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I wouldn't be a writer if the glass was half full

Just as I was preparing to hit "publish" with immense satisfaction, I heard the sounds of Lily's shrill voice: "Eww, gross. Get away from me. Don't touch me."

Followed by, "Mommy. MOMMY. Ashlyn took off her poopy diaper, and there's poop all over the floor and the couch, and the dog is eating it."

This latest string of events ties in perfectly with today's themes of catastrophe, fatalism and stupid dumb luck.

I don't know how other writers get through the holidays -- especially writers with children -- but I've written nothing substantial since the last week in November, and I'm feeling rather bitter about the ongoing drought. Furthermore -- the powers that be having a little fun at my expense -- all the gossip shows are profiling new authors who share something quite depressing in common -- medicare.

What if the world does end on Dec. 21, 2012? I have less than a year to publish my book, and -- looking at the thing realistically -- I'm already too late to see it in print if that butthole from the Discovery Channel is correct and all of the super volcanoes will simultaneously explode at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 21. My mom asked me this morning to look at the glass half full, and I responded -- "I've been a fatalist all my life. It's unlikely that I will magically -- POOF -- in my 35th year become one of those people who see the world in fruity shades of pink. That's not my style, mom."

Welcome to My World:

No one -- even the folks in my life who roll their eyes and say I'm prone to exaggeration -- would pair my name with smooth sailing or easy going. They will say my tendency toward catastrophe is a product of my time mismanagement, but my path is nevertheless bumpy.

Take my recent trip to Moscow, Id., for example. I spent a glorious weekend with my dear love Hillary Polen Hamm-Ryan (AKA The Thrillz) in my pajamas cross legged on her apartment floor crafting. There were long spells of silence broken only by an occasional request to pass the scissors and the subliminal expletives in the latest Legend of Zelda soundtrack, in which Link seems to grunt "dick" and "bitch" with every swing of his sword -- "Dick. Bitch. Dick-dick-dick, bitch."

But how quickly a perfect weekend deteriorates with the following eight words: "Your flight has been canceled due to fog." My only hope of getting home in time for Jerod to go to work the next morning was a 5 a.m. flight out of Spokane.

Hillary kindly volunteered to drive me two hours out of her way -- four hours including the trip back to Moscow -- but the fog and ice that evening made the roads treacherous. Hillary didn't feel safe in the driver's seat, and I felt rather uncomfortable in the passenger's seat. We returned to Moscow, enraging Jerod, who, in Lily speak "was mad at everyone."

"Mommy," she told me when I finally did make it home. "I told Daddy that his yelling was hurting my ears, and he sent me to my room."

I couldn't rent a car. I couldn't hire a taxi for less than $150. One driver told me his aunt and uncle would drop me at the airport for $100, at which point visions of my dead body dumped in a wheat field were dancing in my head.

My heroes: Aunt Carol and Uncle Dave
It was finally my Aunt Carol and Uncle Dave who came to my rescue, receiving me from a grocery store parking lot in Colfax. I stayed the night at my Aunt's house in Spokane, slept for 15 minutes and left my cell phone on the mantel of her fireplace in my hurry out the door.

So I'm a fatalist:

It just happens that I'm one of those people with stupid dumb luck -- the kind of person who receives a letter that her book is being published five minutes ahead of the Rapture.


  1. Simultaneous volcanic erruptions seems only slightly more exciting than life as you describe it.

  2. I'm not sure whether I should be creeped out, confused or terrified -- I didn't comment on my blog and I don't recall leaving my computer on, but here I am reading a comment apparently from me to me on my computer that wasn't on 15 minutes ago. If you don't hear from me in the next 48 hours -- be concerned.

  3. My mother?? Apparently she likes to hang around your house :)-cak


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