Valerie's blog about stuff

What to do with this place?

Last year this time I was pregnant and antsy. I decided to start a blog to write about things and pass time.

It has been a year and I’ve learned that while I love reading blogs, writing one is not my thing. It is about on par as going to a dentist appointment.

So, I’ve decides to stop feeling guilty about not doing something I don’t enjoy.

The only problem is that I paid for this site for two years… So what to do with it?

One thing I am doing is taking a lot of pictures. So top of the list is to turn it into a photo gallery of some sort.

Anyway. It will be under construction very soon.

If I can find a way to back out of the site I might just do that instead :/

Seriously Spring? Not cool.

imageNot cool at all…


Trouble with Obamacare

My five month old baby just lost her health insurance coverage. Not because I failed to make a payment, but because despite having a US birth certificate and a Social Security card, I was unable to provide adequate documentation to prove her citizenship.

In a way it is my fault. I received a letter from the Healthcare Marketplace asking for documents to prove my baby was a US citizen or national.

I didn’t bother reading the list of documents considered acceptable (mistake #1) and just sent in a copy of her birth certificate.

Another letter came saying the document provided was insufficient and to provide additional documentation to prove her immigration status. Flabbergasted, I called the marketplace and explained my situation. The phone-bank worker told me the Marketplace probably had not processed my original submission and to just wait. Mistake #2 was believing this person.

Mistake #3 was when the next letter came saying additional docs were still required to prove my baby’s status as a national, citizen or immigrant. Frustrated, I resent her birth certificate, again without reading the specifics of what documents were required.

Two more letters came.

Deciding it must be the US mail causing this debacle, I went online and uploaded a copy of her birth certificate and SS card, just to be safe.

The deadline to submit information passed.

And the next bit of mail said her coverage was being dropped.

I called the marketplace and finally learned why I had been getting so much mail (over 40 pages, all in all.)

The Marketplace wanted a copy of her passport to prove citizenship. If she did not have a passport two documents would be required.

So far so good, right? I mean I gave them two documents.


Because those two documents were from the same column. I needed to send a document from column one and column two.

Column two consisted of photo ID’s issued by the state (drivers licenses or state ID cards) or daycare, school or preschool records or health records that have identifying information (hair color, eye color, height, weight, age, race.)


The good news in all of this is that I can appeal. And, hopefully, by sending the correct information, get my daughter back on insurance.

So yesterday I called my daughter’s clinic- only to find out her medical record wouldn’t cut it- as it is hand written and missing some of the information required.

We ended up at the DMV- getting an ID card. There is a two week wait to get the card- meaning my daughter will most likely have a gap in coverage. She will probably not get her 6 months shots on time.

Overall, I feel like an idiot. Like back in school when some pompous teacher gives you a test, and you’re sure you answered every question right. But when you get it back, graded, you have a big fat zero because the directions said, “Don’t answer any questions, just write your name on top.”

That test is suppose to teach you to read directions carefully- but it always felt like entrapment to me.

So does this healthcare situation. And just like that test, if you fail there really isn’t any kind of defense.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t stupid!

About that novel I wrote…


I started writing books back in fifth grade when I moved to Virginia. The school system had a contest call “Young Writers” and I entered a book every year. I won the whole shebang in 8th grade but usually my work didn’t even make it past the classroom level contest.

It may have been that my writing, as one would expect from a 10-17 year old, stunk. But I like to inflate my ego and think it was because rather than handing in some 1000-10,000 word short story like my cohorts did, I usually handed in a 100-300 page manuscript. The contest was judged by the PTA and I somehow doubt they actually took the time to read my manuscript. That and part of the contest was how pretty your books cover was and I never took the time to make a pretty cover.

But I digress.

After high school I discovered another writing contest: National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. And pretty much every November, starting in undergrad, I’ve sat down and attempted to write the first draft of a novel, in a month.

The best thing about NaNoWriMo? You *win* by word count.

Write 50,000 words and you are a winner!

Even better: if you don’t win you don’t lose- you’ve still written more than you would have if you didn’t participate.

I’ve won NaNoWriMo twice.

And that brings me to April. Because April is Camp NaNoWriMo. And Camp NaNoWriMo is editing time. A time to take your rough draft and polish it.

You see I’ve written about 10 full length novels (many of which are lost to time, I’m NOT afraid to say- they were pretty horrid.)

But other than the PTA back in primary school- I’ve never let anyone read them.

I hope to change that.

My goal this April is to edit one manuscript into something that I’m not afraid to let other people read.

I have no plans of publishing it- but I do look forward to sharing it.

Pah! Who am I kidding- the idea of sharing my writing is scary as hell (I even had a Freudian slip and wrote writhing instead of writing…)

But part of growing up is doing big scary things. And I do so want to grow as a writer.

Editing here I come!

And come May I should have something I can show off.


**Photo by Kiran Foster, “Typing” Used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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