Friday, May 28, 2010

Getting dirty

Oh I wish the title of the post meant I'm going to be chatting about smexy, dirty things... but unfortunately it's not.

So I just put my garden in the ground.  So far three kinds of cucumbers, some zucchini, squash, five types of tomatoes, 2 types of peppers, some chives, some onions, some carrots, watermelon and some lettuce.  I have a whole bunch more to go in but it's a good start.

While I was sitting out in the sun digging in the dirt I have a lot of time to contemplate things and one of my favorite past times is to plot out books/scenes, etc.  Today I realized that gardening and writing are very similar and I realized a little about my personality.  That's some serious gardening right?

I love the feeling of planting the garden, it's a lot of work to get the ground ready, but once it's time to start putting transplants or seeds in the ground, it's exciting.  Each plant has serious potential and I don't see the garden for a bunch of piles of dirt with little spindly seedlings, but the potential of a gorgeous lush garden with loads of veggies for my family.

The same can be said about my SNIs (Shiny New Ideas).  I get an idea and it's a major high.  Then as I mull it over in my head, thinking of plot points, characters, it starts to take shape (in case you can't tell - in planning terms I'm a pantser not a planner!).  I start to write and I can see the finished project in all it's glory. 

Then the tough stuff.  In writing a novel - the weeds are those tough middle spots that you have to push through when you temporarily lose your inspiration because the actual work that goes into your masterpiece takes over.  Then there is editing.  I clear the infiltrators of THAT, passive tense, excessive adjectives, excessive dialogue tags... just like I have to clear the garden of infiltrating weeds, pests and my kids. 

Eventually you end up with something.  For me, last years garden was a bomb.  We had 23 days of rain in the 30 days after we got the plants in the ground.  This does not make for a bountiful harvest later.  There have certainly been books that also met the same fate and sit in an unfinished state in my hard drive.  Not even hard work can save those puppies.

When everything comes together well, the completed manuscript is worth every ounce of time and energy you put into it.  

Did I mention I can't wait till my tomatoes ripen? 

Around, around, around the sun...

I'm sitting in a room where Elmo's World is on the TV but there are no children.  I'm too lazy to reach two feet in front of me to get the remote and change the channel.

Don't judge me.

My oldest daughter asked me what my favorite color was.  I realized I no longer have easy answers for just about anything.  It used to be yellow.  Now my favorite color is the vibrant green of leaves with sun shining on them set against the clear deep blue hue of the sky with splashes of white from both white, puffy clouds and branches of white birch trees. 

I don't mean this in a poetic way, or even in a cleverly crafted purple prose (MUST SLASH ADJECTIVES!!) kind of way.  It's just that I don't find any of those colors enough on their own.  Put them together and TA-DA gorgeous. 

More questions that I don't have easy answers for - but should?  What is your favorite song?  What is your favorite move? book? TV show? kid?

All of these things are difficult to answer for the same reason.  It just depends. 

It depends on my mood, it depends on when I first heard it, it depends on what memories I have attached... it depends.  See.

The same can be said about my writing and editing.

I need to just finish editing NORMAL and get betas final opinions on it (so far my betas have helped tremendously and I love, love, love them all!).  Every time I sit down to edit NORMAL it changes.  I know that's the point of editing, but I mean the focus, the voice, the feel and flow of things.  It all depends on my mood, music I'm listening to, how tired I am...    I think the more I edit the farther I get from the end. 

Oh and just in case you are wondering?  There was no point to this post.  Just lots of randomness. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

My heart... in paper....

We had a semi-successful yard sale this weekend.  I mention this only because two things happened as a direct result.  The first - I once again realized why I dis-like holding yard sales.  I sold my three year old leather, glider/recliner for $17.   That's one.

The second is infinitely more important.  I found my box of books.  THE box of books. 

Let's back up a bit.  My father is the kind of man that loves books - he's the reason I'm such a voracious reader. He keeps his books forever.  He has walls of books at his house.  All organized according to author and almost all are in hardback.  Lots of books.  Most of which have only been read once by him or twice if I got my paws on 'em.  This leads me to another fun fact about my dad.  Do not borrow a book unless you will return it to him.  Otherwise you will forever be in the book jail.  I don't borrow books anymore unless I'm not leaving his house with it - and even then I point out when I leave exactly where I am leaving the book so that he knows I'm not shoving it in a suitcase to take home. 

This gene is also deeply embedded in me.  I don't have the funds that he does to purchase books, but when I do, I have a habit of holding on to them.  In my defense, I am a re-reader though, I can read a book 2-3 okay 4-5 times (or 20 something if it's Austen or a Bronte). 

Moving 7 times in 4 years broke me of this habit.  I admit one of the hardest things for me to let go on our moves were my books.  I imagine them in new happy homes, being read and enjoyed by a happy reader curled up on their couch and treated lovingly.

Yes.  I might need a life. 

That aside, there are some books I just couldn't part with.  When we moved from Arizona to Maine I allowed myself one large Rubbermaid container of books.  They went from moving truck to storage units to storage unit..etc... until finally I have another place where I shelf space for my precious.  In fact - I have a great built in bookcase! 

To make this long story longer - emptying our storage shed I found the box.  I opened it and went through it the same way I do the little storage boxes with my children's baby clothes and mementos.  I've had some of these books longer than the kids!

In the box were a few I'm okay with letting go now, but mostly, books I cherish remain. 

What books would you have in your box?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Contests, Contests, Contests!

Some fandangulous peeps are having contests on their blogs and I wanna share the love!

Check out the marvy Kathy Bradey's blog.  She is having her first ever contest - and you can win an Amazon gift card!   Kathy's manuscript - Ice Carousel is UH-mazing! 

The GotYA blog has another fun contest up for ya - this time from Annie after the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention!  Check it out!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME!

So... tomorrow is my birthday. 

Cue the singing.  Oh look there is a beautiful cake.   Balloons?  Presents?  Oh - you shouldn't have. 

I love my birthday.  A LOT.

I've had some wonderful birthdays - and some not so wonderful birthdays.

I used to cry every time someone sang the Happy Birthday song.  (I may or may not still do this.. SHUT UP!)

These are birthdays I remember...  in no particular order  (I told you I like to make lists!):

The one where my grandparents were there and I went to Show Biz Pizza

The one where we played the game Telephone in the backyard.

The one where the boy I liked gave me a kiss as my present.

The one where I had a hot tub party and none of the girls would put on a bathing suit to get in - but me.  And I got to hang out in the hot tub with 8 good looking guys - all by myself.  The very next day one of those guys showed up on my doorstep and told me how amazing I was because I was okay enough to do it (even though I didn't look particularly great in one!)

The one where I cried all day because someone broke my heart.

The one where I was at prom and my birthday started at midnight.

The one where I cried all night because my parents showed up late to my birthday party and everyone had to leave by the time they got finally arrived with the cake and pizza. 

The one where I just found out I was pregnant with my oldest daughter.

The one where Jim Henson (one of my favorite people on Earth) died.  The same birthday that one of my other favorite people brought me a dozen roses because every girl should get beautiful flowers on her birthday (Miss you tons Mrs. C!).

The one where I got fired from a job and my boss brought me a dozen roses and a dozen daisies to apologize. 

The one where I was 40 weeks pregnant with my middle daughter. 

The one where my work friends decorated my cubicle and gave me amazingly touching gifts.

The one where I watched my daughters dance recital.

The other one where I watched my daughters dance recital.

The one at Chi Chis where I donned the giant sombrero and had yummy fried ice cream.

The one where I had my birthday cake in a bathtub - with two little girls tubbing with me!

The one where I was surprised when an amazing friend showed up with a cake, flowers and balloons for me. 

I've had many good birthdays.  So many - I can't remember them all.  I'm sure tomorrow will be another one!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Sunny Days, everythings A-OK!"

Can you believe it???  The amazing Lydia Kang gave me a blog award! And my favorite kind of award - involving sunny things and flowers.  * I'm going to pass this along to my buddies at the GotYA blog - because it involves many of the women who inspire my writing - daily.  Oh - and cuz I won an awesome contest on there.  And they rock.  * Nicole Thomas who has been incredibly helpful with all things writing.  * Bridget at Bake at 350 which always makes me smile!  * I love the blog at Notes from the Cookie Jar  *  Also Vero's blog - because it's one of the coolest I've seen in a long time...

I also received a blog award from Nicole Ducleroir - who has a gorgeous, fun, touching blog that you need to check out too!  I'm going to pass this along to some of my other favorite blogs to read...
*Becca Rogers blog is terrific - she had beautiful teasers - and a daisy!!
*Deb's blog - besides the fact her graphics make me smile, her posts make me literally laugh out loud most of the time. 
*Amanda Plavich's blog is adorable and beautiful - plus if you dig hard enough you get to her photography site which is as wonderful as her writing. 
* Amy Bai - just read it - worth every second!
*OK - I also want to throw two of my favorite writer's of all time on here... Barbara Kingsolver because her books saved me a long time ago and her site is full of her.  And that is lovely. "The writing of fiction is a dance between truth and invention." 
*And then there is SARK.  Because I am a succulent, wild woman - and because her site is fun and informative and bright and colorful.  Just like her.  And a little bit like me. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"You stole my heart but I love you anyway..."

So, I'm learning I maybe a major fail at blogging.  I want to be witty and fun, or serious and interesting or something.  So much so that the words just don't come to me.  So I'm going to cheat.  I'm making a list.  I love lists.  Back in my old diaries I used to make lists upon lists... who I liked, who the cutest boy was, movies I wanted to see, presents for my birthday, favorite singers.... if I could categorize something and stuff it into a top 10/20/30... I would.

It's May.  I love May.  It's the month I was born, it's when I found out I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, it's when I had my middle daughter, it's when I am celebrated as a mother.  It's also a time where the weather turns warm and my toes dig in the sand at the beach for the first time every year, the leaves explode onto their branches, the smell of cut grass catches the air, the garden is planted... oh how I love May.

So, honor of my list making and my love of May, I will present for you a list of things I love.  I'm leaving off the obvious/most important (my husband, my children, my family, my friends) and trying to dig into some of the other things that thrill my soul.

This is in no specific order...
- kids giggling
- citrus scented soap
- teaberry ice cream
- showers without short people (my children in particular) barging in the bathroom
- old favorite songs on the radio
- smell of salt in the air
- the middle of an amazing book
- fountain coke that is "just right"
- dandelions clutched proudly in little fists
- tequila
- putting away winter coats/hats/gloves
- fires in the hearth on a cold rainy day

- homemade ice cream
- adirondack chairs