Monday, June 30, 2008

About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after. (Ernest Hemingway)

It’s a beautiful, cool, unhumid (I know, that ain’t even a word, but humor me) day outside and I’m holed up working on the writing. I slacked yesterday, mowed the two yards instead (I think we might just lease our lawn to square bale, joke). So today it’s back to the computer and hanging out by myself with my pretend friends. (That still sounds nuts, too bad it’s true.)

I’m trying to get short stories, poems, and the like together to start pitching to magazines. It takes awhile, as most writers know, to wade through the guidelines and magazine profiles, then read the magazine, make sure that your writing is up their alley, etc. And all the while try to keep up with the latest writing projects, cussing out the characters as badly as they cuss you when you have to turn your attention to business concerns instead of theirs.

Or maybe that’s just me. :-)

We haven’t got our mower conditioner fixed yet, but the neighbor offered to take down the remaining hay we had standing and square bale it. We needed some squares for calving this September and what not, so we let him take what he needed and give us a cut when we figure out how many bales will come out of the field. At least it gives us more time to get the mower fixed before second cutting. Dad’s been crazy-busy down at his latest job. He and the homeowner seem to want to finish things up as fast as they can, so hay is coming in second priority lately. Just wish I had more machinery savvy so I could fix this shit myself.

I’m into the fine tuning with Taylor. I’m going to go back today and add some things to what we’ve already covered, fine details and stuff. I think another few sessions and we’ll have the read-through done. Really looking forward to that. I love the work, but honestly I’m ready for some space without the red book in it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. (Erma Bombeck)

I’m getting a lot done today for still being in my jammies at 3:30 in the afternoon. Got the kitchen all clean, the dishes done, the laundry rolling, twenty-seven pages of the book read through and edited, it’s a good day. Just need to come up with something amazing and astounding for supper tonight, exercise, and work in the garden and it will be quite the day. I even made pages on things completely unrelated to Taylor today. Yey!

I gave up on Pamela yesterday. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I left the bookmark in so if in another year or two I feel like coming back to it, I can. The suspense isn’t exactly killing me. So I started Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass instead. Gotta love a rabbit in a waistcoat. I’m still reading the Nick Adams Stories too, along with Strange Candy by LKH. No wonder I’m starting to make short stories. There’s just less to be bound up to with a short story than with a novel. And while I like the emotional depth in a novel, sometimes a short story, poem, or even flash fic can just soothe the itch for telling a story or writing the way a novel sometimes can’t.

I feel so lazy being boarded up in room while it’s a beautiful, if hot and humid, summer day outside. I’d love to be outside, working on fence, doing the farm thing, but I burn really easy and refuse to use sunscreen. So actually, my skin should thank me for having an alternative, indoor occupation. Otherwise I’d look like a lobster all the time. I know I should use some kind of skin protection. But it makes me break out or itch or other weird skin reactions that are permanent striations rather than a temporary burn. Which one do you think I go with? I’ve worn long sleeves or t-shirts more this summer than I normally do, but so far it’s working well to do most outdoor stuff in the afternoons and evenings and staying in during the classic 11-3 pm times. So far. We’ll see.

Friday, June 27, 2008

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face."

"You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'" (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Got a lot done on the book yesterday before Dana went back north. I feel a lot better about things. When the writing goes well, my whole life goes well. When it doesn’t go well, the gods help those around me and make sure they thank those gods no one else is in my head but me. I’m not a girl prone to PMS, which is good since Moody Writer Syndrome is along similar lines. Throw in some stupid boys and a broken mower conditioner and the family starts throwing beers and chocolate at me, from a distance of course.

It’s a lazy kind of Friday for me. Been gone or runnin’ all week, including last night. I just got home a little bit ago, so which direction to go is a little vague. I might start a new project today, just as a distraction from Taylor, but I’m not sure. So instead of sticking my foot in my mouth and talking about the project, I’m just gonna do what I do.

Just took a break and did more of the major read-aloud of the red book on the phone with Dana. It’s going a lot slower than I thought it would and takes more out of me than I can believe. Just have to focus so hard and have so many other things to keep in mind and work with… hard to explain. But thirty minute segments seem to work well.

Oh, I forgot to mention that we got our mower conditioner’s problems figured out. Where the cutter bar comes in and connects to the gear box, the pin that drives the cutter bar kept catching on the guard just right. Last I knew, Dad bent the guard back down, but has to replace it, if he can get it off the mower. We’ll see how that goes. But the weather has hardly been conducive lately to haying. So it was a good week to be a writer rather than a farmer. Overall, once I finish Pamela, life is good.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happiness is a direction, not a place. (Sydney J. Harris)

Who? Oh well. Good thought for the day at least.

Well, for those who are interested, you can find me at

Yesterday we finally got hours in on the major overhaul for book one, right now called the red book for the sake of simplicity. Numbers and I don’t get along so one, two, three weren’t working for me. Colors are much more up my alley. Unfortunately for those among us who are color-blind. My grandpa never could tell if he had blue, brown, or black socks. Anyway, the overhauls are going well so far and today we’ll get into the meat of it. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such a verbal person, but for some reason, even when I wrote college papers, it works better when the words can percolate through my brain and out of my mouth. Things just make more sense and become more solid for me. And the characters don’t mind. I think they all have vanity issues because they all seem inordinately pleased with themselves for having us holed up talking about them. Smug bastards.

I’m going to keep this entry brief so I can get to work on more important things. But I’ll leave y’all with a poem.

The Haying Song
Rain rain go away
quit raining on my fucking hay.

Five years of college education in Central’s creative writing program and that’s the best I got. Pathetic I know. But it’s still funny.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Home again, flyin' again

Back home this afternoon, but only until Dana gets here and we can go off and work on the book. Finally, yey! I’ve got pages upon pages of notes and problems and since I’m a verbal learner, it works best for me to sort through issues out loud. And there are some issues to work through. Hopefully we can get it all wrangled in a marathon session between tonight and tomorrow.

Strange weather lately. Nice one day and raining and cool the next. Makes it difficult to get hay up. We got all ours up last week. 107 bales. We can load three wagons at a time, about 9,000 pounds apiece, so 27,000 pounds total. The B can haul it across country, but the hills (excuse me, hill – singular) in the back proved a bit much for the old man. I’m not sure why that tractor is male, but it is. Or at least, it’s a man’s tractor. Oh well, the dogs are women’s dogs so it’s even. (Sorry, inside joke).

Well, I better go get my shit around to meet with Dana. Meanwhile, I’m gonna jam out to Willa Ford’s “A Toast To Men” and other angry girl music. Let’s just say it’s onea those days. >-( Oh, and I broke down and created a myspace. Just FYI. We’ll see how that goes. Happy days.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ah! the memories!

Up north writing at my friends’ kitchen table again. It’s a little ironic since this is where I used to do my homework when I stayed here during middle school. Talk about weird flashbacks. I keep thinking I’m not old enough to be writing or reading what I am and need to floss my braces. Does anyone actually miss middle school? Certainly not me. I haven’t even gotten nostalgic about freshman year of college. (Which sucked, by the way.)

I’m working on query letters today. And I finally learned to spell ‘query.’ Two r’s right? Kidding. Hopefully Dana and I can get to work finishing the first book so my block can smooth out. I still think block is all in the writer’s mind, but I’m trying to keep the momentum of one project up so the momentum on the others goes to shit, for lack of a better term.

I’ve been reading Contemporary American Poetry this morning. It’s a college book that we only read a few poems in so I thought I’d give it a read now that I don’t have to. Makes sense, right? Yeah not really, I know. Still wading my way through Pamela. I skimmed the last twenty-five pages and didn’t miss a thing. Just a note: Please don’t base anything on my recommendation of Pamela. It’s a good book, just not blowing my skirt up, as my ol’ ma used to say. I think it’s among the first books considered as modern novels. That’s why I started to read the book in the first place. English major interest and all. But just because I turn into a narcoleptic every time I open the book, doesn’t mean that it’s a book to miss. It’s just literature to read in bed so no one has a traffic accident because the driver nodded off while the passenger reads Pamela. (Hey, Dad fell asleep while I read Pamela. It could happen.)

Happy Days.

Monday, June 23, 2008


The freelance farmer also must not mind dirt, grit, grease, manure, sunburns, insect bites, a sore throat from fumes and pollen, and dehydration resulting in mild hallucinations.

I can see this list is going to become an ad in progress.

Opinions are like assholes... everybody has one.

Going about five different directions today. Getting ready for a brief trip up north. Laundry, dishes, all that shit to leave the boys for a few days. Oh well, they’re baby boomers and resourceful carpenters, they ought to be fine without me. Zip’s coming with me so I need to find his collar, finish packing myself, and get some pages before I leave. Trying to simmer down long enough to write anything will be the key. I’ve been really frustrated with it all lately, since it feels like I can’t move on until the first book gets all the attention it deserves for the next major edit. Which is true in a lot of ways. Getting it all hammered out will clear the way for a lot of details in the next book, but there’s a lot I could be doing in the meantime. Just procrastinating I guess. And haying. And drinking. And moody. And exhausted. And it’s summer. I’m still trying to get out of the mindset that I get summers off. After all, I’m not a student anymore.

I’m digging iced green tea right now. Not that that has any relation to anything. Just a note.

Well, I don’t have that much else right now. Even the blogging has been stalled lately thanks to the book. I’ll post something else later if anything comes to mind.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"We be farmin'!"

Just got to my desk with my second mug of coffee that is still too hot to drink. They’re farming outside my house this morning, finishing up gassing the corn with anhydrous, a super-strong form of nitrogen. Can’t imagine what one of those tubes costs with the increase in the cost of fertilizers. I’m still wreaked from yesterday. First off, I didn’t get home until 5:30 a.m. (I’m a twenty-something. I do that.) I caught an hour or so of sleep and farmed all day. We got our back field all raked and Dad got forty bales so far. Since it’s a small field, that’s really good, for those of you who don’t know. At one point we had two rigs runnin’ smoothly and one dog in the field. “We be farmin’ now!” Dad said. We got finished up and had supper nearly on the table by 8:30 last night when some friends stopped over and the new goal became empting our refrigerator of beer. Needless to say, I didn’t get my weight training in yesterday. It was 10 before we got supper and eleven before I got everything cleaned up and came upstairs. But the B I run doesn’t have power steering so I think that ought to count for resistance training, I don’t know about you. Dad and I got laughing over my grandpa, who cut his teeth on the steel-wheeled and steel-seated tractors. He thought rubber wheels were pretty cool, even with straight-line axels. I’ve never run steel-wheels, but judging by how sore my lower back is today, I’m not sure I want to know.

A friend of mine and I were talking this past weekend about how hard it is to find a partner that wants to farm with ya these days. I thought about that yesterday on the tractor, the qualities I would look for in a freelance farmer. It’s rough, but I wrote it last night late and thought I’d post the rough version just for comedy.

Wanted: Freelance farmer looking to join a cooperative team. The following qualities a must.

Must love long hours on little pay and few benefits, even when the gentlewoman farmer isn’t too tired to bestow those benefits after a long day.

Must love pain in lower back, all joints, and a variety of broken bones, smashed fingers, and the occasional tearing out of that oh so fashionable nose ring by wayward snippets of wire.

Preferably former bull fighter, bronc rider, and/or team roper (just in case).

Must be able to calve cows, break horses, treat foot rot in sheep, stop profuse bleeding, dehorn, castrate, clip rabbit teeth, remove porcupine quills from the farm dog, mow lawn, fix broken equipment in all manner of inclement weather that might have never worked in the first place, drink like a fish, cook over an open fire. Must enjoy long walks along fencelines, late nights in the calving barn, pulling ancient woven wire fence, splitting fire wood, housework, laundry, cleaning toilets, screaming children, and crying dogs.

No dental or 401K.

No insurance or health care.

All the while being willing to bring his exhausted woman a beer while she watches the Red Wings and PBR.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. (Buddha)

Got my four pages yesterday, yey! Even if they were just notes. I started out the series by not planning or plotting and found myself in a bit of a pickle later. So I started plotting out the major events, character development, all that happy horseshit, all the how-do-we-get-there-from-here stuff. That all kind of feeds into my reading lately, Chakras for Beginners by David Pond and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (yeah, I know, but the latter was a gift).

Some food for thought today: both of the above books deal more or less with the same ideas. But David Pond’s point inspired me the most in his essay “Vows and the Chakras.” He says that religions teach us that if we were really good, we wouldn’t be here on earth, the whole kicked out of Eden mindset. What if, Pond proposes, this earth is Eden and we’re wasting our time and energy thinking about something better? Well this place is gonna stink then, ain’t it? But, if we redirect our thoughts and energies, realizing the miraculous in the everyday, then this earth becomes a gift rather than a plague to be endured. Not only that, but if we celebrate being, likely enough “we will see a shift in policies that honor our planet rather than desecrate it.” I just thought this was all such a great idea.

So, to sum up, listen to the inner optimist and realize that life is the gift, the thing to be enjoyed, dessert, if you will, rather than merely an appetizer for what is to come. Go hug your dog and don’t just make the best of it, make it the best. No pain no gain is no attitude at all.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On the farm that Jack built

Well we’re broke down. Again. If anyone out there in blogger world knows how to keep the cutter bar on a John Deere 1209 mower conditioner from snapping right off the arm despite there being no obvious obstructions to the bar, please contact me. And I really mean that. We’re at wit’s end about it. Dad used this mower for years and has only had to replace the cutter bar when it wore out. Last year and this year we’ve fixed it at least six or eight times, just from it snapping. We’ve welded the bar, got new ones, nothing seems to work. There’s no obvious thing in the way or catching the bar, not even a goddamn rock to blame it on. We’re getting a trifle miffed. So if anyone’s dealt with this and has some wise words of wisdom, please send some wisdom our way.

Other than that, it’s been the first time I ever remember freezing my ass off while cutting hay. It’s in the low sixties here and if it was February we’d all be sweating. Guess it’s all in what you’re used to.

So to dispel my bitching, I figured I’d post another poem today and end if not on a happier note than at least on a poetic one. The lines aren't coming out just right, but you get the idea.

On the farm that Jack built

This is after I learned to tag cattle and castrate calves, after I learned to change oil in the tractor and after I shot the raccoon.
This is after my mother left me for an oil tycoon and after my best friend got married and went to Iraq a week later.
This is after my grandpa died and left us all spinning on heel, wondering what to do with grandma (get her a dog, what else?)

It’s a hot day in Phoenix, but not in Michigan where I’m hauling buckets of grain out to the feedlot calves,
five where I used to feed forty, and try to water the bulls, one where there used to be six or seven.
The snow creaks and groans beneath my feet like an old man without his arthritis medication and whose cane’s been kicked out from under him.
Its cold to breathe, ice burning lungs when the wind rushes in your mouth, like it means to take you over from the inside out.

The bay horse tries to paw my dog again, using his front feet like a mustang, while the ram we
got for free last year—
(just so you know, there is no such thing as a free ram, or a free dog, or even a free plant for that
The free ram chases the cow in heat around, ignoring the ewes as usual, who chase the ram, who chases the cow that loves the bull that humps the ram that lives in the house that Jack built. (Okay so I need to get out more. Its not the first time my dad has been right.)

Ice chunks the size of a boot shift against each other in the stock tank. Curses fall from my mouth like frost, damning the frozen hose and water hydrant.
The wind sucks my breath and all the feeling from my hands as I unscrew the hose from faucet,
ice forming under my fingernails.
The old dog hobble-runs to the car as I wave him over. Too deaf to hear anything lower than a
bull horn, he does good with sign language.
The dogs and I go for coffee while the hose thaws and the ram chases the bull who wants the
cow who… oh never mind. This is all after that.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Leftovers anyone?

Holy shit, what a weekend! I dropped off the face of the world last week to get ready for my college graduation party on Saturday. (A great time was had by all, just FYI.) So much food! So much beer! And oh, the Snickers cake! (Thanks, Tom.) But we drank beer all day so Sunday was a bitch. And Dad decides to start cutting hay in the afternoon. Why not? Luckily, the headache had left by then, since I finally ate. Two hours into my turn on the mower conditioner, the cutter bar snaps. So it’s back up to the barn and down to the neighbor to see if he can weld it, again. Then, many phone calls later, we still don’t know what the hell is wrong. But, I was back out mowing this morning and nothing broke, so far. But I clogged like five times in an hour and got pissed trying to take down the corners, so Dad said to leave it for him. So I did. He can open up the next eighty acres too while he’s at it. Of course, it’s been looking like rain all day, so who knows? Maybe I won’t be raking tomorrow.

So basically this week is all about dealing with the wonderful leftover pig, re-bagging and freezing and all that noise. And there’s a ton of soda and (surprisingly) hard liquor left, so that needs to be dispatched. (What? You think I drink whiskey? :-) Gram said she’d take some leftovers to club on Wednesday so that’ll help. Just the three of us, it’s hard to eat that amount of leftovers. One thing about Barclays, we never run out of food.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. (Aristotle)

I wrote a scene, a couple scenes, today that I really didn’t want to write. I get so emotionally invested in the scenes, from all the characters’ perspectives, that it’s painful to put them, especially Taylor, through things. And I begin to wonder if there isn’t something wrong with me for imagining these horrible circumstances. But I feel better when it’s over having had confronted the demons and lived through it. Does that make sense to any writers out there?

So I’m listening to "Linus and Lucy" and a Loreena McKennitt Christmas album, trying to shake off the place I have to take myself in my head to write this way. And I hate, I mean HATE, Christmas music, but it’s a tip and I tried it, and it works. Not all songs, just some, they take me to a better frame of mind somehow, oddly enough “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Good King Wencesalas,” and “Dickens’ Dublin” work best. Go figure. Of course, Loreena McKennitt can make the worst songs work. Just love her voice and style, so surreal, like a cross between a pre-Raphaelite painting and a Beltane fire. Love it.

Other than that, we’re wringing wet here, but not nearly as bad as other parts of the country. I can’t weed my garden (rats!) until it dries out a little. I might sink to China. I cringe thinking of how bad the cows are tearing up the pasture. Oh well, not anything I can do about it. Fight the battles I can win. Somehow I don’t think the cows are going to give a tinker’s damn if I go over and ask them (politely) not to tear in too bad.

Finished Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison today. Really good series. It’s neat to see how many twists writers can put on vampires. I don’t even really like vampires, like I never got into Anne Rice at all, but I like the way certain writers tell stories and so I read vampire novels. Still plugging away at Pamela, who doesn’t show any signs of getting less whiney. I’m almost rooting for the boss to seduce her, just so she’ll quit being so worried about her damn virtue. Almost.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Kitchen Logic

Put in a good day writing today. Got 3.5 pages for Taylor and a few pages for sketching out a new query letter and synopsis. Then I started brain storming on new ideas for the first book and how to tie it into shit I’m working on in the short novel… it all goes on. Needless to day, Zippy has been extremely bored today. But, he did great this morning when we had to move bulls and horses. Unfortunately, no one sees him work that well except me. I mean, he did perfect responding to me and with reading the situation. I can’t brag on my baby boy enough. (Maybe Gram is right; I do treat him better than any boyfriend.)

I know I said I’d have a newsletter coming, but since I don’t have it yet, I’ve decided just to post a poem, flash fiction piece, or something here on the blog. It’s not much, but the writing is why I’m here in the first place. It just takes days like this for me to realize it. So, here’s a piece that everyone has liked so far:

“Kitchen Logic”
There ain’t gonna be no conversation.
‘Cause you don’t even know I’m mad.
Not yellin mad, not screamin mad.
Simmering mad:
where I throw up my hands…
then throw in the laundry.
Sautee mad:
where I cook until my feet bleed.
Roasting mad:
until the half-beef in one freezer
transforms into soups, stews, casseroles
And is in the other freezer.
Basting mad.
Baking mad.
(Not eating mad, are you kidding? I’d get so fat!)
But cooking mad:
At least until I can spice it all away.
But you, you fucked up, buddy.
Step up or step out.
I said out.
You aint gettin’ fed.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

It was a dark and stormy night... (worst first line ever!)

We’ve had terrific storms the last few days. Tornado watches, thunderstorms, etc. At least we got some moisture. Our hay really needed it. Maybe I can get in the garden without sinking to China in a day or two. Hopefully my potatoes decide to sprout after all this heat and moisture. The tornado that hit Sunfield traveled right down the north-west corner of our property. It seems the winds were going northeast so it knocked down a black walnut tree at our other house and twisted our barn door from facing the west to facing the east (and the inside of the barn). That’s going to be a job!

I’m listening to the Tao te Ching guy, Wayne Dyer, on PBS today. I’ve seen the program before, but I really like listening to the guy talk. He makes some really good points. I haven’t read the Tao yet, but it’s on my reading list, the Stephen Mitchell version I think. Not too crazy about the chick that sings at the end of the program, but that’s just my opinion. And as someone I used to know says, “opinions are like assholes; everybody has one.” I do subscribe to the idea that a person’s thoughts can change their life. I’ve watched it for years. People who believe they are old, get old fast. People who see the glass as half-empty, get half a glass of milk when they asked for a full one. Then they bitch about getting what they asked for instead of what they really wanted. I didn’t get all the way through The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, but her idea that the ideas, the wants you send out into the universe, as those that come back. Ask for what you want, not what you are afraid of. For example, if you ask the universe not to send you bad luck, the universe won’t hear that. If you focus on the bad and how much you don’t want the bad, the universe will send you what you are thinking about. If you focus on the good, you’ll get that.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Books and Humidity

The sunset was spectacular tonight, especially after the thunderstorms we had. But the heat finally broke with the storm, thank gods. I was red-faced and wilting all day in the humidity. Gee, can we say non-drought tolerant? Kidding. But I am overjoyed for the cooler and less humid sleeping conditions tonight, even if tomorrow will be just as bad. As long as the nights cool down and there’s air moving, I stay pretty happy.

I finished The Hunchback of Notre-Dame today. Once you get past the diatribes of architecture, the novel is pretty good. Romantic almost to a fault, but the ending is great. I don’t feel deprived or anything having not watched the Disney version first. But Esmeralda is kind of an airhead over Phoebus, who doesn’t deserve the love from such a lovely girl, lovely in body and spirit. Strangely (which was probably what Hugo was going for), the only character whose soul matches the beauty of Esmeralda’s own is Quasimodo’s. So it makes him that much more tragic. (Yeah, I know. Five years of college and that’s my initial analysis. Oh well. I was a reader before I was an English major and will be a reader long after.)

So I started Pamela by Samuel Richardson and gave up on the Tao of Horses, trading it for Storey’s Guide to Training Horses and The Mammoth Book of International Erotica. I’m also rereading The Nick Adams Stories by Hemingway and still plugging away at the Bhagavad Gita. I feel a text like that deserves some consideration instead of an avid cover-to-cover read. And if that’s not enough books for ya, I finished Laurell K. Hamilton’s A Caress of Twilight yesterday and started Kim Harrison’s Every Which Way but Dead today. Hey, gotta supplement those classics with some brain candy. I get my 25 pages of Richardson in and a hundred pages in Harrison. Seems fair to me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. Sigh! There's so little hope for advancement. (Charles M. Schulz)

Am I a bad LKH fan if I admit we didn’t stay for the signing? We got there early and all ready a crowd gathered in the back of the store. Standing room only for the most part. (I have jeans like that too, but that’s a side issue.) But the talk was great and a lot of fun and if we had been less than two hours from home (four hours for Dana) we probably would have done the whole hang out and sign books deal.

It rained yesterday. YEY! My hay needed it badly. And my garden is saying thankyouthankyouthankyou! I’m actually surprised not more of my garden has died yet. I’m not the most, er, green-thumbed amongst humans and can kill cactuses with a dirty look (and not enough water). So the fact that I have baby peas and lettuces coming up just tickles me to death.

Driving to Toledo again today to pick up Gram. I’m so not looking forward to five o’clock traffic around Ann Arbor, or on Sylvania (don’t think I spelled that right) Street. Oh well. It’s for Gram. I can suck it up.

I only got two pages for Taylor yesterday. Sad. And one page was major emotional/action plot points. One of those if X happens, then Y needs to happen, but W needs to occur to set up for X… yeah kinda like that. But it helps me with foreshadowing and things like that, a way of setting up this to fall here. Hopefully none of these people change their minds. I got to find out some new stuff about Jaime though, so that was cool. Where Tay is a sledge hammer, Jaime is a whisper of silk across the skin. Where Bryen is earth, Jaime is moonlit water. He is smooth and sultry where they are heavy and fall like a five pound sack of shit. Maybe not the most poetic reference, but an accurate one. So, we’ll see where the writing takes me today, what with Tay’s headaches and Ana’s gentle persuading (the last was sarcasm, just so ya know).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

“Compassionate Stupidity”

Dana and I are going to Laurell K. Hamilton’s book signing today. It’s the first book signing I’ve ever gone to, so I’m pretty excited. Not to mention that it’s for one of my favorite authors.

I got four pages yesterday. YEY! Taylor and I have been at odds over the second book. Well, technically it’s a short story so far, only 18,000 words. Originally, the second book began with a death, but I wanted Tay and this character to have some more time together on-screen, so I created this situation for them and, well, the third book crept in, but not all of it, so, yeah, things are a fucking mess now. But it’s been getting better. Except for the fact that Tay and Bryen fight all the time, which was not what I had in mind when I brought Bryen into the story. I thought he’d settle her down, but he’s really good at sticking his boot between his teeth.

Okay, that coffee can still take the skin off your tongue. Let that cool a little bit.

Dad and I had an interesting conversation about compassion last night and the stupidity that often accompanies it. It’s a universal understanding that my father is far more compassionate than I will ever be, through necessity I might add, not by choice, and that goes for both of us. But when does compassion, and the desire to help those you care about, whether they deserve it or not, become a liability, when does it become stupidity, instead of an advantage? I sure as hell don’t have the answer. But all in all we had a good talk and we got from being spun by troubles of our own makings to utilizing a little common sense. Let's hear it for compassionate stupidity!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. (James A. Baldwin)

Ohhhhhh, Monday, Monday, Monday. Its one o’clock, my dog stinks like shit, and I’m just getting to my desk. I hear a lot of professional writers talk about scheduling and making time to write, like the same time everyday, preferably in the morning. Not to be rude or anything, but I’d like to know how many of these people are farmers. This morning I got up, ate, did laundry, went to the farm, weeded the garden, mowed Gram’s acre of lawn while getting bombarded by dog-pecker gnats, charged the cattle backrubbers with highly toxic chemicals while flies and gnats attempted to fly into any orifice I had exposed and several I did not (while the ram tried to either head butt me or fuck me, I’m not sure which and no, I’m not in heat), came home, showered to get the shit off me, worked out, cleaned up again, finished the laundry, just ate lunch at my desk and can finally get around to writing my scene instead of just thinking about it.

And so far, this week looks like today and sometime after Thursday are the only days I’ll have any time during the day to write. Unless I make time at night. Which puts me to bed around midnight, up again around six or seven… and I’m definitely not one of those people who prides themselves on how little sleep they can function on. Been there, done that. That life is so over (thank god!) So the challenge remains for me, as for many writers, how to make time for writing when doing two jobs. Believe me, I can go into great detail about why I can’t, but I prefer to focus on what I can.

On a completely different note, I still can’t eat orange sherbet. Why? You ask. I’ll tell you. My dad’s long-time, live-in girlfriend used to freeze things in old containers. Especially plastic ice cream containers. One night, I came home, went to the freezer, and took out a container of orange sherbet. At the time, I did not know of her penchant for freezing things in old containers. And, in the dark, I set to eating sherbet straight out of the carton, as I was the only one in the house who ate ice cream (just to clarify for anyone out there who would say that I learned my lesson). Upon placing the expected orange delight on my tongue, I found, to my shock and dismay, that it was not orange sherbet, but in fact frozen nacho cheese dip. I spat it into the sink, drank water with my head beneath the faucet, and generally acted like my friend Brad when Gary… well, that’s a whole other story and not for the faint of heart or the easily disgusted. So I’ll leave that one till later and leave it at the fact that I can no longer eat orange sherbet. But this raspberry sure tastes great! :-)