Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The good news is that the two sick children are feeling better.
It was a little quieter here for a while, though. My daughter could not talk very well for a while so she was whispering to save her voice. Patiently, her brother played with her for at least half an hour before asking, "Why are we whispering?"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Traditions over the years

Many of our holiday traditions have evolved as we had kids, and as the children have grown. I used to spend hours assembling our tree, then putting on (and trying to "hide") the lights. Now, I drag the pre-lit tree from the garage, put it up in ten minutes and spend another half-hour trying to find all the little plugs to make sure the whole thing lights up. The older two swarm in when I'm done and have the whole thing decorated before my husband gets home from work!

We've gone from bows and store-bought ornaments to mostly unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade treasures.

I'm thinking now of the evolution of the Christmas lists. (Maybe it's the writer in me?) It's amazing to see how we've gone from yelling that they want each and every thing advertised on tv, to drawing pictures, to making three page lists, to printing out web links to--this year.

My eleven-year-old's list is only one page but is divided into columns. This year, she has made a separate column for the items she wishes to receive in her stocking, as well as under the tree!

My eight-year-old has not made a list. He has worried aloud, many times, that he does not even know what he will do with coal when he gets it. (Although, when they wrote letters to Santa at school, his went like this: "Dear Santa, If you bring me an iPod Touch, I will give you cookies and fetchables for your reindeer.")

The two-year-old is not making a list, yet. He has discovered that there are PRESENTS under the tree! This makes sense, of course, as we are practicing singing "Happy Birthday to Jesus." I don't know if he has figured out how Santa fits in to all of this yet but he certainly knows who he is!

They have each picked out at least one present for each of their siblings already. They've carefully wrapped them and put them under the tree and keep giggling, wondering if the other will like what they've bought. I hope that tradition never changes.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Third time is the charm!

With five minutes to spare!

13 hours, 5 minutes

I only need 13,400 more words. So just a little over 1,000 words an hour...
(And then I just need to save this post to remind myself: If I can pull this off, I have no excuse during a summer month with no holidays!) ;)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pushin' it

I do work best under a deadline but this puts procrastination at a whole, new level!
The good news is that I have written over 30,000 words in a month.
What that means, of course, is that to "win", I only need to write a little over 19,000 before midnight, tomorrow.
No pressure.
I'm not worried.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Writing 101

Show don't tell.
Don't talk down to your readers.
Don't use two words when one will work. Unless you're behind on your wordcount for NaNoWriMo. Then, see if you can squeeze in four.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The skinny on the fat

I bought a Florida avocado which bears a sticker claiming "30% less fat than the leading California avocado."
It is also at least three times the size of the California avocadoes, so I'm not sure I come out ahead.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The 10K race

I am WAY behind on NaNo stats but at this point, I will be happy if I can hit 10,000 words tonight. It does pain me a little to type words that I know will be cut as soon as I get into edit mode. No time to think of that now, though! Nanowrimo is about pushing forth and writing 50,000 words. No one said that they had to be 50,000 golden words to "win!"

I hope the words are flowing for all of my other, crazy Nano buddies! For the rest of you (likely saner) people, I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Friday, November 13, 2009

No excuses

The most wonderful hubby took the older two to the highschool football game tonight and the little guy is in bed, which means: I have TIME to work on my wordcount!
Middle son is bringing a friend home from the game to spend the night. I usually try to stay up until I think they are asleep (which may not take long tonight) but otherwise, means time to up the wordcount!
(I wanted to have his friend over tomorrow night as my daughter has been invited to a sleep over tomorrow night but the friend really wanted to come tonight. Which works out better, now that I think about it. C will be so tired by tomorrow night that by the time we get N off to her sleepover, he may be ready for bed, himself! The little guy certainly will so there may yet be time to up the wordcount!)

Most wonderful hubby is then taking older two to a concert on Monday night. (Yes, it is a school night. Yes, they will be wiped out. The important thing here is that the little guy will go to bed, they will be gone and I will have another chance to seriously up the word count!)

Now I just have to stop blogging and...up the other word count.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No dinosaurs in the Revolutionary War

The Veteran's Day program at my older children's school was a very nice production. The toddler did as well as could be expected. He was just confused when one class began to sing "Yankee Doodle Dandy." He kept looking for Barney.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The quest for the matching sock

New kids book idea:
I just have to come up with a story where a Young Indiana Jones-type kid battles seemingly insurmountable mountains of laundry, searches an 8-year-old's room for one small piece of a uniform that is the key to unlocking an even great mystery.

Perhaps there is cute, pre-teen, unknown vampire out there who is truly good and wants to protect a young girl who has found the secret to defeating evil, dirty dishes.

(No need to develop either idea into a video game. They would absolutely, virtually fold laundry but would never come upstairs to find two matching socks!)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Procrastination defines me

I need to be writing but I really need to clean one of the fish tanks, too.
I can't find the fish net that I use to scoop little fish out of the water. I think that is a sign that it can wait. I think I might go with that.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Running behind

I am always late and/or rushing. So it should come as no surprise that I am already behind on my Nano progress. November 1st marks the beginning of Nano and is also my youngest son's birthday.
I had planned to get started as soon as possible. I took the boys trick-or-treating on Halloween while my husband shuttled my daughter and best friend to and from a dance. The best friend was spending the night here afterwards, and I usually stay up until I think they're either asleep or close.

Of course, the best of intentions has never actually helped anyone. Saturday was a busy day from beginning to end and by the stroke of midnight--when Nano officially begins--I'd lost my resolve. I did set the clocks back before going to bed, hoping that might inspire me. Rather than believing I had any extra time, I just knew that the youngest (who is years away from being able to tell time) was not going to sleep in and went to bed myself.

Sunday I made birthday cake, took a walk with the husband, we took kids out to lunch, we celebrated the toddler's birthday. It was a great day but by day's end, word count was still zero.

Day 2? Yes, I'm here, explaining, complaining and rationalizing my lack of progress rather than writing. I could give you my to-do list for today but I'm sure it looks as full as yours does. So many of you have already made promising progress! I applaud you! Way to go!

I'm still warming up but I'll catch up! This year, I WILL catch up!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why? Why not?

Here I go, again.
I am going to give NaNo another go.
For those of you who have been long-time visitors, you may recall that I have never finished the 50,000 words in the 30 day time period.

So why do this, again?

It can't hurt. Maybe this will be my year! I'm actually getting a little excited about it--but that is most likely because it is not November, yet.

Join me! http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Make it a surprise, Mom!

I cannot believe that my baby will be two years old on Sunday! I think he grew taller, overnight and the kid isn't just talking--he's conversing.

Unfortunately, I catch myself talking to him like he is older. I was making my "to-do" list this morning and casually asked the little guy what kind of birthday cake he'd like.

His reply (duh!) was OKAY!! He ran over to his high chair and no matter what else I offered, all he wanted was "Happy To You Cake!"
It took over fifteen minutes to convince him that I do not actually have any cake at the moment.

Of course, he can spot mom-guilt as well as anyone! It didn't take too long for him to request a popsicle. I had the fire on this morning while the big kids dressed for school; this little guy is wearing a sweatshirt but he sweetly asked for a popsicle.
He (and you) knew I'd say yes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wrong cheeks

The squirrels are busy this time of year, collecting any last acorns, nuts or whatever else is still lying out there. I get it. They will not have someone serving them a bowl of cereal in January, when the snow is on the ground.

My toddler will. Not only is he saving his snacks but he is putting them behind him. He shoved squares of Cinnamon Toast Crunch down the back of his pjs, this morning. When you do this, in footy pajamas, they cannot fall out. So you know where I found them. (Not a place I'd like to store food, even in the short term).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wine pairings

We know that certain types of wine complement certain flavors and foods.
Does a particular wine go with a type of book?

In this case, I thought, how could it not?

I love the bottle! Seven zinfandel wines from 7 wineries are included in "7 zins"; it has fleur de lis accents around the top; it has a wonderful poem on the back. The marketing! The decoration! It's beautiful!

Unfortunately, the wine inside did not measure up to the bottle--or the books.

Monday, October 12, 2009


The baby is not quite two yet but already wants to know why.
Why? Why! WHY?!?!?

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Every few years, I decide I need one.

And then change my mind. I really WANT the workshop format and the critique circle.
Can I find that outside of a univerity? Yes.
Have I? No.

The husband wants to know what it will do to HELP me.
(I need the feedback, want the workshop format and these days, adult conversation is always a plus.) Besides, I tell him, if he's hit by a bus, I can go teach classes at the college level.
(He reminds me of the great life insurance plan he has. I'm actually REALLY well set--IF he dies.) With the MFA however, I might actually be able to graduate, write AND teach--EVEN if he lives! ;)

So why have I waited this long?
A number of reasons.

A friend asked me YEARS ago whether or not I really NEEDED it--or if it was, in fact, a fancy shmancy delay tactic. (She already had her degree from Harvard and was pursuing a dual tract in medical school so ONCE in a WHILE, I listened to her!) ;)
(Of course, she was right). I STILL don't have a beautiful, polished novel sitting here so it's easier to say I need to go through an MFA program than to just sit my butt in the chair long enough to edit the crap that I DO have and craft it into something that someone not related to me might want to read. (If I edit it and/or write it for a class, I will HAVE to do it or fail.)

With a toddler at home, it's tough to write and tougher to consider going back to school. (There is a wonderful, well-known university close by who offers an MFA program). I can't pull off studying, writing AND teaching with my kids at the ages that they're at right now. The distance MFAs are calling me right now but it's hard to determine if it is because that is the right move--ore because 20 days away from my family each year sounds like THE way to get my book DONE?!

SO! My writing friends--do you have/want an MFA? Do you participate in a critique circle? I'm curious.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

What you see vs. what you get

The issue of whether or not to allow our kids to view President Obama's speech at school was a non-issue. In addition to the Labor Day holiday, my kids had Tuesday off as well. So we watched, together.

What I saw:

The President appear (albiet a few minutes after noon) and give an inspiring, encouraging welcome-back-to-school speech. He spoke of personal responsibility and reminded them that there are no excuses when it comes to your education. He wisely took only fifteen minutes.

What I got:

"He's late! The PRESIDENT is TARDY!"
"What?! Some kids didn't have to go to school until TODAY?!?!?"
"Is it over yet?"
"No, I wouldn't want to get up at 4:30 in the morning."
"Is it over?"
"Yes, I would be paying closer attention if I got to watch this at school--then I would be getting out of class. " "Is it over yet?"

I tried.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

On my way to where the air is sweet...

Who says tv is bad for you?

Today, Elmo was talking about teeth.

Joshua came running into the kitchen yelling, "toofbrush! Peas! Peas? PEAS! Foffa's teef--toofBRUSH!"

The little guy sat on the couch, munching on his toothbrush and watching Elmo (who, incidentally, has no teeth).

I had plenty of time to make a necessary phone call--uninterrupted!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

New look, old gal

I got quite a bit of my hair hacked off, yesterday.
Today, one friend complemented me on my outfit. She thought I was "dressed up" for church.
Another friend at church could not get over how good I looked and wanted to know how much weight I've lost, recently. (None, though my head is quite a bit lighter, today!)
Amazing what new look will do for one's attitude-and others! ;)

In fact, I was almost thinking I even looked a little younger. Then I realized this weekend marks 20 years since I had my first date with my husband. Not feeling so young, anymore...but still lighter! ;)

Enjoy your long weekend!

Monday, August 31, 2009


I stated that it was too early to go back to school (almost 3 weeks ago) as it certainly did not feel like "Fall."
We had record low temps this morning.
I really should learn to keep my mouth shut!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I was probably too focused on my first child. The second did not get quite as much attention as he had to share Mom with his sister.

The third? He doesn't complain. He just puts the orange juice in the toybox, the rubber duck in the refrigerator and waits for me to notice.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Don't ask

If you don't want to hear the answer, you should not ask the question. Especially if you're considering asking a toddler. (You'd think the third time around, I'd know better!)

I asked the toddler what he would like for lunch.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


If you're a kid, and you're mom looks so tired you think she might want to stay home today--what other choice do you really have? You've got to swing that door open, unload a few things and keep climbing those refrigerator shelves until she has no choice but to take you to the park! (Unless she puts you in bed but that's a risk a kid has got to take, right? If you are a resourceful 21-month-old, you can get out of there if you really have to. By that time however, your Mom has had a chance to get another cup of coffee so you still might get to the park, after all!)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to work

The older two children are back in school and it's time to get back to writing--and blogging!
(I'd like to say that I haven't been blogging because I was so busy with the kids this summer but I seemed to find plenty of time for facebook!)

I have made more progress with the writing lately. My wonderful husband let me escape for a night, so I had uninterrupted time to write in a quiet hotel room! (Who needs to leave town for a "vacation?" I was working--I got more accomplished in the first few hours than I had all summer--but the QUIET was better than a week "off" somewhere new!)

How is your routine? Does the "fall schedule" change your habits?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

One week

We are staying close to home while we have our shower redone so I was hoping to squeeze in a little more writing/editing here and there. If only the necessary changes were as obvious as where to lay the next tile, I'd be set!

(Before pic)

Unfortunately, I tend to write in a mosaic style--writing separate pieces and then fitting them together--rather than following a linear path.

If all goes according to plan, the shower will be done well before my novel is polished and ready to show. I'll keep you updated, though. (I don't plan my writing well ahead of time; the contractors planned, drew pictures and estimated 8 days. We're on day 7 now and they tell me it will only take one more week.)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Define help

I tell my children that I need help folding the laundry.

Their response?
"But the clothes basket is SO FULL!"

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I am just never satisfied

I've got it pretty good. I have a large washing machine to wash my clothes, a dryer that dries them in record time. A decent dishwasher, an automatic coffee maker and two computers which allow me to type much faster than I could ever write on a notepad. Technology is wonderful. Now, if someone could take time away from developing the newest, smallest, most incredible "phone" and use that incredible imagination to develop a machine that would fold laundry, my life would be perfect.

(I do have children. They are capable of folding laundry! I just wish they could do it without asking every three seconds: "Am I done yet? Exactly how many things do I have to fold?")

Saturday, June 06, 2009


I no longer play the piano like I used to but once in a while, a concert, a movie or a piece on the radio will make me want to practice.

Some books make me want to keep reading but make me want to stop at the same time--because I'm inspired to work on my characters, my scenes...and make them better.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter is one of those books. It's a gem.

The novel follows Dr. David Henry, who in 1964 delivers his own twins. He is thrilled to deliver a healthy baby boy but then is surprised when a second child is delivered. His recognizes that his daughter has Down syndrome and for a multitude of reasons, he sends her away with his nurse. He instructs the nurse to take her to an institution.
The story also follows Norah Henry, Dr. Henry's wife. Her husband tells her that their daughter died at birth. Her grief shapes and changes her life in ways she never imagined.
Over the twenty-five year span of the novel, we also get to know Caroline Gill, the nurse who was in love with Dr. Henry and who flees with his daughter.

Kim Edwards has crafted a mesmerizing novel detailing the way that love--and the mistakes that we make in the name of love--change the shape and direction of lives.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Summer vacation?

We're a week into summer vacation for the kids--which means I'm up even earlier, trying to write before they get up.

(Of course, I'm here until I get halfway through the first cup of coffee!)  

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Shack

The ShackSettle down in your favorite chair and make yourself at home in The Shack.  
Of course, when you read the first chapter, or even just the plot summary, you'll think I've lost my mind.  The subject sounds unsettling.  It is.
I read the back cover and waited to read the book.  I was afraid it would bother me.  It did.  I was sure that I would cry.  I did.
Still, it's a book that will make you think and just possibly, look at life a little differently.

I'm not a huge fan of the writing style.  The actual story however, is powerful.

And for any of you out there who are sure that you know what God looks like--it might be time to take another look.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Parental controls

I need a program that will give me a time-out each time I visit Facebook rather than doing actual research or writing.  Clearly, I am not disciplined enough to avoid it on my own.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I might need a better connection

I need to remember to pray more in the mornings, while I'm drinking my coffee.
As it is, I usually do most of my praying at night--when I'm exhausted.  For a few years, I thought I was getting hints back.  Some days I was excited when I thought I'd figured out a "clue:"  I thought I was meant to have a third child.  There were other days when I started to panic when I thought that God was trying to tell me His plan for me might involve me having three.

Then there are days like today when I hear Him laughing.  Clearly I was meant to have a bird.  Or His plan for my life involves me planting a tree.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Gotta love suburbia

There are days when I long for the hustle and bustle of a more urban setting. There are many more days however, like when we're rushing to school in the morning, that I'm thankful the only "traffic" is the line of cars at the red light.

Now that my son can say "car," I am even more thankful. He points out each car on the ride to school. Every car. Poor kid would lose his voice--and possibly his mind--if we were on a six-lane highway!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Kokomo, Indiana just isn't the same

The Beach Boys came on the radio in the car last night and I admit I was singing along, pretending I could still see palm trees.  My kids were so excited that they knew the song! (Or so they think). They just could not figure out how Kokomo fit in with Key Largo.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Strike out

I am the MAN.

No one will be giving me a high-five here. The kids went on strike yesterday. They made their signs and paraded around the living room to protest against the man, er, "mom."

They clearly thought that I would be distraught by this drastic action. They were a bit disappointed when, rather than caving to their demands (they did not actually have any), I took out the camera.

Film at eleven.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I know I left it here, somewhere

There is an excellent chance that I have lost my mind.

On the upside, if I don't find it soon, I may come up with a perfectly unique twist for a story...

My true love

He's hot; he knows what I need and just how I like it.  I'd never make it through the day without him!

The good, the bad and the ugly

Well, I've just finished almost 1,000 new words--so that's good.

It's almost 1:30am, so that's bad.

The daughter is most certainly going back to school tomorrow so I just have to get them dropped off, drop two casseroles (that are not yet made) off somewhere else before 11am and be at daughter's library time at 10:30.  It's gonna be ugly!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Full moon

The house is quiet.  Everyone else is asleep.  I should be, too (haven't been sleeping well) or folding laundry. (I've got quite a mountain of clean clothes.  At least they're clean, so I'm not totally neglecting the family.  Everything that they need is clean, they may just have to dig for them.)

Instead though, I'm here.  Writing.  Finally.  Maybe it's the full moon.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Fighting with the book

My fingers are cold and dry.  This should help provide excellent inspiration for writing tonight--the part I'm working on takes place in Alaska.

I'm procrastinating again.  No matter how many chapters I have saved on various computers, in notebooks, on napkins...I have to rewrite them.  I may have mentioned this before.  The story hasn't been working because it has to come from the daughter.  That's OK.  I didn't want it to be her story, initially but I think that'll work best.

Except for all of the rewriting.  I'm lazy.  Of course, if I had a hot cup of coffee on the desk, rather than a glass of red wine, that'd probably help.  A little. ;)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Karma and all that

A while back, I stated that a book I was reading was not good.
In all fairness, it is the writer's first book.  I hope, one day, when my book is done and out there--my critics will offer more than two words.

I decided recently to give it another shot.  It is getting better.  The narrator bothered me but as it turns out, he thinks of himself as quite a know-it-all.  That doesn't make me like him any better but makes me want to give the author the benefit of the doubt.

So The Gargoyle is back on my nightstand.  At least, until I find something else to read.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sagas: Twilight and facebook

The Twilight books are certainly YA but many moms like myself have been sucked in. Is it just the love story?  Maybe.  The fact that there is something familiar?  Sure--she has referenced and followed some classics with each one.

I had been reading some non-fiction and some bad fiction, so I think Ms. Meyers' books were mostly a welcome change.  There is something there, though.  I looked at the first book and told my daughter to go ahead and start reading.  I hoped I'd catch up--and make sure it was OK--but I knew that at the rate I've been reading, it'd take a month for me to finish that BIG book.
Instead, I finished all four books in less than three weeks.  It has been a long time since I simply COULD NOT put a book down.  And I've been looking for another "good" book to read since, but haven't been able to get another fix.

Part of my fascination lay with her characters.  In my comments about her first book, I mentioned that Edward reminded me of someone and I was curious.  As it turns out, I've lost touch with an Edward** and at least one Jacob* and I wanted to see what happened with Bella's.

(I had no idea until recently that a few of those people I lost are hanging out on facebook!  They have not all become my "friends" but that is an entirely separate distraction.)

In the meantime, somebody post the title of a book that I should be reading!
*Different names, of course.
** I have never--knowingly--dated a vampire

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Immortality or longer life?

So if you only have so many free hours in the day--and you really want to sleep during some of those nighttime hours--do you place writing over exercising (if you are published, your name could live on forever) or do you get on the treadmill first (if you live longer, you have more time to be published)?

(Or do you spend them mindlessly blogging?)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

That's all I want to say to you

Thanks to the Carpenters and, of course, Sesame Street for "Sing a Song."

My youngest is getting pretty good at singing his "la la las" so it's been fun but I've had enough.

We have moved on to the Police. (YouTube won't let me embed this one but you can click on the link.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sold out

It is done.
I never made a MySpace page and had no intentions of ever logging onto Facebook. So much for sticking to my guns. I caved.
I am on Facebook.

P.S. - For a certain person who may have used my daughter to suck her mother into the latest technology, I hope you are happy. I still don't know how to find your photos.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary on Fat Tuesday!

To my parents, Happy Anniversary today! 41 years! THAT is something to celebrate!

Of course, many others are celebrating today--just 'cause it's Tuesday!
Here, we had Paczki (pronounced "punch-key") and king cake for breakfast, so we had our own small Fat Tuesday celebration, here!

The kids also had a half-day at school so each one brought a friend home. They pulled cookies out of the pantry for a snack a little while ago but my daughter would not eat the sugar-free cookies that her friend picked out. Though they are sugar-free, her friend kept calling them "fat-free." My daughter replied, "It's Fat Tuesday, NOT Fat-Free-Tuesday!!"

Friday, February 20, 2009


(Basement issues are not fixed.)

Science projects complete--the Science Fair is tomorrow; birthday treats delivered safely to school today and party scheduled for Sunday; finished reading the Twilight saga; washing machine running; baby sleeping.

Dishes to do and many, many words to write.  Of course, when the hubby gets home, I'll tell him  that I couldn't get anything done.  At least I did get a shower early this morning--that never happens!  (The early part--showers do occur, occasionally!)

Enjoy the weekend!

Monday, February 16, 2009


The weekend is over (thank goodness)!
The water damage is not yet fixed but we're getting there.
(The carpet damage is limited to a fairly small area but it is in the center of the large part of our finished basement. To avoid seams, they want to rip up a large portion of carpet). At least, we're on track there--just don't want the kids spending too much time in the basement--which means we're on to plan B (or C) for my son's birthday party next weekend. (No sleepovers yet)

One science project is complete!

One more getting closer--his volcano is built; we tested 3 different "recipes" yesterday to see which eruption is the biggest. Now he just needs to paint the volcano/prepare his display.

The father/daughter dance was a success--hubby and daughter enjoyed Saturday night.

Made it to the boy scout banquet with side dish on Sunday and addressed a few birthday invites for his upcoming birthday. We're running late but ought to still be able to get a few kids by next Sunday!

Still behind on laundry--as always. That's on the eternal list!

Now I just have to squeeze in a run, shower and writing before the youngest gets up from his nap! (I usually have great ideas when I do not have time to write them down!)

How's your Monday looking?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Still distracted

And I'm on to book 4.  (Ms. Meyer's, not mine).   I'm still embarrassed but inspired, as well.  Reading a young adult novel inevitably brings back a few teen memories of my own.  Quite a few character traits and/or scenarios pop up when I look back for too long. ;)

I might have to put the books away soon--to keep my daughter from the temptation.  I'm not sure she is ready to read books 3 and 4, yet.  (I'm quite sure she will not be reading book 4, yet, actually.  We recently got through the puberty talk and while I am willing to answer other questions regarding birds, bees and even humans--book 4 has a bit more than a 10-year-old needs to ask about!) ;)

Having said that, I am happy to see that each of these books references--and contains allusions to--classics that I do want my daughter to read:  Wuthering Heights, Romeo and Juliet and Pride and Prejudice.  As I've mentioned before, my daughter is not a big reader but maybe if she sees that these books are good enough for Bella...

Saturday, February 07, 2009

New genres?

I'm sure it's the sleep deprivation but I still have this new story spinning around in my head. Mine would not include vampires or any other "monsters" but might have an element of fantasy. I've never tried writing one before and it may never make it to paper but it's an idea.

For my writerly readers--have you ever tried writing in more than one genre?

Friday, February 06, 2009

A little preoccupied

The book came.  I've been distracted--it's not that complex--not hard to see what is coming next and yet--I can't seem to look away.  I'm halfway through so maybe I'll have more interesting posts soon--unless I pick up the third book!

 As I said previously, I was a little unnerved to see how obsessed people were with these books.  Now I'm right there with them.  I look like a vampire myself--dark circles under my eyes as I know better than to stay up too late reading but I do it, anyway!  

 It has inspired yet another story idea for me, as well.  More on that after I sketch it out better--and get some sleep.  No need to share all of my loopy, sleep-deprived epiphanies just yet!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I'm infected--and embarrassed

I may have mentioned that I don't read kids' books. I also have not read a romance in quite a while.

I read Twilight, mostly to make sure it was appropriate for my daughter and to see what the fuss was all about. (I was a little unnerved by just how many people are reading it--though I'm sure Stephenie Meyer is enjoying every minute of it!) ;)

I purchased the second book online but opted for "Super-Saver shipping." I didn't think my daughter would finish the first by this week and I figured I'd need a break before beginning the next one.

I had not planned on staying up past midnight for a few nights last week to finish the book. I haven't done that in years. I find myself looking out the front window, several times a day now, looking for the brown box with the arrows on it. I am embarrassed to admit that I've been sucked in.

A good love story does tend to pull me in. That's why I don't read too many; I get too preoccupied and the laundry piles up--not to mention my own writing comes to a screeching halt. I did not think I'd get wrapped up in a teenaged-love story but it gives me a chance to escape my middle-aged life for a short while!

I'm off to fold laundry. And glance out the window, on my way.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Young adult saga

I don't read "kid's" books.

OK--that is not entirely true. I've read Goodnight Moon several times, just this week! Of course, I read to my children. When it's my turn to sit down and pick up a novel however, I'm done with juvenile fiction.

Or so I thought. I didn't read what the kids were reading when I was a kid. By the time I was in middle school, I was reading the paperback versions of The Winds of War, North and South (and the sequels), Gone With the Wind, books on Hiroshima and I threw several mysteries in there, as well.

Partly due to the books that I was reading when I was twelve however, I have always said that as my kids got older, I would know what they were reading and would read those books as well. (My own mom would ask about some of the books that I picked up. She didn't have time to read them and I may have misled her a little as far as how explicit they were. Sorry, Mom!)

I let my daughter go ahead and start reading Twilight, based on another mom's assurances that the first two books would be okay. (This mom is my daughter's best friend's mom, a teacher,and a pretty good judge of age-appropriate material). So I let N start the book, and I am trying to catch up. It's not bad! Who knew? Of course, this book is more young adult--the characters are seventeen. Maybe she thinks she is reading a grown-up book and I can feel like it's not for children.

I have heard that the third and fourth book in the series are not something she should be reading yet so I'll have her wait but I may just check them all out, myself. I'm only in the middle of the first one and read a scene last night in which Bella found herself in a dangerous situation but the way it was written, I'm sure that my daughter had no real idea of the just what the imminent danger entailed.

My daughter is not a big fan of reading and we try to coax her just to read. (They have the Accelerated Reader program at school and this year, it is part of her reading grade, so she has to do a certain amount of reading at home). She was all set to read this book though--because everyone is reading it. While it annoys me that she is at that age where she wants to be just like her friends, I am happy to see her excited about reading. (I just have to get ahead--and stay ahead--of what she decides to pick up!)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Catching up

The "books on my nightstand" list down on the left side of this blog has not been updated in quite a while!  Let's see...

The Audacity of Hope did give me hope, indeed.  I am not going to spend too much time summarizing it here as you've likely heard bits and pieces in various interviews, campaign speeches, etc.  It is an inspiring read.

Wickett's Remedy  was entertaining.  I love the asides in the book--though I'll admit, it took me a chapter or two to come to love them!  Apparently the format presented some issues when it was time for the paperback to come out so it gave her a chance to make some changes.  She uploaded the changes online but I have not read them so I don't know how the paperback differs from the hardcover.  I thought it was cleverly written and her historical details were well done.  
My only criticism would be that the ending seemed hastily done.  The letters between the creator and the beneficiary of Wickett's Remedy were the essence of the book--they tied the years and events together but the ending felt more like loose ends being tied up rather than a satisfying conclusion.  Perhaps that is remedied in the paperback!

I still have not read much of The Gargoyle.

I recently finished The Faith Club.  This non-fiction book chronicles a few years in the life of the three co-authors as they educate each other and struggle with their own faiths at the same time.  It is a story of three women who came together to write a children's book that would explain what common stories the Islamic, Jewish and Christian traditions share.  As they try to put their pieces together, the women learn as much or more about their own faiths as they learn about the other two. I had to rethink a few of my own views along the way.  This is one that I'd recommend reading in small amounts--too much to take in at one time--but well worth the read!

Now I just have to go update my list! ;)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day II

There are other days when a "snow day" would be welcome! We're at 5 inches (and counting) and most schools around here are closed or on a 2-hour delay. We were scheduled to have only a half-day today, anyway. (It is Catholic Schools Week this week, so they all go to the highschool, have Mass with the bishop, do a craft and they're done. So you can guess which school was open and ready to go, on time, today!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Memories of the arctic

It's been a few years since I've said, "Hey kids! We're getting snow tomorrow--that means it's warming up!"

(Although in Alaska, my daughter still went out to recess until it was -20 degrees. Here, school is closed because it is currently -14. (The wind chill is -30 and even things in Alaska shut down at -30, so I guess I can't put down the school. The kids, of course, are thrilled!))

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Snow day

Those two words are not quite as exciting for parents!  

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pet names

I had not yet logged in this morning so when I commented on my own post below, I had to type in the security letters.  Today's letters spelled "phiedo."
The family has been talking about when to get a dog.  I think, when we do, we should name him Phiedo.
(The rest of the family wants a girl dog but that simply won't do, now!)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Your response is important to me, please be patient and I'll post again, soon

It's Monday!

I'm back up, healthy and back online.  Unfortunately, I was on the telephone line--not internet--most of the morning.

I tried to reschedule an appointment for myself (they have all been on Wednesdays--the boy's library day--and he knows I've missed more of his than his sister's); make one more for me (separate issue but at least that will be on a Thursday); find someone to fix the mailbox (a car slid into it at some point yesterday) and and an assortment of other phone calls this morning meant doing the breakfast dishes with the phone on speaker.  I put the baby down for a nap and listened to a depressing selection of hold music, interspersed with "your call is important to us..." every thirty seconds.

Now that I have spent a full hour on the phone, I need to find a way to fold laundry and type at the same time.

It's time for a headset (and voice recognition software)! ;)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I can't blog, I'm washing my hair

The New Year came in quietly but went well.  We settled back in to start our routines, got back to school and then it hit.  The baby wouldn't eat much Tuesday or Wednesday and started with the runny diapers Wednesday.  Thursday, the hubbie and I were hit hard.  Either our flu shots don't work or they shortened the flu as we were better by Friday but Thursday, we were lying on the floor or crawling up the stairs to bed.  I let J just crawl on top of me while I was on the floor, thinking I caught this from him but Friday, it hit him harder!  He and I both were wiped out again (though not to the same extremes) yesterday.

I went to bed last night at 8:30 and though I got up with J a few times, we went back to bed.  He's sleeping again now so I finally took a shower.  As I sit here typing, I was just thinking how nice another nap would be but it sounds like he's stirring.

I'll get back to the writing life--I hope.

In the meantime, Happy New Year!  I hope you have a happy, healthy and productive 2009!