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Dear Diary:

6

September 20, 2012 by Renee

I used to keep a diary. In fact, I had several. Once upon a time, these journals were safely stored in some boxes at my parents’ house, but then they vanished during a move. I often wonder if someone read those journals, then I try to recall if I used any real names…

Anyway, The Edge is my new diary, just not a secret one. I kind of like that better. You all might not enjoy the ramblings, but I’m amused and really, that’s a good thing. I’ve been horrible at keeping it updated lately and I apologize. September has been a rough month and I suppose I just got lazy. But fret no more. Here I am updating you on the exciting drama that is my life.

So during the first part of this month I lost a few friends and—funny how we say that; ‘lost.’ I mean, they aren’t lost. No need to send out a search party or anything. They’re exactly where they’re supposed to be, right? What I should say is I alienated or offended folks and thus pissed them off and they will never speak my name again because they hate me and spit on the ground I walk on and curse my ancestors and whatnot. Yeah, that’s more like what I did. No matter. The point is that started September off with a pile of bullshit. Live and learn.

Moving on.

The washing machine broke around that time too. That’s all I have to say about the washing machine. I’m to blame, and that’s all that we all need to acknowledge. The little whatchamahoosit in the hot water tap for the tub is busted too, but it’s been busted for a couple of months. Not my fault. So for the past month or so we’ve had to shut the hot water off when we’re not using it, or it just pours out of the tap. When we’d like to shower or wash dishes or whatever one might use hot water for, we must go down to the basement and turn the tap on. Then you’ve gotta do whatever it is you’re doing right away. With the tap constantly running, you’ve got about 5.7 seconds of hot water so use it wisely. When we’re done with our hot water activity, we must go back down to the basement and shut it off.

I think we’re fixing that this weekend. And by “we” I mean Kurt.

Speaking of hot, when school started I realized, as I walked the kids up the hill on those chilly September mornings, that I had no real shoes. I’m not naming names *cough—Court* but someone wrecked the only real shoes I had left. So it’s flip-flops and freezing toes for me every morning. I think we’re getting shoes this weekend too. And by “we” I mean me. I’m getting shoes. I don’t even care what they look like. I just want to put socks on and you can’t do that in flip-flops. My mom calls them thongs, and that’s just wrong. Just saying. I have other shoes, like heels and shit. But those aren’t sensible and they don’t look right with a hoody. You know, I like living the life of a writer, but the life of a poor writer who can’t even buy shoes is not good. But it’s not that I can’t buy shoes. I’m not that poor. It’s that I haven’t gotten around to it because you can’t buy shoes in Tweed. You have to buy them online or travel somewhere else that has stores that sell shoes. Winter is coming. I need real shoes.

Speaking of school (yes, I just did like a paragraph ago), Kennedy comes home last week, barely two weeks into the school year, and she’s all snotty and fevered and I’m all “Fuuuuuck.” because she’s sick and I know she’s going to pass it on to me. (It’s all about me) And by “going to” I mean she’s passed it along already. So now we’re all snotty and fevered and it’s really quite gross. And at the school, a friend was waiting for her kids and she looked really pissed when I arrived. She explained that she was trying to fight the urge to punch one of the Breeders. (Never mind, it’s a long story) Turns out this other woman was all angry and offended at the school’s policies on sick kids and such. She’s like, “They sent my daughter home today because she had a fever. I had to come pick her up and take her home. For a fever! Well, my son is way sicker than she is. I sent him to school with green snot coming out of his nose. I don’t care what the fucking school says about it.” Or something along those lines.

Well I wanted to wipe my snotty nose right across her face. What does she have to do all day that she couldn’t keep them home? Work? Pfft. Not hardly. I understand taking a day off work is not possible for some parents, I’ve been there. So unless the kid isn’t breathing or there’s an appendage hanging off or massive amounts of blood, they kind of have to try to send them to school. But when you do nothing all day long but have kids and bitch about school policies and how inconvenient not getting other people’s kids sick is for you, I think you could manage to keep your kid home for at least a day. I kept mine home. Two days. I work at home. Do you know how much work I got done those two days? None. Exactly. And what about her poor kid? Green snot? He probably felt like shit. How about Mom thinks about him for five seconds? Jesus woman, a day in bed would make him so much better. And I don’t think his presence for a few extra hours would kill you or put a damper on your busy fucking day.

Anyway, amid all of this nonsense, I am writing. Stuff mostly. A little bit of such too. I saw that one of the Harper Collins imprints is having an open submissions period in October and I was all “Yes!” but then I looked at my files and the glitter wore off my glorious enthusiasm. Just a little bit. They really only want fantasy or sci-fi (I think…was sci-fi listed? Don’t know. Doesn’t matter because I have no sci-fi) and I have one manuscript that’s paranormal. Well, I have three but only one is worthy of reading. They say in their guidelines we can submit other genres, but we have to check “other” in the submission form. Now I’m thinking as I read that, I could submit the other stuff and check “other” but then what happens? What if checking “other” gets you a one-way ticket to the junk pile? What about that, eh? So then you’re doing all the filling out of forms and getting your hopes up for nothing. But if you don’t submit the stuff, and other folks do and they don’t get sent to the junk heap and get the contract you should have had, well you’ve just missed an opportunity because you’re a lazy asshole.

I’ll submit anyway. Well I might. Depends on the submission form. If it’s like an hour long filling out of nonsense, I may change my mind. That’s how I roll sometimes.

Moving on.

The Harper thing is fantastic news. I’m happy to have the opportunity. Might be another dead end, but I’m okay with that. Just another rejection for the collection and I do so love those. Like getting punched in the face. Who wouldn’t go asking for that? Did you know that the other night when I was trying to sneak out of Kennedy’s room, I ran into the edge of the open door? Of course you didn’t. Well, it hurt. The edge of the door is far worse than the front or back. It’s because I can’t see in the dark. Not the worse part, the running into the edge of the door part—that happened because I am dark-impaired.

Anyway, the next day I was reading more bullshit on this sock puppetry stuff. I truly do wonder at the common sense of anyone who puts too much faith in subjective opinions, but anyway, it is what it is.  Personally I think the “I’ll review yours if you review mine” shit that’s gone on forever is just as skeevy. But maybe that’s just me. Did you know there’s talk of burning Fifty Shades of Crap books in the UK? I mean, it’s bad yeah, but shit. Why you gotta go burning stuff? It’s not THAT bad. You should all just stop that nonsense now. You don’t like it, then don’t read it. Burning shit makes people curious. Now sales are going to be nuts. Honestly…put the matches down and get a life.

So back on the home front, every time my dad goes to the doctor, they find worse news to share. Yes I’m sad, but life is life and cancer is a bitch.

Moving on.

The other night this strange number kept calling and I never answer those. Actually, I never answer anything. So they finally left a message as I was in the garage trying to ignore everyone. Kurt comes out and he’s all, “That was the Heart and Stroke foundation. They’re looking for canvassers.” I’m like, “And? I’m not doing it.” Kurt’s like, “It’s just River Street.” So I say, “Um…no. You can do it.” He’s all, “But think about it, you can go meet the neighbors, and make new friends.” I’m like, “I don’t need friends. Definitely not friends who live close enough to irritate me.” And he’s all, “That’s what I thought.” and he leaves. So whatever that meant. I’m all for the Heart and Stroke foundation and the good that they do, but I am not a canvasser. Nope. I’ll donate but I am not the door-to-door, nicey-nice type they need. I’m pretty sure most of my neighbors don’t like me anyway. I don’t know, but it’s possible. I don’t talk to most of them. Just like a handful. They’re all very nice people, but I don’t think asking them for money is going to make us all closer and I don’t want to be closer anyway. I like that they stay in their yard and I stay in mine. It works. You know?

Speaking of yards, that reminds me of the little asshole present we got in ours last year. Buddy the Satanic Bastard cat still shits on my floor regularly. We’ve discovered he’s found a way into the crawlspace—aka: his own private litter box—again. It’s not the cleaning of the poop that’s so bad; it’s the fact that the crawlspace is all of three feet high. I’m six feet …do the math. And that cat has giant mutant shits. It’s not right. A little cat like that shouldn’t push out logs bigger than the dog.

Yet, I still can’t let myself allow him to escape to the mercies of outside. What the hell is wrong with me? One open door and all of my problems are solved. Right? The dogs, the cats, a kid or two…think of the possibilities. Except, they’d all come back. I know it. And they’d probably come back with something terrible like rabies. No I don’t need that thank you very much. I haven’t kept the kids updated on their rabies shots.

Yes, moving on.

I’ve queried a few agents with Jack, and the frustrating general consensus is that the writing (when I send sample chapters) is good, and the story is appealing, but the concept just not marketable in their opinion. One of them even said something about “overdone.” Gasp! What the fuck happened to taking risks, asshats? Eh? Jack will sell. I know it. Frustrating so-and-so’s. I’ll show you.

Right now, as I type this, there is much screaming and crashing and general chaos in my house. I don’t know what’s going on because I’m in the garage. That’s where I “work” and avoid things like the kids and the dogs and housework…anyway, it’s troubling and something else might get broke. So inside I’ll go…

…and the dogs pulled a box of vegetable crackers off the table. Bear is wearing it like a muzzle. Nice. It’s all his now. The cats are on the table watching him. Cats on the table. Sigh. The crashing wasn’t from that though. That is a mystery. Perhaps I’ll find out later.

And speaking of mysteries, can anyone explain how one loses a whole dress? I suppose a half of a dress would be weirder…but that’s not important. I’ve lost a dress. Not like you take it off in some random place and forget to put it back on because you’re drunk or trying to escape, but like you took it off in your own home, late at night, because you came home from a wedding, where you didn’t even get drunk, and you were going to bed and so you took it off nicely and put it somewhere, but that place obviously wasn’t anywhere in your house. Yeah, like that. I’ve looked everywhere for this dress because it’s awesome and it was expensive and I plan to wear it again someday and I really hate not knowing where the hell it went, and I just can’t find it. It’s not in any of the closets or under anyone’s bed. It’s not tucked under the couch or in the garage. It’s not in the dog crates or stashed in the laundry room. It’s not hanging or lying in the closet and it’s not in any dressers. Where did it go? I’ll let you know when I figure it out. If anyone ate it, I’m opening that door. Swear to God. I am.

So it’s time to take the kids to school and I think that’s all that’s happened since my last post. Sure, there were odds and ends, but those are boring. Not exciting shit like I’ve just shared. What’s new in your world?
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6 thoughts on “Dear Diary:

  1. Adam Gaylord says:

    I have your dress. It's a little tight through the shoulders but it makes my butt look awesome. You can have it back when you post the link to the Harper-Collins call for submissions.

  2. Renee Miller says:

    Oh it made my butt look awesome too! It's such a nice dress. That was terrible of me to mention such a thing without a link, so here you are: http://harpervoyagerbooks.com/harper-voyager-guidelines-for-digital-submission/

  3. Vero says:

    I came home with rabies last summer, it's some nasty shit. Unfortunately it ate too quickly through my flimsy brain and I couldn't be saved. So my Andy replaced me with one of the clones waiting in stasis in the basement. I suspect he tweaked my conditioning a bit, cause every time his stomach growls I march into the kitchen. I miss you. :)I'm fighting through the end of my WIP, already lost a limb and half my mind, but I'll be done soon if all goes according to plan and I don't get in some accident involving the oven and have to be replaced again.

  4. I'll probably list Harper Voyager in the OWW newsletter, but I'm kind of leery about the mileage an author will get with them.No where did it list royalties or percentages. It might be a nice way to get your foot in the door, but the Big 6 have been historically stingy to the extreme when it comes to royalties. You'd get better returns from a small press. Most of them offer 35-40%. I don't want to dismiss them, but I have a feeling they're just playing catchup because Amazon is eating their cupcakes.

  5. My car is in limbo, once again, so in order to get to work, I have to rent a car, eating up half the money I'll make tonight. So close to vacation, then even closer to moving. I can't fucking wait.My writing is moving slowly, but surely. I submitted a short story to those douchenozzles who continue to reject me because I'm stubborn as hell, and I got some great material for my creative nonfiction project from an hour long chat with my grandpa last night. He cracks me up.Oh and that whole interview thing was pretty awesome.But I want my fucking car back because being stranded in the house with a child and an annoying dog are just as close to hell as I think you can get.

  6. Renee Miller says:

    Vero: I knew something was…unusual about you. I miss you too. 🙂 Maria: I suspected the same as you. A foot in the door would be nice, but you're right, one has to weigh the pros and cons. That there were no royalties or any other info of that type listed did make me pause. But a single manuscript, a single shot, is still worth taking. As long as you go in with your eyes open, right? Kat: Oh muffin. The luck situation will turn. It has to. I think those douchenozzles (and I know who they are) have no idea what talent is. There. I said it. And the interview thing was the awesomest ever.

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Renee

Renee

I like to write stuff. Sometimes it's funny. I've published some novels and short fiction. I also battle an addiction to cake and potato chips, and I sometimes have inappropriate fantasies involving Kevin Spacey.

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