If you want to get someone's attention, try telling them you're not wearing any pants.

I wore a skirt to work today, and it was the first time in a loooooong time. Some people thought there was a guy involved (wrong), others thought I was going on an interview (also wrong), a lot of people just didn't know what to think. It was sort of a social experiment to stir the pot, and it worked. I like to do that from time to time. I did get a lot of compliments, and it wasn't a horrible experience, so I might do it again in the future. Maybe.

About midday I realized that I wasn't wearing any pants... it was true... but it's all a matter of perspective. It's fun to see people's faces when they take it at face value, before they realize that you're not wearing pants... you're wearing a skirt... people turn really pretty shades of red. And then there are the pervs who hear something completely different... boo...

So this morning I started up the car, and there was a new, unfamiliar light on the dashboard, and a bell. I was a little freaked because I thought maybe it was the oil. I needed to stop and get gas anyway, so I pulled in and consulted the owner's manual... tire pressure monitoring system... sigh... So I drove slowish and called in the reinforcements to air up my tires. Luckily they didn't require much air so there's probably not a hole in my tire... they weren't flat by any means. It was just scary, because I'm tired of all the shit that keeps going wrong with my house, and didn't need my car to start falling apart, too. I already have to get my visor replaced next time I take it in. This will be the second visor I've had, and I don't abuse them, they're just cheap plastic and that's why they disintegrate so quickly. Easy peasy, except that it's floppy and is hanging by an electrical wire.

It's a holiday weekend... good time to paint the vinyl trim around my windows and put up soffit vent covers... if the weather's nice. If there's anything better going on, then I'll gladly sidetrack those projects. I should probably pick up my novel and have another pass, but I haven't felt like it. Not good. I haven't been writing. Also not good, even though I know where book 2 is headed, I still need to be writing that down. Bottom line is that I've gotten discouraged and I have to figure out how to overcome that. Maybe next week's a good time to have lunch with Rachel and get hyped back up, talking to another writer will probably help...
Yesterday I did diddly-squat.

Okay, not true. Not exactly. I made another disappointing recipe out of the Cook Yourself Thin cookbook... so far I've made four recipes... so far all four have sucked. This one actually made me want to vomit... and I'm not kidding.

I ended up surfing the net to find suppliers and information on how to make lotions, bath salts, and bath bomb fizzies. I tend to like scents that aren't readily available mass market, and I like the idea of controlling the ingredients that go into it, so -- if nothing else -- I would like to try it out as a hobby. But I would like it even better if I could turn it into a business. All of those things should have a decent shelf life, and I know there's a market there if you do it right. I'm thinking that if I do pursue it... a lot of people might get lotion for Christmas this year... I'm sorry, but things are tight right now and they'll just have to understand. More on that later. *

Funny thing happened while I was researching, I found several really interesting sites that were completely unrelated... that's how I think the internet contributes to short attention spans and ADD... you never finish anything because you're constantly distracted by other things. Information overload... but some good can come out of it, like angryalien.com... that's good stuff...

So, accordingly, I updated my Random Stuff page to add the pages that I really liked, and then I realized categories were beginning to reveal themselves and I reorganized the page to reflect that. Got to check 'sense of accomplishment' off my daily list. J/K.

One really cool website I found was The Simple Dollar. I like the way the guy writes, and the information is helpful, too. I quickly got addicted and spent no less than two hours reading his blogs and following links. Another is a website that my cousin, Beth introduced me to a few years back, Pioneer Woman. She's hilarious, but my favorite part of her website is that she includes yummy recipes, and she takes pictures of each stage in the process so you can see it (and I reiterate that she's hilarious). I want to be her when I grow up. There are a couple of others, but those are my two favorites at the moment. Check out the revamped Random page if you're interested.

So I am, once again, considering the name change to Job. I have a new home repair issue to contend with:

Exhibit# 1 - My toilet tank has been refilling itself on a fairly regular basis for the past month or so. I thought it was a leaky seal and was going to go get a part to fix it... eventually. My spidey senses weren't tingling. They were just mildly irritated at the fact that I would have to make a trip to Home Depot, because I still don't know where they moved to and I suspect it's the hellish high traffic area down the road that's going to cause me a lot of unnecessary stress. I hate playing dodgeball, especially with my car.

Exhibit# 2 - The last couple of weeks there has been a whine coming from my kitchen faucet when I turn it on... I remember that sound calmly being referred to as 'air in the line.' Eh, there wasn't a sense of urgency... it sounded like something that would eventually work itself out. The spidey senses didn't give a crap.

Exhibit# 3 - The last couple of days as the water was draining from my bathtub, there was a horrific, guttural sound originating from my kitchen sink (scary if you're not expecting it and haven't yet identified where it's coming from). Now... my spidey senses are a little freaked out by the gurgling, but they still weren't catching on to the urgency of the situation.

I'm going to sue my spidey senses for negligence. It was all starting to add up but I was oblivious because a few months back they worked on the water lines and some of that same shit happened.

Where it started to get ugly was (Exhibit# 4) when I opened my blinds this morning and saw the water coming up out of the pipe outside my master bedroom. Two things became apparent to me at that point - 1) the toilet had just been flushed, and 2) there was toilet paper on the ground surrounding the puddle that was forming around this geyser... and it was unrelated to the spirited game of pass the plunger we played last weekend.


So I called my insurance company and filed a claim. I'm assuming this has something to do with my foundation repair, and I'm hoping it's covered. It occurred to me to wonder if, since I have three different policies (homeowner's, windstorm and flood), do I also have three deductibles? I've already met my windstorm deductible, so do I also have to meet the homeowner's deductible, too? If the answer if yes, then S of a B... that sucks.

And I think I actually shot my own self in the foot... I stopped donating to charities because I don't have the extra dough, but I did still attempt to do a good deed by starting the coupon exchange, and then this happens... Gawd... can you imagine what would have happened if I had gotten around to volunteering to work with Habitat for Humanity??? Hopefully this link between good deeds and bad luck will fade by the end of the year and I can get back to being a good person again... I really want to eventually do H for H...

So I'm thinking that with the gig having been pushed out a week, and this new development, that's God's way of telling me to forget about Oklahoma. I think it's also his way of telling me to sell all that shit I bought on EBay (and Cook Yourself Thin) last year, back to people on EBay... instead of letting it sit in my closet of shame, unused, gathering dust and guilt.

Or maybe Suze Orman put a whammy on me for not having an emergency fund...

Or maybe should have the house exorcised...

So this is my parting nugget of wisdom... if you don't own a house... if you're thinking it's a good investment... that you get tax breaks... that you build equity... IT'S A LIE, PEOPLE!!! DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!!! YOU WILL NEVER GET OUT OF IT, WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT, AND WHEN YOU ADD UP EVERYTHING YOU'VE SPENT IT WILL SICKEN YOU!!!

Okay... I feel better now...
My tummy hurts. I got up this morning and there was a tight feeling under my ribcage and I had a slight sense of vertigo. I always feel guilty about taking off work, especially since I've been out more than usual to meet repairmen at the house, so I stuck it out for three hours before I came home. Then I slept. Then I ate. Then I regretted it for a while.

At the moment I feel a little better. It comes and goes. I hope that by tonight it's gone altogether.

I was going to print out the snail mail queries and get going on that, but ultimately realized that I need to revamp my query letter first (pun intended). I've gotten four rejections from this latest batch of queries. Most were form rejections, one was a rather snarky, "Alas,this is not for us. SO sorry." And maybe that was sincere, but as a smartass, I sense one of my own (and I don't appreciate it).

In the meantime I finished incorporating more edits last night, so I printed another proof. I talked to another writer yesterday and she brought up the issue of backstory, so I need to really take a look at that. My first couple of chapters take place in the past, but it's hard to chop them up and sprinkle them throughout the story without making it feel disjointed... and I can't get rid of them altogether because there are things in there that play into this book and the next. I tried not to include extraneous information. I've read articles that claim backstory slows the reader down, I'm not sure it's always wrong to do it though. There are a lot of 'rules' out there, it's hard to know which ones are musts and which are preferences.

It is incredibly difficult to write because there will always be flaws in your story, and the flaws will vary according to the person reading it. You have to choose when to make changes and when to stick to your guns. The goal is to end up with something better, something you feel comfortable with. So I'll save it to a new file and see what happens.

So to summarize: Today, not a great day. It is raining, and that's good. We need it, and I like it... rain makes me happy. But I don't like feeling like crap. And I don't like rejection. Blogs can't always be happy.  =)

A moment of whining and then I'm going to take a bubble bath and go to bed...

I've been wallowing for the past couple of hours. I attempted to edit, to incorporate the back story, and it turned into a massacre. I gave up, because every line I read made me cringe, suddenly everything I had written sucked. It was one of those days. I've had them before, and they pass, but they're painful. It's like getting my hair cut... I should lock the scissors up when I get home... and on days like today I should not touch my novel.

The revised query letter that I was so proud of was slashed to pieces in the Absolute Write forum (despite my whining I am thankful to complete strangers for sharing their knowledge and trying to help me better my letter, and they were nice about it). The good news is that I may be closer to having a synopsis written than I thought... I'm just that much further away from a query letter. I am thoroughly disheartened. And overwhelmed by it all. I feel like a complete and utter failure. A spectacular failure. And I feel naive because I felt pretty good about what I was doing. Now I wonder if I've totally shot myself in the foot by sending out query letters when I'm so obviously unprepared.

I know writers are supposed to have thick skins, but I don't. Not all of the time. Definitely not today. My head isn't in the right place for this and I'm overly sensitive because I don't feel well. Everything's so jumbled up that my head feels foggy and I'm mentally restless. Tomorrow will be better... I'll get back on track, I just need to get through today first.
Dropped by the local nursery after work - 50% off, ah how I love those words... even though I realize it's all a scam... I feel like I've been working on the inside of my home and neglecting the outside... well the front of the outside anyway... the back isn't so bad. All I can say is wow - the ground is really hard right now. I planted about six or seven of the smaller plants (less digging, more payoff) and gave up for the day (though I might step back outside now that the sun is starting to go down). I'm going to have to do this in stages and hope no one is heinous enough to steal my plants before I get them into the ground. It was so bad that I stood on the shovel, balancing on it, hopping up and down, and that only shaved about an inch or two of dirt off the top, didn't really deepen the hole much. We need rain... what's really bad is that right before I gave up, I was digging in the flowerbed where the foundation repairs had just been made... that dirt should have been easier, but it was full of those white stones that used to be popular in the 70's, so it was hellish! Hellish!

I'm not built for that kind of labor... my arms and legs feel all rubbery. Don't get me wrong - I've worked hard before... lugging fence posts around, painting walls, tiling floors, tearing down an old pump house (which I thoroughly enjoyed doing by the way, I found my calling) - I'm not a wimp, but digging is not my strong suit. I think I only worked for an hour before I came in to eat dinner and guzzle some water... water is sooooooo good...

I was thinking that I need to make a bucket list. Not that I think I'm going to die or anything, but there are so many things to see and do in this world that I want to make sure I don't forget about any of them. Thing is, I forget about all the neat stuff out there and when someone asks me what I want to do I inevitably draw a blank. There are so many experiences that I haven't had; I want to try new things. I've never ridden a horse, never been skiing, ice skating, or gone on a sleigh ride. I haven't been to the Grand Canyon or any of the other national parks. I would love to go to Maine, take a windjammer cruise, go even further north and see Niagra Falls... My grandpa worked on the railroad but I have never (that I can recall) ridden a train. I still want to go to England and Italy and Greece. I want to take a helicopter ride, ride in a hot air balloon, go white water rafting. Sooooooooooo many things to do if I just had three things: time, money and someone to do them with. Life has a way of working itself out, so I'm sure I'll be able to accomplish a lot if I set my mind to it. Until then, I can dream.