Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Insurance woes

Captain's Log Stardate 12.7.04

On Thursday last week, my husband got time off of work to pick up a mysterious FedEx package someone had sent us. I found out it was Open Enrollment for my insurance through work. The sheet with my name and password said it was from November 15th through the 30th, but the post-it note attached said I had until "Tuesday noon."

Then I logged on to the system on Sunday and discovered that I had actually missed Open Enrollment. So I looked at the FedEx package and found that it had been mailed on November 29th, the Monday after my surgery (which was on November 24th) and a day before the Enrollment ends. Well, that's just great. Work hadn't even emailed or called me to let me know the packet would be arriving, so I had no clue. Not that I would have been walking well enough by Monday to even answer the doorbell when the FedEx guy came. FedEx tried again on Wednesday December 1st (already past the Open Enrollment due date) and my husband picked it up on Thursday December 2nd.

So I emailed the person in charge of Open Enrollment, and I will call to leave a message today. I'm so flaming mad at my company. I haven't been at work since November 2nd, and I've faithfully kept them updated on my status, including my surgery date, but no one bothered to tell me about Open Enrollment. I don't have access to my company email from home.

I swear, I want to just up and quit. Except my husband would have a cow. He's worried about health insurance and mortgage. But if it turns out I don't have insurance because of this screw-up, does that give me an excuse to quit so I can find a job that does have insurance?

Oh please, Lord, I know this is a selfish prayer, but please let him get hired full-time really soon with benefits and a decent salary so I can quit without guilt. I'll even go find another job rather than stay home and write full-time, please just don't leave me with this inconsiderate company. :-(

Okay, whine session over. The knee is better. I'm working on getting range of motion. It's kind of a stretchy pain, which I think is a good thing.

Emailed Mary, Janet and Rachel yesterday about the Chicklit Anthology. We decided to make it more romance oriented since that's what Becky Germany at Barbour would want, and to put the deadline at about April for the novellas, since the rest of them have deadlines.

That gives me time to work on my romantic suspense. When I was doing the large-picture plotting, I did an outline-list of the various scenes on a spreadsheet, which enabled me to visually see the amount of action that happened between disasters. This helped because I found I had too much between disaster one and two, so I changed the order of scenes a bit to make it more proportional.

I'm doing a more detailed scene spreadsheet now so that I can make a tentative chapter-by-chapter synopsis for the proposal, although I'm not sure if I need that yet if the manuscript isn't completed. But it makes me feel good if I have it, at least.

I have six columns for Scene (Goal, Conflict, Disaster) and Sequel (Reaction, Dilemma, Decision), straight out of Dwight Swain. In each cell I list the aspects of the Scene, like heroine's Goal (make it to the funeral), the Conflict (she's late and has to sneak into the sanctuary after service has started), and the Disaster (Mom sees her and Promises Retribution). Then I fill in the aspects of Sequel. That way I make sure I usually have a Scene followed by a Sequel. I can't say I've grasped the concept of Scene and Sequel perfectly, but I'm getting there.

I also have a separate column for POV character and chapter number. Typically I'll try to end the chapter on the Disaster in a Scene, and this method allows me to see how much action is taking place in each chapter, if it's enough to be roughly 20 pages.

In addition to the spreadsheet, I have a Word document that lists the scenes also, but I add any emotional reactions I want to remember to include, any prompts for me when I write the scene.

Hopefully I can get this spreadsheet done tonight, although that might be wishful thinking. I'm hoping I could maybe get this manuscript written by the end of December, but is that unrealistic? Let's see. No harm shooting for the moon.

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