Oct 25, 2010

Not how I planned things

NaNo begins one week from today. I was really excited to jump into this crazy month of writing and meeting deadlines. Did you notice I said "was"? Deep down, I am still excited, but this past week has thrown me for a loop and NaNo has dropped down my list of priorities.

Griffin was sick last week and of course he passed it on to me. I bounced back pretty quickly, but I didn't do any NaNo prep work over the weekend like I had planned. Then he got sick again. It was just a runny nose and cough, but just a few days later we find ourselves waiting on lab results to determine whether or not he has Pertussis (aka Whooping Cough). It has been a rough week with trying to get myself healthy again and worrying about Griffin. He already has a history of asthma (plus two bouts of pneumonia in just six months), so I'm hypersensitive to his coughing/breathing, and these coughing attacks are scary. He can't catch his breath, his face turns red, he gags and sometimes vomits. I hear him wheezing and feel his back rattle. It scares me. I dread the evenings because he gets so much worse. I can't sleep. You'd think that would be the perfect time to sit with my note cards and my laptop and work on my new NaNo idea, but I can't seem to do that. I can't focus. I listen for his coughs. I check on him during the night to make sure he's still breathing.

I don't know what the rest of this week will bring. Right now Griffin can't go back to day care. It's going to be about five days before we get the lab results - that pretty much brings us to Monday (assuming that the lab doesn't work on weekends). Last year I found out that the first day of NaNo was the most important. Getting a good word count in on that first day was crucial. I'm not sure what's going to happen. Most importantly, I want Griffin to get better. As much as I want to be successful at NaNo this year, I just can't seem to make myself care about it right now.

Oct 21, 2010

I want to remember...

  • How, at two-years old, you have more energy that anyone I know.
  • The way your face lights up when you see Daddy or Duncan walk in the room.
  • Your non-stop curiosity about life.
  • How you open up the cereal cabinet and carry a box over to us while giggling.
  • Your smooth skin.
  • The mass of curls that adorn your head like a little crown.
  • You playing in the sandbox by yourself, indifferent to everything else around you.
  • Chasing you through the backyard.
  • The way you want to snuggle on my lap every morning when you first wake up and every night just before bed.
  • Listening to your sweet voice try out new words each day. I wish I could bottle your voice and save it for the days when it becomes as deep as Duncan's voice. I could open the bottle and listen to you say things like, "Wha' happen?," "Wha' sat noise?," and "The moon go night-night."
  • The fact that you still want me to hold you by saying, "Mommy up!"
  • Your budding sense of humor.
  • How sometimes, when you're really tired, you still fall asleep on me.
I know that the days and weeks slip by so fast, but I never thought the years would do the same. Sometimes I watch you and wish I could stop time for just a bit. I think about grabbing my camera, but I know that no matter how amazing the picture is, it will never live up to the actual moment I try to capture.

Don't grow up too fast, OK?

Oct 19, 2010

A breakthrough in the nick of time

Last week Patrick and I were talking about the upcoming NaNoWriMo. I've had this story idea in my head for a little while and thought I'd try it out on him and see what he thought. The first problem I ran into is that I hadn't really come up with a nice, concise description of the plot. Instead, I went in circles, trying to describe my main characters and what was going to happen. Yikes. He started asking me all kinds of questions I wasn't prepared to answer. I planned to delve deeper into my characters' lives and begin outlining the plot last week, but things were crazy with work and Duncan being sick. And honestly? Every time I sat down with my notecards in front of me, my mind wandered off in a different direction. It's not that I'm not interested in this story. That couldn't be further from the truth. I'm tired and stressed and I have this annoying little habit where I just want to get down to business and while I know I need to plan and prepare, I just hate it.

So here's the question that Patrick asked that stopped me in my tracks: Why should I care about her? What makes her unique? Gulp. I didn't know what to say, so I got angry and left the room. Once I calmed down, I really thought about it and started to take a look at my main character (as well as the other characters) and tried to get to know her better. I found an exercise in one of my writing books that has you conduct an interview with your characters. You know what? It helped. I also realized that I was making her too sympathetic. That's not a bad thing, but I didn't want her to fall victim to her upbringing, so while she's had a tough life, she is a fighter.

Through this whole process I also came up with an ending that I was not prepared to write. I didn't see it coming, but I think it works. It also will be a challenge to write, but I'm looking forward to it.

We're down to less than two weeks and I really need to get in gear. I feel much better about this than I did a week ago, and I definitely feel more prepared than I did last year.

If anyone is interested, there's still time to sign up {nudge, nudge}.

Oct 12, 2010

Well, hello there...

{Photo courtesy of Joy the Baker}

Where have you been my whole life?

{I know these don't fit into my new, healthy lifestyle...but I can still bake for the boys, right? And I'm sure they won't mind me staring and drooling while they indulge.}

Oct 8, 2010

Thirty days (and nights) of literary abandon

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for the start of NaNoWriMo 2010 (that's partly due to the fact that if I do try to explain, I will sound like the biggest writer nerd out there). I love it. All of it. The pressure. The word counts. The fellow participants who offer support and advice. The rainy weekends when I can curl up on the comfy chair and write until my eyes are tired and my fingers ache.

I've had an incredibly busy month or so at work, and while I have a great idea for a story, I really need to take the rest of this month to do some research and plotting. I have settled on a very tentative title: The Weight of My World. I'm not sure if that will change, but I felt like I needed something before I start writing in a few weeks. I like it, though. It fits.

I will do my best to cross the 50,000 word mark by the 30-day deadline, and I am shooting for completing the entire draft by the end of January.

Only 24 more days.

Oct 5, 2010

Life at a standstill

I'm tired of this blog. Actually, I'm tired of not having anything to say. Anyone who knows me personally probably got a big laugh out of that last sentence since I rarely stop talking...aside from when I'm sleeping, and even then, my brain is in overdrive. I have weird, vivid dreams and I remember all the details. Sometimes I wish I could slow down, or just empty out my brain and start fresh.

What I really meant to say was that I have nothing exciting to report. I avoid my blog because how many more times do I want to write that Patrick is unemployed? And how many more times do you want to read that? But the truth is that this is my life and it's what is on my mind. I never started this blog to entertain anyone else. I don't write here to have an audience. It was a place to document what was going on in my life. A place to vent.

So here it is. My rant. Unemployment ran out last Thursday. It was a shock as they had previously told Patrick he had one more round to go (another 12 weeks). Apparently the person who told him that was wrong. I wonder why she still has a job after making a huge error like that. Hmm...maybe Patrick could take her place. I'm over the shock. It's time for reality. And our reality is that we're pretty much screwed. We already have Griffin on state-funded health insurance (he's been on that since March and we are utterly grateful for that - there's no way we could have had his surgery or gotten his epi-pens or been able to pay for all of his doctor's appointments and medicine). I've tried looking into help with child care, but we don't qualify since Patrick is unemployed. Griffin desperately needs to stay in day care for two reasons: 1) He thrives there; those are his friends and his second family; he has learned so much from Christina and has had so many wonderful experiences there, and 2) Patrick needs to be able to go on job interviews and apply for other jobs. Taking a two-year old on a job interview is not going to make things better.

We just were accepted into a loan modification program which is supposed to help us keep our home. However, the day we signed the paperwork and found the money to pay for the first month, we found out about the loss of unemployment. The bottom line is we can't afford the mortgage - even with the lower interest rate. Right now I'm waiting for them to send me a request for income verification. I hope they're able to help us, but I'm doubtful.

I'm going on and on about this and I never intended to do that when I sat down to write. It's no one else's problem but ours. A few weeks ago I didn't think things could get any worse. And then they did. I truly hope this is rock bottom. Something has to give. Sooner or later Patrick has to get a job. Things have to get better...right?