Thursday, May 28, 2009

Now I've done it! I have mobile Blogger linked to my phone. What trouble am I going to get myself into now?

Goodbye Ethan

I am in the process of revising my novel, but have found myself stuck. The first eight chapters were easy to rewrite. I knew what I needed to add, delete and change. But now I've hit the part where Ethan, a secondary character, was involved in my main character's life. He needs to go. He does nothing to support the plot. But how do I leave him out?

In real life, I have trouble with goodbyes. I cling to people until all hope is gone. I am doing that with my novel. I guess it's good that I can see that, because now I can remedy it. Ethan was a character that I thought I needed, but he does nothing except detract from the REAL story. He could be a subplot, but I can use other, better defined characters to accomplish the same thing.

So, even though my soul is cringing, it is time for us to part, dear Ethan. I will always remember you, even if your name is no longer in print. You were good to me, but now it is time I let go.

Goodbye Ethan, good bye!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm RUNNING away...

"Maybe I should just move," I think to myself as I stew over the piles of clutter in my house. It would certainly help me weed out many of the 'things' I think I need. And, it just might teach my kids how to let go of junk.

But, alas, moving would create new leaving my husband. We live next to his parents and he's made it very clear that he's happy. Besides, we live in a great neighborhood, can afford the house, and, well, I kind of like the man, so leaving is out.

My next thought it to RUN, far and fast. That, too, raises sticky issues of abandonment. I'm not going anywhere. I sigh in defeat as I dream of a life where everything is easy to find,use and put away. But life like that doesn't exist, especially when one spouse is traveling for work. Add two kids one big, yellow dog, and the new beta fish to the equation and you have a home in total chaos.

The truth is, I'm looking for a lifeline. I know there has to be one. One of my faults is that I live day to day. I have a visceral aversion to it the word 'planning'. I cringe at the thought of, UGH, knowing what I am doing from day to day. But every once in a while, I peek ahead to see if I have a reprieve in my blurred life.

And that's when I found my prize. My golden salvation is in black pen across the calendar. I had nearly forgotten about it because it occurs EARLY next month, Saturday June 6th the be exact.

I AM RUNNING AWAY!!!!! Well, more like flying away. At 6am (YUCK, but worth it!) I will board the plane with two other moms. Three hours later we will arrive in Florida, far away from kids. We will spend the next five days reading, lounging, talking (ACTUALLY finish conversations), eat warm food, sleep, drink wine, laugh, relax and just plain enjoy ourselves.

I can't wait! Thank god it is nearly here. In the mean time, it will help me try to hold it together.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I need...NO, I want!

This winter I have been so exhausted. I even went to see my Primary Care Doctor for a check up. I've been cold, tired and completely unmotivated. Something must be wrong. Well, in truth, their might be something wrong, but, only time will tell. I have a family history of hemochromatosis, a digestive disorder in which the body absorbs too much iron. Maybe I am weighted down by heavy metals, but serial blood tests will be the only way to know for sure.

In the mean time, there must be something else I'm carrying. I believe most of life is mind over matter; we CAN control how we feel. Since my appointment in April, I've been telling myself that it's all in my head.

Over the past few weeks, I have begun to shift my way of thinking. NEED is such a heavy word. It's best friend GUILT is never far behind. WANT on the other hand is lighter. I find it motivating to think about what I want. PLEASURE usually follows when a want is fulfilled.

I think in today's world, it's all to easy to confuse NEEDS with WANTS. Maybe that's why I am so bogged down with drama. Out of nowhere, a want can transform into a need. And then I find myself drowning in a sea of guilt when I want to be floating on a yacht of pleasure. (NOTICE I SAID WANT!) So why aren't I floating? Because I need so many things.

That's where I need to stop. Just the other day, I quoted my late grandfather, whom I've never met. My mother taught me this and I am passing the lesson on to my kids. He said, "There are only two things I NEED to do in life: pay taxes and die." That one sentence is helping me put my life in perspective. (Now, my son of course will argue about the NEED to pay taxes...he is, after all, a Republican...but that's for a later discussion.)

Today, I want to stop the drama. I want to bring pleasure back into my life and crowd out guilt. I want to enjoy the days that are placed before me. I want to refocus my energy. Some people might argue that word usu age should not impact the way that I feel, but it does. I need...NO, I want to make my life better. And I can do it, and a small change in my vocabulary is just the place to start.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Don't WANT to grow up....

For research, I started watching The Secret Life of An American Teenager. It's not the greatest acting in the world, but it's good enough for me. The self-centered nature of teens is portrayed well, as is the setting. It really makes me wish my life was scripted, because the characters always know the perfect thing to say. That part makes it totally unbelievable, because teens can't POSSIBLY be that could at communicating with each other, not to mention their parents.

Maybe that's why I love to write. I want characters who don't know what to say. Characters who are just as lost as I am. Life is SO not scripted, so why should my book? I've had people say that readers want fiction to escape the reality of life. But then in another breath, fiction has to be plausible. My plausibility stems from making mistakes, saying the wrong things and interpreting what has NOT been said, and NOT having a happy ending. I'd love to read a book that is like that. Any suggestions anyone?

This morning, I watched the finale of The Secret Life. Honestly, I sobbed. The right music can do that to me. But it was more than that. Amy had her baby..and yes, it brought me back to when my were children born. The celebration of a new life is the greatest blessing that anyone can experience. And then, there's the first year...all of the firsts, really..that are celebrated every step of the way.

But what happens once you are all grown up? What's left to celebrate? I'm 35 now. College is a distant memory, as is my wedding. Each day, my kids are growing, developing and accomplishing their own things. But what about me? Is it adolescent of me to want to celebrate me? Is that what makes people so bitter as they age? (I know, not everyone is bitter as they age, but that's what I fear the most for me.) And, if I want to celebrate me, what is worth celebrating?

And that's why I don't want to grow up. I don't ever want to stop celebrating life, it's just getting a lot harder to find new firsts. It's not that I've done everything there is to do, but people look at me funny when I want to celebrate anything. It's like I'm being told to grow up, there's nothing left to be so happy about. But I am happy and proud, too....and I want the world to know it. So, if that's what it takes...the no..I DON'T WANT TO GROW UP! Anyone willing to stay young with me?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Kindle Krazy

My husband bought me a Kindle for my birthday. It's an extravagant gift that he knew I would never buy for myself. I have been trying to learn how to make the best use of it for the past month. I think it finally makes sense.

Buying books is dangerously easy. With the click of a button, the book appears. This is scary for someone like me who devours books like crazy. BUT, it's useful tool. I can highlight certain passages that I want to remember. Research for writing has taken on a whole new meaning.

The Kindle has a few drawbacks, though. For one, I can't search the web easily. I have to manually enter all URLs of blogs or sites I want to read and sometimes have trouble navigating them. But once, I've opened them, I can read them anywhere. I have not found a way to leave comments, though. AND...worst of all, I can't access Facebook. (Being an FB junkie, I'm a little disappointed, but I'm thinking Twitter might make up for that. I'll give it a whirl when I have my new cell phone.) Also, no matter the convience, it's STILL not a book. I miss the feel and smell of new pages. My senses are not fully engaged.

Overall, I'm not sure the Kindle is worth the cost, yet. Like most new gadgets, I'd expect rapid improvements with the price dropping soon. The ideal tool would be very similar to an iTouch but more affordable. If you were to ask me, I'd say to wait a little bit, unless you have extra cash to spend. I'm very happy to have my Kindle, but still feel terribly guilty about the cost. Maybe time will help me to see the true value in the expense.
Give it time, though, and I'm sure it will catch on.