Friday, September 25, 2009

Little Things Mean A LOT

A couple of weeks ago, my stepdaughter texted me a cryptic question. "What size shirt do you wear?" This week the question was, "How long does it take mail to get from here to there, or there to here?"

Thursday I received a package. In it was the shirt pictured on this blog.

It's probably not a huge deal to most people, but to me it meant that she really does know me. She doesn't know the detailed history I have with this movie, but she does know I like it. A LOT. And that works for me.

Labyrinth was the movie I best identified with as a child. The very first version of my book, The Peasant Queen, was heavily influenced by my love for that movie. Over time the story evolved until now the only remnant of the movie is my hero is named Jareth. (yeah, I know the bad guy in the movie has that name but I like it, and I liked him for the most part)

I love the movie. I love the shirt. And I love her. It's a good thing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What do Moms do all day?

A friend put this on Facebook and I had to share!

What do you do all day??

A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pyjamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and 20 wrappers strewn all around the front yard.

The door of his wife's car was open, and so the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.

In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on
the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of
clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that
something serious had happened.

He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the
bathroom door.

As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys
strewn over the floor.

Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the
bed in her pyjamas, reading a novel.

She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.

He looked at her bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?'

She again smiled and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?'

Yes,' was his incredulous reply.

She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it.'

Send this page to a woman. This is Priceless.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Made it!

Ok, I had my doubts at first but I did manage to survive the weekend. And I actually enjoyed myself, despite everything I missed back home.

Let's face it, we're hardwired for guilt as moms. And going away for the weekend when your child has something going on, even if it's to further your career or even if you can't get out of it, makes you feel like sludge. I'm so good at this I unintentionally punish myself. Sure, I'll go, but you can't make me like it. I'll actually "plan" to have a miserable time.

Before I left, and we're talking the 11th hour, I got some incredibly sage advice from someone who knows me better than I know myself. He told me to go and have a good time. Certainly I should be open to learning whatever comes along, but I shouldn't focus on learning so diligently that it prevents me from having fun. Does He know me or what?

I spent the hour and a half drive out there concentrating on relaxing my jaw. I'm amazed my teeth aren't all hopelessly cracked from the constant pressure they're under. I clench my teeth so much I don't even notice until I relax. It's pretty pathetic, but there you are.

The weekend was great. I had a fabulous time. I laughed. I talked to perfect strangers. I smiled at people I don't even know. And some I do know. I handed out my business card (mostly to show off my book cover, but oh well). And I did learn a thing or two--good stuff, important things that will make me a better author.

And now that I don't have to get up insanely early each morning, I know what to do with the extra time I have in the evenings.

Monday, September 14, 2009


My baby made it in the play!

Ironically, none of the other kids got a part, but the little 5 year old, the definition of "precocious" got a spot in the mini cast. My beautiful, caring, exuberant child is performing in her first community play this Saturday.


This is one of those things I'm going to have to take day by day, play by ear, etc. I'll probably waffle back and forth half a dozen times between now and Saturday. I may stay through the Saturday banquet at Roundup, or I may cut out early so I can see the second performance at 7. I have to plan the drive into my timing and all, since Midway to Tooele isn't a short trip.

I want to see her on stage. As a mom, I know the video tape isn't going to be enough. Parents miss their kids' milestones because of distance, jobs, divorce, etc. And if I want to be considered an author, I should consider this trip part of my job. But, like every other working parent, I have to find the balance between work and family that I can live with.

Wish me luck!

Double Whammy

Early this year I committed to attend the League of Utah Writer's annual author roundup. It's part of the continued commitment to my writing, to take time and (family) money and attend regular conventions and author gatherings to connect with others like me and to improve myself as an author.

I paid my dues as a member of the League, and later committed to share a hotel with another author (it's fun making new friends) and send in my registration and payment for the Roundup. And then I got hit with life.

My son, the one who doesn't like trying new things, brought me the flier for a play and begged me to try out. How can I say no to that? He wants to broaden his horizons, stretch as a person and perform in a play. I'm thrilled. But guess what? They have this fantastic one week timeline where the auditions are Monday (today) and the performances are Saturday (while I'll be in Midway at Roundup). Wait, hold the phone. My kids are auditioning for a play with likely success and I'm going to miss their performance??? Talk about sacrifice!

Then my local bookstore, The Purple Cow, is having Brandon Mull and Lisa Mangum out for this great author fest thing Saturday. And I'm going to miss it. I need some explanation from the universe about why everything is happening the same weekend.

Sure, if it was any other weekend I'd take the kids down and we'd visit with the authors and partake of their wisdom, but let's be honest. I want to see my kids in the play. Even if only one of them is accepted I want to see them on stage. It's their first performance of anything outside of those mandatory school performances where everyone participates. And for at least one of them, I suspect it might be the beginning of a life love of acting in plays.

Why can't mothers clone themselves?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

When Life comes back to Haunt You

My kids are grateful---though they don't know it---that I still remember being a kid. That's why I can sympathize with my son about his stolen bike, instead of bemoaning the expense of replacing it and his irresponsibility that got it stolen in the first place. What I haven't yet told him is his experience brought back vivid memories of when my own bicycle was stolen.

Unlike my son I had earned the money for my bike myself. I had worked and saved and put a bike on layaway (when they still had layaway), making small payments on it every week until it was paid off. I'd had it only a few short months when I rode it to the store and left it outside.

Like my son, I was old enough to know better. I knew I needed to lock it up but didn't. I was only going to be in the store a few minutes, after all. How many times do we use that justification?

Of course, when I came out of the store my bike was gone. I told a policeman, filled out a report, but nothing happened. It was Phoenix after all.

This morning he got up and was mid-way through his morning when he remembered about his bike. I explained to him how his inaction is in part responsible for his bike being stolen. It's like when we're told to lock our car. An unlocked car is easier to steal, just like an unlocked bike. We aren't done talking about it. I plan to share my experience with him. We just might go through the motions of filing a police report, if we can remember enough details to make the bike identifiable.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm gonna gripe a little

A couple weeks ago, one of my older brothers was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Because of construction on the freeway onramps, he took 900 East in Provo home on his motorcycle. Just after turning onto 900 East he noticed the car in the right lane was going slow and glanced back to check traffic to go around her. When he looked forward again a split second later, the car was across both lanes making a Uturn from the right lane. He locked up the tire and slid into her car.

But here's the problem. She happens to be an 18 yr old in the car with another 18 yr old and a 17 yr old and, apparently, would rather lie than get into trouble. She claims to be in the middle lane preparing to make a Uturn when my brother's motorcycle hit her car. If she was in the freakin' middle lane what the heck would he be doing hitting her car????

Thanks to crappy report taking on the part of the officers, which includes taking everyone else's statements but my brother's, he's struggling with insurance company crap and all sorts of nonsense--along with medical bills and bike repairs--none of which should be his responsibility. That young driver made a stupid move and is lucky she didn't kill someone. But her insurance company denied my brother's claim, saying he's half at fault.

His only fault was being on that road at the same time as this kid. Right now I just hate the crap insurance companies force us to go through and then deny the claim anyway. If he files with his insurance company it's like admitting liability and that's a load of crap. So now he has to look into getting a lawyer.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me...

I won't go on because that sounds silly even in my head.

I'm not a huge fan of my own birthday, but not for the reasons you may think. I'm a horrible gift receiver. Really, I am. I hate it when people get things for me. Bryan had to pester me for weeks till I finally broke down and let him get me something last weekend. It's especially hard when it's him because I know the money we don't have and I don't want to spend it on me.

It goes back to my childhood, but I also hate the pressure surrounding birthdays. When you think about it, it's just another day. And 34 isn't a landmark birthday, like 21 or 30 or 40. So what's the big deal?

See how bad I am with this? It's even harder with kids. They're THRILLED it's your birthday. Can't wait to tell EVERYONE. I hate that kind of attention.

I'm not the kind who obsesses about getting older. I don't bemoan missed opportunities or lost chances. While I believe in learning from my past I see no need to dwell there.

So I'll slap on my happy face for my family and just ignore how I personally feel about today.