Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Flushed?

While awaiting the coverage of the royal wedding… well, I was awake (as usual) and the TV was on… I fought a minor urge to watch the big to-do. Fortunately, the compulsion was fleeting.

The thought of sitting still for hours – while feeling like I should be multitasking – though appealing, is a bit like telling a 3-year-old not to touch anything in a giant toy or candy store. Sheer delight mixes with horror and increasing frustration as little, greedy eyes dance with the possibilities – of serious injury or severe obesity. (I did mention the stores were for giants, right?)

Instead of heading to a pub or giggling with girlfriends (because that’s what we do), I found myself writing and catching up on old episodes clogging my DVR. (I need a tiny plunger.) I was looking forward to The Mentalist. I’ve been a fan of Simon Baker's ever since I saw him in Something New, playing the love interest of a character named – you guessed it – Kenya. We became fast friends that eve. One day, I might even tell him – so he can update his restraining orders.

I’ve been so distracted with busywork and the occasional shiny object lately. So, I refused to give in to the curiosity of wondering what Kate's dress would look like live – as she sashayed (with an updo, I assume) down the aisle. I wish the happy couple well. I can only hope a few spectators with disposable cameras took a photo or two. Maybe Barbara Walters will post some online after The View.

Me? I’d rather solve a crime with the CBI and pretend I’d easily identified the guilty party before Act Two. Forty-four minutes scribbling random thoughts, fast-forwarding through commercials, checking email, playing video games, restoring TV justice (I didn’t get my giant toy or candy. I need to right some wrongs!) and fanning growing delusions of investigative grandeur…

How could that be wrong? It's all-American! Okay, well the lead actor of the show's Australian. But, isn't that close enough? I’m just trying to be practical, after all…

All those hats at the royal wedding could’ve sent me into sensory overload. (The first documented case of hat rage?) Plus, I have a much better chance of becoming a fake detective than a princess.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hey, Boo Boo!

After 13 hours of sleep (yes, you read that correctly), I’m wondering if somehow my body’s started hibernating as a not-so-subtle form of protest – a work stoppage. It showed my brain who was boss without a picket sign or a union rep. My alarm went off. And, following a brief groan (perhaps a grunt?), my hand reached over and simply silenced the offender. A few moments later, I'd rolled back over – feeling more drained than guilty.

“Take that, brain,” my body boasted, having taken the reins of decision-making and given itself an extra day of paid vacation.

“But,” my brain feebly objected, “we have things to do. You can’t just lie there. I’ll fire you. Don’t think I won’t just because we’re related.” (Picture Niles vs Frasier. Despite both characters having juicy brains, I see Frasier as the body.)

(Insert maniacal body laugh here.)

This wasn’t the first time these two had gone at it. Typically, I sit on the sidelines – pompoms in hand – unsure which team to root for. I just wish they’d get it over with (or get a room). I haven’t the heart to tell them I’m not impressed – or that they share the same parents. Maybe I should've chosen a different show.

My brain usually wins the battle. “You see how you moved your leg? I told you to do that. And don’t forget it!...Wait, can bodies remember?” (Even brains have trouble thinking sometimes.)

But, every once in a while, my body triumphs. Even without a cornerman, it eventually recognizes it’s the only one in a fist fight with limbs to swing. (A little uncoordinated. But, who's counting?)

Maybe my mom was right. And I was just fighting off a cold. (I knew those sani-wipes at the grocery store didn’t really work.) My best friends/brothers/mortal enemies were only pummeling an intruder – and knew I needed to reboot. 

We all need a break at times. If we don’t choose to take one, sometimes the choice is made for us. Now, if I could just figure out where those two moved my cave… and where all these colored, hard-boiled eggs came from.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Heat Is On

The weather's gone back and forth a lot lately. One day it's 88 degrees. The next, it's 70, 60 or (dare I say?) in the 50s. Brrr! Now, I'm not complaining. Change is good, right? There's not a huge difference between the seasons in Los Angeles. Fall foliage is usually green... or brown. But, when I look at the world's weather, I know how lucky we are. (Please remind me I wrote this the next time I hop on the 405 freeway on a rainy Friday afternoon.)

Personally, I like change -- not the jingly kind you find in your pocket or at the bottom of your purse. Although, that kind's pretty good -- come laundry and parking time. Not every meter here accepts Visa and MasterCard. ("Everywhere you want to be" except where it'll keep you from getting a ticket. Just my luck.)

And I love a good challenge -- writing when you haven't had enough sleep to remember why you walked into the other room or when it's so warm and sunny outside you smile when you hear children playing outside -- while secretly hoping their parents call them in. (Don't they have gadgets to play with?)

Now, before you get upset, I love kids. And, of course, I want them to play outside -- just not right below my window. I have work to do. And if they didn't bring enough fun for everyone... I always wanted to surprise that teacher by bringing several packs of gum to school. (The gum brand name: "Bite Me.")

Having heat in this town is definitely a good thing. I plan to set my thermostat on 80 -- then lock it or snap off the lever forever. I'd set the temperature higher, but my vanity and lack of desire to frequent the drugstore would likely prevent it.

...I prefer moderation over dehydration and ashy skin.

Monday, April 11, 2011


No, I’m not talking about my hair on a humid day. I’m talking about a good, old-fashioned nap! Like we took when we were kids – sprawled out on the floor (or a mat, if the daycare owners actually cared). 

Today, I took one of those. So, what’s the big deal? I don’t know. But, I needed it. I’d finished my taxes. Taken out the garbage. Checked the mail (and my email). Blah, blah, blah… I guess I don’t need to justify my body’s yearning for unconsciousness before 3 in the morning. But, I woke up renewed – not to be confused with a sudden state of undress.

I joke about sleep deprivation. But, being exhausted and groggy on a regular basis stinks. All those who sleep like babies, take my word for it. Fellow yawners, you have my sympathy. But, don’t mistake that as an invitation for grouchiness. I try never to use my powers of depletion for evil.

Now, birds aren’t suddenly landing on my finger. I’m not singing. Yet. And rodents aren’t dancing around my living room in some choreographed number. They’re fighting over cheese, as usual. They’re like those smart rats in The Secret of NIMH. So cute.

I love who I am. But, I also love sleep – boiled, fried, baked, grilled, mashed, whipped – however you can make it. Yum! I'd ask for seconds, but I don't want you to think I'm greedy. So, I'll push the plate away. The only kind I'm not partial to is probably rocky road...

The airbag always leaves such a lousy aftertaste.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Freebie Friday

At the risk of disappointing you, I won't be swapping identities today with one of those people who sprays you with unwanted perfume or cologne. Free is one of my favorite F-words. Fun. Fabulous. Fantastic. Fricassee. Fungi... I'll stop there. I might get too excited. (Plus, you must be riveted.)

Like my Facebook author page before midnight Thursday (April 14th) and you'll be automatically entered to win a FREE signed copy of Depth of Focus: A Novel! Two runners-up will win copies of the ebook for the device of their choice. (Just for clicking "like?" You'd do that for free, right?)

Winners will be notified by yours truly next Friday afternoon. (That's 4/15. Three more Fs!) Check out an excerpt on my site, Scribd, Goodreads or Smashwords to make sure it's worth the click.

With that out of the way, I can get back to other words. Now, what other ones start with W?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Taxation and Procrastination

I’ve been spinning a lot of plates the last few weeks – getting very little writing done. And I have the circus-act Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to prove it. What’s this you say? “Writers write!” Yes, I’ve heard that before. I’m still holding a grudge against the first person who told me I had to write every day to really be a writer. Actually, it’s more like I’m waiting in his bushes with a bag full of oranges – figuratively speaking, of course.

After being reprimanded for my lack of dedication – with the backs of my hands still stinging from their unprovoked attack – I promptly told the writer that I write whenever I can, whenever I’m inspired. (That didn’t go over well.) I informed him the frequency with which I wrote had nothing to do with my being an artist or not. Sitting at a desk and forcing myself to crank out work I wouldn’t be pleased with later because I wasn’t “in the zone” seemed counterproductive. (Hmm… Sound reasonable?)

Now, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I have to encourage my muse just by having my fingers poised over the keyboard – letting her know I’m willing to do her bidding. Lavishing her with praise might get me a page or two. Feeding her grapes? Depends on if I remembered to get her the seedless. (Yikes. No points for the spitting bowl?) My muse is a generous, but occasionally cruel mistress. (For example, she keeps moving the aforementioned zone.)

Starting my taxes this weekend made me think of all the weeks (or months or years) I can put off the things I need to do. One day, I plan to hire someone to do them all – except maybe the writing. I’ll invest in some wrist braces – strong enough for me to spin a plate or two… or six or seven. Until then, I have to punch procrastination in the face every once in a while – which is dangerous because writers are just like surgeons, right? Our hands save lives! I can’t risk damaging these digits. And don’t bother pointing to the Voice Recorder app on my phone or the Text to Speech software on my computer. Should a neurosurgeon record his/her performance?! (I’m so glad I found the right analogy.)

Uncle Sam doesn't usually give breaks with due dates.  All right, three extra days this year – April 18th – to his credit. I’m excited. But, I’ve never been one of those people who waits in line at the post office on the very last day. (Although, watching them on the news is kind of fun. I’ll have to set my DVR.)

When it comes to writing, more often than not, I set my own deadlines. It’s easy to procrastinate when those dates can be shifted.  (What? I just started watching Justified. I have to catch up on the episodes I’ve missed!) But, unless my schedule gets really busy in other areas, I honor my deadlines. Uncle Sam might give a few extra days here and there. My muse keeps her manicure short. She’s not a writer or a surgeon. And she always keeps a bag of navels in the car.

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