Monday, November 28, 2005

Talk about the weather

Here's where I'm staying. It's quite nice : )

Thanks to the friendly, outgoing nature of my gracious host, I've been on a whirlwind social schedule lately. He's energized by it and I'm completely drained.

"Sooooo how 'bout this weather? ....Yeah - snow.... Something, isn't it? ...Got your winter tires on yet?"

Good God. Why am I so bad at making chit chat? Last night I had to resort to mentioning tonight's Steelers game to gain points. Luckily I'd talked to Dad yesterday morning or I wouldn't have even had that nugget.

Please help me come up with my 30-second sound byte about what I'm doing. Every time I try it I end up sounding crazy. At one point last night all the seats around me were vacant and it was no accident.

"So, you live in the States?"
"Yes - Chicago."
"Oh,... have you eaten at...string of restaurant names..."
"Uhh - no. I'm partial to Panera Bread and 59 cent coffee at Speedway."
"How about Garrett's carmel corn?"
"carmel corn?"
"It's famous in Chicago!! You haven't had it??"
At that point I realize that saying Chicago was a mistake but am in no mood to get into the Plainfield conversation.
conversation dies. am sitting alone. wish I had a book.

Even worse is the "So what are you doing/who are you staying with/why?" conversation. I don't have answers that make sense. I need Linda's answers since she has been answering the same questions.

My friends are the only ones who get it.
"So where are you staying?"
explanation follows ending with "... I know it's a crazy plan that doesn't make sense..."
"Sounds like a Karen plan"
I like my friends. I'd better hold on to them because judging by my current social skill level I won't be making any new ones for a while.

Chocolate consumed over the weekend:
frosting off the top of a piece of chocolate cake,
piece of black forest cake, strudel (same night)
piece of Oreo birthday cake

Wine consumed over the weekend:
1/2 bottle of??? some delicious red wine I can't remember right now
3 glasses of something white that starts with an L
1/2 bottle of Barolo - yum, plus one glass of champagne

book progress over the weekend: 0
big surprise there.

I'm counting all this socializing as character research.

It actually did snow here. It's quite pretty.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Code pink lifted

I am lucky. Being flown to Montreal for 4 weeks and then being able to stay an extra two and being able to see my friends, go out, have fun, etc. etc. -- it's all good. I'm still a little cranky today. Why? The grey drizzly rainy snowy weather here just brings out the whiner in me. I'm going to miss Thanksgiving again. I know - I can't have it both ways -- it's either US or Canada.

Picture me standing on one of those floating ice chunks. Now the ice chunk splits so one foot is on each side of the split. It's ok at first, but the chunks are starting to drift apart and I'll have to choose which side to shift to before I end up dropping into the icy water.


Thursday, November 17, 2005


Sorry for the abrupt change, I'm just feeling a bit overwhelmed by the testosterone level in my current surroundings. Yes - I know that during the day I work in a girlie haven but the evenings are spent in a definite guy space. Not Oscar Madison - no, but still, nothing pink, no Barbies, no non-camo colors at all. Just needed some pink in my little corner of cyberspace.

I am still on track. Did some writing yesterday afternoon and managed to carve out 1/2 hour at lunch today. I think those little snippets of time will keep me sane. I am not getting along with the printer in this testosterone den - it refuses to print any chick-lit related material. Buffy is going to take it down this weekend.

Ahh - the pink is working already. Just made plans to go see In Her Shoes on Sat as an escape from War Movie Marathon day here. excellent.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Not a word, but I need to use it. Spent the evening getting back on track. Edits entered, timeline on wall. Back under control. That was close.


Am I derailed? I hope not. I hope I'm just temporarily slowed down. But I've been here over one week, and only now, just now cracked open my book papers. I honestly don't even remember where I was. I feel a little panicked. Need to focus. Some progress, ANY progress is better than no progress. right, RIGHT??

I can do this. Just re-read what I had, figure out which edits were and were not done, find the outline, keep moving. keep moving. keep moving. I want to finish. I need to finish. I can't stand the thought of not finishing. Oh my God, what if I lost my chance to do this....

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Plan C - Change is good

I was pretty shell-shocked all day Monday. The weekend was a total blur: book ticket, find presentable fall work clothes and shoes in piles of packing boxes, pack bags, hop on plane. Linda kept joking that I was being shipped out: "Come on, maggot - get that bag packed, put those boots on, MOVE MOVE MOVE!" That's kind of what I felt like.

Now I am settling in. Luckily I am staying in accommodations with an excellent amenities package: my own office with computer, phone and Internet access, free use of the basement gym complete with heavy bag for kickboxing, an open invitation to the all-you-can-eat chocolate supply, use of the house vehicle - I drop him at the train station and drive in. It's all good. I have drawer space, there's an iron and an ironing board. No bathroom squabbles so far.

Oh yeah - the work part is fine, too.

The only slight incident involved me chucking my nylons down the laundry chute at the end of the day Monday to hear a "HEY!" from downstairs. OOOps - sorry about that. My bad. Why couldn't I have chucked something cool like a lacy bra? Nooo - I had to chuck some yukky, foot-odorous day-old nylons. Great. We've since worked out a system where I yell "Fire in the hole!" before chucking stuff down the chute.

In case anyone was wondering, unlimited chocolate supply use = 3, home gym use = 1. Some things never change.

Friday, November 04, 2005

On to Plan C

I was on track with my page count this week, I wrote all the other page counts HUGE on my wall calendar and I had my mind made up that I would hit the mark by Christmas. Then the phone rang.

"Hi, Can you come work for us in Montreal for a month?"
"Uhh- sure!"
"Can you be here Monday?"
OK, see you then.

So I am doing laundry and packing. The book is coming with me, but I will have to give myself a one month extension. One month won't make a difference, and the extra money I'll be earning will buy me several months of living expenses.

It's all good.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Seems to be working!

I actually managed to get 6 pages done at the library yesterday. This morning I got another "bite" while making cold calls. Why am I so surprised when my plans actually work? I need to dump this pessimism thing I have going.

On the candy front, so far so good. Emma parked herself next to me with her candy while I was entering yesterday's text and she gave me extacly 2 M&Ms: one blue and one green. Apparently that's my allotment.

I'd like to thank whomever is in charge of this weather - more, please! Sunny, cool and crisp. I love fall days like this.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Status Report

I'm now counting pages instead of words. My target is 360 pages. I have 120 pages. If I can produce 6 pages per day, 5 days a week, from now until Christmas, I will make it.
Here's the snag. I can't just crank out 6 crap pages. I need to be able to see that the timeline works, character names and relationships make sense, and that I'm sticking to my main plot and subplots. I can't just 'woo-hoo' let the story spiral off on tangents. I'm going to try to relax a bit with this and not revise too much as I go along, but so far I've felt it necessary to keep stopping and making course corrections.

On the freelance front, I'm getting better at figuring out which companies to call. Today 2 out of 6 actually use freelancers and said to send my stuff in. Much better than the 1 out of 15 from last week.

On the sugar front: I have not eaten any Halloween candy today. All the leftovers have been removed from the premises. The kids have their own loot, but I am not a thief.