Wednesday, March 27, 2013

But I'm not LIKE that!

This evening, while I was getting Jesse's dinner ready, I was quietly steaming over something that happened earlier. My husband noticed I was upset and asked what was wrong. I told him that, earlier, I had checked out the B&N page for the book Jennifer and I co-wrote, Dogs Forever, and how I had noticed some ratings on there. Only, when I looked at the so-called reviews, they weren't really reviews! They were trolls roleplaying some dog game. Along with their posts, they were giving the book 4 stars....3 stars...even 1 star. (The 1 star rating was an obscene message.) He told me not to worry about that but it bothered me. I had actually thought of contacting Barnes & Noble and asking them to remove those posts because they WERE NOT reviews. They were just roleplaying comments. But I didn't say anything.

Then hubby next says I shouldn't do that; I should not check book pages to see the ratings and what people are saying about my books. I explained I had not been doing that; I was actually looking to see if another book of mine was available in the Nook store (unfortunately, it was not).

But, you know, I don't do that. I don't spend hours on the Internet scouring for what people are saying about mine and Jennifer's books. It IS a nice surprise when I come across a review, but I don't actually seek them out.

This reminded me of another thing that happened this week that had me thinking, But I'm not LIKE that!

Something weird and kinda spooky happened and of course it was the kinda thing that has been known to happen in haunted houses or when there is an angry ghost in a house. I posted on my Facebook page about it and someone was all, "It's a ghost." Her comment made me laugh because, you know, I got the joke. But then I thought, what if people think that because I write about ghosts and hauntings, I'm the kind of person that thinks ALL kinds of weird or unexplained things are because of a ghost?

And, of course, my response is: Whoa! I'm not LIKE that!

Yes, I've had REAL ghostly experiences and HAVE lived in a haunted house. But I always act as the skeptic first. I always look for an explanation for things and I don't immediately say, "It's a ghost!"

I was actually having a discussion about that with my husband this week. I was talking about how some people do that -- they immediately think "it's aliens!" or "it's a ghost!" instead of actually looking for an explanation for things.

But, no, I'm NOT like that! I don't scour the Internet all day looking for EVERY mention of my books. I don't see strange things happen and say "it's a ghost!" or "it's aliens!" Yes, I write about ghosts and hauntings. Yes, I AM helping Martha Jette with her book about UFOs and alien encounters. But I'm not one to immediately jump to irrational conclusions.

Well, that IS unless the printer refuses to work ... a key on the keyboard keeps sticking despite my efforts to release it ... or the computer starts acting up and I can't get ANY work done because of that.

That's when I start to think they're out to get me!!!!!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekend fail

Weekend started on a sad note. Cousin’s post on Facebook remembering her brother. That day, Saturday, was his birthday and she said she would raise a toast to his memory and I wanted to do that, too, but didn’t. I looked at his picture and said “Happy Birthday, Mark” and lit a candle in his memory.

Then came other stuff that day. Tried to get pictures that were on the camera onto the computer and they would not show up. At. All.

The pictures were gone! Lost! Oh, no!

But I stayed cool, somehow knowing I would find them but angry that they disappeared because they were the OBOB pictures (Oregon Battle of the Books) and I kept saying, “We can’t go back in time to take those pictures!”

Hubby searched computer. I searched computer. So much later in the day, I cried out, “I FOUND THEM!” They were in a subfolder. Darn subfolder. But why they did not appear earlier in our searches remains a mystery.

Then there was me, seeing a picture of me, and asking Jennifer, “Do I really look like that?” The thing that bugged me were the scars, burn scars, so prominent on my face. So VISIBLE. She said yes but also said, “Mom, you are beautiful.” I can’t be beautiful on the outside but I’ll try to be beautiful on the inside and with all the things that I do in life.

Talking with people about changes going on. Am I ready for this? Is it really the time? I need time. I need to learn. I don’t know how to do this thing I wanna do and it’s scary but it has to be done because I want books to stay. Stay forever.

Two movies were a huge disappointment. Hope the next ones are better. Interesting, at least.

Tried to read two books, as well, but one of them just didn’t grab me so it went into the yard sale pile. The other was not the kind of book to read through in one sitting.

And I had a horrible nightmare. Horrible. Jen and I playing in a graveyard. Me lying down on a grave. Right over a skeleton. The grave starts collapsing and I raise my hand out to Jennifer, screaming, "Pull me up! Pull me up!" But just as she grabs my hand, another hand is on me. On my left shoulder. The hand of the skeleton underneath me...trying to pull me in. Into the grave. With him. I woke up with a scream. That dream scared me so bad.

Jesse lost out on riding his bike. He kept going to neighbor's door. And knocking. Got in trouble and lost his chance to ride his bike. He cried but we hope our messages got through to him.

This was not a good weekend for movies. Or books. Or computer time. Or riding the bike.

Or for ladybugs. Jennifer had to say goodbye to her ladybug. Be happy and free, little ladybug.

At least I found the pictures.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Four and four

I believe that for every yin, there is a yang. There is positive and negative, good and bad. Just the scales balancing out, as they should. There has to be a balance. Last week, I mentioned on Facebook how I was having rotten luck on a particular day. But, on the other hand, the rest of my week had been pretty good. So, in a way, this “bad luck day” was just a way of my week “balancing out.” There’s good and bad – always.

Yesterday, that ended up happening, too. There was a sort of “balancing out” with the books I was reading AND the books I was working on. I thought that was pretty neat so I wanted to blog about it. (After all was said and done at the end of my day yesterday, I was way too exhausted to write this blog post, so I am writing it today.)

Normally, I don’t plan my day ahead in my dayplanner. I DO write down appointments, scheduled events and things I HAVE to do on a particular day, but I pretty much let the day take care of itself. I KNOW what has to happen, and I DO try to make those things happen. But I don’t write them all in there unless they DO happen. So that was an even bigger surprise yesterday, that the day just filled itself up on its own and, at the same time, struck a balance as far as books being worked on and books being read are concerned.

During the week, I work on my books while the kids are in school. Usually, I’ll work on two books while they are in school. I DO try to squeeze in a bit of book work here and there when they are home, but that really depends on if the children are preoccupied. They usually are and I’ll usually manage to get work done on an extra book, making the number of books I work on being 3.

But yesterday, I managed to work on four books in one day. Thankfully, the children stayed busy A LOT yesterday (thank goodness there are days they will play together so well) and so, yesterday in the late afternoon and last night, I was able to work on two books while they were home. I was able to work on four books yesterday! WOO-HOO!!! That was a new record, so, yay!

But also, I did some reading in four books, too. I normally read in more than one book every week. Sometimes, it’ll take me 2 weeks or longer to read one book, and if so, I add that book to the next batch of books I’ll read come the next Monday. That is what happened with one book in particular. I started reading two new books yesterday and the other two are ones I have been reading for a while.

The books I worked on yesterday are:

1.    The haunted cities book
2.    The deaf parenting book
3.    The alien book
4.    The first book in the Revise Your Writing series (I had to write new chapters and now I have to find people to interview).

The four books I read yesterday are:

1.    Seven Point Eight by Marie Harbon (an ebook that is taking me a Very Long Time to finish reading because, first, it is an ebook, and I am not a fast ebook reader and, second, it’s over 400 pages long!)
2.    Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (an historical novel Jennifer read for OBOB that she LOVED and recommended to me)
3.    The Dragon Quintet, a collection of dragon stories edited by Marvin Kaye
4.    City of Orphans by Avi – this is another book taking me a while to read because Jen and I are reading it together and we go a chapter at a time.

And I just realized something else, too. The four books I am working on this week (those four mentioned above) are all nonfiction. The four books I am reading this week are all fiction. Yet another way of things balancing out. That’s pretty cool, too.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Another reader in the house

Usually, on the nights my husband is here to tuck the kids into bed at night, he’ll read our son a bedtime story. However, not too long ago, he informed me that, instead of reading a book to Jesse, Jesse read a book to him. He couldn’t believe it. The first book Jesse read to his daddy was Put Me in the Zoo. Wow!

Ever since then. Jesse is reading everything he can. He’ll try to read signs, words on the TV, article headlines in the newspaper and words he’ll see on the computer monitor. It’s like a flick has been switched and he can’t turn that “reading bug” off.

He is 5 years old. And I think it’s pretty darn awesome he is reading.

Still, it’s not like he can read every word he sees. Last night he was reading one of the frog books I checked out at the library and he did have some trouble with some of the words. I read the words to him then he’d read them over again. I figured that while he does well with reading, I guess he’ll need help with bigger words.

Or so I thought!

This evening, I was reading in one of the books I am currently reading while he was taking a bath, and he asked me, “Why is that book called Mad in America?”

I almost dropped the book. I asked him to repeat the last word. Repeat it again. I was not entirely sure he’d said what I THOUGHT he said. I even asked Jennifer to double-check for me.

And, yes indeed. He did indeed read the word “America.” Wow!

Well, maybe he was trying to pronounce it and figured out what word it was. The word IS on a poster at his preschool, so maybe his preschool teacher had told him the word was “America.”

I still thought it was pretty cool he read the word “America.” Yay!

Of course, I’m a little sad I won’t get to read to him so much anymore. He usually wants to read the books himself. I have to let him read the books himself. I did that with Jennifer when she started reading (and she is one of the top readers in her class) so I must allow that to happen with Jesse, as well. I am only glad he is reading now and working on improving his reading skills. I look forward to helping him boost those reading skills in any way that I can.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Special kid moments

There are days when, as a parent, you get a “special kid moment.” These are the very special moments when something sweet, nice, wonderful and just all around adorable happens. Today I was blessed with three special kid moments, and each one just warmed my heart.

The first one happened with my son, Jesse. I gave him a cardboard cutout of a heart. After some thought, he gave it back to me. When I asked him why, he said, “Because I love you.”

Awww. That was so sweet!

The second one was with a neighbor girl. We have known this little girl (age 7) for some time and my kids often play with her. Today she had a surprise for me. She made sure she had my attention then started to sign! She was using SIGN LANGUAGE! Apparently, this little girl had decided to learn how to sign so that she could communicate with her deaf neighbor. That was so very cool. It just melted my heart.

The third “special kid moment” was with my daughter, Jennifer. I gave her a hug and, just as I was starting to unembrace, she shook her head, pulled me close to her again and hugged me tight. She gave me a bear hug! That was nice.

Loved those special kid moments I had today – even the one that came from a kid who is not one of my own. But I think a “special kid moment” from any child is still wonderful all the same.