Friday, February 15, 2013

Funny thing happened on V-day...

Here's a story. You'll think it's funny. I'll be traumatized for life. So here goes.

Most of you know I have a fear of birds. Now when I say fear, I really mean phobia. When I say phobia, I mean panic attack. When I say panic attack, I mean Dean Winchester when he has ghost sickness and screams about the cat in the locker fear.

Now I love decorative owls around my house and I enjoy a pink flamingo as much as the next girl. (No, I don't have plastic ones in my yard, but never say never.) And Penguins are adorable - as a cartoon - but other than this, just no. It's the talons and the flapping and the beady little eyes ready to destroy you. *Pause for freak out dance* *shudder* 


I have a very old house, built before The War of Northern Aggression The Civil War and it comes complete with all the quirks and ghosts. One more thing it comes with is a wood stove. Obviously said wood stove has a large pipe that goes up and out into the smoke stack. It's an ongoing battle to keep the birds from nesting at the top of the stack. What is the fascination? We use the wood stove. We have tried to fix it so they can't, but time and time again, there they are.


Now I have trouble walking down my drive way, which is clearly outside in a big open space, if there's a bird lounging in my path. don't even get me started about the day a hawk was sitting on the railing by the gazebo. A Hawk! Sorry, I digress. Anyway, once in a while (like every couple of weeks) it rains and get's super windy and a bird gets knocked down the flu pipe. It beats around inside the metal and makes me want to tear my hair out.


What if it's gets in the house? What if it pecks through the pipe and comes at me a la The Birds? And normally, Hubby takes care of it. I don't know how and I don't care to know. All I know is that he comes in and says, "The bird's gone." I hug and kiss him and there is much rejoicing.

But he's away on business this week and about 2.5 seconds after his plane took off a bird fell down the stove pipe. It hung out in the pipe for a couple days and although I felt bad he was in there probably dying, I didn't feel bad enough obviously, because OMG BIRDS!!!!


So yesterday, I'm at my desk, eating almonds, hanging out on Twitter and I hear tap, tap, tap. Not the normal bird in the flu noise. I get up to go investigate. It gets louder. And again, and again. My heart is beating so fast and I'm convinced it's coming through the pipe.

Then I see it. The flash of wing through the glass of the door. IT'S IN THE STOVE!!!! It had beat the damper open and gotten all the way down in. It really could get in the house. So I fret for a couple of hours while this bird goes to town trying to get into my house. And awww, hell no!


Now you might think I'm cold-hearted, but it's not like that. If a person I didn't invite came into my house I'd have much the same reaction. I'm equally territorial to all things. So I call Hubby and this happens.

Him: What's wrong?
Me: The bird. it's in the stove.
Him: Are you sure?
Me: I'm pretty sure. It's knocking against the glass.
Him: Close all the doors in the house. Open the front door. Open the stove. He'll fly to the light.
(Okay, my heart rate is making me dizzy at this point and I'm am in full on panic attack mode. But I decide I can't leave this bird in there until Saturday.)
Me: Ok. Ok, I'll try.

(20 minutes later I call him back.)
Him: Did you get it out?
Me: No, I can't open the door to the stove.
Him: Is it stuck?
Me: NO. I don't know. I mean I can't make myself. I feel like I'm going to be sick.
Him: (laughter) Just open it and he'll fly out.
Me: But what if he's hurt and he lays in the floor? Then I'll have a bird IN THE HOUSE and I can't help him. Or what if he turns on me?
Him: Turns on you?
Me: Yes. Because he's pissed from being in the stove.
Him: Why would it do that?
Him: Get a broom. You'll have it for protection.
Me: I can't. I can't. (bird freaks out) Okay, I have to.

So after much more crazy on my part, I open the front door, close everything else and open the stove. My hands are white knuckled, my face is scrunched. I'm holding the broom like I'm a Quidditch Beater and... nothing happens. The bird wasn't in the stove after all. So I decide I'm going to smoke him out because I figure this is more humane than leaving it in there to die slowly.

I leave the front door open mind you, just in case. So I gather some newspaper and a lighter and open the stove to light it up  and THE BIRD FLIES OUT RIGHT PAST MY HEAD AND OUT THE DOOR.
My heart is racing right now even telling you this story. *shiver* I drop to the floor like I'm under fire. I had a full on panic attack, complete with me getting sick, and then a call to the hubby to tell him of my success. I then lit a fire to warn all the other birds not to come near my house.


                                            As soon as the adrenaline passed I did this.


And that's my Valentine's day in a nutshell. Hope yours was as exciting, but in a totally different way.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Excuses, thank you's and the worst holiday ever.

My mind is all over the place. It's here and there and will not settle down for two seconds it feels like. But I suppose that's the life of a writer. If my mind slows down, it's probably time to hang it up. So I'll cram three things I've been thinking about into this post. I'll just throw my ideas in the air like confetti and catch the ideas as they fall. Then tie it all together and amaze you with my writing prowess. Like this:


First - Excuses.

I have these. You have these. We all need less.

Example: Why didn't you write?
                 But why specifically?
                Well, we were having a big talk on Twitter about Nutella versus regular chocolate which      somehow turned into talk of superheroes, cats and Ian Somerhalder. There were pictures. I HAD to be there.
                (There are no gifs involving cats, Nutella, superheroes, and Ian. My heart breaks.)
Now, admittedly, any time Ian is brought into the conversation it becomes more a reason than an excuse but most of us find something else to do then complain when we feel time crunched or the fact that it's still not done looms in our life. We all have kids, significant others, jobs(and by jobs, I mean the place that pulls a paycheck), best friends, needy friends, more children, eating, sleeping, stuff to do. All of it. We're writers making stories worth reading while trying to live and that takes effort and time.

And it's full to the brim with excuses. This past week I finished a WIP and did more than my share of whining to my CP's about it dragging on. They all said the same thing, "You're doing fine. You are going fast. Stop your bitching. Get to writing." What? They said it with love.

                                                                   You better work!

But it got me to thinking, why do we have so many excuses? Why not just write and get it done?

Because it's not that simple and at the end of a manuscript are scary things that most of don't want or know how to face: Query, Synopsis, Rejection, and the biggest one none of us are ready for: Success.

But I guess I'll have to move on to these....wait, someone just sent me a picture of Jared Padalecki.


2)Thank you's.

I feel like we don't say thank you often enough. I mean I do on Twitter. Fifty times a day it seems. Thanks for the RT. Thanks for the #FF. Thanks for making me laugh, keeping me sane, the picture of Jared Padalecki. But these are little thank you's. I'm talking about the big ones. Thanks you for being the greatest CP ever in the history of humans. Thank you for doing the writer equivalent of holding my hair when my WIP is making sick and my head is on the virtual toilet. Thank you for loving me no matter what.Thank you for reading the same thing for the tenth time and telling me you still love it.

I've been thinking about this and then Dahlia wrote a brilliant post on acknowledgments (find it here) and I got to thinking, why do we only say thank you at the end? Acknowledgments are basically an eulogy for your book. You say thanks for getting me through and here's what the end result is. It's like closing the door on a chapter of your life and while it's lovely, it makes me a bit sad.

So, while you're going through the journey to take time to embrace it, relish it and for the love of Nutella, stop and say thank you!       
                                                                 And this is for Dahlia:

Lastly - worst holiday ever.

I love romance. I love love. I love happily ever after. I love my husband. I love little old couples that have been together since before sliced bread. I hate Valentine's day.

I don't just regular hate it. I mean I really do. A lot. And here's why and also the evil genius of a seemingly random blog post comes together.

Valentine's day is a day designed for and by retailers. Everyone knows this but they buy in anyway. (See the pile of chocolate purchased by me for my children.) But here's what drives me insane. Valentine's Day is an EXCUSE to do something nice for your other person and then feel like you're off the hook for an extended period of time. It's saying THANK YOU for loving me, now stop asking me to take out the trash because ooh, shiny diamond. (See what I did there?)


If you love someone, it's hard work. You have to fight tooth and nail everyday to keep the love and romance alive and most days, not throttle the other, because really how hard is it to get your socks in the hamper????

But V-day lets the other one off the hook. Hey here's a romance day, now I can be a schmo the rest of the time. It drives me crazy. The hubby and I don't do a big special thing on V-day, but he did bring home some fresh herbs for my garden last week. And the week before he brought home a movie I had mentioned in passing that I wanted. And the week before, oh that week I wanted to kill him (Socks in the hamper, people!) But the week before that... see where I'm going with this?


Make everyday V-day with the ones you love, thank people along the way and enjoy your journey, and try for less excuses to not do both of those. Ooh, gotta go. It's Thursday. Someone is talking about Ian and it's important. There might be pictures.
                                                                   (Hey, it's a reason!)