I'm supposed to be writing, adding pages and pages of words to my WIP. Mr. Clean, Doodlebug, and Shaggy are all out - baseball stuff. Yippee. Except I'm so full of it. I've spent the last two hours catching up on a forum I don't visit often enough and reading past messages on a writer's list I just joined. Hello, Procrastination. My you're looking pretty today.

Yesterday, I decided to clean up. This is the mantra running in my head on a daily basis for the past few weeks - Clean Up, Clean Up, Clean Up. Everything is too cluttered in my brain, my office, my life. I feel over-committed but I'm not actually accomplishing ANYTHING. So I started cleaning. First, I popped into Yahoo Groups and deleted myself from every group I haven't seen a message from lately or haven't replied to in over a month. I kept one I haven't replied to... because I just keep hoping it'll produce something great.

--- Nix that. I just deleted myself from that one, too, because seriously? It's like that pair of jeans we all have in our closet. My ass is NOT going to fit those jeans again. It's just not.

Cleaning up... it feels good. On the tail end of all that deletion, I did join ONE group, one that discusses writing YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy. For years now, I've been attempting Contemporary Romance and Paranormal Romance and you know what? My characters all sound like high school students and little sci-fi tidbits keep trying to worm their way into my manuscripts. Screw it. I'm hugging the YA SFF like a favorite teddy bear and we're going to sleep together every, every night now.

The only problem is that joining online groups makes me nervous, even though I'm a social butterfly. It's because after everyone has said, "Hi!" and "Welcome!" sometimes, there's silence. And then what? Are they just not interested in the recent subject I brought up? I'm just trying to join in here, folks! Do they not like me? Are we not gellin' like felons? Oh good lord. I hate that feeling... that questionable high school why-don't-they-like-me whiny self-conscious feeling. It sucks. At the same time, I'm really desperate to connect with writers who may be at least SOMEWHAT local. It's hard talking to yourself all the time; writing is such a lonely business. I would give my right pinkie toe to be able to sit in a coffee shop and talk writing with someone who KNOWS. Right now I have people who Nod and Agree but deep-down, I know they're looking at me and thinking, "Who knew she was this flippin' bat-shit crazy?"

Oooh --- shiny thing alert! The other day, while driving to PetSmart, I saw an honest-to-God STARBUCKS being built on the banks of the nearby lake. On. The. Lake! I started screaming like a twelve-year-old who just scored tickets to Hannah Montana. Because, OMG! Look! A Starbucks ON THE LAKE! Near the house! And I've always wanted to write near the water! SQUEEEEEE! (I really used that many exclamation marks while craning my head to see it in all its construction glory as we passed by)

Doodlebug said: Mom, please stop that. You are REALLY freaking me out now.
Me: But it's a Starbucks by the lake! I can hide there and drink coffee and write and Squeeee!
Doodlebug: Really. Freaking Me Out. Mom.
Me: Pssshsbbbht! *singing* Starbucks... Starbucks... I'm gonna write at Starbucks.
Doodlebug: Please stop. Dad, make her stop.

He totally doesn't get it.

Okay, shiny thing moment over. Back to cleaning up my life.

I haven't tackled my office yet. It's a disasterous apocalyptic wreck of strewn papers and sticky notes falling off the cabinets, and dust. I have dust. Pitiful. I would post a pic but a) it's just too embarrassing, this mess, and b) the "Not Me" ghost has stolen all my batteries from my camera.

May I just take a moment to berate all the battery thieves out there? Battery thieves STINK like a dog who's rolled in fresh horse manure. I can't think of anything that annoys me more than picking up my camera to find either no batteries or dead batteries. My spawnlings are the absolute worst offenders (thank you PlayStation and XBox). I've bought in excess of... I don't know... 12 rechargeable AA batteries over the last couple of months and right now - this moment - I cannot find ONE to pop into my camera. My debit card is screaming profanities.

Thus, you're also NOT going to see pics of the little green things I have growing in and out of my house. You'll just have to trust me - I have green things. They are growing. They are very, very cute!

Okay... I did kill some yellow onion seedlings. I'm not sure how. They just sort of fell over and died one day. Hahahaha. My cucumber plant is looking good, though, and all of the herbs are sprouting like crazy. This growing thing is fun! (though I doubt the yellow onions are woo-hoo-ing with me at the moment and the red onions are now looking at each other, saying, "What? OMG, she killed our cousins?")

p.s. I love all of your comments about growing stuff. Helpful and fun to read!

Mousse - The Moose-ter - The Booger - is doing just great. I had to send him with Shaggy to the vet last week. He was ummm... well it has to do with poop and it was NOT pleasant and it was concerning. I'll leave it at that. $87 of MY dollars later (Shaggy really needs to find himself a job), I had instructions from the vet to make sure ANYONE who touches the pup washes their hands immediately afterwards because that little intestinal issue? It's a parasite. And it's CONTAGIOUS to humans. *shiver* Blech. Yeuck. Oh Ewwwww. Think Sandra Bullock in Practical Magic, just before she sticks a needle in the corpe's eye... and it pops open. That kind of Ewww.

It seems to have cleared up now, though I'm still killing myself with the washing & lotioning, rinse and repeat. May I just repeat? Ewwwww.

p.s. He is VERY cute... and VERY precocious. And dear lord, does he CHEW on everything. The best thing about him? He is serving as a lovely example as to why teenagers should NOT be out having sex. You think taking care of that puppy is hard? Try a BABY.

I'm just a'rambling along here, today, and I think I'll continue for a moment more. *grin*

The Cruise: Yeah, that turned out to cost a little more than earlier anticipated. Ouch. I left the plans in Mr. Clean's hands with strict instructions for the travel agent:
* Make sure to tell her we need to be on the same flight as my Dad & Stepmom.
* Try to get rooms on the same deck as everyone else.
* Make sure we have the same dining time as everyone else.

I kinda thought "Make sure she finds the best deal possible" was a given??? I think she probably DID give us the best deal possible (though it seemed to cost more than I'd added up) but somehow, we're also on a completely different deck than everyone else! I emailed her, nicely, and provided a list of similar rooms on the SAME DECK, asking ummm... is it possible to move because I would really, really prefer to move.

And I know.. it's JUST ROOMS. It's not like we're going to be hanging out while we're sleeping but it'd be great NOT to have to get up earlier than everyone else in order to meet somewhere. You know, while everyone else is just walking out the doors and meeting in the hallway between.

Still, I'm SO excited about this whole cruise thing. Or, I was, until Shaggy began bringing up things like Titanic and Poseidon. That boy's sense of humor needs serious work... though his delivery is perfection and he's careful to not be initially obvious with it. Rather, he says things like, "How big is the cruise ship? I know it's not Titanic big, but is it like Poseidon big?" Of course, then he starts Muahahahahah-ing like Dr. Evil.

It's okay, though, because he has fear issues with alien-related things. The movie SIGNS -- totally freaked him out. And right now? In my possession (thanks to Netflix)? I have THE INVASION and we are so watching it tonight. Late. In the dark. Right before he goes to bed... to SLEEP. I'll show you Poseidon, dang it.

Am I a good Mom or what? It's all about the lessons we teach. #1 - Don't screw with Mom's excitement by bringing up disasters! *grin*

Alrighty, then. It's time for me to quit procrastinating and get back to writing. See ya later! (and if you hung in there through this long-ass ramble of a post, I HEART you!)
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