Monday, February 28, 2011

Secret Divulged...

We have been thinking about moving.

All the way to Holland.

It's still in the planning stages and there is the very possible chance that we will change our minds, but for now, it's up for consideration.

A few days ago it was a very likely move, maybe a 75% chance. Now that liklihood has somewhat dropped. Perhaps it's safe to say it's 50/50.

Initially it was my hubby that said we wouldn't do it unless I wanted to. After some thinking about it, I decided that it wouldn't be such a bad idea. But now, it seems that hubby is reconsidering. He doesn't really want to go back so although it would be a great adventure for me and would give his parents the opportunity to spend more time with their granddaughter, he would not be happy there. There was a reason he left, and it wasn't just because of me.

There are still a lot of things to consider. But if it doesn't happen this year, maybe it will happen next year. Or even the year after. Needless to say, it will remain a possibility.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Have A Secret...

Or rather, "I know something you don't know."

Don't you hate that? When we were kids we had such a hard time keeping secrets to ourselves. We would go up to the first person we saw and in a sing-song tone, brag that there was some big secret that the other didn't know and there was no way in the world you were going to tell that person...unless of course, they guessed. Because if they guessed then you didn't really tell them. Right? They figured it out all on their own.

So, I don't really have a secret that will shake the world, but I have knowledge of something that will change the lives of many people. For some it will be a positive change, for others, not so much. And there are many of my readers who it will not affect one little bit. Like you TOTALLY wouldn't care one way or the other.

But, now that I have you all curious, I can't say anything until other affected parties have been told first. Because it just wouldn't be fair to have them learn about this via social media or the internet. Although some of them will learn of it via internet, email or webcam because there is no other way.

Isn't it exciting (or annoying) when someone does this?

All will be revealed in due time.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Love Just Keeps on Coming

I've been slightly non-existent from the bloggie world for a little while. As if you hadn't noticed. Since the ear infection and what have you, I've played catch up and boy have I caught up.

And then I've had some fabulous news. Well, fabulous to me at least. I learned the other day that one of my short stories has been short-listed in a fiction contest. I can hardly contain myself. Also, another publication is coming my way later in the year. Maybe this writing thing isn't so far-fetched after all. Maybe I can actually write a decent story. And maybe I should start giving myself and my writing a little more credit. But I think that comes with the territory.

And then when I think the love can't get any better, what do you know, Apryl over at So F*cking Fabulous I Piss Glitter gave me a couple of awards.

First, something about 7 facts, where I have to share, 7 useless secrets, or maybe not so much secrets, but useless trivia about moi. I really am not that interesting but all in the name of good sportsmanship, I will cooperate and see if I can't come up with something that won't make you all groan or run for cover, never speaking to me again. And then there might be some of you that say, OMG, I can't believe she just admitted that. But I can take it. I've been through worse, I am sure.

But it really is a pretty award. I like sunflowers. They are all sunny and flowery and makes me think of anything but SNOW and COLD.

After I come up with my useless facts, I am then supposed to nominate 15 other blogs to receive the love too.

And then there is the Versatile Blogger Award. Well, if I am anything it's versatile. I don't have specific topic, I just write what ever happens to float through my little brain and sometimes it's short, barely lucid and painful and then on other occasions, I might have some deep thoughts. Or I just want to talk about writing, or talk about my child because she's funny. Or sometimes the off the wall antics of my husband. I guess, in short, there is always something to write about, which makes me wonder why I get these lags now and again.

Now, let's see...

7 Facts About Moi or All the Things you Never Really Wanted to Know But Now are Forced to.

1. My husband and I have a lot of mindless conversations. Example:

The other day I walked in the front door and in my hubby's over-dramatizing way:

HUBBY: I'm depressed.

ME: Well take off your pants.

HUBBY: Is that all you think about?

ME: Pretty much. At this age there isn't much else to think about.

HUBBY: Your eggs are just dying.

ME: Yeah. Pretty soon they'll need crutches.

HUBBY: *Rolls his eyes.*

On the positive side, we keep it interesting. And maybe that also means I am a little bit of a comedienne. Who knew?

2. I know I've mentioned this at some point before but I will mention it again because it's just too weird to not tell people, again. You know that crinkly, rattly scrunchy sound a plastic bag makes? Well I hate it. It makes my skin crawl and is almost as bad as the nails down the chalkboard thing.

3. I am a worrier. I am finally admitting it. Thanks Mom, it must be hereditary. I worry about small things, I worry about big things. Probably why I have a hard time sleeping at night.

4. I'm shy. Ha ha. I know what most of you that know me are thinking. But it's true. There are many different levels to being shy and there are many social situations that I am extremely uncomfortable in, but I try not to let it show. But it's there. It really, really is. Honest.

5. I'm a pathological liar. Okay, not am, and maybe never was, but you know how you tell yourself something long enough that isn't true, so long that you start to actually believe it? You've created so many fabrications around a certain subject that it becomes part of your life, as if it was a real experienced memory. I did something of the sort when I was in Jr. High School and even to this day, I have to remind myself that it didn't actually happen. Makes you realize the mind is much more moldable than you might have once thought. Seriously, anyone could be brainwashed.

6. I hate Jerry Springer. Okay, not him personally because he never did anything to me, but the show. My god. The show. How much do they pay these people to come on stage and act like trailer trash? I bet it's a lot. Maybe I could do something like that. Now you might think, if you don't like the show, then don't watch it, but it's not that simple. My husband is in love with Jerry and the tramps on the show. I think he harbours a secret desire to live in a trailer park. Not that I've actually got anything against trailer parks, it's just the whole stigma surrounding them. You have seen Trailer Park Boys, haven't you?

7. I love to write. Okay, this is exactly news, maybe a bit of a cop out, but hey, when you get to the end, what else is there to do? I could counter Apryl's fact that she can touch her head with her feet, backwards, by saying, I so totally can't. That does require flexibility so Apryl, in case you were wondering, that is actually a pretty big feat.

Whew, I think I did it. 7 Little Factoids.

And now I have to pass the awards on to some other worthy peeps. But I will have to do that a little later. For now I am going to leave you with my facts and fun times.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ear Infections Are for Kids

Can you believe it? I think I have an ear infection. Not actually diagnosed but how else do you explain the fuzzy cotton ball feel in my ears, like I’m flying high above the clouds in a 747? I can’t even pop them without it hurting. Not excruciating, just annoying.

I can’t remember the last time I had an ear infection. Or if I’ve ever had one. Maybe it was as a kid and I pushed it so far from my mind that I can’t recall. But my sinuses are still sore from the lingering cold, irritated by the dry air and now, the ears.

I was thinking about the symptoms they tell us, as parents, to watch for with our children. Pulling on the ears, irritable. That is totally me. Well, the pulling on the ears part. Me, irritable? Ha. Never. But how can you not be irritated when your ears won’t pop or you feel like you have cotton balls stuffed inside your head?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Why I Have the Best Child in the World!

Here we go…Just moments ago…Please don’t judge me…I know it’s late and my child is still awake. Try to tell her that.

Little Person: (standing in front of her Daddy). Bah. Bah. (waves hand vigorously back and forth in front of her face)

Me: What’s the matter. Does Daddy stink?

Little Person: (turns her back to her Daddy and points at her bum.)

Me: Or do you stink?

Little Person: (nods head excitedly) ya ya ya.

Daddy checks her diaper.

Daddy: Go to mommy.

Little Person dances around the room.

Me: Who do you want to change your diaper?”

Little Person: Mmmmmm. (tilts head and puts hand to her lip like she’s really thinking about this) DADDY!

Me: (laughs hysterically)

I love my daughter.

I Did It Again...

After debilitating months of working and rewriting and sitting on and tossing away and rewriting, I submitted an essay for a contest. I toiled, I tell you. Really troubled over the whole thing. It was beautiful. Brilliant, even.

But they didn't see it.

Now I could run into the kitchen and try and hang myself with with that limp spaghetti that I haven't put away yet, or...I could just keep on toiling some more.

I think I'm getting pretty good at this rejection thing. One after another, they come and I keep on going. Continue to tell myself, "if you're getting rejections, at least you're writing." The more the merrier, right?

Wanna know something funny though? And I do this all the time. Just as I know it's getting close to the announcement of winners or I know I should hear something soon, the story runs through my head. Because I've read it so many times I've practically memorized it. And suddenly, as the announcement approaches, I begin to criticize my own work. Realize all the parts that could have been better. More fluid. More coherant. More descriptive. And then of course I know that the rejection is coming but in my mind the piece is no longer up to my standards.

What the hell kind of business is this anyway, that I've gotten myself into. Seriously. I could be doing something much  less glamourous like working the Drive Thru at Tim Horton's or shoveling snow for little old ladies. But, no, I choose to consistently poor my heart and soul into my projects just to have someone that can't really see the value in my love story, because maybe they just finalized a divorce, or my war story because maybe it's just a little too close to home, say, nope, it's not good enough.

And, then just like that, it dawns on me. It's not that my story wasn't good enough. It's that the other writer's stories were just a little better. Or maybe a lot better. Sure. Fine. I can accept that.

So what do I do? Since I have already realized some of the problem areas, I am just going to work on it a little more. And then, I will search out some new venues to submit that piece to...and I will start the process all over again. It's not the end of the world. Someone out there were surely appreciate what I have to offer, or I suppose I will die trying. But at least I will not have let those rejections get the better of me. If anything, they teach. Tell you that something was not right with it.

On the other hand, just because you got a rejection, does not mean that it's not good the way it is. It just means that at that particular time, it was just not the right fit for that particular publication. And in my case, because it was a contest, there were just that many more submissions under consideration. Like lottery jackpots. The higher the pot, more people by tickets, there by decreasing your odds just that much more. Go for the little pots and your chances have significantly improved.

Consider too, there are a lot of new literary magazines popping up. Online and in print. These new ones, will get fewer submissions to start with. So why not start there? Start with the ones that maybe, just maybe, your piece will get in by default. There's no harm in that, is there?

But most importantly, if it's something you really want to do, if it's really worth doing because you just couldn't imagine doing anything else, then keep trying.

Rejection is part of the process.

Enjoy it!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Double Lanes Safer than Single?

Why don't school buses put out their stop signs on double laned roads? Is this just a Calgary thing or is this the norm?

On more than one occasion since I've lived in Calgary, I've come up behind a school bus stopped to let out the little people and never have they had the stop sign out. The first time this happened I didn't know if I was allowed to go past or not, but there were no flashing red lights and no sign and even in my slight hesitation, other vehicles were already honking at me to get going. So I slipped by ever so slowly but it felt wrong. Just because there is an additional lane going the same direction as the bus, doesn't really make it any safer. A little person could still dart out in front of the bus and get smacked by another impatient driver. The safety of the children is supposed to be the number one priority, isn't it?

I remember when I was in second grade a girl that I went to school with got hit by a car and died. I can't say I really knew her or anything, but it was just one of those things that goes around a school, the immature and innocent not quite understanding the gravity of the situation. You would think that in the day and age of texting while driving or talking on a cell phone while behind the wheel, the safety of the children would be the first priority so why wouldn't we ensure our children's safety by using the flashing red lights and stop sign that someone took great care to install all those years ago? It would take all of two seconds to arm the lights and extend the sign.

Even now, after more than 10 years in Calgary, I hesitate when passing a school bus, lights or no lights. Actually I can't even remember the last time I saw a bus with its lights flashing.

I just don't get it.

Safety people! Safety.

The following is from the Government of Alberta Transportation website.

Motorists play key role in school bus safety

Edmonton… The 265,000 Alberta students that start and end their day with a ride on a school bus aren’t the only ones who need to be taught about school bus safety as most injuries happen before or after the bus ride. Drivers must respect the flashing lights on a school bus, which create a safety zone around the bus and are often children's only defence when they get on or off the bus.

Use caution and be alert when driving near buses and in school zones.

•Watch out for alternating flashing amber lights, which means a school bus is slowing to stop where students will either be getting on or off the bus.

•Slow down and stop when the school bus activates its alternately flashing red lights. This means you must stop whether you are approaching an oncoming bus or following one. The only exception to this rule is when the bus is on the opposite side of a two-way highway that is physically divided by a median.

•Proceed only when the red lights on the bus have stopped flashing.

•Watch for school buses loading and unloading children, even if the lights aren't flashing.

•Be on the lookout for children crossing the road.

When travelling in school zones, drivers must pay attention to the posted signs. The speed for both urban and rural schools zones is 30 km/h unless otherwise posted. These limits are in effect on school days from 8 a.m.-9:30 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. The fine for passing a school bus with its red lights flashing is $402 and six demerit points.

Some municipalities have bylaws not requiring school buses to use their alternating flashing lights when they stop. In this case, drivers do not need to stop but should still be cautious and watch for pedestrians when the buses are loading or unloading students.

Transport Canada has reported that school bus travel remains the safest mode of transportation to and from schools. Maintaining this safety requires motorists do their part too.

Improving traffic safety is one of the actions under Premier Ed Stelmach's plan to provide Albertans with safe and secure communities. Other priorities for the government are to govern with integrity and transparency, improve Albertans’ quality of life, manage growth pressures, and build a stronger Alberta.

For more information about traffic safety, contact the Office of Traffic Safety at 780-422-8839 or visit

Personally, I still think those lights should be used all the time. But at least I answered my own question.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm...

I don't know about you all, but I find it a complete miracle that when you have a really bad know the super head congested, can't breathe, sinuses hurt to the point that you think your head is going to explode but yet the build-up is so fricking bad that you can't NOT blow and your nose looks similar to that of Rudolph, only much dryer, kind of cold...that brain matter does not start coming out your nostrils.

Gross, you say. Yeah it's gross, and it hurts like that commercial for Advil (I think it is) where the guy with a jackhammer is beating on the women's skull, only in my case he's drilling into my sinuses, but now that I think about it, drilling would probably make me feel a whole lot better. But you get the picture. You don't want to blow, you don't want to cough, but in either case, you have no choice, those body functions take over out of neccessity and you are no longer in control.


And yes I've taken medication to relieve the pressure, I've taken medication to relieve the pain, the only thing left is to drink and relieve ALL pain.

At least until morning.

But, I've taken medication so I can't even drink. That was not thorough thinking on my part was it?

Well, at least I got to vent a little.

Am I A Bad Mommy?

Little Julianne is hardly ever sick. She’s almost 2 and a half and I can remember maybe twice that she came down with a cold that was frustrating for us. You know, the constantly runny nose, bad cough, the need to rush off to the doctor for fear that she is in so much pain and you just want to comfort her. Slight fevers, etc. But those instances were over a year ago. Since then, she has had minor sicknesses. Maybe a little cough that lasted no more than a day and even then it didn’t seem to phase her one little bit. In my eyes, she has become some kind of mutant specimen. A toddler that’s never sick. It’s unheard of.

So…last week I took her for a play date at a friends house that I had been warned full well that her child was coming down with a cold. In my mind, my first thought was that good, maybe she will actually get sick. Build up her immunity. But at the same time I thought, is that irresponsible of me? We are supposed to protect our children. Sinister as it may seem, I opted to still took her. In hopes that either she would continue to display those mutant tendencies or she would actually get sick.

That was a week ago Tuesday. By Saturday she was still not sick. But I was. Oh boy, was I ever. The classic stuffed nose, cough and just feeling generally miserable. She did have a bit of a cough but nothing more. And her energy level was still at the max. You would not know she was coming down with something.

Maybe my child was destined to be a carrier of viruses but not actually display symptoms herself. Could I be that lucky?

Sunday was the same. She had a cough, and I was really sick. But nothing more from her.

But Monday…uh oh. I started to question my choices as a mother. Yikes. The stuffy, runny nose came on full force with a super phlegmy cough and a fever. With a little Children’s Tylenol, the fever left and it was just the runny nose and she was still full of energy. Though intermittent this time.

Tuesday was even worse. Then she woke up in the middle of the night, all stuffed and coughing and miserable and she was definitely feverish. She won’t drink, though she should be. She doesn’t want to take her medicine. Arie stayed up with her until around 3 in the morning when she finally fell back to sleep but only slept until around 6. Not enough sleep for sure.

And they we are at today. I am still sick, but much better than I was a few days ago. But Julianne is lethargic. Sleeping off and on, coughing, not so feverish anymore, thank goodness and the nose isn’t running all that much. But she’s coughing and she’s tired.

And I did this to her. I’m sure of it. If it wasn’t the germs she collected on her own, then for sure it was from me when I got sick. So either way, I made her this way and even though I am happy she is sick just so that I can be reminded that she is normal, I feel bad for her that she is like this.

On the other side, it’s probably good for her to be exposed. Soon enough she will be in pre-school and will be far more exposed to the germs of the other little people. Might as well get used to it now, right?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Working Out POV

I’ve been having trouble nailing down the POV (Point of View) for my novel. There are three important characters in the novel and to define one voice for the whole thing has caused me a whole lot of distress. In the last go round I thought I had settled on separating the book into sections dedicated to each character but as I work on it more I am not totally satisfied.

Then the question arises of do I write it in first person, or third person? One of my characters seems to want me to write her story in first person, but the others seem quite happy to settle with third. I’ve also been toying with the idea of an omniscient narrator who tells the story in third person but I fear that will lose some of the effect.

In all the confusion I was pointed to an interesting novel. Middlesex by Pulitzer Prize winner, Jeffrey Eugenides. The whole story is told in first person POV by the main character of the novel Callie, who is later called Cal for reasons that may be evident just by the title. What strikes me about this is that for the better part of the first half of the novel the history of Callie’s (Cal’s) family is told through her eyes going back to well before she would have even been a glimmer in her parents eyes. Information that she would totally not have been privy to, but somehow it works. So this first person narrator becomes an omniscient narrator and the author works this into the story in a way that would be seen as more ethereal but nevertheless works. Is this what is referred to as a “reliable narrator” just by the mere fact that we believe it and just go along with it?

This technique goes against everything I have ever learned about POV. If you’re going to tell a story in first person you’re limited to those elements and scenes of the story that the narrator actually witnessed. But apparently there are ways to overstep those boundaries.

So back to my own novel. The character that I first believed was the main character became boring. Fell flat on her ass while trying to tell a story that she didn’t have all the answers about. And then there was a PI who was just creepy but fun to write in his POV but I became bogged down in staying in that POV. He was draining, like that houseguest that overstays their welcome. And then the other character, well, her story is far more interesting but I still am not married to the idea that it is her story. So do I choose a completely unexpected character to be the narrator. One that’s in the story but has a much smaller part and make that person an omniscient narrator? Or, or, or…there are so many different ways I can go and I can’t figure out the right one in this case.

Needless to say, I have to keep writing and hopefully it will work itself out in the end.

How do you determine whose story it is?