Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lots of News and Many Happy Dances

First of all, drop by Ello’s to win an autographed copy of Cindy Pon’s new Silver Phoenix! I’ve been on pins and needles to read this one ever since Cindy first landed her deal – it looks absolutely amazing!

Second, Erica Orloff’s first novel in the new Magickeepers series is due to hit shelves this Friday! (Pssst, it’s under the name Erica Kirov, but it’s the same amazing writing, this time aimed at middle grade)... I’m dying, dying I say, to get my hot little hands on this book. Erica’s very accessible to both readers and writers on their way up – so if you’re interested in doing a book review or author interview, stop over at her blog or drop her a line via email.

Side note to Jaye Wells, Erica and Cindy – your books are all on my must have list, but they have to wait until I get a few more paychecks in... Sorry about that. If the kids didn’t mind, I’d certainly read by candlelight – but they enjoy the electric.

Last, but definitely not least –

Stephen Parrish just announced his book deal!!!!

I so wish I knew how to do big, bold sparkly letters that jumped off the computer screen, slapped the reader in the face, and spit raspberries at them. Not for any particular reason, it just sounds like fun.

Go over to Stephen’s and congratulate him. It’s an order. While you’re there, you can read about horseback riding and balls – it’s Stephen, you should expect such things.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Motherhood Meme - Five things...

Mary Witzl, our own Resident Alien, tagged me with a meme to list five things I love about being a mom... Wow, won’t that test my editing skills – ONLY FIVE?!!!

It might be easier, and more fun to list things that suck about being a mom. You’re allowed to be funnier that way. Like, who among you mothers out there can’t lament the sad state of spit-up stained sweat shirts replacing all your single girl clothes... or previously perky breasts becoming food dispensers rather than date bait? Hmmm, perhaps I’m cynical today... okay, onto the things I love:

I love snuggles for no apparent reason... or even a plotting-to-get-my-way reason. I’m fully aware that my time of being snuggle-worthy is limited. At some point in the not too distant future, snuggling their mother will just be weird. And I’ll miss it. A lot. This morning my littlest guy, who is only in first grade, got out of our van and lifted his little cheek for the mandatory kiss before running off toward his class line. I did my little hop-step toward the other side of the car and turned around like I always do to watch him bounce toward school – and what to my wondering eyes did appear? The little guy was wiping my kiss off his cheek and rolling his eyes with one of his friends. Ack. Knife. In the heart. It’s okay - it is. I remember wanting to distance myself from my mom. I remember not wanting to look like a baby in front of my friends... but I’m pretty sure I was a bit older than six.

I love that each of my kids is their own person – and I love each one of them for who they are. It’s funny, but when you think about having kids in an abstract way, (you know, before the spit up and actual work-a-day world of raising them) you don’t fully realize that you have no control over who they’ll be. None of my kids are exactly like me or anyone else really. Sure, I can see bits and pieces, things I know they got from here or there, but they are their own. Their wit and charm and cunning and chutzpah – that’s all theirs. I’d love to take credit, but I can’t – so I’m content to bask in the glow of their awesomeness.

I love who I am through their eyes. This is something no one prepares you for in parenthood. I am the mommy. Before becoming a mother, I didn’t know how much the title ‘Mom’ would define me. Pluses and drawbacks to be sure. I kind of miss thinking of myself as sexy or salty or a bevy of other things I once was – and still am when I’m not overwhelmed with Mom Mode. But those things don’t compare to the me I am in my kids’ eyes. My kids look at me in a way that makes me want to be that person – the bravest, safest, smartest, surest, best at all things imaginable, person. I’m not quite as cool as they think I am. Like the snuggling, my reign of coolness for them has an expiration date, too, I imagine. But, they make me want to be that. They make me strive to be better than I ever thought I could or even wanted to be just for me.

I love that they’ve completed my circle. They’ve taught me the other side of unconditional love – I learned what it is to be loved without condition or question from my own parents. But to be honest, I didn’t fully understand the giving of unconditional love before my own kids. To be clear, there are a few people who I do love without condition (it’s a rarity, it is) but there are a few who, no matter what they do or where they go or what kind of disagreement we have, I’ll have their back if it means standing in front of a train. No question. My side has been picked since day one. But with my kids, it’s different still. Because they belong to me in a way that no one else can – in the way that I belonged to mine... they complete that circle for me and I hope to be a good marker for them of what it is to love someone, without question or condition.

I love that they tickle me daily with their little peculiarities, views of the world, and funny comments (whether they’re trying to be funny or not). I love that they are my biggest cheering section for things small and large and that they are each others’ biggest cheering section. They are friends, good friends – and they understand something that’s hard to explain, that bond between siblings. They have that in spades... so I know, no matter what happens through the course of their lives, they’ll have each other.

Okay, I’m passing this on to five people. Don’t feel obligated to continue it, but if you have some time, I’d love to see five things from Ello, Erica, Stacey, Jerseygirl, and Julie.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Small Update in Blogging

I blogged a while ago about my new job at The Big Ooga. I wanted to update you guys a bit as I go. My blogging time here has been sporadic since, well, since I started blogging... but NOW you can definitely find me every Friday!!! (Yes, I can hear the squeals of joy!)

Seriously, I'll be blogging at The Big Ooga Blog every Friday and I hope you guys can stop in here and there to say hello and check out the posts. Our regular schedule is Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Stop in if you can. I'd love to see you there.

This week's a good one - we're talking about the 60's anti-establishment movement and how revolutionary vision influences small businesses and marketing.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Is There a Support Group for People Who Have a Book Buying Problem?

If you haven’t heard of the Fill in The Gaps project yet, here’s the basic gist:

Our beloved Moonie first posted the idea, which she stole from someone else at her place... If you want to read her list and rules, it’s on her project fill in the gaps post.

Basically, each participant comes up with a list of 100 books that they haven’t yet read. Your criteria might be using classics you’ve always wanted to get to... or your own ‘to be read’ pile along with some recommendations by others. We’re giving ourselves a five year deadline (a little more, really) – New Year’s 2015. That’s only 20 books a year. This way, we actually read all those books we’ve been meaning to read, simply by fitting them in between our regular reading - filling in the gaps.

The awesome Emily Cross took up the cause and put together a blog for those of us participating - Filling in the Gaps – The 100 Project. If you’re interested in making your own list, Emily’s information is up at the blog, you can email her to get an invite to join us (insert evil, mwa-ha-ha).

My list can be found here... and all of the participants’ lists can be found by clicking on their names in the right hand sidebar.

When Moonie first posted about this, I thought, “Easy cheesy – I’ve got a ton of books lying around that I’ve always meant to get to...” Okay, seriously, out of the 100, I own well more than half of them. They’re in stacks, and double stacked on bookshelves, and in boxes and closets... and... I could go on.

I started by checking out my friends’ lists at Goodreads and marking ‘to read’ all the ones that I noticed on their lists that I’ve heard about or wanted to read and never got to... then I expanded my list to include classics I knew I wanted to read that hadn’t made it onto their lists yet and books just out or soon to be released by writers I know. Then I went, from the stacks in my living room, tv room, and bedroom... and even my daughter’s bedroom (because yes, I will steal books from my children... can you say addict?) Finally, I ended my journey, at two in the morning, in my crawlspace. I have three large boxes of books down there... or that’s what I thought.

See, I only have so much book space and my insane need to own all interesting looking books I wander across surpassed my allotted space for them years ago. It’s one reason I’ve been trying desperately to stay out of book stores. I can’t buy just what I came in for. It’s not possible. It’s like sending an alcoholic into an open bar and telling him to drink water, it doesn’t work.

So I started putting books that, either I-don’t-want-to-part-with-because-I-liked-them-so-much-but-there’s-no-shelf-space-for-them, and ones I haven’t read yet but will eventually into boxes in the crawlspace. I meander through these boxes and pull out a gem a few times a year. Then those books wind up in my stacks until my husband forces me to re-box or donate some of them. All the while I’m magically accumulating more books – hey, some of them were used.

So, what did I find down in the crawlspace? A fourth box. I didn’t pack that box. I didn’t even know about that box. What was in that box? Every single flippin book was brand new and the spine hadn’t even been cracked (not brand new, I bought them brand new, judging by the fact that my just released copy of Sushi for Beginners was in there – which I still haven’t read- that box was packed and hidden at least five years ago) I know what happened. Husband type person went all willy nilly and packed up every book in his way one day figuring I had so many of them I’d never even notice. And look how much money I waste on things I don’t need... Okay, technically he was right. I’m sure I looked around for some of those books, but I didn’t know he’d hidden a whole flippin box of them... so yeah, technically he was right.... prick.

At the finish of my list, I actually had about thirty extras I couldn’t include... which just gives me something to fill in the gaps in between the gap books. How about you guys? Care to find an outlet for your book buying addiction?