Monday, March 29, 2010

You Have An Ugly Baby

Three years ago, when my first-born was a baby, I asked important questions such as: Is it time to supplement with formula? Johnson's or store-brand? If my baby were ugly, would people tell me?

No. No one will EVER tell you if your baby is ugly. These thoughts naturally inspired a book idea:

You Have An Ugly Baby
The Art of Giving Compliments

If you have a baby, people will say something. They will go out of their way just to peek into your stroller or your carrier...because people like to look at babies. But once they've peeked, they must comment. I mean, they can't exactly just turn and walk away, can they?

So what if your baby has a big nose and squinty eyes and abnormally large jowls? You'll never know. You'll just never know. Because, to you, your baby is perfect. And the peeker is left to form a compliment based on some redeeming feature:

Hair-especially if the baby has a lot of it. If the baby is bald, you may have to try...

Chub rolls-but only if you are sure it is a boy. Moms like to hear they have a fat boy, but not so much a fat girl. If the baby is scrawny and bald, you'll have to refer to blanket statements.

"Your baby is precious" seems to sum it up pretty well.

Recently I've considered the art of receiving compliments. Now I have another perfect baby. (At least I think so...naturally.) And people tell me she is beautiful. Today I was chatting with a friend (I know, a real-life friend...crazy) and I mentioned that perhaps I'm not receiving the your-baby-is-beautiful compliment well.

Typically I agree and say, "I know." However, I realize this isn't going to encourage further baby admiration, and it sounds like I'm a little full of myself (or my baby). In order to conform to social norms I must start expressing gratitude or adding some self-depracating statement like, "I don't know where she gets it."

Okay, my compliment book concept hasn't exactly been developed beyond this. In fact, I was going to tweet this but decided to turn it into a blog post and now I've probably dragged the subject out past redemption.

I absolutely guarantee that the next post I compose will be related to writing, unless it is not.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Adorably Brilliant

This is my 100th blog post! I'm sure I'm supposed to do something to celebrate, but I'm all out of chocolate poo.

Instead, I'm going to refer you to an incredible book I just finished. I took a break from the paranormal and checked out Ally Carter's Heist Society last week. It is adorable, brilliant, adorably brilliant.

I put this one at the top of my list with Hunger Games. It has been optioned for a movie, and I'm very excited. This book was so refreshing after reading about six or seven stale books in a row. Ally Carter writes so well, the dialogue is amazing, and the plot is so together. No plot holes. None.

One thing that Ally Carter does so well is switch between the omniscient POV and third-person POV (Katarina). She wrote in her blog that she thought of it as a movie while she was writing it, and it does read a lot like a movie. It's very fast-paced. I stayed up finishing it last night, and I haven't done that for awhile.

Just a quick synopsis: Katarina Bishop was born a thief and raised a thief, but her thieving life wears on her. So she does what any thieving girl would do-she steals a normal life. This backfires, and she's thrown back into her "heist society" when her dad's life is on the line. You find this all out within the first few pages, and the rest of the book is a lot like Ocean's Eleven and Italian Job. But not. It's very original. I HIGHLY recommend it. READ IT.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's a Little Tough

I wrote my rough draft in two months this past fall. Somehow I had this idea that my rewrite would happen quickly, too. Now this rewrite is a COMPLETE rewrite. I am writing the book again from scratch...and being much less sloppy about it...and feeling discouraged at how slow the process is.

I did have a second child in between drafts one and two, but it's not so much the time I lack, although I wish I had more. I put in an hour or two of writing every night after my children are asleep, but I may get a page or a paragraph or a sentence. (Usually it's a REALLY good sentence.)

And after a few months of writing this way, I only have about a quarter of my book. Writing can be just little discouraging, as I'm sure you all know. I mean, you never really get how hard writing is until you are there. It's hard! And time consuming! If I worked as a nurse during all the hours I have put toward writing, I'd have much neater things.

So if you would please send me some of your productivity. Just enough that you won't miss. I'd be very grateful.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Breath of Fresh Normal

This post isn't about the unwritten, unconceived sequel to Heidi's Some Kind of Normal. It's about a husband's unexpected ten-day trip to Texas for back surgery, and the wife he left behind.

(Lest you think I'm selfish, we will first take a moment to consider the months and months of back pain felt by my husband and his stoic and peaceful way of dealing with it.)

(And I will also express gratitude that we know an amazing neurosurgeon in Texas that has now successfully performed two difficult surgeries on my husband's back.)

Now back to the wife left behind...

I packed my bags and my kids and stayed with my parents. I discovered that if you take away a three year-old's daddy and then transplant the three year-old in a place that's not his home and with less cool toys, he will turn into a creature you do not recognize.

It was like invasion of the body snatchers, the resultant mom-stress so intense that I managed to lose four pounds on a diet of brownies, chocolate-chip cookies, and ice cream.

I think the muse snatchers came as well. While I spent several hours screen-looking and word-tinkering after my children were in bed, I wrote very little.

Now we are home.

My husband is here.

And I'm starting to recognize my child again.

Things are back to normal. I LIKE normal.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sport Princesses

Yesterday I discovered that one of my girlhood friends, Bethany Hegerhorst, is writing a line of children's books.

The line is Sport Princesses, the idea inspired when her daughter wanted to be a princess and Bethany just wanted her daughter to like sports. :)

Her first book The Soccer Princess: Josephina and the Crustacean King is available in June this year, just in time for the World Cup.

Go check out her blog. She is running a photo contest and a free book giveaway for her first fifty followers.

Anyone who once convinced my little brother to wear a dress and sing "Happy Birthday" deserves your attention.

Update: I advertised incorrectly on the 'free for the first fifty followers' bit. If you are interested in receiving a free book, be one of the first fifty to advertise Bethany's books on your blog (and notify her by email). But you can follow her, too, because she's cool and you want to. :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

*Writes a Blog Post*

We bloggers are funny people. For instance, because we can't actually see each other, we've taken to writing about ourselves in present tense while setting it apart with *asteriks* or -dashes- or < what the heck are these called anyway >

*scratches nose*

And what about the LOL's? Are you really laughing out loud? Are you REALLY rolling on the floor and laughing?

*pulls son off of baby*

I, for one, appreciate the validation that you think my post is funny. (Especially since my main companions still wet themselves, and I'm left to laugh at my own jokes all day.) However, if you are really ROTFLing, that's creepy.

*wipes baby's boogars*

And I'm going to have to ask what nobody else has asked...

*tweets something about my son that is funny but wouldn't flow with this blog post*

Can there be too many blog awards? I like them because somebody blog-loves me, and then I get to pass on the love. But I don't always.

*hides head in shame*
*but not really*
*just a hyperbolic statement, really*
*and honestly I'm not sure I used the word "hyperbolic" correctly*

And who creates these awards in the first place? And why can't I? So, I've invented an award for myself that is non-transferable.

*kisses baby*

I hereby award myself with the UNPREDICTABLE BLOGGER AWARD. To win this award, I must:

1) Have no rhyme or reason as to when or how often I blog.

2) Be very spotty and unfaithful to my fellow bloggers in visiting their blogs.

3) Have mostly unhelpful and sarcastic posts.

*re-reads post to check for grammatical errors*

*gives son extra love due to guilt felt while writing a post during his conscious hours*

Monday, March 1, 2010

Italian Ice meets Three Year-Old meets Toshiba

I saved my computer by immediately prying off the drenched keys and mopping up the Italian ice before it caused any damage. My son knows he is in disgrace. Have you ever tried typing on your keyboard without the keys? It feels like braille. Now to replace these keys. My fingers know where they go but my brain does not...