A Picture I Took By My Bus Stop (I will have to look up the name)

A Picture I Took By My Bus Stop (I will have to look up the name)
I think these are Clematis (but don't quote me!) - This picture was taken by my bus stop

Sunday, January 27, 2013

where has the time gone?

i  can't believe that it's over a year that i haven't blogged.  yes i have a good excuse once may hits work gets crazy and things don't get better until the end of october.  by then though i had sandy to contend with and my mother's bad health.  thank god both turned out fine, except for my lack of writing time.  but now i'm back i hope.  i'm also trying a new way to input my blog  which seems to be working.  please keep your fingers crossed for if this works, i'll be able to blog much more frequently.  how have you been?  oh one more thing, why can't i capitalize in this view?  it's not for  lack of trying

Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Memory is Not What It Used to Be...And My Brilliant Idea

It's confirmed.  My mother says this to me all the time but I didn't think it would ever happen to me, and not so soon anyway.  Sure, I'd forget things here and there but not like this!  This brain-sieve is very detrimental for us writers and so having a pen and paper handy is a MUST. 

I'm sure you can relate.  Haven't you had an idea and said to yourself you'd write it down and never did?  In the old days, the idea would come back to me at the most inopportune time. Lately though it's not happening at all!  Once I forget, I forget for good.  As my nephew Joseph says when he'd see my mother shove things into her humongous handbag, in his droll, funny way: "It belongs to the labyrinth now."  Trust me - you had to be there - it's side-stitchingly funny.

Well, it happened again but for once, I'm happy to report, I listened.  I'm working on a couple of WIPs:  one is a horror/paranormal short story, a coming of age novel, a literary short story and an historical, romance novel.  Different genres - nothing like spreading myself too thin - but I've been stuck on my coming of age novel for a couple of months now and the more I'm on Twitter and the more I immerse myself in the nuts and bolts of the publishing world, the more I realize that the way my novel exists now, no agent would want to touch it.  Of course, exceptional writing will get you everywhere too but I'm not so deluded to think that I even come close!

All good and well -- you think your book is brilliant -- but will it sell?  While pondering this, I suddenly hit upon a wonderful idea for my novel that would incorporate all the bits and pieces I already had, plus, having that little extra something that I hope will make agents salivate.  

I am so glad that I did not give into my usual, "I'll write it out later" mode, otherwise I could have waved bye-bye to my wonderful idea.  It just so happens that I did have to go out, and my son was impatiently waiting, but I told him we had to wait until I had finished typing.

Now it's two weeks later.  After reworking my paranormal short story -- will it ever end? -- and letting it simmer in the background, I decided to go back to my brilliant idea.  Long story short - I have two Word Processing programs on my notebook (my moon is in Gemini what can I say -- multi-tasking is a way of life for me) neither one has full capabilities (Microsoft why did you have to do this to me - why do I have to spend more money??) so I find myself jumping from one program to the other when I need to do what one program cannot -- looking for the outline I swore I wrote.  I'd found one version in which I barely mentioned my twist, plus my old outline, but the idea wasn't fully fleshed out.  I was sure I practically wrote the entire novel right on the spot, or enough that would pull me through this new direction, but where was it?   I knew I'd typed it up because I recalled how elated I felt that I'd found the answer I was praying for.

I suddenly felt sick to my stomach.  Did I not type it?  Was this all I wrote?  Believe me, my whole spirit sank down to the floor until I decided to check the other Word Processing program --perhaps I'd saved it there!   Well friends, I'm happy to say that's exactly what happened.  I'm soo happy.  Most of the new storyline was actually outlined, incorporating the new and old.  

The sad thing about all this is that had I not found it, I WOULD NOT HAVE REMEMBERED ONE IOTA except the very obvious, original new twist.  Sad, isn't it?  Let this be a reminder to all of you to never, ever walk away when you are bubbling with ideas.  This has happened to me too many times even though you'd think I'd learn after the first time.  As a matter of fact, I could have been written the 'Twilight' books instead of Stephanie Meyer!!!  Yes, it's true, I had the same dream...

Has this ever happened to you?  If so, did you ever reclaim your wonderful idea or was it lost forever?

Let me know.

Au Revoir for now

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I am so Grateful and Pictures of the Finished Bathroom - Part Deux


Sorry I had to publish the previous post even though I have a lot more to say.  After I copied the pics of my remodeling, the screen froze so much that I could hardly type so I decided on this follow-up post.  Anyhoo,  the remodeling went better than I expected and I am elated.  I learned so much from the whole experience.  The first is that I have to stop feeling like a little girl who is asking for the impossible.  The contractor was wonderful.  His work was top-notch, but despite this, there's always something that you see that you want fixed.  And here I stumbled.  I started feeling anxious at the very idea that I had to speak up; that I had to demand.  Duh, I paid him good money for him to do this work so why am I afraid to speak up?  I'll tell you why -- deep down I have the "I want to be liked" syndrome.  That's how I was brought up.  A girl/woman should be liked above all things; they shouldn't be too demanding, etc., etc., etc.  Well I did not cave in to these old tapes and I rose to the occasion.  Furthermore, he went ahead and fixed them to my satisfaction so I'm very proud of myself.  I think this was one of the reasons why I dreaded redoing the bathroom in the first place!  Ah, the things we hide from ourselves.  How creatively we spin our web of lies. 

The second thing I learned is that people will become jealous.  People you never thought in a million years would get jealous.  I took offense at someone's remark who thought it was funny -- I'm sure he didn't think I would lose sleep over it -- but I did not see the humor in it at all.  It hurt me but on the positive side I learned that I am no longer that person who will let people walk all over them.  That person is gone.

All in all, the remodeling was a good experience all around.  Have you ever felt anxious about speaking up?  Is there a decision, action you are neglecting to make?  Do you know why?

I am so Grateful and Pictures of the Finished Bathroom

Oh My Lord.  Let's see if this works.  I have my pics on my blackberry and I uploaded them to Facebook but now to get them here it's another story.   Yes! Yes!  I think I got them now.  Please tell me so :)

My bathroom remodeling is done and it looks wonderful!  I can't believe the difference.

Here is a pic of the finished bathroom (click on the links):

First stage - Hoping this works!

Forgot this Pic - Love It as it Shows The Porcelain Floor

Second Stage

Third Stage - With Mirror and Light Fixture

Final Stage - Shower Curtains Look Fabulous - If I May Say so Myself!

Another View of the Curtains - You'd Never Believe Where I Found These

I am thinking of buying shower doors but this morning happened to have gone shopping and saw these  curtains.  I had a hunch they would look good and they look fabulous.  After  spending so much on this remodeling, I will have to wait a while before buying shower doors

Monday, February 6, 2012

Go on Over...A Blog Post on Rejection and What Can We Learn From It

Admittedly I have a long way to go, but my first blog post for all of the world to see is now up on the Thresholds Short Story Forum.  Many thanks to all of the wonderful writers and readers I've met on the Forum and elsewhere (you know who you are) for their great encouragement.   And let's not forget the magic ingredient that will make every writer a better writer if only they'd do it more often:  WRITING AND MORE WRITING.  That's it - this is the magic formula - one I wished I had understood a long time ago.  I can already see a great improvement in my writing.  I was so self-conscious when I first started, wanting to impress,  wanting to sound intelligent.   Now I can simply be. 

Here's the link:  http://blogs.chi.ac.uk/shortstoryforum/?p=7989

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Where Have I Been?

What a week! And it's not over yet.  My nephew Joseph put it succinctly when he said how he couldn't believe that after seven years I am finally getting my bathroom redone.  He had lost hope he would ever see this day.  You see he lived with me for two years and even after he and my sister-in-law moved out, he'd heard me complain and drag my feet about it. 

Seven years.  I hadn't realized it's been seven years since my hand first went through the shower wall, spilling tiles and making a hole when I grabbed it to steady myself so I wouldn't fall.  Yes - for seven years I've been practically begging friends, family, strangers for a name of a contractor I could trust, for someone who wouldn't take advantage of a single woman. Someone who doesn't see dollar signs. In the meanwhile I'd gotten myself a shower curtain to protect the back wall from further damage.  I had come close to getting a contractor a couple of times.  At first it was the money.  Some of the quotes were outrageous, some were laughably cheap intended for me to sign on the dotted line and then I was sure the costs would slowly escalate.  Then it was lack of time and suddenly seven years passed.  I guess the planets must have all been aligned correctly and egged on by my son, a plan was put in motion, tiles were chosen, color palettes decided on and, miracle or miracle, a friend I hadn't spoken to in eight years got in touch with me and suddenly she had a contractor for me.   He came over.  I liked his laid-back style.  I liked how he didn't pressure me and suddenly I had no other excuses left.  Yes - I said excuses - for today I found myself crying uncontrallably as I drove out to enjoy the spring-like day as I thought of the room that was no more, that I no longer recognized.  That was the idea, wasn't it?  My contractor is rebuilding me a brand new, modern bathroom.  That's what I hired him for.  I should be happy, no?  It was then that it hit me.  I didn't really want the room to change.  I want nothing to change.  By resisting change, I could still pretend that things are as they were when I first moved into the house with my then husband and my two-year old son.  I could pretend that I hadn't gotten divorced, that was son hadn't grown to become the man he is, one who is ready to take his place in the world away from me, that my ex-husband isn't dead, that he's still alive.  

Of course, I'd known of this tendency of mine.  Right after I had gotten divorced, I couldn't bear to throw anything out or stand to be in the house alone.  I hated everything about it.  I was constantly in motion, every weekend visiting friends and family.  I never stayed home if I could help it.  By leaving everything as it was, my anxiety level was held in check.  Providence had other plans.  It started when I needed to knock my back yard shed down.  I had no choice and when it was done, I spilled a few tears.  I couldn't bear to look at the empty spot without remembering all of the happy times we had.  Now, not even two weeks later, I am undertaking another major renovation.  Who knows, I might even do the kitchen next.  I hate change.  This is what I learned this week.  I want to be in control.  But I can't control time.  I can't control anything.  So far the renovation is turning out fine.  I'm so very grateful of the contractor I have.  I trust him to do the right thing by me.  All of the catastrophes I had imagined and dreaded have not come to be and each day that passes by, my anxiety lessens.  This is day two, tomorrow will be day three but I am still on pins and needles until the final reveal, until all of the pieces come together.  At the end of it, I should have a brand new, modern bathroom.  I think I might even be able to do the kitchen next.

I am holding my breath.   

Friday, December 30, 2011

Great Comments Award! Happy New Year!

I am extremely honored to have been given the "Great Comments Award" from Lorelei Bell.  THANK YOU.  Here's a link to her web page: Lorelei's Muse

Since I made it to the Internet in my weakened state (I have a cold), I also want to take the opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  I can't believe we are already in 2012.  To think that 2012 was so far away in my youthful days of the 1970's and here I am, like it or not, into the future.  I can go on - as my posts usually do - from here and there and back again but I will mercifully stop here. 

if you haven't noticed my Blackberry has been silenced, except for a comment here and there, but I will resume as soon as I get rid of this cold.  I must leave you to grab the 100th cup of tea I've made myself today. 

2011 has been wonderful to me.  I've made many new friends in the U.S. and internationally (thank you Twitter!) who have all inspired me to continue my quest to become the best writer I can be.  Thank you all.

There have been many firsts in 2011 and I hope to continue this trend in 2012.