. . . I’d want “muting” power. I swear today when I picked up the kids from school, all of them were whining about something. B4 did all of his homework and in class assignments, but somehow he got a couple of C’s and one D on his report card. The teacher hates him. It’s all her fault. He must think I’m the biggest dumbass in Charlotte to tell me something like that.
B2 got a C in a class where she hates the teacher (I’m not crazy about him either, to be honest) and B3, well, she was just whining.
And, judging by the expressions of other moms driving out of carpool, they were hearing the exact line from their kids. It’s times like this when us moms could invoke our “muting” power and drive home in peace. We would listen to whatever the hell we want to on the radio because we make the damned car payment! Of course, we’d never abuse our “muting” powers and only use it to keep the fine line of our sanity intact. uhmmm . . . NOT! I’d “mute” them the moment they got into the truck and “unmute” them before bedtime.
I first thought I’d like a “freeze” power, but then who’d unload the dishwasher, help me with dinner, laundry and do their portion of the lunch chores?
I finally finished something I’ve been fretting about for a month now. It’s behind me! YAY!
A shocking change of pace found me at the ballfield this weekend. (kidding!). Both B2 and B3 had a tournament this past weekend and B4 had a little league game. All three were winners! I’m not sure what the score of B4′s game was because hubby took him. B2′s team won all three games. B2 hit well, but had a poor performance in the field. She was benched on Sunday. I was okay with it this time, but it better not be a regular occurrance. Ever since this “superstar” ball player and her domineering father joined the team, B2 has pretty much lost her position. This new player is good, but she’s prone to theatrics, smoke and mirrors – i.e diving for balls (that she still freakin’ misses), jumping up and whipping the ball down to second (she also plays catcher) so low that the shortstop (my daughter) misses the throw and the runner is safe. At the end of the day, she doesn’t do any more than B2 ever did, she’s just alot dirtier. Her bat’s pretty weak too. ‘Nuf said, or else I’ll sound like a bitter mom.
B3 had an awesome tournament. She came close at least five times of hitting a ball over the fence (about 200 feet). Her only home run came in the last inning of the last game. She played catcher and did a really awesome job. They had to play five games because stupid errors cost them a win on Saturday. To win the championship, they had to beat another team twice in a row. And I’ll be darned if they didn’t. It was all good.
The YA Literary piece is all red-inked in a binder and hopefully I’ll get all of the changes made this week. But not tonight.by Brenda
Going “home” gives me a chance to see how far I’ve come since I left and allows me space to think about where I need to go. But this time was a bit different.
My kids found some old yearbooks and after they were done laughing all the outdated clothes and gosh-awful hairdos, they tossed them aside.
I picked one of them up and opened it. The first one, from middle school showed me pretty much as I think I am – easy going and fun loving. It all looked normal. I was an alternate cheerleader in 6th grade, not quite good enough to made the real team. I was skinny with pasty white skin, a gap in my front teeth and hair with a mind of its own (no matter how much Aqua net I used).
The high school yearbooks told a completely different story, especially my junior and senior years. My eyes were distant and sullen, my hair was barely brushed and I was wearing way too much makeup. When I looked into that young girls eyes, her fear, anger and especially her sadness washed over me like ice cold river water. It all felt so real again and very little of that time was happy.
There were so many bad decisions and even more stupid mistakes, most of them made while consuming alcohol. Mom and dad had their own “demons” and “crosses”, so I was pretty much on my own.
Flipping through the pages, I found the picture of my sophomore year on the basketball team. The only reason I played was because I had a ride to and from practice and some girls I called “friends” were on the team. I sucked and barely got to play. It didn’t matter though because no one ever came to watch. Dad told mom he watched, but he never showed and even though I didn’t verbally lie to mom, I was forced to perpetuate the belief that he was there. Mom knew where he was and probably never forgave me for my role in his deception.
I had the grades to be in the National Honor Society both my junior and senior year. I’m not certain how it is today, but back then the teachers voted as to who was allowed the honor. I was never voted in. I was invisible. Almost there, but not quite what they were looking for. But who was the student who had to set out the chemicals for lab, who was always trusted to grade papers because I had no close friends to give As to, who always was the one to run to the office for extra forms and copies and who was one of the few students allowed to run the purple-inked mimeograph machine? Well, I supposed I was good for peasant work, but not worthy to be given anything worth a damn on a college application!
I just missed being in the top 10% of my graduating class (I missed by 1. I was number 16). Just missed because some of those who got in were taking art and PE, while I was busting my ass in advanced science and trigonometry. The rules changed the following year, after I complained about the unfairness, but they wouldn’t change them for me. Do so would have meant a few kids from so called “prominent” families wouldn’t have made it. They “hoped I understood”. I certainly did.
College should have provided a fresh start. But by then I was so into self-destructing that I failed to see the opportunity right in front of me. I was virtually penniless, my grades sucked and my heart got broken for the first time.
It was then that I realized just how poor I was and it was another rough two years before I finally got (relatively speaking) my act together. Thankfully I did, because a few girls I knew really screwed up their lives. I mean really screwed them up.
Why am I blogging about something so personal? I realized this weekend that I’ve pretty much defeated my serious and at times dangerious character flaw of self-sabatoge. During those years I honed it down to a precise art, skillfully masking the obvious signs.
In realizing this, I also knew something else in me had helped me get past it. This “something” has allowed me to skip all high school class reunions because it knew that bad memories would come back. This something has allowed me to severe all ties with college “friends”. This something has kept driving me, kept me employed with work I do enjoy and get paid relatively well, and helped me see that I matter to many, many people. Something made me sit down and start writing.
I have to trust that “something” will help me break-though this wall of “it’s great, but . . .” to “I love your work! You must be my client!” I do trust it as this “something” would never bring me this far for nothing. Trust in the universe and belief in my talent. I must have it or I’m doomed to fail.by Brenda
. . . you know the rest.
I’m heading to the mountains to visit mom. With baseball, softball and other life events, it’s hard to find time to get away. The kids have both Friday and Monday off, so now is a good time. Hubby is staying behind to get some of his business paperwork done and do some things around the house. What he has to do around the house, I really don’t know.
It seemed like he was a bit relieved not to go, but at least I won’t have to worry about the dog (Kai), the cats (Fat Ray, Luna and Boo), the hamster (Cookie) or the goldfish (Bug-eye and Crapper).
We’re leaving this evening after B2′s soccer game. I have to bring the half-time orange slices.
I sent out four more queries this week and worked a little bit on the YA Literary revisions. I’m considering taking my laptop to make the changes to the document (they’re currently red-inked on a hard copy), but I’m not sure yet. I’d hate to lug the thing all the way there and have no down-time to work. But then, I’d hate to have downtime and nothing to write with. Well, I guess that settles it. I’m really ready to stop revising and to start something new.
B4 had to clean all of his old / too small clothes out his drawers and closet for my nephew. We have two full plastic bags of clothes for him. I finally gave up the 1st communion suit. We have plenty of photographs of him wearing it and it’s certainly not going to do anyone any good by hanging in the closet. I gave B1′s away last year. I won’t part with B2 and B3′s 1st communion dress though. I think it’s the last time B3 actually wore a dress that wasn’t a costume.
Beginning last Thursday, I’ve been hauling my fat ass out of bed at 4:40 am, driving to the gym and working out for an hour. It’s not as painful as I thought it would be, but I do find myself dragging around 9 pm. I do have more energy during the day.
My manager gave his notice at work and his last day is today. He was a hard person to read and he really expected his employees to “know their stuff.” Hence, he was not a manager that would swallow a line of bullshit. That, among many other reasons, is why I respect him as much as I do and I’m going to hate to see him go. He respected that I preferred to work independently and helped the company to realize my contributions during my six hours in the office every day. He approved my getting full-time benefits and I’ll be eternally grateful for that! I wish him the best of luck with his new path.
Well, I best get back to it. Have a wonderful EASTER weekend!by Brenda
I didn’t even have my hopes up with this agent. At least I thought I didn’t. But, when the SASE came in the mail today, my heart fell to the floor. Good news rarely comes in SASEs.
It was a wonderful personal note which said many good things. But as kind and encouraging as it was, it was still a no. Why can’t those with the power just tell me I suck and quit stringing my hopes along? And why does all the feedback contradict?
From one agent: . . . as you’re a poet, I suppose I was hoping for a lot more poetry withing the prose . . .
From another agent: . . . I felt the writing was a bit too poetic for the subject matter . . .
That is the latest in many examples of feedback for the same story. Hell, I don’t know think I know how or what to write anymore. I’m so f*cking confused.
On a more positive note, both B3 and B2′s softball teams won their tournaments this past weekend. I forgot about B4′s baseball practice yesterday. B1 got home from the beach around 9:30 pm.
My manager at the day job announced his resignation. There’s been many seasoned employees leaving as of late. Uhmmmmm.
I’m almost finished editing the YA Literary. Then I suppose I’ll toss that one into the water and see if it floats. Gaw, I’m such a glutton for punishment!
Well, I’d better go take care of some laundry and clean up the kitchen.by Brenda
I’ve been playing around with the look of the blog. I think I like this one. I’ve always liked this picture. The road used to be dirt, but the county paved it awhile back. I haven’t lived in this part of the country for about 25 years, but I still call it home. And, after living in the city for years, it’s comforting to know places like this still exist.
I’m off to the ballfields today because both B2 and B3 are playing. Thankfully at the same field complex. B1 went to the beach with a friend (lucky dog!) and B4, refusing to go to the ballfield, spent the night with a friend.
I’ve sent out a few more queries. I also got this response from an uber-agent (at least she is to me) regarding the partial I sent her:
Ms. Uber Agent
I couldn’t even get depressed about it. Have a great weekend everyone!by Brenda
Congrats Tarheels for their great win last night! Honestly, I really don’t care to get into the rivalry between Duke and Carolina. I just wanted to watch a great game and both teams delivered.
It was freezing outside yesterday. We’re talking 40 to 45 degrees F and 30 mph winds, with gusts up to 50 mph. It wouldn’t have been so bad except I was outside most of the day watching B3′s softball tournament. Yep, it’s that time again.
Her game got pushed back to 2 pm because of rain on Friday, while B2′s entire tournament (another softball association altogether) got pushed back to Sunday. Because of that, I could take B4 to a birthday party and sit in the truck to edit some more of the YA Literary. I had a pretty productive two hours. I have to admit that it’s a little darker stuff than I’m used to writing for kids, but I think the story still has relevance tody and needs to be out there. It has about ten curse words in it and believe me, I removed a lot of them.
I took B4 home, threw on a hoodie and drove to the ball field. Geez, the wind was incredible. B3′s team won their first game 8-3, second game12-2 and their third game 8-4. The third game was a little emotional for B3, because she had to play two of last year’s teammates that moved teams and a few of her friends. Her coach from last year also moved over to coach this team. Winning is always sweeter when it’s against situations like this and she had a really great game. I suppose it didn’t matter that my butt was numb and I couldn’t feel my fingers.
I know I’m whining but we have such thin skin here in the south. Heck, I had a nurse tell me once that many southerners have lower than 98.6 degrees F normal body temperature. We don’t need to be that warm on a regular basis, especially when the temperature reaches 100 degrees and high humidity in the summer.
Today, hubby has already left with B2 to drive a hour and a half to another town from B2′s tournament and I have to be out at B3′s game at 11:00 am. She spent the night with another player, so I don’t have to be there at 10:30. B4 has baseball practice at 5 pm today, so B3′s tournament better not go to the “if” game. That means, they better not lose.
Well, I’d better go jump in the shower. I want to run out and get the boys some donuts before I leave them to utter boredom all day.by Brenda
I have today off, not by choice, but off. B4 got suspended from school again, even though this time even his teacher said that he was only defending himself. B4 had two things working against him: 1) the other kid was a teacher’s kid – never good – and 2) B4 had been overheard making fun of the other kid’s uni-brow. Yep, you read it right – a uni-brow.
Now I can undestand a parent’s hestitancy to fix say . . . a big nose, crooked teeth or whatever. But to let your kid walk around with a freakin’ uni-brow is just begging for the child to be taunted. I’m not saying what B4 did was right, but come on people! Any barber shop can fix this little problem in less than two minutes.
I didn’t say anything about B4 only defending himself because this technically is his third suspension and it could have been five days instead of one.
I’ve officially completed the last read-through of my YA Fantasy. It’s such a cool story, even if I did write it. Let’s hope the two agents who have partials think so too.
I’ve also tightened and polished the first fifty pages of YA Literary (the one was originally written as an adult piece). I need to cut about 3K words, but I don’t think it will be that difficult.
It is great timing because I sent out a query on 3/5 and got a request for the first fifty pages and a synopsis. Thankfully the synopsis has been done for years now. The agent requesting the partial is an awesome agent, however I did read on his website this morning as I was getting his mailing address that the agency is no longer reading YA Fantasy. Uh oh. Well, I’m not going to worry about until I need to. Maybe I won’t need to worry about it at all, but hopefully I will.
I have two new projects jumping around in my brain. One of them is the next story in the YA Fantasy and the other one is about an adolescent girl growing up in Appalachia during Prohibition. The second idea has been around since way before the YA Fantasy idea, so I think I might just write a synopsis and see where it takes me. It might be good to change things up a bit.
It’s raining here today, so that mean both B3 and B2′s softball tournament schedules have been pushed back. B3′s has only been pushed back a couple of hours, but B2′s got pushed back a whole day. Good news for B4 as he can now make it to a friend’s birthday party.
Tonight, B2 has dance class and B4 challenge team tryouts across town. This weekend will consist of editing, softball and laundry.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!by Brenda
Okay, I rarely rant about the day job as it is the means to which I pay my bills and it for the most part, a pretty great job to have. But this time the management team has crossed the line.
In their haste to cut expenses, they decided that the coffee provided to the masses was costing too much money, so they eliminated it. GASP!! No more free coffee?
We watched in silent horror as our beloved machines were taken away and replaced with those retched machines that brew swill and . . . wait for it . . . oh, it hurts to type it . . . COST MONEY! The horror!
In retaliation for managements unfair decision, we brought in our own coffee maker, the best of coffee and all the fixin’s and proceeded to brew our own. Oh, we were almost back or normal. It was joyous and best of all, we stuck it to the man!
Then the email came out. DUE TO SAFETY REASONS, ALL OF THE COFFEE POTS LOCATED IN OFFICE AREAS ARE NO LONGER PERMISSIBLE.
WTF? When was the last time you heard of an office building burning down because someone forgot to turn off the coffee pot? How many times have you heard of a workplace injury resulting from a rogue electrical cord jumping out and tripping someone? Uh . . . NEVER!
It’s a outrage. So today, I drove through the drive-thu at Dunkin Donuts (which has the best coffee ever!) and snagged myself an extra-large cup. So here I sit, sipping the best of brews and looking smugly at my cube-mates saying, “yeah, you know you want some of this.”
Okay I feel better now.
I got another request from an agent. I’m in heaven. Three requests out and I’m still only a little ways down my “most wanted” agents list. A request beats out the alternative every time.
I should be done with the last read through of the YA Fantasy tonight. Well, I have to be. Then it’s on to revisions of the YA Literary.
B2 made the school soccer team. Nope, she’s never played soccer before but when I watched her practice Monday night, she didn’t look too shabby. She assisted on a few goals and even kicked one in. She said her goalie performance was pitiful, but it was because she had no clue on what to do. But she’s a pit bull on offense and there is so much more running in soccer that I know she’ll stay in shape.
B3 had her Revolution night at school last night. She had to do a project and dress up like Mercy Otis Warren. It’s ironic that she drew a writer for her topic. I had to rent a dress and bonnet from a costume shop, but it beats making one. All of the kids looked great, but the kid who dressed up like Benjamin Franklin was hysterical. I’d post a picture, but he’s not my kid.
This evening B2 has soccer practice until 6 pm and then softball practice from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. B3 also has softball practice at 5:30 pm. Tomorrow B4 has challenge baseball tryouts. I have to take the costume back to the store. B1 has nothing to do now that basketball season’s over. Methinks he needs to run on the treadmill.
Have a great day everyone!by Brenda
Before I forget, B2 turns 13 tomorrow. Ick! Nothing like having a teenage girl in the house. I hate that she’s getting older but there’s nothing I can do about it. I often think of that beautiful little princess that used to live here and wonder where she went. Oh, that’s right, she grew up and went to the mall! Seriously though, she’s a awesome daughter and a good friend. LOVE YA B2!
I’ve actually been writing this week. I’ve finished the synopsis, (THANKS DEVON!), sent out the first of the snail mail queries (I like to query the agents who accept email queries first) and have two partials out with really great agents. I also should be done with the last read-through this weekend.
Today is a very busy day. I have a ga-zillion loads of laundry to do, B4 had baseball assessments this morning for two flippin’ hours, B2 had a hitting clinic for two flippin’ hours, B3 had a scrimmage game and hit a home run, B2 had a birthday party which she missed over half of it because of the hitting clinic, B3 has a birthday / sleepover party tonight. B1 hasn’t even stepped outside today.
I have hamburger thawing in the kitchen, but I really don’t want hamburgers, tacos, spaghetti or anything else one can make with ground beef. I’m so sick of everything I cook.
The weather today has been pretty cooperative. Upper 60′s, sunny with a constant breeze. Can you say pontytail and ball cap? Some of the trees are blooming already. I am sooo ready for spring!by Brenda