Happy Friday!

I should totally be finishing up the last little bit for this job I keep talking about, but first I need to write just a quick something, because well, I am a procrastinator at heart and all this work I have been doing lately has made me have to go against my true nature of finding eleventy billion other more important things to do than the work that needs to be done. I mean, if I don’t find out how much MORE oddly white and defined Madonna’s arms can get, who will??? Yeah, I know! What is going on there? Obsessed much, Material Girl? Give the ol’ gym a rest already, we get it, we get it, you are 50 and ripped.

Anyhoo, moving on. In case anyone doesn’t know, I will be going here:

and here:

in a few short days, so I have been busy, busy busy. Because all I want to do when I get on the plane is to cuddle up next to Best Boyfriend Ever, open a ridiculously entertaining book that will in no way enhance my intelligence, teach me how to be a better ANYTHING at all and will just be easy on the brain and go down like a smooth Merlot. And if there is the word S-E-X GIGANTIC on the cover, so be it!! Be DAMED business man sitting next to me! I am going to enjoy my vacation from start to finish and if I look like a dimwit on the plane reading my trashy, yet oddly riveting novella, so BE IT! I have worked my tookus off the past few months and mama is ready to RELAX!

Ok, so you all get the point, I am ready for a break. And what’s that? What’s that you say? How do I feel about leaving my children behind and galavanting off into the sunset with Best Boyfriend Ever? Do I feel guilty? Hmmm, um, let me think about that for a nanosecond… yeah, not so much. Why? Cause the day before they are leaving for a month to go visit their grandparents who will be spoiling them rotten for 4 weeks solid. They just got finished with the one week version with my parents and now it is their other grandparents’ turn. And let me tell, ya, these kids will be lacking for NOTHING for the next 4 weeks. And when I do call them later that week, they will most likely respond with “Mom who? Oh right! That lady in Atlanta…MOM!” Yeah, they get THAT spoiled. As it should be. Grandparents should have the right to do whatever they want. And plus? Guilt-free vacation for mom! It’s a win, win my friends!

So I can’t show you what I have been working on exactly, but I can show you a peek. I can’t explain it, but here are some snippets to tide you over.

Ok, I need to go finish the last part, but I will have one more or maybe two last posts before I fly away on that big metal bird with my baby reading about some muscley man* ripping his shirt off.

(Go ahead, be jealous, you know you are!) 😉

*with arms ALMOST as buff as Madonna’s…ewwwww….

A few pics to tide you over.

I am so busy at work and with this project of mine at night that I don’t have much time for anything else. No blogging, no internet surfing, no snooping into other people’s lives on Facebook (What are they doing now? How ’bout now? How ’bout right…NOW!? Sad and pitiful? Perhaps. Entertaining? FOR SURE!) Heh. So today’s blog for anyone that cares will be a picture blog to let you know I still love you and that I am still alive. The kiddies are with Grandma and Grandpa this week getting sufficiently spoiled so I don’t have to feel guilty about working from sun up till sundown. Yay for grandparents!! (Oh, and if I owe anyone an email or a sketch or anything, just be patient, I will get back to you soon! I am almost done with being in the land of working too much!)

Below is what I do for ten hours a day and I feel like I should just set up a cot cause the nights go by way too quickly and I am right back here in the morning. The annual report ROCKS socks tho so that helps. And Sophie’s artwork in the background of the computer screen I am eternally looking at makes me happy and smile every time I look at it all.

Below are of Skyler and Rufus this morning in the backyard. Lucy wasn’t having any close ups today. Apparently she was not happy with what the makeup artist did with her cheekbones. I heard her in the background muttering, “I can’t have my picture taken NOW, just look at me, I’m a fright!” Diva dog…

This is me in my pink flipflops and jeans. I love that some people are so adamantly opposed to the wearing of flipflops, particularly in the work place and how inappropriate they are – and how just by wearing what I consider the perfect footwear can piss people off without even trying. Man, I just can’t wait for the day I can wear flipflips to work…Oh wait… I mean, I can’t wait for the day I can wear flip flops to work and I look out my office window and I see the ocean…Yeah, that’s more like it.

Below is a tree in our backyard that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Growing up, our next door neighbors, had one and I used to think it was the most magical thing EVER when it bloomed. To me, it looks like a million ballerinas are doing a dance in little pink and white tutus every time the wind blows. My daughter seems to be as taken with the tree as I do, and can I tell you? I LOVE that. SO. MUCH.

Below is me being a dork in front of said Ballerina Tree. I showed Best Boyfriend Ever the photo and he just sighed and said, “You like taking pictures of yourself waaaay too much.” “But I am putting it on my blog!” I said, er whined. “People will think you are vain.” he said. Hmmm, lets think about this…”I write a blog all about ME. MY life. Me. Me. Me. You don’t think people already think I am vain?” I asked. Hey, think of it this way, I can give people something to make fun of if they need to. “That girl,” they’ll say. “All she ever does is write about her life, her work, her damn dogs. She writes about those dogs more than her kids – what a terrible mother she must be!! Who does she think she is?! She’s so vain. She probably thinks that blog is about her, don’t you? Don’t you? She’s so vain…” Were you all with me on that last part? Are you singing Carly with me now? hee.

And last but not least, the CUTEST little boy on the planet and his lovely mother, my nephew Alex and my sister Liz. SOOOO CUTE!!!

And because he is SO cute, I just had to post another!! Watch out ladies, here comes Alex!

work news and name changes

Taking a quick break to write. I have so much going on right now. I am working from home today because The Soph had her first visit to the orthodontist. Um, hello? It’s like she turned 10 and now the Universe said it is now time for us to pay a crazy amount of money for braces. Her teeth better be BEAUTIFUL when all this is over or else this doctor owes me a car – or at least half a car. Lordee…

So I wish I could show you some of the illustrations from the project that has me working every night, but I can’t for a while. The buyers meeting is in July, my deadline is this Monday and I need to keep my head down and keep working to meet that deadline. I still have to finish 12 more of the illustrations and write the rest of the text. Meanwhile, in the land of jobs that give me a regular paycheck, they expect me to do THEIR work during work hours! Can you believe that?! I know! Me neither, so I get home, play with the kids if they are with me that week then get to work as soon as dinner is over. It is a crazy schedule, but it won’t last much longer. And in just over 2 weeks? HELLO PARIS!!! Yes, that is the carrot that is dangling in front of me so that I don’t fall down dead from exhaustion or don’t kill myself from TOO MUCH TO DO. I hear you don’t enjoy Paris all that much when you are dead. So ALIVE after all this is done is the goal here.

In agent news, I have some MAJOR publishing houses looking at my lil’ ol’ book RIGHT NOW. Like, right this second some editor of a big ol’ publishing house that I cannot mention, but may or may not rhyme with Flarper Bollins or say, Plimon and Bruwster could be perusing my text and illustrations and saying to themselves, “GENIUS! Pure, genius!! Let’s sign this chick up right now!!” And then my phone will ring… And then my phone will ring… Hmmm, not ringing… I’ll give it ten more minutes.

I also had a big decision to make this week involving my name. See, my last name Abeyta is not my name. I mean it is, but is my former married name. I kept it because 4, (or maybe 5? I can’t remember actually) years ago when the divorce began and then when it was final, the kids didn’t want me going back to my maiden name. They were sure it meant they weren’t going to be related to me anymore, so to make them feel safer, better, have the whole nasty situation be a teensy bit less traumatic than it already was, I kept my married name. But now, 4, (or is it 5?) years later I am about to have things published and produced. Many things. That will all have my name on it. MY name. And to tell you the truth? I just am not comfortable with Abeyta being on everything that is happening. I have worked my butt off for so many years and now that it seems things are finally taking off, using my ex husband’s name on all of it just feels, well, wrong. So I have been giving the issue a lot of thought. And when I got a call from the company I am working with on this huge project that could potentially be in many, many stores (knock on wood, crossing fingers, wishing on eyelashes) I was asked what name I would be putting on it. My maiden name, Nelson, was an option, but I wasn’t sure. Perhaps one day Best Boyfriend Ever might be Best Husband Ever and then would Michelle Nelson on everything make sense? But then using his name now seemed a bit, well, unlucky, and I don’t want to jinx anything if ya know what i mean… So finally after much thought and a bit of consultation with an artist friend of mine, I have decided to go with Michelle Lee. Lee is my middle name. So I am going to go by just my first and middle name from now on on all my professional works. Cool huh? I am just like Cher or Madonna now! Ok, maybe more like Cher Ann or Madonna Francine. But whatever. heh.

Soon I will change my website from abeytacreative to michellepaints.com. I will always keep this domain so that I don’t lose anyone that knows me by this. And michellelee.com is a real estate agent in California, so I can’t use that – unless she quits her job and wants to sell me her domain. How ’bout it Michelle Lee? Retiring soon? Please?

But Michelle Lee just feels right. It is just me. No last names to define who I was, or who I might be. Just me. And I like that. So from now on instead of being Michelle Abeyta and people being all surprised when they see me and I am NOT Hispanic, they can be all surprised when they see me and I am NOT Asian either. Cause ya know, I like to keep people guessing.

Ok, back to work!

The right thing gets done and I am SHOCKED.

So a few weeks ago a teenage boy who was driving his dad’s HUGE Expedition with his music on THAT loud and backed into me despite my honking and begging him to stop. And put a nice old hole into my brand new bumper. It was not my fault, but I was just SURE somehow it was going to cost ME money. Cause life? It just goes that way most of the time. Imagine my shock and awe when his insurance company called me after a few days of investigating and said they would take care of EVERYTHING and give me a free rental car to boot! So yesterday I went driving around in a Pontiac Charger while my pretty green car got fixed. I picked it up bright and early this morning and there she was. All shiny and happy again. When I pulled into the parking lot this morning at work I went to grab my lunch and looked down. The repair shop or Progressive had left me four new floor mats for my car. I had been meaning to get some, but since the floor of my Element is rubber I have just not gotten around to it. I called up Best Boyfriend Ever right away. “GUESS WHAT???!!!” I yelled into the phone. “What?” he asks with that voice that never knows if I am about to describe some new plot or scheme or perhaps tell him how I just signed on to do yet ANOTHER art project that will take me 2 months to do, mean we won’t be going out at night for weeks on end and will make me exactly ZERO dollars. “They gave me floor mats! FOR FREE!!! How do ya like them apples?!?!”

See, here in the land of rose colored glasses, I am disappointed by things often. People that lie, people that are mean just for the sake of being mean or because they don’t bother to find out the facts, people that don’t mind cheating to get ahead, or people that steal – why would they DO that?! Now people, I am not perfect, not by a long shot, and perhaps I am a tad too idealistic. “Tad?” I can hear my family rolling their eyes from here. So yeah, I was just thrilled, AMAZED even when I found out that the insurance company was doing right by me and if I did not LOVE USAA so much, I would most certainly be switching over to Progressive. Because Progressive? They rock. And they give you free floor mats just cause. And I loves me some free mats for my pretty, happy car. With the brand spanking new bumper.

And in other news, Thursday is the new Friday around here, so today is the end of the week. And tomorrow? WEEKEND! And if I get enough work finished tonite on my project? POOL! I will go to the pool tomorrow! But we will see, I am pretty sure I have way too much to do, but the pool, she calls to me.

long days, longer nights and waiting on some good news

Hello from the land of ‘Working A Lot’ The college has gone to four day work weeks for the summer – which sounds really cool until you realize it means that in order to have those glorious three day weekends you have to have ten hour days. And those ten hour days means you get home after 7pm. And so you start working on your other job doing illustrations at about 8pm, if dinner is on time or you and Best Boyfriend Ever don’t decide cooking sucks rocks and you go out to eat and before all that you hurry and get right on the treadmill like you promised yourself you would because your summer shorts from two years ago just about fit. So the days are loooong. And the projects at work are biiig and yesterday before all this began you spent two hours at the dentist getting lots of numbing shots so that they could give you a DEEP ROOT CLEANING. Yeah, it hurts like it sounds like it should. So anyway, I finished three more illustrations last night and have seven left out of the 23. And only 2 need revisions so far, so YAY! And yesterday right as I was leaving work I got a wonderful, wonderful email from my agent about my work going over really well at a big conference…and I am awaiting the details. Lovely anticipation.

So here I am back at work to do it all over again today, minus the shots at the dentist. And once my mouth stops hurting and I get some caffeine in me, I will be in a much better mood. Right now, coffee is calling my name and so is a magazine layout and annual report design. So, hi ho, hi ho and all that.