Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm in the middle of a critique partner's stellar WIP, and I want to read more! I'm not sure if I've posted this before--have I posted this before? probably--but I love libraries, so it's worth posting again. Library fees are the only fees I don't mind paying, because free books (especially for little kids with no money of their own) are the best!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Start of Fall 2012

Well, I've started school again. Lots of new and awesome students, except now I have to readjust. I taught during the summer at the university, see, and there the trick is cramming everything I need to teach into a class. At the charter school I have a lot more time for the exact same class, so I can linger more over the difficult concepts. This is a good thing. I wasn't in the right mode today, though, so I had to babble and fill up some extra time. But I'll get better.

Meanwhile, I will watch this. I'm so excited for The Hobbit, three parts and everything!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I always like the rules I give my children to have a good reason behind them, preferably with a nice natural reward or consequence to back them up. For example, when my four-year-old started demanding snacks at night, I made a firm "You can't have food after you brush your teeth" rule. I told him the consequences (little things eat your teeth and make cavities) and the rewards (strong teeth for chomping things), and for the most part it's worked flawlessly (yay! one less delaying tactic at bedtime!).

So. Right now I'm trying to figure out what to do about electronic entertainment. See, I like playing Wii and computer games. I like traipsing around the internet. I like movies and many TV shows, and I want to share all those things with our children. But I like reading more, and I know that if my parents hadn't been so strict about TV, I wouldn't be the reader I am right now. It's so easy to let the boys play Lego Star Wars, yet I know it needs limits. They also need to play with their actual Legos, and run outside, and read books.

This is getting longer than I intended. Basically, I want my kids to enjoy games and TV. I just want them to do things they love (build stuff, read, draw, whatever) and necessary things (homework, chores, keeping the cats alive) first. I am off to my Planning Cave, to try making up a plan that will work (and preferably not be so complicated that I give up). Hooray! Here is a video to celebrate!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Boys and books

I come from a family with four girls. I am a mother of all boys. So this post by the fabulous Shannon Hale (I've met her! Three times now!) is very interesting to me. I've heard all the Hollywood drivel about boys not going to "girly" movies (aka any movie starring a female character). I know about the Bechdel Test. And I'm trying to sort it all out.

My four-year-old son loves explosions and Star Wars (I won't go into gender issues with Star Wars, at least not today). He also loves the new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and is a newly-minted fan of the United States women's water polo team. I'll admit that much of this is due to my own enthusiasm for both ponies and water polo, but it goes beyond that. He thinks Rainbow Dash is awesome. He thinks Pinky Pie is funny. And he doesn't care if they're girls or boys--he hangs out with me most the day, and he doesn't think there's huge differences between us. Right now, if the story's good, he doesn't care what gender the main character is. I hope it will stay that way.

I'm an optimist, and I choose to believe that careful parental exposure to great shows/stories/sports epicness can trump societal notions about what boys should and shouldn't like. Of course, with all the school and friends and teachers and scary stuff ahead, I could be wrong. What do you think about the whole issue? I'd love to know!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Back from vacation!

We survived! Three items of interest:

I'm almost done revising my second book. I'm being cautious with this one--I submitted fifteen queries, got some full and revision requests, and stopped submitting while I got to work. And I like what I'm doing! On good days (today!) I love revisions...

School starts soon. School. Yikes? Yay? I cannot decide.

We're having another baby boy this December or January! Again, this is a yikes or yay sort of thing, because now there will be three of them and they will outnumber us, so we might possibly be doomed. I will let you know!

Happy Friday afternoon!

Look! It's my parents and our two sons, just to prove we were in the same state. AND we got both boys to wear ties for my mom while sort of holding still. Hooray!