Tuesday, February 26, 2013

She's a Little Scary

She is deciding if you would taste better with ketchup or ranch.
My kid Sparky? She is a gem. This kid is the kindest, sweetest, funniest kid around. She has a razor sharp wit that can snap at you like a whip when she wants, nail you good, and then you are not surprised when the next thing out of her mouth is, "Would you like some aloe? Because I think you just got burned." She is, by the way, only 10.

Somehow, the Donner party tragedy came up in conversation recently. Okay...in the interest of full disclosure I have to admit I started it. I made a crass and tasteless joke (because that's how I roll) about throwing a Donner...er...dinner party, and my curious little Sparky wanted to know who they were and why I would make cannibal jokes about them. I explained about the pioneers trudging out west with their wagons and carts, hoping to beat the winter as they made their way to California but instead getting stuck in the mountains for months, and surviving...well, as cannibals often do when they must choose between life and starving to death. She is a sensitive child and has been bullied by mean girls on whom I wanted to go all momma bear, so I thought the idea of eating people to survive would upset her sensibilities. Instead, I was blown away by her response.

"If I got stuck like that, I know who I'd eat first," she said, and then named the bully.

I didn't know whether to laugh or not, but I did know one thing for sure: I want to make sure I stay on this girl's good side.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tongue Tied

Remember how everyone made fun of George W. Bush because he said "nook-ya-ler" instead of "nuclear?" I admit I laughed every time. How is it possible to be president of the US and have your finger on the red button that can destroy the world many times over, but still not be able to correctly say the name of the button? Is that some kind of lingual disability?

So the other day the big hairy man and I were talking with Snarky about what assignments she has due. One in English was an exercise in synonyms and antonyms. I have a bachelor's degree in English so I'm thinking, "Easy peasy lemon squeezy!" The big hairy man, however, couldn't get past the title.

"Cinnamons and antonyms....Simmamuns and antonyms...Synomins...Syn-oh-NYMS and anthemums....AUGH!!! This is why I'm an engineer!"

Suddenly I feel pity for the former president. The big hairy man has only me to mock him, not the world's press.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Little Too Alike?

I am rapidly approaching my 15th anniversary with the big hairy man. This year will mark the 15th anniversary of first dates, first kisses, engagement, and marriage. If you want the whole back story, let me sum up: I am insane. I met a great guy and got engaged to him 3 weeks later. Yes, you read that right. Three short weeks. This means a couple of things: first, I was clinically insane when I was in my 20's, and second, if one of my daughters bring home some hairy biker dude after three weeks of dating and announces her engagement, I can't tell her how monumentally stupid that is because all she has to do is point at me and say, "hey, it worked for you."

So, yes, somehow we make it work and we are celebrating this 15th year together by acting more and more like each other. It's a little scary, actually, because who wants to act more like a man who is the size of an NFL linebacker but giggles like a school girl every time he rips one?

I realized we have reached the pinnacle of scary similarity this afternoon. The big hairy man probably would have married work instead of me if it were more emotionally available, so it surprised me that he took a few days off this week...just because. It took some time to convince me that no one was dead, and he really did just want a couple of days off.  He is doing mundane things around the house with me, and today our adventure was...GROCERY SHOPPING. On our way out, a guy on a Harley called out to us as we crossed the parking lot, to kindly let us know that our package of toilet paper had tumbled from the bottom of the cart and lay in the middle of the road. At the same time we both yelled out, "Flying toilet paper!"

Pretty sure this is me rubbing off on him. If he starts complaining that I like to dutch oven him, you'll know he has finally rubbed off on me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Good for the Ego

Tonight as I was listening to the State of the Union address, I decided that one day I want to be president. We writers are so used to critique, criticism, and rejection--I think it would do wonders for my self-esteem to have hundreds of people burst into spontaneous applause every time I complete a sentence.

Meet the Readers!

Sometimes I have a hard time understanding how so many successful indie writers reach their audiences without the marketing support of a publishing house. Enter social media. This is something am trying to use and understand, but I admit sometimes it overwhelms me. Which, what, where? And how? How will it help me reach my readers and not just advertise, but interact and build friendships along with book sales? I.Am.Clueless.

My dear friend and fellow author Sherry Gammon has turned reader and author outreach into an art form. I admit I was one of those who looked down on e-pubbing until I saw Sherry do it the way it should be done. Seeing her success gave me the courage to try it on my own...but I am still a total noob at this.  So for the rookie chumps like me, I offer Create Space blog's tips on how to find the people who want to read our books. Is anyone else on Shelfari and Library Thing? I never heard of them until I read this post. I have so much to learn!

Next on my list, after cleaning Sparky's room that she "cleaned" this weekend by shoving everything into the closet and jamming the door shut so I wouldn't know, is to check these sites out.

Welcome, Lovers and Lurkers Alike

I decided, as I try to finish up my latest novel and prepare it for publication, it is high time I create a blog devoted entirely to what I write. I love my latest heroine, a high school girl who is a bit of a control freak, very flawed, but also aware of her flaws and with a great love for everyone...except the resident mean girl, of course. There are times in the course of the story, however, where she's not sure who is worse--the mean girl, or the demon haunting her.

I have never written speculative fiction, and quite frankly most of it scares the caca out of me. What can I say? I am a wuss. I didn't want to do the demon/werewolf/angel and girl love story that seems to be the big thing these days. I don't think there is anything wrong with these--if you enjoy reading them, READ MORE! Just read. I didn't think I could do justice to a story like that, though. I took a high school girl who just wants to be normal (and didn't we all, when we were in high school?) and put her in circumstances that make this wish practically impossible. I am in love with her already, and I hope, when you get the chance to meet her, you will fall hard and fast, too.

You will find some shameless self-promotion here, and I will share other great writers and their work, along with stuff that happens around house and things my kids say, because they are stinking hilarious.