Archive for December, 2008

The Last

Posted in writing on 12/31/2008 by Susan Shay

There are lots of lasts in our lives, aren’t there? For some reason, they aren’t looked on nearly as sweetly as firsts.

First steps, first kisses, first jobs–they all have magic attached to them. Lasts traditionally are thought of with sadness. Last kiss. Last day. Last supper.

But some lasts are wonderful! Last payment. Last day before vacation. Last one in line for punishment. 😉

The last day of the year has some of both–magic and sadness. The magic is that all the mistakes, all the problems of 2008 are gone. The sadness is we’re leaving behind some wonderful times. And some beautiful people we’ve known–whether from death, location or logistics.

Last RWI meeting with some people I’ve truly enjoyed knowing who won’t be rejoining. Sadly, I’m afraid I won’t hear from them as often as in the past.

A couple of my very favs who we called Peanut Butter and Jelly tiptoed into the group, didn’t push their opinions, were quietly fun to be with,  and now they’re leaving.

They don’t blog. I don’t think they have a website. So I don’t think there’s a way I can keep up with them. I’ll miss them so much!

Last physical therapy session in Tulsa, since I’ve decided to switch to Cleveland’s therapy center. I’ll miss my Tulsa therapist a ton. And big surprise–from what I could tell he wasn’t the devil! (I’d been warned by a bf about people who make a living PTing.)

I’m looking forward to the last pain I’ll have in my hip. And the last time I limp because of it.

And the last time I’ll have to lean on John–My Cane. (Say it fast, it sounds like McCain. Since it’s blue, I thought the name was fitting.)

So what lasts are you looking forward to or glad to leave behind? And what ones are you dreading? You can tell me. I won’t whisper it to a soul.


Posted in writing with tags , , , , , on 12/30/2008 by Susan Shay

BLINDSIGHTI received my pub date for BLIND SIGHT! I’m so excited, I’m dancing all over the house. Woohoo!!!

This book has been a little slow in getting to the published stage. After signing the contract with one editor, who got lost along the way, I was “given” to Sarah, who already had a full load.

But Sarah did a fantastic job–and we had a little help from BF Meg (Margaret E. Reid) who was a reader for us. Another great job!

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Cassie Reynolds is channeling the dreams of a serial killer. But without the resources to stop him—if she’s able to discover who he is—how can she succeed? Only cynical Keegan Flynn, who believes in nothing and no one, has the tools needed to complete her gift. Will Cassie be able to make Keegan believe in time, or will Christmas this year be murder?

I was really afraid I’d be waiting until next Christmas before my manuscript made it to the presses. I’m thrill to tell you it won’t be that long.

In fact, BLIND SIGHT is getting published for my birthday–and DH’s and BB’s. (Kind of in the middle of all three.) 

The tentative date is April 17, 2009. Is that cool or what?

New Years

Posted in writing with tags , , , on 12/28/2008 by Susan Shay

Hey guys. I’m the SLUT blogger on Monday. Check it out!

I’ll be over there, talking about celebrating New Years Eve.

How do you celebrate? I’ve tried all kinds of ways. Private parties. Hotel parties when I was in college and my date and I were the only sober pair. And, most recently, staying home and going to bed.

Guess which one I’m doing this year. Or check out the blog at WRITING SLUTS and you’ll know. You can even come join me.

Snort. If you don’t mind dying of boredom. I’m not a big party-er. Never have been, even when I was young and single.

The NYE I knew DH before I married him, we went to a concert to celebrate. It sounds really boring, but it wasn’t. There were several rock bands playing that night, and a lot of funny smelling smoke in the place. We were sober, but not many others were.

That makes for a fun time, especially if you’re a people watcher like me.

But this year we won’t be watching anyone except each other. Just a little TV and maybe cracking a bottle of White Zen as a welcome–if we don’t fall asleep first.

What do you have planned?


Posted in writing on 12/27/2008 by Susan Shay

So have you started setting goals for next year? I read in a blog (I don’t remember which one) where the writer only had one goal for 2009: to de-clutter her life. Get rid of the junk.

BTW:  She said books aren’t junk. They’re treasures.

I agree with her 100%–and I disagree with her 100%. (Nothing undecided about me. 8) )

I know people who actually throw things away if they haven’t used them in a year! If my dad (who in the last several years has decided he hates clutter) gets something for Christmas he doesn’t think he’ll use, he gives it away to someone else. (When I give him a gift, I always say, “If you don’t want this, give it back to me!)

The other side of the coin–When my DH and I had been married a while, I bagged up several sweaters he hadn’t worn since I’d known him. “I’m getting rid of these sweaters,” I told him.

He frowned, unhappy with my idea. “But what if I need them sometime?”

“Then we’d have to unravel them, tie the yarn together and knit them bigger. I don’t think I can do that–and if I could I don’t think you’d wear it.”

I got my way that time, but he pretty much keeps me out of his closet these days. 😉

I just recently got rid of shoes that belonged to my mom, who died in 1991. That’s 17 years of shoe keeping for no reason. I know you can never go back and wear old clothes (or shoes) and have them look like anything but old things.  Why did I keep them?

Because they were Mom’s. And for a long time, I couldn’t let go of anything she’d worn.

I have old stories I wrote that will never sell. I’ve even kept the very first “manuscript” I ever wrote. The poor thing doesn’t even have chapters in it, because I thought I could always go back and find where they belonged later.

Many things I keep, like my babies’ shoes or clothes, because they can’t be replaced. Maybe I keep other things, such as old stories, to remind myself how much I’ve learned.

And to remind myself why I started down this road in the first place.

I love stories. Movies, books, short stories all entertain me best. I like writing them as well as reading them.

So I’ll keep a lot of old things, such as memories, friends and stories to remind me of the trail.

And I hope I can get rid of other things like hurt feelings and misunderstandings. Who needs those, anyway?

Recouperation Day

Posted in writing on 12/26/2008 by Susan Shay

The day after Christmas needs to be a day of recovery for all the moms who celebrate the Big C. For me, at least, Christmas is killer! And I didn’t do nearly as much this year as I normally do.

I got up yesterday morning and wrapped one more present, put together the brunch casserole and made coffee. The kids got here about 10:00. Since no one wanted to be Santa (pass out the presents) I had a brilliant light bulb moment.

We’d share the job!

I handed Oldest Son one of his gifts and told him to get one for someone else, then he could open his. That person would get one for someone else, and they could open theirs.  And so on.

It worked fairly well, except my kids are all so considerate, trying to find a present for the family member who hadn’t opened one lately. It took forever!

And everyone scored! In addition to the gifts DH had asked for, I surprised him with a big popcorn popper like in movie theaters, but slightly smaller for our entertainment center he’s planning to build. Right now it’s the game room, but serving as MS’s TV room as well as our storage room.

I got a couple of real Christmas surprises. One was an ornament that has a slide show of pictures of my boys as well as DIL and DIL2b. (I’m planning on a wedding for bb and DIL2b. I really like that girl!) It’s so thoughtful, it made me cry. I saw pictures I’d forgotten about as well as pics of the two girls. Almost like sharing a little of their childhoods, too.

And the other real surprise was one #1 son and DIL gave everyone–Lucky Golden Poo. It looks like a chocolate chip that’s been dipped in gold, and it hangs on a red braided thread. I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do with it, but I’ll let you know when I do.

After we ate, MS put The Spice Girl’s movie on (yes, he asked for it. Go figure) and I fell asleep. My nap wasn’t long enough, so I had to watch part of that silly movie. Learned more about the Spice Girls than I ever wanted to know. (Way more.)

When everyone left and we’d cleaned up a little, I got my stuff together and MS and I went to Sister Amy’s for Christmas with my Dad and sibs. At least the ones who were there.

#4 didn’t make it. 😦  I wasn’t really surprised–she’s only off work for Christmas Day and has to go back the day after, and she lives 3 hours away–but we missed her.

We played Dirty Santa and had a lot of fun. I ended up with a neat screw driver set that’s supposed to have a light built in, but we couldn’t make it work. I’m hoping DH will fix it for me. If he can’t, it’ll be the first thing he can’t correct. 😉 That boy is handy.

Sister Debbie was there with her daughter and son and new DIL, Sister Cindy came with her DH, her 5 kids and new-in-October SIL, Brother Jeff came by with his oldest daughter, son and new-last-winter SIL, we were at Sister Amy’s house with her DH, two daughters and a drum set. (ouch) And of course, Dad and his wife, Romanza, were there. Romanza gave us chocolate covered blueberries. Yummers!!! 🙂

The food was over the top–Dari Diner BBQ, ham, home grown tomatoes, hummus, cheese dip, and everything that goes with any of it. And Christmas candy out the ears!

Busy day for the families around here. How about you guys? Do you have a special way you celebrate Christmas?

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Posted in This and that with tags , on 12/25/2008 by Susan Shay

Wonder how many blogs have that title this a.m? It might not be original, but it’s heartfelt!

Remember when you were a kid and worried if Santa remembered what you wanted? Now days, I worried whether I got what the kids wanted.

Do things change or what?  

Christmas Eve at the Shay house was great. All the kiddos were home and we ate till we popped. And I plopped! Snoozed all the way through Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. I love that movie.

Want to know what we ate? Prime rib, baked taters, grilled asparagus, salad, deviled eggs and sour cream muffins. Yummers! Oh, I made hummus, and DIL made red velvet cookies.

Now I’m getting ready to make a breakfast casserole. We bought cinnamon rolls to go with it. (DH taste tested them yesterday and they were delicious!)

I hope your Christmas is beautiful and you hear from all your loved ones, even if you don’t get to be with them.

Merry Christmas!

Wrapping Orgy

Posted in This and that on 12/24/2008 by Susan Shay

I’ve done it again. Every year I plan to start early, be like everyone else, and get Christmas finished ahead of time. Be ready to kick back and sip eggnog.

This year, as usual, I put it off until the last possible minute. Today I’m having my annual wrapping orgy. That’s what I call it when I have to wrap all my gifts (and some for others) on Christmas Eve and toss them under the tree.

I’ve heard about people who they have their gifts purchased AND WRAPPED by Thanksgiving.

It’s probably just an urban legend. But if it isn’t, imagine buying the gifts so early that you have to clean them–and around them.

I always wonder if those early shoppers have to buy special gift wrap that repels dust. (They only sell it until Thanksgiving, then it goes off the market.)

Maybe I should start sniffing my gifts. If I smell Pledge, I’ll know the gifter is an early bird.

Once, many moons ago when I only had one child, I got an early start. I bought Christmas before Thanksgiving. Then per my normal habit, I bought after Thanksgiving. Then I bought more before Christmas.

I had enough presents to gift my dh and kid the whole year round. Trouble is, it’s hard to keep super cool stuff hidden from the fam. So I didn’t.

I know better than to do that again.

I’ve thought about scheduling the season. On my calendar on Nov. 1 I’d write, 9 gifts to buy and wrap. Using my calculator, I’d figure 55 days until Christmas. I  must buy one present every week or so. Wrap each gift as soon as I get it home.

Right. Not going to happen. I’d be giving things like ink pens, bow ties and marshmallow guns. Who knows what they want until it is Christmas?

Besides, it would ruin the Yuletide.

What’s the fun if you don’t have to pay extra for expedited shipping? Where’s the excitement if you don’t lie awake worrying if the big present for this child or that (or all of them) is going to get here in time?

Sounds as if being organized would take all the fun out of Christmas. Besides, I have other things to do in November.

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