Rambling…

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with twitter.

My husband works for a company that only does twitter stuff, so it pays our bills.  =LOVE

Tons of agents/editors/writers use it obsessively and they actually tweet you back.  =LOVE

I can only speak in 144 characters.  =HATE

There are ten million tweets I miss every time I stop watching like a hawk.  =HATE

I could go on, but I won’t.  Aren’t you glad?  I know the topic has been done to death, and lots of people have valid reasons for hating facebook but it just seems like such a useful platform to reach out, share content, and actually *say* stuff rather than toss out little quips like candy at a parade.

This doesn’t mean I don’t get uber excited when an author I admire or an agent I covet replies to me but for some weird reason I am irritated the whole time I am using the platform.  Anyone else feel that way?

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As far as the work goes, I am still plodding along.  I have taken the last like 4 or 5 days off because of tooth pain.  I finally had all the root canals done yesterday thanks to the grace of a friend with an empty amex card and I am having the caps put on tomorrow morning.  Hopefully once that is done I can concentrate again.  I was making good progress.

 

And You Wonder….

Why I never get anything done.

So first of all, just disregard the oxygen tubes and machine I cart around.  Totally forget about the bag of pills, the order of bedrest, the spine fusing together, the two shunts I had put in my head over Christmas, the hearing aides,  the chemotherapy scars, and the crackling noise I make when I move.  Just put those aside.

Then go ahead and stop thinking of my middle son with the life and mood altering autoimmune disease who swallows 18 pills a day plus a monthly treatment to live.  Don’t worry about his bipolar like mood swings where he wants to die, or manic OCD episodes where he can’t stop repeating the same noise over and over until it feels right because of the autoimmune encephalitis.  The Tourette’s and narcolepsy?  Nah, just pretend they don’t exist.

My husband, also with OCD and my teenage cheerleader daughter who has a seizure disorder and anemia?  Shhhhhhhh, darling.

Those things are my day to day life.  I’ve gotten them down to a frenetic rhythm that 51% of the time I can handle, but this last punch was too much.

After a full plate of personal pan poopy that I got through eating yesterday my six year old, Jack, comes running in our bedroom to tell us when he went potty the toilet was full of red water but he flushed it.  What?! I told him I couldn’t know for sure unless he tried to potty again, so he did, and BLOOD poured out.  Oh my god, my poor baby.  I had so many intestinal blockages growing up I can’t even count, but I thought this burden had passed over my children.  Not so, I guess.

I rushed him to the emergency room and they did bloodwork, but they barely parted his cheeks to ascertain there was in fact, blood coming from his bum and then watched us for hours.  Since without the aide of a toilet, not much came out and his bloodwork was ok they sent us on our way with the advice to see a pediatric gastro doc the next day.  They failed to also tell us to catch a unicorn or find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Those three things don’t exist, bee tee dubs.

Problem was, they didn’t have a rectal scope on hand and didn’t want to do a DRE ( digital rectal exam) on a 6 year old.  UURRRGGLLLBRRRGGGLLL

So I didn’t get to write yesterday, or today, or the foreseeable future until this is handled because all I can think about is my baby and how it’s all my fault for passing on bad genes.

So yeah…  even if you discount all the regular life things my little family handles on the daily that yours would fall apart attempting, yesterday was enough to bring even us to our knees.  Steve and I slept last night holding hands like Jack and Rose post Titanic, except we aren’t stupid and knew there was enough room for BOTH OF US DAMMIT on the door.

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On a brighter note, I sold a short story today for a decent paycheck but it came at a time that it’s hard to celebrate, so celebrate for me, K?

In Memory of Elizabeth Cameron

My heart was broken right before Thanksgiving when my Grandma, who practically raised me, and who cared for my children for years finally went on to her reward.

So much of who I am is wrapped up in the things that she taught me with so much patience throughout my life.   She was the real deal.  Strong, faithful, a good cook, a handyman, a tailor, a carpenter, a farmer, a wife, and so on.  She could make a huge breakfast ( always biscuits and gravy) then go out and weed a garden, measure a cut some cabinets for a house they were working on, fix lunch, rock a baby to sleep, go birth a calf, and then cook dinner again, all while keeping all of the rest of us together.   I’ve never known someone so capable.

I was adopted, and a lot of my new family unfortunately didn’t think adopting a baby was such a good decision for my parents.  I don’t know what their hangup was, but I was always the one asked to take the family picture at gatherings because I wasn’t a blood relative, or somesuch nonsense.  I hold no grudges, but not much love either for those people.  However, regardless of my genes, to my Grandma I was always her darlin’ ( that is, until my daughter came along, 😀 ).

I was fortunate enough to live next to her all my growing up years, and some after.  She taught me how to cook, and how to sew.  She taught me how to be tough, and by example she taught me what kind of a woman I wanted to be.  My biggest fears were always disappointing her and my mother.

When it became evident that I was not made out of the same tough stuff that they both were, that my bones and my insides were fragile in a way they couldn’t understand, they still loved me and pushed me to my limits.   When I couldn’t keep up, she always picked up my slack.  She was there for the birth of all my babies, and she cared for them when I went back to work.

She had her first stroke painting an antique bed bubblegum pink outside for my daughter.  I remember looking at the bottoms of her feet, covered in pink paint sticking out from under the sheet in her ICU bed.  I walked out of the last few hours of my college internship to be with her there, and never regretted it.

She had several more strokes, heart attacks, clots, and then ultimately kidney failure.  The ending of her life was long and painful for everyone involved, but it just reaffirmed that she was something rare, and I guess the world was as unready to lose her as we were.

Now that she’s gone, my mother and I, who were closer to her than anyone but her husband feel left adrift.  Floating out in the ether with no tether to anything solid.  She was our solid thing, she was our rock.

I don’t grieve her, because she lives on in everything I am.  Through my kids, and through every interaction I have with the world. However I am still finding my way, trying to figure out how to go on without her.

She was a practical woman, one who never understood my writing, and who would have been just as proud of me if I had dropped out of  school.  In fact, she suggested it several times when my UIL competitions interfered with family reunions or something.  That being said, she was always the first person to brag on my blue ribbons, and listen avidly to whatever story was rattling about in my head.

I hope up there in Heaven she knows that down here I’m still trying.  Still working, and waiting for the time when we get to see each other again, so I can tell her more stories.

About Freaking Time

I’m even getting tired of me using my cancer/ankle as excuses for not keeping up with my blog and writing, I can’t imagine how much you must want to vomit when reading this blog….

HEY!  It could be a new diet trend! ‘ Read Laura’s blog, lose 4lbs a week!  Frequent visitors keep the weight off!  Comments burn an extra 100 calories!’

Act now while Laura’s misery supply lasts!!

In all seriousness it is about freaking time that I got back to the business of being me.  Writing, mothering, not whining all the time; but it’s so hard (ok, whining a *little* is ok).  I got back home from a week long visit to the back end of Texas visiting my grandma who is about to get to see the other side of the curtain.  She’s such an inspiration, everything that she has marched through and held her head high, I can do no less.  So today, instead of sleeping in, I went to the store, stocked up, put Christmas on layaway so I wouldn’t have an excuse to stop writing to go shopping, and worked out for the first time in… umm, no comment.

I’m getting back in the saddle again after a little more than 2 months of almost complete inactivity.  It’s going to hurt… a lot.

Thankfully, my mother in Texas kept the mess maker ( Child Number 3) until she comes up to visit, which should be in 3 weeks to a month, so for the first time since his birth I am going to be able to focus on something for longer than the span between commercial breaks.  *SQUEE!*

It makes me want to nap, forever, and then read a little, eat a cookie, and nap some more.  Except I promised myself I wouldn’t do that.

Must.Not.Take.Nap.

Wow, that is sooooo much harder than it seems.  I was built for napping.  Napping is in my blood. Well, actually high concentrations of creatinine are in my blood, and that’s why I need the dialysis, but that’s neither here nor there.  Cookie, anyone?

Ok… so, to sum it up.

1)  Read my Blog.  It helps you lose weight!

2)  I’m not going to nap, I’m going to write, dammit!

3)  Man, I’m sleepy…. *yawn*

 

 

Hairy Mustache Women

Mr Laura and I took the kids (and friend) to the fair last night, and I have to say that the women there truly inspired me…..

To wax my mustache.

 

Seriously, I have never seen that much feminine upper lip hair in one congregation since…well…ever.   This wasn’t even part of the side show, either!

However, wandering around and eating fried oreos (yum!) whilst looking at the veritable smorgasboard of humanity drawn to the flashing lights and promise of a thrill for only 3 tickets; I began to see the people there, however hairy as more than just people.  I saw them as characters.  Characters that gave depth and quirk to an already colorful story.

Writing is that way sometimes too.  We start out with a single character or place, and then a story, and then a subplot, etc.  However, sometimes the best stories are the ones that include not only the good looking prince and the ever-suffering princess, but the ones that also tell the stories of the freaks and geeks who also dwell in the kingdom.

So let’s face it, we need the bearded lady too.  And Pinhead Larry, and the Elephant Man.  Those are the people who create a background for your more traditional characters to play against, or along with.

I forget that sometimes, that not only do my main characters need as much attention as I can give them, but their hairy mustachioed lady friends’ need attention too.

And possibly some depilatory cream.

 

 

Kids Taste Like Chicken or Short Story Frustration

First thanks to all the twitterpates, blog sweeties, and absolute writers who have sent me well wishes the last week.  It really does make my day when you remind me that people care.  It’s hard going through this without family to help, and your kindness means the world.

*wipes tear*

Okay, so enough of the mushy stuff.

The last few days, other than painful in an ouch-my-side-has-a-huge-hole-in-it sort of way have also been painful in a writery way.

I finished up my extended outline/rough draft/bunch of scenes thing last week and was totally enthused to get started on a polished first draft this week.  Like a kid at Christmas excited.

And then my three small children, like a host of locusts, came in a ate all of my enthusiasm away.

They can’t help it.  My husband leaves for work, they wake up, Mommy is exhausted from recovering from chemo or whatever and I sleep in a bit.  They make cereal and watch cartoons until I get up and about.  They seem to stay pretty docile as I wander around getting coherent, but it seems like the second I go upstairs and sit down to write, they turn into whirling dervish hats and crawl on top of my head.

One wants to play computer games on the other desk here, one wants to ridicule the first, and the third is dropping foodstuff and terrorizing the dog while asking if they can look at petpetpark or something.  So I get up and get pay attention to them even though all I want is to sit and write and not wheeze when I walk.  Everything returns to calm.  Then I sit back down and suddenly I am in the middle of a lightsabre fight and someone wants to be helf and someone broke a picture with a ball and suddenly … I find myself writing a short story where a race of aliens traps and eats a families children.

I know, I’m horrible.  In my defense, it made me feel better, and it came out pretty good, too.

I don’t usually write short stories, but I just needed to vent and write, and this worked.  I’m going to submit it to an anthology contest and see what happens, I’m just waiting to find a beta reader.  Whatever works, right?

And btw, if you DO know if kids taste like chicken, I don’t want to know. 😀

It’s #amwriting’s birthday !!

I am new to the whole blog/twitter/social media thing.  I am a nerd from way back with social anxiety issues that probably extend even to the virtual social realm… I can’t know for sure because I write these things and then promptly go hide for a couple hours and breathe deeply.

However, I have found that the #amwriting hashtag on twitter to be a wonderful resource and a really awesome community.  I love getting excited over the milestones that perfect strangers are making on their own work, and it jazzes me up to work harder at my own.   Another twitterpate (name that reference and I’ll eat a cookie in your honor) announced today that #amwriting’s 2nd birthday was coming up and it simultaneously made me feel old for no particular reason, and made me excited all over again to participate in the varied and highly talented community of  scribblers that I have come to love and hashtag with.

Happy Birthday #amwriting!  If I could find matches I would light a candle for you.  (and probably set something on fire)