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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

In my continuing effort to read other’s blogs, rather than posting on my own,  I have discovered:  2010 – The Year In Jolie | Blurt via 2010 – The Year In Jolie | Blurt.    Check out her past blogs for a hysterical account of the time she was a contestant on “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me.”

I leave my studio radio on NPR and, I will have to be awfully ill to not work on Saturday when I can hear  ‘Wait! Wait,’  ‘Prairie Home Companion  and the whole lineup.  Alright, honesty here.  I have not been out to my studio in a couple of years, but this summer I will be out there again.  Feeling so much healthier and ready to go. and one thing that keeps me moving is NPR.  I particularly like late night jazz and Fusion.

So, what have I been doing, instead of working in my outdoor studio.  I have been writing. 

Husband says that I can get really crabby when I’m not working.  As I became more and  more weak, from undiagnosed heart problem, I got to the end of my rope and just had to work, so I wrote.  And, through surgery, recovery and weird news, I still wrote.  If they would have let me have paper and pen in ICU, I would have written there.

Now, I’m unwriting.  I just did a run through of the second half of my (either) Middle Grade or Young Adult fantasy novel.  I’m going with Advanced Middle Grade today.  I was able to get rid of 1,000 words and decided to go through the upper half.  It’s a matter of reading and saying, “I don’t need to say that.” “That is redundant.” and of showing instead of telling.

The big question:  Will I ever be done.  The fantasy is set in 2007, you’ll know if you know what the weather was like, in Indiana, in 2007.  My step-mother can probably read it and tell you what month is what.  The woman is a walking weather woman. 

So, what does 2011 hold for me.  Hopefully, I find an agent and then an editor and we work wonderfully together to make this book a success.  Because, I think it will be an important book for children to read.  But, even if it doesn’t, I am going to have to finish the series, because that is what I have to do.

I hope you all find what you have to do and do it, this coming year.  It’s the most satisfying thing in your life.

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I love the blog, A Mask to Hide Behind, which is now (June 2009) actually  A LIFE IN THE DAY OF ME.  In fact, I like it so well that it is currently one of only two Blogs I subscribe to. Of course, it may be they are the only ones who make it easy to figure out how to subscribe to and there are days when it comes in my email and later I click down my blog links and go, “Drat! I already read this one.” and I am disappointed that I have alrady had the experience.  So, I am not sure I like this subscribe thing.

 

But, the “girl behind the mask” writes in such a simple, direct manner, and her family gives her so much good material, that it has become my daily morning laugh.  After I am done laughing, I can let out that deep sigh and return to my family, saying, “They’re not all that bad.” 

 

 

Ah, but they are; just in their own way.

 

 

My mother for one: She is of a generation who does not sweat or swear or actually discuss any bodily functions.  Words like piddle and sugar are as bad a swear word as she gets. It is also wrong for a woman to have a temper. 

 

Now, my father had a temper that made up for her lack of one. Once, when they were newly married and living in a tiny house trailer, he got mad and kicked the wood stove. The stove leg broke, causing the stove to crash to the side and dump, the pipe came unhinged, and soot and ash covered everything.

 

 

“Do you feel better now?” Mom asked him.

 

 

“Yes, I do.” He replied.

 

 

“Then, clean it up yourself.”

 

 

(Honest: I am not sure of the conversation, as I was not born yet, but that is what I imagine the conversation to be.  Mind you, that is nowhere near what I would have said, as I grabbed my coat and car keys, but mom did not drive, and the conversation probably ended in her cleaning up the soot.)

 

Many years later, after the children were grown and gone and the “debates” raged in their house as to whether the sky was really blue, or whether it was a bird or a bear on the deck, or had the electric bill come or who actually put the tax forms in the dash of the car (and that was a good one too, as dad actually <when he found the forms in the dash> had to admit that he had done it, but belligerently he added, “Why did you let me do that?”

 

Thus, making it mom’s fault.

 

After all this, came a day when mother had enough of dad’s temper.

 

They were in the kitchen, when the shit hit the fan, so to speak (and she would never ever say that either).  Mother just had enough of dad’s yelling, and she took her hand and swept dishes and a box of Twinkies off the counter. 

 

As I understand it, the Twinkies flew across the room, hit a wall and bounced down the stairs.  Dad stood open mouthed at the hitherto unseen violence of mom’s actions and mom took off for the bedroom crying; not because she was mad at dad but because she had fallen so far that she committed a violent act like throwing the Twinkies.

 

Such an unladylike thing to do! Tisk! Tisk!

 

Later she would remark that temper serves no purpose, as besides having broken dishes, which also cut her leg, she now had a dirty box of Twinkies

 

“But, didn’t you feel better, Mom?” I asked when the story was relayed to me.

 

Head down and eyes up, she sheepishly replied a barely audible, “Yes, but I had to clean it up.”

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Younger boy lived with us from birth till he was three, then came to live with us again at age thirteen. At three he was a hand full and a half of charging bull. At sixteen, he’s Mr. Cool one day and Mr. Country Singer the next.

Younger boy turned sixteen today.  (Actually, it was yesterday. Imagine my surprise this morning, when I found out I had put up a different blog–oops!) His request was for steak, mashed potatoes and corn (those two go hand in hand at our house) and German Chocolate Cake, which is really quite easy to bake (from scratch) but taking a cake from a hot oven to an overly air conditioned counter causes it to burst like a punctured balloon. The boys have decided I should recreate this treat every time as then you get more of the goodie filling and less cake.

He had a lot of catching up to do, at thirteen, when he entered public school for the first time.  He was reading at a second grade level and did math at third grade level.  He had not been taught any history or geography and the only science he had was when he watched his younger brother being taught how to make Gak. Hence, my insistence, and I think it is a good idea even for good home educators (and I know quite a few good ones), that home schoolers should have legislated testing every two years. No child left behind folks, means all children.

Because of not being taught to write at the proper age, youngest boy has a writing disability and takes a laptop to school with him. He has a pass to go to the Learning Resource Center and get help with his tests, as he is slow at reading (He may have them fooled on that one. He can read Harry Potter just fine, even if it is slow.) Thank you, J. K. Rowling for interesting him in any reading at all.

He does write and every time, when I take the magnetic grocery list off the fridge to copy it into my laptop for a store list, I say, “What does this mean?”

He comes, looks and says, “I don’t know.”

I say, “Well you wrote it.” as I look at cat scratches that resembles skinny dictation marks.

He says, “Doesn’t mean I know what it says.”

When he was one and a half, someone looked out a window and saw a ceramic cat go flying across the yard. It’s the kind of thing where you sit there and say, “That’s strange.” Then, when the second one goes flying by, you run. Yup, there he was, standing at an open window and emptying his mother’s cabinet out the window. He had a nice little pile of broken knick knacks, outside.

By the age of two, he was missing one day, and found on top of the refrigerator, having eaten half a tray of brownies, which were hidden on the refrigerator for a reason (So he wouldn’t eat them.). No one is sure how he got up there. The chair to the counter was easy, but how did he get from the counter to the top of the fridge? It was quite a stretch. 

After the boys and their mother moved in with stepfather, things got hairy. His mother being terrified to be alone at night, kept a container of mace on the dresser; twice he sprayed himself in the face. He was playing “Toro, Toro”, as in bull fights with his two other “blanket holding” brothers, not airplane crash Toro, and, being the bull he was already, charged and knocked himself unconscious on the corner door frame. To the hospital again, we go. 

Then, Christmas arrived and youngest boy took to crunching Christmas tree lights. You could hear the glass crunching as he walked through a room and the nearest adult would run their finger through his mouth and remove the end of the bulb, and as much glass as possible, then feed him bread. The nurse hotline knew us by voice. When the lights were removed from the bottom half of the tree, he began taking apart flashlights and eating their bulbs.

He’s broken his ankle since he’s been living here and wrenched a shoulder but mostly he’s searching for his identity.  This week it is boots, ripped jeans, camouflage vest and Dundee hat, with a swagger. Some weeks, it’s pure cowboy. Other times it is the lamentable ripped off sleeves southern Indiana, hillbilly wannabe look. Those weeks, I nag.

Happy Birthday!

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