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Sunday, January 29, 2012

The defeat of The Red Skull

So here they are. The pictures finally posted from the Captain America birthday party. As you can see The Red Skull got the worst of things. I don't usually post pics of family but as the little one is cleverly in superhero gear I felt his secret identity was safe. My favorite is definately the one where he has his foot on Red Skull's chest. I have to adore my husband for being willing to put on all that red make-up. We actually purchased a Red Skull mask but, as he is a brain tumor survivor, my husband found the mask reminded  him too much of when he had his head bolted down to a table for proton radiation. So we went to plan B. I think it worked rather well. Certainly well enough to  please our now 7 year old.                                                          
Notice the detail, if you can, that The Red Skull  has his tongue sticking out in his death scene.   

And then here I am as Nick Fury, fearless leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. with my Captain America by my side. Yes, I did spray my hair black.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Things Pondered

I was on facebook yesterday and found a link to a blog entry titled "Don't Carpe Diem," Anyhow, the gist of it was, that older people always try to tell you to enjoy every moment of parenting and that is ridiculous. That there are a lot of moments that actually blow hard about trying to raise the little ones. She said it much more eloquently as you can read for yourself. But the thing that hit me was when she wrote that she didn't think people enjoyed parenting so much as they enjoyed having parented.

As I was nodding along, it led me to think about writing (as so many things do). Do I actually love to write or do I just enjoy having written? It certainly isn't nearly as difficult to get me to sit down on the couch to watch a movie as it is to get myself to sit in this chair and do some real writing. Then again, there are moments when I am in the groove, fingers flying on the keyboard, and feeling almost high on ideas. So much so that I snarl against interruptions like a junkie coming down from a fix. So I'm not sure.

I know I don't enjoy exercising but I am always glad when I have exercised. Are we a community of folks that only enjoy things after they are finished? Sometimes, in the midst of troubles, I'm already imagining how I am going to tell the story to my friends later. Of course, in those daydreams everyone always laughs uproariously at the story which may or may not happen when I actually tell it. But do you think we have become such an instant culture that when people say, "stop and smell the roses,"  we want to say," Yea, I already did."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ah!!! the birthday party machine has gobbled away my life

Sometimes a creative mind is as much of a curse as it is a blessing. I don't mean I've chopped off my ear or that I've starting lolling around in the gutter, drunk, cursing the vagarities of life. This is what I mean. I had my son's 7th birthday party all planned.  I'd already rented a video game trailer for his party. I didn't think anything could beat two hours of gaming, linked with up to 16 of his friends and family, without me nagging that he was going to rot his brain. 

He'd added that he wanted to be Captain America. Since that had been his halloween costume I was all," Sure, and we'll have the boys dress up too." At seven, he wants an all boy party because girls, except me and his sister, are only good to be chased by at recess. No big deal, party planned.

Until last week, as he sat at the table crunching his cereal and he asked, "Mom, what kind of missions are we going to have at my party?"

"Missions?" I asked.

"yeah," he began to play with his always present action figure at the table. "Captain America always fights Red Skull."

"I, I, um, I don't know."

Then the grand plan began to form. First I envisioned villians in the woods to fight on the way to the video game trailer that would park in the cul-de-sac because it is a semi. Then, I decided we needed a hero room and have spent days hanging superhero pictures, streamers, and a secret entrance to the room. The villians will burst into the hero room and try to take the cake. Then they will run away defeated. Or so the boys think.

But wait, before that, they can come in on an obstacle course through the garage, manned by a giant blow up spider they have to run underneath. So I spent the next few days clearing out the garage and beginning to construct this entrance which includes jumping rocks across a faux lake, climbing, crawling, and shooting bad guys with nerf guns. But wait, maybe I can have his teacher (he is in 1st grade so loves his teacher) come and she will be kidnapped and have to be saved. So I asked her and she is a maybe. The presents being snatched are the back-up.

 He has requested I be Nick Fury. I guess my sexy Wonder Woman days are over (she is my go to superhero costume because I loved her as a little girl) and mannish I will become. So for today, I will don my father's old colonial uniform in the closet and procure an eye patch at Party City. Jeff, (my husband) will smear red make-up on his face and hair. He balked at the bald cap I tried to put on him last night. And we will welcome a whole passel of superheros. Now, if I can only get the house clean. Oh well, by tomorrow it will all be over. Guess how much writing has been done? If you said, none, you would be correct.

Friday, January 6, 2012


In this case, I refer to the movie not to myself. Finally, coralled my honey into watching it and as expected, loved it. Taking jiu jitsu really changes how you watch an MMA fight, even staged ones like in the movie. Instead of noticing the damage done, I now see the positional advantages and probably sounded very annoying to my husband as I called out the names of various techniques. One of the guys at the Academy called it kinetic chess. I guess it would definately be battle chess but the components of using strategy to defeat the opponent are the same. But I have barely started studying that. I never did like that "I am the Warrior" song in the '80's but apparently not liking a song does not keep it from running laps around your head when a movie has a similar title.

On the personal warrior front, the karate black belt test dreams continue to come. Last night, I dreamt that it was my test and for some reason I was wearing all of my mother's jewelry. I was so angry with myself because one, I didn't want to break her things (she died this year) and two because I knew better than to wear things that could get me choked. I guess boiled down, it was the classic unprepared nightmare.

I think one of the downsides to being a therapist (especially one not currently practicing) is always wanting to analyze myself. Sometimes I'd like to wake up from a dream and say, "Wow, that was weird," and then move on. Of course, in my dojo this is one of the ways they mess with your mind. Because I will never know when my test is going to be so I have to assume anytime I go to the dojo that could be the day. But not today so I am off to bed, hopefully to a dreamless sleep. Tomorrow, I may fight against my laziness and actually get some writing done.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Insecurity check-in

Yep, mine's still there. As most of you know, today is the day for letting all those fears hang out. Brought to you courtesy of Alex Cavenaugh's
                                      First Wed of Every Month
I wrote myself a note, this morning, that I needed to do this blog. So now, this evening, I am finally writing it. Now, don't think I don't know that you can write blogs ahead of time and then post them. But I always feel like I'm cheating if I do that. Please know for any of you that plan out your blogs, I don't think YOU are cheating, the rule only applies to me. Because it might make my life easier, it must be wrong on some level. Which leads me to my trembling knees vent for this month.

I am too disorganized to ever be able to make a go of a writing career. One of my friends came over recently and looked around my house at the bins, shelving, and hooks on the wall and said,"Don't buy any more things to organize with because you don't use them." She is correct and not mean like the comment makes her sound.

I have, in my life, attempted multiple systems that I was certain would lead me to a life of tranquility, the type of peace that can only occur when your setting is not the- move some stuff around so I can get to the keyboard- chaotic one. I have attempted to fly with Flylady and bought agendas, and calenders, and all sorts of electronic devices.

Each of these things work for a little while but then, once the newness wears off, I revert. Writing doesn't take tons of effort after I get started but finishing and editing do. I could produce multiple rough drafts every week if I never had to fix them. Which is the place I find myself now. I have probably 15-20 short stories, a few novelettes, and at least two novels that just aren't publish ready. (Publish ready HA!, one of the novels is split into two parts that need to be somehow combined). Then, there are the new story ideas weaving down the boulevard. I think somewhere deep down I believe the next story I truly love will inspire me to do the work necessary to make it a sale. That being said, I have truly loved almost all of these stories when I wrote them with the exception of one horror one that disturbed even me so I was happy to leave that behind.

So, do I go back and edit? Or do I move forward with new stories? At what point do I stop and say enough to the dancing muse and focus on fixing the ones already on the hard drive?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Behind before I even begin

Welcome to the New Year!! Hope you all have grand ambitions that will be met in duplicate. At this point, I will be doing good if I can get showered and have my make-up on each day. My apologies to you faithful for not posting or commenting more often. The best of intentions and blah, blah, blah. I haven't even got a plan in place. I can say I have been writing, just not on here. Looking forward to catching up with everyone in the new year. I'm thinking this has got to be a better year for me than the last.