First, let me just say this…

When you do something fairly unpleasant for the first time, it’s always a little easier if you have to do it a second time. When you have to do that same unpleasant thing over and over, well, you actually become immune to it. A few examples come to mind: public speaking and my Remicade infusions.

As far as getting me to say two words in class as a kid was like poking me in the ear with red-hot branding iron. I wouldn’t do it. I would actually get dizzy and my vision would go weird so that I really couldn’t see, which I suppose was a self preservation symptom: If I can not see them, I can not fear them… The infusions were something a little different: they weren’t as unpleasant as public speaking.

Getting blood drawn, however, was. I never had a lot of anxiety getting my blood drawn when I was younger, tho as a kid I hated shots, but who doesn’t? In college, the nurses at the college infirmary were trying to draw blood, unsuccessfully from my arm, then my hand. They couldn’t get it from the hand either, pressing the needle in further, causing one of the worst pains I had experienced up until that point in my life. This was also during my Grad-school spring break, in which I needed to wrap up my studies so I could graduate in 5 weeks. Can you say stressed out? So the pain didn’t help any and I almost passed out. I also started crying, which freaked the nurses out. They withdrew the needle and raced to get me orange juice, a cold towel and anything else that would help me from passing out. Threw the tears I told them I was ok. I was actually laughing at myself, my tears and my situation as a whole.

But it wasn’t a laughing matter I would realize a few years later when the back started to hurt. Not that the pain was the trigger, it was the idea of getting blood drawn. I was terrified. I fretted for days before and when the time came, I almost ran. Almost. The nurse that helped me was young, a bit punk-rockish, which actually put me at ease, and when she slid the needle in, I felt nothing. Nothing. She did it with such precision and grace I just about jumped up to hug her when she was done. Don’t worry, I didn’t. Since then, my nurses at the Rheumatic Disease Center were wonderful, even when 11 vials needed to be drawn one day. When it came time for the infusions, I wasn’t too worried. Now, I actually tell the nurse where to place the needle. Sometimes it can still hurt, and I am developing scar tissue that make the old reliable places harder to stick.

The public speaking became easier to do, too, with all that I do at the library. I’m not so much afraid anymore, but I still get flustered once in a while, especially if my mind goes blank or something doesn’t download fast enough in a presentation. Recently I had to give a talk about library services to 7th & 8th graders. Yuck. My mantra for everything unpleasant is “Just get through this.” I still use the “Just think happy thoughts,” but that’s when I have time to relax and concentrate on a happy thought. When I was getting preped for the back surgery, I kept thinking of baby Eli’s face: I had just seen him the day before and his sweet 2 month old giggling face was fresh in my mind. I have used this device in other instances, too, thinking of Sierra, Allison, Craig, the babies, even my Herman, but if I remind myself to just get through it, it reminds me that this is just a temporary unpleasantness, and this too shall pass. So, I can’t very well imagine my cat’s fuzzy face while I am lecturing a bunch of 10 years olds, but I can remind myself that it’s just for now, and that in a few hours it will all be over and I won’t have to do this anymore.

I said this to myself during Kathryn’s burial.

Time passes, It’s really weird how it does. You really don’t stay in the same place, constantly moving by either your own means, or by something else. What ever moves you, you do.

My point of my rant was supposed to be that once you do something once, doing it a second time comes easier.

I am almost 40 years old (almost…) and I have never had to deal with a cavity. It turns out that, I have a few that need to be dealt with. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. I don’t wanna! I so do not want to and I know friends and family have said that it’s not that bad, but they don’t understand: I have gone (almost) 40 years WITHOUT one!! Shoving it in people’s faces: Haha, I don’t have any cavities!! I love the look of shock on their faces, their silent cursing of my name and of their own misfortunes with their teeth. But now I have crossed the line of… gee, I don’t know, grownup-ism? I mean, (almost) 40 years is pretty good without having a cavity, and given the 10 years where I didn’t step foot in a dentist’s office, I’m surprised there aren’t more. I’m sure once I have the first set dealt with, the second round won’t be as horrible. I’ll have gotten used to the idea that I can no longer go around going Haha to people, that I have to look into the mirror and know that I have joined the ranks of billions of others who also have cavities. Oh, pauvre-moi!! Life just sucks.

The firsts are always the hardest, but sometimes the best, experiences. I don’t think this will fall in the “best” category, but I’ll write some time about some pretty good firsts.

There’s got to be something…..

January 2012

When the hell did that happen?

So, if you know me, you will know that I fall off the face of the earth on occasion. November was when I fell. We had a major program going on at the library and it used up all my attention. Literally. Then, I used the rest of November and December to recover from it. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

I’m going to try to get back into the swing of things again, now that the new year has come. But there’s no snow yet. Oh, how frustrating. Really, how can I write my stories that feature snow, without seeing any outside of my window? We are supposed to get up to 6 inches today, with the first of it starting about 4 hours ago. Nothing. A little frost on the sidewalk, but that’s about it. I am so sad. No, I’m crushed. No, I’m destroyed.

Snow, as I have written before, has medicinal properties for me. The snow, I don’t know why really, but the crispness of the air, the glitter of the ice crystals shining in the sun, the crunch of million of flakes under my snowshoes, and now my skis, I can’t explain it. I love it.

I feel it. I feel it within my soul, a rejuvenation of sorts. Without it, I feel lost. Perhaps that is why it is such an important element in my stories. I feel at home, and that’s what’s we are supposed to write about, right? What we know, and I know snow.

And here it comes. Small flakes have finally decided to fall. The start of my accumulation. My heart is getting happy.

I started reworking The Engine Driver the other day. I have been thinking about it for the last few weeks now and think I have something fun to offer it. I’m still stuck on the ending, a path I’ve sent the characters down and I’m not sure how to rectify it. But it will come, now that the snow is falling.

I started a fire, a nice crackling one, that will warm the house. Whenever I gather the wood from the back pile (yes, Craig, the BACK pile) I think of the first words my Engine Driver speaks in the book: When he gets knocked over and the wood falls into the snow; “Wet wood won’t burn, Eliza.” She laughs at him, of course, because he’s an old curmudgeon, and she loves him just as much as I do…insert memory of grandpa… He’s lovable and grumpy at the same time. And even though wood with a bit of snow on it will burn, I had to give him something to complain about.

I love these characters as I love the snow, and I am hopeful that as long as the snow falls, they will have inspiration written into them.

So, bring it, 2012.

Losing my mind…. again…..

I’m losing my mind.

I had a nice mind in college, or rather grad school. It was full with really interesting facts about literature, characters and story. Now, it’s gone. All gone. I write without any regard to what I paid a lot of money to learn. I blame myself, really. There isn’t anyone else to blame. I blame myself for not keeping up with my reading, for not minding my notebooks full of notes I wrote to NOT FORGET, I blame myself for going to the coffee shops and just writing, instead of keeping to my office where I was surrounded by my books, my notes and my reminders… the place I went to write in my school days, because I couldn’t afford the coffee shops. Hell, I still can’t afford the coffee shops, but I thought, If I just got away from the home atmosphere, if I went somewhere with a more creative feel, perhaps I could be creative and write.

Well, yes, I wrote. But not how I had wanted to all those years ago, when I wondered when I could get out of school, finally, and write my own, based on everything I had learned. School was the fuel for my fire, and now that I am out, I am out of fuel. So, I think that if I get back into my office, dust the shelves and notebooks, perhaps, some of that old feeling will come back and I will be able to create my writings how I had always imagined them to be.

This all comes from the talk by my old Professor Swanson this afternoon. He gave his same lecture about the dyads: how one cannot live without the other, how the masculine needs the feminine, and how mythology really does reflect reality.

Sigh.

I miss that. I got the chills sitting there, listening to him speak again. The Ph.D idea crept back up into my mind, just as it had when I went back to campus a few weeks ago. My reasoning, my real justification of why NOT to do it, no matter how true it is, just couldn’t stamp out the thought. I want to go back, but I just can’t. Not right now.

Craig and I went for a drive in the Wisconsin Dells area yesterday, and my thoughts turned to, Oh Let’s move here… The answer, of course, is… Not now. Not right now, that is.

My adventures are not meant for now. I had some in my youth, and I will have more in the years to come. But as for right now, I have the overwhelming need to be near my family. As for school, I have the overwhelming need to finish something-work, perhaps, family, I don’t know. But I do know that if I go back, there will be major sacrifices to be made. And it will most likely be my job. I’m not ready to give it up, nor am I able to put it in the balance of School/Work/Home, just yet. I’m working on it.

So I suppose the best I can offer myself is the room I had used in school, equipped with books, paper, computer and cat. What more could I need?

My new blog….. All about food…. and you know how much I love food!

If you read my new blog at http://www.myvegandinner.wordpress.com, you’ll see why I started this new blog. If you have read any of my previous blogs here, you’ll also understand why I would do a food blog in first place.

I LOVE FOOD!

I love to cook and I love to eat. I’ve set up a vegan blog (something I am not completely yet, but feel like I am on my way to), an email account (myvegandinner@yahoo.com) a Facebook account (My Vegan Dinner) and a twitter account (@myvegandinner). Come and play!!

This may be something I can do more often, too, than just my weekly addition to my writing blog. (As Craig had asked: I thought you were supposed to be writing!) I am! That’s the coolest thing about it! I will be writing, tho it may not be on my fiction. A dream come true would be to write a cookbook. And, hey, The Pioneer Woman is getting her own show on Food Network…. so….. yeah, we’ll see about that, but for now, we’ll just have a little fun!

This blog may be void of some of the cuisines that I have enjoyed before, I may have to stick in some cheese now and again, but it will be mostly vegan. Hey, if Craig can eat my cooking (with homemade seitan), anyone can eat these recipes!! He raved about the dinner I made tonight and the featured dinner on the new blog. I will also share info on there as I find it, as I do at the library-Oh, I find so much fun stuff, I need to share this! And you need to read it if you are remotely interested in it. (I have the luck of finding really cool info! May be why I became a librarian!!)

Come and play. And eat. And as always, give me feedback!

To be able to honor a mentor is a dream come true…

Before you do anything today, mark on your calendar for Monday, October 24th, 3 p.m., at the WJ Niederkorn Library for a talk on literature by Professor Roy A. Swanson.

Roy Arthur Swanson was a fixture in the Comparative Literature department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since the late 1960s. I came to know him in 1996. I took my first class with him, not realizing a tidal wave was about to wash over me.

I had the original thought of doing a Classics minor with a major in Anthropology, but after that one class, the class I had wanted to take but wouldn’t give me any credits in my Classics minor (but took it anyway), I knew which way I wanted to go.

Over the years I tried to take every class I could with the professor, and when I couldn’t I did an independent study under his care. A minor in Comp Lit evolved into a double major.

When I started my graduate work in the MAFFL department (Masters in Foreign Language and Literature), I knew who I wanted as a guide. Before my first semester was finished, however, I learned that my mentor was going to be leaving. Oh, he’d be around, sharing an office with another retiring Comp Lit professor, Rachel Skalitzky, but he would not be able to be my advisor anymore.

I was bummed.

As luck would have it though, the new professor advisor I was directed to, Professor Kristin Pitt, would be a great move and the start to a good friendship.

It’s been about 8 years since I last saw Professor Swanson. I think of him often, hoping he is well and still kicking in his blue suede shoes. When I saw a posting for his new book, Rain and Darkness, I, first, purchased it, and second, read it. It’s as though I never left his class room.

It’s all there, the same spark I witnessed sitting in his lectures, the constant reminder of the anima and animus-the feminine and masculine-the delicate dance of the light and dark, the duo of chaos and entropy. One cannot exist without the other, and with a touch of irony, I find it everywhere; politics, music, art and literature, every day life, relationships, nature.

I think of other things he taught me too, like how criticism doesn’t have to be negative-rather, criticism is about finding the value in something, the deconstruction of the text or the work, to see what lies below the visible surface and to delve into the inner workings of the piece as a whole, not just a part. He has changed my entire view of literature, and of life. He has influenced my own writings and how I view the world. I know he has no expectations of me, but I hope I can live up to my expectations of him.

Needless to say, I am overly excited to welcome him to my beloved library. To have my mentor here, among the books I love so much, to have him here and talk about his knowledge of literature and language, to have him here so I can finally say, Thank you, Professor Swanson, for showing me what I had been missing and taking me into a world I never knew existed, and perhaps would still not know existed if it hadn’t been for you.

“I’ll get by as long as I have you. Oh there’be rain and darkness, too. Ah, but tears may come to me, that’s true, but what care I, say, I’ll get by, as long as I have you.”*

The library has added Professor Swanson’s new novel, Rain and Darkness to the collection. Also, please visit our Facebook page, under “WJ Niederkorn Library,” where I have added a short video of the man in black.

Monday, October 24th at 3 pm.
At the WJ Niederkorn Library
316 W Grand Ave
Port Washington WI 53074
262-284-5031
http://www.wjnlib.org

*From the song “I’ll Get By” Lyrics by Roy Turk

Life just gets harder the more you live. Get out now, while you still can..

My cat died.

Please don’t say that it’s just a cat.

She was a cat, but she was also a companion, a friend, and something more special to me that I could ever put into words. She’s my girl.

Was. I’m still trying to get used to that.

I picked her and her sister out of several other possibilities at the Pontiac Humane Society in Michigan, just about 13 years ago. I had gone there with my best friend Rowan to pick out a dog for her and her husband. I couldn’t have a dog, between work and a tiny space to live in downtown Detroit. Funny, up until that moment, I really was a dog person. Until that moment when she said “If you want a cat, I’ll pay for it.” I was out of work at the time, but had a little savings, so I thought, “Why not?”

She tried to get me to adopt a Siamese mix cat. It was a hard sell, especially with the trouble she was having with her own Siamese mutt. I looked at every possible cat and kitten, wondering if I was going to find my “soul mate” among the cluttered group. Then I came upon two, very tiny kittens, huddled together. One had their head cocked sideways and the other had their paw up on the cage. They mewed. I was in love.

2 little kittens for the price of one. What a deal.

I had been living in Detroit for a few months, mooching off of some friends when I finally got a place of my own. I had just left my very high stress job, and therefore had none. I had broken up with a guy I really thought would have been something great. I was living in different city, 400 miles away from my family. And I was lonely. Their all of a sudden appearance in my life was a miracle. I loved them more than I ever thought possible. Eventually, I would find a job at a pet store that let the employees post pictures of their pets. Every time I looked at them, my heart ached. It was the first time I had ever felt that kind of love, and to be honest, I haven’t felt that kind of pain since.

We stopped at a pet store before going home to pick up supplies for the lot. She had her dog, a spindly black dog with loads of energy she immediately called “Ruby.” (There are stories of her too, but this is kitten talk today.) We bought a litter box, feed & water bowls, food, some toys and what-not one usually buys for new kittens.

Then I got them home. They were so tiny, I could hold both in one hand. The people at the Humane Society said that they were about 6 weeks old and the last of a litter of 6; the mother, they think, was killed by a car. It was October 2nd, and it would be a while before I tried to calculate their actual birth date as being very close to my own at the end of August. Did I mention something about a soul mate?

As for being so tiny, they were very malnurished. You could feel their tiny little kitty backbones and ribs. I sometimes let them eat off of my plate-chicken and rice-they ate everything. They even liked orange juice, carrots and cherry yogurt. They were thin and scrawny and I loved them so much. My girls…

Two weeks later, I would find that they were also covered in fleas…

Within two days, I had them named. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to tell them a part-they both had the same colouring, and, to new eyes to their faces, the same markings. The first morning I had them, I was awakened to one of them standing on my neck, whacking my forehead with a tiny kitty paw. I opened my eyes to the most wonderful sight I’ve ever seen in my life: a smiling kitten. Oh, she was smiling! The next morning, she did the same thing. She was my “Good Morning” kitty. And being that the only word I knew in Greek was “Good Morning,” she was named Kalimera.

Kali, for short. Or Kali-Ma, Kali-Mookie, Kali-Mookie-Mookie-Ma, Poops, Poopy, Stinky, Kali-Poo, Poo-bear, Kookie, Kookie-Ma, Kookie-Mookie, Kooka, Kookabura, among many, many others.

T.S. Eliot, of Cats fame, wrote that you should give a cat many names so that when the devil comes for it, it will have difficulty finding it. I like that.

I was also planning a trip to Scotland at the time, with large maps sprawled out over my legs-the kittens loved playing with the paper, above and below. I read the towns out loud to my girls, and one of them, the one not named Kalimera, was playing vigorously with the map when I came to the small Scottish town, Bala. She stopped playing, looked at me and meowed. I said it again, “Bala?” She meowed again. “Bala!” She meowed and went on to play.

Bala has no short name, but she does have the T.S. Eliot nicknames: Boo, Boo-boo, Bala-Boo, Boo-bie, Boo-gie, Booger, Bubs, Bubsie, Bug, Boo-La, and many, many others.

My girls were named, now I just had to remember which one was which. They were both tortishells. Bala has a half black/half cream colored chin. Kali has a red spot on her forehead. I go on, over the years, to get them mixed up, I even wonder if I named the right ones, but the names stuck, and appropriately.

Bala is the lover, Kali is the mama’s girl.

Bala loved everyone! Strangers who would come to visit suddenly became her best friend. With me, sure, I would say she loves me. But not as much as she loves Craig. She loves her Craigie! Kali, on the other hand, was always by my side. In the kitchen, she would sit and watch me. She is the only one, was the only one who would let me come up to her and kiss her head without thinking “AH! She’s coming to kill me!” and run away. She knew me. I knew her. She was, is my soul mate.

Every morning I would say, “Kalimera, Kalimera!” “Good morning, Good morning!”

Kalimera is the one who passed away. Her body went through some noticeable changes over the last few months, noticeable in the way that I never noticed it until after the fact. The biggest noticeable change what that she lost most of her hair. It happened the day Craig and I went with my sister to see the last last Harry Potter movie. I remember sitting there, watching the movie, crying over the story and thinking of my cat whose hair was falling out by the handful at home. I cried hard.

After a few days, I took her to the vet. I didn’t want to think she was sick, let alone had anything serious because of the hair thing. Not my cat. Not my Kalimera. But they couldn’t tell what she had exactly. Her billirubin count was very high. Her skin was raw and itchy. Her hair was still falling out. She still ate and she still used the litter box. She stilled meowed at me. She fought me when I gave her her pills, and watched me break down when it all got too much. My tears fell on that little red spot on her head. She never moved, like she was trying to comfort me. I’m not surprised. She was the one who came running when I called for her, if I was sad or sick; she was always there. Sometimes, if I sang without music, she would purr and meow at me, get up to my face and sniff my forehead. I would tell her that I’m ok. She has seen me cry so often, wail so often, I wonder if she thought the two were the same.

It came to the point when I had to put her down. She wasn’t getting better, and she wouldn’t be getting better. The vets think she had cancer. She had stopped eating and peed only when I moved her. (Thank goodness for Urine Off.) She didn’t look good, either. She would sit hunched, uncomfortable like. She even got up to walk away from me when I was trying to pet her naked chin. I wondered what she meant. She knew I would never let her go alone, though I told her it was ok if she went, that I understood, even though, secretly, I would rather she didn’t. But I would have preferred that she went on her terms, not mine.

I had this feeling like I needed to do it now, to not drag it out, to give her my blessing and my love and send her on her way. I could have dragged it out, but she would have stayed miserable. I held her one last time, but she gave a pathetic meow and I let her go. I was sitting on the couch at the vet’s office, waiting out our final time together. She jumped down with her thin and wobbly legs. Her back was to me as she sat on the rug. But then she turned around, as if to say, “Oh Hi! I didn’t see you there…”

She couldn’t jump up, so I helped her back onto the couch and she sat next to me. The dent I made in the cushion kind of let her fall into me. She laid next me, something she had never done before. She slept with me often, but she never just sat next to me if I was watching t.v. or the like. I rubbed her neck and talked to her. And then the vet came in. “I could sit like this forever,” I told him. No lie.

As she left this world, I held her, I said, “Kalinihta, Kalimera.” “Good night, Good morning.”

I brought her ashes home yesterday. I thought I would feel better doing so, you know, I would finally be able to bring her home. But I feel worse, like she died again, and again every time I see the box with little paw prints on it. It doesn’t help that my other two cats, Bala and Herman,who joined the family six months after I got the girls, are fighting to the death. Bala came close to death 6 years ago, sending her into a “I vant to be alone” phase. Well, phases end. I was hoping it would be a phase, but this isn’t ending.

So, the sisters separated and Herman,who had been Kali’s main companion for the last 6 years, was left in the middle of it all. He’s a sweet boy, and I know he misses his Kali, but Bala has become territorial of the part of the house Herman now wishes to visit, usually the part where we sit. It’s obvious he doesn’t “vant to be alone.” I wish they could get along. I want him near me as much as he wants to be near me. It rips my heart to hear them fight.

It’s the simple things that rip my heart, lately. So far, the cuts I have suffered have been constantly ripped open, like a finger stuck in the wound. I wonder if it will ever heal.

I miss her so much.

Much of the hair that she lost is still in her room, the room she kept with Herman, my office. I went in there, thinking I could clean it up, throw out the remnants of a little life, gone. I held her hair, and shook. My body felt like it went into shock and I had to leave it there. It’s still there. If I can gather the courage, I will save some of her hair, perhaps put it somewhere safe so that she’ll always be with me. But the fact that she is not, that she died in my arms, and somehow, it just doesn’t seem to be real, even though I know very well how real it is. She’s never coming back. I’ve lost my little girl, my little kitten, my little soul.

There never will be another good morning in my life.

(My post Working From Home has a picture of me and the Kooksters.)

Literary Impressions

Wow. It’s really is beautiful outside, even though the temperature is 91 degrees. The humidity, however, doesn’t seem to be all that horrible. That’s what gets me, and many many others; the humidity. When my hands start to hurt is the time I complain about the weather. When they don’t hurt, I’m fine. In fact, I’ll share a little secret with you, that’s the subject of my next tattoo.

“Sometimes I think it’s a shame when I’m feeling better when I’m feeling no pain.”

It’s a line from “Sundown” by Gordon Lightfoot; yes the guy who sings “The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald.”

It’s been a long and difficult time deciding on my next tattoo, of which I will be getting at our local tattoo parlor, Homeward Bound.

Some of my other tattoos are just tattoos. I will continue to get the tattoos that mean something to me. The Firebird was the one that meant the most to me, an honor tattoo for my niece who was killed a car crash 4 1/2 years ago, but this new one is more personal. It will remind me of me, of the things I have gone through, medically speaking, and how it has lead me to where I am now.

It also has a literary reference which I will share with you.

Hunter S. Thompson is one of my favorite authors. I contemplated getting a tattoo of one of his quotes, but it seems that every HST fan has one. I like to be different. After his death, many magazines reprinted interviews with him or articles that he had recently written.

One such article in Rolling Stone, a frequent employer of the writer, ran an interview in which HST was talking about his own health issues. He mentioned a line to a song, that song-which at the time I couldn’t place, but it sounded familiar.

It was 6 am. I was driving to work, shifting in my seat, trying to take the pressure off my back so I could at least drive to work before the pain became too severe for me to carry out the day. It was then that I heard the song on the radio and realized the connection.

A favorite song of mine in the past, I cursed myself for not recognizing it sooner. But there it was, and there it will forever stay in my mind.

On the days I have pain, I don’t think of this song. It’s not until the pain subsides is when it creeps in, reminding me of how true it is.

HST had constant pain even through multiple surgeries. His pain never alleviated. Mine subsided, though other things have crept up since my back surgery. I won’t bore you with that history, but just to say, I feel better when I feel no pain.

What a shame.

Sunrise over Lake Michigan, a sight I used to see coming home…

I really would get a lot of things done if I didn’t need sleep.

Take this morning, for example. I was forced to get up early (3:45 am) to take a friend to the airport- ok, so I insisted, but we were still forced due to the plane reservation. I left the airport around 6 am and drove along the lake for a while (Lake Michigan for those of you who don’t know where the Milwaukee Airport is…) and I watched the sun rise over the massive lake, hidden behind clouds, enjoying the fact there was NO ONE on the road. I drove around, looking at the houses and actually feeling inspired to write.

I decided to stay in the area because I have a baby shower to attend at 11 am just a few blocks away, but in order to do so I needed to find Coffee. 6 am is a little early for shops to open on a Sunday, but I found one that opened at 7, so I sat outside for a while to wait. What a cool place to be, downtown Milwaukee. Ok, so I’m not in Downtown proper, but the Alterra shop is near the new lofts in the Third Ward. And the weather is beautiful yet, that nice cool breeze before the sun fully emerges and the warmth of the afternoon starts to bake us to the asphalt.

So, I have my coffee. I even have some food to eat, which I am munching on slowly, albeit faithfully. And I am trying to write, but I keep nodding. Not falling asleep, exactly, but drooping. I look at the clock and think that I can fit a little car nap in before the party, but I am not one who wakes up well from naps. I’m better off trudging through the pain of being awake. Mind you, I am tired. I’m going to be going to bed at 3 in the afternoon and not waking up until I have to go to work tomorrow. Really, I will. No, I won’t. Yes, I will. Oh shut up, you will not.

I talk to myself, rather argue with myself, when I am exhausted, which is actually quite often.

What was I saying?

Oh yeah, productive if I didn’t need sleep. It’s not that I hate mornings, I just hate having to be awake. Period. I like mornings fine, just as much as I like the night time, but having to wake up at all just really pisses me off. Doesn’t matter if I wake up in the afternoon or evening, I would be awake and I would hate that fact. But being awake is different, tho, I suppose, than waking up. It’s the “waking up” part of being awake that I really really hate.

The time ticks on, shortening my chance for a little car nap. Should I or shouldn’t I? I keep thinking I can do it, I can stay awake until I get home. I bribe myself with the promise of a future nap, but I am very skeptical of my promises. I have promised myself many things in the past and have rarely followed through.

Have you ever been so tired that your cells start to shake? My hands don’t shake, per se, but rather the cells that make up the muscles and skin shake. My arms too. Sometimes my legs will, too, just shake like they are trying to keep themselves awake by, well, shaking.

But just think- if I wasn’t so tired right now, I would be getting a lot of writing done. I have the time, I have the laptop, I have the coffee shop, I just don’t have me! I am not here. I am half asleep and will stay that way until I fall totally asleep. I did manage to write down some ideas, some notes, but as for actual work, real worthy work on the novels, bah. It’s not going to happen. I’m better off ranting on a blog than really writing anything of worth or value.

Or Tweeting. Or playing on Facebook. Or checking my email.

No one else is up at this hour.

I wouldn’t be either, which is unfortunate. It really is too bad that I need so much sleep. I could have gotten a lot of writing done and be that much closer to actually being done………..

Idlewilde, getting back to the prodigal child…

One of the things my friend/editor suggested was an introduction. I had one, but I deleted it. I did, however, write another one. Tho this one does not give as much detail as the first one, it gives a little insight on the more important aspect of the novel: Kat. I never thought about that angle. Of course, it always helps to have another pair of eyes to look over that you can’t already see, mainly because the sight is so saturated that it is hard to separate what you physically see with your eyes and what you see with your imagination. It’s odd how much the two can get confused. Or rather, infused. Taking her suggestions to heart, I can see her point of view. Some of the ideas that I like to include, like shock, bewilderment, and a little “WHA??” may have to be toned down. Perhaps those are the aspects I can bring back in full force after my ten book deal goes through. I can dream, right?

The suggestion also specified that I should tie her in with the little girl in the story that goes missing. (Don’t worry, I’m giving anything away that you won’t learn in the first chapter, also posted under Idlewilde, above.) I think this connection has a deeper meaning than I realized. The lost girl at 19, vs the lost girl at 9. How does this connect with Molly’s job, her emotional investment? Rounding out all these sharp corners will be difficult, but I think I can do it. I’ve become a little blinded by all the thoughts in front of my eyes, but maybe after being away from it for a while, some of that has calmed down.

For this reason, as well, I will be taking some time off of work. Besides having so many vacation hours to use, I need to get this on the track and have it sent off where it can finally come to its fate, its destination.

And yes, I looked into self publishing, but I am ignoring the promise I made to myself- if I can’t go through the traditional pubs, THEN I would do self pub. It’s the path I would prefer, so why I’m trying to deviate is beyond me. Tension, perhaps. Fear…

So I wrote a page. It’s not the end all, rather the start of it all. I would, actually, like feedback if you can. Tweet me, Facebook me, respond to the blog. All thoughts are welcome. Thanks in advance…

55 degrees and cloudy in June

I am NOT complaining about the weather, but I will complain about the air conditioning. Yesterday it was in the 90s and the air at work was on full blast. I started to shiver.

I would have been warmer in winter.

Today is nice, tho. It’s rainy and dreary and, well, let’s face it, perfect for me. Doom and gloom, that’s me! And loving every minute of it. I love being wrapped up in my comfy sweater, but I’m at the coffee shop, not at work. I can relax and be comfortable here. At the library, I need to be on my feet when a patron calls, which means I am constantly on my feet-and, no, I wasn’t able to warm up with all the moving around.

I don’t like having to go out into 90 degree weather just to warm up. Things should be regulated! So, yes! I am complaining about the artificial weather!

But the coffee is warm, and the rain is outside. I just wish I was able to stay in bed yesterday when the thunder started booming. It’s like plugging in for me, recharging. Lightning energizes the air I breathe. I am transformed.

So what will I write about today? I will write about the fact that I love Thursdays. I especially love gloomy Thursdays. Never mind that I have to make my appointments with doctors and specialists on Thursdays, it’s MY day. It’s my day away from everyone, and everything. Besides the few hours I have to give someone else for my own benefit, I can do what I want. I can sleep in, I can go to the coffee shop and write. I don’t have to wish for rain on Thursdays. Every Thursday, it rains just for me. (See previous post…)

Last week when I was on vacation, I realized how much Thursdays mean to me. I wasn’t able to have MY Thursday. Mind you, I felt like leaving Craig at the camper and just hang out at the coffee shop to write, but I didn’t. And as much as I love hanging out with Craig, it just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t really Thursday to me. I’m sure if I asked him if I could go and have my Thursday, he wouldn’t have minded-too much. But I chose not to. Now I know, that I have to. I have to take my Thursdays. Like the lightning, it refreshes me, recharges me, rejuvenates me. I feel more like myself, the self I have to oppress at the library. I’m still amazed at how one does that. I don’t do that very well. My mouth always gets me into trouble!

Here I can be mouthy and I don’t give a crap at what anyone thinks about it. And you know what? I like being mouthy. As a kid I was so painfully shy that it really was, physically painful. I couldn’t open my mouth. Up until just a few years ago I shook if I had to speak in public. Now, I shake a little, but not as much. I can usually rely on my mouth to get a laugh out of someone, and that makes me happy like you wouldn’t believe. If I can’t make someone laugh, or at least smile, I know I’ve fucked up.

I suppose that’s why writing is important to me as well. I can write down what my mouth would like to say but can’t. So I blog it. And if you like it, awesome. And if you don’t, suck it, bitches!