It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.
– Theodore Roosevelt


First day with the kids back in school. What a nice change it’s been. After this past vacation, I’m really looking forward to summer vacation less than I was before. I know, I’m terrible. But I’ve been getting used to my alone time this school year, and I hate knowing that it’s going to disappear in a few short months.

Cheryl’s visit was fun. We talked and talked as usual, and as usual said several times that we shouldn’t let so much time go by before the next visit. I just hope we keep those promises this time. It would be nice to have her visit in the spring or summer when the kids could play outside. J is a little sweetheart, and he wasn’t shy at all. He got right in there to start playing with H and R almost immediately; he especially seemed to like R.

Monday evening, Orlando and I took the kids out to points west to spend some of their Christmas gift cards. Actually we went in the afternoon, but it ended up being evening before we got home. We ate in the food court at West Acres, but half the places were already closing down when we got there. The kids enjoyed the shopping of course; I was rather grumpy by the time we got done. I was especially grumpy because I really wanted to find a new pair of boots – my right boot has a hole in the top, which I think may have been there last winter too. And of course, since it’s the middle of winter, I could have had my pick of sandals or tennis shoes at any of the stores I checked. Boots? Not so much. This year I really must remember to go looking for boots in the fall, well before I need them. Of course I won’t, because I almost never remember stuff before I need it.


Well, R did get back to school on Monday. She seems to be doing all right so far, but she’s still taking some long naps. Recovery is slow.

I just passed 27K on my last writing day. I’m having more good thoughts, about the escape from the CDR, but I’m afraid I won’t get to that before the end of the month. It may be put on hold for some time yet. I don’t expect that it’s going to take more than a couple of months to edit TOTSIA, but. I’ll just have to see. Maybe I can edit that one and work on CtF at the same time. And do the agent search as well. But definitely working on editing DoD starting on February 1. That must be a priority.

yak yak. I keep trying to remind myself of those same things over and over. Why do I think I need reminding? Or am I talking to myself? Perhaps my posited audience. Speaking of which. I had 15 blog hits the other day, a one-day record, I think. Roughly half of those resulted from searches on the Duke rape case. I should have known. Publish four novels and the world yawns. Reference some idiot’s poor grammar, and the world, which apparently doesn’t read its search results very carefully, beats a path to your door. Sad, sad, sad. At least I’m not getting any more pointless comments. Or any at all.

I started the process of moving the store the other day. I’m just really tired of spending upwards of $40 a month for the eBay store when I’m only selling a little more than that in a whole year. Not cost-efficient. I’m still going to run weekly auctions, and try to drive traffic to the new store while I’m at it. But I’m done throwing all that money away.

Yesterday at the grocery store, I saw a kid who looked so much like Danny, I did not just a double-take, but at least a triple. Tall and thin, acid-washed jeans, sheepskin-lined leather jacket. Short brown hair spiked up on top. Thick eyebrows. He was standing there studying the pasta sauces, and for at least half a minute I was standing there studying him. It really gave me a pang, like every time I see someone who reminds me of someone I know, whom I haven’t seen for a while.

It’s maybe part of that feeling I keep getting, that I just don’t have enough time left. Not for the various forms of entertainment I want to indulge in. Not for finishing all my books. Not for seeing everybody enough. Not enough. I don’t know why. Time keeps going by faster and faster. I need to get out somewhere. And I don’t mean to the grocery store or Walmart. Unfortunately, the only method of getting away anymore is doing it in my mind. And it doesn’t entirely work.

But I do need to go buy some new tennis shoes. My old ones are coming apart. The uppers are cracking and the velcro doesn’t hold like it should. And I want to go to Michael’s and use the gift card Lisa gave me for Christmas. And I need to get to the post office and mail the last CD I sold. And I need to get R to for Pete’s sake read her other two guided reading books to me. She suddenly decided she doesn’t like reading, although I think it’s more laziness than a real aversion. And that is my mission statement for today.

Fading Blues beaded necklace

Those little flower links gave me so much trouble! They came in a kit with flat-backed crystals I was supposed to glue in, but the glue did not want to hold them. I ended up substituting disc beads and using glaze instead of glue, and I think they look even better now. This will be nice for spring or summer… if winter ever leaves.

Yep. It’s snowing here again.


Every so often this picture of Jules flits across the computer monitor. I miss that skinny SOB. I’m pretty sure it’s been over a year now. Don’t know why I care. Yes I do.

I’m trying to decide whether I should take the time to clean the bedroom today. It’s on the schedule (pronounce that in the British fashion, please), but I’m feeling lazy again today. And a trifle dejected. On the other hand, I may need a bit of a break from the writing. Physically, if not mentally.

R’s been napping for roughly six hours now. I really don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. Part of me says yes. Part of me worries that that’s way too long. Obviously her body needs the rest, but that much? I keep checking to make sure she’s still breathing.

Not quite 26,000 words when I last typed. A thousand words takes longer than one would think, considering how quickly I seem to crack out 100 words. I’ll be interested to see how many I’ve done today.

oh dear. My thumb is bleeding again. It has a crack in it, and it’s not even on the knuckle. It’s like the skin just ripped open there. Got too tight or something.

Well, the child is awake now, and seems to be feeling a bit better. May it last. I’m glad there’s still a weekend ahead for recovery time.

Keep thinking I should have something else to write about. Another little fantasy perhaps. But I’m a bit uninspired on that front lately. The creativity has one open channel at the moment, and that’s all.

It feels weird for me not to have been at the school for so long. It’s been a week. I suppose it feels even stranger for R. Neither of the kids is going to get that perfect attendance award this year.

Maybe I do need a mental break from the writing as well. Wouldn’t it have been cool to do a crossover of “Charmed,” “Buffy” and “Supernatural”? There’s a fanfic that needs to be written. Probably not by me, though.

Earlier, when R was sleeping, I heard her making a little noise. I went to check on her – she was on the living room couch – and she had her eyes partway open. She opened them a little more and I thought she was awake, so I talked to her a little. She made that whimpering noise again and I said, “What’s wrong?” She raised her arm and pointed to the corner of the room. There wasn’t anything there, of course. Then I saw her eyes were closed almost all the way again, with just the whites showing at the bottom. I don’t know what that was all about, but it creeped me right the hell out.

There. The bedroom, it is cleaned. Well, it is vacuumed and the sheets are changed. Good enough for me, and nobody else has the right to complain.


R’s still sick, but improving. She hasn’t been to school all this week, but I’m hoping for Monday now. Please god, let her be well enough to go to school on Monday. And please let H escape this whole calamity. I need some time to concentrate on my own health rather than worrying about the kids.

Got an email from the people yesterday, at last. I was right. “After reviewing them, we’ve decided that it’s not a good fit for us right now.” Yeah, considering that the only other fiction they have on their site right now is children’s books, might they possibly have had some inkling that they weren’t interested in my novels before they let me get my hopes up? And might they have been kind enough to say so when I first contacted them, rather than going through the pretense of an actual meeting and then letting me dangle for two weeks? Guess not. But they’ll “keep my info on file” for the future. Yeah, right. File 13, no doubt. The circular one. Just to get a little of my own back, when they asked if I would prefer to pick up my books or have them mailed back, I said mail them. Let the postage cost be payment for the time I wasted. I should have known this wasn’t going to work out anyway. It would have been a good thing. And as we all know, the laws of the universe do not permit good things to happen to me, especially where my work is concerned.

The writing is going, though. I should be able to rewrite a significant chunk of what I had previously written before the end of the month. Then what? Edit Dreams, then go back to TOTSIA. I’m not going to set a publication date for that one yet, since I’m still undecided about whether I’m going to self-publish or try another shot at the biz. Pro: It’s a new series that nobody’s looked at before. Con, con, con: It’s not easily classifiable. I think I’ll have a better shot if I try going through an agent first, but I’ll have to set a limit for how much time I’m willing to spend looking for one. And how much time I’m willing to wait for said agent, if one is found, to find a publisher for me. The answer, I’m afraid, is not much in both cases. Perhaps the amount of time it takes to edit TOTSIA and finish the first draft of CtF. Not much more than that. Which means I should probably start working on that next month too.

I got a direct hit on my blog from somebody at the Census Bureau. I kid ye not. Also from somebody in China. It’s things like this that make me wonder how accurate my stats reporting is. And then I finally got a comment today, and it’s regarding a little thing I puffed out about Kathleen Parker’s latest column. A nothing, and somebody’s fussing at me because I dared to make fun of a conservative columnist’s grammar, when there’s some “liberal nutjob” who (according to Mr. Anonymous Commenter) writes just as poorly. Hey, I’m an equal-opportunity snarker. If said liberal nutjob’s column had offended my aesthetics over breakfast, I would have commented on that too. But I didn’t happen to read it, so. And really, why can’t I get comments from actual readers, instead of people who are Googling columnists’ names so that they can attack anyone who dares to make fun of those columnists? I have a lot more brain dumpage on other subjects.

huh. I just went out to get the mail, and there was a package with my books in it. Guess they didn’t want those things cluttering up their office any longer than necessary. $4.05 in postage. Does that make up for two weeks of wasted hopes and dreams? Doesn’t even begin to.