Sunday, September 18, 2011

Looking back

It has taken far too long to tell you about Karen Abbott's American Rose.  I was lucky enough to win a hard copy of this book!  (That makes this delay inexcusable but please forgive me and go out and buy this book.  Now.)  The book is the story of New York as much as it is the story of Gypsy Rose Lee.  I am so glad I read this book before my trip to New York in August!  It helped me to see so much of the city in a new way, especially Times Square.  I love history and it never ceases to amaze me how little human nature differs, over time!  It was a great read I won't soon forget.  (I can't!  My daughter is enamored with the show "Toddlers and Tiaras" and there is a stage mom in every episode that reminds me of Rose, Gypsy's mother!  Almost 100 years have passed since Rose was pushing her daughter, June, along the vaudeville circuit claiming that her daughter was destined to be "somebody."  I hear the same words in my living room today, but vaudeville has been replaced by reality television.)

I am sure you read The Help long ago.   I have been meaning to read the book forever but just got around to finishing it last week.  Though wonderful reviews abound, I knew I had to read the book when I read about it in Food & Wine magazine.  (They featured many of the recipes from the movie.)  Kathryn Stockett's writing was wonderful.  I love southern writers and southern writing but so many writers slow the story down by trying to capture dialect.  I have had to stop and re-read so many words so many times to understand what the characters are supposed to sound like.  Ms. Stockett's writing is spot-on.  Perfect.  Her characters in this novel are unforgettable, the writing is compelling and the food sounds delicious--though it will be a while before I enjoy chocolate pie again!
Minny's Chocolate Pie

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Brotherly Love


3yr-old:  "C?  Can I tell you a secret?"
10yr-old: "Sure."
3yr-old:"I love you."
10yr old: "I know."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I hang my head (Mea Culpa VIII)

I have amended an earlier post but as most of you have no reason to re-read my entries, I include it here, as well.  While I do aim to write fiction, I don't want to be known as a liar.

To that end, I submit my confession:

I was notified via facebook of an inaccuracy in this post, this morning.  I have some great friends (with amazing memories!) who pay attention to what I write here.  My own memory is not so good and I do not fact-check my posts well enough.  I regret to admit that I have not completely avoided meat for two decades.
I tried.  I failed.  
Nearly two decades ago, I was working for J.  We were working quite late one night and he bought dinner for everyone.  I was hungry famished.  I was tired.  There were no veggie options and I caved.  I confess--I ate a turkey sandwich.  Nineteen years ago.  
As long as I am confessing (and before my family members rat me out) I also ate a bite of kielbasa on Easter.  In 2008.  My son saw it and has proudly told everyone that I am not a real vegetarian.
I am a fraud.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stalked by some bad battery karma

Every parent who has seen the Toy Story movies knows where the writers got the idea.  There is some toy, somewhere in your house, with a dying battery.  Batteries do not die quietly.  Toys do not come equipped with a "low battery" light or a status bar, telling you just how much time is left.  Toys...turn psycho.

I am not talking about the toys on your child's floor, nor the ones lying on the top of the toy box.  Those toys have been played with recently.  Those toys have received attention.  Those toys are good.

It is the toy you haven't seen for a while.  Maybe it isn't at the bottom of the full toy box but it is wedged in the middle, somewhere.  In the middle of the night, while your family is sleeping, that toy will beep for no reason.  When the children are in school, the dog is napping and the house is quiet, that toy will talk.  And if you should dig for that toy, find that toy and hold that toy it will stop.  (Think Rex in Toy Story 3: "He held me!  He actually held me!)

But my latest silence-stopper?  The potty. 
Fisher Price Royal Potty & Step Stool Combo

Yes, for the THIRD child, I bought a potty that sings when you, well, you know.  Except this one doesn't.  It can--it simply won't--because no one uses it.  Little guy uses it as a stool to step up to the sink.  He uses it to hold his books while he uses The Big Potty but he does not sit upon it.  So it has no reason to sing.

What to do if you are a potty with no reason to sing?  Well, sing for no reason at all!  It is 11pm.  Everyone, including the dog, is asleep except for me--and the potty.  So it sings.

Thursday, September 08, 2011


After much indecision, wavering and stalling, I decided not to go to the writing conference in October.  As I sat down to compose a post about my reasons, I found a similar post I'd already written and posted three years ago.  THREE YEARS ago.

I realized that I have no choice.  I try not to accept excuses from my kids and it is time to stop allowing them, myself.  I am going to the conference.  Part of my hesitation was that my draft isn't "ready."  But is much closer than it was last year (when I said it wasn't "ready.")  It is not perfect.  Of course, if it was perfect, I wouldn't need feedback.

So I have submitted pages for critique.  I signed up for a pitch session and query session, as well.

So now you know.  And now, I have to go revise other pages and forget that I have already sent some to complete strangers before I curl up into the fetal position and start sucking my thumb.