The shape of the future

I need another monitor.

As you can see, I’m sharing mine with Lauren. Thank heavens it’s wide!

Some days, this is the only way I can get stuff done – she watches Wiggles clips on youtube, while I… do whatever I need to do/can do, with Wiggles tunes in my ears. I’ve even pinched Hubby’s old keyboard and a spare mouse so that she pretend she’s typing away and clicking as well – she LOVES that. Though, sometimes she tells me off when I too am typing and clicking. Sometimes, she is the only one allowed to do so…

Whatever helps me get some work done right? Funnily enough, Hubby may just use this as an excuse to upgrade his monitor. The idea has been sewn, and I might end up with another monitor in a few months time, even though I never thought it would happen! Gee two screens… one for net, one for writing. I could have visual prompts up and still have my document open full screen. It could be fun, very fun.

Anyways, in other news, I took the plunge yesterday and upgraded to an actual domain name – isn’t it pretty? It’s a subtle change, one I didn’t expect anyone to notice (though, some have already!). The great news is that it’s still a wordpress blog, and my old link still works perfectly and will automatically redirect, so no need for me to run all over the web changing things, no need for you to either, unless you really want to.

It was very easy to do, and worked out to be the cheapest option for me – I get to have my own domain name, while still having wordpress take care of me. There is no way I have the time and headspace to sort out a separate web page, that’s for sure. Maybe at some point in the future, but not any time soon ;-) I felt like I could completely justify doing it because the cost of it was covered by money made from my writing – woo!

I’ve kind of been putting off writing this last few days, mostly because I had convinced myself that the beginning of my assassin story sucked. I made myself read it yesterday though, and you know what? It’s actually pretty good! I’ve launched back into it, and hopefully the rest of this draft will tick along at a reasonable pace.

Weekend, which used to be terrible for writing, have now become my sweet spot. Funny how things change, how adding just one small person to the family tosses everything in a new order.

But, this is how the future looks: a domain name of my own, a second monitor at some point, sharing all my spaces with children, and getting the writing done regardless, if sporadically. I’ve come to accept that it’s just not going to be an every day activity for the next few weeks, though eventually, I’ll be able to claim that time back.

Things are feeling good :-)

I’m Alive!

Thank you to all those who commented on my last post, and a special thanks to Jennifer who reminded me that I could put Natalie’s legs out now (she is SO much happier and currently sleeping in the wrap, yay, free hands!). It was great to get that off my chest and see the ways in which anyone – regardless of whether they have babies or not – can feel like a bunch of roles rather than a person.

Yesterday I managed to get both girls to sleep (one in bed, one in the basket) and had a half hour in which to write – I finished chapter 3 of the new novel. YAY! I felt so amazing afterwards, as though reading all your lovely comments and getting some writing done instantly made me more substantial.

While the rugby baby-sitting is currently an EPIC FAIL I have hopes for it in the future. Unfortunately, Hubby’s guest pass for the latest Star Craft is expiring tonight and so he’s been skipping out on the rugby in order to play. I think he’s buying the game anyways, so not sure why he feels the need to desperately use ever *free* hour he can get. All good though.

After finishing the chapter I needed the time to think about what happens next. I have plenty to pick and choose from but am feeling a little, nervous, I guess is the right word.

I almost don’t want to read through my old stuff. I’m worried about what I might find there. As much as I want to rewrite, polish, edit and most importantly submit more short stories, I just can’t bring myself to read through any of them yet! I have to bite the bullet and just do it, I know. I think the deeper reasoning is that I’m just not yet feeling like I have the headspace to do that to my own work effectively.

So, it’s onwards. I’m going to start chapter 4, and try to find the right place to start writing the assassin story as well – so many options, but I need to find the right one. I can feel that I almost have it. Almost, and I’m looking forward to writing. I need the fresh stuff right now, to help keep that feeling of being alive.

This morning I have the house pretty much to myself. Sleeping baby, Hubby took both the girls to soccer. A few months ago I’d have used the time to blitz the housework, and while there are piles of dishes to be done and more laundry to be sorted, I’m going to write.

Way to kill my flow, midwife.

The writing has been going well. I’m not spending a lot of time consciously thinking about the next steps for my MC, they are just evolving naturally out of the story. I know where she needs to get to, and it’s fun to take her on a twisty path to that destination, avoiding death and capture along the way, revealing tidbits of other information as we go.

Most days, I’ve thought to myself ‘ug, I just cannot write’. Then at some point I’ll find myself sitting here with the document open and I’ll be writing. It’s lovely not to feel like I HAVE to, and yet have the words come naturally at the same time. They want to come, I’m not having to cajole or bribe. Thank goodness, because I barely have the energy to cajole the toddler and school kid let alone some wayward words ;-)

Then I saw my midwife today and she said the dreaded line (dreaded, because she said it last time and it was bang on the money).

‘We’ll see you next week then, if not before.’

No, thank you. I’ll just see you at my next appointment. I’m not having my baby this weekend, not even in the next week. Sometime after the next appointment, sure, but not this week.

Not because there is anything I desperately have to do, but just because I would like one more week. I have dinner and a game to go to on Saturday night with hubby’s work. I’ve got a couple stories I want to play with. A couple critiques I’d like to finish. Yeah, another week would be good.

I’ve been sitting here since then, pretty much repeating my new mantra ‘I am not having a baby this week’, which of course, is drawing attention to all the little niggles in my body.

I’m well aware that all midwifes begin to use these lines towards the end of a pregnancy. I know they are just words, not some prediction or educated guess. Just words. It doesn’t mean a thing.

But can I stop thinking about it?

Nope.

I should go and write. Maybe having someone else die instead of my MC will help get this tension out of my body.

She’s pregnant, by the way. I know I was avoiding baby stories but meh. She’s only four months along so at least SHE won’t be going into labour any time soon. But she needs to get out of the city before they kill her for getting knocked up in the first place.

Side note: I’m not at all worried about labour. I felt incredibly empowered and awesome after the last one, so I’m kind of looking forward to it. I think it’s more the fact that wow this pregnancy is getting close to the end and boy life is going to be different very, very soon. It’s a simple fact, and nothing can stop it. Yup, there goes all feeling of control ;-)

Start the day as you mean to continue

It’s a simple enough thing, and it typically works. Yesterday I got out of bed tired, grumpy and not wanting to participate in the world much – I ended up not doing a lick of housework (okay, maybe I did a load of washing and you know, all the other basic stuff like getting children dressed and fed, beds and lunches made) nor a scrap of writing. It was a long day, and I spent most of it in a not so pleasant mood.

Despite another night of rough sleep (sick kids! ack!) I decided I would not waste another day. I started the morning off by tickling my child, which always puts me in a good mood lol toddler giggles rock. Despite the fact it was only 6am I boiled the jug so that I could start washing dishes (and I’m not letting the fact that I cannot use my hot tap get me down!) and got those out of the way nice and early. I feel soooo much better for getting stuck into things right away. By 920am I’d dropped hubby and Ivy at work and school, posted some parcels off and done the grocery shopping, and got most of the housework out of the way. An hour later, I’m even closer to being done.

Another half hour and its Lauren’s nap time and you know what? I’m not going to waste it. I’m on fire now. I’ve started out the day busy, getting stuff done and I’m not going to stall now. The Comfort of Wood needs its first draft finished, and I really want to get that out of the way. I needed some fire though to write it, well I’m burning baby, let’s make the whole world shine.

In other news: I should have my car back by Friday!! Oh how I have missed being a two vehicle family. I’ll be so happy not to have to drop off/pick up hubby from work and it’ll mean I don’t have to rush to get everyone ready to leave the house by 745am.

Baby is doing great, I’m 100% healthy and rocking this pregnancy thing which is always nice to hear. Scarily, I’m now in the ‘less than two months to go’ phase and wow that freaks me out in so many ways. I’m avoiding thinking about all the technical stuff (like feeding two little ones and finding ways to get enough sleep) and focusing on the fact that I’ll give this wee one the best start to life I possibly can while continuing to love and support my other two children.

Hell, bring it on! I’m totally up to the challenge.

Have an awesome day/night folks!

Putting things in perspective

Not exactly a writing related post, but oh well!

After a couple of very rough nights spent wondering whether Lauren would ever be a decent sleeper, I decided to try something new. New for us anyways. I know it’s going to sound completely ridiculous to most people but it actually never crossed my mind before now.

I’m a dedicated breast feeder. I love it. It’s easy. It’s cheap. I don’t have to steralize bottles or mix formulas. I don’t have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to prepare a feed. I tell people I’m lazy, because really, it has always seemed like a lot more effort to bottle feed than breast. Lauren is very much attached to the whole process and I’ve been happy to continue.

But, my supply isn’t awesome at the moment. The whole pregnancy thing. And while I’ve been struggling on, accepting that she’s taking longer to get enough of a feed to satisfy her (hence all the wake ups, the shorter sleep spans) I never stopped to think that I could do things differently.

Anyway, last night I gave her a bottle of milk before bed. She drank the first one and half of a second. She slept for almost 8 hours. When she woke at 3am I gave her some more milk, and then a feed because she wanted one – and even though she woke a few times after that she was content to be patted/shushed back to sleep instead of clawing at my chest demanding more.

Why did this never cross my mind before now? I mean, I KNEW she wasn’t getting as much as she wanted, but I never thought to supplement.

Sometimes, we can get so stuck in our ways that obvious solutions just don’t take hold until you really need them to.

It did mean that this morning I woke feeling very much more alert than I have been the last few days. Which got me thinking ahead to the time when I will be sleeping through the night.

The time when I’ll be able to have a glass or wine or two with dinner because I’m not breastfeeding (or pregnant).

The time when I’ll be able to go out to the movies on random nights of the week because I won’t be worrying about the kids waking up.

And you know what? That’s not very far away. When you put things in perspective, these early years don’t last long. I’m all about being there for my kids and fulfilling their needs (even if that means rocking them to sleep every night and being up every other hour to feed. Even when it means I don’t get to go out with friends whenever I feel like it, or have a drink, or sleep for more than a few hours at a time). I can cope with all of that, I’m happy to give stuff up for my kids.

Today it seems much easier though, knowing that in a couple of years I’ll have more time to do the other things I love. Hell, I may even be able to actually watch a TV show on TV as the season plays rather than waiting for DVDs.

This parenting gig is a long term thing, but it can be so easy to let yourself get caught up in the here and now. Yes, sleepless nights feel like they’ll go on forever. Being a human milk bottle can be tiring at times. Constantly being at their beck and call is more than a full time job – but its SO worth it in the end. And these years, they don’t last forever. They don’t last long at all.

What’s more is that I know I’ll miss them when they are gone.

I survived the school holidays

I need a mug. Or a t-shirt or something.

Okay, to be honest it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be – but by the end of the second week we were all very ready for a return to the normal routine. Ivy was in need of more activity/stimulation, Lauren was in need of some more time not being bossed around by her big sister, and I was well and truly ready for some slower paced, quieter days!

Thank goodness they are back. At least for now.

Amazingly, the last week was the more productive of the two, and I managed to get four short stories out the door. I’m trying my best not to inbox watch, and just focusing on the other things that need doing rather than the things that are completely out of my control.

With the start of the second term comes the beginning of another count down – baby is due at the end of this one. Last term went by really quickly, and I imagine this one will as well. Everywhere I look there are little reminders: 75 days on one ticker, 2 months and 15 days by another website I frequent. I’m feeling more excited by these numbers, though if I stop to think about it I could let it stress me out.

Anyway. I’m happy. Things seem to be settling back to normal and I’m thrilled about that. Here’s hoping I can get a few more short stories out this term.

I’m struggling

I’m not making any progress lately. None. Well, none worth mentioning. I’m ┬ástarting to worry that I’ve hit the slowing down part of my pregnancy already – I am not ready for that yet! I worked all the way through til the very end of my pregnancy with Lauren, and I guess I assumed I would be able to do the same this time too.

And to think, just a few weeks ago I was fairly sure I’d manage not just 6 short stories, but more.

I don’t really know what to do about it. It irritates me, but I’m not feeling guilty or bad about it (which I guess is a good thing in some ways…) but I still have stories that need working on and I just can’t seem to summon the energy or willpower to do it.

This morning I have three short stories open, well, Snow White, The Feud and my piece of flash. I’m going to read them all and see what I think. Snow might be just about ready for a final polish and sending off into the world and if I can achieve even that this week, I’m going to be happy. If I can get that and the flash ‘finished’ I’ll be thrilled.

Can you believe it’s Easter in just a few days??

Woooosh.

That’s the sound of 2010 rushing by, and as this belly of mine grows ever larger I’m reminded daily of the impending arrival. I can feel it creeping up on me, the moment when all my fears about not getting stuff done disappear and all I can think about it how much I can’t wait to meet this little person. It’s going to happen soon, I can feel it hovering, waiting for a the perfect opening to sneak in.

I’m blaming this on a friend who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy last week. It’s made me eager to meet my baby too. I’m losing focus, or refocusing rather, and that’s not a bad thing, it’s just that there are still three months to go and it’s a little early for me to go into hibernation.

Hopefully I can crack on with some work again in the near future. If I can do something today I’ll feel better at least.

Wish me luck. I totally need it. I’m typically so organized, and driven, working on regardless of whether I ‘feel’ like it. But right now I’m struggling.

Acceptance is golden

So, I heard back yesterday about my short story and YAY it’s been accepted for the horror anthology, which goes to show that working on it a little more and resubmitting it was definitely worthwhile. I am so glad that was the choice I made. I’ll give some more detail when I hear further on it, but it’s due for release in March, so not too long to wait!

It certainly gave me a great boost, and spurred me back into writing – in fact I started two new short stories yesterday, one for a 1000 word challenge, and the other one that has been slow forming for a few days after reading about the latest search term challenge (for anyone curious, my first word is stillborn). I don’t think I’ll be entering it, but it’s certainly given me a good idea that I am looking forward to following through on.

Now that the new routine is in place, and working reasonably well (I say reasonably because today Lauren only slept for 45 minutes and I hadn’t managed to get any writing done by that point – ┬áheres hoping I can get some time later in the day, am currently blogging from the couch on the deck while she plays with water, but I can barely see the screen cause of the sun!) I’m hoping to get back into the writing full force, focusing primarily on short stories. My plan for the (LOL she’s just climbed all the way into the bucket of water…. sorry, too funny not to mention!), anyways, my plan for the next few months is to write and polish a good swag of stories so that I have plenty to submit during the second half of the year, where I predict there won’t be a lot of writing going on, and even if I write, certainly not a lot of editing or polishing.

I can feel this baby moving all the time now, the scan is coming up quickly (friday morning), and I am getting so emotional about baby stuff. The knowledge that I am actually having a teeny little baby is hitting me hard now and I am so excited. Aww, another wee one. I love my babies, the fact that there will be 3 to love instead of 2 is just such a massive blessing.

Goals for 2010

I’m bored and cooking a roast dinner so I have some time to blog, that’s the beauty of a good roast – you chuck it in, it does it’s thing, you have some time and then you get to eat beautiful food.

Anyways… I’ve been thinking about some achievable goals for the next year and have come up with a couple. I’m going small so that I can feel like I’ve achieved something at the end of it, something other than adding another beautiful baby to the whanau. Speaking of, that’s going at the top of my list!

Bring another blessed life into the world.

Keep submitting Lifelines and give it another going over.

Build up a store of short stories for submitting over the year, and work on increasing my collection of ideas.

Finish painting the bathroom and get the bedroom painted before baby arrives.

Spend ~15 mins a day in the garden

Be a better dog owner: half hour walks every day, make sure she gets some more love.

A lot of these are actually about forming habits. I need to form a habit of exercising daily, both for myself and the dog. I may have a week or so off after new baby arrives but I’m going to need that half hour for my sanity I think, and she’s going to need the attention more than ever. If I can form a habit of gardening then the work will never pile up and we’ll have a steady supply of fruit and veges.

I also need to get into the habit of regularly submitting my novel and short stories to places, hopefully I can do this in the next six months and it will mean I have an easier time of the process once new baby comes.

There are a bunch of other things I would like to do – finish writing Chasing Ascension, work on my other novels, commit to a million things – but I know I can’t. Anything other than what’s on the list is a bonus.

Hope everyone else has a good start to the new year! Not long to go now.

Tomorrow I’ll be adding my post about the planning of my new year novella, should be good, am enjoying what I’m coming up with so far though I think it’s going to be a little different from anything I’ve written so far.