But here I am! Not dead! Not deserted! Alive and kicking!
So what's happened in the last 12 days or so?
I eventually got the Hallowe'en decorations down and put away, and turned over all my paper turkeys to Penny for her to put up. She put a sign on the wall by the dining room: "Beaware! Turkey Atack!" and put turkeys at every place at the table (like tiny placemats), and on every chair. It was merely amusing until she said, "Do you know why I put the turkeys on the table?"
I said, "Um. To decorate for Thanksgiving?"
"They're so we can all write what we're thankful for!"
Wow. I mean... Wow. What an awesome idea, Penny! She wrote on hers, "I am thankful for my family and friends." She's come a long way since last year, when for her class play, she wrote about being thankful for puppies and ladybugs.
Work has been... busy. Thus, the neglected blog. This week in particular was insane, as I had four software components and sixteen documents to edit and deliver, and a couple of those documents were in excess of 200 pages. Next week should be calmer, thank goodness, and the week after that (Thanksgiving week) is currently scheduled to be completely dead. I may take off a day or two more than I'd initially planned, if nothing extra crops up.
I got my first royalty check from my book last week (as those who follow the writing blog may already have seen). If seeing it up for sale made the whole thing feel official, it was the check that made it all feel real. I'm still waffling over what to do with it, though. I feel like this first one should be spent on something celebratory in nature... but what? If it had been the $50 or $100 I was expecting, I'd have gone out to eat somewhere extra-nice, but what do I do with $300?
I had a birthday earlier this week. My 39th, in fact. Vicki came over for dinner on Monday and brought me a present (the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince DVD -- she was shocked and dismayed to learn we didn't already have it, apparently) and then Tuesday morning I got up to extra hugs and kisses from the kids, and presents from Matt (the How to Train Your Dragon DVD and the Mouse and Dragon book and a really awesome necklace) and then I spent most of the day working from home. (Admittedly I stayed home because I was waiting for a locksmith to come and repair our front door, which apparently had gotten something stuck in it and no longer unlocked, but working from home was nice nonetheless.) That evening we had a nice dinner and chocolate cake, and then I stayed up until 1 in the morning to finish reading Mouse and Dragon. And then Wednesday, KT came over for dinner, and she gave me a mix CD (she is the undisputed champion mixer among my friends) and The Hunger Games (which she recommended recently and had been next on my to-buy list and I'm looking forward to reading).
I also got lots of Facebook waves, and cards and presents in the mail (checks and gift cards and Karen sent a gorgeous picture of a flower that she took and I've been wanting a print of since I saw it months ago). So all in all, it was one awesome birthday!
I admit to some trepidation over next year's. When I turned 30, it didn't bother me in the slightest, but for some reason, 40 sounds much more intimidating. Somewhere in my subconscious, I guess, 40 is the age at which physical appearance is no longer expected to be attractive. Which is not to say a woman over 40 can't be attractive, but where a woman in her 30s might be simply "sexy," the same woman in her 40s is "sexy despite her age." (I hasten to underscore that this is my subconscious and very much a mileage-may-vary thing.)
At any rate, it's a bit disheartening to have the magic age looming so closely, when I've only just started to have any real confidence in my appearance.
But rather than get entirely neurotic about it (I hope) I have decided that I'm going to throw myself an enormous birthday party next year. No, bigger than that. Not a joke party, with coffins to symbolize the death of my youth and "Over the Hill" balloons, but a fun party, with good food and great music and games for the kids (and possibly some for the adults) and bright, happy colors. The idea is to drown out the encroaching depression with cheerfulness. Mark your calendar; you're invited!
(Seriously. I'm considering renting a space and hiring a caterer. That big.)