All the mess we’re in…

Writing is hard.

Yes, we’re on this again.

It’s two-something in the morning as I write this and I’m not even close to being tired enough to go to bed. Which is great because I have an appointment at 10:15 and I’ll be good and exhausted for that. I had a surge of bad anxiety hit right before bedtime and…here we sit.

The obnoxious thing about it, is it was mostly innocuous nonsense that spiked the anxiety in the first place. But once I went to bed and tried to sleep, I lasted about an hour before I couldn’t stand to stay put any longer. So I got up and made tea, and I’ve been staring at a computer screen doing nothing productive since.

Par for the course.

Anyhoo.

Writing.

…) I’ve been trapped in the manic phase of the writing cycle for quite some time. I jump from project to project, unable to focus on any one thing long enough to make an impact. I read things I’ve written and think, “This doesn’t suck. Why am I not working on this one?” And then I jump to another folder because attention spans are for schmucks.

…) Basil finally seemed to run out of Tyler ideas and then decided to just piss right off. Because he’s an asshole. I suppose I only have myself to blame for conjuring a muse that’s a damn gremlin.

What?

…) I’ve been mulling over a new idea for the past…week?…or so. Though I don’t think I can really call it a new idea, as it really just pulls pieces of existing plotlines to cobble together a slightly different path for essentially the same group of characters. (Perhaps Basil’s well hasn’t run completely dry just yet.) I’ve felt hesitant to actually work on it, because it’s really just another iteration of the thing I’ve been stabbing at for well over a year at this point. Is this one going to actually work? Only one way to find out I suppose, but it’s difficult to get past the paralysis currently blocking my path.

…) There are two stories I actually really want to be working on. One…we all know which one. The other…has issues. I know what the issues are. I just don’t know how to fix them. I’ve tried to shoehorn half a dozen different subplots into it, only to throw them out after realizing none of them fit. It already has Tyler in it, as this was actually the very first Tyler disaster to hit the page. Part of me is beginning to wonder (and by beginning I mean yes, definitely) if Tyler is actually the problem in all of this. But if I’m being honest he’s actually the most interesting character of them all. By comparison at least. Hannah and Joel, as they currently exist, are just really, mind numbingly boring.

…) So where does that leave me? Here, I suppose. Writing this nonsense instead of the stuff I really want to be working on.

This is my brain and welcome to it.

From the time he learned to talk, it was difficult to get a word in edgewise. He was a social creature, always in the middle of the fray. He never had difficulty making friends or charming every last adult to cross his path. Now rapidly approaching his fifteenth birthday, he was practically mute. He rarely looked her in the eye. It was nearly impossible to get him to smile.

Part of her wanted to attribute it to broody teenage independence, but her gut told her it was so much more than that. His anxiety seemed to spike a lot more frequently and he was often agitated with no discernable triggers. He didn’t strike her as being depressed. Experiences with her youngest brother had given her a pretty solid reference point for identifying the signs. There was plenty of melancholy, but he seemed more annoyed than anything. When she prodded him for answers, he claimed he was fine—if he said anything at all—and more often than not, just rolled his eyes when she expressed her concern.

They’d always had a close and candid relationship. He’d always been able to talk to her about anything, no matter how awkward or upsetting it might be. Now he didn’t want to talk to her about even the most innocuous subjects. Change was inevitable she knew, but the changes he’d gone through were so completely out of character, they’d left her reeling. She had a theory or two, but she wasn’t sure if she was reading too much into things, so desperate for answers, or if the truth really was staring her right in the face, just waiting for her to speak first.

She felt helpless and clueless, in a constant state of worry that she was missing something obvious or doing something wrong. After nearly fifteen years, she thought she’d have more figured out when it came to parenting, but clearly that wasn’t the case. It was absolutely paralyzing. She knew it was futile to keep beating herself up over her struggle to communicate with her son. It wasn’t doing either one of them any good. However, she’d never been very adept at taking her own advice.


Yes. Hello. I realize you should be writing, but I would like some snacks.

What?

Damn these days…

Insomnia and anxiety are great, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

There are so many things I could be writing about, but they’re not getting written because I just don’t have the mental fortitude for it. I write plenty of posts dumping out raw emotions that never get published. They just sit in the drafts folder never to see the light of day. It feels better to purge my brain, and everything I write here, I write for me, but some things just don’t necessarily warrant public perusal. I haven’t kept a private journal in years—I’ve started many, but never maintained—I guess posts that sit unpublished serve that purpose these days. It works, I suppose.

Anyhoo.

Instead I’ve been writing.

… I’ve spilled several thousand words on a dumb fanfiction venture because sometimes you just need to give your brain a little reprieve and focus on something silly. It’s ridiculous and stupid and it entertains me endlessly.

… I’ve been plotting a way to combine two existing storylines into one. Separately they fall a little flat, but together they actually have some substance. But they’ve been tackled from so many angles over the years, I need to make sure I have my characters in order before I start pounding out words, or it will implode before I even really get started.

… It amuses me how inspiration can strike from even the most minuscule details. I read something that someone else wrote, and one, tiny little comment stuck in my brain that rapidly morphed and mutated into an entire storyline (or several, if I’m being honest). And while I thought it was just my warped imagination running rampant with exaggeration, months down the line, I’ve apparently hit the nail right on the head. Some people are just easy to figure out, I guess.

… I’ve been mulling over a number of ideas sitting in the active writing folder, seeking inspiration, wondering what I could do to make them work better. There’s one in particular that I really want to be working on. I have some stuff written for it (actual narrative!) that I really like, but the over-arcing plotline is just so boring that it’s really difficult to know what to do with it. I’m a total sucker for the everyday mundane, but this stuff is a total snooze-fest even for me.

… When I’m fumbling around trying to put together character lists or timelines, I retreat to my home architect program and start designing houses for these as yet unwritten stories. Or redesign existing floorplans to better fit the tales they’re intended for. I spend hours working on plans and perusing house plan websites for inspiration. It just adds to the excess of information I have rolling around in my head on any given story project that really has no relevance to the actual story, but it’s there if the need ever arises. And it’s much easier to describe surroundings if I have a visual reference to study.

… Writing. The bane of my existence and the love of my life. Both at the same time.

 

She’s such a piece of work—her husband too. She is totally one of those people that will carry on endlessly about how much she absolutely loves both of her children and she couldn’t possibly choose a favorite, but it’s blatantly obvious that she does favor one over the other to an extreme degree. In her case, she fawns all over her younger son, and her first born barely gets any attention by comparison. They’re always so irrationally harsh with him and I’ve never seen him do a damn thing wrong. I just don’t get it. He’s smart, he’s sweet, he works hard. He’s an amazing kid and his parents don’t see it at all. They’ll totally take credit for it if someone else points it out, but they don’t actually acknowledge that with him.

Really, at fifteen, he’s leagues smarter than his parents and they’re threatened by that. The only way they know how to cope with it is by trying to make him feel bad about himself, which is the one thing they’re actually good at. Every time they put him down I just want to throttle them. I don’t know how anyone can treat their own child like that.

I just want to hug the shit out of him and tell him he’s worth so much more and deserves so much better.

But who am I?

Just some virtual stranger with no clout to help him.

 

But that one night…

Contrary to the inanity that I write hereI don’t suck at writing.

That is not an easy thing for me to admit out loud. (Or in print on the internet, as the case may be.)

I am the queen of self-deprecation, and depression and anxiety like to try to convince me I suck at merely existing most days. I have a difficult time saying I’m a good writer without feeling like a complete fraud. Every time I put something out for the world to see—no matter how small an audience it reaches—I feel like I’m exposing myself for the hack I really am. This is why the best I can do sometimes is admit that I don’t suck. And even that is a challenge some days.

But believe me, it’s a drastic improvement from the way it used to be a few short years ago.

Personal growth and all that.

I used to do my best writing in the middle of the night. Inspiration would always strike when I should have been sleeping, and I would pound out pages and pages of text. Most of my very favorite things I’ve written were produced in the unholy hours, sitting by myself in the dark.

These days, with no job to kill my will to live on a daily basis, I can write at any time of day I want. Yet it’s still ingrained in me to want to write at night. As long as my computer is running, Word is open, and I tab in and out of it all day long. I get a lot of writing done throughout the day (writer’s block notwithstanding) but I’m more apt to feel the overwhelming drive to write the closer it gets to bedtime.

I’ve been going through my writing folder, attempting to summarize each active project. It’s a slow slog because I don’t always know how to adequately summarize my plot lines. I’ve also been skimming through each one, trying to find a decent snippet to pull out and pair with the summary. It’s not easy to find just a few lines—I want to pull entire scenes—especially when I have so much dialogue to sift through. But going through all of these projects, I find myself wondering…why did I stop working on this one?

When I go back and read through things I’ve written—in all their disjointed glory—I’m quite often surprised by what I find. More and more I like what I read. There’s still plenty of crap in there, but it’s much easier to find things that I actually LIKE.

I’m reminding myself why I’ve put so many hours into these stories. Why I started writing them in the first place. Why I keep torturing myself when I’m spinning my wheels at the bottom of the hill.

I’ve had a long-running love/hate relationship with my writing—I love to hate it. But the older I get, the better I get at writing, the more I appreciate the good stuff, and am able to forgive the WTAF-is-this stuff. There is still some truly terrible things buried in those files, but I don’t beat myself up as much, as often as I used to. I’m slowly learning to accept taking the good with the bad.

In writing, that is.

The rest of my life is still questionable.

 

Can’t remember a warm December…

…wait…

It’s been raining…a lot…so…warm December it is.

Minnesota. Rain. December. What.

Anyway.

No.

Wait.

I just looked out the window and it’s snowing.

Joy.

We took my ring in for its regular six-month inspection and they found a loose stone, so they had to send it out for repair. I am without my wedding ring for over two weeks. I don’t realize how much I fidget with my ring until I’m not wearing it. My hand is naked and I feel all weird and off. I am constantly aware that it’s missing. It’s not fun. At all.

It’s two something in the morning, I’m not tired, and I have an appointment at 10:15 tomorrow…today…whatever. So I’ll be in fine shape when I have to leave the house. I love insomnia. And by “love” I mean: EFFFFF YOUUUUU.

But! After Friday, Bob is on vacation for the rest of the year and I. Can’t. Wait.

I started writing a post about writing and it quickly devolved into indecipherable gibberish. After about a thousand words, I decided I should probably just stop trying to make it make sense. I should probably take that as a sign to forego the blogging and get back to the writing, but…this is me.

Home was the last place she wanted to go, but if Tyler was involved, Alison knew she had to be there. Her nephew had enough to deal with, with his mother. She didn’t need to put him in the middle of the stalemate between her and her husband.

The blessing and curse of living and working in such a small town was the time it took to get anywhere. Less than fifteen minutes from the time she’d hung up the phone, she was parked in the driveway, staring at the house she hadn’t slept in, in five months. She had just been here earlier in the day, but it still felt painfully foreign. She sighed heavily, throwing the car door open, and climbed out of the vehicle. Looking around, she realized her in-law family was all here too. She couldn’t even fathom what Natalie’s appearance had incited this time.

She headed for the front door, hesitating before entering, and was instantly met with loud barking as Isabel bolted towards her. She scooped up the dog, kissing her snout in an attempt to quiet the noise, and crossed the hall, finding the family spread around the living room and kitchen.

Parker stopped in front of her, kissing her temple, “Thanks for coming,” he said quietly.

“What’s going on?” she set the dog down, looking around the room, seeing her teenage nephew curled up in an armchair, stoic, staring blankly at the fireplace. He was rubbing his ear—a sure sign of stress and anxiety. She walked over to where he sat, leaning over the back of the chair to kiss his temple, “Hey Sweetie,” she murmured, smoothing his hair, also noting that his mother was nowhere to be seen. She stood up straight as Parker handed her a thin stack of paper, hesitant. She frowned, taking the document, and looked at the top page.

     Affidavit of Guardianship

She stared at the header a moment before continuing, confusion turning to nausea as she comprehended what she was reading. She looked up at Parker, finding him cautiously waiting for her reaction. She glanced down at Tyler, heart stuttering, wondering how much he actually knew about this. She turned to her husband again, stomach roiling.

Why?”

I don’t know,” he shook his head, looking down at their nephew, “She showed up unannounced. She said she was in a jam and she needed me to keep Tyler for the weekend. Then Mom found this envelope in their mailbox.”

“Is this a legal document?”

“It appears so. I’m pretty sure that’s a real notary seal on there. But I don’t…” he trailed off, shaking his head, rubbing his chest absently to abate the ache.

“You can tell me she’s not coming back. I know she’s not coming back.”

They both spun around as Tyler spoke suddenly. He was still focused hard on the fireplace, still rubbing his ear, expression pained.

Parker walked around the chair, kneeling on the floor in front of him, “Did she tell you she’s not coming back?”

Tyler shook his head, but didn’t look at him, “I know she’s not coming back.”

“Did she tell you where she’s going?”

“No. She didn’t tell me anything. She just packed that suitcase. She said she was bringing me here this weekend, but that’s all she said. I know she’s not coming back,” he drew in a ragged breath, looking up as Alison stopped behind Parker. He winced, looking at the papers she held, “What is that?”

Parker turned, looking up at Alison, and let out a slow sigh before facing his nephew again, “Your mom signed over guardianship of you to us,” he said quietly, “Liss and I are now your legal guardians.”

Tyler stared at him, silent, save for the hitch in his breath, and slowly shook his head. He pulled his knees tighter against his chest, wrapping his arms around his legs, as if trying to shrink himself. It was clear he was fighting hard not to cry. The utter devastation in his wide, hazel eyes made it feel like they’d just delivered the news that his mother had died. Though in some sick way, somehow that seemed preferable to the reality that she had—by all appearances—abandoned him.

Alison dropped the papers on the coffee table and moved around the chair. Leaning over the back, she wrapped her arms around him, kissing his temple, “I love you so much, you know that?” she murmured, kissing him again, “So, so much.”

Parker reached out, rubbing his arm, “We’re not going anywhere, Ty,” he said quietly, “We got you. You’ve got this whole family here who loves you so much. We will take care of you. We will figure this out.”

I’ve been building a soundtrack for this project that’s been eating away at my brain. It’s incredibly easy to find songs to fit Parker and Alison. Songs about broken relationships are plentiful as it just so happens. The dilemma…if I’m going to make this an accurate representation of the story, I need songs I can relate to Tyler as well. Though finding tunes that adequately fit a damaged teenager from the perspective of his caretakers are harder to find. I’ll have to keep looking, I guess.

(The Truth by Kris Allen with Pat Monahan)

I’m drinkin’ tonight…

Not really.

It’s just a Train song. (I really need to ask Bob to help me with getting the custom “now playing” field back on my posts.)

Though if I actually drank I probably would be blasted right about now. But I don’t. So I’m not. Alas.

Instead I’m sitting here at ungodly o’clock with a mug of tea steaming up my glasses and I’m pretty sure it’s mocking me.

The anxiety pit has been out in force for the past week or so and I can’t pinpoint exactly what’s causing it. It hasn’t been this bad in quite some time so it’s throwing me all out of whack. But I gotta say, I haven’t missed it or its glorious side effect of physically gagging at the mere thought of putting food in my mouth. I’ve lost six pounds because of it. Which I wish I could be happy about, but I feel like absolute shit, and I’ll gain it back as soon as the pit finally clears and I can eat without wanting to hurl all over everything. Bob and I have spent a good chunk of time puzzling this out, trying to pinpoint some sort of trigger, but we’re coming up nil.

I guess that’s why they call it Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Severe anxiety for no discernible reason whatsoever, but you’re ready to start hucking rocks at people.

It both sucks and blows and not in the fun way.

Pat Monahan is helping. (Oh Red Rocks…I wanna go back.)

*ahem*

Anyway.

I’ve been writing things. Not a lot by any means, but a newer take on an old idea with a lot of new…ish parts factored in has currently caught my attention. And I’m not going to argue with several thousand words in less than a week when I’m lucky if I get a handful on any given day. I spent a good chunk of time this weekend talking at to Bob about this project because I was having a difficult time figuring out the conflict between the two main characters—because I really don’t know how to write conflict of any kind—and while he doesn’t know much about writing, he’s gone through a lot of conflict resolution training at work and was able to apply it to my dilemma. Having a husband to indulge my crazy is the greatest thing ever.

My writing tends to follow trends over time and as of late I’ve been putting in a lot more kids. As in, main characters have them. Usually snarky teenagers. It still screws with my head, because we all know how I feel about catching pregnancy, but it doesn’t stop me from writing it. I have a tendency to write about vomit too, and we all know how vomit gives my panic attacks panic attacks.

ANYWAY.

It’s been twenty-some-odd years (give or take) since I was a teenager and I really have no clue how to write them. (I barely knew how to write them when I was one.) Because I’m apparently a relentless glutton for punishment, I’ve found myself reading twitter feeds and tumblr blogs written by teenagers, and then I find myself reevaluating my life from the things I have learned.

1.) The memes. They are endless. And I do not understand the reference to most of them.

2.) Tumblr is beyond my realm of comprehension.

3.) I really would not survive being a teenager in this modern age. I barely survived the 90’s and the assholes I went to school with. If the people I went to school with had, had access to the technology kids have now…oh ye gods it would have been an even bigger nightmare than it was and I didn’t even think that was possible. God speed, Kids. I do not envy you in the least.

4.) Like, can you not?

5.) Reading things written by a fifteen-year-old makes me feel like a creepy old woman. Because I probably am.

No matter how much I want to hug the shit out of them for being so bloody adorable, if I need to research teenage behavior, I should probably stick to the ones I actually know. I’ve got three of them at my disposal. Even if it leads them to [justifiably] believe that Auntie Sara is out of her freaking gourd.

Willing to bet it…

Listing…

1.) Insomnia is a royal bitch.

2.) Every twenty-eight days, my uterus tries to kill me. This may or may not be a large contributor to list item number one. Currently, at least. The rest of the time is a mixed bag of fun. And by fun, I mean EFFFFFF Youuuuuu.

3.) Somebody told me recently that I’m young in terms of changing my mind about having kids. I’m 35. So…no. No I’m not. But thanks.

4.) Trying to write things and am continually reminded that I am absolute horseshit at writing narrative.

5.) I’m drinking peppermint tea. And because my brain hangs onto ridiculous things, all I can think anytime I drink mint tea is smells like pot…

6.) I have been listening to the same band for three months straight. As in not listening to anything else. I know it’s getting to the point of excessive when Bob starts singing along to whatever I’m listening to.

7.) I’ve had grocery bags full of books sitting in my living room for an inexcusably long time. They were transferred from my parents’ house and I finally went through them. I have only actually read a handful of them, and more of them I don’t even remember buying. There are a lot of books off the bargain rack at Barnes & Noble. I picked out what I plan to keep (which could be further whittled down at a later date) and put the rest back into grocery bags to be eliminated in some fashion…donated…somewhere. And I still have boxes stashed in the second bedroom full of books that moved from the previous two places I’ve lived with Bob. There are likely a whole lot more to be eliminated from that pile too.

8.) I self-medicate by spending money. This is a realization I finally figured out within the last couple of years. I spent so much money on so much shit I never needed—so much shit I don’t even remember buying—and now I have the privilege of going through all of it and purging the tangible evidence of my personal shame from my life. And by privilege, I mean soul-crushing regret.

9.) Clinical depression. Don’t recommend it. At all.

10.) One night…recently…I was laying in bed, trying to get to sleep, and suddenly, I HAVE THE PERFECT SOLUTION FOR OUR DVD STORAGE! And then I was wide awake, so I got out of bed and started searching Amazon for supplies. I have condensed 300-ish movies down into one 10×14-inch box by eliminating the plastic cases and putting the discs into sleeves. I’ve kept the bigger boxed sets in tact because they are already pretty space efficient, but now instead of two overflowing bookcases of DVDs, there’s roughly one shelf. Which will make shopping for living room furniture (new TV stand, bookcase, end tables) much more flexible since we don’t have a few hundred movies to contend with.

11.) I’m currently working on doing the same with my CD collection. It’s much slower going. I have way more CDs than DVDs, and there is far less existing organization happening. The music isn’t going to fit into just one box, but even filling two is going to take up so much less space than a few hundred jewel cases.

12.) We have a lot of plastic to recycle now. Fortunately it can all go out with our regular recycling…over several weeks. Did you know that CD jewel cases are recycled into cassette tapes? Because when you recycle plastic, you also travel back in time. Apparently.

Give it more than a try…

Listing…because insomnia.

Sleep is for the weak.

1.) I’m listening to The Monkees. Because I like them.

2.) I have an itchy, scaly Proactiv Patch around my left eye. I’ve been coating it in Cetaphil, but my paranoia is in overdrive. It’s been 14 years since Proactiv Solution corroded my face off, but that is exactly how that clusterfuck started.

3.) I’ve been stabbing at some stylesheets for different blog themes. I’ve lost most of my ability to read CSS. Also whoever designed these particular themes has so much extra crap in their code (and no comments FFS), it takes forever to weed through the shit to find the pieces I want to edit. It doesn’t need to be that complicated, idiots.

4.) We’re going to Bemidji in three weeks to see O.A.R. live. Because seeing concerts at local venues is overrated apparently (See: Train at Red Rocks). Also I’m not risking them not coming through town again on their inevitable summer tour (See: Train and Matt Nathanson) or coming through and playing a fekking venue with no reserved seating (See: ANDY GRAMMER). Also I just REEEALLY want to see them and the opportunity is right there (or three hours away as the case may be) and when I posed the question to Robert, his response was essentially you know where my credit card is. We’ll be staying in a hotel for a night because we’re not making a three hour drive home after a concert.

I am stupidly excited.

5.) We finally finished watching the final season of Being Human. So very, very many sharks. So very many Sam Witwer sex scenes. (That second part is not a complaint…ahem…)

6.) A month ago insomnia spurred the brilliant idea to start watching The Flash. I watched every available episode and then started watching it over again with Bob. I fully expected campy, but the sheer volume of SHARKS in that show is ri-god-damn-diculous. Especially in the episode from last week. Why didn’t you just make that third gun shoot sharks, CISCO??? Bob’s not really crazy about the show, but he’s more in it for the entertainment of watching something together. And he keeps predicting every (predictable) thing before it happens and that is amusing to me.

7.) As a concession, I started watching The Walking Dead. Bob’s been watching from the beginning, but I haven’t been on board because ech can we please be DONE with the damn zombie movie/show/whathaveyou epidemic? He’s been trying to convince me all along to start watching, but I’ve been a hard sale. I decided to give it a shot and agreed to watch the first season. I’m still not entirely sold—none of the characters have really caught my attention—but we just started season three. And Bob’s so excited to be watching it with me, I’ll stick with it just for the chance to see the goofy grin he gets while talking about it. I spend a lot of time saying WTAF and AYFKM, the walkers are absolutely disgusting, and I keep having dreams about zombies, but dammit, it’s all for the love of my effing adorable husband.

8.) Watching The Flash got me curious about Arrow. (The former is a spinoff of the latter.) Since we’ve caught up on Barry Allen and his plethora of sharks, we started watching season one of Arrow. It’s far less campy and fluffy than The Flash, and the acting is far better. The tone is more serious, but there are still some pretty ridiculous aspects. We’re only a few episodes in, but it seems decent so far. Non-douchebag Oliver is more likeable than I expected and I think Digg will probably be my favorite. We shall see how things go.

9.) The other day I was brushing my teeth and noticed a bright white something sitting on the counter next to the soap dispenser. I picked it up and discovered it was one of my blood pressure pills. I have no idea how it got there, but when I counted the pills in the bottle, it was the correct number. At some point apparently I missed my mouth with one and it managed to land in a somewhat baffling location without my noticing. Granted they’re tiny pills I can swallow without water, so missing my mouth and not noticing isn’t too far of a stretch of the imagination, but the location it landed in was weird. I have no idea what day I actually missed, but I was hit with a killer headache about 4AM that same morning, so it could have been the day before and my blood pressure went wonky on me while I was trying to sleep. I checked it after I discovered the rogue pill and it was 115/79 so it was perfectly fine at that moment.

I’m far more fixated on the mystery pill than I should be, but this is me.

I guess I’ll never know.

Been off that track…

It’s after six in the morning. I haven’t slept. The in-laws are supposed to be coming over right around the time Bob has to leave for work so his dad can beat Joel the Obstinate and Cursed Jetta (TM) into submission.

Or hook up his battery charger.

Whichever.

It’s Monday.

I’ve been working on a story project for the past few months that is a very slow slog. I am actually quite in-like with what I’ve written on it so far. One of the issues I’m running into with it (aside from the never-ending writer’s block in general) is where exactly I need to end it. My original plan had a pretty clear cutoff, but the farther I get into it, the less sure I am of where that cutoff should actually be.

Kate’s dad dies. (Yes, another Kate…shoosh.) Her Jewish-When-She-Needs-To-Be mother decides the family (five kids, plus spouses and offspring) needs to sit [unofficial] Shiva following the Catholic funeral. (There’s a reoccurring discussion of hypocrisy in the Baylor family house.) In the time they are together, things come to a head between Kate and her over-critical mother—and again with the even more overly critical grandparents. There is also the issue of the youngest sibling’s addiction problem resurfacing and the strain it’s causing on his marriage. And Kate’s ex-husband is suddenly back in the picture. She called him to tell him about her dad and now things are changing.

Things were supposed to end as life was starting to return to normal post-bereavement. Then the Kate and Ex-husband Marc aspect started to take up more importance. And for awhile I thought I knew where to cut off the story with that—entertaining the prospect of reconciliation. But the more I fill in the story, the more I realize, more needs to be said.

The big question being: how much more?

I could possibly condense it into a…lengthy…epilogue. I guess it would depend greatly on just how much conflict I want to dredge up between them in the process. Marc is the one who ended things and if he wants his wife back, he needs to regain her trust. Trust is something that Kate struggles with beyond measure for many reasons. It’s going to be a monumental feat on both sides of the table and clearly not something that is going to [realistically] happen overnight. But slogging through the everyday mundane aspects of life while that trust is rebuilt doesn’t really make for a very interesting story. I could go so far as to tell it all the way to them living together again, and possibly getting remarried, but aside from intermittent conflict…it would be kind of boring. (Not that the Cliff’s Notes is all that exciting as it stands, but I’d read it.)

I could also divide the story into parts that would make a significant time jump less jarring, but it’s really actually two separate stories. The plan as is, is about the death of her father and how the family copes in the early days. The reconciliation is basically a spinoff of that. The overarching story isn’t Kate and Marc. It’s Kate navigating around her mother, interactions with her brothers, and finding a (new?) place for her ex-husband, all while trying to come to terms with her dad being gone.

At this point I’m probably just over thinking everything and I should really just shut-up and WRITE.

“Mom, relax. Everything’s fine.”

Marc watched Kate as she walked out of the kitchen, phone pressed to her ear. He shook his head, turning to Darren sitting at the counter, finding him eyeing him critically.

“Gotta say, it’s kind of weird seeing you here. This is where she really picked up and started over—new house, new car, new dog. It was when she finally started showing signs of life again. Now suddenly…you’re back…and here.”

“I don’t know if back is the right word,” Marc rubbed his chest absently, leaning against the counter behind him.

Darren sat up straight, “Are you saying this is only temporary?”

No,” Marc’s eyes widened and he shook his head, “God I hope not. I’m just…right now I’m letting her dictate how things go. I don’t want to force anything on her. If she tells me to get lost, then I will. I don’t want to, but I will. I can’t hurt her again.”

“Do you want her back?”

“More than anything.”

“Have you told her?”

“Sort of. I’m kind of afraid to. I don’t want to scare her off.”

“I don’t think you’re going to scare her off. She invited you into her house. She might not be ready to just pick up where you left off, but she’s opened the door to the possibility.”

“And how do you feel about all this?”

“Me? Why should my opinion matter?”

“Because it matters to her. If her brothers aren’t happy with it, it’s definitely going to influence her feelings on the matter.”

“Not as much as you think. But we’re all pretty much on the same page on this so far. If you’re over your selfish-prick-existential-crisis, then we’re cautiously optimistic something good can come from this. Something broke in her when you left. She’s gotten better over time, but she is not the same person she was with you. Since you’ve been around, there are definite changes in her. Signs of the old Katie we thought were long gone. If you break her heart again, we will kill you. But if you’re here to stay—in whatever capacity you both agree on—then welcome back. Believe it or not, we all missed you.”

Marc swallowed hard to dislodge the sudden knot in his throat, “I’ve missed you guys too. I didn’t realize just how much until I saw you all again. I really hate that it took losing your dad to make this happen.”

Darren sighed tiredly, nodding, “Dad really loved you. He was devastated when you left. But he was always a strong proponent of better late than never. He would have loved to see you and Katie be able to reconcile. But I think he’ll be able to rest easy knowing that you’re here to take care of her now that he can’t. She’s by no means helpless, but she doesn’t need to be so goddamn independent all the time. She could stand to give up control once in awhile.”

Marc snorted, shaking his head, “She never gave up control when we were married.”

“Fair point,” Darren shrugged, “But she could use a partner to share the load. Even better if it’s someone who knows how to take care of her properly when she really needs it. She’s tough as nails and a whole lot tougher than she gives herself credit for, but she deserves to be taken care of too.”

When I first starting working on this project, every time Kate and Marc were mentioned together (in the story, in my head, wherever) it sounded strange to me. It bugged me for a long time before I finally figured it out.

Kate and Marc are the “famed” Jenkins siblings producing music almost exclusively for Chance Records artists.

They are in…a lot…of different stories.

Seven…if I go through all my folders and find new, old, and stalled projects.

I’m so used to them being brother and sister, pairing two characters with the same names together in a romantic capacity just seems a little weird.

Doesn’t mean I have any plans to change those names.

But weird nonetheless.

Four in the morning and I’m staring at the stars…

The only light connecting me to where you are…

I don’t know how many different posts I’ve started and deleted lately. I feel the overwhelming need to write something, but…I got nothin’.

Nothing coherent, at least.

No, no. Less coherent than usual.

It’s four-something in the morning and…guess who’s not sleeping? I had a few nights in a row in bed at least. And it’s now Friday so…weekend.

Emerson Mouse and I (Do you think I sit here alone all night?) have been whiling away our sleepless hours watching painfully awkward music numbers.

Glee videos.

We’ve been watching Glee videos.

I don’t even watch the show but I’m a sucker for Kurt and Blaine duets (okay, Artie too…), and they’re the only reason I know any One Direction songs, which should make my baby Ellie proud.

Or something.

I should really get back to the Ryan Star listening. He’s been working on shoving O.A.R. out of the way for the past couple of days. (Not entirely. I’m not ready to let go of them just yet…and now I’m imagining a Ryan Star and Marc Roberge collaboration…and picturing Richard On playing guitar on these songs…and…I should probably just stop…)

I couldn’t tell you what exactly it is about that man’s voice, but hot damn.

So many inappropriate things I could say.

But I won’t.

For now.

*ahem*

What?

Picking just one song is damn near impossible.

Erm…

Probably should have picked THAT ONE.

Won’t let it bend…

Oh hey, Insomnia.

How’s business?

I have some expletives and rude gestures for you.

*AHEM*

ANYWAY.

a.) Emerson Mouse and I are sitting here, done with our lukewarm tea, staring at 6AM on the clock and not feeling the least bit tired. We went to bed at our regular time and never fell asleep. Two-plus hours later, we got up and here we sit.

Yes, the “we” in this scenario is me and a stuffed animal.

Does this surprise you?

It shouldn’t.

b.) We’re getting a new dishwasher installed on Saturday and the kitchen is currently a disaster. Not because the dishwasher doesn’t work. (It does. Sort of.) Just because we are lazy and terrible at doing things. The machine has many flaws and defects and it’s been a problem child since we moved in. The rinse agent compartment leaks both into the basin and on the outside of the door. (I’m pretty sure that’s a safety hazard.) The “short wash” cycle smells like something is burning. (Again. Safety hazard.) Anything plastic comes out with a white film on it and tasting like soap. And anything on the top rack tends to come out with mystery crud on it that wasn’t there before it went into the machine. (Even after vent cleaning and vinegar/baking soda.) The dishwasher needs replacement and our “big ticket budget” is currently funded for such matters.

c.) We also bought an air compressor and are ordering an automotive battery charger because Joel the Obstinate and Cursed Jetta (TM) is currently sitting dead in the garage (AGAIN) with two questionably low tires.

God. Dammit. Joel.

d.) I’m due for my annual physical and out of refills on important pills. And since my regular doctor of seven years left last summer, I still need to decide which [closer to home] clinic I’m going to switch to and which doctor I want to try seeing.

e.) Adulthood is overrated.

f.) In writer’s block news…still blocked. Though my brain is currently turning on an existing project and a possible character overhaul that may or may not be a bad idea. I’ll have to actually try it out and see how it goes. It can’t be any more of a train wreck than every other project I’ve spilled onto a page.

g.) Haphazard lists are much easier than coherent paragraphs.

h.) This wavy hair business was not there before I had it cut. Where the hell did it come from? It’s weirding me out.

Also I really need to work on my white balance because my hair is not that red. Not even close.