Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Careful What You Wish For

Last week on the long drive to horse riding lessons, daughter sang, loudly and well, the same song. All the way there. After two hours with horses, we hopped back in the car for the ride back, and she launched back into the same song as if she'd never left it: Galump went the little green frog one day!... I asked her to read me her library book aloud, twice, instead.

So, last night, when we got into the car and began the same drive, the song popped back into her head: Hey, mom! Remember last week when I sang this song all the way there? Galump...

I realized we had no homework to do. No library book to read. I had not planned well. It was going to be two very long drives.

Me: Can you think of something different?
Daughter: Like what?
Me: Like anything?
Daughter: Oh, like "camel poop"?
Me: Yeah...
Daughter: Antelope poop? Caribou poop?
Me: Uh-huh. Okay.
Daughter: Bear poop, elephant poop...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ks SCBWI Conference Year 2

So I went to the Kansas Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference last Friday night and all day Saturday. I went last year as well, and my brain just about burst with all the new information. I wondered idly if, now that I was savvy and dug in, if I would feel the same way about Year 2.

Yep. Only this time, I found I was learning less "new stuff" about genres, agents, hooks, dialogue and all (not that there isn't a lot more to learn) but that there was room in my head for people. The networking! Last year was a blur of business cards. This year, familiar faces. Fun at the hors d'oeuvres table. Remembering names, at long last.

And I'm happy to report that our regional writers write a LOT!

I have ordered four books from Kansas/Missouri writers at the conference and will post them here once I've read them.

In the meantime, I leave you with this utterly unrelated tidbit, from the grocery store last night, which I should title: You're Not a Biology Major, Are You?

Grocery store checkout guy: [blowing nose, copiously, and at length]
Me: [quietly dismayed, putting groceries on the conveyor belt]
Grocery store checkout guy: [finishes with that tissue, and, dear god, picks up another, and repeats the grisly process then wads up second tissue, and reaches for my keys to scan my barcode]: How are you this evening?
Me: Oh, I'll be fine if you use hand sanitizer now.
Grocery store checkout guy: [freezes in mid-reach, and then looks offended. Makes a great show of asking the other checkout guys and gals if they have hand sanitizer. While using it says in mildly accusatory tone]: I think it's just allergies.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Fun Problem to Have

I am due some writing moneys from pieces coming out in print this fall (yay!). The fun problem is this:

It makes sense to roll the writing money back into writing, and thus help offset the amount for taxes. That much is a given. I could go on a mad spree in a bookstore, of course. Who couldn't? But it makes more sense to buy something longer lasting. Like: a kindle? an electronic notepad? an iphone with e-reader? all of them?!

If you had around 700 to spend on "writing support tools", what would you do with it?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

SCBWI extravaganza!

This week I'm in writer's heaven. Last Sunday I drove to Kansas City to meet with my critique group peeps and had a fun time (always a blast in Borders, especially with some writing money to spend!). This week: lots of time with the YA novel on my computer, and am having fun reading The Shifter (YA) while I wait for my next cool read to be delivered (This World We Live In).

This coming weekend: back to Kansas City for the SCBWI annual conference there. Had a blast last year, and came away with lots of good info and had fun schmoozing with like-minded folks. Can't wait!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Love Me a Good Book

The other morning after taking the kids into school, hubby and I were walking back to the car when another mom friend called across the street to us. She asked: If you could do anything at all today, what would it be?

Ever wary of striking deals that might backfire, I asked a question or two of my own in reply: With kids, or without? On our current income?

Anything, she replied.

Well, it so happens that I was two books into a threequel, and had already checked the local library and bookstore for number three to no avail. Friend has it on her kindle, but as it's her phone it doesn't really matter that I'm a fast reader; she's holding out on me. So I've ordered from amazon, and am now in bookless limbo.

Oh, I have books. I have them in several rooms of the house and all over the office. The books by the bed were all selected by me as fun-future-reads. But they may as well not exist. I just want book three!

And the only good thing about frustrated instant gratification is that I get to enjoy the agony of knowing I love me a good stay-in-bed-and-turn-the-pages-til-it's-done book.

So, with kids or without, on my current income or not, on a plane or on a train, that's how I'd have spent the day. Preferably with some heavy rain on the roof, and a snack supply. (And kudos to hubby: he answered "with her"--and he meant me! Even though I was briefly annoyed in my book-in-bed-rain-on-the-roof fantasy, because I immediately thought he'd be snoring and that wasn't in my fantasy at all.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jury's Out

Son is lately obsessed with imagined scenarios in which two forces clash. Which would win?

Son: Humans vs. all the spiders in the world.
Me: [Shudder.] Spiders. Humans have to sleep.
Son: What if we didn't?
Me: Then humans. But if we won, there'd be too many bugs.
Son: What if we left some of the big and most poisonous spiders to be carnivores?
Me: [Shudder.] Let's not.

Son: Yoda vs. Dumbledore.
Me: I don't think they'd fight.
Son: But what if they did? I'm betting on Dumbledore. He can do levi corpus.
Me: Yoda can levi his own corpus.
Son: Expelliarmus?
Me: Yoda doesn't bear arms.
Son, rolling his eyes: Light sabre, mom.
Me: Okay. I think magic might beat the Force. But the Force is life, and Dumbledore wouldn't do anything anti-Life, so I don't think they'd fight.
Son, rolling his eyes: But what if they did?

Friday, September 3, 2010


Hubby: Cruds.
Son: Dad!
Hubby: What?
Son: You said "cruds."
Hubby: That's not bad.
Son: Oh. Not like "son of a b****"?
Hubby: Uh. Yeah. Not like that.