Showing posts from June, 2008

Eagles Don't Make the Man

This has been an odd week for the family. Not only have we been working like mad on my daughter's new room, but she's been gone for all of it at summer camp. (We wanted to surprise her with the finished product. SO worth it! Pictures forthcoming.) She returned this afternoon and was thrilled.

For two and a half hours, the family was together again. We had a nice dinner, and then her brother left for a Scout hike and camp-out. It's like my family is fractured, and I have a feeling that the older (and more independent!) they get, the worse it's going to be.

But on to the point:

As I packed up my son's frame pack with the necessities, I was thrown back to the days when I went on Uintah hikes. I come from a family of campers. As in wilderness, roughing it, actual camping campers. None of this wimpy, drive-up-to-the-site-and-break-out-the-cooler stuff. Puh-leese.

My ward was the same. Every summer, the Young Women went on a week-long trip, leaving Monday morning for the Hig…

The Office

Not the show. MINE.

The back story: We moved into this house four years ago. (We moved to this CITY almost five years ago. That year in the stupid, cramped apartment is a nightmare best forgotten . . .)

When we picked out this floor plan, one of the main floor bedrooms was identified as my future office. Yippee!!! I couldn't wait! But I had to; see, we still had a little person in a crib. While the other kids were old enough to sleep in the basement (with a monitor so paranoid Mommy could hear them sleep), the littlest one used that future office as her bedroom until she was a big enough little girl to venture downstairs for the night.

So what would end up, someday, being my oldest daughter's bedroom has been my office for the last four years. It was odd recently thinking about all the work I've done in that "temporary" space: I wrote a good chunk of House on the Hill in it (although I began it in our previous house and did some work on it in that stupid, stupid apa…

In It Together

Last night at critique group, some of the commentary about my WIP got me thinking about my characters. I noticed something about them that struck me as interesting.

(A caveat: All of them are real to me, so you'll have to pardon the fact that I'm going to talk about them like real people.)

These five women, as different as they are, have one big thing in common. It's not just the one big situation they're in together. It's something else, too.

And, sadly, it's something that a lot of us women share: we compare ourselves to one another.

In general, we come up short in the comparison. She's smarter, prettier, skinnier, is a better mom/wife/housekeeper, and so on.

Or maybe we're judging in the other direction, being harsher on the other person to make ourselves feel better, like the woman who told me once, when I had a toddler and a baby, that I had no idea what stress was like, because she had four kids, and I only had two.

When we compare, we're judging—an…


I am known for my intense opinions as well as my tendency to voice those opinions. Loudly. It's taken me a lifetime to learn when to keep my big mouth shut, when to speak up, and more importantly, how to speak up in a diplomatic way that doesn't end up with those involved hating my guts.

Actually, I'm still trying to learn that one. I'm still caught far too often with my foot lodged securely in my mouth.

Which is why I'm in a dilemma today.

There is an aspiring writer I know. This person has been taken under the wing of another writer in a mentor-like situation. All well and good. But some of the advice flowing from teacher to pupil is, in my never-quiet opinion, waaaaaaaay off track.

I can argue the reasons with intensity and prove my point. I drafted a short, polite (I think!) e-mail to the pupil letting them know my concern. But I haven't sent it. Probably won't.

See, it's none of my business.

It's not. It's not. It's not. I have to keep tellin…

Searching for the Right Cup

To the few male readers I have, a warning: You probably don't want to keep reading this one. The ladies, most likely, already know what I'm going to be talking about, and they likely agree with me.

Right, ladies? Right.

Okay, then.

About a year and a half ago, I went on a shopping mission. It wasn't a fun shopping trip (you know, that kind that's full of, "Oh, look. Cute shoes!"). It was the absolute worst kind of shopping. And no, I don't mean for swimsuits, because as miserable as that is, one suit will generally do the trick for years, so it's not something that bears repeating very often, and frankly, during the process, your middle section (the area with stretch marks and bread dough) is covered.

Bra shopping, however, must be done a bit more frequently. And it's a hideous, hideous experience. You'd think that all the sizes would actually mean something, that the shape and style wouldn't matter all that much.

You'd be wrong.

This time, …

I've Been Hagged

My local library has a lot of fun throwing parties for families. They do at least two every year, and they're quite the productions.

For years they had a Harry Potter party each summer around Harry's birthday. (Last year's in celebration of the final book was mucho cool. Totally blew me away.)

And there's the an annual princess ball, which they always connect to a neat theme (this year it was Chinese new year).

Kids often dress up for these things, and there's always a ton of fun activities connected with the theme. Families come in swarms. It's a big deal.

This year the fantasy party focused on a new series. Yesterday, the library turned into Fablehaven. The lengths to which they went for the celebration were stunning. Among the features of the night:

A decorated archway marking the entrance to Fablehaven.
A search for different fairies as well as Olluch and the Gatekeeper's keys
Human Foosball (based on Kendra and the Sphinx playing the game)
Chickens to feed (ki…

It's Brillig the Frog!

By some twist of fate, I ended up guest-blogging on TWO blogs on the very same day.

Today come visit me at Twas Brillig


at Six LDS Writers and a Frog!

My Funky Reading Habits

I’ve gotten better about not always finishing books that I start, which is a very good thing. Feeling compelled to finish a book I don’t like has been a bit of a curse for me—a curse I’ve had hanging over my head since high school.

Case in point: One year in English we were running out of time to read a novel before the end of term. Miss Drummond (whom I idolize; it’s because of her I’m a grammar fascista) summarized something like ten chapters and then told us to skip ahead.

I COULDN’T DO IT. I had to read the whole thing, which necessitated a few long nights of extra homework so I wouldn’t fall behind the rest of the—sane—class.

I know. I’m a sad, sad person.

Part of my obsession with finishing books is getting personal "credit" for them, because for many, many years, I’ve kept a running tally of the books I read. If I don’t finish a book, I can’t very well put it on my list of books I’ve "read" for the year, now can I?

Well, for 2008, I decided to make a sub-list: &q…