Happy anniversary, cutie!

It's our 3-year anniversary today. Whee! A delivery guy came to the door w/this fruit basket today. Check out the chocolate-covered pineapple!
The hills are alive

Gretl, Maria, and the rest...

In first grade, I had a great friend named Dorothy. She moved away for second grade, then came back for third, but by then I had moved. We reconnected a few months ago on Facebook, though. She is still just as funny and sweet as she was back then! Anyway, it turns out we both like musicals a lot.

On Facebook, she posted an article about the Sound of Music cast reunion coming up on Oprah next month. Yay, I'll be home to watch!!

I was present for the last full cast reunion, five years ago. I saw something about it on the web, and got up at 5 a.m. to get into the city to be in the live Good Morning America audience. They asked the people on line to raise their hands if they could sing. That was the only way in, so I raised my hand. Luckily there were no audience solos.

Here's the Washington Post story about the upcoming reunion.

And here are my photos from five years ago, in the GMA studios.

Somehow I predict hubby will NOT be leaving work early to watch the reunion with me. I guess I'll just have to sing for him later!


It's a beautiful day!

Don't let it slip away.


7 pounds of love.

We made a baby!

His name's Zachary Samuel and he came home yesterday. We're all doing well and very happy. We are looking forward to his next poo, and Zach is looking forward to a quiet Sunday night of football watching for all three of us.

To make it easy to post a bunch of photos we took, I created a blog so you can take a look. Don't expect it to have high intellectual and literary value like this one (in other words, not as many English bulldog pix).


Twin babies laughing at each other

This video makes me smile.
Important sports update
Hubby admits to being wrong, but is absolutely thrilled that the Dolphins beat Bret Favre this weekend.
Wow, who turned this blog into Sportscenter? Needs something girly. OK, here are some pretty Dolphins colors. They are much prettier than the Viking colors.


Creative writing blogs

Got this email. Looks like a good site.

I work with Bestcollegesonline.com, where we just published entitled, 50 Best Blogs for Creative Writing Students Considering this overlap in subject matter with your blog, I thought perhaps you would be interested in sharing the article with your readers? If so, you can find the article here.
Or, you can just go straight to our homepage (bestcollegesonline.com) and find it there.
I am happy to let you know that your site has been included in this list.
Thanks for your time!


Hubby is cute

Last night, my hubby randomly said to me, "Care-Care, I really think Baltimore is going to dominate Cincinnati this weekend."

I didn't even know for sure what sport he was talking about, but I think it's cute that he tells me those things.


Where the ratio of singles favors you

Well, single women, the ratio of you to men is about 100:92 in NYC, Phila and DC, so don't move there. Instead, go to Austin. At least, that's according to one study.


A tornado in Broolyn?

Some pretty good footage HERE.


Blog response

Blogfan Sam from Hawaii writes: I'm sorry my friend, but "pumpkin fudge" seems just plain wrong to me. Call me a purist, but pumpkins are for pies, and fudge should be chocolaty.

You are so wrong. It sounds delicious to me. And you know, you can order it from the Vermont Country Store!!

What I don't like is chocolate cheesecake. The chocolate drowns out the cheesecake taste.


'Tis the season

I'm not even going to bother trying, but yuuuuum.


Just wondering

What do cannibals eat on a day to day basis? Human flesh is hard to come by (I think), so I wonder if they try to order foods that are similar? Like maybe steamed dumplings and such? What kinds of food do they like when they're not eating other people?


Uh oh

Tropical Storm Igor started to fade into a depression (maybe he was upset that summer is ending?) but then came back to Tropical Storm status...and now they predict that in five days, his winds will top 110 MPH. He's indicated on the prediction map as going from just an H for Hurricane to an M by Wednesday...which means topping 110. That's what that last one did.

But it looks like a fairly slow-moving storm. I mean, look how little it's going to move in five days. It's still not going to be near the continental U.S. by then.

It may just turn northward and go out to sea. In any case, here's the map.


A story on the potential for Hurricane Karl and Hurricane Julia. Oh, such nice names. They should have a cooking show together.
A really nice - and detailed - review

New one today. The person writing it has a great blog, with lots of books, cupcake icons, and a sweet photo of her recently departed Doxie dog, Winston. Here's the writeup.

By the way, do you think that just because I'm on maternity leave, I'm sitting here all day finding reviews of myself? Nah. Actually, I'm doing many important things to prepare for baby's entrance into the world, like getting rid of lots of stuff in the house to make room, and -- hold on to your hats -- playing some songs that I downloaded on iTunes for him. None of that Barney blarney, though. Not yet, anyway. Yech.


Very nice review from the Netherlands

I THINK this person is in the Netherlands. She wrote really nice things about Carrie Pilby on her blog today. Thanks!

There have also been two unfavorable reviews on blogs in the last week, but they were very well written and valid reviews - the bloggers disliked the book for the same reasons certain others liked it (character spouts off too much about what's in her head, etc.) Some just happen to like it; others don't -- all fair assessments.

So far I am impressed with the writing on all of the teen book blogs!


Tropical Storm Igor?

Finally, an aptly named storm! They should definitely give them weirder names than they do. I mean, who's going to prepare for and fear Hurricane Sam for example?
The phone book

This week's New Yorker has some pretty good articles in the "Talk of the Town" section. One interesting one is about phone books and the fact that no one cares about them anymore. But it notes that (ironically) there is a book coming out soon about...the history of the phone book!

Do you think this book will be dropped on every doorstep? Or only available on Kindle? And ha ha, what number should I call to order it?


A quote

Just saw this on fellow Red Dress Ink author Lynda Curnyn's Facebook page:

'A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." -- Thomas Mann

Well put!


Taste in movies

"It would be great if he took his guitar? And whacked her with it." -- The Hubby regarding 'The Sound of Music' *

*Not his exact words, but close

'Fall on the Train Tracks'

Someone's photo on the 'net that I find preeeettty.


Thanks but no thanks

You know, this headline will make me avoid reading the story:

Acid Attack Victim Could Hear Her Skin 'Sizzling'

This only happens once in a lifetime

Ned Vizzini, Jason Schwartzman, and I are all stuffed in this girl's backpack. This probably will never happen again!

Update: Drat. Looks like it's been erased. Well, I was honored that she was carrying my book in there among such nobility.


Random ramblings about writing

So I should take a moment to talk about writing, something I think that people believe I enjoy. Well, I guess I enjoy it during the times it's pouring out of me, but those moments are rare. I do get satisfaction out of having written and published stuff, and I also am always coming up with ideas for stories. But the actual writing is work, a lot of times. It's particularly work when I look back at the last thing I wrote and see it wasn't as good as I thought, and know that I will have to revise it again and again to make it readable. Of course, it's hard to tell whether something is good or bad anyway.

So yes, it's a hobby, but most of the time, it's not something that's necessarily fun. It's productive and sometimes satisfying.

It was also something that filled time back when I was alone a lot, in my twenties. I still want to get my ideas down when I have good ones, and I think that if I can use writing to entertain or offer hope or just interest someone, it's worthwhile. But it's not always a joy to do. When I was writing Carrie Pilby, I used to sometimes bribe myself with pizza or dessert to spend hours re-reading it and making revisions. Who wants to keep reading their own novel? Yuck. It gets old after a while.

Anyway, this summer I had a few ideas for very short satirical pieces and funny essays, so I wrote and submitted a few. They all got rejected. The rejections weren't 'cause of the recession, because one of the places I submitted didn't even pay anything. (I could have still had a line at the end of the piece saying my novel just came out again, so it would have benefited me in terms of publicity for the book.)

Of course, when I submit anything, it's going up against 100 or 1,000 others, so I can't take it as an indictment. Still, when things are rejected, it makes me doubt that I will be able to publish other stuff. I could write more novels and not have any of them be any good, even if I would be glad I got them out. Publishing one or two books is no guarantee that anything else I write will beat the odds and get published.

Still, I have a lot of ideas. I like the idea that they're there if I want to work on them someday.

I'm not going to completely stop writing, but I have other focuses that give me much more joy and satisfaction.

Anyway...sometimes people ask me how the re-released Carrie Pilby is selling. I have no idea! In today's world, there's no way of knowing whether people are downloading it or what. Amazon rankings used to give a clue, but today, you can go to the Amazon page and find other bookstores selling it there besides Amazon, so when people buy from those others, I don't know if that factors into the ranking. It's always been kinda hard to tell anyhow. Hey, if even a few teens discover this new edition and like it, I'm grateful.

The publishers don't know how something is selling right away, because they send copies to bookstores and it takes a while to find out if they sold. I probably won't find out until the spring, when I get a statement from the publishers.

I DO know that the French version is all over the internet, so I think it's reached some teens there, and that's very nice. I see it popping up on their blogs.

Anyway, just some ramblings off the top of my head. I'll try not to come back and revise this, heh heh.

'A Commodore 64 is really good'

I found this note from maybe sixth grade.


Tropical storm warning posted for NJ already!

They think Earl will be here around Friday at 2 p.m.

And not ... Earl-ier. Ha ha!