Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Book

I've probably never mentioned this, but husband is quite brilliant when it comes to creating plots. He gets a bunch of great ideas from dreams, but sometimes they just come to him out of the clear blue. During church on Sunday he grabbed one of the prayer cards, jotted down some notes and put it in his shirt pocket.

I was, as you might imagine, somewhat intrigued since I don't normally see him taking notes during the service. He told me during lunch that he'd come up with a great story idea that he thought I should turn into a novel. He's said this before, and I've never done it - but this time I've decided to accept his gift and write the book.

In the past it always felt like I'd be cheating if it was his idea. Things are different now because I've realized a few things:
1. A plot is critical, so his gift is very important. But someone will have to eventually put pen to paper if anyone else is ever going to enjoy the story. He won't be doing that. Although I'm crummy at plots, I'm not too bad at the actual writing, so I suppose you could say that we are both bringing our skills to the table.
2. I'm terrible at endings. Or...that's what seems to be the case from my first attempt at a novel. I wrote two very nice sized drafts of novels. The first two books in a trilogy. Here's the problem...neither novel ENDS. This is a profoundly unsatisfactory situation. I still have hopes that I will eventually develop the skills necessary to bring closure to my stories so I'm not trashing those novels...yet...but they are on hiatus. My husband, on the other hand, gave me a story complete with a (somewhat depressing) ending (which will probably be tweaked just a bit).
3. I am not a failure for putting the sci-fi novel on hold. This whole "I'm not a failure" theme is a new idea for me and I'm trying it on for size, but I have to say that so far I like the way it feels.

So...I'm choosing to take this lesson from the last six months: Sometimes you throw yourself into a project (or a person....hmmm....) and it (or they) appear to be a ginormous waste of time. When it's time to move on to the next project (or person) you take what you learned from your apparent failure and kick ass in your new project (or relationship).

There you go. Writing advice and dating advice all wrapped up in one nugget of wisdom.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hello Bert(s)

Speaking of friendship...

Just today, an acquaintance of mine posted a link to this article on her Facebook page. You need to read it. Really - go ahead.

Did you read it? It will come as no surprise to anyone that I am a Chaos Muppet. What might surprise all of you (since you don't know each other) is that if you are reading this post, you're an Order Muppet. If you still don't know what I'm talking about, that means you didn't do what I told you to do. Seriously. Go read the article. Now.

Great. Now we're all on the same page.

It seems to me that everyone who plays a significant role in my life (other than certain members of my genetic family) is very orderly. Now...it could be I'm so chaotic that everyone else seems orderly by comparison. But...I think I'm drawn to Order Muppets. Only a few of my dearest friends read this blog, which means that if you're reading it - you're a Bert to my Ernie. A Scooter to my Grover. A Kermit to my (ugh) Miss Piggy.

I have some casual friends who join me in the land of Fozzie Bear and Cookie Monster. Some of them are so chaotic they make me look structured. Although I like these people and enjoy their company, I'm just not bonded to them. I don't feel connected in the same way. They don't know my secrets.

I know why I want and need you guys in my life. That's pretty obvious, isn't it? But it cracks me up that it goes both ways and you guys hang with me and the cookie crumbs I leave everywhere I go. I'm a lucky girl.  

Friday, June 1, 2012


My daughter is now a teenager. Many people assume I'm dreading all the boyfriend issues that come with the territory. Those people are wrong. What I fear for her (really, the main thing that's always worried me her whole life) are the girlfriend issues.

Girlfriends, the wrong sort of girlfriends mind you, create more pain and devastation than a string of bad boyfriends. And this is coming from a woman who has had a couple of the worst boyfriends around. Think back on your school years. If you are anything like me, there were a couple of girls in your life who were just plain mean. In my case, I lacked what my late grandfather would have called "gumption." If someone pushed me, it rarely dawned on me to push back or walk away. So the girlfriend thing never came very easily to me. I preferred to hang out with the guys, until they got all weird on me - but that was a different kind of weird and an entirely different blog topic.

So for whatever reason, the girlfriend issue is an ISSUE for me. Well...let's be honest since it's just the three of us. I share a lot of the blame for my friendship issues because I'm a bit of a flake. Flakes lack essential friendship skills.Flakes forget birthdays, flakes don't call people on the phone, and flakes aren't really that great at keeping up with the details of their friends' lives. So I'm here to say right here and now that I am eternally grateful to the women who are willing to tolerate my flakiness and maintain a friendship with me. (Thank you. Really. I mean it.)

Here's the good news: my daughter has gumption. Buckets of it, from what I can tell. Elementary school girlfriend experiences were sometimes pretty rough, but she seems to have found girlfriend stability in middle school. (Which is a heck of a lot more than I can say for myself since my seventh grade girlfriend literally BROKE UP with me no fewer than three times that year. That was a bit tough considering our kid brothers, moms, and dads were all best friends. Awkward.)

I told my firstborn she seems to have picked a good group of friends since I don't pick up on any unnecessary drama in her life. She agreed and said she's glad they aren't like some of the groups she's observed on the periphery of her life, where girls are falling in and out of each other's favor all the time.

I'm not anti-girl. I did find some good friends in my life and I wouldn't trade them (i.e. - you guys) for anything. I'm also a proud feminist and believe in sisterhood. (Power up, sisters!) But....it took me a long time to figure out that I needed to protect myself from mean girls just as much (if not more) than I needed to protect myself from those guys.

Thank goodness my daughter seems to have the girlfriend situation down.

Maybe I should be worried about the boyfriend issues after all. Or is that just me seeing the glass as half empty?