Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Counting Down to November

A very hasty blog post tonight.  Only six days until NaNoWriMo begins, so I still have time to get my house in order, put the finishing touches on a Halloween costume, (and oh yeah, buy candy), stock the fridge, and make sure all bills are paid in advance for November. 

I had started a marvelous blog entry about multi-tasking, but it requires a little editing and I'm feeling too frantic for that, so you're stuck reading this.  And if this NaNoWriMo stuff is boring you, just ignore me for the next month, because IF I squeeze in time to blog, it will only be because I'm having a writer's block crisis or need to rant about word count.

Must go back to work now on my Harry Potter fan-fiction and hopefully get it out of my system before Nov 1st, so I don't feel compelled to write a character into my novel who writes fan-fiction in her spare time.

Any fellow NaNoWriMos out there find me at nanowrimo.org.  My user name is mommia. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Worthwhile?

I’ll admit as a stay-at-home mom, I often feel like I’m doing nothing worthwhile with my life. Oh sure, I take care of my two young children, maintain the household, keep things clean and organized (yes honey, I really do, just not every room simultaneously) do all the shopping, pay bills etc.

But to claim that as an accomplishment seems a little like bragging that I brush my teeth every day. (I do, twice in fact, and usually at least once before noon.)

I do this writing stuff, which I’m not sure is anything more than an excuse for me to daydream, fantasize, and think of imaginary people with made-up problems.

And then there’s the four or five months of my other identity, as a working mom, a practical dollars and sense tax professional, focused on numbers, rules, real people, real situations and solutions.

And when all three of these cross paths, my life starts to feel a little crazy. I mean, NaNoWriMo is less than a month away, and I don’t even have an outline.

What DO I have?

1. An idea and a few characters.

2. A rough novel from last year with severe holes in the plot.

3. Twelve completed hours of tax classes and 18 hours to go.

4. At least one, and hopefully two tax certification exams to complete sometime in late November.

5. Two children who take turns being too sick to go to school.

6. A lingering cough thanks to two sick children infecting me.

7. An impressive 7000+ words of Harry Potter fan fiction I’ve convinced myself I’m writing as a NaNoWriMo warm-up and which cannot possibly indicate that I’ve regressed to the level of a 15-year-old groupie, because that would be embarrassing.

Why do I do it? Because I want to. Hoping some of it turns out to be worthwhile. (Not the fan-fic, obviously, I know. I mean the other stuff.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Glue Sticks

If you happen to have a child who eats glue, you’ll be happy to know, your kid might just be onto something. I’ve recently become aware, that apparently glue is a rare and luxurious substance, comparable to caviar.

At least that’s what I have to believe based on the miniscule amount of glue contained in the glue sticks I recently purchased for back-to-school. I sent the requested 8 glue sticks to Kindergarten and kept a few for home use. A week ago I released one from my secret stash, into the eager hands of the girl, age five. A few days later, sweeping the floor, I find (and say) the following: 1) Glue Cap. “Dang it, this glue is going to dry out if you keep leaving the cap off.” 2) Empty Glue Stick. “What did you do?!! Did you screw the whole stick out of this glue? I am NOT giving you any more glue if this is the way you use it!” 3) Nub of the glue stick now approximately ½ inch in length. “Silent Night! What on earth did you do with all the glue? How much stuff did you glue anyway?”

Girl, age 5 finally replies to my rant: “Not a lot, that’s just how much there was.”

Of course I know better than to accept the sorry excuses of a 5-year-old, so I promptly pulled out another glue stick to demonstrate the extent of the glue misuse going on in our home. Here’s what I found:


The purple portion is the glue I removed from a new unused glue stick. 
(Also note the amazing *ahem* quality of a practically new Nikon digital camera)



I am certain that glue sticks used to be fuller than that. I’m not really that worried about the few dollars I spent on glue. But I feel the need to complain about it anyway, for a few reasons.

First, it really annoys me when I feel like some big company thinks they can trick me with a half-full glue stick. Yes, I’m sure somewhere in fine print on the package they indicate the actual ounces (or in this case fractions of ounces). And I’m sure somewhere someone is chortling at how ingenious this is, because, who would ever compare ounces on glue sticks at back to school time?

Second, it seems to me in these times of environmental awareness this company should be focusing its creative efforts on something innovative and earth-friendly, like maybe refillable glue sticks, rather than doubling the output of plastic waste by reducing the amount of glue in each container.

Third, even though this blog celebrates wasting time, I prefer it to be on my terms. It’s bad enough my family has suddenly tripled our milk consumption, requiring emergency “milk-runs”. I don’t need to be going out on unscheduled “glue-runs”.

Am I overreacting? Am I imagining things? Maybe glue sticks always looked like this. Maybe there’s a perfectly good reason for this. Please, tell me if I’m wrong.