Friday, July 29, 2011

Ticking noise. Also, we're home!

We are now officially recovering from crazy vacation week!  To celebrate, here is a mysterious ticking noise video.  Also, a quiz, because it's fun to know who you identify with most before watching a song that will get stuck in your head (and is amusing, although you've probably seen Puppet Pals elsewhere...).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Vacation"

I've been in and out of my house so much this week it's crazy.  I check emails on my phone--and websites, and this blog.  So far I haven't updated this blog very regularly, because it's hard to type using a touch phone.  When I'm home more permanently this weekend, without guests (not that it isn't fun to have my mom, dad, sisters, aunt, uncle, and cousin here--it is!), I'll (hopefully) resume blogging (and revise my syllabus, and finish my second book, and find childcare for this school year, and get the baby's clothes updated to new sizes, and continue training for the triathlon...you get the idea).

Anyway, I realized a couple of things this week, which may sound sappy, but I don't care:

My dreams make me excited, but it's my family that makes me happy.

Whee!  This is not me, but I must admit that it's how I feel when I realize what I have.  My little boys are snuggly and warm and I love them

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Delicious gumballs

I like gumballs.  When I was younger, I had a piano teacher who'd give me a gumball for every song I played at the end of each lesson.  They give me a nice sugar rush, and they make me feel like a kid again.

So I was gone all weekend at a lodge, staying with my mom's family, and when I got home my husband had bought me gumballs.  They tasted good, and he is nice.

Mmmm...shiny tasty gumballs...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Family!

My family's visiting from Washington, so I shall update early today.  My three-year-old's pretending to be a firework while chasing his grandpa, my one-year-old just said "up!" to his grandma, and my little sister's trying to read one of my many books between cuteness and pretend explosions.  I'm posting a video about Hogwarts--because it makes me laugh, and because I can.

Oh!  And maybe take a quiz to see which house you fall in first here (if you want an ethical kind of test) or here (if you want a test set in the Harry Potter world)...


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cleaning

Cleaned the house most of the day for my parents, who'll come in from Seattle later tonight.  Got a call from a 303 area code--which happens to correspond with an area that has one of my dream agents with my full right now.  Turned out to be a recruiter for my dad, so I was able to speak coherently after all.  Three-year-old got a yellow transformer at Burger King (we ate some rare fast food in the interest of keeping our kitchen clean), was told the robot's name was Bumblebee, and promptly said, "No.  This is C3PO!" 

So now, in our mostly-clean home with our Transformer C3PO, I'll post a cute picture of our Star Wars friend.  Because I might as well.

Okay, so it's not the "robot" part that's cute.  What can I say?  Little boys are awesome!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tall painting

I want to paint a piece of furniture like this--so swirly and beautiful!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Finding childcare...

...is scary.  And difficult.  But school starts sooner than I want to think about (mid-August), and I'd better look into things.  Far as I can tell, there's three main options: daycare at a center, in another person's home, or in your own home.  There's tradeoffs for all three, and any advice would be (extremely!) welcome.

The daycare'd better not have a bear that smells of strawberries.  I'll check for that.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fluttery

I don't know what to blog about today: about my second book, and how the first draft's almost done, and how I love revising?  About two little boys on the floor with upside down pots and a variety of kitchen utensils trying to find a rhythm of there own?  About how Ginger Clark requested the first fifty pages of my manuscript, or about the firework fountains we lit in the sunlight, or about the yellow-and-black butterfly I watched with my boys as raspberries burst on our tongues?

I'm in a scattered sort of mood.  It is summer--the hummingbirds buzz through our backyard, and I should write another query, but right now I'm too content to work on anything but fiction.

Okay, I'll write a blog post, too.  But it must be brief, and have a picture of a butterfly...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Plot Device

There's a cat licking my arm, which sort of tickles, so I'm going to be lazy and post something I found on Pub Rants, agent Kristin Nelson's blog.  It made me laugh, and if you haven't seen it, I hope it makes you laugh, too.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On perseverence

I'm grateful for people who brave disappointment, for people who spend hours on creative endeavors with no concrete promise of an audience on the other end, for scientists who keep their curiosity and children who jump off the diving board when their lips are blue and they're nervous about getting water in their eyes.  I'm glad to know that I can always be better, at writing, at being a mom, at exercising and eating healthy and making a query letter that can catch the attention of three or four agents out of ten (oh, query letter, how I stumble at writing you!).  A friend wrote me today about a difficult rejection, and all I can say is I'm sorry.  And I admire you.  And when you keep going, risking that failure and that rejection, I'll only admire you more.  It's people who persevere who discover cures, write bestsellers, and raise children who'll improve the world in their own way.

Sorry to get all motivational--but not really all that sorry.  Keep doing what you love (uh...unless what you love hurts people).  If you try something old (or new), I think you're great, and you can tell me all about it so that I can cheer for you along the way!

I would've found a picture of a writer, maybe someone 40K words into a (VERY) rough draft of their second novel (not that I know how that feels or anything).  But I like the lighting here, and my husband is a scientist...so this is for him!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Bronte sisters...

One of my favorite comics, ever, is by Kate Beaton, and it looks exactly like this:


"No wonder nobody buys your books!"  Cracks me up every time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Got to go run

Well, maybe the "run" should be in quotes, because I end up walking about half, I think.  Ah, well.  I'll leave you with this:

http://www.happyplace.com/4286/brilliantly-sarcastic-responses-to-completely-well-meaning-signs

Vandalized signs that are (mostly) clever and amusing.  Here's a peek...





Not a bad silhouette, right?

Monday, July 11, 2011

I like writing fiction...

...but I'm not good at queries!  Queries, for those who don't know, are one-page letters you send to agents, and they're supposed to make your manuscript sound enticing enough to read.  Only I'm not so good at deciding what I should put in.

Take Star Wars, for example.  If you had to sum up Star Wars in two paragraphs, what would you focus on?  The Death Star can blow up planets, Luke can use the Force, there's Leia and her rebel forces, and that's not even mentioning Darth Vader, who's all menacing and cape-billowy.  You can't mention too many names, or it gets confusing, but I'd like to write something that shows the whimsical humor and the strangeness and the poetical moments in my book.  Patricia's family is stolen, she's got magic she has to figure out in a few days, she needs to decide whether she should trust her teacher or the witch she sees in her dreams, and--well, she's got to save her family!  It's hard to decide what to put in, and how, but at least the Evil Editor looked at it today on his blog and gave me some pointers.  He's smart, even if he is evil, and I think he's funny because he's evil.  Anyway, this is just my long rambling way of saying I'm grateful to all the people who market books, the agents and editors and slush readers and such who know lots about business and reading, because I only know about reading.  And writing.  Because writing on my best days feels exhilarating, like climbing to the top of a mountain and finding a rainbow with a family of mountain goats and a glacier that crackles and reflects the light.  Like discovery, in other words, and accomplishment, and healthiness (for the brain, in the case of writing--for the body, in the case of mountain climbing).

Okay.  I'm done.  In honor of Evil Editor, here is an exciting picture of Benjamin Franklin:

Evil Editor looks like good old Ben, and lightning makes everything 80% more compelling, so there's some lightning, too!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cell phone...

Well, it looks like we'll finally get cell phones.  Our land line still isn't working, so we're looking into getting something a bit more mobile.  Any advice?

Here is a picture of the cell phone we WON'T be getting, because we don't want to give our sons any ideas...it's got built-in defense, though!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Long day

Swimming lessons for three-year-old, shots for one-year-old, an internet and phone connection that didn't work all day, and I got some good writing done anyway.

Yay?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Awesome blog of craftiness

When I get lazy, I link to other blogs.  I've appreciated links in the past, so I can justify it as helpful, and I don't have to do much work.  Snazzy, right?  Anyway, one of my favorite blogs for geeky crafts is http://www.epbot.com/.  It's full of cute ideas, fun links, and happy feelings (for me, at least).  Yay!

Here's an image from her latest post.  I still like Portal 2.  Just so you know.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lucky runners

I'd better go running tonight.  Triathlons are biased against swimmers--if you did an event that took a competitive distance swimmer the same length of time that running a 5K or biking 9 miles takes competitive bikers and runners, it'd be more like a mile than a 400-meter race.  A 400 meter stint in the pool isn't even a warm up for those of us who've been on a swim team, and that's a warmup for sprinters and distance folk of every stroke expertise.  Ah, well.  I'll literally run to the store and buy some shampoo and conditioner for our three-year-old, who's in swimming lessons (and jumped off the diving board today--well, with help from me at the top and his teacher at the bottom!), and maybe the practice will make me into a passable jogger (maybe).  So, without further ado, here's a picture for today:

This isn't what he looked like, actually--but it wasn't a high dive, either!  I've drawn this picture in charcoals, though, and I love the kid's look of flat-out terror.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fireworks...

...can look like sparkle bees, or spiky balloons, or waterfalls of magic.  According to my three-year-old, at least.  The boys stayed up super late last night (well, baby Ninja didn't make it past 10 p.m. very well, but Lightning managed to reach the fireworks after some stress--and he enjoyed them when they started) and watched an early firework display.  We'll buy a few sparklers and throwing-pop ones tomorrow, but last night was magic for Lightning.  There was some payment today in the form of mild grumpiness, but seeing my three-year-old simulate explosions with his hands all day and bounce around is hilarious and worth the extra effort.


I think of Gandalf every time I think of fireworks, and even though this clip is a mishmash of two scenes from the movie, it includes both cute kids and the fire dragon--so up it goes!