Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Writing to the sounds of a ticking clock

There was a metronome like sound that has followed me everywhere for the last month.  It was the sound of the clock, ticking away the moments of 2011. The time I had to finish my manuscript.

I am proud to say that I am done. You heard me. I have officially written a book. Sure, my family might be the only people to ever read it. Point is I set out to do something and did it. How many people can say they've written a book? Well after this experience I will never mock another book again. No matter how bad.

Because this was alot of work. Blood sweat tear... insomnia. All that. 6  hours a day. For a week. Thank goodness my husband could watch the kids. It was a daunting task to be sure, trying to meet this deadline. I had to use all the tools in my toolbox from the lessons learned last year. Most importantly I guess I had to decide if I really wanted to finish it this year. When the answer was yes, then I had to make a plan to make sure I succeeded. But I had to tamp down the dreams of becoming a bestselling author.That's not my goal... just to finish.

 Writing is a labor or love. Obviously I hope someone else wants to read it too, but that really doesn't matter nearly as much as the accomplishment itself.

Now I am going to email to Caleb and sleep for a week. Happy New Year. I am sure I will sleep through it

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Disney and the price of Magic

Ugh. Sinus infections suck. Can't. Form. Complete. Sentences.

How am I supposed to do a chapter a day when my brain is foggier than my glasses on a cold day?

Do want to take a minute to say something about the cost of magic. Disney costs a freakin arm and a leg. I literally have to close my eyes when I sign the credit card receipts. But what Disney has is a level of customer service that is unparalleled.

My daughter Lily is.. special. She has anxiety problems as well as sensory modulation disorder. It means she tends to go from 0 to 60 in the emotional spectrum. Sounds are often too loud for her, and she constantly needs touch and compression. We got the special pass from guest services that let us use her stroller like a wheelchair so in long lines she had her own little bubble kind of.

Everything went really well until on the very last ride of the trip she left her special souvenir on the tram -- her stuffed dog Lady. She flipped out. I haven't seen her that upset for months. I ran to Disneyland train station on Main street and tried to beat the train we had just departed in Tommorowland. The train had just pulled in.

I probably looked like a mad woman- running up and down the platform screaming "Has anyone seen a little dog? Is there a dog on the train?" When it wasn't there I started bawling too. What was I going to do? The Train conductor pulled me back off the platform and got the scoop. He went to the office and wrote me a little coupon thing. It said "No strings attached"  It was a coupon that I could take to the store and get Lily a new Lady.

Of course that made me cry harder. It had been a trying four days managing two little ones among the Christmas crowds. Then add the extra considerations we take to help Lily and it was too much. I was also crying because I was touched. Disney is a company, they make money. That's what they do. They didn't have to do anything other than shrug their shoulders at me. But they personally wanted to make sure my daughter took the magic home with her.
 "Why?" I asked the conductor.
"Because Disneyland is the happiest place on earth."

I would have gladly paid the 29.99 for the dog a hundred times over just to make my daughter smile. But there is no price I could have put on that little piece of magic when the clerk brought out "Lady" and Lily scolded the dog for getting lost.

So, alittle bit off topic, but something I had to share.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Disneyland with a laptop surgically attached

We are off to Disneyland for Christmas vacation. I have half of my manuscript done, but if I take the next 8 days off then there is no way I will be done in time.  I know it wouldn't be the end of the world if I don't finish this year, but I really want to.. How awesome would that be to cap off a stupendous year. Losing weight, running a marathon, climbing a mountain, front page article, and finishing a book.

So what to do on the 12 hour drive to Disney? Well write of course. Hopefully the kids can keep it down in the backseat while the watch Dora. The plan is to write as much as I can on the drive and then write a few hours every night. I definitely want to be productive, but not at the cost of the family fun. So wish me luck and say a little prayer to Tinkerbell that you believe in this fairy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Who Needs Sleep When You Can Write?

So my first two chapters have been passed off by the great and powerful Oz. (otherwise known as Caleb Warnock)  Now he has given me a deadline to have a finished manuscript by the New Year's Eve.  To which I replied, "New Year's Eve 2012 right?" No go.  I am supposed to write an entire book in one month.  You read right ONE MONTH.

Crap.  The thought of writing the whole thing that fast makes want to hurl. Breathe. I can do this... maybe.  I finished the marathon one mile at a time. I lost seventy five lbs one at a time, and I will write this book one page at a time.

So what am I supposed to do with my full time job - Being a mommy.  Caleb suggests either listing them for sale in the classified section, or putting out a gallon of milk and a box of cereal -- then locking myself in my room for a month. Since I don't want to get busted by DCFS I think I will look into playdates and preschool.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Little Successes-- I'll take what I can get

So in class today I got a rousing round of applause for the article in the paper. I also got a round of applause for a short essay Caleb had me write. It was like the 5 minute version of what I wanted my book to be. He thinks I might just have a book after all. Next week's assignment is to bring in a revised outline without all the self help crap. Just stories about the things I learned.

Now for chapter one.  How this for a title You'll know you've hit the bottom when you hear the Thud

Friday, November 4, 2011

Holy Crap! I'm on the front page

The title says it all. Chris Dalley, newspaper lady extraordinaire, told me my article would be in the paper today. So I went to a newsstand to pick one up and who was staring back at me? Me! My picture was on the front page.  Holy smokes! Does it get any cooler?

Here's a link to the article.  Very cool. So should I get her a fruit basket or flowers or something?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ehh..Wrong Try Again

So I brought my first chapter to class. Did not go really well. Apparently I am funny but trying way to hard to come up with things to say. I keep thinking that just sharing my experiences isn't enough.  That I need more, like expert commentary.  The response to that was "You are not some inspirational Self-help Guru like Tony Robbins. Be you and write the story only you can write."

So I shed a few tears. It's really hard sometimes to have someone rip (literally) your work to shreds. But it will help me get better I am sure. I really hope so anyway.

On a side note, there's a really awesome lady in the class that works for the newspaper and she is going to write a story on me and my new finishing habit. I'll keep you posted

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

American Fork Writer's Conference

So this weekend I went to the local Writer's Conference.  Figured it wouldn't be a bad place to start. The main topic was EBooks.

Way over my head. Amazing advice but my head is still spinning.  Everything in today's publishing market revolves around the internet. Long gone are the days when writing a book was the hardest part.  Now you have to be author/marketing genius/publisher/tax man.  It's a wee bit daunting.

Baby steps first things first.  Write the darned book. The workshop leader's name was Caleb Warnock. He was slightly insane but in that whole brilliant artist kinda way. He was really encouraging of my book idea and said I have a good narrative voice.  He hosts a weekly Wednesday workshop, so let's get 'er done.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Journey Begins

Ok. I'm going to do it. I'm going to be a writer. I'm putting pen to paper and off I go.

Now what? What do I write? I am bubbling with ideas but don't know where to start. The book I want to write first would the story of how I lost the 75 lbs and ran my first marathon. I was thinking for a title "Run Walk Crawl".  Kind of in the vein of  Eat Pray Love.

But I am serious about getting a book finished.  I have so many starts of novels then that little voice would talk me out of trying anymore. But this year has taught me that if I can run a marathon... I can do anything.