Monday, August 8, 2011

Back to School: Let the Writing Officially Rev Up

It is the first day of my Darling Teen's Senior Year. Wow! I can't believe it's here. She's pretty much been home since mid-April due to her mono diagnosis. She did go to school to take her finals, rehearse and act in her drama class's play, and take her AP exams, but for the most part she was home with me.

Not that it was that difficult. Teens basically sleep, but then there were the college tours, the trips to see old friends, and hosting her BF here in Alabama. So writing was daily, but not for long periods of time. And once the teen does rise, well the blaring of the TV rises with her. It's hard to concentrate when endless marathons of the Millionaire Matchmaker and Toddlers & Tiaras are blasting through the house. 

And I confess I do get a guilty pleasure out of watching these shows. They're like eating Sweet Tarts. You know you shouldn't like them, but you eat them anyway.

This week on the Veranda, I'll be hosting my first RWA National Conference roomie who has a DEBUT NOVEL coming out. Christina Wolfer and I met via the matching site online for the 2009 Conference. She's a wonderful person and a talented writer. I'm thrilled to share her success and her writing journey with you on August 10th.

On Friday I will share with you an incident that happened last week. I was plagiarized!! Now I don't get mad very often. People tend to think I'm a nice person. I like to live up to that reputation. However, this just makes me very angry. Even worse, my funny blog post on the PETIT FOURS & HOT TAMALES blog is being used to drive people to an extremely offensive site. You can bet I won't sit still for that kind of violation. I'm still in the I-want-to-knock-them-down-with-a-blow ticked off to write about the site's theft, but by Friday I will be cooled down. 

In other news, I finally turned in my notice as the Heart of Dixie Online Workshop coordinator. I will step down in 2012. Perhaps someone will want to take over this job, or not. I've personally noticed a downward trend in interest in all online workshops unless they are hosted and taught by the top tier lecturers (think Margie Lawson!). So perhaps it's time to reconsider hosting them. But that's not my call. It's the board's and, as always, I defer to their wisdom. Meanwhile, I am doing a very bad set of cartwheels because this means I will have more time to spend with my graduating senior.

I'm still missing DFC very much. I wish I could say the tears have ended. They haven't. I can't think about her, the final goodbye, without crying. And there are days when I just can't believe she's gone. I'll break down at odd times. You know, the kind of moments when you're used to your pet just being with you and she isn't. Nothing major. Usually at night, when we're curled up on the couches watching television I am a bit sad because DFC always came to visit me.

And when I write. I don't know why but the writing isn't the same without my furry friend sitting on my lap, her paws on the keyboard and her eyes watching the words form on the computer screen, as I write my stories. Maybe that is why this story, HER PRISONER OF LOVE, is going so slow for me. I can't concentrate without my furry little feline distracting me with her immense cuteness. So yah, I'm sad. They say people cry a river or an ocean when they grieve. But ultimately, they cry until their souls are so parched of water that they are a desert, hot and dry with blazing winds blasting across their sands. Nothing can ease that kind of pain. Only time. Time which sends a gentle breeze and a sprinkling of mist to quench the soul's quest for relief. I'm waiting for the mist and the gentle breeze. 

Other than missing my darling DFC I'm excited about this year. My daughter and I are on a Weight Watcher's diet plan. And it's really working for us. We've each lost 5 pounds! I've converted three of my own recipes on the WW website, and I've made 4 of their recipes. Only one failed to satisfy our family. The rest of the meals were delicious. I don't feel deprived at all. The points are easy to calculate if you don't already know the values, and I'm still allowed a glass or 3 of wine LOL.

I've also been working out at the local YMCA. It's a fantastic, brand new facility. It makes me happy to workout in such a light, bright space. I bring my Margie Lawson lectures with me. I have them on my Nook thanks to GWEN HERNANDEZ who taught me how to convert the computer files to PDF and transfer them to my NOOK. She's a technological whiz!!

Who knows? Maybe I'll be svelte by the time I get to the MOONLIGHT & MAGNOLIAS GRWA conference at the end of September! I'm excited to go this year. My dear friend and CP, SHARON WRAY, is a finalist in the Single Title Unpublished category. So she's coming to Atlanta to share a room with me and two other great friends. And I'm a date again. Time to trot out all the pretty clothes for the big gala they host to celebrate the Published and Unpublished Maggie Finalists.

So while there is a tinge of sadness in my life, and even tho' I'm fisticuff mad at that awful site for stealing my blog for nefarious purposes, I still have a happy heart.

So how are you all feeling today? Do you have happy hearts? Or are you grappling to find your happy heart?


Rashda Khan said...

*Hugs* regarding DFC. As a pet lover, I feel for you. As for my day...busy, but productive. So that's good. :) Have a great Monday!

Christine said...

Thanks Rashda! I appreciate your kind words. I have a busy day planned as well. First a brunch with my neighbors to celebrate the first day of school. Then off to run my million errands and make a schedule for the next month of writing.


Debbie Kaufman said...

As someone who has two dogs at/near her feet right not, I feel your pain about losing your cat. My DD also went off to her first day of senior year. She's excited and nervous. I thought the house would be quiet, but my son is off work today and has a friend here playing video games in the next room. ACK!

Robin said...

It sounds like you're going to have a great end of summer and fall. I've got mixed feelings about school starting. I can't wait to have more time to write, but my oldest is off to college, and I'm really going to miss him! He's not going too far away, but far enough.

Have a happy day, and I hope your memories of DFC bring you many moments of joy. ((hugs))

Sandy Elzie said...

Love the post. I'm happy almost every day...seldom do I get in the pit.

I, too, have a feline that rules my desk, my chair, my lap and...well, my life. Jack is currently stretched out in front of me, lopping over so that one paw and his tail hand across parts of my keyboard. But I work around them since...after all, I can't disturb the sweetie. (g)

All my kids are grown, gone, and so are all except one grandchild. Things are calm and quiet on the home front.

Have a great day.

Christine said...

Hi Debbie: Sorry your house isn't quiet. It will be soon. Congratulations about your daughter being a senior. Wow! I never plan to write on the first day of school. Just back from a mimosa brunch with another neighbor and friends. Very fun!

This afternoon I shop, clean a bit, and get a special dinner ready for my Senior.


Christine said...

Hi Robin: I'm trying not to think about college. That will be hard to see her go away for days at a time. :( We toasted DFC today. Everyone loved her so much. She was a sweet cat.


Christine said...

Hi Sandy; Jack sounds like a great cat. You must love being owned by him ;-)

You are always bubbly whenever I see you. You're happiness is infectious and fun!!


Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Technically, you weren't plagarized because they cited the source. Regardless, they stole your whole post for their site without permission. They ignored copyright! Not acceptable. Ever.

Sorry you're feeling sad about your kitty. I miss mine too. Not in quite the same way because she was probably the least loving cat I've ever served. ;) But I had her 17 yrs and I miss her quiet, timid presence and the way she would startle when I touched her (because she was deaf and couldn't hear me approach).

Congrats on the weight loss. WW is my go-to when I need to lose a few pounds. I think you already look fabulous, but you have to think so too.

I wasn't even eligible to enter either Maggie this year, but you and me, we can cheer our CP's to victory. In 2005, Susan was very supportive of me, and I won my category, so I'm hoping I can celebrate her win this year.

Looking forward to seeing you at M&M!

Christine said...

Hi Carol/Annie: Awe, your kitty sounds sweet just because she was special. And WW is working well for me. I think this is a better plan for me because my Teen and I can do it together.

You're right. They did cite the website/source so technically I wasn't plagiarized but I sure feel angry about how they're using my post and our wonderful PFHT blog to lure innocent people to their icky site. Grrrrr.

I am excited about the MAGGIE. Sharon's a great friend. I get to cheer for her, for Susan, for Romily, for my HOD pubbed author friends. It's going to be a great conference this year!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Christine, you have a bunch going on. Congrats to both you & your daughter on losing weight. And starting the experience of her senior year. It goes by so fast.
My pet is a sweet, beautiful yellow lab, who's getting up there in age. I don't know what I'll do without her but am happy for that tail-wagging welcome and for her being close by. It may be too soon, but are you thinking of another kitten?
Hope your daughter had a great first day of school.
I look for to seeing you at M&M.


Christine said...

Hi Sia: Your lab sounds adorable. Nothing like the unconditional love on an animal. I'm not sure about myself getting another kitty yet. But I know I will probably give another fur baby a home one day. I just can't seem to stop wanting to have that feline companionship.

DD had a great first day except for the storms at the end of the day. Other than that she had fun, liked her teachers, and is eager to start learning again.


Katherine Bone said...

Aw, Christine, my heart breaks for you. I know the sadness of losing a beloved pet. I still mourn the loss of Molly and our two Labs, Bonnie and Raven. Things will never be as much fun or chaotic without them. ;)

Wait, did I say that? My house has gone from empty to overflowing with family, my four kids and their prospective families, bringing much needed love to a sad house these past few weeks. Now that everyone has gone back home, we're back to an empty nest, save for my mom, who, like Debbie's son and your darling daughter, tends to listen to the t.v. loudly and 24/7, especially whenever I want to write. Grrrr! But that is another story. LOL!

Enjoy this year, Christine and Debbie! It goes by in a rush of delight and on a sigh.

Christine said...

Hi Katherine: Sorry about your pets :( That's sad. I'm so glad you had wonderful visit with your family. I found the house a bit empty yesterday, but overall it was a fabulous day. A neighborhood gathering, then some errands run, and my daughter made it home safely despite the storms. She had a wonderful first day as a senior!

I hope to get some writing done today. Slow and steady wins the race!

Anonymous said...

I'm so working on finsihing a book. It has to get done it's under contract. I'm also waist deep in getting ready for GRW Moonlight and Magnolias conferece Book Fair which is only about 6 weeks away. But I'm feeling good.

Susan Carlisle
Heart Surgeon, Hero...Husband?1/12

Christine said...

Susan: You have so much to celebrate!! Maggie Finalist and you're under contract with a book releasing. Fabulous. Makes all the hard work worth it!!