Friday, August 29, 2008

LONG Overdue Update

Um. Yeah. So the Month of Short Fiction has turned into the Month of Totally Slacking Off. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I've been doing some work on writing, particularly mapping out a better way to write PPR, though it means taking it from about 30K words to something more like 70K or more. I'm still trying to decide what to do about that and if I should focus my writing attention on that project rather than hunker down and fix THUMB. There are a couple of factors that have emerged this month to make this decision more difficult.

First and foremost, I can now explain the one or two vague references to potential changes. I am moving on from the current DDJ to a new DDJ. The current DDJ was looking to be gone come January, so I've been trying to find something else to bring in the specific amount of dough required. The new DDJ does than and then some, though it also comes with the requirement of working full-time up in the Phoenix 'burbs. Drew will be attending a daycare/preschool hybrid (one of two we'll be touring today, in fact), and the commute will actually be something of a family experience, seeing as how my new job is only fifteen minutes beyond Mark's. A fun way to carpool.

Secondly, I accepted a request to take on arguably the most challenging leadership position in my RWA chapter next year. No, I will not be doing this and the newsletter--I'm not completely stupid. I'll be responsible for arranging all of our speakers for next year's meetings. In addition to serving my chapter (something that I really really like doing as it keeps me involved in a wonderful writing community), this means I might well be dripping in editor and agent contacts in the romance genre by this time next year. This has led me to consider revising PPR into the novel it so wants to be as the more pressing of my two writing projects. I mean, what good are genre contacts if you have a novel that most of the folks you'll be chatting with don't actually represent?

Finally, PPR served as an excellent window into my writing process as I struggled through parts of THUMB last year. I'm thinking it might not be a bad idea to use that story in a similar fashion so I can tackle THUMB with some better understanding of what it is I'm doing.

So, yeah, time to sit down and ponder ponder contemplate the writing goals as the basic structure of my life goes through a shake-up. Mark and I have already done a fairly good job of figuring out how to weather that shake-up (theoretically at least) in other areas, and it helps knowing that the changes actually mean we'll be spending more time together (though it'll be in rush hour traffic, so the quality of said time may be lacking). I'm very excited about my new job (it's much closer to my scientific background than my current job) and really enjoyed meeting my future coworkers during my interview. Also, Drew really needs more interaction with kids his age and is ready for more structured learning and activities than I can provide while working at home.

That's the update: approaching a big change in lifestyle and looking at the other bits and pieces of my life that I need to adjust to make that change work and still maintain my sanity. If this blog descends into gibberish as the months wear on, you'll know why.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Overdue Update

Hrm. I didn't mean to stay silent for well over a week. And I have no excuse other than the general feeling of "meh" when it comes to exerting myself beyond what needs to be done. Something big happened last week that might mean changes real soon depending on what happens this week, but I can't talk about that just yet. And in writing news, I went through a microscale version of my Crazy with trying to map out revisions to PPR and use it as the base model for my participation in a synopsis class. Mark gave the experience two thumbs in his ears. And just to add to the general whackiness is the sudden realization that PPR would actually work much better and be infinitely more saleable as a novel. Meaning I have two extensive revision projects to juggle.

Maybe next week I'll shake the ennui and get back with the blogging.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Big Boy Journey

Drew gave up the crib for his Big Boy bed pretty easily. True, he did sleep up against the door and in his rocking chair for several nights in the first couple of weeks of the transition, but it mostly went off without a hitch. Same with ditching the bottle and eating sandwiches instead of mashed banana. Recently we cut him off the binky, cold turkey, and he asked after it once the following night but hasn't mentioned it since and hasn't had any issue falling asleep without it.

Enter Sunday morning. We had told him Saturday night that because he's getting to be such a big boy we were going to turn off the baby monitor; if he needed our help during the night, he knew how to come and get us. He didn't have a problem with this idea in theory. In practice, he woke up unhappy Sunday morning and, when we didn't come to his aid, he went to his door, opened it and cried loudly into the hall, eschewing his usual practice of coming to get us in the mornings.

I bolted upright out of my deep sleep and went running to him, maternal instinct firing on all cylinders as I tried to make sense of the situation. Then I picked him up and gave him some cuddle time and explained that he didn't need the monitor, that he could get us if he wakes up in the middle of the night because he's such a big boy. He shook his head, huddled closer to me and said in a very small and shaky voice, "My ba-ee." (I'm a baby.) What's a parent to say to that? I assured him we'd keep the monitor up for another week and try again next weekend.

The other big adventure in Drew's Growing Up Saga is potty training. The boy clearly knows how to use his potty. He clearly understands what it's for. He just has never seemed interested beyond the occasional foray into the world of potty training once every month or so. Until this morning. He came into our room, naked from the waist down, holding his diaper aloft, and amenable to using his potty. Momma was in the shower, so Daddy got the honor of overseeing this excursion. Drew got a sticker for his grand accomplishment.

I followed this up by asking whenever I took a break from the DDJ if Drew needed a trip to the potty. Over the course of the morning, he went two more times after I asked if he needed to. Both times, his diaper had already gotten a bit of action, though, so it's clear that Drew isn't quite on top of telling me when he has to go before he actually goes. But three times in one morning is monumental progress. I have high hopes for this afternoon. The stickers as inducement ploy seems to be working well all of a sudden.

Or maybe this is just his way of compromising with us to keep that monitor safety net in his room longer. I'll gladly keep that monitor on for another couple of months if it means he'll get on the potty training ball.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Post-novel Ennui: The Fun that Keeps on Giving

So while finishing my novel didn't feel like a momentous occasion when it happened, or even for the two days following, it's certainly been affecting my life since then. For a while there, I had a hard time summoning up the energy to care about anything that didn't involve me doing nothing. I pushed working on my newsletter until Wednesday evening, which really made today and yesterday fun to get it finished. I'm saved from feeling fully guilty about that, though, as I just got the last thing I needed to put in the newsletter today, so even if I had been on top of the ball, the thing wouldn't have been finished until today.

So that's why things have been so silent around here. They may continue to be, I don't know. As it is, all I can provide right now is a link, but it's a good one.

In case you've missed it, Paris Hilton smacks down McCain as she announces her "candidacy" and even presents her platform (a smart energy plan and painting the White House pink). Too bad she's too young; we could've had a woman prez next year after all.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Just Chillin'

I've been on break since I finished the draft on Thursday. Well, not really. I had to work for over six hours on Friday, which is the day I usually take off. And there's the usual errands and house chores to tend to on any given weekend. But in the writing sphere, I've taken a grand total of thirty minutes to do my outline-after-the-fact of the last two chapters I wrote as well as sketch out the various topics I want to read up on in this downtime along with the potential problem areas that jump out at me. I'm still too close to really get good info for either of those last two points. In mid-August, I'll review my after-the-fact outline and my sketch of how I think the first part should go and kick start my brain. Mostly I just want to get a good overview of this book as a whole so the subconscious can kick some ideas around in the latter part of my break from the book.

But this means I've avoided the computer except to check email. Thus, no blogging. That's something that might hold for August as most of my short fiction work is revising paper copies, not a lot of sitting in front of the computer work.

Besides, it's nice to give myself a break, not be forced to take one becuase my health is in the gutter or default into a break because I'm procrastinating. Plus, gave me a chance to see The Dark Knight with Mark last night. Fantastic movie that I'm really digging on a writing level in addition to it just being a good movie. I'm already starting to pull out neat themes and arcs that tie in nearly flawlessly with the first movie, and I know more's going to click after I see TDK again (which will likely have to wait until the DVD).

In fact, I'm so digging this break concept, that I haven't even started working on the RWA newsletter like I had originally promised myself I would do this weekend. Kind of gave up on that idea this morning and just acknowledged that I needed to give myself some true downtime to just goof off. So I played more Final Fantasy X. Feels good to goof off.