Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Lenten mind set

I'm sorry it's been so long since my last post. Things have gotten a bit tricky lately.

Since my job is anywhere from forty minutes to an hour and fifteen minutes from where we live in the South Suburbs, Nathan and I were planning on moving when our lease is up, which is at the end of next month. We looked at apartments in suburbs between here and work but everything seemed way too much money for not too much apartment.

Then, Nathan's dad, Craig, offered to let us rent the house we were going to buy earlier. The rent would have been much cheaper than anything we could have found in the suburbs. As we started to plan and get ready for that, Nathan came home from work last Wednesday and told me he'd lost his job.

His company's profits have been falling and Nathan already survived a round of layoffs in December. Being in HR he knew this round was coming, but he was let go a day before everyone else.

I panicked at first, but when we calmed down and looked at things more objectively, the situation isn't as bad as it could be.

We did the whole living on one income thing when it took me four months at the beginning of our marriage to find a job. I make more now than Nathan did then and while we both worked, we were able to put some money in the bank. As long as Nathan gets a job before too long, we should be okay.

I don't know what's going to happen with the house. I'd like to think we can still live there, but we'll have to see.

And to be honest, this all comes at just about the prefect time. We were trying to move back home anyway and home is closer to my job than here, so it works out.

Still, last Thursday I reflected on the situation and found it to be just the right mind set to go into Lent with. I'm scared but hopeful.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love is Murder

This past Thursday night, I came home from work fairly certain I wouldn't be able to eat anything until the Love Is Murder Conference was over. Fortunately, Nathan encouraged me to eat and I did have dinner.

However, I was still so nervous about having to pitch to agents that when I bumped into two ladies from my writer's conference in the hallway just before my pitch, I asked them to let me practice with them. They were great and listened to me stumble my way through the pitch and offered wonderful advice and told me I'd do fine.

My first pitch was to a small publishing company and though they said they didn't want to see the book, they did say it sounded like a good story and something they would read, just not something they published. My second pitch didn't go well at all, except that the agent told me to shorten my pitch and make it punchier.

The third agent I talked to (who was later described to me as the toughest person in the room) could tell I was nervous and was very patient and helped me with the pitch and then said the book sounded fantastic and she wanted to see the whole thing! That helped a lot.

I went back the next day with a shorter pitch and more confidence. I pitched to everyone else in the room (I think there were 9 or 10 agents or publishing houses there) and all but one said they wanted to see some of it.

I really hope this yields at least one offer. It was really nice that by the time I was done I had my pitch memorized and people were interested.

I wouldn't have been able to do any of this without all of you. My friends and family gave me so much support and encouragement that you are the reason I went in the first place. I also owe a debt to my writer's group, who also provided a great deal of support and encouragement, even at the conference itself.

Lastly and most hilariously, in the conference room next to ours while we were there, was the national Reenactor Fest. Every time I stepped out into the hall there were people in costume. All kinds of costumes from Vietnam all the way back to Classical Greece. It was fantastic!! I have always wanted to be a reenactor. While Love is Murder was having its awards banquet, the reenactors in the next room were listening to a bagpipe corps. It was funny.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Raglan Road

My family is into Irish music in a big way. Every time we all get together, whether it's just my immediate family or the whole big group of Eatons, there's always Irish music playing somewhere.

My father asked me a while ago what my favorite Irish song was and I couldn't come up with one. Well, now I know. My favorite Irish tune is called "Raglan Road." The best version I have heard of it to date is the Dubliner's late lead singer Luke Kelly's version, it's mournful and beautiful. Here's a little rundown of my favorites.

1--Raglan Road
2--Fields of Athenry
4--Gypsy Rover
5--Spanish Lady
6--Wild Colonial Boy
7--Minstrel Boy
8--Leaving of Liverpool
9--Rare Auld Times

Let me know if I forgot any that you know I like.

P.S. I'll post on the conference after it's over...I'm just too stressed right now.