Archive for November, 2006
Today during Creative Writing, I finished the book. I even printed it! I totally forgot to spell check though. That’s not great, but it’s printed. I have 200 pages (double-spaced with larger margins, so I can edit it). I am going to do the first go through with a couple of people who I can trust, and then we will go from there.
Last week I started writing our Christmas cards because it always takes me a long time to finish. In contrast, Devon usually can finish his in two hours. To prepare, I looked for Christmas labels, found the Christmas cards, picked a nice pen, setup a little writing area near my indented couch cushion, retrieved my address book and got a roll of stamps. Throughout the week, I wrote nice little messages in many of the cards, systematically going through the alphabetized list in my address book. On Saturday, after setting up the Christmas tree, putting other decorations around the house, hanging the stockings and stapling lights to our house, Devon and I sat down together to work on the Christmas cards. I started a related – not to be mentioned at this time – project; Devon wrote cards according to a convenient computer spreadsheet I found listing the people we sent cards to last year. About three hours later, we finally finished. Well, not quite, since we ran out of cards. But we finished for the day.
On Monday, I showed up at work with cards in hand, expecting to find a card and pack of peanut brittle on my chair. That might sound funny to you, but this is an expecting tradition that my co-worker began years ago. She has always been the first to distribute Christmas cards. I looked around other people’s desk, then contacted her assistant. My co-worker was not coming to work Monday. I win! Not that I was competing, but she had always been first and I expected this as fact. It was a nice feeling of pride to accomplish the goal in a timely manner.
This morning I was up early and went to Starbuck’s to finish this damn book. I was at about 47K when I got there, and I sat there until I hit 52K. I’m not done. I figured this was coming, since the last two years it seemed like I rushed the end. I couldn’t go to school tomorrow without hitting 50K. The kids wouldn’t let me live it down. I think I am about 5,000 words from finishing, and I am actually really eager to edit the book. The kids still write this week, and Friday is their writing finishing party; that’ll be fun. I am taking suggestions for a better title, though. I just don’t know what it may be. Now I am going to run along and write Christmas cards while the Steelers get whooped on by the Ravens. ð
I love Black Friday. I’ve always thought that the day after Thanksgiving was the day you didn’t shop because all the crazies were out there shopping. But then two years ago Ryan showed me the ads, and then he bought me some items. And then last year I was at Best Buy early early. We spent about $700 that year, and we planned on shopping again this year. We also tried to get someone to watch Claire, but that fell through.
So this year we checked the Best Buy ad and didn’t find anything we liked, but Ryan wanted a television. We spent Thanksgiving in Prescott, AZ with Laura’s family, and Ryan went to sleep out at Best Buy Thursday evening at about 6PM. Donna and I drove home late on Thursday and we got up around 5AM. I was in the door at Target as soon as they opened and ran for the portable DVD player, which I did get, but not until I was elbowed by some big guy who was pissed because I asked a Target employee a question before he had a chance to ask his question. By the time Donna made it into Target, I already had the three big ticket items in my cart. Then we shopped some more. Next was Kohl’s where I stood in line for an hour while Donna shopped. And then we went to Sears where Donna bought me a cool tool box. Eventually we went home and napped. Then got up and shopped some more. It was a cool day.
Next year I think we’ll be shopping for a new television. Some LCD or Plasma television, since ours will be seven years old by then. We got it after our wedding, and it’s still doing well but with the technology out there, it’ll be time for an upgrade.
I call my book The Twilight’s Last Gleaming. It’s a take off the Key’s poem that became our anthem, and it has a hint of hope with a whole lot of blowing stuff up. There’s a movie called Twilight’s Last Gleaming, and I don’t want to do the same thing. I didn’t even read the movie summary, but I just liked the title. I think I may end up changing it. I refused to change the titles of my last two books, but this just doesn’t fit.
I’ve been thinking of this book since 11th grade and today I passed the 42,000 word mark. I’m feeling pretty good about finishing soon, but I also know I will go over 50,000 and I don’t know if the book is any good. I didn’t really think the last one was any good, but some people do like it.
This feels odd. I think next year I will really sit down and write it all out. I am going back to the adventure concept where we go from point A to point Z. And I get frustrated when people don’t get all of my allusions. As I finish this book I need to remember that my readers aren’t in my head and don’t see the book the way I see it, unless I show it to them on paper. I am trying to keep that in mind now.
An update is in order. Dad is ok. Well not ok since he’s way over weight, doesn’t take his heart medicine, and barely can get around. Then there’s the smoking. Dad smoked in the navy and quit when we were young. Then he started up ago when the kids were teens and were doing it, too. He eventually quit again and was doing well, until Jake died. That was last November. He has smoked since, like a chimney. And people get pissed off at him about it. But he’s stubborn. The night before we went to the hospital Monday, he crushed up his cigarettes. I hope this is it. I’d like to not worry about him picking up Claire with Nicotine hands and stinking like an ash tray. It’s true. Now if Jaime and Meghan would quit. I think Meghan will quit first, since Jon doesn’t smoke. And she keeps saying she’d like to quit. On the other hand, Jaime is starting to think about his future (he’s almost 30!) and maybe some day he too will quit.
My father was born in 1948 and is 58 years old. A few years ago he had a stent put in near his heart, and it really freaked me out since I had just moved to Arizona. Also, they found out sometime he had had a heart attack. It was hard for me. I felt like life would pass me by and my family would be gone without me knowing them as an adult and father myself. Sometimes I feel like life goes too quickly and other times I feel like I have decades left to spend with people.
When my grandfather died it didn’t really bother me that much. He was 90 and I knew it was coming, but still… I think I was more worried about my own father since his father just died.
When I saw my father in October, he could barely get around. He has some kind of fungal problem on his feet and can barely walk sometimes. My brother told me he wants to get married, have kids, and a good job sooner than later, since he sees our father barely get around now and he’s not even 60.
Last night he sat on the couch reading a book with his feet up, and he kept getting short of breath. He stood to go to the bathroom and almost stumbled over. He then went to bed before 8PM.
Tomorrow he goes to the hospital to get his heart looked at. My mother, who is a nurse, said that depending on what they find, they may either put more stents in, or, worse case scenario, they may do open heart surgery. That scares me.
Seriously, I’d like to be there for him, and he flew to Florida in the 80s when his father had his chest cut open. And as I write this, it freaks me out more. I mean it’s my dad, and there’s so much I still want to see him do, and so many conversations I’ve not had with him yet, that I still run through in my head all the time. And there’s still the unresolved relationship between him and Jaime, and I don’t think Jaime can deal with another one of those. Seriously.
I’ve got nothing more for you. Nada. Nothing.
Ok, so I have no idea if this book will make sense or even be good, but I broke through 32,500 tonight. Donna took me to see The Departed and out to Macaroni Grill for dinner. So between working and working on my book that’s about it. It’s nice to have a babysitter from time to time to go out as adults. The problem was that tonight I drove to Mesa Grande before I realized I was suppose to go to Ahwatukee. Oops! Donna jumped in the truck and drove across town.
Have you ever seen a movie that is just awesome because of the acting? Yes, the acting! Nicholson, DiCaprio, Damon, etc… all were awesome tonight. Then Tiramisu at Macaroni Grill. Woohoo!
Now we’re home and going to Crackers with the Carvers tomorrow. Two weeks and counting for them. Errr… That sucks.
My birthday today was pretty good. Nothing to wild, but still nice. Several "happy birthdays" and a few small thoughtful gifts. I even didn’t mind going to work tonight, but Claire forgot to get me a card. Oh well, maybe next year. Jaime and Meghan both called me, too. Donna was the final person to wish me a happy birthday, which was wonderful. I love you all and I am going to bed.