Category: list

Everything I Need

It was beautiful out this morning—temperature got up to eighty, the sun was shining like there was no tomorrow, and the boys were at their grandparents’ house—so Josh and I drank our coffee out in the camper and talked about all the things that have to be done before The Move.
For those of you who don’t know: Josh and I have spent the last year or so preparing to move from our 800-square-foot house to a 200-square-foot camper. This has obviously required a lot of going through stuff and getting rid of stuffwith Josh doing most of the downsizing and me doing most of the procrastinating.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want stuff. I love the weightlessness that comes from having no things. But some junk I feel like I just can’t get rid of. (My granny gave me this. Somebody, somewhere, could probably use this. Okay, this isn’t useful, but it isn’t broken, either. And this is from that one time, remember?) So I’ve put off working on this for as long as possible.
For the last month, there have been three totes stacked up in our living room next to the entertainment center. The final three totes that need to be gone through. And they’re all full of my crap.
Sitting there in the camper this morning, staring our totally awesome future in the face, it occurred to me: I only really need four things—four actual, physical objects—to be happy, and none of them are in those totes.
Ready for the list?
  1. Coffee (this assumes all related objects, like the coffee maker, coffee cup, creamer, filters, etc)
  2. Something to write on
  3. Something to read
  4. Cookies

I know I can survive without any of that stuff, but those are the objects that I feel enrich my life.
Obviously, I’m not talking about the emotional fulfillment I get from playing with Oak and Bear, the intellectual stimulation of talking to my husband, or the peace and contentment that comes from my relationship with God. That stuff doesn’t take up any physical space.
What I am talking about is how every night I go to bed looking forward to that first cup of hot, sweet, creamy coffee I’m going to drink when I wake up—and the nirvana of actually drinking it in the morning. How I can lay awake for hours thinking through the scene I’m going to start writing on tomorrow—and the feeling of finishing that scene and knowing it’s just right. How time disappears when I’m possessed by a good book and how I never want to stop reading. And cookies. Because duh.
Those four things are the only objects I really need in this life to be happy. Everything else is just stuff.
Which isn’t to say that I’m going to run inside and start working on those totes. It’s still beautiful out here and procrastination is still my favorite way to deal with things that need immediate attention. But I feel like I hit on a truth that will help me when I finally can’t put off going through those totes any longer.
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End-of-the-Year Revision Madness!

Revision sucks. It sucks on a lot of levels. You know you have to do it to make your story better, but it takes so much doing, such incredibly close attention to detail and thick callouses on your heart. You’ll have to cut things that you loved writing, things you wanted your readers to know so bad, even things that you thought added layers to the story because it isn’t relevant and the trouble it’s causing is outweighing the good it’s doing. You’ll have to read through from beginning to end, searching for any tiny puzzle piece—a word or even an apostrophe—affected by the changes. You might end up deleting a whole hundred pages because things turned out differently than they did in your first, second, or eighth draft. Revision requires a fine-toothed comb and a machete. When you do it right, it’s exhausting, frustrating, and emotional—rewarding, too, but not until you get to the end.
Anyway, inspired by my lack of enthusiasm for the one goal I’ve decided to hold myself to this year (a finalfinalfinal revision of the book I’ve working-titled Halo), I’ve compiled this list of
5 Things I’d Rather Do than Revise Halo Again: 
  1. Write this blog post.
  2. Random exercises I saw my sister doing the other day. (She’s on Insanity, the workout DVD for people who are serious about maximizing their workout. Dig deep!)
  3. Wash the dishes. (This is how I know I’m procrastinating.)
  4. Pay attention to my poor, neglected kids.
  5. This thing where I hold onto the edge of the island in our kitchen and jump as high as I can using the counter for leverage. (The object of this game is to get my feet above the countertop without falling down.)
  6. Read anything I didn’t write. (Yesterday I read all of the comics my friend lent me and I just started The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I’m crazy into it.)

My original 2012 goal for Halo was to get an agent by the end of the year. So far, I’ve managed to procrastinate long enough that achieving that goal is basically impossible (replies from agents can take up to two months), so I need to get this incarnation of Halo done.
I guess I should be an adult about this, buckle down, and get to work. After a couple more of these jumpy-things.

A List of Random Stuff

1.  Blogspot informed me today that there is a new template organizer or something that will make my blog totally awesome and easier to look at.  Naturally, this made me laugh.  I hate unnecessary change.  Even a small unnecessary change is enough to really upset me.  For example: Every few months, or sometimes weeks, Joshua decides our house/apartment/camper/tent (wherever we’re living at the time) needs to be rearranged.  Unless you’re someone who also really hates unnecessary change, you wouldn’t believe how mad I get.  I’ll sit and glare while Joshua moves everything around and I’ll point out why something shouldn’t go there or why I liked it here.  My view on arranging things is, if something needs to be moved, I’ll move it.  If it hasn’t been moved in a month, it’s probably fine where it is.  So, thanks Blogspot, but no thanks.

2.  Are you that bored that you read that entire last paragraph?

3.  I hate it when you read a name, then you hear that name said out loud and the pronunciation is nothing like what you made up in your head.  For example: Siobahn, which I learned to day is pronounced ‘sha-baun.  Lame.

4.  I’ve put a lot of thought into it and decided that any mom could be the kind of mom who goes out for milk and never comes back.  Deciding not to is what makes the difference.  There’s no doubt in my mind that if I left with the intent not to return, I wouldn’t.  But I’m too jealous to do that.  There’s no one I’d trust to raise my son right and I sure as heck am not going to let some other chick sleep with my husband.  I mean, I’m a writer.  What makes her so special?

5.  The scars from my surgery are going away, which is too bad because they looked like someone had shot and stabbed me.

6.  Condoms aren’t as effective as you’d think.

7.  I have so much work to do if I plan to finish this romance novel by August.  And just imagine how much I could’ve gotten done if I’d worked on it instead of this post.