Tag Archive | fur balls

The Last Weekend of a Lackluster Summer…

(or…The Countdown to a MUCH Better Summer…)

It’s eleven-forty-five on the first Saturday morning in almost four months that my family has been able to sleep in, and up until about fifteen minutes ago, my house has been so quiet. Everyone (including the fur balls and except Dusty) are just now waking up. It’s the next to the last official weekend of summer, and I stand and wave it off  as thrilled to see it go as houseguests who’ve overstayed their welcome.

I thought it’d never leave!

I have to say, after Spring Semester…yes, in our house we tend to count time passage in terms of semesters…which will forever be thought of as the Semester  From Hell, I had such high hopes for the summer. Best laid plans and all that. Since mid-May my husband has had a total of seven days off. Seven. SEVEN days out of the last one hundred ten to sixteen hour a day, the majority of which were at least twelve hours long. He comes home, smiles at me and says, “I remember you. You’re that girl who I see when I turn over in the middle of the night.” To say he’s exhausted would earn me the lifelong title, The Queen of the Understatement.

The beginning of summer involved bouts of near pneumonia for my daughter and I, then right into weeks of redecorating, followed by an exhausting but wonderful Fourth of July celebration with my family here at the house—one of Mark’s seven days off. I came out of that hectic pace oddly energized and ready to work, only to be informed that my publisher was restructuring their lines and was pulling two of the three book contracts I’d been recieved at the beginning of the year.

So instead of spending the latter half of the summer kicking butt editing those two books, I was thrown into a state of hardly wanting to turn on my computer. I got a lot of Words With Friends and Farmville 2 done. I guess that’s something.

Now, we are back into the school schedule. My daughter is overjoyed with her schedule and her classes. My son is back in college—Thank You, Jesus!—and loving it!—thank You again. My husband’s work schedule is winding down to some semblance of a normal human’s work schedule, and we can all say goodbye and good riddance to a very long, very dull summer. We have gone nowhere, done nothing since the Fourth, except an occasional spur-of-the-moment lunch out and one movie where the lead actress spent the entire film time staring at Tom Cruise with slack-jawed expressions that had she realized they made her so very closely resemble a camel, she would certainly have rethought the entire thing.

My husband and daughter have this weekend off. My son works all night tonight and until midnight tomorrow night, so the next two days will be spent catching up on sleep—and listening to Courtney hum while she cheerfully diagrams 50+ word sentences. (No, I didn’t drop her on her head as a baby, but I am wondering if it is a genetic condition for which there is funding or a study.) Next weekend, however, we have a three-day weekend. I will be turning off all cell phones, cross my fingers that Dusty can get Monday off, and we will head to the Smokies for a day of some much needed inspiration and rejuvenation.  Miracles have always happened for us up in those mountains. Maybe when we get back, I’ll have found my missing motivation to write again. Who knows?

What I do know is I’m so ready for Fall Soup.

Enjoy yours…


So, Let’s Talk About Reality…or…a day in the life of a klutz.

A mom’s reality. A wife’s reality. A writer’s reality. MY current reality…

For any mother who tells herself that if she quits her outside job, she’ll have more time–or when the kids get into school, she’ll have more time–or when they hit high school, she’ll have more time–or college will mean more time—I dedicate this to you.

In my case, it was, “when Courtney’s semester from hell is over, I’ll have more time for promo and plenty of time to get ready for the 4th of July celebration.” Yeah, right. First I spent three weeks down with severe bronchitis. Then we painted. And painted. And PAINTED. That’s done. The rest of the house that wasn’t going to need much cleaning until the rooms being painted threw up were suddenly a disaster. I’m talking no-surprise-if-we-discovered-a-body-under-the-rubble disaster. By the time I’m done at the end of each day, I’m lucky if I make it to the bed before I fall asleep, so promo has been sparse.

So now, we’re three days away. The house is looking great and we’re down to two major jobs which have to be done tomorrow..the den and the furballs’ room that we jokingly refer to as the laundry room. Shopping is done. Meat ordered. General running on Thursday and a quick and general clean Friday morning and we’re ready.  And what do I go and do? Twist my already bum knee.

So, I’m hobbling through the last of the jobs with the help of my amazing children.  It’ll be the first year we don’t have fireworks since I started hosting this family event, and I’ll probably greet the 30+ guests on crutches but I’m determined to enjoy it!

And after I clean up and sleep all the rest of the day on Saturday, I’ll enjoy the short visit of one of my best friends on Sunday, then I’ll have more time to get back to work doing promo on Monday.

I should have one-and-a-half free months before classes start back that I can devote to promo and edits.

Just think…only one hundred seventy six days until Christmas!

Enjoy the soup!


The Irony of Balance…

It’s been a few weeks since my last post, and laziness has had nothing to do with it this time.  I didn’t wear the orange t-shirt Christmas day, nor did I finish my son’s beanie, and the stroke had nothing to do with either.  My children’s winter break was the shortest ever, and the number of days had nothing to do with that.  They both finished their fall semesters on very high notes: Courtney on the President’s List once again, and Dusty finished his first semester as a college freshman with a good strong B.  They start back to school tomorrow and once again, my house will be filled with the blaring of the radio, the incessant chatter of the TV and any other noise I can find to fill the silence.  The only upside of that will be that it will drive the fur balls nuts, but they’ll find a corner away from the din and sleep.

Over the last year, I’ve gone through a gamut of emotions, from very high to very low.  I suppose God wanted to shake me up a bit.  The plan was a raging success.  Let’s just say, I am sufficiently shook

When I look back over the last month, I’m amazed at all the irony that has run rampant in our lives.  While I’m not a big fan or change, I’m not a fan of status quo much eiter. Lately, however, I’ve been wishing for just a little in the coming year.  I’m not talking boring, or uneventful, but more not so negatively eventful.  Granted, for all of the negative, I can find a positive to keep the balance… 

It’s 23* here this morning.  I am a happy medium girl.  I’d lobby on Washington for year round autumn if I thought it’d do any good.  God knows Washington fills my email inbox with crap I care about less.  Seems like turnaround would be fair play in this case, but, well, never mind. I’m making chili for dinner tonight and by Friday, it’ll be back in the 60s.  Balance.

Like I said, I didn’t finish my orange t-shirt for Christmas.  But while shopping for something to wear to my nephew’s wedding, I learned I’d lost 3 pant sizes and (men, cover your eyes…you won’t understand how monumentously wonderful this is) 3 ½ bra cup sizes.  Okay, I knew I’d lost a little weight, about 15 lbs since the stroke…on top of another 20 in the year before that, and I guess I should have been able to take the take-2-steps-pull-up-the-pants or the girls-bouncing-around-like-boulder-marbles-inside-the-bra hints, but truly I had my mind on other things.  I can tell you though, the bra fitting was a very emotional ordeal…as in I sat in the dressing room and squalled for a good fifteen minutes.  Note: Daughters are possibly the best salve for egos on every occasion.  I digress…sorry.  The garb bought for the wedding was black…no, I was not making a statement–the wedding was a Black and Silver affair…so I had to get something a little more festive fit for Christmas that actually fit. And because I’d had to buy space heaters due to the dead heat pump, I had bonus coupons to cover all but $20 of the wedding outfit and $15 for the new blouse and jeans(that fit).  Balance…big time!

The kids got out of school on the 6rd of December.  Tomorrow they go back. January 4th.  This has been the shortest month on record.  But we’ve been moving every second.  To measure how short it’s been my daughter informed me that last year during Winter break she read 4 books.  This year, she’d managed only 1 ½.  In addition to the holidays we had, the kids and I scrubbed down the house.  Actually finished the spring cleaning I was in the middle of in April before being so rudely interrupted by the stroke. My house is clean.  Today, we do the floors and bathroom, and a quick general clean after getting groceries.  The rest of the day, the kids will have to laze around, so Courtney can at least end Winter Break with 2 books read.  Balance.

Dusty finally got a car.  There are few things more gorgeous in this world than an 18-year-old boy who’s just made his first car purchase.  Gone was the balking about Mama forcing him to get full coverage on a 12-year-old Escort, because it gave him a good head start on the money for the replacement.  After months of having to use the family car, of scrimping to save every possible penny he could, (“hey, Mama, are you going to use these pennies for anything?”) after trying to go to school and perform concerts and still working as many hours as possible, his ten year old car is sitting in the driveway awaiting the final payment and new insurance…full coverage AND an extended bumper to bumper warranty.  Yes, Virginia, boys can learn.  An added bonus, it was HIS decision to not drive the car until he makes the last payment later this week.  Balance.

The biggest shake up for me this last month was both a very, very high, and a very low, and another very high, but irony in its best illustration.  First, I received a glowing review from The Romance Studio of ILLUSIONS, my novel that was released 2 weeks after my stroke.  Another extremely emotional day.  You work hard, you hope people will like your work, but to receive a review like that was beyond anything I’d hoped.

Then Sapphire Blue Publishing announced they were closing their doors.

Seven months after the release of my book, I was back where I started. Good book, great review, excellent marketing…no publisher.

Then, a couple weeks later I received news that the book without a publisher has been nominated by The Romance Studio for a CAPA, an “award for excellence in romantic fiction.” I’m thrilled!  I’m overjoyed!  I’m…wait, I’m publisher-less.

(insert the sound of crickets)

So…2012.  It’s beyond freezing cold on January 3rd in GA…and we’re having a heat wave…we’ve gone from 23 to 29 since I started this! Day before yesterday it was 60. Friday, it’ll be 64.  I guess that’s balance.

I take up less space, but I can no longer list “pulling my pants up while walking” as exercise.  But the girls no longer bounce on the knees either.  That’s balance.

Sapphire was the fifth publisher that I’ve been with over the last 15 years to close down.  What do I do with that?  I could blame it on small press, but Sapphire went out strong due to health issues of the owners and nothing else. They were more than gracious to their authors, going so far as not only reverting publishing rights but GIVING us rights to out covers.  I could chalk it up to my being a jinx, but I’m still listed with a strong publisher, though my other  books don’t fit with their needs.  So, where do I go from here?  My writing partners/sisters/friends tell me it’s time get busy, finish the other books that are already started and aim higher.  

So, 2012…I have six books started and close to finished.  Have MANY more started and farther from the goal.  This morning, I send this, then wake up the babies, grab a bite, and go grocery shopping.  I will come home, put on the beans, and we clean. This afternoon, I will start cleaning out my computer…aye yi yi!…and tomorrow, while it’s silent, I will start listening to the voices of my next book.  Goal? At least a first draft by Valentine’s Day, and hopefully a new publisher by Easter. Balance.

I wish all of you a wonderful 2012, filled with enough for all the joys you want, enough money for all you need, enough good heath and happiness to get you through your goals. I wish you peace. But above all, I wish you balance.