Listen to the Mustn'ts, child, listen to the Don'ts.
Listen to the Shouldn'ts, the Impossibles, the Won'ts.

Listen to the Never Haves, then listen close to me.
Anything can happen, child, Anything can be.

-Shel Silverstein

Friday, June 29, 2012

What I learned during my hiatus

Greetings everyone!

It’s been a few weeks since my last post. I apologize for my absence, although I’m sure you haven’t missed me a bit! A lot has happened since my last blog post. We went camping, I attended WIFYR and met a ton of great new writing friends, I continued training for my ½ marathon and my dad had a bit of an accident.

Allow me to catch you up.

Top 10 Things I learned during my Hiatus

10. Sleeping bags shrink. Okay, maybe they don’t shrink in the I-Washed-It-In-Hot-Water kind of shrink. More of a Hey-I’ve-Gotten-Fatter-Since-We-Did-This-Last kind of way.

9. Quitting Diet Pepsi hasn’t helped me lose any weight but I’m holding strong. I will be reunited with the Dark Mother in T-Minus 9 Days. I’m still struggling to drop some poundage before the race next Saturday. But, according to my husband, “You may not have lost any weight—but at least your legs don’t look like they are choking in your pants.”

8. Running 11 miles along the beautiful Snake River doesn’t make running 11 miles any easier. You just smell worse because you can’t shower afterwards when you’re camping.

7. Dogs are a lot more fun outside—on account of there’s no carpet to chew.

6. 72-year old men should not be climbing 20-ft ladders to prune trees with chainsaws. I’m just saying.

5. Get a good job and be very grateful for health insurance—because one day you might need it in a big, big way.

4. My first novel is dead, I’m afraid. I received my 8th rejection, which I’m okay with. But I realized the story is so flawed that I either need to start over or put it in a drawer. I’m opting for the drawer. I’m going to give my new manuscript a chance to get finished.

3. I don’t know the first thing about writing, and yet, I know a little more than I thought.

2. The main character in my new novel has no motivation and the world I built didn’t make any sense and needs to be revamped. Easy-Peasy. Right? #pullshair

1. WIFYR is still the best week of my year. I love meeting writers and learning more about the craft.

Here’s hoping everyone has a wonderful weekend. I will be spending mine learning how to be a farmer. Don’t be jealous! I’ll send pictures.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ode to the Dark Mother

This week I read LOVE AND LEFTOVERS by Sarah Tregay.

It was a great book comprised entirely of poems. I loved everything about it so I started thinking, as I usually do when I read someone elses great works, "Hey, maybe I could do that!?"

Have I mentioned I am delusional?

In order to write an entire novel of poetry, I figured I should start small.

But what to write about?

They say to write what you know.

But what if you don't know anything?

And then it hit me. Diet Pepsi! I have gone 72 very loooooong hours without my Dark Aspartame Mother in an effort to train for my half marathon so its been on my mind lately.

So, without further ado...

Ode to the Dark Mother:
Oh Dark Mother, how do I love you?
In ways I cannot count with fingers of five.
You served me well, like morning dew,
You kept me going, you kept my soul alive.
Though others have tempted, my love for you is true.
Alas, I have foresaken you to be a running-whore,
But do not doubt-
The days will run out-
And You and I will be reunited once more.

What say you? Do you think I have a shot at writing a Novel In Verse?

Maybe not.

On the WIFYR front, I received my pages for the conference. I have 173 pages to critique by next Monday. It's a good thing I am going to Canada again next week so I will have time in the evenings to work on them.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! See you Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Train for a Half Marathon

I know you are all dying to know how to train for a Half Marathon. Today I would like to impart my extensive wisdom on the subject in this simple 10-Step Investment Approach.

10. Invest in “Born to Run”

All of you should have a sister like mine. For Christmas, instead of knitting me a sweater with jingle bells on it, she threw down a challenge—to run a Half Marathon in July. She gave me the book “Born to Run” which I promptly read cover to cover and became brainwashed into thinking that, not only could I run, but I could run barefoot.

9. Invest in a Dog

Every good runner needs a dog. Because a dog will wake you up at six AM every day of your life to go to the bathroom and then jump all over and lick you. This is far better than any alarm clock on the market because there is no “Snooze” button. Trust me. Get a dog. You’ll never regret it.

8. Invest in Extra Leashes

Said dog will be difficult to control and will chew through several leashes so make sure you always have a spare on hand. In case you aren’t a dog person, evidently they are easily distracted.


7. Invest in a GPS watch

Just because you own a Smart Phone doesn’t make you Smart. There is a FREE APP, yes FREE, with GPS tracking, timers, route mappers, anything you could ever want in a Sports Watch. But, if you are *Smart* like me, you will ignore this APP and drop a few bones on an official GPS Watch. Just because you are smart.

6. Invest in a new pair of kicks

A new shiny pair of kicks will make you forget that you are pounding the pavement over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over. It will feel like you are walking on clouds. You will be able to run forever because, like I keep telling my husband, new shoes have magical powers.

5. Invest in Orthotics

Once you realize that taking the advice in Step 10 to run barefoot has backfired because a human that is 100 lbs overweight and has lived a sedentary lifestyle for the last 3 years cannot in fact run down the street barefoot, you will need to drop a few bones on some custom orthotics. No biggie.

4. Invest in Groceries

Evidently Oreos and Mac and Cheese are not “Fuel” for your body. So, invest in some groceries that are high in protein, good fats and most importantly…FIBER!!

3. Invest in Underwear

After Step 4, you will need to invest in some new underwear. I’m just saying.

2. Invest in an iPod arm holder

When the weather turns warm and you don’t have a jacket with pockets to hold your iPod/iPhone you will need to invest in an arm holder gizzy because evidently cleavage sweat will short-out your very expensive, beloved Apple Product. (See...now I don't look so dumb for buying a GPS watch, do I?)

1. Invest the time

All that is left is to invest the time. Get out there and run, run, run!!

See you at the finish line.

Friday, June 1, 2012

That X-Chromosome Will Getcha

Well, we survived (I use that term loosely) another birthday at our house. Thing 1 turned 10 in human years—17 in girl years.

Someone help me understand when, exactly, I lost control as a parent…

Could it have been when I agreed to let her make her own birthday cake and she decided it needed to be frosted OUT of the pan while it was still hot so she dumped it on the counter and it crumbled into a thousand pieces all over my kitchen and floor?

Could it have been when I told her she could invite a few friends over for cake and ice cream and it turned into a free-for-all, you know, since she didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings?

Could it have been when all her friends helped her decide the party should start right after school instead of a reasonable hour when I could be home from work and so therefore I had to take a half day off work?

Could it have been when I told her we could have pizza for dinner but her friends decided they were hungry NOW so I was sent off to Little Caesars with a list of special requests?

Could it have been when her grandpa called to wish her a happy birthday and all of her friends passed the phone around the room and acted like ninnies?

Could it have been when I made the mistake of letting her pick out some clothes for her birthday and she decided she needed to wear all of them at once to show off to her friends?

Could it have been when the neon pink lipstick made its first appearance?

Could it have been when we decided having a baby sounded like fun and that bloody X-chromosome fought its way to the front of the line?

Yeah. I think that was where it all went awry.

Se la vi! We are stuck with her. Good thing we love her so much!

On the writing front, I have about 72 hours till my pages are due for the conference. I will be locked in my room, showerless and braless donning PJs while I complete my revisions. Wish me luck!