Thursday, January 31, 2008

Simple and Ordinary Things

Recently I was thinking about the title of my blog. The Simple and the Ordinary. It comes from a line in a song by the monks of the Weston Priory: "take the simple and the ordinary and turn it into the happy and wonderful, you can do it every day". What a great way to try to live.

But do I live up to it? Despite the fact that I created a cross-stitch with that on it (see picture in sidebar) or used it for my title. Do I take make the simple and the ordinary happy and wonderful - or do I get bogged down in the simple and ordinary?

Sometimes, truthfully, I get bogged down: Kids don't want to do homework, dinner needs to be made, foot hurts, nasty weather is predicted. My days often seem very simple and ordinary.

But I need to remember the second half: turn it into the happy and wonderful.

And honestly - though my life may appear quite simple and ordinary - it truly is happy and wonderful - I just have to remember that. Every day.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Big Questions...

... always come when they're supposed to be in bed. Did you ever notice that?

Anyway, tonight Pippi and I were looking at some old prayer books (the one I gave her for her first communion was given to me by my great-aunt on the occasion of my First Communion - and given to her by her mother (my great-grandmother) on her First Communion in 1917.) So the question was: In CCD we're taught to love God and to pray. I've got that down. I understand that, but it seems like there's a piece missing. What else are we supposed to do?

What else indeed? Isn't that kind of the main question of life?

So I reminded her of Jesus' commandments: Love God above all things. And what else?

"To love our neighbor as ourselves" she said.

That's it. I answered. That's the other thing. And not just saying you love them - I reminded - but actually doing things.

"Actions speak louder than words," she said.


"Like giving to the poor. Like working in the food pantry?"


"I like doing that." she mused.

"And being patient with someone when you don't feel like it," I said. Thinking of how little patience she and her brother had for each other this afternoon.

"I have to work on that one."

Jesus said that whatever we do to the least of his brothers we do to him. We need to look for the Jesus in others and treat people accordingly. We love God by loving his children. It's a lesson I know I need reminders of from time to time. And as Lent quickly approaches, it's a very timely reminder indeed.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday's Proverb

A scoundrel, a villain, is he who deals in crooked talk. He winks his eyes, shuffles his feet, makes signs with his fingers; He has perversity in his heart, is always plotting evil, sows discord. Therefore suddenly ruin comes upon him; in an instant he is crushed beyond cure. (Proverbs 6:13-15)

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Little Star Power

My sister-in-law called this evening to tell me that my husband's cousin was on TV. Okay - yes, I find out things in a round-about way. Anyway, Kim was competing on American Gladiators. So, although we hadn't been planning on watching it, I hurried the kids to the TV so we could watch Kim compete. We had missed the first half of the show. In the first competition we saw Kim in she did pretty well. Then we watched the men compete. And then it was the final eliminations for the women.

Kim was upbeat and cheery (I've never seen her any other way) and optimistic. Unfortunately she faltered - and lost badly. But even at the end - she was still upbeat and (maybe not quite as) cheery. She'd done her best. She'd tried hard. The wall had given her a hard time - but she hadn't given up. She hadn't won - but she'd given it her all.

And isn't that the way of life - you can give it your all, you can be confident and ready - and still not make it. But when you don't make it - you hold your head up high and know that just competing makes you a winner; that obstacles may stand in your way - but they don't stop you. And what better lesson to teach my kids. And they could even get the lesson from the star in the family.

Thanks Kim.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Poetry Friday - Robert Burns

In honor of Scottish Poet Robert Burns' birthday (249 years ago) I thought I'd dig up a little of his poetry.

O, My Luve's like a red, red rose
by Robert Burns

O, My Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
O, my Luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
Read the rest of the poem here.
The Poetry Friday round-up this week is at Mentor Texts.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

To Change the World...

... it just takes one small act at a time. Via Danielle Bean's web site I found that the band Five for Fighting will donate 40 cents to children's Autism research every time this video is played online. Snopes verifies that this is true.

So, go view the video. It's a beautiful tribute to a lovely little girl. And it is one small way to help change the world.

Autism touched our world when my nephew was diagnosed as a toddler. Tomorrow he'll be seven years old. He's a very bright, charming boy who is in a regular first grade class. He's come a long way, but there are still challenges to overcome. Watch the video and help change the world for children like him.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hamlet Again

Way back in May the kids and I started reading Hamlet. But we didn't really get far. One scene. And then summer intervened. You always think you're going to have more time for that sort of thing in the summer - but you don't (at least we d0n't).

But recently we were re-inspired. And so we're trying to do at least one scene a night. We're almost to Act II. Soon the ghost will speak.

Like when we read A Midsummer Night's Dream we are using the No Fear Shakespeare series. It has regular English on one page and the original Shakespeare on the other. First we read a page of regular English - so we have some idea of what's going on. And then the Shakespeare. Shakespeare's language is beautiful, but his vocabulary is definitely dated and without the 'regular English' translation even I'd have a hard time figuring out what he was talking about sometimes.

As we read the other night the kids had an 'ah ha moment' when Polonius gives Laertes advice. And that advice includes "neither a borrower or a lender be" and "to thy own self be true". They perked up on hearing this. They knew those phrases. And what bastion of high culture had enabled them to be familiar with these fine Shakespearean phrases? Why Gilligan's Island of course.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday's Proverb

How long, O sluggard, will you rest? when will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest-- Then will poverty come upon you like a highway man, and want like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:9-11)

Monday, January 21, 2008

The New Edition of The Edge of the Forest is up

The January edition of The Edge of the Forest is now available. The Edge of the Forest is now entering it's third year of publication. Kelly has created a tremendous product with it. Congratulations to her.

There are a lot of great features in this issue including:
And I even wrote for it this month; interviewing some of my daughter's class mates (and my daughter) for this month's Kid Picks.

So head on over and enjoy.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Question Upon Awakening

I woke up this morning to this question from Harry: "Do you and Daddy ever switch sides of the bed?"

I opened one eye and looked at him, standing there, on my side of the bed. "No," I answered.

"What do you think would happen if you did?" he asked.

"Nothing," I answered, but what I was thinking was then maybe he'd wake up his father with these queries and not me. Something to think about.

I'm a Little Bit Country...

... And I'm a little bit Rock-n-Roll.

Yes, I'm channeling the Osmonds. And why is that? Yesterday I was watching some clips of various Donny and Marie shows on YouTube. Pippi started watching with me. She was really enjoying them - and wanted more more more - but we needed to make dinner.

And that got me thinking. When Marie Osmond started doing the show she was sixteen and Donny was eighteen. Truly teen stars. It's sad to look at some of the young stars that are around these days. Though I'm sure the seventies had its share of messed-up young people too. They certainly had funny hair dos (as pointed out by my daughter - after watching clips from Donny and Marie, the Brady Bunch, Welcome Back Kotter and All in the Family. "What's with the hair?" she kept asking. I just answered "It was the seventies") But Donny and Marie were people that could safely admired and looked up to. Any foibles they might have had were kept safely hidden from the public.

When the Donny and Marie show was on I was quite the fan. In fact I even have Donny and Marie dolls. Yes, I do. (Go ahead and mock me, Kris, I know you want to.) I have a record album too. I even have the novelization of the movie they did: "Goin' Coconuts."

Kids often want to "be" the pop star. And I was no exception. Luckily there was a kid down the street who felt the same way. We would play Donny and Marie and put on shows. We sang along to pop music (there are still some songs I can't hear without thinking of our performances) and put on skits. Occasionally we'd try to perform for people - but mainly it was for ourselves. I was Marie, of course, he was Donny and his younger sister took the role of Jimmy Osmond and we had a grand time.

Thank you for indulging me this bizarre trip down memory lane. As I'm thinking about it all, I'm trying to decide if it's too bad that video cameras weren't common yet when we put on those shows, or glad that there is no recorded proof of our attempts.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Book Meme

I was tagged by Esther over at A Catholic Mother in Hawaii for a Book Meme. Now, I know I was tagged for another book meme like two months ago - and I still haven't gotten to that one - but that one requires thought and this one - not so much.

The rules are:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

"As we approached from the airport, the bishop pointed out a village. In the middle of the village was a ghost house-the house tambaran.

"I remember vividly my first acquaintance with a ghost house."

And now I'm going to leave you hanging there - don't you want to know more about ghost houses?

The book is "Maria: the true story of the beloved heroine of The Sound of Music" by Maria von Trapp.

It's too bad those were the chosen sentences, I rather like the ones where she's with Bob Hope and he introduces her to Jack Benny who he calls the second greatest comedian in the country, and she asks him "who's the greatest?" Or the time she's visiting a cannibal tribe and asks which part tastes best. But, you'll have to satisfied with ghost houses.

Now I have to tag people.




PJ Hoover


Friday, January 18, 2008

Poetry Friday

I came across this poem the other week when looking for something for Poetry Friday. I decided to save it until today - because today my husband turns 42 (and I'll be there a few months from now). I don't know that I've ever thought of falling down on a balloon - but it's good to have options.

The Morning Walk
by A.A. Milne

When Anne and I go on a walk,
We hold each other's hand and talk
Of all the things we mean to do
When Anne and I are forty-two.

And when we've thought about a thing,
Like bowling hoops or bicycling,
Or falling down on Anne's balloon,
We do it in the afternoon.

Becky is hosting the Poetry Friday round-up over at Farm School.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Purpose of First Drafts

It's been awhile since I've written a true first draft of a novel - no taking this bit from that old story or re-making the character into someone new. And now that I find myself faced with a first draft, I was stymied for awhile.

But then I remembered the purpose of first drafts (at least for me). It's to get the story down on paper. The story that I can later change and alter and play with and revise. But first I have to have a story. So I'm not worrying about making it pretty. I'm not worrying about if this scene or that is totally necessary. I'm not concerning myself with having the most descriptive language or unique metaphors. I'm getting the story down on paper - and that's a good thing.

Profile Picture

I've added a picture to my profile.

The picture is not of me.

It's of my maternal grandmother as a child (I stole the idea from Liz).

Just in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Roller Skating

Last night our school had a "roller skating night" at the local United Skates. My kids enjoy skating and have their own roller blades. And it's fun when you know a lot of the people someplace. So off we went (and no, I didn't skate, before you ask) for a night of skating.

It's fun to watch little kids skate. Some are very timid. Taking tiny little steps while a parent guides them around the floor. Some, not much bigger, skate with wild abandon, wiping out frequently and spectacularly and then getting back up to do it all over again. There are kids who hug the wall and kids who head right for the middle of the rink.

This year, as a fifth grader, Pippi was one of the oldest kids (aside from middle-school siblings who attended). When she was small she would skate timidly and cautiously. Making her way around in the way of the tortoise - slow and steady wins the race (or at least gets you around the rink). Now she's a lot more comfortable on skates, but she still takes no chances. She does what she feels comfortable with - no more.

When Harry started skating he was one of the wild abandon kids (okay, no real surprise there). But he's actually mellowed some. He prefers not to fall now.

I think there is a metaphor for life in all this. It's interesting because Pippi is a kid who prefers to not to leave her comfort zone in most things. A challenge? No thanks (unless it involves acting - then it's a different story). And Harry attacks each new challenge with gusto - determined to master anything put in his way.

I wonder how that pans out for the other kids that were on the rink. Do the kids hugging the wall play it safe in the rest of their life? Do the kids who don't mind wiping out over and over again accept challenges and give them their all?

And what does it say about me - who won't put on skates - because when I was in middle school I wasn't crazy about roller skating and can't convince myself it would be any better now? Maybe it's best not to contemplate these things too deeply.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tuesday's Proverb

Go to the ant, O sluggard, study her ways and learn wisdom; For though she has no chief, no commander or ruler, She procures her food in the summer, stores up her provisions in the harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8)

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Little on Writing

Today I finished my Work in Progress. 81,000 words. It was actually a revision - a second draft. But there were huge departures from the first - so parts of it felt like I was writing it from scratch. There were times I didn't think I'd ever get through the last third of it. But today the ending came to me (it came sooner than I was expecting, I thought I had another couple of chapters). And it's done. Now my wonderful writing critique group gets a go at it.

Now I can go back to the story that I was tracking my progress on in the progress meter on the sidebar. Poor little progress meter, abandoned for so long. Hopefully there will be some movement there soon (Hopefully I'll remember how to update the progress meter!)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Baptism of the Lord

My daughter's birthday was yesterday - but the year she was born, the 12th was a Sunday. And it was the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Now, for obvious reasons, I didn't make it to mass that day (my husband managed to at the hospital). But of course I'll always connect that feast day with my daughter's birth. And, it's interesting to note that one of my brothers was baptized on the Feast day of the Baptism of the Lord - he was also born on Christmas Eve (I suppose a person could be tempted to have visions of grandeur because of that - but he was the youngest of four - we kept him humble)

But since my daughter's birth, there is one thing that I always associate with this feast day (besides her birth of course) and that is the letter I got from my grandfather a couple of days after our daughter was born.

Dear Christine and Adrian:

We are so glad that the long days of waiting for the birth of your baby are over.

Anne called us last Sunday at 9AM to tell us that you were at the hospital in labor. We got his message just before we left for the 9:30 Mass at St. Charles. This is a quite a struggle for us during the winter. I have to get out of our house through the back door on my butt and then get into the wheelchair and let Ruth push me to the car in the garage. Luckily I do not have any trouble driving. We left our wheelchair at home and transferred to another wheelchair at the church.

Richard, who had gone to the 8:30 Mass, was waiting for us and pushed me into the church. I sat, as usual, in the space between the front pew and the altar. Ruth sat in the pew right behind me.

The 9:30 Mass was for the children who, upon signal, left their pews and sat on the altar steps alongside the priest, who baptized a baby a few feet in front of us and then gave a little talk about the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (Mark 1:7-11).

Then he let the children participate in the baptism in this manner: He had a big bundle of small branches from Christmas trees and gave two or three to each child. Then adults, each carrying a large bowl of water, took their places at the entrance to each aisle.

The priest then spoke to the children something like this: "Now I want you to do the baptizing. The whole idea is to get the people wet, like this." He dipped their branches into water and swung them over the people!

I spoke to Father Ed Palumbos at the end of this ceremony and told him that we were expecting another great-grandchild at any moment now. He congratulated us and gave his best wishes for the parents.

I was deeply impressed by the ceremony, and thought of you in labor. We went to the CharBroil Restaurant for breakfast. We got a call from Anne that you delivered a baby girl at 5:05 PM.

To Christine and Adrian: May this little girl be a source of happiness to you all the days of your life.

Grandma (Ruth), Grandpa (Leo) and Uncle Richard.

Is it any wonder that I think of this letter when this feast day rolls around.

And my grandfather's blessing has proven apt as well - so far she has truly been a source of happiness to us. I wish he could know her now.

A Blogiversary

I was wondering when I started this blog - and lo and behold, it was two years ago today.

Does that mean I'm entering my terrible twos now?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Today is her Birthday

Eleven years ago today I welcomed my daughter into this world. She made me wait for her arrival. She was four days late and then I spent many hours in labor. But when she finally made her entrance she was a beautiful little girl. We were instantly smitten - and have remained so to this day.

She has grown into a lovely young lady. No longer a little child, she has a splendid character and a great sense of self. I am very proud to be able to call her my daughter.

So today was her birthday - and we celebrated by attending her brothers first penance ceremony and then with a gathering of the family. She got lots of blank books for writing in (and is thrilled by all the paper she has to fill now) and the greatest surprise gift was the pocket knife from her aunt and uncle.

Apparently when I was fifteen and returned from my first visit to Germany, I gave my little brother a Swiss army knife. He was seven at the time. That same little brother told that story to my daughter at Christmas. And Pippi told us all how what she really wanted was a pocket knife. I immediately said no - because she has a habit of stabbing herself with sharp pencils, and a knife didn't seem like a wise choice for her. But she insisted that she hadn't stabbed herself with a pencil in over a year.

But her aunt and uncle were much more sympathetic to her plight. They gave her a pink pocket knife for a birthday present - though they were sure to tape bandages to the back of the package - just in case.

Harry and Comments

My kids both have blogger accounts. And they both have private blogs. Harry wanted to know how to get to my blog from his - so I foolishly gave him a link on his blog. Now he's learned to comment.

So - if you see any weird comments from someone named Harry - that's my boy.


Friday, January 11, 2008

How Lucky I Am

We've had a bit of bad news today. A little reversal of fortune if you will. So there is a certain amount of stress around here.

But my daughter started thinking of a song they sang in their Kids in the Park production of Pinocchio two years ago. The song is actually from Seussical the Musical and it's called "How Lucky You Are"

And the verse we sang to each other (and then put the CD in so we could hear the whole song)

Why decry a cloudy sky
An empty purse
A crazy universe?
My philosophy is simply

Things could be worse.

Here's a clip of the song from a school production:

So. Bad news. But, there is a lot of good in our lives and I'm going to make sure I focus on that. We have great kids, a great extended family, we have a strong marriage and a strong faith. We wish things could be easier sometimes - but - hey "things could be worse".

Poetry Friday

Tomorrow is a big day in our family, it is the day of our son's first penance and it is our daughter's eleventh birthday. It's hard to believe that she is already going to be eleven years old. In honor of the birthday girl, I went looking for a poem that would suit her. The poem that would maybe be best is one that Karen posted today for Poetry Friday.

But then I found this one by Robert Louis Stevenson - so in honor of our birthday girl, I present:

by Robert Louis Stevenson

We see you as we see a face
That trembles in a forest place
Upon the mirror of a pool
Forever quiet, clear and cool;
And in the wayward glass, appears
To hover between smiles and tears,
Elfin and human, airy and true,
And backed by the reflected blue.

The Poetry Friday Round-up is over at The Book Mine Set - so head on over.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Keeping Days

Today Pippi was home sick from school (she's much better now, thank you) and she had finished all the books she'd gotten for Christmas (and she got quite a stack of books, I must say - you can actually find the list at The Edge of the Forest) so she was looking for something to read.

I had just the book. The Keeping Days by Norma Johnston. I first read the six-book series in high school, after being introduced to them by a friend. Since then I have managed to acquire all six books - not an easy feat, since I believe they are all out of print now.

But they are my comfort books. Books that I've read over and over again. And books I had a feeling Pippi would enjoy. But she always had so many books on her 'to read' list and I didn't want to force something on her. But now she started reading the first book and she loves it. And it's so much fun to hear her chuckle over something or have her ask me what's going to happen. (I won't tell her). And it's interesting the words she wonders about. What's a spat? (small fight), What's Jane Eyre? (an old romance book), what about Elsie Dinsmore? (old-time juvenile books). She's done a lot of reading, but some things still haven't come her way yet.

It's great to be able to share these books with her - my very own 'keeping day' to remember always.

In the meantime, Harry has been reading an old Brady Bunch novel we happened to have lying around. He had never paid any attention to it before, because he didn't know who the Brady Bunch was. But now that they've been watching season 1, he was interested. And he happily told me that this was book 9. I'm sure thinking I would go out and find him books one through eight. I had to tell him that I didn't think it was likely to find any of those books now. Brady Bunch novels written in 1970 are not something that you come across too often. He'll probably have to content himself the one we've got.

Happy reading everyone.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Using the Right Word

...or if that fails - one you can spell.

When I was in grade school and writing stories there were some words that I just couldn't spell. Immediately was one of them. Somewhere I have a draft of a story with the several attempts to spell "immediately" crossed out.

And finally "right away" written in.

Sometimes you have to know when to give up, too.

This story is related to pretty much nothing, it's just something I thought of when the spell checker caught a word I misspelled earlier today. How much I would have appreciated a spell checker when I was ten. Then people could have done things immediately in my stories - and not just right away.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Talk about Going to Extremes

Now, I know I mentioned my kids trying to get out of going to school yesterday, but at least they didn't go to the lengths this boy in Mexico did. And note, the boy in question still had to go to school, he was just a few hours late.

Tuesday's Proverb

My son, if you have become surety to your neighbor, given your hand in pledge to another, You have been snared by the utterance of your lips, caught by the words of your mouth; So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's power: Go, hurry, stir up your neighbor! Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids; Free yourself as a gazelle from the snare, or as a bird from the hand of the fowler. (Proverbs 6:1-5)

Monday, January 07, 2008

I Can't Go to School - I'm Sick. Cough Cough

Can't go to school if your sick - right? So, if you don't want to go to school, you tell your mother that you're sick. Instant day off. Right? Hah!

Monday morning blues around here. No one wanted to get up (myself included, but I did.)

The first thing Harry said was "I'm not going to school today."

I informed him he was - and that he didn't have to get up for another twenty minutes.

He then told me his stomach hurt.

Hmmm. That's interesting.

Ger more rest I told him and then we'll see.

Twenty minutes later - time for everyone to get up. Pippi declared she was on strike and refused to move from her bed. Harry in the meantime insisted his stomach hurt. I told him to get up and eat something and then we'd see. He agreed and got dressed and came downstairs. He crawled around - insisting that when he stood his stomach hurt. He crawled down the steps head first (yeah, there's a kid who doesn't feel well). He slithered into the kitchen on his belly. He got in his chair and ate a bowl of oatmeal. He slithered over to the cupboard and got out more oatmeal. I made him a second bowl of oatmeal. He slithered around again for a third. At which point I informed him he was going to school.


"If you're well enough to eat three bowls of oatmeal, you can go to school. Even if you are crawling around on the floor."

So, resigned to his fate, he got ready for school.

In the meantime, Pippi called off her strike and got up and dressed too. And eventually they went to school.

But it's always tricky when one of them says they don't feel well. Are they really sick, or do they just not feel like showing up in class today? If they have a fever or if they throw up, the decision has been made, but what about that general yuckiness? Usually, I can tell if my kids are sick. They don't act like themselves. They are quiet and pale and lethargic. But I'm always worried about making that wrong call. I don't want to send them to school sick. But I certainly don't want to get snookered into letting them stay home when they can be at school.

And I'm left wondering what tomorrow's ailment will be. Perhaps sneezles and wheezles?

by A.A. Milne

Christopher Robin had wheezles and sneezles
They bundled him into his bed.
They gave him what goes with cold in the nose,
And some more for cold in the head.
They wondered if wheezles could turn into measles,
If sneezles would turn into mumps;
They examined his chest for a rash, and the rest
Of his body for swelling and lumps.
They sent for some doctors in sneezles and wheezles
To tell them what ought to be done.
All sorts and conditions of famous physicians
Came hurrying round at a run.
They all made a note of state of his throat,
They asked if he suffered from thirst;
They asked if the sneezles came after the wheezles,
Or if the first sneezles came first.
They say “If you teasle a sneezle or wheezle,
A measle may easily grow.
But humour or pleazle the wheezle or snezle,
The measle will certainly go.”

They expounded the reazles for sneezles and wheezles,
The manner of measles when new.
They said, “If he freezles in draughts and in breezles,
The PHTHEEZLES may even ensue.”

Christopher Robin got up in the morning,
The sneezles had vanished away.
And the look of his eye seemed to say to the sky,
“Now, how to amuse them today? ”

Friday, January 04, 2008

Poetry Friday

This poem made me think of trying to get my son to go to bed at bedtime.

Escape at Bedtime
by Robert Louis Stevenson

The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out
Through the blinds and the windows and bars;
And high overhead and all moving about,
There were thousands of millions of stars.
There ne'er were such thousands of leaves on a tree,
Nor of people in church or the Park
As the crowds of the stars that looked down upon me,
And that glittered and winked in the dark.

The Dog, and the Plough, and the Hunter and all,
And the star of the sailor, and Mars,
These shown in the sky, and the pail by the wall
Would be half full of water and stars.
They saw me at last, and they chased me with cries,
And they soon had me packed into bed;
But the glory kept shining and bright in my eyes,
And the stars going round in my head.

The round up today is over at A Year of Reading.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A Challenge

I'm taking HipWriterMama up on her 30-day challenge. It started yesterday. I'm challenging myself to write for at least 30 minutes a day, and to send out at least one query a week.

So - after one day, how am I doing? Well, I wrote for substantially more than 30 minutes yesterday. But no query has been sent out yet this week. But - fear not - the week is not over yet.

I'll check in occasionally and let you know how I'm doing.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Class of 2K8

They're here. The new class of first time MG/YA novelists with books coming out in 2008.

The first two books being released in January are:

Lisa Schroeder's I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME

There are lots of great writers on the list. Head on over to their blog to find out more.

One other thing - one of the writer's on the list PJ Hoover is a member of the great writer's critique group I'm in. Having had an opportunity to read some of the things she's written, I say, that when her book The Emerald Tablet comes out in October, you won't want to miss it.

Good luck to all the 2K8 writers and maybe I'll be in the class of 2k9. Hey - a person can dream!

Here's A Story

of a lovely lady.

Yes - the Brady Bunch.

I may have mentioned before that my kids don't watch a whole lot of TV. Partly that's because they're busy doing other things - and partly it is because we don't have cable and there isn't much worth watching (or that I feel comfortable having the children watch). But I remember coming home from school and watching The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Gilligan's Island and the Brady Bunch. Everyone you knew could pretty much quote any Brady Bunch episode from heart.

And my kids didn't know who Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby and Cindy were. Shown a picture of the iconic opening with all the faces in the squares, they asked - who's that in the middle? They didn't know Alice.

This was something that had to be remedied.

So for Christmas they got the First Complete Season of The Brady Bunch on DVD. They've watched about half of them so far. And they love it.

I've watched some of them with them - or listened while preparing a meal in the next room - and yes the shows were goofy and corny - but they are also funny and sweet, and most importantly - fine for children to watch.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I'm not making any.

So there.

There are of course things I want to accomplish. Goals I'd like to meet. And I know what they are - but somehow making them official seems to be setting myself up for failure. (I know, a real positive attitude - maybe that's because of the gray, dreary, rainy day outside).

I will however be taking HipWriterMama's 30-day challenge. I have until tomorrow to figure out what I'm challenging myself with. So, if a whole year's worth of resolutions are too much for you - head on over to HipWriterMama and take the challenge.

Tuesday's Proverb

By his own iniquities the wicked man will be caught, in the meshes of his own sin he will be held fast; He will die from lack of discipline, through the greatness of his folly he will be lost. (Proverbs 5:22-23)

Well, that seems like a good proverb to start the year off right. Yikes.