Archive for May 2011
Can’t sleep. The moon is so bright, and this futon is so uncomfortable, and lately my mind just races if the tv’s not on. Last night I was up till three. The night before that, one.
What I’d really like to do is go outside and talk to the moon, but the creaking door would wake the hubs, and we have neighbors who would hear me. The moon the way it is tonight, it makes me want things. Like love letters, really steamy, handwritten ones with a wax seal, or maybe tied with a ribbon. Or to sit by the fire, listening to someone play an acoustic guitar. To lie on the grass, holding hands and just looking at the stars. Things like that. But with my laptop on, I can’t even see the moonlight.
This is the last week of school, so soon it won’t matter how late I stay up, because I’ll be able to sleep till a more Godly hour. Six is too early.
I have so much energy right now it’s hard to make myself sit still. But what am I going to do with this new energy, vacuum? I think not! Instead, I post.
Over the weekend I attended a banquet at the OWFI writer’s conference. The Saturday night banquet ends the conference, and that is also the night they announce the winners in the annual contest. The last time I won anything was 1st Honorable Mention for a confession story, of all things, in 2000, and I wasn’t even there to receive my certificate. I don’t enter every year—I’d say I’ve entered maybe three times since. No winners.
The good thing about entering the contest is getting feedback from the professionals who volunteer to judge. I’d forgotten to put postage on the return envelopes, so that meant I’d have to pick up my entries in person. Which meant I might as well lay down $40 for the banquet.
Well, I’m glad I went, because I actually won something. My first novel, Ea’s Gift—the one that landed my former agent—took 3rd place in the fantasy novel category!
I’d entered it five years ago, before it was completely finished (they only need the synopsis and 1st 30 pages) and the judge slammed it, but apparently he slammed all of them, because on his blog he lamented the terribleness of the entries. Yes. Publicly. He’s a fairly well-known writer now, of novels and screenplays, though he wasn’t big then.
So anyway, a finished, polished Ea’s Gift got much more helpful comments. I think it helps when the judge enjoys your sub-genre, too, since Fantasy is such a large umbrella with too many different styles under it. Go visit Ty Drago. He’s got taste. Also, he’s a Quaker. I like Quakers.
I got good comments on Black Veil Angel as well, but the judge felt it shouldn’t have been entered in the YA category. That hurt the score. You know what’s funny? I had just put this judge at the top of my new agent query list for BVA, but I didn’t realize she was the judge for my category. I guess I don’t need to bother now.
My short story, Mon Petit Ami, didn’t get any comments but the score was in the 80-89 range, out of a hundred. She had a huge number of entries, so I don’t hold it against her.
I feel validated, which I really needed, but I still don’t know what to do with these stories. I’ve been looking at small presses and at self e-publishing and at agents. I’m feeling pretty creative, so maybe I’ll just write for a while.
The hubs and I make a good team, some days. A lot of the time we are at odds, but when I’m flexible and he’s engaged I get a glimpse of the fully functional, tag-teaming couple we can be.
Yesterday was one of these days. He volunteered to stop by the grocery store after work, because he apparently saw how stressed I’ve been. Maybe he got a clue when I started ruminating aloud about running off with the circus. Anyway, he pretty much took care of dinner while I finished changing the water pump in my little car.
I’ve been feeling more tired than usual for a couple of days, but I started feeling really bad last night, around the time I put the tire back on the car. I celebrated the job’s completion till I sat back and looked around. Tools and trash everywhere. I knew I couldn’t leave it all out overnight so I pushed myself to put it into some semblance of order. By the end I couldn’t enjoy my success as my dragging ass was distracting me. Plus I knew I was going to have to clean up the kitchen later.
When I got into the house the hubs had already put all the food away, and all I had to do was put the last few dishes into the dishwasher. That is love to me. It’s not a feeling, it’s noticing when I need help and then helping me. Nothing gives me the warm-and-fuzzies more than when my husband volunteers to take some of the responsibility off my shoulders.
And I’ve yet to lose a pound.
The past few weeks have been emotional, frustrating, joyous:
- My stepdaughter had her second child, and my stepson’s wife had their first baby a week later.
- Found out my stepson will be stationed in frickin’ Washington state when he gets out of boot camp in a month, and of course his wife and baby will go along. Not that I’d get to see them much if they stayed here, but dang.
- What should have been a relatively simple job of changing out the water pump has become an exercise in futility, with one impossible bolt and wet, chilly weather.
- I’m not a happy person right now, and I don’t know how to get happy. I feel stifled and trapped and lonely, not to mention off-balance and unsure. And at this point I don’t think there’s anything I can do about it.
- Home repairs might help. I had a meeting with the insurance adjuster about some hail damage to the roof and siding, and it looks like I’ll be able to get new shingles and new paint. That’s nice.
- I’m enjoying getting to know my cousin during the process, since he’s also my contractor. My dad pretty much raised him, and it’s interesting to hear what life was like with that side of the family, since I wasn’t part of it. But that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.
Something I have learned about myself this week is that I need tidy, beautiful, calm surroundings. My home doesn’t reflect that and it’s something I need to change.