Sunday, June 21, 2009

Diet Word of the Day: SICK!

Reader alert: the following content may contain extensive whining. I hate being sick. Mostly because for me it isn't one day in bed, relaxing with a good book. Just when I'm feeling great, my jeans are finally fitting, I get sick again. It can mean up to a week or more of not being able to exercise. And I get envious of those people who doesn't feel like eating when I don't feel good.
Because I, on the other hand, crave chocolate and carbs.

So today, to try to derail that hand-to-mouth action, especially the unbidden tastes of leftover frosting from Barry's father's day cake that Emily and Megan made (I had to reassure them that the cakes that fall apart taste the best.) I'm going to write out what's bugging me and find some other ways to soothe myself. A hot bath, a book maybe. Let go of still trying to take care of everyone and everything even though I'm sick.

And later, when I really am hungry, and I don't mean the hunger to feel better, I'm going to sit down, relax, and enjoy some cake.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Diet Word of the Day: Snarf!

Yes, I've been a wee bit stressed out this week, waiting for my first 5 pages to get critiqued by an editor, waiting for my first 20 to get critiqued by my 10 workshop members plus Ann Cannon, that I remember staring down at my soup and salad lunch and not being able to finish it -- and anyone who knows me knows I can eat plenty. I didn't have much of an appetite, not counting the chocolate cake I ate late at night after finally unwinding from the drive home from Provo and finishing my homework. I was also on a high. The whole workshop session opportunity was so great.

Now it's over. My unrealistic dream of hoping the editor would do cartwheels and beg for a contract didn't come true, I'm tired from driving and not being able to sleep, and I'm back to feeling a little alone.

So now I'm searching for things to eat. I started with a Great Harvest cinnamon roll (at least it was wheat), and moved on to chocolate. My new goal is to make sure I'm really hungry and go ahead and eat it. I was hungry, but it didn't taste all that good. (Well, the cream cheese frosting on the cinnamon roll was pretty terrific, but anyway.) Probably because it can't give me a contract. Probably because it doesn't adequately fill the hole in my life that writing usually does. I've got a house I could clean, but I'm worn out from this week and want a break. And I honestly don't know what to do except . . . eat.

But writing this helps. Ann Cannon said she blogs about her writing and also includes a "what I ate today" section. I've been doing these 'diet words for the day'segments on my computer for a while, so I decided to shamelessly copy Ann and post what I've been writing. This one, anyway. I'll go back and look at the other ones and see if I have the guts to publish any of what I've previously written.

BYU Writer's Conference

I just finished four and 1/2 day conference at BYU. It has to be one of the most productive experiences a writer's aiming for the children's market can have (other than the actual writing part.) I got to hang out with other amazing and talented writers whom I really like and, frankly, intimidate me a little.

Or maybe more like A LOT! One of the things the conference reminded me is that getting published is really a ton of work. I've edited my first children's book, Sonya Silent, 14 times, and after the conference, and after Ann Cannon (my workshop teacher)gave us some editing ideas, I think I'll have to make it an even fifteen before I send it out.

The happy news is that I think I'm finally ready to start submitting. Where to submit a middle-grade with domestic abuse topics is a little more tricky.

My second book, the one I workshopped, is a lot lighter, much more fun, but will probably need another 14 edits before it's ready (I hope not that long--I learned so much from the first one,but it still needs a lot of work.

So why am I spending so much of my life trying to write in a market where so few get published and even then only a portion of them write books that make a profit? If I had know that when I started, would I have done it? Maybe not--when I started, I thought getting published would be easy. I told Barry this feels like getting a job where they tell you you'll have to work for free for years, and maybe, if you do really well, in a few years you might get paid, and then again, you might not.

Then again though, maybe I would have done it anyway. It's in my blood like some kind of fix, but at least not illegal. It gives me a chance to be me. It gives me a chance to do something besides clean my house and take care of kids, although the kid part is infinitely more important.

This week was so nice -- going to lunch with writer friends, (thanks, Amy Z, Amy F, and Allison) having adult conversation with people who understand this crazy writing world and are as hooked on it as I am.

I just realized. I do have another job where I work for free--being a mom. And that one, although not too easy, is pretty worthwhile.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Little Recognition

On Saturday April 25th, I took Emily and Megan shopping for a couple of well-needed outfits. We planned to meet my sister, Colleen, and her boys, Isaac and Charlie, for lunch--we haven't seen them in way too long!
Shopping was a little slow, so I called Mom for Colleen's new phone number she'd just had changed. I asked her if we could meet a few minutes later. When my cell rang a few minutes later, I thought it was her calling back. It wasn't -- long story short, I was asked if I could come to the LDS Storymaker's luncheon. I'd attended Friday's conference, but because Barry planned to be gone on Saturday and a few other reasons, I'd opted not to go on Saturday. But as asked, I drove from SLC to Provo for the luncheon. It was raining both ways, pouring on the way down, not to mention the traffic jam. I barely noticed, thinking maybe I'd gotten some small recognition in the First Chapter Contest. As they announced all four awards for the children's writing contest and none of them were me, I began to wonder. Then they announced the grand prize winner, AND . . . it wasn't me. I seriously wondered why I was there. Then the screen flashed, "It's not over yet," and they announced one more prize. The "Super Grand Prize Winner" in the contest was me! I was shocked, stunned, and so happy. What a nice boost to help me keep going in this writing business. Emily wants to act, and I keep telling her how hard she'll have to try. On Friday night I asked Barry why, when I know how difficult succeeding in arts can be, I keep doing this. This award was a good incentive to keep at this.

So then we drove back to SLC, picked up my neighbors' kids so they could go to the temple, went to a movie with Emily, Megan, and their three plus Colleen, Isaac and Charlie, then drove back to Heber. Exhausting, but a great day!

Emily's Singing Recital

Emily's group, Show Business, did selections from Seussical for their recital. Emily had a lot of poise and a giant smile as she performed, and came offstage glowing. She says she really loves this!

Spring Break 2009

Emily remembers Creme Brulee, Roatan was her favorite island with it's brightly-colored houses with white trim. Barry got to see a nurse shark while scuba diving, Matt made three friends on the ship and had a successful first ocean dive in Grand Cayman--he's a natural. Megan got her hair braided again, and loved the beach in Roatan. She bought a yellow ball there that we've still got. Eric dove too, worked on sketching and his tan. I saw sting rays while diving and snorkeling, realized even giant barracudas aren't scary, and noticed how graceful a sea turtle can be under water. Cave tubing in Belize was our one all-family day. We planned for that trip for over a year, and it was over too fast. Yes, said Emily today, but it was so much fun!

Megan's Jaw Expander

Megan got a jaw expander in her mouth. Here it looks like all that metal could really chomp something!