them through the slot."

"I guess." She rolled over and then spun around to face it. "Okay, the real reason I don't want to go? I'm afraid that when I come back I won't be able to see you or talk to you or you'll just be gone." Her voice caught, "You are my best friend."

"And you are one of mine. I'll be here, never fear that. And I'll find a way to let you know that should the worst happen." It stood up and drifted to the wall. "Now, get some sleep. I'll see you before you go."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I love autumn.

The sharp edge of desert summer heat has finally softened for the fall. We’ve been experiencing below average temperatures and clouds decorate our skies once more. As I walked to work this morning I was blessed with enough rain that I used my umbrella for the first time in months. (I almost detected a bit of dust poof out as I opened it.)

This is the time of year that I consider to be my personal New Year with new goals and projects beginning. Breathing comes easier now. Reflection and introspection fill my spirit and lead me to the page. Fiction is pushed momentarily to the side and journaling takes priority. The usual resistance is gone and I spiral down to find my truth.

The desert hasn’t always been my home. I grew up in rural Minnesota. Autumn was more subtle there but beginnings were just as bold as now. The start of school and with it the start of new notebooks and other supplies blended with the change in weather created an indelible imprint upon me that will never leave.

So, dear readers, we head off to a New Year, a new beginning, and the next year with great interest. What will our future hold? Where will we find that next piece of our personal puzzle?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Why not ...?

Why not dream?  It saves your sanity in this crazy world. 

Why not dream?  To think that this is all there is could be a sin.

Why not dream?  There are worse ways to spend the time.

Why not dream?  The real world calls it planning.

Why not dream?  Possiblities can only be seen through the window of a dream.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Another weekend passes by

Crap.  It's Sunday night.  Work tomorrow.   It starts with a "Staff Meeting" that is basically - well, never mind.  It's just more whining that neither of us really needs right now.

I managed to get the back yard hay field mowed.  Now the cat is pissed off.  She loved playing jungle kitty and hiding low in the grass until the little dog passed by whereupon she'd pounce and scare the dog into a freak-out.  Now it is literally a level playing field.  The dog, of course, loves it.  In addition to the attacks from the cat, she has allergies to the grass and would come in with a red blotchy tummy.

The washing machine is on its third load.  It is so different from the old Estate.  That had two dials.  This has five.  Yes, five.  Believe it or not, it was the simplest Whirlpool model that Sears had.  I did not want a computer panel.  One tiny thing breaks and you have to replace the whole freaking computer.  Pass!

The hubby and I have decided to turn the spare bedroom/den into a home office.  This will be a slow project.  Since we don't have a decent enough house to invite anyone to spend the night, this seems like a good idea.  My writing desk is in our bedroom and it is not working out.  Everyone ends up in here on the king-sized bed and I get no writing done.  Step one is getting that old bed out of the house and into the alley.  We want to clear the room completely and tear up the carpet.  It's worn out and we don't need the extra allergens of dust mites either.  Fortunately, our 1954 ranch style home was built with polished and dyed cement floors.  Dark brown.  Yuck.  Can anyone say:  Area Rugs?

As you can see from the upper right corner, I updated my author profile on NaNoWriMO today and am officially in the running for that 50K finish line.  If I cross, I will splurge and get the T-shirt.

Well, the dog is snoring, so I guess it is time to wrap it up for tonight.  Sleep well, my friends.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mixed feelings

The new washing machine will be delivered tomorrow.  This brings up several emotional responses.
  • I feel relieved that I won't have to go to a laundromat.
  • I feel panicky because my credit card is now maxed out and there is no safety net anymore.
  • I feel sad because I tend to become attached to my major appliances (& cars) and I hate goodbyes in any form.
  • I feel high from making a guilt-free purchase - we NEEDED this.  I've gone without a dryer before and it is rather pleasant to hang clothes out on the line.
What a mixed bag of feelings.  I realize that this is because I'm human and a woman to top it off.  Women are naturally gifted at multitasking in all sorts of ways.  This is just one example.  I'm just blessed with a comprehending husband and a daughter that also has the gift.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Feeling bummed again

Well, washing machine repairman said it couldn't be fixed for less than $400.  Rats.  So I gave him a handshake and my last $60 in cash.  I've just spent the last 2 hours on research and it looks like it will be another Whirlpool.  Heck, the Estate - made by Whirlpool - was 17 years old (I checked the file) and was last repaired in May of 2008, so that should be a good choice. 

Top loading for me.  Every single review I read on front loading mentioned the mildew/mold problem of the drums and door seals staying wet unless you wipe them down when you are done.  Excuse me?  I have enough to remember to pull the last load out of the dryer.  And try training the family to wipe it down?  Sheeyeah.  And monkeys... well, you get the idea.

The next question is, do I want that shiny red one?  It's a good price.  My old dryer is white and I'm NOT going to replace that on the esthetics point.  I really don't care if they don't match.  Function is king in this household.

Hubby is out golfing.  I found a $20 hiding under the mess on the kitchen counter/telephone area.  They are getting an okay price because their tee-time is not during prime time.  I wish I had married "me" sometimes.

Looks like I'll be digging up some quarters for the laundromat.