Reading & Writing


When I was a student, November seemed like a great month to commit to writing. It was generally a quiet month. The school year was well underway and my routines set. The Thanksgiving break meant extra hours at my computer while someone else baked and basted.

How nice that was.

Continue reading “Na-NO-Wri-Mo”
Friends & Family

Masochism, Motherhood, and Shopping with Children


Do you take your kids shopping? Are they as terrible as mine? I feel like I’m always that mom–the one whose kids are doing something unfathomably bad.

Maybe they’re touching every single apple with their fingers, or maybe their tongues. Maybe they’re not being properly supervised. Maybe they’re projectile vomiting while their heads spin around in the cereal aisle.

Of course, there are good times, too. There are times when no one runs away from me, no one topples a display of dog treats, and we get through the checkout with nary a tear. If it weren’t for these times, I’d never take them shopping again.

Reading & Writing

The Writer Who Doesn’t Write

pen and paper

I have not written in a couple of weeks.

Sure, I’ve rattled off a few blog posts, though you’ve doubtless noticed a decline in quality. And lists: ’tis the season for list-making. But my novel has sat, neglected, inside my laptop. My journal is empty, my mind filled not with whimsy and dreams, but numbers, time frames, estimations.

For me, this is an aberration. It happens occasionally, but pragmatism is not my status quo. It baffles me that there are people who always live in this mind space and not just because they have to. Perhaps it shouldn’t–my husband is one of them, and without his attention to detail we would be in a whole heap of trouble–but while I understand the necessity of all this infrastructure and organization, and even revel in it from time to time, it will never give me the thrill I get from creativity.

At least, I hope it won’t.

A lot of the numbers and lists lately have had to do with my online business: selling vintage books and handmade creations, attempting to figure out what people want to buy, trying to learn to think like a business person. It’s the kind of thing I’ve long known I could do, but have avoided because of the immense amount of time and energy it requires. For me, writing has always come first. I’ve had mostly mindless jobs, partly because I didn’t want to drain my brain and come home too exhausted to write.

It has occurred to me several times over the last few months that what I’m doing now, pushing for an actual career outside the literary world, is a form of giving up. Continue reading “The Writer Who Doesn’t Write”

Friends & Family

Some Thoughts on a Saturday Morning


We’re visiting my parents this week. Last night, the girl and I slept cuddled on a futon while the boy and his daddy shared a mattress on the floor.

The kids have been having a blast. There’s a neighbor kid who’s spent a lot of time here, playing with them–Violet loves chasing him around, blowing raspberries.

My parents have the kind of house where people are constantly coming and going. They rent out portions of their house and the tenants don’t keep to themselves. They live near family and somebody is constantly dropping by. I don’t realize how isolated I am in my regular life, how much I close myself up inside my bubble, until I come to visit–and in some ways, I’m reminded of why I’m so solitary. It also explains why I wish the neighbors behind us would drop in unexpected sometimes. There’s a hole in their fence and they could cut through the green space and come through our gate, no problem. I’d love it if they came by to play sometimes.  Continue reading “Some Thoughts on a Saturday Morning”

Friends & Family

My Dress-Up Dollies


I was combing through old photos and I started picking out Halloween pictures to put in an album. I quickly realized that my kids (especially the boy, who is a lot older and has therefore been photographed a lot more) might have lived through only a few Halloweens, but there are countless pictures of them in costumes, with pumpkins, etc. So I thought I’d share some with you.

Prepare yourself for cuteness overload. Continue reading “My Dress-Up Dollies”

Fun & Games

Super Simple Songs: Halloween

There are a lot of crappy videos for kids on YouTube and I have seen way too many of them. Kids don’t always have the most discerning tastes, so sometimes they want you to play a video of a creepy animated baby playing in a ball pit over and over and over. It’s awful. But there’s some really good stuff out there, too. Our favorite: Super Simple Songs.

Their regular songs are amazing (“Rain, Rain Go Away” and “Walking in the Jungle” being the girl’s favorites) but we’ve been really enjoying their Halloween songs lately. They’re just adorable, and as a mom who’s had to listen to a lot of obnoxious kids’ music over the last four years, I can tell you they’re some of the least obnoxious kids’ songs out there, and the animation is adorable. You might like Super Simple Songs even if you don’t have kids.

Note: I am in no way affiliated with Super Simple Songs and they did not pay me to say this. This blog is not big-time enough to have sponsored posts (yet) but if I ever do sponsored posts, you’d better believe I’ll only endorse things I actually like. Like Super Simple Songs.