paulak_rumin8: (Austin and Mickey)
I just posted chapter 10. I think it's the most evil cliffhanger I've ever offered. Makes me smile. I really enjoyed writing this story. It actually came a little easier than the last one I did. I might have enough nerve worked up to see about writing original fiction. I've said so before, I know. I'm still trying to talk myself into it, I think.

Writing is my second greatest joy right now. Tops is my children. They are such blessings. Tonight, my eldest 2 are away on a camping trip with scouts. So I have the four aged 3 to 8 having a sleepover in the den. It's adorable. And little guy, Leo, went to bed without a single fuss. I'm just so grateful.

I'm going to post a writing sample to end this. I have one particular scene from chapter 10 that I think stands out. That'll do.



Alonzo guided her back down the hall to the kitchen and motioned for her to sit in the same chair she had used earlier. Vinnie was standing nearby, holding a telephone base in one hand and inspecting a watch in the other.

“All right, Secretary. We have a phone call to make.” Vinnie joined them at the table and set a paper in front of Mickey. “You will read exactly what is written here, and then I will hang up. Don’t answer any questions. Don’t offer any information. Understand?”

She nodded. “Yes.” Her voice was a mere whisper. She cleared her throat. “Yes,” she said again.

Vinnie dialed the phone with the eraser end of a pencil, while Alonzo held the receiver to her ear. It rang only once and was immediately answered.

“Mickey?”

She thought she had been holding up well, feeling numb, if not absolutely calm. But at the sound of Austin’s voice and the alarm implicit behind it, tears sprang to her eyes. But Vinnie was staring at her, a deadly serious look on his face, and she didn’t want him to hang up. She tried to launch right into her message. “Austin! I have—“

“Tell me somebody pulled a gun on you, at least. Tell me you didn’t just hop into the car with them.”

She exhaled, making a sound that was equal parts laugh and sob. “I’m sorry, Austin.”

“Didn’t I tell you to stay home? Isn’t that the one thing I kept telling you while you were arguing with me?”

“I know…”

“You didn’t do what I told you to.”

“You’re right. You’re always right.”

“When this is over, I want you to make that your personal mantra. Repeat it to yourself every time you start to question my judgment.”

Vinnie’s expression grew darker. “Get on with it.”

“Austin, I really need to give you this message.”

“Go ahead.”

“Do you have the drug they want?”

“Yep.”

“All of it?”

“Yep.”

She read off the paper. “Get on Route 60, go East as fast as you can. You will receive another phone call in twenty minutes.” That was it. The message was complete. Her eyes began to fill again.

As though he was standing right beside her, seeing what she saw and knowing what she knew, Austin’s hastily added last words fell on her ears, low and composed. “Try and relax, Mickey. Just do whatever they tell you. I’m coming.”

Vinnie disconnected as Mickey answered. “I know you are.”
paulak_rumin8: (Austin and Mickey)
As of tonight, I have the first 7 pages done of chapter 1. I have had a couple of good periods of reflection and subsequent writing, and the scenes have been unfolding very nicely. It's a pretty good sign when I amuse myself. I'm on to the second part of chapter 1. I was considering how to break up chapters, and I've settled on a lesser number of longer chapters, subdivided into two or three smaller parts. Blah, blah. The mechanics of writing are less than entertaining, so I'll move on.

Tonight I roused my poor 12-year-old out of bed to check in one of the kitchen cabinets. I thought I saw bugs while I was putting away dishes. I actually thought I saw a number of cockroaches, but I was wrong. Oldest son rolled his eyes at me with good reason; my "bugs" were cute little fish on a clear-colored dinner plate which I couldn't see on top of the ordinary ceramic plates in the dim lighting. Son told me I'm probably tired and ought to go to bed. He is a very sensible and officious young man, isn't he?

I am so looking forward to writing more of my Probe fic! I wish it wasn't so late and I wasn't so tired. Generally, my best work doesn't come out of this kind of mental fog, so I'll probably just wrap up what I'm doing here, maybe play a round of Mahjong, and call it a night. I'm trying to keep focused on just the immediate scene I'm writing, instead of jumping ahead. It's hard for a big-picture person like me to concentrate on the details sufficiently. Today I brainstormed in the shower a new twist in the next scene which should make for some fun writing, as well as the end tag. No kidding, the plot hasn't thickened yet and I've already figured out the end tag.

As per the norm with me, my interest in TV has sunk to dismal lows. I assumed yesterday's Mentalist would be another rerun, but then I forgot to even check to be sure. I've hardly sat down in the family room, let alone watch the TV. Writing commandeers my creative energy and keeps TV at bay, and then there's the children. Lately, the boys have been into board games and card games. Probably the crappy weather. Anyway, I've been playing a lot of Monopoly, Taboo, and Blackjack these days.
paulak_rumin8: (Austin and Mickey)
Today was good. I wish I could have logged on a lot earlier because I had witty thoughts and a higher level of alertness for recording various happenings then, and now I'm winding down and ready to shut off the ruminations for the night.

But today was good, and I don't want to waste a good mood by not recording it for posterity. So I'll take a few minutes and highlight the finer points of the day.

First thing this morning...well, after breakfast...I got on a roll and started dishing out chore assignments. School's out for most of the kids. Oldest is wrapping up a book report. Third-born is free, free, free. Kindergartener would be done but Mom and Dad haven't been motivated enough to complete the last week. C'mon, it's just kindergarten we're talking about. Second-born is my little high-maintenance project-evader, and so he's chained to the dining room table with bread, water, and the occasional potty break until he pays up with his book report and a field trip report for History.

Anyway, I exempted Second-born from chores because he has enough troubles for now. Oldest and Third-born were issued cat care and lower level vacuuming. Oldest responded to the request with predictable 11-year-old moping and agitation, mumbling under his breath on his way to the utility closet that the lower level bathroom carpet stinks and ought to be ripped out.

"So do it," I answered. And he did.

We made a project of it. Tore out the cumin-orange shag, pried out the tack strips, swept, mopped, and fixed a malfunctioning fluorescent fixture while we were at it. In the end, I had a half-bath with linoleum tiles from probably 1950, but they're in pretty good shape, all things considered. I picked up a couple bath mats from Wal-Mart to perk it up a bit. It's a terrific improvement, cost next to nothing, and the lower-level bathroom (a.k.a. the cat room) is no longer stinky.

Husband, meanwhile, accomplished more landscaping in one afternoon than in 13 years of marriage, I think. He de-weeded the front and side yards, and uncovered many non-weed, flowering flora we didn't know we had. It was enough to bring a mist to my eyes.

I went grocery shopping and kept it under $150. Not bad. And I even took the time to purchase a thoughtful gift for a niece's second birthday we're attending tomorrow. Usually we're scrambling for something reasonably appropriate in the right price range on our way to these functions.

Husband's copy of the DVD "ADD and Mastering It" arrived at our local library a couple days ago, so we watched that last night. Every time Husband puts in time researching ADD he ends up taking on some ambitious project the next day.

I'm six weeks into maternity leave and finally hitting my stride. Too bad I'll have to get back to work on the 25th. My daughter is cute, though. She said we can celebrate my birthday and my going back to work on the same day, with all the innocent joy of a child whose sentiments put re-entering the workforce following childbirth on a par with cake and ice cream and presents.

The Good Lord's sense of humor touched us a number of times this week. Knowing how conscious I have been lately about our finances, he sends thoughtful gifts our way, just to ensure my gratitude...or perhaps to stir my shame over a lack thereof. Anyway, small checks kept coming in the mail. A belated new baby congratulations, a gift from work. Then came a big reimbursement from work on my insurance deductible, which I was loosely hoping for but in no way expecting. That one caused a little happy dance. Yesterday, a local recycling factory that recently opened in town called my husband to say he won a Visa gift card in the grand opening drawing he entered. He went down and picked it up right away. Crazy, but half an hour later the place sustained a major fire that drew in 5 fire departments in the area and made headlines. I told Husband the moral is either "When you win a gift card, don't hesitate", or "If you are a company giving away gift cards, Husband may be an omen of doom."
paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
Tonight I laid seige to my household, swept through like a whirling dervish, cleaning, reordering, commanding, demanding, bemoaning. It was brutal. No one was safe from the onslaught, not even the cats (Get OUT of that popcorn, Gizmo, you know it makes you throw up!). I found a wet diaper in among toy debris in the family room, and husband had the lapse in good judgement to call my upset with the find "nit-picking." An indignant tirade involving a barrage of words flying at no less than 85 words per minute ensued.
 
In spite of this, everyone ended up comfortably tucked in their beds, husband included, by 9:15. Now I am chomping on microwave popcorn and contemplating a cream soda. I got the laundry up and running. I am not about to tackle bills at this point, nor am I interested in delving into the miserable business of lesson planning. We're up to the first quarter end, and I usually give that 2 weeks to complete anyway. Anyway, it's close to 10:00, and I've had a hectic day from beginning to end and I'm out of interest in applying myself any further toward anything particularly productive. At this point, I have given myself express permission to indulge in recreational computer tinkering, a bit of a snack, and bed--just as soon as husband gets up to go to work.

My fanfiction writer I admire is wrapping up her terrific story, and that's been so much fun to follow. She posts one chapter a day. You can tell it's a special piece because it has 45 reviews and 15 follows. Nice. Now that I've given myself some space from my own project, I'm thinking of going back and rewriting each chapter according to the finer points of the plot I worked out before I try to complete the story. I still think I can finish it, but I need to get the earlier stuff improved first.

Uh-oh...

Sep. 24th, 2012 10:05 pm
paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
The project is stalled. I've got a great collection of reasons. For fun, let's list them.

Reasons My Writing Project is Standing Neglected

1. I'm nauseated and cranky and I don't feel like writing about other people's problems.

2. Someone else is in the process of posting a story I'm enjoying, and mine doesn't give me as much pleasure.

3. It kind of hurts to think that hard.

4. I'd rather be sleeping.

5. I ought to be flipping loads of laundry and paying the bills.

6. Homeschool.

7. Scouts.

8. I have this job that interferes with my extracurricular writing time.


So tonight, at dinner, my 7-year-old whacked his head on a kitchen cabinet and he started bleeding like the dickens from his scalp, which caused him to sort of freak out and scream, which led to general chaos among all the children. Fortunately, I am a trained professional. I calmly administered first aid, talked down the panicky  child, had one kid wipe up the mess on the floor, and another kid summon his father from the garage where he was taking a social call...all so I could yell at poor husband for not being available to pour the milk so 7-year-old wouldn't have placed his head in such close proximity to the cabinet. Poor husband. Anyway, the bleeding stopped, and as is often the case with head wounds, the bleeding was far out of proportion to the miniscule cut in his hairline.

Now it's almost 10:30, and I'm sleepy but my stomach is growling and I want something to make it stop. Guess it's time to go trolling the kitchen before I head for bed.
paulak_rumin8: (smk-so in love)
It will absolutely be a miracle if I get this story finished. I completed chapter 10 tonight, a week later than I was aiming for. With the help of schedule demands, raging hormones, and the usual assortment of internal doubts, my progress is slow going. The latest inner demon: the idea I'm working off of is sooooo unoriginal. It is borderline cliche.

Appropriately, the latest issue of my favorite writer's trade journal features an article on the inner demons that derail our writing efforts. I'm sure I'll recognize many of my project companions when I read it.

Off the project subject, I am so unbelievably tired. I take a shower and then I take a rest. Every day I'm off work, I'm having a nice little nap sometime before lunch. How my older children haven't guessed there's a sibling in the works, I don't know. Apparently, Mom collapsing on the sofa midday for several days running isn't particularly noteworthy. Maybe they're just accustomed to this sort of behavior, given that their father works nights.

Somebody is visiting my Probe story (stories) on Wattpad, I noticed. Maybe when I get this SMK piece finished and posted, I'll try and finish out that Probe story I left hanging. That would give me some satisfaction.
paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
It is a work weekend, which means nothing other than work is likely to get accomplished before Monday. This includes laundry, lesson plans, and meaningful writing. However, I did have a little fun at work, writing up two versions of an entry for a page of nurses notes.

1. The Official Version

"Resident incontinent of loose BM x 2 this a.m. Required complete assist."

2. The Take-Home Version For My Own Amusement

"Resident incontinent of loose BM x 2 this a.m. Required complete assist with clean-up. Dimwitted R.N. dosed him with 17 Gm Miralax per resident request, knowing this was probably a bad move, given said resident had already been incontinent of loose BM x 1 at that time. Resident's excuse: I hate to be constipated. R.N.'s excuse: Still don't know. Suspect covert hostility toward assigned C.N.A."

Incidentally, the dimwitted R.N. I'm referring to is me, and the assigned C.N.A. is a lovely woman toward whom I don't harbor any conscious hostility.

Yesterday was the impromtu zoo field trip. It must be noted that one way I enjoy entertaining myself these days is taking all the kids out in public so I can gauge the response of other people. It's pretty common to see somebody with one or two kids with or without a stroller on downtown streets. It's less common to see a couple hauling a lawn wagon loaded with 3 kids under 5 and another 3 kids over 5 meandering alongside. It's hard to stop in a little cafe with that kind of entourage, so we settled for a storefront McDonalds for lunch. We were going to shake things up a little and visit Boston Market, but we're Friday vegetarians and Boston Market has no fish. Overall, we got a pretty favorable reaction from others. Mainly, people seemed most interested in the ratio of boys to girls. Happily, no one on this trip asked me if my husband fathered all of them.

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