It’s been nearly two weeks since I posted a blog, quite the change from September. But you’ve missed these, right? Ha. My September goal was to write something each day and take a long break from my novel. These last few weeks have also been quite hectic. I’m not the biggest fan of posting a blog that is more like a “dear diary” entry, but a lot has happened in a few weeks, so I am going to ramble a little.
The last weekend of September I saw one of my best friends get married and reconnected with old friends. That was a beautiful and fun weekend.
|At a great friend's wedding. Congrats, Rachel!|
I also spent a weekend getting trained in a new fitness program called KettleWorX, choreographed kettle bell routines to music. I am proud to say that I am a fully certified “pass plus” KettleWorX trainer now!
|This is my third fitness cert and definitely one of the|
hardest to pass. I'm also a certified P90X trainer and
Turbo Kick instructor.
I spent a weekend night at my favorite haunted house, where (and I don’t mean to make fun) a friend with a heart condition had to be escorted out because it was all too much. That’s not something to laugh at, but damn if I don’t love that kind of intensity when it comes to horror. FrightNight in Forest City did not disappoint this year. (We made sure he was ok. And then the rest of us continued while he sadly sat outside.)
|Can you guess who had to sit out? Everyone is ok now!|
I saw a fantastic musical at Illinois Central College called Avenue Q that starred a former student who is now a friend and was directed by my boss at the college. I cannot believe the talent of all of our students. So incredible. And if you’ve never seen Avenue Q but have a chance to do so, don’t miss out. It’s hilarious and naughty but has a good deal of heart in between the obnoxious humor.
Most tragically, the son of one of my best friends died. I am happy to have spent some time with her and am happy (happy is not exactly the right word, but you understand) to have been able to go to the visitation and the funeral and see her beautiful family. All of that is her story to tell, and I don’t feel right writing more about it. I just want her to know that it is something we all will never forget, and somehow over time, all will be stronger and closer.
Then I managed to dress us as Hulk Hogan and give my college students a laugh. In one class, the students tried to sneak out cell phones and discreetly take pictures of me. I don’t know why they felt the need to be discreet. I was happy to pose for them! (By the way, I didn’t dress up randomly as Hulk; it was part of an 80s theme day at the college. Not that there’d be anything wrong with that if I did, right?)
|My Comm 110 class, several students also dressed 80s|
style. That's me front and center. WHATCHA GONNA DO!
And then today is my father’s birthday. My dad passed away four years ago this December. I’ve been using that Timehop app for Facebook. Most of the time, it’s pretty fun. You get to see the silly status or pictures you uploaded on this day for each year in the past that you had Facebook. But recently Timehop has been very sad. I’m seeing all the old status updates I posted about my dad to keep friends and family in touch. Today I saw a post about spending time with him on his birthday. It was the last time I would ever be able to see him on his birthday.
He was basically paralyzed in October of 2010. On October 10, 2010, I visited him in his nursing home. There was no gift to buy; there was nothing he could do anymore. ALS had melted his nervous system, and he just asked me to scratch his face and his arms. He still itched and felt uncomfortable, but there was nothing he could do about it. Isn’t that just terrible? Every time I stopped for a moment to rest, he’d cry, “Please don’t stop.” I spent the day talking to him and scratching him. It is probably the saddest yet most rewarding birthday I ever spent with him. And the last.
Today we had a midterm break, one day off from the college. So I devoted my day to revising the novel I wrote this past summer. It’s been over a month since I looked at it. What a much needed break that was! Today, fully refreshed, I started re-writing. It has a new title, more development of characters, a brand new prologue, and a new sense of direction. The meat of the story is still all there, but I’ve cut a lot of the fat out of the story and added some much needed seasoning. Of course, this process is going to take several weeks, but I’m hoping to have one day a week to spend with the story, and I have a new goal of having a full revision completed by January 1.
I envy those who can write a perfect story the first or even second time around. This will be my third major revision, but the first one after such a long break from the book. I’m very excited about what it is becoming.
And of course, all of the influences and happenings that occurred this month: You’ll see that they have made some kind of impact on the story. I’m not saying Hulk Hogan is a character, but there is nostalgia and a love of past heroes. And there is death and tragedy, but also escape and hope.
Thanks for being with me on this journey, friends.