Friday, June 27, 2008

An actual email

This, from one of my suppliers:

"Just in this fine morning All our free to air satelite recievers and accessorries have just arrived in stock. So get then now why we still have stock there going fast. "

Ow, my head.

Countdown to the weekend: 6 hours, 16 minutes.

Living the Coles notes version

It feels longer than two months since my awesome co-worker left, and I'm still trying to find a rhythm of work and home that functions properly. There just isn't enough time, I'm covering the bases, checking off the major points - shower, work, bedtime stories - and enjoying hardly any of it. It's the Coles notes version of my life.

At work, I'm three weeks behind on some of my administrative stuff, and I go from line 1 to line 2 to the counter, to email, and back to the phone again. I'm doing all right, I'm doing a good job, but I'm so rushed that I'm not getting the sense of accomplishment I would like to feel. I'm only tired.

Then I drive home, trying to shake the vaguely irritable, dissatisfied feelings before I get there, so I can walk in with a smile and enjoy the kids for those two or three precious hours before they go to bed. Work is over now, I am lucky to be going home to such a wonderful family.

I once heard a woman on a tv show remark "If the Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" I remember rolling my eyes, and wondering just who in hell she thought she was, the queen? But now that I have a family, I see what she meant. It wasn't that she wanted everybody kowtowing to her every whim. It's just a simple truth - the household watches the mother. They take their cues from her, they calibrate their sense of peace and wellness according to her mood.

No pressure. (G)

Being away from them so much, I can't help but feel the full import of this priviledge - what an incredible thing, to be so essential to these people. And yet, it can be overwhelming. I don't always manage to get my sh*t together, and those days it's rough knowing that I'm letting them down. They need me.

And then my daughter goes to sleep with her little hand on my face, and I am forgiven, and healed.

But wait...see the calendar? It says that at 6 pm today, the door closes - and it's going to stay that way until Wednesday morning. We're going to my parents' cottage, which is far enough away but not too far, and I will have a break. Four days with no work, no telephone, just the Beloved and my parents and the ocean. We'll do a massive jigsaw puzzle, drink some beer, and laugh a lot.

Thank you, God.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I'm baaaaaack

I've pulled out The Witch of Badenock, blew the dust off it, and I'm currently reading through my most recent edit of the thing.

Yes, I said I wouldn't. I am, anyway.

I developed, over years of growing as a writer, a set of personal rules designed to help me meet my writing goals. The strictest of them was "No going back" because I had developed a habit of endlessly re-writing the first part of a WIP - during which period I neither progressed in the story, nor did I learn very much. It's a good rule, it worked.

However, it belonged to a woman with heck of a lot more spare time than I have.

I'm married, working five-and-a-half days a week running my own company and raising two kids. My schedule is packed with duties and obligations that really are more important than writing - and so when I think of writing in within the confines of my old "rules" it quickly loses its appeal. What I need right now is a little time spent doing something recklessly creative - just because I feel like it. So I've chucked out the rules, because they belong to a different era, and hey! It's the new me. Again.

Writing freely and without apparent aim, schedule or outline is still writing. My dreams of being published and seeing my name on the cover of a book are still alive and valid - but they don't seem quite as close, as reachable, as they did two short months ago, when I was churning out over 10K per month. (Wordcount for May? Zero. Howzat for ineffective?)

The thing is I miss my historical, and I feel like playing with it. So today that's what I'm doing.

I feel better already.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

He's so lonesome, he could cry...

Had my third conversaton with the new "IT" guy over at the office of one of our long-standing clients. I've already explained to him how external hard drives work, and how to locate the video card in a computer - and yes, there are different types. Today's chat went like this (I changed his name):

Me: "Hi Alex?"
Alex: "Hi Cindy."
Me: "Yeah, so the problem with the PC here, it's the power supply. $49.00 part, plus an hour labour."
Alex: "I don't understand. There was no display."
Me: (What? Hello?) "Right. You had no display because the computer wasn't turning on. There was no p..o..w..e..r."
Alex: "Is that because I didn't send you the cable?"
Me: (Oh, buddy. How did you get this job?) "No, we have cables. The power supply, it's um, where the machine takes your current from the wall and splits it out to different rails, 3.3V, 5V, 12V, that the components need. It's that thing. It failed."
Alex: "Oh, that makes sense."
Me: "Mmmhmm. And there's a password, we'll need that."
Alex: "Oh."
Me: "So, it's…?"
Alex: "left out"
Me: (Oh, God.) "Uh, that's all one word?"
Alex: "Yes. One word. Leftout."

Now I'm sad.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Night life

The night before last, my two-year-old daughter woke up at 11:30 pm, just as my eyes were drifting shut. I waited to see if she would settle, and she didn't, so I went to bring her into the big bed. That always works.

Or, yanno, not.

My usual secret weapons - back rubbing, whispering the words to Goodnight Moon, saying good night to all her favourite TV characters - nothing I did was any help at all. I had some time to reflect that girls always seem to be angry with their mothers for something, and Pebbles seems to have picked out her reasons already. An hour later, she was still tossing and turning, fussing and complaining, and I was Highly Annoyed. It all came to a head when she suddenly began to crawl away from me, escaping my grasp in the dark, ignoring my warnings, and fell off the bed.

"Well, what did you think would happen?" I growled as I picked her up off the floor.

He-who-fixes-everything came in then, took the tired and weeping daughter from the tired and angry mother, and went away.

Half an hour later they returned. He was ready for bed. She…not so much.

For nineteen days we took turns telling her to go to sleep, groaning softly into our pillows and and forestalling her attempts to start up a conversation. "Where Nanny? Where BamBam? I go play now?"

At 4 am I declared an intermission, and we all got out of bed for a snack and bathroom break. Pebbles took the opportunity to pee out the side of her diaper (all over both of us), so we donned fresh jammies, shared some toast with Cheez Whiz and a peach. DH decamped to the downstairs sofa, and Pebbles and I read some board books. We (finally) went to sleep at about 5 am.

All day yesterday, it was 3 am on a deserted country road inside my mind. On an electric pole, standing sentinel beside a moonlit corn field, a transformer crackled and sparked from time to time, and the Bzzzt! Bzzzzzzzzt! was the only sound for miles around.

The customers here at work were thrilled to find such a good listener, and so expounded on their problems - computer-related and otherwise - at length, while I had deep thoughts like "Yanno, I think this guy has dentures."
Bzzzt. Bzzzzzzt.

"How do I import my contacts from my backup to to Outlook?"
I want popcorn. Popcorn would be really good right now.
Bzzzt. Bzzzzzzt.

"Hello, it's Mimi from Iffy Electronicals? Could I speak with your purchasing manager, please?"
Swimming, swimming, in the swimming hole, when days are hot…

"Yes, it's Edouard from the Massive Book of Overpriced Advertisements…"
when days are coooooooooooold, in the swimming hooooooooole!
Bzt. Bzt. Bzzzzz....….t.