Friday, July 30, 2010

Disorganized Disorganization

Organized disorganization would be if I had all my chapters in one place and could put my finger on the one I wanted at any given time. Actually even if they were in different places if I could identify them and find them when I need them I'd be fine. More than fine. Peachy.

That's what I thought I had. Organized disorganization. I even thought I had them in the same file on the same flash drive. Wrong.

I have a very long chapter somewhere. VERY LONG. That. I. Can't. Find. It's possible I emailed it to myself at some point so I'll drag through my inbox shortly, but meanwhile the frustration mounts. How could I be so wrong about my organizational system? How could I lose such a huge chunk of my story? It had a giraffe in it for heaven's sake. How the heck do you lose a giraffe?

I have a difficult time organizing my novels as I'm writing them. I usually start sequentially but then some where along the line a scene pops out at me begging to be written even though I'm not there yet. So instead of a chapter number I give it a descriptive title thinking it will be easy to find later. Yeah right. By the time I've written a dozen or so out of order scenes I'm sunk. I can normally figure things out eventually, but this time I've gone beyond my normal level of ineptitude. I'm missing things.

I can't tell you how big a headache this gives me. It appears not only do I need an assistant to follow around after me and pick up the things I put down carelessly and then never can find again - I also need an assistant to keep my writing in order. File it properly after putting the date in the title and making sure I can identify which scene it is. Jeez, it makes me look incompetent!

Ah, the life of the creative mind. It's very messy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Incredible Rebounding Grandmother

Some of you know that my 98 year old grandmother hasn't been feeling well. She was in the hospital for six days and when she came home her condition worsened to the point she couldn't even sit up without being totally out of breath. I was worried.

Low and behold, yesterday she was able to get up without suffering from breathlessness! This morning the same thing. Grandma seems to be rebounding from this illness, which apparently was an in balance between sodium and potassium. It's amazing to me that the ratio of sodium to potassium could make such a big difference.

I'm encouraged to the point of saying that we might be able to go back to planning that 100th birthday - although my Aunt says that maybe we should just focus on 99 for the time being.

Grandma, you rock!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Love Those Girls

Before I start let me just say that I also love my boys and my youngest daughter. Just because I'm posting about the two oldest doesn't mean I don't care about the rest of you. Got that kids?

Before I start this you should probably know that we hosted a foreign exchange student last year. Mag is a wonderful girl from Belgium and she and my oldest daughter, Callan became best of friends. We were all very sad when she went back home in June.

So yesterday I posted on my facebook account something like "My oldest daughter, the genius." I'd gotten a copy of the email Yale sent her. Yale sent my daughter an email. I'm so proud I could melt. Then my daughter comments "You know it" which made me laugh.

Then Mag posted "I am the oldest daughter, Callan." You have know idea how wonderful this made me feel, besides the fact it made me laugh. That Mag feels like a part of our family touches me. That she is comfortable making jokes on my facebook posts... Well you get the picture.

I love those girls. I love their relationship to each other, that they talk via facebook everyday. Mag is this wonderful artistic young woman, Callan is into the math and science end of things. That the two of them will soon be let loose on the world is a very good thing.

Nothing but good times ahead.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Crazy Weather

I don't have much to say today, as Alastair said about himself, I suck at blogging! Well sometimes anyway.

But here is the interesting thing. I'm in the central valley of California. One of the hottest places you can be in the summer. It regularly gets to 100 degrees. But it's cooler here than it was in Vermont before I left.

It was 65 this morning. It's 85 now. Pretty nice really. Perfect summer weather with no humidity. The week before I left we were having heat warnings and horrible humidity at home.

So what's up with that? It's actually cool in the house with all the doors and windows open and the breeze wafting through. Funny.

Now I will go back and sit with my Grandma some more. She's in good spirits although weak. Her body may be failing her, but her sense of humor is still intact.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hot Friday

The trouble with blogging when you're hot and sweaty is that it's hard to be upbeat. In fact, it's hard to be anything but down right cranky. Everything is bugging me, from the squeaky riding mower my neighbor is using on my lawn to the way my clothes feel, damp and sticking to my skin, it all stinks.

But I think what's really bothering me is how long it has been since I made real progress on the wip. I really want to get this done. Send away the first three chapters and go back and revise Calif. Schemin' so it's ready for publication.

But there is no peace in the summer, no breaks from the general hubbub. Last year we did a little face lift on the kitchen, this year it's my youngest daughter's bedroom. You would not believe the amount of stuff that girl had in her room that is now shoved in hallways, bedrooms and the living room. Only the Bathrooms and the kitchen are immune. The general clutter is enough to  make anyone crazy. The add the heat. Bad, Bad, Bad. Thank your lucky stars you aren't living in this house!

I think the only thing for it is to get up at five in the morning and try to get a couple of hours of writing in while it's cool and before the crew starts waking up.

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's Too Hot for Knitting

The truth is, its too hot for anything. I live in the North East for a reason - it doesn't get hot. Yeah, right. It's so hot here now that I was reminded of my childhood in Central California. I can remember finding my mom outside on the porch in the middle of the night and wanting to sleep out there. Well, it was probably only eleven PM, but still that was the middle of the night to me, so hot I couldn't sleep. No breeze to ease the swelter.

My mom used to wet a washcloth and put it on my forehead to cool me down so I could sleep and I did that for my youngest daughter tonight too, when she came downstairs at eleven absolutely exhausted, too tired to sleep and hating the feel of the fan on her skin. I would have died for a fan when I was her age, but that's just me.

We don't have air conditioning out here because it doesn't get hot. Hah! We have two sources of heat for the winter, but we're SOL when summer comes around. Last summer I don't think it got over about 85 degrees all summer. Rained non-stop. I complained about that too. I have strict rules for summer and she just hasn't been obeying them at all. It should be between 75 and 85 degrees, sunny - although rain at night is good because then I don't have to water, and there should be a breeze - especially at night. Doesn't that seem reasonable? Seems right to me.

I did spend three hours floating down the river today. It was a good day for that, except for the parts of us that got too much sun, and the rapids that capsized me and scared one of my sons to death. That part I could have done without.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Random Friday

I put my daughter on a plane to California today. I've put her on planes before, Washington, DC, England, New York, Nova Scotia - and for longer periods of time. Last year she spent five weeks at a French immersion program at St. Anne's College, this year its ten days with my family and three weeks at Stanford. I know I'm bragging when I say my oldest is a bright kid, but it's true. She is.

But here's the thing, I was a lot more nervous about this trip than I've been about any of the others. I'm not sure why. I'm a bit better now that she's on her way, she called from Chicago to let me know she'd landed and knew where her next gate was. Soon she'll land and be in the hands of my very capable Aunt.

But there's still a voice in my head whispering that I'm losing her. And in a way maybe I am. She's growing up. In two years she'll be in college, that is if she doesn't elect to do her Senior year AT college. So she's on her way and I'm proud, but last night we held on to each other like there was no tomorrow.

I never considered myself a nostalgic mom. I'm great with letting go, being away and giving them space. But here it is in my face, this fear of losing her. Huh.

On another topic, I was walking on our road this morning. I live on a seldom traveled dirt road. In fact, I don't think I've heard more than maybe two cars go by today. Anyway, there's a hill so walking up I don't notice much but the dirt in front of my feet. Coming down I was struck again by the beauty of the place where I live. So very green, and in among the bushes sat pink flowers that no one planted. And between the breaks in the foliage gorgeous views of the distant hills. Or not so distant hills, they are just on the other side of the valley, but then there are the mountains beyond.  I missed a lot this last year, working in a room with no windows. I'm glad to be home for the summer.