It’s Been a Rough Week.

2016-12-11 16.32.36.jpgThe girl started the week with a fever, and it evolved into what I believe is roseola. I say “I believe” because I didn’t take her to the doctor–she had no really worrisome symptoms and I’ve seen roseola before, when the boy had it. With him, I freaked out and rushed him to the doctor. With her it’s been more annoying than anything, considering it caused her to miss her own birthday party and two play dates, and she’s been one irritable little *&^%$#@.

On the second night of her illness, between two of her many feedings, the boy woke up screaming because he’d soaked himself. He’s not potty trained and he sleeps in a pull-up, but he’d had a smoothie for dinner and daddy forgot to have him pee before bed. I tried to help out, but he only wanted daddy and told me, point-blank, to leave his room. So in addition to being exhausted, I got to be heartbroken, too.

After that, I strained my voice while singing to the children.

The next morning, I woke up with pink eye. Thankfully, it hasn’t impeded my vision at all, so I could clearly read the email from my agent saying– Continue reading

8 Books I Want to Read in 2017

bookish-foxToday Will Be Different by Maria Semple. When I read the summary of this book, standing in line at a bookstore, I thought, I wish I’d written that. So now I’m really curious about what it is I wish I’d written, you know?

The Small Backs of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch. I want to read this not because I really know anything about it, but because I keep hearing how amazing Lidia Yuknavitch is, and I’d like to see for myself. This is (correct me if I’m wrong) her most recent work, and it won the Oregon Book Award’s Ken Kesey Award for Fiction.

Jagged Edge of the Sky by Paula Marie Coomer. Paula was my creative writing teacher at WSU–not my only one, but close to it, since by some fluke of scheduling she ended up teaching me 200-level classes in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. It was really fun being her student and getting the same professor’s perspective on all three genres, especially because she writes all three genres. She is not your run-of-the mill writer–or your run-of-the-mill person, for that matter–and her work is always exciting. Told from 16 different perspectives, I expect no less from this one. Continue reading

Twinkle Twinkle from the Bar

twinkleThe girl’s birthday was this Sunday, and she was going to have a party. I’d themed it “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” knowing that stars would be an easy item to find (paper cups, garlands, twinkle lights, clothing) in December, but also because there’s something of the dark night to my little girl, and something luminous. She moves in and out of herself, scowling and shining by turns but always bright, like the stars that never really cease to glow but simply move out of our eye line.

I’d like to think she gets that quality from me, but I have to admit my glow has dimmed over the years, and needs a little more kindling. With that in mind, and given the impending social even for which we were preparing, I invented a drink–a little fuel for the old inner fire, so to speak.

Anyway, the party got canceled because the girl got a fever the night before (on top of being sick, she was apparently cutting two teeth) and so the fire required no fuel. Instead of celebrating our girl’s first year of life we spent the afternoon with a grumpy baby who just cried at the hunk of cake I put in front of her and a brother who was convinced that the birthday would be his if only he screamed a little louder. I could have used a fancy drink after the terrible children went to bed but I didn’t bother. I wasn’t in a very twinkly mood.

Anyhow, I call this the Ginger Twinkle. There’s apparently a cookie of the same name out there (I Googled it, as I always do when naming something, mostly out of a fear of accidental innuendo) but this has bubbles in it and sugar on the rim, so–double twinkle. Which means I win. Anyhow, it goes like this:

First, make a ginger syrup. (Or buy one. Slightly different results, both yummy.) Put about a teaspoon of syrup in the bottom of a champagne glass. Fill the glass a bout 3/4 full of prosecco. Top with ginger ale.

Of course, I tried multiple variations of this. You can increase or decrease the syrup and it’s good lots of ways–it’s even good without the syrup at all. Just prosecco and ginger ale. Or just prosecco. Or wine. A little Christmas magic. Right, Linda? Whatever helps you twinkle.


It’s Been an Interesting Week

snowbirdsMy husband bought this thing called the Echo–we call her Alexa–so I’ve been walking into my kitchen to tell my robot servant to play Christmas music or to ask her what the temperature is outside. My Trekkie husband has been saying things like, “Alexa: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.” To which she replies “Replicators are offline” or “I’m not a replicator.”

I read Emma Cline’s The Girls and Googled the heck out of Charles Manson, then had a hard time sleeping that night.

I had three custom cartoon portraits in the hopper. I’ve drawn a chicken with a fro, a Delorean, and am working on several dinosaurs.

It snowed here in Seattle, which doesn’t happen very often. Then my Facebook feed blew up with pictures of kids in the snow (including my own).

Today is the girl‘s first birthday–can you believe it? I can’t believe it. We were going to have a party but poor baby is sick. I get the feeling that’s going to happen to her a lot. I was often sick on Thanksgiving or Christmas. Throw a birthday midway between the two and I’d say the likelihood of being sick on at least one of them is pretty significant. But I’m no mathematician.

Hanging Out with The Girls

the-girls-emma-cline-660x440When this week began, I knew very little about Charles Manson and the “Manson Family.” I’d seen his picture. I’d heard references to Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten without really knowing who they were. I knew it wasn’t pretty, but I’d never gone in search of the details.

Then I picked up The Girls by Emma Cline. A popular book, often featured on end caps, with an appealing cover and a vaguely historical basis. An impulse purchase, if I must admit it, on a shopping trip to Target. It sat on my shelf for about six months before I cracked the cover, then I read the whole thing in two days. Continue reading