Earthquakes, Hurricanes & Moving, Oh My!

We moved on Saturday. Chaos, of course. Boxes still hide half my stuff from me.

We have no phone or internet at the new house because Verizon was on strike. That makes online life very hard to maintain. Thankfully, we have cell phones, so at least we can make and get calls.

I had (minor) surgery on Tuesday. Told not to lift anything for 48 hours. Two days of unpacking lost. Plus, have you ever tried NOT lifting a toddler who is still in diapers, high chairs, and cribs? Yeah, that worked out well.

Then there was the earthquake. I don’t live near the epicenter in VA, but I was scared enough here in NJ. No way am I ever moving to CA. The whole house shook, everything rattled, I could feel the ground rolling under my feet! The funny thing was, I thought for a moment I had hallucinated it. I had a contractor out back working on my deck, and he didn’t even pause or look up while I was hanging onto the sofa for dear life. As soon as it stopped, I ran to the front door, but no one else was coming out of their houses. I had almost convinced myself I had imagined it, that it was some sort of side effect from the surgery, when I heard the water sloshing in the toilet bowls. I knew then it was real, because I would never have thought to imagine that detail. Besides, my daughter was upstairs in her crib screaming her head off.

So that all explains why the post is a day late.

I felt like I was living in a novel this past week – it seemed like one thing just piled on top of another, each complicating the earlier ones. Which is exactly what we want to do to our characters – pile on the problems so they don’t get a chance to breathe. If you’re at a loss as to how to up the ante, toss in an earthquake—it can happen!

And now Hurricane Irene is set to batter us. An earthquake and a hurricane in one week. Crazy stuff.

I want to know who’s writing this book I’m stuck in—I’d like to tell the author that I quit!

I should have Internet next week, and be back to business as usual. I hope you all weather Irene safely!


I am in the middle of moving frenzy. The big day is Saturday, and I still have a whole lot to pack! Kitchen is the current project.

I’m also waiting until the last minute to move baby girl’s toys, aniimals, and wall decorations from her room, because I want her to remain as stable and secure as possible throughout the move. She is already a little confused as to where other things in the house have gone (like the piano).

So this week’s blog will simply be a blog explaining why there is no real blog!

Next week will hopefully bring regularly scheduled programming. Except that Verizon is on strike so we have been unable to get phone or internet at the new house yet. I may have to hit a Starbuck’s to post – and I don’t even drink coffee!

Editing Your Life

I’m running around like a fool trying to pack up everything in my house because we are moving in less than two weeks. It’s not like this was a surprise, but you know how it is—you don’t jump into it until you have to because the project is almost too massive to contemplate and stay sane.

Of course, I’m not just packing. If all I was doing was dumping everything into boxes, that would be easy. But I firmly believe in not moving junk I don’t want or need to a new location. I am, after all, paying the movers by the hour so the less stuff they need to pack and unpack into the truck, the less I will pay. Besides, there is something freeing about divesting myself of old stuff with no purpose or meaning.

In essence, I am editing my life.

I am getting rid of all the stuff that once seemed important, but in hindsight is not. Of things that once meant something but no longer do. Of things that once fit me, but no longer fit who I am. Old clothes—I’m a stay at home mom whose body is a decidedly different shape than it was when I worked in an office many moons ago. Do I still need those business suits that no longer fit (and scream “Eighties!!!”)? Old paperwork—do I still need the repair history of a car I no longer own? Old memorabilia—if I can’t remember why I kept it, do I still need it? Old books—okay, I need all of them.

On the other hand, I am keeping all the things I still need. Not just the practical everyday things everyone needs, but things that are like a piece of me. A box with commemorative T-shirts. The old typed stories that were my first stab at writing. Photos. Shining mementos that bring me back to another time, that call up another human being as if they are in the same room…that recall events that made me who I am, moments of brilliance that made my life wonderful.

I couldn’t help (because I’m a geek) thinking how much like editing a book this process is. I edit to weed out the things that aren’t needed anymore. Things that may have been needed in the early draft, but now are simply dead weight. I kill my darlings. I rework prose that no longer fits the style.

And I keep the things that work. Those phrases that capture a character or place perfectly. The dialogue that sparkles. All of the gems that make the story shine and glitter. Weeding out the flotsam allows them to shine.

So weed out some unnecessary junk in your words and in your life. Let your essence burn bright, strong, and unfettered.

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