Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Spoiler alert

My goodness gracious, sakes alive, heavens above -- it's been a wild few weeks since my birthday. So many ups, so many downs. I feel like an elevator.

This corner of a layout has been picked up by a magazine for publishing later in 2006. Contractual obligations and all, I can't upload the layout in its entirety here. I know you understand. But consider this a teaser, if you will -- I'm going to have something published that makes me incredibly proud and happy, and I do so hope it leads to bigger and better things out there.

Of course, the experience was not without catastrophes. The corner of a layout that you see here was the original layout, which I sent via USPS, Priority Mail, with "Delivery Confirmation," in order for it to arrive in Iowa without incident. I've never had any difficulty with this method before.

A week after the package was placed in the care of the U.S. Postal Service, I received a note from the editor-in-chief of the magazine, asking its whereabouts. A trace and a heart attack later, we reconciled ourselves to the fact that the post office had lost my artwork, and I would have to make a second layout and FedEx it to Iowa.

The stress of trying to re-create the lightning strike of original artwork was nearly my undoing. I could not procure some of the materials I had used on the first layout, so I had to go to the nearest scrapbook store -- some thirty miles away and in holiday traffic -- to buy replacements. Most of which simply did not work. Twenty-four hours after the editor's note, I desperately wanted to throw a massive hissy fit, complete with screaming and throwing things. I did not, in fact, throw that fit. I walked around my yard twice and simply redoubled my efforts to finish the replacement layout. Then I drove to Knoxville and found the very large FedEx depot -- the only locale that accepts shipments after 5:30 -- on a very dark and winding road.

Once the replacement artwork was safely in the hands of trustworthy FedEx (and, I might add, I paid dearly for that trust), I was finally able to relax -- sorta. Wouldn't you know it? The original layout arrived at the magazine the same morning as the replacement. So at least they get to pick their favorite version. I hope they go with the original. It's a little more elegant and subtle.

Now I'm deep into holiday preparations. I'm later than ever this year -- the tree went up only yesterday, and Woodrow is still decorating it. Not too many years ago, the unreasonable perfectionist in me would never have allowed him to decorate the tree. Not so this year -- as long as the ornaments go on it in some fashion, then all's well.

I'm collecting recipes and hoping to get a little baking done before Christmas this year. I did the big Thanksgiving dinner in November -- kind of stressful, and then kind of a downer -- my sister Amy wasn't here for Thanksgiving. Now she's coming for Christmas, and I know she's hoping I'll reprise that massive menu for her. But I don't think of Christmas as an opportunity for a big meal. To me, Christmas is for tasty snacks. Sausage & cheese balls, Chex mix, my famous hot spinach dip and chips, with egg nog cake and Jerome bars. This year I'm hoping to add pumpkin cranberry bread -- I can't resist the recipe, and man, I don't even *like* pumpkin!

I suppose we could have ham, mashed pototoes, and green beans, though. That's a meal I could pull off without too much stress...

I hope.

By the way, tonight Wesley and I are making the journey to Nashville to see Sarah Bettens play live at a bar. I am still utterly flummoxed as to why she isn't a huge star. I think they play her music on XM Radio's channel called The Loft. Just another reason to get satellite radio, huh?

While waiting to hear about some queries and contests and such, some lyrics from one of Sarah's songs stands out today:
"Someone keeps saying I could be a star
I'm never quite sure what that means
It sounds like there's something I'm missing so far
I'm not who they think I could be
All that I'm missing is you, my love
Come find me whenever you can
I'll be the one looking up at the sun
With a picture of you in my head."

Dang, y'all, that makes me cry!!!! But crying is good -- it's cathartic. I hope to have a good cry and get some pictures of someone who *should* be a star tonight in Nashville.


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