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Monday, January 28, 2008

Mom Musings

After visiting several recent ‘mom’ blogs, it suddenly occurred to me that I have a vast amount of "occasionally" useful information.

That’s simply because I’ve survived all the parenthood years . . . nothing more complex than that.

Here are a few of my mom musings:

1) Be prepared to be blamed for everything: lost socks, missing homework pages, runaway gym clothes, and my favorite . . . the absentee shoes that it’s simply not possible for you, as a mom, to wear.

2) That, of course, leads to the second mom musing . . . be expected to know where everything is:
the mayo jar stuffed behind the pickles, the jam, and month-old lettuce;
the bike lock key no one has needed for the past three years;
the final and single remaining school project portfolio that was purchased six months ago and stuffed in a drawer, some drawer, some where in the house.

3) Have the right answer. This one gets a bit tricky as moms can be asked to explain anything and EVERYTHING from:
a complicated, undecipherable algebra formula;
to why that kid in school started the vicious rumor;
or even why the boy who your daughter is simply crazy about . . . isn't simply crazy about her.

4) Have a ready and endless supply of: various-sized Styrofoam balls, colored pipe cleaners, and balloons/sponges/markers/poster board for last minute science projects; old pantyhose (fishnet preferable) for the next, latest, greatest art-drama-Halloween costume, and; of course, an over-the-top-better-than-anyone-else’s birthday gift for the invitation received just today.

5) Final mom musing . . . be calm. When all those around you are whining, flaring dramatic, fighting with siblings, or simply sighing loud and long because life is unfair and no one understands them.

They say it takes a community to raise a child. I suppose that should mean everyone pitches in with really terrific, unfailing advice.

Me, personally, I’d rather the community just take the kid off my hands for a day or so. Keep the advice and give moms a break.

I say, moms need to stick together like three-day-old peanut butter, so share your great Mom advice.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sparkle This

I'm tooling around at SPARKLE THIS! today.

Come by and see my time-travel entry on a series story.

Loads of fun!

Happy Writing,

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Went to see the movie, Atonement, last night.

Definitely not intended for the entertainment-ONLY bound movie goer.

Atonement should be recognized for its brilliant directing, a deep 'wow, I got think about this' plot-line, and a symbolic use of color that I've seldom enjoyed in a film.

I told my daughter, an English Lit major, that Atonement really is a must-see film. The English papers she could write alone from this one movie would make it well worth the $9.50 entrance fee.

The only hint I'll give to you who haven't seen it . . . be prepared that the movie is a series of flashbacks. Each scene is replayed twice. First, from the main character's POV, and then from reality.

I was a bit disappointed with the ending, however. I didn't find that the main character ever achieved atonement, or that her life was any testament that she'd truly tried to find it.

The ending also begs the question . . . are some mistakes in life, truly, deeply, unforgivable?

With that pondering thought I'll leave you.

I'll be posting tomorrow at Sparkle This! It's a combination story, told by 7 authors. Time travel, suspense, and set in Paris. What's not to love?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday moring madness . . . following the thread

It's Monday morning madness, and I've just returned from dropping my kids at school. It occurred to me, as driving parents, we seem to be incapable of letting our kids follow their own thread. What do I mean? At some of the larger schools, students can enter the building through more than one door. Younger and older elementary school students may wait in separate places, for the first morning bell. If you’ve ever seen a kindergartener and 5th grader next to one another, you’ll understand how huge the difference in size can be. So for safety sake – and noise control – lots of elementary school kids will enter different doors. Do we let our kids out all at once? Let them walk to where they need to get into the building? Let them follow the thread to their eventual destination?

Absolutely not.

We seem to be certain, as parents, if we don’t deliver those kiddos to the appropriate curb-side entrance, they’ll somehow get lost heading in the doors.

Side note – if you have a kindergartener I understand your need to see them in the correct door. For that matter if you have a child like my youngest, who was always interested in stopping to smell the roses (even in the dead of winter), I get that you might want to walk them to the door yourself and punt them inside. That said . . . most kids are perfectly capable of following the thread of sidewalk or the beaten path to get into the building.

FYI – this phenomenon doesn’t just happen at elementary schools. High school parents are just as guilty of this drive-and-drop behavior.

What the point to my observation?

Writers commit the same atrocity to their muse.

How so?

We, as writers, are too quick to gun our proverbial car and head for the next curb-side site. We believe in front-door delivery instead of letting our muse pop out for a little stroll. Sometimes our muse will follow the beaten path (or even the sidewalk) and end up in the exact destination we expected. BUT . . . there are times, if we’ll cut the engine and let our muse do the meandering, our plot lines will curve and turn and end up at a much better entrance for the next part of our story.

What could happen if, as writers, we follow the thread and simply see where it ends? Something could blossom on the page that isn’t inherently useable; it simply won’t fit the overall plot. It’s possible! But the twist or turn might work to enhance a later element in the story. Or even begin the brooding process for the next book. However, it’s highly possible, considering what creative folks we writers are, that our muse will bring to bear something unique and vibrant – dare I say, fresh? – to the writing.

Hey, with gas $3.00 bucks a gallon and climbing, cut the engines, writers.

Let your muse outside of the limits of your control and see what happens.
I love sharing . . . so, has your muse ever delivered something completely unexpected to your plot line?

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