Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Quick Update

Pain is gone. It left as quickly as it arrived. Very weird. Other than that I feel like I've had a black cloud following me for the past week and a half regarding health for me and the kids and other misc. stuff that has been happening.

On a good note! I've sent out a total of 10 queries now and I've received 4 rejections. That's OK. I don't feel bad. Getting rejected means I'm doing something and not standing still. I know I'll receive one good reply eventually.

I bumped into a girl from elementary school, my Kindergarten class to be exact, today in the tunnel downtown. Very weird that I still recognized her but we were in a later grade together too. We think it was fifth grade.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Los Agentes

OK, so I've sent out eight queries to eight agents today. I received one immediate response within 5 minutes of sending it, I'm not kidding you. He said not for him and that was it. Not too bad. Another band-aid I ripped off because if you remember I submitted a query to another local agent a few months ago and she also rejected me. But I don't really count her because she was more like a practice query so I could see what it feels like to be rejected.

I may have 7 more rejections in my box tomorrow. But then again I may have one asking to see more and then what? YIKES!!! I will have to be prepared that's what.

Keep you posted. Sorry I haven't written about anything else more interesting. Maybe I'll post another poem. This beautiful weather this weekend was inspiring.

One last note. A shout-out for my primo. Check out my cousin Oscar Casares' latest article/essay in the November Texas Monthly Magazine. It's really good and thought provoking.

Friday, October 27, 2006


I'm shopping for an agent. Somehow it's not as enjoyable as shopping for shoes.

I was reading some tips to writers on Jennifer Weiner's web page at (In Her Shoes)http://www.jenniferweiner.com/ and I was amazed to read that she sent her query out to approximately 30 agents and received 23 rejections. And she was already a published newspaper writer!! Amazing!

Point is this. If a published successful journalist can be rejected this many times that should tell you how hard it is to even get an agent. This means that my cover letter and query have to be better than good. Ay the stress!! But I'm glad for the reality check.

I've been going over the agents who accept "ethnic" and "women" or "chick lit" themes. I've highlighted and tagged several pages of the "Guide to Literary Agents." Now on to do additional research on these agents to see what types of authors they represent and if I know any of their work. I also need to make sure they are still accepting queries before I waste my time sending them something that will end up in the trash. I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few who accept e-mail submissions.

I'll keep you posted. Pain is still there. Light and nagging but a lot less than before.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Update on Health

Emergency room doctor thinks it's my ovary. Primary Care Physician thinks it's either a hernia or something intestinal. Surgeon I saw today said it's not a hernia and that I possibly pulled a muscle. He prescribed Advil and rest.

My OBGYN was in (same building area) so I stopped by and saw him. He said that if the cat scan didn't show any abnormality in my ovaries he doesn't think it's that. His theory is that I had a cyst inside the ovary (which are supposedly normal cysts that are there called functional cysts) burst and that it's causing the pain and that it'll just pass.

Ironically today I haven't had the pain since around 6 p.m., when I went to pick up Seth. I usually have it an hour after I eat and I didn't have anything this evening after dinner. (which is why I thought it's intestinal) At least not so far.

THEN today by total coincidence. One of the mothers from Miranda's school, who I don't even really know, and I were corresponding via e-mail because I had volunteered to sit at our booth for the Fall Festival Saturday. I mentioned that I had a pain on my right side that they can't figure out and she tells me she had the same thing recently and it ended up being a herniated disk! And she didn't even have back pain, just an abdominal pain. Very strange! I asked her for her doctor's name. Worth a try. She said she saw 7 doctors before they figured out what it was.

Some Poems For You

I've been pretty sick and so far an emergency room doctor and my primary doctor can't figure out what's wrong with me. I'm not dying but I have a nagging pain on one side. Of course I've thought the worse with my morbid self. But it's also made me kind of melancholy and thoughtful. Here are some poems I wrote this morning while in line at Starbucks and a little later in the car when I got home. Very rough first draft so excuse the awkwardness.

My Boy Sleeps

He sleeps
That boy of mine
His little mouth open
In the shape of an "o"
As if he fell asleep surprised
His lids heavy, over his big eyes
His cheeks flushed
From the fever he's fighting
His head cocked to one side
The side of his forehead resting
Against the car seat
And I look at him
In my rearview mirror
Enjoying this moment
When I can admire his beauty
Quiet and peaceful for once
He sleeps
This boy of mine

10/24/06 By Loida

We Watch Them Build

Every day
My daughter and I watch
The Starbucks go up
First the dirt lot with a sign
(And we squealed in delight)
Then the pipes
Then the cement
Next the steel frame
The roof
Now the walls
Every day
We drive by
Just to see what's up now
Every day closer to the day
When we can stop by on the way home
A grande sugar free vanilla latte for me
Chocolate milk in a box for her and baby brother.

10/24/06 By Loida

Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm On A Break

This is for all my regular readers that come by and check in on me on a regular basis. I think I know who some of you are and THANKS! I love that you all read this madness on a regular basis. I won't be writing for about a week.

I will say one thing. I saw "Akeelah and the Bee" this weekend and I LOVED IT! I love feel good movies, especially if they have to do with education, kids seeing their worth, and entire communities coming together to see that kid succeed. The actress, Keke Palmer, did such a wonderful job, as did her friend and little love interest Javier, played by JR Villareal. Cute cute cute!! And of course I LOVE Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett, two of my favorite actors.

I'm working on getting my synopsis and first chapter out so I'll be spending all my energies there for the rest of the week. You all have a wonderful week!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Weird Things About Me

These are the rules (says Gwen):

"Each player of this game starts with 6 "weird things/habits" about yourself. people who get tagged must blog their own 6 "weird things/habits" and state this rule clearly for the others. choose 6 other people and leave them a comment, tagging them to read your blog. it kinda sucks but it was kinda fun, too."

1. I had perfect attendance all of 8th grade just so I could go to Astroworld at the end of the year. I found it so easy to do that I decided to make it a goal to have perfect attendance all four years of high school and I did it. My husband thinks that's really weird. Five years of perfect attendance!

2. I hate to eat tomatoes raw, like in salads or hamburgers, but I can eat them cooked, stewed, sun dried and in catsup.

3. I hate commercials with talking babies or animals. They freak me out. BUT I really like that movie, "Look Who's Talking." I think it's because the baby didn't really move his mouth that much.

4. (This one is according to my friend Vicki) I can sleep anywhere at all. I can sleep on a hard cold stone bench in a train station with strangers walking by, with just a bag for a pillow. I can sleep on trains, buses, and airplanes, even while sitting in the middle seat with people on either side.

5. When I'm finished eating food I don't like for something else to touch my plate, like dessert or a piece of bread. I need to get a clean plate or I get grossed out. But I can serve myself seconds on the same plate if it's the same food.

6. I hate to wash silverware. I will wash all the dishes and I'll leave the silverware til the very end even though they are really the easiest thing to wash. Sometimes I even leave the silverware in the sink and don't wash it at all. Don't know why...

Feel free to share your own!

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Synopsis

I am in the middle of the synopsis. I am so close to finishing my novel but I need a swift kick in the butt to bring it all together to my grand finale. I have the entire skeleton and some meat there. I just need to go back and fill in all the details. (I think I've written about this before.) I’m lighting a fire under myself to push me to finish by sending out my synopsis and my first chapter to some agents. Once it's "out there" I will be pressured to finish. I work better under pressure! I'm giving myself a deadline of the end of this month to have the synopsis and first chapter ready to send out.

So I am in the middle of synopsis he--! How can it be so hard to write a synopsis when you've written a whole book? I wrote one and it sucked. But I felt better when an author I correspond with sometimes told me she hates writing synopses. She shared some examples of something she wrote and another author I know gave me her format outline. Between those two and the example on the internet I should figure out how to write something that grabs an agent. AY A YAY!!

Going to an art show tonight with my sister. Maybe that will get my creative juices flowing. An artist I know that used to work at the Chronicle, as an accountant of all things, is showing some art. Go here to see some of the art that’s been shown in the past and at this show. http://www.lovettinngallery.com/ The gallery opens at 6:30 tonight but there will be a fashion show at 7:30.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Walk the Line

I have become obsessed with the movie Walk the Line. I have HBO on Demand so I keep watching it and now I'm fastforwarding to my favorite parts. That movie has so many great lines! I think the main reason I'm so obsessed with it is because unlike all of America, I never knew the Johnny and June Cash story. I find it so romantic, especially since it's a true story. Plus I think Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon do such an incredible job.

It reminds me of what my mom used to say about a movie when it was based on a true story. For example, when we saw Out of Africa we fell in love with the movie, but when she found out that it was based on Isak Dennison's true stories she liked it even more.

I like watching Walk the Line over and over again because I catch different points I didn't catch the first time I saw it at the movies. There was so much passion in Johnny and June's relationship and they really really loved each other. I guess that explains why they only died a few months from each other.

I love it when Johnny tells her that it's the last time he's going to ask her to marry him and June answers, "Good, I hate reruns!"

Another favorite of mine is when June tells him, "You can't walk no line!"

After that when you listen to the lyrics of the song,"Walk the Line," you realize his intense love for her.

Same thing when you listen to the words to "Ring of Fire," that June wrote. When you look at when she wrote the song in relation to when they finally got together it makes you realize how much she loved him, even before she married him, but she couldn't have him because he was either married to his wife or drugs or both.

Yet through it all and when he's finally clean from drugs, she stands by him through it all. Even with all the demons of his past that haunt him she believes in him and sees the good in him. It's such an incredibly romantic story.

Lyrics from "Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash

As sure as night is dark and day is light
I keep you on my mind both day and night
And happiness I've known proves that it's right
Because you're mine, I walk the line

"Ring of Fire" by June Carter-Cash

Love is a burning thing
and it makes a firery ring
bound by wild desire
I fell in to a ring of fire...

I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down,down,down
and the flames went higher.
And it burns,burns,burns
the ring of fire
the ring of fire.

The taste of love is sweet
when hearts like our's meet
I fell for you like a child
oh, but the fire went wild..

My Crazy Dreams

I have a reoccurring dream every so often. I'm in college and I have to take a test for a class I never went to all semester. When I check my schedule I was supposed to have taken the class but for some reason, unexplained to me, I never went to class. In the dream I'm always having an anxiety attack and I'm asking myself first of all, why didn't I go to class? I realize that somehow I forgot to go all semester long.

Next I'm trying to figure out if I can go ahead and take the test and just guess at the answers or should I just forget it all together? And the best part is this. This is my last semester and if I fail this class I'm going to have to go back to school for one more semester just to take this class. Not the end of the world, but in my dream I feel like it is.

I always wonder what this dream means. I don't mean in some psychic sense, because I don't believe in that. I mean in a psychological sense. I know that I must be feeling inadequate in some area of my life.

Last night I had an interesting twist to this dream. I was in Miranda's class and they were having a test, maybe a spelling test, that I knew nothing about. I was walking Miranda into her class room, which I never do, we drop the kids off in front of school. I panicked when I realized they were having a test. I hadn’t even had time to study the words with her. It changed and it was me taking the test instead of her and it was her teacher administering the test.

This time the dream is crystal clear to me and maybe it explains my own dream too. I feel out of control. For the first time in Miranda's life I feel like I'm somewhat out of control of the situation. By out of control I mean that I'm not there with her in school watching what she says and does. She is now on her own as far as her behavior. I'm also out of control as to whether she listens to the teacher and learns. She has to do it on her own. It's my job to build on that when she comes home, but I’m really not in control of what happens while she's in school.

And what about the part about me taking the test instead of her? I think I must feel responsible for her success or failure. I feel like I too am being graded as a parent. I’m terrible about getting her to school on time! That’s something that I struggle with every day. I have to get her to school by 7:55 because they bell rings by 8 and instead I always slide into the driveway by 8:05, right before the tardy bell, but still late none-the-less. I beat myself up about it every day, but I still continue to run late.

Isn’t that crazy? I guess it’s part of the craziness of being a parent. The funny thing is that it answers the question about my own dream too. I guess I am a control freak after all! :) As if we didn't all know this.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

New Photo

How do you like the new picture of me? Lapel badge and all! Hey! Does anyone know where that picture in the top right corner of the page is? I just chose this new template but I'm wondering what that's a picture of. Is it in NYC? If anyone knows post a comment or send me an e-mail. There's a link to my e-mail on my profile page. Thanks for reading and come back soon!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

New Look

I was getting bored with the same 'ol same 'ol. I'm trying to change the picture on my profile too. That's next.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Procrastination 101

I have always been a procrastinator, but ever since the children started school I have taken it to the next level. I got a ticket going to Austin a few weeks ago. Yes, I know I know. I tend to be a speed demon when I'm in the car by myself. Anyway, I was speeding down Hwy 71 and there behind some trees was our friendly local law enforcement agent. He was actually very polite and to the point.

I kept telling myself I needed to take care of that ticket but of course I never did. Then I went to Miami and I was really running out of time.

So here we were the last week of the month and I decide to look at the ticket. I find out that if I want to take defensive driving I need to have the form notarized! Have you ever heard of such a thing? Then I need to pay the fee online by the next day and it has to be postmarked on the 27th too.

It was 11 o’clock at night on the 26th and I called my cousin. I forgot she’s not a notary any more. Next morning I called my friend and she’s not a notary any more either, but her father-in-law is. So the next day I had a sales call in Cleveland, Texas and on my drive back in I stopped at her husband’s insurance office because her father-in-law works there.

I had the paper notarized, I continued to work for the day, picked up the kids from school and went to the gym. I figured I’d pay the fee for the ticket when I got home and then get to the post office before midnight, so that it could be postmarked by the 27th.

First off, my Internet decided not to work. I could not get to the official payment website to pay the fee. Of course it didn’t. That’s what happens to you when you procrastinate. I had to wait for my husband to get home and then of course he got home later than usual. He couldn’t get the Internet to work, but it did work on my laptop. He hooked my laptop up to the printer and I went ahead and paid it there. I needed to have a print out showing that I’d paid the ticket to include in the mailing with my notarized form. By now it’s 11 p.m.

I get to the post office at 11:15 and when I got to the drop box I see that it says that the last pick up time was 8 p.m. I panic. My mother always told me that if you mail something before 12 a.m. at the main post office it will be postmarked for that same day. I went to the post office with her at night many times, which is what I told the man who came to the window when I rang the doorbell.

I asked him if there was any way he could take my letter and postmark it for the 27th and he told me absolutely not. Apparently they stopped postmarking mail before midnight three years ago. My mom passed away six years ago so she wouldn’t have known that.

Then I told him my predicament. I begged and asked if there was any way at all that he could do it. Finally he said there was a way. He told me to use the machine that they have set up to send packages. You can also buy stamps there and it’s dated the date that you buy it. Since I already had stamps on my envelope he said he’d show me how to get a 1 cent stamp.

He looked like Morgan Freeman with a beard and he had that same impatient attitude with me, like he was half amused and half exasperated. He’d growl at me when I didn’t punch the button fast enough. “I said, ‘Enter’” he said impatiently. It was really funny. I thanked him profusely and told him I would always remember him. He said that at least now they wouldn’t have to send a warrant out for my arrest.

That reminded me. When I was reading the paperwork that they gave me with the ticket, earlier that night, it listed the different options. Option 1- Pay Ticket, Option 2- Take defensive driving, etc.. Option 5 was “Do Nothing.” Then it said that the consequences were that they would send a warrant out. When Rey saw me struggling that night to get the ticket fee paid and mailed off he said, “So you chose Option 5.” That’s our new saying now.