Archive for August, 2013

Sometimes I can’t help but feel I’ve missed the boat. Or maybe a better analogy would be that I got a ride when I really should’ve hopped on the bus…years ago.

I’m forty-three now, (yes, my birthday sadly fell amongst last week’s horrors) my oldest boy is seventeen, my middle dude, a big one-four and the titch at the end is somehow soon to be twenty-two thirteen.

I’ve been through the baby years, times three, and some teen years and let’s just say if I wrote about them on a public forum I might wake up with my fingers Crazy Glued together. And that would only be a warning.

I read these mommy blogs and, I love them. I relish them. I devour them. In fact, I unfold in them and, honestly,…I’m jealous of them. These women have so much material! And, their kids are far too short to reach the Crazy Glue.

As for me, well, I’ve done my moving countries, my getting married, my precarious pregnancies, my preemies, my “gee, that birth nearly killed me”, my “damn, I swear this demon baby has not slept in eight months”, my “whoa, this postpartum depression is killing me”, my money meltdowns, my midlife misadventures, my doggy demises and my “good god, I’m woefully not wonderful at anything whines.”

I mean, all those things have passed. What’s left to write about?

On second thought, I’ve toiled so long over my laptop that this *blister has formed on the outside of my arm and having revisited all of the aforementioned ominous and opiate-encouraging topics just to write this post, maybe, subconsciously, I’m hoping there really isn’t anything left…


*Note: this (extremely painful) blister was actually caused by a rogue, lava hot spattering of the stew I made for dinner last night, but as a writer, I reserve the right to change and over-dramatize the facts to benefit the tales I tell. The good news is, this must mean my subconscious’ search for writing material will be extensive and eternal.

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And this folks, is how you get things done!



My current work-in-progress, The Light Never Lies, (the sequel to Disappearing in Plain Sight) is moving along towards publication. In today’s post, I’ll overview how the process has unfolded so far.

I followed Stephen King’s sage advice and wrote the first draft in one season – January through March. I put the draft away for a month. When I took it out, the dust had barely settled. I got busy with a complete read through. I made note of the key areas that needed work. In the rush of creation, I had left a few blanks where relevant research had to be done. Scenes needed to be fleshed out with the detail that would come from that research. I discovered that all the characters were nodding, shrugging, smiling, and looking around way too much. Some serious work on the beats was necessary. In Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

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As all good things must come to an end, I thought life with Rowan would go on forever. No, you’re not confused. You needn’t read that sentence again. It’ll still say the same thing.

You see, I’ve been known to remark once or thrice that she really must be the World’s Worst Dog. I haven’t hidden my rants or rages. My sputterings and spews have been no secret. I have openly complained and cried in frustration. I’ve fallen and forgiven for all to see. I’ve been a martyr at best.

You understand, right? I mean, she filled my life with insane and unnatural amounts of hair and stained my carpets to the brink of despair. She chewed up precious belongings and sabotaged our prized Wisteria. Her incessant howls cost us neighbors and got her ixnayed from our camping roster. She dragged garbage out over the floors and snatched lavish steaks off the barbie. Walks were harrowing horrors as she pulled and strained with all her might. She vanished when unleashed and ignored our frantic pleas for her return. Yes, without a doubt, she was the world’s worst dog.

But this week, she lay at my feet, panting and whimpering, immobilized and pained. Helpless.

And all I could remember were her ears flapping in the wind, her saucer eyes and her soppy, sweet demeanor. As my family spread out to sleep on the couches and the floor because she could no longer make the trip up to our rooms, I thought of the way she once guarded our house and made us feel safe. While we set our alarm for her 3am meds, I envisioned the way her legs splayed out to the sides as she scrambled to meet us each time we came through the door. While we hand-fed her a homemade turkey and quinoa mix with little sips of water, I wished for the once annoying click of her nails on the wooden floor. And as we changed out the cool packs soothing her collapsing neck, I swore I heard all the laughter she’d brought into our home over the last seven and a half years.

This week, she could do none of that. She simply lay, gasping, blinking, scared and scarred and I realized what I must’ve known all along. She wasn’t the world’s worst dog. She’d be my family’s best memory.

Rowan aka: Ro, Rowey, Rosa and The Ro Show  January 23, 2006 ~ August 22, 2013

Rowan aka: Ro, Rowey, Rosa and The Ro Show
January 23, 2006 ~ August 22, 2013

Note: Rowan was taken from us by an inoperable case of Intervertebral Disc Disease

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There’ll be hell to pay for this post. I will have all happy holidaying nature-lovers in a tizzy. Thor will rain down and strike me with his what are you thinking? club. I’ll be frowned upon by the Gods of all things multi-wheeled and RVQ’d and I hang my head in shame. I do.

But, as I watch my husband drip with sweat, nip his fingers, work harder than a pack mule and swear bloody murder over and over, my mind meanders across the fence to the other side where dark things grow.

Shaded tendrils of twisted tarnish creep and curl around my closing throat. Vicious vines slither through the naughty nooks and corroded crannies of my mind.

“Why?” They hiss.

We have a lovely backyard, a wonderful deck, running water and a conveniently located fridge and yet….sigh, and yet, we pack up everything including the kitchen sink and putt off into the wild blue yonder to snooze on gritty sheets and feast from swampy coolers. We cram our clothes into damp outside wardrobes and eat off paper and perfunctory plastic. It takes ten times longer to do things and the room service bell is long out of order.

Gearing up for a camping trip takes days and decamping, even longer and somehow, after six years of owning a tent trailer (we used to tent – shudder), we still don’t have it down pat. You’d think we’d be bursting from the Velcro seams at this point, but somehow there’s always a ten yard dash before every excursion which includes us whipping out the worn and weary Visa at least twenty times over.

So, back to the why. Well, like I said, it’s that blue yonder thing, the dream that we’re free as birds while living under an azure sky. I’m not a nature girl by any means, but there’s something to be said for cooking in the open air and sipping a cider while flipping the morning’s flapjacks. At what other time is booze before breakfast ok? Well, pretty much never.

And, as parents, we take solace in the knowledge that the teens we now drag along will one day look back and have memories they will probably distort, but at the very least, cherish. The swearing, sweating and screeching, the worrying, working and waiting, worthwhile. We’re learning what life’s all about and passing it on, but most importantly, we’re bonding. Our little family is growing into a well-oiled machine, albeit slow and somewhat painful.

I guess swampy and gritty bring out the rainbows.

Our home for the next ten days

Our home for the next ten days

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Hazy Incognito

It was unsettling.

Everywhere I turned; “Hazy! Hazy! Sign here!” “Hey Hazy, will you write this postcard to my mom for me?” “Aww Hazy, what I wouldn’t give to pick your super-creative, ultra-talented brain for an hour.”

Shouting from every corner, greedy fingers with long black nails clawing at my sleeves, hundreds of white-hot flashes blinding me and oh so many offers of representation, I couldn’t keep track. It seems Hazy had become a household name.

I was overwhelmed. What sort of unmanageable monster had I created? I had to stealthily dart down dark, deserted streets and hide behind parked cars. I had to use an alias. I went incognito.

Okay, maybe the hood was because it was raining and my $14.99 tourist rip-off umbrella broke after 1 minute of use. And perhaps the grim look on my face was not due to the hoards of people vying for my attention but because I was paying tribute to the victims of Ground Zero at the time. Still, it’s nice to imagine, isn’t it? Success of a certain magnitude?

And, why not? I don’t believe that only a select few are earmarked for stardom from time of conception. I doubt we come equipped with some sort of unique barcode that’s scanned at birth and separates us into two distinct piles:

~ will be famous

~ will be a janitor

Not that there’s a darn thing wrong with being a janitor, of course. It takes all kinds to make the world tick. I myself, tend to get a definite and deep satisfaction from the sheen of my freshly washed floor, albeit short-lived. (The sheen, that is)

I believe anyone can be anything provided they believe it too. So work towards it, grasp it, nurture it, buy it, own it, polish it and believe it. Pretty soon, you’ll need a hood as well.

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