27 June 2013

J.R. Te Adoro

I love many authors, but there are a few that have escalated to adore status.  Those are the authors who enthrall me with their books, but then make me like them as people when I read their blogs or hear them speak.

I am a big, huge fan of Janette Rallison.  I think her stories are hilarious, and she seems like a very nice person and a knowledgeable author.  She gave me some great advice once that led me to write my favorite manuscript to date.  I read her blog a lot. And I'm sure she'd be shocked (in an endearing way, of course) to find out how much a complete stranger knows about her. (The stranger is me, in case you missed it.)

So, this week, she's got a contest going on her blog.  It's completely random.  I mean, who thinks like this?  She wants readers to vote on which lyrics of popular songs would make the worst pick up lines.

Now that she mentions it, I have heard some pretty rotten pick up lines in the lyrics of songs.  Not only that, but Ms. Rallison shares my adolescent appreciation for Taylor Swift.

So, go ahead and vote for your favorite, or be cool and nominate a song you find repulsive.

15 June 2013

Plotting, Potting, Planting

Behind a half-built shed, I found two unused pots, and suddenly I had a brilliant idea.  I hauled the pots to my car and left them sunbaking while I wandered wilted aisles of unwanted vegetables in tiny containers at the hardware store.  I found dirt in a bag and bought two.  Evidently, all the dirt on my living room floor wouldn't work.  I had to import.

I headed towards a wire rack that spun when I touched it and tipped over when I spun it.  Pictures of gorgeous gardens full of fresh veg and flowers stared at me from the fronts of the seed packets.  From the looks on the back, all I had to do was push the seeds into the ground at various intervals and *poof* I would have the luxurious vegetation they taunted me with.

I knew better.

The last time I planted anything it only lasted about three days before reverting to a weed patch.

But this time, I wouldn't plant it in the ground.  I had pots.  Lovely, unused pots I'd found behind a shed.

Now all I had to do was find the right seeds.  The perfect, smell-good, look-luscious, plant to put in those pots.  I wanted a fragrant wildflower called Four O'clock.  It has a black seed about half the size of a black bean, and it grows a bush with these amazing pink and white flowers that start making the world smell like the inside of Bath and Body Works just as the sun starts to set.

Of course, they had a spot on the tippity rack for Four O'clocks, but no packets.  After nearly braining a passing granny when I tried spinning the rack to look for more, I found a big, big, pack of fragrant wildflowers that had my seeds in it, along with a myriad of other seeds I didn't care about.  I sighed.  What's a budding gardener to do?

I bought all the extra seeds and took them home along with my imported dirt.

Now, I have two pots sitting beside my front door filled with rich, brown soil (not dirt) and guess what?  There are beautiful, perfect, tiny green shoots carpeting the surface.  Besides the Four O'Clock, I'm not exactly sure what I planted, but they look promising.

I think this is why gardening has lasted as long as it has. (I mean, besides the obvious need to eat.)  It's exhilarating to watch something dead-looking send out feeble arms and wave at the sky like an old friend.

10 June 2013

Phenoms = My Kids (Future)

For the first time in my married life, I will be home by myself all day come September.  All three of my lovely children will be away at school.  All day.

And I'm thinking... what do I do with myself?

But before that, I have to make sure they have a school to go to.  The program we had the kids in last year was experimental (part time school, part time homeschool) and we liked it lots.  But both teachers in that program decided to leave the school and do other things.  From what I understand, they have replaced those teachers, but I'm not sure I want to go that route anymore.  For one thing, my youngest refuses to learn anything if I'm the teacher, so he won't be staying home, even part time, and he's old enough to enroll.  If he's not staying home, I might as well send the other two, since they seem to enjoy school too.

So, here's the question: where?

We seem to have narrowed it down to two schools, possibly four.  I have them on waiting lists for two charter schools we have in the area.  And there's the public school closest to our house on the list, as well as a third charter school.  My husband seems to hate every option we have, so I've just given up on getting him happy about it.  Either they're too preppy or too lame or too far from home or too sleazy or not sleazy enough.

I'm sort of hoping for a miracle between now and August that says, "Yes.  Send your children to this school.  They will not get stuck in the land of waitlists.  They will have wonderful friends and a great education.  The school is not far from home and the bussing is bully-proof.  The extra-curricular programs are second to none.  By graduation, your children will be the phenoms you know they can be."


Here's to hoping.

01 June 2013

Out With The Old...

I'm writing to you today from my very own, brand new (to me), laptop computer.  It's actually sitting on my lap, cord free, as I type.  Isn't technology something?


My old laptop, my old friend, sniff.  I have written every serious story on that beast.  The matte black exterior holds hundreds of hours of my thoughts.  Even though some years ago the down button went the way of my stripey white belt, and the 'L' button only works every other time it's pushed, and I can't close it or unplug it or it dies.  All those things are small compared to the fact that it's been across the world with me and held my hands during some really rough patches.

We bought the oldster in 2006, before we changed countries and before I had written my first novel.  

My children learned to type on its imperfect keyboard.

Goodbye is lonely.

Good thing I have a shiny gray computer curled up quietly on my lap to keep me company.