Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Day is Finally Here...Well Almost

Officially one more sleep until we board a plane to embark on a nine hour flight to Holland, with a toddler. I can't even begin to describe how anxious this makes me. Not the flying part. I've done it before. But never with a child, much less a child that just recently began throwing 20 minute temper tantrums. The only relief I have is the reminder that I am not doing it alone.

So the suitcases have finally made their way out of the closet. After a little discussion with myself, yes I tend to talk to myself whenever the need strikes, I even opened them. And what do you know, once they were opened it actually wasn't that hard to start filling them. It's far from being done but at least there has been progress.

And it was the perfect day to start. Nevermind the fact that we leave tomorrow. But only in Calgary does it snow at the end of May. Yes you heard me right. It's freaking snowing. What started off as a deluge of rain, those REALLY big drops that will soak through all your clothes before you've even made it the fifteen feet to your car, has now turned to a downpour of heavy wet snow. I really should move to a different climate. This is ridiculous. I want to be someplace where it's 20 degrees all year round. Does this place exist?

Well, diaper duties call. The next blog entry will be from the other side of the world.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Too Tired to Think Straight...

Each day I am reminded how much age plays a part in our well-being. Ever since the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I have had trouble sleeping. Well not so much trouble sleeping as trouble going to bed. If I try to go to bed at a reasonable hour I lay in bed for hours, staring at the ceiling or thinking about everything that may have transpired during the day or what could transpire in the future. So to avoid laying in bed wide awake I stay up trying to be productive. After everyone has gone to bed is the best time for me to get some writing done or do anything on the computer for that matter. Before I know it it's almost 2am and I know I have to go to bed because Julianne will be awake earlier than I want. So I finally make it to bed  in the early hours of the morning, and still I lay awake for at least an hour or more. Then what do you know, the little one is awake and I am forced to get away and try to make breakfast in a foggy haze. Or like this morning, drive the hubby to work in the same foggy haze. Everything comes out as a mumble this early in the morning. The words I say and the words the hear. All sound like blah, blah, blah. And I get cranky. Partly because I can't hear straight, partly because I can't talk straight so it's easier just to bark and moan. Even though I know it doesn't please anyone else. Hell it doesn't please me either. I would much rather still be snuggled cozy in the bed.
So what's on the list of things to do today? As little as possible if I can manage it. There is going to be enough to do in the coming days as we get ready for our holidays. I really should start making that so-called list of things to pack. But I suck at lists. I seem to think I can remember everything I need and most of the time I can, but lately, the mind has been slipping just a little bit and something gets forgotten, which of course wouldn't if I just made a list.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cranky Day

Not sure what's up with me today. I woke up seemingly in a good mood and then Bam! Just like that I was uber cranky. There is no logical reason for me to be this way. Julianne has been whiny today though. The whinier she gets the crankier I get. And while I am trying to sort the laundry she is getting into everything. Most days I am pretty patient, but today for some reason, it is just driving me crazy. It's not lost on me though that it's very possibly she's whiny and cranky because I am whiny and cranky and not the other way around.
The hubby just wants to clean and he wants to throw everything out. Things that have been important to me for many years but since we moved still remain in boxes. I know that if I haven't used them in a long time then I probably don't need them but there are just some things I don't want to part with. Books are a big one. I have a VERY hard time getting rid of books. And I know I collect more and more all the time. I probably have as many unread books as read books. But it's not the point. They are books and I love them so why should I have to get rid of them? But on the flip side, I hate clutter. Most of these books were in the storage closet underneath tons of other stuff. I wanted to grab them so I could sort through them but as soon as I open the storage room door I get this knot in my stomach and all ambition is gone.
He did get my books though and I made sure he didn't do anything with them. I sorted some and then I am going to sort the others and try and get them all organized. You should have seen the look I got when I asked him to take them to the bedroom. He knew that I would probably leave them there for the next few weeks or months and typically yes I probably would. But because of that look, I know I better do it today and prove him wrong.
Well must go get the laundry. Only number 3 load of 6. It's gonna be a long day. Ugh.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Me? Prolific?

Well what do you know? I just received another blog award. Thanks so much to Clarissa over at Listen to the Voices who apparently finds me to be 'prolific'. I don't know that I actually agree but hey, who am I to argue? There are days and days that I go without blogging, there are days and days I go without doing much of anything at all. Completely unproductive. That's me. Although I am exhausted by the end of the day so I must have done something. I prolifically sat on the couch. I prolifically chased around a toddler. Prolifically responded to emails and played around on Facebook. I guess there are some things that I have an overabundance of. But I would not say that time is one of them.

But, I digress. If someone believes me to be prolific, then I better start proving them right. Earn that award. Oh, I think I get it now. I was given the award, like one would get an advance on a novel. Now I must produce something. Prove my worthiness.

Shoot! I can feel the eyes upon me now.

Oh part of this award is to pass it on to other people that I find worthy, or not. It really doesn't matter. I could keep it all to myself. But, I am way past the not-sharing phase so...

Drum roll please.

1. Apryl at So F*cking Fabulous I Piss Glitter just because I love her and everything she has to say. It's a tough world out there and she tells it how she sees it.
2. Dan at Such is Life because he is one of the funniest guys I know and if anyone is prolific, it's him. Never misses a day, except for Saturday. If you check out his blog, you'll know what I mean.
3. Susan at Accidental Poet because I love what she has to say and she inspires me.
4. Dawn at Dawning because she has some good stuff to say.

And, I think I will stop there just because the little one is sitting on the couch, trying to read but she is sounding like a siren. Literally. One of the funniest things I have ever seen and at the same time, very bloody annoying. So I guess I need to pull over to let the little emergency vehicle pass. (ok, probably one of the lamer metaphors I have come up with lately...but go with it.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stick the Knife in a Little Deeper

What is a rejection but a little stab in the back? Something to deflate your ego just a little more. I have had my fair share of rejections but it is offset by a few acceptances now and again. But it's funny how one rejection, no matter how kind it is, can make you forget about the previous acceptances. It reminds me a little of relationships and how women never forget the wrongs of the man, no matter how many rights he does afterwards to make up for it.

The thing we have to try and remember about rejections is that it's not that the writing was bad, but that there were far more better ones and when there are only x number of spots available and xxx number of submissions, the odds go down considerably. And there is no magical formula to ensure that yours stands out above the rest. Plus, remember that these are ordinary people sifting through piles and piles of submissions and what one person likes another may not. If you wrote an amazing love story about how you and your significant other met and fell in love and it was one of the most masterfully crafted pieces of work you've ever produced, so good that any editor would be foolish to turn down, but that editor just went through a nasty breakup or divorce, they are not going to look at your work for the craft. Instead, they are more likely to stick their finger down their throat and...well you know the rest.

If I felt qualified to offer advice, the only thing I would say is not to give up hope. To keep trying. Because eventually someone out there will see your masterpiece for what it is.

Another person once told me, that for every rejection you are that much closer to an acceptance. Like crawling across the desert in search of water, only to be fooled by mirage after mirage but eventually, that mirage with not evaporate and you will find yourself face down in a wonderful pool. Wierd analogy but something that just came to me. Aww...the magic of just letting your fingers do the talking.

I just received a letter from a well known Canadian literary magazine that was neither a rejection or an acceptance. It was a nice little note asking me to be patient as the selection committee had far more submissions to go through than expected. Of course as soon as I saw it, my heart sunk to my stomach at first. I tried to read it without skipping ahead to find those familiar words of what a great submission it was but due to the shear volume of quality submissions they could not publish at this time. To my surprise, this particular letter did not contain those words. But I am sure in the next couple of months that one will appear. In the meantime, all I can do is wait and keep submitting to other magazines. Of course now that I am on a poetry kick, that may be the genre I focus on for awhile.

 I do have an idea for a story that has been swirling around in my mind for a little while but I have yet to figure out how to start it or even if it should be a story or poem. I may try it from both sides and see what happens. I am leaning towards poetry only because the one line I have is more of a metaphor but a story can use metaphors just as nicely as a poem. Just much more subtly.

Ok, must stop here before my ramblings go off on some other tangent.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

About Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

It's a part of human nature. Do what makes you feel comfortable. Resist change at all costs. But isn't there a line that needs to be crossed for us to continue to grow and develop and learn new things about ourselves?

I am a prose writer. A writer of short fiction and ambitious enough to attempt the novel. Recently I even dove into the area of creative non-fiction and I think this is what really gave me that final push to confront that nemesis, poetry.

The non-fiction class forced me to delve into a side of me that I was hiding from through fiction. It made me open up and brought the realization that those things, good or bad, that happen in life, need a voice and sometimes that voice does not have to be made up. So in comes poetry. Much the same as non-fiction, it comes from the heart. It delves into that emotional side that so many of us keep hidden. And for what reason? Are we afraid to face the facts or are we afraid to share those facts with others?

Many feel that writing is cathartic. A gentle release of all those pent up feelings that you just can't share with others.

Some just like to write. To make up stories and share them with the world. Or hope to share them with the world. I have heard many say that writers write because they have something to say.

Where was I? Comfort zone...poetry. Right.

I have been afraid of poetry for as long as I can remember. From early years in school, whether I was forced to read it or write it, I just could not wrap my head around it. This thing called metaphor. Say something without really saying it. I was forced to actually think and my goodness, did my brain ever hurt. Then I began to attend poetry readings. At first listening to it just made me nauseous. You know, that queasy feeling when you're really bored or anxious? I didn't want to have to think. Give me a good story where everything is spelled out for me, something that I don't have to look deeper for that hidden meaning. What is the poet REALLY trying to say? As far as I knew, only the writer knew and isn't that really all that mattered? Why do I have to rip this poems apart, line by line and look for something. What I get out of it is going to be completely different than what another gets out of it. For the most part at least.

As much as it made me feel ill, I still attended these readings. Mostly they were short story readings with a sprinkling of poetry. I could live with that. At one of these readings, I heard a poem by a man that I now deeply respect as a writer, poet and person, and it changed poetry for me. I suddenly got it. I still don't know what it was that stood out to me. His presentation, the poem itself, something deeper that just struck a chord? It didn't really matter. I even started reading poetry. But I still did not attempt to write it.

So back to the non-fiction class. When I realized I could open up a little and let my true self show, I suddenly realized that maybe I could write a poem. So, like a newborn taking its first tentative steps, I enrolled in a poetry class. What I have realized? It's not so bad and I am not half bad at it either. There is only one more class remaining and I have to say, it kind of saddens me. I have only just begun a journey that could end up being incredibly rewarding and I want more.

Who would of thought??

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

When life gets too hectic the things that seem to suffer are the things you enjoy doing the most. Why is that? Shouldn't your life be hectic and busy by being full of all the things you really like to do? Maybe even the things you love to do. I guess logically the first priority has to be on the things that make the money. So you put in extra time and then all the other deadlines that you don't get paid for suffer.

I want to go out and play in the sun with Julianne, but the house needs to get cleaned. It's gotten pretty bad even though my mom was just here and did some stuff. Seems the moment she left, it all went to disarray again. Partly because we actually did go out and do the fun stuff in the sun but also because work has started to take over, for both me and the hubby. Then there is the unexpected trips, all for money. For example, I had full intentions of doing a thorough cleaning in the morning, then a little grocery shopping and then when that was all done, go to the park with the little one. But instead, I get a phone call this morning asking if I want to go on a little road trip. Road trip sounds like a fun thing but in fact it was a delivery for my husband's company that was almost 3 hours of driving but I got paid for it, so why not? It's all for the money. Especially when you're going on vacation shortly so any extra money that can be made to add to the vacation fund is all good. But of course, nothing got done.

I had/have homework that needs to get done for the two classes I am taking right now. The poetry is done but I have to work on the novel too. I have a bit done for what I need for my class, but it's no where near complete and I should have submitted it for review by today. Unfortunately I don't thing that's gonna happen. It's midnight here and well, instead of writing I am blogging. So what's  up with that?

Julianne got her first scraped knee the other day. Then the next day, just as it's starting to scab over, she falls again and re-opens the wound. A couple days after that, she was at the park and wouldn't you know it, she fell again. It was a mess. Sad thing was they were on their way home. Just done with the playing and about to leave and she falls. Poor baby. I think it bothers me more than her though. The sight of the blood. I think she's in pain but really it doesn't seem to bother her, but I cringe and worry. Today the scab has just be cracking so there has been little beads of blood. I want to help her and clean it up, but she doesn't want me anywhere near that knee.  I think part of me expects that she should be sad and want  mommy or daddy to kiss it better but apparently that's not what's happening. This whole kid thing is a lot different than I could have suspected.  Oh and now she has started biting. So if anyone has any suggestions on how to stop that, I would really, really appreciate any suggestions.

Well that is my update for now.  Off to Holland in a few days, as long as the Iceland volcano does not interrupt our plans. Plan to blog as much as possibly while there. So stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Proud To Be Canadian and other stuff...

Just when we thought we had it all figured out. That Canada is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet to live, that we are one of the more open-minded countries welcoming everyone into the folds. Just when we thought we already knew all the things that make this country so wonderful, something else comes along to remind us just how great it really is and just how lucky we are. May 5, 1945, Canada helped liberate the Netherlands. To free them from German occupation.
Now normally this would have been the kind of celebration that would have made me sit up and go, oh yeah, we did that. But now I have a little more invested considering my husband is from the Netherlands, my in-laws still live there and if it hadn't been for Canadian soldiers 65 years ago, I may never have met him.

Every year on November 11 I take the time to remember those that suffered and fought for us and for others and that pride I already possess grows stronger but now, there is another day I need to be greatful for, another to remember what great people live in this country.

Now time to ruin this post with my selfish thoughts. I'm getting ripped off this year. My birthday falls on Mother's Day. The last time this happened it was no big deal because I wasn't a mother but now...geez! I completely understand how those people that have birthdays on or around Christmas must feel. Both are great reasons to celebrate, but a birthday is supposed to be special for particular reasons and Mother's Day or Christmas is supposed to be special for other reasons, so when you have to fair is that?
Ok, well it's not really that big a deal because I have never made a big deal out of birthdays anyway and I wasn't even going to add this part after reading a beautiful post by a dear friend and colleague about Mother's Day.  Go check out the Accidental Poet. You may never look at Mother's Day the same.