Too many issues with Blogger lately. I tried to upgrade to a domain name and had repeated trouble with even that.
So, I've moved over to www.carriedalby.com
I'm in the process of transporting my blog posts over there, so please follow my further wanderings at the new site.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I've taken this from writer buddy Stephanie, who took it from another friend, etc but I changed a few alphabet words to mix it up a bit.
A. Age: I’m a bicentennial baby. You do the math.
B. Birth Order: 3rd out of 4. Third is the nerd.
C. Chore that you hate: Cleaning tubs/showers. And bathing kids is my least favorite “mommy chore.” So glad they are getting older…
D. Dogs: They’re nice, but I don’t want to personally own one at this point in my life.
E. Essential start to your day: Alarm clock or kidlets.
F. Favorite color: Purple, with turquoise a close second.
G. Gold or Silver: Silver—or white gold.
H. Height: 5’12” baby!
I. Inspirations: Crisp, autumn-like weather with a nice breeze and music.
J. Job title: Which one? Wife, Mother, Writer, Daughter, Sister, Aunt…
K. Kids: Three kidlets.
L. Live: Mobile, Alabama… or is that live—I love live music! Concerts are the best!
M. Marriage Status: Married, with children.
N. Nicknames: Care Bear is the most common, from multiple sources.
O. Overnight hospital stays: Five times, three from childbirth.
P. Pet peeves: Dishonesty: lie, cheat, or hold back the truth and I will not trust you.
Q. Quote from a movie: “As you wish.” I swoon for Westley.
R. Right or left handed: Right, though I always wished I was a lefty.
S. Secrets: I’ll never tell.
T. Time you wake up: Whenever I’m needed.
U. UFOs: Possibly, but not necessarily with little green men…
V. Vegetable you hate: Canned red beets. GAG.
W. What makes you run late: Kidlets—1, 2, 3, or all.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Neck, back, and that lousy right ankle—I’ve sprained it three times.
Y. Yummy food that you make: Cookies! Nothing fancy, just the basics: chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, peanut butter, etc.
Z. Zoos or Aquariums: I love a good aquarium. It feels like I’m in a time warp, in another world, and then the sun is SOOO bright when I step back outside—WHAM! Welcome back to Earth.
Monday, February 20, 2012
I’m the most productive procrastinator I know.
You can tell how much I’m avoiding something by how organized my home is. In the past few days I’ve cleaned the kids’ playroom, organized their closets, straightened my desk, and helped my parents with their organizing.
This past Friday, I received my full professional critique back from Laurie Halse Anderson. (Yes, you have the right to be jealous!) She did a thorough job. After reading her write-up I knew she hit my strengths and weakness spot on. But I’ve been avoiding reading through the manuscript—not quite sure what to do with myself when what I’ve been waiting months for is back in my court. I’ll be forced to act, to move CORRODED up to the next level toward publication.
And it’s paralyzing.
So, rather than taking that last step, I did everything else I could possibly do without feeling guilty. Things that need to be done. I couldn’t just sit in front of the TV and zone-out. I’m not wired that way. Those that have spent an extended period of time around me know I’m a pacer. I can’t sit still when the situation is out of the norm—my nervous energy must be put to work. And sitting down and reading through 176 pages of blue (not red) notes on my story is beyond my sphere of comfort.
But I finally did it Saturday night. It wasn’t as painful as I expected. Now, I’m laying out my plan of action for the rewrite—think this will be edit #7…
Saturday, February 4, 2012
The years I spent in middle school were terrific and terrible. I was trying to find my style and express myself—the slightly pudgy, tall geek posing as a rebel. (Yes, it carried over into high school, too. And adulthood, minus the rebel part.) And no, I didn’t fool my friends or family.
I took gifted/advanced classes in a four-track-year-round school in a culturally diverse neighborhood in Southern San Diego County. I was the tallest girl in the school and blonde amid a sea of dark hair. (Translation: You could spot me across the campus with ease.) I went to all periods with the same group of people for two years. The exception was the elective classes—those in band went to the band room and the others (me included) cycled between art, cooking, computers, health, drafting, and wood shop each quarter. It was a solid, well-rounded experience.
My group was the popular clique amid the nerds and all the cultures at the school were represented. Only the truly weird kids were the odd ones out. The other three tracks in the school—one would be on break for a few weeks at any given time—had separate lunch schedules and we didn’t mix socially. Thus, I was in the privileged top of the (geek) social class.
Switching middle schools in my final month of eighth grade did a number on my self-esteem. That last month of school (actually moving on my fourteenth birthday) my family moved to a predominantly white/upper-class area in North County San Diego and it shook my sense of self-worth to the core. Less than a thirty minute commute, but it was a radical culture shock.
I had to ride the bus, which I hadn’t done since elementary school, and the trips were worse than the actual school day. (I tend to think this is when my fear of crowds kicked in.) It was packed full of jeering kids who made fun of those of us who got on/off the bus in my neighborhood—it was one of the older, original parts in the suburb. Most of the other kids on the bus route lived in new tract housing with a minimum of three car garages, five bedrooms and 3.5 baths. People would actually try to trip me when I walked down the aisle and projectiles were thrown in my direction.
The school days were disastrous. Wood shop, which I loved at my old school, was torture. Even the teacher looked at me funny and said “it’s not like it was in your old school” when I walked in the first day. He offered to let me change my schedule to drop the course, but I naively stuck it out. There were only two other girls and they were in there because it was “where the boys are.” I was branded a hoe for taking shop class because in that school it was for guys and skanks.
I’ve blocked from my memory which class it was that I had notes stuck on my back taunting “wide load” and such on several occasions. It was always from the under-sized boys who must have been intimidated to have a girl sitting in front of them that could physically beat them up—as if I’d ever. One student did defend me, but the damage was done.
In another class, I was trapped on the back row between the 90210 looking kids. They’d discuss their parties and drinking/drugs from the weekend before, where the next one would be held because so-and-so’s parents were on a cruise, who spent the morning puking in the bathroom, who was in rehab, or who might be getting an abortion.
There I was, on the “better side” of San Diego, and I was being exposed to bullying for the first time. Plus the exploits of the privileged class piled around me—those outwardly perfect kids spiraling down the dark hole of addiction before reaching high school. It was frightening and sad, even then. I didn’t envy them. They made me sick just listening to the stories they joked about. (I think that’s where my distrust for seemingly perfect people stems from. Even in books, I never trust the pretty boys. No Team Edward here.)
Then, there’s the fact that on the first day I dressed out for P.E. I was picked last when choosing baseball teams. (The first, but not the final, time I was left for a coach to assign me to a team.) I busted myself to prove I wasn’t all that bad. I barely made it to first base and later sprained my ankle running home. I had to hobble around for a couple weeks on crutches.
I sat the whole boring 8th grade graduation (the only time I walked for a grad ceremony) surrounded by strangers. The next day, I attended my old school’s graduation and watched my close friends get their diplomas as a bystander, sitting with their parents and siblings rather than with them on the stand.
It sucked to be me.
Over the summer, and then when high school began, I did settle into a small friendship circle of other outsiders and new comers. I was no longer bullied—but mostly ignored, which was fine by me.
Three months into my freshman year—just six months after the last move—I was once again relocated. This time the destination was eight hours north, to a strange place near Santa Cruz.
But that’s another story.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I put a call out for blog ideas on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AuthorCarrieCox) the other day. The two options listed are difficult, to say the least. One humorous, one serious. I might tackle them at a future date, but I need something fluffy to get me through this week.
Music, as always, pulls me into the writing zone. I was productive last week, which was good since I needed to produce several pages to submit for my critique group to read. I went on a musical binge and piled 196 songs into a “Fortitude Groove” playlist in my iTunes account. Those were just songs that jumped out at me while scrolling through my music library. I’ve narrowed it down to 150 songs so far. I’m listening to each one while working on Fortitude related tasks: note taking, editing, writing, and playing Free Cell to zone out before/after writing. It will be awhile before I create an actual “soundtrack” (see http://wonderwegian.blogspot.com/2011/08/corroded-soundtrack.html) because I’m never quite sure if the story will keep to my outline. I’m already rethinking the ending and I’ve only written two chapters. But, for now, the music is doing its job.
Down to 149…
This time, the selections are heavy on the Irish/Celtic, country, blue grass, and my hard rock favorites.
I don’t think I could write something without being inspired by at least three songs from the likes of Europe/Joey Tempest/John Norum, Mitch Malloy, Nelson, Tyketto, or Firehouse. Just to name a few. Those are the songs that filled my boom box when I began writing in earnest at 14. And several of those guys have fabulous new albums.
Some terrific songs are being deleted because of modern references, like phone calls or cars. Just like Bid Time Return (aka “Somewhere in Time”) I don’t want anything that might jar me out of the moment. Timeless is perfection. That’s why I LOVE the classic Disney cartoons—the ones when Walt was alive—there aren’t any “modern” jokes thrown in. They are truly timeless masterpieces: Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan. I enjoy Robin Williams as the genie in Aladdin, but most of the humor is current references. Pulls me out of the story.
Fluffy just turned into rambling so it's time to stop. I shall search the perfect photo to accompany this post and I’ll see you in the comments.
Any other bright ideas out there for future posts? Remarks on this one?