07/18/12

{365.200} I Get Paid to Play in the Bounce House

So it’s kind of shameful that I didn’t write my 200th post on the day I was supposed to, but this kind of thing happens when your 9.5 hours of work are spent chaperoning a preschooler’s birthday party. And by chaperoning, I mean spending the first 7 hours of the day answering the question, “Is it time to have the party yet??” every 2 seconds and then the last 2.5 hours chasing after eight small children as they rocket propel themselves from the Spiderman bounce house to the giant water slide. Did I mention they were doped up on cupcake icing??

Yeah. Came home, had popcorn for dinner, walked the dog, then passed out for about four hours and didn’t wake up until like 11pm. LOL.

I’m off until Monday. This is a good thing because David is now out-processing and will be driving home on FRIDAY. ON FRIDAY GUYS!!! I have to clean the house. Well, clean it again. I cleaned it the week before last when we thought he was coming home THAT Friday, and now it’s all cluttered up again because I have this bad habit of passing out when I get home instead of doing things like putting away the folded laundry or emptying the dishwasher when I’m supposed to. I have all of Thursday and all of Friday to clean (it’s a loooong drive from New Mexico so he won’t actually be here until around midnight), but somehow I can already foresee myself scrubbing away frantically on Friday morning because I wasted all of Thursday playing Fire Emblem on my DS…

… In my defense, it’s a really good game.

I have to grab groceries too, but that’s such an unpleasant topic that I’m going to skip it now in favor of this photo of me playing in the bounce house with the kiddos. No, I don’t need an excuse to play in a bounce house. What do you take me for??

I was drenched in cold water from getting splashed by the water slide while trying to get some good shots with my camera. Oh, and also my youngest munchkin came rolling out of the pool, latched onto me like a koala, and wouldn’t let go. He wanted to go in the bounce house with the big kids but for some reason this was a really horrifying concept for him and he refused to go in alone. I took him in and bounced with him but he had this look of sheer terror on his face the entire time and then bounce-tackled me twice so we decided that the experiment didn’t work out. LOL. My boss took my camera and got some pictures for posterity. Oh yeah, and she was paying me to play in the bounce house. #Win

Wait, is it sad that the only party I’ve been to in several years has been a children’s party…? Hahahaha

07/17/12

{365.199} I Talk About Writing, Blah Blah Blah

Still nice outside today. Not everyone will agree that 94 is nice, but I think it is. Anything under 100 is pretty good around here. Unfortunately, the high has already climbed to 96 for tomorrow and by Thursday it’s back to the scalding temperatures for us.

But anyway, this isn’t actually a weather diary so I’ll spare you my other thoughts on today’s forecast… haha. I spent most of my day indoors anyway, because I was determined to finish another chapter. I didn’t end up accomplishing this, but I did write about 2500 words so I’ll be satisfied with that for the time being. My inner over-achieving Asian is kind of unhappy with me for saying that, but whatever. There’s no use trying to eke more words out of my brain when it’s getting tired, then I’ll just end up writing nonsense and accidentally repeating phrases because I can’t remember anymore that I used them on an earlier page.

The hardest thing about revising these early chapters is getting all that introductory world building in there without turning the beginning of the story into an info dump. It can really be challenging. Overall though, I’m liking the revisions and what they’re doing for the quality of the story. Scrivener has been a really big help as far as letting me see the big picture and being able to plan accordingly. I think I’ll end up buying the full license of the software when my trial runs out in about a week. Everything is a lot more organized. I’ve also started naming my chapters because I discovered while writing the novella that doing so keeps me focused on what that chapter is supposed to accomplish. This way, I don’t wander off and I’m able to stick to the outline a lot better. Sure, things still happen when I don’t expect them to, and details will still randomly reveal themselves in the middle of writing, but it’s more under control. I think I also know better now exactly what I want from each book and exactly what I want from each character. So: revising is a good thing. A very, very good thing. I’m afraid I would revise from now until infinity if allowed to — I can see myself never feeling like the books are “finished” or “good enough” and trying to endlessly improve them — but I’m trying to improve my writing speed and not get snagged.

Depending on what time I get home from work tomorrow, I should be able to finish the chapter by bedtime. Fingers are crossed!

That’s assuming, of course, that I ever make it home alive from my workplace tomorrow. My boss is throwing the most ridiculous birthday bonanza for her five year old, and any occasion pairing a bounce house with eight preschoolers is bound to result in some form of insanity. There will also be a slip and slide, pizza, cupcakes, and balloons. I’m not entirely sure how the day will go when everyone is going to be bouncing off the walls in anticipation of the party. Which, by the way, is supposed to be AFTER naps. If they do nap. Please, PLEASE let them nap. I’m going to need that break. And then when I get home, I’m going to need a nap too. They were crazy on Monday and that wasn’t even Birthday Bonanza Day yet, for crying out loud.

The dog is getting REALLY upset at me. For some reason he thinks it’s time for me to get off this computer and go to sleep. He would bodily pull me from this chair and drag me there if he wasn’t terrier-sized, I’m serious. I think he has this idea that if I don’t go to sleep, HE can’t go to sleep yet either. Like he does anything else during the day…

07/16/12

{365.196-198} I Enjoy a Torrential Downpour

Look at this! Look at the amazing weather we had this weekend!!!! IT WAS ONLY 91 HERE!!!! It felt like a breezy spring day after all those strings of 110+ days. I’d wake up in the morning and the temperature would only be like 79-80… if only it would last. Except I can already see on the five-day forecast that we go back to the hundred-degree mark later in the week T-T

I wonder when it starts to cool down here? I don’t remember it being awful when we moved here last November… it was definitely not hot anymore by then. The winter was pretty mild as well, no freak snowstorms to worry about like in North Texas. I hope the lower temps start in late August or September because, while I can tolerate 100 degrees, I think it becomes truly ridiculous when it’s 116 outside.

I’m seeing an unfortunate trend here with my consolidated blog posts over the weekends. As much as I’d like to post every night, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. You have to understand that my weekends are spent getting all my obligations out of the way in the morning (i.e. errands, chores, etc) and then spending the rest of that time off pretty much shackled to my laptop. When I’ve started writing, I have trouble stopping. The hours just get away from me and before I know it, it’s almost midnight. I don’t like letting go of whatever momentum I might have, so I just roll with it until I finish the chapter I’m on or I have to stop due to impending brain damage. LOL. As slow as I am, I’m capable of almost 20k words in three days because I just don’t stop for the duration of that time. I literally get nothing else done once I’ve opened up the word processor, which is why I try to get all the other stuff taken care of beforehand. Blogging just kind of gets tossed aside, especially when I’ve just spent like six hours writing. My brain cells are too tired to form sentences anymore at that point.

BUT, I’m not giving up on it. I’m still going to try and write every day, and when I can’t write every day, I’ll combine posts. I’ve gotten too far into this challenge to quit now. I don’t think I’ll be doing another 365 Days challenge next year, though; I’ll probably try to write at least a few times a week, but by then I’m going to have a lot of projects going on. There’s my writing, of course, but I also have a secret blog project in the works with Marjorie and of course I do have a day job as well. So I think next year I’ll be cutting down on personal entries here, but I’ll still try to post regularly.

Anyway. Back to the rain. It was so nice to hear it pouring out there, it really came down in buckets both Saturday and Sunday night. During the day I was extremely skeptical about the weather forecast, because the sky was totally cloudless both days until around 6pm when it started to turn gray out there. Bubba and I just barely got back into the house before the torrential downpour started on Saturday night — I had just closed the door behind us when I heard the first drops of rain hitting the window. (Bubba was like, WTF LOL. Poor thing doesn’t remember what rain is anymore hahaha) I really think being inside, on your day off, while it’s raining outside has to be one of life’s simple pleasures. I knocked out the revised first chapter of Book 1 while listening to the thunder and lightning both nights. Also got about five chapters marked up and edited for the novella and experienced a major plot epiphany that will probably make people want to punch me in the nose when they read it in book 3. Hahahahaha. When that happens, you can blame David because the idea came from him…

I’m off tomorrow and then working again on Wednesday. It’s going to be a madhouse just like it was today. We have all eight of the kids coming in, which happens once in a blue moon, but that’s not even half of it. My boss is also throwing her five year old a massive birthday extravaganza involving a bounce house, a slip and slide, a pinata, pizza, and cupcakes. Ridiculous is not even an adequate word for what this is going to be like. Everyone should start praying for the repose of my soul RIGHT NOW. Hahaha

07/13/12

{365.195} I Begin Collecting Geeky Writer Books

It’s always like Christmas when the UPS guy brings a box of books to my door. Actually, any time I get a new book immediately morphs into a holiday. There are few things I like better. I haven’t been buying as many physical books lately; when I do purchase, I’ve been choosing the e-book copy over the traditional hardbound or paperback format nine times out of ten. The exception would be when there’s a cheap copy available used from Amazon that’s also eligible for Prime.

That being said, when I went online the day before yesterday with the aim of getting myself a copy of The Describer’s Dictionary, I discovered that the e-book was cheaper than the paperback edition. I decided this was probably for the best, because I could use the search function on my Nook to quickly jump to whatever term or phrase I wanted. Alas, I soon found myself confronted with the fact that there is no Nook edition of this book. It’s stupid and makes no sense, but there you have it. I ended up purchasing a new copy for $11. I’m glad I did, because after looking through it I can already tell it’s going to be useful, but I was pretty miffed that they’d never bothered to put out a version for BN.com. Not all of us have a Kindle, you know. In fact, I prefer the Nook because it’s really a lot nicer and less clunky than a Kindle. Also, the interface and screen are organized in a much more aesthetically pleasing way. I’ve always been extremely happy with it. My only reservation is that I got mine for Christmas and then a few months ago they released one with backlighting. Blah. I guess if I had that on mine I’d never go to sleep though, so this too may be for the best. LOL.

It rained today, which was AWESOME. It was such a relief to wake up and not see the sun shining in under the drapes. I’ve never really been one to be thrilled by cloudy days, but after an endless succession of THE SAME KIND OF DAY (read: MISERABLE, SWELTERING DAYS) over and over again, a change is refreshing. Plus it got a lot cooler outside, all the way down to about 79 this morning as I was walking the dog. Of course, it wasn’t raining when I stepped out the door, but about six minutes into our walk it decided to absolutely pour. Very funny, universe. I’ll forgive you this time just because I’m so glad it rained.

I spent most of my day either cleaning up clutter or writing. Neither of these pursuits proved to be overly productive. LOL. I got almost 1000 words down for the revised first chapter of Book I, but that alone took me ages. Hoping to knock more out tomorrow and quit being so sluggish about the whole thing. I have my novella all printed out and ready to be scribbled over, too. That’s waiting for me along with a fresh batch of highlighters and a giant binder clip to hold it all. I do really want to revise the novella, but I’ve been getting a really good sense of how I want to revise the early chapters of the first book, so I’ve been taking advantage of the light bulb being turned on. In between randomly de-cluttering things and typing out a paragraph here and there, I consolidated some of my character notes and etc into spreadsheets. (I know. My life is sooooo exciting.) This is a good thing, because I had a whopping seven page timeline… of events occurring BEFORE the story. Did you hear what I just said? THE STORY HASN’T EVEN HAPPENED YET AND MY TIMELINE WAS SEVEN PAGES LONG. LOL. Fixed that, now it’s been whittled down to just the notable births, deaths, assassinations, and wars. Ah, the milestones of life.

Back to not having any idea when David will get to come home. It was supposed to be today, until their schedule got pushed back. I’ve considered giving up on him getting home before August, but the prospect is just too depressing.

I went on a Downton binge for several hours this evening, by the way. I’m not ashamed because it was BRILLIANT. I finally finished off Season 1, but unfortunately they don’t have Season 2 available on Netflix. I’m trying to decide if I can overcome the extreme buyer’s remorse that will result from me purchasing both for our collection… Oh, and speaking of DVD purchases, I really ought to have ordered the second season of Sherlock by now. We love the show and were waiting for David to get home so we could watch the next season together. If you’re not already a fan, you need to be. This is coming from someone who doesn’t really watch much TV or even very many movies. I’m pretty picky about what I watch.

Time for bed! Tomorrow: more writing, possibly a trip to Pier 1 Imports to spend this $25 gift card (I got a great coupon today, too), and hopefully a little more cleaning. Sigh. I hate cleaning. I could be using that time to stare unproductively at my computer screen while agonizing over which words to use. Still, I always feel a lot better when the house is clean, so I should really devote some time to it tomorrow. Bleeehhhhh.

07/12/12

{365.194} I Survive Getting Body Slammed

Those ARE strawberries on the glasses, I promise. LOL. I realize that they resemble apples now that I put the picture through a filter. WHATEVER. They were only $1.00 each at Target’s big summer clearance, and Marjorie and I have always wanted a pair of strawberry glasses like the ones on Ai Yazawa’s NANA. This may be the closest that we get, we’ve been searching for years. In the manga and the anime, two girls end up being roommates and best friends despite their many differences, and they each have a glass like this. Of course, in the story one of the glasses actually breaks… but ours are made of an amazing substance called plastic, so our friendship will not be subject to this potential problem. Hahahaha.

I spent my morning asleep. It was so awesome. And then I got up around 9:30am to walk the dog and get ready for approximately 2.5 hours of work. We only had one kiddo coming in today and he’s a family friend so when this happens my boss usually brings him into her house and I get to have the day off. Today was an exception because she needed someone to watch her two boys as well as Jamie while she and her husband went and got massages. Am I jealous? Yes. While she was getting a massage, I was getting body slammed by a three year old who has to wear 5T clothes because he’s growing at a rate of 2 years faster than everyone else. I mean, his parents are both extremely tall so this was bound to happen, but man. Kid hits like a truck. Or a freight train. Or a rampaging bull. You get the picture. I think the entire right side of my body went completely numb afterward. He was extremely sorry, but I still decided it was time to stop doing running jumps and gymnastics all over the couch. Oh, and then I moved to a safer area where I wouldn’t get injured on the job again. Yeesh.

I went to Target afterward because I needed therapy after this traumatizing experience. It didn’t matter what kind of therapy; I decided retail would do. I was super excited because they’d put out the first wave of teacher stuff in the $1 spot, and this year I actually get to buy and use some~ I picked up a bunch of stuff for my classroom and a few more organizers for my sewing accoutrements (this is the only acceptable word for the pile of junk I have sitting on the dining table right now). It was really a great day to shop at Target because so much stuff had gone on clearance. I’m never above throwing my dignity aside and crawling around among the racks looking for a good deal hahaha. This is how I stumbled upon a pair of really cute flats for just $5.98. SHOES FOR $5.98. THIS IS HOW MUCH SHOES SHOULD COST, PEOPLE.

I spent the rest of the day at home, hiding from the crushing heat. Though, the sun actually WENT AWAY in the afternoon, around maybe 3pm. We’re supposed to have rain tomorrow so this must be a good sign that the weather forecast isn’t lying. The temperature even dropped to like 90-ish. I was very impressed. In fact, I was so impressed that I crawled into bed and took a nap that lasted WAY longer than it was supposed to. This resulted in me not waking up until almost 8:00. My punishment: having to walk the dog among legions of baby crickets. OH MY GOD. IT WAS AWFUL. This is why I always walk him before the sun goes down. He could care less, but for me it becomes a harrowing experience that lasts about 20 minutes. I expend more energy on trying not to scream than I do on the actual walking…

Time for me to go to bed and pray that it really does rain tomorrow… I command you to cross your fingers!!

07/11/12

{365.193} I Learn That Washington Was a Pirate

Uggghhh ajhfkjdhfjkdsf my allergies suddenly exploded about 30 mins ago and I have yet to discover WHY. I’ve been inside the house since 7:30pm today and not even the scorching 90 mph winds had me sneezing like this.

My long day became a regular day because my boss has been trying really hard to cover me in the mornings and afternoons. She’s about to go into labor any day now, meaning she won’t be able to do anything like this once she has the baby and she said she wanted to help while she still could. I appreciate it, it’s nice not to be there at the crack of dawn and also nice not to be there until late. I always tell her I’ll stay and she just shoos me out the door. She’s very nice, if very flaky at times.

Today we read about George Washington, so the kiddos made their own George Washingtons out of paper plates. And cotton balls, for the powdered wig. I personally feel that Andrew Jackson was more interesting than George Washington, but I don’t think the children would benefit from learning phrases such as, “Elevate those guns a little lower!” and I certainly don’t think Jackson’s penchant for decking people with planks of wood makes for a very good example. Preschoolers are highly impressionable.  (Note: he is my favorite president mostly because he liked to deck people with planks. I do not endorse his other crackpot/unfortunate schemes.)

The children were rather intrigued by good old George, especially the part where he reportedly chopped down a cherry tree with his own axe. How old was he? Could they also have their own axes? Was it a real axe or a fake one? (Bloodthirsty, aren’t they? Are you scared yet?) Why did he wear a wig? Why did he write with a feather? And then they all decided amongst themselves that George Washington’s hat resembled that of a pirate, so the rest of the lesson devolved into a jaunty chorus of seven small children belting out, “YO HO, YO HO, A PIRATE’S LIFE FOR MEEEE,” as I helplessly looked on. Ah well, the best laid plans gang aft agley, et al etc.

Anywho, I’m working just part of the day tomorrow, so it’s a 3.5 day weekend. Why I can never manage to have the day off on the Friday of a Guild Wars 2 beta weekend, I will never be able to figure out. It’s next week and I’ll be at work all day when it starts, so I’ll be missing out until that evening. I’m hoping they let David come home next week though, so really I would be glad to work if I could trade for him coming home T-T

Okay, allergies are driving me up the wall, so I need to go NOW. I can hardly see the screen, my eyes are watering and I keep having to sneeze in between sentences. One word: WRETCHED. I’ll see you all tomorrow. I think I may be dropping by Target to raid the summer clearance racks…

07/10/12

{365.192} I Smother to Death in the Endless Heat

It. Is. So. Hot. Here. I’m writing this fairly late at night and it’s STILL 99 degrees outside. NINETY NINE DEGREES. This is just beyond ridiculous. Going outside is complete torture at any hour of the day, doesn’t matter how early or how late. The heat is consistent and unending. This morning at 7:45am, it was 94 degrees and absolutely stifling. There’s no wind, not a single breath of air, just this constant, dry, smothering heat. It doesn’t help that there isn’t any shade to be had. And no grass, either, just tons of gravel everywhere. All the landscaping is done in gravel. The pavement and sidewalks all absorb, hold in, and then radiate heat. IT JUST NEVER ENDS.

It’s truly pathetic when you’re grateful for a day when the high is below 100 degrees. And by that, I mean the high is 99 on Friday and the low is 88. That’s going to seem a lot cooler than the temperatures we’ve had for the past week. Yesterday it was 114 out here. 114!!!! Which feels something like 120 when you consider the lack of shade or humidity or even some wind. I get in my car, crank up the AC, and basically by the time I get to wherever I’m going it’s finally cooled down to the point that I can feel comfortable. I really thought summers were bad in Texas — we had strings of days when the high was 100+, AND there were evil and gigantic bugs outdoors. I think it’s worse here though. At least Texas had shade and a Sonic on every corner.

I’ve got a long day tomorrow, though thankfully my boss was able to open for me again so I don’t go in until 8am. I’m grateful for this small mercy because I’d rather not be up at 5am, ever, on any day. Period. Then on Thursday she needs me to be there from like 8am-12pm or something. I’m supposed to be off on Friday. Next week I’ve got long days on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Blehhhh. I’m willing to bet you $50 that next week is when the Air Force sends David home — when we can’t even see each other because I’ll be working and so will he! He’ll go straight to work unless he comes home on a weekend or something. Oh well, I’d rather he was home, regardless.

The final Guild Wars 2 beta weekend is next Friday, too. I’m counting down to release day on my phone, but we pre-purchased so we’ll get a three day head start and be able to play on August 25th instead of having to wait until the 28th. Um, SUPER EXCITED. I also have some games coming in from Best Buy, they had a buy 3 get 1 free sale on their used games so David picked up a few titles he’d been wanting for a while (Infamous 2 and Tales of Vesperia, but I can’t remember the third one), and I got…. DRUM ROLL…. POKEMON WHITE. Hahahahahahaha. Sorry guys, I still love me some Pkmns even all these years later. Don’t hate. I think it appeals to the part of me that likes to collect and hoard things. *is a pack rat* I just like going around collecting all the different kinds, who cares about making them battle each other. Plus I get to reconnect with my younger days when Nina and I were aspiring Pokemon Masters HAHAHA. #Fail. Oh, and as a bonus, I also got Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon for $14. It was selling for $44 new on Amazon so I figured this was a good deal. I love the series and still have my SP cartridge of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, which I got for a whopping $4.99 at the Pearl Harbor NEX when I was still in high school, and which is now selling for a ridiculous price on Amazon.

Nerding aside, it’s time for me to go to bed so I can wake up bright and early tomorrow. One needs massive amounts of energy in order to herd small children around all day. Let’s hope they’re not all being uber crankypants like they were on Monday… yeesh.

Oh, and the shirt in the picture is, unfortunately, a shirt I didn’t buy. It was on sale for $11 at Kohls, but I’m stupidly cheap and don’t believe shirts should cost more than like $8-10, so… I walked away. Besides, I wouldn’t get much utility out of this shirt, as adorable and appropriate as it is. While I still toss my dignity over my shoulder and play Pokemon games like I’m 12, I no longer wear Hello Kitty shirts in public. (The rules I have set for myself all make sense in my head, I promise. LOL.)

07/9/12

{365.188-191} I Actually Finish Writing Something (GASP)

OMG I’M BACK. LOL.

I’m re-entering civilization after going on a massive writing binge over the past few days. I got through about 20,000 words between late Thursday and just before midnight Saturday. Oh, and yes, I finished my novella~~ The rough draft ended at 28k words, though that will fluctuate during the editing process so I’m not sure what the final count will be. Suffice it to say that I’m extremely excited to have finished it, especially with all the hard work I put in. I’m now taking a break from this piece before I start editing, since I think my brain might short circuit if I read it again. (This is after I read the whole thing through about three times in a row. Possibly in disbelief that I’d actually finished…)

When I wasn’t writing during those last three days I had off work, I was trolling clearance racks, sort of cleaning the apartment, watching The Pioneer Woman, and being forced to buy groceries. Among other things, I got myself this fedora hat for no reason other than I think it might be fun to wear one. Well, not having the hateful desert sun shining right into my face at all hours of the day might be nice. That could be a useful thing about wearing this hat, other than looking accessorized and awesome. Ha!

Bad news though: David isn’t coming home this week after all :( Of all the times for a storm to pop up in New Mexico, it ended up being THIS week when he was supposed to be wrapping things up down there. Since the weather suddenly decided to be rotten, one of his flights got canceled and it set him back for an even longer stay there. Seriously, what gives?! For four months, there’s nothing but heat, heat, heat, and more heat. Then, out of the blue, there’s a storm and the weather turns cloudy?? I’m taking this as a personal insult.

So yeah. LAME.

Went back to work this morning after being off for five days… just imagine the fun that was. Hahaha. *cries* My boss opened for me though so I didn’t have to get up at 5am. Of course, by the time I got there at 8:00 there was chalk everywhere and at least two were crying because so and so wouldn’t let them be Peter Pan and they DID NOT want to be Captain Hook and NO ONE was listening. That was just the beginning of the crankiest Monday ever. I had one kid growl at me, for crying out loud. I have never seen such grouchy children in all my life. It was one of those days when we had to take frequent breaks to do yoga breathing exercises. I was sooooo glad when nap time came around; it was fairly evident that every last one of them needed to sleep it off. And I was right, cause all of them fell asleep within minutes of each other. Being pissed at the entire universe can be really draining.

That being said, I have multiple tricks for taming small children, including the aforementioned yoga breathing exercises. It also works if you tell them how sad they’re making you — I’m not kidding, this is spot on almost every time. (And no, I am so not above using minor guilt-tripping strategies on preschoolers. I grew up with two Asian parents, this is the cornerstone of Asian parenting. Hello.) Certain books are also very effective for redirecting them. They especially like books featuring similar small children who are being extremely bad. They like to scold these fictional children and point out the rules that are being broken. (Never mind that they just spent ten minutes piling up all the foam blocks and diving into them with wild abandon…)

A perennial favorite is a little known Dr. Seuss book called Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now! As you might surmise, this book is about a certain young lad named Marvin K. Mooney who refuses to leave the room, and all the various ways in which the narrator suggests he might leave the room, i.e. by stamping himself and going by mail, riding a cow, shooting himself out of a cannon, etc.

Um, the kids love this. Not only is there an obstinate child who refuses to listen, but there are also bizarre methods of transportation involved. They get to shout GO, GO, GO in an enthusiastic chorus, and the words are short and sweet so they feel like they’re really “reading.” It’s a fun book for me to read as well, which is good because we end up going back to this one like 12 times a day. We basically rotate between this, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (I’ll tell you where they are — in my classroom) and No David! by David Shannon. The last one is always a crowd pleaser. David tracks mud into the house, plays with his food, runs into the street sans clothing, plays baseball with mom’s favorite vase, floods the bath tub, AND gets put in time out. This is the kind of drama that preschoolers live for, guys. There is really no experience quite like a roomful of them all yelling “NO, DAVID!!!” at the top of their lungs. (It’s especially funny for me because my husband’s name is David and it’s possible the book was written about him…)

Now you should have three books you MUST buy for the children in your life. Or just for you, so you can use them to subdue small children the way I do. On that note, if you ever need to amuse a toddler for half an hour or more, ask me how to turn an empty Pringles can and some pipe cleaners into the most fascinating, riveting toy on earth. #TrueStory

Oh, and I’ve been tweeting about it all weekend, but there’s a giveaway going on at One Parade (which belongs to my lovely friend Marjorie, whom I shamelessly promote whenever possible) and you need to go enter even though the odds are clearly in MY favor. (Eew, that was a little too Hunger Games for me.) Click here to enter, but please note that only cheerful losers need apply~ Cause I’m going to win~~~

Heading out now to get some reading done before bedtime. For those of you who are curious about the novella, I’m hoping to release it in the fall and aiming for Book 1 to be completely finished by December something or other. I’m not going to get specific because I’m not sure, these are just projected dates. My writing has a tendency to run away from me down paths of its own choosing, so I’m not holding my breath haha. The novella will be FREE, and will be available on Amazon, BN.com, Smashwords, Kobo, et al etc but also from my website. I plan to include an excerpt from Book 1 in the back of the novella, of course.

Peace~~~

07/5/12

{365.187} I Tamper With Electricity

I got up this morning with a handful of errands to run, as well as the crackpot scheme of taking Mycroft and hunting down Hobby Lobby. The result? I ended up spending half the day and 1/4 a tank of gas driving all over the universe. And then when I got home, I had to deal with the Mystery of the Light Switches.

Allow me to expound. You see, last night I discovered that the lights in my kitchen wouldn’t turn on anymore. It seemed improbable for all three bulbs up there to go out simultaneously, but I couldn’t think what else to blame it on. I thought, well great, I’ll have to call maintenance tomorrow and they’ve probably already committed me to memory as the girl who doesn’t know how to empty her dryer’s lint trap. ~*~*AWESOME*~*~ So then I ambled over to the living room to arm the alarm system, but when I got there I discovered that my living room lights weren’t working either! Actually, nothing in the living room had power. Thoroughly confused, I decided to throw in the towel and just go to bed.

After my errand-running today, I dropped by the office to pick up a package and to describe the odd things happening in my apartment. The lady who was helping me suggested that I go into the spare bedroom, open the breaker box, and flip all the breakers to off and then on again. If it didn’t work, I was to call her back so she could send maintenance over. This plan seemed like a good one, so I went home, ate lunch, and cracked open the breaker box. Lo and behold, all the switches were labeled with different rooms/appliances in the apartment so I didn’t have to throw ALL the breakers, just the ones marked Kitchen and Living Room. I pushed them over and then back on, and immediately heard the hum of electricity. The ceiling fan in the living room started up again. I was intensely relieved.

But then I went to go plug this lamp back in — I had unplugged it with the small suspicion that it had something to do with the power surging in the living room (doesn’t explain the kitchen, but whatever, my brain hurts) — and the thing sparked up as soon as I tried to plug the cord into the socket. I’m lucky it didn’t set the loveseat on fire. After several rounds of tests, David and I deduced that something is terribly wrong with this lamp. When I plug it in, I can HEAR the breakers switching off in the other room. The wiring must be messed up. It doesn’t matter which socket or which room I plug this into, the result is always the same. So now I can’t use it, because apparently it’s the Lamp of Doom. I thought it was just a nice lamp I inherited from my parents, but what do you know.

… The alternative to this lamp NOT being the Lamp of Doom is that my apartment is haunted by a poltergeist that likes to play with electricity, so I think I’ll go with the mundane explanation. Though, sometime I plan to write a short story about our haunted spare bedroom. I can’t write it now or I’ll successfully creep myself out and have to move to a hotel for a week. But once we’ve moved, I will regale you with the chilling tale of when we peered behind the spare bedroom door to find crayon scribbles of unknown origin that hadn’t been listed on our apartment walkthrough list… which were up a LOT higher than any normal scribble-inclined child might be able to reach… and really, how did the make-ready people miss that…?

OKAY STOPPING NOW LOL. Man, my imagination is ridic sometimes. That and I suspect David and I have seen one too many Bad Asian Horror Movies (B.A.H.M.s) on Netflix.

I have yet more errands to run in the morning, so I’m going to bed. Novella isn’t done yet (of course not, this is me we’re talking about here) but I wrote about 1k today and I think I know how to wrap up my fight scene so that it can stop plaguing me. UGH. After that it’s just the last chapter left to go, and it should be a cakewalk compared to the one I’m struggling with now. Of course, this novella is only the tip of the iceberg… there’s still the actual novel to finish off after that. It’s the rest of the hulking mass waiting below, poised to sink the Titanic. Ha! I managed to work the Titanic into a metaphor about my would-be novel. It is clearly time to go to sleep.

07/4/12

{365.186} I Blame the Chinese Zodiac

OMG I HATE WRITING FIGHT SCENES

I JUST DO NOT CARE FOR THEM

I think I’ll blame my Chinese zodiac sign, which is the peaceful, skittish rabbit. The only snag here is that I morph into this super violent jungle princess when I play video games. So maybe my loathing of fight scenes can’t be pinned on rabbit-ness after all.

Since I struggle with these so much, and since I STILL pretty much skim over the fight scenes when I read other people’s books, I decided to try a new tactic. I wrote down all the people fighting and what they were fighting with. Then I drew the most ridiculous map of the room they were fighting in. (It’s in today’s photo but you’re not allowed to zoom in because it’s RETARDED. LOL.) This was followed by a breakdown, in steps, of who was going to bash who with an empty bottle and when, etc. And you know, it did help. I wrote half the fight scene with minimal weeping and gnashing of teeth. But I still whined like a bitch about it and David still had to correct me because APPARENTLY bottles do not smash when they make contact with someone’s face. (They bounce off instead. But they still hurt so I’m keeping that in there.) But anyway, it helped me enormously to take apart the scene and put it in bullets instead of just trying to make it up as I went. I’m planning to employ this strategy for all future fight scenes I’m forced to write.

I scrapped half a chapter today and rewrote it to accommodate a change in plot, which set me back a little bit, but in all I still wrote somewhere between 3.5k and 4k words today. The novella is now at almost 21k words total and I think I have like one more chapter left. That’s if I get through writing the last half of this fight scene… *wailing*

Okay, only a short entry today because I’m lame. I have to get off this laptop before I go insane, I’ve been glued to it since I woke up this morning. I think I’ll crawl into bed and lol my face off at the third Emperor’s Edge book — a series I absolutely LOVE, by the way. And, it’s self-published! The author was offered a publishing deal by Amazon a few months ago and guess what? She turned them down! This is just one of those success stories that gives me hope for myself. Even if I never make tons of money or become famous, I still want to put my writing out there and manage myself as an author. Is it weird that I like that sort of thing…?? LOL.

If you want to give Lindsay’s books a try, I chipped into her Kickstarter campaign back in March and my prize was like 8 of her books for $10. The omnibus edition of her first three Emperor’s Edge books, and the 4th book that just came out, are all DRM-free so I can share them with you. They’re in ePub though, so you’ll need a Nook or the Nook app if you have a tablet. Love these books and her characters, I swear I spend the entire time loling like a moron. Oh, and Lindsay herself is very nice. It’s one of the great things about Indie authors, they’re usually so accessible and willing to talk to their fans. It’s not hard to get in touch with them or get a reply.

Ahem. I was leaving. Right. See you tomorrow~ And I hope everyone had a happy 4th of July. IT RAINED HERE. Wait, why didn’t I talk about that earlier?? I was so excited to NOT see the sun beaming down on all of creation that I think I was dazed for a bit…