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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: "My Mom's A Writer," She Bemoaned

I have a paper to write
But I'm not sure  how to phrase this, she says.
Run it by me, I offer
I can't, she replies
The teacher already said if we use too many big words he's going to think we Googled too much
But you have a good vocabulary, I say
Because my mom's a writer, she tells me
And that's why I can't use big words. They know my mom's a writer, and he'll think you helped
She slumps back down, and keeps on writing
I know she'll figure this out
And I'm glowing
Because she's so, so smart
And also because she called me a writer

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Women, I Gotta Ask...Why Do We Do This To Ourselves?

I can always tell we're moving toward the holiday season just by the volume of catalogs that hit my mailbox. They're not nearly as plentiful as they once were (guess I'm not ordering like I used to) but I got a few over the weekend and gave them a once-over before I tossed them. That's when I came across the shirt above.

Gee, isn't that funny? Let's advertise what a complete mess our lives are! And we'll just burst with pride as people view us as completely inept!

While I'm on the subject, how about this one? I've only seen it on Facebook about a bazillion times:

Monday, September 28, 2015

Resource Monday: A Checklist For Identifying Sources Of Aggression In Your Child

I've decided to roll out a new feature, since Mondays are usually taken up with episode recaps this time of year. I recognize that not all of you watch my favorite show, and I still want to offer something uplifting or useful.

So every Monday, I'm going to share with you an excellent parenting or autism or empowerment resource that I've found to be especially useful.

This week, I'm sharing this amazing checklist, courtesy of the website "We Are Like Your Child," a website that publishes essays written exclusively by disabled people. The checklist is for parents to have a better understanding of the things that might be triggering behavior issues in your disabled child - especially if they have communication issues and cannot accurately tell you themselves.

So many of these were so helpful to me. It's very easy when your kid is giving you odd answers or no answers to try to fill in the blanks the only way we know how. Unfortunately, what we know and recognize as a potential trigger or issue may be way off the mark and trying to address their issues from our perspective can be frustrating all around.

Give the checklist a read, and for an even greater, more expanded view of life with a body or a mind that doesn't fit the world's parameters, read the rest of the essays. You'll be a different person afterward. You really will.

Once Upon A Time - Season 5, Episode 1 Recap: Plot Devices And The Writers Who Love Them


Ohhhhh the excitement of a season premier - and this one is a doozy. Emma's dark, Zelena's knocked up, Henry's an author, Hook heard 'I Love You', and Snow and David....uh....they found the baby. Well. That's something, isn't it?

We begin this evening in Minnesota, circa 1989 at a retro-viewing of The Sword in the Stone (it first came out in 1963, so I'm assuming that's what this was). Young Emma has sneaked into the movie theater and pickpockets an airline candy bar from someone in the theater. An usher has seen her and stands over her in a really creepy way before he tells her simply: "don't."

He then clarifies: Emma shouldn't do something she isn't supposed to do. One day she'll have the opportunity to remove Excalibur but she mustn't. "Leave the sword alone," he tells her, and then he disappears.

And somehow Emma never remembers this? Even after encountering all kinds of freaky crap in Storybrooke?


And now we're away to Camelot, following Arthur and his knights as they search for Excalibur - but someone's beaten them to it. Sir Kay is determined to take the sword and gives it a grab over Arthur's warning and of course, he's poofed into dust. "Your turn," Lancelot deadpans.

Ah, Lancelot. I missed you, you prime piece of manflesh. Damn.

Arthur finally gives it a go, pulling the sword from the stone only to find that half the sword is gone.They must find the other half - which, it turns out, has been made into the Dark One dagger.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Happy Friday - Enjoy Some Moments Of Extreme Cute!

It's been a good week people. I've got nothing more to add to it than that, so here....have some totally adorable animals and have an ooshy gooshy weekend!

Watch TeddyBear the porcupine trying his first pumpkin:

Or how about happy sleepy kitty?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

"Mom...When We Have Money Again..."

One of the big BIG blessings of landing a book deal is that I'll be getting an advance. For you non-writer types out there, that's an advance on my anticipated royalties - in other words, payment for my book. Once the book starts earning royalties, I get a share of those, too after I earn back my advance.

And it's a sad fact that a lot of new writers never earn back their advance.

I'm going to do everything in my power not to join that club, but I am quite happy with the advance as it stands. The contract has been signed, so it'll be here anytime now.

And the kids are more than happy to have it all spent before it gets here, of course. 

I don't blame them.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Dear Guy Who Almost Killed Me Last Night

I don't know if you even saw me.

I saw you, of course. I didn't have much choice since you crossed two lanes to pull off to the shoulder, and one of them was mine.

And see, the thing is, I wasn't done using my lane. If I hadn't slammed on my brakes and removed half an inch of tread from my tires, I wouldn't be here to bitch about you today.

But that's not the thing, really.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Post That's Been Literally YEARS In The Making: I'VE GOT A BOOK DEAL!!

(Note: this is a working cover - design not final)

As some of you may recall, I wrote this book. I wrote it a while ago and spent the better part of a year or more stumping it out, pitching it like mad, querying editors and agents and all but begging on the street corners over it.

And in the middle of July, it all paid off.

Not just any book deal, mind you, but a book deal with MacMillan, one of the big five (!) as part of the YA imprint, Swoon Reads. And as of two weeks ago when I signed that big and impressive contract, I am officially a novelist.

Karma. It's a good thing. A very, very good thing. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

What Movies Do You Fall Asleep To?

When my daughter was younger, she had a peculiar quirk. She could never get through a viewing of Spiderman. I mean, Tobey Maguire Spiderman - which is the only Spiderman, as far as I'm concerned. We'd put the movie in, she'd get about to where he meets the Green Goblin, and blammo - out like a light.

I had a similar phenomenon after my ex moved out. I suddenly had every other weekend alone in my house - when I hadn't slept alone (other than the occasional business trip) in a loooooong time. Every little creak and shuffle freaked me out, so I started falling asleep with the TV on. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Signs Point To Friday - Let's Have A Laugh!

Time for another collection of public announcements sure to make you smile!

 You never know when chaos will strike:

Why spacing is important when you make a sign:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: X's To The Right

"He's ready to mainstream in with his peers," they'd said.
He was five and I was terrified
And then he was six and seven and eight
And nine and ten and now eleven-almost-twelve
And every year, there are less x's on the left
And far more on the right
In Math, in Reading, in everything
And I marvel
Then I tell myself I shouldn't
He's only doing what he knows he can do
I'm the moron who's surprised by it
He's amazing
And I'm just along for the ride

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dear Girl At The Gas Station: I've Been Where You Are

I saw you there, sitting in your car.

I saw the defeated slump of your shoulders, the way your hand came up to cover your face. I'd just pulled up behind you at the other pump but even through a back window I could see the signs of someone who's at the end of their rope.

I watched you war with yourself for a few minutes, glancing around at the other cars. You got out, pausing one last time to look through your purse, even checking the floor of the car in the back before you stood up again, looking around and pushing your hair off your forehead with an exasperated hand.

Then your eyes landed on me. I tried to look like I wasn't staring, but you caught me. I smiled, and in that moment, I knew you were going to lose that battle with yourself. You had it anyway, pausing for another moment or two before you squared your shoulders, and walked over.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Five Great Things I Got From My "Useless" Theatre Degree

When I was in my senior year of high school and I told my parents I wanted to go to college, you would think I would have gotten some fanfare or something.

My mother was a bit perplexed. Why did I need to do that? She wasn't against it, she just didn't see why I'd want it. If I wanted an "office" type job I could go to secretarial school, she told me. 

My father, who'd had a few years of college after retiring from the military, was a little more practical. He was okay with me going to college (I had to pay for it, of course) but not for what he termed "a degree in underwater basket-weaving."

The rebellious teen only saw him trying to stomp on my dreams. The practical adult I am now recognizes that the theatre degree and five bucks won't even buy me a cup of coffee on paper. But the things I learned from that degree have carried me a looong way in life and in various careers along the way. For instance:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fun On A Friday: Laughter Has Healing Powers

My newsfeed today is full of somber remembrance, which is only right, but sometimes you need a break. You need to remember that people are human and humans...well, we goof up. Or we get affected by things around us and react in unpredictable ways. And when we do, sometimes it can be hilarious.

So today, we're going to watch a bunch of news anchors unexpectedly laughing their arses off. Some of these may contain NSFW language, but all are going to leave you dabbing tears of laughter from your eyes, and we need more tears of laughter today. We really do.

Let's start with this guy - who can't get over the name of a pig:

And then there's this poor new anchor, who can't get over the look on the face of a swimming cat:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I Wonder 'What About David?' But I Wonder 'What About Anna' Too

This morning, I read a poignant and heartfelt article about adult autism by NY Times contributor Eli Gottlieb.

And I sat there, staring at the monitor in silence, not really sure if I could put into words (as he so beautifully did) the alternating feelings of fear and relief I feel knowing that my son has a sibling. And not just any sibling - this is Anna. Smart, beautiful, loyal, caring (if sometimes stubborn and infuriating) Anna.

When David's father and I are gone, as someday we must be, if he still needs assistance in his day to day life, I know that somehow, Anna will come through.

And the truth is, first and foremost, that I don't want Anna to have to come through. I don't want that for her at all. I want her to have a wonderful and sustained life-long relationship with her brother but without the obligation of his care.

So I'm doing everything I can, while there's still breath within me, to make sure that doesn't happen.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: You Weren't Trying To Write, Were You?

Stop it, cat.
I'm trying to write, here.
I'm procrastinating badly enough as it is.
I don't need you being all...cute and stuff.
I have to get this done.
I really have to get this done.
Go back to sleep now
And leave those batting paws and that rolling head
Out of my line of vision
I'll love you later
And I promise
I'll write a cat into the story
In honor of you

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

And This Is How You Know It's Time To Not Be Lonely Anymore

Over the weekend, it came to my attention that when you Google "Lonely Women," I come up near the top of the Google search results. At the time I first was told this, I was ranking #4. Now I'm a little further down the list because I guess people got lonelier than me over the weekend. That and apparently, a lot of bored and lonely housewives want to meet horny guys, or so the internet tells me.

At the time this was pointed out to me, I found it alternately hilarious and pathetic. For creep's sake - I'm known on the internet as a lonely woman! If you Google "amazing, witty, more-than-moderately attractive women who actually like brussels sprouts" I'm nowhere on there. It figures.

Monday, September 7, 2015

In Honor Of Labor Day...What's The Most Ridiculous Thing You Ever Got Reprimanded For On The Job?

I've held all sorts of jobs in my life. My very first was at a deli in my hometown - the very first place I ever tried a bagel and cream cheese, as a matter of fact. The owner allowed us all to charge food and was a complete maniac about accounting for every drop of soda we put in a cup, every condment we added to a sandwich and every broken cookie we ate at a 15% discount. He only gave us 5% off our meals as employees to begin with, so you can bet that when he wasn't in the store, just about everybody helped themselves. To a bunch of teenagers it just seemed like a way to stick it to a really stingy guy, but having been a small business owner myself now, I know that every penny is...well, every penny.

But I've also learned that the best bosses are the ones who know how to reward hard work (whether that's a free meal on a long shift or a bonus in a paycheck) and still be firm enough to round up the slackers.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Fun On A Friday - This Post Is Seriously In The Toilet

Bathrooms - who knew how funny they could be?

I've come across some seriously head-scratching or outright funny bathroom pics in the last several months and I've been hoarding them just so I could make this crappy post (ha!).

So here ya go, a post that totally circles the bowl and takes you straight down with it.

Good advice:

Thursday, September 3, 2015

For My Friend, Who Knows It's Time

When you tell me that he belittles you and the children - it's time.

When you tell me that the children are harming themselves due to the stress in your home - it's time.

When you tell me that you don't talk to family and friends about all of this anymore because they've all lost respect for you because you won't go - it's time.

When you tell me that he ended an argument by spitting in your face - it's time.

When you tell me how he stormed out of yet another counseling session, or your latest therapist has even suggested that this situation isn't getting better - it's time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Don't Blink

Don't blink, they say
It all goes by so fast
One day she's in kindergarten
And this week she started high school
I'm not ready for this
But she is
Oh, she is
So I'll try hard not to blink
As the tears cloud my eyes

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

It Ain't Easy Being A Light Sleeper

When my ex and I first began cohabitating, the clock radio alarm was on my side of the bed. He soon learned that this was folly. Every morning at 7am, the clock would make a distinctive "click" a split-second before the radio would engage, and in that fraction of a heartbeat, I not only rolled over, but I found the off button (rather than the snooze) and turned it right the hell off and went back to sleep.

We were in college at the time, and that meant he was late or slept right through some things (me, too) and he ended up moving the clock to his side of the bed. He learned quickly enough that I can vault myself out of a tangle of covers (or encroaching male) and slap the snot out of a clock between the click and the start of a song, return to my side and be fast asleep before he even registered that there had been an elbow in his throat.