Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Like Pulling Teeth

Most women when faced with their children in distress or pain. Freak. Me? Well, I think it's been established I'm not most women. Okay, don't get me wrong, I'm not laughing at her. She's hurting. I get that. But really, I've had teeth pulled. It's not that bad. Let me go one further and say, I've had teeth pulled without the benefit of gas and/or intravenous drugs. It's. Not. That. Bad.

Shots. That's all I'm saying.

I took my kidlet to the oral surgeon to have her wisdom teeth cut out. She just had to have her bf along for teenaged moral-less support. My mother gagged when she heard about it and informed me she was going to need insulin it was just that sweet, but that's beside the point. Anyway, I went back in the room with Mozilla, Amazon Teen Queen of Mean. She informed me that she'd rather the bf, went with her. Well, by God, I went back there with her. Cause I'm the mommy, that's why! (no yall didn't ask, she did!)

Those long legs of hers hung off the edge of the chair, touching the floor, so it was sorta funny. But, I teared up when her big brown peepers never left mine, and she kept hold of my hand really tight. I confess to holding on way after she passed out completely too. *sniffs* Then, they broke out them freaky socket wrenches and I ran back to the safety of the waiting room to hide under my hubby's arm like a scared lil bunny rabbit. Yes, her bf asked about her and he looked worried. I may need insulin too. *sniffs* Oh shut UP!

After a few minutes, I stepped outside to sniffle in peace and called the Nananator and told her she was under the influence of the 'good drugs', and then told her the bad news. Since hubby had to go to work (grr) we weren't going to come by her job on our way back since we had to stop off to the Hellmouth for gummy wummy mouth mouth food for the Mozilla. Five (I kid you not) seconds later, she calls back. "I'm on my way." Dear God, the woman is such a baby! *sniffs* I said shut up!

Well, crap! Right after that, it was over and they've got her parked out back in a wheelchair waiting on us to pick her up. So, I call my mama back and tell her to meet us at Hellmouth. Then, it's getting this 6ft heifer in the car. She's higher than a Georgia pine, but finally her father and the bf get her in the back of the truck. Wait, let me rephrase. We have her in the back of the Explorer with the seat down and a pillow under her head. I do NOT have my baby in the back end of a pickup truck. Ahem. She proceeeds to take the gauze out her mouth and wave it around trying to hand it to me, making her bf and her father gag and scream. Oh the joy. Evil doped up child. (smiles)

Anyway, I shall refrain from comparing my husband's (slowass) driving to my mother's (like a bat outta hell, yall)abilities, so, when we pull into the parking lot, I'm not surprised to see that we are almost broadsided by The Nana Mobile. However, the hubby, who thinks he drives like Dale Jr instead of Ms Daisy, is and screams extra loud, making my doped up daughter's boyfriend do the same. This makes my doped up daughter sit up and yell "MMPH?" in wideeyed surprise.

I answer, "Nana."

Mozilla "Mmph." Falls back on the seat.

Then we have the ice cream, popcicle, drink fight. Do not fight with your child when she's on the 'good drugs' Just buy her whatever you want. Do not try to get her to understand that you're going to buy her a drink and popcicles or ice cream. It will not happen. Oh and make sure her boyfriend isn't RECORDING YOU ON THE CAMERA PHONE. I swear if I end up on the You Tube, someone's ass is grass and I'm gonna be the lawn mower. For Real.

Jenn Deere
I mean it!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I Write Corrected

Hard as it is to admit, I need mondo editing. Yeah yeah yeah, I know very well I'm not perfect. But when you write a character, flawed as they are, you want to think they are. I know that sounds weird, but it's true. I don't want a character who never makes a mistake, how boring, how icky. I'd hate him or her and would want to kill them by the second page if you must know. Villains are the only perfect characters, and they are the only ones who see themselves as such because they're crazier than a cracker jack.

**Author Note: Hey now, I know I'm nuts! But I also know I'm not perfect, I'm just the regular garden variety sort of crazy, not that take over the world kind. Let's call me lazy crazy, okay? This means, I won't take over the world, but if someone hands it to me, I'll say, "Thank yall!" and make Hugh Jackman my pool boy. Lazy crazy like a fox in other words *drool*

Fantasies of unlikely world and even unlikelier hunky Aussie domination aside, it's bad enough writing the stupid sucksnotsissy (yuckamundo). Then you have to get your courage up to submit the darned thing. After that, you wait.. and wait.. and wait.. and finally just when you think they hate it. They. Say. Yes! And all is right with the world. Birds sing. Flowers bloom. Author squeals in happy delight. Life is a wonderful thing. Chocolate pales beside being accepted. Wait a dang minute, let's not go too far. Hmm.

Then horror of horrors, you get a file marked edits. You open it and discover that you may very well suck some serious eggs. Now, I'm not talking terrible, not really. But when it's your work, it seems like it. This creation that you slaved over for an eternity, polishing, honing, fixing this world you lived inside, with people you know better than you know some of your own family members--and better than I want to know some of mine--is being criticized by someone who is logical, critical and objective. Hooray for the readers!! Boohoo for your ego. *sniffles*

For a long time I belonged to a group where we jokingly (or not so, in my case) called author Sheri Kenyon the AG--Author Goddess. Now that I write something other than a post or two, I understand that better. She is a goddess because what she writes is divine, however, she also creates a world that's hers alone, though she's gracious enough to share it with so many in that fanfic group.

I've finally figured out that I too I make a world where my characters live. I'm not divine in any sense of the word, or if I am, I'm more along the lines of a Bitch Goddess Supreme, needy, crazy, and er.. a bit sadistic. I'll strip whole scenes and replace them at a minute's notice. I put my characters in the worse scenarios, snickering with glee as I go for the laugh almost every time. I'm the Jokester, the Prankster, the Trickster from Hell. I don't care who knows it either. It's my nature to do what I want, when I want.

But show me edits and I instantly regress to a second grader with my most scary teacher ever. I cringe at the sight of red marks. I quail at all the highlighted words that mean I'm a repeat offender, using the same words again and again. Don't get me started on the comment balloons. I've gone from Bitch Goddess to a postulant in two seconds flat, that's gotta be a record, right?

However, there's something to be learned from all this, besides a lesson in humility, grammar and dear Lord in Literary Heaven, save me from freakin tags please! Never underestimate your editors. They'll keep you from looking like a complete and utter goober. Look at my blog for instance. Nobody edits this thing but me and it shows.

My publisher once joked that I should worship my editor as she saves my ass from the fires of error hell.. I snickered and told her I'd be properly respectful. But what she said is true. They catch stupid mistakes. I'm a writer, not an editor. Creation is a chaotic event. I love my characters which is how it's supposed to be, if I didn't love them, the reader wouldn't either. But as we all know love is a very messy business and editors get the unenviable job of cleaning up an author's work. Artistic temperament anyone?

I don't whine, (out loud) my mouth is too full of therapeutic chocolate to do something so childish. But with all those red pen marks all over the place it makes me feel like I got an F on my report card. I expect my mother to come in at any minute and take away my television as punishment.

So, salute your editor.. worship them Set up altars, eat chocolate in their names. Whatever gets you through the process of doing exactly what they tell you to do. Because they know what they're doing. In the immortal words of my mommy. "This hurts me more than it hurts you, dear. " I highly doubt that, but I'm using that phrase and hella coffee to get through it all. Ohmmm.

Blue Bayou Babe,

PS: Yes, the picture of Hugh is there to cheer me up, and yes, it is working.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Chatting Saturday

The work week getting you down?
Not sure what the weekend holds?
Well now you do now!

J. Morgan
Alysha Ellis
Jenna Leigh
Shea McMaster
Jennifer Loy
Kiera Black

So get ready to kick those Weekday Blues!

Join us Saturday May 12th
Starting at 12pm est



for a whole day of love and adventure
As we bring you
to the edge of your seat
to the brink of tears
tickle your funny bone
and just maybe
make you fall in love all over again…
For the first time.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Obsessive MS Polishing Disorder

Hi I'm Jenna Leigh and I have OMSPD. If you've never heard of it, don't worry.. I just made it up.. at least, I think so. For all I know this is a real disorder complete with its own support group, treatment program and medication. And here I am self-medicating with chocolate and while I deluge my poor friends with panicked IM's asking them. "Do you really really like it? Are you sure? Are you really, I mean really totally really sure you liked it?" Five minutes later. "Really really?" Five seconds later. "When you say really do you mean really or really really?" I'm sure they're ready to move away without leaving a forwarding address and put me on the FBI Most Stalkery List. (again)

What brought on this bout of self doubt and overindulgence in my most favoritist sweet in the whole world? *scuffs toe* I've turned in the final edits on one of my manuscripts. When I do that I get the freak out shakes. Between me and my editor the Sainted One Who Hasn't Killed Me (yet) we've hammered out all the POV switches, bad tags, icky grammar, Communication to Mars (I blame ET) and some parts that just did NOT work. It doesn't take very long for me to figure out that I need editing. What I want to know is how come I can't have an editor for real life? I'd love one!

Sans editor.
Hubby: "Honey, does this shirt look ok?"
Me: "EW!"
Hubby: "What do you mean ew?" Looks hurt and doesn't speak to me for the rest of the day.

With editor.
Hubby. "Honey, does this shirt look ok?"
Me: "EW!"
Hubby. "What do you mean ew?" Looks hurt..
Me. "Um, there's a spot on it." Comes up and sticks her greasy fingers on it while he's not looking.

See? Editing thing is gooood! My problem is finding someone small enough to fit in my ear though. Hmm..

Back to my manuscript. Now that I've turned it in, I'm forcing myself not to look at it again for fear that I'll find a million mistakes and go batty. I know I will.. I'll see this teeny thing that will blare out at me. It'll be Sainted One? On page 20.. then the next day. Um.. er.. page 92.. Then next week, if it ain't too much trouble, can we change this? Until I get a ticking package in the mail.

I know the score.. so I'll sit here not lookin.. no, not me. Not gonna look. Arrgh! I gotta go look! But nobody saw anything! Ok?

If you're crazy and you know it type your name,

Jenna Leigh

Friday, May 04, 2007

Uhh EFO, I don't think we're in Louisiana anymore.

That was basically what I thought I was gonna have to say to my cat yesterday afternoon.

I was a sweet wife for a change and got supper started before I sat down to surf. I'd just started my 4th day chatting on Jennifer Loy's group when a loud boom of thunder made me change my mind and turn off my computer after telling them I'd be back after it was over. Ha! Ha! I say! Just.. well, it's not too dang funny if you must know.

I went into the kitchen to get the rice on before the electricity went off because in my redneck of the woods, if the sky even spits the lights go out. However, as I was filling up the boiler with water, I happened to look outside and see how dark it was and how windy.
I saw a flash and at first I though lightening struck this metal thingit my mother bought me. My first reaction was "Man! She's gonna be so pissed! I bet she's gonna think I broke it and blamed it on lightening!" Note how I was much more upset about that than the fact that lightening struck not 20 yards from my front door. Yeah, dammit my priorities are so too in order, yall ain't met my mother! Then, I see little little balls of lightening in a straight line. I became upset all over again as my husband has planted some bushes beside my metal mama gifted thingit and wondered if it had just become some sort of jumped up lightening rod that fried my hubby's bushes! Arrgh! Now he'd be all bitchy. *sighs* However, very quickly, I figured out three things.

I shall list them in order of importance.

1. My mama gifted metal thingit was safe. (Hello! I am serious, she'd be mondo pissed!)

2. There was a ginormous tree down across the road and what I was seeing as lightening was in fact, electricity, namely MINE being snapped out into the air in a most wasteful manner. How dare that stupid tree take my electricity. I wanted to jump out on my porch and yell at the little escaping pieces of light"Hey hey, come back here you silly stuff, get back into my TV, Stove and most important, MY COMPUTER!"

Too late though because, the lights went out and if my hubby had been there with me, this last one would top the list as he'd be whining loud enough to be heard over the wind that was by then getting way louder.

3. There'd be no rice in my home this night. Well, fffffffffffudge. Oh and none of that either as I can't make it when it's raining, but I digress.

The little pops of light flew up the line until it hit the transformer and I watched wide-eyed as it too went with a loud bang, shooting sparks about ten feet in all directions. At this, I said a few very choice words which I am all too familiar with, turning my dark kitchen air blue. EFO at this time, wisely went into the cabinet beneath the kitchen sink with is his Royal Sanctuary during storm times. I did what all good rednecks do in times of crisis. I CALLED MY MAMA!

Omigosh, mamathere'satreeanditomgomgomgomgomg!windandatandndndnananandACK! If you can't read that, well, imagine how she felt getting that message on her voice mail. Of course, in my defense I was running through the house putting on a pair of shorts, some flipflops and getting my all important purse. Why would I need my purse in 70 plus mile an hour winds? I don't know but by golly, I'd have it just in case.

I thought about going to my father in law's who lives right down the road, but things began to fly across the yard, large heavy things. Things I was sure weighed close to my own *mutter mutter* pounds. Then there was the ginormous trees besides the lightening victim that had been felled by wind, so there was no way I was going out there. I don't have roots , my size ten feet would stand no chance at all. So, I stood in the dark and waited.. and waited and waited until finally.. hubby came home to wait in the dark with me until 11:30 when the lights came back on. I will say this, those linemen were out in the rain and thunder up on those cherry pickers. There's no way I'd have done it.

Until we got our electricity back, we watched crazy rednecks driving back and forth under the lines. I may be a redneck but at least I'm smart (yes, CHICKEN!) enough to just take pictures . Nyah.

Somewhere Over the Bayou

Jenna Leigh