Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ranting

I have never used my blog to rant about politics but that's what I'm doing today. So if you don't want to continue reading, I'll understand.
- Supreme Court Reversal of Political Donations - What makes everyone think that the Republicans are the only rich people?. Do they really think that Harry Reid and Obama got into office by millions of one dollar donations? And how exactly did Obama become a millionaire since his only job before becoming president was as a union organizer? Oh I forgot, he comes from Illinois where they sell political positions.
- Republican Platform Change - Now that the Republicans have taken marriage, abortion and immigration off the platform, how are they different from Democrats? And if Chris Christie becomes the presidential candidate, I won't be able to vote for the first time. If he didn't know what his people were doing, then he's a terrible manager and not fit for office and if he did know, he's a liar and a bully. But on the other hand I can't vote for Clinton because she's no better. All I ask is to be able to vote for someone with integrity.
- If children of illegal aliens can't go to college and are afraid to be deported then they should blame their parents for bringing them here. Families don't have to be split up, if one parent is deported, the family can go with them. I believe in personal responsibility. One should bear the consequences of their decisions. The only people being deported at the moment are criminals and yet we have demonstrations insisting that Obama cease deportation. Do these people really want to keep criminals in the country? Don't we have enough of our own?

There I feel better having got all that off my chest.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Annoying People

Generally, I like people. Since I've retired, I'm fairly patient. Without deadlines and other people's expectations to meet, I don't get upset at traffic jams, or even long lines at the DMV, as long as the people on the other side of the desk are doing their best.

What does annoy me is inefficiency or neglect. Consequently, today has been one of those annoying days. I am not a morning person, nor am I at my best until I've been up a couple of hours. Today I had an 8 a.m. appointment because it was the only one available. I drag myself out of bed, get ready and arrive at the office at five minutes to the hour, expecting that someone will be there, only to find the lights out and the door locked. Since this isn't the first time this has happened. I go back to my car and wait ten minutes. At five after the lights are now on, but the door is still locked. I rattle the handle and the receptionist unlocks the door. Ten minutes later the person I have the appointment with still hasn't shown up. At twenty after, I tell the receptionist that I will call and reschedule for another time. I'm polite. It isn't her fault.  I had no other appointment, so I could have waited. However, by this time I'm angry and I don't dare stay for fear that I will say exactly what is on my mind which is,  "Why in the world would you make an 8 a.m. appointment if you don't intend to show up at 8 a.m.?" Since I live in a small town where it doesn't pay to alienate people, it's best to leave. I won't reschedule and I won't go back.  I am sure that person strolled in at half past the hour, confident that I would still be waiting. Surprise.

Apparently this was my lucky day because I had another appointment at 1 p.m. for my annual mammogram. Not something I look forward to, but as a responsible adult I look after my health. This hospital has a stupid routine that involves registering and getting a paper bracelet like you're being admitted before you can actually check in at x-ray. Since I know the routine, I arrive ten minutes early to let them shuffle their paperwork prior to my appointment. Only no one is in registration. She doesn't arrive until 1 p.m. and then she shifts and stamps paperwork on her desk for another five minutes before calling the person ahead of me into her office. That goes fairly rapidly and at ten minutes after my actual appointment time, the person leaves. I sit and watch the registration clerk shuffle more paper, get up from her desk, and  then disappear into the back. When she returns to her desk, she has someone else with her. They discuss some problem and the registration clerk gets on the phone to call a doctor where she is put on hold for another ten minutes. Instead of calling me in and checking the paperwork I have in my hand which was completed before I arrived, she just sits there and waits. After ten minutes, she hangs up and redials.

There is a lady sitting next to me whose elderly mother has been sent here directly from her doctor's office to get an x-ray. The mother is dressed in sweats and slippers and is attached to an oxygen canister. They've been waiting almost as long as I have. X-ray is probably waiting for both us and is now behind as well. When the information clerk walks by, my seat mate complains. Seeing that I have completed paperwork, the clerk says she can process me, but can't register the mother. They have to continue to wait. It takes all of two minutes for her to look at my paperwork and send me off to x-ray, leaving me to wonder why she didn't do that twenty minutes ago. The actual mammogram takes only a few minutes. When I walk out, the daughter and her elderly mother are still waiting, and the registration desk is dark and unmanned.







Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Writer's Block

I haven't written in weeks or maybe it's months now. Why? Mainly because I've written myself into a corner. Then a week ago I received a bad a review. I know everyone receives them. Not everyone has the same taste in literature. I often hate books that other people rave about. For instance I won't read The Hunger Games. I tried. I made it through the first chapter. It was just too depressing and I didn't really care what happened to the character. Some books start slowly so I asked others who liked it. They informed me that although the books remain depressing through the entire series and there's never really a happy ending, that I'd still love it. That cinched it for me. I don't need depressing and I absolutely refuse to read anything without a happy ending.

So I don't expect everyone to love my books. Still, it's really hard on the ego and it just added cement to my writer's block. Several times lately, I've pulled up my work in progress, reread what I've written and stared at the place where I ended, with no idea where to go from there. It's not that I don't know what happens next. It's that I don't know how to get there. This is the third in a series of murder mysteries featuring Valerie Peterson and Detective Delgado and written from Valerie's perspective. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how Valerie can find out the information she needs to solve this particular murder. I have several options: (1) Change the POV which means rewriting the last thirteen chapters (2) Write the next chapters from Delgado's point of view or (3) Scrap this plot and start over. It might be fun to hear what Delgado thinks, so that's the one I'm considering.

But now it's dinner time, so I have another excuse to wait until tomorrow.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Irrational Fears

I never did go to my reunion. I've always hated mingling, cocktail parties or any situation where I might have to spend hours standing around talking to people I barely know. I love talking one on one, but throw me into a group setting and I panic. Probably comes from my wallflower days at high school dances. Just one of my irrational fears.

However, my husband is much more social and loves talking so I signed him up on a web site for information about his high school reunion. Guess who responded? His old high school sweetheart, who is now divorced. She tells him she knows he has children and says she would like to meet his wife. I explain to my husband that this is her way of finding out if he's still married and ask him not to respond, hoping she'll get the message and go away. But no. She writes back again. So he responds telling her about his wife, children and grandchildren. I am hoping that she will then recognize the impropriety of a single woman trying to keep up an ongoing correspondence with a married man.

Wrong again. This time she reminds him about the time he took her to the prom. With my husband's permission, I write her telling her since I know their history together, I find it painful for her to try and walk him down memory lane. She then writes me a long epistle telling me that their relationship was many years ago (No shit Sherlock, even I can count) and I have children and grandchildren with him, while she loves children, she only has one. If she was going for the sympathy vote here, she seriously overestimated my empathy. All I could think of was, if she was only pregnant once, she probably didn't have a belly. Then she says that first love is just first love. I wanted to scream "exactly." Love you never forget and tend to idealize over time. Except if like mine, your first love was a jerk that you thank your lucky stars every day that you had the good sense not to marry. But I digress.

The point is, I am fully aware that the odds of my husband, who has been totally faithful and is painfully honest, of ever renewing a romance with old flame on the basis of a few emails are extremely slim. Therefore I have no reason to be jealous.  However, feelings are not like bubbles, they don't go away when you pop them.

Why is it that people think, if they tell you that your fears are ungrounded or irrational, that you won't be afraid anymore? Afraid of flying? Simply tell them that planes are safer than cars. Voila, they hop on the next plane. What mother who puts her child on the bus to school for the first time doesn't hold her breath until he walks back in the door. She will spend those hours in fear that the bus will be in an accident, get lost on the way to school, the child will get off on the wrong stop and be lost, or that the other children will hurt him in some way. While none of that is likely to happen, the fear remains.

I confess that I love my husband so much that the thought of him remembering and thinking about another woman makes my stomach hurt, however harmless. Irrational? Of course. Still, when she said she wouldn't write anymore, I simply wrote back thank you.




Thursday, July 4, 2013

Friends and Reunions

Recently I have been thinking about friends. I have one of the milestone high school reunions coming up this year. I won't tell you which one, but the fact that I have grandchildren should put you in the ballpark. I know that there will be people there who have been friends since childhood, maybe even kindergarten and I wonder what that feels like.

Even before I met my husband, my family moved around. So when he joined the Air Force and for the next twenty years we moved on the average of every three years, I didn't find it devastating or even unusual. We considered it an adventure, new people, new places to see, new experiences. It was an exciting life and I don't regret one minute.

We made many friends along the way, but only for short periods of time, eventually losing touch or growing apart as the miles separated us. We kept in touch with our extended family as much as possible, but we weren't a part of the their everyday lives.

It wasn't until, we started traveling as a couple that we noticed that most people our age travel in packs of either friends they've know forever, or family. Ten years ago in order to be situated close to all our grandchildren, we settled in this small rural town where everybody knows everybody including their parents, grandparents and siblings. While I still don't always fit in and often get lost when they talk of events or relationships in the past, I can be thankful they can't tease me about my antics as a teenager. They only know me as I am today.

As I've become older, I've become more and more of an introvert. I love time alone with my husband and don't particularly enjoy socializing or talking on the phone. However, every once in a while I wonder what it would be like to have that one special friend who has known me forever and loves me anyway.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

If I Love to Write, Then Why Don't I?

I don't have writer's block so much as writer's apathy. I have three writing  projects started, one chapter of a sequel to The Crystal's Curse, three chapters to a new YA novel and ten chapters to my third mystery featuring Valerie Peterson and the hunky Delgado. What I seem to lack is motivation. Since I'm the farthest along on the mystery, that's the one I pull up first. I read the last chapter I've written and then stare at the page. Suddenly, I need a drink or something to eat. The last time when I told myself I would walk around and think about it, I wandered outside and began pulling weeds. Of course, by the time, I came back in, I was sweaty and dirty and needed a shower and then a nap. No writing got done that day. Believe me when I tell you that in my wildest dreams I never saw myself preferring to pull weeds over writing.

So I have to ask myself why? Make no mistake, writing is work. storylines and words don't just swirl around in my head begging to be written. Even when I write an outline, I rarely follow it, so I don't always know what happens next. Even when I do, I often find it difficult to get from where I am in the story to where it needs to go next. The transitions from one plot point to another can be difficult. Still, it's work that I normally enjoy and gives me great satisfaction, usually much more than yard work.

Maybe that's the problem.When I started writing, it was a lark, something to do in my spare time. I didn't really expect to be able to write a book. Then when I did, I wanted to do better the next time, so I read books, joined a writers group, and went to conferences. Somewhere along the line instead of being fun, it began to feel like work. Now that's how I think of it, something I should do rather than something I get to do. So from now on I'll find time to write, right after I watch the French Open Tennis finals and then read that new book by Nora Roberts

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I hate Mother's Day

 I was going to say that I always hated Mother's Day, but I realized that wasn't true. When I was a new mom, I needed that once a year card to reassure me that what I was doing was noticed and worthwhile. Especially from the man who had given me this precious gift and was able to sleep through the night and then go off to play with his friends. Okay, so he really went to work, but when I was confined to the house for several hours each day without adult companionship, it felt like he had the better deal. And later I have to say there's nothing like being given a handmade card or gift from a sweet little face glowing with pride and love.

It's only after the kids were grown that I learned to hate the day. It's so commercial and frankly embarrassing. All the tributes to mothers everywhere leave me feeling slightly nauseous and somehow guilty. I wasn't a perfect mother, but I loved my kids from the moment they were conceived. I'm very proud of the way they have turned out. They don't owe me anything, certainly not gratitude. Let me just state for the record that I know I'm missing some female genes, the ones that cause women to love shopping, handicrafts and crying. I rarely cry and never seek out opportunities to do so. It leaves me blotchy and exhausted.

My complaint is that the retail industry has created a day where everyone feels obligated to phone home or buy sappy cards to prove that they love their mothers, whether or not they really do. Mothers then feel slighted or neglected if any of her children fail to do so.

 I am giving my children permission this year to ignore the day altogether. All of them have shown their love and made me a part of their lives all year, and if they hadn't, one lousy card or phone call isn't going to make up for it.

Oh, by the way, if you forget my birthday, I'll hunt you down and slap you with the kind of guilt, only a mother can wield.