Friday, June 27, 2008
Much thanks to Novice...

I am officially hooked on
Wordle and totally off task. But, it's after eleven on a Friday night, so what do I care.

These are some of the words from a short-short I wrote at Kenyon, based on a book prompt. Everyone was given a random book. And when I say random, I mean, like, "The History of Etching" or "A Dance Instructor's Motivational Guide" - random. My book was "The New History of the Organ" - and it was just that. A history of the organ from 1500-1973. Apparently, if you want anything pre-1500's, you've got to find "The Old History of the Organ" 'cause my book was having none of it.

The prompt was to write something somehow inspired by the book. The only thing I found inspiring was a man's name - Arnolt Schlick - and the juvenile attachment I made to the word organ.

And this Wordle here is all hip and happy, but actually formed from 150 words from a real downer of a piece I wrote out there.

You can put anything in there. Cat food labels, kids names, gibberish. Whatever you want to use to help keep you from doing whatever it is you should be doing...writing, cooking, cleaning, sleeping.

Consider this a PSA to procrastinate. You know, because I've found that the internet is very lacking in new and creative ways to suck up my time.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Everything Ok?
My daughter played with our phone this morning, per her usual routine. She placed it backwards on her shoulder and walked around the house babbling to no one in particular that she was playing with Alec-sander or that she had her blanket or dolly and hi grandma!

When I heard the phone ringing from her shoulder, I leaped up from my morning writing and dashed to hang up on whomever she was calling. Thankfully, the voice on the other end sounded robotic, a telemarketer perhaps? So I hung it up and returned the phone to its cradle. It rang back again almost instantly, without any number on the caller idea. A phantom phone call that I ignored.

Ten minutes later, the doorbell rings. I did a quick check - we're all wearing pants, good. I haven't showered in two days, but decide that I don't really care and scoop up Lila to open the door. I've found that holding a cute child detracts from most any personal hygiene deficiency.

It was a mousy looking woman with a very stern expression. And a badge.

Apparently, Lila dialed 911 and since I didn't answer when they called back, they had to check in to make sure everything was OK, that I hadn't just been murdered.

This might be one of my new least favorite way's to start the day. Explaining myself to a police officer.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Back to Life
After spending a day decompressing and visiting with friends down at my in law's house, I'm finally home. My first day back in my old life, post writer's workshop.

The workshop was far less daunting than I'd thought it was going to be. I met some very talented and wonderful writers. Thanks to the encouragement of my workshop group, I even managed to do a reading (which I pulled off to a moderate degree of success, after only skipping over an entire paragraph of my piece...whoops)

I suppose I got what I needed as well, a sign that I'm on the right path and that I need to make revisions to my life, so to speak, to better live as a writer and not just as a mom-who-writes.

Changes I Can Make:

Number 1: Write. On a schedule, I mean.

Number 2: Unplug the internet while attempting to write. (Or at least stop playing so much scrabulous when I could be writing.)

Number 3: Read more good literature.

Number 4: Find prompts in everyday life and stick to them. Even if the work isn't marketable in and of itself, I might stumble across a voice or a character or even just a turn of phrase that could be useful in a different piece.

So far this morning has gone fairly well. I've managed to write a few paragraphs and now instead of stressing over getting on the treadmill while my kids nap, I'm going to see if I can't write a few more.


Saturday, June 21, 2008
Almost Home

It's nine o'clock and I'm alone in a hotel room next to Penn State. Had some decent steamed tofu and dumplings and now I'm attempting to squeeze the final drops of creativity from my pores before I drive another 8 hours tomorrow and return to my previous incarnation - Mommy.

(Of course, you'll notice that even having said that, I'm typing here and not on a fiction piece.)

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 13, 2008
I'm Alive
And exhausted and about to hide beneath the blankets until I need to get up and drive for another ridiculous amount of time. But I did post some pictures of my travels over on here. I actually meant to post the post here, but somehow didn't and I'm too tired to go back and fix it.

Happy weekends to everyone!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Lila has never had the affinity for feces that my son did as a toddler. She hasn't once taken off her diaper when given the chance and when it comes to poo, she can pretty much take it or leave it. Mostly leave it. After the days I spent cleaning the stuff from my son's ceiling (yes, ceiling), I consider Lila's lack of enthusiasm for the stuff to be an outright blessing.

Of course, you already know how this story is going to end. Today was the day that she decided to make her first mess. Now, why would today be the worst possible day for such an incident to occur? Could it be the sweltering heat and humidity? Sure. That made it less than pleasant.

But what makes today truly special is that it is the only day that we are without a washing machine (because ours burnt out last night, RIP) - which means that I have piles of stinky, stained laundry...and no place to go. (And not even car seats in my car to take the kids to a laundromat...of all the days.)

But there was still something to laugh at here. Even as I scrubbed it out of her carpet, and bagged the laundry to wait until we have a working machine again, I searched for her diaper, wondered where the origin of the mess was...when it dawned on me.

I hadn't put one on her.

The whole thing was my fault.

I need a vacation.

Thursday, June 05, 2008
It starts with a picnic. Why do these things always start with picnics?

Freshman year we had a picnic out on the chapel lawn. Long tables of hot dogs and hamburgers, soft corn on the cob that has been soaked so long it's chewy when it should be crisp. Our entire class spread across the grass in pockets of budding friendships, or relationships that would turn into acquaintances and 'hey, remember that guy?' conversations in four years time. The introductory picnic. I dread these sort of things the way the new kid in town fears entering the junior high cafeteria with a loaded tray and nowhere to sit.

Of course, as the email just arrived in my inbox tells me, the conference next weekend kicks off with a picnic, followed by a reception.

I'm already panicking or racking brain for reasons that I can't possibly make it.

But I am, for the first time in four years, without excuse. My kids will be hundreds of miles away. I will have a car and be in a place with really nothing else to do with myself BUT mingle at with other writer's and work on my own craft.

What have I signed up for?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Well, sort of. Here's my attempt at something author-ish.

I'm trying to keep anything with my real name separate from this that anyone interested in reading about my upcoming publications won't be forced to trek through my ramblings about poop, procrastination and the dead birds my cat drags in. (Then again, if they like my stories, these subjects would probably be of interest to them as well...)


Monday, June 02, 2008
Popsicle Night
First Cook-out of the season out on our deck.
The shoes came off
The napkins came out...

Labels: , ,