Buster weekend

Buster is here. We spent about eight hours watching a dystopian kids show from Britain. I told him it scared me when the bad guys show up, but we just kept watching. I finally sent him to bed at nearly midnight.

We got the new printer. Epson, on sale for $59, but the ink is shocking, of course. We got it set up together, but the wireless network isn’t working. Guess we’ll have to connect it manually, or use a cable. I’m sure it will be great once it’s going. Adding hardware is always a pain. Nothing ever works without requiring you to screw around for half a day. I’m glad I don’t need it for anything, though I do want it. In other irritations, the dishwasher leaked all over the floor and now has nearly 3 inches of stinking water in the bottom. Perhaps it’s merely clogged? I found a description of how to unclog a dishwasher, followed by how to clean a dishwasher. That will give us a project for tomorrow.

I asked if he would mind switching to once a month. He carefully said: If that’s OK with you. Probably he’s not disappointed, but I wasn’t sure. Still, asked the question, got an answer. I can’t start pressuring him to reply in another way. That’s as bad as asking him: What are you thinking?, which I think I have done twice in 13 years, so feeling pretty good about that.

He says school is going well. I never ask him about his grades. He knows Alix tells me. Sometimes I have given him lectures about them, but I try to be the quiet place, a place set apart from his daily life, where no one yells at him. Not that I never yell at him. I have a terrible temper.

Just not as bad as Alix’s.

Busy Bee came over for a few hours this afternoon to drop him off. I have done a good job of choosing toys and books for her. Also, I let her get into the Nutella, so Nana’s is a house worth visiting. We did watch TV, but she is a TV girl, comes from a TV household, and I can hardly criticized when I’ve just watched eight hours straight with Buster.

No work on “Soldiers” today. After the first three pages came out so well and so easily, I got kind of scared. Maybe I can’t really improve upon it the way I hope. Maybe my goals are not realistic. Too soon to give up.

This is Saturday. I have to keep reminding myself. Tomorrow we are having a good breakfast, fixing the printer, fixing the dishwasher and loading the car for Goodwill. I need to get a lot of stuff out of here — every one of the jigsaw puzzles, for instance. There’s not much chance I will ever work another one, unless Busy gets into it, and then I can always buy her a new one.

 

Back to WWI

Hand

I decided to rewrite “Night Soldiers,” getting more accurate to the period and putting more emphasis on the mystery. I started with a much more detailed description of the drowning. I want to try for a more original use of language in descriptions, better similes and so forth. When I get stuck, I’ll pretend to be Hemingway and rewrite the last sentence again and again. I don’t know that he actually did this, but it sounds like a good idea, anyway.

My nails are too long for typing — a stupid problem, but troublesome all the same. Now I’m started, I don’t want to stop and cut them.

Maureen recommended printing the manuscript out again and re reading it. I can only remember the big set pieces, none of which satisfies me. Maybe the in-between parts are better than I can recall.

Unfortunately, the printer has stopped working. For some reason, the computer no longer recognizes it. I had to go to Kinko’s on Tuesday to print out pages for my Meetup writing group (Good Lord, are they ever terrible).

I think I’ll take Buster with me to buy a new one. He can help get it connected. Or I’ll get him to do it himself. It will be a good learning experience.

I’m going to stop expecting him to come over every other weekend and propose that we just get together once a month. I don’t know what Alix will say, but I bet he will be pleased.

I woke up depressed this morning after last night when I felt so positive and hopeful — unfortunately that was mania, not real life. I’m keeping to my decision to hire a trainer. I think it will make a huge difference in terms of energy, focus and just to have the company. I want to go six weeks; that’s how long it take to get into a habit. My mother used to say, “You can stand on your head for six weeks if you have to.” I’m not sure how that was meant to be helpful

Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Starting with a trainer should help me reverse my sleep cycle so that I can get up and blog or work on “Night Soldiers” instead of staying up till 3 and waking up, slowly, at noon. I need to eat now. I did have breakfast at 10, then I went back to bed. So that was a long time ago, food wise.

I bought a fancy Here-are-the-ingredients-and-instructions-ready-set-GO meal. It serves two so I will have to eat it twice, even if it sucks.

I got Kathy some raspberries, but I’m not sure when I can see her. Maybe Monday? I need to get a locksmith and take Mocha to the vet — I think his ears are infected again.

And I need a handyman. I just need light bulbs for him to install and smoke detectors, and then I can hire someone. I miss Roger.

I wonder what all I will have to do this house in order to move out of it. I can’t imagine how I will be able to sell it to make enough money to buy another house, but I don’t want to rent for the next 20 years.

Now what?

Act I: Growing up, college, marriage, children.

Act II: 30 years of copy editing at the Detroit Free Press while children grew up, went off to college, got married and so forth. I have twins who, between the two of them, have supplied me with two sons-in-law and two grandchildren.

Act III: Now that I’ve left the Free Press, I sort of have to figure out what to do with myself. I would like to work in a nice office in my office clothes and always have nights, weekends and holidays off. This is my quantifiable goal.

But it isn’t what I really want. I want to be a published writer.

Over the past two years, I’ve written a short story, a children’s story, a picture book, a memoir, a novella and a bad novel. None of them has ever been rejected… because none of them has ever made it past a critique group. My comrades praise my work, I make the tweaks they suggest (though there’s no tweaking that novel), and then I leave hard copies, flash drives and computer files lying around everywhere, waiting for the submissions fairy to come.

I want to be like Liane Moriarty and Emma Donoghue. I want to have written “The War That Saved My Life” and “The War I Finally Won.” When I wish on a star, which is the principal reason I walk out with my dog at night, I say, “I wish I could write something really good that makes a lot of money, but is really good.” Kirkus and cash and the NY Times.

I wish I could. Meanwhile, I can’t think of one word. Not one.