A Time To Leave

A Time To Leave is the title of my romance novel.  I didn’t post on Wednesday because I was working on the outline.  I’m going to submit it to the James Jones First Novel Fellowship.  This award is awarded annually to an American author of a first novel in progress (according to Writer Magazine January 2018).

My novel has been in progress for the last 12 years.  I started writing it when I first started dating my husband.  We’ve been together 15 years.  The date on one of the manuscript pages is 2-26-06.   I probably worked on it for a good year or so before the first draft was complete.  I would go to Hardee’s one or two mornings a week before work to write and grab breakfast.

I never completed the second draft.  The completed first draft was sitting in my hope chest up until a year ago when I decided to put it on the first shelf of my bookshelf.  I have looked at it.  I have moved it to dust and thought about revising it.  I maybe read part of it and then edited it some and then put it back to collect dust.   I haven’t done a major 2nd draft revision.

Until now.

The 2nd revision is on my 2018 to do list (along with how many other unfinished writing projects).  I read the prologue and the first two chapters and edited it on the way back from Vegas in early January.  I read the entire manuscript one night when I was sick.  I’ve been rewriting the prologue (which you read in my last post) and I started to rewrite the 1st chapter.

The submission guidelines for this award is: a two page outline of the entire novel and the first 50 pages.  I have most of the outline complete and the first five pages typed.  Deadline is March 15, 2018.

I set this award as a goal because I knew it would kick start me to edit/rewrite my novel.  I know my chances of winning are slim.  Probably very slim, but I’m not doing it to win.  I’m doing it to submerge myself in my novel.  To get to know my characters again.  How they live.  How they interact with others.  How they talk.  How they love.  How they feel.  In the last couple of weeks I have learned a lot about my characters and my novel.

I’m happy and excited to be working on it again instead of it collecting dust.

A Time To Leave by Chrissy.   Coming to bookstores in 2019.

If there are any brick and mortar stores left……

 

 

 

 

To Prologue Or Not To Prologue

 

Last night I didn’t post because I was working on the outline for my romance novel and watching the Olympics.  This morning I thought I could cut and and paste what I wrote below from Word to WordPress.  I thought it would take ten or fifteen minutes to write my post and I would be done.  That didn’t happen.  I could copy my manuscript in Word but I couldn’t paste it in WordPress so I typed it tonight when I got home from work.  You live and you learn.

What I am sharing with you is the Prologue to my romance novel.  I know some people don’t like a prologue and some people do.  I don’t mind it as long as I can relate to it throughout the book.   What are your thoughts on prologues?

I feel like I’m using someone else’s blog post title.  If I am, I apologize.

My Prologue

“That son of a bitch,” Cindi Reeves stormed into the shipping area.  “He’s the reason you didn’t take the job isn’t he?”

Becky Larsen opened her mouth, but nothing came out.  He, the HE, she is referring to is is Becky’s husband, Tommy.  Tears came to Becky’s eyes as she looked at the wall.  What could she say?  It was true.  She didn’t take the job because of Tommy.  “Women shouldn’t make more money than their husbands” were Tommy’s exact words.

“I’m pissed off,” Cindi kicked an empty box across the room.  “Do you realize how I put myself on the line for you?  Management had another person in mind for the job, but I asked them, several times, to give you a chance.  And they did.  And you turned them down.  Now I look like an idiot.”

“I’m sorry,” Becky tucked a piece of blond hair behind her ear as she felt her cheeks get red.  “I really did want the job.”

“Then why didn’t you?”

Beck shrugged.  She really did want the job.  She wanted to move up in the company.  She was excited.  Being on different shifts would be an adjustment on both of their parts, but she thought they could make it work.  Later on that evening, Tommy didn’t share her excitement or her positive thoughts.  There wasn’t a discussion.  He got pissed and told her she was being selfish. Who would make him lunch and his lunch for work?  Why should she get to work first shift and he be stuck on 2nd?  He deserved it more than she did.  He threw his beer bottle and missed the garbage.  It crashed against the counter, leaving broken glass and puddles of beer on the floor.  “Clean it up,” he hissed and walked out the door.

“Why don’t you just leave him?”

“Leave him?  Wwwhat,” Becky stammered as her head jerked up.  “I can’t do that.”

“Everyone knows you didn’t take the job because Tommy had a fit,” Cindi sighed and sat down next to her.  “You are perfect for the job.  Why do you put up with his shit?”

Becky turned her head away from Cindi as she blinked back tears.

“I can see how unhappy you are,” Cindi said quietly.  “Marriage isn’t suppose to be like that.”

Becky nodded.  She admired Cindi. She was a good leader.  Strong yet flexible.  She wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.  She weighed 110 pounds soaking wet, but she didn’t take shit from anyone.  She was happily married.  She and her husband worked hard and as a team for what they had.  Becky wished she had that.

“Just leave and don’t look back.  He won’t find you.  He’s not that smart.  You deserve so much more.  Go find it.”

I can’t leave, Becky thought to herself as she watched Cindi walk away.  Their marriage wan’t the greatest these last couple of months, but she thought they were just going through a rough spot and it would work itself out.

She loved Tommy and wanted to make it work.  She wasn’t giving up on her marriage even if it meant not taking a promotion she really wanted.

It would work eventually.  Wouldn’t it?

 

I’m not entirely happy with it.  It’s only my 2nd rewrite and I know I’ll probably have 500 more before I get to the end of the novel.  I feel that something is missing.

Please leave a comment.  Good, bad or otherwise.  My skin is tough.  I can take it.  If it sucks, it sucks.  I’ll try again.

Thanks for reading my blog and my prologue.  I appreciate it and you.

 

 

The Best Valentine’s Day Present Ever!

The offer we put in on the house was accepted yesterday!!!  I think this is the best Valentine’s Day present I ever got.  We’ve been trying for the last year to buy a house, but nothing worked out.  This did and I’m so excited.  I’m trying not to get too excited because we don’t have the keys in hand yet.  Things can happen between now and then so I’m going to try to be positive and hope for the best.

My husband and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day.  Eleven years ago he sent a dozen roses to work and when I found out what he paid for them I had a bird.  $75 for 12 roses.  Don’t get me wrong.  It was very nice.  The flowers were beautiful and they lasted for two weeks, but really.  $75.  I understand why he did it.  It was the first Valentine’s Day that he was driving over the road and wasn’t home.  He felt bad.  I know he did, but I told him never to spend that amount of money on flowers ever again.  And he hasn’t.  To me it was a waste of money.  There were so many other things we could have done with that money.  I guess I’m too practical.

We were in Wal-Mart on Sunday and he asked me if I wanted flowers.  I told him to go to the local flower shop over the weekend and get me daises.  Yellow and white.  I love daises.  We had yellow and white daises in mason jars on the tables and in all of the bouquets at our wedding.  They are in least two planters on my front deck in the summer.  I love, love, love them.

He gives me the best gift every week.  He comes home safe and sound.  That’s more than I can ask for.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!  I hope your day is filled with love, happiness and laughter.

Have a great day!

 

Out Of My Comfort Zone

This morning we put a offer on a house.  I’m scared.  Why is it that we dream of things and when they may happen we get scared?

I know part of the reason why I’m scared.  This house is out in the country and 25 minutes away from where I work.    I have never lived more than 10 minutes away from my job and I have never lived in the country.  It means I will have to rearrange my schedule and leave earlier to get to work on time.   I will get home later.  It will take more time out of my day.  On snowy days in the winter the drive will probably suck.

I’m totally out of my comfort zone.

I know once I get into the flow it will be fine.  I’ll get into a routine.  I’ll get to work on time.  I’ll learn how to drive on the snowy, slippery country roads.  Everything will work out.

It sure is easier to be in my comfort zone.  The only thing that sucks about being in my comfort zone is that I am comfortable, but I don’t change.

I want to let go and let the change happen, but I’ve had a lot of emotions run through me today.   At times today I was sad and at other tiem a voice inside my head was kicking and screaming because things might change.  I tell myself to let go and let the good things come into my life, but it’s hard.

I have a plaque in my office that reads:  Do not be afraid of change.  Be afraid of not changing.   Today I’m on the fence with this one today.  I want to move, but I’m afraid to move.

Kinda silly isn’t it?

Yes it is silly.  The offer hasn’t been accepted yet and I’m scared.

The funny thing is is that my husband has been telling me we should go look at the house for the last couple of months, but I didn’t want to.  It’s too far away.  I didn’t want to drive that far.  He talked me into going to look at it last Thursday.  I really didn’t want to look at it.  On the drive to the house I was bitching in my head about having to get up early and that I had to drive twenty five minutes to look at it, but you know what?   I’m glad I did.  I walked out of the house pleasantly surprised.  It’s a really nice house.  It has all of the old country house character.  The crown molding.  The built in shelves and cabinets.   It’s really neat.  I really can see us living happily there.

Cross your fingers that they accept the offer.

I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

 

What Emotions Are You Bringing/Dragging Into 2018?

At the end of every year I look at my life and examine what is working, what I want to change and what I want to achieve.  I have a mental list in my head and sometimes on paper of what I want to change or achieve.

Why don’t I do this with my emotions?

I have wrote about my anger and my brother’s anger over the last couple of months and that led me to think about the other emotions in my life: sadness, hatred, jealousy, happiness, joy, gratitude, love, etc.

I want to bring all of the happiness, success, and hope I can into 2018.  I want to keep all of the happy times in my pocket and remember them in non happy times.  I want to keep all of my successes on my wall so I can look them and remember why and how I achieved what I did when I feel like a failure.  I always want hope in my life.  I always want to find a glimmer of hope in situations where people may say there isn’t any.   I always want love in my life.  I want to tell my friends and family that I love them.  I want to hear they love me.   I want to get and give hugs.  I want to be grateful every day for everything in my life.  I have a lot to be grateful for.

It’s easy to figure out what positive emotions I want to bring into 2018, but what about the negative emotions?  Sadness, jealousy, hatred, and anger.  I really didn’t think I was carrying any negative emotions into 2018, but I was wrong.  I’m going to share what I feel I’m carrying with you.

I have a little resentment/anger because I don’t like the things going on at work and no matter what is said to management nothing is done to change it.  I try my best to ignore it.  On days that it really gets to me I think of my writing.  What project do I want to work on next?  What characters are speaking to me that day?  I write down little bits of dialog or plot and write more about it on my breaks.  I don’t think my job fits who I am anymore.  I don’t think it ever did.  A different way of life has always whispered to me, but I never listened to it.  Until now.  I’m trying to open that part of me up and explore it.  I know that I have stuffed those feelings down, deep down, so they may take a while to come to the surface, but I have to/want to listen.  I want 2018 to be a year of transformation job wise for me.  I hope to get closer to who I am and what my purpose is on this earth.  I feel it is to write and to help people with my writing.  This is what I would like to explore more.

I’m a little angry/disappointed over how my house deal and the two houses we put offers on didn’t work out.  I really would like my own house to put my own touches on.  I wish I could see the whole picture of why we don’t have a house yet.  In the last couple of days I think I have put my finger on maybe a little of why we don’t have a house yet.  My husband’s ex girlfriend and the mother of my two step children.  (She never wanted to get married because she wanted the money at the end of the year, but this is another post or 500 posts)  I/we have always kept under the radar because we didn’t want to get dragged back into court because she wanted more money.  I’ve always looked over my shoulder wondering what scheme she is concocting to screw us over.  I never wanted to do anything to draw attention to ourselves.  Maybe this is why we don’t have a house.  My youngest step child graduates in June.  June 3rd to be exact.  Yesterday I told one of my coworkers that “we get our lives back on June 3rd.”  Wow!  That’s a big statement.  It’s almost like I’ve been putting my life on hold so I didn’t have to deal with her. This is definitely something to write in my journal about.  She’s a bitch.  She has 4 kids from three different men so she doesn’t have to work.    I’m going to stop now.  Yeah, there is definitely some anger here that I need to deal with.

 

In early January my husband and I took my step daughter to Vegas for a weekend to celebrate her 18th birthday.  Spending the weekend with her brought up a lot of emotions for me.  Our relationship hasn’t been easy and isn’t how I would like it to be because of her mother.   We used to have a great relationship, but then her mother got jealous and ruined it.   I feel my step children will never know the real me because of all the lies their mother told them about me.  It hurts, but that’s the way it is.  You can only take getting screwed over so many times before you give up and say Screw It!  I tried, but nothing I did was ever good enough.   I know I’m dragging negative emotions from all of the things that have happened in the past 13 years into 2018.  Now that she’s an adult and will graduate from high school in June I’m hoping I can deal with some of these negative emotions and move on.   I didn’t realize how heavily my emotions weighed on me until I spent the weekend with her.  We did have a good time, but there is that level of distrust that I feel even though I know that she knows how mother is.  Or is she playing us to get things out of us?

I still am a little angry with my little brother.  You all know that.  It’s an on going thing that may not ever get better.  It’s been good lately.  We’ve been texting.  When I stop by my mom we talk and laugh.  I’m pleasantly surprised.

I’m sad because I miss my dad.  I know it was his time to die, but there is still a big hole in my life because he’s not here.  I know this is will always be here.  I don’t think it gets easier.  I think you get used to it.  I know he is with me.  I can feel him around me, but sometimes that doesn’t make it any easier.

Now that I know what negative emotions I’m probably dragging over into 2018 I can deal with them and let them go.  I was thinking I could visualize myself putting them into a hot air balloon and watch them float away.  Or write them on a piece of paper and rip it up into small pieces and flush it down the toilet.

I wonder what good things will come into my life once I let go of all that old crap.  I’ll let you know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Anger

As I watch/deal with my brother’s anger I have to think about my own anger.  I don’t get angry very often.  Let me rephrase that.  I used to not get angry very often.  I was happy go lucky.  That is until menopause kicked in.  I am a little bit angrier now.  I am a lot less patient and most of the time that leads to me getting angry.

At the campground this summer I couldn’t get the anti gravity chair open and almost threw it.  My anger caught me off guard.  My husband or brother calmly helped me open the chair.  They have seen my quick temper, but my brother and sister in law have not.  I was embarrassed and knew I had to get my anger under control.

At work we have a program called EAP (Employee Assistance Program) where you can get five free counseling sessions a year.  I knew I needed help dealing with my anger so I called and made an appointment.  My counseling session went really well.  She talked to me about how to figure out what my trigger points are, what to do when I hit one of my trigger points and the steps I need to take to control my anger.  I had no idea I had trigger points, but the more we talked the more I realized what a couple of them were.  Stupid people.  People who don’t want to work.  Slow cashiers.   I learned a lot about myself and my anger in that hour.   I even received handouts to take home.  It’s nice to be able to refer to something when I’m having anger issues.   I’m a big believer in counseling.  Knowledge is power.  Sometimes it’s very helpful to talk to someone who doesn’t know you or your situation.  I have gone to counseling to deal with things happening in my life, big and small,  many times over the last twenty years.  The sessions are free so I use them when I need to.

The counseling session helped.  Last week I was putting away parts at work and I could feel myself getting angry because I couldn’t find the drawer they went in.  I knew I had a couple of choices.  I could ask for help.  I could walk away and come back when I calmed down.  Or I could get pissed off.  I walked away for five minutes and then asked for help.  I realized in my time out that getting pissed off over something so simple as not being able to find the parts I needed was really stupid.  I’m glad I went to the counseling session because it really helped put things into perspective.  I knew I was getting pissed off and I knew what to do about it.  It ended calmly.

I often think about what my brother’s anger is doing to his health, but is my anger  doing to my health?  No.  I think if it is it is very minimal, but I have noticed a couple of things.  At the dentist office last week my blood pressure was high.  They were concerned.  I wasn’t.  I was late because I had to stop for a train and there wasn’t any place to turn around so I had to sit and wait.  Instead of using that time wisely and saying positive affirmations or doing something positive the longer I sat there the more I got pissed.  The good thing is that I realized what I was doing.  Not right away, but a half hour later.  It’s an improvement.

I grind my teeth when I’m angry.  I don’t know if this is really a health issue, but I can see on the bottom of my two front teeth where I have grinded them.  I have grinded my teeth since high school and I wear a night guard at night, but in the last couple of years I can see/feel that I grind my teeth during the day — usually at work.  I have a little check mark on my desk at work that reminds me to check my jaw position during the day.  If I am clenching, I take a couple of deep breathes and figure out what is making me mad.  Sometimes it something at work and sometimes it’s not.

I know it’s not possible to never get angry.  I know that people/situations are going to piss me off.   I know that when I do get angry I need to keep it under control, but sometimes that is easier said than done.

I want to get back to being happy go lucky.

 

New Year Same Old Crap

“A new year, but the same old crap,” A coworker, V, said to me on our first day back to work after the New Year’s break.

It struck me as funny.  Did she  really think that since we started a new year that our work situation would be new as well?  Did she think her coworker problems would be gone?  Problems with management be gone?  It’s silly to think just because a new year started that all your problems would go away on January 2.

Wouldn’t that be great if that happened without any work on our part?  That when we walked into work on January 2nd management would tell us, “Since it’s the beginning of the year we’re going to give you a big, fat raise and all of your problems are going to disappear.  Just tell us what problems you have and we will take care of them.  And tell us what your passion is and we will do our best to fill within the company.  You have our word.”

Right.

Unfortunately it’s not that simple.  It would be nice if it would be, but it’s not.  If we want our job situation to change at the beginning of the year than we have to decide way before January 2 what the changes we want to make are.  We can’t expect the company to change our work situation if we aren’t happy with it.  It is our job to make ourselves happy.  Not our employers job.

I don’t think my coworker realizes it is her job.  With some thought and goals she could be the change she wants/needs, but I think some of us are dreamers.  We dream big in our heads, but we don’t necessarily follow through in life.  I can relate to this in certain areas in my life.  Like my writing.  I think life gets in the way.  Fear, doubt, low self-esteem and other issues get in the way.  We don’t make time to make it happen.  We continue to do the same things, but expect our lives to change.  That isn’t how it happens.

I think if we really want to change in our lives we have to become doers and not wait for others to give us permission, the stars to be in perfect alignment or whatever else we are waiting for.  I think we need to put on our big girl (or boy) pants and make it happen.  I know this is sometimes easier said than done, but we have to try.  We have to try every day.  One step at a time.  One goal at a time.  Sometimes one day at a time.

It’s not easy.  It may be painful to be honest with yourself and figure out a way of making your dreams a reality.  You’re the only one who can figure out what is keeping you from your achieving your dreams.  You might be in your own way.  You may need to leave your job.  Your significant other.  Find different friends.  Or you may find that your dream isn’t what you want and you have to dream another dream.

But you have to try.  You have to try hard.  You need to make space in your life for your dream.  You have to make time in your life.  You have to make it important.  Find people in your life that will help you make your dream become a reality.  Be friends with people who are smarter than you and that you can learn things from.  You have to be willing to go out on a limb.  You have to be willing to be you.

I am going to write for an hour today to get one step closer to making my writing dream a reality.

What are you going to do today to make your dream a reality?

Need inspiration?  Take a look at my blog friend, LA’s, blog “Waking Up On The Wrong Side of 50”  (I know.  I know.  I still to learn how to tag blogs.  It’s on my list of blogging stuff to do).  She’s kicking butt and achieving her 2018 goals.   Reading her blog inspires me and keeps me motivated to achieve my goals.  Keep going girl!