Friday, December 25, 2009

Captain's Blog—Christmas

Stardate: Christmas Day

Even captains make mistakes, and so I have to make an awkward confession to make. There we were, zooming through the stratosphere, when we detected a small blip of unidentified nature on the imaging radar. Believing it to be of enemy origin, we launched a warning shot off its starboard bow, and it would have sailed safely past, except the blip made a hard right.

For those of you who previously believed in Santa Claus, you may want to rethink that in the 364 shopping days we have until Christmas rolls around again.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Good News!

Are you sitting down? Are you composed and ready for news? Good!

I am pleased to announce that Magination Press has contacted me about my favorite picture book manuscript, Melba Sue and the Cactus Kid. They would like me to make some revisions and then resubmit it for possible publication.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Married Mr. Perfect

This morning I was meditating on the idea that most women would give anything to be married to Mr. Perfect. In their dearest thoughts, he would always be gentle, funny, caring, protective, conversational, intelligent, and loving. He would never notice any of their faults, and always magnify their strengths. He'd be encouraging and the best companion they could have. If they smashed the family van, he'd laugh it off and say, "That's okay, honey. I never liked that van that much anyway. Why don't you pick out the car of your dreams to replace it."

Now I'll let you in on a little secret: I married Mr. Perfect.

In those times when I'm really struggling, he is there for me. He never let's me down. I never hear an unkind word from him, and he's always cheering for me. It doesn't matter how I look in the morning. He believes I'm beautiful just the way I am. You might say that love is blind, in that case.

But here's another secret. You can marry Mr. Perfect, too.

I'll never forget one of the times Pastor Grace was talking to the ladies at our church. She said that whether you're single or married, you need to be married to Jesus. She was right. When you have the relationship with God's Son that He created you to have, you will be fulfilled in a way that no earthly relationship is able to satisfy you.

But you'll be happier married to Mr. Perfect if you understand his character better. This means you'll have to get rid of some of those goofy religious ideas about him. He doesn't walk around wearing a bathrobe while carrying a lamb in the crook of his arm. He doesn't sing Gregorian chants in Latin as he somberly struts down the streets of gold with never a smile on his lips.

He's got a good sense of humor. (I don't think he's just laughing with us.) He's so smart that he not only knows calculus, physics and chemistry, but he created them. He's fluent in thousands of languages and dialects, and he knows everything about everything, but never comes across as arrogant. He not just capable of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control, but he's made up of them. And he loves us so much he actually died for us, but was raised from the dead so that we could spend eternity with him. Now that's commitment.

So if you have a little free time this Christmas season, give some thought to how awesome it is to be married to Mr. Perfect. (And just in case my earthly husband is reading this, I think he's pretty cool too!)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Captain's Blog—War Zone

Stardate: Black Friday

My mission? To try to eradicate those body snatching aliens who turn mild-mannered individuals into crazed lunatics from the hours of 4 A.M. to 1 P.M. on Black Friday. The timid need not apply for this mission.

Nothing at the academy has prepared me for the shock of Black Friday. As I donned my regulation army boots, fatigues, and a 40 pound pack, I wished for those standard issue gas masks, just in case one of those insane shoppers had tear gas canisters hidden in her tote-disguised-as-a-purse. My first stop was a JMart (names have been changed to protect the innocent), where I did a survey of the interior. Shoppers were packed in like sardines. This was bad, because from what I understand, the snatchers can race from human to human faster than a blue light special, driving them to maniac lengths to obtain the bargain of their desire.

It was near electronics that I made an almost fatal mistake. A wife yelled a message to her husband, who was standing down the aisle about 20 feet. Thinking that she had said, "Bob, they only have one 200 dollar big screen TV left," I relayed the message. Instantly, the eyes of fifty shoppers in my vicinity glazed over, and they made a mad rush for the opening of the department where I was standing. If it hadn't been for the heroic actions of an employee armed with a heavy gage shopping cart who headed them off, I'd have been toast.

Store by store, it was the same. We called for reinforcements, and even they began to wear down as the battle raged on. At last, victory. Our mission accomplished. The body snatching aliens had been driven off for another year, making it safe for mankind to shop once again.

Merry Christmas

P.S. You do know this was totally fiction, right? (Twilight theme here.)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It Is Finished

Well, it's almost finished. I did make it over the 50K mark, but I'm still wrapping up the story. But for all practical purposes. It's done.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

I don't think I ever shared our other family novel picks. Here are Nathan's, Kathryn's, and Dwight's, in order.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nano Post: Day 15 (Panting my way through the desert)

Did I drop off the planet? Nope. But I have chalked up over 32,000 words on my Nano Novel, Deep Secret. They aren't the words of fine literature, but hey, at least there are 32,000 and I'm 2,000 ahead of schedule my personal schedule and 7,000 ahead of the daily minimum. But it doesn't leave a lot of time for blogging, so I haven't had any words of wisdom from the captain lately.

It's been fun doing the Nanowrimo. I'm a terrible procrastinator when it comes to finishing a novel. Especially if I get stuck. But this time I'm committed to doing it, so I have no choice but to press on. My characters may have weird dreams or strange conversations in order to fill the word count, but there is no turning back. (Also because Dwight, Christine, Laura, Nathan, Carissa, Susan, and Kathryn are all doing this too, and if I don't finish, they'll all get me!)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mission Nano: Day 5

It was a dark and stormy night. (Oh great, that's only seven words. What do I type now?)

Thus goes the Nanowrimo. Not to be a word counter, but when you have software that allows you to keep one eye on the word count and one on the manuscript, it can be discouraging. Too late I understand that chapter in C.S. Lewis's book, The Horse and His Boy. During said chapter came a point during Shasta's desert crossing at which no matter how far he had travelled, what was behind didn't look any farther away, and what was in front didn't look any closer. Guess what. That's where I am right now.

That must be why people give up around 12,000 words. That is where I threw in the towel last year. Of course, I wasn't officially signed up, so I didn't care that much. Not having told everyone under creation that I was going to write a novel in one month and then trying to get them to join me in the literary misery, I was easily able to skulk quietly away and wait a year to try again.

2009. The year of a finished novel. This year (sigh) I signed up for real, which in my book is tantamount to a total commitment. There is no cutting out because, quite frankly, I'm getting a little tired of this. The bridges are burning, and I can still smell the acrid char from my computer keyboard. Only one option remains. Finish by midnight, November 30th.

You also have to understand, this is a big deal to a picture book writer. My manuscripts are usually only about 600 to 800 words. Total. To have to do three times that every day goes against everything in my inner editor, who has been sending me endless telegrams from Tahiti saying that I need to go back and fix early problems. Again, another reason why people quit. If you let yourself decide that you need to go back, you'll never move forward.

So that's how it's going. Any comments from those of you who have left me (the tortoise) in the dust? (That would be Christine and Dwight, who have blasted past me in their word counts.)

I may not be fast, but at least I'm consistent.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


What would Jesus do?

He'd write a story for Nanowrimo, of course.

Jesus was into stories. He understood how a story could reach a person's heart, providing revelation and entertainment in the same stroke. People liked listening to Jesus! Jesus used stories to make ministry fun. (That will sound familiar if you've ever served in Kids Town at church.)

So here we are on the third day of Nanowrimo. It is a purely secular event, true, but you don't have to leave it that way. Ultimately it's just a lot of people who like to write creating novels in a short time in the same month. It's a great way to finally get around to writing that story you've been mulling over in your mind all this time. In case you didn't start on Sunday, it's not too late!!! Remember, you have a message.

Perhaps you're shaking your head in disbelief.

"50,000 words might as well be as far away as the moon!" you say. "What person in their right mind would even attempt it on day three?" you add.

Not so, my friends.

Consider that when I checked the word counts on the site, one gal is already at over 70,000 words. Many more have already passed the 10,000 word point. They seem bent on finishing this week so they can enjoy their Thanksgivings in blissful quiet while the rest of us toil over a keyboard. Probably none of them home school or have four children (I can hear the competitive Christine saying, "That's not fair!") but it's okay. We will still finish!

And last, but not least, here's a verse for those of you who really want to write a novel this month but just don't think you can.

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Nano Day One: I'm Begging You to Write a Novel!

This is our first day of Nanoing. (Spell check doesn't think that's a word.) Hit it hard! Now is the time to get those words out there as fast as you can type. I believe that Christians so have an obligation to write a novel this month. There is an enormous void in real faith fiction (particularly for kids) and we need to fill it.

I've got a loaded month, and today I didn't even get to begin typing until well after 3:00 p.m. because of the big Fall Fest at church. Fortunately, the blueberry wound has healed nicely so I'll be typing with my fingers because the aforesaid agile toes are absolutely beat.

The slogan for us all this month is carpe tempus temporis. I'm only a rudimentary Latin scholar, but I think that means "seize the time" or "seize time." I thought it more appropriate since my days don't come in nice complete chunks, but are extremely fragmented.

Don't think you'll have time later. You won't. You must act NOW! I used scratch paper to get going this morning because I could type while I was blow-drying my hair.

So that's my pep talk to all of you. I'm going back to my novel now. I left my protagonist chewing out one of the militant youth under her for daring another kid to go into some dangerous cave systems. All I can say is, she better watch her back, 'cause this other gal is a grudge-nurser and is going to go for the jugular pretty soon.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nanowrimo In Two Hours

I want to know how weird it is for the time change to happen on the eve of Nanowrimo. Technically, if you're one of the midnight writers, that means you get an extra hour of nanowriting. For me, it just means I get an extra hour of sleep, for which I am thankful.

Here we are on the countdown, and for all the planning I did, it was for nothing.

Why, you may ask?

Because I've dumped the whole idea of Eleanor for a thriller/mystery called Deep Secret. I'll run an excerpt every now and then.

Happy Nano's Eve.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Subliminal Message Alert

You'll all be glad to know (if you read The Last Draft and heard about the chunk I carved out of my finger with a steak knife while cutting frozen blueberries) that my finger is healing nicely. SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO. I'm down to one or two bandaids, and the nerves don't send painful impulses to my brain anymore when I'm typing. SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO. This is very good news, because here at almost the eleventh hour, I am planning to change my entire story and go with a new inspiration that I captured on the back of an envelope a couple days ago. SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO TODAY!

So Eleanor will just have to go on having a secret life that none of us (including me) know anything about. For the next year, she will dream on of being a secret agent who uses her super-klutz powers for good SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO while I explore the suspenseful betrayal in Deep Calls to Deep. SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO AND GET A PROOF COPY OF YOUR BOOK IF YOU FINISH. The only problem is that I have to come up with a totally new cover, because the pink and silhouettes just don't go with this new idea at all.

I really liked Susan's cover the best of the ones that I did. Some of the kids did their own, and they were very nice too. YOU NEED TO SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO. Carissa is doing a story on The Robot Chicken and drew her cover. I thought this was quite creative for her to come up with. Dwight is still waiting for a cover, but he's being difficult since he wants me to actually do (gasp! do people do this anymore?!) original artwork. SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. Since it's highly unlikely that I will have time for that, he'll just have to settle for something digital like the rest of us.

You know, I suddenly have this strange feeling that I should write a book next month. I don't know what's come over me. Do you feel it too?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fuzzies Are Not Nutritious, and Allowed Only in November

Today A.J. spit out her pacifier on the blanket she was sitting on. I fished it up and prepared to return it to it's previous location, but pulled it back just in time. It had (ewww!) fuzzies stuck to it. I explained the delay to A.J. by stating that fuzzies are not nutritious, and therefore must be removed so they are not ingested.

A.J. was not impressed.

A.J. wanted the pacifier.

She wanted it NOW.

Conclusion: Babies are only interested in results. The journey means nothing to them. They will take the pacifier even if it is one big ball of fuzz.

You may be wondering what this has to do with anything. I wondered that myself, for awhile. Then I got it. It has to do with Nanowrimo, of course. The journey doesn't mean anything in November. It's all about word count at the end.

• It doesn't matter if you can't even spell "cat."
• It doesn't matter if you use the word "ain't" in polite conversation.
• It doesn't matter if you write lousy poetry that has too many feet and doesn't rhyme.

All that matters is 50,000 words by midnight November 30th.

Don't you feel better now? See, anybody with fingers or agile toes can do this. So lay in a good supply of your favorite snacks before November 1st and prepare to become a full-fledged novelist. But while you're typing, watch out for your internal editor going after those fuzzies. It's not allowed until December 1st.

Special Nano perk: Create Space is giving the "winning" authors who finish their word count, and this includes kids who have shorter word counts, a free proof copy of their own book. Details below:

How cool is that?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Journal of a Private Eye: A Dark and Stormy Night

The night was dark. Very dark. Rain gushed down the windows like my nephews nose when he gets a nosebleed. But when you're a private eye, you learn to deal with whatever life sends you.

As I sat at my desk, I heard footsteps on the stairs. They stopped outside my door, so I knew what was coming. There was a knock.

"It's open!"

A blond head craned around the door. This character wasn't taking any chances as he scuttled in and sat down, glancing warily over his shoulder. I leaned back in my chair and planted my feet on the desk. My air of confidence always had a way of putting clients at ease.

"What's eating you, son?"

"Mom, I can't find my dictionary. You know, it's the little one you got me that everyone else always wants to use. Somebody took it and lost it!"

I stroked my chin, staring up at the ceiling. This was definitely going to be a tough one. I hadn't seen that dictionary around for weeks, much less days.

I fixed a stern eye on the client. "Did you look in your homework pile?"

He squirmed. "Yeah. Sort of. But I'm sure it's not there."

Tough character. He wasn't going to make this easy.

"How about under your desk."

"Not there."

"Your bed?"

He shook his head. "There's no way it would be under my bed."

"Did you look."

He hung his head. "Well, no. But there's no way it's there."

"I can't help you if you won't let me."

"Oh, all right." He jumped up and ducked out the door. "But I'm just wasting my time."

"Yeah," I responded. "We'll just see."

The call came later that day. Dictionary located. It was under the bed all the time. I stared out the window at the still pouring rain. Yeah, sometimes life threw you a curve, but you had to step up to the plate anyway. It was a good feeling to help one's fellow man. To put him on the path to...

...finding his dictionary.

Miserable weather, but still, a good day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Laundry Attack!

Do you realize the kind of laundry a family of six can generate? Single people just can't fathom it. Future mothers and dads (mostly mothers because we know they're the real laundry engineers), don't say you weren't warned.

We were gone for four days plus a day of travel. That's five. For a family of six, that means we generated in the sock department alone, 60 dirty socks. If you consider all the other items of clothing, it's a veritable wonder we don't need a periscope to take in the world at large by the time we got home. And since this is cold weather, there are jackets and coats, some of which were closely associated with horses and cats (and even a dead raccoon) in various barns and pastures.

(But let's look at the bright side. None of us hunt. Otherwise, I'd be doing an orange load like half of the mothers in Wisconsin.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another possible for NaNoWriMo

I hope the peer pressure is having a positive affect on all of you out there and you feel yourselves crazily crumbling as you succumb to the need to write a novel in November. (You know, it's really hard to exert much peer pressure when you're only one person unless you have a multiple personality disorder of some kind, but I'm doing my best.)

Not to make your decisions harder, but here's another possible for the Nano book:

The Sad Tale of Horace VonFinkle, Villain Very-Not-Extraordinaire

I really don't identify with Horace much. After all, he is a villain. He just can't seem to do villainy effectively. Every time he tries, things turn out well. Sort of an opposite of Eleanor Blunt. She's still the front-runner (those two votes really turned the tide) since I have been thinking about her journey for awhile. Richard Peck says you need to decide on a journey, and then decide which character will benefit the most from it. Eleanor's journey is to discover that one's worth is not determined by one's perfection.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Call to Arms (or Fingers, Rather)

As we're going forward with this NaNoWriMo thing, I need to say a few words to the relatives who occasionally check out this blog.

You need to participate.

See, it was a painless four words for you this week. No "I'm too busies" will be accepted. I home school, babysit six days a week, give piano lessons, teach art, coordinate a Preschool department at church, and write meet regularly with my writer's group. Once in awhile, I get to sleep and eat, but unfortunately, bedtime is regularly way too close to midnight. I understand busy. Everyone is busy. But November is a chance to do something special. This event is largely controlled by non-Christians, so we need to get involved and make an impact. Make it a family event and do it with your kids. (There are tons of kids involved in the Young Writer's Program.) You have a voice, so use it!

Don't be sticks-in-the-mud!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Captain's Blog—Mission Draws Near

Stardate: Thursday

As the mission to the outer quadrant draws near, nerves are taut. There are bags to pack. There is the ship to load. Questions arise. Will we get a signal on our cell phone in the outer reaches? Most importantly, will we make it to our secret destination, code name, Grandma's House? We hope so.

There is lefsa at stake.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Vote Early, Vote Often

Two votes for Eleanor right now, but I'm thinking of changing her name to Theodora because it has more scope for the imagination as well as the fact that you can use Theo as a sort of cool nickname. (If someone calls Eleanor El, she might think they're talking about the elevated train in Chicago.)

And speaking of the great Chicago tradition we have here that enables even dead people to participate in the political selection process, vote early and vote often for your choice for my NaNo novel. Only two votes in so far, and Eleanor is way out in front with...two votes. Need I say more? You're probably hoping not, so I'll let you all get back to the real world.

P.S. For those of you wondering what's happening to the Admiral, the Captain, and the rest of the crew, they're still making applesauce, because you simply cannot have too much applesauce. But we are working on the engine systems of our ship to get it ready for a dangerous mission in the outer reaches of the quadrant. You've probably heard of it: Wisconsin.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

It's coming!

I've taken a little time away from the blogs (except the Last Draft) to catch up on life. I read a book about how to complete NaNoWriMo and had to catch up with Physics and some design projects this weekend. But I just thought I'd do a little poll here to see what you all (I am assuming there is a you all out there) think would be my best bet for the NaNoWriMo challenge of a 50,000 word novel in a month. I'm not too concerned about making it good. It just has to be 50,000 words, even if they're all the wrong words.

Here are my ideas so far:

• The Girl From Left Foot Lake

This will sound familiar to my writer's group, because I've been bantering this title around in my head for some time. Yesterday I had an idea to go with the title (always good) and it would be a WWI historical fiction. (Like, WAY fiction, so don't even bother to check up on my historical facts. This is for NaNoWriMo, after all.)

• The Secret Life of Eleanor Blunt

Klutz extraordinaire, the young mild-mannered librarian Eleanor is caught up in the world of spies and espionage. And no matter what she does...well, you know. It doesn't turn out exactly as expected. This one is a good choice because if I get stuck, I can always have her knocked out, kidnapped, and waking up in some exotic location like Tahiti or North Dakota.

• What You Make It

A story about two people, one with an easy life where everything starts out right, and one with a not easy life where everything starts out wrong. And of course, life is what they choose to make it. I like the title more than the story idea right now, but lots of room for 50,000 words.

But decisions are my hardest thing! Comments?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A new use for blogs: The string around the finger

I just don't want to misplace or forget this web site. This is a meaningless post. Hope you all had a great day.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Captain's Blog—Birthday invasion

Stardate: Friday

Will encounter invasion forces at 18:00 hours. Plan to placate them with dinner followed by decorated cupcakes and ice cream, a puppet show, and a craft project.

If we get in over our heads, I plan to call this help line:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Captain's Blog—Admiral's Got KP

Stardate: Monday

Yes, it has come to this. As a personal favor, the Admiral is pealing apples for applesauce as I grade papers, study Physics, and write children's stories. He may be thinking that this is not what he signed on for, but such is the nature of love. It causes you to do things for people even with a cut thumb from the batch on Sunday.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Normal Mom Blog—Practice Makes Perfect, Or at Least Better Than Yesterday

It's time to diversify. Teaching and writing take time, but I haven't had a story sale in awhile, so I've decided to take on a few piano students. The only problem is that when you haven't practiced for twenty years, it shows. So today I practiced. And practiced. And practiced. My brain knew the music. Some of it had been ingrained when I minored in music under the watchful eyes of Dr. Keene. But apparently there was a short somewhere between brain and hands. Also, the technique practices were very quick to produce that unpleasant burning sensation in my forearms. Sigh. This endeavor is going to be a ton of work. Oh well. Nothing ventured; nothing gained.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Captain's Blog—Deep in the Bowels of the Facility

Stardate: Wednesday

We had a near mutiny today when the crew found out there was no hot water. Fortunately, it is easier to find a hot water heater repairman than it is to find a transporter repairman. I was reminded of such a search for repairmen when I found the original log to the space ship Genesis in the bowels of the facility. I was transported back to Faith the Final Frontier in the Omega Quadrant. Those were some fun days!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Captain's Blog—Cookie Vultures at Three O'clock

Stardate: Friday

It became necessary to lay in a supply of chocolate chip cookies today. Almost immediately the cookie vultures, another strange species of this planet, swooped in to get their share. I had to fend them off with a spatula and an oven mitt. Although I sustained no wounds, several cookies were consumed before I could get them into freezer bags.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Normal Mom Blog—How Does Ketchup Get Into Pockets?

There's nothing like a holiday weekend for fun with family.

And laundry.

Weird laundry.

As I pen this literary tribute to laundry, I find myself growing philosophical. For example, I begin to think deep thoughts such as, how, exactly, does ketchup find it's way into a child's jacket pocket? I don't even remember said child wearing said jacket while eating said ketchup. Generally speaking, ketchup, with the help of gravity, tends to drop on a child's front, where it is easily visible and removable. And there were no fries secreted in the pocket. Hmmm.

My eldest daughter pointed out today that laundry is like rabbits. It multiplies while you're not looking. We agreed that this must be the case. How you get seven loads of laundry from one overnight stay at a relative's house when you only packed four small suitcases is beyond me.

Way beyond.

And we came to a second conclusion about laundry and rabbits. It's when they start hopping that you're really in trouble.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Captain's Blog—Sigh. Is the Universe Saved Yet?

Stardate: Friday

Yes, it's finally Friday. But if you'll notice when you're off-planet, there's really no such thing as days, weeks, months, and years. Not of the earth variety that we're used to anyway. Imagine the work-week on Venus. Yikes! One daily rotation takes about 243 of our earth days. Imagine a four day business trip. "I'll see you in about three years, honey."

So I guess you have to look at the bright side. There are only 24 hours in a day on earth, and since you sleep during eight of them, that only leaves about 16 to goof up in. That means that during approximately a third of your life, you can't possibly do anything wrong. On that happy note, have a great weekend! (Oh, by the way, the weekends on Venus are 486 earth days long. See you next year.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Normal Mom Blog—The Captain is out to lunch

We seem to finally have settled into our routine with school. I am making myself as available as possible to Kathryn and Susan, since Advanced Math has proven to be something of a trial to them. I have suggested for the month of November that both of them, myself, and Dwight participate in the Nanowrimo. The idea behind Nanowrimo is to write a novel in a month. Will it be a good novel? Well, no. It will most likely be hideous since the whole point is to churn out a daily word count, ending in monthly total of 50,000. First drafts are generally pretty awful anyway, but by getting them on paper you have something to work with in the end. (Kathryn and Susan can choose their own monthly total since they would be participating in the Young Writer's Nanowrimo.)

Now it does seem a little crazy that someone chose November for this. I don't know what they were thinking. There's a major holiday near the end of the month that brings relatives out of the woodwork in droves and involves strategically dressing and cooking an enormous turkey with all the fixings. And how is one to do this while making sure one has typed in 1766.66 words that day? I ask you, is this reasonable?

Probably not, but then, I don't think writing an entire novel in a month is reasonable either. But fun? Doable? Yes to both. About 15% of the writers who commit to the Nanowrimo accomplish their goal. Some are even able to sift through the results for a publishable book in time.

Challenge for you: write your novel in the month of November and see what you come up with. I believe there is at least one novel in every person out there. Wouldn't it be fun to see what happens if you write it down?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Captain's Blog—Attack of the Mutant Math Fiends

It's been a rough day at the facility. After we beat back the alien laundry cruiser, we were blindsided by the sinister mutant math fiends. Similar triangle proofs hurled through the air, followed by contrapositives and congruency postulates. One of the ensigns was down and had to be resuscitated with chocolate and promises of a chick-flick on the weekend.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Captain's Blog—Under Fire!

Stardate: Monday

Returned to the facility at 2030 hours on Saturday after accomplishing mission and encountering many bizarre creatures (some determined to consume shoe laces). During my absence the little people had fallen under heavy fire from an alien laundry cruiser. It was threatening to overwhelm them when I arrived on the scene with reinforcements. Have quelled the invasion, but we are wary. When and where will the alien ship strike next?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Captain's Blog—Parts Unknown

Stardate: Thursday

I have been authorized by the admiral to go on a 30 hour reconnaissance mission. I'm grateful for a chance to explore beyond the facility, but the little people are definitely suspicious about my planned absence.

Coded message received by the admiral at 1200 hours:

The melted chocolate ice cream is on top of the refrigerator.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Normal Mom Blog—Where's that dratted captain when you need her?

Today I am tired.

I'm trying to figure out how I came to be so tired on a Monday. I didn't even write this weekend. Last week we had it all together, which was good since it was our first full week of school, and life was smooth. Extra babies and all. We'd kicked into overdrive and I could see the school year unfolding before me, a land of tranquil academic bliss. And then—impact.

I found that during full-fledged teaching I cannot run for 48 hours without studying, grading papers, or doing laundry. (There's also that sleep thing that keeps coming up. A part of me thinks that life would be so much easier if I didn't have to sleep, but the other part of me is pretty sure that there's a good reason God designed us requiring a regular eight hours of it.)

So we just finished the tenth load of laundry, but I might have lost count. It could be number eleven. Since I like to hang ours out on the line, not for reasons green but because I just like to, dry weather is allowing us to run it around the clock. Radioactive fallout is NOTHING compared to laundry fallout when you have two sets of company and a good-sized family. But of course, they're all worth it. Still, you're a little gaspy by the time you deal with it all. And the beauty of getting together for a wedding is that there's so much food that cooking is virtually unnecessary.

And cake rehab won't be necessary. We finally ran out. I considered using a cake patch to alleviate withdrawal, but I was sure it would make even more laundry issues so I'm going cold turkey. I think I'll survive.

Oh, and I almost forgot. More company is coming tomorrow! Let's see, I'm going to have to...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Captain's Blog—Drifting in Space

Okay adults. It's time to use your imagination to cross the time-space continuum and get back to real time Chicago. As a special feature today, we have no stardate. (I suspect that grading advanced math burned out my hyperdrive engines, so I'm probably drifting in space somewhere.)

We had a great weekend. I've never been to a three-day-long wedding. It's worth noting. I'll probably have to go into cake rehab, though, because as with all weddings, there was a lot to begin with and it seemed like even more left over. If Jesus really wanted to feed large crowds of people, I'm surprised He didn't use wedding cake. It seems to multiply on its own, no matter how much of the stuff you give away. However, it probably wouldn't have been a miracle in that case, and it's definitely is not as nutritional as bread and fish. Still, there is something appealing about layers of chocolate with more chocolate and raspberry between them.

It is a known scientific fact that women cannot have too many shoes or too much chocolate. Thus, shoes and chocolate have a lot in common. However, the resemblance pretty much ends there since shoes do not melt when put on your feet and chocolate does.

Can you tell I'm tired of grading papers. One week of school down. 37 to go.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Captain's Blog—Invasion Imminent

Stardate: Thursday

Have received communique from the admiral of the fleet. According to recent reports, a large squadron of relatives is heading for us. They will converge on us Friday at 1400 hours. We are taking measures to secure the facility before invasion, but believe it will be to no avail since at least four of the invaders are under the age of five.

Checked play-dough weapons systems and found them operational.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Captain's Blog—Homing Beacon

Stardate: Monday

To continue from my last post: the little people finally returned. The chocolate brownies were no doubt a homing beacon left there to insure their safe return. Brownies appear to work as an instinctual directional device not unlike those which send geese south in the winter and salmon up-river in the fall.


In the mean time, I am very proud of the little people on their first day of "school." They did not groan over-much at the rising sun and worked hard.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Captain's Blog—Ominous Silence

Stardate: Saturday

It is strangely silent here today.

At first I thought that perhaps the little people had evacuated the facility for reasons unknown, so I ventured out of the sleeping quarters cautiously. All seemed well until I entered the mess hall. A lonely tray of fresh brownies laced with chocolate chips perched conspicuously on the counter.

An ominous trap. And what of the fate of the little people?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Captain's Blog—It's a Hard Job

Stardate: Thursday

Being the captain is a hard job. When there's a spider on the ceiling, guess who they come to? When they can't find articles of clothing, guess who they come to? When the toilet overflows, guess who they come to?

I realized recently that the admiral of the fleet is evidently so awe-inspiring that the little people rarely approach him for anything, even if the captain is on the phone. Rarely, that is, unless they think they will obtain a more favorable answer, in which case they quickly go over the head of the captain.

(Beware, little people. This only works when communication systems are on the fritz. You could be court-martialed for less.)

Ensign! Where's my chocolate?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Captain's Blog—Shocking Discovery

Stardate: Sunday

High temperatures drove us below ground for the duration, since there is no air conditioning in this facility. The little people think this is a lot of fun since we ended up playing games like Uno, Dutch Blitz, and Mastermind. I held my own, but was shocked to discover that the 8-year-old is suddenly good at games she found challenging before. I'm pretty sure what she has in mind for me.

I'm toast.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Captain's Blog—Study Continues

Stardate: Friday

Rain drove the little people indoors today, looking for something to do. I find they are quite endearing most of the time. The instructional period they call "school" will arrive soon. I plan to study it in detail and report accordingly. I have heard rumors that during this "school" period the little people perform a ceremonial ritual which consists of getting up at an early hour and groaning strangely toward the rising sun.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the approaching meteor shower of the Perseids in mid-August. Hmmm.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Captain's Blog—Withdrawal

Stardate: Wednesday

Banned video games for a day to experiment with effects on the population. The little people took it well and have suffered little withdrawal.

Through consistent use of space and time anomaly called "book" I think the long term effects will be minimal.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Captain's Blog—Drastic Measures

Stardate: Tuesday

Once again, the little people surround me. Relations are becoming strained, however. Have assigned tasks for them to complete, but they lobby for video game training instead. Drastic measures may become necessary.

Am looking for escape pods.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Captain's Blog—Captive!

Stardate: Monday

Arose to find myself on a planet of many little people who have taken me captive. I hear them say the word "mom" frequently when they are around me, and I think it must be their name for me. They routinely make me cook their meals and pick up after them.

Reserves are running low: must have chocolate soon.

Friday, July 31, 2009

What's new?

I haven't contacted an agent.


I think the problem with writing is that it takes quite a bit of time in itself. Actually looking for representation beyond that can be sort of tough to fit in. Take heart and know that at least I'm doing some research on agents. (Like anyone but me cares anyway.) Finding the right agent is a little like finding the right shoe, except that it's more of a mutual agreement between the foot and the shoe. It has to be the right fit for both.

In the mean time, I'm doing a self-study course on the book Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul, and I'm learning a lot. The latest, which has slowed me down in writing but should help eventually, is that character sketches are extremely important, even for picture books. If you don't know your character, you cannot write about him or her effectively. He will come off as shallow as a sidewalk puddle, and then where will you be? STUCK IN THE SLUSH PILE OF DESPAIR!

So I'm on something like rewrite 40 of Cluck Lays an Egg, but this time I'm going to explore the inner workings of Cluck. Who is Cluck? What are her likes and dislikes? How does Cluck think? When I'm done I'll give character treatments to my other manuscripts too, even though I feel happy with some of them already.

Here's a plug for Ann Whitford Paul. Her book is informative and insightful. Top notch and you can't get by without it if you're a picture book writer. And like many books on writing for a specific genre, the wisdom bleeds over and works in other genres also. Since it's set up like a class, you have writing assignments (thus the character sketch of Cluck) and reading assignments (one of the many picture books she recommends) at the end of each chapter. School was never so much fun! It's definitely my favorite writing book of the year.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Writing news: Finding an Agent

I think the time has come to look for an agent. I've finally been able to resolve something that was still bothering me even after the last revision of my favorite manuscript. Since my least favorite thing to do is to market stories once they're finished, an agent is a good solution. Unfortunately, the process for finding an agent is the same as finding a publisher except that you don't get paid anything when they say, "Sure, I'll take you on." Laura K. pointed me to at this site.

After looking at the figures, I decided that, economically speaking, there's a lot to be said for agents. Their know-how basically doubles what you would make without them, so they are worth their cut.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Let Us Eat Cake

This is two posts in one day, which I shouldn't be doing. Someone might get the idea that I blog all day long, and then where will we be.

I finished grading Chemistry!!!!!

Let's have a cake to celebrate!!!!! (Next Wednesday, since I'm sworn off sugar for a week. I can dream until then.)

On a side note, I have agreed with a friend to give up sugar for a week while she gives up bread. (I think I have the easier end of this partnership.) Alas, when I got into the 40s I realized my metabolism wasn't quite keeping up. This project is in the interest of losing about 3 to 5 pounds so I can be just where I want to be. Not that I'll do that in a week, but if I can shake the sugar, I could potentially do that in the end. It has been a tough row to hoe so far, but it helps that I'm writing down what I eat and the calories involved. It also helps that our riding lawnmower is now working right now, so we're all taking turns hitting 2.5 acres with a push mower which is NOT self-propelled.

While pushing, I meditate on the fact that there are people who shell out hard-earned cash to make themselves sweat like I am doing right in the comfort of my own yard.

I told you so

Okay, did I, or did I not say that there would be a response to changing the name of the blog again. Considering I have all of three followers (I don't count the twice that Christine put herself in), I think that's fairly prophetic. It's a byproduct of being a mom, I think.

Anyway, in response to Christine's suggestions (and please note that she's only changed the name of her blog once, I think) I will say the following:

Life with Beth. The truth is, there are a lot of people out there who really don't want a life with Beth, so I'd hate to impose on them. Sometimes I have enough trouble with a life with Beth myself, and there's absolutely no way I can avoid it.

Beth's Blurps. Nope. Sounds too much like Beth's Burps. That would be bad. Very bad.

The Best of Beth. This won't work either, because, as anyone who has read this probably can see by now, often times it is the Worst of Beth that is funnier, more interesting and sometimes more abundant than the Best of Beth.

So for now, we'll just have to stick with Beth's Blog. Not exciting. Not adventurous. But more stable than the American economy, and at least it has alliteration going for it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer Words

I know I'm going to hear about this, but yes, I changed the name of this thing again. I'm new to blogging anyway, and pretty much view this as a good place to keep family and friends up on our lives since we don't do Facebook. At least for now. But Life Story? It didn't wear well. Way too serious.

What are we up to? Kathryn and Susan will be returning from two weeks on Grandma's farm. They said it was quiet there when the rest of our family left. We thought it was quiet here without them. I wonder where the noise went. They learned lots of wonderful things during their stay, like quilting and kitten taming. (The kitten was unusually tame already this year, but they were ready.) I love giving them this time with Grandma Ruth, because I have so many great memories from the time I spent with my own grandmother.

On the writing front, I am studying Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul. It's a great book recommended by Kristi Holl, and was fortunately available through our inter-library loan system though it was just released this year. My brain just thinks like a picture book, so I can't abandon the genre even though it's a tough area. But while I'm picking up some pointers there, I'm working on an upper middle grade novel. Although my writing group knows about it, it's a secret so I won't give you any hints about it just yet except that it is historical fiction from World War II. I began it during the Nanowrimo (write a novel in the month of November), but decided to go back to it now after more research. 

Lately I reread Richard Peck's Fair Weather, since I like many of his books. Tucked away at the back is an interview with him that was very helpful. Peck says that before he writes a book, he first decides on the journey and then on which character would learn the most from that journey. Ever since I've been thinking about my Nanowrimo attempt. Since it was just a write-like-crazy-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of event with the only goal of a word count of 50,000 words in a month, it didn't call for much planning at the time. But it has value in that after you purge yourself in that way you have something to go back over and work with. 

Ah the writing life. Not the easiest profession, but satisfying.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Balancing Act of Life

Balance. If you're alive, balance is probably something you struggle with daily. As a wife and mom, I find it particularly challenging. Right now, I'm enjoying the summer respite from home schooling, and in this temporary quiet time, it's easy to be lulled into thinking that it last forever. It won't though. I can feel the second week of August breathing down my neck. It is not that far away.

Not that we're not still busy during the summer. We're putting the finishing touches on that townhouse, and just had Bible Camp 2009. There are art classes and piano lessons, writing to be done, and organization to be completed before the foray into school in the fall. The absence of that extra straw of home schooling, study, and grading does makes for a load that feels lighter, though. Some school days I feel like I'm losing control of our schedule because of the sheer amount that must be accomplished. This summer I find myself standing on the precipice of the coming school year wondering how to avoid the imbalances that we inevitably experience. How to keep life in control? How to create balance for our family? I think these ideas might help.

1. Say yes
Look for the things that only you can do. Only you can have your own relationship with Jesus each day. Only you can be a wife to your own husband. Only you can be a mom to your own kids. There are many things that you can do, but just a few that can be done only by you. These are things that you say yes to first.

2. Say no
A much harder task. No one likes to be the bad guy who says no when asked for help. I try to be available in the important areas, but during the school year, I try not to pick up any extra responsibilities. An example of this is children's author Kristi Holl, who gave up going to any kind of house party in order to preserve her writing time, which was getting eaten up by unimportant extra activities. In a business vein, evaluate your time usage and check whether activities are going to pay you, or make you pay. 

3. Say maybe
Use caution when making commitments. THINK IT OVER FIRST!
If you are married and/or a parent, then there are other people in your life who depend on you in some capacity. They need to be considered before you make time commitments. This consideration takes time and should not be done on the fly. Weigh the pros and cons before you make a final commitment. 

Also, note the difference between considering and consulting. Children should be considered. Your spouse should be consulted. In society as we know it nowadays, adults often allow their children to call the shots for the family schedule. This is not healthy for children, who will end up thinking the world revolves around them as a result, or the parents, who will be run ragged trying to do everything on the calendar. You are the leader. Your children must adapt their schedule to yours first and foremost. (Some friends of ours allow each of their three children to choose only one extra-curricular activity to keep their family balanced.)

4. Get into the Word and remember: life wasn't meant to be stressful. 
Although God created you with the resilience to endure great pressure, He doesn't want you to live under it daily. We're not supposed to be anxious for anything. We like to blame our schedules for our problems, but a lot of us have created the stress in our own lives by not making good decisions for ourselves or our families. By being grounded in the Word of God, you'll make better choices. God has a destiny for you and for each member of your family. As you press in for the wisdom and understanding He has put in His Word for you, the right choices will be more obvious. It will be easier to hear that quiet voice of the Holy Spirit guiding you daily. Life will still be busy, but you'll have the balance that you long for. 

If you have more ideas for maintaining balance, share them with us all!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Some thoughts

A chore done because it must be done can be onerous, but when it is done to bless another, it becomes a task of beauty rather than a task of duty. 

Lasting marriages are developed by those who can not count only to ten, but far beyond.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bible Camp Reflections

I'm still pondering on this one, but I noticed something about last week during Bible Camp. I had more peace running through the building making sure my department was operating smoothly than I usually do during a week at home. Hmmm, I thought. How can that be? Camp is such an intense week of ministry, with volunteers hither and yon that I'm responsible for. How can that be less stressful? I surely wasn't expecting that going in; that's for sure. In fact, how could a camp with so much going on be perfectly peaceful? 

I think there are a couple of reasons. The first is that I know this is what I'm supposed to do. Ministering to children is where I belong in the church, and I'm certain of it. It's not glamorous, and there are probably more than a few people who don't consider working with children as serious ministry, but it is a whole lot of fun and a ton easier than trying to get through to tough-hided adults. We get to change the future of these children before it begins. 

The second is that my family is so kind as to allow me to put the rest of life entirely on standby while I serve this one week at church. It's our family's ministry priority in the summer, and for a solid week I don't feel pulled in ten different directions. 

The third is that I don't do Bible Camp in my own ability. If I did, I'd probably pull my hair out and run screaming from the building. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and there are probably lots of people who could do the job better than me. But it's better to be the person who does what he does because he trusts God in order to do it rather than the person who does what he does because he thinks he can do it alone. (I'd hate to diagram that sentence.) 

So all in all, I had a very peaceful week, and I'm sad that Bible Camp is over. It's one of the most restful weeks I have all year long! 

Friday, June 19, 2009

Do you ever feel like life it running in circles around you like a small child, and you're trying to keep an eye on it? I felt a little like that this week. My portion of painting our little townhouse is almost done. It took me awhile, but it looks nice. Bible Camp will be on us next week, and all the materials are almost ready. Chemistry is all that remains of school of the year, and we're working hard to finish it out. But I'm looking forward to a little rest coming up soon.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Book of the Week Pick: Snow Treasure (Great Summer Reading)

It may seem as though all of my book picks are in the genre of historical fiction, but I'm really more diverse in my reading that it appears. However, for this week's book of the week pick, I'm still choosing Snow Treasure, by Marie McSwigan, since it has long been a favorite of our entire family.

Set during World War II, Snow Treasure is the story of several Norwegian children whose lives are shaken by the Nazi invasion. As the Nazis invade, the small group of children from Riswyk find it necessary to risk their own lives in a daring plan to keep the gold of Norway out of enemy hands by sledding it down the mountain under the very noses of the invaders. Will the snow hold long enough for them to accomplish the task? Will the children be found out? Who is the Nazi soldier who has been seen poking around the village so often? You'll have to read to find out, and once you start, you won't be able to put it down.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Don't Fence Me In

Do you ever wonder how to answer those questionnaires that ask for your occupation? Have you noticed that they only allow you to check one box in a long list? What kind of person does just one thing? And since when is a person defined by what he or she does, anyway? 

I find questionnaires troubling because I never know how to answer them. If I say I'm a homemaker, then what about writing? If I say I'm a writer, then what about home schooling? And do they even count home schoolers as teachers? And what about the really important things that aren't listed, like being a wife and a mom? Who makes up these goofy questionnaires, anyway? How do they answer the questions? I've never seen questionnaire maker as a choice on those lists even once.

This has been bothering me for some time. Any comments?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Book of the week review and on the writing trail

MY BOOK PICK OF THE WEEK REVIEW: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch was the winner of the Newberry medal in 1956. It is a tremendous book telling the true life story of mathematical genius and self-taught man Nathaniel Bowditch, who saved many lives by creating The American Practical Navigator. What true character is revealed as Nathaniel, indentured as a boy because his father could not afford to keep him, much less send him to Harvard to take advantage of his mathematical ability, sails by "ash-breeze" through many difficulties in life to eventually write a book which saves the lives of many sailors by teaching every simple man to find his location on the sea. I was impressed by the strength of his character and the self-sacrifice which enabled him to teach sailors and even cabin boys the skills which would save their lives time and again. Also a tale of adventure on the high seas, our children were on the edge of their seats as we read this book with them. A must for every family's library of best-loved books.

On a personal note:

Okay. Down to brass tacks. This has a been a discouraging writing week, but I did send out Melba Sue and the Cactus Kid to two publishers. One as a query, so I should hear back more quickly from that one. The other as a full manuscript, which is more normal for picture books. But I'm also researching the magazine market, because picture books have word lengths which make them possibles there too, although the rhythm tends to be a little different. I feel good about getting something OUT the door. 

I'm going to contact the editor who has Diabolical Chickens and Hogwash in about a month to see what's up with those. (That's only because I know the editor, folks. I've worked with her in a typesetting capacity, and she said it was okay to send her two manuscripts. But since I didn't get her through the directories, I don't know their time frame for response on manuscripts. That's why I'll drop her a line to find out the status.)

And it's very demoralizing to have someone publish a picture book with the same name you have for your book (i.e. Hogwash) after you've labored over the thing for months. And I can't change the name. That's the problem. I can't call it Baloney, or anything like that. Believe me, it wouldn't be the same, although it is not about washing hogs. I may have to take that one to the magazine market, also.

But what I'm learning is that it's the journey that is really going to produce the results I want. It's a little like faith. The point of faith isn't to see the result. The point of faith is to believe no matter what you see. Also, the point of writing isn't necessarily to see it in print, although that's nice. The point of writing is to write. As you write, you grow and develop as long as you don't quit. So keep writing!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Whew. Busy, busy, busy. School is almost done, but we're still working on a few tail-ends (Chemistry). For those of you who are interested in our progress on the little townhouse we bought to fix up and resell, it's coming along fine. The granite countertops are beautiful. I look at my own 50's laminate with metal edge and sigh. But the kitchen is almost done, so I'm glad. I feel like I've been mom at a distance for the past few weeks. I'll be finishing the painting upstairs and then my personal portion will be about finished. (Hurray!!!)

Honestly, I don't have a lot to share today. We said good bye to our good friends, the Bochs, since tomorrow they set out for the East. I mowed lawn (a good time for thinking), and burned brush (more thinking), and roasted hot dogs (because it seemed like a good use for the burning brush). I chased chickens because they seem to think my hastas are gourmet salad which magically pops out of the ground. The magic is almost over, thanks to them. I am very relieved that they do not care for iris or peonies.

Although I've had to lay aside writing just long enough to get that townhouse done, several manuscripts are currently out: Diabolical Chickens, Cluck Lays an Egg, and Hogwash. One is ready to go: Melba Sue and the Cactus Kid. A few are in the works, particularly Mule Hollow and Q (about quantum physics). The quantum one is a slow go, unless anyone out there knows a quantum physicist I can talk to a little.

Anyway, I'm off to paint. Have a great evening!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hope for Stubborn People!

This morning I was talking to my kids about Proverbs 12:27. 
"A slothful man does not roast his prey, But the precious possession of a man is diligence."
Of course, I want my kids to be diligent, so I thought it was important to go over this as we finish up our year. It's usually when I talk with my kids about something that I see more than I did before.

Success is not about ability

The slothful man actually had some prey. He had something to work with, but it didn't matter.
He was either too lazy to do anything about it, or he didn't recognize the potential of what he had in his hands. I began to wonder how many times I had missed out because I didn't see the potential under my nose. 

Diligence is a precious possession

Being able to stick to something and not give up is a precious possession. It's more valuable than ability, connections, looks, personality, or intelligence. How many times have we heard of the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise represents diligence. The hare represents ability. There are limitations to ability, but diligence doesn't have limitations unless you quit.


Groan. It's nice when things come easy. But people who experience easy success usually don't achieve the success they have the potential for because they don't cultivate the diligence necessary to keep going when it's not fun or easy. So when you're stubborn in the right way, it's a good thing. Be stubborn about being diligent!

So what did I learn today?

1. Be diligent, even when you don't feel like it. Just the act of being diligent is precious beyond anything you can gain by it.

2. Teach your kids to be diligent, or you'll spend your life running around picking up after them, and they'll be hampered forever by their own laziness. 

3. If the baby is spitting up, hand it to someone else. (This doesn't have anything to do with diligence, but is good advice anyway unless you like to be gooey.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Naming a writing group is going to be harder than I thought

Gee, who knew that blogs could be so much fun. They're nothing like going to the dentist, or anything like that. No wonder so many people blog. 

Our writers' critique group got together this week after a couple of weeks off, and we're trying to think of a good name for ourselves, now that we've been meeting for over a year. We didn't agree on anything yet, but we're open to suggestions. (What we did agree on was that it should be clever, so that means our work is cut out for us.)

Wishful Inking
Forty Inks
Positive Inking

Definitely Nots:
The Ink of Disaster
I Ink Not
Just Write It
Write, Right?
Mrs Always Write
Dead to Writes
A Word in the Hand...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm beginning to wonder how many times I'm going to write something and erase it again on this thing. It probably happens to other bloggers too. There's suddenly this tremendous pressure of self-publishing your thoughts on the internet that seems to dictate you must have something tremendous to say.

But I really don't. So if you're looking for something earth-shattering, this is probably not the blog for you. But if you're looking for a normal person who does goofy things once in awhile, you're in the right place.

This is what I learned today:

1. Raccoons are very noisy when they fight in the back yard, and they don't care who knows it. (We heard them screaming at each other when I came home from my writers' group meeting, and they were very loud. Whatever they said in raccoon should probably not be repeated in polite company.)

2. It is always best to make sure you put your wallet back in your purse before driving to a new location so you have it when you get there. This is particularly so if you want to buy anything at the second location.

3. There is a big difference between having a child who thinks he might throw up and a child who actually does.  The first kind is not nearly as messy.

Have a great night.