Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ode To Clutter

Clutter: The stuff I love to hate.
Do you have a love/hate relationship with clutter? I sure do.
I really would love to be a minimalist.
Maybe someday I will achieve that goal.
But stepping foot into Target always seems to blow that delusion away.
I have piles here and bins there and stuff seemingly everywhere.
I'd love to chuck it all in the trash, but I might need it someday.
I have lots of excuses why I keep it.
My dad grew up in the Depression. He taught me to keep EVERYTHING.
(Mostly by example.)
The house I grew up in was a factory. (Literally, a building that housed a jewelry manufacturer.)
Factory-sized buildings make for lots of storage space.
Unfortunately, one-story, three bedroom houses in Las Vegas
Make for little storage space.
And, (sigh) no attic and no basement
Makes for even LESS storage space.
Don't even get me on the subject of craft stuff
And unfinished projects!
I'm sure I'm not the only one with some of those
Stuffed in my closet!
Somedays I get ambitious
And decide I'm going to tackle a box or two.
I have a sense of purpose, a sense of determination
Which quickly turns into a sense of feeling overwhelmed.
So all the stuff goes back into the box it came out of,
The box goes back into the closet or the garage,
And I pull a Scarlett O'Hara and dramatically say
"I can't think about that today. I'll think about that tomorrow!"
Or, in my case, next week, next month, or next year,
Whenever inspiration (or delusion) hits next.
But someday I will do it!

But just not yet.
I mean, what if I need that stuff someday?????

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dropping the Ball

I've never been very good at sports. I'd compare myself to Bella Swan in high school. Except, I didn't have a vampire boyfriend. I didn't have any boyfriend in high school. Oh, the drama of high school. But back to my athletic ability. In high school, and middle school, and elementary school, I was almost always the last one to be chosen for a team. My character, Sophia, same thing: bad at sports. I guess I wanted to share my pain and prepubescent and adolescent angst.

Last week I dropped the ball. Figuratively speaking.

We're in the process of refinancing our house. Lower rate=more money toward the house. It all makes financial sense. Long story short, the papers came in to sign, I set them down and forgot about them, son got sick, water heater blew up . . . I can come up with more excuses, but what it comes down to is we didn't get the papers done in time. If only there was an extenuating circumstances clause. Now interest rates are almost a half a percentage ( :( ) (that's a frowny face, not a monkey) higher and we sort of missed our chance.

If life was like a book, I could go back and edit my dropping the ball with the paperwork. But unfortunately in life there is no editing . . . only experience.

(I was trying to sound profound. Did I succeed?)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chinese Fortune: It Must Be True

Guess what I got in my fortune cookie? A fortune!

It said: "Good news will be coming soon in the mail."

I'm assuming that includes e-mail.

And if it's in my fortune cookie, it must be true. Right? :)

. . . Yeah, I'll let you know how that turns out!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Exciting Life

I should have called this blog "My Exciting Life" because this week has been very exciting. Outside my door, well, next to my driveway, really, are four cop cars. That's down from six cop cars earlier. My son, home sick from school (again) heard a bang and asked me if I thought it was a gunshot. I told him no, it was probably the dumpster at the Dollar Tree getting emptied. Since it is literally right on the other side of our back wall, it is very plausible. And my son, being twelve, could think of nothing cooler than a gun being shot in our neighborhood. I could come up with a few things I think would be cooler than that that could happen in our neighborhood. Speed bumps, for instance.

Anyway, I decided to run to the store for soup and soda, gave my son specific instructions not to open the door for anyone (I spotted the Jehovah Witnesses canvasing the neighborhood a few minutes earlier) and don't answer the phone. I went out, saw two cop cars parked in front of my neighbor's house, got in my car, looked the opposite way up the street, saw one cop with a rifle and another with his gun drawn, and decided maybe I should shop a little bit later.

So I rubbernecked, spied, took my recycle bins in off my front porch one at a time (I have six, I love to recycle, but not quite to the point of tree hugging.) left my door open to eavesdrop, walked out once or twice, but gathered not much of anything. Through my tiny window beside my front door, I could see a neighbor from the end of the street talking to the cops (after two more cars joined) and I heard the police talking (but couldn't see through the bushes/from the angle I was at) to some men of Hispanic descent, but still gleened nothing. But I think I saw one of them getting cuffed. Again, couldn't quite get a clear view through the bushes. FINALLY the mail man came. Hurray! I could go get the mail and maybe find out what was going on. I wasn't sure if I should just approach the closest officer or what. Do they frown on that sort of thing? You know, neighbors being nosey. I thought that was our job as neighbors to be nosey. Two houses down there were some other nosey neighbors, ones who have never been very chatty in the neighborhood, but they were chatty today.

We visited, compared notes, shared opinions, you know, all the good things that neighbors are supposed to do when there are five cop cars parked on their street. They also heard the bang and thought it was a gun shot also. There goes my dumpster theory. But they had no tidbits of info, either.

Another cop car pulled up with two female officers. Since they were parked right in front of my house I took the liberty of asking one in passing if there was someone running around the neighborhood that was dangerous or something. I really wanted to ask what was going on, but I didn't know if they would care to explain. The one answered, "No, but it would be a good idea to stay in your house." Then she went up to the two people I was just talking to and I think she told them the same thing. Nothing like being chastised by a female officer. :(

The cops migrated toward the South end of the street, where it intersected with another street. The lady that lives at the very end of my street pulled into her driveway and a cop car flipped on it's lights and then she was at the trunk of their car. I was waiting for them to arrest her. But next peek, she was sitting on the curb talking to the cops. And they have been at her house ever since. Still don't know what happened.

Where's Edward Cullen when you need him? I could really use someone who is an expert at eavesdropping right about now.

In Hot Water

So the water heater broke Wednesday. Yes, I am going to write about my water heater. But don't worry, there's nothing boring about gallons of hot water pouring out the bottom of your water tank, so keep reading!

I discovered the lovely puddle in the morning, right before I was taking the kids the school. Not really what you want to discover at 8:30 in the morning. Kind of changed my whole plans for the day. Suddenly my priority became moving stuff out of the path of running water (and if anyone has seen my garage, that is no small task. But just in my defense, houses don't have basements in Vegas!), sopping up seeping water and so on. Of course, it was one of the colder days in Vegas (barely in the 40's, and 27 degrees in the early morning), so it wasn't even a sunny and warm day where I could think, "Oh, what the heck, might as well clean out the garage since I sort of have to."

I have been anticipating this day for years. I have wanted to change the water heater at least once a year for the last five years to avoid exactly what happened. But, obviously, we never to the initiative to just spend the $1000.00 or so and pre-emptively change the water heater even though I thought about it many times. I even considered going tankless. After all, I could use the space! :)

Why I am making you suffer through my hot-water-heater-blew-up story is this: look how easily one thing can change so much. And yes, I'm going to equate to writing. Sometimes I know where the story line is going, but not quite sure how it is getting there. Or maybe it's already gotten there and it seems really boring or blase (that's blah-zay . . . I just don't know how to find the accented E on my computer) but if I change just one thing, it can change the whole direction of the scene or even story line. But if I use that one thing as a catalyst, BAM! suddenly everything's changed or just got the kick it needed. It's kind of exciting. At least more exciting than having water running out of my garage! :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

False Alarm (Braxton Hicks)

Okay, so I keep referring to my writing as my baby. I can't help it, I like my characters alot! So imagine the heart-stopping moment I had today when an unidentified 801 area code (Utah) phone number showed up on my caller ID! Could it be the publishers calling to ask me where I had been all their professional publishing-career life??? It has been eight weeks since I submitted my manuscript. That's getting close to standard response time.

And as I waited with baited breath to have the person who asked for me BY NAME to identify herself . . . dang! It was someone calling to do a survey! It's like going to the hospital in labor only to be told it's Braxton Hicks and be sent back home.

I guess the baby will not be starting her published life just yet.

Naming The Baby

What to name the blog? That is the question. It's almost as hard (but obviously not quite as hard) as naming a baby. I had to consider if it rhymed with anything rude, gross, crude, sick, wrong, funny, embarassing (I hope I spelled embarassing right, because that would be embarassing), so on and so on. I had to contemplate the tone that would be conveyed by the title. I wanted readers to get a kick out of reading my blog and not think I'm a total weirdo. I definitely did not want to give the wrong impression.

But, of course, when I thought of the PERFECT name, I ran it through the little blog namer checking program, and wouldn't you know it, it was TAKEN!!!! Aaaaaggggghhhh!!!!!

So I tried three, four, five other name choices, all involving "Sally" and "writing" and came up with this.

Who would have thought "Sally" was such a common name? I'm waiting for it to make it's resurgence like other old names. You know, Opal, Ruby, Lucy. Although, I also predict that my grandma's names of Ida and Edna will not be making an appearance any time soon. But who knows, stranger names have been cursed on poor innocent kids.

I really liked something to do with "my imaginary friends" for a blog name, but I was REALLY afraid that would give strangers, visitors, and even friends, the wrong impression about the state of my mental health. Besides it was already taken. :)

And just so you know, my "imaginary friends" is how I lovingly refer to my characters in my book. After creating their lives and "working" with them and "spending time" with them every day (also known as writing), they do become friends.

I bet Stephenie Meyer would back that up.

She just needs to read my post first.