Tuesday, December 16, 2014

We Need A Cuss Jar

"Mommy, can I get an ice cream from McDonald's?"

Ever since I started carrying gluten-free ice cream cones in the back of my car, the DragonMonkey has been obsessed with the dollar soft serve ice creams from McDonald's.  I can't say I blame him - he's been eating it out of a cup for so many years that using a cone is almost more of a treat than the ice cream itself.

Unfortunately, we were late.  We had places to go, and besides - I didn't feel like stopping.  "Sorry, kid.  No ice cream today."

He sighed - a resigned, almost adult sound that drifted from the backseat.  "Damnit." He said it under his breath,  in a soft, quiet little voice.... just not quiet enough.

My head whipped around so fast I heard my neck crack.  "WHAT?  WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?"

The DragonMonkey hunched down beneath my gaze, trying to fold in on himself.  This wasn't the first time we'd talked about "bad words".  It would be nice to blame his newfound appreciation for cussing on the kindergarten riffraff at school.... but since I've already had one very embarrassing talk with his teachers about the DragonMonkey's potty mouth, I'm coming to the realization that my son might very well be the riffraff.






So, we've been cleaning up our language as of late... although, apparently, not enough.  Hunching his shoulders, the DragonMonkey lowered his head, his hair sliding forward over his eyes in an effort to hide himself from my angry glare.  Effective though it might be, I realized I probably shouldn't be shooting my glare-of-death towards the backseat while I was driving the car, so I turned back to face road.

"Young man, we do NOT use language like that, do you hear me?"

He opened his mouth to apologize, already nodding, when he was interrupted by the Squid.

"What'd you say?  What'd you say?  Mama, what'd he say?" Apparently the Squid needed to know the exact bad word that had been said so he could avoid saying it.

If that doesn't make sense to you, then you're probably not three years old.

"Squid, it's not important."

"Which bad word?  Which bad word you say, DragonMonkey?"  Squid was not about to be deterred. Someone had said a bad word, and by golly, he was gonna get to the bottom of the mystery.

"Squid, it doesn't matter what word your brother said, only that it was a very, very, very bad word-"

"NUH-UH!" the DragonMonkey interrupted.  "I didn't say a very, very, very bad word, I only said 'damnit'."

Ah, yes.  My kindergartener knows how to rank foul language.  Awesome.  I am a totally awesome mom.








"DRAGONMONKEY!"

"What?  What you say?  What word was it?"  Squid asked again, raising his voice to be heard over me.  He needed to know.  For... for science.

"SQUID!"

"I said 'damnit'," supplied my six year old.  He's helpful like that.

"DRAGONMONKEY!"

"I didn't say it again!  I was just telling Squid that I said 'damnit' cuz he asked."

"DRAGONMONKEY!"

"No, Mama," said the ever-helpful Squid, rising to the defense of his brother.  "He just say 'damnit' to me, not a bad word damnit."

"DAMNI--- I mean, darn it boys, would you guys quit saying damn it?"





Cuss jar.

Bean, we really, really, really need to get that cuss jar going.




Monday, December 1, 2014

Why?

I lean back against the walls, trapping my hands behind me at the small of my back so I can hide the restless tapping of my fingers.

It seems the health care team is in the middle of something with Wayne no matter what time of day I come- bathing, changing, moving him into his chair, trimming nails.....

It's a good sign, I guess.  I remind myself it's a good sign.  A nursing home that takes care of its patients is a very good thing.

Still.  His room is so small I feel awkward just standing there waiting, so I generally excuse myself and wait in the hall.  It feels better than just staring at them while they train the constantly-new staff.

High turnover rate probably isn't a good thing.

I shake my head, pushing the thought out of my head.  It's not my place to say anything.  I'm the help - or rather, was the help.  I suppose I'm just a friend now, since my last day working for the family was last Tuesday.  I guess I don't really need to be visiting when Wayne calls my phone late at night, but I can't help myself.

Six months, nine hour shifts, sometimes as much as forty hours a week with Wayne... how can you suddenly shut it off when you're no longer paid to care?

You can't, which is why I am here, tapping out my hidden sorrow against a freshly-painted wall.

One of the residents approaches me in a wheelchair.   The hallways are a slowly busy place, although the residents foot-pedal their wheelchairs on their circuitous routes at such a glacial pace that it's not hard to avoid the traffic jams. I tense as she wheels closer, preparing to step out of her way as she drifts from barely moving to not moving.  Eventually it becomes obvious she's stopped, so I relax again, fingers still tapping quietly.

From the way her watery brown eyes glance around I'm not sure she's aware where she is, much less why she's stopped.  I wait for her to move her eyes to mine, then smile and nod.  It's a fake smile - all tight lips and no teeth, but it's better than nothing.  I hate small talk and the fake social niceties that make the world go around, but for them, for these lost, forgotten founts of wisdom, I make the effort.
It feels like the least I can do.

"Hello," I say, and nod again.

Her eyes focus in on mine, and her brows pull together.  "Why?"  She pauses, then asks again in a voice laced with pain.  "Why?"

My heart sinks.  It's her.  It's the "Why" woman.

A couple of weeks ago I stopped making my night visits to Wayne, even though it was really the best time for both of us.  He was always more alert at night, and by 8 my kids are sleeping in their beds so I don't feel pressed for time.  It was working out surprisingly well for us - I would bring him a coffee, and the two of us would talk as I decompressed from my day, sharing stories until he tired .  Sometimes I rub talc onto his back - being bedridden makes the skin so itchy, and it has always relaxed him.

I didn't mind the late bed time or shortened sleep.  I didn't even mind the howl of the "Help" man from the end of the corridor.  Help Man never sounded like he needed help - he just sounded argumentative. The few times I'd peeked in on him he'd been perfectly fine, just angry.  He probably had his reasons, but there's only so many concerns I can shoulder at once.

But the "Why" woman.  The "Why" woman tore at my heart.

"Why?"
"Why?"
"Whyyyyy?"

It was a quavering, hopeless sound, and the implications ripped at me until I felt raw and bloody.  When she would start up I would excuse myself and go home after only 10 minutes of visiting with Wayne.   I couldn't take it any longer than that.

Evenings were easier for my schedule.  They were easier... but they were hard, so hard I stopped visiting at night.  And yet, despite my careful planning, there she is in front of me, gaze boring into mine.

"Why?"

"Hi.  I'm Becky," I say, trying to change the subject, and this time I try a little harder with my fake smile.

She waits, eyes looking into mine.  I break first, my gaze skittering off to the side as I fake the need to look around the corner, chasing after an interesting sound that doesn't exist.

She pulls me back with her despair.  "Why?"

A million answers come to mind, all of them truthful..... none of them kind, none of them helpful.  I should be able to do this. I've worked with the elderly for years.  If you have your defenses in place you can sing a song of conversation, tripping lightly from sadness to a happiness, although the joy is usually too-soon forgotten.  All you need to do is redirect the conversational stream.  It's a dance I'm skilled at, but today... today I've forgotten my props, and all I have left is raw honesty.

"I don't know."

She shakes her head, not surprised.  The silence falls between us.  I want to flee, but I promised Wayne I'd wait and return, and it seems rude to run away.

Besides, if she has the strength for her reality then I should be able to handle it for longer than thirty seconds, right?

Right?

The silence stretches between us, and I can feel her growing restless with the need to ask again, so I try to redirect her.

"That is the most beautiful ring," I say, motioning at her hands.  It is, too - a deceptively simple double band of silver that twists on itself, reminiscent of the infinity symbol.

She stares at it, thumb twisting the band.

"It's amazing.  Where did you get it?"

She looks up at me, and I can see her mouth open, ready to ask again, so I cut her off.  It's rude, I know, but maybe she'll just think I have no class.

"Of course, maybe it's just your hands.  I'm starting to wish I brought gloves," I say with forced cheer, looking down at my cracked nails, the horse dirt shining from under each nail - brown rings of courage lent to me from Caspian that very afternoon.  "My hands are a mess, but yours are gorgeous.  Did you get a manicure?  Your nails are gorgeous."

She looks down at her hands, at the paper-soft skin with soft wrinkles.  Her well-shaped nails with their fresh red nail polish seem out of place in a home where "a night out" means scooting yourself with your heels through fluorescent hallways to watch tv in the common room instead of by yourself.

"Well, I think I'm going to go check on my friend.  Have a great afternoon!"  I flash another bright, too-fake smile and turn away.  I know they won't be done with Wayne for another few minutes, but I'm hoping in vain to for enough space between us so I don't have to hear her soft, hopeless voice when it calls out again.

"Why?"






Thursday, November 6, 2014

What's one more thing?


Raise your hand if you're behind on house cleaning.



Raise your hand if you're behind on your dictation work at your typing job.



Raise your hand if you totally need to fix up your chicken coop area give it some TLC and hard work.



Raise your hand if you haven't ridden your own horse in almost three weeks.



Raise your hand if you signed up for Rally classes with your dog and have missed three in a row, which is pretty much the whole thing, because of last minute work and babysitting scheduling issues.



Raise your hand if you signed up to be a municipal liaison for NaNoWriMo.



Raise your hand if you really suck at that sort of stuff.



Raise your hand if you've committed to "winning" NaNoWriMo and are so behind on your word count it's actually almost comical at this point.



Raise your hand if you have a bad habit of surfing  the Craigslist pet ads.



Raise your hand if your heart seized up inside of you when you saw this picture in the pet section last night - a picture of an elderly Jack Russell with bad hips, a poor old guy who was so skinny your jaw dropped:




Raise your hand if you read the plea - please rescue my friend's pets.  My friend has agreed to let them go, my friend is gone too often, is not in a good place to have pets, and the animals are going hungry.  He's agreed it's for the best to rehome them.

Raise your hand if you realized that if you just ignored this plea then you're kind of a hypocrite, because you do have the time and resources to help out a skinny dog, and if you followed through on your impulse to ignore the problem just because you're feeling overwhelmed with an imaginary word count goal, then that's kind of crappy of you're kind of a crappy human being.  Raise your hand if you texted and offered to rescue the poor thing, thinking that at the very, very least you could bring it into the vet and feed the poor thing steak while they helped him be forever free of pain.



And then... and then the person texted back that someone had already stepped up for the Jack Russell but there was some kind of a small shepherd mix, female, younger, 35-40 pounds, thin... and would you consider giving her a home?

I think we can all see where this is going.

I don't want this to be a post bashing the original owner - because, in my opinion.... the owner is doing the right thing.  It's hard to admit when you're in a bad place, but they had the strength to do so. I don't know who they are, or what they are going through, but these animals are not being removed from the home, they're being surrendered, and that takes a lot of strength.

And yes, animals shouldn't get this thin, but.... but if we crucify every person who comes forward and admits defeat, then people are just gonna keep hiding their brokenness and the animals will be the ones who pay the price.

So, honestly?  I want to take a moment to say thank you to two people - thank you to the friend who convinced their friend to rehome the animals, and thank you to the struggling person for being strong enough to do right by their pets and let them find good homes.

Is it two people I'm thanking?  One person?  Who knows?  Those two people might very well be the very same person, but  I guess I kind of feel it's none of my business, and I'd hate for them or anyone else like them to find this post and decide to just hide their problems next time.

So, I'm gonna go pick up this girl tonight:









They say she's good with kids, and she lives with two other dogs and two cats.  Here's hoping they're right.  My goal is to throw some training into her and rehome - I'm not against a second dog, but I really don't like female/female mixes, especially with little kids... but we'll see.

What's one more thing on my plate of responsibility, when it makes my heart feel happy because I know I'm doing the right thing?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Brain's Idea of a Threesome

"Hey.  Hey, Becky."

"Yeah, Brain?"

"You're asleep right now."

"Yup.  Finally.  I'm so glad I'm over my recent insomnia.  So, you got any good dreams for me tonight?  You've been lacking in the originality department lately.  It's getting kinda boring."

"Oh, man, you are so lucky.  Tonight is YOUR NIGHT, Becky.  I have the most amazing dream prepared for you."

"SWEET.  Hold on, let me pull up a chair.  Tell me all about it.  I'm so excited.  I'm overdue for an awesome dream."

"So, you know that one Internet friend you have?  The one you met up with awhile back?  The one who looks kind of like that one chick you think is so unbelievably gorgeous?  The one who's on Game of Thrones?"

"Natalie Dormer?   The one who shaved her head and looks all cool as Cressida for the next Hunger Games movie?"

"Yeah, that one."

"OMG, Brain, am I going to meet her in my dreams?  THIS IS GOING TO BE SO COOL!"

"Well, not quite.  You know your friend who looks sort of like her?  FyyahChild?"  Well, she's gonna be in it."

"Oh, sweet.  FyyahChild's one of my favorite people!"

"Yup.  Only, it's gonna be a naughty dream."

"...... Oh.  Uh, okay.  Ummm.... I didn't know I swing that way?  And even if I did, I didn't even know I felt that way about her?  This is coming as kind of a surprise."

"Dude, just bear with me.  This dream gets good. "

"Okay?  ... I guess?"

"Yeah, so, in this dream you guys are hanging out and talking.  You're, like, on a lakeshore, camping or something.  And she's got this boyfriend.  And he's, like, totally hot.  He looks like that one guy you had a huge crush on in high school?  Just like him, only this guy actually has nice eyes."

"Alright, Brain, now we're talking.  Except... shouldn't The Bean be in this dream if it's a naughty dream?  I'm feeling a little weird about it."

"Hold your horses, Becky.  I'm getting there.  So anyways, there's FyyahChild and this guy, who is totally hot, and they say that since the three of you get along so well, and everyone's so close, they kind of want you to be, like, their third, if you know what I mean."

".... Brain, that sounds like I'm cheating on Joe.  I mean, I'm seriously weirded out."

"No, Becky.  Roll with it.  They want you as a monogamous third.  They'll even use the word monogamous lots of times, so you'll feel comfortable."

"I guess?  Except ... except aren't I married?"

"You're dreaming.  Look down - see your body?  You look like you're 15 again.  It's cool. Quit worrying about it."

"I know I'm dreaming, but I'm pretty sure I'm actually married in real life.  I've got this feeling that I am, and that this really isn't cool."

"Becky, I told you.  It's a monogamous threesome."

"No, seriously Brain.   Stop the dream.  I'm literally going to put a pause on this dream and figure this out.  No, quit your complaining. You shouldn't spring stuff like this on me when I'm about to wake up -  you know I can totally do that lucid dreaming thing when I'm about to wake up.  If you didn't want any input then you should have started it when I was deeper asleep. So, even if the three of us are all monogamous together, aren't I still married to the Bean?"

"Technically, yes, but..."

"But if I'm sleeping with other people, it's totally cheating.  That's not who I am."

"But you're a monogamous threesome."

"I mean, that makes a weird kind of sense in dreamland, but I can't shake the feeling it doesn't make any sense in real life.  Brain, I need to run this by The Bean first to make sure he's okay with it.  I really don't think he's gonna be down with this idea."

"He's cool with it.  See?  Read this.  It'll explain everything."

"Brain, the letters are sliding all over the page.  I can't make it out.  What does it say?"

"Try harder, Becky.  Just read it and you'll totally get it."

 "..... okay, I literally cannot read this.  Is that... is that a "4"?  You can't writes words with numbers in them.  I'm so confused right now."

"Good. Anyways, you have the paper that explains it but you're just too lazy to read it and that's not our fault.  Besides......shouldn't you make sure the whole idea is a good one, before you ask him?  It's like test-driving a car, right?  Why bother bringing it up to The Bean if it's not even gonna work out?"

".... I guess?  I mean, I think that makes sense?"

"Becky, it's a dream."

"Oooooh, yeah.  That's right.  It's a dream.  This makes total sense.  Wait, I'm feeling lost - what were we talking about?"

"Nothing.  Sit back down and enjoy the rest of this scenario.  Anyways, so you're totally agreeing to this monogamous threesome thingie with them.  And that guy, he's totally playing with your hair the way you like?"

"Mmmm..."

"And then he's all running his fingers over your back, and over your ribs, and he's also giving you a back massage while FyyahChild's talking to you?"

"Mmmm.... what's she saying?"

"Who cares?  Doesn't that back massage feel good?"

"It suuuuure doooooes....Mmmmmm."

"Anyways, since you're on board, and you're all hot and bothered right now, how about you give this threesome thing a trial run, Becky??"

"MMMMMM.  Okay.  Sure.  Brain, this is amazing.   Keep it coming."

"Okay, so here goes, Becky.  Brace yourself for your first threesome dream - you've made it to 33 years old without having a dream anything like this before - it's gonna be so good.  Anyways, are you ready?"

"Yeah!"

"Okay, Becky, now there are four little boys running around you.  They're really hyper, and super noisy."

"Wait.  What??"

"Don't you remember?  Squid and the DragonMonkey are here, and they haven't had lunch yet so they're hyper and crabby, and how could you forget that you were babysitting your friend's Claire's kids?"

"What?  I don't remember this at all?  I thought we were---"

"QUICK!  ALL FOUR BOYS JUST RAN PAST YOU!  OH, CRAP, THEY'RE RUNNING STRAIGHT TOWARDS THE WATER - THEY'RE GOING TO DROWN!  THEY'RE GOING TO DROWN!  THEY'RE GOING TO ----Oh, phew.  FyyahChild just got up and is taking care of them for you.  Isn't that nice?"

".... Yes?"

"Wasn't that so nice, knowing that someone else is helping you babysit four boys?"

"....I guess?"

"Oh, here - you take the youngest boy, Adam.  He's super sleepy and needs to be rocked to sleep - FyyahChild will watch the other three boys while you rock him to sleep."

"Uh... okay.  Uhm, Brain?  What happened to that totally hot guy who looked like that one guy in high school I had a crush on?"

"Oh, he's totally gonna keep giving you a back massage while you rock Adam to sleep.  I mean, we all know Adam's super big for a three year old and your neck and upper back are totally gonna hurt otherwise.  Doesn't that feel good?  Yeah?  Don't you like your threesome?"

"..... I guess?  I just.... I just thought it would be a bit more.... racy?"

"Oh, Becky.  Why would I give you a racy dream?  You're kind of fat.  And, honestly, at 33 you're not really porn star material anymore.  You're a 33 year old mother.  Did you really think I was going to give you a sex dream?"

"You know, Brain, you're being kind of mean.  And yes, his hands feel good on my shoulders - Shhhh, shhhh, Adam.  Shhhhh, go back to sleep -  but just because I'm a fat mom doesn't mean I want to sit around and dream about mom stuff.  You promised me a naughty dream.  This is kind of boring."

"Becky, you practically drive a minivan.  You don't need dreams like that.  This is as good as it gets, so just shut up. "

------

And then I got so angry at how boring my dream turned out that I literally woke myself up, because THIS?  THIS WAS MY IDEA OF A THREESOME?

I mean, I was uncomfortable with the whole concept and didn't actually want to do it.....but am I really THAT boring? That was the best alternate scenario my brain could come up with?  I could have done anything... I could have turned into a secret government assassin.  I could have turned into a superhero capable of flying, or a cowboy living on the range, or an arctic explorer, or a horse, or a mountain climber, or a space ninja.

But noooooooo.  Apparently, having someone help me babysit and getting a back massage is as deep as my hidden fantasies go.   What's next on the dream horizon?  A pulse-racing, edge-of-your-seat-thriller about cutting coupons?

Man, I need to get out more.







Thursday, September 18, 2014

Becky Bean Writes

I feel like for this to go down the right way, you  need to have this video (with the sound - the sound is the most important part) playing in the background while you read this post.






No, seriously, click it, let the music start, and then read the rest of this.



Is it playing?

Okay, good.  Read fast, it's only 29 seconds long.




Ahem.

Hey there, loyal blog follower!  Boy, are you in for a wonderful surprise!

Well, in case you didn't notice, I'm here to confirm the rumors.  Yes, my website was down for a week.  And yes, any time you typed in "www.blogofbecky.com" you got 404'd.

But!

It was all soooo worth it, because of this.  Look around you - do you see this sexy new website I designed?  Are you SHOCKED AND AWED YET?

It's okay.   Shhh, shhh.  I know you're overwhelmed by how amazing it is. Do you need a moment to be amazed?  I'm going to give you a moment to be amazed. Just sit there and breathe it all in.  Soak in the majesty.

Don't you like it?  Isn't it, like, the best?  Aren't you just amazed and in awe of my totally impressive computer skills?   See that header up above?  It says Blog of Becky - yeah, that's right.  It lets you know where you are, so you don't confused. Look at that lettering. It's all... blue.  Blue, on a white background.  And it's not even centered.  Only stupid people center stuff.

And why is my website suddenly so awesome?

Well, that's easy.

It's because OMG I HATE COMPUTERS AND ALL CODING AND ALL BLOGS AND ALL URLS AND ALL WEB FORWARDING AND EVERYTHING THAT EVER HAD TO DO WITH TRYING TO UPDATE A WEBSITE BECAUSE UIO2375893P12U4IJDkp:ujI*P&#*($&#*OPJFEIL:EWKUH#*((P&%R*#(@OJHELK:HJ#*(%P&@#*(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


PantPantPantPantPant.

Look, I admit it.  I suck at this aspect of computers.  It's actually pretty embarrassing, because I have feeling I might be good at it if I had even the most rudimentary knowledge of the terminology.

The problem is I'm completely illiterate when it comes to web design, and I never actually get around to learning anything about it until OMG I PROCRASTINATED AND EVERYTHING JUST BLEW UP AND I NEED TO KNOW RIGHT NOW.

I'm embarrassed to say this is not the first time this has happened.

Usually I desperately try to fix it... and in doing so I break it worse.  Then I have to Google a how-to YouTube video on how to fix what I just demolished. And then I have to search the Internet for some kind of free shareware program that gives me the tools to fix it. And then I have to Google a how-to video on how to use that program.  And then... and then....

And then eventually I just get really, really angry and decide SCREW IT spend the rest of the evening finding find funny pictures on the Internet to help me calm down.





Anyways, here's a little back story before I get to my main point:

Part of the reason I went to that writing conference back in August was because in my head I've always considered September 2014 as the official kick-off date for me being a "real writer".

I don't remember if I ever said this, but the whole reason this blog exists is because I needed to get over my anxiety over letting people read my writing.  My words have always felt very personal to me - I enjoy writing.  Sometimes, when the words come just right, it feels like I open up a vein inside me and the words flow like music.

Back before I started this blog, I couldn't imagine anything worse than spilling out your very essence onto paper, showing it to someone, and then having them think it was crap.  It was better just to keep your writing to yourself than to risk being hurt, right?

Wrong.

In fact, even when I was living by the motto I knew it was a crappy motto.  Besides, I always liked the idea of being published.  On the other hand, I'd done enough research to know that getting something out in print is never easy, but your odds of "making it" go reaaaaaaally down when you never actually submit anything.

So, I created this blog.  My first few posts were crawling with so much anxiety it almost pains me to read them nowadays, but I leave them up because it reminds me of how far I've come.  Eventually I really began opening up, and then Mugwump found me and directed actual readers here, and now I've made a whole bunch of wonderful friends from this blog.

(Poor Bean.  Most women have normal friends - friends with names like Michelle, or Kelly.   Me?  I'm always talking about people called Fyaahchild or Mugwump or RedHorse, or whatever.  Bean, I swear they're real, and not just imaginary.  You believe me, right?)

Where was I?

Ah, yes.  So, I started writing, and as people responded I realize - dude.  This is fun.  I would actually like to do this for a living one day.  I even got my first angry troll who went out of her way to make me feel like crap for a bad decision I once made.... and it occurred to me - huh.  Well, that's it.  I was honest about a horrible decision, someone followed me around and rubbed my face in how crappy I was... and I survived.

Surely future literary criticism couldn't be any worse than that?

Even though I knew I wanted to pursue writing, I didn't really want to begin until I had the time to do it right.  Despite the fact I had been blessed with such low-energy, polite children,





I knew I couldn't devote the kind of time and effort necessary to succeed at writing until the DragonMonkey at least hit kindergarten.  Man, how long was that going to be?  September 2014?  Wow, what a long time away.

And then all of a sudden it was actually almost September, and I realized - whoa.  It was time to start making plans to take this writing thing seriously.  I mean, I've been writing this whole time, but there's a difference between jotting down stories and actually approaching it as a business and stuff.

So, I went to a writing conference last month.  Remember?  I took a picture with Diana Gabaldon's butt?  Well, I'm not going to lie.  That was the most exciting moment of the entire conference, and maybe my entire year.

However, the second most exciting thing was that I had the chance to sit down with a real-live publisher and talk to her about some ideas I had.  I mean, sure I had to pay $30 to do it.  And sure, I had to do it under the guise of "Uh, I write on this super small-potatoes, practically non-existent blog?  And, uh, I write funny stories?  Mostly about my kids?  And, uh, I've got a sort-of book idea?"

I mean, I didn't go in there unprepared.  Oh, no!  I totally sat down for about 30 minutes before the session and jotted down a pitch which sounded a tad bit more professional.  Even better, the two sessions I went to before then were "What is Author Platform" and "The Perfect Pitch" - so when I went in there I actually managed to sound semi-educated about marketing and whatnot.

Still, the idea wasn't really to sell her on a book - it was more to pick her brain.  I wanted to hear her talk about what it might take to transition some of my blog posts into a book - how much harder is it to market than traditional fiction writing?  Where there any caveats?  Did she have any suggestions, etc, etc?  Since I was paying her for her time, I figured she would probably give me an honest opinion about the idea

Plus, I wanted to get my first pitch session over with.  Eventually, some day soon I hope, I'm going to have a fiction book in ready-to-submit form.  When that day comes I am going to be crawling out of my skin with nerves about submitting it to agents and publishers and all of that fun stuff. Why not practice a bit, and get the nerves out of the way?

The money was well-spent because the publisher knew her stuff, and had a ton of useful insight which she shared.  And then she did something completely unexpected:

She handed me her card and said, "It sounds interesting.  Why don't you send me some samples?"

And then I nodded and took the card and walked out of the pitch session going, "Dude.... did she.... did that...do I have a card....  Wait.  What?"

I came home and immediately began scrambling to seem more professional.  I mean, okay.  I didn't want to seem TOO professional.  The potential title I gave her for my potential book, which I came up with about forty minutes before I met with her, was "Quit Peeing on the Dog".  I don't think you can pitch a book like that and then try to sell yourself as hoity-toity and uber-professional.

On the other hand, there's all of this annoying business stuff that comes hand in hand with the business of writing - author platforms, and business plans, and web pages, and social media presence...and....

Yuck.

It sounded... boring, and a little overwhelming.  So, being the dutiful woman that I am, I decided to ignore all of that and procrastinate instead.  I created a Becky Bean Writes Facebook page, and made my real life Facebook page open to the public, and piddled around with my blog - and you can see how well that turned out.

One day, when you grow up, you can succeed at life just like me.  

On the other hand, did you see my new URL?  I picked it out myself and do kind of love it.  It even comes with its own fancy-schmancy email address:  becky@beckybeanwrites.com

Dude, I feel a little bit like an obnoxious kid - I'm handing this email address out left and right.  Is it weird that I'm this excited about not having a gmail address anymore?  I'm practically accosting strangers on the street, like a little kid that just had a birthday and can't stop telling EVERYONE.  Hi, I'm Becky, and I'm "this many" years old.  Shut up.  I know that's a lot of fingers.  Whatever, you're distracting me.  Did you know I have a new email address? It's becky@beckybeanwrites.com.  That's right - it's not gmail.com, or yahoo.com.  Wanna hear it again?  You don't?  Well, too bad.  It's becky@beckybeanwrites.com.  It, like, has my  name in it.  That's because I'm important.  

Last week I even got all excited when they passed around a Kindergarten parent sign-in sheet thingie at the DragonMonkey's school and it had a little space for my email address.  What's that?  You said you want my email address?  Well, stand back and prepare to be AMAZED.

So I started writing in really big letters because I really am kind of obnoxiously proud of it....and that's when I realized... dude.  It's a really long email address.  I had to scratch it out twice because I kept not leaving  enough room for it, and in the end it just looked like the pen vomited a bunch of ink on the paper and then sneezed some really cramped letters that trailed up the side of the page in an unreadable scrawl completely at odds with all the other parent's neat printing and legible email addresses.

Whatever.  They all had yahoo.com and gmail.com and hotmail.com email addresses, so what would they know?

Moving on.

After I bought my new URL last week I tried to forward it.  And when I did that, I broke the old URL forwarding.  And then while trying to fix the forwarding on the old URL I managed to break everything.

And then I got annoyed at trying to fix URLs so I decided that instead of fixing all the redirecting URLs I should change to a new template instead.

And so, right after I broke about a bazillion URLS I broke my blog's template.  And then I tried to upload the backup copy of my old template and I broke the backup template as well.

Does anyone want to hire me as a website designer for their enemies? Anyone?  Anyone at all?  No?

I spent a week straight trying to fix the mess.  Every day after work (I am doing full-time geriatric care right now) I would come upstairs to my office and spend a couple of hours  cussing and bursting out into angry tears calmly trying to fix things.  Last night, after a week's worth tears and anguish, I threw in the towel and begged The Bean for help.

And then The Bean walked upstairs and un-clicked a few boxes and fixed the forwarding in about 2 minutes.

I should have been grateful.  I really should have.  A nice wife would have clapped her hands in delight and then bounced over and hugged her husband with one cute little foot in the air and said something like "You're so smart and your biceps are so sexy!" or whatever it is nice wives do.

I didn't do any of that.

Instead, I just got really pissy and grumpy that he was able to fix it so easily.  In fact, I didn't just dislike him, I downright hated him. I'd been fighting with it for a week, and he just clicked a few buttons and fixed it in two minutes?  He was a stupid stupidhead, that's what he was.  Stupid, stupidhead Bean.

And then stupid stupidhead Bean actually looked at my gorgeous "new" website and said, "What the hell happened to your blog?"

And I looked at him at him for a moment





before calmly replying, "I was trying to upload a template and it didn't work.  See?  This template right here - I thought it looked clean and professional."

And then The Bean, who sometimes has no sense of self-preservation, looked at the template and said, "That one?  Why?  Your old blog looked better."

And to my credit I didn't go all stabby-stabby on him.  Instead, I just turned off the computer and huffed off to bed, and when he crawled in to go to sleep, do you know what I did? I totally didn't let his ankle touch mine, even though that's how we normally sleep.  HA!  I sure taught him, didn't I?

It occurs to me that I really need to find a better way of dealing with anger other than creating a passive-aggressive space between us in bed.

Also, I probably shouldn't have been so angry at someone who fixed my blog and then complimented the old design of my website - the design I created myself.  Hey, Bean?






So, in case you were wondering about that whole publisher deal, no. No, I haven't gotten anything off to the publisher yet, because life hands me magical things like publisher cards and then I squander opportunities.  I'm cool like that.

I'm hoping to get something off to them in the next week or two.  I have to admit, my hopes aren't really high, especially considering how much time has lapsed- but I am actually okay with being turned down.  I'll be a bit disappointed, sure, but for me?  For me this is only the beginning.  I've given myself 18 months to try to make some traction in the writing world - and getting an invite to submit on my first try feels like a huge win already.

So, there you have it.  Welcome to my new website.

Becky Bean Writes?

Why, yes.  Yes she does.








PS:  Have you ever told yourself you're not allowed to go to bed until you finish a blog post?  And then it's almost 10 at night, and you're EXHAUSTED, because you have to get up at 5:30 to squeeze in one more day of training before your half-marathon - the half marathon you are woefully unprepared for and are probably going to have to walk more than half of?


And then you realize that about 80% of this post has started or ended with some kind of a conjunction, and shouldn't you actually wait until the morning and proof read this instead of just typing it and sending out a rough draft?  I mean, it's a blog post about wanting to be a professional writer, for heaven's sake.  And besides, you forgot to mention how you are working with an actual for-real web designer who is going to migrate your blog over to Wordpress and then create a fancy, personalized new webpage just for you.  How are you going to work that in seamlessly?  You should go back, proofread, fix everything, and then work that line in somewhere so people realize you at least learned from your week of anguish.

And then you realize:  No.  Your alarm goes off at 5:30, so just click publish and go to bed.

And so you do.