I Was a Male War Bride…

Or how I came to believe relationships should be combative (both in real life and in books).

First order of business – this is my 100th post!

Second order of business – War Bride.
The twincesses are sick and I had insomnia last night, so I watched an old favorite, I Was a Male War Bride, starring Cary Grant and Anne Sheridan, a black and white romantic comedy from shortly after World War II.  The basic premise is a French Army captain (Grant as Henri Rochard) and an Army Lieutenant (Sheridan as Katherine Gates) have had a rather colorful (and I’m not kidding – in pre-movie time, Rochard found himself doused in a vat of blue dye, thanks to Gates) past.  They banter, having a playful, combative relationship until during Rochard’s final mission when he finally owns up to loving her (he says it first, though the audience has had it made plainly clear that she was in love with him – the big fathead – since the get-go).  The rest of the movie centers around getting his travel visa in time to go back to America with the army as it ships out of Europe.  Not only do they end up having to get married 3 times, thanks to a variety of regulations, but their wedding night keeps getting interrupted.  It culminates in Rochard wearing a dress.  And that’s all I’ll say about that.

I’ve come to realize that my basic understanding of marriage/love all stems from a love of the movies from the 30’s and 40’s, wherein such relationships were common.  Almost any Cary Grant movie, the female/male leads bicker throughout.  Heck, everyone banters, and that’s the fun in the old movies – the constant bickering (okay, for me). 

For example, in Bringing Up Baby (starring Katherine Hepburn as the female lead), the following dialogue is classic. At one point, Katherine has divested Grant of his clothes (he was showering and she sent them off to be cleaned, ‘forgetting’ he had nothing else to put on, thereby trapping him out in the country with her) and he runs into her Aunt, who he’s been trying to convince to donate a large sum of money to his museum while less than properly dressed:

Aunt: You look perfectly idiotic wearing those clothes.
Grant (wearing a pink bathrobe): These aren’t my clothes!
Aunt: Well, where are your clothes?
Grant: I’ve lost my clothes.
Aunt: Well, why are you wearing those clothes?
Grant: Because I just went gay all of a sudden (does a little funny hop/dance step).

I bring this up, because I’m in the finishing pages of the first draft of War and I went back to read it, and glanced at Rage, and some of Dreams.  Common theme in all of them – at least in the beginning, none of the protags are particularly lovey-dovey.  In War, more than any of the others, the leads banter all the way throughout.  To me, this is a perfectly normal, healthy relationship.

What about you?  Do you think it’s normal and healthy to bicker constantly in a relationship?  I know I do with my husband (sneaky devil always claimed he didn’t like arguing, but just last year finally admitted he likes arguing just as much as I do – when it’s all in good fun, of course).

Five Months and Counting

I meant to post something on Monday, but it slipped my mind (not surprising, given how slippery my mind can be), but the Shrimpettes are now five plus months old!  Wowee, I can’t believe they (and I) have made it this long.

Sam can now roll from her back to her tummy as well as from her tummy to her back.  Allegedly, Jackie can do both too, but she will not demonstrate said capability to her mommy.  Heaven forbid.  They still refuse to sleep through the night, even to the piddly definition of 5+ hours in a single shot that the pediatricians give.  I’m lucky if they give us 4 hours and change.  An article in our local paper was talking about how much sleep kids need and it stated that kids from 3-11 months should sleep from 9-12 hours a night plus naps.  I think I’m lucky if they sleep twelve hours TOTAL for the entire day.

The Shrimp’s now been in school for a week.  He got a note home two days in a row regarding talking over the teacher (yikes).  There were some water works on Tuesday when he rode the bus for the first time to school.  Daddy felt so bad about how sad he looked, he went to Toys-R-Us and bought a plastic bowling ball set.  I’ll post pictures once I download them from the camera from when Shrimp went to school.

Blood War
Holy moly, it’s just flown out, after a somewhat torturous series of experiments to start it.  I’m now close to 80k, with about 3 scenes in the beginning that I need to go back to and the end scenes already written.  As you can see if you click on the widget to your right from Storytoolz, I’ve gotten this far in 26 days.  I was shooting to finish in 40, but (knock on wood), I may finish in just over 31, thereby rising to the challenge I accepted back in July to write a book in a month, along with @DeniseMSwank and @TrishMcCallan.  It just took the right book and the right month to settle in and do it.

However, though it’s been nice to turn my internal editor off and do the kitchen-sink pantsing thing…I can already see a lot of fixing it needs.  My thoughts on the overall plot changed course a couple of times and so it veers around a little.  Both the protagonists moodswing worse than a woman pregnant with twins (as I should know). 

Date Night
In a lovely gesture, my hubby emailed me this morning and asked if I wanted to do a date night because it has been more than a month since the two of us just escaped everyone and everything for a few hours.  So, we’re probably going to head off and watch Planet of the Apes tonight.  It was either than or Columbiana, but I’m not really thrilled with his going to ogle Zoe Saldana for 2 hours or so.  On Columbiana – it was the coolest tagline from a reviewer EVER.  There’s a section in the beginning where a little girl is being chased after witnessing her parents’ murder.  The reviewer called the scene: The Borne Ultimatum meets Dora the Explorer.  I nearly fell off my chair laughing at the images that brought up.

So – what do you guys have planned for tonight/this weekend?

E-Pub/Self-Publishing

Being an aspiring author, I belong to a lot of email loops. Lately, I’ve been seeing announcements left and right about “I just signed with X publisher” and/or “My novel X is now available through Kindle edition”, indicating self-publishing. It’s frustrating, seeing so many people succeed as I labor away, and raises all the typical self-doubts: am I good enough, maybe I should try writing something else, et cetera. There is no doubt, as many many bloggers, agents and publishers have all said, the times are changing thanks to the e-publishing industry. More people are getting published today than ever before, and whether it’s a detriment to the industry or not remains to be seen.

Last year, I got offers from two different e-publishers regarding my beloved Blood Rage. Yes, that’s still got a special place in my heart after all this time. As those who’ve followed me since back then know, I ultimately turned them down because I didn’t think it was the right move for me at that time. I’d submitted thinking that that was what I wanted then, but later after much introspection, I reconsidered what I wanted.  It seemed to make sense, since I really believed in my Blood saga (I still do), and once a publisher dealt with one book, another wouldn’t want to pick up the series partway through. The payout on e-pubs (at least the one in particular that I was more inclined to sign with) was incredibly low.

Writing isn’t about just about the money. Despite my hubby’s grand ideas about being able to quit working because I’ll bring in enough with writing once I ‘succeed’ (I’ll wait while those who know how unlikely that is finish laughing), I know it’s unlikely I’ll ever be able to quit my day job. Besides, the fringe benefits (health insurance) aren’t really available without a day job. Signing with the e-pub would have gotten me experience in getting published, working with an editor and so forth.

I just keep wondering – did I make a mistake saying no? I wanted an agent/the big 6 publisher of course. Was I being arrogant, thinking I could make it by being more patient and looking ahead. An agent who is no longer in the industry and I exchanged a few emails on the topic (not specifically my situation), and I was at peace with the decision, in part thanks to her thoughts.

My husband has said he wishes I’d accepted the offer since it seems like nothing’s happening as far as getting an agent/another offer.

With the current WIP, it seems to be a good thing I didn’t since it reimagines some of the events in Rage (dialogue has shifted a little, primarily, though timelines might need to be reworked).

Those of you out there who have not been published – what would you do, if you got an offer from a small e-pub – take it an run immediately? Or if you’ve gone the self-pub route, why did you choose that instead of continuing to reach for New York/an agent?

Just a quick note/update

Woot – things are still spinning merrily along on the WIP (titled Blood War – will explain more at a later date, I think).  All told, as of this writing, I’m close to 40k in at the 16-day mark, so I’m thrilled with the progress.  I won’t hit 100k in 31 days as I tried (very briefly) to do in July, thanks to the lovely @TrishMcCallan, but I should be able (knock on wood) to finish in 40 days, which is approximately what I did with Blood Dreams about this time last year.  We shall see, but as I have a fairly decent vision for the direction of the rest of the WIP, I think I can pull it off. 

I think the dialogue’s good, but only time will tell.  Only one person’s seen any of it, and I haven’t heard back from her after the last batch got sent, about a week ago.  Yeeks.

Got a new crit partner, for which I am totally psyched.  She once judged a contest entry of mine and when I saw on an email list I follow that she was looking for a CP, I jumped at the chance she’d remember me and the blog comments we’ve exchanged a few times.  And she said yes, and I’m sooo happy.

Finally – children updates.

The twins are little brats.  I love ’em dearly, but they’re determined to make me go crazy from lack of sleep.  Sunday night, they ate at 10:30ish, sqwaked (I never can spell that word) hourly until 2:30ish and finally wouldn’t sleep any more without food.  So I fed them.  Sam sucked her bottle down as she normally does.  Jackie dawdled…more than usual.  Just to demonstrate: because I let her eat with the bottle propped, I was able to change Sam, put said twin back to bed, wash eight bottles (I could see Jackie from where I was in the kitchen), and still sit down for a couple of minutes, before I decided she was done.  Jackie never did finish that bottle, just played with it with about an ounce left. Put her back to bed.  And then they were restless the rest of the night. 

Around 5, they woke up screaming.  Josh had had it and told me to go back to bed, that the girls were manipulating usand weren’t really hungry.  Because I was really tired, I decided to give it a try.  Didn’t go back to sleep, but turned the monitor off and took a shower.  As I emerged, Josh was turning it back on…to blessed silence.  They’d gone back to sleep.  They ended up sleeping that day until AFTER I left for work, just before 7.

Last night was much better.    Josh got up for the midnight feeding and did it in record time.  They’d finished bottles and were back in bed in twenty minutes.  He was back in bed, having determined our sleep-resistant child Sam was asleep, by 12:30.  Jackie apparently was asleep before her diaper was changed.  He suggested the secret might be having formula warmed up really good, make them all sleepy.  I’ll have to try it.

The boy’s got his school clothes and supplies are purchased.  We have the open house on Thursday for him to start kindergarten next week.  Yikes!  My boy’s all ‘growed’ up.  Fun times!

Chime in, tell me how your lives are going.  And wow, wasn’t so quick after all.

Finally!

First, hat’s off to Roni Loren and her awesome guest for this post (No Such Thing as Writer’s Block).  That got me to thinking about where I was going wrong with the WIP I was trying to get going.  The point the author made about it writer’s block being my subconscious picking up on a bad choice I’d made really hit home.  I read that article the day it came out and a day or so later found somewhere to start.  I’ve written about 50 pages this week (13k words or so), and I can still see the path ahead of me, so WAHOO!  I’m a happy camper indeed.

Second, all my love and thanks to @jacynthed.  She’s awesome and really given me some great help, none more so than last night when I was struggling with an idea that had potential, but couldn’t quite figure out what was missing.

Finally, children updates!  The shrimp lost his first tooth this week.

I was excited about that.  He was eating an apple and out it popped.  That same day, I came home this sign on our door:

Ogres are apparently not allowed in our house.

The twins are growing like little ol’ weeds, at least in the cuteness department these days.  Both can roll about three quarters of the way from back to tummy…and then they give up and flop back onto their backs.  They’re having fun in the new exersaucer we got them last week too.  A few pictures before I go.

 Jackie with as much of a smile as I ever get from her on camera.
 The girls holding hands.
The ever-shocked/surprised Samantha checking out her new toy.

How are your lives and WIP’s (if applicable) going?