Thursday, November 24, 2011

11/24/11 - 4, 2, 1, 5!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. 4, 2, 1, 5 - that was the count on my 3-hour trip to my friend's house today. 4 Class A homes, 2 Class B, 1 Class C and 5-5th wheels (ironic, right?). Amazing. I wanted to wave to each, or give them 2 thumbs up, or some sort of acknowledgment, but in my antiquated whale of a boat for a car they would have probably just lowered their blinds or something. LOL. So, instead I just acknowledged them in my heart, said a quick prayer for their safe travels and moved on down the road thinking, "One day. One day."

I was very blessed to be traveling today on an almost abandoned highway. And it was a major highway! I expected bumper-to-bumper traffic and my view looked like this the whole way. I think it's because I was traveling in the afternoon and most everyone had probably arrived at their destination by then, eating or enjoying a game or 2. Regardless, I enjoyed a traffic-free trip. Definitely something to be very grateful for.

The sunset was beautiful too.

Then I arrived at my friend's house just in time for a lovely, scrumptious! made-from-scratch dinner with her and her family. How blessed am I?!?

The beginning of the day was rough. I had a LOT of trouble getting away, getting out of the house and getting on the road. I finally was able to wrap everything up and managed to take my dogs on a long walk before leaving them in the care of my roommate for the weekend. I miss them already!

I was determined to not let anything keep me from making the trip because I NEED this wonderful weekend with my friends. Saturday is girls' day out - am especially looking forward to that: breakfast, then a craft fair, then scrapbooking. Doesn't get much better than that. A day with all my old friends. And no, I'm not calling them old. We've just been friends for a very, very long time. LOL.

I'll say it again... Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you and yours had an equally blessed, beautiful day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

11/22/11 - I'm Too Excited to Sleep!

My alarm will go off in just 2 hours, and I don't care! I literally feel like those kids on that Disney commercial that jump up and down on their bed exclaiming, "I'm too excited to sleep!"

I updated my blog tonight. It has a new look and 3 new features - my 3 contest entries! How amazing is that?

Today is the one month anniversary since creating this blog and finding Glenn's blog, To Simplify.  One month! And I've already completed 3 short stories and started my own business. I'm so thrilled.

And I'm telling more and more people about my dreams so who knows where that will lead. Plus I've signed up for a webinar series that begins in January that, among other things, will teach me how to use my blog for income AND complete an eBook. All of this since October 22! Unfrickin-believable!

Happy Anniversary "Living in Grace!"  Thank you for all you've done for me.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

11/20/11 - Survey Says?

I have committed to entering a contest every month for the next two years, an idea that first surfaced on 10/23/11 - Writing with a Purpose.

November = "The Blue Lady"
December = "Condemned House"

Do you think I should post my contest entries? Is my blog an appropriate venue for that? Is it safe? (The posts would be after the stories were already submitted to contests.)

Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks!

11/20/11 - A Lifetime of Corrections

I absolutely love and appreciate the encouragement I am getting. Not only from friends and family but from those of you on the internet that I may never even get to meet face-to-face. I would like to think that I would accomplish my goals NMW, but the truth is, I don't think I could do this without you. The support and reassuring comments help more than you can imagine. Thanks fellow bloggers and followers!

As for today's title, I have SO much to do. SO much to correct and overcome. Transitioning to a mobile life off the grid would be daunting under the best of circumstances, but I just now cleaned up my online bill pay accounts. This morning! Sunday, 11/20/11! Unbelievable!

You're probably asking, "What's the big deal?"

Well, allow me to tell you. ;)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

11/16/11 - Faith

There are days I question everything about me. Today was one of those days. I do not mean to be offensive here but I have to say this: "I have so many damn itty bitty shitty committees inside my head telling me that I am not going to succeed, that I can't do this, and they come close to paralyzing me sometimes." But I refuse to quit. I refuse to give up. To quote Glenn from his blog, To Simplify, "the New York Times crossword puzzle also makes for an excellent daily reminder of how best to approach complex problem solving." Basically, one grid, one box at a time. Thanks Glenn. Needed the reminder. Love your blog and your viewer comments.

I must interject here that my work environment does not help with my outlook. I am finding it difficult to be patient and stay positive when almost everything is a battle or a struggle - day in and day out, 60-80 hours/week. I will find a way to maintain serenity - just not there yet. Which is just more motivation to keep my eye on the prize, so to speak. Right? So tonight I went to bed early thinking that might help, only to wake up 3 hours later wide awake and unable to go back to sleep. That's okay. Did something I haven't done since Dad died - read the bible. And I picked out my next writing contest. That's exciting!

Monday, November 14, 2011

11/14/11 - Freakin' Out, A Little

OK. Just hit the send button on my first submission to a writing contest. "The Blue Lady" has now been sent to Writer's Digest. I cannot even begin to describe the emotions raging through my body.

My emotions are SO all over the place that a part of me feels as though I am going insane. I spent the weekend practically comatose depressed, only to put in a requisite 13-hour workday today, followed by making my 1st submission to a writing contest. My alarm will go off in 4 hours telling me I need to get up and do it all over again.

Yep, definitely insane. But I did it. I entered my 1st writing contest. My next step will be to select my next contest for a December entry. It doesn't matter whether I win, place, draw or lose. The momentum is in the submission.

God, I want this. Can't help but feel that I need an education in writing though. My story was good. That's never a problem. I just have no idea whether or not my presentation of it was any good. If grammar counts, I'm screwed. I write purposefully with incomplete sentences, and overall the grammar is probably horrific but the truth is I have no idea how to correct it if asked to do so. Time will tell.

Where the heck would I carve the time out for courses? How would I pay for it? Oddly enough, I'm not worried. This is bigger than me. It's in God's hands and there is peace in that. When fear isn't gripping my throat and threatening to shut off my oxygen with my eyes rolling back in my head. Did I mention that my emotions vacillate to insanity?

This blog continues to hold me accountable and keeps me from letting too many days slip by without making progress toward my goals. I remain forever grateful for the outlet.

Reminder of goals:
1) to live mobile - have a mobile income, 2) to write, and 3) to be a public speaker.

11/14/11 - I didn't buy a cardinal Christmas plate that I saw at WalMart tonight. My favorite bird depicted beautifully in a scene for Christmas, my favorite holiday. Found myself wishing it were available in melamine but since it wasn't, I cheerfully passed it by. :)

The Blue Lady - Nov 2011

November 2011, Contest Rules - a work of fiction, 1500 words or fewer.

I couldn’t enter the store. Not just yet. They stopped me dead in my tracks as they came through the exit side. Years later I would be able to articulate that moment in time, but for a long time, and certainly at that time, it was an inexplicable freeze frame of life.

They weren’t threatening. They weren’t even aware of their surroundings. They certainly weren’t aware of me, but I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. I had to move out of the way or be trampled by the people hurrying to finish their shopping and get home. But still I could not divert my attention. Didn’t anyone else notice? Why was I the only one mesmerized?

I managed to find a bench at the corner of the store that gave me a perfect view of them loading their car. I sat down and prayed that no employees would come out to take their smoke break anytime soon. The overflowing, stale ash tray was dirty and filthy enough, but it seemed even more vulgar in direct contrast to the two ladies I chose to watch. They were pristine, almost flawless. I wondered if the older lady smelled of lilac or baby powder. It would have been fitting. Why were they so fascinating?  Blue. That’s all I could think.  Both of them, everything about them, blue.

The hair on the little old lady was even blue with a touch of silver that seemed to dance on her head. Her eyes were blue, vibrant blue like the Caribbean. I bet she was a looker in her younger days. Her crisp two-piece suit was royal blue and she donned a matching pill hat. The small boxy kind you only see in the movies. And even though we’re in the 21st century, I almost expected her to have crisp, white gloves on to match. She didn’t, but she did have the navy blue patent purse, complete with a silver clasp and a short leather band braced sturdily over her forearm. Her shoes matched exactly and the patent leather almost shined like moonlight on a lake.

What were they doing here? Not only at this wretched, giant superstore, but here, in this century? I glanced around. Still no one else seemed to notice them. They walked up to the 1st car in the row, a handicapped space. I couldn’t make out the model but the car had to be every bit as old as the lady with the royal blue pill hat. The car was huge. The steering wheel reminded me of a captain’s wheel on a yacht. And yes, the car was blue. Three different shades of blue, in fact. Of course it was. I spared a grin.

They had done this before. The two of them, together. Probably many, many times. I realized the other one was a nurse. Her dark blue, almost black uniform indicated such. She was much younger than the other, but still no spring chick, as my dad would have said. She was pushing the cart and the blue-haired lady walked arm-in-arm with her. As they approached the car, the nurse in dark blue braced the cart and walked to unlock the door. They never spoke, but each knew what the other was going to do. As the nurse unlocked the car, the little old lady waited at the cart patiently. Looking around, and finally looking up at all the grackles gathered in the scrawny trees of the median.

“You belong on an estate with beautiful trees and song birds,” I almost said it out loud. Wishing somehow I could make it come true for her. She was so out of place. For a moment, she looked lost.

The nurse returned and held out her arm. Once again, arm-in-arm, she walked the little old blue lady to the back seat where she slid in. Still they never talked. They never really even looked at each other. The nurse didn’t shut the door. That surprised me. Instead, she went around to the right front passenger door and got something out of the glove box. “Glove box,” I thought to myself. “Now that’s funny.”

She came back and leaned in to the little old blue lady. I realized concern was building for two people I didn’t even know. Did she have to get something medicinal? Was the little old blue lady okay? Then she stood up and walked to the back of the car to start unloading the cart and I got a glimpse of the little old blue lady again. She was smoking. The nurse had gathered a cigarette and lit it for her. She was smoking and you guessed it, exhaling puffs of blue.

I was trying to absorb the images, make sense of it all, and somehow wrap my brain around this duo that didn’t belong. They didn’t seemingly belong together, in this day and age, and certainly they didn’t belong in that parking lot, in that neighborhood.

The nurse in dark blue shut the trunk and delivered the cart to its holding pen. As she came around the tri-blue car she pulled the cigarettes out of her uniform pocket and leaned in to light yet another for the little old blue lady. This time she also fastened her seat belt. As was clearly their pattern, they never spoke or looked at one another. The entire car was almost filled with pillows of blue smoke. The little old blue lady was enjoying every puff.

I became very conscious that I was staring. I had been so fascinated to this point that it had not even occurred to me that I was borderline voyeur, far more than just rude. Still, I didn’t want to stop. I made myself look away for just a moment. Only to look back and catch them laughing.

They were both bent forward in their seats. The nurse in the dark blue uniform was grasping the steering wheel and bent over laughing. The little old blue lady was leaning forward and holding her pill hat with her cigarette still poised between her fingers. Also laughing hysterically.

The nurse had pulled out of the parking space and tried to turn the giant yacht of a car the wrong way. She had quite literally put herself between a rock and a hard place. Almost just as quickly as they had started laughing, they stopped, and gathered themselves. The nurse turned completely around in her seat to make sure her precious cargo was okay. It was so strange to see them talk. There was a gentle love between them, not just routine after all. The little old blue lady waved her hand around in the cloud of blue smoke to indicate she was okay and the nurse pulled the tri-blue giant car forward, back into the original parking space.

I looked around. Did anyone see that? Yes, several had. Now many were staring. Standing in place actually, gawking. Finally I didn’t feel so strange for finding them so hypnotic. I felt vindicated.

As they backed out of their space again, this time headed in the right direction, the little old blue lady finished positioning her royal blue pill hat and the nurse in dark blue uniform positioned the mirror of the tri-colored blue boat. They were back to silent mode, chins up and off to wherever they had come from. Could it have been a time machine? I almost wished for them that it were. I got up from my seat just as smokers came out to take their break.

One of them had a nose ring, the other a Mohawk and the girl was smacking gum while adjusting her bra that was showing. I looked to the top of the parking lot. The little old blue lady must have rolled down her window because blue smoke billowed out. One of the kids asked the other for a light. Explicative profanity was exchanged and I found myself sorely missing my two blue friends that had just left. I headed straight to the women’s department and bought myself a blue outfit. Since I wasn’t about to take up smoking, and probably wouldn’t find a working time machine, it would have to do. I never saw them again, but to do this day, blue is my favorite color. All shades.

Gatorep said...
Well, I'm not a literary giant, but I liked your story.....thanks for posting it! Headed back to Deming tonight, just stopped at a Pilot for some coffee, and to check email......glad I did!

DSD said...
Thank you John. That means the world to me. :) Be safe! Happy trails!

Carol D. said...
I applaud you for such wonderful work. Good Luck with your entry! Time Travel Possibility, intriguing. I am a believer.

DSD said...
@Carol-"wonderful work"... Wow! Thank you! Thanks too for following my blog. Means a lot to me. HugZ!

Jim and Gayle said...
That was a really enjoyable story. Simple, yet captured my interest immediately and on to the end.

DSD said...
@ Jim - thank you! I love to write but I never know how it will be perceived. Glad you enjoyed it. I am enjoying yours and Gayle's blog. Thanks for leaving a comment. Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11 - 1st Veteran's Day without Dad

TGIF. I mean literally, TGIF. I have averaged 60-hour work weeks lately and at last can say I'm on the other side of some major projects. Here's hoping it will lighten up.

Not much to post today, but having recently lost my Dad, and it's Veteran's Day, and especially since it is 11/11/11..........

This one is for you Dad. I love you and miss you more than should be humanly possible. You're still the best man I've ever known. Happy Veteran's Day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

11/9/11 - Insane and Beyond, and Back Again :)

11/9/11 - OK, I considered it. Thought about biting the bullet when my roommate moves out next month and financing an RV. Did a projected budget, the whole bit. Was even stupid enough to share that newsflash with Glenn, my muse - a poor guy I met through the internet, on a blog, from a Yahoo scrolling newsfeed! I could be some psycho for all he knows. How embarrassing. And to my friends and family that now have your hand up, waiving your arm frantically, just dying to say something, put it back down - you do NOT get to insert something here. LOL.

I will do this. One day I will have a mobile lifestyle and live in an RV, but for now I am sticking to my game plan. I guess that's how I moved forward today because work consumption occurred again and I didn't get much else done. Oh, I did offer my wonderful roommate a reduced rate - trying to entice him to stay.  Stability is what I need right now. That will help me move forward a lot. Plus I adore him. He'll let me know next week after he talks to his friend. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

As for work, it was really getting to me today and a friend posted this on FB. I know she posted it on the world wide web, right at that moment, just for me. ;)
Nuf said.

11/8/11 - I took a 25 minute spa shower tonight. I don't do that very often but man, it felt good. I just kept cranking up the hot water and my poor pint size water heater was not happy with me! Hissing, gurgling, making awful noises; it told me about it too. Halfway through my shower I realized I'm probably not going to have that luxury in an RV. I think I may have actually found something I'm going to miss. Ha! Also, note to self: ask for Dad's red tea kettle. Needs to be with me on the road representing for Dad, plus I'll need it for steamy facials. Hey, a girl's still gotta be a girl! :-)

What I did today in moving forward - On the way home I drove through the Texan RV Ranch. It's not much but after working a 12-hour day, it was something. Most of the trailers were 5th wheels or pull behinds. Very few motorhomes - interesting. It was such a nice environment. I kept thinking as I made the loops, "I can do this," followed by "Wow, I've got a lot to learn." There was a couple hitching up their 5th wheel. It seemed to be quite labor intensive. A motorhome is much more practical for me, and safer. If I want to head out in the middle of the night, I'll be able to do so without having to do all that labor, outside.

Before going to bed I also read a couple of blogs and researched a couple of RV sites. Oh yeah, and edited "The Blue Lady." She's almost ready for submission. (that just doesn't sound quite right, does it? grin)

What I DIDN'T do today in moving forward - I didn't buy the annual Bob Bullock Texas Capitol Christmas Ornament (x2). I have them all - from the very 1st one made - a tradition started with my ex-husband, but they won't fit in my RV so..... Ciao baby! :) Will soon sell the others on eBay.

Monday, November 7, 2011

11/7/11 - Movin' On Up!

Before going to bed last night, I sent my draft for the Reader's Digest competition to a few folk I trust. Some comments have come back. So far, rave reviews. Woohoo! I made a few edits to it this evening and will let it sit for a day or two. Deadline coming soon!

I'm thinking about moving into an RV very soon - instead of paying rent. My roommate is moving out December 31st. If I didn't have a commitment to my 3 lovely babies (pic below), it would be a no brainer. Wish I had a magic ball. Am I insane?!?

Tracking log below as promised. For a good laugh, read the 3rd one, 11/6, 11PM. What a trip this whole adventure is. Amazing!

11/6/11, 8:45PM - OMG! I am having such trouble writing. I am scared to death! My heart is pounding in my throat and I can take barely more than shallow breaths! I have never had this happen to me before. Get over it Debra! Just write for God's sake@!

11/6/11, 11PM - Was finally able to write and actually sent my ROUGH draft to a few very close friends and family member. Absolutely no housework, laundry, dishes, dog hikes, etc., got done today but I didn't go back to bed and I got this done. That's something, right?

11/6/11, 11:40PM - OMG! I just sent Glenn Morrissette an email!! What was I thinking? And just before going to bed on top of that! Now I'm not going to be able to sleep! Oh, while I'm at it, why don't I just go ahead and contact Nora Roberts too! Geez! Actually, I was blessed to meet her. Yep, walked right up to that book signing table, handed her a rose, then stood there like a mute and walked off like a moron. Hopefully this contact goes better than that one did! OMG!

11/7/11, 8:22PM - He wrote me back! He actually wrote me back! And he read my blog! I thought it was a shot in the dark. Ping! WINNing! LOL. And I did a lot of research on RVs today. Good day on moving forward. :) God, I want this so badly.  Patience Kimosabe. Patience.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

11/6/11-Dreams, Schemes and Automobiles

Okay, I have no idea what the word "automobiles" is doing in my title, or what it has to do with my blog today. Dreams and Schemes? I get that, but automobiles? Who knows! Maybe it represents my heart. I wish I were already in a camp somewhere, sitting in my RV, writing. Yet it's been two weeks since my last entry. So I have to ask myself, "What's up with that?!?"

I didn't stalemate; I just stalled. Work consumed me. I know it sounds like an excuse, but it really did. It's been a horrible environment at the office lately AND I worked a minimum of 12 hours every day, 12 days straight. I felt like I was in a 12"x12" box. Horrible. I have to find a way to live my dream. So I'm more determined than ever to find a way to stay true to my personal goals while keeping a roof over my head.  And I will.  That's what this blog is about - capturing my commitment to the journey. I WILL do better.

I have to give myself small pats on the back tho. I did move forward - ever so slightly, but the baby steps were there. One thing is that I ordered cards. It might not sound like much but it was a huge step toward my commitment of a mobile income. The cards state that I am a "writer, scrapper, photo artist and speaker." Not bad. They're pretty too. I'm proud.

I also created disposable email addresses and started popping and forwarding old email accounts. All movement toward streamlining and culling so that my personal operations flow more smoothly. Time management is going to be key in pulling all of this off and being organized is part of that.

I also did VERY well on the things I didn't do. (Wouldn't it be great if life were always that simple? If we could get credit for things we didn't do?  I'd be set! Ha! ) But what I didn't do - sometimes daily, really did move me toward my goal. I didn't buy anything that didn't fit into my RV mobile income lifestyle. Normally, while at the store I'm prone to pick up a few "convenience" items. I didn't do that. Not once. It was fun passing the stuff up. I wasn't even tempted. Each time I passed on a purchase it bolstered my confidence that I am moving forward. It may be baby steps, but it's something. I'm getting there.

I also told more people about my plans and about this blog, including my family. That wasn't easy. In fact, it probably hurt my Mother because it closes the door on her moving in with me. Granted, you would think the 3-1/2 hour family meeting that we had would have closed that door. Absolutely no one at that meeting, including her pastor, thought it was a good idea for her to live with me. Still, I think the RV project surprised her. She handled it well enough though. So far. I was grateful for the support of my sisters. (see FB posts and pics for 11/5 - a great day).

BTW, when I say "no one" thought it was a good idea that Mother live with me. I mean no one. Couldn't help but wonder how that reflects on the fact that no one has been able to live with me to date. Hence the single status. I love my babies though. All three snuggled against me even as I type. I could insert many, many quotes here about the loving, forgiving nature of animals but will spare you. I will also spare you my diatribe on why I think I'm alone. But mostly, I'm happy being alone. Maybe that says more, in volumes, than anything else.

No matter, let me get back on track - I will not go to bed today until I have a polished draft of "The Blue Lady" for the competition I selected: Submission is due by the 15th. When I selected this competition that deadline seemed so far away!

From now on I will use this blog to better hold me accountable for my progress. From now on, at the end of each entry, I will list the steps taken on a daily basis that have moved me closer to my goals. And remember, my goals are 1) to live mobile - have a mobile income, 2) to write, and 3) to be a public speaker. I can do this. I got this. Just God, please take care of the issues at work. Leave me energy left over for the things I really want and the visions You have given me. Amen.

I will put the list of action and non-action items at the end of each blog so you can skip them. It is more of a tracking mechanism for me than anything else. Please feel free however to leave me comments and keep me straight. If you see me blowing smoke, call me on my BS. It would be nice to have some virtual travelers with me on this journey.

Must work on "The Blue Lady" now. TTFN. Thanks for reading my blog. As always, if you want a copy of what I've written, I'd love to get your feedback. Love you guys!