Thursday, June 09, 2011

Prep Work

It's been one of those nights...

John is sick (probably with the same lingering virus I'm just getting over) and has been extra clingy the last couple of days. Last night, he was so hopped up after a long mid-afternoon nap that he refused to settle down and go to sleep until around 10pm. Tonight he was down at 8, up at 10, and after I put him back in his bed at 11, was once again in ours at 2am--kicking me until I was wide awake.

You know how they say paybacks are hell? Yeah... I was once a kicker (and a foot wedger) too...

So it's 2:44, my half of the bed has been reduced to a quarter. Tuendi is laying between my ankles. Dove is sharing my pillow and any space left between me and John. Nose is running. Allergies are flaring. I am suddenly aware of all the different lights on in the neighborhood. And I realize that no matter what I do, I'm up--whether I like it or not.

So why not blog?

This has been one of the most productive weeks I've spent in recent memory. Most of it doing prep work for things going on in the future. When it comes down to it, I really love a good list. And I'm in my glory when I get to plan. I love a good plan, with an emergency backup plan B, and a plan C in case of a change in weather, and a plan D in case the other three plans all simultaneously unravel. I could plan all day long and never actually get anything accomplished and still be  happy. So to get to plan 1) a trip, 2) getting a puppy, 3)the boys' birthday party, 4) a book signing and 5) a novel... Well, I'm basically blissed out of my mind.

1) In early July, we're heading down to the Carolinas for a visit. I can't believe it's been a year since we were last there. Time has really flown, and I've felt so at home here that I didn't feel much compulsion to make the 14 hour drive to NC. But I really do miss my family and friends, and since Tom and I have family along the route south, our trip is turning into a grand tour of the eastern seaboard. This week I've been working on our itinerary,finding a cat sitter, figuring out what days we'll be where, coordinating visits, and making hotel reservations. Things have come together once we get to North Carolina, but I'm still waiting to hear from cousins in Pennsylvania to see whether they'll be home at the same time we're passing through.

2) It's official. We're definetely getting a puppy (from Tuendi's breeder in SC). I'm so excited that I'm totally beside myself. And it's not because I'm not happy with the pets we already have. It's more on behalf of the boys, who have no idea how much fun having a puppy will be. And excited for our family, because there is nothing quite so entertaining (to us) as funny puppy antics. We're homebodies to the core and love hanging out at home with each other. I invision a lot of playing in the backyard, walks in the park, and hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, taking our new puppy to the Earthdog Trials as a family. Sam is excited about the new puppy too, but in a surprisingly understated way--because he never does anything in an understated way. Last night at bedtime he told me he was looking forward to a dog that would sleep on his bed, play with him outside, and sit on the couch and watch Busytown Mysteries with him. But as he said it, he seemed skeptical that such a thing was likely to happen. He's grown up in a home with two dogs that made it very clear from the outset that they were for looking, not touching. And such a little thing as proximity is foreign to him. Were it not for his experiences with my aunt and uncle's Shi tzu, I'm sure Sam would never believe that dogs enjoyed his company at all. And that is sad. So while he is cautiously optimistic about the puppy, I am unabashedly preparing for its arrival, bringing home an armful of children's books on puppy care, obedience, and what we should expect. Every night I read them to him and John. Yesterday we went to Petsmart and loaded up on puppy supplies. The boys each got to pick out a new toy for the puppy, as well as its new collar and leash. We're also working on dog names--all of which (surprise, surprise) are shared by Thomas the Tank Engine characters. (Today's front runners: Gordon, Henry, Daisy, Rosie, and Henrietta) Now I'm researching dog temperment and how to pick the right puppy for our family (apparently middle of the road--neither the litter's alpha or omega--is best for small children). Did I mention I also love to research? It's just like planning, only more interesting...

3) The boys' circus-themed birthday party is June 25th. I only lack a few things now. Today while shopping for puppy supplies, we also went to the party store for plates, cups, utensils, and party games. I think I have just about everything now I need now. The only thing I lack at this point is a firm headcount. The next couple of weeks will be devoted to making all the things I need to make--like a big cardboard tiger head. I'm not sure of my artistic ability--so best to get an early start. :-)

4) The book signing for Beyond the Diaper Bag is scheduled for July 30th. Now for the fun part--planning for it. Wendi, my co-book signee, and I are still trading ideas on how to proceed. Today we brain-stormed ideas for a raffle.

5) But in the meantime, I finally decided that I was way in over my head with my novel. Since I wrote it in pieces here and there without any kind of outline or clue what I was doing with it, it morphed into 20-something thousand very disorganized words. Every time I tried to work on it, I would get all tangled up in the mess of it all and couldn't get anywhere without feeling like I had no idea what the heck I was doing anymore. The boys will be in half day summer camp in a couple of weeks, so I decided there was no time like the present to get my plot organized. Earlier this week, I created a fairly detailed outline for myself, so that, hopefully, I won't get lost in it again. Oh, and as if that wasn't enough writing success for one week, yesterday morning I woke up with a title in my head--and had this brilliant idea that I ought to self-publish my Master's thesis about therapeutic dog characters in YA literature. That's an idea I'm still mulling.

1 comment:

  1. i love your master's thesis topic!

    so sorry about the lack of sleep. i know it well. you used it much better than i do!

    i am glad to hear about your organization efforts on the novel. i have 30k nanowrimo mess waiting for me when i finish this current draft of my ms, which is going painfully slowly. i keep having ideas of how to outline and organize it, but am determined to finish this one project first.


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