Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Saga Continues

Here I am, fresh from my NaNo win - thank you, thank you very much! - the holidays are here and I am dreaming of what I will buy myself for my birthday this year. (Coach, here I come!) I had just told my MIL what I want her to do regarding a few houses we looked at/heard about and now I am looking forward, not backward.

I go to the store this afternoon, on my lunchbreak, to buy socks for Daughter because she needs them, first of all, but also because I have a strange love of socks. Nothing better than a new pair of colorful, soft footwear, I say. I am, alas, too old to buy socks by the pound now because they just don't work with most of my workwear - though I can buy some new ones for the weekend, huh? - so I'm cuckoo for socks for my daughter's sake instead. Those colors just make me smile.

Anyhoo, I see, while I wait for the saleswoman to become free (because the socks are behind the register), that Mr. T. has called me. So instead of listening to his message, I call him back.

"I just left you a long message," he says breathlessly.

"OK. What was it?"

"(Name deleted)'s buyer fell through on that house and we are next on the list. My mother wants to know if we want to put the bid in. What do you want to do?"

To the saleswoman who is now picking out socks as I call out colors between Mr. T.'s words, I say: "I'm so sorry."

"It's ok," she responds cheerfully.

"I'll call you back," I tell husband. "I'm in the store."

We hang up and I laugh my head off.

"I'm sorry," I tell the saleswoman again. "I really need to laugh about this."

"It's OK. Take your time."

After I get past the irony of this, I get my socks picked out, pay for them and leave. I call my DH back right away.

"So, the 20% down fell through huh? Suddenly we are good enough?"

What you don't know, dear readers, is that we first saw that house with the owner there. She is a friend of the family (his, not mine). I apparently said something insulting about her house and she wasn't sure I would "really go through with buying it" so she took another bid.

The insulting thing I said? We need to pull up the carpet. That's it, ladies and gentlemen. Not, "I hate her taste!" Not, "I hate her cat!" No, it was, "We need to pull up the carpets." THAT is what hurt her feelings. Can we all just join together and say - SLAP!

Deep breath, deep breath.

So, there is still a ton to this story but it would take me way too much to say it all so I will be succinct and tell you what I already knew but can reconfirm for you again today:


If I need to repeat that, let me know. I do not care if they are the best in the business. Get the second best if it means you work with someone who is not attached to you in any way except by business.

As I said before, my MIL is my real estate agent - I knew when I married the man that this would be the deal. I accepted it a long time ago and you should too. No lectures please.

That said, I have told Mr. T. that I do not believe she is fighting for us as she should be so I have taken matters into my own hands and I dictate. I tell Husband what I want him to do and I tell MIL what I want her to do. That is all I do. I do not want to hear excuses and reasonings. I want to know what I want to know and that is the end of it. You people want my money, you do what I ask. I cannot begin to relate the nonsense she was telling me about how I shouldn't say things in front of the owner. I say, "The owner wants money? The owner should either not be there or suck it up. I will NOT shut up." Especially since ALL I said was that the carpets needed to go. And yeah, it is a funky layout and I said that too. But it is! You should see it! Daughter by the way, said much worse. Because a cat lives there, she said, "ooooo, stinky!" Twice. And I am the insulting one?

His family already thinks I am emotional, maybe even high strung, but I've been in DH's life for 13 years. They should get over it already because I am not changing. But I am certain they think I need them to explain why we should take the deal. To DH's credit, he told her, "What?! No way! I want to see the house again."

Good boy. I have trained him well.

Why do I care and why am I dealing with this, besides the reason that MIL and her group of associates came with the marriage package? Because the mortgage would be sweet. We wouldn't be strained fiinancially. We get our space. It's a 6-year-old house and therefore not skeevy (I hope). It is in a neighborhood with people I know and like. It is 5 minutes (less than, really) from MIL's house so I still have her if I need her - for the kids' sake, of course - and Son gets to stay at his school with no strain on me in the mornings to rush him there because we moved one town away in the wrong direction. That's why I care.

So we go back tonight to see the place, sans owner, and I have told MIL we will tell her yes or no right then and there.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Stephen, My Stephen

I am a writer, but I am not the sort of writer who can name a list of all these wonderful, nondescript authors you should read because I don;t hold people's names in my head. I'm not great with names. I do, however, have a few I always name because I truly love them - Wally Lamb, Tanarive Due and Stephen, my Stephen - better known to you all as Stephen King.

I LOVE him. His stuff may be scary to some folk but I find him intriguing. The words he use are so visual and full of life all by themselves and when he strings them together, it is pure harmony. I get so engrossed and so ensnared in his world, I can actually see myself in the places he creates as I watch the happenings from the sidelines.

His first novel was published in 1974 when I was 3, so he's been out there most of my life and as of now, that's a long time. Now I admit, not every book he writes is gold. You try writing two books a year and see if you can produce gold every time! I think not! OK, he may not do 2 books a year but it sure feels like it! My thought is he probably is gearing up for a great book every 2 or 3 books. Four Past Midnight will always be one of my favorites from him. Four short stories so if you've never read him, the book looks daunting but it's 4 stories in one so go for it!

Did you know he lived in Stratford, CT for a time growing up? His former street is only one highway exit from my own! Ah the connection! I love that man. I don't think he should do cameos in movies (and neither should M. Knight Shymalan) but I love him nonetheless. Don't worry, Tabitha. I'm happily married. I just love to revel in your husband's eloquent compositions. How sweet it is.

A friend from my critique group sent a link to an article from The Washington Post. If you love the work of writing and even more, of you love Stephen King, I pass this on to you. Me? I need to go find the latest piece of fiction he's written and get my fix. Think I'll head on over to good old Amazon now.

Closing In

NaNo is nearly over.

I stumble to my computer trying to keep my eyes open, but it's hard. I want to sleep. I have ICL homework to do. I have business to find. But first I need to get in another 1,670 words! Am I crazy? Clearly. What purpose does this serve, trying to write 50,0000 words in a month? You think it's easy? Ha! Remind me to challenge YOU next year. And me? I had to go and try to do it twice over! I'm only at 21,000+ words on the book I first went into this competition with but I'm at 44,300 on the other one that refused to die. I, too, refuse to die.

Do I love my story? Eh. It's OK. It needs more depth. I've been dialoguing like mad, however, and this is one of the things about NaNoWriMo. I'm good with description but dialogue was always scary. Things like my wonderful critique group helped to make that a fear of the past and I've been talking up a storm in this book. I'll probably go back and play with this piece when it's all said and done, but that may be the end of it for a long while. My heart still belongs to the one that only made it to 21,000. I was hoping to put more into that but in the end, there is only time enough and energy enough for the one. Just like having a husband, I guess.

So I push on and let you all know I am still here. This NaNo thing has taken more time than I had hoped and yet I still don't feel as consumed as I was led to believe I would feel. If I had a story I LOVED from the beginning, I might even be done already like the 2,400 others who are NaNo winners right now.

But I too shall cross that finish line, even if it's 11:59 on November 30th. With less than 5,000 words to go, I can do this with my family, my job and my business intact. OK, sure, Son has had to read to my back while I typed and Daughter has had to climb on my head to get my attention, while Mr. T. just laid in bed watching TV, suddenly hurling questions at me, "Are you done yet? Did you get 50,000 yet? Huh? Huh? Huh?"

Soon, my darlings, soon. I'll be back to normal and I can return to ignoring you all to your faces instead.

Monday, November 20, 2006

La La La La Life Goes On

NaNoWriMo has been keeping me busy this month - I still need to move those widgets back to my sidebar! - but that doesn't mean I haven't been living in the meanwhile. Why just this morning I had to go put a kid in his place at my son's bus stop. The boy wasn't there last year and he wasn't there when the school year started but when I first saw him appear as I watched from 3 houses away, he looked like trouble to me.

Even though my son is only 6, I let him go out and wait for the school bus alone - well, not alone. The girl from across the street is with him - but you can best be sure my eye and my daughter's eye (She's only 3 but she don't take no junk!) and my husband's eye (if he's home) is on him until we see that bus pick them up and turn down our street, leaving only the empty grassy corner that's always there. It's cold right now - really cold - and when I looked out and did not see Son's hat on his head but I did see what looked like his hat dangling from the fingers of the other boy who waits there too, well I just thank God my MIL was home because I instantly put my naked 3-year-old who was standing in the kitchen to the back of my mind and went marching up the street to tower over this boy and let him know he is always being watched and it would be in his best interest to do nothing more than speak to my son, should he wish to be spoken to. Thank God my daughter didn't follow me. The last thing I need is for her to get pneumonia because she sees Mommy dashing off down the street toward her crying brother who was heading home after I first yelled down to him, "Son? Where's your hat?" To the big bully boy's credit, he apologized right then and there as I spoke and promised him I would find out where he lives and talk with his mom if I see anything else happen involving my son. Stupid kid. Doesn't he know I get angry a little easily and messing with one of my children is against my law?

Anyway, it was an annoying way to start a Monday but at least I had a productive and fun weekend, starting with hanging out late Friday night as Daughter and I got our hair done, and moving on to getting some writing done and my website updated on Saturday followed by a retirement party for one of my husband's co-workers that night. (Got another one in December.) Yummy food, lots of dancing, a good time by all once again. Then Sunday was a late start since we didn't go to sleep until about 1:30 that morning but we got up, went to church where we were reminded to give God "daily praise payments", went grocery shopping, cooked a late lunch, divided up the fundraiser items we got from my son's school last week (top seller!), then cooked a late dinner. I didn't get a chance to write on Sunday at all, which I was concerned about but I'm determined to hit 50,000 words on at least one of my books. The other - the one I had the idea for first - might not make it there but it won't be from lack of a valiant effort.

Tomorrow's going to be pretty hectic too because I took the day off work to put my car in the shop and to do a radio interview with my business partner. I wonder if I can get it podcasted? Hmmm. Gotta ask.

HOUSE UPDATE: That house we were working on? Fell through. My MIL says someone else offered 20% down. Mr. T. and I say she didn't want us to have the house. But I told Mr. T. an earful about how I didn't appreciate the way things went down in the first place (Too much family involved. I can't say but so much.) and he assured me we could get a new mortgage lender if I wanted. So I'm set and ready to keep looking. On the plus side, because former mortgage lender (she doesn't know it yet) looked into my credit when I applied for the mortgage, I dd get to find out what my credit score is without my having to wait until next week for one and next March for the other when my last 2 freebies come up. I'm looking pretty good, thank God. One year of getting it together has had a marvelous impact on my credit. Anyway, the other house is still up in the air and the builder for yet another house we liked but wouldn't buy because there was no door to the outside in the basement called to let my MIL know he was building more. So, the search continues.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hanging In

Well, life's a beach and then you write!

That's me. It's going on day 14 of NaNo and I'm just thrilled to be hanging in there. One novel is on point - a little ahead actually. The other is about 3 days behind but I've got some questionnaires out there that should help me think of what else to include in this particular book. Not worried about it yet. Oh and if YOU are a mommy with a business or you are a mommy who freelances (same thing, but I feel the need to make the distinction for those who don't recognize that freelancing IS a business) and you want to participate in a book I am writing, give me a post so we can connect. Have I got a questionnaire for YOU!

Now, Blogger beta is up and running and I fearfully made the switch. I'm already having issues with my sidebar acting up. But as long as it's acting up, I may as well put my widgets back in my sidebar and get it out of the post. Doubt I'll do that tonight since it's after 1 a.m. and I have a busy day at work tomorrow, but it's still here if you want to see my word count. It's the next post down.

Let's see. What else is going on? The house drama continues. We're stuck waiting on one house to see if we can even bid on it and waiting to see if a competitor is going to get his loan for the other house we liked. The drama of the first house is too much to tell now but suffice it to say that sometimes we bring trouble on ourselves. Sometimes trouble simply finds us due to no fault of our own. This particular drama is some weird third category with a big flashing neon sign that says, "THIS IS FOR A REASON!" But I can't figure out what it is. It's just too insane to not have a good reason for being. So I wait. I'm hoping the blessing will be that we will get the house because to get it means to have a mortgage we can happily live with. It means practically no disruption to our lives as we know it now because it's only about 3 minutes from my MIL's house where we currently live. It means being around the corner from my sister-in-law (this isn't really the plus but it's still potentially helpful), down the street from a business associate I can talk to and down the street the other way from my new friend who is actually still growing into the title of friend but we're in the same business groups and have known each other about a year now. She's in her 50's, she's single and she's lonely. Living down the street from her would make her year. I just know it. But I can't tell her about this house until I know we have it, lest I disappoint her. But if we get it, my children have one more safe haven in the neighborhood and that would be so awesome. Someone I can trust, you know? The other house is great but it's in Bridgeport which would mean I'd have to hustle back one town to bring my son to his school, then back to Bridgeport to drop off Daughter at preschool, then on to work and I really don't want that stress in the morning because, as I've often said, I am NOT a morning person.

Anything else? Well, our business website is in the middle of getting revamped. Excited about that. A fellow blogger has taken me on as her latest client to redo my newest baby - aka, my blog - to make it look like me and I'm even having a logo designed while my funds aren't yet tied up in a mortgage. I'm very excited. Yes, excited, Kerri, and I don't use that word loosely.

Let's see, I'm down another 2 pounds and hoping to get to my halfway mark before my 36th birthday next month. It's slow going, I won't lie, but I also am not giving it my all because as much as I want to get back to pre-Daughter weight, I'm just not in the mood for this. So I'm only half-hearted therefore I am only doing half as well as I did before. Still, I'm down 23 pounds now and one person who didn't know about it has noticed and that's more than enough incentive to keep going.

It's crazy late now and my clicking on the computer is disturbing Daughter. Why? BECAUSE SHE NEEDS HER OWN ROOM, GOSH DARN IT!

My prayer: Please, sweet Lord. I am S-I-C-K of this situation and You know it. This drama has served to only highlight how badly I need to leave and makes it even more difficult to stay. I know You can see this, which is why I now think Your hand is in this in an unexpected way. I am beyond ready to have my own space. I have so much to do and I am beginning to feel stifled because I am not able to stretch out as I need. You KNOW how I am. You know I need my space, Lord. You also know the last time I was at this juncture - hating my job with every ounce of my being, seeing no signs of freedom, trying to be patient but crying our for release - You made it possible to get a job I didn't think I was qualified for (hmm, Come to think of it. I'm saying the exact same thing about this house) and not only that but have blessed me to love this job in a way I knew was possible but had yet to experience and ran my cup over with 2 raises, a promotion, and the open appreciation of the people I work for - all in less than 2 years. I don't regret stepping out on faith for this job. I'll just trust You to do the same with our first home. And I'll hope my little testimony in the meanwhile can serve to encourage someone else to not give up or settle for less - in love, in a career, in business, in anything they can see in their heads and their hearts. Sometimes we have to do less for a while, but we don't have to settle there.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Keeping Up With My NaNo Wordcount

OK, my widgets off to the side seem to be mucking up the works for all you folk who have IE. Or maybe there is a crazy link somewhere or my pictures are acting up? So I am going to have to post the widgets here and keep this post at the top until I resolve the problem, though it seems to be an IE thing only, not Firefox or whatever else folk are browsing with. Still, if lots of you are using IE, you've got to be wondering what the deal is. So am I.

Anyway, I need a place where I can see myself race myself and this will be it! My own personal word war! Unicorn88 is writing, "The Busy Mommy's Guide to Running Your Business and Your Life" while Unicorn92 is writing, "An Uncertain Love."

May we both win!

Friday, November 03, 2006

NaNo Madness and Other Life Stuff

Well, NaNoWriMo is under way and I am keeping up so far. I've set myself a word goal of at least 1,670 words a day which will get me to 50,100 by the end of the month if I stick to it. I need the coverage because I found the NaNo word counter could add things a little differently from Word and I could conceivably come up 30 words short in the end if I'm not careful. Can not let that happen after spending a month commited to a project like this.

I must say, it's fun but I suspect I will NOT be doing this again. Such a commitment! It's a challenge because I have 10 chapters planned but it may only take me the one day to say something in each one. What happens on November 11th is anyone's guess. I know I need to do some research to help me get over the hump when I get to it. For now, I enjoy just getting to my goal, uploading my text and watching the little graph slowly rise as it stretchs forth to reach that 50,000 word goal.

UPDATE: It's time to confess. If you noticed the two goal keepers, aka NaNo widgets, in my banner off to the side, you're probably wondering what's that about. I am writing two NaNo novels. They are completely different from each other and I welcome the change. So I guess that makes my goal 100,000 words this month. Why am I doing this? Because I'm a freakin' overachiever who can't stop at comfortable. I have to push the limit. And I am INSANE! But now it's public - my insanity and the fact that I am going for two - so that's imposes a deadline on me and for whatever sick reason I am driven by deadlines and pressure.


So Daughter is home sick for the 2nd day in a row. She had a cough for a day and half and my husband took her to the doctor. We got medicine and she got better - or so we thought. He took her to the doctor for her regular checkup on the 1st and suddenly she's coughing again. She had a flu shot and he thinks that had something to do with it but everything I have read about flu shots (because I had to write up some copy on it for my job), says you don't get sick from the flu shot. You may have been getting sick prior to and it's just a coincidence. Yes, she was getting sick prior but it is odd she took a step backward after that shot. I don't know. All I know is my baby does not want to eat (she LOVES to eat), does not want to play, tosses and turns and coughs ALL NIGHT LONG and threw up medicine about 4:30 this morning sending Mr. T. and I racing to get the sheets changed before anything soaked through. She sleeps with us so you know we were moving fast. I tried to get her to sleep with her brother but she eventually found her way back to me. Her aunt also bought her a cute inflatable Dora bed for her birthday and she loved laying on it before she felt like crap. I'll keep trying to usher her out - after she gets better.


Guess what? I got an unexpected promotion and raise at my job! The significance of this? Well, other than the obvious, this lovely turn of events comes on the heels of my telling Mr. T. and my MIL that we need to get pre-approved for our mortgage now and not later. Everything was effective this month so I will have a little more to put on the table when those loan papers get filled out. I couldn't help but feel like it was a sign that my house is finally on the horizon. I'm taking a big chance sharing that much with you because what if my sign is false? Actually, I don't usually think that way and I do trust my instincts about these things. It's kind of like the sign I got about when my time would be up on my last job (that dreaded job). After about 2 years of looking and figuring out exactly where I wanted to go (And hating every moment of that dull position), I felt in January of last year that June would finally be my month. I started here June 27th. I'm a believer in seeing and achieving. I know for a fact that the bad times are only hellishly long while you are in them. When you are out, you can see for miles and miles and you may even be grateful for what you had to go through to get there. And I am. I can appreciate being here doing something I love and I can appreciate being appreciated because I know what it means to be tolerated. Of course, the lesson continues to be a simple one - do what moves you and you'll have little to no regrets. Do what society wants you to do and you not only make yourself miserable but the people around you as well.

Well, I have a date tonight so I need to get back to work and get things set for next week. I hate the thought of leaving my sick baby with the sitter - though I do have a marvelous sitter - but Mr. T. and I are actually going back to a comedy show tonight that we were originally in the midst of watching one month ago when there were underground explosions nearby and the theater had to be evacuated. They rescheduled the show to tonight and it's use the tickets or lose 'em at this point. At least tomorrow I can chill out, write and kiss my sick toddler as she passes more of her yucky germs on to me. But I do love that feeling when she's clinging to me, too tired to move, just wanting her mommy to hold her. It's one of the perks of being a mommy to young children - your touch and your kiss is all they need to be healed. Of course her touch is equally powerful for me.

Later gators!