Month: August 2010 (page 1 of 2)

Writing and Stuff

Oh. Did you notice? School is back in. At least around here. And today, although not exactly being on schedule, I had all my kids in school. All the time. All four.

Oh, yeah.

So besides the quick-and-early trip over the mountain to pick up Husband’s car (which has a very nice new water pump to match its very nice new brakes), I had a writing day.

Here’s what happens, apparently, when I have a writing day: I write. I revise. I write a little more. I make bread dough with which I will make pretty baguettes at some future time. I drink many glasses of water. With lime. I finish re-reading THE THIEF by Megan Whalen Turner. (I love this, Have I told you? Try it.) I do laundry. I eat sauteed yellow squash with kosher salt for lunch. I stretch out on the couch, because frankly it is too cold to stretch out outside.

Shall I explain that? It is too cold. In August. Outside. This morning, driving over the aforementioned mountain, I saw s^*%. Get your mind out of the gutter. Yes, you. I wasn’t being vulgar. Just shocked and unprepared. That secret code means the cold white stuff that comes down at higher altitudes when it is raining and 38 degrees on the ground. (It warmed up. To 64. But not right away.)

So what I’m saying is that I am trying to get back into my writing mojo (and that part is going to take some practice to get into the groove) and I am mourning summer (that part will come back, maybe for many weeks) and I am in a new piece of my life, a piece that almost BEGS me to be selfish and do MY THING. So I get to remember what MY THING is, and figure out how to make the most of it.

Apparently by making bread.

Oh, yeah – and writing.

Hey – Where’s Perry?

Oh. There you are, Perry.

You can call him “Agent P.”

I know. It’s almost unfair cuteness. You can visit more unintentional unfairness any time at Husband’s photo blog.

Is it Possible?

Today at 9:06 a.m. when I was leaving my little grocery market, I swear I saw Morgan Freeman driving a white van. He smiled at me.

Morgan, are you here in my town? Want to come over for pie? (We picked many fine strawberries this morning. Also, we are lovely company.)

Overheard

Me: Hey, Dude, I need some napkins to take to church.

Kid 4 (age 6): How many?

Me: I don’t want to take the nice ones. I want those other ones.

Kid 4: What do they look like?

Me: I don’t know how to explain. I’ll go look in the basement.

Kid 4: I’ll go. You just want me to look for trashy napkins?

Me: Yeah, pretty much.

The Right Thing

You know when there’s that thing that falls into the Doing The Right Thing category? I wish I were more gracious about it. But I’m trying. And I’m doing – and even with a smile. I have a very small original family (Dad has one brother, Mom’s an only child) and a very large current family (nine siblings for me, all married with kids, five for Husband). And when the large-family opportunities and obligations loom, I feel okay about ducking out, saying no thanks. But when the small-family ones come up, I need I need to make an appearance, even if it’s several states away.

So what I’m saying is, my sweet Great-Uncle passed away, and I’m off to Oregon for a funeral. Because it’s the Right Thing to do. Kids will be fine together during the day and with their awesome Dad in the evenings. And I will hang with my parents for many, many car-hours. And that can be fun, too. And doing the Right Thing is always right.

See you on the other side.

Doing Stuff.

I like doing fun stuff. So maybe you do, too. Consider yourself invited to join in the following fun (which you can always check on the SIGHTINGS tab, right up there in the middle, yeah, right there):

August 28th (that’s next Saturday, peeps) – In the morning and afternoon, there’s excellent fun to be had with the ladies and gentlemen from Tooele’s Purple Cow Bookshop. Here’s a link. Today is the last day to buy tickets for the brunch (because who wouldn’t pay to watch me and Lisa Mangum eat?), but there’s big fun all afternoon for free, too. Party from 10:00 till 4:00. (I’ll be there until 1.)

Later in the day (but also earlier, if you see what I mean) there’s the KSL Book Festival. That one goes from 10:00 – 6:00, and I’ll be there at 3:30, talking it up and laughing at my own jokes. Teen stage. Be there. Bring confetti. (At the risk of going all fangirl, I have to tell you that Avi presents at 12:30. While I’m in Tooele. I’ll be having a great time, but if Tooele is out of the question, get yourself up to the University of Utah campus for some Avi. I know.)

Then there’s this: If you’re a writer, or a reader, or a teacher, librarian, bookstorian, or even if you’re not, there’s the Book Academy at UVU. It’s a one-day conference on September 30th, jam-packed with great classes and lectures. I’m teaching about comedy, natch. (That was not irony. Not at all.) The bedimpled Brandon Mull is keynoting. Keynoting is a word. Bedimpled, apparently not.

So do you want to come do stuff with me? Because it’s fun. And we lurve fun.

Hello? Telephone.

So I go a new phone. It is extremely fabulous, much like myself. But unlike myself, it is technologically advanced. Very. In fact, I started this post on the phone, while half-listening to Kid 4’s piano lesson. However, I didn’t finish it there. Because I couldn’t figure out how to navigate from one little section to the next.

Let’s be honest: It’s too much phone for me.

But I’ve decided to love it anyway.

I even got a cool, easy-to-remember phone number, which was an unexpected bonus.

So here’s what I can do on my phone: Check my email. Check my Kids’ email. Answer email. Text message. (This is my new favorite thing. My old phone had text capacity, but I never used it because it was Terrible. Like texts with a 24-hour lag time. Not kidding. But now? Texting makes my life one big delight.) Read blogs. But it’s impossible for me to comment on blogs when I read on my phone (for the most part) because my phone doesn’t recognize those word-verification thingies. But I can read. Also read books. But I have the eyesight of a seventy-year-old cave-dweller, so that hasn’t happened yet. But it can.

Also on my phone, I can find out things. Like the nearest, cheapest gas station. The weather in Puerta Vallarta (just in case). Who played opposite Laurence Olivier in Hitchcock’s 1940 classic “Rebecca” (it was Joan Fontaine). What was the funniest thing said on late night television  last night (hours after I went to bed). How to find a friend’s house. How many times the word “forsake” is used in the book of Lamentations. What’s happening in the lives of my Friends on Facebook, if I ever dreamed of getting on there more than once a month. How many miles to the nearest Cafe Rio restaurant (16.61). How to say “Chinese takeout” in Afrikaans (“Sjinese meenemen”). What’s in my Netflix queue (except I’d need to use a password, and I make it a point never to remember my passwords).

I can look at pictures. I can play games. I can learn to play drums. I can explore the internet. I can take video. I can talk to the phone, and it will a) hear and understand me, and b) remember what I say. I can write lists. I can find myself. I can study for the drivers’ test. I can doodle pictures.

Oh – And I can make and receive telephone calls.

And that’s what really matters.

(But all the rest of it? I’m getting used to that, too.)

I’m Not Dead Yet

Just busy, apparently. Doing what? Hard to say. It doesn’t sound like much, blogpostwise. But it’s been full.

Still drafting. That’s good. I reached a big hole, maybe the last one, and I’m filling it in. Little at a time. It will come. And someday I’ll give you an excerpt. Because I’m a tease like that.

I had a delightful meeting with some writers, and we read some work together (mostly mine, because I’m needy that way) and ate wonderful foods. Always wonderful foods. If you’re going to form a critique group (call it what you will) food goes a long way to forging bonds.

And then Saturday, we went boating with some friends. Considering that we live ten minutes from two boating reservoirs, we go very infrequently. Plus we don’t have a boat. So there’s that, too. But anyway, we went. It was a riot. Great company, and what more can you ask for? What? Comedy? Oh, then here you go. Kid 4, in his 6-year-old adorability, had to pee. So I told him to just jump in. The look on his face was about as priceless as they come. Friend boys leaped in after him, as did his sister, Kid 3. They all proceeded to warm the water, except for my Kid 4, who maintained a pained look and kept trying to swim away. When someone finally asked him what was up, he waved the other kids away and said, “Go over there. I can’t do this in front of you!”

So apparently I have some life-skills work to do.

And today I get to go with Kid 1 and the high school drama peeps to do some fun. I believe we tour a theater pardon me, theatre, and take in an evening show at a totally different theatre. I’m hoping there will be ice cream at some point. And there will be lots of good company, natch. Because what’s more entertaining than a bus full of teenage drama kids? Right. Nothing.