Monthly Archives: September 2015

It’s Worth It

I settle into my burgundy leather office chair and pull myself up to my desk.  I love this desk.  It’s solid cherry with an attached hutch, which it gives it that study-carrel-at-the-library feel.  (I like that feeling, cause I’m a nerd.)  We even moved my desk recently so it would be at a ninety degree angle to the bookshelf, and give me just a little bit more of that secluded feeling when I’m working.  My laptop is open, my journal and ball point pen at the ready for any side notes I need to take, and my betta in his desktop fish tank has been fed.  I am ready to start writing.

Suddenly the MIDI version of the Scooby Doo theme song on loop starts playing in my left ear, rather loudly.  My comfy chair becomes slightly less comfy as my six-year-old decides to make it into a loveseat.  I remember why the no-sound-on-video-games-being-played-outside-your-bedroom rule was established.  I’m on a roll though, feeling creative and productive, and enjoying her company as she slowly puts my leg to sleep, so I let it go.

It doesn’t always work out this well.  There are other days when the  kids seem to forget that I work at home, and think I’m simply at home.  On those days, I have someone at my shoulder every five minutes asking for a peanut butter sandwich, or complaining about a sibling.  It can make it pretty darn hard (or impossible) to get anything done.

I started working from home so I could be with my kids more often.  Sometimes I find that I am with them too often.

But today I came back to my desk after a short break and dove back into editing the current chapter of my upcoming book.  Right in the middle of a sentence I find that someone has typed “i love mom.”

Yep.  It’s worth it.

2015-09-15 16.19.36

 

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Filed under Family, Parenting, Work, Work-at-Home Mom, working with children

What We Did Forget about September 11th

It’s September 11th.  I feel like I should have something poignant or poetic to say, but I’m not sure that I do.

15 years ago, this day didn’t mean much to most people.  For some, it may have been a birthday.  For my brother and his wife, their anniversary.  But for most people, just a day.

As of 14 years ago, however, it became much more important for most Americans.  I have to say “most” because I have actually seen a Facebook post or two that has rather negative things to say about this day.  Is this the result of someone who was too young when it happened to really understand or care about it?  (It’s hard for me to believe I’m old enough that I remember something that other adults don’t.)  Or someone who is still in that mode of trying to look cool to the rest of the world and therefore is beyond caring about what we went through as a country back in 2001?

I have to say I remember it quite clearly.  Living in rural Illinois meant that I was very far away from the action physically, but I was certainly involved mentally.  I was driving to college that morning, blasting my Red Hot Chili Peppers CD, when I decided to switch over to the radio.  I can remember exactly what part of what town I was driving through when I heard the announcement.  I can remember the angle of the sun as it glinted off the railroad tracks and made a morning that seemed so clean and precious.  I remember the ball of fear that weighed in my stomach and made me consider pulling over instead of driving onward.

We still had our classes that day, but every television in the college was on.  The cafeteria, the lounge area, the classrooms.  The towers were burning everywhere.  My calculus teacher actually had the audacity to turn off the TV and make us do math of all things, but it was a wonderful emotional break.

I suppose this is where the real point of my story is.  That day, I felt like I was connected to every other American.  I felt that when I walked down the hallway of my community college and made eye contact with a stranger, we were both thinking the same things:  how much we loved our country, how blown away we were by the idea that this could happen, wondering what would happen next.

Now it seems that we spend all our time being afraid of each other.  Social media declares that ISIS is everywhere and there is no escaping it.  There is a fear of anything that isn’t Christian, which I can’t help but shake my head at. (Don’t get me started on whether this country was founded on Christianity or freedom of religion….HINT:  It’s freedom of religion.)  We make fun of our country and shame our president on a regular basis.

Personally, I liked our attitudes a lot better 14 years ago.  Despite political or religious or sexual tendencies, we all live in the same country.  We should still be proud of who we are as a whole and the wonderful things we have in America that we wouldn’t have anywhere else.  You might not agree with what our president is doing, but he is still our president.  You might not think that gay marriage is okay, but it isn’t as though these laws didn’t go through all the necessary channels to come about.  You might think that your religion is the only “correct” one, but at least you live in a country where you are allowed to think that and not be forced to think otherwise.

I urge you to use your freedom of speech wisely and to remember that we are all Americans.

 

American flag and bright sky

American flag and bright sky

 

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A Review of Out of Time by Monique Martin

I truly believe that you should read in the genre in which you want to write.  My most recent foray into this principle concerns time travel.  Once I finish up the sequel to The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping, I have an outline that I’ve started for something a little different.  I don’t have a title for it yet, but it’s based on a dream I had once and revolves around (you guessed it) time travel.

During a quick little shopping trip to Amazon, I found Monique Martin’s Out of Time.  Since I always try to support other indie authors and it had good reviews, I decided to download it.  I haven’t regretted it.

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Elizabeth and Simon find themselves transported to 1920’s Manhattan.  While they search for a way back to their own time and place, they have to face some major challenges.  Not only do they have to blend into this new world, but there are vampires to fight as well.

The characters are well developed and experience genuine arcs as the plot progresses.  Martin lets the reader into the minds of both of the main characters throughout, bringing their emotions right to the forefront of the story.  Martin fully employs her descriptive powers, whether she is letting us in on the in’s and out’s of what life was like in the 1920’s or simply waxing literary.  One of my favorite lines from the book:  “Umbrellas blossomed like black flowers in a potter’s field.”

I noticed that another reviewer on Amazon stated that the vampires seemed to come out of nowhere in the story and were a bit misplaced.  I humbly disagree.  I think the problem is simply that Ms. Martin plunges the reader so thoroughly into the time period of the story, that the reader forgets what the book is actually supposed to be about.  It’s a rare occasion that the author does such a good job that we forget what’s going on.

I highly recommend Out of Time to anyone looking for a great sci-fi romance! I look forward to reading further into this series!

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