I have one of those radio alarm clocks. And although I never have it set to radio, sometimes the static from the stations still comes through. It’s always done that, since the very first day that I took it out of its happy little box and placed it beside my bed.
Normally, if I give it a good whack, the static will stop for a few days, and my alarm clock and I continue on the path of strained but symbiotic friendship.
But in the last few days, the static doesn’t retreat when I beat on the clock. In fact, it has grown louder and more insistent than ever.
When I pointed it out to my husband the other night, he fiddled with it long enough to declare it was a “lost cause,” and as he turned over to set his own very quiet alarm clock, promised he’d buy me a new one in a few days.
So I pushed the clock as far away from me as I could, turned out my light, and attempted to sleep.
Even over the constant white noise of the fan in the corner, I could still hear the incessant buzzing of my alarm clock.
It’s safe to say that I didn’t get much sleep.
By the time Brian got up and left the house for work the next morning, I’d finally managed to find the perfect noise-deafening location on the bed, which only worked if I was laying sort of diagonally across the mattress with my head farther away from the clock and my feet dangling over the edge.
It wasn’t necessarily the most comfortable position, but it allowed me to fall asleep.
I was just beginning a dream involving Nathan Fillion bringing me a hot cup of coffee when my entire world exploded into a cacophony of noise. Apparently, in his attempt to fix my alarm clock the night before, Brian had inadvertently switched my preferred alarm clock beep to the radio.
And I was awoken by SmashMouth singing at the top of their voices.
Half-asleep, I tried to escape the inexplicable danger the only way I knew how—by attempting to put my feet on the floor and get the hell out of dodge. In a tangle of sheets and comforter, I wound up falling flat on my face by the bed instead, whacking my head on the baseboard in the process. That was enough to wake me up to the point that I realized I wasn’t being attacked by a gravelly-voiced band of zombies, but instead had been jarred awake by the static-y 90s station.
I’ve always said that mornings that start with a little music always lead to a good mood all day. I think I can now argue the opposite.
Yesterday, I sprung from bed like a Hollywood starlet, with flowers in my hair and a glimmer in my eye.
Even before the spray of the shower washed the sleep from my brain, I had decided I was going to seize the day. I was going to clean, I was going to cook, I was going to stretch my creativity somehow, I was going to Get. Stuff. Done.
But most importantly, I was going to write.
I completed my morning chores, poured myself a steaming-hot cup of coffee, and sat down at my computer, ready to dazzle you, dear readers, with my wit. I clicked on my Google Chrome browser button and waited.
And waited some more.
Oh, the waiting.
That’s when I realized that my internet was down.
I did all the usual tech-y things that I know to do: I unplugged my router and plugged it back in again. I waited for a few seconds (cursing the whole time) and tried again. I blew on it. (I realize that’s a trick for old school Nintendo games, but I figured hey, why not?)
When all else failed, I yelled for my husband.
Brian came over and unplugged the router and plugged it back in again. (Like I didn’t already try that, honey.) Then he did some other complicated stuff that I didn’t follow. And finally, he called the cable company to complain that we had no internet, which was simultaneously crushing my creativity AND causing me to wail from my fetal position on the living room rug.
“There’s an outage in this area. Technicians are working on it,” he said, delivering the news with as much kindness as he could muster.
And so, with my frustration reaching its peak, I turned my back on the computer and went to the DMV instead.
So anyway, I had a brilliant post that would have totally defined my blog–one that would have put Abby Gabs on the map–planned for yesterday. But I didn’t get around to it, and now the brilliance has passed.
If I could, I’d make all her birthday wishes come true. I’d buy her a beautiful house–one that sits right on the beach, so she can wake up to sunshine and sand and surf every single day for the rest of her life.
I’d shower her with the two things she loves the most: chocolate and puppies.
(Although very carefully, so the puppies couldn’t eat the chocolate. That’s bad for them.)
I wouldn’t just give her a bouquet of flowers. I’d give her an entire FIELD of flowers–each happy petal meant to make her smile.
If I could grant wishes, I’d give her everything her heart desires, even those things that are impossible. And I wish I could. I really really wish I could.
I hope she’ll be happy with a big hug, instead.
I love you, Mom! I know today won’t be as bright and shiny as it should be, but I’ll still be celebrating your life today, and every day. XO
Hi readers. I miss you. If you’re feeling neglected, I wholeheartedly apologize. The truth is, I have a TON of funny blogs planned for you. I keep a list on my trusty iPhone, and I giggle every time I add a new idea to that list. But lately, I’ve been so completely absorbed with this one specific thing that my blog has taken the unfortunate role of second fiddle.
I’m talking about my novel, y’all.
(Let’s pretend that this is the real life cover.)
I’ve been editing this sucker since February. Adding scenes. Deleting scenes. Moving scenes around. Fixing timeline errors. Adjusting characterization to fit the story. Polishing. Nipping. Tucking. Perfecting.
It is a TON of work. It’s time-consuming. It’s thought-consuming. It’s SOUL-consuming.
And it’s SO MUCH fun.
As I’m finishing up the final edit, thoughts of potential publication keep creeping into my brain. I’ve already sent out one query letter to an agent in New York. (Tiny squee!) It looked a little something like …
(Ok, so I didn’t do quite so much begging. Although, I might have come across as a little…needy. So I’m not surprised that I haven’t heard from her.)
It’s an odd process, that of seeking publication. Especially when you’re a first-time author with no previous experience. You’re basically sending a letter to sell them your story. You’re charged with presenting it in such a way that is creative, attention-catching, and interesting, without being campy or showy or stupid. You’re job is to convince them that you’re worthy of being one of their published authors based on your wit, charm, and amazingly good ideas. You’re supposed to wow them with your lengthy list of experience, which I’m sure for some people is an easy thing. But my experience as a writer goes like this:
I write a blog.
I’ve never been published (unless my high school literary magazine counts. Damn, does that count? *edits current form query letter*)
In a way, it’s sort of like wrapping yourself up and presenting yourself to them as the best gift they’re ever going to receive in their entire lives.
Now, you try to refrain from chanting “PICK ME! PICK ME! PICK ME!” while you’re wearing a giant gold bow on your shiny forehead.
Don’t worry, readers. I’ll be around. I will finish this last edit, I will prepare my query letters and send them off to the list of agents and publishing houses I have selected. And then I’ll be sitting back and waiting for the rejections (and maybe one acceptance???) letters. Then I’ll have all the time in the world to fill. So don’t fret. I’ll be back. Very very soon.
awe-some [aw – suh m] adjective 1.inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, causing or inducing awe: an awesome sight. That man is seriously awesome.
Blogging hasn’t really been on my radar too much this week. In truth, I’ve been spending most of my free time editing my novel (last draft, I swear), or hanging out with Brian. It’s not that I don’t want to blog–I have tons of ideas floating around in my brain. It’s just that when I sit down at the computer lately my creative tendencies lead me to open up that gigantic word document and delve back into getting my book ready for possible publication.
(I really am gonna try, ya’ll.)
The blog does come up in conversation around the house, though. Brian will ask me when I’m planning to post again, or if I’m suffering from writer’s block.
“What are you going to blog about tomorrow?” he’ll ask.
“I don’t know,” I’ll reply.
“Can I make a suggestion?” he’ll say, eyebrows waggling in suggestion.
And I always know what’s coming next. Without hesitation, he puffs out his chest, lowers his voice an octave, and says, “You should blog about how AWESOME I am.”
Depending on my mood (and hormone levels) I’ll either giggle, roll my eyes, or kick him in the shins.
And still, every couple of days, he makes this same request. In an attempt to give the man what he wants (and deserves), here are a series of memes I created just for Brian, in the name of awesomeness.
It’s funny because it’s true.
This post wasn’t just inspired by Brian’s obvious desire to be touted on the internet as The Most Awesome Husband That Has Lived Or Will Ever Live Again. In fact, I’d planned this post since learning that this is National Nurse’s Week. And because my husband spends his life saving lives, I think it’s only fair that he gets a day where we celebrate his awesomeness. So if you know a nurse, come in contact with a nurse, or just want to be nice to nurses in general, help us celebrate their sacrifices by saying a simple thank you. I love you, Nurse Brian! All jokes aside, you are truly AWESOME.
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Abby, who had the gift of Gab.
And so she took that gift and shared it with the world, via her blog. Days and nights she slaved away at her computer, manipulating turns of phrase, exhausting her mental bank of adjectives, and punctuating to her heart’s content. She was proud of that which she had worked so hard to create, and she reveled in the delight it brought her readers.
As time passed, the girl grew weary of issues with her blog’s platform. Frequent outages, crummy comment forms, and the inability to make her blog look exactly like she wanted led that gabby Abby to search the internet, far and wide, until she found the perfect platform for the blog that was her pride and joy.
The process was a daunting one: transferring RSS feeds, securing self-hosting, learning the ins-and-outs of HTML code. It took 5 days, and as many nights, for all of the components to fall into place.
Finally, she had complete creative control over her blog. Finally, she had reliable service from a provider she knew she could count on. And finally, she had her own personal account supervisor, who could come in at a moment’s notice and answer any questions she had about her host.
And so, the girl with the gift of gab officially became Queen of the Internet (for the day.)
It soon became apparent to her, as she toyed with the new platform, that she had lots to learn. There were widgets to master, and menus to create, and coding to learn. But as she settled into the new space, she knew two things for certain.
One: WordPress already, so quickly, felt like home.
And two: no Queen of the Internet (for the day) can have a successful rule without one of these:
Welcome to the brand new AbbyGabs!! If you haven’t already, click around and get to know the place a little. And feel free to follow me on the many social media sites that I use on a regular basis simply by clicking on the thought bubble buttons that took me three days to make!
Special thanks go out to: Brian, for keeping me calm during the moving process, and talking me down from the ledge when things didn’t go just so. Carrie at akaLaverne, for always being willing to answer panicked questions, give me advice on design, or send me her top 10 favorite themes just to get me started. Alex at Late Enough, for giving me the courage, and the information, I needed to make the move in the first place. Walt at Lucky Puppy, for giving me new ideas for the site, as well as cheering me on from the sidelines while the move was made. Jordan, author of MamaBlogga, and the creator of the 10-step process that safely (and easily!) moved my blog from Blogger to Word Press. And finally, to Cole, my account manager at Blue Host, for answering all my silly noob questions with grace, kindness, and complete accuracy.
A few months ago, I reached out to my friends, family, and readers, and asked them to submit questions for a video blog. They did, and it turned out to be one of my favorite vlogs I’ve ever done.
However, there was one friend and reader who went above and beyond the call of duty. The questions she sent me were so fantastic, so funny, and SO PERFECT for Abby Gabs, that I just had to revisit our interview, and post them for you here. Prepare to laugh, because my pal Rachel is one funny gal.
Rachel: It’s said that you turned down the role of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind because Clark Gable was unwilling to leave you in the final, crucial scene. On her deathbed, Vivian Leigh cursed you for upstaging her at the premiere where this tidbit came out. Tell us… Did she really give birth to a litter of puppies at that event? And what happened to those said puppies?
Abby: I cannot confirm or deny the rumor of puppies, as I was too busy flirting with Gable and wowing the cameras with my authentic 1930s hairdo. Also, I was giggling in the corner with the Doctor, because how else could I have gone back in time to upstage Leigh, without the transportation of the TARDIS?
R: You’ve been offered the role of love interest in the new Transformers movie. Michael Bay has offered to Photoshop Megan Fox out of the previous movies. Your own love interest, Brian, is a huge Transformers fan. Will these men influence your decision to accept the role?
A: I had originally turned down the role until Mark Wahlberg, Donnie’s brother, contacted me and begged me to do it. I don’t normally accept roles under those conditions, but as I’m a close, personal friend of the Wahlbergs, I decided to join the cast so I can work with Mark again.
However, I really don’t care what Bay decides to do about Megan Fox. She dug her grave, and now she has to lie in it with cast-off copies of her, *ahem*, “movie,” Jennifer’s Body.
R: We’ve all seen the made-for-TV movie, That Gabby Abby. It’s a required course in 47 of the 48 continuous states’ 5th grade education. How does it make you feel that North Dakota refuses to make it a required course as well?
A: I applaud any and all states’ rights to create their own laws, so long as it does not interfere with my bank account. Therefore, I will be staging a peaceful protest on the North Dakota/South Dakota border in the upcoming months. There will be cupcakes, people waving signs around, and a New Kids on the Block cover band. I’m working on getting a cameo appearance by Donnie Wahlberg himself, but he still hasn’t confirmed the dates with me as of yet. By the time I’m through, North Dakota will adore me, and my film will be forced down the throats of adolescents in the snowy north as well.
R: You’re running for President this year. What is your stance on jeggings and should they be illegal?
A: Here is my public service announcement about that very subject.
R: You come from humble beginnings, and yet you decided to turn down Brangelina’s offer to give you their mansion in California. Your landlord went on national television to offer to take down the wood paneling in your country flat, but you refused citing his love for ’70s wood paneling and your respect for it. This has sparked a trendy design craze for the wood paneling and designers praise you for your bold statement. There are rumors that you’ll be using orange shag carpeting in your home next… Are they true?
A: I was high at that television interview with my landlord. Wood paneling sucks. It should be ripped from every wall in America and burned in a giant bonfire. We’ll call it an effigy to bad taste and horrible design.
I don’t mind shag carpet, though.
R: When you bought the new iPhone 5, Siri began speaking exclusively to you, neglecting all other iPhone 5 users and forcing Apple to attempt to correct the glitch. Siri responded by detaching herself from the Apple mainframe and becoming the first recorded sentient computer program. She now claims the title of Abby’s BFF and there have been several attempts on the lives of other people who attempt to claim the title as well. Do you feel responsible for her actions?
A: Siri can be difficult to read. She tends to have a split personality, especially when asked questions regarding the space/time continuum, when giving directions to Mars, and when fielding that difficult question of which came first, the chicken or the egg. I cannot comment on the attempted murder claim, as my lawyer advises me against it. What I will say is that Siri is great. She is so great. She is, like, the best friend, ever…I swear…
R: A new phenomenon has been sweeping the world. Leading scientists cannot explain why spiders are giving birth to and randomly turning into fluffy bunnies. Some speculate that it is a direct reaction to the revelation in the Broadway musical hit, That Gabby Abby starting Merryl Streep, that you are frightened of spiders. What are your thoughts?
A: To Drs. Hoffstetter and Cooper, who are leading this research, I send you a huge thanks. Spiders give me the willies. And bunnies are adorable!
R: The New Kids On The Block have recently announced a brand new tour. Donnie Whalberg has gone public with his love for you and has even named the tour, “Abby Will You Marry Me?” He regularly Photoshops himself into pictures with you and has blogged about his obsession many times. You have made it very clear that you love and are faithful to your cabana boy, Brian, going so far as to marry him. What advice would you give others with this level of unrequited love?
A: Ah, unrequited love. It’s a sneaky, painful, careless mistress. Here are my tips to those who suffer this terrible fate.
1: Be kind. Regardless of your feelings, there are others in the world who would give anything for a kind word from you.
2: Be cautious over the words that you choose, but don’t be afraid to share a little piece of yourself with your fans, just to make their own lives a little more meaningful.
3: Try to refrain from posting too many racy photographs of yourself on Twitter. Sure, it’s fun to get the fans all whipped up into a frenzy, but it’s taxing on their hearts. Give sparingly, but give.
Thanks, Rachel, for sending me the most creative questions, ever. I hope you are suitably impressed. 🙂
While you re-arrange your face into a more normal appearance, let me back-pedal a bit and explain why. You see, Christmas at my house just isn’t Christmas without a little Straight, No Chaser. We LOVE this group. My husband, who was always the semi-Scrooge in our little family, was completely won over when he first heard their version of The Twelve Days of Christmas. When he showed slight enthusiasm for a Christmas song, I immediately went to iTunes and downloaded every single Christmas song they’ve ever done. And now, each year the gentle strains of Straight, No Chaser, can be heard in our home as we deck the halls. Still, that doesn’t explain why I believe, in my soul of souls, that I’m meant to be in an all-male a cappella group. Specifically, I’m meant to be in THIS all-male a cappella group. (And not just because their name is grammatically correct.) Here, let me make my case. #1: I think I’d fit right in. Sure, it’s a bunch of boys who can sing. And I’m a girl who can’t sing. BUT, (hear me out, readers. The argument is about to get good.) I am all about cheese. Not just the kind you eat, but the really theatrical, cheesy goodness that comprises a majority of an a cappella group’s performances. Need someone to pull a face and do jazz hands? I’m SO your girl.
#2: So what if I can’t sing… I could easily be the member who makes funny noises, says something campy or snaps my fingers. Plus, I can lip-sync like nobody’s business. Can you tell me, based on this photographic evidence, that I am not, in fact, singing in perfect harmony? No, you cannot.
#3 I already know all the words. It’s true. I know where all the high notes in “Jingle Bells.” I know all the places to chant in “Who Spiked the Egg Nog.” And I always know where the high kicks begin in my all-time favorite Straight, No Chaser Christmas tune—The Christmas Can Can.
I even taught myself the Spanish parts of “Donde Esta Santa Claus.” See? That’s some true dedication right there. So, Straight, No Chaser? Can I be your first female member? I promise I can make up for my lack of vocal abilities and slight stage fright with an enthusiasm that is promised to be contagious.
Remember when I was all like “Watch me, readers, I’m losing weight at LIGHTNING SPEED!!!” Remember when I was posting blogs about jogging and eating healthy and finding my inner athlete? Well, I realized yesterday, as I polished off an entire bag of Chex Mix, that there’s a good chance I hadn’t mentioned how far off track I’ve gotten in the past few months. See, first there was summer. Then there was kidney stones and injuries and vacations and road trips and general time-wasting. And now there’s just…boredom and laziness, compiled with an ever-expanding waistline and too-tight jeans. Go me. And so, my sad, crumby truth is that I’ve spent the last 4 months regaining more than half of the weight I managed to lose at the beginning of the year.
It started off with little things: a teaspoon of sugar on my multi-grain Cheerios, a diet soda with lunch, a homemade pizza with extra cheese. But you know what they say….trigger foods create a dieter’s worst nightmare. I went from occasional treats to constant cravings. From eating out twice a month to eating out twice a week. From a random diet soda on a random afternoon to having a 12-pack of Pepsi in my fridge. It’s a slippery slope, people. I’m not the only one who’s suffered from my lack-of-will-power, either. If I put a green leafy salad with simple grilled chicken in front of my husband, he will eat it with gusto. If I put a huge grilled steak with a twice-baked potato slathered in sour cream and cheese in front of my husband, he will eat it with an equal amount of gusto. And when I say, “Babe, I’m craving chocolate,” he doesn’t just come home with a candy bar. He comes home with OPTIONS: ice cream, miniature Reese cups and a Paula Deen double-chocolate pound cake. It’s true. He loves me. But we rarely acknowledge the growing tummies that separate us when we hug. I think about starting over at least 100 times a day. Each time I look in the mirror, each time I struggle to button my jeans, each time my knee cracks when I heft myself off of the couch. And then I’m faced with taking the actual steps—tossing out the junk food, making that first grocery list, digging out my calorie counting apps and notebooks—and I totally stall out. I just don’t have the energy. Instead I’m all like:
“But Abby, you’d have the energy if you’d start working out again!” Yeah, yeah. I already know that. In fact, I know a LOT about weight loss. I know what it takes to lose weight. I know the math. I know the foods I should avoid. I know how many calories I have to burn each day. I know the proper form for a push-up. I know running is harder on the joints, but better for the burn, than time spent on an elliptical. I know that “low-fat” options aren’t always better than regular fat options in moderation. I know the first step is just doing something about it instead of complaining with no action.
I know, I know, I know, I know, I KNOW!!! What I don’t know is why I keep failing. Why I’d rather put on my pajamas and lay on the couch than run a lap around my neighborhood. I don’t know why I lose 30 or 35 pounds, only to give up just when I’m starting to really get a good head of steam going. I don’t know why I give up. I just do. So now begins the tedious task of psyching myself up to do it all over again. I have to convince myself that it’s worth it. That I’m worth it. I have to try and forget the achy muscles, sore calves, and blistered feet, and instead try and focus on better sleep, thinner thighs, more energy. I need to jump-start my life. Got any jumper cables I can borrow?