Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Well, um...

Apparently, that is my favoritest of favorite phrases in this book. Everyone seems to say it at least every couple of pages. Ugh. And of course, the ever popular "just".

The good news is that I'm on page 261 of 361.

The bad news, which is probably much worse, is that as I spent a lot of time rewriting the beginning, I will probably end up spending just as much, if not more, time rewriting the ending.

Have I said, "Crap," yet?

It gets worse.

Originally, as God and I conversed about this book, there was some mention of turning more in the inspirational direction. However... there is no way on earth that will happen. My heroine's sexuality plays too much of a role in her growth and development, so even if I cut out the details of the sex scene, there's just too much sex stuff for it to ever go over on the inspirational market. And, even though this one is a minor deal that I could cut if I were asked, there is the big fat "F" word. I use it only once, but can I just say, as a lover of words, it is probably the most effing brilliant usage of that particular word, in that particular way, that I've ever seen. Ah, gotta love the ego in the face of pure self doubt.

The weird thing is that God is not saying "NO" to this book. I'm actually praying about this one. I'm actually inviting God to be a part of this book. And yes, God, since I know YOU read this, I truly could use some divine intervention, thank you very much. :)

You know what I hate, is when you're ranting, and you realize some profound things about God and what He's doing. Might as well spill it since there He is, blabbing away. When I first started this book, I had Him clearly in mind. The whole point of this book originally was to reveal His love for this broken, confused woman trying to find herself in this messed up world. I'd even started writing this book when I was a part of a Christian writer's group that a couple of us in our church put together (we stopped meeting a long time ago-everyone went off in different ways). And then I started straying from the path that God had put me on, and I don't know... I finished the book, but I've never been happy with it. Isn't it funny that my coming back to the right path comes when I'm editing the same book so I can send it to the editor who requested it?

No, of course it isn't funny. It's God.

So this editing process has me even more in a funky state. Every time I think I know what I'm supposed to be doing and where I'm supposed to be going, God says, "Oh Danica..." I'm getting dizzy here!

It looks like at this point, my favorite words are...
Well
Um
Just
That
So
But
Maybe
And
Really
Yeah

Any favorite words you care to share?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ummmm....

Yeah, that's about it.

I had something I was going to post about earlier today, I was in a bit of a snit over something, and then I realized that I don't know who reads my blog-could very well be someone I was snitting about. No one in particular, just in general. So, you get a snit-free post. :)

Although can I just say one thing about snitting about people? How come, just when you get worked up in a really good snit, they turn around and do the opposite of what you were snitting about? Some people!

I have to get up early tomorrow morning, UGH. I'm on driver duty to take kiddo to school, since everyone else is busy. And then I have a friend coming over because she needs tax help, so it'll be a busy morning. You know my life is boring when I start giving a play by play. I did get more housecleaning accomplished today, though. :)

And in other exciting news, I'm still working on edits. I'm adding a scene, even though I'm fairly certain it's in the wrong place and a tad too long, but I'm having fun.

Monday, May 29, 2006

So I Married an Axe Murderer

There is something you should know about me... I have really sick love for stupid movies. Top two favorites: So I Married an Axe Murderer and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie, not the tv show. TV show fans-don't watch this movie, you won't like it). My senior year of high school consisted of sitting around, watching these movies (and The Lion King) and quoting them amongst my friends. I used to have all three movies memorized. Useless trivia about me, but hey, it's funny.

And, if I can just plug my favorite movie a little bit more, the soundtrack to So I Married an Axe Murderer is awesome. :)

I'm in bliss... I just did a search for these two precious gems, and the prices aren't bad on Amazon. Axe Murderer is on a video tape that is getting a bit worn, so it jumps a bit. I don't even have Buffy. :(

If you're interested, and are one of the sad folks who haven't experienced my movies, you can check out quotes from Axe Murderer here and quotes from Buffy here . However, there are two good ones not on the sites so I'll share them here.
Axe Murderer:
Stuart Mackenzie's anniversary speech to his wife: Shut it! I’d like to propose a toast to my wife May. Thirty years ago today, May and I were married. Some you were there, some of you weren’t born, and some of you were deed. But, we both said I do, and we haven’t agreed on a single thing since. (May-true) But I’m glad I married you, May, because eh, it could have been worse. And besides, I still love you.

Buffy:
Excuse much, rude or anything?

Great movies. Very much on the stupid humor side, storyline seriously lacking in substance, but oh man, if you love one liners, these are excellent movies. I still quote them. I got my favorite phrase, "two words: therapy" from Axe Murderer. :)

Ah memories...

So what are the movies from your past that you can still quote?

Finally rid of horse stink

Spent the day with my parents at a roping... fun, fun, fun. My stepdad was .08 seconds from being in the grand finale, with a truck as the prize, so there was some excitement for a while. I was going to post pics but I can't find the camera now. It was a long day, complete with overtired kiddos for the latter part of the evening.

I decided that my time when I got home would be best spent bathing, since I smelled like a horse. Plus, I don't know if you remember my last experience at a roping, which ended with my being covered in puke, but this time, it was blood. Baby fell, cut open her lip, and I got bled on. Parenthood is messy business.

Anyway, in the bath, I read a book that I won't name... you'll understand why in a minute. Basically, it was the most poorly written book I've ever read. I cannot understand how it got published. Except... the person who gave it to me was a friend, the author of said book, I might add, and she kept going on and on about what a touching story it was, and I felt I owed it to her to read it. It was a really hard book to read because of how badly it was written. HOWEVER, and this is why I'm telling you about the book. As most of you know, I'm fairly reticent about books I don't like because I don't think it's fair to trash someone else's work. Which is why I'm not mentioning the author or the title, and NO, it's not anyone that people who read my blog is friends with-to my knowledge. Oh, right, back to my however... :) I thought it was a great story. What? I know, I just said the writing sucked. It did. To a most painful extent. But the story was amazing. And yes, it touched me, just as this person said it would. I will even admit to God using it in my heart.

Actually, that is the point... and maybe something for all of you to ponder. Even if it's utter crap, and the most poorly written book on the planet, God can (and will) still use it. The author of this story committed every single "don't" of good fiction writing. But it didn't matter-God still used the book. So even if you think the writing sucks, and the demons of self doubt plague you, cowgirl up and get that book out there. God can use anything, even the most poorly written book I've ever read.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to put up some fun pics from our day at the roping, maybe even a few fun cowboy quotes. Until then, I'm going to snuggle up to my man, who doesn't stink like horse poop, and likes me better than his dog. I've gotta give him more appreciation, or else all the little old ladies who think he's so hot are going to come after me with their canes and steal my hubby. :)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Pictures and Progress

Well, I started working on more of the edits tonight, thinking I could make some progress. I went in a really weird dirction, so we'll have to see where it leads. I'm up about ten pages, though. :) Also got more of the house cleaned, which is good. Finally, we went and got some plants for the garden. I'm really exhausted for some reason, so I'm thinking it'll be a bath, a book, and then bed.

And, for your viewing pleasure, graduation pictures. Wahoo! All four kids together at once...

Quit Jacking with my Brain!

I've been trying all day to work on The Book. Really. Instead, I took a nap, played at cleaning the house, played with the kids, played with the dog, read a couple of books I've been needing to read. One of which, Small Town Secrets by Sharon Mignerey, is an absolute must-read. Seriously. And I'm not saying it because it's my job. I'd say, of all the fiction I've read lately, it is definitely on top of the list of well written, engaging stories.

And I really felt like, okay, it's now 10:45 p.m., and I should really work on The Book. But it just didn't feel right. So I dug through my bag o'books purchased at the conference, and came up with Writing the Breakout Novel workbook by Donald Maass. First exercise: Who are your personal heroes? Write down the name of one and why they're a hero.

Crap.

Am I the only person in the universe who doesn't have a hero? I don't. I have always had a hard time answering this question when asked for those stupid memes and personality test thingys, and I usually end up making up something dumb and trite to avoid the discomfort of saying, "I don't have a hero."

So of course, I had to think about that and how that made me a totally whacked out human being and what psychosis did that mean I had? Decided I was not going to write the Breakout Novel, because I couldn't deal with the weird emotions that led to.

Ended up digging in bag o' books and decided I'd read whatever I pulled out. Which ended up being Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller Now, this is a funny book, because it's been recommended to me a few times, and it's been sitting on my wish list at Barnes and Noble for just about forever. For whatever reason, at the conference, there it was on the table (even though Don Miller was NOT there) at the bookstore, and I said "what the heck." Don't you know, at writing conferences, I have carte blanche to spend what I want, as opposed the to the frugality I tend to have sitting at home, on my laptop, with an entire internet full of books at my purchasing disposal. Probably a good thing. :)

Anyway, what to say about this book. First of all, I personally didn't like his writing style. The man rambles more than I do and gets a little more flowery than I like. However, he had a lot of great points and for that, I highly recommend reading it.

Between all this reading, contemplating, and prayer, God decides it's time for another "chat". One of the main themes in Sharon's book is addiction. The hero is an alcoholic, and there is this incredible scene where he is staring down a beer, ready to drink. You seriously have to read it just for that scene. Anyway, one of the themes in Don's book is self addiction.

Crap.

Why was it so impactful? Um, I dunno, maybe because I am probably one of the most self addicted people on the planet? Hello? Read my blog much? Mememememememe...

So God and I are working on it. And I think that's partially why the whole getting published thing is getting farther from me at this point. Why, for all intents and purposes, I've given up. Wait, that doesn't sound right. It's not that I've given up, it's just not the driving force in me right now. Selling a book-big deal. Impacting lives-now that's where it's at.

Why can't I work on The Book? Because... well... crap. I sat down and I asked God, "Okay God, what is it that you want me to write? What is the song you want me to breathe?" (Interestingly enough both JSB and Miller talk about breathing God's song). Part of what is confusing me right now is that I write so many different things, which as some of you with writing careers know, is not very marketable. And as God and I were chatting, would you like to know what He said, "I don't care WHAT you write, as long as it's for me."

WHAT?!?!?!

What happened to "Write The Book."? What happened was that God wanted to see the growth in me that came about as part of this wacky journey of the past few months, and now that I'm in the "okay God, I'll do whatever you say" mode, He is letting me loose. I know there's a catch here somewhere, which is why I know He's doing something with my brain, except I don't get it.

So, given that I don't get it, I said, "God, that's nice, but which, of the multitude of books that I'm working on, have written and could revise, have been requested, would YOU like me to write?" Stats so far are 10 complete, 2 requested, 4 in process. Well, the in process number may not be accurate-I've started several others, but I'm committed to finishing these 4. On one hand, I really feel as though the requested books are a matter of honor-they were requested, and I need to honor that and put them out there. I also think that I could learn much from revising them. But I'm not so sure those are the books I'm supposed to work on. I have this new book I just started at the conference, not The Book, but a fun fiction thing I started playing around with when my brain started to implode from information overload. However, it is a complete departure from anything I've ever written. And, just to throw your mind into the same tailspin I'm in, I don't feel like any of them are really my voice. Whatever that means. After all these years, I'm still not convinced I know what that means. I do know that if you were to read one of my books and read my blog, I don't think you'd think they were written by the same person. Frankly, I don't think you could read most of my books and think they were written by the same person if you read more than one or two, with a couple of exceptions.

So what does this all mean? I DON'T KNOW!!!! Except that my brain is getting really messed up and now my head hurts.

I'm going to go take comfort in That Man and maybe tomorrow I'll be less discombobulated and will post graduation pictures.

Peace be the journey people. Don't let it mess with your head.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Ted Dekker et al

So I said I’d blog about these things and Heather kindly reminded me of them.

Ted Dekker… cool dude. Has an amazingly cool speaking voice. Ah yes, Shallow Danica to the rescue! He talked a lot about having compelling ideas, and you know, I had to take an honest look at my writing. I think I’m a good writer, I think I have decent ideas, but am I really a great storyteller? Honestly, I don’t think my stories are all that compelling. Nice-yes. Feel good-yes. But are they what I originally set out to do when I started writing? No. I wanted to be a writer because I wanted to inspire people and make a difference in their lives. I don’t think that I have in any of the ten books I’ve written.

So what does that mean? I have no idea. I know I am called to write. I know I am a good writer. I just don’t know how to do the job I was called to do. God? A little help here please…

Fire alarms… now you get ranting Danica for a moment. The last morning there, the morning I’d blocked out time for a lovely little sleep in, I am jarred from my bed by a fire alarm. I could rant about how pissed I was (and Ted Dekker says pissed is a good word) about being forced out of my bed. But really, the rant is this: when a fire alarm goes off, get your lazy asses out of bed and get OUT. As I forced my way out of bed and OUT of the building, it astounded me to see how many people just opened the door to their rooms and peered into the hallway. No, there was no fire, but you can’t always tell by way of your own view. Which is why you get out and wait for the all clear. I am particularly sensitive to this topic because a local firefighter was just killed saving someone from a fire here. Don’t make someone risk their life because you’re too stupid to get out while you can.

Israel. I’d use the “F” word about now… I had lunch with a way cool editor type guy and we began talking about Israel. Some of you may know that I once lived there. As we talked, he said, “you clearly have a passion for Israel, why aren’t you writing about it?” Um, because I like being alive? Seriously, I do feel God is calling me to wait on this topic, but it was so weird, feeling that passion consume me, and in the context of the discussion we have. This guy and I do not see eye to eye, and I think that’s why I don’t talk about my experience there. He literally said, “I don’t believe that,” when I relayed one story of what I’d witnessed. I do see his points, but I think we’re all so conditioned to believe one side that we can’t accept the validity of the other side. We’ve spent so much time looking at things from a military and political angle, that we’ve forgotten the humanitarian angle, and that real people are suffering-on both sides. Yet we only see one. Eventually, yes, I will do something about all of this. But this is so much bigger than just me, so instead, I sit at the sidelines and watch a part of the world that God dearly loves go up in flames.

James Scott Bell. He gave an amazing talk called Breathe Your Song-Letting God take your story. Did I mention it was AMAZING? I have it on CD, listening to it now. I’d burn a copy for certain people, but it says directly on the CD not to copy, and since we already know I have strong feelings on copyright infringement, I’m not going to. Tee Hee. I will, however, lend my copy to those who would like it, just let me know, you can go on the list, and I’ll mail it to you. Or you can buy your own at www.joycomultimedia.com. Yeah, buy it. It’s totally worth it. Here is the cool part of what he said-my notes, so my interpretation. We’re here because God gave us a song. Our job is to breathe our song and let God take it to the hearts of others. Which of course means staying true to God and being close to Him. The cool, but hard to hear, part was that he said, “Your song may not be ready to leave yet.”

Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe my song is still developing in me. It’s a big song, and I’ve asked God for big things. So maybe I’m just not quite ready, or the world’s not quite ready for me. Either way, here I am.

So that is the final thing I got from the conference that I can share… yes, God is doing some really incredible things in my life right now. Yes, I am still writing. And yes, I still have the dream of becoming published. Here I am, watching people I love and respect as well as people I dislike and don’t respect, finding success and getting published, while here I am, waiting. Learning. Studying. Honing my craft. Praying. Reading.

It really sucks. Yet there is peace in it. Because see, anyone can want to write a book. And if I wanted to, I could probably write something that can get published. But I want to make a difference. I can’t do that on my own. Only God can. So I’m waiting. And it sucks. But I know it will be worth it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I have a headache

And we still have a hole without a toilet. (But we do have tile!) You know, there has to be some really cool philosophical thing in that... a hole without a toilet...

AND there's a big fat elephant in the room that no one will talk about.

Went to church tonight, was annoyed with That Man. He knew it, I knew it, and would he say anything? No. Which made me madder. I mean, is it so hard to say, "what's bothering you?" OR "I'm sorry I upset you." OR "Do you want to talk about it?" OR (which I have told him a number of times is the very BEST answer) "What can I do to make it better?" Instead, he just walked around with his goofy grin like nothing was wrong.

What was tonight's message? The very profound notion of sacrifice and putting others before yourself. I pretty much bawled through the whole thing. And, because my emotional state is always the big elephant in the room, That Man said nothing. I was too upset to stay home when we got home, so I headed to sonic, grabbed a junior banana split, and then headed to the mountains to contemplate.

At issue is this: That whole dying to self thing. I get it. And I feel that on so many levels, I've done that. Most of the time, in my little universe, there is no room for me. Is it wrong of me to want some of that? That my husband would share my heart and desire to serve the other spouse? Not just in the sense of doing what it takes to avoid getting in trouble, which he already has down to a science, but in the deeper way of saying, "I know I want and need this, but because I love and care about you, I'm giving it up." Not that I want him to give up anything specific, just in the general sense that he'd put some of my needs, actual needs, not what he thinks I should have, ahead of his own. BUT, and here is where I'm wrestling... because I want that, does that make me more selfish than I'm admitting to?

Okay, my head still hurts. Thinking is a bad thing, especially when I use up an entire box of tissues to do it. And That Man is off cowering in a corner somewhere. God forbid he actually gets up the nerve to talk about the elephant. Well, here it is. Eventually, elephants make enough big stinky poop that you have to deal with it. Maybe that's why he wants to move-he thinks he'll escape all the elephant poop.

On a lighter note, and probably should be a separate post, except I'm lazy, tired, and have too much of a headache to do much more than type, my dear friend Rae has her first book out today. Go, check it out, you won't be disappointed. I've known her since I started writing, so it's a real thrill (even if it's tinged with a pang or two of envy) for me to see her have this day.

Peace be the journey-just pack lots of tissues.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Thank you JJ Abrams!!!!

If you haven't seen the season finale to Alias, well, don't read the rest of the post.

I alternate between being irritated with and loving this show, and I was worried about what they were going to do to end it. Thankfully, it was a HEA that fully satisfied. And oh, I mean fully. Syd and Vaughn lived happily ever after and the bad guys got their due. Sloane's end was absolutely perfect.

Ah, I am so happy. I really hate the Hollywood tendency toward bittersweet endings, so this really is a wonderful thing.

Who needs a toilet when you have a hole?


This, my friends, is where my toilet is supposed to be. Old floor is torn up, tile is being laid. Thankfully, my time in the Middle East has taught me the art of peeing into holes. Because in many places, the toilet is a hole in the floor, with a little decorative touches added. Ah yes, the useless pieces of information I gather on my travels.

I've also decided that That Man is having an affair-it's got to be some Home Depot worker who works wonders with a skill saw. For those of you who don't get my sense of humor, I'm joking. I do think he does have a serious addiction, and once our house is finished, we will be putting him in therapy. There's something wrong with a man who cries out, "DeWalt," in ecstasy. The other day, he went to Home Depot, and said, "Can I bring you back anything," as if he was headed to the market or something. "Yeah baby, get me a pack of 3/4 inch nails." I swear, that would be the equivalent of a truly sensual experience for That Man.

Hey, now that's a great marketing idea-I'm going to start a line of sexy clothes for wives to turn on their husbands. Tool belts and accessories. Dress her up like a screw driver, and she's bound to get lucky. ;)

Watching the finale of Alias. I can't believe it's really over. Then, I'll get some work done, have a little fun, and maybe, just maybe, by the time I go to bed, I'll have my toilet back. Or not. He's sitting at his desk, probably pondering the beauty of some weird tool he brought home. I'd go help, but I pulled a muscle in my chest last night ripping up the floor and I hurt.

*EDITED TO ADD* I realized that people might be reading this and thinking we're literally using the hole. We're not. We have another working bathroom. Which is good, because the upstairs toilet is still not installed.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Destruction

Sooo... woke up early this morning to prepare for BBQ. All was fine. Decided to work on a little project while That Man was off at a soccer game. I'm paring down the old closet and dresser, so I started pulling things out and reorganizing. I have an industrial sized trash bag full of clothes for Goodwill.

Got the house mostly picked up, found lots of laundry to do, and went to our Bible study. Came home, went to the bathroom, and found a piece of the flooring sticking up, and it was annoying me, so while I sat on the toilet, yours truly started pulling up old flooring. Finished my business and found that pulling up the old floor was really fun and therapeutic, so I pulled up flooring until I remembered I had a discussion to put up tonight. I did about half the bathroom, and DH went and finished it. We're going to put KILZ on the floor and tile it tomorrow or the next day. I'm thinking, if the KILZ looks okay, that I'm going to pull up some of the carpet, paint the floor with KILZ and leave it like that until we get new carpet. Our carpet is just so gross.

I'm also feeling a lot better-we had so much mold in that bathroom, it was truly gross. Just getting rid of that makes such a difference. I'm sure if we got rid of the stinky carpet, it would be even better.

That Man keeps IMing me with links to house listings of places he likes that fit my criteria and budget. It's somewhat encouraging to know that there are a lot of places right now in our price range. Hopefully, we can get the work done on the house, DH will find a job, and we can get this thing sold soon.

Until then, I'm just going to have fun ripping stuff up and throwing stuff out. Truly cathartic.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Exhaustion

I am home.

I want to go back.

Please send me back.

But oh, how good it was to see everyone. I swear the baby grew up while I was gone.

However, they have trashed my house, and I do not relish cleaning it. While I love and appreciate That Man for a) letting me go and b) for taking on the bathroom project, may I just share what I came home to?

New tub: installed
Old tub: on back porch
Old boards: ripped up and still in bathroom.
New boards: partially installed
Old sink and vanity: still installed
New sink and vanity: in my dining room
box from sink and vanity: in my living room as a playhouse for kiddos
laundry I started folding before I left: unfolded and everywhere
everything else: a complete mess
old flooring: partially ripped up
new flooring: in a box somewhere in the garage
miscellaneous scraps and junk: in my driveway
the lawn: taller than my children and dog
miscellaneous parts needed for the job: on my bed
things removed from the bathroom to do the work: on my bedroom floor

Cletus, we've just become the white trash neighbors.

Ah well, at least the toilet's not on the front porch. Then again, we don't have a front porch.

Seriously though, I do appreciate That Man for all he does. I'm just feeling overwhelmed, and I'm sure it's even more overwhelming for a man since we know men are incapable of multitasking.

I ended up hitting the wall yesterday afternoon and going to hibernate in my room. Then I went down for tea, chatted with some folks, went back upstairs, played on the computer for a bit, and went to bed.

Tomorrow, remind me to blog about Ted Dekker, fire alarms, Israel, James Scott Bell, and other exciting highlights of my time in the mountains.

Until then, I think I may go try out my new tub. If I can make it up the stairs.

Did I mention we're having a barbecue and folks over at the house tomorrow at noon? I really wanted to crack open one of my new (and autographed!) JSB books, but that will have to wait until manana.

Peace be the journey folks. Pray mine includes a good night's sleep.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Might be a quickie, might be a longie...

I intend for a quickie, but we all know my tendency toward verbosity. :)

So this morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn, way earlier than God intended for any sane person to be awake. But I was doing the obedient thing, which meant that when I volunteered to help out HOWEVER I could, I had to answer the call to man the registration table at 7 am. I was greeted by a beautiful mountain scene, and had I remembered to bring my transfer thingy with me, I'd have posted the pic.

Went to breakfast, ate with one of my fellow volunteers, who is a really nice lady, lives near me, and we really hit it off. Then, we went to the table, and yes, yours truly, Queen of all Introverts, was in extrovert mode, friendly and helpful to all strangers who appeared.

Then, I went in to morning worship. It is so amazing how we differ in "worship". They sang songs I knew, but more to a traditional "churchy" beat (I am so used to ROCKING the house), and like most "churchy" songs, the key was too high and I don't know enough about music to lower it to something more comfortable. I really must invest in singing lessons. The thing I really appreciated about the worship time is that we'd pray, sing a song, pray some more, hear someone talk, sing some more, pray some more, listen some more, pray some more, etc... I love that everything was punctuated with prayer.

Sooo... then we had our first continuing session. Mine is about writing nonfiction that impacts lives. Freaking amazing. What I love is that even though he has promised to get to nuts and bolts, where does he start, but with God, Scripture, and the whole Godly purpose thing. God reminded me of my real fear in writing The Book, and gave me His assurance that as long as my eyes are on Him, we're good. :)

Then, we did lunch. I sat with a girl who was a beginning writer. Yes, introvert me actually sought out someone sitting by herself and *gasp* struck up a conversation. She was totally sweet, and I fell in love with her heart.

I chose to skip the sessions immediately after lunch and head into town to buy my pretzels. We were not going to have another night like last night, that's for sure. I did a little shopping, made a few calls, since I have no cell reception here, and came back in time to take a nap before the next workshop on editing. It was pretty good, learned a few nuggets, then went back to man registration until time for the next continuing session.

Final continuing session... OH MY. Not only did God cut me to the quick on some things and really test my heart and motives, but GET THIS... He FINALLY told me what I'm supposed to REALLY do on the book. And, oh is it good... I have a basic plan in the old noggin, and this evening as I bathed to the sweet sounds of Todd Agnew, a key chapter came to me and it is now written.

Then, we had dinner. I sat with some of the ladies from my continuing session, and oh, what a blessing. Such interesting, amazing women, and what got me was that as alone as I have felt on certain issues, was that they were all in agreement with me. I started telling them about my call, and I started to cut myself off, but one of them made me keep telling it because she felt that God needed her to hear it. That alone made this worth it.

After dinner, I chose to skip worship and head in for quiet time and to chat with That Man. While I was waiting for him to come online, I chatted with some folks, checked the boards, did email, and dealt with some pride issues. Because of course, now that God has said, "give this up," I'm watching others get closer to the prize that I've wanted for so long. Anyway, I did catch a gorgeous sunset with some elk grazing right outside my window. Don't you just love the amazing things God made?

Went downstairs and caught the trail end of some authors and agents chatting-did not realize who they were AT ALL, until much later, and the one I now know to be an agent wanted to hear my story. Do you know how hard it is to admit to other Christians that you've fought the call for ten years because you don't like other Christians? Yeah. Well, chalk one up for the God Squad, because He had his hand on me, and no one took offense, and they (including a certain favorite author of a certain friend of mine) understood where I was coming from and seemed to agree with me. Okay, so not everyone is going to stone me for the message. I can breathe now.

Returned to my room, armed with Earl Grey (Decaf, of course), took a bath, read some Phillip Yancey, put on some Todd Agnew, and chilled. Then God did His "Hello, Danica" thing, and I got out to write this chapter. It's a whole new way of looking at the cross, that's for sure. At least for me.

Anyway, off to dreamland... another early morning for me, I'm afraid, so I'll be looking at tomorrow's schedule to see where I can find some time for another nap.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ascent into hell

Yes, I said “Ascent”-we’re in the mountains, after all. Sooo… first off, getting here. My very helpful husband gave me a map. One problem-it didn’t have directions and wasn’t well labeled. Mapquest’s fault, not DH’s. I end up taking every major road through the area EXCEPT the one I need, wasting about an hour and a half. The scenery was pretty, though. Saw lots of elk. YUM.

Get there, find what I need, and am craving pretzels. The little general store does not have any. So I go register and decide to take a trip into town to get some. As I’m registering, nice lady says, “oh, no, don’t do that. We always have plenty of snacks.” “At 2 am, which is when I’ll want some?” “Oh, most definitely.”

Go through the evening, head back to the lodge to get online and do some work. Was pleasantly surprised to see a sign when I checked in that said, “Free WiFi in the lobby.” I said, “Thank you Jesus!” However, I never could get the WiFi to work. Resign myself to a trip to Starbucks in the morning-they have one of those in town.

Am slightly frustrated, because I’d counted on WiFi to connect with hubby, because while there’s supposedly WiFi, I have no cell signal. Figure I can do that in the morning too. Get to my room, and miraculously, when I turn on computer to *gasp* actually get some writing done, I have a WiFi signal. Try chatting with hubby, but he’s away from the computer. Decide that I need snacks. Look for bounty of snacks that is supposedly awaiting me. Find none. Find no people who can direct me to supposed snacks.

Decide to go into town to get snacks, despite the fact that there are elk everywhere, and I don’t see well in the dark, and I’m afraid of hitting one. Drive into town. EVERYTHING is closed. Arrive at Safeway seven minutes after close. Call hubby, because I have a cell signal at Safeway. Hubby laughs. Hubby is thankful he’s not with me, because he knows I get homicidal when I don’t have enough food. Remember seeing gas stations and an open liquor store, so decide to go back and find them. The “open” signs lied. They were closed.

Hubby says that when he stayed here, they had vending machines in his cabin. Apparently, mine got missed on the giving of vending machines. Because I traipsed through this whole place to find… nothing.

If you hear of someone in the Rocky Mountains blowing up a YMCA, that was probably me. Empty tummy and low blood sugar does not a happy Danica make.

On the plus side, I don’t have any roomies yet, so I’m ALONE, and it’s wonderful. I think I could just bask in the glory of solitude. And, since my prayer that I don’t run over any elk was answered, God is sort of smiling at me now. Maybe He’ll help me find the Rainbow lodge (which is where hubby stayed when he was here) and they’ll have snacks.

Tomorrow… why the mountain environment was a bad choice for slothful writers to hold a conference aka I’ve used up my entire lung capacity.

A feast for the eyes


Mostly because I haven't sat down yet to do my cool post, and I'm swamped with work now, but I am surprised that I haven't heard the clamoring yet... Todd Agnew pics, folks. :) Oh, and just a little trivia, the bag came as part of a care package from one special friend. :)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

VERONICA!!!

YES!!!! I did tape and watch my beloved Veronica Mars.

On some levels, I was completely satsified. Even though some folks were surprised by Beaver "My Name is Cassidy", I have to say, if you go back and look at his character arc, AMAZING development and depth. I'm telling you people-if you are any sort of writer at all, you need to watch this show because the characters and their arcs are absolutely brilliant.

HOWEVER... and yes, we knew it was coming... I am not at all satisfied by the Logan/Veronica getting back together deal. I know, you're all shocked. After all, I want to see those two married. I just think bringing them back together, even though we clearly saw it coming in Logan, after the last episode, with Logan's wild night with Kendall-it seemed fake, forced, and since it was due to yet another tragedy, didn't give me a lot of confidence it will last. Keith being nice to Logan... huh... didn't he throw him out of the house last time he was there? Getting slightly sloppy there with that arc, IMO.

Rather PO'ed that they arrested Weevil during graduation, even though you knew it was coming.

Extremely PO'ed that we didn't get a bigger connection on the Fitzpatricks. I'm assuming that little gem will be further explored in the next season.

The Jackie deal. Saw it coming, wasn't terriby impressed, slightly PO'ed that it took away time that could have been used to develop the Logan/Veronica arc.

SUPER PO'ed that once again, the name of Manning has been invoked, and as of yet, we see no tie-in. Assuming that will be third season, and if the PTB cancel the show, I will go on a homicidal rampage, or at least kidnap Rob Thomas and make him tell me the whole story.

Weirded out about Dumbhead's involvement in Aaron's death. And Weidman's. Don't know what's the deal, but it sucks that he's still in the picture. Why couldn't he be a good little boy and just go away?

And finally, we know that I had to comment about Kendall... was SO disappointed that she wasn't involved, although she clearly has some bad dealings, AND is mixed up with the Fitzpatricks, so I'm sure we know what's up for 3rd season.

OH, wait! What's the deal with Veronica and college-do we have funding or not?

Yeah. I think that about covers it. Oh, except for the STD. Is it so wrong of me to wish that Dumbhead had given it to her? Although, he does have it now, now doesn't he?

I had a more serious and insightful thing to post tonight, but we all know that Veronica trumps all. :)

So whaddya wanna hear about?

Nope, didn’t go to the loony bin. Although I did see my good buddy Margie today, and I remembered that she’s a psychologist. I asked her if she could commit me, and she said no problem, she could easily get me in on a 72 hour hold and my insurance would pay for it. But then she explained to me about what happens during those 72 hour holds, ICK… I’d have to go into group therapy sessions and crap. Meaning no free vacay for me. Plus, I’d have a roomie. Apparently, even the loony bin does not allow for alone time. What is with this messed up universe?

That Man, by the way, does read my blog daily, and he is aware of my threats. Let’s say I was less than impressed with his attempts earlier today to placate me and leave it at that. Although, can I just say… what I don’t get is this… Men are always griping about not knowing what women want, and here I am, very plainly saying what I want, and he won’t deliver the goods.

So, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I WANT TIME ALL TO MYSELF.

I’m sure he thinks that him and the kiddo sleeping out in the camper tonight counts. For the record, it doesn’t.

On to other things…

Today was, yes, ladies and gentleman, the awards banquet and Jill Barnett’s all day workshop. So, am I the only person on the planet who hasn’t heard of her? Well, let me tell you, she is amazing. In about ten days, check out her website, because she’s updating it now to include some of the really cool stuff she taught today. I’m kinda sorta getting the whole editing thing, and I think I may have figured out what I need to do.

Did I mention some major lightbulbs going off? So what I want to know, though, is what is the deal? How come I’m figuring out the whole fiction thing when God said the nonfic one? HUH? I know, don’t second guess God or try to figure it out, just do it.

Fine.

I got a lot of writing done in the workshop, so I’m pleased. I’d do more, but I was up at five am after a night of feeling like a total lunatic, and had a busy day. Tomorrow’s going to be another doozy, since That Man and his father have the stuff at the flea market. Getting rid of a lot of junk. Yippee. I may be able to finally get my car in the garage.

Plus, I still have an upset tummy. I should go to bed, eh?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Remember those threats I made about blowing up my house?

I mean them.

I am seriously going crazy.

This has been a seriously crappy day to end a seriously good week.

Allow me to share highlights since this is the third time Word has crashed and lost everything.
-Todd Agnew concert-good
-Fun family day-good
-Got a much bigger bonus than expected-good
-Received another fun financial lagniappe-also good
-Received scores from contest I did not final in-good and bad: good is that one judge loved (and Got!) the book and had some great comments to improve it. Bad is that not only was the other judge a complete and utter moron (aka giving me the lowest score possible on market because “this sounds exactly like a traditional romance-wrong category”-no, moron, that was exactly the RIGHT category, you know, the one it was entered in), but the other bad is that even though the other judge’s comments totally rocked, I have no place else to submit the book.
-Call from trophy place re: trophies I’m supposed to pick up-they’re not ready. Very Bad, since Saturday is the luncheon.
-Take kids to play date-pool is closed-second pool I take kiddos to isn’t allowing kids until later in the day-truly heinous.
-Find out that That Man is busy doing his own crap all day and can’t possibly help me.
-Have to take kids with me to chiro appt-VERY bad. You try laying face down on a table with electrodes on your back with two kids running around.
-Get the call that the trophies are FINALLY done, which means driving through the worst part of rush hour traffic.
-Not only do I have a mega allergy attack, but the cold I’ve been fighting for days decides to hit in earnest, AND I get such a painful stomachache, I can’t move-yep, that’d be bad.
-Find out that I need new supplies to print finalist certificates
-While I’m dealing with not feeling well, kiddos trash the house.
-Finally get about half the certificates printed (and dealt with Word crashes) and realize I have the wrong date on all of them and have to re-do them.

The list is a lot longer, but frankly, if Word crashes again, I will end up smashing my computer, so it’s best to just stop the list and continue. I think I hurt the poor little computer’s brain with my pathetic life.

And yes, I know I’m complaining about a lot of piddly little stuff that really doesn’t matter, but I’m really tired of it. I just feel like I can’t get a break. I am an introvert, in case no one remembers, and I am just in mega need of some time alone. And no, I haven’t had that in a really really long time. Because here’s the thing-even when I am so stressed that I finally say, “Screw it,” and lock myself in my room for a day, the price I pay ends up not being worth it. That Man ends up acting all pissy at me because oh dear, I made him deal with the kids for a day. Plus, he and the kids end up trashing the house, so I have a double workload to come back to.

I told him the other day that what I really wanted for my birthday was a weekend to myself-no kids, no hubby, no people, no worries. His response-“Well, you’re going to that writing conference next week, plus you’re going to Atlanta without me”. Yes, he’s still pouting that he doesn’t get to go to Atlanta. If he keeps it up, I’m not taking him to another conference-EVER. I just looked at him and said, “you don’t get it-I need time ALONE”. And he doesn’t get it. He likes people. If it were up to him, he’d be up my butt 24/7. Like the kids. I swear, people must think my butt’s the size of Texas, so many of them want in it. I don’t like people. I like to be by myself. I get my fuel spending time by myself.

And now, for the third time at this place, because Word keeps crashing at the exact moment where I say what I need-hmmm… I wonder if it’s a sign. Fine. Let’s be plain here. Because I seriously will call my friend Jodi, who is able to sign me into a loony bin, if I so desired. Love knowing people who do that sort of thing professionally.

For Mother’s Day, all I want is a weekend, sometime in the coming weeks, all to myself. It could be in the hotel down the street, I don’t care. As long as I am ALONE, away from the house, and I come home to a reasonably clean house, I really don’t care. Which is why the loony bin would work just fine for me.

I know, this is a crazy post for someone who’s supposedly getting it all together. But you know, I have so much going on, pounding at my head, demanding their time. We’ve got God, who seems to think that I don’t need sleep, two kiddos who are aptly nicknamed the terrorists, a hubby who can’t seem to cope without me, a dog, and all the other little details of the universe that seem to fall apart without my involvement.

That whole playing God thing-totally not for me. I can’t handle the small bit of the universe that I do have. I can’t imagine also having to deal with the rest of the cosmos.

Alrighty then… so Word has continued crashing, I still have a couple dozen certificates to make and print, so I’m calling it good. If someone reads this and alerts the authorities that I’m certifiable, more power to them, because I probably am.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

Please Kill Me.

I mean it.

I forgot to tape Veronica Mars.

No worries, I say, they always do reruns here on Wednesday. NOT FOR THE FINAL EPISODE THEY DIDN'T, the low down, stinking jerks.

I am going to DIE if I don't see it.

You know, I have three things in life that I truly NEED to be live: Books, Tea, and Veronica Mars.

I tried Googling those tv show download things, but they don't give you any info about what they have until you join. Big red flag, IMO. Plus, I don't know if it's legal, and I'm pretty sensitive about the whole illegal download thing.

If anyone by chance recorded it and would be willing to send it to me, I'll be eternally grateful.

Off to go drown my sorrows in the tub with a book and a cup of tea...

The CONCERT!!!

Okay, so I’ve only been blabbing about it for um, oh, I don’t know… since FOREVER. It was FREAKING AWESOME. Uh, yeah. I think that about says it.

So, my little introverted self and my little introverted husband went, found ourselves a nice seat in the front middle, not too close, not too far away, and DEFINITELY protecting my stranger anxiety fears. Yeah, I know, I’m a freak. But God loves me just the way I am (something a little song from our good buddy Big Daddy Weave sings-Get it. You won’t regret it).

Concert starts. Jason Morant-who I’d never heard of until the concert plays. AWESOME stuff. I have never seen people so full of the spirit up there leading worship. His keyboard guy (whose name I don’t remember and am too lazy to look up) was incredible to watch, because he sooo got into it. Jason’s last song, which I can’t remember the name of either-go figure, was such a God thing. As I was preparing to get our stuff ready last night so we could be on the road in the early am, I came under some sucky spiritual attack. So this song came into my head, and I started singing it to myself and fell asleep with it-woke up feeling great, despite almost no sleep. Anyway, I was slightly miffed because I don’t have it in my personal music collection AND I had to miss church for the concert, and I had a feeling our worship team would be singing it. But it was all good, because JASON sang it.

Then, Nate Sallie… I was wishing my Sara had been able to come, because she’d have really been digging on his stuff. Sad to say, I paid almost no attention to Nate because between Jason and Nate, Mike Weaver spoke for a few minutes, and he said something that got God in my ear and breaking a few strongholds that I was praying about. Mike said something to the effect of how he was the fat kid in school who never wanted to be in front of a bunch of people. But there he was, on stage… God says, “hello, my pretty…” I love and hate it when He does that.

My entire life, I have thought of myself as the ugly girl no one likes. Satan gave me lots of evidence to back it up. When Mike said that, it opened my heart just enough to let God in to give me a new name: The beautiful woman God loves. Well, don’t that just beat all. So take that, you stupid devil. God re-named me something that you can’t take away. (Was slightly disappointed that Todd didn’t play New Name, which would have been so fitting, but um, God already made his point on that one, so it was totally not necessary).

Anyway, then Big Daddy Weave got up and they did their thing. Um… can we say, AWESOME? Saying that a lot, so get used to it. You’d think a writer would have better words. I don’t. Originally, when I came to the concert, my prayer to God was that He show me how to love his people. Hearing Todd’s KLOVE thing about My Jesus and how he originally wrote it from a position of frustration, and God not allowing him to use it until he could do it from a position of love really has been hitting me over and over lately. So my prayer was to fix that in me. I know I have a huge lack of love in my heart, and I want so badly for that to be fixed. Well, during Big Daddy Weave, God did His usual, “Hey Dummy,” thing with me, and pointed out that my problem is not lack of love, but unforgiveness.

Crap.

At least that was my initial reaction, because well, let’s face it. I’ve been a slow learner. And I did tell God to “Bring It” recently, so I just knew that this whole thing was going to be yet another huge deal. And so, as Big Daddy Weave played, God and I had a little talk. By the time he got to “Just the Way I Am”, that whole unforgiveness stronghold-broken. I seriously have peace in my heart about forgiving some people I have not been able to forgive. The Book? All of my work so far has been a compilation of things and situations that I did not forgive. And the Lord says, “NOW we can use it.”

Alrighty then. Did I also mention that He presented me with a list of people I need to go to and ask for their forgiveness for not forgiving them? What is UP with that? Don’t worry, I’m going to do it. I’ve figured out (FINALLY) that it’s just better to do it and get it over with because lack of obedience sucks.

So, on to Todd… first off, the first time he started to talk at the start of the show, That Man laughed and told me, “I know why you like him-he sounds just like you.” I’m not sure if that’s an insult or a compliment to either Todd or I. And like every word on his Reflection of Something album, every word out of Todd’s mouth was something God used to minister to me or to prove God’s point about The Book and the contents of The Book. Because, my friends, the whole premise of The Book is: How do we live our lives as authentic Christ followers?

Which led into the whole idea of being full in Christ. Again, would have liked to have heard my personal favorite, Fullness Found, but you know, neither God nor Todd exist in the “do whatever Danica wants universe.” Huh. No one but me does either. Doesn’t that suck? Of course, if we were in the “do whatever Danica wants universe”, this world would be totally screwed because I’m not nearly as smart as God, as much as I try to play God.

Truthfully, though, the fullness in Christ is the hard one. It’s a great concept, and sure, I’d rather be full of Christ than full of a lot of the crap that only makes me feel more empty than full. But okay, here’s where I struggle-HOW do you do that? You pray for it, obviously, but what else? Because I pray and I pray and, nope, still loving on these worldly desires for fulfillment. Where’s my magic formula.

Then I hear the little voice of Dr. Bruce Wilkinson in the back of my head-that I don’t need to know how. God takes care of that, but only when I’m fully committed. Crap. Guess me and God need to have a conversation about that one too. Either that or I just need to shut up with my “But Gods” long enough to listen. Changing the order to “God and I” might help too.

And then, we had our post concert… Oh I forgot to mention we sponsored a child during intermission. He’s so cute. He has the perfect name: Innocent. Isn’t that the truth… he is an innocent victim of the AIDS crisis ravaging Africa.

So, back to post concert. Met Big Daddy Weave (and Jason Morant during the break), and they were just as cool as could be. Mike Weaver has the most adorable dimples. I know, grown men hate being called adorable, but you know, my babies have adorable dimples, and so does That Man, if you can ever get him to smile. (Which he did during the concert believe it or not).

Then I get to Todd. Well, I was so discombobulated over the Big Daddy Weave crew that I had to hurry to grab my stuff for him to sign. You’d think I’d be more prepared, given all the booksignings I get into, but no. I was a mess, tripped all over myself, probably squealed like a girl, and was so excited that he recognized me from the boards (as long as he didn’t say, crap, there’s that psycho, it’s all good). I’m having conference flashbacks to all my favorite authors that I also had my dork moments in front of, but hey, they still love me.

Ooops, bunny trail. I’m just this bundle of excitement right now, so bear with me. Anyway, Todd was so gracious and so real. The sort of person who really looks at you rather than through you, and I honestly felt like he cared what people had to say. And in my job I have met a lot of folks-famous, on their way to famous, and only thinks they’re famous, and trust me, I know a diva from a real deal. Love that Todd is just that. Of course, I semi got into diva mode with That Man and did the order him about with a wave of my hand thing and felt really bad. I know he is fine with it, but I don’t want others to think I treat him like dirt. I do enough of that as it is.

Then, I was off to track down Jonathan (the violinist in Todd’s band). What can I say about that? Again, SUPER nice guy-very gracious-recognized my name and seemed genuinely happy to meet me. A couple of things about him really hit me. First, you have GOT to see this guy in action. He plays the violin with such passion, I have never seen anything like it. And a couple of my friends are violinists, so I’ve seen all sorts of performances. AMAZING. But the really cool thing, is you could tell he was full of the Lord and not himself. The other super cool thing about him was that he was such a server. Anytime there appeared to be some sort of need-weird equipment thing, set up, tear down, playing for the other bands, he was right there, doing it. I mean, I’d imagine he could have probably taken the attitude of, “Dude, I’m just the violin player,” but he seemed to throw himself into it all. That to me, is an incredible example. Anyway, we chatted, and he had to go do more stuff, so we started to walk away, but he called me back to say goodbye. I wouldn’t have expected it, he had other things to do, but the fact that he took the time to do that… he’s a good egg in my book (not that he wasn’t before).

I have to admit, at that point, I chickened out on meeting everyone else. They all had jobs to do, and I didn’t want to be in the way, so we left.

And look, it’s finally my bedtime, so I’m off to bed, and maybe tomorrow, I’ll post pictures.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Wall of Fear

The Wall of Fear

Inspirational Danica is back, courtesy of our dear friend, Dr. Bruce Wilkinson. And is it really prideful of me to say that I want to have a big fat degree so that people call me Dr. Danica?

Anyway, as I was sharing a bit about fear with a friend who is consumed with fear right now, I remembered something he said that I’m going to paraphrase and share with you.

God does not take away your fear. Rather, it is there as a test to see if your dream, your obedience to His calling, is strong enough that you’re willing to press on despite the fear. The only way to conquer your fear is to do it.

Ultimately, when faced with fear, you have to ask yourself what you value more? Your dream or your fear?

Even if you’re not a Christian, it still applies. When you fail to take action because you’re afraid, you’re saying that obeying the fear is more important than your dream. You will never accomplish any dream without facing and defeating fear. It’s not going to just land in your lap.

So today/tomorrow, as I prepare to go see Todd Agnew in concert (WAHOOO!!), whether The Man who is presently puking his guts out comes or not, I’m issuing a challenge: Take a look at your dream. On the path to achieving it, what’s one thing you fear? Is it that query? Is it sending that manuscript? Is it sending out that book for review? Is it simply opening up Word and putting your words to paper? Do it. Pick one thing you’re scared of, and do it.

If you accept my challenge, and post that you’ve done it (be specific) prior to my departing for the concert (my hotel has high speed access, so I will check right before I leave), I will pick you up something from the concert/our trip.

Good luck! Let’s break through the wall of fear together!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Waiting for Lightning

So do we want shallow Danica or deep Danica? Ha-ha, you’re getting both.

Yesterday… what was yesterday… oh yeah, family stopped spewing grossness out of both ends. Took the Bay-ster shopping for new shoes.

This morning/afternoon-went to an awards banquet for work. I was pleasantly surprised to win one of the major awards. It was an award for embodying the corporate value of teamwork. What an honor. Because see, your coworkers have to nominate you and then the committee goes through all the nominations to see who has the most nominations and best recommendations from everyone in the district. So it wasn’t just out of my office, but everyone. Wow. Along with my nifty certificate, I also got a gift card for Barnes and Noble.

Do you want to know the really depressing thing about BN gift cards? My wish list. There I was, being a good girl, having decided to get some of my wish list books. I couldn’t decide which ones to get, so I did a little research. The upside is that I have three new books winging their way to my house. The downside is that my wish list is BIGGER than it originally was. ACK! Oh, and I spent more than the amount of my gift card. I am bad. Bad, bad, bad. This is one serious addiction. But, my book habit is better for me than a crack habit, I always say.

Got home, got in a fight with That Man about the same old, same old. Plotted about half a million ways to disembowel him and make sure the remains were never found. Of course, the catch would be that I wouldn’t be able to collect on his substantial life insurance policy. And then God said, “Hello, my pretty…” He’s not real fond of my murderous plots. Have no clue what God has against homicide, but apparently, it’s really really bad.

I ended up spending some time reading a book on Servant Leadership (I’m too lazy to go grab it, so you’ll have to do without the title). Great book, kicked me in the butt, since it reminded me that even though That Man is a big fat turkey, I have to love him anyway and do the whole servant leadership thing. Wandered through the message board universe, and was reminded of one of my favorite musicians, Steven Curtis Chapman. During this time, I was listening to a CD of Bruce Wilkinson talking about The Dream Giver (aka one of my favorite books-which I’ve blogged about before)

Anyway, going back to the title of this post: Thinking about my love for SCC made me remember a particular song-waiting for lightning. And I realized that here I am… in the exact position described by this song. Standing, as Dr. Wilkinson would say, at the face of my border bullies, running from the wall of fear, in the wasteland wedge, waiting for God to come and supernaturally remove it all.

Crap.

Ain’t gonna happen, my friends. I gotta get off my butt and just do it.

Waiting for Lightning by Steven Curtis Chapman

Standing on the edge of the truth,
Looking out at the view
Of all you used to believe,
From where you are you can see you’re far away from home.
Echoes of the life you once knew
Call out to you from across the divide,
And you know it’s time to step back over the line,
But you’re . . .

CHORUS
Waiting for lightning,
A sign that it’s time for a change;
And you’re listening for thunder,
While He quietly whispers your name.

Night falls and the curtain goes down;
No one’s around,
It’s just you and the truth.
As you lie in wait
For a feeling to take you by storm,
Somewhere in the depths of your heart,
Where it’s empty and dark, there’s a flicker of light,
And the Spirit calls,
But do you notice at all;
Are you . . .

(chorus)

But the sign and the word
Have already been given,
And now it’s by faith
We must look and we must listen,
Instead of . . .

(chorus)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Fortunately I have one I wrote previously

Yes my friends, it has been a crappy day-literally. And vomitty day as well. Lots of vomit and diarrhea filling my house. And more than that too... just really hard emotionally, for a lot of reasons. None having to do with the grossness I've dealt with now for almost a week. Wahoo... tomorrow is the anniversary of the bug invading the house. Even better, That Man has not gotten it yet. If he's not better for the Todd Agnew concert, I am leaving his sorry butt at home. I'm sure I can con someone into going with me. :)

But, the other night, I was messing around, and didn't want to bore you with more of my nutty thoughts, so I just saved this post, and am sharing now. Wahoo... girl's got backup material-look out world.

Stuck in the middle of… somewhere

I fully intended to write, but I’m at a weird place right now. So I decided to download some new music. You see, last night, I had an interesting conversation with Bay. I was having fun listening to either Sanctus Real or Relient K, and she says, “Mom, turn off that noise.” Excuse me? And then she adds, “Put on some good music, like Dad listens to.” For the record, may I point out that he has been listening to Willie Nelson and John Denver. I am very very afraid.

So I, being the defiant person that I am, I decided I was going to get some new music tonight. I have a gift certificate for some music downloads, so I thought, ah, I’ll use that tonight. I found loads of stuff… I’m really trying to get over my exclusive Todd or radio phase. However, when I went to push the button to purchase, I couldn’t do it.

You see, I have the same issue with ebooks. Now, I am NOT slamming ebooks. However, my foray into music downloads has taught me something interesting-I still need hard copies. There is nothing satisfying about downloading a CD. I don’t have this piece of well, whatever CDs are made of, no cute cover to look at and read lyrics while listening, no “bling”. And I thought, what if I’m not on my computer and I want to listen to the song-how do I listen to it elsewhere? How does one take it with you? While the iPod is a nice idea and all that, you should know that not only do I not own one, I don’t intend to own one. I don’t want some dumb thing in my ear. If I’m going to listen to music, I’m going to crank it and wake the neighbors, thank you very much.

With books, I want the feel of the pages crinkling in my hands. I want to see that satisfying stack of books I’ve read, and books yet to be discovered. When I enter a bookstore or a library, it’s like communing with my mother ship. Computer stuff? Not so much. I do own a few ebooks, and frankly, I downloaded them, read them, griped about eyestrain, and now, they’re sitting somewhere on my hard drive, forgotten bits of… something. I don’t walk by them and say, “OH! I loved that book. I need to read it again.”

I feel like one of those little old ladies who are afraid of the computer. The people who fight technology. I hate those people, and yet, I am one of them. My only consolation is that at least I’m not so far behind as my husband-who is teaching my child that my music is “noise” and blares Willie FREAKING Nelson from his computer all night. Maybe that’s why I can’t write. Too damn much old people music clogging my brains.

I did end up downloading an old David Crowder album I’ve been wanting, but haven’t bought. It’s the Can you Hear Us? Album, and our worship team usually does at least one song from it each night at church. Good stuff. Of course, I will probably end up going out and buying the hard copy, because it’s KILLING me not to have the album in hand.

Yep-stuck in between being an old lady and a spring chicken.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Puke, puke everywhere, and not an end in sight

Well, I had it. The baby had it. Now The Bay-ster has it. Any takers on That Man getting it? Ah well, puke happens, which is why we have a steam cleaner.

In other news, That Man bought a new car today. Was going to post a pic, but well, then I got lazy and didn’t even take one. It’s dark now, so there wouldn’t be much point. However, said new car is WHITE, and our other vehicles, as well as our house, are green. I’m taking this to be a sign that our new house will be white and I will be getting a new white car. Everything has to match, you know.

In addition to forking over a whole lotta cash for the new car (Ford Explorer, BTW), I also bought my plane tickets for Atlanta (to be reimbursed, but I’m counting it as money spent until reimbursement is in hand), registered for that conference (yes, yes, I did, so THERE. Now to make room reservations. I can’t decide where to stay), and made hotel reservations for the Todd Agnew concert. Since it’s a 2 hour drive, we decided to get a hotel for the night and we’ll spend the next day having quality family bonding time.

Headache news: went to chiro, who said my C-1 was WAAY out, plus my usual thoracic stuff was out (I used to work for him, so I know what it all means), so I got a mega adjustment, some wonderful e-stim (love the feeling of electrodes pulsating on my neck), and am going back for more tomorrow. Had coffee with my Sara. Mochas suck when made with decaf. Kicking caffeine is kicking my butt. I think we’re going to start a Bible study together. I wish I could do more to encourage her.

I also saw some way cute clothes, and I’m thinking that since I am getting the “you need more exercise” lecture, despite the fact that I AM at pre-pregnancy weight, I may actually do a little more. I’m tired of looking like a frumpy old housewife. I may BE thirty, but I don’t have to act and look it, right? Well, okay, I don’t. I act and look more like forty, dangit. The worst part of the night-we shopped for hair color. Sara has been having to color the gray for a while now, and well, I’m getting close. I’ve had two people in the space of two months comment on it, and while I try reminding myself that the Bible says it means I’m wise, I’m having a hard time coping with the fact that I’m turning into an old lady.

And so, I’m going to head out to write, using my favorite closing from my good friend, Dr. Bobby:

Peace be the journey people.

NOT GUILTY?!

YOU FREAKING MORONS!!!!

Okay, I feel better now. I have a sneaking suspicion that this will have a huge impact on the ending, but COME ON! I cannot believe that even if he got off on killing Lilly, that he got off on trying to kill Veronica. You sick, sick-shoot, I need a good bad word here. I cussed out this dude for cutting me off in traffic today (and nearly killing us, I might add), and my daughter took me to task for saying bad words. So insert your favorite bad name to call a big fat JERK.

Yes, I am talking about Veronica Mars, and probably the only person who knows what I’m talking about is Tori, and I’m sorry I spoiled it, but DANGIT, I’m furious. However, I do have faith that my beloved Rob Thomas will make it right in the end.

But, because my brain is so focused on Veronica Mars, I can’t discuss the other topics I wanted to discuss, and so you get my analysis of items that I have not yet discussed.

1. The whole teens having sex. I am SO SO SO glad that Veronica got an STD. Thank you for showing that our actions have consequences. I want to know why Logan doesn’t have it… because from where I’m sitting, there’s a link. The only people Duncan slept with are: dead girl who only slept with Duncan, Veronica (who only slept with Duncan), and Ho-bag Kendall (who is also sleeping with Logan and God knows who else). Which is really creepy and gross, if you think about it, which is why people shouldn’t be sleeping around anyway. However, if Logan doesn’t have it, then my money says someone bought off the doctor. Which I hope not, because I really like the idea of people realizing that an innocent girl, trusting her beloved boyfriend, ends up getting an STD. It’s called reality. And, because I am just a fount of knowledge today, I would also like to share the fact that condoms do NOT protect you from all disease. Like HPV, one of the rising leading causes of cervical cancer in women. Ah, they don’t tell you that when you’re getting all cuddly and hot, now do they?

2. The Logan romance CRAP… I’m really annoyed at how they unredeemed him. There’d better be a good reason for it. And I am SO furious at his sweet confession, and Veronica really thinking it over (and not just jumping into bed with him or taking him right back), and then him ending up right back in bed with Ho-bag Kendall. Plus, the whole Hannah thing, still a little miffed about how he used her, and not really happy with where that whole thing went. So, please tell Rob Thomas that I DEMAND to get good Logan back, have it all explained, and he and Veronica live happily ever after. Got it?

3. Threads I want to see tied up:
Lamb really needs to get his comeuppance-BAD.
Beaver and Mac-get them together!
Duncan and the baby
The deal with Beaver and Ho-bag Kendall-surely he was scamming her
The full extent of Woody’s evil deeds-we need an explanation-especially how Lamb got on Keith’s side.
The whole deal with Meg and her dad’s abuse-particularly if Duncan comes back with baby
The dude who got blowed up in the stadium-folks need to find out
The whole tie in with that other gang (can’t remember their names)
Why it seemed that most of the innuendo used to get off the stupid jerk had to have come from Lamb.


Okay, off to do some real work…

Monday, May 01, 2006

Texas Ranch House

Yes, I am a true history nerd. Never was there more proof than my serious addiction to shows on PBS like the current Texas Ranch House. On one hand, I adore them, because it’s such an interesting look at how people lived back then. On the other hand, it drives me insane to see the interactions between the people. Have I mentioned that I despise reality shows?

It’s so interesting to me to see how people default to the negative. I get frustrated, because you see the very worst in human nature. After a while, I just get sick of watching people be mean to each other. So the historical value of it all ends up going by the wayside and I move on to better things. Like historical romance. J I may be a nerd, but I’m a romantic nerd.

Which brings me to the question of humanity-as much as I claim to mistrust others and the world, there’s still this part of me that wants to believe the best. I listened to a really interesting lecture a couple weeks ago about how we, as humans, are violent at our very core. He traced it back to Biblical roots, and it was pretty scary. How ages ago, one man had murderous intent towards his brother, and we’ve been violent since.

So is that why grown men and women can act like children on TV? Is that why, despite all of our advances and supposed enlightenment, we are still no better than cavemen? A good friend of mine likes to joke about evolution-He’s always telling me that certain people need to evolve. But we haven’t really, have we? We’re still out there, finding all sorts of ways to be vicious and to hurt each other. And to what end?

In three months, the people on the show (and yes, I know it’s already over for them) will go back to the lives they left. Sure they will have a greater appreciation for history, and they’ll definitely enjoy the benefits of technology, but where will they be as people? Has anyone come off of any of these so-called reality shows a better human being? Are we, for watching these shows, any better ourselves?

I know, it’s great entertainment. While I’ve yet to watch an entire episode of Survivor or the Apprentice (sorry, there’s only so much backbiting this girl can take), I do get sucked in to these history things, even to the point of telling DH that I would love to do that. But you know-maybe I wouldn’t. If our default is to regress into these selfish idiotic jerks, I’m not so sure I want to go there. I like being in a place where I can examine who I am and become better-at least I hope that’s what I’m doing.

Yeah, long, introspective bunny trail. Really, this post was supposed to be about how I sat at the TV for two hours tonight, calling people I don’t even know bad names (guess my nature isn’t so evolved either). The worst part that gets me, though, is that I bet there were some really positive moments on the shows where you could have seen the goodness in humanity, but the producers decided it would be more interesting for us to watch a fistfight than to watch a bunch of people sitting around a campfire singing Kumbayah all day. That’s probably another sad commentary on how we’ve supposedly evolved.

Ah well, I suppose I’ve probably ranted on long enough-time to see if the baby’s fever has broken and if I have another pool of vomit to clean up. I think my previous vomit post was slightly prophetic. May you all have a joyous and vomit free day tomorrow.