Archive for February 2009

It's new to me.

It would have to turn blustery today, when I'm going back for my second visit to the used car lot.

For those who don't know, this 1992 Plymouth Voyager has been my only car for the family for three years. Hubby drives it to work, while I stay home with the kids with no transportation. I hate buying a car so badly that I'd rather drive <----that embarrassing vehicle than put myself through the ordeal. However, I've put this off so long that isolation has started to become agoraphobia, having passed depression a long time ago. I can't bear the thought of another summer with all the kids home and nothing to do.

So the van will stay with the hubby (since he stunk it up with cigarettes a long time ago, he gets to keep it) and I'll buy another car this weekend. I have my eye on two: a 1997 Saturn SL2, and a 1999 Mercury Sable. Unfortunately their website is acting goofy, so I can't show you pictures. They're both very clean with around 100k miles. Here's a sad little tidbit: After being stuck in 1992 for so long, test driving a '97 felt almost futuristic. It's a 12-year-old car, in case you forgot it's 2009 now.

Anyhoo, wish me luck.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Bored, bored, bored

I'm so bored. Bored with blogs, with housework, with TV, with everything. I have so many home projects I could be working on, but I just can't generate the interest. You should be impressed I've mustered up the energy to post this link:

Guest Post: How to Cure Your Writer's Block

One thing that stops me from writing is thinking of how huge the project is. This article reminds me it's not as big as I think.

I think I would like to talk about writer's block someday, when I am further removed from it.

Now back to the boredom....*sigh*
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

The Ghost in the House

She haunts the kitchen, mostly./ Her pleas echo, though too  ghostly/ to do more than register above a whisper.

The children run straight through her body/insignificantly disembodied

He has flesh and bone, she ectoplasm. So why is she in charge of his orgasm She rails, rattles pots and pans
Monday, February 23, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

Thoughts about thoughts from the treadmill

When I'm on the treadmill the thoughts fly through my head. I like putting them down here as they come to me, but I must admit it's nerve-wracking. Except for minor tweaking of language, the treadmill posts are unedited and uncensored. I don't stop to think about what I'm saying, and afterwards I wonder if I should take it down. And no, it's not because I've said anything horrible or misrepresented myself. It's just that despite my apparent over-sharing tendency I'm pretty guarded in some ways, and accidentally exposing something I meant to keep hidden is my biggest fear, and second to that is offending someone I didn't mean to offend. Both have happened to my detriment, have made me timid.

So I think the treadmill posts are actually good for me. They scare the hell out of me, yeah, but they also expand the boundaries of my self-trust.

I'd planned to discuss love in this post, building on the comments from yesterday, but I'm out of time. Next time, then.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

Thoughts from the treadmill

  • I'm fat. Can't deny it any longer. I feel skinny, but I'm just not. I think I've been able to deny it so long because I had pretty good muscle tone. The muscles are leaving and the fat is replacing it, so even though the needle on the scale has been stationary for a couple of years, I am increasing in size. My lower body has been getting bigger since I started exercising, I think, because my muscles are getting bigger but I'm not losing any fat. Hopefully this public declaration will help push me into a proper diet. I'm don't like diet helpers like pills or drinks, because I know when I go off them I'll simply gain the weight back. No yo-yo dieting for me. I'd like to eat natural foods and very little sugar and literally exercise my ass off. 50 lbs is my goal. I'll even post my starting weight to properly embarrass myself into decreasing the number: 178.

  • Having a teenage step-daughter in my life (Hi, Z) makes me think about love. What is it, really? Is it based in the physical, i.e. a hormonal imbalance leading to temporary delusion? Based in a higher power, moving us toward our soul mate? A karmic fulfillment of your purpose as a human being? I take a different view for each of the different types of love, and I wish to hell we had a different word for each one. LOVE is too broad.

  • Which leads me to the question: Should you feel guilty about your feelings? In any case, love is not a conscious decision, so if you "fall in love" with someone (whatever the eff that means) at an inopportune time, is that something to regret, or to celebrate no matter what? The emotion itself is a good thing, right? Or is romantic love inherently disruptive?

  • Bohemian Rhapsody just came on my media player. Woo!

  • Also thinking about the recent economic downturn as portrayed by the media. People are saying things like, "People can't even send their kids to college anymore!" "This guy can't pay his $7,000 mortagage and may have to go to a smaller house! It's a tragedy!" "They've had to forgo their yearly vacation to the Bahamas! In my world, people don't send kids to college. The kids do it themselves. People live in very modest dwellings and buy their clothes at Goodwill to save money for entertainment. They have no savings. They don't take vacations.  I'm not saying it's fun to have the rug pulled out of you at any income level, and I hate what it's doing to our economy as a whole, but on a personal level I guess I just can't fathom having that much money in the first place, and so I can't sympathize as much as the media wants me to. That makes me sound like a total bitch, probably. From where I am, the middle class is a myth. Am I middle class? I think I am, barely. But the middle class I see represented on tv as the "average"? Those people are rich to me. To say there's a huge difference between $30,000/yr and #100,000/yr is a massive understatement, but they're lumped into the same category. My mind is boggled, that's all.

This was a heavy TftT, huh? Discuss among yourselves.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Super-Chipper Girl

superchippergirlThat's my new superhero alter-ego. Super-Chipper Girl blinds the bad guys with her dazzling smile, and giggles them into submission. Her weaknesses are rainy days and reality checks.  However, her super-chipper energy shield is self-healing, so chinks don't stay long.

This whole thing started as my self-deprecating joke on Twitter and somehow...evolved. Darcknyt got an idea for a Super-Chipper Girl header, Falcon joined in, and the final result is what you see above. Then I bragged about my new header to Ian, who became inspired and promptly whipped me up a lady to go with the theme.

Pretty cool, huh? I'm keeping the new header for a while. It's fun.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Ramblin about m'books

I know it's Friday and nobody and not their dog will read this post, but I have some rambling to get out, and it must be done.

So I have this book I'm writing. We'll call it BVA. I love this book. From the very first day I've thought this book will be my "break-out" book. Now before you get all excited, this isn't about BVA breaking out, I just want to convey how cool I think this book will be when it's finished.

I wrote another book a while back, EG. Completely different look and feel than BVA. EG is sensual whereas BVA is bleak. EG's setting is medieval while BVA's is contemporary. The main character of EG is all girl, and BVA's is a tough cookie. Looking back, EG was delivered with relative ease. I am still in labor with BVA.

I haven't thought about the EG world in about a year, maybe longer. It's with the agent making the rounds, and though I had planned at least two more volumes, there's no point in writing a sequel when the first one hasn't sold yet. So instead I've been working on BVA. Or rather, pummeling on it.

Yesterday I decided to take a break from BVA. Agent has the submission package so it would be the perfect time, when one month will make absolutely no difference. The point I'm at now, I don't think I'll get anything significant done in the next month anyway. And plus, I need a break, darn it!

So today during my writing time I pulled out the dusty stacks of notebooks and loose paper which represent every idea I've ever had, and started through it. The first thing I came across was the notes for CT, sequel to EG. I read. I got lost in it.

I remembered CT being very rough, and it was but it didn't matter. I found myself with a pencil in my hand, making notes in the margin, but I didn't remember grabbing the pencil or deciding to make the notes. Surprised the hell out of me. That is some good shit. And it just goes to show that I HAVE NO IDEA OF THE QUALITY OF MY OWN WORK AND NEVER HAVE. I'm not saying that in a self-aggrandizing way, I'm saying sometimes I think what I wrote sucks, sometimes I think it's good...and it always turns out to be about the same quality. It's freaking crazy. I absolutely have to start trusting myself.

And yet I can't apply that trust to BVA because I'm too close to it. I know where my blind spot it, and BVA is smack in the middle of it. I used to love the plot but have no idea how to execute it. Now I know how to execute it, but the energy is not there. I'm numb. I need to write something that excites me, but it's not the right time for CT. I need some ideas. Maybe now that I'm not constantly thinking about the physics of the Black Veil I can catch a new minnow with my net.

I'm done rambling, I guess. Any questions?
Friday, February 13, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

Premios Dardo Award

premios_dardoOnce again, my friend Darcknyt has passed along an award to me, Sherri Blossoms. I think he must like me or something. I think he must be the only one who likes me, because despite my average 3 comments per post, he's the only one who ever awards me anything. Why do the rest of you pretend to like me?

Just kidding. Hahaha, funny, huh? (Please don't leave.)

Here is what he said about me:
Sherri’s a wide-eyed innocent despite nearly four decades of living life on Earth, and she traipses through the meadow of the world with wide-eyes locked up, toward the sky.  The occasional step into the manure littering the entire place doesn’t deter her long … only long enough to clean it off and keep going.

Dude, thanks for telling everybody I'm old. Hahaha, just kidding. (What is wrong with me today?) What I'd really like to thank you for is your appreciation and support. I hope I give at least as much as I get.

I looked around on Google (which for some reason always comes out Goggle first) for the origins and meaning of the Premios Dardo Award, and I found a guy (girl?) who had already done the research for me here, if you're interested. On that site, there is a rough translation of the original text which reads:
The Dart Awards Ceremony I 2008 appears among a large list of prestigious awards in the world of literature, and recognizes the values that each blogger shows each day in their efforts to convey cultural ethical, literary, personal, etc. values… in short, it demonstrates his creativity through his vibrant thoughts, which remain innate within the letters, torn between his words.

This makes me envision the dart of my words piercing your heart. I also envision the dart of my screeching piercing your eardrums. Please don't tell me which one is true.

I am going to pass this award along to several women who move me with their words on a regular basis.

  • Claudia, even though she hasn't blogged much lately she has a good reason and still deserves to be recognized.

  • Angela, who often blogs what I needed to hear that day.

  • Marta, who has a way of hitting the nostalgia center of my brain with snippets of her own past.

  • [ETA]Vanessa, who already has an award but deserves one from me, too. She makes me laugh on a daily basis.

Pass it along or don't, ladies, but know that you are appreciated.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

25 frickin' things

This meme has been going around Facebook, so I finally succumbed to the pressure of multiple tags. I thought I'd copy it here on my hub blog. (Darcknyt, my response to your award is next in the queue!)

On with the meme:
1. I'm old enough to have to count back to remember my age. (In case you young people are wondering, that started around age 34.)

2. I had my cancerous thyroid removed in 2003. I miss it and secretly hope it grows back. I also worry about the end of civilization because where would I get my replacement hormone? I can make soap from ash and lard, skin a rabbit, and build a shelter, but I can't make those little pills that keep me alive.

3. I'm insecure in professional situations, because I say things like "Wow, I just had deja vu" with no warning.

4. I feel WAY skinnier than I am.

5. I love watching decorating shows, but my walls are off-white, I have literally 3 pictures through the entire house, and my furniture came from garage sales and Salvation Army.

6. I hate marijuana. I hate the smell, sight, thought of it. (Haven't seen it in a long while, but I smelled it last week, and every week, at the grocery store.) It makes me sick to my stomach. I'd rather watch somebody shoot heroin than smoke a doobie. My reaction to pot borders on PTSD. That said, I am for legalization. It makes logic sense to me, if I can set my emotional sense aside. I just threw up a little in my mouth, saying that.

7. I walk on the treadmill in shorts and a sports bra. My kids love it because they have 45 minutes of free access to my belly fat.

8. Most days, my biggest excitement is having a successful BM. Woo!

9. Some days, though, I get mail, and that is pretty exciting.

10. A small number of days involves correspondence with my agent, which is like a shot in the arm.

11. My 16yo step-daughter thinks it's funny how I know the words to every song that comes on the radio, especially when it's a "young" group.

12. Yesterday I came down from my office to find a horse tied to a tree in my yard. I patted it on the nose, went inside, and it was gone a couple of hours later. Never saw the owner.

13. I believe you can do anything you want, but not all at once, and not all successfully.

14. Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy adequate healthcare and good food and a nice place to live and a reliable vehicle.

15. As I was typing the above, this Twitter notification appeared on my screen from the Dalai Lama @OHHDL: 'Quote of the day: "Happiness is not something ready-made, it comes from your own actions." ~His Holiness, the Dalai Lama'

16. I hate school fundraisers with a passion. They reward children who have large networks and/or plenty of money, and the poor kids are penalized AGAIN.

17. I'm excited at the possibility of thunderstorms this afternoon.

18. I love to watch Spongebob Squarepants over and over.

19. When I'm around outsiders I often feel/seem stupid and slow because of my reaction to common household fragrances.

20. I think a lot of "mystery illnesses" like fibromyalgia, autism, and depression are caused by chemicals in our environment and food.

21. I need to shave my legs.

22. I knew 25 things was too many.

23. One of these days I hope to be "off the grid," i.e. completely self-reliant for power, water, food.

24. I have a hard time reconciling my love for technology and the horrible things we've allowed to happen to the environment in our pursuit of it. I could say the same thing about money.

25. I have probably 400-500 books in my house and in storage, and I still have nothing to read.

I hope you all are still awake! I'm sure I've forgotten things that might have been more interesting, but I'm hitting publish anyway. Not tagging anybody because I think all my friends have already done this one!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Speaking of "wheels"

I saw some news about a Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time on the Fantasy Book Critic's blog this morning. Not only do they have a graphic novel of The Eye of the World coming out in April, 2009, but there is also a movie planned. I CAN'T FRICKIN' WAIT!!!!

It's too bad RJ isn't here to see this. Click the above link to see some preview images from the graphic novel.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Finally the wheels turn again

This started out as a "treadmill" post, but I see it has turned into a real one.

I had a very good writing day yesterday, one I hope to duplicate today. By "good" I mean I sat for over an hour thinking/working on only the WIP without being distracted by anything else. No Twitter, no kids, no laundry, no daydreams.

I still didn't finish the chapter I was working on. I'd thought it was almost done, but nope. That's been happening a lot lately. The thing that's bothering me the most about this chapter is that it's only about 4 pages long. Why has it been so hard? I blame the fic blog. All y'all waiting for another chapter over there, I don't see that happening anytime soon. I'll probably get the chapter done in a couple of days, but I think posting these one at a time just causes me more pressure. I might do a section at a time instead, but then it'll be hard to keep the readers' interest. So I don't know.

I did set myself some incentive. Gave myself permission to buy a new laptop once the WIP is completely finished. That lit a fire under my butt. Don't know how I'll get the money, but that's my promise to myself.

Got some good news yesterday. Did I mention that I'd called my agent after all? I think I did. Anyway, I mentioned a publisher here in OK that might be interested in Ea's Gift. She jumped on it. She researched the guidelines and had me write a bio to send with the package. They requested the full manuscript within days. You know, for a while I was depressed about not having any control over my books once they are at the agent's office, but now I realize I was focusing on my old control. I have new control, I just didn't see it for looking backward.

Here's something cool: I didn't realize until later that I'd sent sample chapters to this pub back when it was still Stolen Magic, and before the book was even sort of finished. The editor's reply was so encouraging it gave me the push I needed to finish the book and look for representation. I still have the email, and I might share that after this all shakes out.

I like to think I'm being rewarded for taking charge of my own happiness. Identifying the things which weighed me down and doing something to change them. It's not an offer, but it's more activity than I've had in a long, long time.

On tap for the day: revamp the vision board, housework, and come 12:30 or so, writing. What have you got going on today?
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Thoughts from the Treadmill

Things I'm thinking about today:

  • American Idol. I love, love, love Kara dioGuardia (the new judge). A lot of my favorite contestants got kicked off last night- Rose, Osmond, Girl w/Pink Hair-and a bunch I didn't like are gone as well-Bikini Girl is the only one I can remember right now. Good ones who stayed are Norman Gentle, Guy w/Cool Sideswept Black Hair. Bad ones who stayed: Tatiana "Obnoxious Girl".

  • Busy life. I've become a lot busier lately. Been going to the doctor, getting car repairs done, picking up kids from school functions, writing more. I'm glad. I was bored.

  • Dumping people. In my last post I was talking about letting the toxic people go, either by chance or by design, but I realized this morning that calling them "toxic" was dismissive and not entirely true. The word implies that there was something wrong with each person, or that I hated them, or that they'd done some injury to me. Really, those weren't the criteria for letting these people go. I had to assess my own reactions to each person's involvement, ask myself, "Do I feel off-balance when interacting with this person? Do interactions with this person cause me to act in a way that is out of line with what I want? Am I getting as much as I'm giving? Have I been honest with myself in previous assessments of this relationship?" You see it really had nothing to do with the people themselves, but with my needs at the moment. I realize that sounds really selfish, but as a person who automatically neglects her own needs, even for complete strangers, you might forgive me. They aren't bad people, and I miss them. FWIW, since I made the decision to assess my relationships with brutal honesty, I've felt more stable, more comfortable, more in touch with myself.

  • My doctor visit. Going in for a follow-up on the sinus thing. Got a better dose of thyroid hormone a few days ago, and I already feel better in that regard. I <3 thyroid hormone. You do too, you just don't know it.

  • 5 Essential FireFox Plug-ins (oops, broke my rule about linking while walking.)

And that's it. Sorry I rambled. These "Thoughts from the Treadmill" posts always make me nervous, because I never edit. What if I said something that will make someone scream at me? *cowers, trembles, hits publish*
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

I'll walk from here, thanks

I've had a feeling lately. An underlying vibration. A hum, if you will. That hum is telling me it's time to move on.

(Calm down! I'm not leaving. Hear me out before you start freakin.)

It's time to move on, but I can't tell from what. I'm fairly happy with how my life is right now, the friends I have, the direction of my writing, the blog, etc. I mean, life is full of disappointments, and any problems I have now are just the garden-variety problems of living.

Maybe I'm restless exactly because I have nothing to rail against. No overwhelming worries to occupy my mind. I'm looking back over the arc of about the last year and a half, and great googlie-mooglie, have I gone through some changes.

Picture yourself climbing an icy mountain. Imagine that you put your foot down wrong, lose your balance and start to slide. At first you try desperately to find purchase on the ice, but after a bit you realize there's none to be found. You let go and slide down knowing you'll fetch up somewhere, and you focus all your attention on slowing your descent and avoiding obstacles. Of course, you can't avoid them all. You come to a stop at the bottom, get up and brush the snow off your ass, and look back at the mountain. You might sit a while and ponder how far you slid, tending to your scrapes and bruises and back spasms, and trying to decide whether or not to try that hill again or go around.

I think where I put my foot wrong on that hill was at the end of 2007 with a major marital blow-up. We're all right now, and you'll notice I'm assigning no blame, but at that time I questioned everything I thought I knew, not only about my husband but myself. I leaned heavily on the online community I'd built for myself, but very soon my faith in that community was shaken with another event. (Some of you remember the crazy bitch who shares my name. She would probably describe me the same way.)

That's when I still thought I had a chance to find purchase on the hill. I grabbed onto anything I could find, except nothing took. In fact, my grappling went on way too long. I didn't think I was doing anything different, but suddenly it was as if I spoke a different language than everyone I knew. I couldn't make anyone understand me. Everything I said came out wrong, and it seemed I was alienating folks right and left. The more I tried to make myself understood, the worse I made it. The more I grabbed onto sanity, the more elusive it became.

So finally, I gave up and slid to the bottom of the hill. I let people leave me, and I left some who made me doubt myself. I decluttered my life of toxic people and erroneous ideas and unused possessions. It was a long, slow slide, but I'm going to be naive here and say I've finally reached the bottom. I may have been stationary for a couple of months now. Maybe this restlessness I feel is that change in momentum. I've rested, regained my strength, patched up my wounds and am ready to start again.

And the decision of whether to travel the flats or tackle the mountain again? I have to say, I don't remember why I was climbing that damn mountain in the first place.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
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