Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween, everyone!


The twins don't have school today, and all three kids are going nuts! It must be something in the air. Something that says mischief. Something that says trouble. Something that says steal your brother's crayons, make him scream bloody murder, then fling toy spiders into the baby's play yard, but get your hair pulled by the baby when you go to retrieve them.

Yes, this has been my morning.

I've been trying to pick up around the house (should have rented a bulldozer for the job), and with each pass through, it becomes worse and worse.

I ask the boys to help pick up their paper, coloring books, and crayons, but the pile gets bigger and more scattered. I ask them to help pick up their dirty clothes from the bathroom, the hall, their room, but they've managed to make it as far as the kitchen on the way to the laundry room before someone pushes, shoves, or otherwise harasses the other one, a fight breaks out, and the clothes are abandoned in a heap on the kitchen floor.


Now, I am not a morning person. Never have been. Maybe someday my behavioral pattern will change. I kind of hope so. I would love to be able to wake up early, pop out of bed bright, fresh, and ready to go, and conquer the world before most people have lunch.

But in my current state, I am grouchy, short-tempered, and don't like dealing with all the hysteria when the boys are home. They have way too much energy, and I don't start to function properly until ten or eleven in the morning.

Hopefully as the day wears on, my energy level will increase a little, the kids will wind down, and we will find a happy balance until it's time to go Trick-or-Treating tonight.

Then we'll be heading for Mom's house in the morning, and they can get all hopped up on candy at her place and spend the day running around outside to detox.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ramblings for the Day

Hey, guys and gals.

Today I have a guest blog post on I talk about getting my first sale, and the messy aftershock.

Drop by and check it out.

I am so happy for my OSU Cowboys. (I know, sudden change of subject)

I wanted to write about it on Monday, but honestly, I forgot. But with dear hubby's sports knowledge filtering through the house on a regular basis, I was reminded last night.

Though my Boys dropped in the rankings, I'm really not that upset. I'm proud of my guys. They played No. 1 Texas down to the wire! It even looked at one point like they were gonna blow right past 'em.

OSU hasn't always had the strongest record with their football program. But the thing I constantly remind my husband of, and he laughs at me, is that OSU excels in other athletic venues: basketball, wrestling, baseball, golf. I love that they are a diverse school who strives for and achieves success in many areas, not just football.

Now, having said that, I hope they continue to rock the house in football this year, and head straight for a top ranking Bowl Game.

Go Pokes!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday, Monday (La-La)

Good morning, all. Happy Monday.

Well, honestly, is there anything really happy about Monday? Probably not for most people. It's just the start of another work day. Hopping back on the crazy merry-go-round of traffic, work, kids (if you have them), school (if you go), deadlines, hectic schedules, and racing the clock to get your goals accomplished for the week.

But for me, it's a little different. As my dad used to say, "I'm not bragging here," and then he would laugh, a really big, loud, booming laugh because he actually was bragging, but Monday's for me mean the twins are in school during the day, dear husband is off to work being the excellent provider that he is, the baby is content to play the day away, and I get to focus on what I love to do: writing!
So maybe I'm bragging a little.

Hubby and I discussed his job and my writing over the weekend, and he told me he's perfectly content to let me work on my manuscripts and improve my craft. He fully expects me to be published, establish a career, and start earning "the big bucks" so I can be his "sugar-mama" and he can retire.

(Insert eye-rolling here.)

I don't know about his master plan, but I do love the fact that he believes in me, and is willing to let me pursue my dream in the hope of fulfilling his own dreams, as well. We see it as a win-win situation.

On a different note, the twins got glasses last week. They are still getting used to them, and my husband, who also wears glasses, is still explaining proper glasses care to them.

But don't they look cute?!

We'll see you Wednesday!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ready for the Weekend

TGIF! It's Friday! Yay!

We have a busy weekend planned (don't we always?), but this morning I am being thoroughly entertained by my daughter.

At the moment, she is on her belly in her play yard, face plastered into the mesh on the side, making her nose and mouth contort into various positions.

She has an assortment of dolls and dinosaurs (yes, dinosaurs) in there with her. The dolls have been flung to the side, after being bitten by dear daughter, and she is surrounded by the dinosaurs (trophies she has stolen with glee from her brothers). She chews on the tails, examines the teeth in their mouths with particular interest, and growls at them (which actually sounds more like an asthmatic wheeze, but it's the same principle) before slamming them down on the floor.

And then there's the police helmet. She's been wearing a plastic police helmet, which was originally purchased by her aunt for her brothers, but it found it's way into the play yard, and she loves it. Pulls it on, and tries to peek out the bottom of it, or looks through the clear visor on the front. It also makes an excellent drum, and the chin strap is a great chew toy. I don't know that she would be so interested in it if Mommy didn't crack up every time she put it on, and get her all excited because Mommy's excited.

I still have people telling me what a little princess she'll be as she grows up, but I just don't know. Maybe they're right. Maybe her interest in the animals, cars, trains, and dinos will end, but in the mean time, I'm going to stick with the tom-boy-in-the-making theory and see how it plays out.

The weekend will be filled with Halloween shopping, my writer's meeting, the next BIG game: OSU vs. Texas, rewriting, and MASSIVE house cleaning. So I'd better get started.

Hope ya'll have a good one!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Howdy, ya'll!

That sounds so much cheerier than I actually feel. I woke up yesterday morning with shooting pain down my neck and across my right shoulder. And it still isn't completely gone.

So I spent yesterday on the couch, with the exception of the times I was feeding the baby, changing her diaper, and crying because it hurt so bad to feed and change her. But, for the most part, she is easily entertained on the floor or in her play yard, surrounded by toys and having a great time.

Today I just hope to get some work done, keep the kiddos out of trouble, and get rid of this biting pain in my shoulder.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I'm back. It's Monday again, and we have all returned home from the Fall Break weekend.

The children went to Mimi and Papa Max's house in Tulsa from Thursday afternoon until yesterday afternoon. THANK YOU Mimi and Papa Max!!!!

They had a great time at their grandparents' and were a little disappointed to have to come home with boring old Mommy and Daddy.

But Dear Hubby and I had a fabulous time on our 10 year anniversary weekend getaway in Dallas. It felt so strange to go to restaurants, sit down, and eat in peace and quiet.

We could hear each other speaking in the car.

We actually finished sentences.

We weren't shouting above the screaming for everyone to calm down and be quiet!

We didn't have to worry about what was being touched that shouldn't be, valuables being broken, or out-of-control kids running where they shouldn't . . . like into traffic.

All in all, we had a great time.

And now it's back to business as usual.

Catch ya, Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Busy Day

Hey, folks!

As a person who is supposedly an adult, you would think I would have learned by now to be prepared for stressful days.

I knew today was going to be busy. I've known it for a week. I've had most of the activities for the day written down on my calendar, and knew I should be ready for the hectic pace.

But I started out the day with a pounding headache and oversleeping by twenty minutes because the alarm clock did not go off. Most likely due to operator error.

This meant throwing the boys into the bath tub for a quick rinse while hubby sped through a shower. Luckily I took mine last night before bed.

At first, the boys wanted out because they were cold. But by the time their bodies adjusted and they wanted to play with bath toys, it was time to get out. So I had to drag them kicking and screaming, literally, from the tub and got soaked in the process.

The baby delighted in their misery, of course, but became furious when her own bath time fun got cancelled due to a lack of time. She had to settle for a sponge bath, and did not appreciate it. And felt compelled to inform me of her irritation with loud screaming.

So hubby is done with his shower and trying to get himself and the boys dressed at warp speed, but none of them move that fast. They have two speeds: slow and slower. Today they chose slower.

Now all the men in the family are dressed and ready to go. The baby is drinking a bottle before I dress her. The backpacks are ready, lunch for Twin B is ready to go . . . but, wait a minute, paperwork to fill out for school, and they need money for something or other, reading quickly, fundraiser for whosy-what. Okay, fine. Throw everything into the bag. Get dear hubby out the door with the kids and a mountain of paperwork of his own that MUST be filled out before we leave for our anniversary trip tomorrow.

Take a deep breath.

Rush to the baby's room and get her dress. Rush to my room and get me dressed. Watch the baby eat one of hubby's old leather belts and refuse to contemplate the number of germs she's ingesting. Clear out the diaper bag and a month's worth of yuck from inside, restock with all new supplies, and we are off to meet Twin A at the Pumpkin Patch for a school field trip.

And pull out of the garage to pouring rain. Great.

Drive to the Pumpkin Patch anyway, and sure enough, despite the drizzle, wind, and cold, they are having the field trip. Get out with the bundled up baby, and hold her out of the weather for an hour while the kids do the pumpkin experience.

Then I drive Twin A to a doctor's appointment that could not be rescheduled, and my perfectly calm and collected child from the field trip turns into a squirming nightmare the entire time we are at the hospital. Even the receptionist had to tell him to please sit still in his chair so he wouldn't fall while I held the baby with one arm and filled out paperwork with the other.

He wiggled while we waited. He wiggled in the office. He wiggled during his exam, and as we left, and in the car, all the way to McDonalds for his lunch.

Then we rushed back to the school, and I have a two hour break for laundry and other home tasks before I have to pick up the boys from school, and we have to go to eye appointments for both of them.

I'm tellin' ya, I might not make it through the day. Moms who do this on a regular basis and hold down a full time job outside the home should be given a medal and a week at a plush spa resort.

So the moral of the story is be prepared so you aren't rushing, rushing, rushing and dropping dead from exhaustion.


Monday, October 13, 2008

The Football Free-For-All

Hello! It's Monday again. Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.

I know our household was not so fab. In fact, there was great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the land of Stewart.

OU lost to Texas.

My husband was quite distraught by the whole game. Many colorful phrases erupted from his mouth during those three hours. I believe he even sent a sympathy text to his brother, who was even more upset than dear hubby.

But I am DELIGHTED to announce that my OSU Cowboys pummelled the Missouri Tigers! YAY!! And my husband also acknowledged they played a good game, so it was a great win for me.

And to top it off, the Colts won and the Dallas Cowboys lost! I just couldn't be happier!

But I need to reign in my enthusiasm. There are no guarantees this phenomenal winning streak for OSU will continue, and the Colts got off to a VERY rocky start this year. They may not be able to keep this momentum going. But we shall see.

I'm off to edit, edit, edit. And avoid the growing pile of laundry on my couch.


Friday, October 10, 2008

A Sacred Ritual Every Year

Good morning to you all! It's Friday, yay!

And I have to work this weekend . . . BOO!!
Well, not work technically. I got a call from my brother this week (and I'm going to pick on him because he's my younger brother, and that's what big sister's do), and he asked if we were coming out to the ranch this weekend to help fix fence.

I told him it was a possibility. Tonight we have the Fall Festival at the boys school, but Saturday and Sunday we didn't have big plans that I was aware of.

Oh, but wait. I forgot the most sacred day of the year in Oklahoma. At least according to my husband.

The Red River Shootout. OU vs. Texas.

The one day of the year where a state divided by OU and OSU fans are able to unite against a common enemy, the despised Texas Longhorns. The game is played every year in Dallas, and if you are not one of the fortunate few able to attend the game, you must watch at home or at least be near a radio if you have to be at work somewhere out in the field, in an office, or at a store.

If you pass a pedestrian on the street, all you have to do is ask, "What's the score?" and even little old ladies with walkers can tell you, "Well, OU was up in the second quarter, 17 to 10, with about 3 minutes until halftime."

Well, when my brother found out about the game, that changed everything.

For starters, there was no way he was gonna be able to get my husband away from the TV between 11am and 2:30pm tomorrow. Not gonna happen.

Number two, my brother didn't realize this auspicious occasion was upon us, and he really wanted to watch the game, too.

And number three, when the goofy clod started making plans, he forgot to consult one particularly important person . . . the queen of the ranching scene . . . my mom. She already had plans for the weekend, and goofball never asked what her schedule was like.

Sooooo, the whole weekend has been rearranged to make special consideration for Mom's plans and the football game. And since I am part of Mom's weekend extravaganza, I won't be watching the game, either. However, I will have my cell phone, and will be getting regular updates throughout the afternoon.

We'll see how much work winds up getting done at the ranch.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What's Happening Now

Hello, all!
I'm sorry, but the pictures of the twins haircuts will have to wait. In fact, pretty much everything is going to have to wait. Twin A is sick, probably with the same virus that felled his father over the weekend. He's had a fever since he came home from school yesterday, and we are awaiting the results of some tests from the doctor's office.

So the three of us are home today, and I am functioning on three hours of sleep. I always have the weirdest dreams and say the strangest things when I'm sleep deprived, so you'll have to bear with me.

My big plan for the morning was to blog about the presidential debate last night, breaking my own rule of NO politics in our household, but I just don't think I can form the coherent thoughts required to discuss my views intelligently. As if I could have done that anyway, but that's beside the point.

The point is, I like watching the debates. I've already made up my mind about who I'm voting for, and NO, I'm not telling! But I like to see what both candidates have to say, and I gotta tell ya, the one thing I noticed about both of them is that nobody likes to give a direct answer to a question.

I know, I know, that's the nature of politicians; only say enough to satisfy the voter, without really committing to anything specific.

But probably like everyone else in the country, I wanted to hear what they had to say about their plan for the economy. I am not placing blame here! I am not pointing fingers and saying, "This problem is blah, blah, blah's fault!" I am just acknowledging that there is a problem with the economy, and I wanted to hear about the future president's (whoever that may be) plan to deal with this major issue.

And neither one of them had a focused answer.

Come on! Throw us a bone here. These men supposedly have the top minds in the country at their disposal, and neither of them could come up with a three-point plan to start working on the problem. Puh-leeze!

Make a disclaimer at the beginning of the statement: "There are no guarantees this plan to save the universe will work. We'll go back to the drawing board to rescue the galaxy if we see no changes, but here are the first three things the new administration is going to do to solve this cosmic crisis."

If you can't show us the light at the end of the tunnel, at least show us you have a flashlight in your pocket, or a candle, or a match even. Sheesh.

But we'll see. I have no idea who the best candidate is. And I don't want to hear from the three or four of you who actually read this blog yelling at me, and leaving nasty posts in the comments section about how you know who the best person is, and why aren't I voting for them.

NO hate mail!

But do enjoy the rest of your week. See ya Friday!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Again

And it's Monday morning again. Aahhhh!

Let me just say, this weekend did not go well. Dear Hubby got sooo sick, with a sore throat and fever for most of the weekend. The poor thing sent me off to a writer's meeting an hour and a half away without telling me how truly horrible he felt. And when he called to tell me how bad it was, I still had to get back to OKC and stop by the grocery store to get supplies for him (soup, juice, aspirin, etc.).

But he seems to be doing better. Not 100%, but better. If he starts feeling bad again, he's coming home early.

The kiddo's are fine, for now, which is a great relief.

I actually took matters into my own hands last night, and gave the boys a home-haircut. I'll post pictures tomorrow, and you can tell me what you think.

This is not something I normally do, but I decided they needed a trim, and just for the record, I am a cheapskate. I just don't believe in paying $15.00 per kid to trim around the neck and the ears. Plus a tip. To me, it's just not worth the money.

On the other hand, if I am going in for a cut, color, and style then sure, I should be charged a fair price for it. That takes time and effort.

But not a trim on 5 year olds. Nope, not gonna pay it. SO I did it myself.

And all this family talk leads up to the fact that I did not get to work on revisions this weekend. But if all goes well, I should be trucking right through the latest version of book two, and the fabulous misadventures of Brad, Charlie, and Zoey will be refined and polished.

See ya Wednesday!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Revisions and the Weekend

And a glorious Friday to everyone! Yay, the weekend is here!

And that's all I have to say about that. No big plans, no major excitement, just me and the kids for a couple of days. Hubby is off to a wedding in Texas.

But revisions . . . oh, goodness. Revisions, revisions, revisions. I have two books I am trying to get polished and ready to send out. And I don't do revisions well. I just don't. Probably because I am too close to the story. Even when I have let it simmer and stew for awhile, stepped back to give myself some distance, and then approach it again with "fresh eyes," I still have trouble with revising.

I am not one of those writers who thinks every word they've typed on paper is gold. Usually I think my words are equal to the stuff coming out of the south end of a north bound cow, and need to be scooped off the page with a shovel.

I know the story needs to be fixed, and I have to find the best way to do that, without driving myself nuts. Because I will. I'll rip and slash and shred the story until I create a jumbled mess, if I'm not careful.

So this weekend will be all about keeping my children from killing each other, and working on my revisions. I hope everyone else will be having a wonderful time and enjoying this fabulous weather we've been having.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

At The Conference

Happy Wednesday to you all!

I will not post that everything is calm and serene in our household today because every time I do, chaos breaks out and it takes me a week to recover.

I'm kind of sad to report that the lovely home from three days ago is no more. The children (and adults) managed to trash the place by the time the last guest pulled out of the driveway.

Oh, well.

This will also be my last post on my bumbling antics at the ACFW Conference two weeks ago. I'm sure you're sick of reading about it, and I have bored you long enough.

SOOOO . . . we are now on Friday morning at the conference. I went to classes. Prayed a lot for my appointments that afternoon. Modest little prayers . . . "Lord, please don't let me cry in front of the agents. Please, please, please! Let something semi-comprehensible come out of my mouth."

And I am not jesting about the crying thing. I did that to an editor at the 2006 conference in Dallas. Sat down at her table and bawled like a baby.

So now it's appointment time. I have the first fifteen-minute meeting downstairs at 2:15pm, and the second upstairs at 2:30pm. You can see the problem coming already.

The first appointment went well. Lovely agent-lady talked with me, I managed to explain the essence of my book in a semi-coherent manner (Thank you, Lord), and then we got into a discussion about Toby Keith. She loves Toby. Adores him. I'm from Oklahoma. I wish with all my heart at this point that I have even the teeniest, tiniest connection to the man to trot out and dazzle her with, but alas, no such luck.

We finished our meeting with her taking my sample chapter, and I realized I was already two minutes late for my next appointment.

I sprint down the hall, up the escalator to the second floor, and down the hall again. All this in heels, mind you!

And find the agent I'm supposed to meet waiting for me in the hallway outside the door. Not good.

I'm breathing heavily, she's looking at me like I'm a crazy person, and I follow her into a large room filled with little tables, two chairs at each, and dozens of authors pitching their books to the editors and agents across from them.

We sit down, and I still haven't gotten my breathing to return to normal. I'm concerned about hyperventilating now, and she is trying to get me to take calming breaths. I was finally able to explain the back-to-back appointment problem, and the distance issue, and she understood a little better the near passing-out-from-lack-of-oxygen thing.

This meeting also goes well. She is notorious for making authors cry during their pitching appointments, and I managed to hold it together for our fifteen minutes. I have no earthly idea what I said to her. None. But it must have been good enough. She requested the manuscript, but with a warning, "It needs to be PERFECT!"

Yikes! I thank her, and go on my way . . . straight to the prayer room, where I flop down on the floor, flat on my back, and dig into a deep theological debate with my Creator about what is going on with my life and this conference.

The afternoon carries on, classes are a blur by this point, and I am off to dinner with two published authors at a pizza party they are having for people who signed up on their blog. Dinner goes well, one more late night class with the same two authors, and then I have a critique appointment with one of previously mentioned authors.

We find a shady spot to go over the details of what I need to fix in the manuscript, and we are only interrupted four or five times in what is supposed to be a thirty minute meeting. Then she gets a phone call and needs to go rescue a friend. I am to follow. Yay! Okay, she can lead me wherever she wants. She's multi-published and I love her books. Lead on, Yoda!

We find her friend in the lounge downstairs, trapped in a conversation she wants no part of. The author and I say our goodbyes, and I hustle upstairs to drop into bed, exhausted by the dizzying day.

Until the phone in our room rings.

It's the author. Why don't I come back down and hang out with them?

I stare with longing at my bed, then mentally slap myself. What am I thinking? She wants me to hang out. Yoda is calling me! Yes, yes you idiot (meaning me) get down there now, and hope she doesn't change her mind before you get there.

I rush back downstairs, and come to a screeching halt. This table is filled with the rock stars of the publishing world, and there beside my Yoda-Author is an empty chair.

On trembling legs, I approached the table. "Uh, hi."

"Hey! There you are! Everybody, this is Denice! She's gonna hang out with us. Have a seat."

I sit, praying I don't do anything completely embarrassing, and spend the next hour and a half listening to them talking about everything from business, to dinner, to in-laws, to their appointments of the day. Totally amazing.

The next day was my last appointment, and just when I thought I had an ounce of cool working for me, I look past the editor I am supposed to be meeting with, who is standing in front of me and ask if anyone has seen her. Not my most brilliant moment.

But the goofball thing worked, because she also asked to see the manuscript. Yay! I floated through the rest of the conference, and got to be completely excited that evening at the Awards Banquet. My mother-in-law won the YA category of the Genesis Contest. Yay, Carla!

And that pretty much rounded out my misadventures at the ACFW Conference. Now I am in revision mode, working to polish that manuscript to a high shine, and make it as perfect as possible.