Friday, January 30, 2009


I'm going with my husband to see Atlas Takes Aim and Hello! Astro play. Rock on!

I talked to an author for half an hour about querying, and received some awesome advice. And he didn't bite.

Niko crawled on my lap and cried before climbing carefully onto the school bus.

I decided to jettison the negative. Sometimes things. Sometimes people.

Nina, wearing a pink dress and pigtails, tried to dress Jack Skellington in her purple heart pajamas. She also carefully combed his bald, skully little head. I think I saw him smile.

I'm going to drink Coke Zero until I explode, because I've earned it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Two Ships Passing in the Night

That's what Luke called us. As soon as he gets home tonight, I'm running for the door. He'll actually be running for the door, too, but he has to bring the kids along, since Leader Training takes precedence over Church Ball, the Brawl that Begins with Prayer. Maybe if he has the kids, he won't manage to get hurt this time.

Actually, I'm not holding out too much hope for that. :P

I've been throwing myself into researching agents lately. It's hard work, quite honestly. It feels like I'm in college again, working on research papers where you have to familiarize yourself, and make notes and document. It's something so daunting, but it's becoming easier. I'm definitely getting a handle on it. I want to work hard and make sure that I'm picking agents that fit well so that I'm not wasting anybody's time.

Nina's coming down with a cold. She's pink cheeked and runny nosed and super snuggly. "Uppa, uppa," she says, and holds her arms out. I realize that I'm missing Niko right now. He has been so sweet lately, really taking on the big brother role. Nina goes to put something strange in the dryer, and Niko will take it from her and bring it to me. Never mind that just three weeks ago, HE was the one that wanted the tennis ball in the dryer, oh no! He's outgrown that. He's a man now. Tennis balls don't go in the dryer. He's become the Dryer Nazi.

Still no speaking. Still no sounds. I'm frustrated at his regression. I'm frustrated that nobody has brought it up to me. Where are his "mamama's" and his "dadada's" that he used to do at 18 months, but he won't do now? I dislike the idea that he is "trapped" in this body. In fact, I fight against that quite a bit. He expresses himself. We can figure out what he wants. But maybe I'm in denial. Maybe he really does wish to tell me things that I can't figure out. Maybe he saw something at school that he would like me to explain, but he can't ask me about it. It's too much to think about sometimes.

So I'll focus on the fact that he is extremely loved, and I can tell that he knows it. Speech will come; we'll just have to keep working and praying and hoping.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Hate Mornings.

This is how my mornings began the past two days.

Yesterday was The Dream.

Me: Luke, I just had a strange dream.

Luke: Mmmm.

Me: I was on a tour bus, and there was a kennel with little tiny dogs and two kittens. Kittens, Luke.

Luke: Kittens.

Me: Yes. Kittens. Anyway, this dark gray kitten escaped, and I befriended an angsty teenager while trying to find it. And I open this door, and this room is full of kittens. Full. This woman was buying them by the bagful. Bags of kittens. I was trying to locate this particular kitten in this roomful of sweet, warm, cuddly, playful baby kittens.

Luke: That's...not anything like what you usually dream.

And as for today...Niko has been crawling into bed with us at night. I'll wake up with his bony elbows in my side or he'll have clawfuls of hair. Last night he crawled in with us.

Then he threw up.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stranger Valentines

My friend came over today, and although we see each other every Sunday (she plays with Nina while I teach the girls in Young Women's) we haven't had a chance to catch up in a Very. Long. Time.

It was a lot of fun. We talked about adoption and the school system and the election and Williams Syndrome. We talked about glucose allergies and her Master's classes and music and writing. We discussed Niko being five years old and never having said a word. We cheered her son about being four and playing the violin. It was really very nice.

In other news, it's almost Valentine's Day! And you know what that means!

"Yay, it means that you'll send V-day cards to us, trying to make up for the fact that you never sent Christmas cards!" you say.

Well, yes, that too. (And with a family picture!) But most importantly, it means cracked Valentines in The Stranger. I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I don't have wings! Of course not. You're a boy!

We're all a bit under the weather and we're hanging around watching The Dark Crystal. I haven't seen it in years and years, but it's amazing how many lines I remember. This is my childhood, right here. Kind of opulent and whimsical and elegantly dark. This is a joy.

I have been SO frustrated on the writing front! Comes and goes, highs and lows, etc etc, but it's true. I've been mentally scattered, and it has been suggested that I keep a singular goal in mind. But if you want to hear about writing, there's always

After The Dark Crystal, I'll have to watch Labyrinth. Not while the kids are around, though, because Brian Froud in all of his creative splendor is still a little too scary for them. My gosh! When I was a kid? The Skexis with their whining "Hmmmmm" and bony bodies were mad crazy! Now I think that Jen looks a lot like Michael Jackson. its own kind of scary.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'll be perfectly honest.

Sometimes I come to this blog site just to listen to my playlist.

That is all.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Poem!

I took some images directly out of my Record of Dreams and made it into a poem. It was just accepted this morning, and is already running live. Rock on!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

But They're Healthy Cookies!

Niko's teacher sent home a note saying that he and Cookie Monster went down the slide five times. He has never gone down the slide at school, so "Hooray Cookie! Hooray Niko!" she wrote. I'm very proud of my curly-headed little boy.

After Nina's bath, I braided her hair into two tiny, inch-long braids. They were very sweet. Luke is still her favorite, but I'm a very close second now, which sure beats being chopped liver.

Today Luke informed me that the Nevada Nuclear Test Site is bigger than Rhode Island. He's full of cool little tidbits like that. We were discussing whether people on the east coast had the same concept of space that people on the west have. Growing up where I did, I'm very comfortable driving forever and seeing...nothing. The isolation isn't oppressive like it feels to some people. It's just comfortable and natural.

I currently have 39 pieces submitted to different magazines and anthologies right now, and if I can do one more tonight, it'll be a nice and even 40. But now that Luke is asleep, it might be a wonderful time to make some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! He is being very good and eating delicious and healthy food. I'm craving sugar like a demon. But if I throw oatmeal in there, well, then it's practically health food, right?

I thought so. ;)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Things That Have Gone Wrong.

1) Crack in the windshield. It needs replaced.

2) Garage door mysteriously broke. It will not open.

3) Car died. It is now resurrected.

4) The fan and light blew out in our living room.

5) Water is now coursing out from behind out our bathtub faucet. This looks bad.

Things That Have Gone Right:

1) Almost everything else

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Stand Back! That Little Girl Is Armed!

With a brush! Nina is constantly brushing her hair, Niko's hair, and my hair. Somehow Luke manages to escape her incessant grooming. Sufficeth to say that we're a houseful of beautiful, shiny haired creatures, thanks to her scrupulous care.

Speaking of hair! My friend is coming over tonight to help mine. I have...too much hair. Wild hair. The type of hair that deserves to be punished for its wicked deeds. My friend, former model and just devastatingly beautiful, perked up. "That's what my hair is like!" she chirped. (She's lying, she has to be lying!) "I'll come over, take the bulk out, and we'll style you like a pin-up." Well, all right! I'm looking forward to it. It'll be my reward for cleaning the house and doing productive writing things!

Speaking of, I have a new story that went up today. You can find the link at It's a simple, sweet, and sad story. I had sent a poem to the editor of the magazine, who politely rejected it but asked for a short story instead. I sat down and wrote this right away, and I'm quite pleased with it. It makes my heart hurt a little.

Also, feel free to leave a comment on 52 Stitches, if you like. You certainly don't have to, but it's always fun to see. I'm trying to leave comments back, as well. Good cheer and good will make the world go 'round, after all.

Yesterday was a particularly lovely day, and I'm not sure why. I took care of the house. I critiqued two friends' stories. My children were no less obnoxious than usual, but I pulled them onto my laps and just loved them. They gave me sloppy, open-mouthed kisses. They loved me back. Luke came home and we were sitting there all snuggly-like, with a batch of fresh cookies cooling on the rack for him. The kids went to bed well, and Luke and I watched an anime. Not his favorite, but he didn't mind, and it made me happy. I told somebody the other day that life hands out shards of happiness, and it's up to us to cobble them together. I truly believe this.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Lots o' Randomness!

Ahhh, winter vacation is over and it's time for life to get back to normal. Who ever thought I'd be the kind of girl to say that? I'm extra thrilled that Niko gets to go back to school, which he loves. I wrote a catch-up note to his teacher, telling her all of the things that Niko picked up over vacation. He's learning to share. He's learning how to hug his sister without headbonks. (intermittently)

I received a comment on an old post yesterday that made me laugh. It was this post, comparing Niko's fits to a banshee on crack. It's still accurate. And the comment was timely, because on Saturday we took the kids to a pizza place that happened to have a little arcade area in the back. You know, the kind of place that we never frequent anymore.

Nobody loves a good arcade more than I do (hello, our daughter is named Nina. Tekken, anybody?) but Niko caught a glimpse of the flashing lights and went insane. Back arching, eyes squeezed shut, body tensing for what was going to be a long, drawn out battle. It was a noisy place, but he cut right through it like butter. I turned to Luke and I said, "You know, I am really embarrassed right now," and he nodded, teeth grit as he tried to hold Niko to calm him. Nina laughed and tried to feed him pizza. That girl is a rock, I tell you.

The pizza fiasco came after Luke and I ran a 10k that morning out in the desert. Correction: Luke ran it. I did my very best, which consisted mostly of trudging up the gigantic hills and running down them, trying not to die. Luke came back for me with a power bar so that I didn't turf it by the side of the road a mere two miles from goal. That's why I love him. It was so cold! I ran the entire thing in my hoodie, and didn't even pull the hood down until mile four. I was still getting over that awful cold that kept me in bed on New Years, and I have to admit that I started out in a pretty bad mood. Hence the picture, yeah? But after the race we were happy and tired, and we went out for breakfast, and a good time was had by all. I think that running makes me happy.

Yay, you can buy the anthology that I'm in online, now! They mention my story in the blurb, and I'm pleased that it's blurb worthy. It's all on A Broken Laptop.

I'm sorry if you're annoyed that I constantly send you off to my site. But it has a separate counter, and it's helpful to see how many people actually check something out. I'm sure that one fine day it can be useful for marketing purposes and all of that, but for right now, it's all about, "Yay! Somebody actually came to look, hooray!" It really makes my day. :)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

An Essay

I wrote a short essay about motherhood, writing, and Williams. I posted it on my site, if anybody wants to read it. It's basically a day in the life, and I wrote it back when I was getting calls from Niko's school everyday.

A Broken Laptop

Also, I have a new story up today, and another one up later this week. Hooray!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

I Feel...Like I Was Repeatedly Thrown Against A Velcro Wall

That lipstick? Stayed on all night with one application. OH YES.
Happy New Year, everybody! I was reading the newspaper this morning, and apparently I am out of the loop because I don't detest 2008. It's a year, it's a measurement of time, and I didn't feel that it personally erupted from its hidey hole to try and devour me. Call me strange.

Yesterday was a day of insanity. My friend Sarah and I were helping to throw this huge New Year's thing for the kids in our stake. We work with the Young Women in our church, and hey, this is Vegas, and where are the kids going to be if they're not with us? So we planned, and decorated, rang in the New Year and then cleaned up. It was awesome!

We had a dance, (of course) and movies playing in two separate rooms. We had Guitar Hero going on, and a couple of wii consoles set up. We had a living room area by the dance, so whenever the DJ said, "Girl's choice!" all of the girls could zip over to the couches and look bored. We had giant inflatable obstacle courses that doubled as jump houses, and a Velcro wall. Yours truly spent quite a lot of time flinging herself to the wall, and it was great. There were fresh cookies and french fries, candy and bottled waters, and after screaming and yelling and blowing on noisemakers at midnight, we had a breakfast for everybody's families. It was all free, and I think the youth really had a great time, as did Sarah and I. It was fun to just dance. Luke hates dancing, and we haven't gone since...oh, sheesh. His old frat dances, I guess, which I totally hated. I had forgotten how freeing it is to just close your eyes and dance. I'm thinking I'm going to take some girl friends to check out the clubs.

Anyway, yay for us. They had triple the attendance from last year, and I think it's good for the kids to see the leaders actually doing things with them (dancing, racing, Velcro wall) instead of sitting on the sidelines and watching. Sarah and I were the only leaders I saw that actually participated in anything, but then, we're a good ten/twenty/thirty years younger than the other leaders. We're old enough to be big sisters, not mothers and grandmothers.
The only sad thing for me is that Luke and the kids are out of state with family. Although I love time alone because it's so precious, it was hard to come home on a holiday and find an empty house. It was freezing, and I crawled into Luke's pajamas and shivered in bed until I fell asleep. Today was supposed to be My Big Writing Day, sans distractions, but I woke up with this horrible cold. In fact, I'm still in bed with my out-of-control hair, and just might not get out of it today.

Happy New Year. *tweet*