We See What We Want…

Isn’t that the truth.

I always wonder why we are blind-sided by love, or the idea of love? And when we think we are inLOVE, we only see the positives.

But since I’ve parted ways with my husband, I realize that all the years we were together,  I hardly  paid attention to the red-flags or maybe, I simply dismissed them. I could chalk it up to  youth and/or being inexperienced, but really it boils down to being insecure and maybe even just plain dumb.

Recently we got together for a talk. A talk he initiated, and I had no idea it was because he was aiming to get back together – that’s the kind of talk I am referring to. After spending a couple of hours with him – literally walking on egg shells because I was doing my best not to buckle and give in – something came over me and I managed to say NO to him – about him moving back in.

Because all I am able to see now is the sides to him that makes me feel jittery and not in a good way (if there is such a thing), and that I know that if I let him back into my life again…he would crush me in no time and that I am no longer willing to live with.

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Two Steps…I don’t Know really

Been moody since yesterday morning, even snappy perhaps, but all of it in private. So I reached out to ‘a friend’ I’ve known for over two decades to make small talk. Like text-talk. GAWD forbid there is actual conversations anymore. And just for s*** and giggles, I asked him if he thought one of my favorite actors was gay? And he laughed at me. You know the LOL and the HAHAHAHA. So I got quiet and shifted my attention to Candy Crush to combat the edginess.

Minutes later he asks – what’s the different?  I tell him, I was just curious since the image of that actor I have decided to use as the protagonist in my next novel and if he were gay, that would make it difficult for me to pen him in a torrid love affair between a man and a woman.

More HAHAHAHA and then the silence.  So I left it alone and moved on to something else – like feeling sorry for myself and tearing up and nonsense. Nothing productive. Insert here, I should go to the gym.

At midnight my phone illuminates and against my better judgment I squint to decipher what and who.

It was my friend – sending me a link to THIS

I swear I need new friends.

Learning From My Daughters

If not every day, it is every week that I learn something from my daughters. Although often times I am skeptical about what it is they tell me.

Just the other day, my younger one and I were taking our usual walk downtown at lunchtime, discussing feeling pretty. Her take is that we are all vein, no matter even if we think we are ugly, and my explanation is that it’s not so much vanity, but the requirement to fit into society that drives us to look our best.

We argued for a bit, her telling me that we don’t need to prove ourselves to anyone, and my argument was that we did. It’s always been the case throughout history to fit in, and so that’s what we do day in and day out.

She thought about it for a while, just as I did. A half hour later she said: “Well, I know I’m vein, and I admit it.”

Strangest Dream Ever, Keeping Me On Cloud Nine

272A460500000578-0-image-a-67_1427812325436Last night I couldn’t fall asleep, no matter how hard I tried. Every time I closed my eyes, I imagined blood and gore. Not sure what the heck was going on? Anyway, finally it seemed I fell asleep, dead asleep I might add, because I didn’t at all recall my other half leaving for work early in the morning.

It seemed during those hours or perhaps minutes I was dreaming of a certain celebrity and I crossing paths, him drawn to me in a friendly kind of way. He told me he needed time to escape real life, and was hoping I could help him. Naturally I took on the challenge, and did everything in my power to protect him from all things celebrity. We were in a tropical place. I couldn’t figure out if it was Hawaii or somewhere else. Apparently I owned a plantation type home, with massive land, and he was there asking for my help. He couldn’t be any kinder and down to earth, and I couldn’t have asked for a better dilemma.

I opened my eyes, peeking at the alarm clock on the night stand hoping that all of this wasn’t a dream. But it was…

Travel Plans Are On The Way

IMG_0930Every year, for the past four years, my hubby and I have made a conscious effort to go to Europe. Since we’ve downsized our lives for the sake of having the means to enjoy it more, we plan, save and travel each year. Also, we forgo the Christmas, Valentines, anniversary and birthdays gifts, and consider the one trip a year, the best gift ever that we give one another.

So, the planning has started, and I’m working out the details now with my favorite hotels in France, and plotting our route. This year it looks like Portugal, Spain, and France. We haven’t been to Portugal, and it’s been 15 years since our last visit to Spain. I figured I’d put together a new trip. My hubby also expressed he wanted to do something different this year.

We are going to make an effort to be present in Cannes for the film festival, and Monte Carlo for the race, so here’s to finalizing the plans and putting together a trip I can truly use stories from for my next novel.

{photo I took last year in Las Vegas of the Eiffel Tower. Looks pretty real}

The Not So Pleasant End To An Evening

lightsI try to be mindful of everyone’s feelings, I really do. Because of this, I tend to walk on eggshells when trying to get something done.  So, I avoid at all cost visiting my mother because my brother lives with her. (Yes, he really does), and he has a tendency not to make anyone feel welcome in her house.

Case in point today. My daughters decided to surprise visit her, and told me after the fact they had done just that. I was working from home and didn’t really want to go over there. But for the sake of family time I did.

Usually, the minute I walk in through the door, I get the dirty look, followed by mumbling, and I am almost certain six different curses placed upon my head-all of them by my brother.

Anyway, I took a seat, with the corner of my eye noticed he was simply tolerating the visit. Usually he hates people tramping through the house when he had just cleaned it. I got the impression that was the case for this particular visit. The second sign we weren’t welcome into the house was him increasing the volume to the television set, watching Family Fued or something not so significant, airing nightly on television. The third, he never once spoke to any of us. We were all there for my mother anyway, and tried our best to ignore him. At ten, after twitching, sighing, eyes-rolling, he told us we had to leave.  My daughter merely reminded him that she was still visiting with her grandmother, and that this was her last weekend in California for a while, her comments pissing him off enough to lose it with us, turning the evening to s***.

My daughters walked out, my mother started to cry, and I stood by letting him scream and rant like he normally does. That’s how Friday night went.  I hope to wake up from this nightmare soon…

{photo I took of lights in a restaurant in Stanford several weekends ago}

But I Don’t Want to Watch Your Kids. I Want to Travel.

propertyofalifefromasuitcaseIt’s the weekend again, and my older daughter, who’s in town helping out her old job get it together, or hire her replacement, or whatever the real reason for her being here is, drove to the city as normal on Friday to save money on her housing in a near by military base. I’ve come to realize that is the only reason she comes over, and not because she misses us really or wants to spend time with me or her sister.  I am also sensing a rift between the two, and it’s breaking my heart. But I will leave that story for another day.

Anyway, when she arrived yesterday she told me she was considering going back to college to get her Masters, and perhaps even join the military before she had a baby. I asked how she planned to raise a child if she were deployed, and she said ‘that’s easy, the baby would live with you, and you would also have to take care of my dogs.’

I was hoping she was just kidding. But she wasn’t.

I choked, although did my best to hide it. I don’t want to watch her children, not long-term anyway. I have no intentions of being that type of grandmother. In fact, I was sort of looking forward to number 2 getting married, so I could breathe a little and be less responsible, travel and explore and write and take photographs. I married young, had children very young, and I am still young, and no longer want to complicate my life by possibly raising more (her) children which now I can see her doing to me.

Oh dear God!

{photo I took of the untraditional cake I bought for my brother’s birthday}

I Have Trouble Looking Forward To The Weekends

Articles-27-02-15-610x620My oldest came back from Nebraska three weeks ago to help the clinic where she worked train her replacement. The idea of her coming back was exciting at first, since I figured the three of us, my youngest, her and I would spend quality adult time together, shopping, talking, cooking, and even walking, just being together.

I don’t know what I was thinking, or who I was fooling, for believing in quality family life. Times have changed and I’m getting older, yearning, longing for the simple days where we ate together without looking down at our cell phones, made dinner from scratch, walked through a park and watched a move, cuddled under a blanket, and yes it’s the twenty-first century I am referring to.

Far, far, far from it.

My oldest has changed. She’s been changing this past year, into someone I don’t like much. I guess her explanation that she is years behind after comparing herself to a roommate of theirs in Nebraska, justifies her actions. She is loud, over-bearing, bullying, demanding, and at times very selfish, even though I know deep down she has a good heart. Something terrible has happened to her personality, and I worry that this is the future, and she is everything I expected her not to become.

The last few weekends, I’ve tolerated her, and her up and down emotions. This weekend, I made no effort to get out of my way to see her, hiding mostly in my apartment, writing. She came by unannounced, on Friday while I worked from home, demanding lunch. She napped, and then left. Today was a repeat, except she spent more time on her cell phone, and only stopped because the battery died and she didn’t have her plug, her mood very angry as the day unfolded. She ordered her sister to text her friends so she could stay connected, and then left again almost abruptly to charge her phone and get her beauty rest. Her requirement a good eight-hour sleep each night. Although, that seldom happens. She is often under her covers texting, and scrolling through the internet.

I was relieved to discover from my youngest that they would be  busy tomorrow, because the older one wants to spend the day with her father, who is making a special trip to the city to be with them.  He is another story. I think I am relieved a little that I will spend tomorrow doing what I love best-taking a walk along the coast, breathing in some fresh air, and recharging my body and my soul.

I am tired…

{I don’t know where I found this photo, but at this moment it expresses my mood perfectly}

Editing A Novel And Discovering A Whole New Story

pigeons in waterI read articles, follow discussions, and check twitter comments on a regular basis so I can figure out what and what not to do when it comes to writing, editing and publishing a novel.

With that said, I have an editor who I work with diligently to get my stories out. Although her insights are very helpful, I question what she could be thinking in regards to the storyline. Her notes to me are as follows:

  • Too much reality, we need more fantasy.
  • Does that really happen in real life? It sounds unreal.
  • Do 43-year-old women really go to bars?
  • The main character’s older daughter comes across heartless.
  • The main character is too emotional – referring to her finding out her husband is cheating.
  • I am confused. Oh this makes perfect sense
  • You hit the nail on the head. Wait why is this happening?

These are some of the contradictory comments she’s made in some of the paragraphs or chapters. Seriously, confusing me to death.

So what I did was start the book over again, changing so much to incorporate her notes, and where she suggested that I elaborate I did, where she asked I cut out I did, and now that I am almost done with the editing, I realize the story has changed drastically.  I don’t know is that a good thing?

 

{photo: signs of Springtime in San Francisco.}

 

 

Assessment, Edit, Rewrite your damn novel

IMG_2026I’m dabbling in writing novels. So I sent over 107K words to an editor to get a feel for if I am on the right track. She made her assessment in three parts, breaking down line by line and adding her suggestions mostly to rework the story. I appreciated her insight on every section she emailed me with suggestions. At the very end she sent  a summed up report of all her findings, and when I read it, I was more confused than anything. Here’s why.

Everything she noted as not being addressed was detailed in the novel, and although she rated the entire piece as well done, she offered up many changes. After reading her 10 page report, I felt she was confusing my story with someone else’s she was editing, you know, not really following my storyline. I hate to admit, I was  discouraged and felt a little cheated. I hate online communication, I prefer face to face. But in this case it is almost impossible. She lives abroad.

Anyway, overnight I worried about her comments and suggestions, thinking I should put my attempted novel away and not pursue my life-long dream. But it’s not like me to give up so easily.  I just need to figure out where to start or where to end. Maybe I should ignore the 10 page assessment, and go with correcting all the bubbles she inserted throughout the document with minor changes. I mean are all editors correct in their assessment? Do they all really know what’s best? I am open to suggestions, but I found some of the one’s I got not at all pertaining to my story, rather generic.  Oh well. I will make an effort this weekend, working my way through the pages to see where and what I can correct and then go at it again. Hopefully, it will all work out…stay tuned.

{photo: Clock Tower in London I took last March while on vacation with the girls.)