Monthly Archives: September 2011

My Eyes Are Going, Going . . .

Or, a lament for a well-spent youth.

Of all the parts of my body that are falling apart, my eyes worry me the most. I wear contacts all day because my glasses are so thick and heavy, they hurt my nose to wear them. I was warned at my last optometrists visit that I was going to have to get bifocals soon. Until then, I would need reading glasses if I was planning on doing anything up close while wearing my contacts.

Reading glasses. *sigh*

I’ve bought a few pairs and probably have enough for every room of the house, including my sewing area. They’re kinda cute, actually, but I keep them in drawers or my purse so nobody sees them unless I have to wear them. I even try to work on the computer without them if I have company over.

Hillary Clinton – Secretary of State

This morning, I was working at my computer, typing and referring to books and my ereader when I heard a commotion outside. I looked out the window and realized it was just the trash truck coming down the street. Then I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the window; reading glasses slid down my nose, hair down but nice looking, holding a book in front of me, peering over the tops of my glasses.

I looked like every secretary and librarian over 30 I’d ever met.

Oh, I thought. So that’s why. Huh.

It was a jarring moment that reminded me that I will soon be 30. I know age is really just a number but this one seems to be lurking, ready to pounce, attacking me with the fact that my youth is now over and I’m an adult.

One would think the family and the house and everything else would have already reminded me of that but they didn’t. It took a small poke at my vanity to remind me I’m not getting any younger.

I’d better start saving for that trip to New York!


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Cross Genre Pollination

Most people who like to read but don’t read for a living pick a genre and stick with it. They pick a type of book they enjoy and look for more books of the same type. For the most part, I don’t blame them. If your leisure time is short and precious, you don’t want to waste it on a book you’ll regret paying $8 – $25 for.
For myself, I used to love mystery books. By the time I was in 6th grade, I’d read every Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys book published, including the case files and crossovers. (I loved the sexual tension between Nancy and Frank Hardy even before I understood what sexual tension was; I considered Ned to be like Ken, the boyfriend accessory.) I read a ton of Agatha Christie but I had to get permission to check them out from the school library because they were considered too old for me.
I’d read fantasy in the form of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time series but when I was introduced to Science Fiction, I was hooked. I’ve read Science Fiction and Fantasy almost exclusively since 5th grade. I made a few forays into Romance but my favorites were the Supernatural Romances, especially the ones with dragons and vampires (except Twilight, fuck Twilight). On the few times I felt the need for a change of pace, I’d read the classics (I love The Count of Monte Cristo) or self-help/management books with a smattering of history and biography.
I’ve spent the last few weeks reading through some of my old writing. A lot of it makes me cringe but I’ve found some gems that I think need to be developed. Plunging back into my novel, I recognized a need that I wasn’t sure how to meet; there was no mystery. There was plenty of Romance, I had the elements of the fantastic so well developed, it was almost a manual. There was a plot, I couldn’t leave that out, but it was much too straight forward.
Going back over some of my favorite books, I realized they were all mysteries. Some were more straight forward than others but they were all universally mysteries. I hadn’t read an actual mystery in, ahem, decades.
I needed to pick one up, and fast.
Then, I got a notice that I had a new e-mail. Borders was slashing prices to 70-90%. There was one less than 2 minutes from my house. I grabbed my keys and headed over. I’d avoided going because, well, watching any bookstore going out of business bothers me and I didn’t want to be one of those people who go to pick over the bones of somebody’s dreams. But, hey, 70% off books! I grabbed a couple Romance’s I hadn’t read by author’s I enjoyed then went to the mystery section. There were some author’s I recognized from when I worked at the library so I grabbed what I remembered being the most popular and another couple from an author I didn’t recognize but the titles caught me.
You will be hearing about these books, soon. I was so impressed by one of them, I was sad to learn she only had 3 books out.
Also, I remembered why I loved mysteries. My writing has already improved and I’ve found a whole new genre to enjoy.  

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Growing older . . . and up?

We’re attempting to make these for her birthday

My daughter is turning 1 tomorrow. My little panda has 5 teeth (2 on top, 3 on the bottom) and is walking, much to her delight. 99% of the time, she is the sweetest, most loving child I’ve ever met. Her brother adores her and she loves him more than anything else. It’s occasionally hard to watch the two of them together without tearing up and laughing so hard I’m in danger of hurting myself. When I thought about having kids, I never imagined watching my almost-one-year old dive bombing her 7-year old brother, and him being so tickled by it that he laughed while she did it, making sure she didn’t hurt herself in the process. Far from having to keep him from running rough shod over her, I find myself constantly reminding him to not let her hurt him when I’m not watching.

Her birthday has me realizing that I’m staring down the barrel of a somewhat significant birthday. Granted, it’s still a few months off but I can’t help but feel the pressure. I’m not big on celebrating birthdays. Dinner with people who love me, maybe a cake, are all I really want. Of course, gifts are always appreciated, especially those of cash, but time and company are the things I want the most from people. But what do I want from myself?

I never expected to be at this point in my life. Kids were never a consideration when I was planning my future, which is probably one of God’s biggest jokes. “You can’t stand kids? Well, here’s these two, I dare you to do anything but love them.”

Bubble Fairies – fabric print I designed

I find myself designing more children’s clothing and homey doodads that I wouldn’t have ever thought I’d contemplate. (Aprons? Really? Well, yes, really, and they’re really cute.) I’m also finding myself drawn to more ethereal things, and aching to make things that make me weep with their beauty. I look at some of my fabric designs and find them wanting because they can’t match what I see in my head. I have to go back to the realization that I never considered myself an artist, even when my greatest ambition was to write, and keep writing, and publish enough books to support myself.

So, what do I want? I expect little, and desire even less, from ‘the world’ that we live in. Nobody owes me anything and I like to keep it that way. From myself, I expect brilliance, something I can’t hope to achieve on my own.

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