Monday, April 30, 2007

The bottom line

I've always been a bottom line person. I like to get to the point and use as few words as possible to do it. I just finished the 3rd draft of my memoir and while I added 10,000 words this time around, it's still only 58,000 words.

Damn Miss Snark and all the other blogging experts who convinced me to take out all the unnecessary words like that, just, really, etc. I could have had at least another 2,000 words! And, what's wrong with excessive passive voice?

The last 2 times people looked at it, they told me to dig deeper. I've reached China - now what? I'm about to send it to some friends and acquaintances who volunteered to read and critique it. I've read through it so many times, I can't be objective anymore.

I like it! It's me. It's my life. But it's only 58,000 words. And that's the bottom line!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Word of the day: Forgiveness

Forgive: To stop being angry about or resenting somebody or somebody’s behavior. To excuse somebody for a mistake, misunderstanding, wrongdoing, or an inappropriateness.

Someone asked me recently why I waited until now to write my memoirs. The answer was simple. I had to wait until I had forgiven myself and everyone who contributed to my crappy ex-life before I could write about it.

I’ve always been a fairly objective person – able to see most sides of an issue. I probably would have made a good judge. That doesn’t mean I don’t take sides. But I’ve learned there is usually more than one point of view on things and that point of view is influenced by your environment, experiences and time.

Being able to forgive meant I needed to release the anger. To do that I had to be able to see the other people in my life not as ogres who hurt and neglected me, but as people who had problems and issues of their own. I had to find my objectivity in relation to them.

And I had to accept responsibility for my part in everything – especially after I left home. I had the intellectual capacity to stop it all that day, but I didn’t.

This woman inspires me. I didn’t suffer the physical abuse, but I so relate to what she says on the emotional and intellectual level. There are so many voices out there in the wilderness. Hers is worth listening to. I hope mine will be too.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Feeling better

I'm definitely feeling better today. Still not 100%, but back at work trying to infect everyone who infected me since I'm one of the last to get this.

One of my bosses is trying to outdo me in the "bid for sympathy" pool, but I'm not buying it. He's hobbling around on a crutch because he hurt his ankle. SAVE YOUR SYMPATHY. He did it windsurfing in Maui. Poor pitiful soul my ass!

I'm working diligently on my manuscript and am about to turn it over to some friends who have volunteered to critique it for me. I need some new feedback to give me some perspective on what's right and what's wrong. I want people to tell me where I haven't said enough and where I've said too much. Does it make sense? Does it flow? Questions like that. I need some fresh eyes.

I watched American Idol for the first time last night because I felt what they were doing to raise money was great. I even made a contribution. I probably won't watch again, but the performances were wonderful.

I don't watch a lot of TV, but tonight is a big night for me - Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy. Two of my favorites along with House, Bones and Brothers and Sisters. Oh, and of course the Daily Show and Colbert Report. And Oprah when I can catch her.

I think I need a more exciting life!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Riding the porcelain bus

I need sympathy. I'm home sick today – all by myself (well except for my two sleeping dogs). Poor, poor pitiful me!

There are so many viruses going around the Seattle area. Until now I've managed to avoid the worst of them, but today I think I've found the mother lode. My head aches, my body aches, I have a fever and - worst of all – I’m riding the porcelain bus.

Even without an alarm I rarely sleep past 7:30. But today I woke up at 10. I stumbled out of bed, drank some juice with some powdered stuff purported to boost my immune system, ate a banana and sat in my chaise lounge hoping the floor would be solid again next time I stepped on it.

Within 5 minutes my head was in the toilet and the juice, powder and banana were returning to daylight from the wrong hole. I don’t barf very often anymore. As I rested there with my forehead against the cool white enamel, I remembered when I was younger and wilder and the porcelain bus was frequently my friend. Some of those memories should be incorporated into my manuscript. Some should just stay buried.

But most of all, as I sat on the floor hugging the toilet, I was grateful that I thoroughly cleaned the bathroom last weekend.

I wonder if I’m psychic?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

It struck me funny

I was reading an article in the Sunday paper and an interview in the next column happened to catch my eye. The paper was folded and I was reading the bottom half, so I didn't know who was being interviewed. One of the headings was

On Dating:
Billy always finds the best-looking one in the field and bosses her around. If she walks away, he'll dog her and make her stand next to him, like, "You're my woman. Stay here. Don't go trolloping aound."

Of course, chauvanist pig was the first thought that crossed my mind. But I was curious so I read a bit more.

Thoughts on Science:
Billy's really inquisitive. I found him in here the other day with a plastic bag. He kept exhaling into it and blowing it up, and then looking surprised and doing it again and again. Sometimes you don't know what's going on in the pea-brain of his.

By this time I really wanted to know what rock star or movie star or wanna-be-a-star they were talking about so I unfolded the paper and looked at the headline. Turns out Billy has been in both television and the movies.

He's a stunt horse!

Friday, April 20, 2007


Spam count = 744! (The "solution" actually works!)

I finished all the line edits, removed most of the passive voice, eliminated bad words - that, really, just, for me, of me, so, etc. - and reworked a few paragraphs. In the process I lost about 3,000 words. CRAP!

I still have 48,500 words but this means almost 6% of my second draft was outright crap! Since my proof readers will undoubtedly find additional crap with which to confront me, this is distressing.

Now I need to sit down and write at least 25,000 additional words of non-crap. I also have to "shake-up" the format to make it non-chronological non-crap. This makes me non-happy!

I think I'll head down to the Nitwit's Lounge and throw back a few. So much for my weekend!


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Opening my mind

I'm integrating all the suggestions from the line edit into my manuscript - accepting or rejecting them paragraph by paragraph. It's a slow process and somewhat tedious, but very educational.
I already see a pattern of punctuation and word usage that keeps my manuscript from flowing in some places. Some of the changes I reject because they change the meaning or they take events out of their proper context. Most of them make sense.

When the line by line work is done, I'll read it through once in her suggested order to see if it works for me. She's a published author and knows the memoir genre. She says the in thing these days is non-chronological memoirs. I understand what she's trying to accomplish, but my initial feeling is the sequence has been chopped up into too many parts. I know it's up to me to make the parts work together and establish the flow between the sections.

My life happened in chronological order. It's difficult to consider presenting it any other way. Making it all work will be a true test of my creativity and my writing ability.

I'm trying to keep an open mind!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Life happens

What happened yesterday at Virginia Tech was tragic. It's a very sad day for so many people - those who witnessed it, those who were shot and lived, the families of those who died, and everyone who has any compassion. There's no doubt that it was a terrible event.

But every time something tragic happens on this scale, we tend to lose focus on all the rest of the story. Some wonderful things happened yesterday that we all missed because the news media only covers the most sensational stories.

They don't talk about the babies that were born and brought joy to their parents and families. They don't mention the people who got married and are starting their lives together. They don't talk about the kids who got A's on their report cards or found a quarter on the sidewalk, or received a card from a secret admirer.

What about the people who had birthdays and anniversaries? Somewhere someone saved another person's life, or loaned them money, or helped a friend in need. People got promotions and raises. Don't they deserve some attention?

Events like this move us inward and make us afraid. We can't allow ourserves to be afraid to be part of our society. This is an isolated incident - sensational because of its size. As parents, if you do your best and teach your children to love and honor each other, chances are they will never face one of these situations. As citizens, we have to do our best to be examples of the good and decent values we want to exemplify.

Events like yesterday or 9/11 when my neighbors lost their son are horrific. But we can't allow them to take our focus away from all the good things in the world. If we do, the bad guys win.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Busy day

No additional spam today! WOW!

Today's Ebonic word from the
Newark NJ Public School System
Let's use it in a sentence:
"I should pop yo ass fo what you jus did, but omelette dis one slide."

It's Monday - another busy week has started. Plus, I'm working on my manuscript again. The month away from it was good and gave me a new perspective. The line edit taught me a lot about improper usage of punctuation and too many that's, justs, reallys, etc. The content edit has given me ideas for reorganizing the material.

Overall, I still like most of it but some of it sucks. Draft number 3 has begun.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My girls (dogs)

Current spam count = 735 (the newest "solution" may actually be working!")

I have 2 fabulous dogs - pictured here - who bring lots of joy to my life. When I return home from a hard day of work or play, they greet me with enthusiasm and love. They never seem to tire of me and are worth every penny they cost in vet, toy, grooming and food bills. My life might be simpler without them, but it would be much emptier. They're worth any sacrifice I might have to make on their behalf.

My younger dog helps keep me healthy by demanding a good long walk every day. We have a specific route we take because she has established friends along the way and needs to bark at each of them as we pass. For some, we must pause briefly for a sniffing session. My older dog is 14 and no longer enjoys walking with us. The last time I tried to coax her into coming with us, she sat at the top of the stairs with her front legs folded and in a very Sphinx-like manner looked away as if she couldn't see or hear me calling her. What an actress!

My dogs are really cute and sweet, but they each have an annoying habit that absolutely baffles me considering their sizes.

My older dog is a Lhasa Apso - about 22 pounds. Unless you're comparing her to a Chihuahua or miniature Poodle, she is definitely a small dog. However, for her size - pound for pound - she can outsnore any human or animal on the planet. When she gets all relaxed and in a certain position, she makes sounds akin to the Blue Angels streaking directly overhead creating sonic booms.

Many nights she has jarred me awake from a sound sleep. There's no punishment for this. I love her. So when the jets come roaring through the bedroom, I've learned to simply turn her over and go back to sleep. Besides, it's fun to see other people's reactions when we're sitting in the living room conversing and she's sleeping in one of her many beds nearby. It's a really unbelievable sound!

My younger dog is half Lhasa and half something. She weighs about 35 pounds and is all wiggle. She doesn't snore. She farts. Not simple little toots - killer, nose numbing farts. The kind that can clear a room. Why? I have no idea! She doesn't eat table scraps. She eats dog food - premium dog food. Her treats are premium dog bones. They create premium farts. I have to keep cans of room deodorizer everywhere.

She has also jarred me awake from a sound sleep by cutting one of those premium farts in the middle of the night. I love her too. So I keep a can by my bed to neutralize the odors so I can go back to sleep thinking I'm in a spring meadow, or on clean linen, or bathed in baby powder. It's better than dog farts!

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Current spam count = 732

I just received this message from our techno geek at work: “I’ll be implementing a new SPAM solution this week-end. There should be no significant down time as a result. We should start seeing a significant reduction in SPAM as a result.” Why am I skeptical? Do you think this is significant?

I’m a big picture person. I like to understand the whole process. When I don’t, I get grumpy. I’m grumpy today.

I have pieces of a puzzle, but not enough to put it together and there’s no box lid with a pretty picture to show me what it’s supposed to look like. When I have all the pieces and the picture, I’m great at organizing everything and figuring out what goes where. I can finish the puzzle quickly. I need the pieces and the picture.

I had a picture and all the pieces. They were neatly organized and put together. Some of them didn’t fit quite right, but I knew where the problems were and was working on a solution. Now it feels like someone just walked past the table, swept their arm across it to scatter all the pieces and stole the picture.

The pieces I can find, but I need the picture! Give me the damned picture!

Friday, April 13, 2007


Current spam count = 693

It’s Friday and I’m looking forward to having a relaxing and productive weekend. My yard looks fabulous. Mr. T and his band of merry men did a great job and the neighbors are talking to me again. I got a new lawnmower too, so in a week or so, I’ll pull it out and impress everyone with my new cordless electric beauty. This one is bigger and more powerful than the last one, so hopefully it won’t take as long to tame my lawn from now on.

Except for a brief afternoon stint at one of my cult meetings on Saturday (it’s not really a cult, but that’s what I tell people just to confuse them) I plan to spend the whole weekend either planting flowers, walking my dog or working on my manuscript. My editor told me she has moved everything around and tonight I’ll get my first look at the new order along with her suggestions for going deeper and beefing it up some more.

I’m looking forward to working on it again. I haven’t read it for about a month except to remove all the unnecessary “that’s”, (love Miss Snark’s blog) so it will be exciting to see it from a fresh perspective. I like my editor and feel lucky to have found her. Somehow, even though I know there’s a lot of work ahead of me as I start the 3rd draft, I feel renewed and ready.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Current spam count = 646

Kathie over at the Housewife Cafe is getting ready to talk about bras, so I decided to throw in my 2 cents worth.

I watch too much Oprah and she said it was important, so I finally got fitted for the proper bra. That was an interesting experience and I learned a couple of very valuable lessons.

First, my super comfortable 40B sports bras were not only the wrong size, they were not giving me any support. Now frankly I never thought I needed much support. I’m not one of those women who'll be catching her boobs in her belt when she gets old. Even on their best days, they’re not big enough to sag that far.

So imagine my surprise when the fitter told me that I am actually a 36C. I thought she’d been drinking at first, but then decided to wait and see what miracle she was going to pull off to put me into that size. She brought a bunch of bras for me to try on and just as I thought, the girls did not naturally fill out a C cup and there was bunching in the fabric.

So here is where I learned the second lesson, because she taught me a new trick. If you bend over and jiggle really hard a few times, when you stand upright the cups runneth over. I jiggled my way into a C and I now have cleavage.

This is a first for me and I don’t quite know how to handle it yet, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out. And apparently it’s healthier to have the proper support, so when I flaunt my newfound chest I plan to do so under the pretext of concern for my health.

Thank you Oprah!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Word of the day: Determination!

Current spam count = 595

Determination: firmness of purpose, will, or intention; a fixed purpose or resolution

Occasionally things happen that make me lose sight of my goals and forget what’s important. Yesterday that happened and it totally discombobulated me for a while. I wanted to run screaming through the streets shouting, “I’m an idiot”, and I wanted to insert lots of descriptive adjectives in front of idiot like stupid, worthless, delusional, unrealistic, etc. I resorted to my old habit of beating myself up and feeling worthless.

In the midst of sitting around, eating chocolate and feeling sorry for myself last night, it occurred to me that I am indeed an idiot. But I’m not an idiot because of any of the adjectives above. I’m an idiot because I allowed one thing – one minor little thing – to throw me into a tizzy and make me lose my focus.

In reality, I am one very lucky and usually happy woman. I have a great job, financial security, wonderful friends, my own house, and 2 very cute dogs. I’ve lost 25 pounds over the last couple of years and am mostly healthy. I even bought a size 8 skirt the other day and since I’m 5’7” tall, I’m looking pretty damned good for a woman in her 50’s!

I’ve lived a life that surprises most people. When I talk about my past, they want to hear more. Knowing me now, it’s hard for them to believe some of the things I’ve done and been through. I’m so different from how I used to be. They think my story is worth telling and that’s why I’m writing my memoirs.

I know it isn’t ready to submit. It doesn’t flow quite right yet, and I still need to go a little deeper in some areas. I know it still needs work. But I also know that my story is worth telling because it’s a story of survival, of taking risks and of hope. I have the time to make it right and I have the determination.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Word of the day: Frustration!

Current spam count = 565 (No “solution” in sight)

Frustration: an act or instance of causing somebody or something to be dissatisfied or unfulfilled; something that blocks, thwarts, and upsets somebody all at the same time; a feeling of disappointment, exasperation, or weariness caused by aims being thwarted or desires unsatisfied.

Today I’m thinking about taking up heavy drinking. I’m usually a real lightweight when it comes to booze. A couple of drinks and I’m starting to feel sleepy - what’s known as a “cheap date”. I’ve never been a big drinker. In my wilder days, pot and other recreational drugs were more my thing. But, since only prescription drugs cross my lips now, I’m considering downing a bottle of wine or something. Would that be considered heavy drinking?

I figure, I would pass out for about a day, be sick and have the headache from hell for another day or two and by the time I was able to function again, the thing that has me so frustrated would have resolved itself. Now I don’t relish riding the porcelain bus, but it’s a very rare occurrence for me, so it just might be worth it.

Today that sign in my cubicle - “I will not be discouraged!” - is just pissing me off. I’d really like to crumple it up and throw it away.

I may have made a mistake, but it will take a few more days to see if that’s true or not. It’s not a mistake of monumental proportions; I just hate making mistakes and hope this isn’t one.

I won’t drink heavily, or crumple up an inspirational sign, or yell at old ladies, or kick dogs, or throw a tantrum, or any of those things. I’ll go home, take my dog for a long walk, eat some chocolate and get a good night’s sleep. However, if things don’t change by Friday, I may have to break out that bottle. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 9, 2007

I’m reliable.

Current Spam Count = 517

This morning I started physical therapy for my back again. It’s the second round with the same therapist and as we were standing at the receptionist’s desk talking about booking my appointments, the therapist told her receptionist, “She’s very reliable”, meaning that I always show up and on time.

Sometimes that sounds so mundane. I feel like I should be wearing sensible shoes and be dressed conservatively with my hair back in a bun and reading glasses hanging from a chain around my neck. I know being reliable is a good thing, but when someone tells me that at 7 in the morning, it makes me want to run out the door screaming.

But, it’s true. I am reliable. This is a blessing and a curse. When people have a job that has to be done right and on time, they give it to me. With or without specific directions, I can always get things done. Because of this I’ve had to learn how to say the word NO.

I used to never say no and then I would end up being overwhelmed and resentful of all the work that was piled on me – especially outside of work. When I first learned that I could say no, it was a shock to me and to those to whom I said it, because it was so unlike me. Now I say it frequently and there’s a lot more time for me in my life.

Saying no has an added benefit that I hadn’t anticipated. It forces people to do things they never thought they could, or to find others they might not have thought of to do those things. It allows other people to shine and get credit. I really enjoy sharing in other people’s success – even if it is from way behind the scenes. It makes me feel good to see someone deserving be praised.

But for now, I have places to go, people to see and things to do. And it will all happen because I’m reliable.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Walking through my house and myself.

Current spam count = 490

I walked through my house today with a pad of paper noting how every room in my house “felt”. I thought I would start there because I want to be comfortable in my home and in my life. For the most part, I am. However, like my brain, my home has spots that really seem to need some work. I spent about an hour just walking through all the rooms, looking in all the cabinets and trying to get a sense of what my house says about me.

So what did I learn? My house doesn’t really reflect me anymore. There are areas, like the living, dining and front guest rooms, that are comfortable, uncluttered and peaceful and they make me very happy. My own bedroom’s closet is like that too. It’s organized and everything is in its place. I like being in those rooms. They feel good. They feel like the person I’ve become.

There are other areas like the kitchen, laundry room, my bedroom, my family room/office that are organized, but they are full of temporary shelving and storage solutions. I have lots of steel shelving and metal drawers and most of them are on wheels. I used to be afraid of permanence, and in a constant state of unrest. I never believed I would be in any one place for very long, so I rarely bought anything that couldn’t be easily taken apart and transported. I’m in my 13th year here now. I think I can replace some of the temporary stuff now! It makes me feel restless and unsettled, and I’m not like that anymore.

Then there are a couple of real problem areas – my back guest room and my garage. They have both become repositories for all the stuff I just need to stash until I decide what to do with it. I used to have a really hard time getting rid of anything – just in case I might need it sometime in the next 50 years. I wasn’t a hoarder; I just had too much stuff. I don’t have that problem now and have managed to clear most of the clutter out of my life, but I still have these little pockets to deal with. I actually know everything in those areas and where it is, but even going in there makes me very uncomfortable.

My conclusion: my house is about 40% me, about 40% on the way to being me, and about 20% the old me. This has been a good exercise. I love my house and my neighborhood and I want to stay here, but now it’s time to make my house my home and more like me – comfortable, uncluttered, organized and peaceful.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Are the holidays really over?

Current spam count = 430 (no “solution” yet)

Have you ever walked past something a hundred times before you noticed it? Today, I opened my front door to get the paper and when I looked up at the door I noticed that my "Season's Greetings" wreath is still hanging on the door. I have wreaths for every season. They're stupid and hokey, but I like them and it makes the neighbors think I'm actually friendly.

It's April. Tomorrow is Easter and my holiday wreath is still on my door. The damn hanger has bells on it, but I've heard them so many times I've stopped paying attention. It makes me wonder how many other things I'm not paying attention to. How many other things am I just walking by and missing. How banal is my existence that stuff can be so unimportant to me that I just don’t see it.

Today is a busy day. I’m taking the ferry over to the peninsula for a fun meeting with some friends. But when I come home, I’m going to take a really good look around and see what else I’m missing. I’m going to turn off all distractions – TV, radio, etc. – and walk through every room and look carefully at my life, because my home is representative of my life.

What am I missing? It’s time to clean out the cobwebs, both in my house and in my head.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Dear Anonymous;

I hope you're searching my blog looking for signs of your comment. You won't find it. One of the reasons I've reserved the right to review comments before they are published to my site is because of assholes like you!

Granted, everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how wrong it might be. But my blog is not the place to publish your opinion about other bloggers whose blogs I read and comment in occasionally. If you have something negative to say about them, have the nerve and decency to say it to them. Don't try to sleaze in through the back door by using another person's blog.

I have no idea what the person you slimed is like. But, I like their blog whether you do or not.

And for anyone else who might read this, if you have something fun, constructive or crappy to say about me - feel free. I'm open to praise and criticism about myself. But my blog is not a repository for crappy comments about others. I can do that without any help from anonymous commenters.

Don't piss me off again!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Nothing important to say!

Current spam count = 344

I’m home today with a sinus headache. This is the first one I’ve had since my surgery last July. I had a nose job – an interior nose job. After almost 10 months of often blinding headaches caused by the sinus infection from hell that just wouldn’t go away, the Dr. went in and enlarged my sinus passages, scraped out all the infection and straightened my deviated septum. I am no longer a deviant! Well…….

Anyway, spring is in full force here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Along with spring comes the pollen and all the grasses growing. Many people love to have all the different beautiful kinds of grasses waving in the breezes in their lawns. However, I have 2 major allergies – cats and grasses. So recently I pulled out the allergy medicines because my head was aching and my eyes are so puffy I’m starting to look like the doughboy.

Here are some updates for you. I’m still waiting to hear from my editor (patience Anti-Wife, patience!).

I did cyber-stalk George Clooney again today just to see what he’s up to since, as I said in my blog of March 28th, his life is a lot more interesting than mine. He created a sensation by going to some kid’s lemonade stand and paying $20 for a glass and getting his picture taken with several people. Wow, I’ve given some pretty big tips and donations in the past and no one has ever made a fuss about it. Puts everything in perspective and squashes all my visions of greatness and importance.

My gardener and his band of merry men will be here next Wednesday to return my yard to some semblance of order and thus stop the neighbors from picketing. I did mention to one of them at the mailbox the other day that he was coming and she must have said something to the rest of them because they’ve stopped glaring at me.

I’m taking the girls to the doggie beauty parlor this afternoon. Their regular appointment isn’t until the 15th. It was supposed to be on the 8th, but that’s Easter, so we had to move it. However, they are starting to smell like dogs who need to be washed and that’s not my favorite thing to do – plus I don’t cut doggie toenails! Just can’t do it. Nope! Nope! Nope! Not happening!

While they’re being beautified, I’m going to take another nap. Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I will not be discouraged!

Current spam count = 305

Discourage: to tend to prevent something from happening by making it more difficult or unpleasant. To try to stop somebody from doing something. To make somebody feel less motivated, confident, or optimistic.

Why is it that we can get 99 compliments and 1 criticism and all we remember is the criticism? Why do we focus on the negative? For years I talked myself out of doing things or even trying things because of negative stuff I heard or read. I wonder how many great experiences I denied myself by doing this.

I started writing my memoirs in late November last year. By the time the first draft was done, I was exhausted, but I was also energized. I sent it out to several people to read and for comments and was very pleased with their responses – but of course most of these people are friends. When I sent it out for a professional critique, it was a different story. While she liked my style of writing and thought I had a good story to tell, she found lots of holes and missing information. The list was about 6 pages long. Whew!

However, for some reason, this time I was determined not to be discouraged. I even made a sign to put over my desk at home and at work saying, “I will not be discouraged!” I forced myself to look at her criticism not as negativity, but as a blueprint for progress. I e-mailed her back and asked her to point out some of the things she had really liked because I wanted to make sure I didn’t screw up any of those in the process of re-writing and I wanted to build on them.

I paid close attention to that 6 page list and tried to incorporate most of her questions and suggestions into the second draft. Very soon I’ll be looking at her new list and starting on the third draft. It’s exciting and rather daunting all at the same time, but I will not be discouraged!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Anxiety sets in!

(Current spam count = 252)

Anxiety: “Nervousness or agitation, often about something that is going to happen. A subject or concern that causes worry.”

I’m feeling anxious today. My editor e-mailed me to say that she would have the edit/critique of my second draft back to me early this week. It’s been 3 weeks and I haven’t even looked at the manuscript since I sent it to her. I’ve been trying to distance myself from it hoping to approach it from a fresh perspective. When I sent it to her, my brain was so oversaturated with the material that it had basically just stopped functioning.

I know there will be a 3rd and possibly 4th and 5th draft before it’s finally ready for submission. That might drive some people crazy, but this is the story of my life and as Miss Snark says, I only get one chance to tell it so I don’t want to f#@k it up. My editor had excellent suggestions last time and I’m totally willing to do whatever is necessary to create the best manuscript possible.

But it’s hard because one of the things I know she’s going to say is that I have to go deeper on some stuff. I’m going to have to reveal more of the pain and share more of the hurt and the stupid crap I did in my past. My 1st draft just glossed over all of that. The 2nd draft went pretty deep and it was much harder to write – thus the brain freeze. Now I have to rip off the Band-Aids and show the scars.

So, I’m excited to see what she has to say, but I’m anxious about revisiting some of those old memories again. Writing my memoirs has been an interesting experience – exhilarating, painful and cathartic.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Update on Spamalot

Last week I commented on all the spam in my inbox and the fact that our IT geek was working on implementing a new "solution" for the problem. He informed us at our weekly staff meeting today that he has tried several different "solutions" and none of them have worked. (No shit, Sherlock)

In anticipation of losing all my fun headlines, I have been directing all of my spam to my junk mail folder. In the last 6 days 212 pieces of spam have found their way into there. So if anyone out there needs Viagra, Cialis, penis enlargement, loans, fat reductions, medications for almost anything, vitamins, girlfriends, boyfriends, health aids, exercise equipment, hormones, a good time, mortgages, college degrees, replicas, special offers, software, computers, and several things I've never heard of, please let me know and I will forward you the information.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

It’s finally over!

Today I hid my portrait and signed out for the last time from the internet dating service that I so stupidly signed up for 6 months ago. No, I didn’t find the love of my life. In fact, I didn’t find anyone. I would request the guarantee for 6 more months free except for a couple of things.

First, I didn’t exactly follow the rules that would allow me to take advantage of this fabulous offer. Second, I don’t want another 6 months of this crap! Allow me to explain.

I swore off men a while ago because I am somewhat commitment phobic and have a couple of residual abandonment and intimacy issues from my childhood. I reasoned that the only way to resolve these issues was to distance myself from those who were creating the anxiety related stress in my life – men. Well, not men in general; just men with whom I had intimate relationships.

I have some really great men friends and don’t have problems with men at all until kissing and touching and sex become involved. It would take way too long to explain it to you here and it’s going to be in my book which you are all going to be anxious to read, so let’s just move on!

Anyway, about 7 months ago I mentioned to some friends that I might – just MIGHT – be ready to think about dating again. Of course they’re all in relationships – some less miserable than others – so they were all over me about this. Of all the suggestions I received, signing up for the internet dating service seemed to be the least innocuous and the one over which I would have the most control. Since they were threatening to do it for me, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

So I signed up and created a profile that was sincere if somewhat sarcastic – an honest portrait of me. There were no lies about looking for the love of my life or wanting to spend all of our time together. I just wanted someone to play with and bonk occasionally. I’m a simple person and I enjoy being alone sometimes. Okay, I enjoy it a lot of the time. I figured that anyone who read my profile and responded would know exactly what I wanted. RIGHT!

I’ve had hundreds of hits on my profile and lots of winks and e-mails. I have become intimate friends with the “no thanks” button and have deleted everyone. Most of these men are looking for the love of their life and can’t wait to spend all their free time getting to know me. ACK! I’ve read so much crap about long walks and intimate dinners in front of the fire; it makes me want to puke.

To get the free 6 months, I would have had to contact at least 5 people on the site every month. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. How pitiful am I? I couldn’t even find 5 people to e-mail every month out of thousands. I didn’t e-mail anyone.

So, no renewal for me and my portrait is safely hidden from view so no one will make the mistake of contacting me. Internet dating may be great for some people, but for me men are kind of like vegetables – I want to see first hand what I’m getting and check for bruises, punctures and scarring before throwing them into my cart. Or, maybe I’m just not quite ready to start dating again yet.