I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, My own craziness, Randomness

Another visit to the Draft File

I was scanning through my old drafts this week to see if there was something I could come up with to post (I did find a few older posts that I made when I had like four people following me that I might repost) and while I found several drafts that appears promising by the title, they were all blank… Here are some titles:

Character Interview with Carolina Banks, Secondary Character from Intentions of the Earl

Unconventional? Me??? No way!

Right on!

(No Title) (There was no content, either.)

Do Romance Novelists have an extraordinary amount of romance at home?

OT ( Off Topic) Men are SUCH babies

Sometimes it’s tough being a writer…

Guilty Pleasures

I did manage to find a few that had content though, one of which I’ll post below. I wrote it as soon as I got home from my first parent-teacher conference, approximately a year and a half ago. It’s titled: Ever wish the ground would swallow you whole? I have.

In books a lot of time we read about characters who wish the ground would open up and swallow them whole. Heck, I’ve even had a few of MY characters think this.

Today, thought it.

Today was my boys’ first official parent-teacher conference. Oh, boy. Having two active little boys, I steeled my spine, curled my hair, and prepared myself for the worst.

The conference started out okay. “Mrs. Gordon, Henry here likes to answer my questions. ALL my questions. In fact, he’s normally got his hand up—or his mouth open—before I even finish the question. Eddie, not so much. I feel like I have to pull the information from him.”

I nod. I expected this. My older son is quiet and reserved, my younger one can talk and bounce around all day long.

The conference goes on a bit longer, then suddenly it happens:

“Mrs. Gordon, does your family have a friend named Earl?”

“Uh, no. Why?” I cough to cover the hitch in my voice. Earl? The only Earl I know is one of my friends from high school’s husband, but I haven’t seen them in years. The only other “Earl” I know of…

“Well, Eddie talks a lot about an Earl.”

My heart picks up, and my hands start to sweat. I know exactly where this is going. For more than a year and a half around our house, my husband and I have openly talked about my books, giving them each an abbreviated name: Earl, Liberty, Wife, Sudden, Reluctant, Secondhand and soon to be Imperfect. Oh my word, the “Earl” the teacher is talking about is NOT a man named Earl, but rather a character: Andrew Black, Earl of Townson or rather his book.

 Needless to say, I had no idea how to respond to this, so in ordinary way of doing things, I sought a diversion. “Do you think this would be a good age to start piano lessons?”
~*~*~*~*~
I found a few other really good drafts, some I’ll post, some I think I might just finish up a bit and make them regular posts. A lot of them go with my “day in the life” series that I have sorely neglected. I hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!
I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, My own craziness, Randomness

The Draft File…

Two years and Three weeks ago today I began my life as a ‘published author”. Not merely did I dip my toe into the waters, I climbed all the way up to the top of the proverbial 30-foot high dive platform, walked across and took a flying leap down into a pool that at times has not felt deep enough.

In February 2011, I went from virtually unknown–scratch that, I wasn’t virtually unknown, I was completely unknown, the only people of my acquaintance who knew I’d written anything was my husband and one of his co-workers. That was it. So I went from being just one person in the world, to one more person who had written a story.

Not much of a difference. Except, I then had a job of trying to do the one thing I’d never wanted to do before: draw attention to myself.

I am PAINFULLY shy. If you ever meet me in person, I might surprise you. I’m not the life of the party or fun, I’d rather be like Regina Banks and blend into the wallpaper. That’s where I feel like I belong!

When starting, there are a few things one has to do (other than have a book written lol):

Website

Facebook Page

Blog

The website was easy enough. The Facebook Page made me grumble. But the blog made me want to cower in a corner and breathe into a paper bag. I am terrible at blogging (just ask those who’ve been following me a while). I never have an idea what to say and have often made a real idiot of myself trying to say something interesting.

Well, after two years, I still don’t have any easier of a time when I sit down to write a post (this one for example, I started more than four hours ago), but I do have 96 “drafts” where I’ve started a post, only to give it up.

Today, I thought I’d share a few “starts”:

This was intro to my first visit to the State Fair last October, titled: Strange Confessional

Shamefully, I have only posted like two or three times in the last fortnight, and one of those was to present my latest book as  if you were all sitting on the edge of your seats, biting your fingernails to the quick with anxiety over it.  So now, almost a week later, I do believe it is time to move on and write something else. Unfortunately, I have no real news, nor is there any inspiration striking for writerly advice. 

However, I feel compelled to confess I’d never been to the fair before. Ever. Yes,  I know it is nearly unheard of for anyone to reach adulthood without going to the fair, but I did! And now, I’m about to share my recent adventure that has left me undecided on if not going was the disappointing thing I thought it was or if it was truly a blessing in disguise.

It all started a few weeks ago when out of nowhere I agreed to be the room mom. That’s when I first found out that this year would be the year for me. The year I’d finally get to go see what all the fuss was all about. The only caveat was I’d be going with a gaggle of kids ages four to six. As my heart started to pound just thinking about taking so many children to such a large, crowded place, I put the thought out of my mind, otherwise they might have to scrape me off the floor. As the days got closer, I got a little more comfortable with the idea, but still a little apprehensive.

Then the day arrived…

To sum up the part that I didn’t write here: it was a horrid affair. Filled with a whiney, bratty kid (not mine. Thank God) clinging onto my pant legs until he almost pulled them down, screaming, answering awkward questions about how the baby goat got in the mama goat’s belly, a lego up someone’s nose and a temper tantrum like I’ve never seen before. But the weather was good!

Here’s another.  I wrote this one last August when my kids were about to go back to school, titled: Kids + Outside = Resistance, “no fun”, and a tinge of whining! Why, oh why?

Today is the last day of my kids’ summer break. Thank goodness. For as much as I love them, and I really do, they’ve been driving me nuts!

When I was a kid, we played outside. As soon as it was bright enough to see, we were out riding our bikes, wrestling the neighbors, throwing water balloons, and just being noisy in general until it was almost so dark you couldn’t see in front of you. We even ate lunch outside! Not these days. I never thought I’d be one of those moms who let her kids get addicted to the TV and refuse to go outside. In fact, I only allow them to watch very little, and yet, all summer it was like pulling teeth to get my kids to stay outside. Sure, they’d go out for about then minutes, then suddenly, the sliding glass door would open and the words, “I’m bored” would echo through the house.

My first thought of course was: How can that be? You have all sorts of toys out there. From a swing set with slide to a cozy coupe, they have all sorts of things to keep them entertained…and they’re not.

The concept of boredom when they have so many toys, plus a brother close in age and a dog, is too hard for me to wrap my mind around it.

So if this scenario reminds you of yourself this summer, know that you are not alone. I suffered it, too. As did millions of other 

One more. The title I’d given this one (and I can’t remember where I was going with it because it’s been so long) was Oh. My. Which is perfect because when I read over it a few minutes ago while going through my draft list, that is the FIRST thing that popped into my mind.

[Warning: Please be advised, this post discusses s-e-x. If you swoon at the thought, please delete this from your inbox or close the page immediately.]

As it would happen, I have two children, and this may be a shocker, but neither were conceived while sitting in a church pew. They were, however, conceived with the lights (including the nightlight) off, in the dead of night, while I waited under the covers, wearing a thick, flannel nightgown that stretched from my chin to my ankles. Bob, who was dressed similarly, slipped between the covers and did something–I’m not entirely certain what–while I counted the textured balls along the ceiling by the light of the moon. I don’t know about the rest of you, but for me, this was the way of things.

Because I live the life of a wannabe nun who just so happened to want children, I hire someone to write my sex scenes… And while proofreading over one of my books tonight, I was mortified with what I read. Absolutely MORTIFIED. Who does that stuff?! And who even thinks of it?! Good grief.

As I said, oh my. I have NO idea where I was going with that, which is probably a blessing, and just in case you couldn’t tell, it was intentionally meant to be sarcastic.

I hope you all enjoyed something and I didn’t scandalize anyone too much.

I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, Randomness

My hat is off to two people who don’t even exist!

I have to admit, I am AWFUL when it comes to some of the skills and traits I give my fictional characters. Except maybe Emma, while my husband can fly fish as good or better than Paul and Marcus, I’m about as hopeless at it as poor Emma who tries but heaven help her, she just can’t. But some of the others, well, I’ve graciously given them the skills I wish I had. Two that come to mind right off are Madison and Juliet. For the truth is, I cannot paint worth crapola. And last night only proved it.

About two weeks ago I passed a store while navigating an unchartered part of the city for me. The store was called Pinot’s Palette. Intrigued, when I got home, I googled it and thought. “Oh, that would be fun.”

And don’t get me wrong, it was, but I am NOT an artist, and for your entertaining pleasure, I have included some pictures of my first public attempt at painting…

The object was to paint a schooner–the name of the wagon pioneers used. Here’s how it is supposed to look:

Oklahoma-Pride-large.jpg

First, she said to paint a straight line across the bottom third of the canvas:

Line

Then she gave us very good directions about drawing lines to make the “box” part of the wagon and the scallops along the top. I didn’t think it could even be possible to mess this up, but…

outline

 

It was passable, and actually what I’d consider fair, until I got the to last “scallop” then oops… I think I’d made them too close together, thus resulting in having to make the last one giagantic in order to reach the back edge.

Then we were told to fill in the background red. Which was perfect, I thought, I can cover up and “re-construct” my scallops. So I did…

Sort of fixed

 

The problem is that I had to paint down in order to fix the scallops, and when I did this ingenious maneuver, it shrank the size of the canopy (duh!) and suddenly it was too small in comparison to the wooden bottom, leading me to have to paint lines lower to show the edge of the box. (Later, and I don’t have a good picture of it, trying to paint the canopy in a way that would hide the horizontal red line going through it was a bear!).

Then as you can see, we did the ground.

At this point, I looked at what I had, then turned to my friend, who is so comfortable as she paints that she’s eating a sugar cookie, and said, “This is an awful disaster. I can only imagine what the finished product will be like.”

Sweet friend that she is, she looked at my painting, shrugged and said, “Don’t worry, you’re more a Brooke.”

“A Brooke?” What in the world?

“Yeah, wasn’t it her who claimed to have painted those atrocious paintings in the drawing room?”

Oh my lands. I knew it was looking bad, but not THAT bad!

Next came filling the canopy, which was another disaster because I somehow managed to drag the paint over the top edge of the canopy and onto the red…

Almost done

So I tried to fix it by redefining the red outline…and added the wheels.

Wheels

 

With now such a lovely outline along the top of the schooner, I knew when we did the final touches to the background I’d have to blend that into the rest or I’d never live down such a mess.

finished

 

We were told to mix a bit of black and a lot of red to make “plum” to do the corners of the red and as you can see mine came out black. I guess there were tornadoes in the area that day. Otherwise, I can’t explain it.

Though I cannot paint worth beans, I had a great time and I’d strongly recommend that if any of you have anything like this available to go do where you’re at, go do it. Even if it’s just once, it’s definitely an experience to have. I never knew I wanted a pioneer schooner hanging in my living room, but now I have one, and I must say, I’m starting to like it even if I’ll have to stash it in the closet whenever company comes to visit.