Sometimes when you're at your darkest, its the storm before the light. Today as I drove to work the sun was just coming up over the horizon, a gleaming orange globe after days of rain that felt like summer, Christmas, and a heart full of love all at the same time. Mount Rainier, an engraved silhouette against a misty sky. To top it off, Beautiful Day by U2 was playing on the radio. It's one of those moments you wish you could make eternal. One of those moments that make you believe in heaven, a moment that gives you hope.
The sun continued to rise as I neared the office, warm and glowing. It feels like a perfect day.
My daughter's high school soccer season ends Thursday, so next week we'll be down to only six days a week. There is a reprieve on Fridays. Of course, she's at her dads this week, and this means I'm affected a little less by this since I'm not the one responsible for driving them everywhere. Back and forth Back and forth.
Still working on revisions. There is one section I'm still trying to get as close to perfect as I can. My editor seems very happy with what I've done thus far with the changes, and I'm hoping when I'm done with this section, I'm done with revisions. But we know how that goes right?
As you know from yesterday's blog, I slept like crap the night before. Well, I'm happy to report that I slept through the night. No tossing, no turning, no back aching. Slept like a baby.
Yesterday I also suffered from what I'm pretty sure is food poisoning. I will never eat buffalo meat again. Not even to save my life. Happy to say I feel fine today.
And now, time to gear up for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Not sure how I'll do this year, the previous two years that I won I wasn't working. We'll see. The novel I'll be working on is one I've actually already started, only 1800 words in though which in Nano is just over a day's writing. It's called Withered. Here's the cover I slapped together for the contest (and the winner from my facebook page).
So, you may not see me much the month of November. I'll try and blog when I can, but you know how good I've been at that lately without the task of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
Oh, except me and some fellow bloggers are holding some kind of crazy contest starting the beginning of November. If you know me, you know I've never done a contest. There might be a cute pair of knee socks for the winner. More info on that later.
I have not slept well recently. For like, three months. Factors: stress, the weather, my 41 year old body, my social activities. Last night was bad. A combination of middle age and pouring rain and cell phones. Rain used to be a comforting sound when I slept. In my old house. In my new house the water rushing through the gutters loudly making me wake in a cold sweat thinking I need to get up and build an arc. And then there's my neighbors wind chimes. Wind chimes that are lovely on a warm summer day while you're sitting in your backyard bbqing with a beer in your hand. Wind chimes that when you close your eyes, you feel as close to Africa as you can be. Wooden and whimsical, the sound it makes is enchanting. Unless it's 3:00 am on a windy night. Then it's annoying and reminds me of someone turning the handle of a jack-in-the-box over and over.
And then there's this body of mine. This body that can't decide whether it needs to be sweating or freezing. I'm constantly either throwing covers off or trying to cuddle up to be warm enough. This body that has decided its back needs to ache every night so I toss and turn trying to find a position that doesn't cause pain, on back, on stomach, on side, leg over pillow, elevating head, elevating feet. ugh.
Bzzzzzz. Bzzzzzz. That's what I heard about every five minutes during the hours of 2 am and morning. Someone's cell phone was buzzing and it wasn't mine. I could hear it through the floor. Thing One says it wasn't hers. Thing Two says it was Thing One's, she could hear it too. New rule. Cell phones get turned off at night.
So here I am. Another sleepless night and in desperate need of an IV drip full of coffee.
You would think this would give me a nice restful sleep tonight. I'm not silly enough to fool myself.
I've sat down a few times to write my autobiography. I even got about forty pages off once. But really, why sit and write about me when I can inject my experiences, my mistakes, the things I've learned and lived into my fiction. And in truth, it's what I've been doing all along without really knowing it. Well, maybe knowing isn't the correct term, maybe without really thinking about it.
But I guess that's what we all do as writers. Write what we know. Right?
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in everything we forget what is important in life...love, friendship. Back when my mind was in a darker place I was juggling writing, and reviewing, and helping others with their writing, and being a soccer mom, practice four nights a week, games on Saturdays. I was making videos, keeping house, grocery shopping, screwing around on the computer, helping everyone with everything they asked me to, or saying I would at least. I was juggling, but I was a bad juggler. I dropped the balls. Every single one of them.
I stopped doing everything. Stopped reading, stopped cooking, stopped cleaning, stopped helping. The only thing I didn't stop was writing. It was therapeutic for me. All these crazy feelings were shooting out my fingers on to my keyboard. And there was much death. =)
If you were one of those people who asked for my help and I didn't come through, I apologize. I failed you.
This is something I wrote during what I'll call my dark era. lol. It's just a blurb, not part of anything bigger, and on my computer it's merely saved as "dead".
Today was the first time I really wanted to be dead.Not kill myself, I’m not that brave.And yes, I do think those that kill themselves are brave and not cowardly.Is suicide noble?By no stretch of the word, but brave in its own right.I don’t want to kill myself, I just don’t want to be alive.Right now I wouldn’t care if I got hit by a bus, or contracted some terrible disease that killed me within hours.I just don’t want to be here, in this world, this space where I don’t quite fit.Where I don’t feel wanted.Where I feel invisible. This place where I can’t stand people, but crave the connections I have with them.I want to be near them, but not on a personal level.I just want them surrounding me.Keeping me company with their presence, but not with their words, their quirks, their personalities.
I walked today in a surreal reality.My husband walked with me, telling me about a dream he had.My senses were heightened to everything but his voice.In truth I didn’t care.About his dream or anything he might have been telling me.I threw in a couple mmhmmms, and yeahs, and rights so I appeared to be listening.But I couldn’t.My entire body was in another place.My heart fluttered like a hummingbird’s wings.And my senses.The wind brushed my cheek with its cold, drafty hands.Blew through my hair like an airy comb.My ears acutely aware of dogs barking, phones ringing, neighbors laughing, and cars driving down a distant street.Breathing in the sky, the earth, the water, the heavens, I felt almost weightless, floating just outside actuality, not quite part of it, yet tethered to it in some way.
I keep walking, and as I do, I come back into myself.My senses allay.My heart slows to a dull thud.A beat so mundane and spiritless it reminds you of who you are.What you are.A no one.Just a speck.Nothing that really matters.
I guess I haven't really updated my writing for awhile, so thought I would take the opportunity while I was lacking the creativity to come up with an interesting blog topic. So, I've sent my revisions into my editor and now again I wait while crossing my fingers that they are good enough to pass.
I started another YA novel. It's another one of my uplifting stories about death. er. Why do I always write about death? I guess I'm just fascinated by it. But I digress.
On other fronts, I belong to a wonderful group of writers call The Class of 2K11. We're YA and MG authors who are all debuting next year. We're getting together and doing some cool stuff as our novels come out one by one. Our official launch is 11-11-10, more on that later.
Other than all that writing stuff I'm busy being a soccer mom, chauffer, cook, maid, and laundress to Things One and Two. And I'm still trying to get used to working. Not there yet. I also apparently celebrated my unbirthday yesterday. I guess we all have to do that every once in a while.
So, I told you about Thing Two kicking a guy in the gnarlies for spitting in her face? Well, here's another story for ya. Last week, this Freshman jerk was saying crude things about Thing One to Thing Two. Thing Two, totally disturbed, called me. I told her to be sure she told her sister so she knew what was being said about her. End of story, right? Wrong.
Same boy a couple days ago was riding around on his skateboard after school, near the middle school again. Why these high school boys still hang out by the middle school is beyond me, but whatever. So he says the same thing about my precious first born to my second born. This time, as he's skateboarding around, she sticks her foot out in front of his skateboard and sends him flying, then proceeds to tell him to "shut his f*@$&*g mouth."
Um, I'm still proud of her, I can't help it. First she stand up for herself, then she stands up for her sister. This kids rocks. BUT, I don't want her to get overconfident. Some puny skatehead may not do anything about it, but someone with a bigger attitude might come down on her.
I told her that's fine, but she needs to be careful. Not everyone is going to sit back and take that and I wouldn't want to see her get beat up or anything.
She agreed. I'm hoping she won't have to keep defending herself and herself to bullies and liars, but we are talking teenagers here.
I was feeling stuck with the novel I'm working on, didn't know how to start, where to go with it, so I took some time at my daughters soccer game yesterday to jot a few notes down, plot points, a chronology of sorts. Still wasn't really feeling it.
This morning I had my AH-HA moment where everything came together, and now I can't wait to get started.
1.2 million people were expected to attend the Puyallup Fair this year, 39,000 expected to ride the ride on the right, The Extreme Scream. Part of Austin's journey includes facing his fears, heights being one of them. The ride costs ten bucks per person. Some days they have a two for one deal. It's twenty stories high, 3 g’s on the way up, negative one on the way down. It's definitely the centerpiece of the fair. I've ridden it exactly once. I myself am afraid of heights like Austin, but I must admit, it was thrilling.
The next thing Austin wants to do is eat something really hot, because he hates hot. He and his friend (and secret crush) Kaylee go to the BBQ Pete's booth and have some good old hot chicken. BBQ Pete's has been around for as long as I can remember, not just at the fair, but restaurants around town. Many of the restaurants have since closed, but you can be sure to find them at the fair every year.
Kaylee and Austin also take a ride in the Haunted House, one of the lamest rides at the fair, but it's dark, and you never know what can happen in the dark, right? I've missed the fair the last couple years because it ain't cheap (you can count on dropping at least $200 for a family of four). But everytime I go I have a blast.
Bullying has been around since the beginning of time, but now it's starting to take a deadly toll. Ellen Degeneres spoke about young people that are being harassed, teased, and bullied to the point that they take their own lives.
What are we teaching our children today that would cause them to treat another human being so cruelly? This kind of behavior must be stopped, at home, at school, in our community. And this isn't just about homosexual teens, kids tease for many different, senseless reasons.
Just yesterday my daughter was hanging out with some so-called-friends who told her some of the people she hangs out with are losers and asked why she would hang out with them. Then they asked her to choose who she would rather hang out with them, or the losers.
I'm proud of her for standing up for herself and her friends. She told them she would never choose between friends. And you know what? One of the kids, a boy spit in her face. She ended up kicking him in the balls, and normally I would not condone violence, but she got to the point of frustration with these kids harassing her, so I don't say I blame her.
Parents, teachers, and peers need to stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves and help put a stop to bullying before it costs someone else their life.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has dedicated part of their website to help put an end to bullying, for kids and adults alike. Check it out to find out what you can do to help.