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Showing posts from March, 2012

Cryptic

Something's going to happen, you can bet on that. Something big. Bigger than a bread box? Maybe. Bigger than the Empire State Building? Not that big. Well, I guess it depends on how you look at it. But something is going to happen. Soon. How soon? Tomorrow? Probably not. The day after that? Maybe. Maybe in a week. That's a long time to wait. My interest is peaked, and I want to know now. Sorry. I shouldn't have told you, I guess. I'm not very good at keeping secrets. But I can tell you this . . . something's going to happen. I wish I could tell you more, but it'll have to wait. I'm not good at waiting. I might go insane with wondering what it is! You shouldn't have told me! Oh, I haven't told you anything yet. But IT is going to be fantastic. I'd better shut up about it. Have some wine, will ya? All right. It's killing me. I know. It's killing me too.

Iffy Jiffy

I don't know if I've told this story here before, but it's a memory which still manages to crack me up, so maybe it will have the same effect on you. A long time ago when I still living at home, my mom bought a jar of peanut butter with the words "BAD—DO NOT EAT" written on it in black permanent marker. My brother and I asked her why in the world she would buy something like that: food with dangerous warnings written on it? A closer inspection showed its seal had been broken under the lid. She said she didn't know, and put it in the cabinet.

"Well, you're not going to eat it, are you?!"

"I'm not going to throw it away." You have to understand Mom's positiong: she grew up in the latter stages of The Great Depression and never, ever threw an ounce of food away. Why, one time my brother took a bite of an apple, threw it in the trash, and Mom dug it out of the trash then handed it to him. "Eat it." I know that example can…

Henry

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I'll tell you a little story about my dachshund Henry, because he's my other kid. We wake up early, really early every morning. I make the coffee, he goes outside to do his business. Then we get Julia up and get her ready for school. He sits in the front yard and waits for the bus with us. Always has, even as a puppy.

His big treat every day is a walk around the block. One day in the fall I forgot he had gone out front after a neighbor had stopped by, and later couldn't find him. I frantically combed the neighborhood, drove around the block with my head out the window just hoping he'd show up. Sure enough, he was on the sidewalk taking his own little walk without me. I tried to get him to come to the car, but he became scared and ran off. I drove up the house and there he was on the front porch waiting  . . . as if it'd never happened. "Did you notice anything missing?" I asked, picking him up. "Like  . . . me, for instance?"

A few weeks ago he …

My Duo

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Here's my Julia with all the lilacs we picked yesterday from the back yard. And another with Liam. They're both being sooooo cool.

My sweet girl.  Liam is standing on a stool so he can be tall like Egon from Ghostbusters. Have I told you how much he makes me play that game with him? I haven't? Well, just know that it's a lot.

Room for love

Kate Winslet was on a talk show today speaking about a book she co-wrote called, The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism. It's to bring awareness of the silence Autistics endure. I believe the book's contents are pictures of children along with various celebrities, who all don a black felt hat as a symbol for the silence, and also for the hope of breakthrough. As Kate so beautifully said, expressing yourself is every child's basic human right. The book will be out tomorrow.

There's nothing more devastating to a parent then finding out their child has some kind of disorder, especially one that keeps them from progressing in a "normal" society. I thank God every day for the progress Julia has made. First, I credit her for working hard. Then her teachers and peers. Then me. It's a group effort. I admit, I chose the less invasive route, keeping things organic; I didn't want her to go to a million sessions of therapy that she may or may not like or even res…

Happy Things

I have a few favorite things that I'd like to share with you, so that your life will be a crapload better than it already is. Of course, you may not like these things at all. And for that, I pity you, I really do. Here they are:

Fruit Roll-ups have put out a natural-ish product that has real fruit, kind of like they way they used to be. They're really good. When I was a kid these things always hit the spot, along with a Jello Pudding Pop (heyheyhey) and some Lemon Coolers. You remember those cookies? I wish they would come around again too, but alas, it doesn't look like it'll happen.

Nordic Naturals strawberry flavored cod liver oil. I know, sounds absolutely gross, but I love this stuff. A teaspoon or two every day makes my brain work much more efficiently. I can really tell the difference.

A McDonald's hazelnut cappuccino. I shouldn't like these things, but I do.

Carrots. Yep. Just good ole plain carrots.

Emergen-C, acai berry. When I need some extra energy,…

Shy Writers vs Social Writers

How many of you are going to see The Hunger Games this weekend? I won't be justyet, but it won't be long. I heard something about the author Suzanne Collins that I found interesting: she's not really into all the press and fame of being a best-seling author. I don't think that's unusual, but I do think there are writers out there who dream of such fame, and would love to walk the red carpet, get interviewed on major talk shows, etc. If you think about it, though, aren't most writers introverts? I know I am. Yes, a writer wants recognition for their work. But deep down, writers just want to write. And many of us began our love of writing because of our love for reading. It's hard to read and talk to folks at the same time, hence the introvert tendency!

But I'm being sterotypical. I know there are plenty of writers who are extroverts, and who love the social side of it.

What type are you? Do you dream of making it big someday so that you can attend book s…

Good-bye light and good weather

Day three, and the rain has momentarily stopped, but there's more to come. Oh well, it's good for the garden and all those spring flowers. But I wouldn't mind a bit of sun, no I wouldn't. The kids had Spring Break last week, and they had the best weather for it. Every day was 70 degrees or higher. Perfect, perfect weather. We played on the swings, drew with sidewalk chalk, kept the windows open, rode bikes. Ah, the good old days. But now rain. Oh, well . . .  at least it's not snow. We didn't have any this year, but believe me, I don't want any now. It's too late to come around!

It was hard getting the kids back into school mode. Julia was sort of glum about it. She likes school, but  lately she's been asking if it's the weekend yet, and when it's the weekend, she asks if it's still Saturday. Today she was slow to get on the bus and I had to sort of nudge her along; her face was so sad looking out the window. I usually get a handful of k…

Green coffee, anyone?

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Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone. This is usually a time of transition from winter to spring, so that's one reason to love the day. Being part Irish, I love the day 'just because.' I love the parade, I love corned beed and cabbage, I love the green grass sprouting up with drops of dew. I've never understood why it's turned into a day of getting plastered though. Like Marti Gras. To me, it's a day to see all things new and fresh. To enjoy life and nature. How about you, what do you do for St Patty's Day? Are you wearing green? Not yet? Pinch! Much luck to you, my friends in the year ahead.

Rub for good luck:



And here's a scene from Brigadoon. The magic town is located somewhere in Scotland, but some of the same Irish ideals apply.

Charles Dikkens . . .

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My niece and nephew will be over today so I won't have access to a computer. Here's a video to keep you entertained while I entertain pre-teens. I see lots of YouTube, tag, and cookie-making in my future.

The best sketch ever. Ever.

Getting Serious

Has anyone here thought about, or already completed, getting an MFA in creative writing? I think most deadlines for application are in January, so I'd have a year to think about this. But it's really weighing heavily on my mind. I do not think a person needs to have one to be a good writer, but it does help narrow the focus so that a writer can have time to read the best work, and to aspire to produce the best work. 15 credit hours would be set aside just for writing a thesis, which I believe would be a completed novel, or collection of short stories (both of which I've already done, ironically enough). Why, you ask then, would I care when I already have a book coming out? Good question. And I'm not getting any younger. Why am I considering this? I don't know. I guess just want to be the best writer I can be.

The other thing I'm considering, and it's almost as serious as an MFA, is this A to Z challenge. Probably gonna do it, but geez that thing is a tough …

Small Presses Can Achieve Great things

Just wanted to post a link for this article about small presses getting respect in the publishing world. http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/09/3479512/small-presses-thrive-in-book-critics.htmlOf course, it's no surprise to me!

Also, don't forget to check out BookPage every once in a while. It can be found online or in print at your local library. To me, it's one of the best places to find new releases and author interviews. I haven't gotten used to Goodreadsyet, which is ridiculous. It's like a party line for fast readers. I can read fast but I'm just so darn ADD. I'm working on it!

Phantom

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I just wanted to let you know that there's a wonderful production of The Phantom of the Opera playing on PBS this week. It's absolutely gorgeous so don't miss it. I used to listen obsessively to the Michael Crawford/Sarah Brightman version on cd, but hadn't been able to see the whole show until now. Thank you Great Performances and PBS.




It gives you chills.

Premonitions

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We are approaching the one hundredth anniversary of the Titanic disaster. I've always had an insatiable curiosity about the Titanic, from everything to the ship's architecture to the people who sailed (and perished). The amount of premonitions which surfaced afterwards always fascinated me: some heeded, some ignored. They came in the form of dreams and bad feelings in the gut. Again, not all were listened to. One that was eerily exact came from an American author named Morgan Robertson. In 1898 he released a novel called Futility which later had its title changed to The Wreck of the Titan. It wouldn't have been remembered past its time had it not almost completely mirrored the Titanic disaster in 1912.  Here are some of the uncanny details taken from Robertson's fictional account of a luxury liner that crosses the Atlantic, hits an iceberg and loses a great amount of passengers due to lack of sufficient lifeboats.

Robertson's Titan: Sailed in April, 800 feet long,…

Decision . . .

I've made a very tough decision, but it's been brewing for awhile. I've decided to stop performing musically--at this time. Later on I might do it, but currently it brings too much grief to be worth my time. I am fairly good at writing, and I do enjoy it tremendously--it brings a lot of peace. I enjoy music tremendously as well. But I can't do both. This whole year has been me trying to do both and failing. At the root of the problem is my body dysmorphic disorder--seeing myself as ugly. I don't think I'm ugly when I look at myself in the mirror at home. I love myself and think I look fine. But when I go out, and especially when I have to perform, it's awful. I feel hideous. Then somebody takes a pic of me and I just die inside. I've tried so very hard to get over this problem, but it's still there. When I write, I feel beautiful. It's just me and the words and the amy that is the amy I love, not the monster amy that is ugly beyond words and stu…

Chevy

I've mentioned this before, but part of Mom's duties at our local library were social services. This included loans of food, money and clothing for the needy in town. But mostly mom was a library clerk, something they've never credited her for doing. But back to the social services. While she was handing out money so people could pay their bills, we were barely making it at home. I remember eating dry spaghetti and bullion cubes many times before grocery day. It was always so lovely when the house was full of food. My tummy would hurt so bad from overstuffing myself with cookies and whatever treats we'd been able to buy. But sometimes those shopping trips happened only because Mom had given herself a loan, just like the other folks, but not like the other folks. One day, and I remember this because it was summer and very hot, Mom brought home a trash bag full of doughnuts that the bakery had been about to throw away. As she pulled open the trunk to her car, and showed …

The Hill

Do you remember your first bike? Mine was brown with big tires that could get through the mud and do pop wheelies like Evel Keneivel. When we went to the store for my birthday I had a choice out of all the bikes, but the brown Huffy was the first thing I saw and I was afraid that if I said I didn't want it Mom would change her mind and buy me something cheap instead, like a puzzle. So, even though she kept pointing to all the girls' bikes that were sparkly pink with rainbow streamers, I said no. No, I want this bike.

Sometimes I had to act like a tomboy just to get through the social trials of the neighborhood, so having a boy's bike could be quite lucrative in the scope of things. It did, indeed, secure me a spot in a little competition the boys had been having the last few weeks. Construction crews had created a huge pile of loose dirt while working on a sewer ditch, and so that became a part of a obstacle route, with the finale riding up the hill without falling backwar…

Story's Up

Another bad migraine today, but I think it's from the weather that just passed through. I noticed that as soon as the front passed, the pounding stopped. There's nothing worse than waking up and feeling that ache and nausea. My first thought is always, "How am I going to get to the coffeepot without hurling?" I'm so used to these stupid things though. Advil and Excedrin love me.

So . . . I can finally say that my story "Gossamer Boy" is up for reading. It's now in the spring issue of From the Depths--the second entry I think. There is a bit of, erm, cussing and graphic material. Yes indeed. So, just a warning there. But I wouldn't have written it any other way.

Take care everyone!

Stare

It was interesting reading everyone's favorite childhood books and those posters (or swords!). When I think back to my childhood room, well, the first thing that comes to mind is that my sister and I had to share. And then I remember all the fights we had, and how someone got bubble gum on my new Holly Hobby bedspread and I had to live with it until puberty. Then I think of how my sister always got what she wanted, even my friends. And then I remember playing tag in Jennifer Cook's front yard, and everyone was so fast and I never stopped being 'it.' Then I remember Midnight Tag and Bloody Murder Tag (scary!) and T.V. Tag, which is where you have to yell out a T.V. show title before getting tapped. Then I remember the kid who used to ride his bike up to our front window every evening so he could watch our old black and white set--just for something stupid like Mork & Mindy. He'd pedal across the street afterwards and we'd all go to bed as if it had never hap…