Worries By Moonlight

moonlightIt is roughly 4:30 in the morning where I am right now. I have an alarm set to wake me up at 8:15. No, I am not sleep typing and I didn’t write this in advance and set it to post at dark thirty.

I am awake even though I don’t want to be. I imagine I will want to be awake even less around 8:15. I took a sleep aid, a warm shower, and read The Hobbit to my son for two hours. He fell asleep but I didn’t. I can seem to turn my brain off.

barrel-373040_1280I close my eyes and imagine barrels, heavy laden with dwarves, bobbing down a cold river and then my brain shifts to all the things I need to do before 2 PM and the imagination bubble pops. Out of desperation I am now trying cold cereal.

I agreed to go watch the new Jurassic Park movie after 2:00, so everything that I can accomplish needs to be done before then. I can’t put anything off because my son has plans on Tuesday and I go back to work Wednesday.  I can’t even say my to do list contains a lot of writing. It is more like doctor’s appointments and phone calls.

I really need to get this home schooling thing sorted before I have to go back to work. I need to return to the doctor for a follow up on some blood work.(I was supposed to last Wednesday but skipped out because I was exhausted.) I have to set up an appointment for my son. (I’ve forgotten that one for three weeks in a row.) And my daughter needs to get a shot before they will let her back to school this fall.

Really the home schooling is the one I am stressing out over the most. With doctor’s and things I kind of know what to expect. Home school is an unknown variable for me. I don’t have enough information to begin making a plan.

I even gave the poor dog a bath at 1 AM, thinking that maybe if I got at least one thing off my list I would sleep better. The dog was confused but didn’t fight me. He seems to be sleeping well too.

This sleeplessness has been a running theme for me lately. I am tired but I can’t sleep. My brain just won’t go into standby mode. However, my bowl is now empty and the house is two degrees cooler because I fiddled with the thermostat. I guess I will go give it another shot. Maybe writing down my worries has helped.

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A Monday For Facing Fears

Hello. It is Monday again. The sky is overcast and the grass is still damp with dew. I have been up for a bit but I am just now sitting down to write this. I have been stalling.

You see, if I sit down and write a blog post that means it is really Monday. This Monday. The Monday where I once again have to do something that I don’t really want to do because it scares me a little.

Now before any of you get ideas of doctor appointments or tightrope walking into your heads, it really isn’t that big of a deal to the rest of the world. Once I go and get things over with it won’t seem like a big deal to me either. It is the time before I actually step out of my door that is the worst.

I have to go out into the world and adult today. Yes adult can be used as a verb. If you don’t think so, just wait. One day you will do a thing and it will be something that is necessary but not really something you want to do. In fact you would probably like to avoid that thing all together. However, you will take a deep breath and do it anyway. That is adulting. (In some cases “adulting” can be not doing a thing you do really want to do.)

I have to put on my adult costume and go pretend to be something I’m not. I am an adult. I have bills, pets, kids, laundry and everything. It all gets paid, fed, or washed. But to the rest of the world I get the feeling that I am just not quite adult enough. I have to go confront the local school board over my son today. I may even be home schooling before the day is out.

(Summary of the issue is that they want my social anxiety afflicted son to move schools during his last year of primary because he is not zoned for the school he has attended since kindergarten. Makes sense except for the fact he has never been zoned for that school but it hasn’t been a problem until now.)

Sometimes I feel I have to over adult because once someone in power find out I am a single mom, for some reason my adult meter drops. I watch it happen. There is this little smirk that comes up in the corner of their mouths and their eyes say “Oh, that’s what we are dealing with.”

If they find out I am pursuing the dream of being a writer the meter drops even more. It is like I am a little kid dressed up in her mom’s shoes and no longer have to be taken seriously. I hate, hate, hate being humored or patronized. If you are going to look down on me at least do it in a way that gives me a chance to fight back.

I am not on welfare. I am paying my own mortgage. I work 72 hours in one week, then come home and do all the other stuff people have to do and be mom.  (Okay my incredibly wonderful mother helps me out with some of that.) Then I write because I am a writer. I can and I will pursue that dream. Just because I happen to not have a mate does not mean I have to give up on everything and go wallow in how hard life is.

I even have a freaking vegetable garden in the back yard! If anything I feel like they should be taking me more serious or at least trying help me out a little. But that is not the way it goes. Instead I am silently put into a stereotype box and anything I say from that point on will be viewed wearing shades colored by that box.

It is incredibly frustrating and I don’t like confrontation to begin with. Writing it all out here has helped. I don’t feel so uneasy now. I am going to go forth into battle before my courage fades. Wish me luck.

Just A Tired Writer-mom

I didn’t sleep much this past work week. I tried. It just didn’t work out. Now I am off for a week and can concentrate on all those problems that cropped up while I was at work. I need to visit the Central Office for our school district and either give them a piece of my mind or find out about homeschooling for my son. Maybe both.

For those out of the loop, the powers in charge suddenly decided my son shouldn’t go to the school he has been attending since kindergarten. They sent me a letter after school let out and on a Friday so I couldn’t do anything about it, even if I had been in any mental shape to do so. So I need to go see if I can get it fixed or learn how to home school. (Mind you they gave a legitimate reason. He isn’t zoned for that school. The thing is though, he has never been zoned for that school. I was under the understanding that since I pay both county and city taxes and was willing to drive him to school that it didn’t matter if we were zoned for there or not. This is his last year there anyway.)

I also need to go to the grocery store. Supplies are running low. My brother also has errands he wants me to run and my son woke up sick with fever this morning. Truth be told, I honestly am not feeling that great either. I slept nearly all of yesterday after I got out of work. I should be mostly recovered from the sleepless marathon I have been on. Still tired, sure, but I feel achy and I am pretty sure someone switched out my head with a bowling ball last night.

My main plan for this week off was to get writing done. Lots and Lots of writing. Libertycon is in a week. I wanted to have tons of stuff completed before then. I know my head will be bursting with new ideas by the time I leave there, it always is.

So in short, my coffee better quit slacking and do its job. I’ve got too much going on to feel as run down as I do. *sigh* wish me luck.

Down in the clover

It is seven o’clock in the evening as I sit writing this. It is warm outside with a nice breeze blowing. I sat on the back porch for a little while watching the clover dance in the wind and the black and yellow bees hop from the white flowers that rose out of the sea of green leaves. They looked like farmers picking cotton or tomatoes.bee1

The bees only stayed a moment at each flower and three of them were spread out in sort of a lopsided triangle. They all made their way through the clover patch at the same speed and in the same direction; but there was always one bee out front while the other two were back and to the side.

I feel a bit melancholy at the moment. I was hoping sitting outside would help. However, as I sat on the steps I was accosted by a door to door sales man attempting to sell me faster internet service. I politely listened to him, just because I could, then took his information before passing back a business card of my own. I mean why waste a chance to gain a new reader? If they are going to try to sell me something then turn about is fair play.

I am still feeling a bit down. The wind, clover, bees, and chatty salesman didn’t change that. The depression monster has walloped me good and I think I will just lay here a minute. I will get back up. I will continue to fight. But for now I will just take deep breaths and watch the bees in the clover a bit more.

Running in place

catnapIt feels as if sleep is a luxury, one I decadently wallow in when I can get it. However, too often it is beyond my reach. There is always something else that needs to be done so sleep gets pushed to the back burner. Thanks to my wonderful, loving mother, I was able to sleep hours and hours yesterday. She stayed over an extra day to take care of the kids so I could sleep.

It is morning now and that means lunches to pack, kids to wake, and cats to feed. Once the kids are at school, I have a porch to paint and a garden to plant. There is laundry to do, there is always laundry to do, and kids to pick up from school.

Then there will be homework to help with and dinner to start. Life never stops and rarely slows down. If I am not kept busy at home there is always work waiting at my night job. And lets not forget writing. That gets squeezed in too, usually in the mornings over a cup of coffee or tea.

Writing is the thing I want to do. The rest all has to be done. It is a hard juggling act.

When snoopyI get time to write I need to take greater advantage of that time and make the most of it. With my recent book of short stories available for sale and a new short story in the final editing, I feel like I am making progress on this crazy dream. I just need to get a few more of those works in progress into the completed file.

Beware The Writer/ My Ego

coffee mugThere are  times when being a writer goes to my head. Like this morning for example. My daughter has a big test today and asked if I would take her by a coffee shop before school. Since coffee sounded good to me too I agreed. So I dropped my son of at his primary school and took my daughter out for caffeine.

Yes, I know. Some of you are saying that is  horrible parenting, but there is  more sugar than caffeine in her drink. It is like glorified chocolate milk. She thinks she is drinking coffee and feels adult, while I con her into eating breakfast which is really what wakes her up. (Shhh that is parental trickery.)

Anyway, the line at the drive through was roughly 140,000 cars long so I decided to go in. My hair was pulled back in a pony tail and I was wearing sweats because it was chilly this morning. I originally had no plans of getting out of the car. I was just going to drop the kids off and come home to work in the garden.

(Before I continue, I should  mention that I have worked as a barista before. I understand what it is like on the other side of the counter. I did it for years.)

So I walked inside and I am the third person in line. Waiting patiently, I pick out the food I am going to order and watch the antics of the a very enthusiastic child in line ahead of me. Then suddenly it is my turn and I order, pay, leave a tip, and step to the side to await my food and drink.

Usually, they go over and bag up the food first. Instead the young man took the next person in line. Which I was okay with because it is Monday morning and all. People need their coffee or tea. Fifteen minutes later my drinks were ready at the other counter but I still hadn’t received my food.

I watched the young man rush around and prepare things for the other customers who came after me. I tried to catch his eye but he refused to look up. That was when I started to get annoyed.

In my head I was having a conversation along the lines of: Yes I am dressed down. If you give me my stuff I will leave! I have work to do. Oh no you did not just ignore me! You do not realize who you are dealing with my young man! Do you want that receding hair line immortalized forever in words?…tumblr_mlkf0pWOiX1s0x8bxo1_500

It went like that for another few minutes until I came to the realization that I sounded  like Chaucer from the movie A Knight’s Tale. Fortunately, a nice young lady came up and asked if she could be of assistance so I got my food and my daughter to school on time, even if she had to eat a bit hurriedly.

The saying is: “Writer’s get their revenge in print.”

I will not say I have never written people who have ticked me off into a story. Those annoying people are a valuable resource for a writer because they bring out strong emotions that translate to page and then to the reader. However, not  even that person’s mother would recognize them in my prose, because it is more that I write the feeling of them rather than the actual person. Writer’s draw on personal experience. That means both the good and the bad.

I even have a t-shirt that offers a disclaimer. It warns: “Be careful or you could end up in my novel.”

P.S.

For those interested, here is the quote from the character Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale.

“I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity.”~ Geoffrey Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale

Stars and Cats

Good Morning Everyone.

I had my alarm set for 4am this morning. The plan was to get up an hour early and get some writing work done before I had to start the get-the-kids-ready-for-school-Samba. I only pushed the snooze button three times. Then Panda came into my room, sat on my chest and proceeded to give me sandpaper purring kitty kisses until I got up to feed her.

Panda
Panda

She was being sweet this morning. Usually she sits on the night stand and knocks everything off, one item at a time, until I get up. It goes something like: swipe, thump. Book falls in floor and Panda glances over for a reaction from the human. Swipe, thump. Second book and a hair tie meet the ground. Still no reaction from the human feeding unit. Swipe, rattle-rattle, glasses get close to the edge and the human jumps up…

 Anyway, I got up early to write and feed the cats. So, after feeding the cats, I sat down at my computer with a cup of coffee and stared at the screen for awhile. My eyes roamed over the bookmarks toolbar at the top of my screen, looking for inspiration, and found a link to something about the Night Sky.  I remembered there was supposed to be a meteor shower this month. I couldn’t remember the dates but since I had time and it was still dark, I decided to go spend some quality time star gazing.

The thing is I live in a suburb. When I was a kid and lived in the country the sky stretched spaceout in every direction, a dark cloak scattered with fiery diamonds and imagination. Now, once I turned off all the lights in the house, there is like a scrap of real night above my house that fades at the edges as the light pollution from other houses and street lights reach out to blur the beauty. If the night sky of my childhood was a diamond studded cloak, then the one I have now is a stained version in a second hand shop made with cheep rhinestones that have mostly fallen off.

Still, I laid down on the back porch and gazed up at what I could see. I opened all of my senses and took in the smell of recently cut grass and the sound of a train whistle. I felt the chill from the boards under my back seeping past my shirt and I watched my small window patch of sky. I felt recharged and more awake than the coffee could account for. Then my neighbor’s air conditioning unit kicked on at the same time one of the cats stuck his nose in my ear and I managed to levitate off of the porch.

I had left the back door cracked open so that if the kids woke up I would hear them. The cats had apparently saw that as an invitation to follow me.  Even the blind one, Max. I had three furry faces gathered around me on the porch, trying to figure out just what I thought I was doing. Laughing at myself, I gathered up Max and went back inside. I sat back down on the computer and I wrote.  Good Morning…