Archive for July 2010

Life goes on

Most of you probably already know my grandma died last week. She was my dad's mom, the only one on that side who kept in regular contact with me. I made the trip to Arkansas for the funeral with my mom and brother. So many emotions are still jumbled up inside me that I don't feel I can write about it yet. I just wanted to mention it so you'd know I'm fine since I've been incommunicado for a little while.

The kids are all registered for school, and they start in two weeks. I can't believe it's that close! We even bought most of their school supplies already, a nicer experience now that I know I can buy the cheap stuff if necessary. The registration was also better than in previous years, because they put the forms online to fill out in advance. The whole thing took 20 minutes instead of two hours, which was heaven for my fragrance sensitivity.

My older daughter is going into middle school, and looking back at when I was her age, that seems to be the most pivotal time in my life. We moved to another town that summer, where the girls already had a grasp on fashion and firm, if unspoken, rules in place. It was a hard transition I was never able to solidify, and so began my life on the fringes of society. I'm glad my daughter won't go through that. I guess there will be other trials waiting for her, but they will be her own.

So summer vacation is almost over. I've met the goals I set for myself at the beginning, which were to finish my book and forget it, and after that, to read a lot, spend time with my kids, and work on household matters. I still don't have a proper desk, so maybe I'll make that my goal for the remainder of the summer. That way, when the kids are back in school I'll be ready to write again.

Have you met your summer goals?
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

I guess I'll have to stick with children's books now.

Printing out a novel for editing uses a lot of paper. Combine that with the kids' 2-hour-long scribbling sessions, and it makes perfect sense to use my old manuscripts as scrap paper. I mean, it's still good on one side, and though the kids can read, there's nothing OMG-terrible in BVA; it doesn't have sex scenes, per se, but the MC does think about sex in a flippant, jaded way, and there is colorful language. Still, nobody cares about the pieces of story on the other side of the page. The occasional cussword would go unnoticed.

So I thought.

I forgot my 11-year-old is a voracious reader with a vocabulary as big as mine. She wants to read all kinds of inappropriate books, as I did at her age, just because she's already read everything appropriate in the house. Last night she told me she'd been reading the backs of these scrap papers, because BVA was "awesome." She said sometimes she even gets several consecutive pages so she can read a bigger chunk at a time.

It's hard to turn down someone who's dying to read my work, and who will undoubtedly be complimentary. So after she begged me a while, I told her I would edit out the objectionable parts and let her read it. She's already bugged me about it twice more this morning.

So now I'm wondering, will this affect how and what I write? I want to write things my kids will love. The hubs doesn't read fiction anymore, so he doesn't factor in. Sex scenes embarrass me. It seems like a no-brainer to stick with Middle Grade or Young Adult. BVA is going to YA editors, I think.

Something to think about.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Way to slip the existential crisis in at the end, Sherri.

Somebody just spam-commented every single post on my blog. And though the format makes it obvious it's the same spammer, it appears each IP address is unique, though I didn't check all 300 of 'em, obviously. That's crazy. Crazy spammers. That's the biggest reason to love Wordpress, their excellent spam filter. All I had to do was hit a button and they were all gone. But if I continue to get that much spam, I won't be able to check it for false positives like I have been. They are few and far between, but occasionally one slips through. So if your comment doesn't show up, holla and I'll go check the spam. I promise I haven't moderated you. I've only ever deleted angry and/or crazy comments, and that totals about four.

I don't know what in the hell happened to me, but I woke up early this morning, like five o'clock, when the hubs got up for work. I usually sleep right through his morning routine, but not today. It may be that my aching bones made it hard to get comfortable. I'm so old.

My mom turned 59 last week, and my dad will be 60 in August. My in-laws are in their late-60s. My step-daughter is married with a baby, and all my cousins' kids are grown up with mates and kids of their own. Makes me wonder where the time went. Have I done everything I was supposed to do? I know I have many years left, but I used to believe I had greatness in me. It turns out I'm just a regular gal after all. Even if I do something great, I've established my regularness.

It's pretty nice, actually, knowing I'm regular. Back when I thought I had a special purpose in this world I felt a lot of pressure. Now if I accomplish any kind of greatness, it's all gravy.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Saturday surfing

On tap for today, in no particular order:

  • sucking up spiders with the vacuum;

  • putting on a bra;

  • buying a bag of Quikrete and some sheetrock to maybe finish out the porch room;

  • more coffee;

  • maybe a movie. Gotta love Netflix + Wii.

So here are some links I've come across through the week for your lazy Saturday surfing pleasure. First one came from Marta, about how writers have to be attractive and/or photogenic nowadays, not just good writers. Ack!

Here's a funny video poking fun at the toxic chemical lobby.

Since I won an autographed copy of Ghost Swamp Blues, by Laraine Herring, I thought it would be nice to give linky love to all involved. I was introduced to this author's work when Sarah Stockton kindly sent me Writing Begins with the Breath. Laraine's writing speaks to me on a cellular level, so when she pointed her Facebook friends to a contest on Lisa Romeo Writes, I jumped on it. And it paid off. Woo! Can't wait to read it.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

Under the dome

What's up, my peeps? I don't have anything to say today, but has that ever stopped me? Well yeah, sometimes. Not today! Aren't you glad? *snicker*

So there's this hurricane rain coming up from Texas. All around us, creeks and rivers are overflowing their banks, flooding populated areas. However, I think they closed the invisible dome over my city again, because we've fallen into the same pattern as last summer: rain dissipates as it approaches Tecumseh and re-forms on  the other side, or else we watch the rain curl around us on the radar while we enjoy white puffies and peeks of blue. I see the dark clouds on the horizon in all directions, but they stay on the horizon. I don't want the flooding, but the anticipation of rain with no release is putting me on edge. Open the dome, people!

Still not writing, and I'm okay with that. The ol' batteries are about half-way charged, so I'm on track to be ready to go when the kids return to school in a month and a half. The pull is getting stronger. When my agent sent me line edits on the rewrite of my synopsis, I was ecstatic to actually have something legitimate to do. I love the process, I love having a job to do. Working for someone else has priority for some reason, as when I was editing for Eternal Press. I'd spend hours on it, take pride in turning it in early. When my own manuscript was nearing completion, I worked toward the day I could turn it in to my agent, and somehow it made it more urgent than when I was writing for myself. I know for a fact when I have an editor waiting for my edits, or for a whole new manuscript, I'll be working twice as hard as I do for myself. I'll close the dome over myself and let the distractions glance off.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Spots of news

Nothing seems right. I'm restless. Anxious.

Spots of news:

  • I painted the soffit above my kitchen cabinets, finally. When we moved into this house there was terrible (TERRIBLE) 80s wallpaper, red and yellow plaid with touches of green, overlaid with an ornate fruit border. I figured bare walls were better than that wallpaper, and I was right. A while back I'd painted the backsplash a nice, bright blue, but the soffits were bare for about three years. Now it's light coffee, a very nice neutral I found for $5 on the oopsie table at Lowe's. I guess in a few more years I'll get around to changing the green, red and yellow indoor-outdoor carpet. It's ridiculous.

  • On a related note, for your next painting project, you simply must use the low- or no-odor paint. I think they've changed the regulations for new paint so that it has to be low-odor, so that means get rid of your old, stinky stuff.

  • My plan for the summer had been to read a lot and let my creative batteries charge, after the long, slow drain of BVA. Being a bit impoverished, I snatch up all the bargain books I can find (with apologies to the authors, but I wouldn't be reading their books at all if I'd had to pay full price). I recently found a treasure trove at Big Lots, and picked up a few big names. The first I read was fellow Oklahoman Marcia Preston's Trudy's Promise. She writes with such beautiful, heartfelt simplicity. Now I'm working through Kate Mosse's Sepulchre, quite a different style from Marcia. Sepulchre took a while to hook me, because I thought it would beat me to death with the "was"es and the "were"s. Once I got used to her style, though, I've enjoyed it.

So what's been going on in your world?
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Teenage drama

I've been avoiding the blog this week, because I've been processing some drama. My step-daughter Z announced on Tuesday she was getting married this Friday. To a man she's dated a month. When she called to tell me I told her it was the dumbest idea she's ever had. Afterward, I felt bad about being so harsh, but it was such a nasty shock.

I know my yelling won't change a damn thing, so I calmed myself and told her I was behind her, if not her decision. She swears she's thought it through, and I believe she sincerely wants to make a life with him, not just cause drama. But, you know...she's known him a month. Who shows their warts after a month?  Z's so young, she doesn't even know what she doesn't know, and of course she won't listen to the wisdom of her elders who maybe DO know what she doesn't know. Who may know a little something about how people can surprise you, disappoint you, in ways she can't even imagine. He seems like a nice young man, but you did Ted Bundy.

I'm sure he's not a Ted Bundy, but maybe he drinks too much. Maybe a little disrespect will start to show after they've been together a while. Maybe he's a cheater. Maybe she shows him something he doesn't like and he wants to leave, but now, you know, they're committed. Also, there's her baby to consider.

Even though I'm trying to be there for her, I want to strangle her. I want to save her from a life of struggle. She doesn't know she's probably laying the foundation for that very life with this action. It's hard enough  being a teenage mother, but she's going to add the stress of marriage to that? As far as I can tell, she has no plans to go to college. I'm reminding myself that she's technically an adult, and it's her right to choose her own path. At the very least, this will teach her something about life. And heck, maybe they'll prove the cynics wrong.

I thought about deleting this, but there's nothing here I haven't told her, except maybe the strangling part. She's not my blood but she is my daughter, and it's just hard, you know? Thanks for listening to me ramble.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

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