Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I haven't posted in while, but I'm back! I've had a busy couple of weeks, and I've actually written several blogs that I didn't post because I couldn't get the words just right. I'll give you the short, sweet version of those, then I'll move on to the topic that got me on here rearing to blog!

This month I went to Disney World, turned a year older, partied with Vampire Weekend (in case you were wondering, yes they can and do recreate their signature sound live, and it was awesome!) and have had lots of fun with friends. Those are all the good things; of course, bad things happen, too. I have a tendency to have my feelings hurt too easily, but that's a topic for another day.

I am worried about my writing. I am loving my characters, and they certainly have minds of their own. I am a solid six chapters into this book, but I've had to take too many breaks from writing with all the busyness going on. But worse than falling short of my self-imposed deadlines, I've been worried about plotting.

Yesterday, while searching for the next book I want to read, I came across the blog of Kristen Cashore. If you haven't read Graceling and Fire, you should. Her next book isn't due out any time soon, but I'm so glad that I stumbled upon her site. Why? Because not only does she write amazing, complex characters with beautiful prose, she is a master of plotting and pacing. Reading her blog and website gave me hope, because her process is very similar to mine. She's a "pantser," too! (That's a writer's term that means writing by the seat of your pants, rather than complex plotting before hand.)

Knowing how brilliantly it worked out for Ms. Cashore, now I at least know that it's possible for a plot to work it's way out. Taking some of the anxiety away makes me excited about writing again, and that is exactly what I needed.

Music I'm rocking this week: LCD Soundsystem

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

This weekend we had company at our house. It's always fun to visit with old friends, especially ones who see the world differently from how you see it. You learn from those kinds of friends. I could go on about how our friend never meets a stranger, or any number of things, but this morning I was reminded of an off-handed comment he made when we were picking up our kids from school. He said, "You guys care way too much about what goes on in the carpool line."

I'm sure he was right. He hasn't yet experienced the joy of school pick up and drop off lines, so he sees these situations differently from me. I was reminded of this when I found myself agitated this morning at son #1's school. You see, we have two lines. The line on the right, and the line on the left. The school added the line on the left to get the traffic off the streets when it backs up. The left line eventually merges into the right again, so all of the people on the left end up getting in front of the people on the right, which is fine. We are all aware of this, and we make our choices.

But this morning, there was no back-up. The right line was moving steadily, with no stopping. We, on the right, were all going the school speed limit, which is 5 mph. There was no need for the line on the left. And yet, in front of my very eyes, three cars sped past everyone on the right, taking the speed bumps at around twenty five or so, just to scoot in and cut some other cars off. Just to kick their child out of the car 5 seconds faster.

And there you have it. I care way too much about what happens in the carpool line. I care too much because life and values and the big picture are reflected there. In the carpool line you have me, and most of the other moms and dads, over on the right, going the speed limit because we don't want to run over a child. And then you have those other people. The ones who just want to get ahead. The ones who don't care who they might run over, or who they cut off.

The good news is that for the most part, I only have to deal with those people in the carpool lane. I'm so grateful for all the good people my family has in our life. I'm grateful for friends we've known for years, who come to visit and bring different points of view, and for friends who support us and love us and have fun with us. I'm fine staying over here in the right lane.