In the Spirit of Competition…

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Libs, ready for game day. (As you do if you live here.)

 

Youngest Junior Hall is hanging about here for a bit as he reorganizes his life goals (which mostly just means building up his bank account so he can move into his own place). And it’s not too terribly difficult sharing space again, but then he’ll forget and walk into the house when I’m watching some sporting event.

 

 

Me (yelling): HOW did you think that was a good idea, throwing a pass when Julio has seven guys guarding him?

John: Do you have to yell?

Me: Yes. How else is that coach gonna know what to do?

John: Oh, that’s right. I forgot you’re an expert on every sport.

Me: Well, maybe not an expert. But I know enough not to throw–WHY DID THEY DO THE EXACT SAME THING??? (This is where I turn off the TV and leave the room.)

John (groaning): What is wrong with you?

Me (yelling from the kitchen): There is nothing wrong with me. This is how I watch football.

And baseball, and maybe even a tense golf match (though I’ll admit that there’s not as much yelling whilst watching golf.) It’s just that I’m a little competitive; I like to win. And I feel that my yelling in the privacy of my own home–to name just one of my many winning strategies–helps my team on to victory.

I have winning strategies when it comes to writing, too. And I’ve shared a few over at The Muffin today in “How to Win Contests (Or At Least an Honorable Mention)”. There’s no yelling, just pretty good advice for any writer, no matter what competition you choose to enter.

(But just an FYI here, the Falcons did win last night so who’s wrong now, John Hall?)

A Little Writing Humor (And by a Little, I Mean a Lot)

christmas and tips 2011 026Generally, I’m a pretty humble person. (Though if you have to point out that you’re humble, are you?)

Anyway, I think it’s amazing how I can so often find connections between my family unit and writing. ‘Course, others may not say this is such an amazing feat. Others may actually say this is just plain lazy. As in, “Cathy, how come you keep mining your own dang kids for blog posts?”

And to that I say, “There’s gold in them thar Halls!”

Hahahahahaha! It’s also probably poor taste to laugh at your own jokes. But I think we’ve already established that I have some questionable traits. On the other hand, I have written a (mostly) true and (somewhat) inspiring post that involves Junior Halls and writing. I hope you have a minute to read “Writing in the Beginning (The First-Born Child)” over at the Muffin. But if I’m being honest, you can always catch something about writing and the Halls some other time.

Probably in September. When I’ll head for the Halls for the next idea. (Hahahahaha! That was a good ‘un, too, right?)

Who Can Think In This Heat?

daylight-landscape-reflection-1209610And just like that, it’s August and shelves are ransacked of glue sticks, pencils, Kleenex, and individual snacks (though the fruit cups are always the last to go, aren’t they?). It’s like an army of kid-sized locusts have swarmed through all the stores and that’s how I know school’s started.

The Junior Halls have long since left their school days behind but there’s a part of me that I suspect will always be on school-time, following that back-to-school calendar and all its holidays/vacations. It’s hard-wired into my system.

But what’s also hard-wired into my system is that August is still vacation, especially the first two weeks of this month of sweltering heat. I went back to school after Labor Day, lo those many years ago; my kids went back to school in late August. And I’m pretty sure I know why: it’s too darn hot to think when it’s 89 but feels like 102.

The brain cannot function when it’s that hot and I have science on my side here. At my Tybee Island spot, the heat pump can’t keep the house cool. Yesterday, it was 84 around suppertime. EIGHTY-FOUR. I had to write a post for The Muffin and thank goodness, I tackled it in the morning before my brain turned to complete mush.

Except! Except I had to think up something the day before and it was also exceedingly warm in my house so I could only come up with short, little topics. Thus we have a. scientific proof re: my heat-affecting-thinking theory and b. “Writing Shorts” over at the Muffin today.

I feel like it’s pretty decent writing stuff, August and heat and brain mush considered. But it might help if you set your expectations accordingly (for both my post and the poor kidders and teachers).

I Should Probably Just Stay Home

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A view from my desk at the beach. Not that I work, just showing you the view.

So when I head to the beach, it’s quite the ordeal. That’s probably why I need so many naps once I get there… Anyway, the point is, preparing to leave one house for another for weeks at a time is a whole thing for me. It’s worth it, but still. A whole big thing:

I have to remember to hold the mail and cancel the paper. (Yes, I have to cancel it because the AJC will hold the paper but I am still charged for the paper. Back in the day, my account was credited when the paper was held. And it just goes against everything I believe in–well, almost everything–to pay for a paper that I’m not reading. So I cancel the paper and wait until I’m home for good and then start the paper again. Yes, it’s a lot of trouble to go to for twenty-three bucks but it’s the principle, y’all.)

I have to pack up my entire summer wardrobe even though I wear the same shorts and t-shirts for most of the time. I always think I’ll have to attend a sudden formal soiree or that a rogue snowstorm will hit the coast and what if I don’t have my jeans, sweaters, and long-sleeved shirts, not to mention my good black dress and my fancy high-heeled shoes? (I don’t bring my boots to the beach; that would be ridiculous.)

And don’t get me started on the food and such that I pack. Because despite the fact that there is a grocery store literally three blocks from me and a Publix (just like I have here) only a few miles down the Tybee road, I MUST BRING GROCERIES FROM HOME.

That last one I’ll admit is kinda crazy. But what is not crazy is that I hide all the Really Important Stuff in my house that I don’t bring to the beach just in case bad men (or women, let’s be fair here) break into my home and abscond with the family jewels (I feel I should mention here, just in case any of these scofflaws have read this far, that the family jewels aren’t much. We’re not even sure if they’re genuine. And when I say “they” I really mean just the one. Which is probably fake.).

Anyway, one year, I hid my Really Important Flashdrive and I still haven’t found it. So now, I had the brilliant idea to write myself notes–in code, of course–on my calendar to tell me where I’ve hidden stuff. Except this year, by the time I returned, all rested and oh-so-refreshed, I’d forgotten I’d hidden my Really Important Stuff or that I’d written helpful little notes to remind me where I’d hidden stuff. So every time I looked at my calendar and saw a particularly weird and cryptic note, I wondered what in the world it possibly meant.

And then I needed my checkbook (which is, after all, Really Important Stuff) and you can probably see where this is going. I COULD NOT FIND MY CHECKBOOK. At some point, it occurred to me that I’d hidden the checkbook but WHERE? WHERE? WHERE? If only I’d had sense enough to leave a trail of bread crumbs to my checkbook!

After tearing up the house, I finally found the checkbook. Exactly where I’d carefully hidden it. And then I happened to glance over at the calendar where the weirdly cryptic note suddenly made perfect sense.

I’m not sure where I hid my extra laptop and there are no more cryptic notes. I feel like when I go to hide the next Really Important Thing in my house, there will be the laptop, covered in dust, wondering where I’ve been. In the meantime, it’s back to writing for me and you can read the latest over at the Muffin in “What’s the Big Idea?”

(Just FYI, it has nothing to do with the particular bright idea I had to write myself coded notes; it’s a whole different idea. But it’s the same old lesson when it comes to pride.)

Spot the Difference: Summer Vs. Vacation

IMG_20190609_174418204I’m in  summer mode re: work right now. Which basically means I enjoy two siestas during the day–a short stint out on the deck or on the beach, soaking up my Vitamin D (And P.S. A quick bit of time in the sun is the best source of Vitamin D but do wear your sunscreen!) AND a late afternoon siesta where I get my reading in (And by “reading”, I mean “nap”)–instead of the one siesta I take during full work mode.

As you can imagine, one must be very organized to get anything accomplished if one’s taking two siestas a day. And I know what you’re thinking: can one really be that organized? So as proof, I offer today’s post over at The Muffin. To wit, Revision: A Whole ‘Nother Story.

You’ll note that not only have I come up with some pretty darn good writing/revision stuff but also I have shared my ultra-organized revision grid/chart wherein it’s kinda mind-boggling in its accomplishment glory.

I should probably add that other writers way more accomplished than I came up with revision grids and the same darn good writing/revision stuff ages ago BUT that doesn’t negate the fact that I worked like a fiend in the last six weeks on the latest manuscript whilst taking their advice AND two siestas.

So I think I deserve a vacation at this point. Which basically means that for the next six weeks, you can find me either on the deck, the beach, or the screened porch, with a book and/or a cool drink or Popsicle in hand. I may be reading, I may be napping, I may be thinking up the next story, but there is one thing you can be certain about: I WILL be wearing sunscreen.

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Libs will be checking email for me, but I wouldn’t count on her. Even when she’s in full work mode–and you can see that she’s revved up and at the ready here– she’s dismally lazy.