Saturday, September 19, 2009

Note to self:  Laundry is like death. You can't hide from it. Eventually it will come to claim you. (And smells just as bad.)

On this morning's walk with the 2 y.o., I let him push the stroller. How wonderful that such a simple act can inspire confident in a young person. "I vewy stwong, Mommy. I a big boy. I can push it MYSELF."

(Those of you familiar with small children know the shiver that runs down my spine at those words.)  Doing it myself is big with little people.

But it's such a hard line to walk with them. You want to give them the confidence they need to get through life and you want to encourage them to feel independent. Yet this clashes with the need to be somewhere (with no time to wait while the child tries to fasten his own seat belts), to fix it (because it's done incorrectly) or to help. So you spend the day with conflicting emotions warring inside you. You want to keep a smile on your face and your tone light; but you're grinding your teeth to hold back the screams.  Especially when the child begins to be frustrated with his inability to do whatever it is he's trying to do by himself and his desire to keep doing it.  (Just thinking about it puts my stomach in knots.)

Now I know why my mother used to hum. All the time. I thought she just liked music--or she was weird.  And here I am, grinding my teeth and humming to hold back the torrent of obscenities roiling about on my tongue.

It's the Circle of Life...hmmhmmmhmmmmmm...

Friday, September 18, 2009

What are you wearing?

Note to self: When trying to teach a two-year-old the alphabet, remember that "the letter u" can accidentally be translated into "the letter me".

On my Rhode Island Romance Writers loop, we're discussing what we wear when we write. (Well...we're romance writers. What do YOU think we wear?)  Stereotypically, romance writers wear slinky robes with boas and mules with feathers. But the most commonly worn writing-attire for RI Romance Writers is anything with an elastic waistband. And thick socks. (Feather boa optional.)

Flannel pajamas appear to be winning.

As for me, I don't have any particular outfit that makes my writing more prolific. Instead, I wear my Muse Hat.  When I'm writing romantic comedy, it's a great big purple hat with a green ribbon band that trails down the back. There are cherries on the brim. When I'm writing my paranomedy (huh?) it's a black velvet hat with a zebra band and a tall, straight, black feather. And when I'm working on non-fiction, it's a fedora with a placard tucked in the band (does it say "Press"? I--I think it does!)

My Muse Hats enable me to write anywhere, at any time of the day or night. As long as I have a place to sit and a moment to think. I can switch them as necessary. And the best part is--they're imaginary!

Awwww. I'm sorry. I bet you were wishing you could see a photo. Heh. Sorry. Nope. You'll just have to imagine them, too. Which is a good thing. You see, by wearing an imaginary hat, it's always with me. I never misplace it. I never have to worry that the baby's pulled off the cherries or the dog has eaten them.
I don't have to fret that the velvet pile is getting wet or the feather crushed. Better, I can turn the hat from purple to red and the cherries to a parakeet at a moment's notice.

I think all writers should endeavor to find their own Muse hats. Having special writing clothes is a dangerous practice. It makes it too convenient to blame your clothing for your lack of output. And while I certainly applaud the theory of putting yourself in the right psychological space to get your writing done, I fear that using physical items to do so is another way to throw up a hurdle. We writers excel at at fabricating excuses and reasons not to do the very thing we profess we must do or die.**
So tell me--what do your Muse Hats look like?

**Apparently this morning, I'm wearing my Jane Austen hat. I'm sorry.  I watched Sense and Sensibility-again--before going to sleep last night. I fear I needs must write in a convoluted fashion else I should swoon. Oh, Willoughby...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mice are good and plentiful!

Hello. Duffy here. Mommy is taking a break today; she's been busy working on her website and her brain is mush. You can take a look at it if you'd like: Mommy's Website

She's a bit distraught. We have practically no food in the house!  Mommy takes solace in the fact that we are not alone. Many humans are now suffering from the effects of  "The Great Depression 2.0". But I, Duffy, have a solution to everyone's problems.


This country has an untapped resource of vast proportions. Delicious, nutritious and virtually fat-free! Small enough to fit in your pocket or tuck into a sandwich. Mice!

If you're wondering where to find one of these epicurial delights, you can come to my house. We've got one living under the stove. I have been pulling the drawer out and staring intently at the corner where he's staying, sometimes shoving my nose into the space between the stove and the wall. I keep telling him, "Get in my mouth, mouse," but he will not listen.

He is a bad mouse.

But I am willing to share. Come to my house. We will catch mice and we will feast!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

If only...

Note to self: At 5:00 am, apple pie counts as a breakfast for a demanding two-year-old. (It's got fruit in it.) Sugar-free vanilla ice cream counts as a dairy.

I had a million pre-coffee/still-asleep ideas to blog about, twenty minutes ago. But you know how it goes. The millisecond I sat down at the computer, my family began to talking to me. Even my husband, on third shift, called me to say "hi".  I forget all of my ideas by the time I was able to sit down again.

It's a conspiracy, I tell you...

I wish I could have three days to myself. My. Self. Alone. Just to clear my head.  Three days without Disney, disagreements or disaster.  Three days where the only people I have to talk to are waitstaff and hotel staff. And the only thing I have to talk about is what I need to make my life easier.  Plenty of hot water. Clean white towels. And hot coffee. And a fast internet connection.

Doesn't that sound like heaven?

What I'd do with that time is figure out exactly what's going on in my latest book. My characters are meandering around and I'm not sure where we're going. Which is a BAD THING. Usually, I write a synopsis before I even type the words Chapter One. But Ceci and Duke's voices were so strong, I had to hit the ground running.

Now I'm not sure who wants what, what motivates them or what their conflicts are. I don't know what's going to happen in the next scene or chapter. Worse, I can't even write a rough query or a pitch for this book. I'm working on my website and was going to put their pitch on the home page...

If only I could think. If only I had time. If only...

If anyone knows a way for creative Mommies to escape on the cheap, PLEASE share them here. Duke and Ceci need your help!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Technical difficulties, please stand by.

Note to self: orange poop looks like Playdough, but it's not.

I really want to blog every day. Honestly. But I've been busy trying to fix my website. My host provides website builders for technopoops like me; for some reason, I can't get it to work. I get error messages. Of COURSE I do. I always do!

If anyone has any (helpful) suggestions, I'd be happy to listen. Even better if they take into account the fact that I'm interrupted every twenty seconds to solve some crisis, like a lost WWE guy or the desperate need for milk from a two-year-old who has apparently been marching through the desert or something. So HTML and I don't get along. I forget brackets, lose track of where I was when I last left the computer, or get distracted by the constant yammering of small voices repeating sentences in a desperate attempt to get your attention. ("What is that in the road? What is in the road? Is that a truck in a road? What is in the road? Look at the guy in the road! The guy's in the road. Guy's in the road, Mommy....")

It's weird. You dream (when you're young) of the children you're going to have. You never think about the fact that they love you means they're going to be clinging to you every second of every day. Literally. I tripped over the two-year-old today on my way to the loo because he has a new habit of running up to hug your legs and saying, "I wuv you! I wuv you!" 

Motherhood is a two-edged sword. The problem is, you're never sure what edge you're going to get hit with...


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Last Saturday of the Summer

Note to self: Blogger looks like "booger". Gross. Oh...don't forget to buy Kleenex, today.

So I'm wondering if it's time to close the pool. It's always a quandary. What if we want to use it?

True, no one's been in it for two weeks, now. But what if it gets really hot?

Has it been really hot this summer?  What about global warming? If the world is warming, why didn't we get to use the pool more this summer?  And--why didn't my corn grow to be more than two inches long?

It wasn't a good summer for much of anything. Pools, garden, the beach, bleh.

The bugs did well, though. The spiders are huge this time of year--in my yard, anyway--they're spinning their webs all over the place. One of them made one in the corner between the back door and the garage wall; it looks like an acrobat's net. The other day it held a grasshopper dangling by a thread. He's gone today; I wonder if he escaped?

In a few weeks, all spiders will be frozen or dead. I'll have to clean away that web. But first...I need to cover the pool.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Just a thought

Note to self: The amount of paper towels left on the roll is adversely proportional to the amount of piddle (dog or child's) left on the kitchen floor...

It's payday! I luuuuuv payday. For about two minutes (after checking our account balance) I can pretend that we don't have any bills. The sky's the limit. Wa-hoo!

Then I fill up the Jeep.

Today, as I stood pretending not to look at the pump, a thought crossed my mind. How many American lives were lost this week so that I could put gas in my vehicle? How many people were were injured or maimed?

Instead of pondering how my tank filled while my account depleted, I said a prayer for our soldiers in the Middle East, their families and all the people affected by the war. I thought I'd pass that idea along. It took my mind off my problems, which are minor and made me think of those wrestling with major problems: the loss of a loved one, the loss of a limb, a head injury, burns, scars and psychological trauma.

Just so I could fill up the Jeep.

It's just a thought. Say a prayer, and be thankful. The cost of gas is high, but the price so many of us are paying is even higher.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Note to self: Skunk odor can be removed with a mixture of white vinegar and water, even on sheets, pillowcases and other household furnishings.

I got my very first royalty check today, money I made because I sold some books. MY book!  

Free coffees, two, three...and a half...friends.  Stephen King, eat your heart out. (Never, never, NEVER thumb your nose at the Money Fairy.) I've got money in my pocket because of something I created.

After I saw my check, did I celebrate? Open the champagne? Book a trip?

No, I went into the bathroom and wiped up two-year-old's piddle from the base of the toilet. (Never, never, NEVER thumb your nose at the Potty-Training Fairy.)

In my world, that means things are in-balance. Or, as Reiki Masters say, "Just for today, I will be aware of my blessings." I am blessed!