We started off, at five weeks old, with this:
At one year old, we have this:
She’s destructive, yet affectionate. She’s hard-headed, yet so damned smart. She’s frustrating, and yet I couldn’t imagine life without her.
Happy Birthday, Lily.
We started off, at five weeks old, with this:
At one year old, we have this:
She’s destructive, yet affectionate. She’s hard-headed, yet so damned smart. She’s frustrating, and yet I couldn’t imagine life without her.
Happy Birthday, Lily.
As mentioned here, I have Mother’s Day “off” in the sense that I’m being left alone by my kiddo, and my husband, to write. The dog is even in the backyard and not on the bed beside me. But, I’m not writing. I’m playing with a penny. A brand new, bright and shiny, 2013 penny. I briefly wondered when they started putting shields on the back instead of the Lincoln Memorial, then I couldn’t remember if it even was the Lincoln Memorial and I had to resist Googling that shit.
The reason I have this penny is because I’ve been stressing myself to death and I’m tired of that feeling. Timely enough, I saw a meme on Facebook.
When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you, but because in that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you were hoping for.
I actually had
eleventy-billion several things to choose between, but because I don’t know where my d20 are anymore (I bet I could find them), I spent the last week or so whittling down those choices, wondering if I could live with them or not, until I was faced with only two. That was hard, whittling shit down, but made easier because of this thing that Lily wrote on fear-Lily was on vacation when she wrote that. I emailed her and told her to get of my head, she refused-and this video and the whole post that went with it.
Now, I’m staring at this coin and wondering if I really do have to make the choice between two things, because a third could be awesome, too–but really, the third is a part of thing one.
In case you haven’t gathered, I’m debating my next book. Again.
I know, I know, I’ve started The World Below already, the bones are in place, and it would be “easy” to dive in… if it weren’t for the whole fear thing. I have no idea what paralyzes me so about that book, but it does. My OCD wants it finished first, my OCD wants my Faerie book done after that, but… my muse, and my sanity, are calling me elsewhere. That’s a tough battle right there. It’s more a war of the two worlds–the two people–in my head; one who lives in my long loved and adopted New Orleans, and the other who lives way up in the mountains of North Carolina. One that’s afraid to briefly (relatively) part with New Orleans and embrace the boondocks, the other that’s screaming, “DAMMIT! Let’s go!” for various reasons, not the least of which is that I’ve never seen anything like it done before. Now watch me find fifteen billion books of the same ilk–my luck.
See, I have a series plan that I’m fairly certain I may have only mentioned in passing on this blog. It’s based in the North Carolina mountains and involves Indians native to the region, and Bigfoot. I have a general idea for the thing, that’s it, but what’s solid are the titles of two books. No, I will not tell you because teh awesome would probably make you spontaneously combust and I won’t have that on my conscious. They are that bad ass.
The coin is in the air.
I’m not even going to look at which side it landed on, because it doesn’t matter. It’s been mentally in the air since like last Monday-Tuesday, whenever Blake’s team sang Boondocks. And when I was reminded that even talking about something gives it power, especially when it has already been given a name.
Yanno what? *BAM* I have not yet been rejected on Ordinary World. For all I know, it’s a trunker, but someone important has it and they haven’t said no, so it must have some merit. If they say yes to OW, I’ll can always hop off the mountain and finish The World Below. I can still throw OW to other people while writing… you thought I was gonna say it, huh huh? No. Why that’s been so hard for me to consider when plenty of people skip around on projects? Because I’m writer and we’re all inherently bonkers.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have research to do, cereal to eat at noon, and an email to write.
And country music to listen to. *shhh*
How did I start my Mother’s Day? I dropped an eight foot, hundred-and-whatever pound railroad tie on my foot. Well, it actually hit the top of my thigh, slid down my shin, my ankle, bounced on the top of my foot, made a twist and then dropped, smushing my big toe. Crafty suckers, they are. They have a mind of their own, and you know what I mean if you’ve ever handled them.
Top o’the mornin’ to ya!
Last year on Mother’s Day I wrote this post about forgiveness and the gods adding aroma to diapers. It was about me, yeah, but it was mostly for Katy. Little did I know Katy found out that day that she was pregnant. I have never cried so hard and with so much joy to learn someone was going to have a baby. I cried again when she said it was not a baby, but twins. I cried harder still the day Hall and Oates came into the world and we got to see those babies. OMG, those babies. It should be illegal to be so damned beautiful.
Katy’s been on her end of the mom journey with dueling diapers and spit-up for a few months now, while I’m way over here at the part where my daughter is over twenty-one and in college. I don’t have to worry about diapers, but I still buy the child clothes. I don’t have to worry about breastfeeding, but I still grab the child her favorite drinks. I don’t have to worry about babies rolling off the bed, but I do worry about her Facebook posts that tell me she’s at a bar downtown on a Friday night. I’ll reply, “Really??” and she’ll say, “Sorry, mom!” Not because I mind that she’s at a bar, and not because she’s got anything to apologize about. She knows I will worry–so she really shouldn’t broadcast to the crazy mom that she’s out at a bar–not about her actions so much as about other people’s actions. She’s got good sense in her head, I worry about the idiots that don’t. I don’t have to wonder what the hell the next gurgle means–is it a colossal shit, a happy thing, or just gas? We are, my daughter and I, in a different place in the journey. No less laughter and worries, just different ones.
I had more to say, but while I’m writing this I get a text message from her. She has impeccable timing. Impeccable, I say.
Kiddo: Did u wanna do anything for Mother’s Day? Or did u want me to just leave you alone to write? lol Figured you never get a day with no interruptions to write, so that could be my Mother’s Day gift (: other than the awesome Pandora bracelet I gave you two months early. lol
I say: haha I dunno. Up to you. I’m blogging right now, so I dunno how much writing I’ll get done.
Kiddo: We should do our Mother’s Day tomorrow. (: We can watch The Voice and hang out. Sound good? I’m always a fan of nontraditional Mother’s Days. haha
I smile and type: I love you. That works just fine.
Kiddo: Love you, too (:
Notice, she only used “u” a few times. Can a mom be proud that her kid doesn’t use text-speak as a first language? You-fuckin-betcha.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there, but especially to Katy. It’s things like that up there that you have to look forward to.
Ain’t it grand?
Notice I said ‘red’. You will know what the word is; don’t make me type it.
On my about page you will find me referring to my “ridiculous combination accent of North Carolina Sandhills and Georgia Red Clay drawls.” People that don’t know me very well confuse my current accent with something closer to Louisiana born and bred, and I totally understand why–the whole New Orleans thing and the fact that I have, over the years, worked very hard to curb that twangy bitch down and make it sound like something it’s not.
When I first arrived in Georgia I was five years old and I’d spent most of the first five years of my life on a farm with pretty much nothing.
Lemme tell you a few things about that farm in North Carolina.
The house was so old it had no bathroom at all. Seriously, there was physically no bathroom. Which meant no toilet, obviously, but also no bathtub/shower/sink. The kitchen had no plumbing whatsoever despite having a full size kitchen sink (My gramma said she wanted a damned sink. She shoved it into the hole she cut in the counter, plugged the hole and used it). We had a well, one of those with a crank and a bucket. My cousin, one year younger, and I bathed in a kiddie pool beside the well (*BRR* because that water was COLD) in the summer. I’ll admit I don’t remember what the hell we did in the winter besides freeze because we had oil for heat and it was a creaky old farmhouse. Yeah, we had electricity (don’t get all crazy). If we needed to go to the bathroom, we were screwed, winter or summer… and I’ll leave it at that. You’re welcome.
\scene – pertinent to this blog post
Coworker comes in and asks, “Are you all right?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Why?”
“You’re listening to country.”
/scene – yes, I was writing this at work, and this will make sense soon
But what we did have was a working farm. I remember snapping beans and picking corn, and eating cornbread and buttermilk with a spoon out of a glass. There was a large chicken barn, not a coop–a barn, long and narrow. There were two ponds, an apple and apricot orchard, pigs, cows, guineas, and even crawfish in the stream along the road. At night I played with stacks of pennies or sewed doll clothes (yes, at that age) on the living room floor while the Grand Ol’ Opry or The Lawrence Welk Show played on the black and white tv. The tv had one channel and a crooked set of rabbit-ears.
We had the… weirdest neighbors about five/six miles down the road. They had one room of their house entirely filled with clothes, as in ceiling to floor in one huge pile, and they were even more broke than we were. Our place was a freaking mansion in comparison. Of course, their weirdness drew me and the kids and I became best friends. My cousin? We’d encourage him to pee on the electric fence. It worked. Once. I fed dead flies to my cousin because I could and he liked it. Ask him. Hey, we lived in the middle of nowhere. We were bored.
There was a one-eighth of a mile gravel driveway to get to the house. Redbugs lived in the grass, so I was told not to pick the Queen Anne’s Lace that grew wild along the edges of the drive lest I get “‘et up.” There were lilac trees and a field of daffodils. (I later learned that my grandmother would buy a handful of bulbs every year and had planted that whole field herself.) Our farmhouse had some kind of siding that was almost like tar shingles, but it was embedded with tiny glittery stones that made it magical. Directly across the dirt road was an old two-story plantation house complete with the Gone With The Wind columns across the front. Mr. Marshall lived there and he was about as old as the house, I swear. (I feel blessed now that I was allowed to play among his giant oaks, because back then, faeries lived there.) We had peacocks that made the most fucked up noises in the middle of the night. We had legends of Bigfoot and ghosts in them there hills… and you can bet your ass I believed them. And I loved it.
Then I moved to Georgia with my mother.
Let me assure you that I’d seen a toilet before then, because we did have friends and family that had one, and I did live with my mother in a trailer, and an apartment in Charlotte, for a few months along the way. But still. That farmhouse was ninety-nine percent of what I knew. The only thing I really took to Georgia with me was a doll and my accent.
It was a bit of a culture shock to have a paved drivey-way (yes, that was on purpose) and roads with actual asphalt. Going to the grocery store (which in NC had been rare) no longer took an hour’s drive and we could wash and dry clothes at the house with our own machines instead of a tub and a washboard and a clothes line–or the occasional luxury of the laundromat near the grocery. And the tv? It had like six channels. It was the life of freaking luxury as far as my five-year-old mind was concerned.
I’d been here a few years when my elementary school had a car wash to raise funds for whatever because that’s what we do. That’s when it happened. My accent was still so thick I said warsh instead of wash. In front of a cute boy. Who called me on it. Imagine this–someone from Georgia, with that drawl of theirs, telling me I sounded like a dumb hick. That’s how thick my accent was.
From that minute forward, I was determined never to sound like a hick again. To never say anything with that twang again. To learn proper English. To fill my brain with whatever knowledge I could so I wouldn’t ever sound “dumb.” To never, ever, own up to being born and, mostly, raised in Bum-Fuck-Egypt, in the fucking *boondocks.
With every visit back home my cousin would say I was turning more and more into a city mouse, as in the The Country Mouse and The City Mouse. We’d still ride dirt bikes and get into general no-good, and as we got older hide in the tobacco barn with friends and drink wine coolers, but I was no longer the same and it wasn’t just the loss of the accent. I knew it, and he certainly knew it. My cousin still lives up there, but I rarely see or speak to him anymore, even if he did walk me down the aisle at my wedding seven years ago. I feel his loss and the loss of that farm, I truly do, in many ways, no matter how often I’ve denied that I do.
My husband and I have a thing about the tv show The Voice. The other night Blake Shelton’s team got together and sang this song. ((Go listen. I’ll wait, ’cause I’ve forgotten how to embed videos into the blog. *eyeroll*))
I feel no shame
I’m proud of where I came from
I was born and raised in the boondocks
One thing I know
No matter where I go
I keep my heart and soul in the boondocks
I fell in love with the song. I’m talking hardcore, play it over and over in love… and felt like such a hypocrite as I sat there singing along. Kinda like I felt when my co-worker walked in just a few ago and looked at me like I was nuts because I was listening to country music. He doesn’t know me any other way than how he knows me–not many people do, and none of that involves country music or a backwoods drawl. Sometimes, I let the old accent fly around the very few people with which I am the most comfortable. The rest, they get one I’ve honed so well.
So, here’s my confession:
The accent you hear now was once much, much worse. I can turn it on and off at will.
Truth is, I was born just down the road from 818 State Road 1546 in Pittsboro, North Carolina, in a little bitty doctor’s office that’s now a veterinary clinic.
Today, I’m owning it, and loving it: I was born and (mostly) raised in the boondocks.
And we will never mention this again, m’kay?
This blog will be neither cute nor funny because I’m about to leave the house. Again. No, I can’t seem to stay home lately (I went rock-hounding yesterday).
I saved this blog from the other day because it was funny and, duh, I’m working on my second novel and it’s been going quite shittily, thanks. I think I’m the world’s busiest person who has nothing to show for shit, so I asked myself if I am, in fact, just busy, or if I’m shifting blame and I’m actually afraid of my second novel.
do you know me at all?
But then again… as that blog said…
You let the doubt creep in; I know it. You’re afraid of giving your heart to a second story without feeling secure about the first. And you’re terrified of the time, the years that you’ll be investing in another novel that may never… that may never ever…
Well, yeah, there is that. This writing shit ain’t no joke–I’ll resist the urge to go off on a tangent.
But, no, I’m not afraid of it. It may have been confusing and frustrating the pure hell out of me for months now, but I’m not afraid of it because, as of last Thursday, it has a title.
You know how I feel about putting a name to things–and if you don’t, go read here. Call me fae, but I believe words have power and you should take care throwing them around, especially when naming a thing–if you give a thing a name, you give that thing power. I named it. I gave it power, but in giving it a name I also gave it direction, which was something it was sorely lacking.
For months, I kept staring at my Scrivener board and wondering what the hell the book was about? I knew, for the most part, what was going to happen, but that’s the mechanics; the outline plus a few thousand words. It was too busy, too much going on, too many people that I know are there, but for the sake of this story do they need to be? What is this thing about? So! I’m driving the Magic Bus (that’s my van, where I do my best plotting) to work and the gods do love to give me inspiration over the radio. Yanno, the whole clouds-part, angels-sing deal.
The first book’s title, An Ordinary World, was inspired by this:
An Ordinary World~Duran Duran
Pretty much the whole damned song was involved in naming OW. All Lien wanted was an ordinary world and look what he got.
Well, no, you can’t. Yet. Sorry. Unless you’re an agent or a publisher! Then, gimmie a call! Be glad to show ya!
For book two, we only rely on the chorus of this… until I’ve had a chance to listen to it a billion times and my head makes what it makes of it:
The World I Know~Collective Soul
So, I walked upon high
and I stepped to the edge
to see my world below.
And I laughed at myself
while the tears rolled down
cause it’s the world I know,
oh, it’s the world I know.
I have a title for book two:
The World Below
It works. Gods, it so works. And it sent the delete key flying in Scrivener, big time. I imagined that guy on the purple paint commercial, waving his hand and two or three shades of purple would wander off left, then two or three purrrples would wander off right, until the gal was left smiling like a loon with that one perfect shade.
I also have a solid idea on the title for book three from the same song. Wouldn’t that be a novel idea? Having a title before it even starts? Now if I can just fix the lock on my office door so it stays closed when I close it, I’ll be great.
I told you. Neither cute, nor funny, just me being weird. Shuffle up, Buttercup, and deal, because, I promise you, I don’t get any more sane as this goes on.
I kinda’ understand why my husband doesn’t like to take me shopping. On second thought, no I really don’t, because I think it’s amusing as hell.
See, I hate shopping. It’s boring, for one, but for two I simply do not have the time or patience to wander aimlessly through a store, so I always go in with a plan: get in, get what you need, get the hell out. Ok, unless we’re talking a bookstore–then I’ve got forever and you just better deal because I’m not rushing for anyone.
It’s pond season and after last year’s disaster we’re having to start some things from scratch, which means we had to go to the only store in the area that deals with large ponds. Of course, being Sunday they were still closed. We had twenty minutes to kill and needed shampoo and whatnot at the dollar store. Lemme tell ya, I saw fear in my husband’s eyes when I suggested we go there to kill time waiting for the pond store to open.
I like shopping with him because he shops for serious and I get to play with everything in sight.
So, I pick up this squishy thing that’s long and, well, squishy, and has tentacles coming off it with these huge googly eyes. And I wave it at him.
“No, this is cool.”
I love squishies. I have no idea what you really call them, but I love them and I will stand there and play with the whole box if I’m allowed. Balls, tubes, whatever, I love squishies. And I don’t own a single one. I debate and debate, and always put them back. No sooner had I put that thing back on the shelf when my eyes beheld the ultimate squishy of all squishies in the known universe. It was an alien–omg, I love aliens–with hands and a tongue sticking out and one huge eyeball and ohmygodsImusthavethissquishy.
But I put him back.
And paced around the store.
And found the bargain book section.
Pay close attention now, because this is how my mind works.
Earlier, I found a ten dollar bill in my wallet that I had no idea I even had, so I’m already ten dollars to the good. Found money. That’s almost as good as laundry money, right? So, I’m flipping through the books and see a few names I know, which is unusual, so I keep digging and ohmygodsIfoundtwobooksthatImusthave! Like I need more, right? But I WILL HAVE THESE BOOKS, so I find the hubs, who I suspect is hiding from me. He sees the books, but says nothing because they’re books and not a squishy.
I’m thinking… the books are a buck each–big score–and I have ten dollars. But I can’t just… take two books up to the register with a ten dollar bill when that squishy is sitting over there on that shelf and he’s lonely because he’s the only squishy-alien and he needs me.
Again, I saw it in my husband’s eyes, and he must have seen it mine, too, because then he said, “No, seriously?”
He got what he needed, I got my two books and my Squishy. With my ten dollars, dammit! And I even got change. So, there.
It gets better, I promise.
We get in the truck and hubs asks me what books I got.
I showed him.
He shook his head.
I said, “I know, hun. I am so damned weird.”
I am not a computer/internet noob. I slept through 99% of my high school computer classes because they bored me to death–that was 1986, I ain’t ashamed. I bought my first home computer in 1994, and I’ve had the same personal email address, and password, since… 1994.
A few days ago I kept getting these idiotic bounce notices, the majority of them with the subject line “DUDE! I can’t believe this is your SISTER!”
Normally, that would send off alarm bells, but life decided to try and drown me for the last two weeks so I ignored them, swearing I’d sit down and resolve shit when life let go of me for five minutes. And, stupidly, I did ignore them… until I emailed a nudge to a publisher on Thursday and I woke up Friday unable to check my email.
My secondary worked just fine, but not my main. If the publisher responded, how the hell would I know?
So, I changed the password. I would have rather pulled my nails out by the roots, but I changed my password.
Glory! That fixed it! Thumbs up, right?
Come Saturday morning, not only is the main down again, but so is the secondary.
I call my provider and get someone in some country who not only has a horrid accent, but speaks so softly a butterfly fart would be louder.
He told me I had changed my password three times.
“Until it stopped working, no, I had not changed it at all. I changed it once. Now the other one isn’t working and I haven’t changed anything on that one at all.”
He asked me if such-n-such was my password?
Again, I was told I had changed my password.
He blamed me.
Back and forth.
For an hour.
And I was this close…
…to telling them where to go–to throwing away twenty years of my beloved email address.
Until! The guy finds a memo.
They shut my account down because it had been hacked.
The provider had been the one who changed my passwords. The same passwords the accounts have always had. Six characters, all lower case. So simple.
Gone because I was hacked.
Now my passwords have a capital letter, eighteen characters, and require a virgin sacrifice every time I have to type the fuckers in.
Dude. I hope it really was your sister.
the spice the words just don’t flow.
I spent four and a half hours yesterday, door closed, outside world cut off, working on an anthology piece and only added about nine-hundred words. That’s not a bad word count, but I grumbled when I was done, anyway. The problem I’m having with this is I don’t do small. I only know how to write big–as in way the hell over 10k stories, or ongoing series that never, ever end. The other problem I have is I can’t seem to write outside the all-consuming universes that already exist in my head and come up with something different for this anthology, so I’m not even sure I can/should use what I’ve managed to bleed out. But I digress from the point of today’s blog.
At the end of the afternoon I found myself curled in bed, eating a box of peanut M&M’s (way to go, diet!) and watching Pride & Prejudice with Lily-dog at my feet. I saw an opportunity and grabbed it, because the hubs would rather pull his toenails out than watch that movie with me for the millionth time and he was outside. He did eventually come in the room and roll his eyes. I dashed off for food during a commercial and came back apparently all wide eyed–because I was peeking around the side of the screen as I came in to make sure I’d catch the scene where Lizzie lays into Lady Catherine’s ass–and I say apparently because the hubs told me so.
Damn right I wanted to catch it. That’s a great scene. But he commented that I knew every line by now, so why was I rushing back?
“Because I don’t own the movie. That’s why I watch it every time it comes on.”
I think he’d have told me to buy it, but then he might be subjected to watching it more. Yes, I do know how his mind works, but it made me think about all the other movies I watch over and over, each time I catch them on tv. I do it because I don’t own them… and they’re my favorite movies… and why the hell don’t I own them?
I don’t own them.
Oh, I have IWTV on VHS as I bought it the day it came out, but my VHS player died many years ago. So, why don’t I just go buy the damned movies? If I did, I could just pop them in any time (he’s not around *ahem*), but I think I don’t buy them because randomly catching them on tv seems to make the moment more magical–a moment that needs to be seized and relished. I own Lost Boys and Rocky Horror Picture Show (my kiddo bought me that one! I love her!)… and never watch them. The cases are covered with dust.
I also noticed a theme in my favorite movies. Half are quirky or about vampires, the other half full of regency, and history, and royalty. Oh, yeah, and I do own the tv series The Tudors, as well. Yeah, definite theme. I suppose that’s where my fae universe came from–a collision of my taste for fantasy and my
fetish taste for regency and Tudor royalty. Maybe they should be the ones with my attention right now? Hmm. Food for thought.
Is it weird that I don’t own my favorite movies, or is this just the way I best enjoy them? Anyone else do this, or am I alone in this quirk?
He’s not home this morning. I betcha P&P is available on demand right now.
That happens a lot, eh? It’s only happening this weekend because I’ve spent most of it out of the house.
Yeah, I know, don’t everyone pass out at once.
I spent a healthy part of my day, yesterday, here:
The mill in the background is the same mill the husband and I explored on Halloween. He had to go into work yesterday and lucky me grabbed the camera and went with him. No big deal, he was just going to check something.
Then we found ourselves invited on the boat tour of the canal. They have longer ones, but we caught the one that only takes an hour.
WordPress would probably lock my account down if I put up all 134 pictures I took, but I’ll give you two more real quick.
Once you get past the mill district, the view changes. The houses and buildings disappear and nature takes over. Unfortunately, we turned around at this bridge, otherwise it would have been…
wait for it…
a three hour tour.
I have come to love that canal and when Bobby wakes up today, we’re going back. This time, we’re taking Lily-dog and walking the tow path. What’s a tow path?
Just kidding. Go here.
But wait! One last photo because this just… intrigues me.
This is what’s left of the gates of a hydro-electric generator. That means there once was a mill here, possibly one as large as the other jewels of the canal.
This is too hard to pass up. I wanna know what happened to it. I will find out.
See you guys in a bit.