Fortune Cookie, 3:40 a.m.

As many people in my online writing circles already know, I gave birth to Maverick (that’s his code name, not his real name) early Thursday morning. My water broke a little after midnight, and four hours later I had a new baby! (Like it’s that easy. And didn’t involve lots of shouting and disillusionment and internal requests for a cesarean section and/or lots of drugs. But I didn’t say those out loud. Mostly I said, “Get it OUT!” and “I’m never doing this again!”) (God bless patient nurses.) (Who are probably investing in ear plugs, if they haven’t already lost their hearing.)

Z is doing great with Maverick, she just LOVES him, wants to pet and kiss him all the time. And poke his little eyes – I don’t know what that’s about. (Actually, I have a few guesses. It’s hard sharing Mommy and Daddy.)

For some reason, his cry doesn’t bother me as much as Z’s did. Maybe because it’s a different pitch (he sounds like a baby pterodactyl, or, as Homes said, a Swainson’s Hawk). Or because his scrunchy little face looks so funny when he does it. I feel kinda bad, because sometimes I laugh when he cries.

He’s still learning the difference between nocturnal beings (creatures that are awake at night, i.e. NOT US) and diurnal beings (creatures that are awake in the day and sleep at night, i.e. US), so I’ve been awake a lot at night. Once, on a trip through the kitchen for ibuprofin, I spotted a bag of fortune cookies. And thought. 3:40 a.m. Not a bad time for a fortune cookie. I wish I could say the fortune was something illuminating and dreamy and perfect for my situation, but I think it was actually about riches coming my way next month.

And that’s okay. Because not everything is illuminating, or dreamy, or perfect. Sometimes things scream, and don’t sleep when (or where) they’re supposed to. We love them anyway.

Friday Four – Ghost Blog Edition

1. This has become a ghost blog. Or it’s felt like that the past week, anyway. I didn’t consciously set out to ignore the internet and get so behind on everything, but it happened. I’m getting a little burnt out, I think (obviously: I’m too lazy to do a full Friday Five, so I’m abbreviating it to Friday Four). Not to mention, as soon as I sit down to do anything, I feel an overwhelming urge to take a nap.

2. That said, posts will probably be a little random (or not at all) over the next couple of months. You know, because of the BABY. He’s not out yet, but there isn’t much room left for him to grow in there. My skin is stretched to the breaking point, belly button is in a freakish flat-nearly-an-outtie stage. Maverick’s head is down, locked & loaded, ready to go. With so little time left, I want to focus on the more important things, like visiting with friends and family, reading lots of stories to Z, and revising my manuscript for the eleventeen-hundredth time. Oh, and napping.

3. The show “Hoarders” is really effing with my nesting instincts. I don’t usually watch reality television of any kind, but for some reason I find myself repeatedly sucked in by “Hoarders,” often when Homes isn’t around to make snarky comments about my viewing habits. It’s really hard to want to collect things for Maverick, and revel in the onesies I so cleverly/tightfistedly/hoardingly saved from when Z was a baby, when I see mentally ill people making similar decisions about tax books from 1998 and bags full of unworn clothing and five-year-old containers of yogurt. I’m compensating by throwing out old magazines, but I usually flip through them first, which puts me into another, yes, NAP.

4. Maggie tagged me with this Lucky 7 Meme, and it sounded like fun.

Open your novel-in-progress and do the following:

  • Go to page 77.
  • Go to line 7.
  • Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs as they are written.
  • Tag 7 new authors. [I’m not doing this step, because I’m a (lazy) jerk. But if you’re a writer, feel free to  post your lines in the comments below. Or if you prefer, put them in a blog post of your own and link to it in the comments.]

Here are some lines from my newest work-in-progress:

After we find my van and Kyle finds my keys in my purse and gets me settled in the passenger’s seat, I chatter to him the whole way to my house. I have no idea what I’m talking about, but he’s a really good listener.

“Is your mom or dad home?” he asks.

“Yeah, my mom.”

“Will she be mad that you’re sloshed?”

“Nope.” [In the interest of parallelism, I very much wish this excerpt ended in the word Nap. “Nope” is close, but not quite it, so I will just have to cheat.] Nap.

Friday Five – Revisionist Edition

1. My first idea for today’s post was a scripted fight between the main character of The Black City/The Key to Selene/The Whatever It’s Called, and the main character of my new work-in-progress. The main character of the new WIP is a bit miffed because I keep shunting her aside to revisit revisions on TBC/KTS/WIC. I ended up not writing the scripted fight because it would probably only be funny to people who have read those manuscripts. Or, worse, it would only be funny to me.

2. I am, once again, pleased/humbled/overcome with gratitude for the people who listen to me obsess and gripe about writing. While I do attempt to curb the writing talk, I rarely succeed. So thanks for listening.

3. That said – why are titles so hard? I joked with my friend D-Chan that I’ll just call it “UNTITLED WITH WITCHES AND MAGIC AND BETRAYAL.” She suggested a subtitle, making the whole thing “UNTITLED WITH WITCHES AND MAGIC AND BETRAYAL (and maybe a bear on a motorcycle but no promises),” and I kind of like that.

4. Am currently enjoying the ARC of BITTERBLUE. How I’d missed the Graceling realm, without even knowing it! High fantasy isn’t usually something I’m drawn to, but Kristin Cashore has pulled me in and made me care. The only problem: it’s been over a year since I read Fire or Graceling, and I’ve forgotten who some of the minor characters are. Am a little confused about backstories and princes and such. But Bitterblue is awesome!

5. 34 weeks pregnant as of Wednesday. Am huge. Am starting to attract the attention of strangers, who shift to the side, probably worried my stomach is going to explode into a mess of baby any second. Tick tock tick tock tick tock…. And still no name, no satisfactory sleeping arrangements, no carseat installed. Mayhap we are a bit too cocky having already done this before? Like, “Eh, a baby. Big deal. Been there, done that. It’ll all work out.” Oh, reality will soon slap us in the face….

Welcome to my Crib

33 weeks pregnant.

[No image to share. Imagine, if you will, a bloated sea mammal.]

We’ve got the crib.

Yup, that's my storyboard tucked inside. I promise to move it before the baby comes.

Now it just needs a room.

What? The view from here is great! Kitchen in one direction, living room in the other, and BOOM. Books.

Perfect view for a budding bibliophile.

It’s a longer story than that, but I’ll try to make it short because honestly, I need a donut. Homes put the crib together in the living room because our teeny bedroom doesn’t have enough space for putting furniture together. And now the crib won’t fit through the doorway. Even with the door taken off. So here it rests, in the middle of this room-without-a-name (I call it the Third Room, but it is essentially a very wide hallway with books), until we rearrange the bedroom to make space for (re)assembling the crib.

Oh yeah, and the place where we were going to put it in our bedroom? It would give us approximately eleven inches to squeeze between it and our bed in order to reach the bathroom.

I purposefully bought a cheapie small IKEA crib because I didn’t want a freaking monstrosity taking up the nonexistent space in my house! (!!!!!!!!!!) (Yes, those are optional exclamation points. This way you can hear me shouting that sentence, or, if your ears are feeling strong, shrieking it while I grip the lapels of someone responsible and shake them until something changes or I collapse into either a) a coughing fit (yes I have another cold) or b) a set of false contractions.)

Ahem.

I better get me that donut, and fast.

Cat Poo is My Kryptonite

You’d think, having been a cat owner since I was eight years old, that I’d have been exposed to the toxoplasmosis whatsit at some point. Nope.

No cleaning out the litter box. Cool.

No lifting of heavy objects. As if I wanted to.

No lying on back. Bummer.

No alcohol. What?!

No sushi. Eff!

Must remember: naps, maternity pants, ice cream, no dieting, no cleaning the cat box.

Must also remember: only two months to go.

And then there will be…

No sleep!

The JOYS of Pregnancy

I’m tired of whining. Even when (I think) I’m being funny, I’m still complaining.

Well not today! Today I am going to share with you the WONDROUS WONDERS OF WONDER that are being pregnant. And I will conveniently leave out any complaining.

Joyous Wonder #1: Maternity Jeans

I’m a sweats/yoga pants girl at heart. I call my yoga pants part of my “uniform” for my “job” of writing during the first part of the day and taking care of Z during the second, rather louder, part of the day (and night). Sometimes I put my pajamas back on immediately after taking my shower. Yes, I confess all these things with absolutely NO SHAME. However, maternity jeans are the one thing other than sweats that I could wear around the house. I just told a friend that I may wear my maternity jeans in perpetuity even after the baby is born. For those of you who don’t know, maternity jeans look something like this:

I thought a half-naked blue, one-eyed alien woman would be preferable to a half-naked human woman. Let's see what kind of weird search hits I get on my blog this week.

Joyous Wonder #2: The Pregnancy Card

This is really just the special privileges a pregnant woman can get from her husband. Homes will go out at 9 p.m. to get food for me, or he’ll make special meals at my request (still waiting on those enchiladas, though…no wait, I had those. Well, I want them again. Must put in a request). Different husbands/partners may give the pregnant woman in their life different privileges with the pregnancy card. My privileges mostly amount to food and not lifting heavy things. I might get out of doing the dishes soon because my stomach’s getting too big for me to reach the faucet.

Joyous Wonder #3: Quickening

No jokes here. I freaking love feeling the baby move. And because I know this will be my last baby, I’m trying to memorize the feeling. Maverick’s more of a kicker/puncher than Z was. I mean, Z moved a bunch, but her moves were mostly stretches, like an alien foot arching across my stomach. Maverick’s, like, dancing in there or something. Anyway, it’s crazy cool, and I’ll miss it.

Joyous Wonder #4: No Dieting Allowed

I know things are different for women diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Thankfully, that’s not me (knock on wood. KNOCK ON WOOD!! I mean it. Everyone. RIGHT NOW). So if I want to have a teeny tiny salad for dinner, followed by a gigantic slice of chocolate cake for dessert, well. It’s not like I’m tracking Weight Watchers points or actually paying any attention to weight gain whatsoever. Until I start seeing my cheeks puff out (and I check, I admit, almost daily), I’m going to eat what I like. What’s amazing is it’s mostly salads that I want, not cake. (But yeah, if the cake’s there, I’ll eat that, too.)

So there you have it, The Joyous Wonders of Pregnancy. See, there are good things to it! And like I said with the fetal movement, I know it won’t last forever, and this is my last chance to enjoy it, so enjoy it I shall.

But I still feel like a Whoofle chewed up my pelvis and gave it back to me all mangled and crooked. Just sayin’.

The Cold – A Tragedy in Three Acts

Act I

The Ever-Suffering Mother isn’t suffering quite so much. She has a lifetime supply of peanut M&Ms in the cupboard, a loving husband (who buys her M&Ms) and a darling daughter, and lots of writing time during the day. But by the endof Act I, she develops a sore throat. This can’t be good.

Act II

Like any valiant heroine, she attempts to help herself through lots of naps, liquids (milkshakes count, right?), and more naps. (Medication is, given her pregnancy, pretty much out of the question. Further helping us define the meaning of “suffering.”)

Despite her valiant efforts, the sore throat has grown into a Sore Throat of Doom.

By the end of Act II the sore throat has gone away (hooray!) only to be replaced by copious amounts of snot. Act II is plagued with phegmatic and lethargic dialogue, lots of adenoidal voice-overs, mouth-breathing, and we’ll throw the World’s Shortest Rejection Time on a Short Story in there as a subplot (5 hours 11 minutes).

Act III

In Act III, the Ever-Suffering Mother overcomes the rejection, but not the snot, and the Cold replays itself for other beloved members of her family, compounding its effects through sleeplessness, irritability, and general malaise.

The End.