Monday, April 28, 2014

Birthdays

I am in the midst of planning and preparing for a first birthday party. First let me just say that this should not be happening. I have a hard time believing that #3 was born almost a year ago. I remember it so well. 3 of my co-workers were gone all week and I went home Friday having contractions. I went to some garage sales on Saturday and for some reason, I went to Wal-Mart Saturday night. I never, ever, ever go to Wal-Mart on a Saturday night. But that must've been what it took because I woke up early Sunday morning with contractions and pain and...well, you can figure out the rest. Plus, I'm sure I blogged about it.

There are some aspects of my life where I can be really hyper-organized. Like this birthday party, for example. I already ordered the cupcakes. I picked out the theme, ordered the supplies, and I already have the invitations ready to be mailed. I have a notebook with multiple lists - guests, party favors for the kids, food, what I need to buy, ideas for decorations, etc. I must be wearing off on my kids because last night they started their own lists of games to play.

Honestly, though, I don't know if this does more harm than good. Sometimes I have a bad habit of over-planning, over-thinking, overdoing it in general and all that does is stress me out. Like, I might think I have enough food, but at the last minute, I'll decide to make some random dish just because. One year for #1, I made those cupcakes that are supposed to look like hamburgers, with the cupcake as the bun and a brownie as the hamburger (I'd link to it, but I'm sure all that will do is get me distracted on Pinterest...but I'm pretty sure it was Bakerella). There was really no reason for me to even attempt to do something like that. Other than to be creative, I guess? Some years I've made cakes or cupcakes. Some years I've bought them. Some years I try to plan fun, elaborate games. Other times, I just expect the swingset to be enough. 

I can't stop myself from over-trying. And then I'm seriously disappointed when no one notices or seems to care. So why do I continue to do this to myself? Because I know I'm not THAT mom. The one that does everything right. The one that doesn't get stressed out. The one that decides to invite 10 more people at the last minute because that would be fun. No. I'm the freaked out, stressed out, worn out basketcase. 

This year will be better, though. I don't have a job this year, so I have ALL THE TIME to do ALL THE THINGS. Everything inside and outside will be spotless. Well, it would be if all these other people didn't live in this house. Because they don't care about the condition nearly as much as I do. Why is that? That's right, because I over-everything. They can all take it easy and enjoy the ride while I do all the work. But that's the mom's job, right?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Maps

When I first started TAKE A LITTLE RIDE, it was a completely different story. I don't think I would even recognize the first draft anymore. When I was still in the prewriting phase (do writers even do that anymore?), I had a very vague idea of what I wanted from the story and where I wanted it to go.

At some point, I got online and requested information from the tourist bureaus of all 48 states. I can't remember if that was actually for the story or if the story was born from that. I think I may have been planning some family vacation that I knew would never happen.

So I accumulated all that information and ended up using a fraction of it. I always wanted someone to tell me if they were able to tell which places I had visited and which places I googled. I kept all the information for a long time, actually. 

The reason I thought of it was because I have developed a crafty preference for maps lately. I have a huge stack of old road maps that I picked up at the antique malls. They are cheap too. Bonus. So I recently decided I wanted a map wall. I knew The Farmer would never go for it, though. But there's a small space of wall on the side of the closet in our bedroom. You can't even see it unless you are in the bed. I decided that was going to be my map wall. 

Today I dug out my vintage maps and started planning. And then cutting. And then taping a few pieces to the wall to see how it was going to look. I've got a good start.

During this process, I remembered all the information I had gotten for TAKE A LITTLE RIDE. Almost every single state sent a map with their tourist information. And I'm almost positive I got rid of all of it. There's a possibility I saved them...somewhere. I did a quick check in a few spots. But our storage areas have become even more chaotic than they were before due to baby 3 and moving bedrooms upstairs. 

Back then (like it was 20 years ago instead of probably 5), though, I wouldn't have given a thought to saving maps for crafty purposes. It just goes to show how our interests and ideas can change in a short time. Now I'm actually considering requesting all the information again, just for the maps! And maybe I'll actually get to plan a vacation this time too.

Monday, April 21, 2014

This Whole Parenting Thing

These days it seems like every other blog is about parenting. And not just parenting, but "bad" parenting...which is actually just kind of average or normal parenting. I guess those blogs exist to let people know that they are not alone. It's good, I guess. But it's also kind of annoying because there is still so much written about how to do everything THE RIGHT WAY. 

But what is the right way anymore?

I was about six months behind on my magazine reading and I finally sat down one day last week and started to flip through the pile. A lot of them were Parents magazine, I think. Or one of those rags that still encourages you to do everything right. I could barely get through the whole thing. I wanted to vomit. I don't remember exactly why, but the whole thing, every article, every picture, every "funny" story just irritated the crap out of me. Maybe it's because I've been a parent for 8 and a half years now and they are still writing the same articles ten different ways. I don't know that any of it has ever helped me.

Right now, there are 2 kids trying to fall asleep with electronics nearby, if not still in their hands. And neither one of them is in their bed. The baby is trying to fall asleep in my lap as I type this one handed on the iPad. I dropped a few f-bombs today. I yelled at them for not picking up their room. I yelled again for not taking the sheets off the bed after I asked at least 4 times.

I'm obviously not a model parent. I'm a good example of what not to do, I guess. At least I don't drink. Yet...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

For Real This Time

People do it every day.  

I've talked about it.

I've dreamt about it.

I've got all the time in the world now.  So why don't I just do it?

Fear, people.  Fear is what holds me back. Which is a really lame ass excuse.

But I'm going to do it.  I'm going to get this writing thing going. For real this time.

There are a lot of crap books out there.  I don't think mine is crap. So why shouldn't it be out there? Why should I hold back? Just let it out into the world and let it be.  Whatever happens happens. Right? Give me a second and I'll come up with a few more cliches. 

For real, though. I created my "author page" on Facebook today.  It's actually more of a page for the blog, but they are tied together.  And if the author thing doesn't work, I'll still have the blog to fall back on.  Maybe I'll actually post things related to being a farmer's wife. There's a niche for that, you know. Based on the number of people on Instagram I follow with "farm" or "farm wife" or some other variation of it in their username, there aren't plenty of farm blogs out there. I don't know why I chose farmerswife3404 as my online presence. But it stuck. And it's actually kind of nice to have the blog title that I do. Because as long as I'm writing SOMETHING, it fits.  Right?

Anyway, so I set up the Facebook page. And TAKE A LITTLE RIDE is still active on SwoonReads. If you would like to read it, you can do so <a href="http://www.swoonreads.com/m/take-a-little-ride-cai-perrys-big-adventure>HERE</a>.  I would appreciate any feedback anyone has.  Because they base their choices for publication on ratings and comments.  Which is kind of a sucky deal if you can't get a lot of either one and you have a really great novel. It would probably help if I read other people's manuscripts too. 

That's just another thing that I plan to start doing.  Writing is first, obviously.  Reading is next.  Because you can't be a writer if you aren't a reader too.  That's just common sense.