F is for family, friends, freelancing, and fiction

I had an epiphany this morning at 5:00, but I can’t use “epiphany” because E was yesterday. I suppose I could have used “F is for five o’clock,” but the time isn’t as important as the content. I was awakened by the girl fussing (she got herself back to sleep), and I started to complain to myself that I was just barely going to fall back asleep before it would be time to get up and get the kids ready, then start on my day — same old, same old. That’s when it hit me — I chose this life.

Okay, that may be obvious to others. Epiphanies do tend to be personal, after all. Still, I’m going to explore what I mean.

I chose marriage and children. I chose work that I could do anywhere we lived because I didn’t have to look for a new employer. I chose to start telling the stories in my soul. And, if it comes right down to it, I choose to do our taxes because I’m a bit of a control freak.

Every part of the day before me is a direct consequence of something I chose, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m married to a wonderful man whom I love, we have incredible kids, and my work allows me to be who I am.

There are downsides — the only family here is the one my husband and I have made; our closest relatives are several states away. I don’t have any close friends where we live, though certainly part of that is that I’m not good at reaching out. With the Internet, though, I’m in touch with friends and family that I haven’t seen in decades, and I’ve made several excellent new friends through on-line communities (especially Forward Motion).

This is my life, and I’m grateful for it.

D is for daffodil

Daffodils are my favorite flower. The second poem I ever wrote was about daffodils (the first was called “Clouds, hurl your spears,” and doesn’t bear thinking about), and although it’s not something I’m going to share here, I still remember every word of it.

single daffodil

Cheery, isn't it?

I loved the flowers we had at our wedding, but I did have some moments of sadness because it was too late in the year to include daffodils.

Now my mantra when gardening is “You can never have too many daffodils,” and I plant beds full of hundreds of bulbs. I love this time of year, as they start to bloom in waves across the yard.

C is for computer woes

Or at the very least, computer hassles.

Last night, I couldn’t get my computer to start. Pushed the power button — no light, no whirring, no lovely Mac “bong!” Tried resetting the PMU (power management unit), using a different power cord, reseating RAM cards and the battery. No dice. The power supply is dead.

Nearby, we have an Apple specialist store, Double-Click, a licensed service provider, and I figured I’d have better luck with them than the actual Mac store, since my Genius friend told me they wouldn’t check a Vintage Mac in for repairs. (Seven years? Vintage? *sigh*) They told me this morning that Apple won’t ship them replacement power units. However, it was a small matter for them to pop the hard drive and put it in an external case for me. Now it’s hooked up to one of the other computers in the household, letting me access all of my data and passwords. Yay!

The question is how long it’s feasible for me to work like this. I think the time table for upgrading my computer just got moved up.

Ah, well. At least they weren’t insurmountable woes.

Sneak peek at things to come

I tried to do a post by e-mail last night, but it doesn’t seem to have gone through. Nothing important — just my recipe for chicken noodle soup, which I made last night as the whole family’s under the weather. If anyone’s interested, I’ll be happy to put it up again later.

No running this week. Woke up a little wheezy last Saturday, but went for a run anyway. Huge mistake, as I barely had the breath to go up and down the stairs after that. Rather than risk making myself worse — or giving myself a relapse as I’ve started to recover — I took the whole week off. I did finish week 3, though, which puts me 1/3 of the way through the training regimen.

What’ve I kept myself occupied with this week while not running? Continue reading

Happy spring!

Well, happier for some of us than others, I suppose. Woke up this morning to snow on the ground and wintry mix falling from the sky. Also, the toddler brought home a cold from daycare, so now both her brother and I are coughing, too.

On the plus side: spring bulbs, blooming!

purple croci

Spring has sprung!

Running on empty

Empty of excuses, anyway.

Those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook (Hi, Mom!) may not know that I’ve started a running program, the Couch-to-5k. This is a nine-week program designed to take people from being couch potatoes to running for 5k (about 3 miles or 30 minutes). This is accomplished through interval work — alternating jogging and walking — while gradually increasing the total amount of time jogging or running. I’m now in the second week.

Physically, I’m doing better this week than last week. My first run (in the pouring rain) I could barely finish, even walking two of the running intervals. My legs felt like rubber, and my entire body was sore on Tuesday. I’m now managing to complete all of the intervals, and the only portions that tend to stay sore are my hips.

That’s probably not going to change, even at the end of the program. I am handicapped. My left ankle is fused, and I’m missing most of the calf muscle for that leg. I can’t push off with the ball of my foot, and I can’t land properly either — so most of the work is coming from the hips. Yesterday, my ankle felt sore all day, and my foot hurts.

Let’s be honest. My foot almost always hurts. I can’t walk barefoot around the house because of the pain. That’s just life. Even if I can run for 3 miles, 5 miles, or 20 miles, I’m always going to be handicapped.

Which is okay, as long as I remember it’s no excuse to stop trying.

Home again, home again

Just some quick notes today.

I didn’t post from Boskone itself because Wi-Fi at the hotel was $13/day, and I couldn’t get my iPod Touch to log on correctly in the lobby, where access apparently was free.

My son had a terrific time, got his picture taken with Bruce Coville, went to a kaffeeklatsch with both Bruce Coville and Jane Yolen, played games with other kids, learned how to armor a knight, and attended several panel discussions (including the one where he vehemently disagreed with the audience member who said that our education system traumatized kids for math and science, which is why they also won’t look at science fiction; those are his favorite subjects).

I also had a good time, and this year I attended a wider variety of events than my usual, including the play on Saturday night (“The Giant’s Tooth,” based on a story by Bruce Coville).

Between the busy weekend and the long drive home, I’m still feeling a little tired, but I should be up to posting some notes later this week.

Bound to Boston

Tomorrow is time for my annual pilgrimage to Boston to attend
Boskone, to see other writers face-to-face, to get all tongue-tied
around editors (Oh, no, wait — I’m actually planning to try to talk
to them this year, even ask a few questions for a Vision article!),
and to overload my muse with new ideas to write about.

I’m taking my iPod Touch, so I won’t be out of contact — at the very
least, I’ll try to hit Twitter and Facebook a couple of times over
the weekend. I’m also testing my ability to post to my blog by
e-mail, as well as the new plug-in that should cross-post entries to
LJ. I’m not live-blogging by any stretch of the imagination, but I
should be in touch.

Every year, I have trouble deciding which panels to attend. Since I
write across the board, everything is interesting. This year is going
to be slightly different — yes, I will still attend panels and
sometimes have trouble choosing between a couple of different
options. However, there is the aforementioned attempt to be more
sociable and talk to editors, and this year, I’m taking my son with

He’s done the children’s counterpart to NaNoWriMo, the Young Writers’
Program, a couple of times, and he even printed out copies of one of
his books a couple years ago and distributed copies to his classmates
— which means he’s actually planning to go to a panel discussion or
two himself. He’s also really excited at the chance to meet and talk
to Bruce Coville (even planning on staying up late Friday to go to
Bruce Coville’s 10 p.m. reading) and to see the swordplay
demonstrations. So sometimes my choices will be determined by what he
wants to do.

It’s going to be a lot of fun, that much is certain. Boskone always
is, no matter who I see or what I listen to!

No such thing as a healthy excuse

Today, I had a physical — just a normal, general physical, the kind I should get on a regular basis. Should being the operative word there. The last time I had blood work done was when I was pregnant with my second (who is now a toddler), and that was at the behest of the obstetrician. It’s been even longer since I had an actual physical and answered questions about my eating habits (well balanced, but I snack — a hazard of working at home), concerns, family history, and so forth.

I saw the same person I saw for my second round of bronchitis this winter, which was nice because we’ve already established a baseline rapport. She also followed up on my cough (lingering) and sent me for a check X-ray because my lungs still didn’t sound clear. Should know how that came out in a day or two.

Then there’s the blood work. I was thinking of putting it off. I’ve got a proofreading deadline, and between power outages and late delivery of half the book, I’m not exactly ahead of schedule here. But then I start looking at next week: more snow possible Monday and Tuesday, and who knows what after that. I’m not guaranteed a good time to do this.

So, back to the mantra. No excuses.

Tomorrow, I go in to the lab so they can take the necessary samples. I come home and get to work. Total time lost? Probably less than I usually spend puttering around with e-mail and the like. And then I get back to work.

Who knows? I may even get a Q&A posted tomorrow.