Sunday, November 25, 2007


People who had babies often picture them as seeds, slowly growing and opening to the world. Most babies actually change in fits and starts… Baby #3 has been more like an exploding firework.

In the last two weeks he’s gone from sleepy, hungry and very introverted to Mr. Social Explorer.

He smiles, he laughs, he coos. He likes watching new things. He likes people. He spent ½ of church today smiling at another family’s toddler.

He’s interested in his environment. When he’s fussy, I can distract him by giving him a new object to touch. He kicks at toys on his boppy play gym. He encourages his sisters in their antics, and they vie for his grins.

He still eats and sleeps a lot. But now he talks in his sleep. Everything about him announces “Hello World! Here I am! I’m going to find out all about you!”

(He also thinks I’m funny. For some reason this morning the phrase “Finding the inner you by sculpting in Poo” was particularly hilarious. (I was commenting on the inane offerings of some retreat houses… I think he just likes the rhythm and rhyme. I’ll have to get back into writing baby poems so he can be perpetually entertained…..)

I’ll post some pictures later this week….

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I think I'm getting better at writing them. We'll have to see if the latest round get any response.

I'm trying to follow Editorial Anonymous's suggestion about what a query letter needs to include: What the book is about, What happens, and Why I'm qualified to write it.

Though for a 110-word rhymed Picture Book, #1 is awfully hard.

At least I'm back in the game. Baby #3 is now strong enough that I can type while he nurses, at least on the left side. (I'm not a great typist so I use my right hand more than my left... My right is responsible for 3/4 of the keyboard, My left has the remaining 1/4.)

But at least I use more than two fingers....

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Characters are NOT Children to me (Though my children are characters...)

Every now and then I'll come across an author interview where the author swears that his fictional characters are just like children to him.

And I wonder... does this guy actually HAVE kids?

Because I can write my characters however I want. I control their thoughts, feelings and actions. I can change their names at will. If they annoy me, I can delete them, or at least leave them to languish in my "abandoned projects" file... perhaps forever. I don't love them... They're my creations, put in their story to amuse me, to do my bidding, and perhaps to earn me money some day.

My children defy any attempts to change who they are. (Not that I try--it would be useless since they apparently think they get to be unique human beings complete with their own souls.) I can change specific behaviors, but only with a lot of work. I love my children. Most of the time I enjoy being around them... but even when I don't enjoy them, I still have to pay attention to them and take care of them. (Heck, That's really what love IS--caring for the other person when it isn't fun, easy, or convenient.) They amuse me sometimes, obey me sometimes, and occasionally earn money.. ("Look Mom! A Quarter! Over there in traffic!!! Go get it Mom!!!!")--but that's not their reason for being.....

So... do authors who say their characters are like children not have kids? Or do they treat their characters better than I treat mine? Or are they just REALLY scary, controlling abusive parents with absolute say over who their children become?

Personally, I'm glad my characters aren't like children to me-- If they were, it would be a lot harder to hit "Save" so that I could go pay attention to my ACTUAL children...

A Disturbing Ramification of the WGA strike

This morning I started reading the evolutionary psychology book

I'm not to far into it, but I already came across something amusing... and disturbing (paragraph breaks are mine for easier reading):

"A recent study shows that individuals who watch certain types of TV programs
are more satisfied with their friendships, as if they had more friends or
socialized with them more frequently. According to the Savanna Principle, this
is probably because the human brain, adapted to the ancestral environment, has
difficulty distinguishing between our real friends in the flesh and the
characters we repeatedly see on TV.

In the ancestral environment, any
realistic images of other humans were other humans, and if you saw them
repeatedly and they did not try to kill or harm you in any way, then more than
likely they were your friends.

Our Stone Age brain therefore assumes
that the characters we repeatedly encounter on TV, very few of whom try to kill
or harm us, are our real friends, and our satisfaction with friendships thereby
increases by seeing them more frequently."

So if the WGA continues to strike and the the public doesn't get to see their "friends" anymore, will we see a massive wave of depression? Will an increase in divorce result as people blame their spouses for the diminished quality of their friendships?

Or will reruns reintroduce people to "long-lost friends" and keep their spirits up.

I'm going to have to protect myself-- time to stock up on Babylon 5 and Joan of Arcadia so we don't get lonely....

Also -- does anyone else find it mildly disturbing that the author believes that "very few" TV characters are trying to kill or harm us?????? I guess it's a good thing that Dr. Octopus can't get out of the magic glass box, huh?

Stephen Colbert does Liturgical Dance

Ok. So the following has nothing to do with Writing, homeschooling, or kids.

But it's funny... Especially since the man who wrote the featured song was the pastor of my college's Catholic Student Center.

We used to sing "The King of Glory" every year in a long Palm Sunday procession around the quads. By the time we got back to the church, everyone would be singing in a different key and a different tempo from everyone else. Usually the front and rear of the procession were about 2 verses off from each other.

Poor Father Jabusch would always have a pained, shocked look... something in the vein of "What's become of my beautiful, easy-to-sing yet catchy hymn?????"

I can only imagine how this link would affect him:

Dancing Colbert

*note- Thanks to First Things for the link.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Odd Phrases and a Liberal Arts Background

So... am I the only one who sees the phrase "Culture of Consumption" and immediately thinks that the article must have something to do with TB in literature?


I'll blame the baby. Obviously I've become completely divorced from normal-people land.

For the record: I am against conspicuous consumption. If you're coughing up blood, go to a sanitarium, for goodness sakes! Or at least pick up some antibiotic!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Writing on a Schedule

It's something I only dream of these days.

Before Baby #3, I could count on quiet time during Caillou --so I had a VERY PRODUCTIVE 1/2 hour every day. Now it varies. And sometimes my brain is just too fried to even try.

So I've been spending wayyy too much time earning "kinzcash" for the kids.

So now, a new resolution:

No Webkinz until I do at least 1/2 an hour of actual writing-related work - defined as writing, editing, submitting or serious market research.

Reading will NOT count as work because the blogger is so good I'd read her even if I wasn't a writer.

And reading the news, political blogs, etc. (Because they might give me an idea) will not count.

And decorating rooms on Webkinz (to understand the younger generation) will CERTAINLY not count, especially since all my children's "friends" are the kids of my friends, and all of our kids are too young to do too much on webkinz (other than boss us around) and so really the game is just a way to hang out with MY friends on line.

Oh, but in case your wondering, the games on Webkinz are fun--many of them are cute versions of the games I used to play in college while I procrastinated........

But they haven't added a Tetris look-a-like yet......

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

In Solidarity with the WGA....

I will not be writing this week....

Well, not really, because of the WGA. Actually, because in-laws are visiting, Baby #3 is growth-spurting, my brain is mostly fried and I have writer's block.

But I do feel for the striking writers. Especially the TV writers who get screwed over on the whole DVD thing--DVD sales should really count like syndication.

My husband and I watch most of our shows on DVD. (We just finished up Babylon 5 earlier this summer. Now we're catching up on back-seasons of Monk.) We're hardly unique in this... most of our friends watch their TV shows on DVD too-- when you have small kids it's really much easier to be able to watch at random times and have access to a pause button. And REALLY GOOD closed captions. And rewind and skip scene and ... you get the idea.

I was also wondering why BOOK writers don't have a similiar union... I came to the conclusion that it's because ours is a VERY low profit business... everyone's working for love, and you can't strike for more $$ if there is no more $$ to give.......

Anyway, in other news, things are looking up around here. The little guy is eating well, I'm slowly starting to submit again (even if creatively speaking I'm dry, I can always revise existing ideas....), and my energy is slowly returning.....

I've also been thinking about how to make this blog less personal and more USEFUL. So hopefully I'll get busy and start actually linking to the things I find interesting and helpful....

But first, I'll finish cooking dinner for the two wild women.... =)