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Monday, December 19, 2011

10 things I love about Ryan

1.  When I'm already snuggled in bed but my feet are cold because I forgot to put on socks, he'll get out of bed himself, go get me socks and even put them on for me.  It's delicious to have someone put socks on for you.  Never tried it?  Do so immediately!

2.  He's super silly.  But it's like a secret that not many people know because he's normally so serious.  It makes me feel special that he shares that side of himself with me.

3.  He was brave and accepted the challenge of moving to Egypt with me even though he didn't have a job or any idea what he was going to do when he got here.

4.  When I'm watching a show that he "doesn't like" ie, Big Brother, Glee, True Blood; he watches out of the corner of his eye and then makes me stop the show to ask questions.  Not because he likes it, but because if it's going to be on he might as well understand the plot.  :)

5.  He doesn't care about money and material things aren't important to him.

6.  Every night before he goes to sleep he talks to the dog, telling her how pretty she is and how much he loves her.

7.  He surprises me sometimes by just coming over to give me a kiss or blow a raspberry on my belly.

8.  When I'm not feeling well he takes care of me.  I mean really takes care of me, not just asking if I need anything, but brings me water and medicine and puts me to bed.  I feel safe when I'm with him.

9.  He does the dishes when I cook!

10.  He cares.  About me, the world, everything.

I am truly blessed to have such a man in my life.  

Friday, December 16, 2011

Things we overlook

I'm sitting on my couch on a Friday afternoon (that's the start of the weekend here in Egypt). My computer is propped in front of me on the coffee table reminding me that I should be working on the new chapter I started writing this week. But for some reason I've been on an old movie kick lately, so instead I'm watching Mary poppins and drinking the most amazing hot chocolate with mint! The Christmas tree we bought this week is decorated and twinkling merrily in the corner. Cleo is asleep on the couch next to me snoring away happily. I'm still in my bathrobe and pretty much everything about my situation is comfortable and familiar.

Then the call to prayer starts. And since it is friday that means we get to hear the disco extended version on the loudspeaker. They do the entire service blaring around the city and really it probably wouldn't stick out so much if the guy didn't sound so angry! Part of it is the Arabic language, and another part is the passion of the Muslim religion, and I'm sure there are another 27 parts in there that I will never begin to understand coming from a different culture. And that's perfectly ok with me. What I find hilarious though is that I have moments like this all the time where if something strange like a publicly blasted religious service, or a man driving a donkey cart down the highway didn't happen I would forget that I'm living in a foreign country!

It was the same thing when I lived in Colorado, sometimes I would look up and think wow, where did those big ass mountains come from?

Guess were pretty good at living in our little bubbles and overlooking things.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

If Cleo could blog...

Ok so these humans I live with are complete wankers sometimes.  Did you know that every single day they close doors in my face and then run away for the entire day leaving me by myself?!  And it's a horrible existence I mean all I have is like 16 toys to play with and a big bowl of water and fresh air and sunlight coming through the window.  But I have things to do, a dog's daily schedule is very demanding...


As I was saying (yawn).... Let me tell you how the day really starts.  I wake up at the respectable hour of 5am because I'm 5 months old and I have to Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee and Eaaaat and run around outside right now!  And for some reason these people don't like it when I pee on the floor (I get smacked or yelled at and someone always says Cleoooooooooo Nooooo!)  I don't know what that sound means but I think it's this alarm that humans have that goes off when there's pee or poop on the floor.  So naturally I start trying to get these lazy humans out of that nest they built in the sky.  I used to sleep up there with them but they didn't like it when I would crawl onto their faces in the middle of the night so I decided it's easier to just sleep on the floor.  They really don't like to leave the nest though, I can jump up on the side and scratch their arms and legs and faces but all they do is roll over where I can't reach them anymore!  Just wait suckers, soon I'll be big enough to climb up there and sit on your faces all on my own.  Mwahahahahah!

Finally one of them gets up after I've done the whole scratching, then lay down, scratching, then lay down thing for about 45 min.  Then zooooooooom I race downstairs and run to the door, then zooooooooooooom race to the kitchen.  Those lazy humans take so long to lumber down the stairs I can do this about 6 times before they finally open the door and then I get to Peeeeeeee!  Then they feed me!  Then I go outside again!  Then we go upstairs and whichever human took me out collapses back on the bed   So I run around the room and eat my chewie, then my puppy, then my reindeer, then the tennis ball, then I get a drink of water.  Just as I settle down to take my morning nap those wanker humans turn on the lights and start getting dressed.  Clothes are baaaad. Clothes mean I'm going to be left behind.  I put on my biggest pouting face and try to look as cute as possible so that maybe they'll change their minds and stay with me.  They laugh at me and pet me and speak a lot of that weird human language to me, but then they close the door and I'm alone!  I bark and bark and no one hears me and my life is so sad and miserable and I will never be happy again...

Bird! A bird just flew by the window, I wonder if a bird would be my friend and play with me and we could run around and then it could pick me up and we could fly around the sky!


Then they come home and zooooooooooooooom I race to the door and they let me out and I pee and then I eat and then we go for a long walk and they take me to the park and throw the ball and I get to run and chase flowers and jump at the little kids who come over to see me. And sometimes a big mean cat comes and hisses at me and I run away.  Then we go home and I go upstairs to the laundry room and spend the rest of the night bringing them socks and underwear, which they always take away even though I went to all that work to find new toys!

Then we go to sleep and do the whole thing over again..... 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

iPhone = Unexpected videos

I've only had my iPhone for a few weeks now but one thing I've noticed is that I'm taking a lot more video than I used to.  Mainly because it's so easy to do and they come out in such good quality.  So here's a little compilation of some of the unexpected videos that have been taken with my iPhone.  And yes please feel free to judge the singing.  :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Living or writing?

You know a great writer once said "If you're living you're not writing and if you're writing you're not living".  I think I scoffed when I first heard that but now I'm thinking that it's probably true.  Ever since I started seriously writing last January I've found that I'm in either one of those two states of being.  I'm not sure why it's true, maybe because writing makes you live in your head while imagining things that don't exist.  Maybe it's some fault on my part to not be able to multitask well.  Whichever it is I'm trying to keep a better balance this year than I did in the last.

On January 3rd 2011 (yes I remember the date!) I woke up in my cousin's apartment in Paris from a dream that was so vivid and detailed that I immediately woke Ryan up and started telling him about the story I needed to write.  I had seen the main plot in my dream and a few scenes, so it felt like I was describing a movie as I told him about what would happen.

We were going to Versailles that day and from my cousin's apartment it was about an hour train ride.  I spent that hour talking and talking and asking questions and Ryan was a wonderful sounding board.  He made some suggestions and was just as excited as I was, telling me to write it all down at the first opportunity.

So we went to Versailles, which was amazing.  I bought a little notebook at the gift shop and we camped out in a restaurant in the village for the next 2 hours while I drank chocolat chaud and wrote down all the ideas that were filling my head by the second.  By the time we left that evening, my hand was cramping, my head was still spinning with ideas, but I felt like I'd captured the main idea of what this story was all about.

The next few months through revolution in Egypt, evacuation to the states, and a hectic spring schedule at work, I wrote.  It felt like the story was pressing against the sides of my head at times, so excited to get out.  I was desperately afraid of losing even one morsel of the plot, forgetting a quote or a character.  I was a bit possessed by it.  As soon as I got home in the afternoon I cloistered myself in our bedroom and I wrote until bedtime.  On Sat mornings I would get up at 7am and write all day, taking breaks for meals and sometimes even to pay a bit of attention to my husband.  Ryan was wonderfully patient with me through those six months when I spent the majority of my time telling him to leave me alone so I could concentrate.  I am truly blessed to have found a man that understands me so well!

Probably the biggest blessing though, was finding my writing partner Renee.  I really don't think my novel would have gotten past the first 30 pages if it wasn't for her.  Her initial excitement and encouragement were what kept me writing until I got to the point where I thought it was good too.  Even though she was busy with her own writing projects she read and reread hundreds of pages and kept me moving ahead.  If this book ever gets published she's definitely getting a long thank you in the the Acknowledgments.

So now my book is "done".  Ha ha, it feels funny to say that since I've now spent about the same amount of time editing is as I did in writing the first draft.  I've written a book.  I actually accomplished a goal I've wanted ever since I was a little girl.  And I think it's getting really good.  I'm excited to start the next one once I've got this one a bit more polished.   I cut scenes that I loved, reordered chapters and changed the beginning so many times I can't even remember how it used to start.  And I'm pretty proud of myself because it's gotten easier to spend more time "living" while I've done it all.  Maybe you can edit and live at the same time, even if writing and living are difficult.  :)