Monthly Archives: November 2013

Section One of my Nano Novel- The Winter Guardian


It isn’t divided into chapters yet, and is only edited for glaring errors.  I don’t think I’m going to win this year.  I have only hit 27000 words so far and only have the rest of this week.  Enjoy!!!  Also, if anyone has an opinion, most YA fiction is written in the first person, I’m not sure if I should go that route if I do the rewrite next year.  I’ll be kinda glad to get back to revision of my other book when I’m done with November. 



     Jessie peeked over the shoulders of her teammates as they waited to take the floor.  The group of thirteen girls held their flags tightly, clutching them closely as not to drop them.  The group performing ahead of them seemed to be having a fabulous time out on the floor; they wore smiles that looked natural and unforced, their flag movements, while a little simpler than the moves that her group was about to perform, were perfectly timed with the music.

     It was Jessie’s first year doing winterguard, which involved using flags, rifles made from wood, and sabres and choreographing them into a dance routine to music.  Then, the groups would meet at different schools in the region, and compete against each other for scores.  Jessie’s group, Serendipity, was currently in third place in their division, and the score for tonight would hopefully bump them to first or second. 

     Every group got a certificate for their hard work and dedication, but only the top three groups came back home with a medal.
The girls watched in awe as the group before them, Oakville High School Winterguard, nailed the big hit.  That was the part near the end where all the girls were out on the floor with their flags, moving in unison, flags flying, music soaring through the speakers, the crowd silent as it caught up in the moment.  Then it was over, and the crowd burst into applause, and the nerves in Jessie’s stomach twisted just a little tighter, as the previous group clear the floor of their equipment, and then their floor was set up. 

     She took her position on the floor, near one of the backdrops painted as a sunny sky.  Her part in the beginning was minimal, she performed a few dancing movements, a couple twirls, and then daintily, and gracefully stepped out of the audience’s sight.  Her flag leaned against the back of the unfinished gray wood, right where it was supposed to be, and she positioned it quickly and waited for her cue to come back out the the floor.

     Tiffany, the best girl on the team – she’d had dance lessons her entire life and gymnastics and had a lot to bring to the sport – ran behind the backdrop to exchange her flag for a rifle, and Jessie ran out, flag low, and then swirled it high overhead in perfect time to the music, and a huge grin broke out.  She could do this. 

     Her sequence here was again, quite short, but she’d been entrusted with the throws in sequence, and again she nailed it.  The music rang through her ears, and she even started to play for the audience.  But now, it was time to go behind another backdrop, this time, to wait for the big hit.  She watched as Tiffany threw her rifle up into the air, and then spun around and caught it with a bow with the drums of the music.  The music paused as she held the position, and then the refrain of the music began.  She counted the beats – she needed to be the fifth one out, and not miss her cue or the whole routine would be thrown off. 

     She felt like the success of the entire show depended on if she missed one beat, and her concentration paid off as she hit the beat of the music perfectly, and she let herself go into the music, swirling her flag and dancing, up slowly, down and around quickly, perfectly synchronized with the other twelve girls on the floor.

     This was the best she’d ever performed, since beginning five months ago, and she smiled wide and backed up without thinking in between the line of girls behind her as they came forward, swooshing their flags down as hers swooshed up at the same time.
After a few moves later, they rotated in a circle, and she came around to the front again.

     Her smile faltered as the chorus to the song repeated.  Wait.  Was she supposed to go forward?  Or backward again.  Her palms began to sweat as nerves took hold of her control and held it hostage.  Wait.  Wait.

     Oh my God.  She couldn’t remember.  Her feet stumbled for a moment, and she glanced around, but couldn’t, for some reason, place where she was supposed to be.  She second guessed herself, and went backward, and for a split second, she thought that she had guess correctly.

     Until her flag pole made contact with something, the metal reverberating into her arm.

     She gasped and glanced to her right.  She’d hit someone with her pole.  She saw blood pour from the other girl’s face.  Her hands were across her face, and everyone was dressed in the smae thing, so it didn’t register at first that she’d hit Tiffany in the face.
Jessie panicked, throwing down her flag, and running for the curtain, as Tiffany began twirling her flag again, blood streaming down her face.  She took one last glance back, registered the hatred glaring back at her, and then disappeared behind the curtain.  She wanted to hide.

     She hid in the corner, choking on her tears and shame and fear, and listened to the music come to a stop not thirty seconds later.  She felt guilty, knowing that the others were picking up her stuff, and that she’d left them in their hour of need.  she couldn’t believe what she’d done, and tried to remember the routine up to the point where she’d screwed it all up.

     No one spoke her her, and the other girls were silent, as they tip toed around her, trying to get their shoes. 

     Finally, she glanced up, and met the gaze of Stacia, the director and choreographer of the group.  “I’m so sorry,” she whimpered.

     Stacia sighed, and set a hand on her shoulder.  “What happened out there?  It looked like you were doing great?”

     Jessie sniffled and wiped her nose with her arm.  “I don’t know.  I was doing great until I lost track if we were on the first chorus or the second.  I don’t know what happened.  Suddenly Tiff…  Tiffany was there.  She’s going to hate me!”

     “Okay.  Let’s pull it together, okay?”

     Curious bystanders glanced at the woman and the girl in the corner.

     Jessie sniffed and nodded. 

     “Jess, stay here by our things, all right?  I have to check on Tiffany and see what is going on.  Her parents are here and likely furious.” 

     Jessie cringed and Stacia stopped talking and sighed.  “I’ll stay here.  Am I going to be in trouble?”

     “I don’t imagine she or her parents will be any too pleased about this, but these things do happen.”  Stacia glanced up, prepared to do damage control.  “Just lay low for a bit, okay?  Do you want to go back to the hotel?”

     Jessie shrugged.  “Maybe.”

     “I’ll be back in a bit,” said Stacia, and she left Jessie there crying mournfully into her hands.

     She didn’t look up for a long while until a slipper nudged her, not so gently, in the leg.  She glanced up with red swollen eyes and saw Madison, Tiffany’s best friend, standing there, glaring down at her.  “Are you happy with yourself?”

     A snot bubble burst from Jessie’s nose, and she swiped it away on her extra shirt she’d dug out of her bag.  “Do I look happy?  Is she okay?”

     “Her parents are so mad at you.  They’re taking her to the hospital to get x-rays.  You probably broke her nose, you know.”

     Jessie couldn’t meet the other girl’s scornful gaze.  “I know.” It came out as a whisper.

     “You’re such a loser.  What the hell is wrong with you?”

     She didn’t look up, the cruel words sinking into her. 

     “Tiffany is going to hate you, and so is everyone else.”  Madison spat the words at her.  “You aren’t cut out for this, so stay away from us from now on.”  She flomped away in her bear slippers and left Jessie sitting on the cold floor with the haphazard pile of flags, the folded up vinyl the made up their dancing surface, and the assorted bags and piles of clothes, feeling alone and miserable to the world.  The rest of the team would hate her now, and the whole school would know what happened, especially she was certain that Tiffany and her friends would be happy to tell everyone when she came in with a broken nose and blackened eyes to school next week.

     Tiffany was one of the most popular girls in school, and usually didn’t lord it over people, but Jessie felt certain that this would not be one of those times.  A mother of one of the other girls was heading back to the hotel, claiming she had a migraine and needed to lie down, and offered to take Jessie back with her. 

     Jessie went gratefully, gathering her stuff from the area, and silently following the woman out.  It was the mother of Natalie, one of the freshman on the team, and she offered some vague consolation on the incident, and stated that it could have happened to any of them.

     Jessie just shrugged and nodded, simultaneously certain that that was true and untrue at the same time.  the hotel wasn’t far, and she went into her room to watch TV and try to distract herself from the fact that she’d ruined her life.  It was almost midnight when the other girls came back, and she faked sleep under the stiff hotel blankets until they finally went to bed.


What shall I do today?


I should go to the gym, work on my novel, clean the house some, fold some laundry, put away dishes.

I have to go to my church tonight at 6:00 to share pie and thanksgiving with my church family, and then choir practice.  That is the only thing I have to do that is set in stone.

I want to go shopping and eat bad foods.  Like a double chocolate chip muffin from au bon pain.  I don’t know if that place is in business anymore, but they should be.  And if they aren’t, they should make a cookbook from the soups they used to sell and I would totally go shopping at the book store and buy it.  Kill two birds with one stone, right?

Anyway, it’s almost 2, which gives me 4 hours to do whatever I want to do.  Or should do.

I’m at 25,170 words right now out of 50,000 which needs to be done by Saturday at midnight.  I’ll come on a little later to let you know how much I can do in 4 hours.


The Yelling. Not the YELLING!


We have yelling issues in our house.  I think I started it many moons ago when my kids grew up enough to not listen to me, and in my own immaturity at that time, I coped with my frustration by yelling.  I am actually aware of my propensity for yelling, and am trying to re-channel my coping mechanisms with a fair amount of success.

You will never hear me say that I’m a patient person.  Most of the time I look patient, and I’ve pretty much perfected the “calm face”, partially because I’m trying to avoid wrinkles as I age, partially because there’s a stupid part of me that thinks that if I have a calm face, I will be calm. 

On the inside, however, I’m trying not to rip out my hair and throw things as I calmly and calculatedly go on with attempting to make whatever is making me crazy STOP NOW.

We have conversations about yelling in our house.  We yell in our house.  We yell up the stairs for fellow family members to come down.  Or down the stairs for them to come up.  Whichever is apropos.  We yell when we’re mad.  We yell when we’re sad.  We laugh loud.  It’s sort of yelling, but happy.  We also yell at each other about yelling. 

(Also, I notice as I write this, that the word “yell” is one of those words that starts to lose meaning when you write it repeatedly.)

When someone yells at me because they asked me to do something, kinda rudely, and then I don’t do it because the manners weren’t used, and then they yell at me for not doing it, and then when that person gets yelled at back, and then the first person yells that the second person is yelling?

I know that’s a run on sentence.  Sorry about that.  I think I made my point though.  I’m happy to say I was not really the giver or the recipient of the yells today.  I had to listen to them, though, and decided that was a battle I didn’t want to pick.

I guess that I’m saying that yelling is like a bad habit.  I managed to stop biting my nails after trying for decades.  I’m doing a fairly successful job at quitting swearing.  I was at the employment place today where I described my former boss as “a nice man” who is “trying to save money”.  LMAO.  I really can’t talk about that aspect, but on the surface that’s true.  I can’t say he’s a greedy bleep bleep who doesn’t give a bleep about anything but his bleeping money.”  But that would be true as well.  And I stopped myself from saying it.

I wonder how dysfunctional we really are.  I have actually stated (usually in the summer) that the neighbors are going to think we’re white trash or something. 

That’s okay.  I love my family, with its quirks, its idiosyncrasies, its weirdness, and its yelling. 


Think I’m done with Nano


Can’t focus on the work right now.  You’d think being out of work, I would be taking advantage of my time off and writing my butt off, but instead I just can’t do it.  Really, it’s not too late to play catch up at this point, but I would have to make a serious effort in the next week to finish it.  I’m already a week behind.

I’m thinking I should finish the second draft of the book I was working on and just get it done.  I can always pick up this project later on, right?

I don’t know what to do. 

Well, yeah.  I need to make a list of what to do and just get all my procrastinating over with.  That’s not a list I’m going to post here though, because I’m still a little raw about the whole getting laid off thing.  And the whole being denied for unemployment thing.  I’m really thinking I should run out and get some sort of job, any flippin’ job right now just to bring in something.  It just really sucks that I would be making more on unemployment than I would be at some minimum wage job.  And that could screw up my benefits. 

*sigh again.  Been *sighing* a lot lately.  I’m getting bored with it. 

All right.  I’ll re-think Nano, and re-think a whole bunch of other stuff, and then get my creativity switch turned back on.  I’m can only whine for so long before I get tired of hearing myself, and I think my time for whining is up.  Which is good, because the time for action has arrived.

blah blah blah.

Good thing my posts are kinda short for the most part.  LOL





Extremely frustrating Wednesday.


1.  Had to get out the door at 6:45 to get to unemployment office.

2.  Had to wait for 4.5 hours to be seen.

3.  Told there’s nothing they can do unless my ex-employer fixes the error that was made and that I have to file for benefits even if I’m not getting paid so that eventually, I will get paid.

4.  Maybe I was being morbid but since I was already down, I stopped at the bank that holds our mortgage and told them that my husband and I might need to talk with them about my losing my job.

5.  Wept a little.

6.  Made dinner.  Vegged out the rest of the night watching TV in a frantic bid to forget my stupid problems which works in the moment, but can only be construed as denial in the long run.


Anyway, will go to ex-work tomorrow and give them the fund-raiser stuff they ordered from my daughter, eat lunch, and mock our fearless leader.  Who apparently has “a plan”.  Oooooooooohhhhhhhh. 

I really need to find out how people post the little videos in their blogs.  I’m such a newb.  But think of the little rubber spacemen in the claw machine in Toy Story all going “OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH the claw!”  and you’ll sort of get the feel of what I’m going for here.

Anyway, I finished watching My Name is Earl and was extremely frustrated to find out that it was cancelled in mid-cliffhanger.  What’s up with that?  At least let them do one more episode so we can have closure!

And now, maybe I can focus on my book again.  I’m getting tired of this emotional roller coaster.

It is Wednesday, isn’t it?


Waiting in line is boring.


Only 39 people in front of me at unemployment. I stressed myself out so bad yesterday that I’m going to have to go to the gym again. It’s either that or sit at home and eat comfort food. I’d really prefer not to gain 20 pounds while I’m off work. :/

What a cluster. And almost everyone I’ve spoken to has been here more than once. I bet my odds of having to come back next week are pretty good.

My regards to the State of michigan and their wonderful display of organization. Further regards to my former boss, who put me in this spot.

Actually, I’m not blaming the state. Just my boss. But I blogged about that a couple weeks ago.

What’s really getting me down is my complete lack of faith during this time. Am I sitting back, with complete assurance that God will provide?

Not really. Instead I’m a frazzled, worried mess. With a tension headache and unbelievable knots of stress in my neck.

It’s a time of trial and my faith is weak. And I know God has a plan. But my brain just won’t make my heart and my head agree on this point.

I’m praying this gets resolved, and quickly.

Getting ready for my job interview.


Have I ever mentioned that job interviews rank in my top ten most hated things to do?  Root canal beats it by a couple points.

So I spent the morning making myself as pretty as I get, buffing and polishing (as much as I do, lol) to up my confidence factor to have some shmoe at the clinic where I’m interviewing judge me on my first impression. 

It’s kind of nice to get dolled up and prettified once in a while, but low self esteem has dogged me since elementary school, and it all comes flying back at me on occasions like this.  Also, I need to drop about 80 pounds and I feel every pound of that when I’m being scrutinized like this.  I feel like that’s all they see is my weight and that any potential as a future candidate goes out the door when they see me.  Of course, I get the interview, and all is polite and nice, and at the end, I get the “Well, we’re still interviewing other candidates, but we’ll be in touch.”

The last job I got was because I’d worked there in the past, and they hire people who breathe.  LOL

The job before that, I didn’t take because the boss asked interview-inappropriate questions such as, “So, are you planning to have more children?”  Also LOL.

The job before that, I got fired because the boss didn’t like the fact that she HAD to take me because one of my co-workers (ish) who was well known at the hospital pulled some strings and pretty much forced me in.  (She has been fired since, LOL)

The job before that, I got in because a friend of mine worked there.  Maybe they actually liked me.  I don’t know. 

Whatever.  I actually had an offer last year.  Maybe I should have taken it.  But since I liked my co-workers so much, I decided that the timing was wrong.  And that offer was based on my own merit (I assume.  Maybe they just hire people that breathe, too.)


I wonder if I put too much of myself out there sometimes.  Maybe I need to reign it in some.  Sometimes I think that people don’t want to know me this well.  Though, they have to option not to read what I write.

I’d really like to start working again though.  I wish I could afford to stay home and be a writer and school volunteer and whatnot, but I chose to buy a car a year and a half ago, and I chose to move into a house, so my choice has to be working.  End of story.  If I pay off my bills and move, I might have better options for part-time work.  I know I can’t stay home and write while I’m stressing about money.

Anyway, wish me luck, and I hope that I get it, and if not, that the unemployment comes through for me.  My interview is at noon, EST, so prayers will be appreciated!