Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Week Blues

This is the middle of my first week back at school. I'm exhausted, but at the same time exilerated. School is such a pivotal point for so many.

Turning points in my life revolve around school. Think about it. First there's kindegarten and that very, very first day. The nerves, the stomach aches, recess, storytime, and naptime. Why don't they have naptime in the older grades? But going to school marked the beginning of independence from our parents.

Junior high marked the start of "going together." The first time we took a look at the opposite sex and didn't think they were gross. In my day, the big thing was to trade ID bracelets. When that happened, you were seriously going together. Of course, in most cases, it didn't last past a week but still... We also started taking a keener interest in fashion and make-up and girly-girl stuff.

High School, the part of our lives that most of us would never ever want to repeat and yet, it's the part of my school career I remember most; the bad and the good. I enjoyed a bit of rebellion, though for the most part, I was pretty tame as a teen. I learned to perform before large groups, I volunteered time at the hospital and I excelled in school. But I failed miserably at relationships as I was too shy to attract the attentions of a boyfriend. Probably for the best. I think I could have easily fallen in the category of "follower" and could have been led astray by the right guy. Ah, the follies of youth.

College marked another turning point as I moved out of the house and came into my own. Met my first DH and earned a degree. But I didn't "find" myself until I returned to college three years after earning my first degree to get certified to teach.

Now, each year begins in August for me and not January because time is marked by the school calendar. I look at each new face and wonder what trial they will face, what challenges and successes. Life is ever evolving.

Even for those that don't teach, their lives are ruled by the school calendar if they have school=age children. And again, pivotal moments revolve around school as they watch their children grow and mature. Gotta love the cycle of life.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Scared crapless!

About a month ago, a writing group out of Utah asked me if I'd like to give a workshop at their big conference Sept. 12 & 13. My hotel stay would be paid for (even though it's only a 30 minute drive!), my meals, and the registration fee. I couldn't pass this up! workshop had to be on research since I'm a historical author. (biting nails) I don't know why, but I'm scared crapless! I don't know what to talk about. I don't know what kind of handouts to get for them. And my workshop has to be 50 minutes long. AUGH!!

What's really worrying me is the agent I'd like an appointment with. I checked out her website, and she is looking for historical ROMANCE authors! OMG! This could be my lucky break! But...what if she comes to my workshop and thinks I suck? That is not a good image to have. I'm only given ten minutes to pitch to this agent, and I have three stories I could pitch, too! "Excuse me, agent, but can we meet for drinks later tonight and talk?" LOL

So the weeks are counting down, and here I sit biting my nails and getting an ulcer because I really don't know how to go about talking research. My workshop is titled "Digging Up The Past".

Any suggestions are appreciated!!


Friday, August 22, 2008

Review for Tides of Maryna's Love

I just had to drop in and brag! I received my first review for Tides of Maryna's Love! I'm so thrilled with it. See this morning started out completely sucking and then I find this email with the review link and it brightened my day.

Here are some snippets from what Orange Blossom from Long and Short Reviews had to say:

" If you enjoy classic television from the likes of Bewitched, then this is the tale for you..."

"With all the dark paranormal romantic fiction out there today, I found this lighthearted and sweetly written book refreshing..."

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was a complete delight and just perfect for these late summer afternoons."

To read the review in its entireity pleas head over to Long and Short Reviews

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Managing Time?

(Disclaimer, I confess to posting this on another blog also, but still, it really makes me think)

I always complain during the school year that I have no time, but I have come to realize that maybe that's not true. I manage my time better during the school year and get more accomplished than when I have the time I crave. Ya, I feel like I've piddled this summer away.

Egads, I start back to regular work in a week and a half. OMG, have I accomplished what I wanted. Well - no. I accomplished more than I give myself credit for but still. I think when you have more time, you tend to procrastinate more. When you have a full schedule, there's no room for internet solitaire, lunch with buddies or watching TV.

Okay, so what did I accomplish while off for the summer:

1. 9 days in Paris (that was a biggy and food for all sorts of plot ideas)
2. 25,000 words on my sequel to Celestial Dragon (my goal was to finish it. I'm at 35,000 words now with about 35,000 more to write. I don't see it getting finished by the time I return to work)
3. 60,000 words of rewrites on the Viking Time Travel (it was already completely written at 100,000. It just needs a LOT of work)
4. Queried the Viking TT - I'll let you know in about 2 weeks if it's a go or if I have to shop it around.
5. Edited about 10 stories for the community magazine and wrote 3.
6. Painted 15 megaphones with tigers
7. Attended a day conference for school
8. worked about 80 hours on a project for school.

So maybe I did more than I thought but still, for every hour I worked, I piddled away twice that many or I'd have finished that sci-fi by now. Drats!

Anyone else procrastinate when you have more time to kill?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Back from vacation--sort of

Hi everyone! Well, my intention was to come in and tell you what a wonderful vacation I had. I’d been looking forward to this all year. And it was an amazing week. Truly. We spent the days swimming, ATVing and hiking, the nights on night drives hunting for animals to try and take pictures of.

My updates will be a little off for a while. During the trip, Friday (almost the end of our vacation) my dad, my best friend, her son and I headed off for one of our three hour ATV rides. We were headed down a steep grade into a washed out creek bed.

I remember stopping long enough to look at the grade and find the best way to cross the bank—then things went black and then I was sitting on the ground next to my father in more pain than I’ve ever known in my life—and I’ve had two kids!

I can’t remember the accident no matter how hard I try. My best friend and my father have tried to fill in the blanks for me but nothing registers. I do remember them saying “I thought she was dead.”

So, here is what happened, to the best of my knowledge:

My best friend saw me do two things she’d never EVER seen me do before: fail to counter balance and stick out my leg. Counter balance is just what it sounds like, you’re going on a slope you lean away from the middle, the sloped side, to give your bike/ATV a counter weight. As to sticking out the leg, that’s an absolute no-no no matter if you’re riding an ATV or a motorcycle. You’re foot can get crushed if the bike flips on it’s side.

Anyway we figured out that my shoe/foot either got hung on an uproot or the strap got caught in the brake, so I pulled out my leg to try and free my foot. By focusing on this I must’ve been distracted from the fact I needed to counter balance.

The ATV went down forward first, I was thrown into the side mirror. Then I flipped off the back and side of the bike when the creek bank crumbled under the tire. I hit the rocks, bounced upward, but had been knocked out because I collapsed just before the bike slid down the embankment. The back in crashed down by my head so close the tire ended up on my hat.

My head was between the back tires. Because my hat had been pinned on the underside and the way the bike came crashing down, AND because of where my head had been just seconds before, my friend and my dad were sure I’d been killed by 600 pounds of heavy metal.

Where we were, there was no way of a rescue squad getting in to me. There was no way a truck, even a 4 wheel drive, could get down there. The trees were too tall, so the helicopter was out. (I have special insurance that covers rescue choppers—I’m a die hard rider :D)

I do remember my best friend asking how they were going to get me out. My dad said “She’s going to have to ride out.” K’s face was so funny, kind of a mask that seemed to say “Have you lost your freakin’ mind?!?!?!”

There was also a suggestion of leaving one of the bikes down there and someone coming back for it. My father discounted this; there really was no one else. My grandfather is as tough as most anyone I know, but he couldn’t have made that ride.

So I rode the ATV out. We were only halfway through the ride but I was told it still took us almost three hours. They had to stop occasionally for me to rest. The ride out is a massive blur. I do remember some things, but for the most part…well, not so much. We reached one point and my dad said we would be reachable by first response or a rescue squad and he asked if I wanted one—apparently I said no. Again, don’t remember this conversation.

We got to my grandparents house, Granny was a little freaked. K went down to my trailer to swap out an ATV for my truck then we loaded me into the truck and made the hour drive to the nearest hospital.

I was immediately taken in, x-rayed and the staff was stunned to find I hadn’t broken a single bone. They put a temporary cast on my foot because the muscles, ligaments and tissues were pretty mangled. My shoulder felt dislocated, but it was only severe muscle bruising.

On Saturday, I came hobbling out of the trailer and was riding the ATV around again. I was afraid I would be too scared to ride again and I felt I had to get on again. There were some patches I did indeed panic but I’m sure that will fade in time.

Then I got my hillbilly shower andf it felt wonderful. What’s a hillbilly shower? Well, take a garden hose and…I hear you laughing but honestly, it works! I got up, put on a swimsuit and pair of shorts, wrapped a garbage bag around my cast and secured it with duct tape—yes, it does fix anything! Then after wetting down with the hose, simply scrub up. After I finished soaping up, my best friend riunsed me off then washed my hair. I accomplished two tasks: cleaned my body AND washed my clothes, LOL. She also took tons of pictures of my heavily bruised body.

I ended up staying alone that night while my best friend, my dad and her little boy went on the night drive together. But, my grandparents came down to visit with me for a few minutes. They wanted to see for themselves I was all right.

Sunday morning I woke up and found I couldn’t move. Not an inch without excruciating pain. I hurt in places I didn’t know I had, or at least hadn’t seen in a LONG while. Sunday was the day we were supposed to pack up and load most of our stuff. Because I couldn’t move even if the place was on fire, my best friend did it all, with the help of her son. (Nick is an amazing kid! Not only did he insist on going to the hospital with us to make sure I was really all right, he helped wait on me. Whatever I needed he more than willingly got for me!)

Monday we did the final load and headed for home. I was absolutely miserable the entire drive. We stopped at Mammoth Springs park—if your ever in that area don’t miss this place! It’s AMAZING! I missed the walk around the dam this time around, but take my word for it, you won’t regret stopping by there.

But by the time we got home all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and die.

It’s been over a week now. My foot is still massively swollen and the pain gets to be almost unbearable at times. My arm still doesn’t function the way it’s supposed to, but it is getting better.

Friday I went from the orthopedist to the Wal-Mart super center for grocery shopping. Came home in tons of pain. Saturday mom came and got me. We went to Wal-Mart with my Daughter in law and my little punkin face Alyx. Came back in tons of pain. Sunday my daughter drove us to church—16 + learners permit = Mom’s heart attack. We made it in one piece. My brother and his wife and their sons arrived and after services we all went out to eat, then DD drove us home to change and over to mom’s to visit for a while. Then she asked if we could go to, ready? Wait for it…steady…Wal-Mart. It was tax free weekend and she wanted to get some clothes and school supplies. I couldn’t go shopping again if I had to. So she and my brother went.

I even jumped on the back of the ATV yesterday and rode up my street. This was a big mistake. Today I’m sore and my shoulder is cursing me again. I’ll learn, eventually. Maybe. I do have to start taking it easy, letting my body heal and that sort of thing. Today is the day I’m going to do absolutely nothing. Again, maybe.

I am glad the accident happened at the end of the vacation. I’d have been so miserable the entire week! Plus, because of the accident my dad took K and Nick on the night drives and they got to see a wild boar and several deer as opposed to the dozens of bats and one rattlesnake we saw the entire week until that point.

And that’s how I spent my summer vacation. Fun, huh? Well, now that you know where I’ve been youi’ll understand when I say, I wont’ be updating for a while. I’m going to give my arm and leg rest time. If I stay still I’ll recover quicker, I just wanted to let you all know why I haven’t been on before now.

See you all in a few days!