Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Updates

  • Excited that my web master, the delightful Dina, has helped me figure out how to set up the email that I can have from my hosting site and is up and running although not yet appearing on the web site itself as an option until she has a chance to stick it there. I know there's really not much use for it quite yet, but it's nice to know I've conquered (well, with help!) another aspect of my great world domination plan. (translate: I'm a technology dweeb and I'm grateful for all the help I can get so that I can continue my small attempts at self promotion and communication!
  • Rehab is going mostly well for mother in law, which has been a blessing, honestly. Thanks to all those of you who've asked about this. She's been moved to the more active patient wing which means she no longer has to room next door to the lady who yells out 'help' followed by a random name everyone two and half minutes.
  • Conquered a full 10,000 words of Sweet Dreams which made me feel awesome!
  • Have got to figure out anniversary gift for husband since said anniversary is on 7/1. He has put up with me for yet another year, it seems... Okay, maybe it's the other way around...

Til next time...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

And some more on that...

Following up to my post on True Colors concert. Joan Jett - fierce, fit and...almost 50. Cyndi Lauper - funny, phenomenal and.... 55. It's women like them that make me LOVE being a grown up woman who let's face it, is old enough to have a son who's 22.

And in other news, while checking out rehab facilities and convalescent centers for mother in law for post hospital/post surgery stay and recovery, let it be duly noted that the beauty salon in the Woodlands Health Center - where let it be significantly recorded, I observed mostly elderly women nodding off in their wheelchairs in the somewhat whimsically named Express recovery wing - offers the option of.... wait for it.... Brazilian waxes. Now after my opening paragraph of this post, I'm not judging. Perhaps the woman in the Alfred Dunner pants outfit recovering from hip replacement has a frisky husband who comes to visit. I don't know. But it does boggle the mind.

Til next time...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I love rock and roll!

True Colors Concert last night. Five hours of absolute fun. That Cyndi Lauper sure knows how to throw a party. And we even missed one of the "surprise guest" openers because we couldn't get there right at 6. Carson Kressley (of Queer Eye fame) hosted and joked and changed outfits all evening. Wanda Sykes did her comedy routine. Andy Bell sang. Cyndi Lauper came out and sang acapella with him. I was in heaven! I've never seen the main act come out on and off all evening, but she did. To sing with Bell. To stomp down to a platform near the sound/light booth area and climb up with her mic and promote getting out and voting and her equality message which obviously being True Colors was the theme of the evening. We all matter - gay, straight, black, white, Jew, Protestant, Druid tree hugger, whatever. - Lauper's awesome. She's got near perfect pitch, can fix the sound system or tune the dulcimer, chat up the audience, support her causes and sing like a dream. Plus that voice when she 'tawks' just makes me grin. She is the real deal as a musician. No synthesizers hiding that chick's voice. AND -a set plus encore by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. I LOVE Joan Jett. Who doesn't rock out to "I Love Rock and Roll"? Seriously. You'd have to be dead. AND - the B52's!! who have never been my total favorite but hell, they sing Love Shack and like I say, who doesn't love that?? Five hours of a huge smile on my face. Husband having an equally great time. Okay, it was hot out. And humid. Lauper was worried that her makeup was gonna run. But it was the perfect summer night.

On other fronts, mother in law's back surgery went well. The recovery I'm less certain of. Cue a certain famous Amy Winehouse song. (see if you can figure it out, gentle reader)

Filled hospital waiting time with two YA's -Ethan Suspended by Pamela Ehrenberg and Meg Cabot's Jinx. Although it might seem odd to link them, they actually are. Both Ethan Oppenheimer and Jean (Jinx) Honeychurch are running from something they've done. Both have to adjust to worlds with with they're unfamiliar. For Ethan it's his grandparents' house/life in DC as the only white and Jewish family in a now all black neighborhood. For Jinx it's the private school, Upper East Side Gossip Girl type of world at her relatives house, rather than her former life as a preacher's kid in Iowa. And for both, the secrets they are trying to escape aren't so easily ditched. Other than that, the books are obviously not the same, although both mix humor and serious moments. Cabot's voice delights as always. and Ethan Suspended is Ehrenberg's debut novel from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers and came out in 2007. I'm glad I stumbled on it and I'm hoping she writes some more!

Til next time...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What's Up Wednesday

Am now an official member of Class of 2k9 which is a group of debut authors whose children's market (mostly MG and YA) books are coming out in.... you guessed it loyal readers... 2009. Have had fun so far (it's only been since Monday night) "meeting" everyone. At least three of us share the delightful and brilliant Michelle Andelman as our agent so that was definitely exciting.

Son (aka - my current hero) has volunteered to create and maintain Facebook page for me. (or maybe My Space, so feel free to debate the merits of these as publicity tools. Note the last two words, people - publicity tools. Between real life, writing, that pesky other full time job, and my pitiful attempts at blogging plus the new 2k9 stuff, I have no need for this as a social tool. I will not be picking up guys or sending out bulletins about my next kegger - although honestly, after mother in law's impending back surgery on Friday, I ought to throw one and invite only myself)

Enjoyed Melissa Kantor's Break Up Bible. Her humor just tickles me. A lot! Funny, enjoyable read!

Okay, putting my head back into Sweet Dreams.

Til next time...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Six for Sunday

1. Love, love, love Sarah Dessen's latest, Lock and Key. Ruby Cooper has been living with her mother in what can kindly be called a hand to mouth existence. Moving from place to place. Hiding from landlords and creditors. And, it turns out, from Ruby's sister Cora, too. Only Ruby believes that it was Cora who abandoned them. Went to college and then never looked back. But the truth seems to be something else. Now mom's disappeared, too. Ruby thinks she's doing okay living on her own, waiting til she turns eighteen and can stop hiding it. Only maybe Ruby's not doing as well as she thinks. So when, through circumstances beyond Ruby's control she comes to live with Cora and her husband in their luxurious house in their gated neighborhood and is moved to Perkins Day School, Ruby must confront not only the life she used to live, but the one she's living and the longings of her heart as well. Stir in Nate, the boy next door with secrets of his own and Dessen's usual Anne Tyler-esque mixture of quirky secondary characters like Ruby's new friend Olivia and her new boss at the jewelry kiosk in the mall, and you've got a book that I couldn't put down. Sarah Dessen has a way of storytelling that leaves me in awe. Her prose, her dialogue - it's all brilliant. If you love her work or if you've never read her, pick up Lock and Key.

2. And speaking of books, I do believe it's time to thin the herd around here. Oh, so painful to give away books. But sometimes the clutter becomes too great. Gonna cull through the rest of the clutter of, well, stuff, while I'm at it. (Can you tell I was at my cousin the interior decorator's house last night? Her house is homey and comfy, but clutter free and I'm having a little neatness envy thing this morning.)

3. Finished draft two of CUT BACK and sent off to Michelle this week. Fingers duly crossed. 'Tis amazing how much time one can devote to writing when one is not, oh, what was it again? Oh yes - getting up at 5:30 AM and getting to school at 6:45 AM, teaching from 7:20 til 2:35 with zero break in between. (okay, I occasionally took time to pee) and then staying for meetings and grading til at least 4, followed by at least another hour of grading/work each nite, usually two or three hours. Yeah, I'm feeling the extra time. No wonder I noticed the above mentioned clutter.

4. Have been in the character development stage for the next WIP. Liking my new people. A lot. All I'm saying on that so far.

5. Watched 27 Dresses: cute but oh so contrived. Eye candy only. Finally (I'm the last female on the planet for this next one, I do believe) saw The Notebook. And I've decided that girl world is divided into 2 camps on that one. Either a:OMG it's the most romantic thing I've ever seen or b:Good lord could they just get on with it and who the hell doesn't realize that James Garner and whats her face are actually Noah and Allie. Enough already. Please. Maybe Allie is just faking the Alzheimers to get herself out of this plot (I'm sensing, gentle reader, that you know I'm in the b category. Feel free to send Notebook defenses if you must. I know it is wildly popular. I know it and the book have made millions. I know. I know.)

6. Finished Season 2 of Friday Night Lights, as did my critique pal Kim. So we're both rooting around for another series that's on DVD to take its place. Any suggestions would be welcome. But let me say from both of us, there is no replacement for Tim Riggins. Nope. None. Nada.

Til next time...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

That Day

We all have some. "That day" - the day when... We share some communally, September 11th, 2001, of course, and others that depend on culture or age. And some, well, some are just ours alone.

For whatever reason, I seem to have more than my share. My life, it turns out, happens in clumps. I go along with no discernable excitement and then bam! everything piles up on one day or a couple days. Maybe this happens to lots of us. Maybe certain days just draw that kind of energy. Who knows? I just know it's very distinct for me.

Which takes me to this past Friday, June 6th. Even historically, it seems to be a whopper - D Day, 6 Day War kind of big, both of which happened on or during 6/6. The day I graduated from high school (okay not so big). It is also my son's birthday and, nine years after that, the day my mother died, as though perhaps she wanted to make sure I wouldn't forget or something. So emotionally, another whopper. This year, it was also the day school finally ended. But as in my world that couldn't be enough, it was also the last day one of my dearest work pals ended her tenure at our school. It's a rare miracle to find someone at work who has your sense of humor and your back at the same time, and my pal Beth Ann was both of those. We'd taught next door to each other for a number of years and she was definitely my touchstone, the person I'd go to when I had to ask "Don't you find this ridiculous?" (She always did) or "You're not going to believe what this kid did! (she always did) or "Good lord, Crazy Johnny has set his mohawk on fire, do you have a spare bottle of Ozarka?" (she always did) or "Do you know that math teacher down the hall has never said hello to me once and always averts her gaze when she passes by me in the hall which is like forty five times a day and has been doing this every day even though we've worked twenty feet from each other for five years? Do you think she's pathologically unfriendly?" (She always agreed) So the fact that she'll be doing her thing elsewhere now really just has me a little crazy. Schools, if you didn't know, aren't always filled with people you can trust. So when you find one, it's such a miracle you hate to lose it.

Anyway, that's my June 6th story. My kid is now 22!!! which is kind of odd since I'm only 29, but what can you do? Anyone else have clumps of events fall onto a single date?

Til next time...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Still missing Aidan

That's just my opinion, anyway, after having seen Sex and the City with a friend yesterday. Don't get me wrong - the movie was fluffy, naughty fun. But here's my take, for what it's worth, which for some of you may not be much. All that self-absorbed navel gazing and waffling that caused Mr. Big to break Carrie's heart so many times during the series? I might have let him get away with it when I was in my 20's or 30's. But how a self-respecting 40 year old Carrie could (SPOILER alert; please avert your eyes if you don't want to know. Or please just read on because for heaven's sake how the hell could they make a movie of this and not let the two of them finally get hitched up at some point?) let him humiliate her and then still take him back as the too old, too stuck in his ways but okay obscenely wealthy enough to buy a penthouse apt. (pre-war, with excellent light) on 5th guy of her dreams is honestly more than I can accept. So is her anger at Miranda (who spent most of the movie looking terribly constipated and unhappy and who also needs to just put on her big girl panties and grow up) for telling Big that he and Carrie were stupid to want to marry. I could buy Carrie's anger if Big were, say, 22. 22 year old guys could be thrown off their game by one too many Coronas or by looking at the mini blinds or whatever. But an over 40, probably 50ish guy? C'mon. Now that makes him into a nicer looking version of your eccentric cousin who according to all the aunties just couldn't find the right girl because he was picky.

The NY setting was gorgeous. I want to marry again and have the ceremony in the NY Public Library. I want that dress. Those shoes. That apartment. The Closet!! But I'm not sure I want to be friends with these ladies any more.

And as per the title of this post, I really miss Adain. He should have been the one. (okay, I miss the Russian, too. Can't get enough of him in the reruns, but he was just as into himself as Big only with a cooler accent and that post ballet body to die for)

Til next time...