Released my latest short story!
. . . That counts for three, I think. I mean, it was a fine day in any case. I helped kids read and got to stay for their music lesson. The leak in the upstairs bathroom got fixed with relative ease. Went shopping and found a Sagittarius coffee mug. Good stuff.
It was a difficult day. Our hamster Thomasina passed away. She was old (for a hamster) and had recently received a diagnosis that made her passing not unexpected. But it was still hard. I was with her until the end, stroking her and talking to her . . .
But there is still good to be found. Tommy is no longer in pain; she is at peace. We do not have to watch her suffer any more, and the suffering was itself brief and alleviated by pain medications. She didn't die alone.
After all that, I was still able to go out to dinner and see Jimmy Buffett play and enjoy myself (with random bouts of crying thrown in, but that might've been because Jimmy played some Tom Petty and Glenn Frey and I was reminded of mortality all over again). Jimmy doesn't look his age, and he still puts on a great show.
So that was the day: sorrow and joy. Quite the contrast. But that's life in a nutshell, too.
Instead of having the school kids read to me today, they had an assembly and my job was to sharpen pencils. That sounds not fun, but it is actually more fun than listening to kids struggle to read. I have a very hard time with that, however much I like the kids themselves.
Sending my oldest off to his first ever school dance. He went with some friends, and it seems like they had a great time!
Showing my daughter UHF, which I haven't seen in years. I had to pause the movie from time to time to explain some of the source material, but she still loved the movie. (She loves "Weird Al.")
Finally got my nails done. They'd been looking ratty for a while. My old nail tech moved away. 😢 So it took me some time to find a new one. (Someone else who used my old nail tech recommended this new person, and I'm pretty happy with the result. Though, honestly, I'd have been pretty happy with anything given how bad my nails were looking.) Anyway, nice to be tidied up.
Sushi for dinner.
Talking with my oldest son about which couples from books we ship. Sure, he was a bit embarrassed, but it was still fun.
Last physical therapy appointment for at least a couple of weeks. I love my therapist, but the appointments definitely eat into my time, so it will be nice to get a break.
My hair stylist postponed our appointment for this afternoon. I count this as a "good thing" because I honestly didn't feel like going. So this was a last-minute reprieve.
Early feedback regarding my WIP is very good. There are things that need to be fixed, but I knew and expected that. The one thing I'm hearing from everyone is that they can't put it down! That's definitely what I want.
Kids get a clean bill of health from the pediatrician. (Day of doctors.)
. . .
Actually, we all know it's been a crap day. Mass shooting in Las Vegas, Tom Petty is brain dead, and my hamster has a uterine tumor. So yeah. But my human family is healthy at least. So I'll count that as a good thing and hope tomorrow is better all around.
First day in a long time that I didn't have an appointment to go to or major errand to run. (I did have a minor errand: put gas in the car and pick up eggs and milk from the corner store.) Was nice to have fewer demands on my time.
Got some writing done.
Was also productive in other ways: laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc.
Um... It was kind of a rotten day. But! The point of this blog is to find the silver linings. So...
My shoulder is fine, really, I just need physical therapy.
There were no issues with picking up the kids because my oldest stayed for an after-school cross country meeting. You see, the kids were getting out of school at the same time. But since my oldest had a meeting, I was not pressured to be two places at once. That's a win.
Sushi for dinner.
There. Those are good things in an otherwise cruddy day. I must remember my complaints are minor compared to so much that others must deal with.
Got all the school supplies for the kids. Now I just need to label everything and sort it all into their backpacks . . .
The kids' haircut appointments got moved, which is kind of a good thing since I was feeling ragged and liked having an excuse not to go. But then again, now I have to take time out of my day tomorrow instead. Hrm.
Kids received their class assignments today. My oldest is pleased to know his best friend has the first two periods with him. And one other friend has almost every class with him. My daughter got the teacher she was hoping for. My youngest is a wee bit disappointed not to have gotten the teacher he wanted, but we were able to talk him up.
Very fun and exciting baseball game. The kids got on the Jumbotron, too.
Lost another pound. Got a long way to go, but it feels good to make progress.
A family day out. We went into the city, had brunch, and then saw the symphony play the score to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Then we came home and went out for dinner and pie. A very full day, and a lovely one.
Managed to get my words in both for today and what I didn't do yesterday. So I remain on track.
Nice visit with another mom. These interactions can feel so fraught, but this particular mom is very easy to talk to.
Made the decision to fold my author newsletter. It's something I'd thought of doing for a while now, but I kept trying to make the newsletter work. It's sort of a load off not to have it any more. Still, the newsletter had a serial story going, but now I'm moving that to Wattpad.
Shopping. Like, serious retail therapy. LUSH bath bombs, incense and candles from Mystic Dream, a new coffee mug to add to my collection of mugs with "M" on them . . . Hadn't had a shopping day like that in ages, and it felt really good.
Kids had good check-ups with the eye doctor. My daughter needs glasses, but only for reading and any near work; she's farsighted as it turns out. She chose some nice lavender frames and they were completely covered by insurance, so that was a nice bonus.
Happy lunch with the kids.
Managed to scrape together my word count for the day. So far I'm on schedule to be done September 30.
So the concert we were going to see got abruptly cancelled. Still, we made the best of it. We had a nice time hanging out, a great dinner, and did some shopping thanks to ticket refunds. I was able to buy my friend some nice [belated] birthday presents (that I now need to mail). It wasn't a total loss, I suppose, and I drove in San Francisco proper for the first time and survived. So that's something.
The first day in a week's worth of girl time with my only daughter. We planned meals for the week and painted our nails. Also started planning her birthday party.
More work done on the WIP. If I keep my pace, I'll be done right at deadline.
My youngest enjoyed his first attempt at fencing. "I wasn't very good at it," he said, and I told him no one is very good at much of anything on their first try. When I told him I wasn't even very good at writing when I started, he almost didn't believe me! It was sweet. Anyway, he still liked fencing enough that he thinks he wants to continue even after this trial week.
More history lessons with the kids. I so enjoy chatting with them about it.
Traffic not terrible today.
. . . Those are the highlights. Pretty quiet day, all told. (Well, until now. We have icky neighbors who have decided to start making noise late in the evening. I really do need to move to a place where no one lives near me. I'm not fit for human interaction.)
But this blog is meant to focus on good things, so . . . I had nice cuddle time with the hamster today. That can be my third good thing for the day.
Finally got that Milky Way candy bar I'd been craving.
I can't really think of a #3. I suppose I could fall back on everything that's good that I take for granted: we're all healthy and have more than we need. Aside from the movie, it was a quiet and uneventful day.
Took my daughter to her first horseback riding lesson. She's had them before, so it's not her first first, but it was her first in a number of years. (We'd quit previously because she was simply too small to do much, and the instructor she had was a bit flaky.) Anyway, it was so lovely to see my daughter so happy and excited.
Quality time with my oldest son. He came to the riding lesson to keep me company. Sure, I could have just read a book, but I liked chatting with him. I know soon he'll be of an age where he won't want to hang out with me any more, so I'll take it while it's on offer.
I've been away because I traveled for 24 hours straight to get to my writing retreat/workshop in France. Which makes my list very easy because:
Writing retreat in France
Writing retreat in France
Writing retreat in France
Seriously, though, this is a beautiful place (Chateau-du-Loir) and my fellow writers are wonderful. I've been here less than 48 hours and just love it. The environs, the people . . . Great food, fresh air, support from my peers. What's not to love?
Enjoying a really good book called The Fifth Petal. It's set in Salem, Massachusetts, and though I don't miss Massachusetts at all, it does bring home vivid memories. I always enjoyed Salem. Anyway, sitting outside and reading is one of my favorite summer activities.
Good chat with a friend. She's the only one of my friends that I actually enjoy being on the phone with. I'm not a phone person, but this friendship supersedes that.
Orthodontist visit was short and sweet. All good. Don't have to go back until September.
Got a little more writing done. Even when it's only a little, every bit of progress makes me feel good.
Able to sit outside and read for a little while.
Watching the cats play with the new treat ball I bought them. You put treats in and they have to bat the ball around to get the treats to fall out. They're smart and figured it out pretty quick, but I still love watching them.
Readers asking for Changers 2. Eep! It's always flattering when I hear from readers that they want more and are excited about my work. Also puts the pressure on me to get the work done, and I need that motivation. Which leads me to:
Getting more writing done on Changers 2!
Starting the summer routine with the kids. Will take time to get them used to it, but I like having a schedule.
Watching my oldest son process as he graduates from elementary to middle school.
Lunch out with a friend.
I've been asked to be Historian at the middle school PTA next year. Between that and co-chairing the yearbook at the elementary school, I will be very involved in the kids' worlds. While it sounds exhausting, I'm actually really happy about it. And it will force me to be more disciplined about my writing, too, and with my time in general.
Son's little league season is over. Really, finally over. And there was a party at the bowling alley. And we all went and bowled.
Bay Area Book Festival. I was nervous to go, but I sucked it up and did anyway. And I'm glad. While there were minor drawbacks, I mostly enjoyed it. Great weather. Interesting fellow authors at neighboring tables. In the end, it was all good.
I know that's only two things, but there are good things inside good things here.
The school had a breakfast for the volunteers who have helped out over the year. Doughnuts! The other food was good too, but... Doughnuts!
The school also has an annual hoe down. I love watching the kids square dance in their Western wear.
My son's last baseball game of the season—and the other team forfeited. So we were able to go to visit the middle school open house instead so he could see some of the classrooms. It was a nice alteration of plans.
I won't need surgery on my foot. In fact, I should be fine by the time I fly to France. By "fine" I mean I'll be able to wear a brace inside my shoe, but it's better than wearing a walking boot.
That was pretty much the highlight of the day. Well, and playing with the cats. Also, the kids were happy with my meager cooking skills this evening. And a book I ordered arrived. Sometimes it's the little things.
MRI done. I hadn't had one in a while, but at least this one was on my foot. So much better than having to stick your head in the machine. And they gave me headphones so I could listen to music! (Won't know the verdict until Tuesday, alas.)
1. Getting more writing done. Having a broken foot has the advantage of forcing me to sit a lot.
. . . Not much happened. So it's difficult to single any one thing out. I can be grateful for my health insurance, though, and the fine weather. And for having a valid excuse to avoid major chores. On the down side, my exercise regime has gone to hell. But I'll try not to dwell on the bad.
My foot is broken. It doesn't count as a good thing, per se, but it is kind of funny. It's probably been broken since December, when I injured it. And I've just been walking around on a broken foot. Cuz... Me.
Diagnosing my foot and starting on a path to recovery.
My son's little league team won their playoff game. Pizza to celebrate!
The audiobook has been approved and is headed to retail.
Felt productive: major grocery shopping trip, four loads of laundry, took out the trash, swapped old litter boxes for new, vacuumed, filled and ran and emptied and refilled the dishwasher, made my next doctor appointment
People keep asking me for help with their writing. Which makes me feel good that they think my opinion is worth something.
Less windy than the day before. Weather is warming again, which makes me very happy.
I'll be honest. It was a tough day. For the first time in months, I had no page reads or sales on Amazon. Then ACX came back and said the audiobook needs changes before it can be approved. And the nanny called out sick on the one day it was most inconvenient. BUT. These are all, as they say, first world problems. So I am trying to keep my perspective.
Salon day. Nails and hair, and though I had to bring the kids with me, they were very well behaved.
A day without having to do laundry.
Fire drill while I was volunteering at the school. I felt very efficient in helping get the kids out.
I was able to help someone . . . She thinks my name is Angela, and I don't have the heart to correct her. I think it's funny anyway, and I went through high school with people calling me Andrea, too, so I've given up on people getting my name right. Anyway, it always feels good to help people. Like, it's a good thing to do, but I'm totally selfish in that it makes me feel good when I help others.
An outpouring of support for my daughter who is dealing with a bullying situation at school.
Last little league game of the regular season. We do still have playoffs, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel. It's been interesting, and we've met some great people, but I'm just not meant to be a sports mom. Well, I don't mind the fencing so much. Maybe I'm a sports mom for irregular sports?
A little more writing done. After a dry spell, any day I get a few paragraphs down is a good one.
My son got a hit in his baseball game and went on to score. His team won 9-0 and he was given the game ball to keep.
I was asked by a friend to come to her house and do a tarot reading party (me = the tarot reader). I'd never done a party like that before and was a little nervous, but it was fun, and it seems like the readings resonated with everyone.
It was an okay day. Not bad, but not stellar. Just kind of was. So my grateful list consists of things like: being well, having food and clean water and shelter . . . I felt productive in getting stuff done around the house, too, which is always a good feeling.
A rare day without errands or appointments. Never even had to get in the car for anything.
Woke up to an email that my novel Brynnde is up for a cover award. I don't know if it will win—it's rather more of a popularity contest than anything about actual design merit—but it's nice to see it recognized. I can't take credit for the cover, but I do agree it's gorgeous! If you'd like to vote, the contest is here. You have to register to vote, but it's quick and free and they don't spam you or sell off your email. I appreciate any and all support!
Had fun helping at the school library. The kids needed fairy tale books, so I showed them where they were (398) and went through various options. Reminded me of an old Cinderella story I wrote some 12 or so years ago...
Had a nice Easter that involved staying cozy at home. The kids hunted for eggs inside the house (because rain), and the Bunny brought us a fire pit and the makings for s'mores. Now we just need sand and wood and dry weather.
Did get a bit of a walk in.
Resumed my exercise program. Feel better just for getting back on that horse.
Okay, so I woke up with an acute case of vertigo this morning. I've suffered from bouts of vertigo for years, but hadn't had one—certainly not one this bad—in a very long time. I was bedridden for the first half of the day.
So what was good about Good Friday?
I was able to get up and shower and walk around by around 1:30.
I was able to drive by 4:00
My loving husband came home from work right away when I told him I was sick.
My kids did a great job of getting themselves together for school while I shouted instructions from my bedroom.
We're fortunate that we live within walking distance of school and the kids were able to get to school without me.
Habit Burger for dinner.
Sometimes we just need something to knock us down so we remember how good our lives really are.
The youngest is officially out of his boot and into actual shoes again! He still needs some physical therapy, and he can't do sports for another six weeks, but we've reached the near end of a very long road.
Everything went more smoothly than expected. I don't know how else to phrase it. I was prepared for complications and instead everything was simple. Traffic and schedules and just everything.
Hair and nails night at the salon. In fact, the salon isn't even open on Mondays but they opened just for me. I feel special!