Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tell Me a Story

Tell me a story
Tell me a story....
Tell me a story,
Remember what you said:

You promised me,
You said you would,
You gotta give in,
So I’ll be good,

Tell me a story...
And then I’ll go to bed!

My parents used to sing that song to me when I was a wee little ragamuffin... and I sang it to my kids when they were little... I still break into it on occasion. Moonrat’s challenge to share a story for the National Day of Listening brought this song back to mind... along with a lot of spoken stories.

My family is full of story tellers, though most of our stories become even better, and less recognizable, through re-telling. Picking just one, seemed near impossible, so get ready for a long ramble:

My grandmother was a picker. She could spot lint on the carpet from five yards away, and she’d go over and pick it up, shaking her head. When we came in for family parties and holidays, I went straight over to my grandmother first. She was the first person I had to say hello to, or she’d get offended. I’d sit next to her and she’d stick her bony little finger in my ear to make sure I’d cleaned them right – I hated that... but she was a picker. It’s what she did. Once she got Alzheimer’s, she spoke to me solely in Italian – which I didn’t understand... before that it was a mix between Italian and English, which was a little easier for me. I remember nodding my head and smiling, because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings and tell her I didn’t speak Italian.

I was named after my Grandmother, though my mother changed the spelling and gave me a different middle name. My name was supposed to be Marie Antoinette – though Mary would have been okay, as that’s what my Grandmother’s name was changed to in this country... she was born in Sicily, as was my father – she brought him over when he was an infant. Funny, I knew exactly when my aunt started making out my birthday or holiday cards – she spelled my name correctly. My grandmother never would. She spelled it like hers and said, “She’s named after me – I know how to spell my own name!” It was her way of claiming ownership, which is the highest of compliments. I hate it when people misspell my name normally, but I miss it from her – there’s very few people in this world to whom you belong.

My dad just turned forty nine when they had me. He started his family late, and all of my cousins were adults or close to it by the time my brothers and I came along. My Grandma and Papa celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary right around the time I was born.

So my memory of them is tainted by their age. I didn’t get the full impact of their vigor, and I feel slightly cheated because of it... I did get some of the stories.

Papa died when I was in second grade, but my dad hadn’t let me go see him for the last year or so of his life. He had lung cancer, which emaciated him and my father didn’t want me to remember him that way. After my father’s death, my uncle let me look through all of the photos they had from my grandparents’ house to make some copies and take some... it was the first time I’d seen a photo of Papa sick. I’m glad my dad didn’t let me go see him... he was right, I wouldn’t have remembered past the stark illness.

What I remember is Papa’s wide smile and broken English. I read one of those joke things once, “you know you’re a grease ball if...” one of the things was, “Your father or grandfather had a fig tree”. I’m a grease ball. Papa loved his garden. It was the big dream to have a house of your own, and he worked really hard to get there. My grandparents got their first house after all of their kids were grown. My father grew up in apartments, during the depression.

Grandma wore a house dress (remember those?) and usually a sweater, as she was always cold. I remember her plastic covered front room – every couch, chair, and lamp shade was covered. And there was a plastic runner that went from one end of the room all the way to the front door. We used to try to knock each other off the runner – knowing that whoever touched the carpet would get yelled at... is was more fun to annoy Grandma than Papa... Papa could whip off his belt while running to catch you... in his seventies.

From my grandmother, I got thick, wavy black hair (but hers was white by the time I knew her) and a penchant for ball busting. Though she really only messed with Papa, and those stories are some of my favorites.

Papa used to like to go to the track – it was a treat for him and something he looked forward to. One day, he was putting on his hat to go, when Grandma stopped him and said he had to clean the windows. Okay, he took off his hat, got out the ladder, and took all of the storm windows off the house – lining them up against the fence in the yard. He cleaned each window front and back.

Just as he was picking up the first window, to put back on the house, Grandma came outside. She walked up and down the line of windows and said, “Spot, spot, spot... streak, streak, streak... these are no good. Do it again.”

Papa took a deep breath, and swore under it repeatedly. But he cleaned the windows all over again.

Just as he put away the supplies, ready to hang the windows, out comes Grandma.

“Spot, spot, spot... No good, they filthy!” She said.

Papa went into the garage and came back out with a mallet. He busted every single window on the fence.

Out of breath and red faced, he nodded his head once and said, “There! Now can you see through them?”

Then he stuffed his hat on his head and went to the track.

This post is longer than most of mine already... so I’ll end with just the one story. Maybe we’ll revisit on another day. How about you guys? Have any good stories to share?

Visions of Websites Dance through their Heads

Many of my blogging buddies have their own websites these days. It’s one of the things a writer can do to help build their profile and prepare for once their work is published. I’ve been thinking of putting up my own for a number of years, but not knowing enough about it, I’ve been checking out some web hosting articles at various sites and discussions. For me, I think it can wait a while... at least until I find an agent. The blog will suffice for my writing space, and it’s free... but I like to keep reading up on it, so I’m prepared when it’s time.

There’s a lot to learn. How do you choose a host? Who will design your graphics? How important is your domain name and should I get my domain name now and park it for when I’m ready?

Thankfully, I have a great writer’s circle who I will be able to bother for information when I’m ready... Be afraid, be very afraid. But it never hurts to do a little research so that you know how much work and money it will take to get off the ground. Plus, I’m hoping that preparation will save me some mistakes and time once I get to the point where I’m setting up a site.

How about you guys? Do you have a site now? How hard was it for you to muddle through building it, or did you have someone build it for you? If you don’t have a site, are you thinking about it and researching?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Setting the Mood

I’ve been taking stock of my writing area, lately. I don’t have an office specifically for writing – I wish. Instead I have my desk in my living room. It’s my favorite room in the house and it doesn’t have a television, so the kids are less likely to hang out here. But I’ve started thinking about making, at least the little area where my desk is, a little more me.

The room is.... well, what my husband refers to as gaudy Italian... but he’s like a cabin so I don’t think his version of taste counts... but the colors are subdued, moreso than I’d like for my writing area. Paint is out of the question, because the bright hues I’d like won’t match the front room or dining room couches. So I started thinking of little ways that I could decorate just the area where my desk is. The first think I thought of was my lamp. It’s a standard, white ceramic affair, but I’d kind of like to do something a little different.

Maybe a hanging light something with a colorful shade – I’m loud and obnoxious, sue me... I thought that might be a good way to clear off some of the surface space and allow me more room to pile my crap... er, umn, you know put gracious knickknacks... okay, that’s a lie, more room to pile my papers is pretty much what would happen.

Maybe, though, I could get a more slender based desk lamp that would be better for the limited space I have here, and still give me good lighting... I’ve got kid pictures scattered around by my piano, but I’m thinking of picking up a colorful print or maybe doing a dream board to hang on the wall space above.

What about you guys? Do you have a whole room for your writing, or just any little space you could fit in a desk? And have you set a mood, or do your just get down to work and not care about your surroundings?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hard Headed

My daughter’s always liked money. When we brought her home from the hospital, friends and family came to see the new baby girl. My friend’s dad handed her a silver dollar, as is the Greek tradition... she grasped it in her tiny little hand and wouldn’t let it go. He said that was a good sign – it meant she’d be good with money.

When she was five, she was infatuated with bills. Didn’t matter if it was a single or a twenty, but she knew enough to like the paper more than shiny quarters. One day she asked me how she could get her picture on money. Kind of a shocking question for a five year old. She pointed to the pictures on the bills and asked again, and I tried to explain that they were all great men who helped build our country.

She didn’t take me at my word, or it was enough of an obsession that she had to double check me, because she asked her teacher about it the next day at Kindergarten. She came out the door triumphant, with her big blue eyes dancing and a grin that took up half her tiny face.

“You have to be a president to get your picture on money, mommy!” she said, jumping up and down.

“Oh,” I said, “yes, most of them were presidents.”

“Now all I have to do is figure out how to become president.” She clapped her hands and danced around...

Don’t you just love five year olds? Easy cheesey, just become president... that wouldn’t have even occurred to me at five, it would have been an out of reach thing... or maybe that’s just how I view it now, as an adult.

My daughter has a lazy eye. She had to wear glasses from the age of four and patch the stronger eye to build up the weak one. Today she doesn’t need glasses or a patch, but her eyes work independently. Most people automatically look at things with both eyes, hers don’t work that way, she can easily be focused with one eye but not the other. It’s just part of that particular eye condition.. They’re straight, we take her for regular checkups, the only real inconvenience is that those eye tests where they put your face in the little viewer (like at school or the DMV) she’ll always fail those... she can’t pass them with her particular sight issue.

She just had to take one of those eye tests at school and I got the traditional note telling me to have her vision tested... You’d think the nurse would write my name down, because we had this conversation last year. Anyway, my daughter and I had a little conversation about why she can’t pass this test and why her vision is like that. And in saying that it really doesn’t make any difference as long as we keep making sure that the sight is even in both eyes, I mentioned that she’ll never be a fighter pilot. (If you didn’t know that, you need good vision for that job, she’d be out of the running before she started).

“What do you mean I can’t? What if I want to?” she asked, scowl firmly planted across her brow.

“Well, I don’t make the rules. You need perfect vision.”

“What if I fly better than anyone else? Think they’d make an exception?” She asked.

You could see the little hamster running behind her eyes.

“No, I don’t think they’d make an exception. Since when do you want to be a fighter pilot?” I asked.

“Since you told me I can’t.”

I don’t think she really wants to be one, it was the end of the conversation in any event, but it was the idea of having a door closed for her, without her choice to close it. She’s stubborn and she’ll have none of it, and I waver a bit between trying to teach her to live within reality and being damn proud that she’s got enough backbone to want to make her own reality. Screw the rules, let’s rewrite them.

So, I thought about my daughter’s character, along with all of the doom and gloom assailing publishing with the current economy... or the regular doom and gloom that assails the unwashed masses of unpublished authors after a few good years of query hell.

I think you need that hard headedness to keep at it. Sure, we all hear stories about the author who had three agents clamoring to represent them and sold at auction on their first book... we hear about them because they’re rare... if it happened all the time, it wouldn’t be worth repeating in awe. Sometimes those great stories can give you hope. Other times you compare their reality with your own, and yours doesn’t look so good in the contrast.

And we can get into the need for work on your craft, the ability to self edit, to follow rules, to work with critique partners, to study the industry... and the million other things you need to do to educate yourself for success as an author. But I think the most important quality is stubbornness – the absolute refusal to believe it when everything around you tells you that you can’t.

That hard-headedness will give you the drive to keep improving, instead of giving up. It’ll tell you to knock on the next door, when the last three turned out the lights and acted like they weren’t home... even though you just saw them scurry in the side door... (I’m not advocating stalking agents, relax... but that is what it feels like when they don’t respond at all... especially the ones you know normally do respond all the time)

So, what do you guys think? Does stubbornness rank up there as a top quality for you? Or do you have a laundry list of other qualities that trump it?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sense of Direction

I have no sense of direction. It’s a gift. My friends joke about my ability to get lost on a regular basis, in fact I often get lost in my own damn city... never mind road trips. I need driving directions, specific ones, too, to pretty much any neighborhood I’m not intimately familiar with... worse than that, I don’t care very much if I do get lost... I’ve always managed to make my way to the assigned destination... eventually... so I kind of take the detour of getting lost as a mini-adventure... Yes, my friends laugh at me – when they’re not completely indignant that I’m so late, or worse, made them late.

Chicago is laid out in a pretty straight forward grid, which is another reason I don’t worry so much... if I miss a turn, it’s really easy to find your way when you know which streets run north and south or east and west... and I generally know the neighborhoods I frequent well enough to drive on autopilot... but, being that I’m home with the kids or at kid friendly places, I’ve lost a bit of touch with what there is to do for just adults. Getting together with my girlfriends, unless they have a specific place picked out, I find myself going online to search restaurants or check out reviews for plays or nightclubs.

It makes you feel a little out of touch, having to look this stuff up rather than having haunts you’re familiar with... Pre-parenthood, I could’ve written my own guide to the city – but I would have skipped all the fancy dancy restaraunts with humongous plates and tiny portions... it’s Chicago, the best places heap on the food and don’t skip the calories. My guidebook today would include gymnasiums, arcades, and batting cages, as well as parks and pools... I wonder what it’ll look like when I hit the Grandparent stage... knowing me, I’ll still need directions.

Monday, November 17, 2008

They gave us Shakespeare... We give them ‘meh’...

As the bully kid from the Simpsons might say, “Ha, ha!” In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, there’s an article about new words entering the British language that’s slightly amusing... it also reinforces the notion that Brits are elegant and polished while their American counterparts are, well, not so much...

I, for one, blame them. Hey, we didn’t skewer the English language. We gave it colour... and we do have some other distinctly Yankee phrases that they could have included in that book....

In other news

Our beloved Church Lady is back... go visit Chris and tell her what to do with her ridiculously high clear healed shoes... I’m voting for Ello’s sandwich and chip combo, but I could just as easily lean toward chocolate and booze (don’t make me decide, here).

And on this here blog

I’m just full of little updates today, aren’t I? In light of current economic turmoil and the usual status of most unpublished writers like myself – that being poor and starving... I’ve decided to start taking paid posts. I did do a lot of paid posting a long time ago, but stopped because I didn’t want to clutter the blog. Now they’re making me an offer that I just can’t refuse... I can decline anything I don’t want to write about, which makes it easier and I promise I’ll try to make them all entertaining and interesting.

Just thought I’d let you all know in case you page in here next week and wonder when I decided to sell out... that would be today... but at least I’m an honest sell out.

Writing Progress

I’m not doing the nano thing, but the rest of the bloggy verse seems to be, so I thought I’d just post a bit of progress on goal to finish by December 31st... I think I can... I think I can... I’m pretty sure I can...

I find it hard to post in word count because I can write three pages and then delete the whole thing and rewrite... and there’s usually deletion and re-writing involved every time I sit down to write lately... hopefully that bodes well for my self-editing abilities. I will say that I think I’m fairly well on track with it and the characters are fleshing out amazingly well.

Okie-dokie artichokies, that’s about it here. How about you guys? Writing progress? New links for to help me waste time? What say you?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Politics and Religion and Hypocrisy, Oh, My!

I don’t often discuss either politics or religion on this blog because they tend to invoke ire, mostly in myself... here I shall abandon my normal abstinence on the subjects and point you to this little abomination

A Catholic Priest holding Communion over the heads of his democratic voting parishioners

If any of you stopped in for the usual fiction writing banter, I’ll continue that in my next post. I’ll state ahead of time that I don’t tolerate derogatory commentary about an entire group of people, so any religion or Catholic bashing is disallowed – making points on things you dislike is fair game, but not blaming an entire population.

If you haven’t read the article yet, go read it... I’ll still be here when you get back...

This is wrong on so many levels I scarcely know where to begin. The thing I find possibly most offensive is that this priest is a representative of my faith. It is fine to preach from his pulpit, that is his job. It’s fine to impart to his individual parishioners the teachings of the Church, but to tell them that voting for a candidate is a sin so grievous that they should forfeit the right to the Sacrament of Communion? Really, Father?

To be fair, Rev. Jay Scott Newman actually said that if his parishioners voted for a pro-abortion candidate when there was an alternative candidate who was pro-life, it, “...constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ's Church and under the judgment of divine law.”

He went on to say that they should not receive Communion until they had made the Sacrament of Reconciliation... Okay, I have a few qualms with this. First, aren’t we always under the judgment of divine law, and by ‘divine’, don’t we mean God’s judgment rather than a priest’s judgment? Not to negate the job of a priest, they are spiritual leaders and if his vantage point was in counseling one of his parishioners against having an abortion, I’d have no problem with this. That’s his job, and is in line with the Church’s teaching for his congregation and parishioners, not for the entire country regardless of what they believe.

This smacks to me of spiritual extortion – and I am a Catholic, which makes this even more unnerving, because it seems to me that this priest is laying aside other tenets of our faith in order to further one agenda. What of those parishioners who voted for Obama? They could just make confession, take their penance and be done with this, right? Not if they are true Catholics and abide by their faith, they can’t. You can’t lie a penance – God doesn’t fool that easy, and that’s essentially what this priest is telling them to do – repent their vote... how many of them do you think changed their minds in light of his sermon? So, say some of them did decide just to lie the confession and get the episode behind them – lying to a priest is a sin, too, isn’t it? And wouldn’t it be the priest at fault for that sin?

Another factor to the Sacrament of Reconciliation that he seems to be missing – by the Church’s teaching, a sin is an action taken by a person with full knowledge that what they are doing is wrong and harmful to another person, their relationship with another person, and theirs (or another’s) relationship with God. While the priest might argue that by voting this way they’ve affected another person’s relationship with God, or that they’ve condoned another person’s sin, the priest cannot verify in any way that the parishioner believed this to be a sin at the time they voted or even currently consider it a sin... you can’t sin on accident – you also can’t judge what’s in another person’s heart – not even if you’re a priest.

Many devout Catholics do believe that you should abstain from Communion unless you’ve received Reconciliation. So telling his parishioners to go to Confession isn’t so much the issue, as telling them what they have to confess.

There have been other cases of Church officials stating that politicians who support pro-choice legislation should be denied the Sacraments. First, this is a little less unsettling to me than telling an entire congregation who might disagree with a politician’s stance on this issue but think him best for the job otherwise that they are sinning by voting for him. It’s still unsettling though because you are asking a politician to put his job to the side and rule through his religion – and they can’t do that. Well, I take that back, many of them do just that, but it’s absolutely wrong when they do. There’s a separation between Church and State for a reason and no one of faith should want them to overlap at all.

Ethically, the politician has promised to answer for his constituents, not himself. As a private entity the Church is allowed to deny the Sacrament, but I think it’s an injustice to deny any Catholic the body and blood of Christ for following a promise and doing what he feels is ethically and morally right. And I think it’s overstepping for the Church to deem these sins, especially sins heavy enough to essentially cut the person off from God – isn’t that the biggest sin, to turn someone away from God?

I think the largest problem here, for me, is that you have one or a handful of priests and Bishops making these decisions. These are men. Their vocation demands respect, but they are still men. I don’t feel that these rulings adequately portray the teachings of the Church, either, but people outside of the Catholic faith see these things and form an opinion that is less than good... it’s been known to turn Catholics away from their faith as well.

Well, that’s my two cents. What’s yours?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

CONNIVING 101: Lessons my Mother Taught Me

It was suggested by Travis in the comments section of a recent blog post that I might be a bit of a conniver. Actually, my conniving skills aren’t much to speak of, at least not to me. But that’s because I grew up watching in awe some of my mother’s more prolific shots.

I love my mother, but she’s not normal. Don’t get offended. She would be happy with the description – normal would never be a thing she’d aspire to. I’ve often told her that she should be writing her memoir – but she’s convinced that no one would believe it, and she’s likely right. If I didn’t live there, I wouldn’t believe half the shit she did while we were little, and she mellowed out quite a bit after having children from what I understand. To make you understand a bit of her character, my oldest brother can’t watch I Love Lucy. He has a physical aversion to it, it reminds him so much of some of my mother’s shots... I think it even gives him a bit of a tick. I kind of understand – it can be hard to deal with from the inside when you’d really love a mom who bakes cookies and wound up, instead, with one who hatches schemes.

One person in particular that my mother loved to play practical jokes on was one of my dad’s friends. He could take it, and would sometimes even try to get even, so I think it was more mental gymnastics for her. When we were young, so sometime in the late seventies or maybe very early eighties, he opened a hot dog joint. It was pretty run of the mill, hot dogs, beef sandwiches, gyros, and the like – but it was his own business, which is a very big deal and he was proud of it. Early on, he got this big sign for over the counter. It was pretty expensive and nice, it had his whole menu and the prices and he kept talking about it for weeks before it arrived and right after he got it. For ease in narration, without using real names, I’ll refer to him as ‘our mark’ in this story.

That first week that the sign was up, my mom came in and placed an order. They stood at the counter talking for a few minutes, when a man in a suit came in with a brief case.

The man walked up to the counter, staring at the sign.

“Can I help you?” Our mark asked.

“Yeah,” man with brief case responded, handing over a business card, “I’m a representative of Oscar Myer Company. Your sign is in violation of our company trademark.”

“What are you talking about? I don’t even use Oscar Myer, there’s no Oscar Myer mentioned on the sign” Our mark said.

“Yes, I know. If you used Oscar Myer there would be no problem. As it stands, you use Vienna – but you used the spelling B-E-E-F – that spelling is trademarked to our company. You can’t use it without our written permission. The sign will have to come down.”

“What are you, crazy? That’s how you spell beef. You can’t have a trademark on that.”

“No, sir, you spell beef, B-E-A-F.” Briefcase guy replied.

My mother was standing to the side of the counter through the entire conversation, trying to avert her eyes.

“No... that’s not right... beef is B-E-E-F,” our mark mumbled, “Hey,” he said to my mother, “How do you spell beef?”

My mother looked at him blank eyed, “B-E-A-F. Why?”

“What do you mean?” he yelled in agitation, “It’s B-E-E-F!”

“No, it’s not,” my mother responded, and then looking at the sign, “Oh, they spelled it wrong.”

Now our mark was thoroughly confused. Another patron had been sitting in a booth just near the counter, listening. Our mark looked at her, eyes wide in confusion.

“I think they’re right,” the patron said, “I’m pretty sure it’s B-E-A-F.”

“You’ll have to remove the sign until the spelling is fixed.” Briefcase guy went on.

Our mark looked at his lovely sign that he’d been bragging about for eons, and didn’t want to take it down. He pulled a ladder out of the back and was climbing up to try to cover the “E” with an “A” written in magic marker on a piece of paper when my mother finally broke and started laughing.

Briefcase guy was my brother’s little league coach. Patron was just a very gullible stranger.

All of this just to have a little fun. Makes you wonder what she might accomplish if she ever uses her powers for good.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Hearty Congratulations and Happy Dances Abound!!!

If you haven’t met my friend, Shelly Bryant, you should make it a point to go introduce yourself.

She is the featured poet in the November 8th issue of Scifaikuest. They’ve included fifteen of her poems!!! Yay, you, Shelly!!!! I’m so proud of you!

A little bit about the poet:

I met Shelly way back when at a little blogging community we both frequented. Back then, she went under the screen name, Believin – a reference to her favorite baseball team, The Astros... you’d think baseball would’ve been a contributing factor to our close friendship, being that I’m ridiculous about it... but actually, Shelly held some of the most profound literary discussions I’ve ever been privileged to take part in.

Shelly grew up in Texas, but has lived in Singapore for most of her adult life. She teaches literature to third and fourth year University students. She also happens to have a great knowledge of history and theology and all of these influences make their way into her blog posts and subsequent discussions, as well as her writing.

If you get some time, drop over and check out her awesome website and peruse some of her writings, or just offer her congratulations.

If you’re interested in checking out Scifaikuest, you can order a copy of your very own here

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Moonrat! Where it's at!

As many of you know, we’re celebrating Moonrat’s Second Blog-i-versary!!! I thought of writing an ode, but she’s already inundated with haiku’s... I thought of hiring Michael Chabon to serenade her with bad karaoke, but I’m guessing he’d charge quite a bit for that humiliation and I don’t make that kind of money...

So instead I’ll tell you all how I met our dear anonymous editor in the first place.

Long ago and far away, I don’t recall the exact date as time seems to slip and slide in odd dimensions in this space we call Blog Land, I got a comment on one of my blog posts from a visitor I didn’t really know. She – or I assumed it was a she, but the anonymous nature of blogging under screen names makes you guess at this sort of thing... I often assume ‘she’ when the speaker is either a writer or intelligent, which is probably quite unfair to some of my male friends, but it is what it is...

Anyhoo, the only knowledge I had of this speaker was that her name was Moonrat and she thought I might like to join a group blog called The Book Book... hmmmm... there was a linky dink right there pointing me to the blog. And the blog looked pretty interesting, but all I could think was, “Who the hell is this?”

I declined, or probably said something more like, “Oh it looks interesting and I’ll think about it,” which is the writer’s equivalent of, “umnnn... no.” Sort of like, “Don’t call us – we’ll call you.”

I just didn’t have time to participate in another blog – and it’s probably a good thing I didn’t know her yet, as I’d have said yes for sure... I have this problem saying no to people I like.

Over the course of time I got to know Moonie a lot better. She is the best cheerleader a writer ever had, I swear. Just look at her growing Mischief!!! She’s even offered to watch mine and Precie’s writing status – with a megaphone if we slack.

Even the average blog reader must grow to adore her, with her industry insider posts and humorous looks at such favorites as “Momrat”, “Dadrat”, and “Rally Monkey”.

If you’re a fan, or just looking for a great blog – Go wish her a happy anniversary at the awesome party put together by some of her readers. Go on, now. I’ll see ya there!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Fifth Grade Politics

In honor of the election year, my daughter’s fifth grade class had an assignment to draft their own campaign literature... They designed their own buttons, three fold pamphlets on the issues, and even designed the symbol for their own made up political party. I thought you might enjoy some of the highlights from my daughter’s campaign:

Her answers are copy typed verbatim in blue.
My silly commentary is italicized.

Campaign Button:

If I were President – I would lower taxes and gas prices. I would also be fair, kind, and helpful. Even if you don’t elect me, remember: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Hey, it worked for Kennedy.

Pamphlet on the Candidate:

I am running for President because:
I want to be the first woman in the office.
I’m hoping she’ll grow out of this type of reasoning.

Two skills that I have that would make me a good President are:
My comedian skills – we need a fun President. My creativity – for good speeches.
Actually, she might be on to something here.

The symbol for the Republican Party is the elephant, which represents intelligence and strength. They symbol for the Democratic Party is the donkey, which represents intelligence and courage.

My symbol is The Dragon. It represents Bravery and The American Dream.
I’d go for that – hers is waaay cooler!

As President, I will work to solve these problems that face kids:
The right for eleven year olds to vote. No homework and free candy with lunch.
Eeeeek!!! Is she bribing people? She really is a politician.

As President, I plan to help the American people by doing these things:
Help the poor, sick, and hurt.

I thought this was pretty good for a fifth grader... until I flipped it over and saw what she wrote on the back of her pamphlet...

P.S. – I know where you live.