Vacations, Kids and the Emergency Room.

Last week my old man took kids 1, 2 and 4 to Seattle for a week to see kid 4’s sister graduate high school. I also took kid 3 to his grandmother’s to stay, so I’ve been alone, gloriously alone for a whole week. It was nice. I had some quiet for a change and I got a lot done.

Yesterday, the old man (yes, I call him that in real life) came home with kid 2. (Kids 1 and 4 are spending a week with kid 4’s other sister.) They arrive home and kid 2 is sick. her tonsils are swollen big with white spots, so I load her up and take her to urgent care. They give her medication, we come home, all is good.

Until midnight. I had been in bed for less than an hour when she woke me up and told me (via having typed it on her kindle, because she hurt so bad she wouldn’t talk,) that she was having trouble breathing. I took her to the emergency room. We spent hours in the emergency room. Blood draw, IV, meds, (including a steroid that took a while but brought the swelling down,) wait, wait, wait. End result. She has mono. Wait more before we’re finally released. We walked out of the hospital at 6 AM. By the time we got home the old man had already left for work. We both went to bed and passed out. I slept for a couple hours. I’m totally exhausted.

She’s fine and has been doing her best to eat all the popsicles in the house before anyone else comes home.

Lots going on here.

I had 3 kids start school this week and my last one starts on Monday. While I’m happy to have them back in school, it’s a pain too. The shopping, the running, the back and forth. On top of that, this week has been our hottest yet this summer. I spent half an hour outside the girls school yesterday in 114 degree heat. This hasn’t helped with either my mood or my creativity.

Round and Round I go.

Where I end, nobody knows.

Actually, I don’t really feel like I’m going in circles, just that I have a ton of stuff to do. Since sending the manuscript of LIVE off to my editor I’ve done some reading (actually, beta read two books for two different friends, as well as some pleasure reading,) made an appearance at my hometown county fair (had a total blast!) dealt with a lot of family issues and drama (2 teenager, 1 near teenager and a boy thing) plus that never ending circle of shopping and feeding them all.

Now, on October 1st, I realize that NaNoWriMo is only a month away. I need to start thinking about what I’ll work on for November. (Aside from the fact that I’ll have Live back by then I’ll have some changes I need to make and I need to do formatting too.) So this morning I opened up a new Scrivener project  (if you’ve never tried Scrivener, I highly recommend it) and started with a little bit of an outline (I spent my girls softball practice last night bouncing ideas off a friend, I had to copy those out of our chat and save them too.) The outline will grow over the next few weeks and come November 1 I’ll start writing. Not sure if I’ll manage to win this year but I’ll do my best.

Ready for the end of summer.

Yesterday, as I stayed inside working on revisions of my next release, I watched the indoor/outdoor thermometer. Mostly so I could be glad I wasn’t out in the heat. Then my girls had softball practice…. and I sat in 108 degree heat for an hour and a half. Not my idea of fun. Not my idea of pleasant. I mean really.. it’s the second half of September already, let’s have some cooler weather!

I’d love 70’s, but I’ll settle for not triple digits… please!

It’s been a rough couple of weeks.

About two and a half weeks ago I got one of those calls that everyone dreads getting. One of my sisters-in-law had been in a car accident and she hadn’t survived. She had been a single mom, with three teenage daughters. The oldest was 18 and had been away at college, though she was home for the summer, but the other two have not yet started high school.

It fell to me to relay the news to my husband, as well as his father. I’ll just say there’s a difficult relationship between my father-in-law and most of the children from his first marriage, and leave it at that.

Thankfully, it’s summer and my own children are not currently in school, as soon as I got the first call, I started them packing their things. After I made my calls, I started packing myself. By 6:00pm we were on the road. We drove all night and the trip took 13 hours.

We ended up staying two weeks. It was difficult for everyone involved, making decisions about where the girls should go and how to deal with it (their father passed away several years ago,) planning services, high emotions and general family drama.

I was glad to get home. I’d missed my bed, my own pillow and the quiet comfort of not having to walk on eggshells to keep from inadvertently hurting someone’s feelings. 

I’m not quite back in my work groove, but I’m getting there. I’ve been doing a lot of not-actual-writing business. Getting ready for an appearance and household stuff that was just put on hold when we left. I’ll get back where I should be, but it may take me a few more days.

Downtime. We all need some.

I’ve been pushing hard for the last couple of weeks to finish the first draft of Hunt before NaNoWriMo gets here. At the same time, nothing else has stopped happening, in fact, I’ve added even more.

In addition to my every day life with a family, school, extra-curricular activities, etc. I’ve added in Book tour host, (as you can see from the rapidly filling schedule to the right,) as well as working on scheduling all the events for NaNo, as I am the local ML.

It’s been a little stressy and a little crazy and some days I don’t know if I’m coming or going. I must say that my Cozy calendar has saved my butt, more than once. Because I’m able to put the entire family’s schedule in there I can see what everyone is doing, and here’s the big one, have reminders sent to my phone, aka, my brain. On Sunday it sends me an email with the week’s calendar so I can plan important things, like dinner, around what’s happening each night. Let me tell you, with three kids, on three teams in two different sports, that practice on opposite ends of town, that’s sometimes harder than you would think.

Where was I again? Oh, yeah. Downtime. Since finishing the first draft of Hunt (yes, there’s still lots of work to be done,) I’ve been taking it kind of easy. No, the rest of my life really hasn’t slowed down, but I’ve not pushed prepping for NaNo either. I know I can do NaNo totally seat of my pants, though it’s a lot easier with some planning. I do have some planning done, as I plan on working on a concept I’ve been putting together for a few months now, in the background.  But it’s different, I’m not intently focused on what comes next. I’ve picked up a new book and starting to read it, and I spent all day yesterday sitting on the couch, watching TV with the Other Half, and for the first time in months, knitting. Yes, I knit, but in working on my writing, I’ve lost the time I spend on knitting, I love it. Knitting relaxes me and puts me in that zen place like nothing else I’ve ever found, I just flat haven’t had time.

All in all, I’m enjoying a little downtime before my next big rush. I know it’s coming and I’ll enjoy it when it gets here, but in the mean time, I needed this.

What does August mean to me?

Heat. It’s still the inner circle of hell, in relation to temperatures and weather where I live (110-120 is not uncommon.)  It’s hard to escape.

School. The kids (and other half) go back to school. I had one kid start today, the other two start in a week, and the other half starts near the end of the month. This means I no longer have to try to keep them entertained during the heat, or feed them 500 times a day. This year even more so, because the other half has been home 24/7 for the last three weeks, and will be for another three. I’m looking forward to some quiet time.

Craziness. I have three kids, who play two different sports, on three different teams. They all start practicing sometime in August. I spend my evenings running around trying to get everyone where they need to be.

Writing. Even with all this, I still write. While the kids are in school, while I wait for them at practice (when I have time) I need to if I’m ever going to finish whatever book I’m working on at the time.

What does August mean to you?

Stressful week.

On Tuesday I spent eleven hours, yes, 11 hours, sitting in the Ambulatory Surgery waiting room in a VA Hospital. The first five were while my other half had cervical disk replacement surgery. I am certain those hours were the most stressful I’ve ever had. I was so uptight and worried that I couldn’t even read. That’s saying something for me, since I’ve always used reading to escape from whatever life issue I didn’t want to deal with.

The last six hours were waiting for him to come out of recovery. Yes, six hours in recovery. In the end, they didn’t release him like planned, his pain was harder to control than they expected and they ended up keeping him overnight. My mom had our kids, so I was able to stay with him in his room.

They released him late on Wednesday, but he wasn’t feeling well enough to make the 4 hour ride home, so we ended up staying in a hotel. 2 adults, 3 kids and 1 five-month old lab puppy. We ended up with two rooms in order to keep the hyper puppy away from the still hurting patient. Yesterday we came home. I was never so glad to see my house, and my bed.

Things are still in a bit of an upheaval, but it’s getting better. I’m starting to be able to talk to my voices again. I was in so much internal turmoil that they just weren’t talking to me. Now they’re realizing that things are okay and talking to me again. I know things are right when my mental friends talk to me.

Camp Nano, Day 7.

Life has really gotten in the way today. With several things planned in the coming days I’ve been forced to set my writing aside and face what has to be done. So far today I’ve not gotten a single word in. However, because of my personal goals, I’m not only not behind, I’m still a little bit a head. If I have another fail to write anything day tomorrow, I’ll be behind. But not by much.

I’m still holding out hope to get some writing in tonight… But I’m not holding my breath.