Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Better Late Than Never OR Still Waiting to Win

.....the lottery.

I know, as a friend recently reminded me, planning to win the MegaMillions is not a strategy for life. Still.

The things I've learned, relearned or had to admit about myself this week:

1. I have an addictive personality. I know, stop ROFLYAO. I know. Nothing like opening with the obvious, right? This week's addictions (because it's a busy squirrel factory in this here brain, people) include (a) music - Vitamin String Quartet, Imojean Heap, the adolescent stylings of Jason DeRulo, and Gomez.

In a sad attempt to engage with my neglected children Nathan and Sophia (Chloe won't let me neglect her, the smart girl), I played bits and pieces of songs by the Vitamin String Quartet and made them guess the original artist and song title. It was a hoot. There were prizes given. Everything was fine until Sophia realized that Nathan was ahead by about 3.47 points in the elaborate point system we'd devised. She got upset. Her bottom of the barrel Halloween candy sucker went flying across the room, connected with a cat instead of the intended target (Nate's head) and there were the expected, subsequent tears.

The cat will get over it. The hair that came off on the sucker will eventually grow back, right?

My other addiction (why do I sound so proud?) is writing. Lately, I've gotten in to some serious writing grooves and I am loath to stop when that happens. It really and truly upsets me. Yes, I know that I have to remove my astronaut diaper occasionally and hit the showers, but seriously? I can suffer for my art. Why can't the people and felines who live and work and commute with me suffer a little with me? When I've made the big bucks, they'll want to be lavished with gifts, right? Let them earn it, I say.

2. I continue to fight my need to be a complete loner. Sure, y'all see this happy go lucky, cheerful chica who never seems to have a care in the world. I am a cyber-cheerleader, spreading a kind, happy word wherever I go online. But the real me is a dark, dark hellion, desiring nothing but the solitude of the grave. Or a cave. On a mountaintop. Imagine dark. Dour. That's me. Anyway, I'm fighting it - without meds. Chocolate and red wine have amazing pharmaceutical powers. So does singing loudly to Indigo Girls songs when alone in the car.

But seriously, me + deserted island = paradise. Although, I'm sure at some point I would get sick of me, too.

3. I am still trailing in the Mother of the Year awards race. This week, I parented by text and for bonus points, used the phrase "sucks ass." To the ten year old. Yeah, I know. I should write a book of parenting tips. Y'all think I should be jailed, don't you?

4. I am resilient and resourceful. Day before yesterday, I mentioned to MathMan that I should back up my story which has grown to 41,500 words. I expressed concern that I was inviting danger by not having a backup copy of it on a jump drive or something. I had visions of dropping my laptop out the car window on I85 and it being run over by the semi truck that's tailgating me. Bad, bad dreams.

(Don't dwell too much on the reasons why I would be dangling the laptop out the window in some unseemly reenactment of Michael Jackson and the Baby on the Hotel Balcony incident. Just stay with me here a minute. And stop clucking your tongue. I know we're supposed to be all warm and fuzzy about The King of Pop now that he's escaped this mortal coil too soon, but please. It happened. I'm using it.)

So last night, before I followed through on my very correct idea, I had my own incident. You know the kind, right? I'd gotten into one of those writing grooves and voila! I'd added another 3,000 + words to the story. Some of it was very good writing, I felt sure. And some of it was pretty hard to write because it required me to reach deep for some repressed emotions and memories.

Well, it wasn't a laptop dropped from a moving car into the path of an oncoming semi, but the little spinny thing that Microsoft Word does has the same effect. I tried saving the document, but it just spun and spun and spun. I muttered and went to the bathroom because I had to leave to pick up MathMan from a late meeting at school. When I returned, Word had reopened and the options for auto-saved documents appeared at first to be promising. Feeling hopeful, I clicked on the most recent one. It came up with nothing. I clicked the second, which was auto saved about 25 minutes before I'd finished writing. A very large piece of what I'd just written was gone, daddy, gone.

I didn't have time to rewrite the piece just then, because I was already late to get MathMan. I panicked momentarily, which looked more like losing my shit, to the untrained eye. Trust me - losing my shit is much more disturbing than what happened last night. I kicked the desk and cried in spite of myself. The kids didn't quite know what to do. They looked concerned and then got out of my way as I dragged my sorry ass out of the house.

I sat in the car and pounded the steering wheel for a second, then remembered my camera. I pulled it out, turned it on video and recorded myself telling the story, the best I could from memory. Today I wrote the scene over again, without using my recording. And I think it's even better than the first writing of it. Maybe that's not a bad writing strategy? Write, erase, rewrite. Maybe not. That would make me crazy. Anyway, I was glad to have the piece rewritten, saved to a jump drive and feeling like it was even better than before.

But really? Talk about cruel jokes of fate. I mean, who doesn't want to write a rape scene two days in a row?

Until next Wednesday, my lovelies.....



  1. I've got 150 pages of an unfinished novel (Science Fiction-ish) that's been sitting unworked on for .... over two years now.

    I wish I could get back to it, but every time I ponder, I just don't feel it.

    Also, you're as good as ever at making me laugh.


  2. i have no unfinished pages because I never started one1!1

    i'm glad it all worked out even if the memories were not pleasant

  3. Are you sure we are not twins from different mothers? Mega Millions, my retirement plan (just like Wanda Sykes) I am so mad someone won my $77 million. Damn people.

    Instead of not writing, I have about 30 unfinished jewelry projects to be done. Damn procrastination.

    But it gets dark and I want to sleep. Damn Daylight Savings Time.

    See a pattern?

    Onward toward Friday the 13th and stickable snow. Geesh already?

    Talk soon, Linda

  4. $1 on a mega ticket = a cheap way to dream. Mostly about how I would tell the powers that be at work that no, I won't be coming in. Of course, in my new position I actually like my overlords. If it was my previous position, I don't know if I'd bother coming in. Kudos on the writing.

  5. congrats on the novel and it's progress, dear girl, that's fabulous...i have yet to have gotten over missing your posts but will continue to understand if you simply MUST write something a bit more, er, well, important? and rape scene twice? ummm, well, no thanks but yes, I will...hearing about your kids make me glad mine are grown--well, they look that way anyway...that's all I can remember, it's late and I am old...don't say things about dropping your laptop infront of the semi, OK? knock wood anyway...

    love and kisses to you, sweets ♥

  6. Lost your file in computer neverland and came back to write it better without having an 18 wheeler run over the laptop...all sounds pretty positive to me! The camera idea and retelling yourself the story = brilliant, really!

  7. "me + deserted island = paradise"

    Are you Ginger, Mary Ann or Mrs. Howell? The professor can figure out how you can power your laptop with a battery made of coconuts, but I'm not sure that you will be able to find an Internet Service Provider...

  8. But if there are no other people around, who is going to wait on you hand and foot? You should wait until you get your robot army before you rashly move to a deserted island.

  9. The ultimate backup: hard copies. Stop every so often to print the sucker out.

  10. Sounds like your muse wanted a rewrite.

    The True Complete Loner

  11. Gomez? I was expecting The Addams Family and got Dr Sexy MD. See if I ever give you any of my MegaMillions winnings.

    Write, write, write, the kids be damned. Oh shit, forgot about them putting you in the bad kind of nursing home. Quite a dilemma you've got on your hands.

    Save on laptops and hard drives and at least 17 flash drives.

  12. I'm all in favor of singing loudly to Indigo Girls songs when alone in the car. When younger son is in the car, he doesn't want me to sing with them. When older son is in the car, he joins in.

  13. I think going over the story several times is helpful. You can pull out different bits or emphasize things that are important to the story that way.

    You a loner? I see you as happy, happy, happy. Me, I'm the loner, depressed chick trying to put on a happy face.

    Good luck with the writing dear--sounds like you are getting there!!!

  14. Ha! I just remembered that crazy woman driving across the country wearing astronaut diapers so she could catch the guy who done her wrong. You couldn't even make something like that up. What did I say? Of course you could make something like that up and much more besides. I'm looking forward to it, you know. So far as being a loner is concerned, that's pretty common for writers. I think it was Arthur Miller who got up every weekday morning, shaved, put on a suit and tie, had breakfast and went out the door to work like millions of other New Yorkers. But instead of going to an office in another building he went down to a basement where he wrote. Presumably, Mrs. Miller was home for the kids.

  15. I need the cat's address. I think I need to write to it ....

  16. Don't worry over much about losing material, because you'll never run out of it. I've been editing and rewriting for 10 or 20 years now and now, I think I've got it. But I'm still writing new chapters, changing the point of view, now telling the story from the present, looking back rather than a linear progression from young to old. I know you'll get there, you have all that passion going for you.

    I've written a new post as a response to your last comment, which was devastating, but this old monster now has more resilience than she used to.

  17. I feel the same way when I lose something I've written or have to double back and go home when I've forgotten something. I suppose it has something to do with my illness. Nothing kicks in anger faster.

  18. WHen I save stuff to a flash drive, I also send it to all my email accounts. I have files that say nano 3100, nano 6ooo, etc (and they don't get much higher than that yet), but I did lose my laptop last year. Thankfully, I had it all stored online, as well.

    I am buying a tape recorder. A friend of mine was just telling me about a conversation she recorded at a nursing home and I am so jealous. Plus, all of those midnight ideas can be saved. Sometimes I have insomnia that's just a series of what seem to be great ideas that just disappear when I awake.

    Picturing you in an astronaut diaper is the funniest thing I've pictured all day. Hottest= you+ me+ desert island. You knew I was going to put that, didn't you. I can't resist.

  19. Damn, I just noticed your banner subtitle....and I want more cowbell too....

  20. All my best stuff has been lost like that. I swear it's true.

  21. I am so impressed with your progress on your novel! And yes, please, DO back it up! Let this little loss be a warning to you, LOL! Glad you were able to rewrite.

    (This advice comes from someone who never backs up anything. But if I'd written the better part of a novel I think I would take my advice!)

  22. oh and WTG on your NaNo, btw!!!

    :D :D :D

  23. omg where do you get the astronaut diapers??? WANT.

    not doing NaNo but recently finished rewrite one million and a half of TDBB only because D. took the kids out of town and left me here on my deserted island (Couch Isle--it's slovenly but lovely).

    also I want your parenting book. can I say sucks ass to my 5 y.o., or should I wait a few years?

    (also just email your file to your gmail or whatever every day for a backup...I know it wouldn't help your sad situation, but it's quick and personally, I never feel like fussing about with flash drives and whatnot so I end up not doing it as often that way.)


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