Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wrapping Up 2006

I've found my grail.

We visited Mount Vernon yesterday. I want it. Not it, specifically, but a nice-sized colonial house on a hill overlooking a body of water and some trees and maybe a mountain or two. The ocean would be fine as an alternative, and if there was a giant, ancient oak tree as part of the view? Excellent.

I just got home from a fabulous visit with my brother, his wife, her sister and brother-in-law, and said sister's two delightful kids. The older one got sick, so we didn't see her as much as we'd have liked, but the younger one came with us to the new Air and Space Museum and she was a lot of fun.

I didn't even know they'd built this new site, near Dulles Airport. It's an old hangar, or built like a hangar, and it's chock full of planes of all sizes, and all the space stuff, including the Enterprise shuttle. We did a ride in the simulator to visit the international space station and had ice cream. There were tons of artifacts, and an air traffic controller exhibit, and really friendly, knowledgable staff. I highly recommend it. Free admission, $12 per car for parking, so load up the minivan to go.

The kids were exhausted, though. Number two was up until 1:00 a.m. Wednesday night at a friends, and past 10 the last three nights (including tonight), and Number one was up until past 10 for four nights, so they didn't enjoy the museum as much, and I anticipate them to be cranky brats tomorrow. C'est la vie.

The best part was something my brother and sister-in-law told us, that I can't repeat. It's their private info to blog about. Or it would be, if either one of them blogged. If you're one who should know, you will eventually.

Came home to my own cranky brattiness, however. Dog got into litter box, messed all over the rug in the living room. After I cleaned it up, I found a wet hand towel from the hotel packed in with the laundry. The soaking wet, smelly laundry, now. Good thing I started unpacking instead of lying around on the bed watching football like someone else I could mention. Then when I tried to pull something off the pile dumped on the dining room table, I apparently knocked not only a single book to the floor, but a pen cup from the baker's rack behind me. Which prompted my husband to tell me to "calm down" and other such foolish things. I called him condescending and jerky. Which he was. He called me bitchy. Which I also was. But here's the thing: After 18 years, don't you think he'd REMEMBER that saying such things just prolongs what is probably already settling down? Just leave me alone, and I'll be fine. I can manage my own tantrums. Don't blow on them to keep them going.

I got my last shipment of Bombshells today. It's sad. I love these books. Luckily, one is a Medusa book, my second favorite miniseries, and one is the final book of the Madonna Key, by one of my favorite Bombshell authors and a crossover with a previous miniseries that is my favorite. One is by an author whose books I always love, and the other is by an author who writes well and is the last of a trilogy that will be nice to complete, though the heroine is a very silly triplet who is now a vampire and is in first person.

Here's the final annoyance of the night, though. As a writer targeting Bombshell, I have known since the decision was made that they were terminating the line. Regular readers did not, and Harlequin didn't see fit to notify its book club members until this final shipment. They included two free Harlequin Intrigues, claiming the "editors" said that was the line closest to Bombshell. I appreciate two free books. I don't appreciate being automatically enrolled in the Intrigue book club. If I wanted to be, I already would be. In a bit of bitter irony, they have given me two books that are almost the total opposite of Bombshell. In one, the heroine is a victim is something who is rescued by an arrogant, credit-stealing man she hates but apparently has flaming lust for. The other features a hero who is a special agent or something whose only hope is the woman he spurned, whose parents warned her against him. I mean, come ON. These are anti-Bombshells. I'll try them, but I have a hard time getting through books like that anymore.

I just got up to fix my tea and found my half and half frozen. The butter behind it seems to be frozen as well, but the corn under the butter and the Gogurt next to the half and half are both fine. I wonder if I should be worried about my refrigerator.

Tomorrow is the last regular football game of the season, and that makes me sad, too. Even though the Patriots are going to the playoffs and therefore will play at least one more game, it means I'm facing eight months without the game. Seems like a very short time ago we were reassuring each other that we were only halfway through the season.

So 2006 is ending with a lot of endings. Some expected, some temporary, but all leaving a feeling of sadness. Which isn't what I expected of 2006 at all. We started the year with the decision that I would quit my day job in June. My last day of work was second only to my first day at the new job. Despite some difficulties adjusting and the other difficulties reduced income automatically brings, and despite the fact that nothing has come of it yet, I have loved being a full-time writer. I never want to be anything else. So what I really want is for 2006 to have been "out with the old" and now 2007 will be the "in with the new." I'm more than ready for it.

Luckily, no matter what happens with my writing, and to counter the sadness of the endings, TV will be returning to new episodes soon. There are also a great many Movie Events I'm looking forward to, and I don't care if they are all sequels. Sequel is no longer an evil word, like it was back in my childhood when Rocky V and Lethal Weapon IV were expected to suck, and did. Or like it was in that period (unfortunately not over) when sequels were movies with the same name but totally different characters, an inferior and likely really stupid plot, and often straight to DVD.

To all who are taking time to read this blog, thank you, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!


MaryF said...

Happy New Year, Natalie! Sounds like we have veryyyy similar temperments. Go figure ;)

Natalie Damschroder said...

Gee, that suprises me. Not. :)

Hey, Mary, if you read this comment, e-mail me, would you? I have something I want to ask you about non-publicly.