Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's the Little Things

Three days ago it was 120 degrees. Today it's overcast, cool and sprinkling! Just when I think I can't stand southern California any more, we get a break.

This weekend, I'm back to writing. The cooler weather has revived me and I think I just might live.

Of course, we have to go shopping first. It's payday weekend and the first Friday of the month is our "splurge" day. My man and I eat out and spend the day window shopping. I hate shopping, but he loves it. He turns into a little boy excited at the newest Star Trek phaser or the latest Firefly replica, and that makes it fun for me. There's a Star Trek exhibit in Riverside. I'm going to take him there as a surprise. He'll be in heaven.

And at the end of the day, I get to go to the bookstore! And buy books!


It's the little things in life that sometimes bring the most joy.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Too Hot to Live!

It was 120 degrees at my home today. Southern California is a freakin' desert! When did that happen? We had a mild summer topping out at around 100 degrees in August and then this.

What can you do in this kind of heat? Can't use the computer because it heats up. The air conditioning doesn't get all the way into the computer room. The TV is in the bedroom, where the AC doesn't reach at all. We usually put a hose in a tree and sit under it, but it was too hot for that, too. This weekend we ended up laying naked on the bed with wet towels draped over us and a fan turned on us.

It's 7 pm and 95 degrees outside.

I want to live somewhere green and wet where the temperature doesn't go over 90 degrees. Ever.

Is there such a place?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Not My Hand

I looked down at my hand today and I saw it. Really saw it. It's not the hand I remember having. Suddenly there are lines and wrinkles and freckles. They can't be age spots; they have to be freckles. It isn't my hand but I did recognize it; it is my mother's hand.

The shock spiraled me into a memory from my twenties. In a creative writing class I took in college, the instructor was encouraging us to write and never stop. He told a story about an elderly women who took his night class and how frustrated he was with her because she had waited too late to start writing. He encouraged her to quit because developing talent as a writer takes time she didn't have and memory skills she had already lost.

I remember thinking that would never be me.

And now here I am getting old and feeling it's too late to be a writer.

When I took that class, I thought the instructor was an idiot. Words and ideas gushed from me at that age and I couldn't imagine ever losing that. Now, I think he might have been right. Writing is hard work now. Words and ideas merely trickle.

Is there a point in life when you are just too old to write? Or, like everything else with age, it just gets harder to do, but not impossible?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Critique Group Survival Guide

I've been thinking about finding a critique partner or critique group to join. I'm so glad I bought this book first. I really didn't know the first thing about critiquing. I thought it was pretty much the same as copy editing. Big mistake. After reading it, I realize I'm not quite ready to join a group but I have picked up some valuable techniques to edit my own writing and when I do join a group or find a CP, I'll be able to participate usefully.

If you're interested, I wrote a review of this book at

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bits and Pieces

The month of August went by and I didn't write any fiction. No excuses, but I've spent most of my time trying to find the bits and pieces of my mind and put them back together. Between work stress, health stress and home stress, my little brain exploded.

I work for a school in California, so I'm just lucky to still have a job. I'm very grateful; I am. But if there was any way I could find another job, I would. My name's on this blog, so I won't go into details. Suffice it to say it's hard to get to sleep at night because when it's quiet I start worrying about my job and around 3:30 in the morning I realize I'm still awake thinking about the job.

I've tried writing in the wee hours of the morning, but I end up just sitting at the computer, the pieces of my brain jangling around in my head. By 5 a.m. I'm tired enough to sleep.

The alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m.

I'm severely sleep deprived which makes my job even harder. I fell asleep driving home one night. I woke up thinking I was home, but I had gotten off the freeway on the wrong offramp and was seriously lost. Now I worry about driving home at night.

My dog died after major surgery to remove tumors and her spleen. She was the last dog I will ever have. I miss her.

My health? My feet are swelling, my blood sugar is high and the biopsy the dermatologist did on a bump on my leg has turned into a sinkhole that won't heal.

Is it just me, or do other writers have a hard time writing under stress?

I hate to whine, but, you know, I think I feel a little better.