Roll with it

Everything comes in waves.

Deaths and births come in threes. Then for years, nothing.

Words flow off the fingers for weeks…then nothing.

It’s just the way it goes. I’ve learned to run with it. Ride the writing tide, so to speak. November was definitely a writing month for me. December’s not looking so good. I mean, rain is forecasted for this week so I suppose it could turn around, but I really wanted to finish Immortal, Beloved by Christmas and it’s looking more like the end of January.

Around the Miller household we’re fighting fevers and chills. It’s only expected…we’ve been healthy most of the year. It was our turn to catch the flu bug after avoiding it so long.

After gaining a few pounds during Thanksgiving week (oh, the food was scrumptious) I’m back in workout mode. I’m four days into P90X. I. Am. So. Sore. Every part of me hurts. I think even the tiny little muscles in my eyelids are trembling from exhaustion. I haven’t been on a solid workout program since late spring…let my “fat jeans” tell you, it was high time to get back on the horse.

So whatever is thrown your way this weekend, know that everything comes in waves. Writing flurries fall eventually…but the storm will come again and you’ll finish that book in a heartbeat. Sick kids get better, then get sick again the next time they touch some filthy restroom doorknob. The pounds you gained during turkey-time will melt away…albeit with a ton of sweat and tears.

Roll with whatever wave you’re on with the knowledge that life is a cycle. Enjoy the downs because it means there are highs right around the corner waiting for your return.

My apologies

I’ve been MIA around here the last few days…I’ve had the allergy attack from hell invade my throat and lungs. The Doc says it resembles an asthma attack…except I don’t have asthma. Weird. The only position that feels alright is lying down…not conducive to typing out a blog post. Needless to say I haven’t been able to make much headway on my work-in-progress. It’s been two whole days of nada–man, what did I do before I started writing? Feels like my fingers are itching to stab at those keys and my brain is dying to get back into their world again. Maybe today I’ll try to move forward…

Craptastic Canon

My plan today was to post pictures from the Monterey trip to prove how much fun we had even through the alarms blaring in the night. But alas, my camera broke. Even though I’m a bit of a klutz (*mild understatement alert), I didn’t drop it, shake it, throw it, etc etc etc, this time. I simply pushed the on button, and read the statement on the back screen: “Lens error. Restart camera.”

Except I can’t restart the camera like prompted. It keeps beeping at me. Who made this craptastic thing anyway? Oh right…it’s a Canon. Guess I can’t complain too much, it’s kind of a good brand isn’t it?

Well today I can complain, darn it. Tomorrow is a special day (which I’ll post about later). One that I’ll definitely need my camera for. Sunday is Easter. And tonight the plan was to dye like a hundred gazillion eggs until my children’s hands turned all shades of the rainbow.

This could be the worst possible time for a camera malfunction.

RANDOM EDIT: I bought a new camera at Costco! It’s a Nikon. Much cheaper than the Canon, but the jury’s still out on the functionality. Huzzah for last minute steals!

Levels of preparedness

I’m back from a 3-day hiatus to Monterey. The weather was great and sunny, the rain holding out until our safe return home. However, the trip was not without incident.

Last night…no, butt-crack of dawn early this morning (try 4am), the fire alarms went off in the hotel. I’m not talking about possibly dismissive hallway alarms, oh no. I’m talking about above the bed, blaring in your ear “An emergency situation is taking place! Please find the nearest stairwell and convene in the lobby! This is not a drill!” The intercom blasted over and over again. White strobe lights shone through the suite. We could hear people running down the halls and yelling at other people to get downstairs.

My first thought? Are you f-ing kidding me? This has got to be a joke, right? Someone pulled the fire alarm by accident and any minute the “emergency situation” would be over. Right? Right?!? We weren’t so lucky. The entire hotel was evacuated; all 13 floors. Fire fighters raced to the top floor where a “fire” had allegedly taken place then been put out…AFTER the alarm had been triggered, of course. Groggy and irritated, my husband, my kids, and I stumbled back to the suite once the all-clear was given. But that’s not what this blog post is about…

It’s about levels of preparedness. I kept thinking to myself, what if this had been a real emergency situation? I’m talking a tsunami-rolling-in, earthquake-rattlin’, building-coming-down kinda situation. How did I fare with two young ones? How did everyone else do? Lemme tell you…

There was a hefty middle-aged man wrapped in the disgustingly floral hotel comforter with nothing in his possession. He was sporting an awkward, shameful look on his face. His wife was hiding behind him, presumably nude as well. There were loads of families–every one of them in their pajamas, nothing of value in their arms except scared and bewildered children. Adult couples (sans kids) were dressed…tired and pissed off, but dressed nonetheless.

And now let me tell you about my situation. The second the alarms went off, my husband moved through the room like a cheetah stalking its prey. He wasn’t scared, panicked, nor was he moving fast like there was a fire in the building. He was calmer than I’d ever seen him. I was still in bed when he said, “Get the kids jackets on.” I got up and I did. Then I scrambled to find clothes for myself that would be presentable enough for the entire hotel to bear witness to. The Husband said, “Get your shoes and the room key.” I did. He scooped up one kid, I the other, and we joined the mob of people moving down the stairwell.

It was then that I took a good hard look at him. He was fully dressed. He had the truck keys, his wallet, our emergency information and a cool, collected look in his eye. He was by far the most prepared person I saw. Most people were shoeless, pantless, keyless, clueless. Yet here he was, looking like this was a walk in the park. Like he was ready for the tsunami to hit, his plan of attack ready. Hell, I didn’t even have an action plan for my hair! (You really should’ve seen it. Okay, maybe not. I was medusa’s spawn. Really. Not for the faint of heart.)

After I realized the stressful situation was over, his preparedness was almost laughable.
“You grabbed the keys and your wallet?” I asked, a shaken smile on my face.
“Of course I did,” he said. “Didn’t you bring your purse?”
Hell no I didn’t! I left my laptop and the jumpdrive with my book on it back in the room! How smart was that!?!

Then I remembered that in an emergency situation, being prepared isn’t about having your book safely tucked away in your pajama pocket…it’s about being saved yourself. It’s about having every member of your family accounted for and safe. Thank God we were. Things could’ve been much worse.

As for that man in the bedspread? Wow. His being unprepared reached epic (and quite disturbing) proportions. He would’ve been the naked man roaming the streets on Channel 10 After-the-Disaster news.

How do you think you would’ve fared given ten seconds to jump out of bed and haul tired-ass downstairs? Ever had anything like that happen to you? I’d love to hear some stories even if they’re anonymously posted!

Just Another Manic Monday

I FINALLY got a full night’s sleep last night. If you’d consider heading for cover at midnight and waking up at 6:30am a full night…

Princess is feeling better. Turns out a few drops of warm olive oil in her ear soothed the pain. Ah, gotta love simple home recipes. (I’m gonna ignore the irritation creeping in–I paid $40 for a teeny vial of ear drops last summer that had the same reaction as the olive oil. Grrrr…)

Friends are coming over tonight to watch the UFC fight from a few nights ago. GSP is fighting–and we don’t even need to mention who he fought against–he wiped the floor with that dude like it was the easiest thing for him to do. I loved it. Yeah, I’m kind of a testosterone-loving-freak. Any sport where guys get pumped up, disrobe, sweat, and take out their aggressions on another person I’m all for!

I mean seriously, how could you turn down watching him…

Work his magic on some unsuspecting fool like this…

Okay, okay, Matt Hughes really isn’t unsuspecting nor is he a fool. But I’m a hardcore GSP fan, so I’m gonna stick with my first comment. It’s pretty amazing! And I’m talking about the fighter as well as the fight. *wink

I’m finally finished with the editing I started last week. I completely rewrote the hero/heroine meet. The consensus from my readers/critique partners is that it’s much hotter. And hotter is always better isn’t it? So then of course my hero and heroine would feel differently in every situation where they were thrust together, wouldn’t they? That one scene change led to a rewrite of pretty much page 50-150. Not bad for a week’s work, eh?

Now I’m back at it. I’m headed to the beach for a few days and hope to get at least some writing done. It’s difficult to delve into the computer when the sand and waves are calling and I’m sure as hell not taking my laptop to the shore. My poor keyboard will get sand in all its cracks…and that’s never fun.

A conversation with Sun

Last night I stayed up late watching Time Travelers Wife with a friend. I didn’t let sleep take me until about midnight figuring maybe I could sleep in a little this morning…

…and then at 12:30am my five year old daughter (what a Princess she is) woke up screaming at the top of her lungs, holding her ear. Ear infection time.

Once upon a time I had drops that would soothe away the ear ache pain and Princess could go right back to sleep. I tore this house apart from 12:30am-3am looking for those drops. I swear the Easter Bunny made an early appearance and hopped away with them. So, I did the next best thing…I curled in bed with her and tried to quiet her to sleep.

No dice.

Princess stayed up until 4:30, kicking and squirming in pain. Poor little thing. When she finally dozed off I stole another 30 minutes of sleep until I heard my two year old son (who’s a Tank) start crying as well. Luckily, he just wanted some milk. That was an easy-do.

I remember standing at my kitchen sink at 5am, watching the sun light the eastward sky light a bright, happy orange. I seriously had a nice, bitter chit-chat with the sun while washing out a kid cup. It went a little something like this: “Listen here, Sun. Stay down. Another hour or so. I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. There’s nothing wrong with being a few hours late. Why do you gotta be so punctual all the time, huh? Cut me some slack, would ya’?”

Yeah, that was me getting all up in the Sun’s face. It just stared back like I wasn’t even talking to it. How rude. It could’ve at least flickered to acknowledge my feelings. Hmph!

Of course I was up at 7am because Tank wanted breakfast. Princess is still sleeping in. So here I sit at 9am, groggy as hell, still trying to find those darn drops before another night is upon me and I’m left empty-handed. Again.

Good Morning World! Happy Saturday! And that Sun can just light up someone else’s parade. Today I’m holding a grudge.

San Francisco Trip

Okay, first let me tell you that the How to Knit a Love Song’s launch party was great! Almost a hundred people turned out…go Rachael! She was positively glowing…and rightly so. The book is awesome, and knitting fans everywhere are celebrating! I joined in as one of them and got her autograph.

And then I blabbed about something like how many people turned out. I look nervous. I don’t know why. I gotta stop holding my hands like that…

Before the party, my friend Aggie and I strolled around Pier 39, had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, and you know, pretty much did the whole tourist thing. I had to take a picture of the Pier 39 sea lions…or lack thereof. They disappeared a few months back and are slowly returning. For those of you familiar with how many there were before, this picture will shock you.

Those docks used to be full of them…now I counted ten. Maybe.

I’ve read that the same sea lions have chilled out on those docks for over 50 years and have only left one other time–the month before the loma prieta earthquake. When they recently disappeared I was a little worried “The Big One” was gonna hit. I’m just glad they’re making their way back. Maybe this means the earth will stop rockin’ for awhile. God, I hope so.

And last but not least, HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY! Go pinch someone not wearing green, eat some corned beef and cabbage, and drink until you’re silly!

It’s raining, it’s pouring!

Prime example of why I love the rain. How could anyone deny the beauty rain brings? Makes me want to curl my legs up under a blanket with a good book or my word doc and a hot mocha.

So enjoy the rain today. I know I am! When it pours, my fingers fly over the keys! Yippee!

*Disclaimer: Yes, these photos were taken while driving. And No, you should never break out your camera while on the road, it’s very dangerous.

Off then back On the wagon

I know I mentioned in a post this week that I went vegetarian for the month of March. Today is Day 8. And now I wonder if I just like punishing myself. Allow me to explain…

First, you must know my reasons for doing this. It’s not to protect animal rights (which are important, but I like me a juicy steak every now and again), and it’s not because I want to lose weight (although I really, really do). It’s because the hero in my work-in-progress is struggling with his changing diet. Going from shapeshifter to vampire must be hard…I mean, when faced with a decision–drink blood or blow your cover, what do you choose?

I removed meat, dessert, fried food, fast food, excessive salt, and soda from my diet in order to put myself in his cranky-ass shoes.

Depriving myself of these goodies has not been fun, let me tell you. I cook pot roast and steak A LOT. In order for you to understand just how much beef I cook, I’m going to show you a picture of the freezer in my garage.

This is no joke. Therein lies 1/2 beef. I don’t mean the freezer is 1/2 full of beef…I mean those packages contain 1/2 of Betsy. (Let’s just hope it’s her good half.)

Yeah, we’re carnivores over here. To make matters worse, I’m continuing to cook the same for my family. Oh, I’m sure their eating habits will change as a result of my methods and that’s fine and dandy, but for now they’re doing the same-ole.

In the first week on the diet, I went to a birthday party (hello coffeecake, ice cream, chips and cookies, I admire you from afar). Then to a baby shower (we meet again butter cream frosting, cake, chips, soda, I’m blowing kisses from across the table). And then I was invited to a BBQ.

A BBQ! For the love of God I must be smitten for punishment.

There was tri-tip, sirloin steak, potato salad, chips, sugar cookies and chocolate pound cake. That night topped the cake. No pun intended–okay, maybe a little itsy-bitsy pun.

The point is, I survived, my diet-change intact.

Until last night. I went out to celebrate the publishing offer at Macaroni Grill and had their chicken and spinach cannelloni. I thought I could pick out the chicken. Little did I know, they shred it and mix it with the cheese inside the pasta. Yeah, there was no way I could pick all that stuff apart.

So I ate a tiny portion and LOVED IT.

But I realized there is ALWAYS SOMETHING. There’s always going to be a birthday party, baby shower, wedding shower, graduation celebration, BBQ, get-together, and on and on and on with yummy-delicious treats that are far-too-good to resist.

I used to say yes to everything offered at these shindigs. Cake? The biggest slice, please! Ice cream? Sure, add another scoop! Not anymore.

Seriously, I think the lightbulb went off. And for pity’s sake I added another week to the diet-change to make up for the chicken last night. I’m smitten I tell you–smitten.

As a side note, my hero is still struggling alongside me. Yeah, I feel your pain, buddy. Suck it up and keep on chuggin’!

Updates

1-I’ve reached my first turning point in my current work in progress! Yay! It’s smooth-sailing for me and conflicting as hell for my hero and heroine. I love it.

2-I got a partial request-Yay! Then a full request 9 minutes later from the same person-Doubly-Double Yay!

3-This month my Golden Heart Score sheets come back for Dark Tide Rising. I entered this puppy in December. I’ve been having all kinds of anxiety dreams since then…I’m ready to hear. And I’m tempted to do something drastic in the case that I final–I’m gonna have to think about it.

4-Everyone in my house has now caught the cold that’s been going around Internet-world. Thank you facebook friends for passing that along through the keys.

5-And I know I forgot to post something about it (horrible-horrible-me) but I went vegetarian for the month of March. (Oh, and I cut sugar, white flour, soda, sugary-Starbucks goodies, and salt too–Lisa, you may have had something to do with that. Darn you and thank you at the same time.) I had some crazy idea about depriving my body of something it’s so used to in order to gain perspective for what my hero is going through in my current book. Today is Day 5 and I woke up craving tri-tip.

Odd to think about oatmeal, granola, coffee and red meat as a tantalizing breakfast…