Sunday, June 3, 2012

Spiders fly!

I haven't blogged in a while.  But, I have to share this harrowing story of the spider that can fly!

At work, they are cleaning the carpet this weekend.  So we have to move everything into a non carpeted area.  Chair mats, stuff under the desk, etc.  No big deal.  I did this on my way out.  When I got in the car, situating my phone, my glasses, my a/c, I noticed a small icky brown and black spider on my scrub shirt! I brushed it off.  First instinct, of course, never thinking of the consequences.

I'm on my way to visit my friend, and I'm on the phone with her when the same said little spider jumps on the steering wheel.  Jumps? From the floor? Huh? Well, this time, screaming was in order. Scared the crap out of me! I'm screaming and swinging at it with  my phone, swerving as I drive.  I can hear my friend yelling in the phone...SANDY!!!!  I'm sure she assumed the worst, and not the attack of the flying spider.  I was all hysterical of course, and she was irritated.  I got off the phone, onto the freeway and tried to...breath.

When my pulse calmed down a bit, I went to make another call.  I know....always on the phone when I'm driving.  I picked up the phone, and went to put my hand on the stick shift...and the flying spider landed on it!  The blood curdling scream I let out even scared me!  I'm pretty sure it lasted for more than a minute! My raw throat after ward proves it!  Again, I start whaling at it, and flicked it over to the other side of the car.  My breathing was labored, I was sweating...throat hurt, I was sure I was going to have a heart attack.  No! I would not let the spider kill me.  It was the size of a dime for heavens sake! Brown, with some black...hairy. UGLY. TERRIFYING!  Worse, it was still alive...and still in my car!!

I'm worried that it may have landed in my purse.  I'm afraid to look.  Maybe I gave it a heart attack! Maybe...well, I have to stop thinking about it.  The possibilities are endless.  None, which are good, unless the word 'dead' is in it.

I  re-posted a post the other day that said, "Aren't you glad spiders don't fly?'  I'm here to tell you that yes they do.  Spiders fly. Taunt.  Maybe even maim.   Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I wish.

Hello. It's my yearly 'this is why I do it' blog. Why October is so important to me, and why I feel breast cancer awareness is the key. Of course, it all starts with my mom. I know that I've told this tale many a time. My mom with advanced breast cancer. How it was found in the advanced stages because she ignored the lump. She let it go. Everything else was more important than the lump. That's how my mother was. She always put my dad and us before anything else, including her health. She was...Mom.

I blamed her not surviving on it being so long ago. There weren't so many ways to save the breast, to beat cancer, to win the war. She had a radical mastectomy. They just took out everything...lymph nodes, breast, and then some. They weren't as advanced in their medical technology as they are these days. If it had been later, I always think, it might have ended differently.

I did the 5k Race for the Cure last weekend. Surrounded by white and supporters and survivors. One of Andrea's friends mom was walking with her daughter, and i noticed as they raced away, that the mom had on a sign that said, I celebrate, 25 years. 25 years ago, she got breast cancer and survived! 25! My mom died 32 years ago. In my mind, that didn't seem so far apart. In my mind, and at that moment, I believed my mom could have survived. She didn't have to die. She didn't have to leave us at 46, to miss my wedding, and the births of my kids. Her precious great grandchild. But she didn't. Because she waited. Because she wasn't aware. She didn't know enough about breast cancer, and lumps and mammo's and how EARLY detection was the key.

The reality of that moment, was a bitter pill to swallow. It hurt. For a moment, I was 19 again, the age I was when my mom was diagnosed. I was filled with despair, fear, and...understanding. My mom didn't have to die. I then felt resentment. My mom didn't have to die. Only God knows if this is true or not. She may have died. Even if when she first felt the lump, and wondered what it was, even if she had gone to stupid Dr. O'campo, she may have died. Even if we had a better FP doc, one who recommended yearly mammograms, she may have died. Even if way back then, early detection was the key, she may have not been a survivor. But...she may have been. She may have been.

So, I will continue to harp on 'saving the tata's'. Feel your breasts, get to know those girls. If anything is different, go to the doctor. Even if it's's better to be safe than sorry. Because it doesn't just affect affects all of those around you. Not just for a day, or a month, or even a year. But for a lifetime.

I miss you, Mom. I wish I had been able to save you. I wish you had shared more with me. I wish you had told me that you had a lump, that you were scared, that you didn't know what to do. I may have only been 19, and I might have been scared and unsure, too, but we could have put our heads together to figure it out. We could have had more time together. We might have had the great relationship as adults that i have with my own daughter. I could have been different.

Feel your breasts, get your exams, and get your mammograms, even if you don't like them. Then, tell your mom to do the same. Your best friend. Your sister. Your daughter, your neighbor. Spread the word, so everyone is aware. I can't stress it enough. Early detection is the key.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I am a writer!

As I continue this journey into what I hope is publication, I have been learning a lot! Today I learned that to be a writer, is to believe you are one. To say it out loud...I AM A WRITER! I said it out loud, so it must be true!

I had the honor and privilege of talking on the phone with a 'real' writer. Jennifer Beichner. My boss/friend set up this meeting, and I can't thank her enough. Jennifer's love and passion for writing was contagious! She lives it, while I dabble in it. She taught me a lot in our twenty minute conversation, answered questions that I had rolling around in my mind, and I didn't even have to ask them! It led me to believe that all novice writers must have the same questions as they embark on the almost impossible quest to get that book published!

I learned that my book is too long. I had a feeling. Even as I was writing down the number 185,500 in my query letter, I kind of knew. Maybe I can do a sequel, she said. I should probably get my characters in a row (like ducks), and see how relevant they are in my story. They are totally relevant in my life, but maybe that many people to read about is too many. Will people get bored? Am I all over the page? Do my thoughts runneth over? These are questions always zinging around in my head, and talking to Jennifer helped settle them down a little bit and let me actually get some sleep!

I love my book. Don't get me wrong. I love the story of meeting a faceless man on the internet and he becoming the center of one's life. It's so...romantic. Until you throw in the ex-wife (who still makes me sigh), 3,000 miles, a not so tolerant family, and enough slap-stick comedy to make a movie! (Hmmm...) I'm going to reread it. I'm going to cut it in half. I'm going to adopt the passion and love that I could FEEL coming through the phone when talking to Jennifer, and incorporate it into my writing life. "When You Least Expect It" deserves that passion. I want it to work, and I want to put forth the best novel I can write.

So, back to the drawing board. It's time to attend a few workshops and maybe join a writer's club. It's time to step away from reality TV and spend some time revamping. It's time to get passionate. It's time to believe, I am a writer.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Maiden Voyage

I did it! After years and years of biting my nails trying to figure out the ins and outs of a synopsis and query letter...I sat down about a week ago and just did it!

Most of you know I am talking about my novel. When You Least Expect It. This novel is my sweat and tears. I love this novel. I loved writing reading it, and ok, loved living it. It's a part of me. The part of me that dreams. The part of me that hopes for something bigger. I decided it was time to try and share it with the world.

A few weeks ago, my high school/facebook friend sent me a wall post asking me whatever happened with the book. I told her about it a few years ago! It was random (or so I thought)and I kind of laughed it off, sending her a reply of, "I love you!" It's nice when people remember and makes me feel good. Two weeks later, I'm hanging out with my Whittier clan in California, and I get a text from an ex-coworker. I haven't heard from her in, oh, about a year. She asked me about my book! What had happened and if she could buy it on Amazon yet. LOL. This brought a huge smile to my lips, and deep thoughts afterwards. This was so random!! Or was it? Was God trying to tell me something. I have learned through many that there is no such thing as coincidences. I was being spoken to, and I decided I better listen.

While I was in CA, my PC crashed! It's older than dirt, yet holds my treasured novel. OH NO! But the husband assured me, he had it on back-up, so there you have it. During the week, he turned it back on for some reason, and lo and was back! Really? So, the following Saturday, while the husband was at work, I sat in front of the dinosaur and stared at the blank page. I had done this many a time where this query letter was concerned. I didn't know how to sell it, much less myself. I never got passed paragraph one. Never. Til that Saturday. I started typing and it just flowed from my fingers. It was pretty damned good. I read it a hundred times, and when I finally believed it...I cried. The excitement I felt that day was palpable. It's indescribable. When Bill got home and saw me sitting there, crying...he was so concerned. "Sandy", he asked, "what's wrong?" He got down on his knee to be ready to comfort me. "I did it," I answered. Being the awesome husband that he is, he smiled from ear to ear and said, "Your letter? You wrote your letter?" I just nodded through my tears. "I'm so proud of you!!" It was a very tender moment.

I then ran to the library to try and get the Writer's Mkt book. I knew the odds weren't with me, but felt I had to try. I have checked it out several times and always have to be on a waiting list. I even know where it is. It was minutes til closing, I ran to the spot. There it was. I almost imagined a glowing light from above shining down on it, with angels singing in my mind. The 2011 version was sitting there propped up in a book end. Coincidence? Luck? I think not. More like divine intervention.

Much drama in my life in the last week or so. I couldn't get back to it, but worked on some stuff and read that book. That excited feeling came back when I was reading about one of the agents. I don't know why. Nothing really stood out. But I felt that palpable excitement I spoke of earlier, and knew she would be my maiden voyage. I would start with The Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency. In Beverly Hills. It felt right.

I opted for an email entry. I tweaked the letter to her liking. I said everything I hoped she wanted to hear. I even tweaked the first ten pages of my book some. I copied, pasted, sweated and threw up a little. Then, I hit SEND. The worst was over...I was on my way.

I am finally ready to hear "no". I am ready to pursue this dream of mine. I am ready to know no matter what happens, at least I tried.

"Dreams are not those that you have while you are asleep . . . dreams are those that don't let you sleep until they are fulfilled."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Quick, Day ONE Self Portait

Celebrating my Independence...

30 day photo challenge

I kind of smiled when Diana posted on her first day that as of then, she was caught up. LOL. Then over the 4th, Andrea and Diana talked me into joining the now the race to catch up! So far, so good! (not)