Monday, May 30, 2005

Wow, the 26th was definitely memorable, and not just in the ways I expected! First, my husband accepted a new job that morning! Then, we had already planned to go to Galveston (on the Texas coast) for a short family vacation, but once we had our van all packed up and ready to go, it wouldn't start! We figured we'd just jump start it with our Mazda, but it didn't work. Not only that, but a belt broke on the Mazda while we were revving it, sending bits of rubber flying across the driveway! Eventually, we had the van towed to a car repair shop. We thought we might rent a car for our vacation (our hotel room was pre-paid and non-refundable), but the repair shop workers said they'd move us to the front of the line and get our van fixed & out of there within a couple of hours. Instead, my husband had to wait there for five hours before the van was fixed! We ended up leaving town in the early evening and not reaching Galveston until 11:30 pm! The kids woke up when we arrived there and we let them stay up a bit, even to 2 am or it was definitely an unusual day all the way around! But the trip was a good one, and though storms were predicted for the whole weekend, it never rained or stormed until we were on our way home last night. (Of course, now we have to get the Mazda fixed!)

And more good news, besides the job! I submitted two pieces to Blooming Tree Press for their upcoming Summer Shorts anthology, and both were accepted! One is a reprint of my "High Dive" poem, and the other is my short story, "Owen Nolan's Square-Wheeled Bike." Hooray!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

My datebook entry from 22 years ago today: History exam, School out 12:30, Tap recital, Musical Theatre recital, Saw Return of the Jedi with David, Kristin, Pat, & Chase.

Just ran across that old datebook last night & found it oddly relevant, since the Jedi have returned again! That was a pretty busy day, but today may be even busier or more memorable...will update later once I see if it is so!

Friday, May 20, 2005

What I'm Reading & Watching: I just got Daniel Pinkwater's The Artsy Smartsy Club and Alison McGhee's Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth. I have Debra Garfinkle's Storky: How I Lost My Nickname and Won the Girl on order, along with the Season 1 DVDs of The Adventures of Pete & Pete. I haven't seen many movies lately. We rented Chicken Run for a family movie night this week and Primer a couple of weeks ago (my first thought was that engineers in Dallas either dress much more formally than engineers in Austin, or the director just assumed that's how they would dress), but otherwise my husband & I have mainly been watching documentary-type shows. We watched the show Star Wars: Empire of Dreams (an odd title, I thought, given that the Empire is the bad guys), the Word Wars documentary about tournament Scrabble players, a show called Brainman about a man with savant skills in dealing with numbers, and a couple of episodes of Mythbusters. I've also been watching several end-of-the-year school programs, with at least one more to go!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I was looking at some old image files on my computer, and ran across this fortune I got in a cookie a year and a half ago, which I'd thought was worth taking a picture of:

Still waiting.... (Editors? Agents? Bueller? Anyone?)

Meanwhile, I can't believe there's a new character on Cyberchase (my kids' favorite show) named Creech. Creech was one of the names we joked about naming our child before we had kids! Ours was a boys' name, Creech Trantham, but this Creech is a girl with some lovely antennae. Other boys' names we claimed to be considering included Stranphthner, Tavist D (after the medication), Bruceville Eddy (from a highway sign), Dylan Bob (try this with Dellenbaugh), and the Biblical name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. For girls, we rejected Abnera DeWaynette, Ornith Corinth, Clabbie Klempenstadt, Lacy Lakeview (another highway sign), Prunellabelle Stanielle, the Biblical name Oholibamah, and Onkaly Muldween. Think we need to have more kids so we can use them? Actually, one of our names, Pug DeMoss, has become a crucial character (or really, a family of characters--Pug DeMoss, Sr., Jr., III, and IV) in my Purple Panic novel! Guess I'd better hurry and finish the novel before a TV show uses that one, too.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day, whether you're a mother or not! Two cute things from my life as a mother:

My 6-year-old, Ryan, got to have his own crazy hair on Friday (see his brother's look in my April 26 entry). For Field Day at his school, all the kindergarteners made purple tie-dyed shirts and sprayed their hair purple. No spikes, though...darn!

And my 4-year-old, Kyle, had the sweetest thing planned for Mother's Day (which also made me sad because I hate to see him hope for something and be disappointed when it doesn't work). Knowing that popcorn is one of my favorite snacks, Kyle took it upon himself to plant a popcorn kernel in the backyard the other day, and has been watering & checking on it in hopes of growing a popcorn plant for me! That makes me teary-eyed just thinking about it! (Though never fear, he did get to give me some pretty flowers in a pot that he painted in preschool. Ryan gave me a box that he painted and decorated at school, and both kids made me cute pictures and cards.)

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Someone just pointed to me this quiz about what type of rubber duck you are. I am apparently an:

Inventive Duck

Er...I think that's another way of saying I'm an "odd duck"! But I can live with that. And inventing stories (often odd ones) is indeed what I do. Along the same lines, the What's Your Writing Style? quiz told me:

I am a freeform writer

"Individualistic with sense for the different and challenging, Walt Whitman and his poetry lacking meter and rhyme is just what the doctor ordered. You're quick to write something that the rest of the world doesn't accept as poetry, quick to separate yourself from the average joe.* An author with a true sense of self, you have confidence in your abilities and aren't afraid to show it." Again with the odd duck stuff! Not that that's news to me.

I have no writing news. No acceptances. No rejections. No new publications. No breakthroughs. One new submission, but that's not exactly news. Is no news good news? I don't know, but even if it is, I'd still rather have some more obvious good news!

* Note the blatant use of what my friend Joe Kissell calls "Joeism," as seen in discriminatory phrases such as average Joe, Joe Schmo, Joe Blow, etc. That example even puts "joe" in lower case, making the name so average it's generic. (And despite my individualism, I admit that my use of an asterisk in a blog entry is shamelessly stolen--er, I mean, flatteringly imitated--from Cynthia Leitich Smith. I'd love it if online help-style pop-ups were available for parenthetical remarks and links, but in their absence, a good old-fashioned footnote does the job!)