Monday, August 29, 2011

ROW 80 and Artistic Mother Update - more, and less

It only seems appropriate to begin this post by sending heartfelt hopes and prayers of goodwill and safety to those dealing with Irene - and the secondary effects of a bloody huge hurricane moving up the coast. My sister is in VA proper, and when I asked about that 'flash flood' warning, she said they get those during rainstorms the same way we get tornado warnings with every summer rain.

So, yeah, I shut up about it.

It sounds like there are places further north where real flooding did happen, where folks were evacuated with cause, and where jobs were interrupted, and people were in serious danger. And I hope they are well tonight.

On to the update - sorry, I've just gotten back from hunting down my muse and giving her the what-for -  bloody Hell it took a while to find her this time! That's more-or-less true, by the way.

I made a strong go of the beta read, up until halfway through the story. Claudia Lefeve deserves better - hell - ANYONE you commit to deserves better - than what happened when the gas ran out. Fortunately, Claudia, smart cookie that she is, had other beta readers hauling bunnies through the story and sending feedback. "Parallel" is a really intriguing story. I'm a near speed-reader, which is why I thought I could pull off a speedy beta-read, and I have to tell you, the twisty bits slowed me down very nicely. She is a hell of a challenging author and her story really took me in, and made tricky characters far more sympathetic than they were at first glance. I'm thrilled with its' originality too, so I cannot wait to read the final version! And, I hope some of you will give it a shot also.

It's tempting to say I ran out of gas muse-hunting.

It's more truthful to say I ran out while pitching a fit.

Nothing major, earth-shattering, or truly horrid - just freaking out about my daughter starting pre-school, the summer being nearly over, the d@mned story not being done. In all honesty, I got pretty fed up with myself. Heh. That explains, quite nicely, why the muse may have taken off in the first place. However, much art was done while I've been playing hooky, a poem was even started, and I did do Some writing work while leading the Heritage Writers writing group - working on fleshing out MC's, by the way.  Watched a pack of kids as usual, and, happily, indulged in 'family time' too.

Some time ago, I decided that my family and extended family was too large for me to budget $ for occasion cards. For instance, Jon's family has 5 birthdays in the month of August,plus my in-law's wedding anniversary. Add 3 Mother's Day Cards, 4 Father's day cards, and the social calendar of 2 children, $3-$5/card is just too much money.

I can only say this because, thanks to my years of art school, I've stockpiled BUCKETS of paper. Which I am trying to de-clutter. I also have two children who need to learn to cut things, glue things, and color. Enter the family Design firm. I've tightened up my designs since I started, so people are now more appreciative than appalled - apparently, my 3 year old has a Lot to learn about color choice!

So, while I've been away, I've done 6 cards (5 birthday, one anniversary). I started a poem but got quickly derailed - I'm thinking 'shitmobile' was where it went downhill- yes, in fact, the poem is still unfinished. I spent a goodly amount of time yesterday working on my honeymoon scrapbook/photo album. My son is 7, and I swear the only reason I will get it finished is so I can start his baby book!!  After some innovation with the meal plan Thursday, I am still the only one eating the leftovers. We did trips to the zoo and science museum in the same week, and when I've been doing boring paperwork during the day, I'm doing it outside so I can be around the kids. Lots of activity, not much progress. It's been pretty fun, though!

The recovery plan? I'm renting a neighbor kid hiring a 'mother's helper' 4 days this week, 3 hours/day, to help my kids gear up for their school-day routines while I get the house thoroughly ordered, as evenings this week will be beyond hectic. That should free-up the naptime for the writing, which I've neglected so much that I - still - miss it. I know that I can only plan to commit 30 min for writing and also 30 for the Artistic Mother program, but with everything else going on, it will feel like a reward. The best part of the reward is that my helper will have $20 to put toward her own ballet gear, which will make her feel pretty proud.

Life happened.

That's all :-)

UPDATE: 4:48 pm - sat still for 45 minutes and finally cleared 11,000 words. Righted some conflicting ideas and developed the hermit a bit further. Tossed in a patrol man to ensure the trucker leaves the Pit, reinforced the kleptomaniac gossip, and defined questions about the plot - why does Miss Main Character suspect the hermit anyway? The dude is 82 pounds soaking wet, how could he be the bad guy. Better - WHY could he be the bad guy? Clarified the means by which the first body is found and corrected the timeline. My sweet girl is up, so it's time to juggle the kid and cooking duties, psych my son up for the evening activities, and get dinner rolling. Later, 45 minutes for the Artistic mother projects.

It's turning into a really, really good week :-)



  1. Life definitely happens, doesn't it? That's why ROW80 is so great. You can forgive yourself for not being perfect, and your fellow authors are going to sympathize rather than criticize. You sound like you have so much on your plate! Just do the best you can when you can. Good luck!

    Now, where IS that muse.....

  2. I'm here for the Sh!t-mobile. ;) I've actually never seen one of those. The closest I came was after opening the door of a restroom stall at a rest stop in NYC. Memorable. But I like your description more.

    That's a lot of business for Hallmark. I don't blame you for cutting back. Speaking of paper- I recently learned how to make an origami envelope WITHOUT cutting, tearing, gluing, or taping, thanks to youtube. I'm so pleased with the results, I'm working these envelopes into the storyline of my WIP. The twist is, it will actually make sense within the storyline. How's THAT for method madness? :)

    Oh yeah- being on the east coast, but not on the coast proper, I made it through the IRE(of)NE.

    Good luck with the rent-a-kid, the ballerina, and the Artistic Mother program. Which reminds me . .

    "He's artistic?"

    "No, he's autistic."

    -the movie "Rain Man"

  3. @Laura - I'm really lucky to BE blessed with the full plate - writing is going to feel like such a lame time-filler when the kids have....something better to do than hang around Mom!! ;-)

    I do appreciate you coming by and the well-wishes - today's been a great start with my helper, when my daughter Does take her nap, I will have no guilt at all about doing my 30's :-)

    I hope your week is fantastic!

  4. @Ms. Stewart - oh, yes,the sh!tmobile.

    Pretty much the description of every 4th car to drive down the main drag in my hometown when i was growing up. The 80's Great Recession did lousy things in Northern MN, and the beaters around town were the proof.

    Funny how challenging it is to work into a poem, though. Probably easier to work an origami envelope into a storyline - I do Not know how you do it!! Ain't YouTube grand!!?

    On the RainMan quote (true story):

    I was, a very long time ago, running for the Princess of the Frosty Frolic (don't ask) and we had to sell orange metal 'buttons' with a cute black and white penguin on them - think small-town fundraiser. I was selling some to a little older woman, who spoke to my 12 year-old self and my friend - at length - about a family member who was clearly 'special needs'.

    So I innocently asked, "Was she autistic?"
    " wasn't artistic. She couldn't draw Anything!"


    (as always, thanks for coming by. you always light me up!!)

  5. 1. You're sister was right. I should know, she lives not to far from me :)

    2. You did more than half my dear and I already knew what your main issue was and so, just for you, I added a whole new chapter. It's not exactly what you wanted, but close enough...

    3. I thought about you this morning and I was like, "damn, how do Shari and all the mom's do it??" I was doing laundry at midnight and I don't have an excuse!!

  6. @Claudia :-)

    #1. She's Always right. If we weren't sisters it would annoy the hell out of me :-)

    #2. Cannot WAIT for that chapter!!!!! and next time I will not let you down.

    #3. How do we do it?

    Repeatedly!!! ;-)

    (er, and mommy-juice. Lotsa kaffe ;-) hugs to you honey! Not sure how you are topping Last week - a well-deserved break? :-) Take care dear!


  7. lol You're welcome. Glad to read your week is turning into a really, really good one.

    Time for me to make more envelopes . .