Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Patience is a virtue...

or so the saying goes. Well, I am clearly not very virtuous at all.

After a night of tossing and turning and almost no sleep I am approaching my 38th week of pregnancy a grumpy, hormonal mess. The early hours of this morning found me calling my teenage sons on their mobiles, screaming a torrent of abuse at them for screeching all night. They were up playing games all night long in the garden and they were extremely loud. As I need my windows open, lest I feel like suffocating, well I'd had enough by then. Not entirely proud of the language I used, but they did finally quieten down and I haven't seen them since. I suspect they are hiding from their hormonally crazed mother!


Mind you at age eighteen and almost sixteen a bit of consideration would not go amiss, surely. I pity our neighbours, because they really were noisy.

I have often said I think I prefer the boys when they have the grumps, at least then they are quiet. In a good mood they bounce off each other and just revert to small boy sillyness. They can be quite funny like that, but not at four in the morning! And as for all that male posturing, heaven help me...

Told you I was in a grumpy mood, didn't I?

It always amuses me, actually, when folks assume that I must have oodles of patience just because I have a large family. Urm no!

I think my tolerance levels are higher, they have to be, lest I drive myself insane, but patience...Especially not when I am pregnant. And it's the summerhols. Oh what joy...

Actually to be fair, the children, the younger ones anyway, have been brilliant. They have been playing out, with the older ones looking after Tj and they have been spending hours at the local park, giving me some much needed peace. I usually love the summer holidays as we are always busy and I think that's what making me even more grumpy. The fact that I cannot DO anything!!! I have the energy of a postage stamp, can't walk far and nesting has kicked in big time. I just want to stay at home and well nest. Everything is ready for one little man to make his appearance and he is keeping us waiting. Add to that constant niggling and being in pain every time he moves and complete sleep deprivation and woe is me, lol.

I am pregnant, hear me roar!

In other, patience related news. I am still waiting to hear back from publishers and stalking my e-mail. Did I mention I hate waiting?

and this is me in my fetching pjs, cause I couldn't be bothered to get dressed at 38 weeks exactly...

Maybe next time I get to blog I might actually be posting a pic of Markus, here's hoping!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

In Limbo..

It's a strange feeling being in limbo.

Having successfully completed my latest manuscript it is now subbed to publishers and the wait begins. In fact I have a total of  five manuscripts out there awaiting verdicts *gulp*.

Two fulls, two partials and one shortie, with the deadline to hear back from one full coming to a head this week. I may just go into labour if it's good news ;-)

Whenever I hit the send button on a submission query I do so with a certain amount of trepidation, hopefulness and a silent prayer. Knowing that an editor somewhere will look over my baby with a critical eye, is nerve wrecking to the extreme. And once it's sent I try my very best to adopt a que sera sera attitude and try not to stalk my e-mail, but I fail miserably at the no stalking rule every time, lol.

Though I have to say it gets easier, sort of. There is no point in writing, if you then do not gather up the courage to submit. And whilst rejections hurt, they are an inevitable part of the process and if you're lucky you get some valuable feedback, that can only make your writing stronger.

For now though, I find myself in limbo, with no story clambering to be told. I did write the first 400 words or so of Lucas' story (the vamp in my latest ms) and I have the bare bones of an exciting plot, but I have firmly shut the door in Lucas' handsome face for now, because right now I need to concentrate on another man in my life. Baby Markus, due any day soon.

My little man has been quietly cooking in the back ground from the  moment of conception, really. You see I have no idea of my dates and I had no idea that I was pregnant, not a mean feat with you ninth baby. He is very much wanted and planned, in so far as hubbie and I adopted a if it happens it happens attitude last summer and stopped using contraception. Neither one of us really expected anything to happen quickly, because of my age.

However, Markus clearly had other ideas and I must have conceived sometime around the madness that was Nano last November. In addition to writing feverishly we also had to deal with health worries over our eldest son, who had a tumour in his jaw removed in December. He has since been given the all clear and his jaw is filling in nicely. He may need another op in the future for cosmetic purposes, but health wise he is fine, thankfully.

So perhaps it's not surprising that I put the early pregnancy symptoms down to stress and the kids tummy bugs etc etc. Due to long term breastfeeding, the lack of periods was also not a give-away, as I literally only had a couple since Tj was born three years ago and had not written them down.

It finally dawned on me at Christmas time, that I hadn't been feeling well for some time and all my clothes were getting tighter, yet I hadn't gained any weight. Hmmmm! I found an old cheapy pregnancy test left over from Tj in a drawer and the early hours of Boxing day found me sitting on the loo, clutching one of the strongest positives I have ever had over nine pregnancies...

We then had the fun of deciding when exactly this baby was due. Original date was 27th August, which was brought forward to 13th and finally 10th August, which officially mean Markus is due in about three weeks time. Will I get there? I'm not sure. Having been there, done that a few times, I doubt it. I have had a few false starts over the last few weeks, nothing for a few days and am silently hopeful that the next time things kick off, it will be for real, but we'll see.

I had a consultant's appointment last Friday, as my midwife had been unsure of Markus' position and he confirmed my personal opinion that my little man is very much head down and ready to be born any day. It was wonderful to hear him say the following, "He can come whenever he wants to now, he will be fine!"

Music to my ears, as I am planning a home birth or midwife led unit delivery and I was a tad worried I would have a fight on my hands if he decided to appear before the magic 37 week mark.

So, this weekend I have taken some much needed time to connect with my wriggling tummy and for the first time I have allowed myself to get really excited about his imminent birth. Tj is four in September, so it's been a long time since we had a baby in the house and I am so looking forward to endless hours of nursing, cuddling and baby wearing. And having a good night's sleep! Yes, you heard me correctly, a good night's sleep.

Thanks to breastfeeding and co-sleeping, we don't suffer from endless sleepless nights in this house, at least not until baby starts teething. Newborns are a doddle, lol. You can quote me on that, when I moan on here how exhausted I am ;-)

But, seriously, I can't wait!

However, I was reminded recently that I should take time to enjoy the last few days/weeks of my pregnancy, especially as this is definitely my last baby. I know I said this before, but at the grand old age of forty three, I feel as though I am pushing my luck having this one, so hubbie will go for the snip, as my age is clearly no barrier to our fertility ;)

So, this weekend has seen me taking it easy, connecting with baby Markus and catching up on my huge TBR pile. Hubbie and I have had great fun, identifying baby parts, tickling toes and playing games with our little man. All our babies are long with long limbs and Markus is no exception. He likes to stretch, which can be downright painful for me, but fascinating to watch nonetheless as you trace a whole arm or leg across my tummy. And he is a BIG boy. I reckon if he does go the whole three weeks he will be as big if not bigger than my six year old was and she weighed in at a whopping 11lbs 12 oz. Tj at 9lbs 2 seems tiny in comparison, lol

Time will tell. Feel free to make your own suggestions as to when Markus will arrive and how much he will weigh.

Personally I will try my best to enjoy these last few days/weeks of pregnancy and celebrate them for the miracle that they are. Never ceases to amaze me how we can create and carry these little beings in our body for nine months, how we can birth them and then can nourish them exclusively at the breast for at least six months if not longer.

Now I will go back to staring at my belly in wonder and enjoy being in limbo....

Sunday, 10 July 2011

The End

Two little words that make a writer's heart sing, or in my case be really annoying and tell everyone, "Do you know, I finished my manuscript! "If you haven't guessed by now, the early hours of this morning saw me typing The End on my paranormal Romance Lure of the Blood.

*small squeal and dance around the house*

Ok, more like big whoop, trying not to wake the kids and sleeping hubbie and gentle sway of hips and clap of hands, don't want to do myself an injury now. Beached whales don't dance all that well ;-)

At last count the word count for LOB stands at 50,916 K, which is not bad, considering this started out as an Erotic Short. Should have listened to Hubbie, who said right from the beginning that there was far too much scope for expansion and he reckoned I could get a full book out of it. And hey presto I did.

In fact I enjoyed creating this world so much, I foresee a few more stories involving this pack of shifters and their vampire friends. Certainly Lucas deserves his own story.

But for now I shall just bask in the deep satisfaction that I have finished another story and in my self imposed deadline. Should Markus decide to arrive tonight, I won't have a frustrated alpha wolf sitting on my shoulder, demanding his HEA. Phew, do you have any idea how demanding they can be? LOL!

Of course this is not the end. I have to edit, polish, proof read, edit and polish some more and then there is the dreaded Synopsis, before I am anywhere near ready to sub this to a publisher, but all those bits can be done in short bursts, once Markus is here, so it's all good :-)

For now..

Did you know, I finished my manuscript?

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Relinquishing control

After my last pity party thought I would put up a quick update. As the title suggests am still here, resembling a beached whale a little more every day. Officially I am 35 weeks today. Reading my pregnancy updates I had to chuckle. Yip, Markus has been doing all that for the last three weeks at least. 

He is now so low, I feel as though I am sitting on his head and walking, urm yes...

Officially my due date is 10th August, it was 27th, then 13th. As I have no idea about my dates, I am not all convinced that I'm going to last until August, but we shall see.  Today I had a bit of a show, cue hubbie ringing me up panicking after I texted him... bless him... you'd think after eight babies he'd be used to this by now ;-)

Of course it doesn't really mean anything other then things are progressing and I could go into labour tonight, next week or indeed in August. I often muse to myself that the unpredictability of late pregnancy and birth is good preparation for when that precious newborn is actually here and any idea of routine goes out of the window for the first few weeks, months at least.

Does this control freak the world of good, I tell you. You simply have to relinquish control when you are hugely pregnant, have a new baby in the house. Other people may not do things the way I do them, but as long as it gets done, does it really matter?

One of the most empowering things I was ever told was at an LLL meeting and it forms part of their philosophy. "People before things."

Such a simple, yet inspiring statement. The people we surround ourselves with should always come before things. People are what makes this life worth living, our interactions define us, they make us happy, they make us cry. We learn, we live through interactions.

This goes for writing too, come to think of it. Dialogue drives our stories forward. Who wants to read pages and pages of introspection or description, not me that's for sure. They have their place of course, but a book would be very dull, if it didn't contain dialogue. Sparkling dialogue is what keeps me reading as a reader and as a writer, I like my H/H to resolve their issues by talking.

For me, personally, it also means relinquishing control when writing and let my characters guide me. I blogged about how I write on our group blog here

Even if it means not writing a thing for days and having to wait until they speak to me again. I have one last chapter to write on my current WIP and part of me is itching to get it finished, but I haven't managed to do it yet. I know what I am going to write, but I also know that I will need to carry on writing and finish it, once I start, so it will have to wait till the weekend, when hubbie is around to keep the kids occupied. For some strange reason they need things like clothes washed, food cooked and picking up from school... ;-)

Of course if Markus decides to make an  early appearance, that plan will go out of the window too.

Ho hum, watch this space...