Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fall Break, The Idea Faerie, and High Stakes Musical Chairs

I'm finally settled into the new office. All my equipment and work stuff is in here. I have a few things left in the closets in the back bedroom, but no where to put that stuff at the moment, so it has to stay back there for the time being. Next order of business is to move the portable air conditioner and repaint that back room. Everything's got to be done before I bring in a new bed.

I recently bought a new rug for the office. Nothing fancy, just a fifteen dollar area carpet. I put it down so my roller chair doesn't scuff up the floor too much. As soon as I'd unrolled one side of the carpet, SassiePup came in and sat on it. I had to shoo her out of the room twice just to get the rug unrolled all the way. Today's picture shows the Sass and Jake a mere ten minutes after the rug made its appearance. Poor beasts. A few minutes after this was taken, CharlieCat came in and tested the rug out too.

October and August are usually my busiest months of the year. I'm pretty sure this is why these months tend to put me in the worst fits of depression. Even though we're on better footing since hubby started the new job, it's hard to focus on anything. Work. Reading. Whatever. My brain (and heart) just isn't in it. Now that I think about it, I have no idea where my heart is, but my brain is outside somewhere, frolicking through piles of fallen leaves, browsing the pumpkin patch, and debating the best trick-or-treat candy to fill the bucket on the table. But I digress.

Today has been especially trying because it was parent/teacher conference day. You have to schedule an appointment, then go in and listen to the teachers talk about your child's faults. To reward you for doing this, you get to sign your kid's report card. Fun right?

I live really close to the school and got there about five minutes before my appointment time. Already, there was a line of parents outside the room. Of course, there are only two chairs to sit in, so I'm standing around waiting when the golden door of tragedy opens. Two bewildered looking parents stumble out of the classroom and make way for home, where they'll likely cry into their tumblers of scotch. Two down, so who's next? The purple shirt lady sitting in the first chair is called in.

Please keep in mind while I'm telling you this that we have appointments. You know, where you are scheduled time in advance then you show up to speak to the teachers? I mention this because there was a game of high stakes musical chairs going on outside that classroom. Never mind that's not going to get you into the room any faster. The appointments are in place for a reason. Some parents have to take off time from shift work at the local paper mill to drop by the school.

Never the less, when the purple shirt lady goes into the room and the door closes, lady in chair 2 moves to chair 1. I watched this, utterly fascinated. Can you imagine seeing that at a doctor's office. I'm like, what's going on out here?

This woman with two kids sees chair 2 become available. She gives me the evil eye and hops into the second chair. Her oldest kid, who is in the same grade as Mini, looks at me with a scowl on her face and shouts at me, "We're next!"

I was totally startled by her behavior, and yet, her mother did nothing to correct her. The woman doesn't speak to me, or ask me what time my appointment is to confirm if what her daughter just shouted at me is true or not. I'm like, whatever, people. I did twelve years of these meetings before Oldest graduated. I know how this crap goes down.

Fast forward fifteen minutes, the musical chairs rotate again. Woman with Brats hops up from chair 2 and sits quickly in chair 1. Not only that, but she puts her youngest brat in chair two. You know, to make double dang sure they are next in line. I guess Woman didn't get the memo. The. Visits. Are. Scheduled. By. Appointment. I didn't make the rules, people. It is what it is.

Fifteen endless minutes tick by, and finally the golden door opens and the purple shirt lady escapes the clutches of the teachers. The Woman with Brats gives me this squinty-eyed, dirty look as if to say, "Don't even think about it, sister! I'm next." And she begins picking up the kid's papers and crayons they've dumped on the floor of the hallway.

However, Mini's teacher comes to the door, looks directly at me and says, "Ms. Mini, we're ready for you."

Woman with Brats looked completely startled. She glared at me as if to say, "How dare you! No one bypasses the musical chairs!"

I headed to the golden door, and in passing, flashed the peace symbol at the Woman with Brats. I could tell it dawned on her then. Bros before hoes. No, I'm kidding. Appointments before chairs. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Miss Crabby Cow.

So onward to the meeting. Officially it should be called the stuff nightmares are made of. Even twenty minutes spent at my son's school is too many. Just pulling into their parking lot is enough to draw a cloud of depression over me. And I'm not just saying that because it's school. I'm saying it because I went through hell with Oldest, getting him through the gauntlet until graduation. And by the time Mini graduates, I will have spent twenty-six years stressing over crap at this school that truly doesn't weigh beans in the overall scheme of things. Grades suck? No problem. When you're older and ready to apply yourself where it matters, that's what community college is for. This stressful school crap really isn't worth it.

Needless to say, I left the school ready to drown myself in a bottle of wine. Mini's grades aren't terrible, but this is his lowest report card yet. The teachers, of course, have to grill us parents about getting the kids motivated because the Leap tests are coming up. Here's the thing. Kids aren't motivated because the fun in learning has shifted to learning in order to take tests that secure school funding. That's all it amounts to. The system isn't just broken, it sucks. And just for the sake of saying so, when I was Mini's age, I didn't give two farts about Lewis and Clark's expeditions either. No wonder he tossed his social studies folder out the bus window. But that's a story for another day.

On to happier writing.

I'm currently elbow deep in a writing project that I need to turn in by the end of the year. How simple and concise that sounds, right? I need to turn in a project by the end of the year. What you don't hear is the heart palpitations and subtle cursing as I write and rewrite and rewrite again huge chunks of this book. I'm a little tense writing this one, because I'd like it to stick. Or rather, I'd like to write for this company very, very much. So in order to keep me from pulling my hair out, now that I've got two of my self-publishing books off my desk and off my to-do list, I don't plan to start any new projects until this major one is finished and sent out into the wild. However, that doesn't stop the idea faerie from visiting me on a regular basis.

Speaking of the idea faerie, she dropped by a few nights ago and we had a little chat. She showered me with faerie dust, and I began pulling notes together for Austin's story. Who the heck is Austin, you ask? Any Werekind readers remember Austin from Bonding Experience? Quiet werewolf with a sexy scar and a cowboy hat? Yeah, that's the guy. I've been brainstorming ideas for him and putting together a file. Writing shall commence once the big, heart palpitations project is out of the way. I'll post more about it as things come together.

So there you have it. The latest news. Mini's out for Fall Break, which means I'm out for Fall Break. You won't hear me complaining. I'm going to try not to waste the entire holiday playing Smeet. It's kind of like Farmville but you don't have to annoy the crap out of anyone by sending game invites, or by begging them to send you items to complete a quest. The only thing that sucks about the Smeet is that everything is majorly expensive, and the system is very chintzy about doling out Dimes and Gold Coins so you can upgrade anything. The game would be so much better if dimes could be converted into gold coins, but I won't hold my breath. We'll see how long my fascination lasts.

I hope you all have a lovely Friday and a fabulous weekend. And if you have a few moment, please drop by my Smashwords page and give my latest book a like. I truly appreciate your support.


  1. Really amazing blog !

  2. Sounds stressful! But you received some new story ideas. Sometimes I think stress helps with that, some would argue with me, but whenever I have life problems I seem to be hit with really big writing ideas. Although I don't want life problems! LOL!

  3. Life has been very stressful, but I'm hoping if I get all the stressful stuff out of the way now, the holidays will go super smooth this year. ;o)


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