Friday, February 25, 2011

Oh Mo!

I love Mo Willems. When I visited the library* yesterday, I picked up a few of his books. My son and I have already read the first two Knuffle Bunny books, (and are waiting eagerly to read the last installment.) I hadn't yet introduced him to the Pigeon, however, so we picked up Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog. If you haven't read these then do! He is such a good example of using very few words to say so much. And his illustrations are hilarious. My son laughed so hard, and even carried the books with him downstairs. (Meaning, the Pigeon was too good to leave usptairs.)

But as I discovered tonight, the Pigeon is setting a very bad example for my son. It all began with an attempt to put off bedtime.

He asked for a snack.

NO

"But I want CARROTS!" (Totally a diversionary tactic. Would he eat the carrots? No, he would not. He'd look at his carrots while reveling in the joy of staying up late.)

NO

Then he said, "Please, I'll give you five dollars."

This is an almost direct quote from the Pigeon (who says "bucks" instead of "dollars.") I've also heard him quote Pigeon a few other times today, although completely out of context.

The Pigeon is teaching my son the art of manipulation. Bad, bad Pigeon.

But I'll still read them. Over and over again.

*Good news. I found a better library branch in my new city, better than the last one I checked out! (But not as good as The Perfect Library back in Kansas.) But a definite improvement!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bead by Bead

My son loves art projects. Usually I just keep an art drawer full of pipe cleaners, pom poms, markers, paper and glue and he just...creates. Well, I had this brilliant idea to buy melty beads. You know-those tiny little beads you place on peg boards, then iron so the design melts together. Why I thought it might be a good idea for a four year-old, I'm not sure. It tested my patience as a thirty year-old because as you place each new bead, the bead you just placed sticks to your fingers and falls off.

Somehow, we both managed to fall into a groove after much trial and error. We were working side-by-side, each beading our own board, wrapped in our creative silence. Then BAM! (Did I really believe it would last?) "It's keep falling off. IT'S KEEP FALLING OFF." So he SWIPED his hand across the table and all those beads went skittering everywhere. In a patient mother voice (which was not the voice I used when he kept dropping boogars on my bed during naptime) I told him to just try it agin. "Sometimes we have to be patient and just do it again."

My thoughts immediately turned to my manuscript because for the last few days I've been toying with the idea of ditching it, starting something new from scratch. New state, new home, new friends, new book...right? What I really find intimidating about my book is that the more I write, the more I discover how much writing and rewriting is left to do. (Insert above advice to my son.) My book has been like that fatal iceberg. It seemed a modest and fun task from far away, but the closer I get I realize what a monster lurks below the surface and it's threatening to sink my ship. (Those of you who can't tolerate cheesy metaphors are excused.)

The irony is I was considering starting a new book from scratch, as if that book would somehow be different. My husband finally convinced me to stay with it when I read some of my (latest) beginning to him. He told me I should spend more time writing. (WHAT TIME?...This is another blog post.) Anyway, I appreciated the vote of confidence. Now I'm going to go gather up my beads and keep moving forward. ("Moving forward" meaning I also need to stop rewriting my beginning and FINISH the rewrite once and for all.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

U R Cute

Okay, my title has nothing to do with this post, but the best thing about Valentine's Day is the candy hearts.

I wanted to let you know that starting today I am the new Monday girl on Mormon Mommy Writers. (For which you don't have to be a Mormon or a Mommy or a Writer to read, but if you are reading this blog, you can probably claim at least one of these.)

Now, after last week's post I must set the record straight that although I miss Kansas, I LIKE TEXAS. The library aside, it's a great place to be. It's warm. People are nice. There is good food to eat. Plus, although we left family behind, we more than doubled the family here.

Also, I must note that I did a facebook poll among my friends and family. Most claim that their husbands iron their own shirts. However, as it is Valentine's Day I might just pull out the ironing board.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Another Will NEVER Measure Up

We are now settled in our new place, and my life is steadily becoming normal again. I really, really like normal. I've already ventured into this strange city alone, navigating unfamiliar streets to visit the library for which I had such high expectations.

See, I was blessed with an amazing library the last few years. Or maybe just cursed because I will NEVER find another to measure up. This new library, for instance, was much too small and crowded, people sitting elbow-to-elbow around tables to read. I saw not one cozy nook to curl up in. (Not that I could curl if I wanted to since I had two small children.) My old library had couches around a fireplace with an occasional semi-authentic (gas-lit) fire.

And the YA section - it seemed wanting. For such a small library, I had a hard time spotting it. After inquiring I found its one shelf in the back corner, a few chairs crammed between it and the wall. The YA section at my old library covered a MUCH larger area. With computers and cozy seats, it invited teens to stay awhile. And I really liked all the new releases on one wall, covers out.

But what is MOST important to me in a library and my main excuse to frequent it often is...the CHILDREN'S section. MY OLD LIBRARY had the perfect children's section with trains and legos and a big reading bear to sit on that eventually died, or ripped, or maybe got lice. There were so many events for the children and the best storytime you'll EVER attend with sitting mats, dancing, and surprises. We had a Miss Vicky, among other great children's librarians, who knew my son's name from day one. This children's section just didn't compare.

Oh and one more thing, before I left Kansas...a librarian at my old and perfect library asked me how my writing was coming along. I don't even remember telling her. But she remembered. Now I am going to go wallow in self-pity.

(Did I mention my old library had no late fees?)

What do you look for in a library? (Besides you know...books.) And my husband would like to know if anybody else's husbands iron their own shirts for work. This is very important.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Honorable Mention!!

This is the first chance I've had to sit down and post a "Woo-eee!!! I got an honorable mention in Nathan Bransford's first paragraph contest!" Actually, I'm a little more excited that Nathan Bransford actually sat down and typed my name in a blog post (among others, but still...)

Anyway, thank you to those that congratulated me already. It is the perfect news to a crazy week. We made it out of Kansas. In fact, the cold chased us out a day early, and somehow managed to follow us to Texas. Really, my in-laws blame me for this insanely cold Texas weather. Now we are waiting for the movers, but while we wait a variety of viruses decided to attack each member of my family. See what I mean by crazy? Yes, this contest news was quite the ray of sunshine.

Head on over to Nathan's blog and vote for your favorite finalist! And I'll be back when life is healthy and normal again. :)