Monthly Archives: April 2010

What Should I Read Next?

I just finished Happens Every Day by Isabel Gillies from my Reading List. Now I’m debating on whether to pick one of the other two I have on there (I haven’t updated my list lately and I’m sure there’s more I could add!) or head to the bookstore or library for something else.

Any suggestions?  My taste in books varies as much as in music…in other words, I enjoy a wide range of different genres. So throw out any suggestions–I’m game!

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Can’t Write Now, I’ve Gotta Run

The beautiful 70 degree temps we’ve been enjoying dropped recently, hovering closer to the 55 range. Despite this, I decided to forgo the treadmill and hit the open road.

If you’ve ever tried to run outside in cooler weather, you’d know it’s not a pretty sight. To begin with, the wind makes your eyes water. Then your nose starts to run. So you’re plugging along with tears running down your cheeks and snot dripping out your nose. Again I say, not pretty.

Then, the wind whips your hair into a frenzy so that it plasters itself to your face; that is, if you’re lucky enough to break a sweat and actually generate some body heat. At least this is what my hair does, because while it’s long enough to blow around, it’s too short to pull back into a pony tail.

But I was out there just the same. Whether out of dedication to running or a sheer avoidance of writing, is anyone’s guess. Still, when I think about my earlier days running and how far I’ve come since then, it sometimes amazes me  that I’ve stuck with it for this long. If only I could put that much energy and belief toward my writing as of late, I might actually be getting somewhere instead of stuck in the middle of rewrites on novel one, and a third of the way through the first draft of the second. Not to mention about a gazillion other ideas floating around in my head that are just begging to be put on paper.

Sometimes I get lucky and the rhythmic sound of my feet hitting pavement–multiply that by three if joined by my furry friend–is enough to get the creative juices flowing again, initiating a clamoring of fingers on keyboard. Most of the time, though, I’m just trying to concentrate on not falling flat on my face.

As graceful and coordinated as I am, this task usually leaves little room for any other thought, which is probably why I enjoy running so much; it gives me time to not think.

What about you? What kind of activity or hobby do you enjoy when there comes a time in your day or week to just unwind and to not think?

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What Was I Thinking?

While most other preschoolers were picking their noses and taste-testing their finds, I inspected–and then promptly ate–an inch-long splinter of wood. There was also the time, somewhere around age four, I think, that I decided I wanted to find out what the red-tipped end of a match tasted like. Don’t ask.

When most five year olds were sticking gum in their sister’s hair, I was sticking earring backs up my nose. Actually, it was just that once and luckily my mom was able to retrieve it with a pair of tweezers–an uncomfortable if not humbling experience. Lesson learned.

Strangely enough, I never tried the “normal” kid things that can make even the most saintly of parents want to relinquish their parenting license. I never ate the dog food or took a pair of scissors to my own hair or crayons to the walls. Despite my other, more obvious shortcomings, I really was a fairly intelligent, compliant child.  At the time of each of these episodes though, I distinctly remember knowing, without a doubt, that I was about to do something I shouldn’t.  I knew better, could even determine the expected outcome even before I committed heinous the act.

Still, in that instant, I couldn’t seem to help myself. Maybe it was simple childhood curiosity. Or the quest to answer the great “what if…”. Like, “What if I became the first 10 year old to bring the popularity of Riverdance to America–in bare feet, with the jagged, rusty bed of my dad’s pick up truck as my stage?” I still bear the scar.

Pondering on all the possibilities of what I was thinking at the time, and with the benefit of hindsight, perhaps I simply wanted to do something unexpected, out-of-character. Okay, that time I did the Riverdance thing, I seriously did not see the outcome before bustin’ a move.

Thankfully, neither of my kids ever tried to eat the dog food, let alone particles of sharp, pointy wood. (Boogers are another matter, however.) So far we’ve managed to avoid any trips to the ER due to foreign objects lodging in places they don’t belong. And, as far as I know, they’ve never ingested anything flammable (although some of my cooking over the years has probably been questionable). Which brings me to the question: who exactly are the normal ones here?

What about you? What’s the strangest thing you remember doing as a kid? Feel free to embarrass yourself in the comment area below.

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Not Now, I’m on a Quest

I should begin by saying that for the purpose of this and future posts, my husband shall remain nameless, because what I write someday might embarrass him–perhaps today. And while readers who know me personally would likely know my husband as well, we wouldn’t want my exorbitant mass <insert sarcastic tone here> of faceless web followers to actually know him by his real name.

Anyway, my husband’s an avid game player. I don’t mean the messing with your mind kind or that he really gets into Monopoly. I should be so lucky. I’m talking the online, virtual role-playing game player.

I don’t pretend to understand the allure of this particular game he plays, or any of them for that matter. But he seems to enjoy it as much as I enjoy escaping into my writing. So, who am I to criticize? Yeah, right.

Oh, he’ll try to argue that one can win gold or amass incredible treasures. Or that there’s a certain satisfaction in slaying a hybrid goat creature or something or other, but I still don’t get it. It seems almost pointless. (Not at all like writing for the pure joy of it without actually getting paid or anything.)

When I woke up from a nap this afternoon, I wasn’t at all surprised to find my virtual knight in shining armor busy at his computer, jousting with the best of them.

“Do you want to go into town with me?” While I realized the prospect of a shopping trip wouldn’t likely deter him, I figured, what the hell? and asked anyway.

He tore his eyes away from the battlefield laid out before him. “Honey,” he pointed at the screen, “I just told them I’d go someplace with them.”

I chuckled.

His eyes bore the expression of an eight year old whose mom’s just told him he couldn’t go outside to play with his friends.

“Seriously?” I’d been turned down in lieu of a handful of wanna-be sword bucklers on a quest to save the kingdom?

In his defense, such as there is, I should’ve known better than to even ask. There’s only one thing, I suspect, that could pry him away from a heated battle and that’s the promise of semi-nudity. I put my theory to the test one day when I said to him, “So, what would happen if I asked you to…you know?” I tried to sound more convincing by dropping the tone of my voice.

He glanced up quickly, eyebrows raised and then turned back to the game. “I’d just tell them I’d been propositioned and I’d be right back.” His answer came rather quickly and I suspected other wives and/or girlfriends had been left to resort to the same M.O. in the past, leaving the remaining gallant heroes to fend off evil while the deserter went off in search of other, real-life sources of entertainment.

“So, what happens to your virtual game guy if you’re off…doing other things?”

“Well,” he pounded out something on the keyboard, “they’d just take over for me or I’d move to a safe zone.”

“So they’d guard you while you’re off having sex?!”

“Yeah. We do that for each other all the time.”

I guess it’s nice to know your friends have your back.

“So,” he said. “Are you?”

“Am I what?”

“Propositioning me.”

“Nah. I think I’ll go get some writing done.”

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