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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cody & Puppy Part II

I'm still MIA, but my son has informed me tonight that I MUST post the next installment of Cody & Puppy.  So here goes:

Slide 1: This is Cody & Puppy. Cody is the one on the left with the hair and the blue eyes.  
Puppy is the one on the right with the fur.
Slide 2: They have fought bad guys
Slide 3: Cody and Puppy usually went to their treehouse
Slide 1: One day Cody and Puppy heard a sound
Slide 2: So they went to check it out
Slide 3: There they found ANOTHER plane

Slide 1: It had a label this time
Slide 2: Kidnappers have arrived
Slide 3: So Cody & Puppy disguised as them

Slide 1: The kidnappers thought there were new members so they kidnapped someone from the kingdom of puppies
Slide 2: But then
Slide 3: So Cody and Puppy went to get help

Slide 1: So an officer told them they will try and stop them and if they failed Cody and Puppy will have to fight them.
Slide 2: So the officers went in their offiplane
Slide 3: The officers failed. (Cody note: the dot does not count as part of the painting)

Slide 1: So Cody and Puppy went to fight the kidnappers
Slide 2: The End

Good work Cody!  Don't forget to write about the Treehouse of Doom & Boris the Puppy Boss!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Break Time

I'm on hiatus again -- something had to give and blogging drew the short stick.

Back soon, I hope!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Completely Random Facts

My son won't wear pajamas.  He sleeps in his regular clothes most of the time.

For some reason, when I hear 180 days I always think it's 3 months.  That would mean each month was 60 days long which I don't even want to THINK about.

I started using a computer back in the day when file names couldn't be longer than 8 characters.  As much as I hated being limited back then, I feel like I'm being wasteful when I have to use a really long title now.

Anyone remember floppy disks?

When I get mad, I always picture a red exclamation point over my head -- filling up from bottom to top like a thermometer.

My librarian in first through fourth grade (can't even remember her name) used to chastise us for not finishing books so often that I STILL feel guilty if I don't finish one.

Did you know that if you accidentally transpose digits to a popular investment company, you will be connected with a sex line?

No, I won't tell you which company or which digits.

I'm making THIS for breakfast tomorrow.

Got any randomness of your own you'd like to share?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Getting a Little Perspective

I've been thinking about perspective a lot lately -- if I weren't so lazy, I would do a week long series on it. I found this in my drafts from 2010.  It's from a class I took a couple years ago.

The scene:
It's early morning--just starting to get light.  A car parks up the street and a figure in black exits the car, very carefully closing the door so as not to make any noise.

The man sneaks down the sidewalk, carrying a package of some sort in his hands.  The figure seems very nervous, he keeps looking around, to see if anyone is watching.  As he nears a particular house, he crouches lower, and makes a bee line to the mailbox.  He slips the package into the mailbox and then dashes back up the street to his car and speeds off.

Despite his attempts to not be seen, there are two witnesses.  One is the man who lived across the street who had been sitting on his front porch enjoying his morning coffee.  A retired detective, he found the behavior to be highly suspicious.  

The other witness is the woman who lived in the house.  It was her birthday and she was delighted to see her boyfriend leaving a surprise in the mailbox.

I imagine if there were more witnesses, we could have even more perspectives to play with. 

To be perfectly honest, I struggle with this in practice.  I'm too nice to ruin my character's lives...and even when I do let things do go wrong, they make the best of it.  I need to face the fact that not everybody sees the world like I do...and I should quit meddling and let them speak for themselves.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Adventures of Cody & Puppy

I love my son's school.  His teachers and helpers go out of their way to keep him engaged in his school work every single day.  And if they happen to be reading this over his shoulder (because he's my biggest fan, don't you know?) then THANK YOU for all you do!

I love kids' creative efforts - whether they're painting, writing, or acting out stories with their toys.  There's something pure and joyful about a child's art and so when I received copies of Cody's illustrated puppy stories he's been writing on the iPad at school, I had to find a way to share it with the world.  


Slide 1: Once upon a time, there were two people, Cody and Puppy
Slide 2: Every day Cody and Puppy played
Slide 3: Until...

Slide 1: The bad guys have come
Slide 2: To take over the Kingdom of Puppies
Slide 3: This immediately made Cody and Puppy fight the bad guys (note - they turned red, it's important later)

Slide 1: Once the bad guys were cleared, Cody and Puppy changed back to black
Slide 2: Cody and Puppy did it!
Slide 3: The End

Slide 1: The plane

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ode to Snow

I hate winter.  I do.  It's cold, the roads are slick and mucky, and you have to wear 600 layers to stay warm because it's cold...(oh, I already said that)

But since today is the day of love, I thought I'd turn it all around and put a positive spin on winter for you.  Self-delusion if you will.  Here are TEN good things about winter:

1. The snow is pretty when it's falling
2. Snow days.  They're not just for kids...
3. It's a super-fast way to chill your Diet Coke (sub-zero days or a snow drift on the deck will cool your Coke down faster than your freezer.
4. Winter is the best time to wear BOOTS!  (And I love love love love boots)
5. No one asks why you're hanging out inside
6. Christmas happens in the winter (at least for us in the Northern part of the world)
7. This isn't possible in the rain: 

Someone turned around in our driveway
8. There are more holidays in winter than any other season
9. Winter comfort food...mmmmm
10. It comes right before SPRING!

What would you like to add to the list?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mock Me Monday - Jelly Roll

I want you to do me a favor.  If I ever mention any craft, recipe, or "idea" that involves rolling something up "like a jelly roll" I want you to smack me hard and fast to bring me back to my senses.

A few years ago daughterling wanted to make a yule log for school -- an edible kind, not a papier mache replica.  In just a couple short hours we completely destroyed the kitchen and our log looked like it survived a tornado, a hurricane, and a blender.

I wish I was kidding.

But that was a couple years ago and the pain and suffering has faded.  That's the only explanation I can think of that explains my delusional belief that I could make this:


It looks good doesn't it?  The recipe and directions can be found over at A Delightsome Life Blog 

So, I got up this morning and mixed up the eggs, sausage, and cheese.  I rolled out my bread dough into a large rectangle, just as instructed.

That's where the similarities end.  Eggs are slippery little devils, my friends.  I TRIED to roll the damn thing up, but it kept unrolling itself.  I stretched the dough and tucked it under the roll only to have it come undone again.  

Meanwhile, egg and sausage leaked out the ends which I gotta tell you was kinda gross.  It looked like my bread had a sudden and persistent case of diarrhea and that is a BAD association to make with your breakfast. 

I tried pinching the ends closed, but it's like they were coated in baby oil.  No way were those things going to stay put.

And so in the end....this is what my sad bread looked like:

Which kind of reminds me of a trilobyte, don't you think?


I'll have to blindfold my family before breakfast...I wonder if they'll think that's weird?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cleaning House

It's time I started clearing out some of these draft posts I've been holding onto.  This one I started on April 22, 2010...poor thing is feeling quite neglected sitting in drafts for almost two years.

So, without further ado, here is my house building - story writing analogy.

First, you've got to have the idea (the blueprints).  And you need to make sure that your idea is marketable (don't go building a 16 bedroom house if your average consumer is only gonna pay for three).  

Then you do a high level outline (pour your foundation, put up the studs).  Your first draft is the plumbing, electrical, heating & cooling.  Character development is the same as adding drywall.  The revisions and polishing are the painting and decorating.

My problem is that I have a tendency to want to move walls around when I should be decorating.  Just like a real house, it's much more difficult to move a wall after it's built than it is when you're looking at the blueprint.  

I blame it on my characters: 

MC: Think how much more interesting I'd be if you had THIS over THERE.
ME: Hmmm.  You know, you're right.  That would work better, but then I'll have to change this and this and probably a lot of that, too.
MC: Well, what are you waiting for?  Get to work.  I'll just have a seat over here and watch.

Does it ever get easier?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Where Not to Stick Your E

Hubs and I went to lunch awhile back.  The restaurant we chose had a collection of trivia cards sitting on each table.  

Apparently they were hoping you would get so involved in the trivia you'd forget how long you'd been waiting for your food.

As it turned out, it was a good thing I didn't have my food yet.

I would have choked on it.  

The question:  What do the initials OB/GYN stand for?
Their answer: Obstetrician Gynaecologist
I know what a gynacologist is but what exactly is a gynaEcologist???
Guess I'm glad it wasn't obstelectrician...


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One Liner Wednesday

The problem with scheduling posts ahead of time is that I forget that 2/1 or 2/8 = Wednesday, so I've kinda forgotten about One Liner Wednesday for the last few weeks. Woops.

The last thing I wrote this week was a reminder to myself.

Before it can be great
It has to be

So what was the last thing you wrote/read/said?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

More Cody Quips

Me: Cody, did you kick Daddy's booty in Mario Kart?
Cody: Yes. I kicked all of his body parts.

Cody got out of bed one night to come share this nugget:
C: Starz never shows THX. 
Me: Oh, really?  It's safe then.
C: Except for that day in April 2011
Me: Oh?
C: April 16, 2011 I think it was.It was a Broadway trailer.

(I don't doubt him)

While washing his hands one night we heard him singing:
Oh yeah I'm getting that DRY feeling...oooh so dryyyyyyyy

On January 17th:
Tomorrow is a bad day. Wikipedia is going to close down for the WHOLE day which means I'll have to go on Wikia and I don't like Wikia.
(this was the first I'd heard about websites going dark in protest of SOPA)

Just a one-liner:
Sometimes tickling makes you lose your business

I noticed one day that Cody's digital clock in his room was six hours off.  He's always had a thing with clocks.  He used to unplug his sister's all the time.  I don't know why he's changed the time, but I fix it while he was brushing his teeth.

The next morning he runs out and says: 
C: Mom! Why did you fix my clock?
Me: The time was wrong.
C: Not in the U.K.!  
(yup, the UK is 6 hours ahead of us)

We were waiting at the salon to get Coder's hair cut.  I pulled out my Kindle and pulled up the flashcard app.  He humored me, and gave me the answers, but not without his own spin:
C:  Nine.....(sigh)'m saying this in a bored voice....twelve...
Haircut lady: Cody? Are you ready?
C: Yes, yes, YES! Get me outta here!

Our school district had a two hour delay recently due to icy roads.
Kbear wakes up at normal time, comes into the living room fully dressed. She is unphased with news of the delay.

Cody rushes into the living room. 
Cody: Why didn't you wake me up?
Me: There's a two hour delay today

Court got up and hopped in the shower before I even knew she was awake. She wasn't happy, either.
Court: Why did you let me wake up?
Me: You want me to wake you up to tell you NOT to wake up?
C: Yes!

My children have very pointy elbows.  They are always digging into my side or leg.  I'm sure they don't do it on purpose, but I'm also sure they're not quite as careful as they should be.

Recently, I got "stabbed" by Cody's elbow, I doubled over saying "ow ow ow".  

Cody says: Did you get poked with my ow-bow?

And my favorite:
I gave Cody a glass of chocolate milk recently.  He always drinks it with a straw.  Don't ask me why, it's just the way it is.  Anyway, I hear the slllluuuuurrrrrp sound of him draining the cup.
Me: Holy moly! Are you done already?
Cody: Did you just call me a mole? Because if you did, you're in BIIIIIG trouble.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mock Me Monday - Punctuality Counts

I don't get out much.  Part of that is because my husband has worked nights for the last 10 years and so I have stayed at home in the evenings to take over the child care duties.  

A few years ago, I was invited to a friend & coworker's party.  It was one of those home business deals and she was the hostess.  The plan was to meet at her house, do the party thing, then head out for dinner and drinks.  I happily accepted.  I even stuck the invitation on the fridge so I couldn't forget.

The day of the party (a Saturday), hubs and I spent the bulk of the afternoon out running errands.  I'm the sort that's usually early for any event because I start stressing out about being late way ahead of time.  As mid afternoon gave way to late afternoon, I got increasingly antsy.  I mustn't be late for the first party I've been able to attend in ages!

I got ready and headed out.  I wasn't alarmed by the lack of cars in the driveway because (a) I was early and (b) I knew she'd invited a lot of women from the neighborhood...why would they drive less than a block?

She seemed surprised to see me -- I asked if I had the time wrong.  God, I hadn't missed it, had I?


I was a week early.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Self-Publishing Analogy

Not that long ago I loaded up my Kindle with all kinds of books.  Some "mainstream" material from the big publishing houses in NYC, some smaller houses, and some self-pubbed books.  The cool thing is because I bought so many (like more than a dozen) at one time, I can no longer remember which books were from big houses and which were self-published.

So now that I'm reading through my stockpile, it's fun to guess whether a book is from a brand-name publisher or not.  In most cases, I can tell the difference. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. 

Think of FOX.  When it first came on the air, it took chances with its programming that the big networks wouldn't (or couldn't) -- and look what happened.  FOX is one of the big boys now.  

I think it's the same with publishing.  Sure, the big houses can crank out hits like the networks do, but sometimes they shy away from things that are a little too different. And sometimes they spend a little too much time riding the latest trend (reality shows and vampires anyone?) into the ground. 

Smaller organizations are more likely to take a chance on something different -- and often they reap the rewards.  

And sometimes those who go solo hit the jackpot.

So while others will rant and rave against self-pubbed works, I prefer to think of them like those little videos on You Tube just waiting to go viral.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Totally Biased Rant Against Sequels

Before you read any further, I gotta warn you not to take me too seriously.  While I certainly do have some of these problems with sequels, I MAY have exaggerated a little here and there for effect.  You know how it goes.

It seems books come in threes lately.  I'm happy for the authors, REALLY.  It must be really exciting to get a three book deal and I hope to find out for myself someday.

Still, there's something about this whole trilogy thing that makes me roll my eyes more often than not.  Not sure why.  Let's explore the possibilities:

Suspension of Disbelief
I've read a lot of books that I really enjoyed, yet had no desire to read any of the sequels. I think part of the reason is that I bought into the adventure the first time around but just can't quite believe the same individual can have another (equally) incredible journey in books 2 and 3 that won't feel contrived.  

Lack of Surprise
Part of the joy of a sequel, of course, is getting to spend more time with characters you fell in love with.  Part of the pain of a sequel is that you already know the characters and there's really not a whole lot of surprises in store for you.

The Girl/Guy Got Caught
There's a romantic element to many books these days.  Generally, the MC gets the guy (or gal) at the end of book one. All the lovely will-they-get-together tension is gone 

No Traction
Unless a book was planned as a series with a careful unveiling of layers each installment, I get bored (think books like Nancy Drew...). The story is okay, but the characters don't really grow or face anything new/different. It's kind of like a car spinning its wheels in the snow  Just doesn't go anywhere.

Cop Out
I know how this is going to sound, and I don't really mean it quite the way I know it's going to come out.  So hold on to those rotten eggs for a minute, okay?  It seems that some authors continue to write about the same characters because it's easier to write about people they've already developed rather than creating new ones from scratch.  

Short Attention Span
Sometimes I love the first book and can't wait to read the sequel. The problem is I don't usually have the sequel primed and ready to go when I finish the first book.  So I move on to another and generally lose all sense of urgency by the time I'm done. 

An extension of the last one, I like to wait until a series is complete before I dive in.  That way, if I fall in love with a book I won't have to wait a year for the next installment.  I'm so glad I didn't start to read Harry Potter until it was finished because it would have driven me crazy to wait so long between books -- I doubt I would have finished it otherwise.

Group Mentality a.k.a. I'm Not A Sheep
The big series - like Harry Potter, Twilight, or Hunger Games - tend to gather rather vocal and even rabid fans. But the more buzz a book (or movie) gets, the more hesitant I am to try it.  It's stupid, especially considering I believe in the filtering powers of the masses. 

So, have I totally alienated you?  Take it to the comments...what do you love/hate about sequels?