Monday, December 3, 2012

Another Week

Arg! It's Monday! Pesky, Monday!

I'm still owlishly blinking and drinking my first cup of coffee. *yawn*

I have nothing to say. So... An update, I guess?


I'm struggling. About a week before Thanksgiving I realized that I needed another edit. A short, quick one, but another edit nonetheless. That all but zapped my ability to finish the one I'm working on now. That lead to me taking a "break" the week before Thanksgiving. And, of course, I didn't work Thanksgiving week. And, uh, I guess I extended my vacation to last week. ;)

I really need to get some motivation STAT.

It's not that I dislike this book. I still rather like it. I still also think it's the best thing I've written to date. And I'm really proud of it.

So what's my problem?

Fatigue, I guess.


We bought a tree. That's about it. It's not decorated yet (haha). Hopefully we'll fix that tonight.

I've wanted a flocked tree ever since I married Steven. Every year he says, "Next year." Then we went overseas and it was next to impossible to get a live tree. So we switched to a fake one. That burned out last year with a few days left till Christmas.

Since we were switching back to a real tree this year, I pushed again for a flocked tree. Which Steven agreed to (finally!). Come to find out... it's impossible to find one here. *pout* So no flocked tree.

Maybe next year? But only if we're not living in Arkansas. *crossing fingers* Because really? I need to live somewhere with decent internet. I'm dying. And a decent restaurant or two. Something not fried or barbecued (neither of which I'll eat!!!). Visiting Vegas was a tease.

Our last night in Vegas, I wanted to visit the Strip and get in some night photography. You know, considering we were IN VEGAS and I HADN'T GONE TO THE STRIP YET. *cough*

But I got outvoted. Oh, well. There's always the next trip. Instead we went to see Wreck-It Ralph. I'll be honest, I was prepared to hate it I ended up laughing myself silly. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Life, The Long and Short

It's Wednesday. Happy hump day, y'all.

(Don't mind me, I'm getting my Southern' on.)

I need to get back in the habit of writing more. I enjoy blogging. Or, I did enjoy blogging when I actually blogged. I don't know what has been wrong with me lately. Blogging keeps getting put off for when I have something 'interesting' to say.

Newsflash: I'm never going to have anything interesting to say.

I do realize this. Which makes the whole blogging thing laughable.



Tomorrow is school pictures. Here's a random question for you (completely rhetorical), WHY do I feel the need to purchase them? At $60x2 as well? That's a lot of cash for pictures I stick in my drawer. I never hang them (seriously, school pictures are ugly). And I take better/more interesting shots than the school nastiness.

And yet, I still continue to write the check every year.

Why, why, why???

I feel compelled for some reason. Like if I don't buy them, my kids won't have school memories to look back on. Because everyone needs ugly school pictures or there'll be a big, gaping hole in their lives. They may even need therapy because of it.


But yes, I'm considering not purchasing them this year. My stomach is rolling at the thought. Can I do it?


Oh, dear me, this book.

.... So I just wrote that last sentence and then stared at the blinking cursor for five minutes. Because. Well. What can I say?

I'm equal parts depressed and elated. For what parts? That changes daily.

I love this book.

I'd hoped to be done editing by now. I'm not.

I can't help myself from pushing further. This book is an obsession. I've never had an obsession over a book. Usually I can maintain a level of distance.

Good thing? Perhaps. The problem really is, I've got too much invested in this one. This is the book of my heart. If it doesn't sell, my heart will break. I'm not sure that this time it will be recoverable.

Add to that the fact that when it's finished I'll need to go agent shopping. AGAIN. (Third time's a charm, anyone?)

I just might vomit.

Almost two years ago I stopped pushing forward and decided to just write for me. To go on a sabbatical of sorts and find myself. I didn't realize it would take this long to find what I searched for. To find that sweet spot between making myself happy, writing something I'm proud of, and turning that into something that might sell.

Now I'm afraid. Fear grows larger in the pit of my stomach every day.

What if this book isn't good enough? Because, and I'll be real honest, I can't do better. This is it. This is everything I have poured into a book.

I'm not going to live in fear. I will press on. And, of course, query. I'll try again.

But not giving into the fear doesn't stop me from feeling it.


I finally figured this dang lens out (thanks to some really big help!). Turns out, one incorrect camera setting can make all the difference. Like, BIG DIFFERENCE. The difference between an unusable lens, and "Oh, now THOSE are amazing."

Sometimes the right tools aren't enough. You need to use them correctly. LOL.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Uh, huh. Pass the Coffee.

I attempted to open my picture file yesterday and went into a spaztastic breakdown. So I shut it in order to breathe again.

Later I took a nap. When I was almost asleep, I started to think about the last chapter I edited and everything that I needed to fix. Again. Because my not-quite-there brain knew it wasn't good enough. That left me fighting a panic attack.

And last night, when I wanted to shut off my mind? I tried to read. Uh, yeah. I can't concentrate through a page.


So what does this tell you?


There are reasons that this blog is dead. haha.

I have to get away from this book for a while and decompress. Steven and I going on a date tonight (with friends). Phew. I hope it's enough to clear my head so that I can start next week fresh.

Of course, I am working this morning. Because I can't waste an entire day. The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can have my life back.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This and That

I know, I've been a horribly sporadic blogger of late. All I can say is, I do think about posting. And then realize how much work it is and... eh... I do other things. HAHA.


Trying to be better.

Let's play 'throw it all out there and let it stick to the wall day.' Like cooked sketti.

SIDE NOTE: I FREAKING LOVE THAT SHOW. Yeah, I'm probably getting dumber each time I watch it, but who cares? It's an awesome way to get stupid. But, I'm not going to actually try the recipe (I'm fascinated by people who do! Wow. Dedication.).


I have about a month's worth of pictures on my camera. At some point I may download them. -- Yes, YES, I WILL download them. It's on "the list," as in the one I keep both down the left side of my computer and to the right of my desk in my handwritten notebook.


I feel like I say everything is 'on the list.' Soooooooo. That list is pretty long.

I'm like three... four?... weeks behind at this point. I'm not joking when I say the thought of catching up is overwhelming. Completely my fault, but still. There are only so many hours in the day. I have to pick my choices wisely.

On the other hand, my house is clean. :)

Of course, that has more to do with the fact that I can't physically function in a cluttered/messy house. Cleaning the house will always get chosen over picture editing any day of the week.


Still chugging along. I mean, really, what can I say? I'm closer than I was last time I said that, yet still so far away from being finished.

Part of it is that I keep having to redo crap. SIGH. But. It's okay, I guess. It will be better in the end. It's just that (1) it drains all my energy, and (2) I want to work on my next project (because I'm oh, so excited about it!).


After the roast incident she had diarrhea for three days. NOT FUN. She was banned from our bed for the duration (of course, duh) and was pissed about this turn of events.

Steven said, "I would say, 'At least she learned her lesson,' but I doubt she did."

I doubt it too.

Even though it was her fault that she got the runs, she was still angry at me for kicking her out of my bed. She gave me her Yuki Stare of Death. It took her several days to get over it.

That would have been the end of Yuki's anger towards me if not for last night. I let her out to go to the bathroom. It was pretty late at night. Where we live there aren't any streetlights, so it's dark. I used the side door off my office, kept it open while she did her business, and played on my computer.

Several minutes went by. She didn't come back. At ten, I was outside calling her. At fifteen, I had gotten the flashlight and still couldn't find her. At twenty, I called Steven to help me.

Steven walked to the other door at the opposite side of the house where the deck is, opened it, and there Yuki was, shivering in a tight little ball.

"Looks like someone forgot what door she went out," Steven said.

When Yuki came inside, she went straight to her kennel. She wouldn't come out for an hour, and when she finally did, she'd have nothing to do with me! She wouldn't let me near her. She kept running under my bed so I wouldn't touch her.

I said to Steven, "She's ticked at me! I did not lock her out. This is not my fault."

"Well, she thinks you did."

Uh, huh. She's still ignoring me today! I'm not happy. Why am I being punished?


I drank so many of them on Sunday I wanted to puke. :/

They are my favorite. I kind of go overboard when they're in season. I had a PSL bellyache and I swore I'd never get another one. *barf*

That was three days ago.

Today I'm fiending for one in the worst way. It's almost enough to make me change out of my PJs and drive to Starbucks.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Still Working

I guess Go Daddy got hacked yesterday. Lots of sites were down (including mine). That was fun! *wink*

This is a boring post to say: I know that I should post more! But, as usual, I have nothing to talk about.

Not that my life is boring, or that I don't have a BILLION pictures to edit. It's that I'm still working on Manuscript-Of-Soul-Suck. It takes up all my time and, honestly, every brain cell I have.

Last night Steven had to ask me a question six times. It wasn't that I didn't hear him. I stared at him in the face as he asked me. What he asked didn't compute, my mind was engaged elsewhere.

This is not new. And he wasn't the least bit shocked. When I did manage to piece together what he asked, he laughed and said, "Don't worry, it's all good." That's why I love him. He understands my crazy. :)

There's still way too much work to do on the Manuscript-of-Soul-Suck, but I do see the light at the end of the tunnel. Another few weeks.

By the way, I still adore it. So there's that.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I ran across the most AMAZING website. It's online stickies program called Listhings. *SWOON!*

When I plan books it's an amalgamation of stickies (both physical and on the computer), notes (in a notebook, loose paper, and on my phone) and a white board. When I get my book together, those stickies all go on the computer with the built-in Stickies program. I have a separate screen where I bring up all my stickies. And I write the book from that.

I prefer stickies verses a word document for notes because sometimes I have to move things around. Or build off an idea. It helps to visualize where the book is heading, instead of working blind.

But the problem is: when I'm away from my desktop (this happens a lot), I can't access my notes! It's uber frustrating.

Before anyone suggests Scrivener, it's not for me. I love Word, which has more fancy tricks than Scrivener anyway (but you have to know how to use them). Not only that, I can write on the go with my iPad and iPhone. Switching between formats would slow my process down. And, again, I'd be tied to my desk.

Listhings meets all my needs.You can also add pictures to your cork board. WOOT! And you can have multiple cork boards (handy for multiple books!). -- Oh, and if you write with someone, you can share your boards!


With only a little over two months before NaNo, I thought I'd share. Get to planning!

[This is not to say that I'm participating this year. NaNo always makes me crazy and I end up squelching my muse. haha But if you haven't participated in NaNo, and you always thought you wanted to write a book, you should give it a shot!]

Friday, August 17, 2012

Things That Are

1. I have three weeks worth of pictures on my camera. Can't say when I'm going to download them. *whistle*

2. We have been checking off last minute appointments before school starts. Most important of which was dental cleanings for the kids. And, uh, that led to several more trips on the calendar. So far, Seth's had two teeth pulled. Poor kid.

Bekah reminds him every single day that she got on the "no cavity board." haha. The child who refuses to brush her teeth has a mouth full of perfect choppers. Cough.

3. We met the kids' teachers last night. I like them. Bekah has Seth's teacher from last year. I said, "Are you ready for this year? She talks more than he does."

You should have seen the teacher's face. It was comical. A mixture of disbelief and abject terror. "Is that possible?"

Yes, it is. I feel sorry for her. haha. :)

4. And I've been writing my tail off.

This. BOOK. <--- that pretty much sums it up. This is the most aggravating, irritating, lovely and special thing I've ever written. It's making my emotions unstable. So.... yeah.

5. Today is the official last day of our summer break. School starts Monday. I need my routine back. Yay!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Life Roulette

ACK! Okay, let's play "what's going on in Heather's life" vol. [something, or other].


As previously mentioned, my in-laws were in town so we took a few days to visit Branson.


I know a lot of people who vacation there. Meaning: It's their yearly vacation, there and only there. That made me expect some sort of spectacular place. Basically, it was a tourist trap. One I enjoyed, but still... not so much a "vacation destination." ha.

We did a lot of shopping:

Who needs zombie blood? Raise your hand. Now I know where to get it. Gonna stock up for the inevitable zombie apocalypse!

We also went to see Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. Holler! haha.

Seriously, Dixie Stampede was fun. Though they were all crotchety about taking photos inside. Bummer.


Summer is going to be over soon. #PRAISETHELORD

Are all the kids going nuts, or is it just mine? They've lost their minds. And, in turn, have made me question my sanity.

So, yeah. GET THEM BACK TO SCHOOL. Mom needs a break. Love you kids, but you gotta go.


This is what I've been doing with my time (I haven't even tackled laundry this week). I'm at the point in this book where I'm so frustrated that I had to stop, take a day off (have a good cry about it, etc.) and come back to it fresh.

Maybe this my creative process and no one else can relate to this, but here it is:

There comes a point when the book is "almost done," where it seems so close and yet so far away. Where I look at the book and it doesn't seem at all how I planed it. Where I have to believe that the threads I put in place will work, because if I have to start this book from scratch for a FOURTH time I may not make it. ---

Sigh. It's moving along.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Little Exercise Can Make Me Cry

Ack! I'm totally here. I've just been preoccupied/ busy with my manuscript that I've lost track of time.

I haven't done ANYTHING in a week besides work on it.

No reading (GASP!). But I really can't concentrate enough to connect with anything. That has been hard because reading is my outlet.

No picture editing. I'm still picking up my camera to take my daily pictures. I'm just behind. I have all of last week to edit, and now I realize it's Friday. Which means that I have this week to edit too. Not to mention all the vacation pictures still.

No blogging. Because, really, I can't think enough outside of the manuscript to make coherent sentences.

I feel like (as I do every summer) I'm losing the threads of this book because I'm taking too much time off. I've been employing my "twenty minute sessions," to help combat staring aimlessly at the computer. That has helped tremendously. I'm making progress.

My in-laws are visiting next week. It puts a little bit of pressure to get to a point with this book where I feel like I can stop for several days. I'm not there yet. *stress*

Interesting enough, I have been doing things outside my comfort zone, though. Things I never thought I'd do in a million-bajillion years. Like... working out.

I know. Everyone can pass out in shock. It's okay. I get it.

To be honest, I don't even know how the nightmare started. I was feeling down after several weeks away from home... eating out every meal, gaining weight...

I said to Steven something along the lines of, "I'm very unhappy. I need to make a change. Work out, or something."


So he became my personal trainer.

Here's the thing I want to make clear: Steven is amazing. He's very patient when it comes to working out with me. And I appreciate that because I'm both extremely uncoordinated and very out of shape.

But. It's. EXERCISE.


After the first week, the kids decided they wanted to exercise with us too. For the record: I hate this. I've made my displeasure heard and Steven has banned them from working out with us for at least another month, or as long as it takes for me to feel like I can actually do the things he wants me to do.

Because those kids... they live to do things "better." You can't do that, mom? Here watch this. It's so easy. You only use a 5 lb weight? See, I can do it with 10! And I'm only a little kid with no muscles.

I want to smack them. Which is why they have been banned.

They are very vocal about how rude this is. Whatever. Wait until you're on the downslide to forty, kid, and come talk to me.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

5 Things:

  • It would help when asked "account security" questions if I wrote down the answer somewhere instead of trusting my brain like they expect me to. Because I always have that moment of panic where I think, "Oh god, what is the answer?!" and then I have flashes of being locked out of my account forever. And this all happens, of course, when I desperately need to get into said account.

  • I hate paying bills. Not that I don't have the money, it's not anything like that. I just hate writing checks. Can I ask you... How can people in Arkansas not have direct deposit/ bill pay, or any way to send things electronically?! REALLY, PEOPLE?! -- They may have the same aversion I do to "account security" that I do. That's the only reason I can think of for the old skool craziness.

  • I've composed several blogs since my last one. Posted none. I'm going through that phase again. :/ ...And this post is going nowhere... *whistle*

  • Considering doing a couple of photo posts on my recent vacation. Though... I'm sure there are way too many photos on this blog as it is. I didn't mean for that to happen! ;)

  • Writing. I came back to my MS and thought... I'm off. That's the worst feeling. Plotted a bit and I have to rewrite a few chapters, but I feel better about it now. 

I'll leave you with a happy hippo (taken at Animal Kingdom). Isn't he precious?! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How is it Wednesday?

My Internet has been off all day. For the last several days, actually. I get to pay $65 a month for it too. Wheee! I think we're going to switch to the satellite Internet through DirecTv. Does anyone have that? Opinions? I'd love to know if it's any good before I sign a contract.

I've attempted to be aware of my working habits this week in order to cut out the dross and become productive. Um. I'm completely unreliable on a computer. The draw of blogs and Facebook is too much for me. I can't say no! And here is the funny thing... My internet is so stinking spotty you'd think I could get stuff done. But, no. Rather than writing, I fiddle with the connection to get it to come on! I can't help myself! Total self-sabatoge.

I got quite a bit written longhand this week. But the very second I step near a computer I putter my time away.

Is it efficient to write the whole book longhand? Okay, no. Other alternatives involve figuring out a way to unplug.

Wait for it....



This book is going to take for-freaking-EVER. Sigh.

The good thing is, I love it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pictures 366 -- Week 23


I've been deliberate with my pictures this week. Rather than thinking about it after the week is finished, and checking my iPhone to see what I have, I've been proactive. That means actually breaking out my camera (go figure! LOL!). As you can see, they turned out better. :)

Bottom line: I shouldn't be lazy. It makes me feel as if I didn't do my best and then I carry that with me to the next week.


I'm going to try for two blogs this week. *holding breath* Though, just so you know, after that my blog will be spotty for a bit. I'm unsure of my internet access. Which means that the next few 366s may come late. I will be taking pictures! Never fear.


Steven turned 38 this week. Yay! :)

The kids and I have evolved into a summer routine. It's been working and I've been working, so that's something! They've been helpful with keeping things clean (with prompting, I'll admit). And we've had a good time exploring and doing fun stuff.


I read an interesting article this week on writing productivity. I've been thinking about it for a few days. It's an engaging read, though there's nothing new in the information. For me, it was a challenge to reassess the time I spend writing. Am I being as productive as I could be?

The answer, of course, is no.

My writing life has changed (grown and adjusted) over the years. I've deliberately slowed myself down. I find the faster I go, the sloppier I become. However (and this is a HUGE HOWEVER), I do feel that even if I'm going slower, I could be more productive. There's no reason I can't be efficient in the time I spend writing so that my time isn't divided when my family is around.

I do keep track of my habits (when I write, how much I write during those times, how long it takes me to write a book/edit/etc.). It shouldn't be hard to tweak. This will be my on-going summer project.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

pictures 366 (Leap Year) -- Wk 14

Happy Easter!

I hope you all are having a fun day with family. We're being lazy around here (just how I like it!!!).

I haven't been around the blog lately. Sorry about that. I realized this afternoon that I had yet to download this week's pictures off my camera (let alone edit them!). So I'm behind on a lot of things.

What's been occupying my mind? First, I had a lot to do this week. Lots of running around. Zzzz. AND TAXES. UGHHHHHGH.

Second, writing.

I've been going through something for the last few months (maybe year? Maybe TWO years? LOL). "Going through something" meaning: NOTHING I WRITE WORKS. Eh.

I set aside the book I started earlier this year. And then I tried to pick up something that I've edited twice and is STILL not working. But project wasn't doing it for me either. I think I figured out the problem and know how to fix it, I'm just not passionate about it anymore. Matter of fact, it's the opposite of passion. Like, I'd rather get a pap smear than write that book.


Imagine my surprise when I suddenly became passionate about a new project. A manuscript I'm co-writing. It may be the collaboration that's helping to keep my interest, or may be the subject. Or possibly both. Whatever it is, this book feels special.

My mind is completely wrapped in this story, to the point that I can't function outside of my head anymore. Whenever a family member asks a question, my response is more often than not, "Huh?"

Thankfully they've been through this rodeo a time or two. They're good sports about it.

... Catch you when I can think again, peeps. ;)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thoughts on a Monday Morning

I realized how many books I've bought over the last month alone and ... *cough, cough, cough*

Um, yeah.

And I have a horrible habit of buying books and not reading them. It sort of works like this: I buy four, read three, but in the meantime buy several more... and so on. I end up with a lot of books on my TBR list that I haven't got to.

As it stands now there's over 100. :/

I know, that's pathetic.

I decided yesterday that for an entire month I need to step away from buying anything new. The thought has me shaking! ;)

I loaded up all of my TBR yesterday on my iPad and got to work. Two books down, 98 to go. LOL.

I really loved this article on Viola Davis and her wig. In it she talks about her husband:

He said, 'If you want to wear it for your career, that's fine, but in your life wear your hair. Step into who you are!'

First of all, she's freaking beautiful. Be-U-Ti-FUL! So, I mean, maybe it's just me and I don't understand the wig thing. I think she looks amazing without it. And why would you want to look like anyone else?!

Second, her husband rocks. 'Nuff said. I love when one spouse empowers the other.

Third, I love the message. It resonated with me. Not that I don't step into who I am. It's just that, sometimes when I'm tired on a Monday morning, it's a nice encouragement to hear. :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Life This Week

Steven: You haven't posted since Monday, right?

Me: Um, no. Why?

Steven: Wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything.

He cracks me up. He lives with me and, yet, finds some perverse enjoyment reading my blog. It's cute.

And reminded me that I should blog (though, I have nothing to say!).

so.... bullet points? That always works.

* I am over 10K on my new book. Woot! I have a very good idea of the plot at this point. However, I continue to struggle with the interaction between the two main characters. I'm not quite capturing the spark yet.

* I got a new lens! It's freaking awesome. After I upgraded my 35mm, my current (cheap) 50mm wasn't cutting it. The pictures were way too soft. Ugh.

I spent hours reading reviews between the 1.2 and 1.4. I ended up getting a 50mm 1.4. The 1.2 is cost prohibitive at the moment, especially when the reviews were clear that there is very little difference in picture performance.

I have to say, I'm pleased so far! I made the right choice.

We're calling this my Valentine's gift. hahaha. Happy Valentine's Day to ME!

* My Valentine is also putting together a studio space in the opposite side of my office. We had to go very untraditional. Meaning: The only space I had to put it was against a windowed wall, so I couldn't do a traditional backdrop. I wanted foam core (like my photographer crush, Sue Bryce), but I couldn't find it big enough for what I needed.

I'll show you what we ended up with when it's finished and I show you the pictures I take with it (so that you know I'm not crazy). Because it's ghetto chic. But who cares? It's totally perfect for me and that's all that matters!

* Speaking of pictures... I'm taking newborn pictures for a friend on Saturday. I'm nervous. I've never done a newborn shoot before. Let's cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday, Monday, So Good to Me

I feel so much better!!!! Thanks in part to this baby:

Booyah! Thank you, NyQuil! xoxo

Not that I'm 100% better. But my head is upright today. After a week of staying horizontal, I count this as a win!

The kids are better too. Super snotty -- which, YAY!!! All that congestion was causing major ear and head issues. I bundled them off and sent them to school!

*happy dance*

Okay, yeah, I get that they don't look exactly happy. But. They're going to school, can you blame them?

Now I have an entire day ahead of me. Several things of importance on the agenda. Like, uh, a shower. -- Not that I haven't taken several in the last few days. It's just that there is always that blissful first shower after you feel better, you know?

Or is that just me?

Anyway. I've been typing in my sick notes this morning. Apparently, fever + congestion + NyQuil = the weirdest story ideas EVER. I'm cracking myself up. I don't know if they're worth jotting down in my master idea file.

Okay. More coffee. See ya later, peeps.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

pictures 366 (Leap Year) -- Wk 3

It's that time of the week again!

It's been a slow week. I did manage to get caught up on my entire to-do list early, which left blissful hours of NOTHING.


It was awesome!

I would like to say that I wrote. Um.. Not so much. I did, a little. But I'm seriously stuck with this new book. I've written and cut the first few chapters at least six times now. I'm not getting traction.

However, I had a breakthrough. Or, at least I thought I did. I was in bed, halfway to sleep, and the whole thing came at me. I was like: wow, that's brilliant!

Then I woke up the next morning and couldn't remember any of it! haha.


It's slowly coming back to me. I've been jotting notes down. This next week, I'm hitting that MS hard.

Now the photos:

I post on Facebook what happened in the photos. I don't think I want to do that here (because it's a lot of work!), but there are two I'd like to explain.

January 15 (Sunday) -- Bekah is in love with my new K-cup machine. She thinks it's hers. She wakes up and makes Steven and I coffee (and herself a cup of hot chocolate). Unfortunately, last Sunday she woke up hours before us.  Never fear, though, she kept the cups and their contents warm by repeatedly putting them in the microwave every 20 minutes. This went on for FOUR HOURS.

While I appreciated the gesture, I did not drink that cup of coffee. haha. But I did teach her how to make the coffee in the coffee pot instead.

January 18 (Wednesday) -- The sunset picture.

Steven came in to the living room where I was working watching TV.

"You've got to come outside," he said.

It was below 20 degrees and I didn't have a jacket or shoes on. Not even a pair of socks for my poor little toes. I thought he was crazy and told him so. Because, in my mind, there was nothing worth seeing that would make it worth the effort.

"No, really," he insisted. "The sky has the most amazing colors."

I heard 'amazing' and 'colors,' grabbed my camera (it was on the coffee table next to me), and ran outside.

It was totally worth frostbite and the loss of a small toe. ;)

Now every time he looks at that picture, or someone comments on it, Steven gives me 'the look.' The one where I have to say, "Thank you so much, baby. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have taken that picture."

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thoughts on "Showing Up"

I feel like I need to blog. So. With nothing to blog about, I thought I'd tell a story about photography and how it relates to my writing.

I'm in week three of my 366 project. It's going awesome, thanks for asking. :)

I've been reading posts from other participants who are struggling with it. The common theme seems to be that it's unnatural to pick up the camera every day.

That is not the case for me. Actually, I don't even think about it. I just kind of do. My husband says that when the kids grow up,  they aren't going to recognize me because they think mommy has a big black box attached to her face.


That is exactly what it's like for me and writing. I do. Even when I feel like what I'm writing is crapola. Because I know that someday, when I'm less judgmental of myself, it's surprising how good those days can be! Ironically, they're usually better days than when I think I'm writing "good stuff."

This was something that registered when I popped out my memory card this morning. I had no idea what photos I took yesterday. I knew I took some and to the best of my memory, they sucked.

What are you gonna do?


I was determined to roll with the crap pictures. Imagine my surprise -- shock, actually -- when they weren't as bad as I remembered. They ended up kind of fun.


I'm reminded, yet again, that I simply need to show up and work. Everything else will sort itself out in good time.


Another thing I want to bring up because these two pictures are prime examples, is leave yourself lots of space to edit. These pictures aren't cropped. This is exactly how I shot them with all the negative space. I do that a lot. You may wonder why and the answer is this:

I never know when a shot may be THE ONE I want to frame. If I take the picture too close, there's no room to adjust for proper cropping.

This is a really good article explaining what I mean.

There is nothing worse than seeing a picture and thinking: That is gorgeous! And then realizing... the best you can do to preserve the "look" is to throw it in a 4x6 frame. ;)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Note to Self:

I should follow my own advice. And, perhaps, not use reflexive pronouns. But. I. Can't. Stop.

Where was I? Oh, yes...

I have this friend (she-who-shall-not-be-named / SWSNBN) who is a fantastic writer. I mean, really fantastic -- the kind that makes you cry when you realize you can't write like her. SWSNBN has this block when it comes to her writing. I'm not sure what it is -- self doubt, maybe? Which from an objective perspective (mine) is CRAZY. Because MY. GOD. she can write.

She's easily frustrated and gives up on a lot of stuff. I told her, "Get a notebook and write. I don't care what you write. I don't care if there is a plot, or no voice, or flat characters, or whatever. It really doesn't matter. Because as long as you're writing something, eventually you'll get to where you need to be."

It's good advice and I really believe it. I guess, you know, as long as I'm giving it to others (haha) because do I apply it to myself? NO.

It's very obvious that I don't apply my advice when, after a week of this new draft, I have 1K words. There I was last night at 7pm with 5 -- FIVE! -- new words for the day.

*eye roll*

That's when I had to have a stern talk with myself. Because, COME ON, enough was enough.

I brought out the notebook. And I wrote. First I listed all the books I had to add to Goodreads for December (25 new entries -- I should be more on top of that). Then I had to list their ratings. Oh, and make a list of where I bought books so that I could add them to my file.

And then I made a list of things that NEEDED to get done (bills, balance checkbook, take Yuki to get a haircut...).

And then I doodled. Wrote my name a couple thousand times...

There's a lot going on in my head, gotta tell ya. *Snicker.*

What I didn't do is lift my pen from the paper.

THEN I was able to write. I wrote quite a bit. Enough to get me jumpstarted today, if I try hard.

I need to start listening to myself better. Life is much easier that way.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And So It Begins...

The kids are back in school! Yay!!! The house is quiet! I have it all to myself!


I was going to attempt a witty post.

[insert witty post]

... but, yeah, not so much.

Why? I'm tired! Winter break sucked the lifeblood out of me. All I can think about is a nap. My bed is so cozy (damn new mattress my husband made me buy).


Seriously. It's almost 11am and I have yet to write a single word.


Focusing now. Goal today: 1K words. Ready? GO.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Dear 2012,

Last year I made a promise to myself. I didn't want to make resolutions. Instead, I decided to take a year sabbatical. Do things that I enjoy, let go of the things I didn't.

Well. It was awesome.

Nothing significant happened last year, sure. It was an easy year despite the stressful move from Japan back to the US. Relaxing. Full of new adventures.

I had fun. Lots of it.

With writing, 2011 was all about me. Figuring out where I wanted to be creatively. I finished off the year with a book that I think is pretty good. It's completely different from anything I've written before. I'm okay with that.

2012 is going to be different. I'm ready to dip my toe back in.

[Scratch that.]


2012, it's me and you. Let's kick some ass.



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