Another exciting announcement for the week! The anthology who took my poem “The Last Family Vacation” just announced the cover graphic and told us that April 2022 will be the publication month. 🙂
Last year was a kind of a banner year for me because I finally took charge of my very large folder full of unpublished writing and started submitting my work various places. I’d never done it before and it was hard and scary to get over just the fear factor of it all. The banner part came because publishers started accepting my works.
This morning I head back from the Boy Mom anthology people, who accepted my memoir-style essay about raising my boys sometime last fall. They revealed the cover and told us that it will be going out for sale in time for Mother’s Day!
I’ll let y’all know when I know more, of course. But for now, rejoicing! 🙂
“The Overachiever of Illness.” That’s what the ER doctor called me two weeks ago when I went in, unable to breathe. Turns out that not only did I have Covid, but also bronchitis and Flu B. I’ve been mostly in bed ever since.
Am I really sick?! Yeah. I’m sick.
Fortunately, I have long been a person who forgets to pack pajamas on trips, so I have a full drawer of them. I have a solid week’s worth at this point, from lightweight beach themed summer wear to heavy duty pink snowflakes, and everything in between. I can change into new pajamas every day! It’s been great. (A kids friend said she aspires to that lifestyle and I laughed too hard.)
I’m not going regale you with all my temps and oxygen levels and liquid intake and literally nineteen new medicines (the real literal, not the fake one) and all that because it is so very boring, even to me. Just know that I’ve been checking levels every hour or so for two and a half weeks now.
So to keep myself entertained in between taking down data for nurses, I’ve been in bed reading and watching movies and catching up on Netflix series. Here’s what I’ve been up to….
First I finished “Project Management for Parents: Engage the Family, Build Teamwork, Succeed Together,” which I really need to post a review of. It was a good book for the left brained parent, or maybe for the right brained parent who wishes they were more left brained? That might be a better descriptor. In any case, a good book if you like parenting books.
I finished all the Practical Magic books, which were lovely, as expected. A bit more repetitive than I’d hoped, but that’s what I get for reading them back to back to back. It was good to see the whole story from beginning to end like that and really take in the whole of the way the curse changed the family as time went on and how each generation dealt with it in unexpected ways.
Then I read a new book by Freya Marske called “A Marvellous Light” that I loved so much that I immediately tried to buy the sequel to, only to be told that it was pre-order only until November and I’m dying over it. I really need the next one because this gentle Victorianish man romance/mystery/magical thing is my jam, apparently. Who knew? Steph. She always knows what I need to read.
So now what I’m reading is “Dear Writer, You Need to Quit,” a title which cracks me up. One of my writing groups suggested it as something I needed because I’m always needing to quit things and sometimes I don’t choose the best things to quit.
“Unicorn Store” was the first one I started. It took me forever because I couldn’t watch more than 10 minutes before I was overwrought. I don’t know why. It was just too cute and embarrassing, but I couldn’t not watch it, either, so I watched it in 10 minute spurts.
One day the kids were horrified to realize that I had never watched “Ponyo” all the way through, not even once, given that they had each watched it approximately 95,000 throughout their childhoods. So we watched that. It was really good and now I know what Ree’s t-shirt means. Ponyo Loves Ham!
Like everyone else on the planet, I couldn’t get “We Don’t Talk About Bruno, No, No” out of my head, so I watched “Encanto” multiple times until I could sing all the songs. When I feel better I will learn the dances and then my children will be really embarrassed. It will be great!
I thought I’d seen “Cloud Atlas” before, but apparently only the same few sections a couple times, so I watched it all the way through and it was more violent than I’d expected, but I liked it and I’m still thinking about it in that way that you do with weird movies like this.
I’d started watching “Locke & Key” with Greg when Season One came along and we both loved it. By the time we got to Season Two, Greg thought it had gone off kilter and “too relationshippy” and he didn’t want to watch any more, so I finished this off while he was at school.
Greg and I also would watch “Good Witch” together, which we’ve been watching since practically before he was born at this point (TV movies first, of course, then the show). He stopped watching at the beginning of this season because he hated the new intro and wanted Grace and Nick back in the story. So I’ve watched this last season alone and I don’t know if it’s the missing Grace and Nick, the missing Greg, or the missing soul of the show, but this season was just not what I wanted. Taking the emphasis off of helping others and putting it all into minding their own magic threw me off and I was just glad that it ended, I guess, because it was breaking my heart going on the way it was going.
So then I got on the bandwagon and started watching “The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window” because a) Kristen Bell and b) the title is hilarious. But the show? Not so hilarious. Slow. Suddenly sexy. Slow. Slow. Huh? Slow. Slow. Oh wait, what??? Slow. Suddenly sexy. Confusing. Suddenly violent. Is it over yet? Maybe? I hope so. But wait, maybe not. I don’t know, y’all. I watched it all day long and now that it’s over, I just wish I’d used my time better that day.
After that we had snow days and the kids and spouse were home to entertain me, so I stopped doing anything that wasn’t staring at their faces, unless it was staring at the Olympics. Figure Skating is my favorite. I could watch that for hours.
In any case, I hope you never, ever become the “Overachiever of Illness” because it’s terrible. But I hope if you do, you have friends to help you along and access to all the books, movies, and series your heart desires. 🙂
This week for our Spiritual Practices class, we were encouraged to make a library of spiritual or sacred texts. I wandered the house for hours, picking up books here and there, and piling them all up next to my bed. Nick and I had a long conversation about what we each thought should go in a spiritual library. His definition leaned towards Christianity, naturally, while mine was wider reaching and included not just spiritual practice manuals, but also covering mythology, fairy tales, and books that weren’t necessarily about religion, but changed my views on it. Then I realized that my library also includes things on my kindle and on my hard drive that I do not have physical versions of, so I made myself a little collage of all those books to put alongside my “new” spiritual library. It was an interesting thought experiment, over all. Now I just have to figure out where to put all these books now that I’ve gathered them and people refilled their spots with other books.
What books do you consider Must Haves in your spiritual library aresenal? Please leave me some comments below. I am always looking for more books.
One of my best friends and I made books this weekend. She took a four-day workshop on it and graciously offered to have me down for the weekend and teach me her new skills. I forgot to take a picture of the book press, which is large, red, and dusty from having sat in someone’s workshop area for years.
Things I learned:
1. Glue is the foundation of all books. That and more glue. With some glue here and glue there. Also some paper.
2. I cannot cut the cardstock. Not at all. My friend ended up cutting it all. BUT she has a Cricut and we’re going to cut down some of her huge cardstock sheets to run them through the machine later. I folded all the paper in half, though.
3. Stabbing little holes in paper is fun! So much fun!
4. Sometimes you forget how many holes to make, so you have to improvise. We accidentally put in 5, but you need an even number in this style of book binding, so we put in another one at the bottom. We used variegated thread for our inner binding, which made it super festive.
5. Beeswax smells just like when you smush your face really deep into your cat and then try to breathe, but without all the fur up your nose.
6. There is no 6. 7. Waxing thread is also addictive. I don’t know why.
8. Sometimes you have the wrong sized paper for your interior. So then you need to cut it, but it is hard to do without the guillotine. You may try many things, like sanding the paper, cutting it with box cutters, or even using the dremel wood cutters. They will not work. They will also make the house smell weirdly burnt. Then you will go out to Wal-Mart really late at night and buy a guillotine. They are CHEAP. Start with that last step.
10. Bookbinding has a lot of waiting time while the press does its work. We watched irreverent feminist comedy specials on Netflix while we waited. You can watch whatever you want. 🙂
11. When putting the endpapers in, use the tiniest line of glue. We thought we had. We were wrong. Also, don’t use thin paper for the endpaper. Mine was a little too translucent. Steph’s was fine (a nice sage green, not pictured.)
12. Make a feature of a little error. My error was cutting the paper too close to a little signature spot on the paper. I ended up putting it on the front, where it looks like a cute little frill. We also learned that if you don’t like one side of your book, flip it the other way and make the back the front (my blue was crooked on one side. This side is much better.)
We had such a fun time making these little darlings! 🙂 12/10 would do it again.
Digging through the pile beside my bedside table, I’ve found five last books for the list:
49. Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card
50. Serving as Senders by Neal Predo
51. Hugo by Brian Selznick
52. The Tether End by Marjery Allingham
53. The Harp of the Grey Rose by Charles de Lint
So there you go. 🙂
No really, I do. And I will update about them tomorrow, once I’ve offloaded photos and videos and put away the dishes and laundry from the weekend.
23. Embers by Laura Bickle was one that I liked pretty well. It was interesting to hear about the character’s past and the way her magic works. I would read more of this series.
24. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson was given to me by my friend EH for World Book Night. She loves this book, as do I, now. It’s fiction; one of those slow, lyrical, wandering books where it feels like nothing happens, but a lot of things do. Kind of the story of how one family falls apart, all from the point of view of the latest girl to fall apart. I really loved it.
25. Messie No More by Sandra Felton is slowly changing the way I do things at home, which is amazing. I am learning the how’s and why’s behind my housekeeping style and it’s been fascinating. She explains several different ways/personalities/mental blocks that people get stuck in. It has questions for you to answer at the end of each chapter. I highly, highly suggest this book to anyone stuck in a rut.
26. Dark Mondays by Kage Baker is another of her short story books. I keep expecting them to be from one of her book series, but mostly they’re not. Until they are. Yeah. I’ve tried to slow myself down with these because there’s not a whole lot of Kage Baker left for me. 😦
27. The Survivors Club by Ben Sherwood is non-fiction and tells stories about how people survived amazing catastrophes, accidents, and injuries and then how to apply that to events that might happen to you. I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s been eye-opening.
19. Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
20. Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
My husband stole these out of my giant-pile-o-Steph’s-books and devoured them first. Then he kept leaving them out places and asking if I’d read them yet. I took this as a hint that he wanted me to read them so we could discuss them. So I read them. They were super fun magician’s new apprentice novels, if gritty and gross at times. Still need to discuss them with Nick. Hoping there’s more to the series by now. 🙂
21. Thorns and Blossoms by Theodora Goss
Lovely little two-books-in-one, each told from a main characters viewpoint. My only problem? The “unique accordian style binding” that was touted as a feature was actually a bug. It was impossible to read while sitting in a chair, much less reading in a chair while kids wanted attention. Also, I didn’t want to read this story twice all the way through, so I kept flipping back and forth between the stories. It was cute, but annoying.
22. In the Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
I started this book yesterday after coming home from piano lessons with the kids and finished it by 11pm, reading pretty much continuously, except for dinner, snuggling kids before bed, and trying to watch Eureka while finishing it. It was really, really good. So good, in fact, that I’ve already been to the author’s website to see when the next one comes out – and it turns out there are two more books, already out! Must find them. I really don’t like zombie stories, but these are so good.
17. Rude Mechanicals by Kage Baker
Yes, I’m on a Kage Baker kick again. Somehow there’s always more of them, which is amazing and wonderful and sad because one day there won’t be more that I haven’t seen yet. This one was one of the delightful shorter length books focusing on Joseph and Lewis. I love them! 🙂
I’ll just go ahead an list it now, to put the lie to the title of this post.
18. Mother Aegypt by Kage Baker
I’m starting it as soon as I stop typing this. 🙂
12. Reread The Hunger Games in time to see the movie.
13. Finally read Goliath by Scott Westerfeld, after putting it off forever because I was scared I’d drop a cup of tea in it like I did to Behemoth.
14. Finally finished Wings by Aprilynne Pike, which I can’t remember where I got it in the first place.
15. Scarfed down Every You, Every Me by David Levithan & Jonathan Farmer in one evening as I really, really needed to know who the crazy person was.
16. Now reading The Women of Nell Gwynne’s by Kage Baker. The cover really is that purple. Love it!