Friday, December 23, 2011

I didn't mean . . .

to take an early holiday vay-cay from the internet. But it's been kinda busy here, partly because I've been picking up a few shifts at the bookstore--which brings me to today's observation.

I think December 23rd is the worst day of the year to work retail. People are panicked, of course. HELLO! IT'S THE 23RD! But they're also hopeful enough to believe in Christmas miracles, as in you can get them what they want by the 25th. Even though it's the 23rd.

The 24th, actually, is a a more pleasant day to work. By then shoppers realize they've blown it, and they're just grateful for anything you do to help them out.

Anyhoo. I'm going to officially go on internet vay-cay as of tonight. I'll check in with you again on Monday, January 2. Meanwhile, thank you for making my blogging year so satisfying. Merry Christmas, guys. I pretty much love you.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Last Night's Concert

So in the end we all thoroughly enjoyed the concert. Lovely music. Lovely lighting. Lovely set design. TRQ behaved herself when the bell ringers showed up. She did have a tiny bone to pick, however, with some of the medieval costuming. Basically TRQ felt like she went to a Mo Tab concert and a production of "Spamelot" with dancing knights broke out.

But as I say it was a wee small (practically invisible!) bone, because you know what? Nothing says "Happy Christmas" like great Mormon Tabernacle Choir music.

And also dancing knights.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another Reason I Heart The Rodeo Queen

This is the phone conversation I just had with my mother, hereafter referred to as TRQ.

TRQ: So I guess we're all going to the Tabernacle Choir concert tonight.

ME: Yes. It appears so.

TRQ: What time is it again?

ME: The tickets say we have to be in our seats by 7:30 or else our tickets are invalid. But I misread it, of course, and thought they said if we're not all in our seats by 7:30, they'll turn us into invalids. You know. People who can't walk and stuff.

TRQ: Ugh. That's so late.

ME: Yes. You're right.

TRQ: Well. I just hope they don't have any of those damn bell ringers this time.

I have known that woman for 55 years, people, and this is the first time I've learned that she apparently has issues with bell ringers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The rumors are true . . .

I am, in fact, losing my mind due to seasonal overload.

I offer this as evidence: yesterday morning I decided to put my running clothes on over my pajamas, but wait! That's not the weirdest part. In fact, that was the brilliant part. I didn't have to expend a single valuable calorie getting undressed and re-dressed, for one thing. And for another! Layers! I was all toasty warm at 5:30 in the a.m. when I stepped outside.

Here's the weird part. When I came home, I took off my outerwear and then went about my beeswax--gathering up the recycling, watering the Christmas tree, feeding the dogs. Anyhoo. THANKFULLY at some point I noticed that I was still wearing a certain crucial foundation garment on the OUTSIDE of my pajama top, not unlike Wonder Woman.

I was v. glad indeed that none of the kids was around to take a picture and post it on Facebook with a caption like, "When Elderly Mothers Go Around the Bend."

I can't believe I just blogged about this.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Unexpected gifts

This morning when I look out of my back window, I can see lights on the trees on "N" Street. A few of my neighbors load up their massive evergreens with nests of a thousand little lights, and the result leaves me breathless.

Thank you, "N" Street neighbors!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Seriously, how tender is this?

My mom (aka "The Rodeo Queen) always gave my kids books for Christmas. And on the inside cover she always wrote a little message. Here's what she wrote inside of THE ESCAPE OF MARVIN THE APE by Cara and Mark Buehner.

"Dear Geoffrey,

"Love you to pieces. You are such a lively little boy. You love all types of gadgets: the phone, the T.V., computers, and any machine seems to challenge you.

"This year you have learned to talk. We love the way you say 'Grandpa LaVell and Grandma Pat.

"We sure had fun at the beach!

Love Grandpa LaVell and Grandma Pat"

She did this for years--wrote a little message about that year's highlights. Such a gift!

Monday, December 5, 2011

R.I.P Jimmer

Remember how I had that fish Jimmer? And remember how I used to give periodic updates here because no one in my family thought a fish could survive for more than a week at this house what with cats and lackadaisical feeding schedules? And remember how that fish just kept on living? And living and living and etc. living? And how I stopped chronicling all that living because it got boring and I got all cocky?

"Yeah, this fish is gonna live for-freaking-ever," I said to myself. Cockily.

Well. I just walked into the kitchen and saw that poor Jimmer has gone belly-up. He's dead. Dead as a goldfish. At least the kind of goldfish we usually get. Oh, Jimmer, we hardly knew ye. It's true that you lived with us for ten months, which is a long time. It's like maybe a 100 years in Human Time. But still. It's hard to know what fish are thinking when you get right down to it. Also feeling.

Anyway. I wish him well in his next life, whatever that life looks like. Meanwhile, please feel free to sign his guestbook.

R.I.P., Jimmer.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Writing the same book other people are writing

Have you ever had that experience?

I've had it a few times. I start a manuscript (sometimes even finish a manuscript) only to discover that someone has barely beaten me to the punch. When I was in grad school, I wrote a picture book about a truly terrible cat whose soft-hearted owner still loves him. Little, Brown asked to see it and then passed. A few years later ROTTEN RALPH by Jack Gantos appeared on the scene. I am not ashamed to say RALPH was much better than my manuscript.

Yesterday I just read a new middle-grade novel called BIGGER THAN A BREAD BOX about a girl who has her wishes granted by a magic breadbox (this sounds dopey, but it's actually a VERY good book). A few years ago I finished a manuscript about a girl whose wishes are granted by a magic diary. My agent didn't like it much and never sent it out, and again I am not ashamed to say BREADBOX is a much better novel.


I remember Nancy Griffith once said that every morning when she got out of bed, she went to the window to capture whatever song was there before it floated on down to Lyle Lovett's house. At least I think she said Lyle Lovett. But that's not the point. The point is that ideas seem to be OUT THERE, just swirling around, waiting for someone to channel them.

I dibs to be the first published channeler!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Another new goal for 2012

I've decided I want to be a badass like all those female cops you see on TV these days. It looks kind of fun. Also empowering!

Discuss amongst yourself and then please offer how-to-be-a-badass tips so I can fake it until I make it. Thank you and have a good day.