I forgot October was Teen Attitude Month. Time flies, and once again I find myself without any gifts or cards for the sassy little buggers I’m trying to remind myself are precious. They’re sitting under blankets on the couch randomly moaning and bitching about school and life and the fact that the other is totally taking up more than one cushion.
Hey, do you think I can call and have the bus driver pick them up early?
“Bethie, it’s not a limo service.”
I’d make the joke myself, but I’m annoyed and finding it hard to be amusing, so just pretend I made a witty reference about the amount of taxes we pay.
They will leave. They will get on the big yellow bus and be whisked to the magical land where they will be someone else’s ward for a few amazing hours. I just have to hang on until then.
I’ve got my headphones on. I put Dengue Fever playing, which usually fixes my mood…or at least drowns out the bitching. And I have you to chat with. We can forget about the wave of angst. It, too, shall pass. Let’s talk about something else to help pass the time while I wait it out.
“Good plan. What can we talk about…oh! How did the cover art go, Bethie?”
Welp, it didn’t. I went to do a bit of housework and was going to change the kitty’s litter when I noticed that the wood under an enormous window was crumbling.
We never noticed it before because it’s behind the panel of blinds. The only reason I noticed yesterday is because the aforementioned kitty had pulled away the paint, discovered that some wood came with it, and decided it was time to go balls out and try to scratch her way to freedom. It was a pile of rotted shreds that tipped me off.
To give you a clear image, the dining room has a glass door, with a matching glass panel that’s secured to the wall right next to it, giving an open feel to the small room. The door was fine. The panel next to it was held in with luck and what I can only assume was a wee bit ‘o magic, since the support part was completely shot.
No, I am not exaggerating. The entire bottom sash of the window, 5 1/2 inches tall and 36 inches wide, had rotted. Gone. So crumbly that I literally stuck my finger right through the the outside.
“Eek,” said I.
I took a better look, and the rest of the pane was held in place by 1/2 inch thick trim on the sides that had loosened over the years somehow and pretty much did absolutely nothing.
“EEK!” said I with even more alarm.
And then I noticed that when the wind blew, which it kept doing yesterday, the pane of glass itself wobbled like a loose tooth.
“THERE’S NO HOPE LEFT!” shouted I in an all-out panic.
Clearly I could not leave the window to the Fates any longer. Like Wile E. Coyote, I noticed there was no longer a ledge below, and at any moment the window was destined to come crashing down.
As you can see, this time I had a valid reason for not working on cover art. It was a very delicate process to pin the huge window in place and work underneath it. To do the job correctly, I’d need to construct and all new window frame. I had neither the time nor the money for that type of venture. However, the window is now solid, the bottom wood has been replaced, I added some insulation, and it is vastly better than what was there before. I’ve got to trim the excess insulation and paint it today, but that shouldn’t take too long.
I like being handy. It makes me feel like I’ve really accomplished something.
Besides, if you couldn’t tell, I’m dragging my feet on the cover art. I know basically what I want, but I can’t seem to get the color right or the central image to my liking. It’s the frustrating part of the process, the wishy-washy stage of creating something that drives me nuts. It’ll happen.
I mean, it better happen. I’m planning to launch it this weekend.
Speaking of writing and all the trials that come with it…
I’m weighing my options on participating in NaNoWriMo.
National Novel Writing Month. It’s an annual event where people write a 50,000 word-length novel (or longer) in the month of November. The novel must be an original idea, no uploading or reworking old material because that’s cheating, that is begun on the 1st of November and done by the 30th. People have the option to upload their work daily, so others can follow along with the process. To “win”, you simply need to meet the 50,000 word goal. There are prizes offered, but the major benefit to participating is that many etailers highlight NaNoWriMo books.
I’m wordy, as you all know. I have no doubt that I could produce 50,000 mostly cohesive words in November. However, it’s the quality that I worry about. Indeed, a quick check in with my Google overlords says that many authors shun the event because of the unpolished, raw, rough nature of the end product. They say that any publishers following along with the progress will be turned off by the sheer amount of editing yet to be done.
…which, when you think about it, might speak more to the pompousness of the authors, huh? They’re so convinced that a publishing house will follow them out of the couple hundred thousand participants.
Some have said it’s “impossible” to produce a decent work in that time span. I beg to differ. It’s not possible for everyone, and truly each author works at his or her own pace. As they should! Some excellent writers take a long time to put their thoughts down. And some people like me kind of careen around the track and hope something decent manages to pop out. Everyone is different, every process is different. To say that it’s “impossible” simply because it’s not their particular style seems very narrow-minded for supposed free thinking artists.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m already dangling more towards one side of the fence. I know I can do it. I know I can produce 50,000 words in a month. I’ve even got an idea. The Mother series is great to work on. I love writing it, I truly do. But, I also miss space. I’ve got another sci-fi kicking around in my head that I think would work.
Hm. I shall give it more thought. I’ll keep you posted.
“How come when I tap my fingers to the music you call it annoying, but you get to do it?” asked the teenager in a snarky tone.
“Because I am Mom,” I pointed out, my raised eyebrow daring him to question The Man again and see how that turns out for him.
The Killers are playing through my headphones. I can’t NOT tap my fingers to the Killers. Duh. Sometimes children are just unreasonable.
While we’re on the subject of teenagers, I just read a Bullshit Study that I just have to share. I haven’t done a Bullshit Study report in a long time, so some of you may be a bit confused. See, the governments of the world hand out billions of dollars a year to “science”. I put the term in quotes because quite often these alleged studies have very little to do with actual science. Grants are handed out like candy to anyone who has the fortitude to fill out the mountain of paperwork, and ridiculous amounts of money are wasted every single year. I like to take a look at some of these and bring them to your attention.
Don’t get me wrong, now. I don’t hold any hope that highlighting the waste will make those who hold the magic “approval” stamp stop and consider what they’re doing. They do not care about saving taxpayers money and I highly doubt me calling them out will make any difference to their thinking. However, being sarcastic is fun.
Today’s Bullshit Study comes to us from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. A team of what we’ll call “researchers” just discovered that teenagers who “sext” tend to then have actual sex with the people they sexted. In a survey of less than 1,000 high school students, the research team found that the kids who admitted to sending sexual explicit pictures of themselves via cellphone text programs were “one third more likely” (or, you know, 33% if you want to actually sound educated because one third sounds like you’re saying less since it’s not…you know what? Why am I getting stuck on this one point when the entire study is an exercise in inanity?)… They’re more likely to have sex within a year.
Hold it. Hang on one second while I try and gather the shards of my blown mind. So what they’re saying, in a nutshell, is that kids who have no inhibitions about sending pics of boobs and dicks actually want to have sex? Am I reading this correctly?
Wow. It’s almost as if they’re claiming foreplay leads to sex. Talk about some out-of-the-box thinking! I’m glad these guys are training the next generation of scientists. Maybe someday the students that were involved in this study will finally be able to tell us why we get wet when it rains.
Did you hear that? That was the sound of the door closing behind the last grouchy teen! The kids have left. The house is quiet. There is no longer the hot glare of discontent coming at us in waves from the impossible to share couch, and not a single teen is grumbling about me forgetting to wash their favorite sweatshirt. We did it! We made it! I feel like we really went through something together.
*sniff* I love you, man.
Thus concludes the Morning Musing for Tuesday, October 7, 2014. I know what I’m going to do today, Ferb. I’ll apply for a grant to study the effect of teen angst on a mother before the mother has had her morning coffee…