Monday, April 30, 2012

I was going to procrastinate but I decided to wait until tomorrow

If you keep up with my FB posts https://www.facebook.com/author.cindy.jacks or Tweets https://twitter.com/#!/cindyjacks, you know I've been under the crunch to get a manuscript finished by my deadline--May 1st. Eeeek! Shouldn't it all be spit polished by now, you say? Yes, yes it should be, lol. Naughty little author that I am, I procrastinated until the last minute.

Now in my defense, I was working on other manuscripts, the characters I didn't have to cajole out of their sullen silence, sleek plot lines without holes or fat, stories about which inspiration abounded. But the closer the deadline for Smuggler's Blues drew, the more I had to stop making excuses and stop playing with other stories. I don't really get blocked so much as distracted. So I shifted my focus to Kate and Brett Logan and the dystopian future I'd created and got to work. And I didn't let myself down. It will be finished on time and it will be good.

But why did I have to let it go so long in the first place? In my teens and twenties I was obsessive, working ahead as much as possible, but as I've gotten older--and had a family--I find myself more than willing to put off till tomorrow what I should be doing today. Let's face it, quiet time is rare and valuable these days so perhaps it's not so much procrastination as preservation of my tenuous grasp on sanity (Hey! I am hanging on by a thread, thank you very much!).

Whatever the reason, my work ethic isn't what it used to be. Then again, sometimes creating under pressure brings about moments of brilliance. And sometimes it doesn't, lol. Luckily this time it worked out and I can't wait to get to work on the next book in the Pirates at Heart series titled Sailor's Knot...I'll get right on it...tomorrow :)

What do you put off doing until you absolutely have to?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Love is a drug

I was watching NEW GIRL last night--btw I LOVE that show, can't get enough Schmidt, LOVE YOU MAX GREENFIELD--and there was this teenage girl who'd developed a crush on one of the roommates. She cried out while writhing on the sofa, "I just want to rub my face on his face!" At this I had to laugh. Not just because the actress did such a superb job with her comedic timing and body language, but because I remember feeling that way. I remember being young and in love (or in lust...come on sometimes it's like that) and feeling like I just couldn't get enough of this other person.

Now I know that there's a scientific explanation for that rush of emotion. It's oxytocin this and vasopressin that. So what does this mean? That we're all just love junkies looking for a fix? Trying to recreate that first high--which I think we all can agree is the most intense.

I remember young love and yes, I did want to rub my face on his face. Not to mention rubbing my face on various other body parts. And I wished my lover came in powder from so I could snort lines of him. I wanted to crawl inside his skin and wear him like a leather coat. Okay, was that too far? LOL. Which brings me to my other point that love can be really scary too. Not unlike a bad trip.

Then I thought about my current relationship. It's been going on for a while and though the initial rush has mellowed, there is something wonderful about the quieter more stable form of love too. Like I can be completely and totally myself without worrying that I'll scare him off...I mean if I didn't scare him off with that "wear him like a leather coat" comment, he's here to stay. And while the highs are not as high, the lows are definitely not as low either.

Will I ever feel that euphoric rush of teenage love again. Sadly no. But I can watch a sitcom and laugh about the perils that await the next generation of lovers because I also know I'll never again cling to dirty ball of yarn unraveled from my ex-boyfriend's class ring because it's all I have left, mascara streaming down my face, wailing that I'll never be whole again whilst plotting to set fire to his fully restored 1975 Chevy Nova.

Uh...not that I ever did that.

Anyhoo, what do you remember about young love? What's the crazy thing you ever felt while in the throes of hormonal lunacy? Inquiring minds wanna know ;)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Learning to fly...well, pitch

So I know I blog about DS a lot but being a stay-at-home mom of an only child, we send lots of quality time together. And as much as I endeavor to teach him all about the ways of the world, I often find he's the one doling out the valuable life lessons.

Last Saturday, DS was the starting pitcher for his machine pitch Little League team. At this level they do one inning of kid-pitch and the rest is played with a pitching machine. During practices, the coach asked for volunteers to try out the pitcher position. DS stuck his hand in the air, jumping up and down with glee. Turns out, he's pretty good at it.

The last practice before the big game, another mom turned to me and said, "He's so brave to be the first pitcher of the season. My son's too nervous to try." Brave? I thought. I hadn't considered it in that light, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized she was right.

On the way to the game, I asked him why he volunteered and if he was excited. His simple reply: He thought it sounded like fun. No fear. No reservations. No self-doubt. Pitching sounded like fun. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I tried something new, much less tried something new without worrying about failure.

The big game came and went. Was he perfect at pitching? Clearly not, he's still a beginner, but he had fun, proving his hypothesis correct. So, filled with courage borrowed from my son, I signed up for that Zumba class I've been dying to try but thought I was too clumsy, too jiggly, too out-of-shape, too WHATEVER to try. Am I nervous. Yeah. Unfortunately a fear of failure comes with being an adult. But I think Zumba sounds like fun and that is all that matters.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I'm Not Ready

Easter was bittersweet for me this year. Oh, there was the usual fun. DS and I dyed eggs, stuffed ourselves full of Peeps, visited the local farm to hunt down plastic eggs filled with candy and pigged out on Sunday dinner. And as we were watching HOP, he turns to me with his big brown eyes full of doubt and says, "Mom, is there really such thing as the Easter Bunny? Or do you just hide the eggs when I'm asleep?"

I was taken aback. I mean, I knew this day was coming. He's seven years old, most of his friends no longer believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny. Most claim to await visits from the Tooth Fairy for obvious financial reasons, but it's just lip service. DS has stretched out, lost his baby fat, has all his permanent teeth in the front. Yes, I knew this day was coming, but I dreaded it.

"What do you think?" I ask him. It's a deflection, I know. But I can't just blurt out the truth and stick a fork in the magic. I can't because I'm not ready.

This year's been full of things like that. I wasn't ready for him to say, "See ya, Mom." as he darted off from the school parking lot when only a couple years ago he'd ask me to walk him to class and beg for more hugs and kisses before I left.

I wasn't ready for Legos and sports posters to replace teddy bears and choo choo train wall decals. I wasn't ready for him to wolf down ten chicken nuggets instead of just four--though he still wants the Happy Meal toy so there's that comfort.

It seems like I blinked and Thomas the Train books were out, Diary of a Wimpy Kid in. And somewhere along the way Chuck E Cheese became too babyish. We'll be having a laser tag birthday party this year.

It's all going so fast. I flash back to the seven pound four ounce newborn who squirmed in my arms. He's four feet eight inches, seventy-five pounds now.

I ruffle his hair and kiss the top of his head, awaiting his conclusion. With a sly look out of the corner of his eye, he nods and murmurs, "It's the Easter Bunny."

I can tell he doesn't mean it, that he doubts his own words. I know he speaks softly because he's trying to deceive both of us and he's uncomfortable doing it. And I know he's fudging the truth because he knows I'm not ready.

But he's begun the process of packing away childish things...it's a warning shot across the bow. Manhood is coming. And I have to get myself ready whether I want to or not.