Monday, May 31, 2010

May 31, 2010

Memorial Day is a time to remember all of those who have gone before us and cleared a path that makes it possible to follow our dreams today. Our fallen soldiers rightfully stand in today's spotlight, but please don't forget the others who have enabled us to step beyond yesterdays limitations and into today's possibilities. Remember the adventurers who bravely walked out into the unknown which has since become our home; the thinkers who explored concepts that have improved life in this world; teachers who made sure that the population could not be held down due to ignorance; doctors who strive to improve the quality of life and the length we can enjoy it; every individual no matter their title or roll who has taken a step forward and tugged the rest of us along with them into a better place in history. And please don't forget that one day, when our feet no longer walk upon this Earth, we too will have left things to remember behind. No matter how great or how small, try to make the footprints you leave behind worth following and stepping beyond.
And on those mighty big hopes and words, it's time to let you know where my feet will be taking me this week. Garden plants that will feed us through the year are in process of being planted, so that comes first. There is a definite need for a clean house, so I think that should go on the list. We've got two birthdays around here this week (mine is tomorrow, Mom's is Saturday) so cake and fun with the family get mixed in. Hmmm... book... book... book... ah yes, I need to redo an illustration that I'm not happy with and make sure of my page sizes and margins.(I'm posting the cover illustration that I think I'm going to go with today) Maybe not civilization changing goals, but all very life affirming, positive and (at least I believe) great ways to say "thank you" to those who have gone before so that I can be who I am and follow this path that I have chosen.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

May 29, 2010

I have reached the end of the week, the end of the list, and hopefully the end of the mood. My "rose colored glasses" still feel a little cracked around the edges, but the mucky reality that people choose to wallow in isn't making me growl quite so loud anymore. Things are as they are, and so are people. The only changes I can make are the ones to myself and what I can touch. It only took two flower beds and a really full schedule to make me remember that too (laughing)! So now there is a beautiful day out there kicking off a long weekend that bumps right up against my birthday. Seems like a shame to waste even a minute of it with the residual grunge of a bad mood, so I'm off to enjoy it all! I hope yours is wonder-filled too! (I hope you like the sneak peak of Clyde!)

Monday, May 24, 2010

May 24, 2010

The sun is shining (between rains anyway), the birds are chirping, the feeling of growth is floating through the spring air… and I feel like beating my head against a brick wall. I’ve debated this particular blog entry all weekend. I believe that trying to keep a positive frame of mind is really important when you are attempting to make progress (which I am). I also think that roadblocks and frustrations come along to make us look at where we are and make sure we are still heading in the right direction. However, my May feels like it should have a big banner draped across it that says “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Frustration of this magnitude is enough to make me want to drown the horse by trying to force it out of dehydration. This type of mood is perfect bait for my inner micro-manager. It also makes me wonder if I’ve chosen the right direction. Scary thought. Scarier to share. Very unproductive no matter what angle you look at it from. The good thing is that deep down I know I can’t force anyone but me to do anything – no matter how much they need to catch up with school, remember to acknowledge important dates, stop trying to make me be responsible for their bad behavior and the chaos that comes as payment for it, etc. I can only make my feet walk on my own path and I can only make myself drink from the water in front of me. And believe me I have no intentions of withering away – even on a day like this. So here is what I’m on my way to this week:
I’ve got the rest of the illustrations for Clyde to finish. Then I’m going to get them all scanned and set in their spots at the beginning of each chapter. I’m also going to make a decision on background color for the cover and finish that. As for a positive channel for this mood… look out weeds, here I come. Minimum: the flower bed between the house and garage, but I’m sure not going to limit myself on how many I can work on. By Friday when I update, I figure I’ll either have worked my way through the mood, into an epiphany or need a nap. No matter what, I’ll be closer to my goals, which is always a good thing.

Friday, May 21, 2010

May 21, 2010

There are pluses and minuses to everything. Some of them even start out the same way. Take homeschooling for instance. One of the pluses is that we don't end up picking up every germ going around, so are therefore not sick very often during the year. One of the minuses is that we don't end up picking up every germ around, so don't build up quite as much of an immunity as we could. I'm trying to look at this week as an immunity builder instead of a misery maker. Me and Chance got it first, and now that we are both feeling more human, it seems to be Mason's turn. At this point I'm just hoping that Scott doesn't end up with it at all, or at least not when he needs to travel. Our house sounds like an add for cold medicine. All the company would have to do is record the coughing and sneezing, whining, etc. and play it over a picture of their cold medicine with the words "Feel better." at the end - they'd make millions (laughing). But speaking of whining, that's about enough out of me. Time to cheer instead.
I made it to the end of my To Do List this week. Illustrations are coming along well. I am debating the background color for the cover, but I know exactly how I want it to look other than that, and have Clyde all ready for her spot on it. Chapter illustrations are coming along better than I could have hoped too. I'm not fond of sketching or sticking to black and white, but I'm actually having fun coming up with the ideas right now.
I also finished reading Theresa's manuscript and got my critique done. I'm really excited for her. Her story is heart wrenching, but her strength is inspiring!
Now I'm off to pick out my flowers and pick up some groceries. Seen you on Monday with the next step forward!

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 17, 2010

I have no idea how my husband does it. He can do a 16 hour round trip road journey that requires 5 hours of work between the driving episodes, and then turn around and work from his home office early the next morning like he had been home the whole time. We do a weekend trip where we enjoy fun with the extended family who are only six hours from our house, I get a good nights sleep once we get home, and still here I am dragging on this rainy Monday. It's enough to make a person feel positively wimpy by comparison! However, here I am, and since I made it this far I suppose that setting some goals for the week is in order. Luckily I've got an almost ready made list since I didn't manage to finish up last week!
The first thing I'm going to be on my way to this week is illustrations for Clyde the Undead Dust-bunny. Since I know what she looks like, I'm going to work on the cover and chapter illustrations for the first 5 chapters. That should put me halfway done with the illustration part of the book.
I am also going to finish up the manuscript critique I almost got done last week, and read the last part of Theresa's manuscript. (Side note: For anyone interested in reading more about how to overcome some incredibly difficult circumstances and still be a wonderfully well balanced and good person by the end of them, visit Theresa's website at I'm sure she'd love to have you drop by, check out excerpts from her book and collection of short stories and follow her blog!)
If I can finish those couple of things up this week, a giant weight will be lifted, and I will no longer feel like such a slug! Then next week I can find something new to be headed for with more of a positive feeling. I hope your week goes well! Stop back on Friday to see if my motivation kicked in!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

May 15, 2010

I'm a day late, but wow, the days this week were busy! I didn't quite make it to the end of my list, but I did get an extra day with family so it more than makes up for it! Watching my sister graduate with her bachelor's degree today after all the struggle that it's taken her to get there, getting play and snuggle time with my niece, seeing family that I love and don't get to see often... WAY more than worth missing out on a few flowers! This afternoon/evening is the graduation party and I'm looking forward to celebrating Jen's accomplishment with her. I'm posting a picture of Jen from a few years ago. It may look like I'm just being lazy and not taking the time to get one off of the camera from the graduation ceremony today, but I wanted to give a nod to my brother-in-law, Bryan for being the great kind of guy he is, and being there for Jen during this last push toward her goal.
Just a quick moment to pat myself on the back for what I DID get done before the festivities. I know what Clyde looks like - although Sheridan has my color picture happily stuck on her wall now =) - and shouldn't have too much trouble reproducing her both for the cover (which I think I have a good idea for) and in black and white for the chapter illustrations. I also sent in three entries for the Writer's Digest 79th Annual Writing Competition. I may not win, but I'm proud of myself for taking the chance! I'm also only a few pages from the end of critiquing the second part of my friend's manuscript. Really, I'm not far from the end of this week's tunnel, and I'm happy with the progress I did make.
Monday will have me back to the same old same old, but for now: A Toast to Jen! I'm so very proud of you, my sister!

Monday, May 10, 2010

May 10, 2010

This week is already starting off with that teeter-totter like feeling that I really like to avoid. I woke up to find that this morning's frost - that I completely forgot was supposed to happen - had killed all but two of my basil plants. I'm kicking myself for this especially since those plants were happily taking up space on my hubby's work counter in the garage until yesterday afternoon when I decided to put them out in the sunshine so they could grow... Evidently this was not my best judgement call. On the up side, I did find the stamps that we were sure had been thrown away, mailed off along with a bill, or possibly eaten by office gnomes. The stamps were in my purse... right where I had put them so I wouldn't forget where they were. And those are just two examples from this lovely Monday - I'll spare you the rest. I'm sure you've had days just like this too (and I'm sure you're secretly snickering if it's not your turn to be having one today). I'm actually debating on how many times I'm going to have to re-read this and run spell check before I post just to counteract all the errors I'm sure I won't see the first time though. I am determined though. Call it lunatic optimism or a desperate avoidance of the truth if you will. I still have a list for this week, and I'm going to do what it takes to get to the end of it - I need more basil after all!
So here it is: My To Do List. This wonderful week ahead will have me on my way to finishing a short story in the hopes that I can wrestle it into shape for a contest deadline that just happens to be Friday. What can I say, procrastination seems to be one of my strong points.
I am also getting my sketch book out so I can get Clyde to appear on the page instead of just in my head. July is really not that far off after all, and I need a cover and eleven chapter illustrations. I figure if I start now, look at all the time I have to just dink around before I have to start sweating the deadline! My goal for this week is to figure out a repeatable character to draw and have at least three sketches done. I'm really looking forward to it too! Clyde just makes me feel happy.
Last but definitely not least, I really need to fit in some critique time for my friend's manuscript. I feel awful that it takes me so long to give her feedback, but life has been busy lately, and critiquing keeps getting put on the back burner. My goal is to have the second section sent back to her by Friday.
Did I mention that there are family festivities this weekend? My sister, Jen, is graduating from college! I'm so very proud of her, and I can't wait to toast her accomplishment at the party on Saturday! I wonder how it will feel for her to have that off of her own To Do List... My guess is amazingly good!
That being said, I'd better get my behind in gear and start moving toward the end of this weeks tunnel. I'm really hoping that I'll be smiling at the end of the journey!

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010

I promised a recent picture of Mason in my last post, so here it is (I stole it fair and square since he wouldn't figure out where he wanted one taken)! That little 5lb. 8oz. itty bitty, long leggedy baby boy is now my 6ft. tall, broad shouldered Yeti-ish young man. I gotta say, I'm pretty proud of him too! So happy 17th birthday to him tomorrow!

As for my little list, I have been successful, and there are marigolds, alyssum, pansies and basil out on the porch to prove it. I'm going to try to get them in tonight since they are looking a bit wilty already.

Another busy week next week - I have yet to decide what I'll be on my way to. For not, I'm off to bake a cake for tomorrows party!

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 3, 2010

Okay, I might as well just face the fact head on. I am going to be worthless this week. Mason turns 17 on Saturday, and there's too much to do in the mundane world to be on my way to anything but possibly some Mommy Sniffles of pride and just a touch of wistfulness for the fact that my little boy is really a young man. Life just moves forward so fast! He's the best Mother's Day gift I could have ever asked for too! He was born 3 1/2 hours before Mother's Day, and this year repeats the pattern, so it's extra special to me.
My only plan is to finish the little bit of painting on the trunk that has now been altered into a TV stand and blanket storage, and do some weeding. If I get both of those done along with getting ready for the weekend I will be happy - and I will get flowers! Sometimes short lists are good things (smile)!