Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bonding Over Plaque

I went and got my teeth cleaned. But this time I was looking forward to it a little more. Some of it had to do with knowing I was just going to get a cleaning, and not a cleaning and a lecture. But the hygenist and I have totally bonded over . . . I know you're guessing plaque because of the title, but no, it's because she is writing a book also. So while she's in my mouth scraping and rinsing and suctioning and flossing, we talk writing. Or, more appropriately, she talks and I go, "uh-huh, mmm, wha whe wha," and then she takes the tool out of my mouth and I clarify what I just said.

We brainstormed, too. I've decided my method of writing should be titled "Sally Johnson's ADD guide to writing" because I am all over the place. I don't start from page one and write straight through to page 250. I write where the inspiration hits me. If I get an idea for the middle of the book, or just a good idea that I want to use but just don't know where (Yet), I give it a new page and write it down. That way I don't forget it in that busy head of mine. That's what works for me, but that does not mean it is better than any one else's method. You have to do what works for you.

Sometimes when I start a book, I have no idea where it is going, or I think I know where I want it to go, but it doesn't always go that way. Or I start writing a scene and it goes in a completely different direction than where I thought it was going.

And perfectly timed with my discussion with my hygenist, I went to an event with author (published, 5 books under her cute belt author) Lindsey Leavitt for her new book Going Vintage. The YW in our ward were going and they could also dress up in vintage clothes if they wanted. So my three girls and their friends, Tori and Farrah, all came over and got ready together. I, of course, wanted to go, not for the dress up and not for the refreshments they served after, but to experience this kind of thing (I'm not sure exactly what to call it). Because I'll be doing that soon enough.

It was different than what I expected. Lindsey gave some background on how she came up with the book and a little background about how she got into writing. Then she opened it up to questions. Now I know most of the girls there were excited about the question part because if they asked a question, they got a bag of candy (nice method, I might have to steal that), but I loved hearing about how she came up with ideas and her method of writing.  She likes the revision part of the process. My favorite part is the rough draft. I love cranking out the rough draft and all the creative brainstorming that comes with it and all the possibilities the story has. The revision being fun for me? Not so much. I struggle with the transitions and making sure the timeline works. My next book draft is done . . . except for those transitions and details. And I procrastinate doing it by starting to write another draft because that's more fun.

So what did I come away with at the end of a day filled with mouth-watering experiences (or should I say drool at the dentist and salivation at the event over the mini lemon cupcakes)? We all have our own method of writing and we just need to know what works for us.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Good Morning! Let the Stress Begin

I am surprised that more moms don't have heart attacks in the morning.  Getting kids off to school can be so stressful.  If I was thinking of skipping the shower this morning, by the time the kids were out the door, I had worked up a big enough sweat that not showering was not an option.  I guess there is also the slight problem of my bed head.  That might tip someone off that I didn't shower.  :)

So this is my morning.

Get up at six because daughter #2 has Battle of the Books at 7:20 and she is not a morning person.  I didn't remind her last night because the whining would have started then and I didn't want her all worked up and sleeping on it.

When I wake her up at 6:20 and gently remind her she needs to go in school early, so begins the whining.  Apparently she is stressed out (she's 10) because she has Battle of the Books, choir, and the school play, her three extra-curricular activity.  The book thing meets once a week, the choir twice a week, both in the morning, and the play practices is seveal times a week after school.  What that really means is Battle of the Books isn't as cool and easy as she thought it would be and she really wants to quit.

How do I know this? Because this is the same child that repeatedly does this.  And she wonders why I don't sign her up for piano lessons.  I don't want to have to pay to listen to her whine, to listen to silence instead of practicing and fight with her about following through on commitment.

I finally tell her is she wants to quit, that she has to be the one to tell the teacher.  I am not writing her a note to get her out of it.  That seems to be something worth pondering in her mind.

Daughter #3 doesn't want to get out of bed.  By now it is 7:00 am.  School gates open at 7:35, which may seem like plenty of time, but isn't.  She lost a tooth last night, but checking under her pillow to see if the tooth fairy came does not seem incentive enough to get her to wake up.  Finally I tell her I will make her the pancakes that she really, really wanted for breakfast yesterday for breakfast today.
That is enough to lure her out of bed.

I pour the bisquik, the milk and then open the fridge to be reminded I have no eggs.  I had eggs last night, but used them to make a cake for daughter #1's birthday.  The cake was basically an egg hog, calling for five eggs.  So I am all out of eggs this morning.  Luckily, at the very back depths of my very deep food cupboard, I find a Bisquik shake and pour.  Just add water.  Just my luck, I have water.  So viola! Breakfast is served.

Then we're packing lunches.  But wait.  Instead of going grocery shopping Saturday night, we went as a family to see Jack the Giant Slayer.  I should have just gone grocery shopping instead.  So I am scrounging around the cupboards, yet again, to figure out something semi-nutrious, semi-lunch-like that I can put in my two girl's lunches.  It might end up being one of those run-to-the-store-for lunchables kind of day.

About that time, my husband comes down stairs and is ready to leave for work.  He offers to drop the girls off at school, which sounds great.  now if only I can find two matches socks . . .

By the time I wave goodbyes, kiss everyone and shut the door, I think I need high blood pressure medicine.  Maybe I should invest in a defribulator (sp?) because I think it's only going to get worse as they get older.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Whoops! Definitely the Wrong Word Choice!

I had this breast pump that I never used, and since I'm not planning on having more kids, decided to sell it on Craig's List.  I've sold baby and kid items before using Craig's List and usually get more money and less haggling than at a yard sale.

Listed it. No response. Renewed the listing. Sold it. Yay!

Deleted the listing, and that's when it got weird.

I got three emails about it that didn't make much sense. One started off "if you're real, and I think you are . . ." another said, "I am very attracted to you and your ad . . ." and the third one was the same as the first one.

What? My ad was for a Medela Swing breast pump, never used, and the price.  So why the weird emails?

Then it hit me.  Swing.  I think people think it's an ad for swingers.


It's not like I placed it in the personals.  It was in baby and kid stuff.  And since I don't know much about the world of swingers, and I'm very okay with that, I'm guessing maybe these senders just look for the word "swing" ??????

That's all that has happened so far, and hopefully that is all.  I'll just keep deleting the emails, although I really hope I don't get any more. And now you know my latest weird & freaky experience.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Where Have I Been? Let Me Explain . . .

I can't believe I have been MIA for so long!  But I have excuses.  Really.  Really Good Excuses.
We bought a house.  Yes.  Finally.  It has been years coming.  And it was all quite miraculous (did I spell that right?  It looks weird.)  But that will be a post for another time.  I promise it won't be another six months, though. So that involved packing and unpacking.  We thought it would be a quick process, like a month, so I was all packed up and ready to go.  But a month turned into five months, and we moved in two weeks before Christmas.

So then Christmas happened. So unpacking stopped and wrapping began, and opening and closing boxes looking for gifts I remembered I bought, but had since packed and . . . you get the picture.

After Christmas was Christmas break for the kids.  Nothing gets done while the kids are home for an extended period of time.  Besides, it's the perfect excuse not to unpack, because there's some things that I'm hoping the kids might forget about that was in the other house.  So I can't let them catch a glimpse of old toys or that whole box of stuffed animals that will eventually go to Goodwill.

Then there was a yard sale.  Because we only moved a mile up the road, I was lazy and just packed everything and decided it would be easier for me to sort through everthing once we moved.  I know, it sounds silly, but there is a method to my madness.  So I rooted through the remaining box finding things that were no longer wanted, needed, or needed to be forgotten.  We had two different friends who had moved and we inherited/volunteered to take some of their stuff and sold it at our yard sale and sent them the money.  So there was plenty of stuff to get ready for the sale.

I got my contract for my book.  I am now officially official.  But reading the contract reminded me why I am a writer and not a lawyer.  Legalese makes my eyes cross and my mind go mushy.  Hopefully Suddenly Single will be out by year's end.  You know I will let you know EXACTLY when as soon as I hear.  So if you need any ideas for Christmas gifts, I know a good book  . . .

I sent in the sequel to Suddenly Single.  It's working name is Clearly Confused.  I will keep you updated on any news on that. 

My Work In Progress (WIP) is called Highly Unlikely.  Apparently I like adverbs, with all these titles I come up with.  :)  It's about two missionaries who served together and return home to find out they will now be working together.  More details will be leaked later.  As soon as I come up with them.  :)

We have a new member of the family.  Not a baby, but a dog.  Yes.  We promised a dog to my son for Christmas.  So after ten years of living in a small house, I can no longer use the excuse "when we have a bigger house and a bigger yard."  Because now we do.  So Skippy came to live with us this past Saturday.  He is a Jack Russell terrier that I keep accidentally calling "Jack."  He doesn't seem too yappy, is mostly housebroken (we've had a few "incidents"), knows how to use the doggy door (but sometimes chooses not to), likes to rifle through the trash and eat leftovers off the table when we are not home.  When the kids went to school today, he cried, despite me being home still.  He cried so much he started howling.  I always said having a dog is like having another child.  So yes, we have technically adopted a six year old.  We'll see how it goes.

So those are all my excuses.  My Really Good Excuses.  I'll be better about posting.  I promise.  Along with my other New Years Resolutions . . .