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Greetings!

Wow. I haven’t been here for a very long time. (Still love that muppet video, though.) Guess I don’t get out much.

Things are happening, though! Poems! And classes at The Writers Circle are starting next week! Come write with me!

I’m nice. And they do let me out of my cage on Tuesdays for Poetry Writing and Wednesdays for Just Prompts, where we do it all! Come visit…

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It’s almost a new year

It’s almost the new year and ideally I would have a blog post here, but I’m struggling with one last paper to finish out the fall semester and I have a horrible head cold (again–I think it’s actually still the last one that never fully left) and I don’t have much in the way of resolutions other than to FINISH THIS YEAR UP.

Nevertheless, I love this. I love muppets. I wish I was a muppet. Am I a woman, or am I a muppet? Muppets probably don’t get these nasty head cold things, do they? Lucky.

Peaceful Holidays

There are many things I love about the holidays. It’s rainy today and I unexpectedly have an evening off from class, so I thought I’d embrace the cozy atmosphere and get back to work on that paper I have due tomorrow. Some nice music would be helpful, so I put George Winston’s “December” on (somehow that just says Christmas to me), made myself a nice cup of peppermint tea, salvaged a cookie from the batch I just baked, and settled down on the couch with my books. It’s lovely, really, if you can ignore the two children screaming Katy Perry songs into the karaoke machine downstairs and the other two children playing volleyball with a Barbie doll head upstairs. (Yes, I honestly think that’s what they are doing. Could I make that up?) This level of peacefulness will last another six seconds until they come crashing back up/down the stairs to inform me that they are still hungry and want more food, they hijack my iPod and replace it with their own at twice the volume and I remember that I hate peppermint tea.

Aaah, the holidays.

Shopping

Looky here. Emptiness. No November blog posts.

Oh how sad.

Especially as it’s NANO… something. National Novel Writing Month. Yeah, I don’t do that. I don’t do that because I seem to require a decade to write a novel.

Ah well. (Fortunately this particular decade is coming to a close? In January. But who’s counting? Not me.)

So I haven’t been writing. Well, I’ve been writing a lot of papers for school, but not a lot of creative anything, other than a batch of poems. I think I might even like the poems. Poems are so friendly and all (except that they aren’t, really. Couple of them might be a little cranky, but I like them anyway.)

But a blog post. What about a blog post? I was thinking about a blog post the other day while I was changing the sheets and it had something to do with underwear and laundry and how my daughters get totally “grossed out” (for reasons utterly beyond my comprehension) when I make them stand there while I contemplate buying new bras at Target which I know will not fit me and will drive me insane for the next six months until I decide that I just can’t take it anymore and fling them into the trash, but it will have been worth it because the purchasing process allowed me to torture said daughters by not only mortifying them in the bra section, but then continuing to talk about BRAS loudly (and I’m not terribly loud so it’s really not all that offensive) while we shop for t-shirts (to wear on top of BRAS) and laundry detergent (to wash the BRAS) and Scotch tape (which will not work as a BRA) and washcloths (to use before wearing a BRA) and toilet paper (Mom! Don’t say that either!) and printer cartridges (to print out blog posts about BRAS) and juice boxes (yeah, those have nothing to do with BRAS) and all the other random miscellany (all of which will be used while wearing a BRA) that ultimately constitutes the $150 that is inevitably spent every time I walk into Target. Then I was thinking about the day before when my husband was at Old Navy and he said that N said she needed new underwear and I said I don’t think so and he said are you sure? and I said no I’m not sure because every girl always needs new underwear—in fact I think every person probably always needs new underwear—but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you actually have a small quantity of underwear, it only means that it would be awfully nice to have some new underwear (which is an entirely different thing). A friend of mine in college said once that if she ever got really rich she would never wear the same pair of underwear twice, which strikes me as an awful lot of underwear, which is really not a thing you can hand down like gloves or shoes or even, you know, BRAS, which, if they’re those really expensive dress up things that double as body armor, can definitely be shared among friends.

And looky there. A blog post. A weird one, perhaps, but a blog post nonetheless.

Happy Turkey day everyone!

Yeah. All that.

My writer buddy Hildie posted this on FB and because I’m too up to my eyeballs in unwritten papers, relentless deadlines, unfolded laundry, and unprepared for spelling bee meetings to write a real post, I’m just going to let this one stand alone.

Because yeah. All that. Read it.

Generation X is sick of your bullshit. http://gizmodo.com/5851062/generation-x-is-sick-of-your-bullshit

(off to eat some more Laffy Taffy and write like a maniac. Sugar rush!)

Housekeeping

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I suck at housekeeping. No, I’m not exaggerating–the dust bunnies in this house frighten the cats–and normally I don’t get too obsessive about these things as the dust and the mammals have come to a sort of standoff. We don’t disturb them and they don’t disturb us. Every now and then I get cranky and terrorize the place with the vaccum, but these moments are relatively infrequent.

Today, however, the balance is being disturbed. At this very moment, five children are rampaging around the house playing hide and seek, which has made a couple of things alarmingly apparent: 1. This house is not very large. 2. These children have become shockingly big. One of them is taller than my shoulder and the others are not far behind. When this game was proposed, it seemed like a lovely notion that even at 7 and 9 kids still enjoy playing simple, fun, interactive of games with no equipement necessary other than a little creativity and imagination. The game began outside, but moved inside due to lack of hiding places in my also not very large backyard, which was fine, theoretically, until the sounds of crashing and the follow up call, “I’m okay!” became a bit too frequent for comfort. Now there’s a second grader in my laundry basket, a fourth grader in my “coat” closet, and a nine year old stretched out under my dining room table, and I’m feeling like perhaps this was a poor idea. I don’t even want to think about what’s under my dining room table, let alone have my face to whatever has found a final resting place on that carpet.

Now I know this sounds really gross. Perhaps it is. But rarely does the house get stirred in ways that disrupt the careful balance we strike here, with the sleepy little corners resting undisturbed while the high traffic areas get cursory management so as not to become completely unpresentable. Kids don’t care one bit about this unspoken truce with household detritus, however. A closet, messy or clean, is still just a place to hide (and I am slightly impressed that the “coat” closet could actually absorb a whole body) and the space under a table will always look like a fort and nothing more than a fort, no matter whether or not we eat there now and then. I tried to understand this, I really did, but ultimately it was just too much. The breaking point finally came when the corner where I have my landslide of books and papers and whatnot was disturbed, an area which does not have actual boundaries but is nevertheless mine. With a panicked NOOO! I rescued my computer as I ejected a child from her hiding space behind my chair and that was that. As much as I want to love it, enough is enough.

Fortunately, the kids don’t care. They’re making model magic pizzas (I will not think about how much model magic will get ground into the carpet) and I’ve resorted to blogging in an attempt to erase the song they were playing during snacktime and are STILL SINGING from my brain. (It’s not working.) Oh well, perhaps it goes along with today’s housekeeping theme quite well. If not, it’s still good elementary school potty humor. Listen if you dare. (You have been warned.)

WAIT! After you push that play button anyway and start cursing at me (I did warn you) distract yourself by going over to read my new story at Necessary Fiction. Enjoy!

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

You might have noticed that in order to procrasinate I have decided to give my blog a little facelift. A new image, so to speak. However, as the universe has decided it is entertaining to mess with me, WordPress is currently refusing to allow me to upload photos right side up for my new header. They prefer this castle–or should I say chateau–sort of thing they have as the default photo. They will grudgingly accept my photos instead, but only under the condition that they be upside down. Cavalierly thinking I could outwit a measly computer program, I uploaded an upside down photo. Ha! Got you! Nope. Still upside down. I went into my media library and rotated a whole series of lovely photos all around–updside down, rightside up, sideways–but still, my photos all come out upside down while the castle, my apparent photographic fate tonight, remains upright.

Then I started thinking that what I need to do is find a photo that I like better upside down and use that. A reflection of sorts. Or something fortunately upside down, like a horseshoe over a door. This idea had possibilities, but as I began to embark on the search for the perfect upside down photo I realized that it’s creeping up on 11:00pm and all I’ve had for dinner is a handful of Tic Tacs which is probably not good for a person so maybe I should just let this go for a while. My body has been kind to me lately, (placed 155/1600 overall, 49/315 in age group in the triathlon this weekend. Pretty respectable, given my rather hefty Dorito and red wine quotient of late), so for now I’m going to stop tinkering with this thing and leave you imagining me running down this oh so respectable looking hallway screaming in frustration (which is what I feel like doing right now) while I go get some actual food.

And so it begins…

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The new school year has begun with rain, rain and more rain. The kids are fine–they seemed to manage the their first day at school rather admirably–I’m the one who is a wreck and can’t seem to figure out what day it is and what needs to happen when. As usual, I find myself in a state of perpetual panic over the house of cards that is the arragement of babysitting, after school programs, athletic activities and the kindness of friends that it takes for me to attend school. Also, as it seems to be a requirement that a parent must fill in fifteen phone numbers on at least thirty forms and submit them by yesterday in order for you to be a “good” mom, I’ve missed the mark again. Yeah, the bulk of that stack o’ paperwork is still on the kitchen table. Today. I’ll finish it today. I swear.

In writing news, I accomplished far less than I had hoped to this summer, but when I adjust that expectation to reality, I probably didn’t come out too far behind. Every summer is like this. I don’t know why I continue to expect to tackle large writing projects while the kids are home and our schedules are in constant flux. Isn’t that the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Yup. That sounds familiar.

Nevertheless, I do have some writing related news to share: I have a couple of poems coming out in an anthology of east coast women poets from Patasola Press in October, a short story in the September Eclectic Flash, and a short story in Necessary Fiction coming out in the next few weeks. I also won an honorable mention for a (very, very long) short story in Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open. I’ll add links to the published works when I have them and, if the stars properly align, drum up someone who loves my long story enough to give it the space it needs. Hopefully someone will because it is quite loveable, really.

Aside from that, I’m hunkering down for a very busy semester. It’s a heavier load than I might ideally have wanted–a reality that puts some other projects on hold–but I think in the end I’ll be glad that I’ve done it this way.

In any case, I’m moving forward and it feels good. This weekend I’m going to have to move slightly faster in order to keep up with the triathlon I’m in (why, oh why do I do these things?) but after that its nothing but reading and writing, kids and schoolwork all the time. Oh and my swimming classes. Those start up next week, too. Keep kicking, kids! Just keep kicking and everything will be fine.