Monday, December 16, 2013


I really want to see Catching Fire. And Ender's Game. And part two of The Hobbit. I've read all the books, and I would love to watch the movies! But when I had a choice this weekend (and, more importantly, a babysitter), I went with my husband to Frozen. Because of this:

I want ice powers! And singing powers!


Monday, December 2, 2013


I've been thinking a lot about flawed characters recently. Characters who are jealous, or angry, or arrogant. And so I decided to make a list of flaws I secretly like to see in characters because I've experienced them myself. Because I love lists. And I really should post a bio thingy for Pitch Wars but I don't want to, so a list of dark secrets characterization tips should cover that, right? Right.

1. Jealousy. I'm the oldest of four girls, and my two sisters just younger than me had blond hair and blue eyes. They looked like Disney princesses (who were, excepting Snow White, blond), and I...well, I sorta matched the wicked witches. Oh, and there was the stop-following-me-don't-catch-up-to-me-in-swimming-lessons jealousy, too. I'm sympathetic to jealousy.

2. A feeling of awkwardness/not fitting in. My mom permed my hair in middle school. Like huge, poofy, I-was-struck-by-lightning perms. In middle school. And I wore Winnie the Pooh shirts. And I had braces. I did not get invited to parties until I joined the swim team in high school so the chlorine and wetness could kill all the frizz. I think everyone's felt alienation. But not everyone had to go to school smelling like horrible home-done perm. And that is a very good thing.

3.  Overconfidence leading to ruin or humbling failure. Two of my favorite authors growing up were Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (of Dragonlance, Darksword, and Death Gate Cycle fame). I know they're nerdy, but I love a lot of what they write, largely because they're really good at this theme. Truly intelligent, talented characters who know they're intelligent/talented/magically supreme make extremely arrogant plans and end up trapped in the abyss, or leading their people to slaughter on the battlefield, or destroying their entire planet. I suppose I've never done anything that disastrous, but give me time. As a sleep-deprived mother of three young children, a teacher, a writer, a shameless book/video game/animation/MyLittlePonyDr.WhoTheLastAirbenderAdventureTimeJossWhedon geek, there's plenty of stuff (including small humans!) that I could mess up on (especially if I'm overconfident enough to think I know the schemes of my small humans...).

I like crises of faith, too. Oh! And anger while grieving, and humorous revenge (like Fred and George's takedown of Umbrage), and mistakes made in anger and exhaustion. But I've told you enough (yikes! the perms!), and I promised to post a video for my five-year-old if he went to bed  well (hooray for sleeping!). So the video below is for him, but feel free to list flaws you like in the comments! I like growing my lists. Maybe that's a flaw, too.

And, just because I like Imagine Dragons (did you hear about what they did?), I kinda like this odd music video...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Princess Bride

We've started watching old movies on Sundays with our kids. Stuff like Mary Poppins, Wizard of Oz, and Disney classics. Our five-year-old can get nervous about some of the newer animated films (Mufasa! Nooooo!), but he's really enjoying a lot of our carefully-explained Sunday choices.

So a few weeks ago we watched The Princess Bride. And tonight, whenever I ask him to do something, he's been responding with "As you wish."

It's really cute.

I love him, too.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Submitting! Submitting?

I don't know which punctuation the word deserves.

I'm sort of nervous. Sort of so wrapped up in real life that maybe I'll be distracted and submitting will be easy. Sort of unsure about everything, except that if I don't send my manuscripts to agents, I won't get an agent. So.

I've actually been taking a break from all submission stuff since the birth of my third son. I couldn't get time off from my teaching job, and, of course, I still had to keep my two older children alive. I needed less stress, and while I couldn't give up writing without going crazy, I could easily give up the submitting process (whereby I send out many emails to agents and get requests and wait and revise and wait some more). So I worked on some agent-requested revisions. And wrote my third book. And kept my kids alive, and taught, and read, and lived...

Now I'm back to the submitting. Back to the Absolute Write Water Cooler forums (once I make another post--I've been a silent lurker for ages now, it seems, and I'm strangely nervous!), and querytracker and contests and all the rest. It's hard and it's scary, but I'm really glad other authors endure it because then I can read their books. And if there's one thing I love, it's reading a good book.

Writing's fun, too. Sometimes.

So if you're submitting, too, I wish you the best of luck.I applaud your courage, whether you get an agent this round or go back to revisions, And for those of you who persevered and got agents, hooray!


From here. I could visit this path quite happily. Mmm...peaceful submitting path...

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Cephalopod Coffee House: Blood of Dragons

I love fantasy. I read widely across genres, from picture books (of course) to literary works, middle grade and young adult, contemporary-realistic to steampunk and beyond. I've even dabbled in westerns and romance! But my favorite authors in later elementary school were Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, and I have to admit: a fantasy novel with good characterization will get me pretty much every time. So in addition to all the books I'm reading on autism, plus critiques and papers I'm grading, I picked up some fantasy to help me with my sanity.

Enter Blood of Dragons, the best book I've read this month!

Robin Hobb writes some excellent characters, and I've been reading her books (in trilogies, although not exactly in order) for a couple years. And her endings--well, her endings make me happy. Blood of Dragons is the last book of four, and Robin Hobb gave me pretty much everything I wanted. Comeuppance for evil villains! Survival of those who absolutely had to live for me to be satisfied! POV from reptilian dragons who seem very much not human! Carnage (in all the right ways)! Internal, thoughtful characterization, where characters grow to accept their strengths! It's not quite as good as the Liveship Trader series (my favorite), but Blood of Dragons distracted me during a rough month, and that's about all I could want in a novel.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Running out of gas

My title could be metaphorical, what with the three children and teaching job and cats and house that is sort of not falling apart except you could probably see the mess in our front room from Google Maps if it's been updated recently (don't check!), but this is a literal running out of gas. Let me tell you what happened a few days ago...

It all started when I was taking my five-year-old to Kindergarten. We were having the usual conversation ("Can I play games after school?" "No." "Can I stay home from school?" "No." "Whhhyyy?" "School is important. Look! A distracting noun of some sort that I see out the window!") when all the lights on our Prius lit up at once. The giant red triangle-exclamation-point thingy, the squiggly exclamation point, the one that has a plus and minus, the engine light, all of them. Luckily this made it so I didn't have to find a bee or a rabid dog outside to distract my five-year-old. I could point to the lights. But then again, I had never seen so many lights.

"What happens if our car explodes?" my five-year-old asked, clearly hoping to be exempt from school.

Unfortunately for him, the car stayed intact and made it to the kindergarten door with a minute to spare. Five-year-old dashed out, forgetting everything he'd just said because look! friendsrecessyay! He headed inside, and I headed for home. It's only a mile or so drive, and the many lights had dimmed to just three (including, of course, the big red exclamation triangle of potentially expensive despair), and I was just turning the fourth-to-last turn when our car slowed, the miles per hour ticking down from 15 to 10 to 5... I pushed the gas petal, but we were gentle-breeze slow at that point.

"Wheee!" said my three-year-old with absolute conviction.

"Whee," I said, pulling over to the side and hoping I wouldn't die right behind someone's driveway.

I drifted to a very slow stop in front of the house with the big star on it. I pulled out the three-year-old, who was extremely happy to have the car die because, hey, running by fences, and the baby, who drooled on my arm. We walked home. I put them down for naps. An hour later we walked back, me pushing a stroller and carrying a gas can that I hoped would let our car move.

It worked. The lights turned off. My baby and three-year-old had to go back in the car, which smelled very much like gas because of the gas can I had to carry in the back.

Whee indeed.

So. Moral of this story is that the battery in a Prius only lasts about a half-mile once you run out of gas. And school is important.

A platypus!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Ophelia, Part 3

Ophelia died of lung cancer last Saturday evening. She was seven and a half.

She loved our boys. She would let them crawl up to her as babies, grab her ears, bury their faces in her belly.

She sat on our lap for hours, purring. Her claws were perpetually out. Many of my pants have snags because of her, and all our towels, but I don't regret a single misplaced thread.

We have spots all over the basement carpet where she threw up or couldn't make the litter box. She wheezed the past few years, but we thought it was asthma because she is chubby. The vet didn't catch the tumor when we took her in for an ear infection six months ago. Cancer in cats is hard to catch. But if you think your cat is sick, if you think she's having trouble breathing, it might be worth getting an X-ray.

She moved from south Salt Lake to our Sandy apartment to our new house. She doted on all three of our boys. She scratched my husband's chest when she was resting there and our two-year-old sent an empty milk gallon down the stairs, she killed countless spiders and flies and ate them, and she was the sweetest, snuggliest cat I've ever met.

This is Ophelia, as of last week. She loved the boys even on her sick blanket. And now our baby keeps chasing Scout, who is far more skittish, just hoping that she'll let him snuzzle her fur like her sister used to. She won't, but that won't stop him from trying...
I miss my chubsy cat.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ophelia, Part 2

This part may seem to be about Scout. And it kind of is. But Ophelia is there, always there, the cute mewling innocent instigator...

Okay. So we got a one-bedroom apartment. It was small, and in the basement, so our cats could hunt all the interesting bugs that came inside. They also liked to play chase, dashing from living room down the hall into the bathroom and jumping inside the empty bathtub before sprinting out again. They always followed that pattern, no matter who was the chaser and who was the chasee: from living room to hall to bathtub, skid and tumble out and repeat for many wild minutes.

I graduated in May of 2007. My husband graduated in April. And on the morning of his graduation he shaved, picked out a button-up shirt and black pants, and ran some hot bathwater. He left the door open, because we were married, and it was our very own apartment, and he didn't really think about it. He settled back into the bubbles.

And Ophelia decided it was time to play chase.

Ophelia was a stockier build than Scout, so you could hear her when she started up in the living room. I was on the bed, reading, and I didn't really think about it when they rushed down the hall, Scout in the lead with Ophelia close behind.

Then I heard the splash. A shout from my husband. A squeaky, frantic pawing. I stood up, peering around the corner. And this is what I saw:
See that trail of toilet paper? And that wet cat? Do you also notice THE TOTALLY DRY CAT IN THE BACK? That would be Ophelia...
Ophelia had chased Scout right into the full bathtub. Scout tried to twist in the air, jumping at the walls and landing on my husband's leg. She clawed her way out, toilet paper stuck to her wet paw and trailing after her.

The fateful bathtub
Post-soaking Scout
Of course my husband got dressed. He graduated. We smiled for pictures.

It would be easy to blame Scout. She's our vocal cat with the loud Siamese meow, the one who follows me around and demands water from my hand and laptime on her terms. Ophelia was always sweet, chubby and floppy, always relaxed on the bed. But Scout wasn't the chaser that time, on the Day of the Bloody-Leg Graduation...

Look at how forgiving he is! Or maybe Ophelia's just too snuggly to resist.
TOMORROW: the conclusion I don't want to write.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ophelia, Part 1

Once upon a time in 2006, my husband and I adopted sister Siamese kittens from Wasatch Animal Rescue. We named one Scout, and one Ophelia.

Scout liked to be alert. When we took them home, Scout yowled loudly in the crate, demanding to be released.

Ophelia sat in the back. She didn't make a sound.

Our kittens got used to the basement where we lived. They slept on our bed and pounced on our feet all the night long. I was going to graduate school at the University of Utah, and my husband was finishing his bachelor's degree at BYU. We studied sometimes. But it was more fun to play...

You can see why!
Ophelia always had those light brown marks on her back as a baby. When she got older, she got darker, until she was almost black. We jokingly called her our "watermelon cat."

Teen Ophelia.

Cheap camera + cat gaining weight = flattering picture? Only Ophelia could pull it off. Especially when you imagine petting that chubby fuzzy belly...

Within two months we moved out of the basement into our very own one-bedroom apartment in south Salt Lake City. The dishwasher door could touch the wall, the police often came to chat with various drug-loving neighbors, and the walls smelled like fungus. But it was ours and we loved it. So did our cats.

Then Scout sort of accidentally attacked, and things got bloody...


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Life Stuff

New stuff in my life:

1. Our three-year-old son is on the autistic spectrum. Like he has Aspergers, except Aspergers isn't a thing anymore, so spectrum is a good word to know? Anyway, he's still cute, and he still draws some excellent brick fences, and we all love him a lot.

2. One of our cats is sick, but it's looking like she probably has pneumonia instead of lung cancer since antibiotics seem to be working. This is definitely a good thing.

3. Have you ever tried bringing a crawling nine-month-old, a three-year-old, a five-year-old, and a thirteen-pound cat to a vet with you as the ONLY ADULT RESPONSIBLE PERSON? I have! Also, I am still alive! This seems like something to be proud of.

4. I love writing. And reading. And you, if you read or write. Seriously, stories keep me sane.

I drew this picture of a Unicat for you. I guess technically it has wings, so it's an alicorn-cat (an alicat. Get it?), but I made this song about unicats in third grade that I wrote on sheet music and everything, so the name sorta stuck...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My First ARC!

I have never read an ARC before, but I won one.

Allow that to sink in.

I won an ARC! And not just any ARC, but a copy of THE WHATNOT by Stefan Bachmann! And it came in the mail today! And there were doodles, and chocolates, and I am so excited to read more, and yay!

Oh, and since this is an exclamation-mark post: one of my critique partners got an agent!!! I do not know if I am allowed to brag for her, but this is a super agent, and she is an excellent writer, and I am so excited to read her books when they are published with beautiful haunting covers in a form I can hold in my hands! This makes me happy. As does the chocolate I keep eating while I type (poor, sticky exclamation-mark key...).

So! Here is a picture of my new ARC:

from the best jellysfishy blog because I am too lazy to go find the cord to upload my picture onto the computer, but isn't it pretty? or at least creepy and geary? I love it!

Moral of the post: keep writing! I love all these exciting, exclamation-worthy books!

Friday, August 30, 2013


AHHHH my oldest son just finished his first week of kindergarten and my middle son is starting to potty train and my baby is cute and I just read the last chapter of my second book edit and now I'm going to change stuffs on the computer and print out a new copy. Did I mention grading? And students? And I got a new hair cut and color that is really dark brown-red?

I think I will just look at this picture I took at the hot air balloon festival for a while and pretend I am still there. Mmmmm...summer...

Who am I kidding? I love school and being crazy-busy--but that's a secret, so don't tell!

Monday, August 19, 2013


It starts.

We went to kindergarten testing today. I told my son tests are like a game. "You get points when you answer right," I said, "kind of like the stars you get in Angry Birds. It'll be fun!"

He came out. "It was fun," he told me. "And there were lots of books! Volcano books and earthquake books and space books and crab books..."

Here's to school, and to the hope that he can keep his childlike enthusiasm for the next twelve-plus years!

Five-year-old on Grandpa's shoulders. Between teacher meetings and kindergarten prep and my parents in town and my grandfather's funeral and THREE KIDS ALL THE TIME, I have been a bit of an absentee blogger.  But look! Hot air balloons! With rainbows! Am I forgiven?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sharing a room

My two oldest (three and five, respectively) are now in the same room.

I do not know if we will ever have normal bedtimes again.

On the plus side, now we get to look at awesome bunk beds and dream about which one we'll get:


No more dressers! 

Oh my sleepless NO.
Any brilliant ideas?

Monday, July 22, 2013


In memory of Taleah Louise English, firework enthusiast and bravest of girls. I miss you.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The ability to edit...

A virus on my computer prevented me from changing text in emails or on blog posts for almost six months. This was horrible. I'd reread a sentence, or think of something I wanted to insert, and it would take me almost five minutes to stick my cursor in the right place. Then half the time it wouldn't let me do anything, and I was stuck there just imagining the ways that sentence could be better, had I the ability to actually make it so.

The virus is fixed as of this weekend. But it taught me how wonderful change can be, and how much first drafts should never be my only drafts, and...well, in short, yay for rewriting!

The image is from this post, which neatly defines rewriting (for screenwriters, but it applies to all of us who like to mess with words).

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A poem about breastfeeding...

I am still breastfeeding my six-month-old. This poem...I feel this poem in a way that makes me want to yell at some times and cry at others. I am not in the same country, but I feel the exact same way.

(Thank you, Hollie McNish.)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Birthday: accomplished

Our spider-and-fence-loving two-year-old is now three.

We spent the day running to Harmon's grocery store, looking at fences (he has a thing for fences), playing Mario Kart (it has fences), playing Donkey Kong (there are spiders), running back to Harmon's, opening presents, and eating a chocolate spider-and-fence cake with rocky road ice cream.


I remember a class I taught at the U about five years ago. It was one of my favorite classes ever: I was an exhausted and shell-shocked new mom, but my class was awesome. They tolerated my tongue-tied-ness, made jokes about Aesop's fables, even wrote a perfectly-structured argument outline on the board entitled "Why We Should Be Allowed to Leave Class Early" (it worked). And one time, in this class, I told them something glib and completely untrue. I told them "Having a baby is much easier than getting a graduate degree!"

This is a lie.

Having a baby hurts. And then they grow. They get scraped knees and weird obsessions with fences. They cry when it's time to blow out the candles on their birthday cake because "the fence is burning!" They wake you up in the middle of the night, running-hug you in the middle of a book, and take over most of your life. It's worth it (which is sometimes not true of grad school), and (unlike grad school, books, skydiving, or anything else) parenthood never ends.

So happy birthday, my newly-turned three-year-old. May you love spiders and fences forever, and know that I will always work harder than anything to be your mom.

The picture is from here, and for some reason my computer isn't letting me edit any text in this post, so you are stuck with my very first draft mwa ha ha. Oh, and you are also stuck with the fact that I am too lazy to upload all the pictures from today, so you do not get to see my son crying as the candles behind the toy fence on his cake make it appear that the fence is on fire. Poor three-year-old...

Monday, June 10, 2013


My students graduated on Thursday. The boys wore black. The girls wore red. Jonathan Swift got a mention in a speech (he was compared to the irritating banjo music that marks the two-minute mark before the bell, but still!). Lots of students wore cool necklaces made of money or chocolate or hard candies, and I couldn't help but be proud of all of them. High school graduation is the first of many academic achievements for most of them, but it is an achievement. They survived thirteen years of school, and grew up in the meantime, and when they walked across that stage with the biggest smiles I couldn't help but think of my own sons. They'll leave high school and begin something even bigger, and I can't wait to see what all of them will do.

Congratulations, AMES students--especially all of you that had to read Jonathan Swift, and then dig deep into Thoreau's thoroughly terrible rock!

Monday, May 27, 2013

My birthday list...

New things I did on my 30th birthday:

The boys gave me peppermint roses (they were stripey!)
I went into the Blast Zone and got shot by foamy balls
I went down the biggest indoor slide in Utah
I slid down two twisty black slides, too!
I razor scooted around with our two-year-old
I played multiplayer Pacman, Fast and Furious, and Guitar Hero (without sound!)
I ate beef and broccoli at the Asian Potato (no potatoes were on the menu)
I touched a five foot spoon at the Asian Potato
I touched a five foot fork at the Asian Potato
I tried Ginger Beer from Cy’s Market (ew)
I tried Rose Lemonade from Cy’s Market (meh)
I grossed my sister out with Egg Drop Soup (like “snot,” she says). Proceed to eat it in front of her.
I ate a carrot shaped like a flower (from the Asian  Potato)
I ate portabella chicken at Applebees
I wore hoop earrings
I went inside a gun store (where all the guns looked like plastic toys, but they really, really aren’t)*
I touched a barrel in Crate and Barrel (they have no crates)

This is where we went for the Blast Zone and razor scooter stuffs. 'Twas fun!
 * I was going to shoot a gun for the first time, just so I could maybe understand gun culture more (probably not, but maybe). Unfortunately, the first time we went both me and my husband forgot our wallets, and the second time we went they'd closed a half-hour early (who is going to argue with someone that heavily armed?). So we went to the nearby mall, because all the new activities my husband could think of were illegal, and hoop earrings seemed like a good alternative to arson.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What are some experiences everyone should have in their twenties?

I turn thirty this week. So, as the title asks, what are some experiences everyone should have in their twenties? I plan on shooting a gun, getting a pedicure, maybe paintball...stuff like that. But I need more ideas! If you give me some, I will send you virtual birthday cake! It will look like this:

This is from this awesome blog. It makes me happy!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Our two-year-old got a lot of two-year-old-boyish stuff for Christmas: trucks, cars, the occasional ball. We know he likes running. We know he likes drawing, especially on walls. We know he likes apple juice. But we weren't sure what he would want come gift time.

The spider puppet was sort of an afterthought, a thing we got from a friend for free. We wrapped it up for "The Family" and stuck it under the tree.

And now our two-year-old never lets it go.

It rides on his head. He tucks it under his arm for his daily run. He insists it says "Bzzz!" and he carries it around like Calvin carries around Hobbes. It is his best friend.

And it is awesome.
Bzzz-Spider may be less fluffy than this one, but it is significantly more loved...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


The other night, as I put my five-year-old to bed, I told him: "If you go to sleep without waking up in the middle of the night and stay in your room past 7 a.m., I will totally pay you with cookies."

He thought for a moment, looked at me, and said, "I'd rather you paid me with real money."


Friday, April 5, 2013

The Wicked Witch of the West

When I turned five, my mom made me a birthday cake that looked a lot like this:

I love witches. The Wicked Witch of the West terrified me and quickly became my favorite character in all of Oz. Dorrie the little witch (from Patricia Coombs's lovely picture books) inspired me to play for hours, running around and shooting evildoers (read: little sisters) with magic from my hands. I'm not a huge Wicked fan, although I wanted to be, but I am curious about the Wicked Witch in Oz, The Great and Powerful. I hope she gets to throw fireballs.

I doubt she'll be everything I remember.

From a list! Because everyone loves lists?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I've got a system for writing up until about the sixth draft. First draft = mess with some glimmers of ideas. Second draft = flesh out ideas, but still messy. Third draft = work on plot. And characters. And...well, everything. Fourth draft = look at worldbuilding. Feel some despair. Keep at it. Fifth draft = polishing characters and plotlines more. Sixth/seventh draft = examine awkward parts again. Make them less awkward. Write, read, repeat.

It is after this point that I'm trying to figure out stuff. And I came up with an idea that seems to be working--usually I try to work on a chapter a day when I revise, but this time I broke up my book into sections. Some of them are a couple pages long, while others are a mere three paragraphs, but I put all my focus into making one section (or so) good a day. This is time consuming. I'm surprised, though, at how much better I'm making my eighth book just by breaking it down. I feel like my manuscripts are always this close, and I'm hoping that this time I can figure out more about the magical process of rewriting.

Some more tips from here. Tell me if you have any nifty revision tricks!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Secret leprechauns?

I'd never heard of the secret leprechaun. But today, several of my sons' friends were apparently visited by a tiny leprechaun, who left footprints on their tables, turned their milk green, and dropped little chocolate coins.

Is this a Utah thing, maybe? Or is it more widespread?

At least I bought stuff for a green fruit salad and green eggs and ham. There's no leprechaun, but we did manage to get everyone wearing green. This counts as awesome, right? Right?

I really want to know: what do you do for St. Patrick's day? Have you ever heard of a secret leprechaun?
If I could knit, I would make a secret leprechaun. The one from here is adorable! Mine would look a tad less human and a lot more like tangled string at this point, but hey...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Three is more than two

Someday our cutest of babies will sleep better. Someday I won't have grading looming over the horizon, or lesson plans to poke, or kitchens that are better off unseen by outside eyes. Until that day, I may be sort of sporadic on the bloggy-thing! To compensate, here is a video of cats.

I like cats.*

* worthwhile link, if'n you're a reader or a writer and you like cats, too!

Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's Day

I admire a lot of women. My mom, of course. Grandma Hart and Grandma Williams. My sisters, aunts, cousins, friends. Our pediatrician is a woman. My two favorite college professors are women. And even though I'm surrounded by cute boys all the time, I've got all my author-friends who are women to help even out the gender score at our house.

There's Marilynne Robinson and Madeleine L'Engle. Patricia Wrede and Patricia Coombs. Holly Black and Ursula K. Leguin and Barbara Kingsolver and Virginia Woolf and Margaret Weis and Robin Hobb and Amy Tan and Harper Lee...

Well, you get the idea. Women are worth celebrating, and those brave enough to send stories out into the world are the ones I thought I'd celebrate today. Yay for mothers! Yay for authors! Yay for books I can fall in love with!

Marilynne Robinson, from this article. It makes me want to go reread Housekeeping...which I will do before Baby milkivore wakes for another snack!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wheel of Time

I don't like to read series before they're done. Especially long series. I can make an exception if I trust the author to meet deadlines, and I really like them, general, I wait for a series to be finished before I start reading.

For those of you who don't know, the Wheel of Time series, by Robert Jordan, is a set of books I've been resisting for years. See, my husband loves them, and rereads them every other year or so. I'm impatient and horrible, though, so I refused to read them--until now, because Brandon Sanderson just finished the last one! (Robert Jordan died before he could complete the final book, so Brandon Sanderson completed the series).

Anyway, my point is this: I am enjoying the books. I'm also glad I can go grab the next one as soon as I finish the one I'm on. And I think that your favorite character in Wheel of Time says a lot about you.

For those who've read the books, here is a quiz that allows you to see which character you are. This one is just for female characters, and this one is for male characters. Who you are in the quizzes doesn't matter as much as who you like, though. Maybe. I'm working on a theory.

By the way, my favorite art for the series is by Seamus Gallagher. And my favorite character? Well, here's Gallagher's illustration of her...

Friday, February 15, 2013

A shooting star...

Here is a video for you! It seems appropriate, given recent astronomical happenings...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How to sleep like the parent of a seven-week-old baby

Feed baby at 6:30. Hold baby until he falls asleep on your chest.

Put baby down in his bassinet (maybe).

Feed baby again at 9 or 9:30. Sink into your bed when you finish around 10.

Wake up again at 1 or 2 a.m. Feed for a half hour as your head droops and your eyes keep shutting. Put him back into his bassinet.

Get up at 4 or 5 a.m. Stagger over. Pick up baby. Repeat the twenty-minute feeding thing. BE VERY CAREFUL. If you are not soothing enough at this point, he will start to hiccup. Then you will not get to climb back in bed, and you will be sad.

7 is the end-time when five-year-olds leave their rooms. There is no sleep after then.

Aw! So cute--although those eyes can look more than ominous in the middle of the night...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Question...

Which do you think is more important: persistence, or intelligence/talent?

Sometimes I wonder this as I teach. Sometimes I wonder this as I write.

I know you need some of both to be successful...but if you had to choose one as more important for school, life, and artistic pursuits, which would you choose and why?

(This is a video that has nothing to do with the question--think of it as a bribe to comment! Or maybe as just something cool that I posted so I can find it easy when my five-year-old asks for it...)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Proof of baby-ness

I promised pictures, and after much struggling with various drivers, I finally got some off of my phone, onto my computer, and uploaded to this very blog! So here it is...proof that I came home with something worthwhile from the hospital, and that I might, just might, be tired for a cute reason...

Look! Here he is in all of his four-pound hospital-stay glory!

I am outnumbered four to one. Most everyone is happy about this, although the two-year-old is still figuring out how he feels...
Oldest, youngest, and me! I love this robe in the winter. Especially when it is negative degrees outside!

Someday I'll have to post about having three kids instead of two, and my current writing/teaching/mothering life balance (hint: it's crazy, but it'll get easier), and books and doodles and ponies and witches. But it is not this day.