Crazy May

I contend, as usual, that the final 6 weeks of school are busier than the same period of time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.

So that’s my excuse for not blogging lately. I have been (and will be) insanely busy with kid/school stuff and trying to get my book finished (I’m making significant progress). But all that leaves little time for blogging. Before I know it, a week has passed with no new post. However, my son’s last baseball game should be Thursday (unless they play as well as they played last night), and that will help. But it still leaves the SAT, an art competition, three AP tests, Fine Arts Night, Spring Sports Banquet, Academic Awards, Graduations and finals (plus normal, daily life) to get through before the end of May. Whew! I’m tired already!

My writing here may be spotty until June, but I haven’t abandoned it yet!


Character Sighting!

WARNING: All you non-writers out there will probably scratch your head and think I’ve lost my mind, but I assure you, it’s simply a side-effect of a being a novelist.

I went with my husband on a business-type engagement Saturday night. It wasn’t where I wanted to go, but I went. And with good grace, I might add. But I prayed earlier that day that the Lord would give me something in the course of the evening to make it worthwhile.

In my mind, that something was a conversation about spiritual things in which I could encourage or be encouraged or some insight into my own character or that of my husband or friends. Aren’t those the kinds of things God does when we pray such a prayer?

The evening turned out much more enjoyable than I imagined, but even beyond that, the Lord gave me an incredible gift. He let me see one of my characters!

I’ve had lots of strange “writer” experiences, but this is the first time I’ve run into a live person—a stranger—who IS my character personified. It isn’t a character in my current book. No, this one has flitted around my head for a couple of years now and I think, perhaps, may be the book I write next. Especially now.

I saw her twice in the course of the evening. I didn’t speak with her. In fact, I only saw her from behind. But I knew in an instant who she was. Not only did I write down some of her physical characteristics, but I knew that even where I’d seen her was part of who she is as a person (ok, as a character.)

It was quite exciting. It did, indeed, make the whole evening worthwhile. And it confirmed to me, yet again, that God is the author of my life and my desire to write is not dismissed as unimportant by Him. Nor should it be by me.


Driver's Ed

My son starts driver’s ed on Monday. Now that I’ve been through this once, I at least know what to expect over the next year, until he turns 16:

A year of “Can I drive?”
A year of gripping the door handle without appearing to.
A year of biting my tongue almost every time I want to shout “Look out!”
A year of it taking longer to get places when he drives.
A year of him critiquing my driving.

But the rewards are oh so great. By the time my daughter leaves for college, he will be on his own—with his brother in tow—and my days as chauffeur will be coming to an end.


A Wild Weekend

Whew! We survived quite a weekend—well, Friday through Monday. Here’s the scoop:

Friday I accompanied my youngest son to ACSI Math Olympics. He loves math. He loves the competition of Math Olympics. But it is very hard to place in the top 5 in each category. The competition consists of a series of timed tests, the first of which is the REAL test, the next six are tie-breaker tests. Way back in 3rd grade, he placed. Since then, nothing. Until now. Here is he, proud as punch, with his 4th place ribbon in 7th grade Computation.

Saturday brought all the hullabaloo of Prom. Not only did we have the “normal” chaos of such a day, the juniors GIVE the prom, so we had to help with setup and tear down as well. She went with a group of her guy friends who didn’t ask specific dates, so she was quite the princess arriving, eating and dancing with three guys instead of one! And the cherry on top? She was head of the “food” committee and may have wrangled a job in the kitchen of the new hotel where the Prom was held. (The head chef gave her a kitchen tour and interviewed her as we were decorating!)

After a bit of a respite on Sunday (thank you, Lord!), but we were off Monday mid-morning on a two hour journey to the District Track Meet.
My 9th grade son competed in two events.
He took 2nd in the 3200 meters (2 miles) and
3rd in the 1600 meters (1 mile.) He qualified for the Regional Track Meet (Thursday) in both events. We didn’t get home until after 10 last night!

Whew! No wonder I’ve been such a bad blogger lately! But oh how much fun the past four days have been!


Shoe Shopping

I have a love/hate relationship with shoes. I love shoes. But I hate shoe manufacturers.

Here’s the problem: AAA

Yup. Super skinny feet. It’s bad enough with “regular” shoes, but sandals? Nearly impossible. (Unless, of course, you are willing to spend $100 on a pair of shoes, which I’m not!) For the past three summers I’ve been on the hunt. I do have a great pair of dressy off-white sandals. Other than that, it’s been flip-flops. Not any flip-flops, mind you, but the rare find of ones that my feet don’t slide out of before I even take a full step.

One pair lasted two years. I finally found another pair last year, which are great. But there are (many) times I want sandals, not flip-flops. So I went on the hunt yet again. I decided if I began in April instead of June, perhaps something that fit me would be left in the stores. I found myself out shopping unexpectedly today, so I decided to bring my rounds on sandals to an end. I looked at a big discount shoe store. I looked at an upscale department store.


On a last-ditch effort, I decided to check the new JCPenney in our town. I’ve never found shoes that fit me there before, but I wanted to be truthful when I claimed “no sandals anywhere around here fit me.” So in I went.

Imagine my surprise when I walked out of there with not one, but THREE pair of sandals! I was giddy! I found a pair of fun silver t-strap sandals, a pair of light brown leather flip-flop type sandals, and a dressier pair of white leather Clark sandals. All three for less than the price of a pair of AAA sandals from a high-end store or catalog!

If only my impromptu shopping trip hadn’t happened because my laptop power cord died. Sigh.


The Simple Rule of Addition

I’m not very good at math, but I do know that little things add up. It’s a lesson I am constantly learning; a truth I constantly preach to my children. It applies to money and time, food and exercise, discipline and idleness. It also applies to words on the page (or, rather, on the computer screen.)

I’ve been a bit downcast through February and March. I haven’t made the amount of progress I wanted to on my current novel. But I’ve also written other things—articles for my kids’ school and blog posts being the majority of “other.” But this woeful feeling is why I began keeping a spreadsheet of my daily writing activities a couple of years ago, charting words written and pages edited, books read and writers groups attended. And guess what? I looked back today and realized I haven’t done as badly as I’d imagined! No, I’m not where I want to be on my novel. But I have been writing. Tens of thousands of new words. Hundreds of edited pages for myself and my critique partners.

So little things really do add up. Sometimes I just need to see it in black and white to believe it.


Printers, Printers Everywhere--But Not a Drop of Ink on the Page!

Most days I can sing with Kip from Napoleon Dynamite: I love technology!

Today was not one of those days. Today I wanted to walk down the block and toss the lot into the lake!

Actually, it started last night. My son needed to print a paper for school. Now understand—we have two computers and two printers in the house. He tried to print from his computer to his printer. No go. Out of ink. So he emailed his paper to me.

No problem. My laser printer is never out of ink. And it still isn’t. But try as I might, the print job failed every time. Even though I’d printed an email just a couple of hours earlier without a hitch. Nothing had changed since then. Nothing. But even after disconnecting the printer from the wireless print server and attaching it directly to my laptop, the same, frustrating message popped up—and no page printed.

Finally, this afternoon, I determined to find the problem. An hour and a half later, it works. The problem? One number in the IP address had changed. How, I ask you? I didn’t do it. I didn’t change a thing from the last time I’d printed. Go figure.

So my printer is working again. I guess to be on the safe side I’d better go buy new ink cartridges for the other printer!