Thursday, March 31, 2011

Groundhog Day

I know it's long past, and I didn't really care for the movie, but the title seemed fitting. I'm stuck in the phase of perpetual revision. Each time I think I'm done and all set to print out the manuscript to deliver to the editor, I get this feeling that something isn't just perfect. Thus I dive back into tweaking. Now I'm paranoid that I'm going to tweak it to death. Last time, almost promise.

I did not set up the facebook or twitter for the book yet. Had too much fun this weekend. Well, it was more like Monday night. We had friends over, along with our traveling guest, and grilled fajitas. Not as many people showed as we expected, but we had a blast nonetheless. I laughed so hard I cried multiple times. It's been a while since we all got together and just hung out. No nagging or whining. No hating or griping. We all admitted to our different shades of baggage and trials, but they took a back seat for a night. Maybe I'm just that much of an observer lately, but I had to watch each friend in turn and think of where they've been, where they've gone, and where they are. We're all the same, just a little more seasoned. I wished we all could have called in Tuesday and kept on hanging out.

One thing I did accomplish, besides the before mentioned brownies; I am now hooked on Words With Friends. (The social game for smart phones) I am getting desperate in finding more people to play with. I only have two games going at the moment. They're not enough. One is getting very, very tricky. The other is with a person who works nonstop, thus he isn't as quick to keep the game rolling. Everytime my phone sounds the cute little "ding" that means it's my turn, I can hardly wait for the game to load. (My phone is SO slow)

I'm off tomorrow. Planning on unplugging the alarm clock before going to bed tonight. Maybe I'll sleep if I don't have a clock to stare at. No real plans for the weekend. I think that's a good thing. Colt has a going-away-part tonight for a co-worker who is moving to Hawaii. Poor guy, must be a hard move. (kidding) The cake is adorable. They got one from the local bakery; it said "Happy Birthday" and they had the lady cross it out with icing and write "Bye Doug" under it. What a crew. They'll have fun. So it's quiet here. Debating on watching a movie or sinking back into the endless rewrite adventure.

Oh, the bluebonnets are even prettier! And the banana tree came back to life! It's been too pretty out for the plants to stay brown and wilted. Only downside, pollen everywhere. We could use some rain.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fast Weekend

This weekend has gone by too quickly. I accomplished plenty, but would love one more day to be still. Our expected company had to delay their trip a bit and should be here any minute. Kind of bummed over that. I have to work tomorrow and he goes home Tuesday, so it will be a super short visit. He was in Lubbock around noon and it is a good drive from there. I have his favorite brownies all ready and cooling on the stove for when he gets in. That was a chore. I haven't made them in years and had to reread the recipe far too many times to get it right. I used to be able to throw them together in no time at all. Weird how the brain shuffles things away when it's unused for so long. (Need to read Moonwalking with Einstein) I just finished some proof-reading and am almost convinced to print out my manuscript to send back to my editor. Minor set-back ... I'm out of paper. Easy fix.

I've been having trouble sleeping lately and it is catching up with me. This has been going on for months and I'm reluctant to take anything. The past couple days, though, I've been nodding off at the worst times possible. Once at work. Another time while eating. Yesterday I feel asleep while getting my hair cut. Totally screwed that one up. I was leaning on one armrest and woke up when she had me look up to check the length. That's when I realized I had dozed off, and that's when she sighed a frustrated sigh. I joked that I was going for the Cyndi Lauper look, and she laughed, but I ended up causing her to do double the work. She got a good tip. Today I napped in the chair while doing my editing. I have it loaded on the Kindle and scribble in a notepad when I find something. I had read about a third of the book and lost my thought, then woke up with the cat in my lap and the kindle shoved down in the cushions of the chair. I had just had a coffee! I would love to sleep at night and not stare at the clock for a change.

Movies. Yellow Handkerchief was alright. The last four minutes of it was the best. No dialog, but the facial expressions and music did it all. I might watch it again, but good either way. Also watched Listen to Your Heart. It was good. Really cute. But then about two thirds of the way into it, they throw in a huge heart breaker and left me crying through the rest of the movie. Didn't see that one coming. I won't watch it again, but it was a good chick flick. Gargoyles was just as I remembered. I have to send this disc back to get the next. I think it was only half the first season. I didn't realize that most of the voice acting was done by a bunch of the actors from the old Star Trek series. That was kind of funny once it was pointed out. Supposed to get Tangled when I send these back. There has been more, but I can't think of what they were.

I've been listening to music more than watching movies lately. Padora radio introduced me to Yiruma. If you've never heard of him, look him up. Gorgeous piano pieces. I downloaded a few and had to keep myself from buying all his albums. I'll slowly collect them. Keeps it interesting. So far, River Flows In You is my favorite. But there are so many that I love, it's hard to pick just one. There's also When the Love Falls, Kiss the Rain, and The Sunbeams... They Scatter. I've also downloaded some William Fitzsimmons, Sin Fang, more Matt Nathenson, A Fine Frenzy, and Digital Daggers. Between iTunes and Amazon, I think I need to stop shopping. (As yet another book is on it's way)

Speaking of shopping, I finally ordered a hoodie. I've been looking for one for some time now and found the perfect one. It came in last week and I wore it all day. I washed it and went to wear it again... It shrunk. The sleeves only reach my elbows now. The rest fits. How weird is that? Still wearing it. My arms get cold though. Glad it was on sale. Debating on getting another.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Midweek


Again, not much new happening. Colt has been on call this week, so I've pretty well stayed home when I'm not at work. Still loving the red in the kitchen. It really really needs a light in there now. Too dark. We have one, but it is still in the box. Oops. There will be light, eventually. It's been busy at work. I was super late Monday and Tuesday mornings. I forgot to set my alarm last night and woke up at 5am. Lucky. Set the alarm for another hour and was right on time. We're getting ready for company expected this weekend. Back yard party. Should be fun. It's also supposed to be kind of on the warm side, so I'll probably soak up the AC. Bluebonnets are already blooming. I've only seen them in one field, and very few people believe me that they are out. So I have pictures. It was of course cloudy when I remembered to take my camera, so I'll get better ones some time soon, hopefully. I bet they'll be even prettier this weekend!

Manuscript-wise, I've finished with my stumped chapter. I'm reading the whole thing over and finding dumb typos (more than I like) and getting it ready for another round of editing. The last guy to look it over volunteered to do it again when I'm ready. He liked the story and is interested in seeing how I polished it up. Hope he isn't disappointed. That got me a little excited again. I needed a pep talk. I've been bumming around on a few agent sites and have two agents I'm thinking about running it past. I'm still not really wanting to go the publishing house way, but I am curious to see if I have what it takes. The reviews I've had have been positive, but I don't want to get wound up and it actually suck and they are simply being nice. Don't know. Still undecided. So far, leaning towards the self-pub still. We'll see.

( I say still a lot)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Kitchen



Quick up-date. Dad came by at lunch today and we finished the kitchen. He did most of it. I pretty much did cleaning and paced back and forth feeling useless. Here's two pictures. They were in between coats. It took two coats to finish. We used every last drop from the paint bucket. Cut it close! I'll post better ones later. So glad it's done! Now I get to peel off all the blue tape stuff.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

Not much to tell about that is new around here. Long week. Off tomorrow, hooray! I have plans, and they are merely plans, to finish the kitchen this weekend. Not excited to paint but excited to GET IT OVER WITH! We have company coming next week and I would like my kitchen to have an uniform color going on. Dad and all his mighty painting skills will be coming to my rescue. Otherwise, it will not get finished. That I can almost guarantee.

I have loaded up on netflix recently. Dragon Hunters. Have you seen it? If not, it is worth a try. Cute story, but it's the art and CG that I enjoyed. Whomever came up with the world in that film is talented. It's aFrench animation. Forest Whitaker does one of the voices. Love his voice. Here's the IMDB page on it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0944834/. Different kind of story. Again, the art is interesting. I clicked on it out of pure boredom and liked it. We had an unfortunate event while watching it; Colt's soda spilled on my awesome apple wireless-keyboard. There was about ten minutes left in the movie and I almost closed the internet window trying to save my board. It's ok, so far. I had just reminded him to use a coaster when it happened. I guess I should deal with the ring stains. And I guess it isn't the brightest idea to use my desk as a buffet table and movie theater. Oh well. Still doing it.

Also watched Knight and Day. That was cute. "How did I GET into the bikini?" The Yellow Handkerchief just came in the mail and I'll probably watch that tomorrow. Hope it's good. I rented it because Eddie Redmayne is in it and I've taken a liking to his movies. There's a few others I've rented lately but I can't think of what they were. Oh, nerd moment. I have the Gargoyles cartoon in the queue. Remember the Disney morning cartoon? I can't remember when it was from, but I thought of it the other day and had to find it. Netflix rocks.

SXSW is going on this week. I want to go so badly but know I won't. There are several shows that I'm intersted in that are being streamed on-line. That's cool. Caught one last week. Surprised at how clean it was. I expected a crappy connection and messed up sound. Hope the rest look that good. Matt Nathanson has two shows streaming. One tomorrow (hope to catch) and one Saturday morning. I have stuff to do Saturday so I'm aiming for the Friday one.

Two more books came in this week. I order them faster than I'm reading them. I need to make a trip to the local bookstore and return a few to keep my shelves from getting too cluttered. I used to send them to other people, but I've run out of forwards. One bummer about e-books, can't lend them unless they are B&N. I have the Kindle, so they are stuck on one unit. Half tried loaning the Kindle out. Won't be doing that again. It came back with potpie caked on the power switch. Don't ask.

I finished the editing. Sort of. Now I'm going back through and rearranging things. Trying to keep the level of interest flowing. It has ups and downs and lull points. Needs to be steady. Wondering if I will ever truly be finished with it. Looked into getting a publisher again, then was reminded as to why I went with self-pubbing in the first place. I'm a chicken. I like things simple. I don't like being tied down. I'm overprotective. And so on. Mainly because I'm a chicken and I think if I get a rejection I'll curl up in a corner and cry for a month. I've never taken rejections well.

Createspace is waiting on me so they can go ahead and start the cover work. I haven't given them the go-ahead yet. That just sounds further along than I'm comfortable with just yet. Designing the cover means I'm done, doesn't it? As much as I want to be done, I'm not ready. Like I said. Chicken.

In the meantime, it's been recommended that I establish my book's twitter and facebook accounts. I don't know where to start. I've never Twittered. I have Facebook (personal), but wouldn't know how to build a following with either. Thinking about asking my friend that's coming next week to help me with it. He knows all that kind of stuff. And he's cool. I think I need all the cool I can get right now. Chicken.

The weather is gorgeous right now. Everything is greening up and flowering. Might take the tort out tomorrow for some fresh air. But it will have to be in the back yard because I've put grass seeds in the front with chemicals that she won't do so well with. Need to wash the Jeep, too. Haven't washed it yet this year. And it shows.

Wow, long post. I'm rambling. Back to work.

Any pointers on the twitter or facebook would be much appreciated.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Comma Splice

I got the copy that was out for editing back yesterday. This is a good thing. I've been working on the rewrite and was a little irritated with how much I messed up two chapters. Ok, pretty irritated with it. I've been going in circles and it shows. Anyway, the edit copy. It looks like it's been bled all over. This is what I was hoping for. I know it sounds odd, but I knew it needed help in the grammar department. He did a very good job. I was a little more than half way through the edit and making corrections when I realized I was still goofing things up. Enter the comma splice. Aka common splice. If abusing a comma was a crime I'd be locked away for life. If anyone has ever read anything I've ever written they would know this. I write like I think. Kind of a cross between Shatner and Yoda. A comma splice is when a sentence or thought is broken with a comma when is not actually needed. Could be split into two sentences if the words are rearranged or added. I'm not explaining it right, that's for sure. But I am guilty of overly abusing the comma. I'm still not getting it right, no doubt about it. Also plenty of run-on-sentences and I've learned to use the semicolon (;). English is tricky. These rules do not necessarily apply to dialog or poetic lines. I'm not writing a poem so I have lots of correcting to do. Oh, and dependent clauses are a bad habit of mine. According to a grammar site, it is ok to fudge a few of these if you are a know author because it adds to your craft or writing voice. I am an unkown and not officially an author ... yet. I'm wondering if I would have done a better job if I wrote it in French. That language makes sense to me. Colt said that my problem is that I went to school in Missouri. That backfired on him because I actually finished HS here in Texas and that is where most of my habits were forged. English is tricky. Yes I know I'm repeating myself. I'm seeing too many commas in this post. Will not be editing this, sorry. That was a splice!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Windows

I was off Friday and had every intention to finish the rewrite. It didn't happen. I got loads of work done, such as adding twenty-four pages of story to the story, but not all that I meant to. I've hit another wall with one chapter. Just one. How hard is it to tighten up one chapter. I did laundry, dishes, cleaned both bathrooms, vacuumed twice, worked in the yard, and cleaned the windows. That's saying a lot. I hate cleaning windows almost as much as I hate painting. Totally skipped a lunch out with Mom and Gwen because I was determined to get out of the slump. I watched youtube for a few hours before giving the Mac a break and tried to read some of the many books I've ordered over the past few months. Couldn't concentrate on that either. I was about nine chapters into one book and realized I was hating it. Why in the world did it take me that long to figure that out? A little flustered. Two of my sample readers have not responded to any of my attempts to contact them. I know they have busy lives, but it's been two weeks and I haven't heard a word. I already have three copies back, and that actually helped, I just don't know if I should keep trying to get in touch with them or cut my losses. I thought on it too long and bummed myself out. Even contemplated trashing this entire project. (Really bummed myself out). Then made the mistake of letting a certain someone drag me down even more by their relating of how much time and energy I'm wasting on a venture that will undoubtedly go nowhere. (Really, really bummed myself out). Had some friends over and refused to look at the manuscript for a time. Then, out of nowhere, I got a text from a friend who knows me better than I know myself, and with her six simple words, I went back to work on it. I need to learn to take my own advice. It's that simple.