Change of Plans

Sometimes life just doesn’t go the way you would like. Okay, most of the time. I had plans this weekend. I was going to carve pumpkins with the kids, take my daughter to a haunted house, and go to the movie theater to check out Crimson Peak.

One of those things happened.

its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown-slateMy son went to bed Thursday with a scratchy throat and woke up Friday with a fever. He was sick all weekend. So instead of carving pumpkins we cuddled in pjs and watched Halloween cartoons. (He is feeling much better now.)

Friday night my daughter went to a friend’s birthday party. She had a blast but didn’t get to sleep over, because on Saturday we had planned to take her to a haunted house. The forecast had called for clear skies on Saturday and rain on Sunday. Mother nature decided to change it up and give us rain Saturday and a drizzle Sunday.

Taking the weather into account, we rescheduled the haunted house for Sunday.  My son was still sick but my mom could came over to keep an eye on him. (And feed him fried chicken at his request.) Unfortunately, when we checked the website we found that the haunted house had been closed down due to “unforeseen circumstances”.

So on Sunday we went to watch Crimson Peak instead. It was a pretty good movie, tom-hiddleston-crimson-peak-postereven if I did have to hold my hand over my daughter’s eyes for certain adult situations. The problem was we really didn’t look into the movie beyond: “Hey, creepy stuff in the preview and Tom Hiddleston.”  

It wasn’t exactly the type of movie we were going for; Gothic Horror rather than just plain old Horror. So while the movie was good for its genre, we should have dug a little deeper to discover what that genre was. If we had, my daughter wouldn’t have been making snide Alice in Wonderland/Loki fanfiction comments throughout the entire movie.

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I have a new book

I still have a lot to learn about publishing and marketing. Honestly, I know very little about marketing at all. I have a few ideas and I did order a few promotional post cards. However, as I was putting the post cards together my ten year old was looking over my shoulder and giving me tips like: “Mommy you need to use a brighter color there, you are trying to draw attention.”I still have a lot to learn about publishing and marketing. Honestly, I know very little about marketing at all. I have a few ideas and I did order a few promotional post cards. However, as I was putting the post cards together my ten year old was looking over my shoulder and giving me tips like: “Mommy you need to use a brighter color there, you are trying to draw attention.”

So he is now my official marketing agent. Especially since he managed to sell a copy of my poetry chap book to the nurse at the doctor’s office a couple of days ago. I guess, being a kid, he gets a lot of promotions shoved in his face all the time. He is smart enough to pick out what the advertisers do to draw attention. So while having a ten year old as a marketing executive may not sound like a wise business move, it is a resource not everyone else is using. I was impressed by him tossing out a sales pitch for the old book while I had my head stuck in editing the proof of the new one. And he had the flu and was running a fever while he did it too.

Anyway, if you want to check out the new book just follow the link below. It is a book of short stories. Most of them are a little odd. The person who edited them referred to them as “Fantastically Weird”. I read at least eight of them to my son while we were in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, even though I didn’t really intend for it to be a children’s book. (There are a few curse words in a couple of stories.) He liked “Deflated” the most. It was one of the newer ones that I wrote just a week before I put the book together.

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The Oak Muse And Other Stories

Sharing Burdens

I feel like I am hanging on to the end of a frayed rope and my palms are sweaty. If I think too much I will have a major anxiety attack and end up back in bed, under the blankets, and trying not to hyperventilate. I’ve got troubles. Doesn’t everyone?

I know that the things going on right now that are stressing me out will pass. And once time moves me past this trial it won’t seem as insurmountable as it does now. Sometimes living with anxiety depression makes you feel like even small tasks are the equivalent to Frodo taking the one ring to Mount Doom.

Today I am facing a second trip to the doctor for my sick son. I also have a million tiny errands that need to be done. I need to make some phone calls, buy cat food, acquire doctors notes, and manage to pick my daughter up from school.

Monday I have a meeting at my son’s school because he has been absent a lot this year. He has inherited my anxiety demon. It, combined with a few other stressors, has made this school year hell. There have been times I have had to drag him begging to the car and you don’t want to know how many times he has thrown up on himself because of stress.

This meeting has me all tied in knots. I am trying to prepare for it. I don’t like confrontation to begin with and now I have to stand up and plead my son’s case or leave with a fine. Ironically, the day after he brought home the note for the meeting, he woke up with a 103.3 degree fever. I took him to the doctor yesterday and they said it is the flu. Again. (He has already the flu once this school year, before Christmas.) They want to see him again today. He will be out all week.

I did have plans to attend a Cherry Blossom Festive this weekend. That has been scrapped in favor of playing Nurse Mom and fretting over the future. I know worrying over the out come of the meeting will not change anything, but that doesn’t stop my brain from going: What if… and then chasing the thoughts around and around like a dog going after his own tail.

I find  that writing things out does help. That is one of the reasons I am writing this. I don’t have to share these words on line but I probably will anyway.  Because, I know I am not the only anxiety depressive out there. Sometimes reading about other people’s struggles makes your own seem smaller. Sometimes it makes you feel less alone.

If one person reads these words an thinks “Oh, I do that” or “Yeah, feeling overwhelmed sucks,” then these words will have meant something more than just me calming myself down. They will have reached out into the world and connected me with another person, and that is a precious, wonderful thing. It means I am not alone either.

Christmas Cards for Addie

Scanning through my facebook timeline this morning I came across a heartbreaking story about a six year old girl from Utah. I won’t get into the details. I leave the link here for that, but this little girl is living her last year on this mundane world of ours. The doctors can do nothing for her.

She has two older sisters and a mother who will soon be grieving her loss even as they try to celebrate what time she has left. (The little girls also recently lost their father.) And what do they ask for during this time that has to be more difficult than anything I can imagine?

Christmas Cards. They just want Christmas Cards.

They want the world to know that this little girl, for a brief time, lived among us and touched lives. Today, my kids and I will sit at the dining room table and each of us create a special card to send to this family, to let them know we see Addie, and to let them know that they are not alone. Words on paper in colored hues to replace the hug that cannot reach from here. I invite everyone who reads this to do the same.

Starving on a plate too full

cat-peeking-out-from-under-beddingI didn’t post on Monday.  I meant to.  I even had the whole thing written out on paper.  I just never got the chance to transfer it from the paper to my computer.  I could come up with a dozen excuse as to why not, but to be honest I chose sleep over writing.  Sometimes that happens.  (It has to or at some point you become a danger to yourself and others.)

Working third shift, as a single parent, with two elementary school aged children, and trying to give a writing career a go is hard.  Doing all of that with two sick elementary school aged children, plus fighting off a cold/allergies-of-doom is nigh impossible.  Thank God for my mom or I don’t think I would have survived this past week.

Also with the threat of NaNoWriMo on the horizon, I have been striving to reorganize a few things.  If I am having trouble just getting through the day with all of my obligations now, then writing a 50,000 word book in 30 days will not happen. (And giving up NaNo is not an option.  As crazy as it sounds, it’s something I really look forward to.  I can write a book, just for me, and it doesn’t have to be good.  Think of it as the literary equivalent of screaming into a pillow.)

I’ve needed to take a look at my plate and push a few things around for awhile now but I im-najera-froissartam one of those people that say “no, I can do it” even when it is obvious that I am trying to fight an fully armored charging army, by myself with a toothpick.  (My friends have called me on this many many times.) I think it is a family trait.  My brother and my parents do the same thing.

I was on a friend’s street team.  (Which is a group of people that work together to help an author promote their books.)  I still respect her.  I still greatly enjoy her books and will throw it a plug here or there when I can, but it isn’t something I can really focus on at the moment.  Not with everything else.  I suffer guilt for giving it up, but at the same time I know it was the right thing to do. (And fortunately she is one of those gracious people that understands.)

Also with cold and flu season starting up, work has gotten a lot more hectic.  Saturday, tissuesjudging from the people at our pharmacy at 2am, you would have thought the ER had a two for one special going on.

I probably will still have to do some more shifting of all my obligations, but right now the portions on my plate look a lot better than they did.  During November, if blog post dwindle back to twice a month, don’t worry it is only temporary.  My Monday schedule of posting will remain the same, it just may not be every week.

“Our Heart’s there to conquer the world, but we’re only human beings.” -Aaron Rudolph Flinchum

Little sleep and sick littles

Garfield-Mornings-garfield-172375_312_318My daughter is sick.  She has been up most of the night running a fever and throwing up.  I hope it is not the flu.  We already went through that once with my son last month.  I get to put on my Mom MD hat again which means my blue fedora will have to remain on the rack.

I am too worn out to write much anyway.  Who know what kind of incomprehensible drivel would fall from my finger tips today. Maybe I can scribble some while she sleeps but right now I think I am just going to go back to bed for a nap. *yawn*

Waiting Rooms

Princess Leia sitting in the containment cell on board a Star Destroyer, must have felt a lot like someone waiting in a doctors office.  She didn’t know what was going to happen and her continued health was left up to two guys posing in white suits.

I have spent the last few days inside Doctor’s offices and the ER so I’ve had some time to think about this.  My son isn’t feeling well.  No one seems to know what is wrong.  He is fine, no fever or anything, but he throws up a couple of times a day and has been doing so for the last week.  He is eight years old, a good student, and a reasonably active kid.

Three weeks ago he got bitten by a tick at his Grandmother’s house. He pulled it off himself and seemed to be okay, except the bite took forever to heal.  The doc drew blood to test for Lyme Disease, but we are still waiting for the results.

My life is currently full of worry and stress. (Hence the lack of recent posts here.) Who has time to write when you’ve got a sick kid and doctor bills to contend with?  Well…actually, I didn’t have anything else to do during the eight hours at the ER.  So I pulled out a pen and scrounged up some paper.  None of what I wrote is at all usable but it did keep my fingers in practice and it kept my mind busy.

A friend of mine gave me a great complement yesterday.  She said my best quality as a writer wasn’t that I was “an awesome writer” but that I was a “dedicated writer”.  She was quick to assure me that she didn’t mean that my writing wasn’t awesome but that she thought that the dedication I showed toward my writing was admirable.

I was flattered of course and today while I was sitting in the doctor’s office again I thought about what she said.  Dedication is a good thing to have.  (Personally, I always called it stubbornness.)  Anyone can walk a mile if they take one step at a time and then just keep going.  Writing works the same way, just one word at a time and keep going.