Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Songs to Avoid

You know, there are some Christmas songs I just can't abide. Hopefully, that doesn't make me a Scrooge, but you know there are a few that you turn off as quickly as they come on the radio.  Here are my top 3 Christmas songs to avoid:

3. "Do you Hear What I Hear?"  I'm with the song until we get to the part where "a child, a child..shivers in the cold...let us bring him silver and gold..."  How about a blanket?  Not only does the tune irritate me, but the lyrics--both the repetition of them and the stupidity of that line in particular make me cringe.

2. "The Christmas Shoes" Good heavens, this song is depressing.  The only reason it's not number one is that I'll at least give them a little credit for the redemption of the narrator of the song.  Still, grungy boy buying shoes for his dying mama on Christmas Eve?  That makes the middle part of It's a Wonderful Life look cheerful.

1.  "Same Old Lang Syne" Please explain to me the popularity of this song.  Let's run into an old lover who's NOT married happily and have a six pack of beer in a parking lot on Christmas Eve. Ugh. Way to bring down my Christmas cheer, Dan Fogelberg.  Pandora, don't you even think about throwing that one in with all of my Big Band/New Orleans Christmas music!

So, what about you?  Any songs you'd like to ban?  Oh, and be sure to tune in tomorrow for my faves.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This Week's Reason my House Isn't Clean: Haint Misbehavin'

Okay, so actually this is last week's reason my house isn't clean, but I'm always happy to share books that reel me in and distract me from cleaning.  (See my last entry on The Front Porch Prophet, another excellent book.)

I just finished Haint Misbehavin' by Maureen Hardegree, a YA novel from Bell Bridge books.  Have a teen or tween who's interested in what might happen if a girl inherited a ghost along with her menstrual cycle?  This is the book for you.  Like a good read about a middle child who can't seem to get anything right? This book might be better than therapy--and it would definitely be cheaper.

Hardegree has an easy to like protagonist, Heather, and she captures the awkwardness of being  a teenager so well, I winced a few times in memory.  My favorite part of the story, though, revolves around the ghost herself. At first, Heather can't figure out why Amy, the ghost, is hanging around.  Over the course of the novel, though, she grows up enough to focus more on helping Amy than on the pain Amy's drama causes her--and that part of the mystery is so much fun to unravel.

Hardegree also leaves the book open for potential future stories, and I really love the two male characters: the dreamy lifeguard Heather lusts after and the loyal geek who lusts after her.  I left the book wanting Xavier to have his day, but I'll just have to wait until Book 2 in the Ghost Handler series to see if he has any luck.

If you, a teen, or a tween are looking for a good read, be sure to check out Haint Misbehavin'. Oh, and as always, you have my leave to ignore dusting, dishes, and laundry to just enjoy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Today's selection of child entertainment is She-Ra.  I've learned a few things from watching this show so many years after I watched it as a child:

1.  Girl Power still rocks!
2.  80s cartoons required weird characters to undercut any possible serious undertones.
3.  The toys are still cool.
4.  The entrance music isn't as offensive as I thought it would be.  Here, take a look for yourself:
She-Ra opening theme

What about you?  Any particular cartoons or toys that you want to make a point of sharing with your kids?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Her Majesty's Treatise on Bears

This all started with the song Lorelai was singing on the way home from preschool, a song in a Native American tongue that I have yet to identify.  I swear I have to start tape recording these car conversations:

Lorelai sings her song
Lorelai:  I’m so hungry I could eat a bear.
Mom: You need to be careful because the bear might eat you.
Lorelai:  Do you want to eat a bear?
Mom:  No, they’re probably tough and all gristle.
Lorelai:  Indians ate the whole bear and the gristly skin.
Mom:  Yes, Indians believed in using every part of any animal that they caught.
Lorelai:  But you can’t eat bears.
Mom:  That’s right
Lorelai:  Because they will eat you.
Mom:  They might.  It’d be a good idea to stay out of any bear’s way.
Lorelai:  And bears will scratch you with their sharp fingernails.
Mom: Claws?
Lorelai:  Yes, bears have sharp claws, and they will scratch you.  Or eat you.  Or maybe scratch you.
Lorelai:  Some bears are mean.
Mom:  Just some bears?
Lorelai: [deliberates] No, all bears are mean.
Mom:  Okay, all bears are mean.
Lorelai:  Except gummy bears.  Gummy bears are nice.
Mom:  Okay, all bears are mean except Gummy bears.
Lorelai:  Some bears live in the jungle.
Mom:  Do all bears live in the jungle?
Lorelai:  Noooooo!  Yes, all bears live in the jungle.
Mom:  What about polar bears?
Lorelai:  [decides to ignore that exception to her blanket proclamation] But bears will eat you if you try to eat them first!
Mom:  [Noncommittal agreement noise]
Lorelai:  Can we go to Chick-fil-a?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Front Porch Prophet, or This Week's Reason My House Isn't Clean

I've noticed an interesting trend:  every time I get close to getting the house under control, a book grabs my interest to the point that I sit, read, and ignore the filth.  Therefore, I will start a new award for the book of the week that distracts me the best.

Last week, the "offending" book was The Front Porch Prophet by Raymond Atkins.  I took a class with Ray while getting my masters and greatly enjoyed the novel he was workshoping:  Camp Redemption.  It came as no surprise that The Front Porch Prophet was just as enjoyable if not more so.  So here's the premise:  A.J. Longstreet struggles to take care of his childhood friend, Eugene Purdue, after Eugene reveals he is dying of pancreatic cancer.  I know this premise does not sound funny, but I promise you I laughed out loud more times than you can count.  In the great southern tradition, The Front Porch Prophet finds humor and poignancy in the vicissitudes of life and the odd assortment of characters that endure them.  Atkins tells the story with all of the wonderfully entertaining digressions one would expect from a Front Porch Prophet, and the story contains several surprises I wouldn't dream of revealing here.  This is southern fiction at its best.

So, ignore the dishes in the sink and laundry on the couch.  I personally give you permission to sit and read The Front Porch Prophet because it will be good for your soul.  I promise, the mess isn't going anywhere

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday's moment of truth...and a story!

So today I weigh 154 pounds.  I'm still trying to figure this one out because I had lost a pound as of Friday, a hard fought victory.  Two meals out in Knoxville--one of them a salad--and I'm up 2 pounds?  Grr.  To make matters more embarrassing, you gotta hear what happened yesterday.

Okay, so I have two pair of jeans that mostly fit, and now both of them are tight.  When we got home from the road, I draped the jeans over the side of the hamper and found a pair of pajama pants to wear until it was time to meet the girls for a dinner out.  I had put my driver's license and credit cards in the back pocket, so when I put the jeans back on to go out, I didn't think to get my purse or anything.  Everything was in my back pocket, right?  Wrong.

After supper, I reach back for my credit cards, and I don't have them.  I had to bum money off a friend as well as contemplate a hundred different scenarios of stopping both credit cards and going to the DMV for a new license.  I rushed home and there were the credit cards in the hamper where they had slid out of my pocket when I draped the jeans over the side of the hamper.

And the moral of the story?  If I hadn't allowed my weight to get out of hand, I would not have felt the need to take off my pants and thus would not have been embarrassed in front of a group of new friends.  Even worse?  That was the pair of pants that wouldn't stay up a year and a half ago. *sigh*

Oh, well.  Back to the drawing board with salads and egg white sandwiches.  I started lifting weights again in the gym and put in an extra 10 minutes of cardio while chatting with some of my lady friends who are trying to talk me into Monday morning yoga.  If I can just stay out of the Halloween candy, I think that would be an excellent start!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another Revelation

Okay, here's a post for all of the relatively new mothers out there.  Do you ever feel as though you can't go to the bathroom by yourself?  No, I'm not talking about when you go to a public place and take a friend just so you can have someone to entertain you while you wait in an insanely long line.  I'm talking about within the privacy of your own home.

It occurred to me earlier today that we have brought this phenomenon upon ourselves.

First, we put great emphasis on potty-training--and for obvious reasons.  We join our progeny in the bathroom and wait for things to happen, then cheer when things come to pass, or look sternly upon mishaps.  When the kiddies are young, they have to join us in the stalls of public restrooms because we are afraid someone will snatch them.  Is it any wonder they think they should always join us?  Even if we indicate we might like some alone time.

Like so many other things, though, we will have our sweet revenge when they become teenagers.  By that time, we'll  be used to the company, and we will follow them around often speaking through doors closed in our faces.  Not only that, but we will have finally overcome embarrassment, conquered it after being sprayed by ever bodily fluid known to man, after having a child scream bloody murder at the top of her lungs in a crowded store, after escorting a toddler back into a store with an item he has pilfered.  Yes, just as our teenage children reach the point that everything embarrasses them, we will have reached a point where almost nothing embarrasses us.

And that, I believe, is poetic jusice.  Or at least the great circle of communal pottying.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Missive to Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature,

I know that I'm on the verge of being a "woman of a certain age," and in light of that fact we need to have a little chat.  I understand that I'm going to have an accordion fan of tiny wrinkles around my eyes, especially when squinting into the sunlight or laughing.  I understand that I have deep lines etched into my brow and battle scars criss-crossing my belly--my kids put them there, and I wouldn't change those.  I understand that sitting Indian style isn't my forte and that it's completely normal to have one stop at the top of my quad that's given up on the concept of flexibility.

But, Mother Nature, what is up with the acne?  Does it not seem cruel to you to sprinkle me with acne even as you line me with wrinkles?  Seriously, I did my time back in my teenage years.  I'd love to be able to say, "Well, at least I don't have to worry about zits any more."  Is that really too much to ask?


Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday's moment of truth

152.  Otherwise known as Revenge of Halloween Candy.

On the bright side I have been to the gym 3 times a week for 3 weeks.  We have to run out of candy some time....

Friday, November 5, 2010

Over at the Healthy Writer

If you get a chance, hop on over to The Healthy Writer to see what I have to say about getting back in shape after a long hiatus from proper diet and exercise.  Then stick around because they're good gals with much more valuable info than I've been able to accrue thus far.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Moment about Fiction

I just took a survey about the npr book page.  Sure enough, when I finished the survey, they put up a list of books I might want to read.  I think there was a category about dog-grooming, but certainly no romance.

I know it's a dead horse.

I know it's a dead horse that's been beat to death.

I just want to know why romance is a genre so maligned?  Jane Eyre and Sense and Sensibility? Both romances.  The Thornbirds and Gone with the Wind?  Uh, romance.  Moreover, if you've been reading romances since the late 80s, you've seen the quality and intelligence of the books increase dramatically.  I can't speak to some of the categories from the 60s and 70s because I didn't read them, but I think women's fiction, in general, has increased in quality. 

To include science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and thriller, but to dismiss romance is a slap in the face.  Wake up, npr.  Smart people read romances, too.  All too often, "literature" includes an unhappy ending just for the sake of having an unhappy ending.  Just because I like to read books about relationships that end happily does not make me a simpleton.

Besides, optimists live longer.

Uh, Tuesday's Moment of Truth?

I weighed in at 151--hey that's a half pound down.  Or it was before I ate that hamburger and fries for lunch today.  Let's hope all the walking in Chattanooga off-set my poor food choice. : )

Monday, November 1, 2010


I am going to participate in NaNoWriMo. I am going to practice self-discipline in my writing. I am going to learn to tell my internal editor to shove it...when appropriate, of course.

At the very least, those are the things I'm telling myself as I gear up for the November novel writing challenge.  Today it was nigh upon impossible to log in, and I had to think of a 5K.  Think of all those runners already at the front of the pack. Then think of all of the runners who start with me but then leave me coughing in their dust.  Just like finishing a road race, however, the goal is to simply finish.

I'm not a pretty writer, and I'm certainly not a pretty runner, but I'm going to give this a shot.  If you break down the 50,000 words over 30 days, you're looking at about 1700 words a day.  I've already written 953 today--so, come on, folks.  Remember that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step; a novel of 50,000 words begins with 1 word.

Want to know what I'm talking about?  Visit the official National Novel Writing Month web site at If you want to buddy up, you can find me under s_kilpatrick!

Let's write!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Riveting Conclusion of The Pink Fuzzy Slippers

“Dammit, girl, get out from under the bed!”
And that’s when I saw part of a tennis ball poking underneath the dust ruffle a few feet from the pink fuzzy slipper.
She took a shuffling step back, and I rolled out from under the bed, covered in dust bunnies.
“What were you thinking locking me outside like that? Good thing that door doesn’t close all the way and the deadbolt hadn’t caught. And I don’t know why you left the broom out there yesterday. I had to borrow the slippers just to go out there and get it.”
“Sorry, Grandma.”
“I bet.” She crossed her arms over her chest as best she could thanks to the permanent stoop of osteoporosis.  
She shooed me into the kitchen where I cleaned up the mess, and we finished supper. A full-blown storm raged and whistled outside putting a premature end to trick-or-treating. Grandma watched me as I did the dishes, savoring one of her Milky Ways. I poured the last of the spaghetti sauce into a spare container and opened the fridge to put it inside.
I had almost closed the refrigerator door when a glint registered, a glint coming from underneath the glass shelf just above the crisper drawer. I bent to open the door and found a bottle of Corona beside the lettuce.
“How in the heck did that get in here?” asked Grandma. “I poured all that mess out after your Aunt Elinor died.”
Hours later, Grandma snoozed in her chair as Leno soliloquized on the state of the union. I crept to the fridge and took out my prize. The cap popped off the bottle, and I looked to Grandma. She didn’t stir. I took a long sip of Corona.
And that’s when I heard the knock at the back door.
Shave and a haircut. Two bits.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Biblical Moment

When the going gets tough, the tough buy books.  That's why, after a rough Monday, I bought a new version of Amy Knapp's Family Organizer.  I bought my first one last year and have thoroughly enjoyed the layout as well as the perforated sections that make great grocery lists and bookmarks.  This year, I decided to buy the "Christian" family organizer.  (Which makes me ask if there's a pagan one, but that's another post for another day.)

As I was transferring data, I came across the verse for the week of September 30:

Endure hardships as discipline; God is treating you as sons.  For what son is not disciplined by his father?

Somewhere deep in the recesses of my brain, I'm trying to make a connection between bad things and "discipline," but we were also taught that it rains on the just and the unjust.  So, is there a way to think that "hardships" are a way of discipline, or does that veer too closely to an idea of an angry Old Testament God who smites the wicked?  (That can be a rhetorical question, BTW.)

If you have a thought, feel free to express it.  I'll be back to something less than philosophical tomorrow. : )

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cinnamon toast

As I made cinnamon toast today, I wondered if the relatively simple recipe would be lost to my children just as I'll never figure out exactly how Granny Rowlett made biscuits.  For all posterity, here's how it ought to be done:

Preheat the broiler on the oven to high.

Put four pieces of bread on a cookie sheet. (All of my recipes are like this)

Spread a thin layer of butter on top.

Mix two teaspoons of cinnamon and two teaspoons of sugar in a small container and mix well then sift evenly on top of the bread.

Put toast under the broiler, but don't walk away.  Not even for a minute.  And how I know that is another story for another day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Uh, Tuesday's Moment of Truth?

151.5 So I'm down 0.5 ounce from when I started on August 27th.  Am I going to make 135 by Christmas? Uh, no. Can I make "thin enough to fit in my pants" before Christmas? Lord, I hope so.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday's moment of truth

150.  Yep.  I got as low as 148.5 last week and 148 the week before, but 150.

Maybe I should look into hypnosis to supplement what little will power I have.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Bold, Beautiful, and Often Nude

I can't help it.  Sometimes when I go to check on Lorelai, I eavesdrop to see what's happening in her dollhouse.  I have decided that it would make a pretty good 80s style soap opera.  Here's the cast:

And the cast sometimes even does commercials.  Does this shot remind you of any product in particular?

And, no, I don't know why Tiana is in a tub with a bunch of grapes and a plastic sparkly dolphin.

Maybe if things continue to be entertaining, I'll keep you updated on the secret life of Lorelai's dolls.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just wanted to reassure you...

that I'm not dead yet.  No, I'm still planning the M&M conference, and it's more fun than a barrel of monkeys!  I do hope to update my blog more frequently once we get past the conference, but I'm choosing to revise my novel with my writing time these days.  I MIGHT actually be getting the hang of this whole revision thing.

So, don't abandon me completely.  The two sources of the majority of my funny stories arrive home this evening, plus I'm thinking about a post about whether or not being irritated at demonstrative with indefinite antecedents makes me a bad mother.  Or do I score some brownie points for not throwing so many grammatical terms at my children?  Hey, you can chew on that while I wrap up the conference!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Uh, Tuesday's Moment of Truth?

So the scale says 150.  Yep, I think it was 151.5 for my first moment of truth, and, I confess, there have been some veiled half truths in there.  Still, I'm pleased with the 1.5 pounds gone considering I went to Knoxville over the weekend and hit some of my favorite haunts:  Litton's and Louie's.  Oh, and when I ordered the 12 oz beer at SoccerTaco, the waitress actually brought a 32 oz beer.  This was a beer so large that it will increase in size with each retelling of the story.  At the moment, I think Ryan refers to it as the 275 oz beer.

I'm loving my new app, MyNetDiary--it keeps up with my calories, my weight, and adjusts my daily caloric intake based on exercise.  Now, if I could only get my stubborn foot to heal, I would actually be able to exercise.  With a little exercise I think I might actually burn some more calories and get back down to 135 where I belong.

So, here are my tips for the time being:  MyNetDiary app, weight control oatmeal, and dancing like a fool while you clean the house.  Oh, and walking Knoxville hills before and after your 275 oz beer.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More Grammar, Old School

So, I got a rejection letter this week.  Even though it was a really nice rejection letter, there are still a few interjections I wanted to use.  I'll let you guess what they were.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cutting up

Who would've thought that a four-year-old would be so determined to have homework?  Lorelai got a box of art supplies for her birthday and has been diligently cutting paper into tiny pieces and coloring/marking everything she could find.  (Stay tuned for purple hands at a later date.) 

This is yet another example of what happens when I'm doing housework/playing on Facebook/trying to revise my novel:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Maternal Karma

So, I've done a bad, bad thing.  I told my four-year-old daughter that people who don't eat breakfast are more likely to be overweight than those who do.  Sure, I was telling her the truth, but I didn't feel too hot about introducing the subject of weight to a preschooler.  That said, I was desperate because she refuses to eat breakfast before going to preschool, and I feel for her teachers and classmates if she gets hungry.  I swear she was a suffragette who mastered the concept of hunger strikes back in the day.  Besides, it worked!  She ate her breakfast.

Once again it's Monday.  Once again Her Majesty doesn't want to eat her breakfast.  Once again I remind her of the importance of eating breakfast and, finally, mention the threat of obesity.  She looks me in the eye and says, "But you ate breakfast, and you're fat.  I'm not."

You can't argue with kid logic like that because, ladies and gentlemen, it's maternal karma.

Monday's moment of truth

Okay, blogosphere, I still weigh 151.5.  Even though most folks save their confessions for Friday, this is my confession for the day.  I'm hoping that the new school year and my new calorie counting iPhone app will help me make some progress, but I'm still wrestling with my sprained ankle.  Funny thing about that:  I won't be able to use it for another 5 to 7 weeks.  Apparently, most cardio actually requires you to put weight on your foot in one way or another.

That said, I put my Jillian Michaels protein in my oatmeal this morning, so I'm sure to be ripped by Wednesday. : )

Friday, August 27, 2010

Our first winner!

I know it's been forever, but I wanted everyone to see that I did, indeed, reward Pamela Mason with her very own bottle of Mad Housewife wine. And I learned to stick with things that ship from this point forward.

If you see Pam, congratulate her!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dear Harlequin,

We have to talk about the titles you choose for books these days. As an intelligent woman with an advanced degree, I don't turn my nose up at your category offerings. No, I consider a good category romance to be a fine sherbet, a way to cleanse my palate between courses of meaty literary and nonfiction books. Your stories of heroes and heroines who grow and change in order to triumph over adversity and find true love bring a cathartic twinge to my usually cynical heart.

Alas, I have to confess I feel stupid carrying around books that pertain only to cowboys, firemen, and secret sons. Some of them sound like personal ads--Dusty: Wild Cowboy, comes to mind. What about His Hired Baby? The first thing that comes to my twisted mind is a bounty hunter baby or a petite mafioso. And just how many books do you have that play on some version of a cowboy and a son? I love cowboys as much as the next girl, but the picture on the front would probably suffice to get the point across.

The first Harlequin I ever read was by Leigh Michaels and called Sell Me a Dream, an appropriate title considering the heroine sold real estate. My best friend Janette and I also were great fans of Flirtation River by Bethany Campbell--another title you don't see every day. What about The Daddy Trap or The Ties that Blind? (also by Leigh Michaels) I'm pretty sure Penny Jordan's Man-Hater was a provocative title back in 1984, and what about her Dangerous Interloper or Island of the Dawn? Are we women so simple that we have to have short titles devoid of all symbolism in order to pick up a book? I hope not.

So, Harlequin, keep up the good work finding intelligent authors who craft wonderful stories that are, for the most part, for women and by women, but please work on those titles. Heaven knows romance authors have enough trouble getting respect without being saddled with short, unimaginative titles. More importantly, I'm awful at titles and could really use your help. After all, I wrote a prospective Harlequin called "Married to the Mortician." Obviously, I could use a little help with titles myself.

Most Sincerely,

Okay, folks, what are some of your favorite or least favorite titles? (No need to list "Married to the Mortician;" it didn't exactly make it to publication.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm Not Dead Yet!

Just wanted to write something down on my poor, poor neglected blog. Alas, Moonlight and Magnolias Conference is taking up a great deal of my time so I may not have many new posts here for a while. There's also the question of laundry and, once again, finding what has died in the kitchen. (The latter is particularly disturbing because the kitchen is relatively clean at the moment.)

Stay tuned for a heartfelt letter to Harlequin about their titles, a Monday reality check about my quest to lose weight permanently, and a Day in the Life of Lorelai. These are posts that have been nebulously planned in my gray matter, at least.

In the meantime, for the sake of my sanity, please sign up for Moonlight and Magnolias and bring along 2 or 10 friends. It's going to be a great conference for a great price!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Maggie Finalist!!!

After complaining to Stephanie Bond that I had never so much as even placed in a contest, I managed to win the Duel on the Delta with Beulah Land and the Happy Hour Choir. Then, on Friday night I found out I am a finalist for this year's unpublished Maggies with the same manuscript! It's some stiff competition, but I can honestly say that it's an honor to be nominated. (That and my manuscript goes to Latoya Smith of Grand Central, and there's not enough room for all the "yay"s that should then go here for that.)

It all goes to show we should always keep plugging along. It's only taken 13 years and 5 manuscripts to learn some valuable lessons and to find my voice and genre. You can find out more about those lessons on Thursday when I blog over at the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales.

Pardon me, I'll be walking on Cloud Nine!

Monday, August 2, 2010

News from Nationals

Ladies and gents,

I had a blast at Nationals. Free signed books, people. It was a dangerous place for me, especially since my TBR pile was already approaching the height of the Big Chicken.

That said, all the news that is news? I did get two requests for partials of Beulah Land. (Yay!) And more big news? Starting this week or next, I'll be moving to a once or twice a week format.

For today, I have to go be a mom. Not feeling so super, but I'm glad to be home on mommy duty and super-excited to work on the "writer" part, too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Back from Vacation

Sorry for the break, folks. I took a wonderful trip home to visit the folks in West Tennessee. I'll be posting about home later since going home always recharges the creative batteries.

This week, however, I'll be preparing for a trip to Nationals, so we may be a little scarce on posts the next couple of weeks. Rest assured that Superwritermom will be back on duty at the beginning of August when the kiddies have to gear up for school.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Word to the Wise...

It really does take a village to raise a child. Today's word to the wise features one of my extra mothers, Lynn. If only I could say with such cheer what she told us one day:

"Go on outside and play, girlies. I've got PMS, and people have killed for less."

I miss you, Lynn, and think of you often--at the very least once a month. The world could use more ladies with such an elegant mixture of grace and spunk.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Beulah Land Comes to Jesus

Here's the prologue to my current WIP:

Feel free to tell me what you think.

My name is Beulah Land, and I’m here to give my testimony.
Please forgive me if I seem a little nervous. I’ve never been a fan of standing in front of the congregation to confess your sins. Sure, I sat through countless testimonies as the daughter of a Baptist deacon, and I heard the words adultery, alcoholism, and fornication before I learned the difference between “near” and “far” from Sesame Street. It surprised me when Luke, of all people, wanted me to tell my story. He said that telling it might help others, and I want to help even if I can’t see how rehashing my mistakes could ever do that.
I suppose I could start my story on the day I was born, the day my parents saddled me with the name Beulah Land in reference to their favorite hymn. Or I could start with the fifties brick ranch where my father took his job as head of the household too seriously and where my mother ruled the roost by swatting at us with a burned up wooden spoon. I could start the story with my biggest mistake or my unlikely redemption, but I think the best place to start the story is where Luke walked in. We can pick up the rest as we go along.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Grammar moment

Every now and then I like to visit the classics from SchoolHouse Rock. Here's one of my favorites:

What are your favorite SchoolHouse Rock moments?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Paying for my raising?

Would someone please explain to me why my youngest child will not go play in her room with her toys? Better yet, please explain why I waste money on said toys?

Apparently, she would rather crawl under the dining room table and cry than go play.

Monday, July 12, 2010


So, last week I outed myself weightwise. Today I'm down to 151.5--just 7.5 pounds over what I need to weigh to be able to wear my professional clothes for Nationals. Here are some of my supposed keys to success although it'll be interesting to see how well these work now that I have the bulk of my trip weight off:

1. Whole foods. After reading Master Your Metabolism I am trying Jillian Michaels's suggestion to avoid processed foods and to eat organic whenever possible. I'm also avoiding artifical sweeteners.
2. Exercise. I've made it to the gym twice this week, ran once, and danced my little heart out to Wii's Just Dance.
3. Supplements. I'm taking my multivitamins, calcium, fish oil, and fiber again--the biggest change here was an increase in energy.

So, that's the plan for now. I'll be including more updates as Mondays roll along because I won't want to admit to all of you that I backslid!

Anybody have any helpful hints?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Why Her Majesty Wakes me Up...

It's five o' clock in the morning, and Lorelai is shrieking. As any good mother would do, I race down the hall and throw back the door.
"What's wrong, baby?"

She's sitting up, but I can only tell that by the shadow. Her little shoulders shake with sobs, "You pushed the elevator button."

"Oh, I'm sorry. Next time I'll let you push the button. Now, go back to--"

"No, the doors closed and you left me! You left me!"

"It was just a bad dream, now put your head on the pillow and dream of something nice like ice cream."


The door creaks as I close it, and I shake my head. Three months ago SHE was the one who jumped in the elevator and let the doors close on ME before I raced down three flights of stairs to catch her. So, who should be having the nightmare here?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I just want to finish my coffee

That's it. Well, and on Sundays I want to finish reading the paper. I'm pretty sure the world will end if I ever make it all the way through a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Ugly Truth

So I came back from Saint Louis weighing 155 pounds. At my leanest, I was a trim and healthy 124--but that was at 22. I hit 135 a few years ago, a comfortable size 6, so why did I let myself gain 20 pounds? And how am I going to fit into my professional clothing for Nationals?

These are my questions. At the moment I'm trying to eat almost all whole foods, so we may have a blog on that in a few weeks.

In the meantime, I'm going to blame my weight on stress. Based on everything I've read so far, I must be making a lot of cortisol and putting that fat on the belly. It's probably dreams like last night's one where I lost Lorelai at her Kindergarten orientation. Oh, wait. There's still time for that one to come true.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday Poem

Here's another poem I'm considering sending out there into the wild world. Comments and suggestions are welcome. And, yes, I know I need to move beyond the "considering."

First Failed Swim Lesson

Chlorine stings your nostrils
as you open the double doors.
The top of the water is motion in stillness
like wavy colonial glass.
You want to slip under the silk surface,
cold at first them warmer
as you wear it.
You want to glide aimlessly, effortlessly
or float on your back studying
stark naked rafters. You want
to be a child again—splashing,
cannonballing, dipping, and diving with ease.

But you are not a child.
You’re the mother of the one
who won’t put his head underwater even
as his peers splash and their parents snicker
because at the end of the night
they will go on and he will have to repeat
this level. You can’t swim for him
and you can’t convince him to trust you.
No, you are forced to watch
his apprehension and reluctance
to be where you yearn to be.

And if you know my pediatrician, please reassure her that, yes, we're going to keep trying swim lessons until we get it right.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

In honor of the holiday, I think we should review our American history with a little help from one of my favorite SchoolHouse Rock videos:

May you find glorious fireworks!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Word to the Wise...

Don't kid around about nudism on Facebook. If you do, a random stranger from New Hampshire will want to befriend you because he doesn't understand that you were simply frustrated by all of the laundry you had to do.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Motherhood Makes it Better

Last week I wrote about 5 of the killjoys of motherhood. Today I'm going to tackle 5 things that are better with kids:

5. The Zoo. Nothing makes the zoo more fun than having little ones of any age point and smile or even talk to the animals. And, oh, all the pictures you can take!
4. Ice Cream. Going out for ice cream by yourself is fun, but sharing your ice cream with your kids is even better. Especially when the oldest gets a dollop of bright green sherbet on the tip of his nose.
3. Defrosting the freezer and washing the car. Both of these chores become a game with kids. They see the joy in throwing chunks of ice, not the drudgery of moving the freezer. They squeal with delight when you spray them with the hose, not grunt as they bend to scrub the undercarriage.
2. Reading. I still love reading on my own, but there is nothing better than having a little one nestle into your lap or sit beside you with a downy head just under your chin.
1. Christmas. It really is better to give than to receive.

Those are just 5 of the millions of things that kids make better. Have any more you want to offer?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

If Laundry and Pounds were Dollars and Words

It never ceases to amaze me how hard it is to strike a balance in life. Why do we have too much of the things we want less of (pounds, laundry) and too little of the things we need (dollars, words)? And, oh, what tangled webs we weave because each seemingly different thing is hopelessly interrelated.

I often feel that trying to find balance in life is trying to solve a messed up Rubick's cube. If I spend less money, I have to buy cheaper, less healthy foods. If I buy fresh, organic foods, I spend more money. If I keep up with the laundry, I write fewer words. If I go to the gym, I write fewer words. And let's not forget that if I stay up and make my word count, I usually end up eating too much.

Anyone out there have any hints? I haven't even started on the issues of spirituality and balancing children's activities with family time. Or trying to create a social life with other married couples so your children won't be deprived of other friendships.

I'm the master of making things more difficult than they ought to be, so feel free to enlighten me!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Killjoy of Motherhood

You know, motherhood sucks the joy out of some things. Here are five things that are no longer fun:

5. Play-Doh. I don't like picking up little pieces of Play-Doh off the floor. And Silly Putty has been permanently banned from this house thanks to the damage it can do.
4. Water rides. I can't entirely explain this one, but I think it has something to due with adulthood's increased likelihood of chafing.
3. Chewing gum. It gets into hair, the carpet of the car floorboard, ends up in stomachs. Being a teacher didn't help my disdain for gum--my apologies to everyone who's had to suffer my coffee breath due to my chewing gum embargo.
2. Markers. Oh, how I loved markers. I would use markers until they were completely out of ink. Now, I cringe at the sight of them because it usually means Lorelai has found the stash and decorated herself a la Goldie Hawn on Laugh-In.
1. Swimming. Okay, so this one is really the killjoy of womanhood. Swimming was so much more fun when it involved putting on a bathing suit and heading out the door. I don't even mind collecting the towels and accouterments, but I HATE, HATE the landscaping required. I hate that more than the thought of all my extra pounds showing.

So, what about you? What has motherhood taken the joy out of? Kool-Aid? Water balloons? Frog catching?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We have a winner!

Pamela Mason, you are the winner of a nice bottle of Mad Housewife wine. Your name was selected through an ultrascientific process: I put the names into my son's replica Civil War soldier hat, and he pulled it out.

You can expect to receive the bottle just as soon as I either a) find my checkbook or b) meet up with you at a GRW meeting.


Superwritermom is not home right now...

Please leave a message after the beep. Or, better yet, take a stroll over to the Healthy Writers and learn about my complex feelings for my Wii.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another 10 Ways to Know if You're a Bad Housekeeper...

Due to the popularity of the first ten--and that I could come up with examples of bad housekeeping until the end of time--here are another 10 ways to know you're a bad housekeeper. Leave a comment with your own example for a chance to score either a bottle of Mad Housewife or a Publix giftcard to buy one.

10. Your son announces, “I have a new way to get dust off the ceiling fan: bat balloons at it!”
9. Georgia Tech scientists have consulted you as an expert in their latest paper: Stages of Mold in the North Georgia Toilet.
8. Your children’s friends spend precious playtime to tug on your sleeve and inform you that your child really, really needs to clean his room.
7. A favorite family game is Find that Smell. (In all fairness, this one could generally be subtitled: Where did the baby hide the sippy cup of chocolate milk this time?)
6. When you finally do get around to cleaning the refrigerator, you find a casserole that you can’t remember making.
5. You’d rather be in your car.
4. You now know what mummified green beans look like.
3. Your children refer to your bathroom as “the hairy bathroom.”
2. Your son considers defrosting the outdoor freezer a recreational sport.
1. The Island of Sodor has invaded your living room and taken up permanent residence causing everyone passing through to step over bridges and accidentally kick Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends across the room. And they thought running out of that special gold dust stuff was a problem.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Motherhood: the Fashion Faux Pas Adventure

When I'm rushing kids to Vacation Bible School, Choir Practice, a soccer game, I don't feel glamorous. There's certainly nothing exciting about sitting in car pool. In fact, I hate car pool with a passion most people reserve for fire ants or taxes.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Indiana Jones and I actually have something in common.

I may not have to run from boulders, but I'm often in a hurry. I also usually need to keep my hands free, so what do I do? I sling my purse over one shoulder just like Indy does with his satchel.

Other mothers may wince at my lack of style, but sometimes pragmatism beats out fashion sense. I can't catch my three-year-old if I'm holding a Coach clutch. And I have no experience in the area, but I'm sure having your daughter stuff a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a Louis Vuitton would be enough to send you over the edge. But, hey, just try damaging a khaki mesh purse that you got for three dollar on clearance at Kohl's. That's the kind of purse you can't destroy as an excuse to get a new purse; it's the kind of purse that doesn't die just to spite you.

And, to tell you the truth, I wouldn't want my shoulder bag to fray or tear. After all, running after kids can sometimes be just as scary as running away from massive boulders. So tell me about your purse. Are you practical? fashion forward? Somewhere in-between? Do have any purse-meets-kids horror stories?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Not a Mad Housewife, Just Not a Good One...

Here are the top ten ways you know you're not a good housewife:

10. You children get excited when you fire up the vacuum because they don't see it that often.
9. Your family considers the pile of laundry on the couch as part of the overall decorating scheme.
8. There are stains on the carpet you can't explain and you can't remember how they got there. You just know they're not poop. You promise they are not poop.
7. Dust bunnies are congregating on the fringes of your hardwood floor. You think they are fomenting a rebellion.
6. It takes you a month to realize you've run out of Scrubbing Bubbles.
5. Your lovely aquarium hand soap bottles now feature fish in atomic sludge because you forgot and bought the orange hand soap instead of the clear hand soap.
4. The shower rod in your guest bathroom just fell for the third time because you are still using the "temporary" tension rod you bought at Big Lots ten years ago.
3. Your children have asked their grandparents to help them change out the burned out light bulbs in their bedroom light fixtures.
2. When you apologize to the bug guy for the state of your house, he says "Hey, I've seen worse" but he can't actually give you examples.
1. The more you clean up, the less you can find.

If you answered yes to more than four of these, I suggest we celebrate with a bottle of Mad Housewife and forget about being bad housewives. Salut!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Another Poem....Don't Worry I Don't Have Many More!

Okay, ya'll. I didn't get any comments on my bad poetry last time, so I'm going to assume that the ghazal about potty training is a no go. Take a look at this one, and let me know what you think.

Is this one ready to submit to journals? Does it still need polish? Should I promise not to quit my day job?

The Gospel Truth

The smoke detector in the garage squeaks,
An intermittent plea for a new battery.
I vow to ignore it and have almost succeeded
when I hear mama, mama, mama, mama—
my second reminder this is the Lord’s Day
and I need to rejoice in it. Instead, I grumble and
retrieve my alarm clock, the cuddly doe-eyed one,
ensconce her beneath the comforter
where she, too, succumbs to drowsy warmth.
Just as I drift off, closing my eyes to the
clock that declares it time to shower,
my oldest wake-up call, my trustiest alarm,
Belly-flops on the bed to hug and tickle
his sister whose squeal reminds me of
the smoke detector, still beeping patiently.
Defeated, I leave the invaded sanctity
of the bed to fix breakfast, but it is too
late to go to church, impossible to herd two
unwilling children and their equally unwilling
father into stiff Sunday clothes and stiffer pews.
Later, when all are fed and sassy, I turn on cartoons
and drink my coffee while reading the paper, wincing
at each piece of evidence that all is not right with
the world. But then it’s time for Sunday
lunch, and my only course of action is
to pray and wash away my sins
in the cathedral of my shower.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dear Pandora...

How aptly named you are, iphone app that has opened up a can of worms as well as a world of musical possibilities! I confess that I am now addicted to you, especially as I make long car trips. Where else can I build a radio station around James Brown? Where else can I mix K.C. and the Sunshine Band with the Black-Eyed Peas?

That said, there are a few things we must discuss, Pandora. I really don't want Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson's "Beauty and the Beast" mixed in with my Britney Spears. I know she once worked for Disney, but those days are long gone.

Also, when I say that I like a Ludacris song, please don't load me down with rap. Unfortunately, there are tender ears in the backseat who don't need to hear "You're now turned into the m$#@-f%$$#@ greatest." We all need to get a little dirt off our shoulders from time to time, but could you please consider radio edit?

Oh, and when I skip Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl," it's not because I don't like her music. It's because I don't want my three-year-old running around saying, "This my s$#@!" (See plea for radio edits above.) You don't have to send me to the Backstreet Boys. Please don't send me to the Backstreet Boys.

And I'm sorry I blew your mind by pairing Sam & Dave with the Jackson 5 and the Beatles. I didn't know that was going to blow your mind. And I sure didn't know that the love child of those three acts was Stevie Wonder.

Finally, I thank you. I thank you for a radio station dedicated to crooners--although you can go light on the Mel Torme. I thank you for my radio station dedicated to Dr. John even if it does make me want to flee to Bourbon Street.

I know our relationship has already had a few ups and downs, but I can't wait to see what you're going to do with movie soundtracks or 50s music. I think this is love, Pandora. I think we're in it for the long haul.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thank You, Sweet Ginger!

So, today's entry is a helpful hint--pay attention I don't have a lot of these. Yesterday, I admitted that I was suffering from a mild case of food poisoning, and there's nothing like a upset stomach to upset your schedule and to make your kids think they have carte blanche to destroy everything in the house. (I even took a nap, but the house is still standing.)

Last night, I was desperate. So desperate that I looked for a solution on the Internet. I know, right? I found a home remedy for stomach aches that said to make a cup of Chamomile tea and to add one teaspoon of ginger and honey. With a little experimentation, I discovered that it would take three teaspoons of honey to get the ginger tea down, but it worked almost instantaneously! I had a little relapse today, fixed another cup, and, again, my stomach was better almost immediately.

So, the next time your tummy is giving you that angry rumble, feel free to try this concoction. Of course, if you do, you are taking complete responsibility for any ill effects. (If I had a lawyer, he would make me say that.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Monday Blues

Wow. Today is not going to be a particularly enlightening day because I'm still suffering the ill-effects of an Egg McMuffin from Saturday morning. I don't know about you, but I can't stand it when my stomach is upset. I don't feel like writing or doing the laundry that needs to be done. My stomach doesn't crave the foods that I should be eating, and--here's the worst part--I'm afraid to drink my coffee because it's so acidic.

Ugh! Definitely not SuperWriterMom today--more of a Barely Functioning Mom. That said, I did sign up for my appointment at Nationals in Orlando. There. I did something to further my writing career. Now, off to clothe the naked child!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Submit or Trash

I'm getting ready to submit some poems--because I need help. So here's my infamous ghazal. Do you think I should submit it? Is it edgy or just silly?

The Humble Request of the Mother of a Preschooler

I wheedle, I cajole, I plead
Wanting you to use the potty.

Princess dress, pony, lollypop
All yours when you learn to go potty.

Money, jewels, liberal kisses to feet
I would give if someone else would teach you to potty.

No pails, no pull-ups, no heavy bags
Just as soon as you learn to potty.

No accidents, no spills, no stains
Once it all finds the potty.

If only your will wasn’t your own
And I could mold you like putty.

But independence, spirit, and babyish charm
Will be lost if I make you go potty.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

I thought it appropriate to start today, just two days after I graduated, with my new blog. I've been trying to decide on an identity. You can see that I don't dream big of anything. I just want to be a SuperWriterMom. To paraphrase Jon Lovitz, is that so wrong? (You'll have to imagine the whiny voice part.)

In keeping with what I'm sure will be a theme, I'm going to have to stop my post for the day because I need to pick up my daughter from preschool. Taking off the writer hat (Hey, wrote a short story today!) and putting on the mom hat. As for the "Super" part? That was just wishful thinking.

Have a great day, everyone, and keep on making it up as you go along.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Part II of Ally Dan and the Magic Lamp.

If you missed part one, please visit the new and improved Petit Fours and Hot Tamales web site.

Ally returned late and leaned her forehead against the cool door with a grin. Jacob was wrong about dark magic; Dylan wanted to elope right then. She needed a change of clothes and a toothbrush, and they would be off to Paris. Dylan said he would take care of the rest. Maybe it was crazy, but it was the most romantic thing she had ever heard of, a fairy tale coming true thanks to her friend the genie.
She fished in her purse for her keys. At the sound of a crack and then a grunt, she stood up straight. What was going on in her apartment? She grabbed the keys, dropped them, and broke a nail picking them up from the floor. Her hands shook as she jiggled the key in the lock.
Finally, the door gave way. A hulking red genie, the traditional sort with the devilish face, wielded a whip over Jacob’s back. Open, angry gashes criss-crossed his back. “What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be with that Dylan guy.”
“I needed a toothbrush,” she said in a small voice. She turned her attention to the other genie. “Who are you and what are you doing to Jacob?”
“I am Ali, and he has broken the law; he has touched a human. He must receive his punishment.”
Ali swung the whip again, his black ponytail swaying.
It took a moment for Ally to process what the devil genie said. “No, stop! He didn’t mean to! I did it. It was my fault.”
“So you would take the lashes for him?”
Ally bit her lip. Take the lashes? She would crumple like a stomped meringue puff. “Isn’t there another way? It was an accident, after all?”
“You can wish for his freedom, but you will lose everything else you wished for.” The red genie shrugged. “Or he can take his next ten licks, and you can get your toothbrush and rush off to your happily ever after. It is as you wish.” He bowed low.
Give it all up? Go back to being frumpy Ally with thick glasses, frumpy Ally who pined for Dylan Michaels from afar? But there was beautiful Jacob with welts across his back—could she be happy knowing her happiness came from his pain?
“Ally, don’t be silly,” Jacob said. “These lashes will heal. You’ve made wise wishes; you could beat the darkness of the magic.”
Could she enjoy Paris cafes, or would she think of Jacob willingly taking an unfair punishment for her happiness. She swallowed hard, shaking her head no.
“Ally, don’t do anything stupid,” Jacob said. I haven’t been touched in a hundred years, and I would gladly take these last ten licks for that one moment.”
Ally remembered the moment, remembered his strong embrace, his breath on the top of her head. She remembered how he smelled of sandalwood with just a hint of curry. And she remembered that moment when she saw Dylan in the sun, when he pinched his secretary’s behind.
“I wish.” Her mouth hung open, and both genies stared at her expectantly. No one dared breathe. She couldn’t be happy at Jacob’s expense. She couldn’t do it, even if it meant giving up Paris and Mr. Wonderful himself. If he were truly wonderful, then he would love frumpy Ally with her glasses and her thrift store wardrobe. If he really loved her, then he would still want to elope with her when she walked down the stairs as her true self. “I wish for Jacob’s freedom.”
Wind whipped through her hair and the catalog on the kitchen counter fluttered in the breeze; the world hazed without her glasses. She felt the cellulite returning to her hips and felt herself shrinking. Her fingertips danced around on the side table for her glasses, but it was Jacob who gently pushed them up her nose.
“I can’t give you anything to thank you for what you’ve done,” he said. She blinked twice. The red genie and his menacing whip were gone. The golden bracelets from Jacob’s wrists were gone.
“I couldn’t leave you like that,” she said. She took him by the arm and turned him around to look at his back. He winced at her touch. “We need to take care of you.”
“No, first you need to go downstairs and meet Dylan. And go to Paris.”
Ally laughed. “Do you really think he’s still going to want to elope? With the real me?”
Jacob ran a hand down her cheek. “If he’s smart he will. Now, you’d better hurry.”
She looked over her shoulder before she opened the door. If she went downstairs, would Jacob still be there when she got back?
Ally closed the apartment door behind her. Dylan hadn’t recognized her as the same person when she went downstairs. At the sight of her, his aunt in Poughkeepsie had keeled over and necessitated his presence at a split-second funeral.
Now, with the lights out and the apartment silent, it seemed that Jacob had abandoned her, too. Silly, but the thought he had left was far more depressing that missing out with Dylan. After all, in the back of her mind, she had always known Dylan appeared more handsome from across the cubicle farm.
Then she heard the gasp.
Her heart leapt before her feet moved in the direction of the bathroom where a sliver of light shone from under the door. Her knuckled grazed the door. “Jacob?”
“Come in,” he said. “I’m afraid I could use your help.”
She closed her eyes and exhaled in relief. She pushed open the door slowly, taking in the tableau of the six foot guy trying to twist around to reach the worst spots on his back. “You shouldn’t do this yourself.”
“Well, you shouldn’t be here with me. You should be on your way to Paris.”
Ally smiled. “Oddly enough, the sight of the real me caused his aunt to have a heart attack on the spot. He had to rush to Poughkeepsie.”
“Jerk.” Jacob hissed as she dabbed one of the worst stripes with a disinfectant laden cotton ball.
“So, how long are you going to stick around?” she asked. “I’m assuming you can’t quite fit in your lamp anymore, and you’re welcome to crash here for a while.”
He turned around to face her, and she realized his black eyes had lightened into an intriguing bluish hazel. “I’ve been thinking about that, and I hope you’ll forgive me because I was hoping your Mr. Michaels would be a jerk. I would like to stay wherever you are. Forever. In my two hundred years, I haven’t seen another woman like you.”
Ally swallowed hard. “Jacob, I’d say this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
He leaned closer. “Or the beginning of something more.” His lips touched hers, a tingling fire that sent her arms around his neck and her body next to his. Sometimes the best wishes are the ones you never think to wish.


This is going to by my blog. Someday. And it's going to have a spiffy name. Someday. In the meantime, please enjoy my random musings.