Saturday, April 26, 2008


The kid has been keeping us laughing lately with the things she comes up with:

At a restaurant:

Me: Abby, can I give you a hug?
Abby: No Mommy, I'm playing guitar on my straw.

During bath time:

Abby: [Rubber] ducky is hungry, Daddy.
Dan: Well I don't have any food for him. Do you?
Abby: Yes.
Dan: You do? What is it?
Abby: Applesauce.
Dan: Oh, where is it?
Abby: In my bebo*. (She puts the duck to her stomach; its bill firmly planted in her 'bebo.') Okay. He's eating now.

*That's 'bellybutton' for those of you who aren't familiar with Sandra Boynton's "The Bellybutton Book".

In the Chik-fil-A play area, where there are animals painted on the wall:

Abby: (pointing to the animals) Monkey says "cheep cheep".* Lion says "roar". Doggie says "woof woof". Kitty says "Hey-o!"

*Not really sure where "cheep cheep" came from, either.

And then, just now at bedtime, she melted my heart with her first spontaneous, original "thank you" to God. We have been spending a ton of time in the backyard the last few days because we got a new swingset and sandbox. So anyway, we pray at night by me saying a line and her repeating it. We say the same three thank you's every night, and then list individual things that happened that day. So after I did our three usual ones...:

Me: Thanks for the time with Gigi and Boppa.
Abby: Thanks for time with Boppa-Gigi.
Me: Thanks for the beautiful weather.
Abby: Thanks for boo-ful weather. And thanks for outside!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

This is the way we write a book...

...write a book, write a book
This is the way we write a book
When baby wants to cuddle:

Yes, I managed to type with the baby sleeping on my chest. Man, do I love laptops and comfy couches.

And speaking of writing, I did. A lot! Every day but one this past week, in fact! That is the first time I've written consistently since I started this manuscript. Some days I only got a few sentences, other days whole pages, but I'm not so much concerned with quantity right now as I am with establishing the habit.

Also speaking of writing, the conference last weekend went very well. I had 17 students and their general consensus was that the class was helpful, so thank heavens for that. I ended up not hosting a table for lunch, but some of the folks from my class wanted to eat with me, so we found a half-filled table hosted by romance writer and fellow ACFW member, Cathy Hake, and crashed her party. After lunch I got to hang out some more with my agent, Chip, with whom Dan and I had dinner the night before. It was so great to finally meet the guy!

In other news, Abby has spent three nights in her own bed so far. That is, she's stayed in it until morning; the other nights since we got it, minus a few when she spent the whole night with us, she's lasted in there until 4 or 5 and then woken up weepy and come into bed with us. It's strange falling asleep without her snuggled up against me. Obviously it's nice to have the space, but I think I'm having a little separation anxiety. Not that it's going to last long. I'm sure PJ will end up with us in the next few months. Anyway, I keep meaning to take a picture of Abby's adorable bed nook but I keep forgetting. Hopefully this week.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hey SoCal Writers!

If you're in SoCal and looking to polish your writing skills, please attend the OCCWF's annual day-long conference this Saturday! I'm teaching a fiction 101 class, my fantabulous agent (whom I'll finally get to meet in person!) will be teaching a class on branding (like, creating your professional brand, not marking cows) and lots of other great authors are teaching a variety of things. Meals are provided! It's a really great opportunity, especially if you've been considering giving writing a shot (either as a hobby or as a career) and are having trouble getting started. There are consultation times, too, where you can meet with some of the presenters one-on-one and get their advice and insights on your manuscript, and some of us are hosting a table at lunch. Come sit with me if you attend!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Oh my gosh, I'm watching a reality show

So I caught the first episode of "Dancing With The Stars" a couple weeks ago, and I have to admit I was kinda hooked. Not enough to actually remember what day or time it's typically on--or to even bother expending the energy to figure out how to search the guide on our cable and set up a timer to record it--but enough to put it on when I happen to see it playing. I just tuned in and Kylie Minogue was singing "Can't Get You Out of My Head" and one of the couples was dancing to it. They were awesome! Kylie, however, sounded like she was doing karaoke. Her voice sounded so shaky--like she was nervous or something. Very weird.

Anyway, I love dance. And I love to dance. I was really big into swing dancing in college and really miss it. I love club dancing, I love just bopping around the living room when no one else is around. I've always wanted to take tap and ballroom dancing--maybe I'll try to do that in the next couple years. If nothing else it would be awesome exercise, and heaven knows I need more fun ways to exercise because otherwise I just don't do it.

Yesterday I went to the nutritionist, and the suite next to hers is a dance studio. We were a little early for the appointment so we were sitting in the car ("we" being my mom and the girls), and all these little girls in pink leotards and tights and black tap shoes were going in. So cute! It made me wonder if Abby or Penny will want to take dance classes. I didn't take a dance class until high school, and when I realized how much I loved it it made me sad I hadn't done it earlier. I don't want to push my kids into activities, but at the same time, I do want them to experience a lot of different things and make sure they've had the chance to dabble in lots of different areas. I pigeon-holed myself into music and writing pretty early on, and it wasn't until much later that I realized how much I loved art and theater and dance--all things I'd have pursued through classes and such had I known earlier that I enjoyed them and was actually not too bad at them.

Well they've moved on to the elimination portion of Dancing With the Stars, so I've shut it off--I may like watching the dancing, but I hate all the other "reality" crap. I was even muting it during the interviews and other random non-dancing things they insist on throwing into those shows. I did keep it on long enough to see that Marlee Matlin made it to the next show--I haven't seen her dance yet; isn't she deaf? Or is she only mute? Someone tell me...