Wednesday, December 31, 2008
1. Clean my house once a day...no I mean week, once a week.
2. Make dinner at least four or three, well probably two times a week.
3. Exercise sometime in the coming year.
4. Venture out into the "real world" (church, Candi's house, or the grocery store do not count) more often than now (which is never).
Phew! Those are some lofty goals. I'm already thinking of ways to break them, thus accomplishing my overall agenda. Good luck to you with your goals as well. Happy New Year!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
"Gracie," I say in my mind.
"Don't call me Gracie."
"Sorry, I mean Grace. Why are you so surly? Is it because of your mom?"
"So that's it? Your mom?"
"Figure it out."
"I'm trying to. And what about IK, why are you always so happy when he's around?"
"He is pretty funny. But there has to be more...hmm," I finish rinsing my hair and turn off the water. I wrap my hair in a towel and start to step out of the shower.
Did I wash my hair, I wonder. I don't think I washed my hair...did I? With a sigh I shut the shower door, turn back on the water and wash my hair.
So either I have really clean hair today or once washed hair, I still don't remember. (And please don't pay attention to the fact that I didn't wash my hair until noon)
Don't you love it when your characters are talking so loud that you can't think of anything else? I better go write.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I know I said while I was out of town that I wouldn't blog, but I obviously couldn't keep myself away from you all. Now that I'm home, I've discovered something: When I take a vacation from writing the only thing it does is fill my head with new ideas. New ideas equals more work. So no more vacation for me. Back to constantly thinking about the book I'm writing so that new characters can't creep their way into my mind. But for the record, I started a new book today, just to get the idea that came to me on vacation out of my brain so that I can finish my WIP, which is halfway done.
Back to work for me. Yay! I can't wait until agents are back to work too so that I can get some more rejections. I'm ready to send out my new and improved query.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
People afflicted: 7
Loads of laundry done: 8
Bodies used as carpet savers: 2
Baths administered: 5
Runs to the bathroom in between gift opening: 3
My oldest woke up this morning and said, "Mom, thanks, I really do love all my presents." I don't think she even realized what she got yesterday. It was quite an experience. I'm glad it's over. Now, me and my sister-in-law are going to Provo to watch Australia. What's that? I've already seen it twice? I know, but she hasn't seen it.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
“Hi, so nice to meet you. Hug.” Was that lame? Did I really just announce that I was going to hug her? What if she doesn’t want a hug?
“I feel like we already know each other,” Natalie says as we hug.
Okay that’s good. *looks at Natalie* Oh, she’s super cute and super cool. She’s too cool for me. Oh no, she’s going to know she’s too cool for me. I better talk incessantly so that she doesn’t have time to think about it.
“Blah, blah, blah,” I say. What am I saying? I don’t even know what I’m saying. Oh well, I’ll just keep talking because not only am I nervous, but I am really cold.
*We get to Olive Garden and the hostess leads us to a booth where we wait for Renee. I stand when Renee comes*
Wow, she’s really tall and beautiful. “Hi, so nice to meet you.” Don’t announce your hug. Just give her a hug.
*We all sit and talk for a time*
This is going well. These girls are super fun.
“Blah, blah, blah, I’m not even kidding you right now,” I say. Isn’t that the fifth time I’ve said that phrase. Do I really have to tell them that I’m not kidding?
*Waiter comes by and fills my glass for the fourth time*
I don’t believe I’ve drunk four full glasses of water. I really have to go to the bathroom, but I’m not ready to leave yet. If I get up and go to the bathroom they might take it as their opportunity to ditch me. Oh, wait, Natalie is my ride, she can’t leave me.
*Waiter starts to walk by*
“Will you take our picture?” I call out. Proof. Now I will have proof that these girls hung out with me.
And here is that proof. My virtual friends turned real world friends. I had a blast, girls. (Did I really just say blast? Is that an old lady phrase? Are they going to think I’m old? I am old.)
Monday, December 22, 2008
"Chaukie," my two year old son screamed, running towards the table.
"No, you've already had enough chocolate," I tried to reason.
He jutted out his lower lip and in true swiper-the-fox fashion said, "Aw man."
I placed him on the floor next to the toy cars and went back to the bathroom to finish applying my make-up.
"Cars, cars, cars," I heard him growl then squeal the word from the other room as he tested out different qualities of his voice.
After applying some eye shadow, I reached for my mascara. It took me a moment to realize it had become quiet. I quickly made my way down the hall, where I found my son sitting at the table, a pile of hershey's kisses in front of him, his lips outlined in chocolate, and a big smile on his face.
He met my serious stare. "Chaukie," he told me happily.
I laughed and sat down to eat a few myself.
My son's newly discovered indulgence this year is quite obviously chocolate. What do you indulge in over the holidays?
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Update: Is it always the case that when you know you're supposed to be doing something (like packing) the ideas for your book seem to come more readily to your mind? I'm trying to pack and my characters are yelling so loud that I had to sit down and write a scene. I will eventually get on the road.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
1. Funny people have funny friends. My husband is the funniest person I know. Granted, I don’t know Stephen Colbert or Ricky Gervais, but still, even if I did, my husband would be right up there (after Stephen and Ricky). It seems as though all his close friends are also very funny. He has a friend at work who dropped by his office today while I was there and they proceeded to spend the entire time making jokes. Among other things, the two of them think it is hilarious, to walk by the receptionists (or whoever really) and make farting noises, causing them to look around for the culprit. They just casually keep walking as though nothing happened (yes, they are very mature for a couple of stock brokers). Apparently another one of their hobbies, I found out today, is to pull up my blog and find out what is going on in my world. So, Sean, I threatened you after all your jokes that if you looked at my blog today, your name would be on here. And look at that there is your name. So no more handing out my blog address to your clients. ☺
2. Moutains are beautiful, especially if you only get to see them a few times a year (and that’s not because I don’t leave the house). I live in the central valley. Mountains surround us, but we never see them because the air is so bad. After it rains though, like it did all day yesterday, the view is clear and I just want to stare at the purple, snow-capped mountains and the endless cloud-filled sky all day long. Well, obviously not all day since I am now inside writing again.
Now, on to the second part of my new goal—the cleaning. Save me.
Monday, December 15, 2008
But my very favorite letter typo story goes to my good friend Nicki Broby. She's not a writer, so this isn't a query story, but I laugh about it every time. This is her story, in her own words: When using Word, the automatic spell checker’s first suggestion for 'Broby' is 'Booby.' About 2 years ago I received an email from the head guy in SLC for the humanitarian program. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t check the automatic typing his spellchecker put in. You see where this is heading… Yes, I received an important email with the heading: Dear Nick’s Booby! He then sent me a second email to apologize. I immediately sent the hilarious mistake to my entire family, and my roomies still tease me by calling me Nick’s in public.
Tell me that isn't the funniest story you've ever heard. So what about you? Do you have any funny query mishaps that you can share? We will then proceed to point our fingers and laugh at you.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Here are the rules:
1. Open the closest book - not a favorite or most intellectual book, but the closest at the moment - to page 56.
2. Write out the fifth sentence on the page, as well as the two to five sentences following.
3. Then open your ms to page 56 and write out the fifth sentence, as well as two to five additional ones.
4. Tag five (or more) buddies to do this same exercise.
Okay, so here you have it. I actually had two books right next to my writing chair, but since I am mad at Charles right now for toying with my emotions, I will go with Miss Ann Brashares "The Second Summer of the Sisterhood" (or SHOT 2 as Candi and I call it):
"Can you believe that? I was worried I was underdressed, but he said I looked perfect. Those were his exact words. 'You look perfect.' Can you believe that?"
And my ms:
They were back outside. She was surprised to see that the sky had darkened to ominous. Drops of rain splattered on her face. Hailey glanced over to the tree she hadn’t noticed before.
“It’s not really the jail tree,” Toby whispered, obviously noting her gaze.
“I didn’t think so,” Hailey said.
“The jail tree is somewhere else entirely.”
I choose to tag:
Britten (I know you don't have a manuscript, so either leave out rule 3 or make up something fun, I know you can)
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I smiled and said, "I don't have a favorite. I love all of you just the same."
"I know, but who's your favorite."
"I can't pick a favorite. What about you, who's your favorite, mommy or daddy?" I asked her this question to show her how impossible it would be to choose. She was supposed to say, 'I love you both.' 'I don't know' would've worked fine too.
Instead, she looked up to the sky for a moment, pursed her lips together, and then said, "Daddy."
Well, I know who's not my favorite now. :) Apparently using a rhetorical question on a five year old is not a good idea.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I said, "You're Christian Slater," in a very excited voice.
He responded, in his high timbre, yet gravelly voice, "I am."
The previews started showing and he was in one of them. I looked at him with a smile, "That was you," I decided to tell him. "I'm sorry," I added, "I promise I won't talk to you anymore."
He must've found me very charming and witty at this point because he reached across the seats that separated us and grabbed my hand. My husband didn't seem to mind, so I just went ahead and let him. The movie began with a scene of a bus floating down a raging river (which is not in the real movie). My mind must've decided that Hugh Jackman and Christian Slater could not be in the same dream.
This was about the time my two-year-old son appeared out of nowhere, climbing up and down the stairs. I looked over to my husband thinking, where did he come from? My husband just smiled as though he was thinking, isn't he so cute? Soon my son became unruly, though, and my husband decided to take him out, leaving me and Christian dangerously alone.
"Do you want to sit by me?" he asked.
I thought he was joking, so I just laughed. But he got up and moved right next to me and draped his arm around my neck. I was feeling slightly guilty, but also really happy. That's when I thought (and I'm not kidding you, I really thought this in my dream), I need to give Christian my blog address. :)
Just before I could, my leg started twitching. He looked at it. "Are you okay?" he asked.
"I'm fine," I responded, wondering why my body decided to invent this weird malfunction at that moment.
"I think you need to see a doctor," he said. "I'm going to go get your husband."
My husband came and we started walking down some stairs in the movie theater to a doctor that apparently held his practice in the basement. I looked at my husband and asked, "Where is our son?"
"Oh, Christian Slater is babysitting for us," he said.
"Oh, good," I said as if this was perfectly normal. And then my dream ended.
When I told my husband my dream this morning he said, "Wow, Christian Slater is really nice. He's my new favorite celebrity."
I responded, "I know, right?"
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Love, Your Tortured Fan, Kasie
P.S. A fantasy writer should not enjoy your works so much. Please tell me what sort of magical concoction you used in the creation of them that might explain my admiration.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
1. I've always wanted to be a biker. Not a motorcycle rider, but a bicycle rider. Today my desire was further confirmed when I saw a bicyclist in his spandex, wearing a helmet (of course) with a REAR VIEW MIRROR attached to it. Yes, it was so cool. I wanted it for my very own. The only problem with this goal of becoming a "biker"--I'm lazy. Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for those who work out. So much respect that I contribute money to my local gym every month to support the people who use it. But for now (forever) I will only stare at those herds of bikers with admiration and longing.
2. Since we are on the theme of physical activity, I also saw today, two women out speed walking. Not only were they speed walking in sync, but they wore matching black outfits and high, messy ponytails. They were fairly young too (not that I'm saying being older would change anything) This is not okay. If you want to go speed walking with your friend, please call her before you meet her and find out what she will be wearing. Yes, the person who doesn't work out (me) has rules for those who do.
My new goal is to make a couple of observations every week to prove that I have indeed ventured into the bleakness of the outer world. I know, you should be worried about me, it's scary out there.
Have you observed anything fun or funny this week?
Monday, December 8, 2008
By the way, in case you haven't heard (I know, you already have) Nathan Bransford is holding a super cool contest where you can submit the first paragraph of your WIP. The prizes are fun, so get over there and do it. His link is on my sidebar under 'agents.'
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The beautiful tree (adorning the top of my blog), General Sherman, resides in the gorgeous Sequoia National Park, which is the setting for my new book. This tree is the largest in the world, standing at about 275 feet tall. The base of It's trunk has an impressive circumference of 109 feet. It is truly an amazing sight.
Whereas Arizona is a love I discovered after starting my series, this park is something I have always loved. You see, I grew up (and still live) sandwiched between two wonders of nature--Yosemite and Sequoia/Kings. Both parks are about an hour from my house. It's hard not to be inspired when visiting these gorgeous landmarks.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I was trying to write, but my characters were trapped behind a layer of pain and they kept trying to hurt people in the story. My supposed “cabinet painting break” was going up in a migraine inducing cloud of fumes. I went downstairs to see how much longer he would be spraying and I came to a halt when I saw the black, industrial gas mask he was wearing. My jaw dropped. He was wearing a gas mask! And there we were breathing the poisonous air like suckers.
I whirled around and marched back upstairs, retrieved a suitcase, and packed some clothes for the night. Grabbing the port-a-crib and my kids on the way out, I checked into a hotel. My kids were excited. It was like a mini vacation. They watched television and even got to play in a hot tub. After several extra strength pain relievers, my characters finally didn’t want to kill each other anymore and I was in a much better mood too.
Apparently I was living in an alternate universe (I generally am) if I thought that a week without my kitchen was going to be a vacation. Oh well, it’s done now and I’m happy with the results.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I didn't draw this, but this is about the extent of my drawing abilities. And you must imagine the big, red 'X' through it.
As for the second picture (from my last post), as individuals all of those children make my heart sing. Four of them are my own, the rest are my adorable nieces and nephews. BUT, as a collective group they are capable of mass destruction in less time than it takes for me to do .... well, just about anything. All eleven of them were at my house for Thanksgiving and the following picture shows just a portion of what they accomplished. I'm having a panic attack just thinking about it again. My house still hasn't recovered.
So, I guess, technically speaking, Natalie was right with her answer of "both." And since she said her answer was up for my interpretation as to what she meant by "both," that makes her even more right. :) But everyone else's guesses were pretty close too. So you are all winners. You win a nice big, "Good job! Thanks for playing. You guys are the greatest."
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
I honestly believe this. Sometimes I'll start a project with only a vague idea of a plot, but with my characters firmly in mind. I did this with my WIP. I just hoped that they would eventually tell me what was going on in their world because I was at a loss. Sure enough, over the weekend, my character told me what she needed to learn and how she was going to learn it. I felt like singing Hallelujah because at 20,000 words in, I was beginning to worry.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Perhaps I am a little biased (refer to my 'Super Heroes' post), but yesterday I saw the movie Australia, starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, and I am in love. This is the best movie I have seen in a long time. It shot straight into my top five favorite movies of all time. Three hours have never passed by so quickly. So grab your husbands (because even though it's a romance, I promise you they will like it too) and go see this amazing, action packed, heart wrenching movie, you will not regret it.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
In the pool he was the shark, we were the fish, and he would really bite us. In the house, he was the tiger we were the prey, and, yes, he would really bite us … but we always wanted to play.
When I was a teenager he was the protective grizzly bear, scaring nearly every boy I brought home. I’m sure he laughed about it when they left. It drove me crazy, but I always knew he cared.
When I became a mother he was the teddy bear, big and cuddly. When my kids were little they couldn’t wait to see him. They wanted to play shark in the pool and tiger in the house. For some reason they never got bit though. He’d gone soft. He was still protective though. One time I was going to take my two girls by myself and travel to visit my husband’s family in Utah, my father said, “No.” I told him, “I wasn’t really asking for your permission, dad.” He looked at me, then at my husband and said, “You aren’t going to let her go, are you?” My husband said, “She’s a big girl, dad, I have no control over what she does.” My dad laughed. I went. Even though I was all grown up I was still his little girl.
Two years ago my father passed away very unexpectedly at the age of 55. I miss him terribly. I will forever be grateful for the 29 years that I was blessed to know him in this life. I can’t wait to see him again. This time of year especially, I think about how grateful I am that I had such a loving father. He is my hero.
So make sure you take the time (the holiday season is always a good excuse) to tell your family that you love them. You can never say it too much.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Now, honey, (I do consider all of you my honeys, but in this instance, I am referring to my husband) don't get me wrong. I'm hot for you too. And I’m not saying that your super power doesn’t come in handy. When we are boating and I need someone to shoot lasers out of his eyes at the threatening tubers, I'll call Cyclops. Oh, wait, just kidding, what I meant to say was that I'll call you. Yes, that is my awesome husband below, defending our boat from killer tubers.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
“Like what?” I ask warily.
She looks around. Up a small hill, next to a building we see a rusty replica of a relic from the mining history of the town—a transport car, sitting on some tracks.
“Go sit in that,” she says, pointing to it.
“What? No,” I say, eyeing the busy street, which we were walking down—the main street of the small town.
“Just do it.” She gives me a shove.
I perch myself on the very end of the train car (as seen in the photo) and she takes a picture.
“I swear, Kasie, you are such a wimp. Let me show you how it’s done.” She drops her purse on the sidewalk and marches up the hill.
While the cars whiz by behind me, I take the shot. (make sure you click on it to get the close up, because her face is hilarious) I’m quickly realizing (actually I have always known it) that I have a healthy fear of getting in trouble. (My parents probably loved it when I was a teenager because I never wanted to do anything that I might have gotten yelled at for.)
The following are some other fun shots from the town:
On our way home after the incredible day, the sun setting in my rear view mirror, I decide I need one last photo—a backlit cactus. I eye the hills that surround us on the desert highway. The first one I find, we both get out of the car and trudge up a hill. (Did I already mention my brown wedges and my aching blisters?)
“Not good enough,” I say, once we’re back in the car (after much complaining about my feet) as I study the shots in the viewfinder.
My sister sighs.
We drive further and I find the perfect one. Pulling over, our headlights shine onto a barbed wire fence. “Ah, man,” I say in disappointment.
“Give me the camera.” My sister holds her hand out. I place it in her upturned palm. She exits the car.
“Are you really going to do it?” I ask, opening my own door and following her.
“Do you want the shot or don’t you?”
“I don’t know if I want it that bad.”
She rolls her eyes. “Are you going to try to kill us again by pulling off the side of the road in front of a semi and next to a railing if we don’t get this shot?”
I consider this. “Possibly,” I decide.
With a quick look around she steps over the fence. Wow, she has long legs, I note mentally. She runs towards the cactus in the distance.
“Make sure you get it from all angles!” I yell after her from my safe place on the correct side of the fence. The side that I can’t get taken to jail for. I sigh happily as I watch her take the pictures.
As she runs back towards me and moves to step over the fence I call out “Wait!”
“What now?” she askes.
“I need a picture of you and your deviant acts,” I say, reaching for the camera.
I give you, my sister, the rebel and the shot she risked her freedom for:
Monday, November 17, 2008
What would you do if you moved into a new house and found out that your attic held the age old secrets of a fairytale world? Perhaps you wouldn't explore them if you knew that your interference could change endings … including your own. Or maybe you would.
OR the summary could read like this:
Once upon a new town, Hailey discovers the key to a whole new world. When she unlocks the mystery, everything falls apart. Can she put the pieces back together again … and how will she separate out the pieces of her own life in the process?
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Every other Wednesday I attend a writer’s club. I highly recommend writer’s clubs to all my fellow writers out there. They are both helpful and entertaining. Anyway, we critique one chapter, from three different authors, each time. At the latest meeting my critique for a particular piece drew ooohs and awwws, I guess they thought it was good. Since then my friends have told me I need to post the advice on my blog. So here goes, pretty basic advice that we all need to remind ourselves of every now and again. This is in the context of fantasy, but I believe it can apply across all genres.
"Trust in your world and trust that I will learn about your world as things come to pass. Don’t feel like you have to tell me every single thing about it. Part of the fun of being introduced to a new world is the ownership I (the reader) feel in it as I “discover” things about it on my own. So, pretend as though everything in your world is completely normal then you will resist the urge to explain everything."
Same applies to characters. Don’t tell me who they are, just let them be who they are. It will be obvious that they are stubborn or flirty or quick witted by how they act.
I know you’ve heard it all before, but sometimes hearing it a different way is helpful.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I love the elections—Americans taking a stand for who or what they believe in. Even when everything doesn’t turn out exactly as my heart wishes, I revel in the process. I take pride in the knowledge that a country, so divided one night, can come together in acceptance and strength the following morning. To think that often times such changes in power can only be had by wars or revolutions. Our forefathers fought hard for the system of democracy we now enjoy and I thank them for it. I have faith in our Constitution. It has held strong for many years and I know it will continue to hold strong through all winds of change. I am, indeed, proud to be an American.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The car was like a sauna, the heat so thick it pressed against me. I wanted to push it away, but instead it filled my lungs as I took a deep breath and continued to heat me from the inside. I cranked the a/c, which did little to relieve my discomfort because it started as hot wind blowing directly onto my face. I shifted into gear and began to drive. The steering wheel didn’t allow much contact without searing pain, so my fingertips became our navigator.
I looked over at my sister, who had her mouth open and her tongue stuck out as though that would bring the relief she desired. I tried it, just in case it was working. It wasn’t. We both laughed.
After a few minutes the a/c brought us salvation and we settled in for the ride. This day we were to visit the town in which my books take place. A one-hour car ride would take us to the high school. I was ecstatic.
On the freeway, my hands now able to fully grip the steering wheel, I pulled into the fast lane. Coming up quickly behind me, a large white van crowded against my bumper, too close for comfort. I changed lanes to let it pass. Instead of passing by, it stayed even with me. Sensing the driver of the van trying to get my attention, I kept my focus straight in front of me, grateful for the visor that I had earlier moved to the side window to block the sun and that now provided a perfect block for the crazy man next to me.
Three possible explanations raced through my mind as to why this driver was behaving in such a manner. One, road rage, for some reason he thought I cut him off and now he wanted to give me a piece of his mind (I tried to look as penitent as possible to diffuse his rage). Two, freeway flirting, he was trying to pick up on me and thought somehow he could communicate his unwanted phone number through two rolled up windows (I moved my wedding ring laden hand higher on the steering wheel). Or three, I was overreacting and he was just trying to drive.
As I hoped for the third explanation, the van slowed down suddenly and moved behind me. Now the likelihood of the first possibility (road rage) caused my heart to pick up speed. Next he moved into the lane to our right. My sister and I both looked over as the van inched its way forward. If he wanted to yell at me, I decided to give him the opportunity so that he could drive on and leave us alone.
What came into view as our windows finally met, caused the tension in the car to melt into laughter. A man, wearing a red and black devil mask, held up a rocker sign and nodded his head a few times before he sped away. Apparently the devil thrived in the Arizona heat.
“Awesome,” my sister said in a low voice.
“This is going to be a great day,” I added.
We laughed again, turned up the radio and sang our way to the high school.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
As a mother of four, and now a writer, I have spent many late nights awake while the rest of the house lay sleeping. I will never forget one of those very nights when I was awake, rocking a little one.
Shadows darkened the corners and crept outward in an attempt to overtake the entire room. The only sound to be heard was an occasional creaking as the walls settled in for the night. The gentle back and forth motion of the gliding rocker was not only putting the baby back to sleep, but forcing my eyes to close as well.
A single noise brought me back to my senses instantly. A low moaning broke through the silence. My heart raced and I looked around cautiously. The baby became restless, perhaps responding to my sudden tension. The moan continued, low and raspy, and I concluded the noise was coming from behind the couch in front of me. This deduction did nothing to calm me. Gripping my baby closer to my chest, I prepared to make a run for my husband who lay asleep in the back room unaware of my imminent death.
Just as I shifted my weight to the front of the chair, a robotic voice, sounding a lot like Winnie the Pooh, said, “Change my batteries.” Resisting the urge to scream, I relaxed back into the chair and began a fit of hysterical laughter instead. Not because I thought it was funny, but because that voice and command creeped me out even further. I did not like toys in my house that demanded things of me. It was too reminiscent of murderous dolls that I had seen in movies when I was a teenager.
The next day the batteries in Winnie the Pooh came out for good. I couldn’t risk him turning against me at a future date.
Some of you may think I made this story up. After all, I am a writer and I do love to make up stories. But, this story is one hundred percent true. Perhaps, when this doll was being designed, the makers didn’t take into account the possibility that a late night demand might nearly cause a poor woman a heart attack.
Have any of my fellow night owls had any nighttime scares?
Monday, October 13, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Perhaps that title should be my writing motto…but I’ve always been the fast and obsessive type. J Some weeks, when staying up way past my bedtime and letting my house go to shambles, I think to myself, I really need to exercise moderation. But when you’re on a roll, how can you stop yourself? I recently read a post from a fellow author’s (Angie Ledbetter) blog that spoke of searching for balance. I need some of that. Searching For Balance
Some weeks I experience the opposite problem where I can’t drag a single new thought out of my head. Those are the weeks when I relentlessly edit (because there is always editing to do). But if my “writer’s block” persists for more than a week, I begin to panic. I found an article on overcoming writer’s block that helped me a lot. Ten Tips for Writer's Block
So, Terri asked me how my writing was going this week (thanks for the interest, by the way) and to answer her question, in a very long winded way (I'm a writer, did anyone really expect me to just say, 'fine, thank you'). I’m in a fast and obsessive downward spiral. The end is near. I wrote about 10,000 words last week. Balance, Kasie, balance.
Friday, October 3, 2008
by, Kasie West
Now that’s a title to be proud of. My seven-year-old daughter bestowed it upon me a couple of months ago when I wouldn’t give her what she wanted. The exchange went something like this:
“Mom, can I have a brownie?” she asked with the look in her eye that told me she had already had several without asking. It didn’t help her case that several bits of crumbled brownie clung to her lower lip.
“How many have you had?” I asked.
The sweet smile, which she had plastered on her face in her attempt to con me, immediately turned into a scowl accompanied by an eye roll.
“No, you don’t need any more,” I assured her.
“Fine, then is it my turn on the computer?” she asked, pointing to her sister who, obviously hearing the exchange, yelled,
“I just got on!"
“Go set the timer and you can have a turn in ten minutes,” I said, in my best attempt at diplomacy.
That’s when the rage set in. Her hands flew to her hips, her foot stomped angrily on the floor, and drawing on all the powers of indignation that a seven year old could possibly muster, she screamed, “You are the worst mother in the history of all mothers!"
Maybe I shouldn’t have been, but I was impressed. In the entire history of mother’s, I was the worst? I had never been given such an absolute title before. I felt proud. “Thank you,” I said sincerely.
That was the wrong response. Her lips pursed, her nose wrinkled, her arms became stiff boards at her sides, ending in her tightly clenched fists. “NO!” she wailed, before running up the stairs and shutting herself in her room.
Ever since that day, I have tried my hardest to live up to my title. I wouldn’t want to let her down. It’s worth it for those days when the Sunday School teacher or her Second Grade teacher tell me that she is one of the most well behaved children in class. The worst mother in the history of all mothers must be doing something right. And occasionally, when she offers me an unasked for hug or cuddles up next to me on the couch, I sigh happily. Perhaps she hadn't really meant “in the entire history of mothers”.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
by, Kasie West
Things were going missing in our house, important things like Blue Tooth ear pieces (both of them), sunglasses, remote controls, money. What was going on? It was frustrating. We blamed everything and everyone: our poor organizational skills, our two-year-old son, the dog. We looked everywhere: under cushions, inside pockets, behind couches. We offered bribes to whichever child could find them first—all to no avail. What had become of our things? Would it forever remain a mystery, like the case of the one missing sock or the city of Atlantis? When I was ready to give up all hope, just as I had in the previously mentioned mysteries, the case was solved.
It was a normal summer day in Clovis, hot beyond comprehension. I was in the car. The sun was blinding as it radiated off of everything around me, the dashboard, the windshield, the neighboring car’s side mirror. I squinted, in need of relief. I reached over to the passenger seat where my oversized purse rested. I had never been a “big purse” girl before. But I was visiting New York, it was red, a gold emblem that said Dolce & Gabbana adorned the front, I thought I was cool. I forked over the thirty dollars to the street vendor and began totting around my larger than necessary purse. Now, inside my car, in the bright sun, I just needed my sunglasses that resided somewhere inside the ginormous sea.
I blindly felt through the contents as I continued to watch the road. Eventually my hand felt my glasses, but they were trapped behind a thin layer of material. I couldn’t free them. When I finally arrived home, eyes watering from lack of proper protection from the unrelenting sun, I pulled my purse onto my lap. Once again I found my sunglasses, but now I could see that they were behind the lining of my purse, stuck. I was confused. How did they get in there? I searched in vain for a way in.
Eventually, I unzipped the little side pocket and found the hole that had been eating my stuff. I pulled things through it one by one, my sunglasses, a box of tic tacs, the ear pieces (both of them), money, pens (ten pens to be exact), the only thing I didn’t find was the T.V. remote, oh, and the city of Atlantis (it wouldn’t have surprised me if I had).
I was ecstatic. The mystery was solved. No longer could I blame my sub par organization, no longer would our two year old son get the suspicious looks, and no more would the poor, innocent dog be thought ill of. I had found my lost city of junk inside the vast depths of my sea.
Have I since gotten rid of my purse that is bigger than the ocean? Did I mention it says Dolce & Gabbana on the front? I still tote around my fake designer, but now when my husband asks, “Hey, honey have you seen my missing sock?” I say, “Have you checked my purse?”
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The quote of the week is to kick off my first day of really ripping into book three. It has a few sections that I’ve been avoiding and I know it’s time to give them some love. I constantly have to remind myself that editing is where I get to make myself look good because I would much rather be writing than editing. Writing is fun, new, and exciting. Editing is torturous, painful, and slow. It is always worth it in the end, though.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
by, Kasie West
Day one: Practice the art of asking others to do what you can easily do yourself. For example, if you are sitting on the couch and you would like a drink and someone else is anywhere in the vicinity, see if you can get said other to get you said drink. Try to look busy. This normally helps. If it’s not too much effort, hold a magazine and pretend to read. Or intently stare at the television as though you are learning something of great value. If no one else is in the house, refer to day six for your solution.
Day two: Do not do things that, if left undone, will eventually be taken care of by “fairies”. For example, do not waste your time and energy on dishes. When the sink gets full and you have run out of clean dishes, improvise. Be creative. A pan can double as a cereal bowl, a ladle as a spoon. Eventually the “Dish Fairy” will come and you will have clean dishes again. You will be grateful you held out.
Day three: Do you make your bed every day? Stop that, it is a pointless chore due to the fact that in less than twelve hours (or maybe closer to nine, depending on how successful you are in the art of laziness) it will be slept in again.
Day four: There is no need to fold clothes and put them away. Keep them in the dryer. Eventually, as you remove the items one by one to wear them, the dryer will be empty and ready for another load. Make sure you smell the clothes that have been sitting in the washer. They might need to be run one more time to remove the mildew (if that’s too much work, the heat of the dryer and a nice dryer sheet might take away the stench).
Day five: Have you been staying awake all day like a sucker? Midday naps are a perfect cure for that after lunch burst of energy. Eventually your body will get used to this routine and will no longer try to encourage you to be active.
Day six: Eating is a key factor in keeping up on laziness. It takes a lot of energy to be lazy. Make sure you are feeding your habit properly. If you are forced to get up and get your food or drink yourself, better double up on whatever snack you are retrieving. Think of all those calories you burned walking to the kitchen.
Day seven: Rest. It has been a long, hard week of being lazy. Take a break. You deserve it.
Although I kid and have perhaps portrayed some of my habits in their most extreme form, I oftentimes feel like one of the laziest people on earth. Most days are spent behind my laptop in my big comfy armchair, wondering when the fairies are going to come and take care of my chores because my imagination and me are too busy writing.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
You may have noticed that I have a gadget that depicts the phases of the moon on my blog. I love the moon. I love when it’s a sliver in the sky, just a hint of light peeking out from behind shadows, but I especially love when it is full and bright. I was thinking this morning, as I noticed that the moon was climbing towards full again, that if I had not had that gadget on my blog, I wouldn’t have known. Every twenty-seven days a full moon lights up the sky and even after admitting how much I love it, I can’t remember the last time I took the time to notice it. Tonight, I'm going to go outside and look at the full moon. I'm going to notice the way that its increased brightness lightens the dark shadows of the night. I'm going to notice the way its glow makes its edges a little fuzzy. I'm going to be in awe, once again, at one of the miracles of nature.
What else am I not taking the time to notice? What else do I wish I had a little icon on my blog for? My oldest daughter turned ten last month. If she were depicted as an icon on my blog, she would be shown as half full. Half full? What have I missed? What have I not taken the time to notice? I think back to when she was just a little light peeking out from behind my shadow. Now she’s becoming brighter as she climbs towards full. Have I appreciated each step along the way? Unlike with the moon, if I miss one of her phases, I don’t get another chance to view it again.
So, to my four little moons in their various stages, I’d like to say, that I will pause more each day to notice your phase, to appreciate your beauty, to bask in your light. I know I'm going to be in awe, once again, of your miraculous natures.