Sunday, October 30, 2005

Party Hardy

Ahhh how times have changed.

I try not to think about the parties I attended when I was fifteen and sixteen and the parties I throw for my kids and their friends. The parties I attended often include pot and alcohol and guys. But for my kids everything is different. I am the cool mom on the block that throws parties for every season and every reason. Last night's Halloween party was no exception.


1. Let everyone's parents drop them off early. Might be a headache to you, but look at it this way, you are giving the young men the all important opportunity to increase their x-box skills and teaching the girls how to throw a party. I know, I know, why can't the boys learn how to throw a party? Trust me, you don't want them in the livingroom and kitchen. Teen age boys are generally big and loud and do a lot of shoving and crude body language, real or otherwise. Girls squeal, giggle, dance and wash their hands.

2.Decorate profusly. This includes: lights strung everywhere, decorative lanterns, sparkly confetti strewn on the tables, floor and furniture and cool matching paper products. They may act like they are too old for it, but they actually love it. Makes them feel important, like someone went to a lot of trouble for them. Because our house is so small and our garage is packed full of stuff we actaully create a room in the garage with blankets, rugs and cushions. Decorate it with lights, disco balls, and a fog machine and you instantly have a room kids feel comfortable in. This year we hooked up several TVs and the guys had an x-box LAN room. Fun stuff.

3. Prepare lots of food and have the ones that came early help you. Last night we had several pounds of Hallowenies (A total teen favorite, little smokie sausages wrapped up in bits of pillsbury biscuits.) A couple of pounds of buffalo wings, decorated cupcakes, apples and caramel dip, cookies, taquitos and chips and dip. You can never really have too much food.

4. Invite some utterly cool young adults to help supervise. Last year we asked a young figure skating coach and her boyfriend to attend. They both wore the right clothes, were great too look at and fit right in. This year, I invited the new youth pastor and his wife. They are in their early twenties and of course, get along smashingly with kids. People like this help a lot with behavior because it makes the kids act a bit more mature. Hard to explain, but it works.

5. Games. Another thing they pretend to disdain, but if you have some good ones it gives the evening some structure. I generally mix up the time between free time and game time. I search for games that make everyone feel comfortable and make them laugh. Last night we played a funny game called, Find Bill. Find Bill is my own invention and is a smash hit every time. We have a little stuffed Bill Walton and one person hides him while everyone else is in a different room. He has to have one thing in clear view. When you find him, you quietly go and sit down. The first person to find him gets to hide him unless they have already hid him, then the next person gets a turn. Much hilarity ensues. Regulars to our parties get all excited when I bring out Bill. Other games include having the girls make PP&J with their feet and having the guys eat the sandwich, electricity and find the ring in the flour. Basically, anything icky and gross is good.

That's pretty much it. The kids get a great party and I get to know all their friends. I also provide an alternative to parties with drugs, alcohol and sex. I am not only a cool mama, I am a smart mama:)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A post on the fly....

Just wanted to tell everyone how much fun I am having with revisions. No doubt this love affair with them will stop once it is sold and I get a huge letter full of them from my editor, but right now, I am having fun!

Of course, having received a request for a full might have something to do with it! I went over the queries to agents I hadn't heard back from... of course, I changed the query to reflect that the book is now done. Anyway, one of the agents wants the full, so I guess I will have to finish the edits up:)

So edits, 3 articles and a possible job. Sounds like a full week. I will go into my folly of scheduling two back to back dinner parties on the same weekend later. YIKES!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rolling right along

Finished two articles this week already. I have two more that are ready to go and have to get info for at least three more for next week. Am busy busy as usual.

Took the young man to a department store last night for some volunteer training. Today is Charity Day at Myier and Frank and his youth council is a part of it. I have some fabulous coupons and plan on getting some Christmas Shopping done. I scoped it out last night and found some goodies. I wish I knew whether I were getting that job or not. I could use some to get some working clothes. Me thinks my current working clothes(sweats, jeans or t-shirts) aren't going to cut it if I have to go to the office!

Speaking of which... I am sitting here thinking about that job. I mean, on one hand, what an opportunity... it is well done, beautifully designed and leans slightly to the right... sort of a rebellious, conservative attitude. Kinda like me. I would learn so much about putting a magazine together. It would look fabulous on my resume. It's fifteen minutes from my house. The money would be wonderful.

On the other hand... I would be terrified to get the job. I haven't worked in an office in sixteen years. I have only been freelancing "full time" for the last four or five. And you know how freelance is. I make my own hours. I am home to help the kids with their school work. We take off when we want to. I don't have to look any certain way and sometimes if I am on deadline and don't have to go to the rink, I sit in my robe until 11. I make decent money for a freelancer, though it does come in the most maddening waves and you can never count on it getting here...

So I think I will be okay either way. Of course, my husband... Snort. That's a whole different story. He has his eyes on the money and I can't blame him. He is a very type A, OCD, methodical kind of guy. Money coming, "I don't know when" makes him nuts.

Okay...more work. I might even take a look at Rink Rats today see where I need to revise it.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The light at the end of the tunnel

I didn't cough as hard last night and I actually got several bursts of energy yesterday. Perhaps this is a harbinger of better things to come.

I had my interview on Friday. It was for an assistant editor job at a classy little business/lifestyle magazine here in the Northwest. The office was small and sunny. There's six people on staff full time. Two editors, two sales people, and one office Goddess. And hopefully me. The editor seemed very impressed with my credentials and my clips. I would basically be a jack of all trades... Doing a little of everything and basically assisting the editors. It's located about 15 minutes from my house. Only problem ... it's full time. But I talked to the family and the money would be so worth it for us. And it is a dream job in my field...something I have always wanted to do.

So where does that leave my fiction? Well, most likely I would have to work a bit harder to find time for it... or maybe not. I do a lot of nonfiction stuff as it is. Maybe I would actually have more time if I left my job behind at the end of the day. Snort. The kids would have a hard time adjusting... I have been home with them since they were born and my son is almost sixteen. Hell, I would have a hard time adjusting! I love being with them. It's one of the reasons why I still homeschool them. We really like hanging out together. But... this could be an amazing opportunity.

Anyway... I won't know about the job until next week. If it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be. If it is? then I will tackle that when I come to it.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The longest cold ever

This one is a doozy and it incorporates every cold symptom known to man. Three days of exhustion and headaches, two days of body aches and agonizing throat pain and ear aches, followed up by three days, (so far) of phlegmy hacking. My son, the first one to catch this monster, is finally over it but it took almost two weeks! And weird... I had one day without the throat pain and then last night it was back.

But of course, my life doesn't stop because I'm sick. I polished off three more articles this week and as a reward picked up three more assignments. Then I got a check yesterday, no, excuse me, that was two checks. In the same envelope. Yesterday was a blur of running the kids around to various functions. Today my son, bless his peaked little head, called in at the zoo so we don't have to run up there... he heard his mommy hacking and knowing that I already have to run the NW woman tiara club meeting this afternoon, took pity. I am also going to be on a panel tonight at our local library. It's a panel on homeschooling teenagers. Probably would be more fun if I wern't so snuffly. And Ethan works and my daughter has to ice skate... the fun just never ends! La Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Haven't had a chance to look at my story yet. Don't want to. Hee. One thing at a time. Haven't heard from an agent or the editor yet. I am still on pins and needles with that one! Okay, must run.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

No rest for the weary

Not that I expected any. My non fiction career must take center stage as a dozen articles and projects become due in the next two weeks. An opportunity may have arisen that I am considering though that may take even more time away from my fiction writing...but would free me up from most of my other nonfiction duties. I say may have because I have no idea if I am even remotely right for the job.... and it would take me away from the direction I thought I was supposed to go. I will know more after the interview this week.

Am still suffering from cold, but am getting better so that's a plus.

I played with my next YA novel yesterday. I know, I know, I should wait a bit as I still need to revise the other one, but it was fun. This one will be written in 1st person past as the chacters voice has already been assimilated within me. My last one was third person which turned out to be the right choice. This isn't the next one in the Rink rats series... I will wait to write another one to see if it's even wanted, eh? I have too many other characters trying to get out!

Okay must run. Have an article on the affects of sugar on infant teeth and another one on kite flying due in the next two days. Ta!

Sunday, October 16, 2005


I am done!

Completely finished. Okay that was stupid. I know it is not done. I have revisions and editing to do. But right now, I will bask in the moment of finishing the first draft:)


Friday, October 14, 2005

The Final Chapter


I am on the last chapter baby and as such I am sitting here going, crap, I sure have a lot to resolve and that is after I finish writing the double climaxes. (Hee, I said double climax)

So I probably won't be blogging much until I get this done. Cause the two weeks after that are filled with a ton of nonfiction articles that are due.

Have a good weekend all and wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Hump Day

I have found that Hump Days are generally more frantic than even Mondays. My daughter works on Weds nights, youth council meets every other Weds and youth group is every Weds. We run from one place to another generally grabbing food out somewhere and eating in the car on our way to the next place. Zoo is on Weds morning and the ice princess has a lesson on Weds which really starts out the day hot.

I am glad my children are so involved, I am. I never wanted my children to have to wait till they were 18 to do something meaningful with their lives. I feel like that is what I did as a kid. Wait till the school day was over. Wait till the weekend was there. Wait till summer vacation. Wait till I graduated. One of the reasons I homeschooled my kids is because I didn't want school to be their whole life. Some people, for one reason or another, will never see the graduation day they waited so longingly for. Waited too long to start their real life. Now there are kids who seem to be able to juggle a meaningful life(volunteer work, clubs, job) with the rigors of school and still learn what they need to learn, but I was not one of those kids. Neither is my messy, disorganized son. My driven daughter probably could. I know one lovely 17-year-old ice skater who skates, holds down two jobs and still does AP classes. She is wired that way. Many people are not. They are the ones who may fail classes and day dream during the time they should be organizing their calendar. They are the ones that need more time to mature. Should they be penalized for not being mini adults? Or should they be taught that they can do meaningful work they are passionate about right now. Passion often motivates. For some kids, school does not create passion and does not motivate. That's why I homeschool. I figured the odds were good that I would have one like me.

I didn't mean to get started, I really didn't. I meant to say that I am glad my kids are so involved but sometimes it is a major PIA!


I got three assignments in the last couple of days and tons of magazine work to do. Also... I did eight pages on the novel yesterday! So close to being done!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Monday already?

Where did the weekend go?

Let's see.

Friday:Ice rink, home/work, ice rink, Laundromat, home/work, ice rink, home/work, ice rink, out to dinner, homecoming game, home.

Sat: 400 mile round trip to parents, clean/unpack parents home, drive home, friend forgot son so I have to run to rink, home.

Sunday: church, college fair, home, paint trim.

Oh, that's what happened. Hee.

College fair was fun... got lots of good info.

This week is very busy... kids are still sick, or sick with another cold, so I get the joy of waiting for that to hit too.

But on the upside. At least I have work to do. So why am I complaining? I make decent money writing, which is a dream.. so I shouldn't ever complain! Except maybe about the waiting. So. Okay. No more complaining.

Must start compiling my to do list for the week!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Things that really annoy me

1. When you wake up to the horrible sound of your dog getting ready to yak... and realize he's under your covers.

2.When you realize your heroine's name is spelled with an ie not a y and you have been mixing them up... for the last 200 pages.

3. When your husband comes home from work at 4 am and you realize that not only are you not going to be able to sleep again, but you have a 400 round trip ahead of you that day.

4. When the same man who just destroyed your sleep wants to get frisky with you.

5.When you go to a highschool football game, sit on a hard little bench that makes your legs go to sleep, drink really horrible coffee, have your finger stepped on my a highschool kid oogling your daughter, practically die of mind numbing boredom and then hear the blessed bell ring... only to realize that you have to do that three more times before you can go home.

6. When you fill up on bbq pork and fried won ton and you spent the money on your entree for nothing because you couldn't possibly eat it.

7.Waiting for agents and editors to get back to you. (You knew that was coming, didn't you?")

Friday, October 07, 2005

Stress with a capital S

My dog peed on the comforters which means an unplanned trip to the Laundromat. No way can I fit both comforters into my little washer so there you go. Not that he's a bad dog. He just hates going outside in the rain to go to the bathroom. We go the entire summer without an accident and as soon as the rains arrive puddles and nuggets start showing up. Can't really blame him. Would you like going out into the wet darkness to do your business? Problem is I live in Oregon, where it rains eight months out of the year.

But it does add one more thing to my to do list.

Like my son's computer. The semi new laptop I bought at budget computers. There's a no brainer. I should have seen that one coming. Now I have to take it back to a polace that never refunds. They always just fix it. Wonderful. But I have to go anyway. My daughter's lost the number 3 key.

Then my mom called asking for help this weekend. They are old and I don't mind going. But. This weekend was already packed to the gills. It's homecoming here so my kids are going to the parade and game tonight. A friend is spending the night. I drop the girls off to skate in the morning. My son works tomorrow night as does my husband, so logistically I had to find someone to bring the boy home from work. Sunday is Church and then a college fair downtown.

But I will make time. I am ever the good daughter and they need my help.

But I haven't written at all on the novel. And this is the week I wanted to finish it!

So much for that, eh? I'm not going to Stress about it. I have enough to Stress about.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

No time for a fine wine?

Remember those commercials? We'll sell no wine before it's time. I can't even remember what wine it was except that it was one of the cheaper, yuckier wines. The best wine commercial was for the new (then) wine coolers with the two old guys and one always said, "Thank you for your support." (that has now become one f the catch phrases of my marriage)I actually knew that one. The one who spoke. He lived down the road from me in a place called Alfalfa, Oregon. I once sold his wife Avon back in my very brief two month career as an Avon lady. I was 18, give me a break. I gave it up. Too many dog bites. They lived in this old house, but after the commercials he had it torn down and built his wife a new one.

Anyway. The reason I got on the subject of wine, besides the fact that two of my cyber critique partners were inbibing last night, is that I haven't wrote on my novel at all this week. Like the fine wine, is it getting better or is it actually stagnating from lack of care?

I would be working on it right now, but I am sitting at the ice rink on one of the coach's computers waiting for my daughter's lesson to be over so I can go home and work on an article that needs to be done. Oh, and run some errands. So the end of my novel will have to wait. I am just too swamped. Tomorrow looks good, maybe I will find time then. Or perhaps...nope not Sat. Chapter meeting. Sunday is church and then the college symposium at the expo center. Am going with a friend and all our teenage children. So. I have no clue when.

And I haven't had any news on the agent/editor front. Am verra anxious. Maybe I should stop worrying about the novel and drink more. Yeah. That's the ticket.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Last minute long distance

Went to Hermiston yesterday to help my parents move into their new home. Wish they were closer as it was about a four hundred mile trip. Across the dessert. I have to admit that it was much better than going up to the Tacoma area. They were happy to show off their new digs. Unfortunately, when the former owner vacated the premises on Saturday, he left one of the fawcets that attach to the washing machine turned on a wee bit. We are talking 30 to 40 gallons of water in the hall and back bedroom. The real estate lady bought a shop vac. Yeah, right. Then she sent a young carpet guy to clean up. All they had was a cleaner wet carpet. My dh got pretty fired up and insisted on a water specialist. The water was clear to the sub floor. So the real estate lady brought in a contracter and we ripped up the carpeting and pad and then crawled under the house. The carpet guy brought in big fans. Then the delivery guy brought the bed that was supposed to go in the bedroom that was covered in water. All the while we kept unloading the U-haul and truck. Because the U-haul had to be taken back to the U-haul store. Which was God knows where. And my 90 year old dad was seriously getting tired and my 70 year old mom wasn't far behind.

But I tell you... small town chacter really showed itself. The carpet kid kept calling dad to find out how they could help. The real estate lady was paying for everything. The contracter gave us his card and told us to call him for anything and that my parents would be taken care of. The young delivery kid knew the young carpet kid and they all knew the real estate lady and the contracter. The delivery kid and the carpet kid promised to come help them get the rest of the furniture on the porch into the house once the carpets had been fixed. So nice and helpful.

So we came back to the city and while I was worried I also felt that they would be taken care of. Of course, I will no doubt have to go back over the weekend. Oh and we got a flat on the way home and my dh had to fix it lying on the side of the Interstate while semis sped passed at 65 miles an hour. Fun stuff.

I missed a whole day of writing and didn't get a single important piece of mail. But sometimes that happens. Maybe today.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Monday Madness

Actually it wasn't too bad for a Monday.

I made out my to do list, rewrote my articles due list and cleaned out my mail box. I trolled for some article sources and wrote some relatives that needed writen.

I need to catch up onto my NW woman work and write up some articles, but mostly, I would like to finish my novel. I am so ready to put that on the back burner for a bit and concentrate on something else.

And I am feeling liek I suck. LOL Ever get that feeling? That you really just suck and no one is going to tell you the truth? I am starting to get that feeling. Like I want something so bad and it just isn't going to happen. Maybe because I do want it so bad? I don't know when I got that bad cloud feeling. The brain tumor might have had something to do with it!

Anyhoo... Sent of a proposal to an agent looking for a YA writer for a package deal today. Thought I might as well... what do I have to lose?

Though I am getting tired of living my life on pins and needles. Do writers always do this?

Okay... If I plan on finishing the article I might want to get started!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

My boy on his way to the symphony

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Free Weekend!

I have a free weekend. Well, not completely free. We have to go pick up car we bought for ds and go to the dump. We also have church tomorrow.

But I have nothing on the calendar that says I have to be somewhere at a certain time. Which means I have the weekend to work on my house and on my fiction. Cause I have no nonfiction deadlines either. YAY! WOOHOO!

So between finishing up chapter 11 (and making the 40,000 word mark) I will be cutting back the peonies, dusting the stuff on the hutch and laying the tiles in out bedroom closet. Makes for a busy, yet relaxing weekend. Work I don't mind. Having to be somewhere at a certain time freaks me out. Really. Hence the whole stay at home, homeschooling mom, freelance writer thing! I figure I drive enough. Plus having to look nice? YUK! I'm such a schlep.

You all have fun this weekend. I know I will!