Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope you're having the kind of day you dreamed about all year. Thank you to each and all who have helped and comforted me in 2012. I hope I was able to do the same for you, but if not, I'll try harder in the coming year. Also, thank you to my publisher WiDo! You are awesome!

Below is what I bought for myself this Christmas. It's a stockpile of retro young adult fiction, and I've already gone through a couple of them! One even has an old library card in it with names and signatures ranging from 1977 and up. I love that.

What did you buy for yourself this year?

Safe travels and Best Wishes!

Monday, December 24, 2012


I know I'm cheating and posting a lot of videos, but sometimes I just don't feel like injecting the world with my inner thoughts and views on politics. Anyway, it's Christmas. Time to sit around by the fire and watch Youtube. Right?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

It's the day before the night before Christmas!

I have this song on an old 1960's record. One of my favorites! Everyone's singing the usual standards and I have these goofy little gems running through my head. Thought I'd share so you can sing along . . .

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's that time of year again . . .

Glad we're all still here! It's been rather hard concentrating on writing and editing anything this week. I've made little notes, tinkered around, but mostly I am just enjoying this time with the kids—and that includes watching a lot of movies. I'm probably eating more than usual too.

Right now I have Scrooge open in another browser, the fabulous version with Albert Finney. It's available on youtube, and you can see it too if you'd like!

Also, I found on Youtube a 1979 radio production of A Christmas Carol by a comical public radio staff who seemed to be indulging in too much Wassail. It starts off innocently enough, but the liquor starts to kick in after only a few minutes. Pretty funny stuff! Try to give an entire listening to if you can. Part one:

 And part two:

I hope you are having a wonderful Friday! We finally had some snow here in eastern Kansas and personally I'm loving it. Now . . . I just need some fruitcake.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Well my friends, not much to say is there? What a sad and horrible day. And yet, my two kids were home sick so I technically had a very good day. I was able to hug my kids, give them kisses, make them lunch, and I'll be able to kiss them goodnight. It's so horribly sad that any parent out there should not have the same opportunity. My heart breaks. I've gone from tears, to feeling ill, to anger. Why do these things happen? What is going on in our world today?!

Like many, I keep picturing MY child in that kindergarten class. Liam is in kindergarten this year. It's unfathomable and there are no words.

Years ago on this blog I wrote about how us writers, and we're all writers if we're keeping up a blog, have such a great opportunity to use moments like this to harvest our talents for good, to heal, to give solutions, to comfort, to discuss. If you'd like, you may use the comment section to discuss what happened today and how it makes you feel. The way I feel is: sick, sad, horrified, fear, FEAR, regret, but it always comes back to being sad.

Not sure why this particular person popped into my head, but I thought of Anne Frank and found a wonderful page of her quotes. It's exceedingly relevant for today's events, so take a look if you have a moment. Also, here's a song written by Paul McCartney that I used to sing. It says much more than I ever could on a night like this:

Little angels, we're so sorry. We failed you, but we are working on a better world. We will pray for you and we will not forget what happened. God bless the families, God bless the children, God bless the community and the entire world.

Take care, everyone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The burning question

Last night at bedtime Julia, Liam and I were watching an Iron Chef America episode where Mario Batali is pitched into a crawfish battle of snappish proportions, and out of nowhere Julia says, "Does Santa really exist? Because, I'm not so sure."

Wow. Uh. . . Where's my mommy manual? Right. There isn't one. Damn. So I say, "Well, first of all, I don't know what the kids are saying at school, honey, but Santa does exist—mostly in your heart—but he works in many, many ways and it's up to you to believe." Then I told her about how the kids at my school were telling me there was no Santa, but then I went to the mall and saw him and knew he was real because his beard wasn't that fake white color, but a real, yellowish, pulleable beard. And I told her—again—we can all believe, or not believe, if we want to.

She didn't say much, so I'm not sure if my speech was a futile effort, or a string of masterful persuasion, or if she really wasn't listening at all because Mario Batali was smashing a pile of crawfish with a mallet, and that's probably more interesting than hearing about: blah, blah, Santa, mall, blah, blah, believe, blah, blah, blah.

I kind of hope it worked and she still believes. I believe in Santa. And always will. You know how I feel—Santa isn't one color, one person, in one state or country, he's many, many people and he brings more than one kind of present, and the best gifts are those you can't see. No one will ever take Santa away from me. I will die an old lady and still believe. So there.

And I hope all the Julia's out there in the world believe, too. It sucks not having things to believe in. The world is hard and cold, money is tight, people are hitting each other over the head, like Mario with that mallet, all in an effort to excrete some sort of understanding of how the world works. I think that sometimes the harder you look, the less you see. The more you try to find meaning, the less meaningful the world becomes. Magic is a simple organism. Happiness needs no explanation. It's best to leave your third eye open and your real eyes averted—just a little. Just enough for a miracle, or two, to slip in.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Party time!

Almost a year to this day I submitted a story to a promising new journal. Little did I—or any of us—know the success this journal would have in such a short time. I proudly announce that one of mine has been included in The best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal 2012:  http://emergent-publishing.com/bookstore/the-best-of-vine-leaves-literary-journal-2012/

Have a look if you can!

Today, I took Julia to the CVS minute clinic for a strep throat test. Luckily she does not have the strep, however, it did take almost the whole day to find out! Oh well. Now I'm making chicken soup with mushrooms and homemade noodles, and bread with chocolate cake for dessert. I hope all is well with you and yours. Happy Sunday evening to you!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday doings

Doing homework with Julia is very difficult. Very. I beg, plead, redirect, yell, bribe. And, yes, it gets done, but OHMAHGAWD do I feel like ripping my hair out the whole time!!! Having a kid with sensory issues is not easy, and sometimes I do think, well . . . why not take shortcuts, but in the end it wouldn't be right. She has got to do her work, and I have to make her do her work.

One of the reasons I look forward to Christmas Break. No homework, no rushing to get ready every morning, no late or missed busses, no finding shoes or socks or coats, no fighting Julia's long, tangly hair, no battling Liam to hurry up and use the bathroom. 

We're going to make gingerbread houses, salt dough ornaments, pomander oranges, listen to my old 1960's christmas records, watch the snow ( or pretend to), take in Rankin/Bass marathons on cable. Go shopping. Wrap presents. 

I won't mention how much I'll have to clean the house, and all the cooking and dishes in my future. I'm Zen-ning that stuff out of my brain cells. 

What will your holidays be like this year?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Life; sweet and simple

I suppose my love for silent film started back when I worked at the library and had access to a whole world contained in binders. My favorite book was a Charlie Chaplin biography, pictures and all. Oh, how I loved that book. Wish I could still get my hands on it. From there I checked out movie anthologies, describing every starlet and handsome actor of the early 20th century. And then, of course, I found movies to go along with my reading: Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd. The flickering, fish-eye encapsulation of a long-ago world with scratches and title cards and robust organ music all transported me into a beautiful time.

There has been some speculation throughout the years over who invented the first motion picture camera: the Lumiere Brothers or Thomas Edison with his Kinetoscope? The debate swings back and forth, and frankly it doesn't matter. I'd say the Lumiere's took advantage of their finding with lively little snippets of relatives and townspeople—just the kind of stuff an audience, then and now, love to see. 

What better for a camera to do than to capture life at its most simple and delightful essence?

Here's what I mean:

Saturday, December 1, 2012


From Wikipedia, Author: Marekich

Victorian houses, grain mills, groceries, graveyards.

Small town towns are a nuclei; everything surrounding nothing—or vice-versa. It always starts with a cornfield.

I could be the mystery driver rolling in. I could stop at their diner or their cafe or their post office. I could say a word. Those faces would look, try to recognize, try to categorize. They'd wave, or smile. Or do nothing.

They have their own government, dogma, karma. They have their lovers and preachers. The lover to rush them through boredom, the preacher to dispel their sins.

The road cuts straight through; you must not stay. If you were not born or brought by marriage, then you will never belong. Pass their marquee, say goodbye to their waitress. Hit the gas and go.

Do you believe?

Fifty-Five years ago on November 22, 1963, president John Fitzgerald Kennedy rode alongside his wife Jackie in a motorcade through the crowd...