Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lesson Four AND Five

Okay guys,

I'm a little behind here. The campaign is heating up, and early voting began yesterday. Also, I waited until pretty close to the last minute to finish judging for a writing contest I had agreed to judge for. I like to give each entry a good deal of time, and several read-throughs, so that I can give the best feedback and most help to each entrant as I can, so it took up most of the last few days of last week to do justice to each entry.

Not that I'm saying you guys aren't important. You SO are. But, let’s just say, there wasn't a fixed deadline for posting, and so it got shuffled back. Sorry. :-)

So, I've decided to skim over lesson four. After all, it's pretty self explanatory. A four year old, a three year old, and a two year old. Trying to keep that lot still, presentable, and from destroying the studio? Pretty much impossible. We spent about ten minutes trying, they got a five second shot of peaceful lull somewhere in the ten minutes, and I bundled the kids off. Everyone--the kids included, was happy to have that over and done with.

So, on to Lesson Five.

Wendy foreshadowed it a bit. Not everyone is nice, especially in small town politics. Some people are darn un-nice. (Yes, I'm pretty sure that isn't a word, but it's my blog and I like the un-word, so it stays.)

So, we started to get hate mail. But with a twist.

They sent it to all our neighbors.

Saying awful, evil, obviously untrue things about DH.

We have great neighbors. The first to bring over an envelope was our French neighbor from across the street. I was home alone, and he asked to see DH. He said he'd gotten some trash mail, and thought DH needed to see it, but it was so awful, he didn't show it to me.

Yep. It was bad enough that French neighbor wanted to protect me from it.

They kept coming. A string of neighbors, angry and disgusted for us, and that someone was sending this filth to them. An unintended effect is that as a whole, the neighbors (even the generally non-voting neighbors) have all said they're voting, and are going to tell everyone they know to vote for DH. Yep. The letters made them that mad.

We called the police.

Since DH is running for office, and on a strong law enforcement platform, they got right on it. Of course, we still have no idea who is sending the letters out. They are creative though, I'll give them that.

We haven't mentioned anything about it to anyone. I guess the lack of attention upset them, because they've gotten more creative with the letters by the day.

Then the creepy calls started this weekend.

Yep folks, we are now getting death threats. Over a local election! Seriously.

So, lesson five? If you're going to run public office, make sure you are prepared. Because not everyone is nice when politics are involved. Even local politics. Maybe especially local politics.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lesson Three in A Cautionary Tale

So ladies, (and gentlemen too if any of you out there are so inclined) a word of advice. Do not ever, ever, ever make the mistake of putting highlights in your own hair at home while your significant other is running a political campaign. Even if you think you're really good at it. Even if you've done your highlights at home before.

Trust me.

If it can go wrong, it will. And if you are anything like me, you'll end up with unnatural orange streaks in your hair.

Well, that's not so bad, right? I mean, I could wear a hat. Wait a couple weeks and see if the color tones down some?

Yeah, that's what I said.

Then I went swimming.

The color got even brighter and more unnatural. Im talking ORANGE. Yeah, that orange.

Still, there was always the hat option.

Then DH comes home Wednesday evening with some information. The guy who is helping him with his campaign has decided that he needs a TV commercial. He's set him up with a professional studio who will do it for practically nothing, because they owe the guy helping DH a favor.

I smile. "Thats a great idea honey. It sounds like a perfect way to get the word out."

I wiggle my toes, secretly thankful that with the advent of the commercial, handing out cards won't be nearly as important.

He grins. "Great! So we'll need to be at the studio Friday afternoon. Do you have any idea of what we ought to dress the kids in?"

I stare at him. "What? We? The Kids? What?"

My hands fly to my orange hair. "Friday afternoon? But, my hair!!"

He shifts his weight and looks past my head and out the window. "Yeah, well...you might need to fix it." His gaze flies back to mine. "I mean, I like it, but it's not very conservative..."

"Uh, Yeah, I have to fix it," I wail. "But do you have any idea how long it takes to get an appointment with a decent colorist??"

He frowns. "Well, you have till Friday. That should be plenty time."

I consider strangling him at this point. Then I realize that my hands won't fit completely around his neck. And then another thought occurs. "The kids are going to be in the commercial? The four, three, and two year old kids? Our Kids?"

He shifts again. "Yeah, that's what I thought. But helper guys says its okay if they don't stay still. We can have them playing in the background as I talk."

I snort, as I envision the kids ripping hundred thousand dollar cameras off shelves and crawling up the vertical section of the green screen. My snort obviously telegraphed the entirety of my misgivings, because DH nodded.

"Yeah," he said. "But we can give it a try and see, right?"

He looks earnest, and my heart does that little fillip it does when he looks particularly adorable.

"Okay, we can give it a try. But I'm not going to be in the office tomorrow, because I HAVE to get my hair fixed."

He looks relieved. "No problem. If you need me to cover any appointment you have, just tell me."

So, the next day, I call my hair stylist.

She's wonderful. Stylish, funny, engaging and always booked for months.

I throw myself on her mercy. I tell her my sad story, and she is appropriately horrified for me. She agrees that I can't possibly go on television with orange hair, and agrees to see me after her last appointment. Even if I DID try to color my hair without her help. I was abjectly greatful.

She stayed until 9:30 pm, and made my hair beautiful. I LOVE her.

And that is why you should never color your hair yourself if your husband is running for office.

Lesson Four involves not trying to use your toddlers in a TV commercial. Especially if there are three of them, four and under. Coming soon folks, coming soon!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Cautionary Tale: Lesson #2, and a plug for Critique This WIP

I'm back with Lesson #2 as promised.

So to bring you up to speed if any of you are joining us for the first time, Lesson #1 of the Cautionary Tale is that it's important to listen when your significant other speaks to you. Even if you're in the middle of working through a pivotal scene in your WIP. It's equally important NOT to answer any questions with mppphhh, or uh huh, or yes, unless you are aware of what has been asked of you. Trust me on this.

I didn't listen. And I did answer uh huh, mpppphhh, and yes. And a week and a half later I came home to a tower of campaign materials on my doorstep, and a hubby who is now running for town board.

So after moving the stack of materials, and after confronting hubby, who replayed the entire conversation for my edification, I shrugged, and asked myself, "Well how much work could it be?"

Okay. Second mistake.

LESSON NUMBER 2. If you ever become involved in a campaign for public office, no matter how lowly the position, it will be A LOT of work. When I say a lot, I don't mean you'll have to dress up, look pretty on DH's arm and smile adoringly as he gives his positions on the issues. I tend to be an introvert, but I could manage that, right? In the name of being a supportive spouse?

I wouldn't know. Because I haven't gotten a chance to do the above. What I have gotten to do is hand out said campaign materials. I'm not talking a couple hundred cards. Nope. He ordered 52,000 cards. And obviously he couldn't pass them all out himself, even if he was working hard on it. So, like any supportive spouse, I took a stack, put on my walking shoes and started campaigning. It was the least I could do for accidentally encouraging him to run, right? Besides, the stacks of boxes sitting in the living room made me feel guilty every time I walked by. Okay, so I'd hand out some cards.

In between handing out cards, it is also apparently important to write letters to the editor of the local paper. You see, it's an effective way to delineate the candidate's stances on the issues. Except that the candidate him/herself can't have their letters published. Candidates spouses however, can have their letters published. Oh well, I'm a writer, right? I can knock out a few letters to the editor and sound halfway intelligent. Right? Right. Ummm--it's actually harder than it sounds. The trick is to write in sound bites that can't be taken out of context and misconstrued. Ha. Ha, ha, ha, ha.

But that isn't all! As a candidate's spouse, you are subject to answering questions about DH's stance on the issues, including law enforcement. In the grocery store. At the zoo. At the children's school. Good thing I was listening when he told me what his stance was. Now, you may wonder how anyone recognized me as a candidate’s spouse.

Which brings us to LESSON 3: Do NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT, try to put highlights in your hair at home when your hubby is running for office.

Non-sequitur? Nope. Stay tuned, it'll make perfect sense.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I've Been a Bad, Bad Blogger/A Cautionary Tale

Here it is Thursday, and I haven't updated my blog for the week.
I have excuses.
But they're just that, so I'm backing away from the temptation to share said excuses.

Instead, I'll share something interesting. Hmmmn.
((taps fingers on beautiful piano desk.))

Well, let's see....Oh, I know!!

I'll share a cautionary tale, as lived out by me.

So, the pretty little town I live in is experiencing an explosion of crime.
A big explosion. There were 12 bank robberies in our county this last year, and 11 of them were in our little town. Home invasions and robberies in our town have more than doubled in the last year. I could go on, but you get the idea, right?

So, I'm at my trusty laptop, when DH says to me, "Hun, I think I should run for town board."

"Mmmmfh," I say, trying to decide whether my hero has grinned, smiled, or merely quirked the corner of his mouth.

"We really need somone with law enforcement experience on the board. Look at our policing levels, and our exploding crime rate."

"Yes," I say, having decided that less is more--the quirk is what I need.

"Well, that was easy. I thought I'd really have to sell you on the idea. I'm off to order campaign materials."

"Uh, huh," I say, trying to figure out what my fiesty heroine's reaction will be to hero's quirk of the lips. Is she amused? Annoyed? Indifferent?

Fast forward a week and a half. I pull into my driveway, and before I get the keys to off position, I see it. A tower--and I do mean tower, of white boxes, stacked so high and wide, I can't get to my front door.

"What the--" I say, (slightly cranky about the mountain of boxes I have to move before I can enter my house.)

I reach up to about the five foot level and try to pluck a box from the top of the stack. It doesn't move. I try again, with more vim. Gosh, it's heavy. What is in here?

I cut the tape with my keys and open the box. Yup. Campaign materials. Cards to be specific, urging all and sundry to vote for DH.

Errrm??? Well crap. I'd better move some of these so I can get through the door.
I corner DH when he gets home. I'm tired, sweaty, and maybe a little cranky, seeing as I'm waving a campaign card wildy as I approach him.

He listens to my questions, fired like pellets from an airgun.

He waits for me to peter out.

"We had this conversation," he says patiently. Then DH replays the conversation word for word, and even attempting to duplicate my voice.

"Ooooh," I groan. Despite the fact that my husband always makes me sound like the queen of England when he mimics me, I do vaugely remember this conversation.

"Anyway," he finishes,  "I have the cards now--I HAVE to run."

LESSON #1. Pay attention when your significant other speaks. Even if he/she speaks while you're in the middle of tweaking a pivotal scene. Trust me on this.

I berate myself silently for not paying better attention when DH speaks. Then I shrug. Oh well, he's running. How much work could that be??

Tune in next time, and I'll share LESSON #2 with you...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Critique This WIP

Hi guys!
One of my critique groups has put together a blog. It's called Critique This WIP and I just posted my maiden blog on  it!

I won't go on and on or repeat posts, but if you'd like to check it out, just click the link above.

Heather's comment from last time inspired me, so I wanted to share a few quotes on achieving your dreams. We'll get there, but it'll take work. I'm up for it. How about you?

"I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen." --Frank Lloyd Wright

"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity." --Louis Pasteur

"Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent." --Sophia Loren

Apparently guys, persistence works regardless of your chosen profession. Let's get at it!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Well, I got my first rejection this week.

It was kind, and personalized, and a rejection.

I'm very glad that the person who asked for the partial did so, and took the time to read my work. I'll keep tweaking, and getting better, and researching homes for the manuscript.

And just for today, I'll hug the rejection close, and revel in it. Because after finishing and polishing your manuscript, rejections are the next big step towards getting published. I just took that next step.

Onward and upward folks! Keep at it, and eventually we'll get there!