Climbers and danglers

Yesterday morning I woke up and the place where my arms attach to my body was extremely sore. Naturally I panicked and immediately assumed I had contracted a rare form of acute pectoral arm cancer. I’m not a hypochondriac by nature but I am a bit of an alarmist. Woody Allen does a nice job at explaining the difference here.

Just as I was envisioning my demise, I remembered that the day before at school I’d been feeling rather punchy and attempted to demonstrate my meager athletic abilities by doing a push up.  Just one.  What I succeeded in doing was a face plant into industrial carpet –which I followed with three girly half-push ups for good measure. It followed that the likely cause of my arm pain was not a rare acute disease but rather 3 and a half failed push ups. It’s not my fault that I have the upper body strength of an ostrich, the arms and shoulders of a malnourished chicken. It’s genetics. Not that I’ve done anything about it. I learned very early on that there are those people who are rope climbers (think elementary school gym class) and those of us who are rope danglers  –spending entire gym periods  with our feet just inches above the blue mats waiting for the bell to ring.

I think about this sometimes when people ask how/when I find time to write. There isn’t time. Any more than there’s time for me to build up some killer biceps and conquer that damn rope once and for all.  I guess as life gets busier you have to prioritize the things you really care about. So for the time being I’ll have to get used to the taste of industrial carpet.

I don’t love “I love boobies”

One of the latest “cool” things to do if you are in middle school (particularly if you’re a middle school boy) is to wear one of those livestrong knock-off bracelets that says, “I Love Boobies.”

I know the money goes to a great cause whether it’s worn by a breast cancer survivor or a smart-ass thirteen year old, but it irks me none the less.  It brings out a side of me that’s not my favorite.  We’ll call her “tired, inflexible, and mildly inappropriate teacher”.    Tired inflexible teacher wants to walk up to each little middle school punk and say, “Really, you love boobies?  Really?  What do you love about them?  Please tell me why you’re so inclined to wear that bracelet here in class?  What is so great about boobies?”

Or better yet, “Boobies are great, aren’t they?  But you really don’t know why yet.  Take that damn thing off until you do!!!!!!”

Or even better, “Does your mother know you wear that bracelet?  She must be so proud that you’re honoring the fact that you were breastfed?  What a devoted young man you are!”

Reasons to Write

I have a lot of reasons NOT to write this week:

It’s parent-teacher conference week at school.

My computer is not working again.

My husband is just back from a week-long hunting trip.

I’m tired, gosh darnit!

So I’m particularly proud of myself for the 40 minutes of writing time I carved out for myself this afternoon.  I read a lot of posts about writers and how they do or don’t find time to write.  For a while I felt like my lack of a proper desk was what was really keeping my from writing.

This is my baby.  It’s solid wood and I found it on craigslist.  Even though I love it, (surprise surprise), the motivation to write still has to come from me.  (What the desk doesn’t write the book for you?  For shame!)

Whether I manage to find writing time or not, I try not to beat myself up to much about the choices I make with my time.  Unless of course I get sucked into some sort of Bravo tv marathon.

Stages of revision grief

Reactions to thoughtful and genuine feedback provided by respected source:

Hour 1: Those are stupid ideas and they could never work!  This person clearly does not get my writing! (pout pout)

Hour 2: Ok, maybe not all those ideas are stupid but they could still never work.

Hour 3: There are some good ideas here and they might even work, but it will be way too hard and take way too much time to write.

Hour 4: Harumph.  These are good ideas and I can probably use them to improve my book.  Now I just have to figure out how…oh and also actually do it.  Phooey.

I’ve actually been through all these phases recently and have arrived at a place where I have a pretty good idea of how to use the quite incredible and helpful feedback I oh so grudgingly received (even though, of course, I asked for it).

I Hate HP

I got a new computer about 2 years ago and since that time it has been nothing but trouble.  I’ve had to send it back to the company 3 times to be repaired.  The motherboard and the hard drive have been replaced.  The first time this was especially traumatic because I hadn’t backed up a lot of my photos and documents.  I have more or less learned my lesson on that front.  But sending my computer off every 2 months is totally disruptive to my writing life.  Thankfully I paid extra for a warranty, but I can only imagine what will happen when that expires.

Silver linings; I have learned to be more patient.  I have learned that computers are not magic though sometimes we expect them to perform as though they are.  I have made many friends (and a few enemies) in India.

Ideally, I would like to find some big-cheese at HP’s home phone number or email account and bombard them with spam and hate mail until they give me my money back.  Please feel free to leave a comment if you have such information.