New Chapter

I have written plenty of posts where I discuss how plans change, schedules are disrupted, and routines need a break once in a while.

Yesterday was voting day so I had the day off from work. I was excited because I wanted to spend the day relaxing, reading, and writing.

Yesterday was March first, so it was a new month as well with new goals. I didn’t have to babysit either so I had the entire day to myself.

Well, as we all know, plans do indeed change and sometimes they change completely unexpectedly.

My sister wasn’t due to have her baby until March 7 and they always say the first child is late.

Except for my nephew apparently because at one o’clock in the morning early March 1, we got a call from my sister saying the baby was coming.

I spent the majority of yesterday at the hospital with my family until my nerves couldn’t take it anymore. I went home with Kris where we sat on the couch and ate our feelings until her dentist appointment. We weren’t sure if she should cancel it or not, but we figured it may take a while and her appointment wouldn’t be long at all.

We decided to go to the hospital right after the dentist. She was taken in at 4:26 and came out at 4:50. Our nephew was born at 4:49 PM. Due to traffic (and our lack of directional skills) Kris and I didn’t get back to the hospital until 5:20 where our mom was texting us to “hurry!!!” and “run!!”

So we ran. Through the parking lot. Where I yelled, “Auntie’s coming!” and nearly ran over some guy that had to be at least two feet taller than me. Oops.

Apparently the nurse came in around 5:15 saying he was here, but gave no other information.

Around 6:00 my brother-in-law came in to bring the grandmothers into the room where Kris, myself, our friend, and sister-in-law waited eagerly for another ten minutes.

Then we were finally allowed to see our nephew, Daniel Richard.

It was a whirlwind of a day. I was utterly exhausted (and still am). I panicked all day, had anxiety (I don’t like hospitals and it was a bit freaky to see my sister hooked up to machines), cried off and on due to excitement and nerves, and ended up eating candy from the hospital for dinner.

I didn’t get home until around 8 PM where Kris and I just watched YouTube for the rest of the night. I think I dozed off during a couple of the videos.

I called out of work today to spend some more time with my family. I needed to sleep in, too. I slept in longer than I normally do.

So I didn’t get any work done yesterday and I know I won’t today, but we all started a new chapter in our lives. Kris and I get to join the “Auntie” club, my parents get to join the “Grandparents” club, and Lisa and Nick get to join the “Parents” club.

It’s completely strange, but I’m liking it so far.

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Circle Of Life

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I hate to be the barer of bad news, but on November 2, 2015 we had to put down my best friend, Hunter.

I know it’s been over a month, but I was too upset to really talk about it. I usually post a eulogy-type post whenever one of my pets pass away. Hunter and I were very close so I wanted this to be a good one.

I’m not the best at poetry, but once I started I just kind of rolled with it. It turned out to be a bit on the longer side, but nevertheless I hope you enjoy it and it does Hunter justice.

You were a stray when I found you sitting in my yard.
We played together all the time,
We never missed a day.

You walked into our lives just at the right time.
Auntie had just passed away and our dog was not far behind.
So when you watched us load Casey into the car to be taken to the vet,
We knew you were a sign that everything was alright.

“I guess I should take him to the vet,”
Dad said upon realizing you were here to stay.
“We have a neutered two-year-old son.”

You put up with a lot in our busy household.
Two girls under the age of five,
A golden retriever who turned out to be your best friend,
And later along came Chip, your little sister in dog form.

You waited for me late at night to come home,
See my car pull in from the window and come greet me at the door.
You’d help me brush my teeth and then tuck me into bed.

You were energetic and mischievous,
Sometimes you didn’t even act like a cat.
The house was never quiet with you around,
As you used to howl late into the night.

In the summer of 2015,
You got sick—not once, but twice.
We didn’t know what was wrong.

We knew you were aging.
We blamed the heat.
We wondered if it was your time to go.
It turned out you had just lost two lives.

So on Halloween night,
Little did we know,
You were on your ninth life.

We took you to the vet.
“We think his kidneys are failing.”
They said they could run some tests.
“Don’t put him through anymore than he already has been.”

We lost you that day.
It wasn’t unexpected,
But it was just as heartbreaking.

You were probably about 20-years-old.
You lived a long, fulfilled life.
We were happy together,
We were lucky you walked into our lives.

You were mine for ten years.
I am so grateful for those ten years,
But it still wasn’t long enough.

However, with bad news come good news. About two weeks after we had to let Hunter go, we had my sister’s, Lisa, baby shower.

It was a rubber duck theme because it was a gender reveal shower and Lisa loved Sesame Street when she was little and loved Ernie singing “Rubber Ducky.”

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We got two cakes, one for people to eat and one for the gender reveal. We brought the gender to the bakery in an envelope so we didn’t know what the gender was. The baker then put blue or pink frosting in the middle of the cake.

It was a lot of fun. We made pink barrettes and blue bow ties so people could wear their guesses. Kris and my mother cheated and wore both pink and blue. I chose blue while my friend chose pink. We were very competitive about the gender.

Of course, I didn’t care what the gender was. It was just getting to the point that I wanted bragging rights.

Halfway through the shower, my sister and her husband cut the cake.

2015-11-14 14.18.31I’m having a nephew!

It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet that I’m going to be an aunt of a little boy.

So aside from reading and writing, that’s what’s been going on in my life lately. And I didn’t even touch upon my friends, work, the holidays… Life is busy and hectic, but it’s been good to me for the most part.

Writerly Weekend

Friday: Work was a normal day with the kids, but once they left we celebrated with a surprise baby shower for two of my co-workers; one is a teacher in another classroom and the other is the school’s nurse. After work, it was just me and Dad home so we went out to eat together. We ran into a couple of old friends who we haven’t seen in ages. We didn’t talk long, but it was still nice to see them and know they’re doing well.

Saturday: Kris and I decided that we were going to have a huge writing day! We went to Barnes & Noble per usual and decided to try to stay as long as possible so we could get a lot of writing done. We ended up staying for an extra… it doesn’t seem like much, but we both ended up getting a lot more done than we usually do. I wrote about 7,000 words for my CampNaNoWriMo novel.

To top off the day, we went out with our other sister and friend to see the movie “Home.” I have to say that it was a wonderful movie. Absolutely adorable. And I want my own little pet alien.

Sunday: I went to church. I only had one kid in my Sunday school class. I wasn’t expecting anyone to show up because it was the week after Easter. Instead of doing a lesson, I decided to tidy the room up a bit. I told her she could play and she got really excited and asked to organize the blocks. The blocks take up a few shelves in a corner of the room and it always looks like that corner threw up. So, I told her to go for it. She did a really nice job with it, too. It took her the entire hour and she still didn’t finish.

I didn’t get any writing done on Sunday. After writing 7k on Saturday, I needed a bit of a break from my novel. I did however get some more Sunday school things done because I’m hoping to build a new curriculum for next year as well as start a new blog for it. So, at least I can say I did something productive.

This Week: This week is going to be like any other week. I’m going to try to get my homework done as soon as I can so I can write more of my Camp NaNo novel. I also have to edit the second part of Detective Florence by Wednesday so I can send that into my writing group.

Other than doing homework and keeping up with writing/editing and blogging, not too much is going on this week.

How was your weekend?

Babies And Video Games

Friday: What did I do Friday? Well, I went to work and constantly checked my phone. Thursday night my friend went to the hospital to be induced. The meds to induce her were not working so instead of texting her sister, “was the baby born?” I had to ask, “is she in labor yet?” After work, still constantly checking my phone, I worked a bit on my blog and did my Sunday school lesson plan for this Sunday. I also organized some stuff around my desk. It was very riveting.

Saturday: You ready for this one? Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble in the morning, like every Saturday. We got some writing done. I wrote a bit of Detective Florence — just a quick story about the characters, it’s not in any of the novels… although it might be someday. Then we walked around looking at books and decided that we haven’t gotten any books in a while. Kris bought two books and I bought one.

Then we went to Kohl’s because even though I just bought new clothes, I needed more pants. Two pairs of jeans ripped in the rear so I had to throw them out. I also got socks, too because I’m always putting holes in mine.

Then we went to Toys R Us in search of a Wii U SD card. They didn’t have it, but we gawked at all the games and ended up buying two new games for our XBox 360. One of them is Minecraft… yes, we finally gave in to that fandom.

To keep a long story short, we tried to play multiplayer, but one of the controllers died. Actually died, not just the batteries. We went out to Toys R Us again to buy a new controller. They didn’t have them. So, we went to Gamestop and bought one. We went home and discovered that in order to play multiplayer on Minecraft we need an HD port and since our XBox is old, it doesn’t have that. In other words… we fail.

In other news, after being 11 days overdue and being in the hospital for three of those days, my friend finally had her baby Saturday night! She is adorable and I can’t wait to meet her so I can spoil her rotten!

Sunday: We went to church and were there for an extra two hours because we had our annual meeting afterwards. It was long, but I can’t complain. We came home and I helped my dad clean up some of the basement. Whenever this snow melts, we’re most likely going to get flooded. Then I worked some more on my blog.

This Week: I’m going to continue working on my blog posts. I want to get my March posts written as soon as possible to leave room for other things like writing/editing.

I have to edit the first chapter of the second draft of Detective Florence by March 15 to send to my local writer’s group. I have to figure out what I’m going to write for Camp NaNo next month (yes… it’s already a month away!) and I have to outline whatever it is I’m going to write.

I actually have a lot going on in March when it comes to writing and blogging. It’ll be interesting to see how it all goes.

How was your weekend?

January Love Letter

Yes, I know it’s February. That just means this post is extremely late.

I found this idea through Topaz‘s blog and she found it on Allison‘s blog. Allison created a hashtag for 2015 called #YearOfHappy. If you click on the link everything is explained, but I’ll explain anyway. Basically every month you do a different activity or work on some sort of project. The point of it is to get a little more out of life, to have fun, and be happy in 2015.

I thought it was a cool idea, so I decided to join in on the fun and give it a go. January’s prompt is to write a love letter to yourself. Of course by the time I found this January was almost over and I already had the rest of January’s posts planned and written.

It’s a little late, but I guess that’s better than never.

Printed and going in my journal for safe keeping.
Printed and going in my journal for safe keeping.

Hi Rachel!

So far so good, right? You’re doing pretty well with what life is throwing you at the moment even if it’s not throwing anything at you.

Last December you mentioned that 2015 was going to be your year when it came to writing. You’re going to get something published (or ready for publication) by the end of the year whether it’s a novel or a short story in a magazine or a quick poem in a contest. You want to have Detective Florence completed by the end of the year. We can do it!

If it’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s how quickly things change. Change hits you when you’re mid-blink and before you know it, you’re dazed and confused and have no idea what just happened.

I know you don’t like change, but it’s inevitable and not all changes are bad. A lot of changes will happen in 2015 (some you know of right now and some only future you knows). Some will be good, some will be bad. You’ll get through them just like you always do.

–Your best friend is going to have her baby any day now. You’re going to be an aunt. While this is a good change, things will be different. There will be no more staying out late at night with her, I’m sure you’ll be texting less throughout the day, and when you do hang out together the baby will always be there. You love babies, but there will be much less time to hang out just the two of you. But that’s okay; you’ll still be friends and you’ll be there for both her and her baby.

–You’re almost done with school. You have about three more months and then you’ll have your bachelor’s degree! I know you wanted to continue with your Master’s, but it’ll be nice to finally be done. 90% of your paychecks will not go to school; you’ll be able to save. Maybe even splurge on yourself once in a while.

–Work is difficult, but it’s worth it. Your co-workers are fabulous and the children are great–even if they sap all your strength. Some do that more than others–you know which kid(s) I’m talking about!

–Your writing is coming along. Detective Florence is on its way, you’ve found some contests and magazines to submit to in the near future, you’ve discovered something a little about yourself through your Creative Writing Nonfiction class, and you found a local writing workshop where you’ll meet new people in the same boat as you and you’ll learn lots of fun, new stuff. I’m sure that will help your publishing goals for this year.

See? This year is going to be just fine! Work hard, but indulge yourself once in a while. Go out more with friends/co-workers. Reach out to people you haven’t spoken to in a while.

You’ll make it, even if it doesn’t seem like it sometimes.

Love,

Me

I just wrote that letter right now and I have to admit it took me a while. Plus, I didn’t think it was going to be that long. Apparently I have a lot say.

Anyway, don’t forget to check out Topaz‘s and Allison‘s blogs. Even though we’re already about two months into the year, feel free to join #YearOfHappy. Even if you don’t share it with anyone, it’s fun to do it with yourself.

For December, we’re supposed to look back at this letter and reflect on the year. I wonder where I’ll be a year from now?

My Weekend

I hope everyone had a good weekend. It is Monday yet again. I feel as though it were just yesterday that it was the beginning of a week. However, this week should go by quickly with the holiday coming up.

Kris and I never went to Barnes and Noble on Saturday. We both woke up feeling a little under the weather so we decided it would be best to write at home. I didn’t write as much as I expected (or hoped to) on Saturday, but I did get some writing done nonetheless.

Yesterday I didn’t think I was going to get any writing in at all. I had church in the morning and my friend’s baby shower all afternoon. I came home exhausted and Kris and I decided to play video games (because… priorities). We ended up playing for a half hour, writing for a half hour, alternating the two tasks. I ended up writing over 4,000 words yesterday. I was impressed with myself.

This morning I wrote a little over 2,000 words. I have to get ready for work soon, so I decided to stop for now. I may get the chance to write some more later.

I started writing a “short story” for NaNo and I am now on part seven for it. So, that’s where I stand now on my NaNo. New novel idea? Maybe.

I’m at 42,108 words for NaNo, finally back on par and ahead of the game. I have about 8,000 more words to write and I’m hoping to finish it by Thanksgiving on Thursday. That means if I don’t write again today I need to write at the very least 4,000 tomorrow and 4,000 on Wednesday.

Of course, today I have to babysit after work. Tomorrow I have to go to the doctor after work and Wednesday after work is most likely going to be spent cleaning and preparing for Thanksgiving. The good news is I don’t have school this week, so no homework for me. That’s at least one less thing I need to worry about.

I would really like to get my Short Story Collection/NaNo finished by Thursday so I can continue editing Detective Florence 2 over the break. I need to start riding that horse again.

Friday Morning

It’s six o’clock in the morning and I did not write today. I could have gotten pretty ahead on my word count for NaNo, but now I’m behind yet again.

My psych professor always opens our weekly quiz on Thursday, so I usually take it Thursday morning before work… it’s timed for an hour, but it’s only five questions. It takes me 15 minutes to do. Of course I forgot about it because I finished my homework so early this week. I remembered it last night when I went to bed. So I took it this morning. No big deal.

Now I have to start getting ready for work soon so I’m not going to be able to get any writing. This blog post is going to be as close to writing this morning as I’m going to get.

I’m going to my friend’s house after work today to help her prepare for her baby shower this Sunday. Depending on how early I get home tonight, I will try to write before I go to bed. It’s Friday so I feel no obligation to go to bed early because I don’t have work tomorrow… if I can stay up that long.

Tomorrow I am going to Barnes and Noble with my sister for a big writing day. I hope to really catch up on my word count and go above and beyond.

We just need to see if I’m focused enough between the people coming and going and the Starbucks in my system.

Losing It

Baby Steps…

 

Today, just like any other Monday, I had class until 9:15. I drive my friend to school now (yes, I finally got my driving license two weeks ago…I don’t know if I ever mentioned that.) and she doesn’t get out of class until 11:45. I could have told her that I was unable to drive her home, but I decided to be a nice friend. It works out because now I have at least two hours to write.

I did so well last week and now this week…nope. I wrote 1,946 words. Bad? No, not at all. Could have written more? Of course. Can I continue writing since I still have another hour? Yes. Am I going to? Um…

Like I said, I wrote almost two thousand words which is better than nothing. I didn’t write at all this weekend (but I should have) so I feel kind of bad that I didn’t write anything today. Of course, when I get home from work tonight, I’m going to sit down at my computer and attempt to get something done.

Do you want to know why I’m not in the mood to write right now? I’ve actually been reading. Yes, I have been reading. Amazing, right? I still have that goal to read 18,250 pages (50 pages a day) by the end of the year and I’m moving quickly on it.

I saw the movie Beautiful Creatures and I bought the book on Saturday. I am already half way through it. It was a great movie and a fantastic read. I read the book most of the weekend. It was relaxing on account that I had a cold all weekend.

I have that I read 932 pages so far. I am currently reading three books at once, so…I’m going to leave it at 932 until I finish one or all of the books because I’m already to getting confused and losing track. This is why GoodReads is a fantastic website. It will help me keep track off all the books I read for 2013 and then I can add up the pages.

Anyway…that is all for now. Hopefully I will get more writing done. I made the mistake of bringing Beautiful Creatures with me to school, so now I feel tempted to read it. Bye!

 

2013: 36,590/365,000 Words Written
2013: 932/18,250 Pages Read

Not Productive

Today Was A Bust…

 

Today my sister and I went to Barnes and Noble. We went about our normal routine; we went to Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast, Starbucks for drinks, and Barnes and Noble to write. However, we weren’t there for any more than an hour when my dad called. We switched from Verizon to Comcast today and with Comet and Chip at home, he didn’t want to shut them in the bedroom and listen to them bark all afternoon. My sister and I ended up going home and taking the dogs to Nanny’s house where we stayed for about an hour and a half. They have no wi-fi, either so we couldn’t work on our writing at all.

By then, the guy was still at our house, but I had to go to work. So we went back to my house, leaving the dogs, I grabbed my things and went to work. When I got home from work, I had to re-connect the internet and now my laptop is being extremely slow. I assume it’s just trying to get used to the new connection, or I’m hoping so anyway. However, I am in no mood to write now.

While we were at Barnes and Noble, I did write a tiny bit, but it was under 1,000 words. And I never wrote yesterday, so I feel like I’m a bit behind. And because of that, I’m beginning to get annoyed at my writing. I have three novels completed and never bothered to edit any of them.

Well, that’s not true. I’m on the seventh draft of Diary of a Lover, but I never once edited Hunter, which I finished back in August of 2011. Saving Each Other I just finished less than a month ago, so I’m not going to get back into that just yet…I’m kind of sick of those characters.

However, I do have three children’s books that are completed, edited and all, but I don’t bother trying to get them published. Why? I don’t know. That’s what I think I’m going to do when I finish this post. I think I’m going to try searching for publishers and such. At least if I get those three children’s books out there, I would get my foot in the door for whenever I publish a novel, the extra money would be a plus, and maybe it would motivate me a little more to get something else out there.

I asked my sister to edit Hunter the other day. She hasn’t started, yet, but I’m hoping that once she edits it, it will motivate me to edit it and keep at it. Honestly, I wrote that so long ago I don’t even remember what happens in the book. It’s quite sad.

I told myself that, because I’m so into The Blank Page right now, I’m going to finish it. Then once I finish it, I’m going to work strictly on editing for a little while. I know my new year’s resolution was to write more, but editing is a big part of writing, even if I’m not adding word after word after word. It’ll suck because I absolutely hate editing, but if it needs to get done, then I’m going to get it done.

I’m not going to write anymore tonight because I am just not in the mood and I know if I force myself, I’m going to mess up the entire novel. Hopefully, I’ll get back into it tomorrow morning. I had a good routine going: I woke up early every morning, worked on my websites for a bit, wrote for an hour, and then posted on here. I have not done that since Tuesday…but Tuesday I had no school and no work and nothing to do, so I kind of wanted to take advantage of the fact that I could have stayed in bed for the entire day. With all the crap I have been doing lately, no one can blame me for that.

On a good note, I did start my resolution about reading more. Does everyone know the series Warriors by Erin Hunter? Well, there are so many books that I have lost count, but I do have most of them. I have read a few, but I decided to re-read them…especially because one of my RPG websites are based after this series. Last year, I read the first five books, so I decided to start reading them again starting with the sixth book. If I didn’t have work or anything else going on in my life right now, I would have finished it the day I started it. But we’ll take baby steps.

I’ll talk to you all tomorrow…hopefully after I write for an hour. I have work at 1:30 tomorrow, so if I get up early enough maybe I can do a little extra. That would be nice!

 

2013: 13,645 Words Written
2013: 183 Pages Read