Tuesday, November 30, 2010

When The Dogs Bark, Do You?

It's time for Kid A to register for next year's high school courses. This event led to a conversation between her and my hubby about college and the vast options opening up to her.

I sat and listened, wading through memories until hubby started reminiscing about the first day of a psychology class. I never took psychology, and now I'm wishing I had, because the first day Hubby and all the other students sat in their chairs and stared at each other, waiting for the professor to show up. They sat some more, stared some more, and tapped their watches in disbelief as the minutes dragged past.

Then someone started barking.

Yes, you read that right, barking like a dog that hadn't seen it's master in days. Drooping heads lifted, eyes widened, and silence reigned. At least it did until the barking resumed--coming from the professor who'd been hiding under his desk the whole time.

Kid A and I listened to the story entranced with the image of a teacher barking to a room full of astonished students. Kid A laughed. I grinned and said, "I'd have barked back."

Apparently that's what the prof wanted. Why? Probably for the same reason I suddenly want to head to a library, or session of congress, hide somewhere, and bark my heart out.

Because, wouldn't it be fun to watch all the reactions? Yes, I realize this makes me more than a little strange, but it would be great research into body language and people.

Writers make a living out of showing people's reactions and emotions with words. We can't just tell you someone was surprised or embarrassed. We have to show you, paint a picture in your mind so you live the event with the character. In essence, a writer shows you who the character really is.

Think about it, if someone, anyone, had barked back that psychology professor would have known a lot about them, almost as much as he discovered about the people who just stared. So, the question is, would you bark back?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


So, the time has come for snow. This is how I feel about that:

(Actual photo)

This is how Kid D feels about it:

(Not actual photo. She grins way bigger than that when it snows.)

This is what I have to say about it: Let it end. *Whimper*

This is what she has to say about it: Mom, this is a wonderful time of year for me! *Grins and dances through the house chanting "Snowstorm" repeatedly*

This is what the National Weather Service has to say about it:



My translation: Sit by the fire and pray for June.

Kid D's translation: Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Lists

Thanksgiving is around the bend, turkey (or tofu) dinners, family, and all the fatness of life. I'm not talking the fatness of your waistband, but the mesh of things that make life sweet. Here is a short list of some things I'm thankful for:

my hubby
my kids
soft blankets and pillows
the words I love you and I'm sorry
my God
frozen pizzas for the days I forget to fix dinner (this happens way too often)
cell phones
little toothless smiles
wet baby kisses
my parents and siblings
cars that work
fuzzy slippers
heaters and air conditioning
the sun and its light that chase away the darkness both inside and out
green growing things
and blue sky that reaches into always
promises kept
welcome home hugs
and sleep
even Mondays
the words us, we, and our

What are you thankful for? Let's add to the list and remember why life is sweet and fat.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Call of the Cat

We have a cat. Okay, we have more than one cat, but this post is about our eldest cat, Yoda. He's going on fourteen now, and that's pretty old for a cat. You know what they say about age and wisdom, well my cat thinks he's a guru. He also thinks he owns us. We think we own him. Can you see where this is going? Yup, you are so right.

Yoda's trying to teach us new habits. Habits that involve nighttime waking. It works something like this.

10:00 p.m.

Yoda standing at the door wanting in: Meow.

Translation: Open the door, my servant.

Me, standing at the door looking at the cold. (And yes, you can look at cold--at least you can in the mountains of Utah in November): Fine, come in.

Yoda: Meow. Purr.

Translation: Thank you. You are a good and faithful companion, and I will reward you well.

Hubby: We are so going to pay for that.

Me: I know, but it's cold outside.

Hubby sighing: I know.

4:00 a.m.

Yoda: Meow.

Translation: I would like to go out for a brief constitutional. See to my needs.

Me stirring from sleep: Uggggg.

4:01 a.m.

Yoda: Meow.

Translation: Now.

Me groaning.

Translation: Stupid cat!

4:02 a.m.

Yoda: Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. (Repeated until my ears fall off, and a strange desire to yell and throw things fills me.)

Translation: Rise and serve me, puny human!

Me: Stupid cat!

Hubby rolling over and groaning.

Translation: I told you so.

Me covering head with pillow.

Translation: I know. Stupid cat.

Repeat until 6:00 a.m. in a vain attempt to train old cat new manners.

Translation: Yeah right. Good luck with that.

What does all this have to do with writing? Yoda sounds exactly like the little voice inside me that says things like: Sit down and write. You're wasting your time. Get of the Internet. You only have two pages today, get to work. Finish this draft. Get up and write. Why are you watching TV? Write. Write now! Don't you groan at me, young woman! I own you. I know how to keep you up at night and don't think I won't do it. Do as I command, and I will reward you well.

So how does this story end? I got up and put the cat out. And I'm sitting at my computer ready to write. So, I guess I can be owned after all.

How about you? What drives you? Is it a voice inside your head that won't shut up? A cat that won't let you sleep? Both? Drop a comment and share your motivation/torment. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Corn Maze

Last night I took Kid D to parent teacher conference. She sat and giggled as her teacher praised her and her work. They've been writing stories, cute little first grade stories. The three of us, Kid D, the teacher and I, spent a few minutes reading them. I smiled and hugged her a lot. Kid D, not the teacher. That would have been a bit awkward.

Anywho, I asked Kid D if I could share one of her stories on my blog. She turned me down flat. I begged, I cajoled, I gave her puppy dog eyes. Nada. Her decision was firm.

I sat and pondered her cute little face and asked,"Why not?"

She said, "I'm embarrassed."

I told her I wouldn't use her name.

She shook her head, still firm.

I was stumped. After all, intellectual property is serious business, and she owned it. I complained to my hubby that his daughter wouldn't grant me usage. He urged her to let me post it. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I told Kid D that I wanted people to read my stories. Heck, I wanted people to pay me for my stories.

A small smile tickled the corners of her mouth, and a glint appeared in her eye as she said, "No one pays me for my stories."

You guessed it, I bought her story. She's walking around the house two bucks richer, and I have the goods.

Here it is complete with illustrations. The light pencil scrawl is hard to read, so I'll provide a typed translation. (Without the 1st grade spelling. )

The corn maze was tricky! In one path there was a dead woman! There were scary decorations! The corn maze was scary!

Don't you love the dead woman in the box? And, yes, I asked about that. There really was a "dead" woman at the corn maze they went to for the class Halloween field trip. Personally I'm relieved because that means I don't need to get her counseling.

I'm also proud as a bag full of onion rings over my youngest's first published story. I can see great things ahead for this budding writer. Can't you?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Flashlights, Washing Machines, Sinking Ships, and Perfect Storms.

Last night I went on a lovely boat ride on a vast and swift river. The clear water lapped at the ship's sides then began to fill the ship's belly. Fast. People began to fill the life boats even faster. I began to wrap my computer in about 900 layers of plastic and Duct Tape to protect it from the rising water. Hubby logged on the ship's Internet to check the sport scores. Yup, we have priorities.

Things were going well, after all I had my water tight computer taped to my back, hubby had his sport scores, and we could both swim. Then Kid D sloshed into the scene and announced in her six-year-old lisp that there were no more life jackets.

Kid D can't swim.

I panicked and woke up just before the ship went under. I then lay in bed from four to six trying to do a major rewrite on my dream to include a life jacket for my youngest, or figure out how to swim with both her and my laptop in my arms. Somehow it never occurred to me to try to edit out the flood or not have Kid D on board the doomed vessel. Because why would you remove such a nice plot twist? In the end, I left the computer because, like I said, I have priorities. I did attach a beacon buoy and a pink floaty to it so I could come back and retrieve it.

It's been a few months since I had a flood dream. It's also been a few months since our last washing machine catastrophe. I'm beginning to thing the two are linked because, you guessed it, we had a real flood last night. Thanks so much to the cosmic laundry Carma guy or whatever governs these things. Here are the main points to keep in mind during this story:

1: We just finished remodeling our basement.

2: We have a history of washing machine disasters. (Click here in case you missed the other link)

3: We just finished remodeling our basement.

4: Unlike the boat dream, the washing machine wasn't something you get to wake up from.

5: Did I mention that we just finished a remodel of our basement?

Here are the main facts:

1: Flashlights, even smallish ones, are not good items to place in your washing machine. Especially when they get stuck and jam up the whole monster. It's bad. Very bad.

2: Having about three batches worth of denim pants piled into the same batch by overly helpful children is also bad. So very very bad.

3: Having about five times the correct amount of laundry soap is also bad. And bubbly.

4: Walking down into your newly remodeled basement to find water and suds EVERYWHERE is beyond bad. In fact, it makes you cry. A lot. And maybe think bad words. And use a lot of towels. And cry.

So anyway, there you have the perfect storm of dreams and laundry conditions. Can you guess what I'll be doing today? Writing about it of course. Yup, I have priorities. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Lost Saint

I was lucky enough to be given an ARC of The Lost Saint by Bree Despain. It's the second Dark Divine novel and comes out December 28, 2010. If you haven't devoured the first book, The Dark Divine, you should before this one comes out.

Here's the blurb from the back of the book:

*Spoiler Alert* - If you haven't read The Dark Divine, this synopsis may contain spoilers.


Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process. When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what she must do. She must become a Hound of Heaven.

Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot—a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel is put in danger—in more ways than one.

Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her—not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.

Doesn't it sound yummy? Well, it is. Bree does a great job of pulling you into the world of a teenager trying to come to grips with her inner wolf, something we all deal with in a less life threatening and much more metaphorical way.

One of my favorite things about this novel is that it deals strongly with choices and their consequences. I'm dying to share several parts of this luscious book with you, but since it isn't mine, and it doesn't come out until December, you will just have to take my word for it.

Put it on your wish list.


Related Posts with Thumbnails