Friday, November 6, 2009

Untold Riches!

Today is my birthday, and in addition to extreme cuteness courtesy of A and J, not to mention an afternoon of leisure courtesy of my Most Beloved Husband, I have been gifted with a Borders gift card.

We've been hitting the library pretty frequently (at least once or twice each week), so I have been plowing through my TBR list with wild abandon, but now I need to pull up short and decide: What books shall I BUY? To have and to hold, for better or worse, until I donate them in a cleaning frenzy some day in the distant future.

One book is an easy call: the new Malcolm Gladwell. I almost broke down and bought it yesterday at BJs. But the rest? Not sure. The rest will almost certainly be fiction, but this will require some thought.

And, of course, if anyone happens to be reading this, recommendations would be much appreciated!

Off to break up a wrestling session on my kitchen floor!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Creating a Sense of Menace

Today (after a much-protested detour through the Starbucks' drive through for myself), I took the boys to the playground and then the library. It's dry and sunny here, but the temperature is in the low 50s, so the playground wasn't packed. Just a handful of diehards.

After some time in the sandbox, the boys decided to move over to the big slide. With so few kids around, they saw their chance to use the equipment without being pushed around by the older kids. Everything went swimmingly. The slide is wide enough that they raced down it side by side, and I drank my venti coffee in peace.

And then.

Two preteen-to-young-teen boys silently appeared behind my two and four year old on the wooden structure. They were probably twelve or thirteen. Both in full Halloween costume. One dressed in a red hooded cape with knife that he showed me by dramatically lifting his cape. The other in a black hooded cape, wearing a gold mask and carrying a machete.

I assumed the weapons were fake, but even as I did so, my heart jumped at the sight of them materializing behind my little ones.

Momness trumped and I sharply said, "Not cool. They're too little." The black-caped kid took off his mask and the red-caped one hid his knife before my boys turned and saw them. And thank all higher beings for that, because the freakout that would have ensued if A and J had seen them would have been without equal.

After that, they engaged in a few half-hearted attempts to try to scare me (pretending their weapons were real, etc.), but they actually played nicely with my boys. That, and the fact that their first instinct was to obey an adult stranger erased the menace that I felt at first.

But, man, was it ever creepy. As we left the playground, viewing them from a distance trying to scare some girls brought it back.

I wish I could create that feeling so easily on the page!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Busy, Busy

It's hard to believe October is half over. The last six weeks have been nonstop activity around here--both boys' birthdays, our anniversary, several day trips on the weekends, work---with no sign of letting up any time soon.

Writing continues apace. And, I'm starting to throw some things out there to see what happens.

Everyone in the cyberworld seems to have entered Nathan Bransford's first paragraph contest, me included.

My entry is from a short story (IN HIS PANTS) that I've been working on long-hand during car trips. Pause to thank the wonderful husband for doing all the driving.

Here's the paragraph:

Coffee, Please said...

She never would have known if Brad had just emptied his pockets before throwing his jeans on the laundry room floor. But he hadn't; he never did. So, Molly was in the habit of checking the pockets before putting his pants in the washer. She always found something. Change, usually---but sometimes his car keys, the access card to his office, credit card receipts, and, once, a check for five hundred dollars that his aunt had given them as an engagement present.


I think the contest is nearing 2000 entries---and there's still a day and a half left before it ends! It's been fun reading other people's paragraphs.

I also submitted the first 250 words of FRUIT OF THE POISONOUS TREE in the October Secret Agent Contest on Miss Snark's First Victim's blog. I am looking forward to getting some critiques on the revamped opening.

And, last but not least, I have another short story that's going to go out today for submission.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

On Diving In

We are in the middle of Week Two of fall swim classes for the boys. A turns 4 on Thursday, and J turned 2 at the beginning of the month, so "swim class" is a bit of an overstatement. It's really a course to acclimate the little ones to water, so mom and dad get in the pool, too.

The instructor stresses the importance of parents jumping right in, regardless of water temperature; the idea is, the kids will follow suit. As a dyed-in-the-wool toe tester, this goes against my nature, but I've been forcing myself to do it. By the way, that water is bracing, to say the least, but the idea does work. After the parents jump in (no comments about the water being "cold" permitted---it's "refreshing"), the little ones are right behind us.

The writing-related point is that I am forcing myself to do it in my writing, too. I'm revising THE POISONOUS TREE and am getting close to being ready to send out queries. Instead of pulling back and slowing down, I've decided it's time to jump right in, so to speak.

This morning, I joined Sisters in Crime AND registered for Crime Bake.

So, while I'm not sure how much A and J are getting out of Baby Bubblers, it's been great for me!