Monday, December 29, 2008

Aren't We Pretty?

Merry Christmas, ho ho ho! We had a wonderful holiday, full of Grandma and Grandpa and lots of presents. Riley couldn't make it because of a storm, and although we missed him, we were glad that he wasn't smashed to smithereens in the snow. So it's all good. :)
The kids were insane today, wondering why I was the only one home to entertain them. Where was everybody else? I'm trying to ease us back into our routine, but it's difficult. Soon Luke and the kids will head off to join his family for New Years. I'll be staying behind because I'm helping to throw a New Year's Dance for the Young Men and Young Women of our church. I'm sad that I won't be with my family, but the teenagers of our area really need this. Where else are they supposed to be? Yeah, that's what I thought. ;)
I queried an agent of RunStarGirl today. Originally I was going to go the small publishing route first, but a few of my friends suggested that it was agent time. Which is terrifying, quite honestly. But it's a challenge. And I am all over challenges, mmm yes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's Christmas Eve Eve!

Last night we went out and bought stocking stuffers with the kids. "Why don't you leave them at home?" you ask. Because. It's more fun this way. It's trickier. Luke takes a cart and a child, and I take a cart and the other child, and we zip this way and that shrieking, "Don't look in my cart!" "Oh yeah? Don't look in my cart, either!" and try to be all stealthy as we buy last minute items for each other. Most of you wouldn't expect this, but Luke gets all wacky at these shindigs. I talked him out of buying Dad a Homer Chia-Head (you can thank me later, Dad), and we stayed out too late and it was wonderful.

I spent so much time editing yesterday! I hate it, no, I abhor it, but I worked hard and I'm more than halfway through. In fact, I was up until about 1:30 last night working, and Niko stayed up with me for quite a while, playing happily with our electronics. When he was tired, he left and I heard a closing door. When I finally went to bed, I was dismayed to see that Niko was lying in my spot with three stuffed animals and a fistful of peanut butter toast. I grabbed a blanket and headed for his room, where I slept in Cookie Monster splendor.

We're going to my parent's home tonight. It's a seven or so hour drive, and we're not leaving until Luke gets home at 5:00 tonight, so it's imperative that we get on our way ASAP. This is a place of chaos. I'm packing. I'm wrapping. I'm tripping over ribbon and trying to keep the kid's from opening the neighbor's gifts, and attempting to leave the house in something other than shambles. Can I do it?

Yes I can.

"The Boy Who Hangs The Stars" is coming out very, very soon. In fact, they said that my contributor's copy is in the mail, so woo hoo! That was a few days ago, so perhaps it'll be there today, and that would be exciting.

Merry Christmas, everybody. Be well. Know that I love you.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

We're Christmasing!

Finally. And it's all thanks to Luke, who put up the village last night (we get him a new piece every year for our anniversary. We've been married eight years now, yay!) and is putting up the outside Christmas lights as I type. Hooray! Which will make us the third house to do so in our little neighborhood, because we're apparently a bunch of grinches. Even the mysterious festive note taped to the communal mailbox ("Let's all hang lights on our house because it will be fun!") didn't move anybody. It just made us arch a brow and try to figure out who was stalking our box.

It doesn't feel like Christmas. It feels like work. It feels like stress, and it doesn't have anything to do with the holidays. It has to do with life and all that jazz. It has to do with Grinchy McGrinchersons everywhere. Here's my solution to it: if you're going to be crabby, people, just stay home. :)

That said, things are going swimmingly on our front. Niko is obsessed with my video game, the labels inside of our jeans, and locking the front door. Nina has become a flasher, and I'm trying to instill in her the idea that "Modest is Hottest!" but it's not working. She's cracking me up. Luke is cheery despite old man stiffness, or whatever it was that befell him, and I'm exhausted to the point where I was slurring on the phone. (Sorry, Jan!) But writing is going well, and I'm happy. I kind of felt out where I want to send RunStarGirl, and I really enjoyed the people that were involved with that particular press. For one thing, they understood my references, and that's gold. As always, more about that at
here!!! It's fueling my confidence.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Snowing in Vegas!!!

Cars are running off of the road in gleeful ecstasy! Hot chocolate is being doled out in portions previously never heard of before! All is well with the world.

Niko came home from school today with construction paper antlers (made out of his handprint) and a dab of red fingerpaint on his nose.

"He's Rudolph," the bus driver explained, and this was quite a reasonable explanation, and made me happy. I left the paint on so that Luke can see him. He's lying on his back killing my characters on my PS2 game (Final Fantasy XII, the most boring FF game that I have ever, ever seen!) and Nina is tottering around on her pretty little legs, practicing this walking thing. This girl is a dancer, there's no doubt about it.

I have hooked up with some in-town writing friends, and it's been really nice! Previously it was only June and I, and now there are three more! My cold, black heart is going to burst with joy, I just know it. And wouldn't that be a splendid way to go?

I'm watching the snow fall. It reminds me of home, and I can't wait to spend Christmas Eve with my parents. I finally overcame that wall that I had been beating myself against, whether you call it "Writer's Block" or "a quiet time" or "an incubation period" or simply "a darkness of the soul" where I wanted to create, but couldn't. It's like being told that you're going to eat oatmeal for every meal of every day for the rest of your life, or that the world will be colored beige from now on: you know that you're going to survive but you're not really sure if you want to. Anyway, I reported on my success and the reasons behind it at

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hello, I've Met My Match!

I think that maybe I have been taking too much on. My body has been crying out things like, "Stop!" and "Give me rest!" and "I hate you!" for a while now, and today I just sort of hit a wall. Dizzy, feverish, hot and cold, only there wasn't anything I could do about it because it is Sunday, and Sunday is NOT a day of rest, I don't know who says that. Oh, yes, that would be our Lord. But it was 7:30 and Luke had spent the entire day in his suit, he was so busy. I finally called in sick to a meeting that I should have been at, but it seriously wasn't going to happen. Also, I started taking my medicine again, because I so desperately want to feel better, but it...always makes me more sick. Gr.

I have a lovely list of library books to read! Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders, and Roberto Bolano's Nazi Literature in the Americas. Something by Jonathan Kellerman, whom I still enjoy. An off-the-wall thriller written by a woman whose name I can't remember. I haven't had a chance to crack a book since I checked them out, but soon, I hope!

It never feels like Christmas in a land without snow, but I hear there might be a massive snowstorm hitting...wait for it...wait...Las Vegas! Which would just be awesome. I'm comfortable with it, I can drive in it, and you won't find me on my knees sobbing because I don't know how to navigate to the store. Maybe it'll make it feel like Christmas. Maybe it'll stun everybody enough that they'll be forced to take a break.

I met with some friends yesterday at an internet cafe and we were all writerly. Kind of. I had a hard time forcing myself to work because my brain was all over the place. Somebody asked me a question, and I was looking at his face when suddenly I realized that the last words out of his mouth had that inquisitive cadence, that they had gone up at the end of the sentence, and that means that a question had been asked.

"I'm sorry, what did you say? I was thinking about rabbits," I said (I actually said!) and I hope they don't kick me to the curb because I can't keep my thoughts in my thought basket sometimes.

Also, hooking up with old friends on Facebook? So awesome.

Monday, December 08, 2008


This is my favorite picture of my father. He is wonderful and kind and generous, but people are on their best behavior when he's around. He swooped in to rescue me for a few days, and the kids are in seventh heaven.

Insanely busy, but I have some good writing news! Rock on! I talk about it here.

Friday, December 05, 2008

So I'm Happy Today

Luke was off work, and I realized that I miss him. We ordered a dishwasher that hopefully won't smell like melted plastic (while melting everything plastic) and a stove that A) won't spontaneously burst into flame and B) tells the correct temperature. "I think it's around 350 degrees...ish." Thanks John and Pam! Hooray!

I wrapped presents. Niko was in a good mood and ate an entire apple. Before I could even salvage the core, it was gone, and I couldn't pry it from his cheerful mouth. Nina pushed her stroller around until she was happily exhausted. We were productive and enjoyed each other's company. Tomorrow will be absolutely insane, starting with The Great Santa Run, so expect pictures later.

Things are going well on the writing front. Most of you know that I'm not an optimist by nature, but I really try to work at it. Today things kind of fell in place, and I am quite hopeful for the future. I talk about it at Also, if you ever had the burning desire to see what I looked like as a little girl, I posted a picture. Even then I was pleased with my ill-gotten gains.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Leave Us Be in Our Bright Red Pajamas!

Niko has a lot of his mama in him, and abhors the early morning. Curse you, sun. Curse you.

Nina started taking a few steps the other day. Her coupe de grace was when she tottered from the couch all the way to the TV and turned the sucker back on. Nobody was going to shut off her Judge Judy. Nobody.

We're kind of at a temporary standstill with Niko's school. They requested his immunizations record again, and I sent it in. I received a phone call today saying that he was missing one shot, and wouldn't be able to go back to school until he's had it. This is after yesterday's note saying that he's missed five days this school year, and if he misses 20 days total, he has to repeat his current grade. Can they make somebody repeat special ed kindergarten??? Anyway, I'm upset because his immunizations are all current, and it must be a paperwork glitch, which we are oh so familiar with. The nurse is going to call the health center and see what needs to be done. So we were chastised because he's missing school, yet we can't bring him back due to yet another glitch. Annoying, yes. Is it a big deal in the scheme of things? No. We're still good.

I'm doing a short reading at my writing group's Christmas party this weekend. I'll read a short excerpt of RunStarGirl in front of a bunch of published and unpublished writers. I think it'll be fun, and I'm looking forward to it. :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Let Me Introduce You to Bryony

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to introduce you to...

Bryony Adams, the tragically optimistic protagonist of RunStarGirl.

Oh, heavens, that sounds so overly grand. What I really want to say is this: Hi. I have finished a story, and it makes me happy. I have a little slice of it on my writing site. Won't you find the time to read it and perhaps tell me what you think? :)