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    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Psych. You'll See.

    Ugh! The past few weeks have not been kind. I’ve been in hiding, editing like a mad scientist, eating like a sumo wrestler.

    I’m telling you, I’ve really done it this time. Last night I had the opportunity to speak to a writing group in Denver. This meant wearing something other than yoga pants. Why doesn’t someone design a line of professional-looking yoga wear? The tag line could be something like “Now Every Day is Casual Friday.” Or, “Too many business lunches? Don’t worry, our fashions hide the bulge.” Or something really catchy, like “Pro-ga.”

    I’ve been trying to ignore some weird symptoms, telling myself I’d get things checked out when I finished editing the novel.

    Some stuff happened—you don’t want to know—I ended up at the doctor’s office yesterday. Our family has been going to the same practice for at least six years. I consider the staff friends. Which is why I had a heart attack when I heard, “Oh my goodness!” outside the exam room door after the PA decided to run a pregnancy test.

    Wouldn’t it be cool if the eating and the yoga pants and the symptoms were all leading up to a big reveal?

    Cool for you maybe. Not for me.

    No, not pregnant.

    So what is wrong with me? Darned if I know. The PA sent me home with muscle relaxers for back spasms and a strict warning that, even though he gave me the prescription that doesn’t cause drowsiness, I was not to drive a car until I’d gotten used to the side effects. My husband quickly echoed this caution. Then my friend Steampunk Beth added cycling to the taboo list just to be safe. The last time I took muscle relaxers, I couldn’t even walk like a normal person.

    So I’m back to sitting in a chair and eating. Oh, help.

    The good news is, today I finished my first round of edits on The Immortal Heathcliff.

    I now solemnly promise to:
    Start eating something besides apples, cheese, and peanut butter.
    Go back to Zumba before my butt-a won’t fit-a through the door-a.
    Take something besides dark chocolate and Coke Zero for my migraines.
    Feed my family.
    Clean the toilet.
    Tend to the grays.
    Return phone calls and emails.
    Figure out what Occupy Wall Street is about.
    Figure out what Occupy Evangeline’s Closet is about.
    Take the dog in for her heartworm test.
    Take the Wookies in for their haircuts.
    Do something, er, fun with my husband.
    Brush my teeth.

    During my house arrest, I did read two awesome books. My friend Brandy Vallance's not-yet-published Victorian novel The Covered Deep, a delightful mix between Anne of Green Gables, Indiana Jones, and Around the World in Eighty Days. I know! You can't tell me you don't want to read that book. Brandy is going to do awesome things for the historical romance genre. I also read Jenny B. Jones's There You’ll Find Me. I’m being honest here. I didn’t realize how much I needed this book until I read it. It blessed me. Read it.

    That’s all for now, folks. The laundry’s calling and who knows how long it’ll take to get out of this chair and across the house to the laundry room.

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    She's Alive!

    Yes, this post is long overdue.

    At the St. Louis Arch

    No, I didn’t get lost between Colorado Springs and St. Louis. Although Kory did joke that since this was my first solo flight, he was going to have the flight attendant hold my hand and walk me to my connecting plane.

    Writer buddy Beth Vogt

    With new friends Gina Conroy, Andy Meisenheimer, and Randy Ingermanson, who has awesome steampunk duds

    The conference was amazing. Although I got very little actual sleep, the time spent with other writers studying the craft refreshed and energized me. I had great appointments with two agents and came home psyched to edit my novel and send it in.
    Flat on the floor of the hotel room

    "Distressing Potatoes" from breakfast at conference

    Things were slightly bumpier on the home front. Kory took time off work (translation: he worked from home and only drove in for one meeting) to take care of Monkey and Chunky. While I was gone, Mom was admitted to the hospital for an infection. Kory called me from the ER, and in the background I heard the boys’ voices. I may have freaked out slightly and ordered him to dip my children in Purell.

    For reasons unknown, Chunky’s eye swelled up. (I swear it wasn't related to overuse of hand sanitizer.) When I got home my 7-year-old looked like he’d wandered through a bar fight. We never figured out exactly what caused it, but the doctor attributed it to allergies.

    Believe it or not, this was no worse than the last time I went away for a few days. At least on this trip I didn’t hear an account of how daddy threw rocks at a rattle snake from my four-year-old. Not to mention my then six-year-old’s incident of public nudity.

    On the drive home, after picking me up at the airport, my husband said, “Well, I hope you had a good time, because I didn’t.”

    Naturally this earned him a “Welcome to my world, Sucka!”

    Since I’ve been home, things haven’t calmed down. I’ve brought Mom home from the hospital, been attacked by a vacuum cleaner that smelled like cat pee, visited a school with two box turtles, done a book-signing, staged and executed a party, nursed a sick kid, dealt with a dental disaster, helped Mom pack for her cruise, driven her to the airport, and attended a memorial service for my husband’s grandmother.

    Mom and I at a booksigning

    My edits are waiting. My enthusiasm for my project went on the back burner, but it’s still simmering. I’ve promised to submit my edited novel by the end of October. And so, I’m taking this month off from blogging.

    Unless, of course, one of the boys does something hilarious, like lean over at a memorial service and loudly whisper, “Mom, I forgot to put my deodorant on!” If something like that happens, I’ll let you know.