In Case You Wanted to Get Me Something…

Thanks to a very well timed early Christmas gift (thanks, Mom and Dad!) I have the option to do some of my Christmas shopping early this year. Not that I hadn’t already started, but this definitely opened my options up considerably. I had a few things already purchased, but this morning I put a nice dent in my Christmas gift-buying list, and I’m thrilled. Once again, I can’t wait to see how they like what I picked out, because knowing the people I’m buying for, these are things they want but in at least one case, would never think to ask for. This year, they didn’t have to ask. I knew.

I’m like that with Christmas presents. Years ago I saw an episode of “Frasier” where Frasier buys things for people he thinks they want, but he doesn’t know them well enough; what he’s really doing is buying things he wants them to have. I figured out early, I have to see things from the other person’s perspective and ask myself, “If I’m so-and-so, what would I really want?” Not everyone has that skill. It’s probably a hazard of being a writer, because if you can’t see from someone else’s POV, your stories are going to get really boring, really quick. (With apologies to the pros out there who write extensive story series starring one major character. You know who you are. I love you!) 🙂

As I proudly continued on my day, it occurred to me that yes, I have this talent, but not everyone does. Like my father before me, I’m also one of the hardest people to shop for. I don’t let on what I want. I love surprises, but how well do people know me that they know what I want? I still have the gift certificate to a spa day that I got on my birthday. Not that I don’t want it, but finding the time to use it hasn’t been the easiest thing in the world.

It’s hard to buy for me. I love surprises but they don’t always go well, and if I tell people what I want, I’ll get it but there’s no surprise in that. I’m just naturally set up to be disappointed, either way.

So if you’re planning to get me something for Christmas this year, what I really want this year is TIME. No, not the magazine. I want a day (or three) to do whatever I want. I want to spend a day playing with my yarn projects; organizing my pattern collection; putting my yarn stash in order, and maybe even cataloging it. I want to listen to music or read or watch football or old movies, or whatever, any way I see fit. That would make me happy.

So if anyone knows how to package up a day’s worth of time with a pretty red bow, that’s all I want for Christmas. Not my two front teeth, and not even 40″ Signature Needle Arts circulars in size 6 with the 6″ shafts and middy points (though those needles are damn sexy). I just want a day to relax and be myself with my family.

Chinese food for dinner wouldn’t hurt, either. 🙂

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Why not now?

I’m not in a nice mood, so I apologize in advance.
 
This morning, I think I’ve received my three thousandth email about, “Remember the good old times?” (We didn’t have fast food. Our parents beat our butts when we got out of hand. We walked to school barefoot, uphill both ways, in three feet of snow, “and we liked it.”) I see them on Facebook too. Do those things drive anybody else batsh*t crazy?
 
Okay, so I have friends who are a little older than I am, and they enjoy reminiscing about “the good old days”, but what’s so bad about NOW? Very likely, these are the same people who can’t work a VCR, let alone a smart phone. They complain about how computers only make things worse but they forget about all the paper files that took up acres of space (and killed that many more trees). Would they rather go back to rotary dial cell phones, carbon paper, and maxi pads with belts? AGH!
 
One friend posted a complaint on Facebook about the 99%/Occupy movement, saying, “If I tried to get away with that lazy crap, my dad would’ve pointed out the error of my ways, and if I didn’t straighten out fast, ‘Let the beatings begin!'” But he’s got a 4 year old princess of a daughter now, and I wanted SO badly to ask him, “If you think those beatings were such a great thing, when are you going to start beating on her butt?” I bet he’d get quiet fast.
 
I’m sorry, but they’re driving me nuts. A constant need to glorify the past means you’re having a tough time dealing with the here and now, in my mind. Personally, right now isn’t a bad place to be, if you ask me. (As if we had a choice, really.) If it weren’t for the internet, they couldn’t pass around all those “why can’t we go back to the good old days” emails, so get with the times, accept that you can’t go back in time, put on your big girl (and boy) panties and deal with it!

Sheer Poetry

I know I’m coaching myself into posting on Thursdays, but today being Veterans Day, I know too many veterans not to post this. A friend of mine put it on Facebook and it served as a stark and beautiful reminder of the sacrifice of so many brave men and women so I could have the freedom to sit at my computer and make up stories all day long.  Whatever your political affiliation, please put it aside and remember, people died to give you the right to be contentious. 🙂

With thanks to http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/flanders.htm. Also, if you ever wanted to know what my story notes look like, it’s a lot like the pic below. I’m pleased to see I’m not the only one who gets an idea and must immediately put it on paper.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

 

In Flanders Field - Copy of Signed Original

 

Not so bad

I learned to love flying. On the ride home, I had a window seat, and I looked out of it nearly the whole way. Of course, that was about all I could do, since I had a window seat and there was someone next to me.

It was an awesome trip, and I made a ton of new friends. I’m so glad I went, and I’m just as glad that situations unfolded that allowed me to go.

We may be doing it again some time soon, at a chapter near you. BOLO. 🙂 I’ll post pictures when I’m finished with revisions. Well, hours after I finish the revisions. I’m almost there, but I do need to sleep every so often.

In the mean time, I’m not usually one for boasting, but this is without a doubt the best love scene I’ve ever written. A friend told me I needed to aim for raw emotion, and I did. It wasn’t altogether comfortable, but the end result…wow.

Back to the story.

On a Jet Plane

I’m pre-writing this post because I suspect by Thursday I’ll be halfway to basket case, between packing and planning and planning to pack. Hope Ramsay and I are visiting the Northwest Houston RWA chapter on Saturday to give a workshop on critique partners who have opposite approaches to writing. Yes, we are romance fiction’s version of The Odd Couple.

I don’t know what scares me more, standing in front of a crowd of really nice people, trying not to make a fool of myself, or the idea of flying. I’m not a good flyer. I was once. Literally, once. My parents and my aunt and uncle put me and my cousin on a plane to South Carolina when we were about 12. We had a great time and flirted with the steward (as they were then called), and I remember reading a Time magazine about the collapse of a hotel in Kansas City. That’s how long ago that happened.

Since then I took a flight to Texas for a friend’s wedding, and I didn’t once consider airsickness a possibility. It became one, fast. By the time I got to San Antonio, I was sicker than a dog and very likely had a migraine too. My friends took off and did their own thing, and I curled up in the hotel, called my mom and cried.

After that I discovered the motion sickness wristbands that I take with me everywhere. I’m praying they work for me again on Friday (and Sunday) but I’m nervous that they won’t. I’m also not excited about being stuck in traction coach for 3+ hours. We sat for 45 minutes when we did the Autism Explorers trip in January, and it took a few days for my knees to recover.

Suffice it to say, I’m nervous, but I’m going to be with some terrific friends, I’m going to meet a whole squadron of new friends, and we’re going to have fun. I’ve already picked out my travel knitting project. I just need to find those air/sea bands… Gulp.