First off, I apologize for missing the past two weeks of Row80 Check-Ins. I meant to skip the first one only because there wasn't any progress to speak of. Then blogging and writing didn't happen. When it started, I was mad at all my WIPs and grounded all but two. The others have been locked away on my desktop with a note that I can't touch them until I finish at least one of the standing WIPs. Later that week I heard back from my first beta reader for Always & Forever. When I sent it to him, I was ready to trash the whole thing and just call off the sequel. He actually liked it. I rattled off all the parts I hate about it and he just shrugged. So I guess I'll let it be for a time before I pick it back up. I have some notes on what I want to change about it, so that might help save it from my recycle bin.
Shattered Remnants has seen lots of progress, but not in the word count department. There was a bit of a hole between the first quarter and half way point. I figured it out on one of my sleepless nights. It felt good to fill in the void. I've been tinkering with this story for longer than I care to admit and I just now had a big "Duh" moment with the plot line. That, my friends, is embarrassing.
Oh, and I managed to come up with a few more names for territories and settlements in the story. I wanted Hammerfell, but I'm pretty sure Bethesda has a copyright on that one. Malletdrop just doesn't have the same ring to it.
On the home front, stuff happens. We were in the process of replacing the downstairs carpet, but have since encountered a little hiccup. We might talk to one or two more retailers before scheduling the install. I want to say that we will have it in by the end of next week, but I have a record for getting overly-excited.
Baby sitting happened. One day was a sick day for my niece. I think she played the nurse and her mother on that one. Oh well. She keeps me on my toes more than her siblings. She reminds me so much of my sister it's scary. I would think I'd be more prepared for her games.
The second was a fourteen-month old for some friends. This was kind of a last second ordeal. My mom was planning to watch him, but my dad's mom was rushed to the hospital first thing Saturday morning. She spent the whole day in the ER. I didn't go up there because she was only allowed limited visitors and I would only be taking up space. My mom ended up sitting with her the whole time. My dad and grandpa both got sick (probably worried themselves that way) and went home shortly after lunch. The doctors had no news to offer until test results came back. It was a sit and wait day.
Anywho, the baby. The couple had a dinner date for the evening. It was something they had planned for a long, long time. The wife starts chemo this week, so it was also kind of a big relaxing night before all the trials that goes with cancer set in. I had no idea how difficult it is to find a babysitter at the last moment. I offered, knowing very well that I know nothing about babies, and they accepted. They dropped him off fresh from a nap with a bag of goodies.
Long story short, it was an experience. I've never even changed a diaper before. That might give you an idea of how nervous I was about taking him. He was great. Between watching the ceiling fan, crawling after the cats, playing with a toy sheep, and becoming infatuated with a glow stick, I'd say the evening as a whole went well. My sister dropped by with dinner after checking in on Grandma. She has three kids. There wasn't anything she couldn't handle. I admit I had fun. Now I know why storybooks describe a baby's laugh as magical. Something about it is unavoidably contagious. And when there is more laughing than crying, the world feels at peace.
There has been yard work. I have some new flowers that I just put in. They are already blooming. Daffodils are my favorite and they were the first to greet me. The others are just as lovely and smell wonderful, but I'm partial. Daffodils always reminds me of spending the weekend with my Grandparents when they lived on Sugar Grove. The property line around their house and field was lined with yellow and white Daffodils. Us kids took extra care to protect them when we played softball. I don't know why it has taken me so long to actually plant some.
Turns out, my grandmother had a stroke. They called it a little one, but a stroke is a stroke. She goes home tomorrow. Her doctors recommended Home Health to stay with her and assist her with day-to-day things, but she opted out of it. My parents have claimed the weekends. Between two aunts, my sister, and myself, we should have the weekdays covered. Grandpa is usually there, but a helping hand is always appreciated. Perhaps I'll learn to cook something besides spaghetti.
Lots of Due South has happened. Lots more to come.
The past few weeks has been littered with ups and downs. Then there's the times that kick you while you're down. No matter how much I expect it to happen, it still trips me up. I am left stunned by how someone can inspire you with one breath, then rip out your heart with the next.