Sunday Yard Sales and Writing

Right now I am sitting on my front porch with my computer open before me. It is pleasant and sunny with a strong breeze blowing the wind chimes. Two tables are set up at the end of my driveway with various items decorating the tops in the hopes of enticing some random person into handing over cash.  This was not my idea.

54514151_10210688318363354_3942095613344088064_oYesterday I went to a small convention in Chattanooga. Even though I was running on only a couple of hours of sleep, I had a good time. I picked up a couple of graphic novels and a nine-tailed plushy of a kitsune in glasses. It was fun. It was Metrotham Con’s inaugural year and I think I just may return for year two if they manage it.

My weekends are usually divided up into a day where I actually go out among the masses and accomplish things like socializing or grocery shopping, and a day where I stay home and pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist. Yesterday was my do things day. Today was supposed to be my stay home and do-nothing-unless-it-involves-a-creative-endeavor day.

Then my mom decided she wanted to have a yard sale. At my house. On a Sunday. At one o’clock in the afternoon. label-2016248_1280

She is having a bad depression day too which isn’t making life any easier. Signs weren’t put up to advertise her impromptu yard sale until 2 o’clock. We haven’t had anyone stop by yet but I am still sitting here waiting. She decided to run home and see if she could convince my dad to come back with her, so now I am temporarily in charge. I put a few of my books on the table with her stuff because, why not?

If she does manage to get my dad to return with her maybe I will cook dinner for all of us or something. I highly suspect that no one will return and in about an hour I will be packing away her yard sale. That is okay too, I guess.

So far this yard sale hasn’t generated any revenue unless you count words. I started a new story and have been fighting formatting for the new poetry book I’ve been trying to get out. I also managed to write this post. If this day had gone the way I planned, I probably would have never changed out of my pajamas and would have stayed inside reading. I consider that a perfectly reasonable way to spend a day off. However, this has maybe turned out better. Sitting out here is rather relaxing and peaceful. Duke

 

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Life got busy

I missed my post on Monday. Life has been happening at high speeds around here lately. Not only was it a work week, but I am still homeschooling my youngest, and my ex-husband has decided he is moving to another state in a week or so.

Basically I had my hands full being mom, teacher, employee, and writer. The blog post was one of the things that ended up falling by the wayside. I submitted a story and two poems to various places this week too.

Saturday my neighbor is planning on having a yard sale and I agree to have one too, because more stuff hopefully will draw more people. Or if you look at it from my perspective, grocery money is a good thing. (Not that we are going hungry or anything but variety is a scarce thing in our meals right now.)

Sunday there is going to be a total lunar eclipse. I am planning on dragging the kids outside to watch, preferably through the lens of a telescope, but with the naked eye works too. So if you see a bunch of people standing out in their yards on Sunday night around 9 or 10 pm, the eclipse is probably why they are staring into the night. Also, the moon will be at its yearly closest point to the Earth; so that means it will be 13% bigger.

Cutting Back On Distractions

pocket watchThis is the beginning of a brand new week. It is roughly two weeks until Libertycon, I have my new short story out, several more in the works, and a lot of work ahead for all the hats I wear.

As a mom I will be venturing into the waters of homeschooling my rising 5th grader. As a writer I need to focus on getting more of my stuff finished, polished, and out there. As an employee I need to find away to balance all the work we have to do at night and my sanity. As a gardener I need to learn the difference between a garden and a jungle.

(That last one is for real. I just planted a simple, small square of ground. I didn’t even expect it to grow. I kind of just tossed seeds in the ground, covered them up, watered them, and left it alone. On occasion I water the plants some more. Then I leave for one weekend and when I come back pumpkin vines with leaves the size of elephant ears have started creep over the back yard.)

The point is since I have the same 24 hours as everyone else, and no one seems to be stickfigureselling extra sand for the hour glass. I need to cut back on some things so I can concentrate more on others. Finding these “things” is easy enough. I am a known procrastinator. Facebook and “checking email” are probably the main two ways I waste time on the computer, so I will start cutting back there. I will still visit facebook, twitter, and my inbox but I will be cutting down the amount of time I spend snared in the web.

I only post here once a week usually, so there won’t be any changes here. Maybe I will even be more on time with those Monday posts. Wish me luck. 🙂

Literature In School or How The Dog Dies

My daughter is in the 6th grade. She has enjoyed most of her class, as much as a 12 year old can anyway. She does have a reoccurring complaint about the curriculum however.

It is a complaint that I echoed at her age and still ponder to day. The friends I have spoken with about it have the same issues. We can all agree, that while well written, they could have chosen better books for required reading.

I am not a dog person. I like dogs. I like most animals. I will happily play with and pet a dog. I had an absolutely amazing terrier mix as a kid who would go fishing with me and was smart enough to know when I had a fish hooked.  However, I am not really a dog person. As in I don’t think I am a good dog owner. They deserve more love and attention.  Cats on the other hand never ask for love or attention. If they want it, they take it and it doesn’t matter what you are doing at the time.

My cats are one of the reasons it is important for me to reread things I have written. Not only are there my own mistakes to look out for, but the keyboard sometimes gets walked on when I get up to get coffee. There won’t be a cat insight when I get back, but the evidence remains.

Some of you are wondering what that has to do with books and school. Well, when I was in middle school the preferred reading was every well written book where an animal dies at the end. Most of those books were dogs. Yes, they were heroes first but they still died.

Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, Black Beauty, Frankenstein, Animal Farm. These are all bloody death books from when I was in school. Good books from the vantage point of adulthood but when I was a kid I wasn’t so pleased.

Like my daughter said: “Why do they make us read books where everything dies? Isn’t life depressing enough? Are they trying to drive up the suicide rate?”

The thing is she has a whole new batch of books. They are ones I have never heard of but the theme remains the same. Someone or something dies at the end. I have to wonder if all of these authors read Romeo and Juliet and thought “Yep that is the way to go. Kill them at the end.”

If they want kids to read about death and such at least give them something else to focus on than a mom dying of cancer or a dog with rabies. How about some science fiction? How about the Hobbit? Yeah, some of the kids wouldn’t like it and a lot of parents don’t like their children getting wrapped up in fiction “nonsense”. But good heavens, Stephen King has happier endings than some of these things.

I am fortunate that both of my children like to read. The library is a fun place for us. Some kids don’t and the only exposure to books that they get is the enforced reading in schools. It would be nice if they got a chance to read something where, just once, everyone lives.

Overwhelmed

I am taking a minute to breathe. I felt my anxiety creeping up and I had to take a moment to squeeze it back down. It is kind of like those yogurt tubes my kids eat. If there is too much pressure the whole thing comes out of the top instead of just what you can handle.

It’s Monday again. School is back in session so that means I am up before the sun laying out clothes and packing lunches. In an hour I will awaken my two sleeping angels, who will then stumble around like zombies until that final dash to the car.

I have fed the cats, given the kitten his antibiotic and eye drops, as well as clean the litter boxes. (The kitten, Max, is a stray we took in. He has eye problems that have caused him to lose one eye and he will probably lose the other as well.)

My son has dress up week. Today is wacky Monday. He can wear odd clothes, put his shirt on backwards and wear mix matched socks. (I am glad this one falls on Monday.) Later in the week he has to dress like he is from the 1940’s. So I have to figure out how to dress him up like my grandfather.

(I remember my grandfather in plain white t-shirts and work pants. Somehow, I don’t think that is what the school is going for. My papaw wore suits or overalls. I don’t think either of those would go over well with my son.)

He also has his first fund raiser this week. I am broke until Friday but for some reason these people always seem to end fund raisers on Thursdays. It will be a week of begging my co-workers to support the school. Unfortunately, most of them are broke until Friday as well.

My daughter is in her first year of middle school. There are three posts worth of problems and drama to go along with that. I spend two hours every afternoon in school lines to pick up the kids. I’ve started taking my novel with me so I can write edit notes while I wait.

My dinning room table is covered with bits of novel, mail, my daughter’s drawings, pieces of newspaper, school work, and forms to fill out and/or sign. It can be a bit much. Faced with it this morning, I felt like hyperventilating. I need to clear it off, not just put a random box in the middle so the cats will quit knocking papers to the floor. (It works. They sit in the box and leave the rest alone.)

But for right now I am just going to take a deep breath and just breathe for a minute before jumping back in.