Saturday, January 17, 2015

By The Seat of My Pants

Ever since July when I started ghosting romance, I've been an outliner. I was never a plotter. Oh, sure I had a vague idea that Y and Z needed to happen before the end of a story but that was in some esoteric way off in the distance. I would then skip through meadows of quippy dialogue without much direction or purpose.

Once writing became equated with income, I straightened up and started thinking about pacing and plot points. So when I had a window of time in December to write for just myself, I dutifully tapped out an outline. For a stand-alone YA contemporary romance of about 30K words.

I am now 35K words in to a paranormal YA romance that has morphed into something unrecognizable because i made an outline and then went with my gut. My gut doesn't know crap about pacing or events, by the way. My gut likes cutesy banter and some emotional angst and a truckload of directionless meandering that an editor once told me is acronymed as NOGAS as in "no one gives a shit".  Yeah, that should be my new nickname.

I'm floundering under the weight of this hot mess of a story. I can already see the temptation to double back and fix some stuff in the beginning from before I realized it was going to be paranormal...the fact that I 'realized' it would be paranormal instead of planning it shows a certain ignorance, does it not? I'm plowing on to the end but I'm discouraged. It's formless, yet bowing under its own weight.

I thought that writing a few hundred thousand words for money had improved my technique but I've fallen back into old bad habits.

So, what are your bad writing habits? Favorite pitfalls?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A New Year's Eve Memo

Dear 2014,

You were, in many ways, a real bitch.

The Dh lost his job and took a pay cut and a three hour round trip commute that has played hell with the Casa Diva finances and Casa Diva schedule.

The SP has yet to do anything resembling a consistent potty use therefore will be using pull ups well into middle school at this rate.

Family drama has had my Diva ass for eleven months so far.

The Fish Sticks are a class from a wee bit south of heaven, to say the least.

There was good stuff, of course, but let this be a lesson to 2015. Just as the evil that men do lives after them whilst the good is oft interred with their let it be with years.

I expect far better from the one to come.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dear Santa

I'm officially on holiday break! For two whole weeks, I'll get to be with the SP instead of with the Demon Sticks..I mean the Fish Sticks.  And DH is off for the same two weeks! All those days. Together. At home. The good news is we are in so much a better place than we were last year (emotionally, not financially) so this doesn't fill me with "Oh Gawd" like it would have once upon a time.

The point is, now I have time to recall that I used to have a  blog. Hey look, I'm back! (cue the cheers).

I thought I'd share with you some lists because I love lists.  The SP dictated hers to me as follows:

a toy sheep
a toy pig
a flyswatter (because Rabbit in the Pooh Christmas wants one and we've seen the DVD way too often)
a baby doll
a thomas train table (if she potty trains, this is a proviso I cleared with Mr. Claus himself and the man with the bag has agreed to no panties, no train table which is really a good policy for all of us)

The Diva has two lists. The real one and the fantasy one. 

The Fantasy One:

A dining table (this one in black)
all of Rainbow Rowell's books (I'm reading Eleanor & Park and love it so hard but it's gonna be sad as hell but I love it!)
a vacation (Puerto Rico, NYC, Disney, anything)
ridiculously expensive boots

The Real One:

a dust buster for spills and messes (like when I dumped a whole packet of active dry yeast on the floor this week)
a new bathroom scale (ours is broken)
socks (Tucker has eaten a lot of mine)

So, what's on YOUR list this year?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sweet Pea Cuteness

Blogging has been backburnered lately, I know. Apologies. I've been ghostwriting whilst trying to manage what I have privately (and with greatest affection of course) nicknamed Satan's Class. And, yeah, it CAN be that bad.

Back to the happy place, now, cause I have lots to be grateful for anyhow.

Last night, SP was watching a video about Mars with DH on his computer and I looked up from writing when she squealed, "THERE IS A OCEAN IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM? I WOULD NOT BEE_YEEVE THAT!" and clapped her hands with great excitement about the water on one of Mars' moons or something. 

The night before that, she insisted on a PBJ at 8:20 pm after not eating her supper so I made her a sandwich, let her use the cookie cutter on it and asked where she wanted to eat it. 
On my trike, She told me.

So there she is, in the kitchen, sitting on her trike eating a sandwich and I notice my paperback of Eat Pray Love is sticking out the back trunk compartment on the trike.

I asked her why she had the book.

"Tha's my spell book. I casting SPELLS WIV IT." She informed me haughtily.

i enjoyed the hell out of that I can tell you.
Here she is giving me her annoyed look.

Think it's cute? Go buy some Plexus right now. It'll make you healthier and have more energy, plus I'll get paid so Santa can come. Guilt? Me? NEVER!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

This, I Can Fix

Parent teacher conferences are in full swing and there is not much outside working in an ER that I envision as being more stressful.

There's a lot of me apologizing. Like, "I'm sorry. I wish it were different. I've done everything possible to make it different but your child is failing/bites others/is a bully/steals from me all the time". Like, for real, HALF of my furry friends have disappeared when I've only issued three as rewards for AR points. That means they have been systematically funneled out of my room by greedy Fish Sticks who are too lazy/entitled to earn them. I can name at least three people I suspect strongly.

Monday I had to have the "I'm sorry" discussion with a guardian in which I said, you know, he has no empathy. He exhibits zero compassion, no obvious visible connection to or attachment to any other human being. Well, they kinda already knew that which made it still horrible but easier in a way.

Today that kiddo went to the counselor and came back with a happy meal i knew he was getting. He was super good about not taunting anyone with it or trying to get into it before lunch, etc. We were leaving the room for the cafeteria when Adrian, my severely hyperactive and regressive child, flailed into him and knocked his drink to the floor, spilling it completely.

Ned's face went ashy white, his lips absolutely disappearing.

You SPILLED my drink. My lunch is ruined because of YOU.

I thought, *&^% this kid is going to pound Adrian. So I grabbed him and said, hey, was that sweet tea? I can take care of this!

I ensconced him in the cafeteria and brought him a big old styrofoam cup of ice and sweet tea and I could see him physically rearrange out of fight or flight mode. I breathed a sigh of relief for myself because, while I know Adrian's behavior will cause him to run afoul of some pretty dangerous characters, today was NOT that day. Not on my watch.