The Card Shuffle

I had a really weird experience the other day and decided to write about it. It might seem small or dumb, but bear with me here!

I was playing Uno with my kids, which requires a healthy amount of card shuffling between each game. … Now, I’ve never been able to shuffle. Since I was a kid, I would just kind of mix up the cards. Spread ‘em around on the ground. Or just give them to someone else! But something weird happened in my brain when I was playing with my kids. I thought

I’m going to try to shuffle these cards.

And I did it perfectly without hesitation. Shhhhhhffffft. I could even do the bridge. Fwwffffftttt.

That blew my mind. Because here I was, a woman on the cusp of thirty-one years old. And all my life I had been actively TELLING MYSELF that I did not know how to shuffle cards. I had NEVER TRIED TO SHUFFLE A DECK OF CARDS. I was just telling myself not to do it and that I didn’t know how. But I never once split a deck and actually tried to do it.

I cannot tell you how freaky this experience was for me. It was like The Truman Show. My whole reality is in question now. What else have I been telling myself I can’t do??? What else have I been telling myself I don’t enjoy? What else have I been telling myself “that’s bad”.

So that’s it. Deconstruct your Truman Show set! You can do whatever you want! You can like whatever you want! You can be you! That is all! I love you

Writing Before I Could Write

It’s that time of the month again, where we dive into my childhood and drag back a piece of writing as early as it can be.

At estimated five-years-old I clearly remember making this story. I was sitting in church and I painstakingly drew each page with the exact words in mind. Then hired my mom as scribe and put my “first ever book” together!

“Too Many Friends”
“I have nice friends.”
“But, I have too many friends.”
“We do handrails.”
“We go on hills.”
(read right to left) “But… I have too many friends!”
The End (lol)

There you go. I hope you enjoyed my Kindergarten humblebrag from back in the day. Haha!

Reading the Diary I Had at 3 Years Old

So I found this:

It’s a journal that was given to me in May 1994 (says my mother’s handwriting on the inside of the cover). I was three years old and already loved to write. The first story I remember “writing” (drawing) was about getting the chicken pox, which Mom says happened the same year I got the journal. So, I knew I had been writing and story telling since then, but finding this thing was an absolute GEM.

It turns out I had kept it through the nineties and completely FILLED it full of my own original stories. So many in fact, that I decided to start a new blog series where I share a story I wrote in this book as a child.

Let’s start with 1994. Three years old. (For personal reference, my youngest is two and my oldest has just turned five, so… pretty little!)

The first thing I did was open to a fresh page and draw a “boney-bones” (a skeleton). Very on brand for me.

A ghost that’s labeled “Boob” hahahaha

Then I redrew the ghost and labelled it “Book”

A little character I drew in November 1994 (so, now I’m technically 4)

I figured out how to draw a tape dispenser. I have a vivid memory of being really excited about this haha

This one I don’t remember but my mom’s caption says it’s a story about a father and a son.

Tune in next month for some serious kindergartener author action hahaha.

Resolutions Update: Summer Quarter

Let’s check in on some of these resolutions shall we?

MAKE A LIST OF THINGS TO PUT TOGETHER IN THE NEW HOUSE; DO SOME OF THE THINGS:

Things are HAPPENING! Let me tell you I am THRILLED. The first half of the year, I thought things were going so slowly, but now as more and more things are checked off the list, I see just how much progress we’re actually making! It’s great! We even checked off our two biggest projects this quarter. Fixing our irrigation system and putting new lights in the basement. Man, you know you’re a boring adult when you do some remodeling and then that’s all you want to talk about. Every time anyone comes over I’m like, “Look at these lights! Have you seen how bright it is?? You shoulda seen it before! The paint color is different! Aren’t these great lights? Look, they’re smart lights I can make them Christmas colors wheeeeeeeeee!”

MAKE A HABIT OF STRETCHING EVERY DAY, SLOWLY BUILD UP A YOGA ROUTINE:

Well, this one suddenly died. Pffffffft! I don’t know what happened! I was doing so well and then suddenly I wasn’t doing well anymore!

CLEAN WHILE THE BOYS ARE IN THE BATH

And then this one suddenly came alive. HAHAHA! What happened was Jack started going to school every day. And so I was like THIS IS IT. I am DOING A FREAKING CLEANING ROUTINE. And so far it’s going well. I don’t know why I can’t have a cleaning routine AND an excersice routine. It’s like one or the other. Like I have to just pick one to win at in life.

WRITING WRITING EVERYWHERE

I mean… I don’t know. I’m at a little bit of a loss. I’m now in the middle of two books. Both paranormal thrillers. Sooooo… I JUST DON’T KNOW! I was doing great with the one and then suddenly I stopped writing in the middle of May. And I have not been able to pick it back up. It kind of freaks me out. This happens to me a lot. I will be PLOWING forward on a new project and then get burnt out at thirty thousand words. HOW DO YOU GET OVER THAT HURDLE??? Comment any advice please!! At least I’m back to blogging so that part is okay. Short story I don’t know. But first draft done by fall?? UGHHHHH! JUST LET THIS HAPPEN FOR ME PLEASE MUSES!!

So I Went to See a Psychic…

Several months ago I learned that there was a psychic just around the corner from my house… and I set up an appointment with her.

Dan thought it was the cringiest thing ever to spend money on a psychic. But I was really curious. Not that I believed in it necessarily, but people pay to go and see magicians all the time even though they know it’s an illusion. So why couldn’t I go and do this for the entertainment value? I mean I knew it was an illusion. That they use super broad questions and statements to make it seem like they’re saying something about you. And just the same as a magician, I wanted to see if I could catch her in the act and analyze how her storytelling.

So that’s how I went in. As a skeptic… Then, I came out a believer.

It was not at all how I thought it was going to be. Her statements were not generalized, in fact they were extremely specific. She didn’t lead me with a single question. Not even a how ya doing. She literally had me sit down, I said nothing, not even my name. And then told me point blank about my life with total accuracy. It was EERIE.

Here are some of the things she told me:

“You have a really positive family energy around you. But you’re worried about Mom’s health… this is something that’s been happening for a couple of years… something that’s declined her health but not affected the quality of her life. I expect she’ll still have another 10 years of really good quality life, so take advantage of this.” A couple of years ago my mom had cancer. She had a major surgery to remove the tumor, which also took her spleen and kidney as well. As of now my mom is okay, but because she no longer has a spleen, she’s immunocompromised and COVID has been extra stressful for our family. There’s no way that this psychic could have known that. I’ve never publicly expressed about my mother’s health until now.

“I see a gathering… your family will all gather and reunite sometime this year. It will be a happy occasion. I also see a wedding happening in your family this year.” My brother and sister-in-law are planning a wedding in Kosovo for August  

“Career energy is low. You’re not where you want to be. You’re disappointed. You’re just going through the motions, dreaming of… a promotion or an advancement of some kind… I see two projects. The first project was supposed to be done by the end of the year. And it wasn’t and you’re frustrated by this. I see this project coming to an end soon… something really positive will happen in April. April will advance you in some way but be hectic and busy for you… the second project… is very positive. Very, very positive energy about the second project! … this second project will get you the advancement you want. These projects will keep you very busy this year.” I never told this woman that I was a writer. At the time of the reading I had been working on two books. I had a goal to finish the first one by the end of the year but wasn’t able to. April was Camp NaNoWriMo where I worked on a big chunk of the second book! I had not told anyone that I was planning to execute such an ambitious NaNoWriMo in April…

“I keep feeling ‘classes’ are coming your way… but you won’t return to school… were you a teacher? I think you’ll begin teaching again. You’ll have your own ‘classes’… I also see… something in the community. A director. You’ll be a director for the community… you don’t think you have the ability to do this but it’s in your potential and you’ll excel at this.” The only question she asked the whole time, I said yes, I was a teacher but didn’t tell her what I was a teacher of… she came up with the word director herself.

“A child was supposed to come, but something happened, something delayed this… This year you’ll make preparations for the child but the timing will be hard to get right… I see a little longer to get pregnant, it might put you on edge… I see more the beginning of 2022… It will be a very easy pregnancy, right until the end and then there’s a complication, something very difficult right at the end… But the baby will be healthy… And it will be a girl.” Daniel and I were originally going to try for a baby after moving into the new house but put it off due to coronavirus. We had just started talking about trying again.

“You’ve been afraid of this new phase of life. The addition of this child. Because things have been difficult already and they’re supposed to be ‘the best years of your life’. But this isn’t true… and they won’t be the best years of your life. You’ll step into this new phase with competence.”

“I see a total of four children. I think the last one will be a happy surprise. But you’ll be content and excited. Only a little nervous because of the ending difficulty of the pregnancy before.”

“I see you moving out of Arizona… you like it here and will be settled and happy for a few more years… It’ll be somewhere in the West, I don’t see you going to the East coast… and not costal… inland. Somewhere with mountains. You’ll be pulled toward the mountains. I see it’s a career opportunity and that it’s a happy move. You’ll travel back to Arizona often and have ties here.” We’ve always talked about returning to Utah if we get the chance.

“A see a second property. In Arizona. It will be a good investment for you and your husband.” This one freaked us out! Just the other week we had played around with the idea of purchasing a condo and renting it out. We were only being half-serious and hadn’t told a single soul we thought about doing that! She brought up the second property a couple of times!

“Your husband is a very good man. Very giving. And supportive. Would do anything for anyone. You are just as good as him. You have positive energy together. You trust each other very well. I see you lasting… His health is very good. He will live a long life… All your children will be healthy as well…”

She also described a few of my friends with COMPLETE accuracy. Their genders, their personalities, the problems they’re facing. That one was super spot on, but due to the nature of the problems I don’t want to say who these friends were that she brought up.

I don’t know how she could have known some of those things. (There was a lot of other things that got right, but I can’t put everything down). But it was AWESOME. She is REAL. I told one of my friends about her and she scheduled a virtual reading with her. She said completely different stuff to my friend and all that stuff was COMPLETELY ACCURATE AS WELL! As the year goes on we keep marking tallies of all the things that have come true from our psychic.

She hasn’t been wrong yet.

2021 Resolutions Update: Spring

Well, we’re a quarter of the way done with 2021 if you can freaking believe that. So it’s time to look back and (yikes) see how I’ve been doing with the goals I made at the beginning of the year:

MAKE A LIST OF THINGS TO PUT TOGETHER IN THE NEW HOUSE; DO SOME OF THE THINGS

I’ve made the giant comprehensive list and I’ve done some things! It’s still going slower than I would prefer but at least some of it has gotten done. In my last post, I said I was going to work on a room at a time. But I discovered that that method is not as efficient as I originally thought. A lot of the things on the list were easier to do in batches, like doing ONE big Amazon purchase or dusting ALL the ceiling fans in the house. But I figure as long as I’m crossing things off the list, that’s all that matters.

MAKE A HABIT OF STRETCHING EVERY DAY, SLOWLY BUILD UP A YOGA ROUTINE

So I really thought that this was going to be my failed goal. But I’m so proud to tell you that I’ve rocked this one! I was right when I said that ten minute stretching would feel doable in my daily schedule. And I was able to incorporate the Yoga right away! So I’m happy about this one.

CLEAN WHILE THE BOYS ARE IN THE BATH

When I originally came up with this idea, I seriously miscalculated how busy my husband’s schedule was going to be. We were able to pull this system off a lot of the time, but there were many nights were I was bathing the kids by myself. This is a two man goal haha! I’m going to hang on to this goal/idea for another few months because my husband’s schedule is supposed to clear up a little. We’ll see what the next update says.

WRITING WRITING EVERYWHERE

  1. I sent Love Me Do to the query trenches! Good for me… and also I need a hug.
  2. The paranormal thriller … soooooooo about that haha. I was fully planning on finishing the first draft of the thing sometime this year… until new shiny idea happened. And actually, technically it’s an “old shiny idea”. I’ve been dying to write this YA ever since I was a teenager myself and even started writing it several years ago!… Listen, don’t be upset. It’s still a thriller with paranormal elements… How about this, how about as long as I have SOME kind of a first draft by the end of this year. Um, that’s not impossible… is it??
  3. Blog once a week. Okay, I’ve been doing pretty well so far!
  4. Publish a short story. Ugh. I don’t know. I’m already emotionally drained just from anticipating my query rejections. Maybe, I’ll let this one go… maybe

So far, not terrible. I’ll let you know how things slip in July hahaha!

What You Can Expect From Season 2 of Ginny and Georgia

Disclaimer. I don’t work for Netflix (obviously), these are just my predictions based off of what they did with Season One. Second Disclaimer: SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

GINNY IS GOING TO POETICALLY RUN INTO THE SAME MOTORCYCLE GANG AS HER MOM

I don’t know if she’ll *join* said Motorcycle gang. I think it’ll be a entire b story episode where they teach her to use a gun or something. And then when they’re all pressuring her at the end to join the gang, she’ll run away with an overlaying monologue about how “She’s not her mom.”

MARCUS IS GOING TO CHASE HIS MOTORCYCLE… I MEAN GINNY

Yeah so some characters will care more than others about runaway Ginny. Marcus will dramatically leave everything behind to find her because he’s soOoOO iN loVe.

TOP OF EPISODE ONE, GEORGIA IS GONNA KNOW SHE KNOWS

They left the poisonous flowers smoldering in the fireplace. I mean I don’t really know why else they would have dramatically blow torched them for any other reason than to have Georgia find them.

Georgia will chase Ginny and manipulate people along the way with that really uncomfortable smile that evokes Freaky Fred from Courage the Cowardly Dog.

Subscribe if I ain’t wrong.

PAUL IS GOING TO BE REVELEAD AS A FELLOW CRIMINAL

Remember when Paul proposed and was yelling gruffly at her that they both needed power. LOLOLOL if that ain’t sus I don’t know what. He also had such a nonreaction about the embezzling accusation that that makes me think we’ll discover that he was the one who paid it off and probs embezzles too.

He’ll team up with Georgia and use his power as mayor to do a bunch of sketchy things.

ZION IS GOING TO HAVE A “SHOCKING” DEATH (SORRY GUYS)

From four miles away, I can smell a character who is too-pure-to-not-be-a-plot-motivating-death. He’s probably going to die doing some noble thing like telling Ginny to return to Pumpkin Spice Land or saving her or something. But don’t feel too bad, because Ginny will discover his unpublished manuscript and then he’ll become this soft voice-over narrator throughout the rest of the season.

WE’LL DISCOVER THAT GEORGIA HAS KILLED MORE PEOPLE

Prepare to be hooked by more of Georgia’s backstory and wade through hours of Ginny cry-yelling at her friends to see more flashbacks.

HUNTER IS GOING TO BE OUTED AS GAY

Okay I know they’re probably not going to actually do this… but doesn’t this make some damn sense. Remember when they had that whole scene about how “he hadn’t grabbed her boob yet”. Think about it. Think about his cute lil tap dance in the halls. He never actually sang her name in the song he wrote… what if that crap is about Brody? Maybe that’s why he ALWAYS hangs around him instead of alone with Ginny. Amirite or amirite??

I think he’s closeted because of the high expectations of his cold weird mom who literally only cares about his college application for some reason. And I also think this is going to be a storyline because Georgia and Ginny tries to cover every single teen issue they can possibly think of and no one’s been hiding their sexuality yet.

NORA IS ACTUALLY GOING TO GET A STORYLINE AND IT’S GOING TO BE A HOT TEEN ISSUE™

NICK IS GOING TO DISCOVER HIS BF IS AN UNDERCOVER PI

I don’t know why but I imagine a scenario where Nick catches him in a lie, thinks he’s cheating and goes through his phone. I also imagine that out of PURE SPITE, he’s gonna cover for Georgia or lead his BF to a red herring.

Just sayin’, but that episode where he shows up at the birthday part in drag. He looked exactly like me.

Subscribe if I ain’t wrong.

Literally Just a List of Things That Remind Me of My Childhood

Erasers in the shape of caterpillars

Picking dirt out of the cracks of my shoes with a pencil

Having twenty to thirty stuffed animals in my bed because I felt too bad to pick just one to sleep with (a la Toy Story)

Tying one end of the jump rope to furniture when we didn’t have three people to play

Razor scooter slamming into my ankles

Keeping my pencil shavings in a clear pink plastic box just for the heck of it

Having black marks all up against the side of my hand from drawing at school

Adding a Sailor Moon graphic to my love letter confession

Hoarding and eating an entire box of Thin Mints

Grey McNuggets

Lisa Frank fuzz on my leggings

holysmokes

Bangs almost as high as my bows

Waiting forever to go on a field trip

Changing your favorite color was a conscious decision

Blisters on the back of my knees from monkey bars

Having a lot of mystery scrapes and bruises

Star sixty-nine

Our big black boxy TV which was so amazing that we had a “big screen TV”

Roller skating in our unfinished basement

Falling in love with Cluefinders

cluefinders

Pretending that the freshly fallen snow was a new planet and stepping onto it dramatically

Getting yelled at by the lunch lady for not eating fast enough

Being devastated when I couldn’t find my toys

Making forts in the bunk bed by tucking blankets into the bars

Sleepovers at Grandma’s House

Sneaking into the creek behind my school

The smell of the “Science Room”

The smell of the lunchroom

My baby brother’s bald little head

Eating spaghettios for the first time ever

The seatbelt rubbing my neck uncomfortably

My armpits hurting after someone picked me up

Being too scared to ride on my dad’s shoulders because it was so freaking high

Going to Disneyland but lowkey being terrified of the drops on Pirates of the Caribbean

Being scared of my loud uncles

Feeling like getting in trouble was the end of the world

Making up a lot of outrageous and elaborate stories (oops still do this one)

Wishing I was an adult and could do “whatever I wanted”

Getting sidewalk chalk on my knees

Collecting snails in a yellow pail

Life Update: Partially Drowning

I may or may not have been in a pretty grouchy mood when I wrote this. But this is real. This is our life right now. Take it for what it is.

 

The Residency

Look. I’m going to be completely honest with you. But we are just miserable over here. If you don’t already know, Dan works 12hr+ shifts for twelve days straight through. Like sometimes his work days are longer than Jack is even awake. Which means they never get to see each other anymore. He is a zombie. And I am a single mom. And that’s how life is right now.

Okay. That’s not fair. Single moms have it worse because they are also sole-providers of their household. But zombies DO have it better because at least their hearts are dead.

I will say one thing though. My admiration for my husband has at least tripled since he became a resident. He does not feel the same way about himself. Which probably has to do with the way he is crapped on at his job.

“So is resident short for ‘resident toilet’?”

I do not know how he keeps it up. Honestly, if it had been me. I would have peaced out five years ago. Like the first week of Pharm school. What a man. What a man. What a mighty patient man. Say it again now!

 

The Babes

Casey is the happiest lil’ thing you ever did saw. He’s always smiling. In fact, he’s smiling at me right now. Wherever we go, people comment on how happy he is. He’s honestly the most cheerful baby I’ve ever met.

I found out I was pregnant a year ago and I was sure that the new little baby was going to be the most challenging part of the year. But you know what? He wasn’t even close to being the hardest. He is SO EASY. Like, I thought my eldest was easy. And he really is. But this kid is like a little pink smiley angel of some kind.

Jack is doing both stellar and not stellar at the same time. He is going through the terrible twos. Some days I just want to rip my hair out. He gets upset over EVERYTHING. He can’t eat fistfuls of powdered parmesan. DISASTER. He has to walk to the car. END OF THE WORLD. You put on the wrong YouTube video. GAME OVER. And most of the time it’s like you have no idea why he’s screaming and crying and you just kind of stare at him while he’s rolling around. He’s finally catching up on a speech delay but I think the still-present communication barrier is sending his frustrations through the roof.

 

The Writing

I feel like a freaking plastic bag caught in a tornado. Just whipping around from here to there and having no direction at all.

I started coming up with this new novel-plotting technique. Because 1) I’m desperately pragmatic when it comes to book writing and 2) developmental edits are like ten thousand splinters beneath my eyelid. So I came up with what I felt like was a good system and I started practicing it on the one book that I knew OH SO WELL. (The story that I had been working on for more than two years.) And as I was re-plotting, I came to the dreadful realization that… I am going to have to re-write this book A-FREAKING-AGAIN. I don’t even know what draft this is. Five? Six?

I stopped querying immediately. And ugh. It was a complete gut job. I wrote 20k new words, stitched it all together and zapped the monster with lightning in my mad scientist lab. And through all the sweat, tears and finger cramps I FINALLY had slapped together a sixth draft.

And you want to know what? When I stepped back to admire the work I had just done… I realized, wow… this is truly, truly, truly not good.

It still needs extensive work. Particularly the ending which is completely nonsensical. I shut my laptop and whispered, ‘I need a break from you’. It honestly was the same feeling as when your hair gets so hopelessly snarled and tangled that you bust out the kitchen scissors. I need a break. I need a torrent affair with another story. Or SOMETHING. Work on an entirely new thing, until I’m a better, smarter writer and then regroup.

I won’t lie. Giving up is really tempting right now. I could just take my little butchered story, thank it like Marie Kondo and then shove it into the bottom of a Goodwill box.

 

In four months so much will be better for us. Jack will likely be talking more. Residency will be over and I could have time to invest into these projects. But for today, we are just slogging along to the finish line.