Monday, June 27, 2011

My baby is cunning and manipulative

I was so happy when the baby started having regular naps. I thought, finally, I will get some writing time. I will know what time of day to expect it. I may not know the length, but at least I know that at approximately X time each day, I will be able to write a bit. Or do the dishes. Depends on how selfish I feel at the time.

Then I realized that I was really bad at letting the baby cry it out. I kept listening to him wail in there and thought, "Maybe he's just not emotionally mature enough to self-soothe yet. I should go in and cuddle him."

Well, JT has slipped up. In three ways, actually:

1. Three times in one day, after my other half or I were just about ready to give in and either end the nap attempt or rock him to sleep, he did it. Fell asleep all on his on. I know he *can* do it.

2. He figured out that if his pacifier falls out, I will generally come to put it back in. So he spits it out. Or tries. He hasn't mastered the skill yet, so sometimes he sits there with the pacifier in his mouth making a, "bwww, bwww, bwww," sound, which is kinda hilarious.

3. During one nap, he was protesting in his crib with a masterful heart-wrenching cry. I broke down and went in, and instantly the tears were gone, replaced with a huge grin. Proof positive that my baby was neither inconsolable nor traumatized, but merely plotting the most effective means to get a cuddle.

So, there you go. My baby can self-soothe, and what's more, he will concoct elaborate plots to convince me that he can't. I know to seasoned parents, this sounds like a no-brainer. Heck, when I was baby-sitting, it was a no-brainer. It's weird forcing myself to remember that even though JT does not speak yet, he is an intelligent little guy.

Well, little JT, the game is on! Don't think you can outsmart me. I know how to English!

What I Learned About Writing: The antagonist is always plotting. Always. Even when the hero is not looking, the antagonist is plotting. When the hero is looking, the antagonist will make the hero think he is not plotting. All the antagonist really wants is a good cuddle.

Monday, June 20, 2011

First Father's Day

I was actually good this Father's Day! I went and pre-ordered the present from the book order at preschool. It was a book called "My Daddy and Me" that you could put a little photo into. I also helped JT make a pencil holder out of one of his formula cans. (And by help, I mean I stopped him from poking himself in the face with a paintbrush.) Still, it was not without its challenges. I kept trying to put everything together at Grandma's house, because JT doesn't really paint except for making presents, so the brushes out were kind of a giveaway.)

What I Learned About Writing: It's good to plan ahead of time. You have to plan at least a little bit. Maybe not write every detail, but if you completely wing it, you'll probably have a lot of fixing to do later. Also, if you're trying to keep your novel a secret from the person living with you, that will make writing it a lot more difficult.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I Broke Down

JT is on the formula. Yes, the super-expensive formula I was so happy I didn’t have to buy in my last post. At least I saved myself a few weeks. (And yes, it was several weeks between when I composed that last post and when I composed this one. Writing stuff ahead of time resulted in weird timing.)

This had nothing to do with my impatience for diet changes (though I did order a 4-cheese pizza shortly afterwards.) Although JT’s test results were starting to look a bit better, he had another tummy-related crying fit. I have no idea what I ate or where I slipped, but I just plain got tired of seeing my baby hurting despite all my best efforts. It just wasn’t worth it. If there’s an allergy there, I’d rather discover it when he’s eating single ingredient foods so I can say, “Oh, look, this specific thing seems to be causing an issue. Let’s take it out.” For those of you who breastfeed your babies up to the one year mark, you are my personal heroines for your perseverance.

Just to end on a light note though, we had an interesting situation while JT was still on the breastmilk -- my other half had his wisdom teeth taken out. So we somehow had to figure out how to concoct meals that were soft, not too hot, free of dairy, and free of soy.

…yes, it’s sorbet for dinner!

(Okay, in reality we just had separate meals, but sorbet is still awesome.)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

In Which I am Hit with the Goliath Warhammer of Reality

Doing something a little different with my "Friday Favorites" this week. (Which, by the way, I think I'm just going to keep on Saturdays and retain the title as a protest to society.)

I'm currently in heavy revision mode. I'd already changed the whole tone of the novel months ago, but many of the events had stayed intact, just with the MC viewing things in a much different light. (Basically, I added an emotional arc.) Now the events themselves are changing. Characters who got along great with my MC are fighting her. Antagonists who left her alone until almost the end are harassing her. My protagonist is protaging. (Credit to one of my Clarion West classmates for that phrase.)

I think, "Wow, go me. These are massive changes, I've never done such serious revisions to a novel before." Then along comes this awesome post from Adventures in Agentland. In a nutshell, it reads, Newsflash: I'm not doing anything special. This is how revision is supposed to work. Everything I called revision before was at best minor tweaking, a baby step above changing character names and correcting spelling errors.

One of the other things I've got to get in shape is the setting. My beta-reader told me that one of the major settings of the book doesn't feel like a real place, mostly because I've done such bare-minimum description of it. Enter the awesomenesses that are Scrivener and The Bookshelf Muse. Bookshelf Muse has a whole series of posts that take a setting and list every possible thing you could see, hear, smell, feel, or taste in it. Scrivener lets you import webpages directly into your research section. So now I can reference these insanely helpful pages without bouncing back and forth between programs. (As it turns out, there's tons of details about my setting I'm not using nearly as well as I could, another dose of reality there.)

So, there you go, a long-winded way of sharing three sites that have really helped me get through the editing this week. I won't have a whole blog post centered around my Friday Favorites every week, but it was a fun diversion. Now, back to (real) editing!