May 30

Change of morning plans

It’s 5:30 AM, and I’ve been awake since about 4:30 AM. This was intentional; on mornings that I go running I get up that early so that I have time to run and still get myself and everyone else ready and out the door in time for work/daycare etc. I’m a morning person, though, so it’s not as heinous as you might think.

But no running this morning. I woke up, brushed my teeth (I would hate to get hit by a car or something while running and have the EMTs be unable to get close to me because of morning-breath funk), wrestled my way into the 10th level sports bra that is required to hold Things in place, and went out to get the paper. And heard the thunder and saw the not-so-distant lightning.

Crap. I went back inside, pulled up the weather website (how the HELL did we survive before the internet??) and saw that an extremely impressive line of thunderstorms was marching its way toward my abode. I don’t mind running in the rain, but running in thunder and lightning is another issue entirely.

Bah. I did about 20 minutes on the stationary bike instead, but it’s just not the same. I probably should have done more than 20 minutes, but I just get so booooored on the bike.

In other news, the crush at work is getting more reasonable. Things are starting to fall into place and even though there’s no way to make the June 1st deadline that our director has set (BellSouth will only move SO fast, and IBM took FOREVER to ship our server), everything should be good to go by mid June at the latest. (Crossing fingers!) And, on the writing front, I’ve started keeping a notebook in my purse for when I get a cool idea for the book(s). I had what I thought was book 2 totally outlined out and the first few chapters written, and then I got another cooler idea and realized that book 2 would work better as book 3 and my new cool idea could be book 2 and the rough outline that I had for the original book 3 can just be book 4…

Holy crap I hope this thing sells..LOL

(Side note: It is SERIOUSLY thundering and lightning right now. I’m very glad I didn’t decide to chance it, since right about now I would probably be two miles away from my car. Yes, I have to drive elsewhere to go running, because my subdivision is merely two dorky cul-de-sacs. Fortunately, the subdivision right down the road is frickin’ perfect, so I park in the back and run over there. And no, I don’t run far–usually between 2.5 and 3 miles. And “run” is a strong word for the 11 minute/mile pace that I maintain. But I do keep moving, and there is nothing like running to keep the fat off. Oh yeah, and that darn “eating right” stuff too.)


I took Anna over to my sister’s house on Memorial Day to swim and hang out. My sister sent her husband and kids off to Universal Studios, and thus has a week of Quiet House.

Lucky Bitch.

Anna adores her “TeeTah” (she’s called my sister that since she was a baby, and it just stuck) and loves swimming in Teetah’s pool as well. However, before we went swimming we went over to her neighbor’s house to pick blackberries. The blackberries are everywhere this year, most likely because so many trees came down during Katrina and thus there’s less shade. In half an hour we picked a couple of pints, and I could have easily stayed out all day picking, thorns or no. I really like blackberries, but more than that, I love picking them. It’s a challenge, getting to the best berries through all of the thorny vines, and it also really takes me back to some pleasant memories from my childhood. I didn’t have an easy childhood–I was that person in class who got picked on by everyone else. I could never fit in, didn’t belong to any groups, and had few if any friends. In defense I buried myself in solitary activities such as reading and writing. But I also loved outdoor stuff like fishing, and wandering through the woods and exploring. (Yes, any modern day parent who allowed their 12 year old girl to go wandering off for hours on end would be brought up on charges, but it was a different time and a different place. It makes me sad that Anna won’t have that same ability/chance to just go and wander and see what cool stuff is out there.)

And in the summer, it was blackberrying. If you found a good patch of vines you could pick it all day, and that come back the next day and find that the red ones had ripened overnight. I would return home dirty, tired, and covered in scratches from head to toe, but with a generous bucket of blackberries.

We have blackberries behind our house now. Nowhere near as much as my sister’s neighbor, but enough for me to go a few yards back there and worm my way through the thorns to steal the berries away. I come back inside with my arms and legs scratched and a big tub of berries, knowing that tomorrow there’ll be a new batch to conquer. I think that blackberrying is a rite of childhood around here, and it makes me smile when I see grownups pushing their way through the thorns to get berries that can just as easily be bought cheaply at the store, picking memories of a simpler time.

May 24

Let this be a better day?

Yesterday was CRUMMY. It was crummy due to a combination of several unrelated things that went to crap in succession, with the “high” point being my midmorning sobbing meltdown in my cubicle. Thankfully I have wonderful coworkers who did exactly what I needed: they left me alone until I could pull my shit together and fix my makeup. I had one call come in for me and the secretary very smoothly told the caller that I was busy and would call them back. Another coworker quietly took care of an Issue for me. Ten minutes later I was… well, “fine” isn’t the right word, but “okay enough to come out my cubicle” is probably close enough. After work I dealt with a couple of other Issues and made my displeasure known to the responsible party, and the responsible party was appropriately contrite.

So, today does seem to be shaping up to be better. I had a second talk with Responsible Party and emphasized a couple of points that had not been clear earlier, and I think that Issue is far more resolved. And even if it’s not fully resolved, at least it’s out in the open now which will make it easier to deal with in the future. Also, I received a phone call from the party who had been the straw that broke the camel’s back which sent me sobbing to my cubicle, with said caller checking on me to make sure everything was all right and that I was all right and reminding me that caller was there for me if I needed anything.

It’s a reminder to me that shitty things are sometimes good for you. Yesterday and today reinforced to me how much I appreciate my present work environment. It also gave me the opening to deal with the Issue that I had been quietly steaming over for far too long.

Kinda like Katrina. Okay, first off I am NOT going to deny that Katrina was hideous and tragic and that it was several weeks of hell that I never ever want to go through again. But some of the aspects of the aftermath ended up being very good for me and especially my writing. The storm gave me the chance to really sit down and look at what I wanted out of my experience as a writer, and made me face the incredibly obvious fact that if I wanted to be a novelist I needed to stop dicking around with distractions and write a novel! (Okay, I’ve written a couple of novels, but I needed to write a good one!)

Now I have a novel written, and I think it’s a pretty good one with a ton of market potential. (Yes, I’m biased.) I’m full steam into the next and I’ve developed a good rhythm. And I think that if not for the kick-in-the-ass that was Katrina, I wouldn’t have taken that deep breath and gone in the mystery-paranormal direction–which is turning out to be a hell of a lot of fun.


In other news, I’m sure that both of my loyal readers have noticed that I’ve redesigned the site. Cool thing about Wordpress: all I had to do was find a new theme and click “change theme.” Gotta love a redesign that only takes a few minutes!

May 23


There’s been a lack of it in my life lately. For some reason I’ve been waking up at 2:30 darn near every morning, and then I have a tremendous amount of difficulty getting back to sleep. I don’t know if anything in particular is waking me up, but I think I can’t get back to sleep because by that time I’ve had just enough sleep for my mind to start working again, so I end up thinking about all the things I need to do and I just can’t get settled again. And by that time it’s too late to take anything to help me get back to sleep. Ugh.

The workload at the day job continues to ramp up, and it’s going to stay that way for at least two more months. I’m in charge of anything to do with computers, networks, and telephone systems, and since we’re starting from absolute scratch, it’s been a complicated [expletive deleted] process. Complicated by the fact that IBM has been taking their sweetass time sending us our server. Also complicated by the fact that when you’re a governmental agency there are a zillion hoops to jump through when it comes to purchasing.

However, I’ve somehow managed to squeeze out some free hours here and there , and am well into the rough draft of book two, and have book three half-ass outlined. I sure as hell hope this thing sells, because I can see numerous books beyond those and I think this could be a really fun series. C’mon, a homicide detective who can summon demons. What more could you ask for?

Unfortunately, with all of these projects going on, the one area of my life that has suffered has been my workouts. I’ve regained a few pounds (arrrrgh!) so this morning I took advantage of my inability to sleep and got out of bed at 4:30 to go run. Now I just wish I was the kind of person who loses their appetite when stressed. Me, I stuff my damn face. Bah.

May 18

90, 000 to 1

This totally cracked me up: (Thanks to Miss Snark)

Far too true

Now that the novel is finished, I have been spending time doing much research into submission guidelines for various agents. I discovered that every agent wants something different. Some want a query only. Some want a query and one page synopsis. Some want a query and detailed synopsis. Some want query and 5 pages and a detailed sysnopsis. Some want a query and 50 pages and a detailed synopsis and a picture of your right butt cheek.

The picture of the right butt cheek I can handle, but boiling 90,000 words of a mystery novel with a bunch of twists and turns down into one page is proving difficult, to say the least. I have several different final products, and all of them sound bland and boring since I had to gloss over so much of the twisting and turning of the plot.

Maybe I can send a picture of Angelina Jolie’s butt cheek instead, and go with a page and a half synopsis.

May 4

Anna’s observation that I am definitely not flat-chested

Anna woke up while I was still in the early stages of getting ready for work (i.e. I was naked as a jaybird and had only about half my makeup on.) She asked me if she could help me get dressed, so I showed her how to hook my bra and put the straps on my shoulders.

After it was on she stepped back, shook her head and said, “Mommy, you have TOO much milk.”