Showing posts from July, 2010


Last night was really rough. I had to go in early with some other folks to learn more dance steps, and then perform it just half an hour later with vocals. Not so good! But hey, we tried. Tonight the whole band comes in and the goal is to run the entire show by 10pm. So, more stress. It's so hard to remember those words when all the other stuff is swimming around up there!
But it's all good. Once I have all the dance steps and crazy words locked in my brain, it will be autopilot. Come on brain!
And add to that all the running around I had to do yesterday with registering the kids for school. I took them to the Dr's office on Monday to drop off their physical forms that needed to be filled out, then we went yesterday to pick them back up, then to Julia's school, then to Liam's. Then to the store. Then to practice. Oy.

Dancing my life away (but it's good . . . I'm good . . .)

Rehearsals are getting hectic with tons of dance thrown at us in short periods of time. I mean, I knew there was going to be a little bit of choreography, but just not all over the place with every song. I'm okay with the arm things and hip sways, but the whole blown out dance numbers are really messing with my crazy, dyslexic brain. Anyway we're all still memorizing lyrics, harmonies, etc. Bangs head against desk. It's okay. I'll be okay.
All of us girls are starting to bond. Perhaps it's the torture we're being put through, but there is definitely some good bonding going on. That's pretty cool.
As for writing, I still get up early to do some edits/revisions. I think I lost too much of Emma's voice in the first three chapters, so this last week I worked really hard to put that back in. That's the problem with listening to too many sources: one person says take out all backstory, another says to show and not tell, another says to keep it fas…


John, Saint John.
The beautiful.
The tall.
The dignified.
Can make a baseball soar far past the eastern fence posts,
too far for me to run and catch in time.

Early in the morning he’ll hop aboard that plane
and go away.
Fly out to the west, past dragonfly mists called Kansas Dawn;
sunflowers and grasshoppers and sweeping hawk.

John, Saint John.
When I wake up, you will be gone.

There was the time we sat all day
plucking crawdads out of the creek,
and he was gonna sell them down on the corner-
a quarter a piece.
We sat in the heat,
back then it felt like forever.

I said I wanted to be tall like him.
But he said girls needn't be tall, just freckled.
I grew tall anyway, John, Saint John.
The engine fires; I dream a song.
When I wake up, you will be gone.

Another time at the lake, the same one we risked all winter,
water swallowed me up in my ratty pink suit
and John jumped in.
I watched, arms flailing, breath holding,
I watched and he flew like a golden eagle over me
and splash, was next to me,
arms around me, p…

Threadbare Soles

Last night was a loooong night with group work, harmonies and all that. Rehearsals are three floors up in an empty library, and there's only a window unit air conditioner in that one room. Go out into the hall and it's like walking into hell. Water is essential. It will be on Sunday, that's for sure, because that's when we go through choreography. I still have my soft, jazz shoes although they have a few paint stains from the last show I was in. I've seen worse though. Real, hard-core dancers have holes and stains and threadbare soles. It's kind of cool to see.
They were taking head shots last night in between group work, and while not actively working we were supposed to go over to the corner and get our picture taken. Well, I was in three medley's back to back and when I finally was able to go over there, the lady had split. Great. Let's see if anyone notices. I hate having my picture taken anyway.
I still want to see Inception, and would l…

Talkin' bout last night

Last night was one-on-one solo time, so each of us showed up at different slots to receive direction, music direction and all that. Unless something changes, I am still Joni Mitchell and playing guitar up on stage just as Joni would (yay!). And then, get this . . . I get to be Deborah Harry from Blondie. I'm freaking singing "Call me". Isn't that just amazing and cool?! Okay, well I think it is. When they first told me that I was going to sing it, I was like, "No way. That's just . . . way too cool for me. I love Blondie. Like LOVE." And they were like, "No. You ARE singing it." Yes . . . . . . . . . This rocks. I just have to figure how to do the outfits and make-up do for those two. Looks like:

Messy hair, blue eye shadow, and red lips for Debbie.

Demure, shiny, organic for Joni. I love this dress by the way.
Okay, well anyway *sigh*. I'm kind of too happy to be sane right now. Have a good day peoples.

Moms don't read naughty vampire books

Here we are and it's Wednesday again. I have a show rehearsal to go to this evening, but it's kids and cleaning for the day. Just wanted to tell you about the latest book that I've been reading, Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men, by Molly Harper. It's the second book in a trio about a children's librarian turned vampire. I have to say, Molly has the best comedic voice and I find myself laughing every few lines! Plus it's really hot. So, if you are looking for a fun book to read—go check this one out!

Okay, gotta go do stuff. Have a great day!

Jamie, reach in that pocket one more time

One of the biggest joys in a kid's day was when the ice cream man would come around. The sound of his bell, like a mobile church, would ring from blocks away, then come closer, house by house until at last it was in front of ours. It was enough to cause heart attacks in three-year-olds—the happiness and excitement was just too much.
When you heard that sound coming the first thought was to round up some money, fast. There'd be a split second where we would all stop whatever we were doing in the yard and look at each other. Then someone would send out the call, "Ice Cream Man!" and we'd all make a beeline to the house to find Mom. Can we have some ice-cream money? Well I'm not sure, we just went to the store and . . . Hurry mother! A couple of quarters were laid in each hand, then it was back out to the front yard. Damn that screen door that always fumbled in my hand!
Marshall was already at the head of the line, Cathy and I standing behind. On one par…

It's too darn hot, tssssssssss

One summer it was so hot that Mom grabbed her purse and told us kids we were going to go out and buy an air conditioner. It was a Saturday, so perhaps she'd thought about it all week while working at the library, ironically kept cool by the city. We had been dependent on a large window fan at home; big, metal, blue. It was so large it had to be strapped in, and the thing rattled and whirred like a big engine. But it did manage to slightly cool off one of the rooms upstairs. That's where we all slept, including a few stray cats we'd collected, and buffy the flea-bitten chihuahua.
It must have been one too many hot nights and fleas, because there we were hopping into the orange Pinto and heading off to Sears. Mom was (and still is) a master at avoiding salesmen. They come up to start their dialogue, and she just walks away in deliberate oblivion. "Good afternoon mam, how are you doing to . . . day? Oh." She knows what she wants and doesn't need any dist…

Busy, Happy

So I have two agents who've asked for partials right now, and I am going to say a million prayers every day for the next however-long-it-takes. I did some slight revisions, and sent them off. Sparkle, partial, sparkle!
In the meantime I am busy learning a load of songs for the show I auditioned for a few weeks ago. The rehearsal schedule is very fast, so there's no time to fiddle around. The song list was sent out the other day and we must be prepared for the first meeting this Sunday afternoon. My main song is Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi. Isn't that cool??!! Now, it could be taken away by some horrible stroke of showbiz fate, but for now I am reveling in the coolness. There are tons of others I have to sing partial leads in and also backup, so it's been rather stressful learning all these damn lyrics in just a few days. Hey, I asked for it! No complaining, Amy!
I'm also a blog contributor to a friend's TV website for the show Big Brother which just…

New Project

The first chapter of a new book I've started to write, Woodsocket ’79.

Gerald and Izzy

Her contractions were coming every two minutes. He knew this because, despite the broken reading on the car’s dashboard, the distance between her last moan and the current one could be measured been between Dairy Sue’s on the south side of town and the First National Bank of Woodsocket over on the north, just a few blocks before county road 115. That’s where Woodsocket ended, and the rest of the world for all anyone cared.
As soon as he passed the bank another moan started, long and low. He’d never heard her moan like that, not even while having sex. Making a sharp right, he secretly became jealous of life and infancy and all of creation for making such intimate responses in her, in ways he never could.
“I’m driving as fast as I can, honey. Please try to stay calm.” He was hot. The air-conditioner had stopped working as well. In fact, just about the only thing that worked in his damn vol…

Hangin' in there, Monday Style

I'm still getting over a monster migraine. It hit me like a brick yesterday, pardon the cliche'. One minute I was fine, the next I was stumbling around with spots in my eyes and a horrible, paralyzing ache all through my head and neck. I remember going to the store to buy some medicine, but not much else after that. Good thing the kids were happy to just sit and play all afternoon and evening.
It's getting better, but yuck, I hate feeling like this.
I didn't reach that 100 page goal for the week, but it really pushed me forward and I wrote a few chapters so that's really good, don't you think? Remember I said I don't jump or rush into anything? Well, pushing myself as a writer seems to be necessary, or I ponder too much and end up getting very little done (or as much as I'd like to). So from now on, I am going to set my writing goals high and try to reach them, but only as a sort of guideline.
When faced with a difficult scene, I tend to hang bac…

The Story of Me, the Bully, and Effective Fibbing

Fred Smith used to come up to me every day at lunch and say, "I'm going to follow you after school, Amy. And then I'm going to hurt you. Don't tell anyone." And then he'd walk away. Total appetite killer, let me tell ya.
Sure enough he'd be waiting for me after school, sometimes the second I got out, sometimes a few minutes later after I'd already walked a few blocks heading for the library down on the eastern edge of town. That's where Mom worked, and I guess the need to be near her was strong enough to risk my life on most afternoons, because I could have just gone west to our house, down the hill, and been safe. Alone and safe.
So, I'd be stepping on the cobbled bricks along East Nichols and he'd slither up behind and start the torment, "I hate you Amy. You're ugly, stupid, nobody likes you." He'd go on and on, stepping on the back of my feet the whole way. And I let him. Over and over I let him do this to me …

My Delights

Why do I love the 70's so much? I love it because people were so honest back then. Not brutally honest like they are today; vulnerable with a sweetness, almost childlike. There was a huge drug scene, but I don't really give much attention to that in my thoughts or in my writing because it was just part of the times. A lot of that drug use was a leftover from youth: people had grown up with it from the sixties and, like a child, were having to learn how to wean. I don't discount them for it, I just leave it in the background as part of the times. Anyway, in small town Kansas, it was pretty much invisible and just a hint of society.
I was just a little girl, but I do remember people sitting on their front porches enjoying life. Girls wore bell bottoms and had long hair, guys had long hair too, and sideburns. No one really went around saying things like "Groovy" all the time. The Beatles were still being played on the radio. Pop came in cans with peel tabs (wh…

Moving Along

I'm almost at 200 pages . . . overall. Haven't reached my goal of writing 100 just for this week alone, but again, it's a goal to strive for and really is helping me to push forward. I wish I could share all of it with you right now, but that would get old after awhile.
What are everyone's plans for the weekend? I plan on seeing Eclipse again, taking the kids to the park and the mall. Exercise, weed the garden, make apple pie. I'm reading a fun vampire romance which I never really do, but it was one of three different genres I grabbed at the library the other day. Kind of smutty really, I think I've lost where the plot is! But whatever, it's a good summer read.
I love this movie so much!! Can't remember if I've posted this before. Just humor me.

Okay, so have a good Friday! Remember, it's five o'clock somewhere!

Not So Early Blog

I do most of my writing early in the morning, as that is the only time I really have to myself. I remember reading that Mary Higgins Clark used to do that when her kids were little, 5-7 every morning, she says. Then it's time to be Mom all day with little stolen moments to rush in and write. I'm up a little bit late today, but that's okay, I'll deal.
I actually wrote for about an hour last night after supper and put down some amazing things. You know the kind, you're beaming while you write, almost giddy with excitement and happiness? I wish I hadn't of had to step away, but Julia needed me to do some things and then there was laundry and dishes. I would have said screw it to the housework, but since Julia had me out of the office chair anyway, I went ahead and dove into all that miserable stuff. Actually, I like doing laundry and dishes because they give me time to think. But yeah, thinking and actually typing words into a document are two different thin…

Me reckless? Ahhhhhhhh!

Okay, so I'm not even close to that one-hundred page goal, but I did get a whole chapter written. The thing is, having a goal, any goal, is a good producer of content, so that makes it worth it in my opinion. The way I see it, if I'm pushing myself to write more and more, then that gets the ball rolling. Inertia will kick in and the muse will come around. If not, I'll still be writing no matter what.
I'm one of those people who dips my toe into the water before jumping in the pool. Okay, I don't jump into pools—ever. I don't jump out of bed, or race out the front door. I have to slowly work my way into every situation. But perhaps, since this is wild and crazy week (whoooo!) I will jump into the pool and rush out the door. It would be good for me! Unless I break a leg or arm or something, then I won't be doing anything much less writing, what with a cast around my hand and all. Darn recklessness!
Maybe I'll just write about being wild and craz…

1970's Treat

Here are some classic 1970's ads, some very cheesy. Okay, really, really cheesy. But I love that about the '70's. You had the dreamers and nobody was trying to be cool because you can't be cool in polyester.
You all know this one, but watch it again. And yes, all the kids in the neighborhood went around singing this tune. Everyone did.

Can't forget the Crying Indian. Aw, the days when a little trash was our worst evil.

We used to drink Kool-aid. It was pure fake flavor and food dye. Just add a crapload of sugar and some water. Oh YEAH!!! That Kool-aid guy was always busting down somebody's fence or wall—kind of scary now that I think of it. Oh well. It's red and refreshing!

This is bad, but Liam has this commercial memorized. It's like a skit we do, and it's so cute to hear him sing, "The fwavor wasts so wongwongwong in Bubble Yum bumbum POP!" Of course, I have to be scary puppet dude in the sketch.

Can't forget the Purina Chu…

Stay Positive

A few months ago I mentioned the book The Secret, and how it seemed like a bunch of flimsy ideals, which is ironic as I'm basically an idealist. But I have to say, I have gone through the book again and I kind of like the whole 'manifest your dreams' theory. It involves being positive and staying positive, not an easy thing to do sometimes. There is a film reel of negativity that has played in my head since birth, and the button gets pushed every once in a while, "You're an idiot, a horrible writer, you'll never succeed." I could go on, but no need for the rest of the world to see my hell. It's a little bit OCD and a lot SAD. So . . . from now on (actually from last week) I will allow no more negative thoughts to enter my brain. As soon as I hear the tape being played, I am going to shut it off and replace it with something positive.
From now on, I will be manifesting the good stuff. Watch out world . . .

Really Sleepy Post

It's a no coffee morning. Need to go to the store. Yawn!
I read something the other day that reminded me to stop and feel JOY every day. Sometimes we get so caught up in our daily schedules that we forget to do these simple things—they make a huge difference. Another thing was from Thich Nhat Hahn: stop and breathe. Breathe in calm, and breathe out smile. Afterwards look around and see what you are grateful for, because there is always something to be grateful for.
I forgot to tell you, I've been cast in the Women of Rock show. Yay! It's a really fast, three-week schedule, and I'll probably be singing a couple solos along with backup/group as well. Rehearsals start July 18th. Hopefully I'll have a little coffee around by then.
Some Questions: Do you write at scheduled times, or just whenever the mood hits? What is your favorite time of day to write? Do you write longhand or on the computer? Coffee or tea?
Have a great Friday!