Health and happiness

Last week, my daughter got sick. At first, just a slight fever, headache, and chills. Wednesday evening, she agreed to just go to bed instead of eating pizza. It seemed fairly mild, so I hoped a good night’s rest would put her to rights.

Not so. Thursday, she still had no appetite, ran warm all day, and put herself down for a nap in the afternoon. I encouraged her to drink, but didn’t force her.

Friday, her temperature spiked (possibly because she’d been under three blankets), and she started vomiting. That seemed to clear things a bit, though, because her temperature started dropping. By Saturday morning, her stomach was only upset because it was so long since she’d eaten.

So I’m grateful for her return to health. What are you grateful for this first Monday of the new year?

Polar bears, oh my!

My daughter turns eight today, my little solstice child.

She had a party yesterday, and her absolute favorite gift from the party was definitely the polar bear that’s, well, maybe not as tall as she is, but pretty big anyway.

Today, I went in to read to her class (The Day the Crayons Came Home), and she didn’t want me to leave.

So yes, she’s who I’m grateful for today, my charming daughter with all of her enthusiasm. What are you grateful for this Monday?

stuffed polar bear

The end is the beginning is the middle

End of November, end of NaNoWriMo. I didn’t win this year, but I got a nice solid 30k written, so I’m pretty happy with that. Even better, my son did it with me this year and got just over 43k. My daughter did YWP for the first time, and wrote 257 words to start a story, too. So amazed at them both.

Tomorrow, December begins, and with it, the next year of my life. We’ll see if I manage to be any more organized and energetic this time around!

And the middle? Well, I’m roughly in the middle of Treachery of Doubt, and I’m going to keep working on it so everyone can follow Sabra et al. on further adventures.

So I’m grateful for words written, more to come, fresh starts, and most of all, wonderful children. What are you grateful for this last day of November?

An hour to myself!

I’ve been on the go since I got up at 6 — kids’ lunches, daughter to bus stop, groceries, laundry (5 or 6 loads, I lost track), a pot of beans, cleaning kitchen, copyediting, reviewing feedback, daughter from bus stop, dinner, daughter’s badges on her Brownie sash, drive to Brownies…

And now, I get my reward: an hour to sit here and read or write or poke at social media or just stare into space without anybody demanding some of my time.

What are you grateful for today?

First day of school, first day of school

(title to be read in Nemo’s voice, of course)

First day of school is a mixed blessing. What time I have is more free of interruptions, but I have less of it total to work. For example, the boy got home about 3:00 and spent an hour, give or take, on telling me about his first day of high school, and when he was done, it was time to go meet his sister’s bus.

The best part, however, is that both of them seemed to enjoy their days, and whatever nervousness they had seems to have been dispelled. They had much to say, and I hope their enthusiasm continues.

What’s new in your neck of the world?

Monday gratitude

Posting this rather late in the day, at least partly because I spent so much of the day feeling ungrateful and overwhelmed. I’m writing on one book, editing another, supposed to be outlining yet a third (but didn’t get to that today), plus I have both copyediting and proofreading deadlines at the moment and my son just started band camp, which means three weeks of interrupting my work in the middle of the day to go get him. And this doesn’t even count the stuff like my sketches that I need to get back to or the dragon I’m knitting…

So, yeah, overwhelmed and more than a little snappish about it.

Then it occurred to me that I was literally being ungrateful for plenty, which is stupid. I have so much — not just paying work, but paying work from repeat clients who like my work; not just my own projects, but creativity overflowing in multiple outlets; and not just family, but children who are trying to walk that line between greater independence/responsibility and still needing and wanting parental involvement.

That’s a lot to be grateful for. (And maybe if I have the sense to go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight, it’ll be easier to remember in the morning.)

What are you grateful for this week?

Time away

You might have noticed I missed a couple of posts I’d regularly do, as well as the second issue of the newsletter for June. My family and I took some time off for summer vacation — something that we have a fair amount of flexibility with, as my husband is in academia and I’m a freelancer, meaning that “some time” was roughly a month away.

So what did we do?
Continental Divide sign Continue reading

Time with my mom

I don’t take nearly enough time to talk with my mom. I know that, stupid as it sounds, one of the reasons I don’t call her more often is because I know she won’t always be around. Any time I talk to her, I’m very conscious of not being able to talk to my dad as well, and so I get regret for that and anticipatory sadness for when I can’t talk to her. In other words, living in the past and the future, but not the present.

But the past few days, I’ve been able to spend time with her and talk and laugh and share memories, and even if it hasn’t been evident, I’ve tried to be here now and enjoy this time together.

So this Monday, I’m grateful that my mom is still here, that I can spend time with her, that both of my kids have gotten the chance to know her. These are not small things.

What are you grateful for this Monday?

Books, a family obsession

Today, we went to a coffee roastery and used bookstore with my in-laws. Before I could even say the coffee held no interest for me and I would be browsing the books, our daughter exclaimed,”Books!” and made a beeline for the rear of the store, where she quickly located the children’s books, plopped into a rocker, and started reading.

The haul for the day included two books for the girl (a Bailey School Kids mystery and a Powerpuff Girls book), a few books for the boy (Anne McCaffrey and Mary Renault, courtesy of his grandmother, and a Cinda Williams Chima book), a book on beer brewing for my husband, and two writing books for me — Keyes’ The Courage to Write (which I keep checking out of the library) and Zinsser’s On Writing Well (which I’ve heard good things about but never actually read). I take it back — I also got one new book, on writing comics.

It was lots of fun, and we all came out happy. That’s one of many things I’m grateful for this Monday.

What are you grateful for today?

A few notes

If you get my newsletter (and read it — goodness knows those aren’t always the same thing!), you’ll know that I was taken recently with Austin Kleon‘s books. I wrote up a review of them for Vision: A Resource For Writers, and it went live earlier this week.
Book Review: Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work by Austin Kleon


SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) is launching a New Release Newsletter! This newsletter will go out every two months, and will feature science fiction and fantasy new releases and backlist rereleases from SFWA members. Each newsletter will contain information on works of all lengths from the talented writers admitted to the premier professional organization for science fiction and fantasy. Anyone can sign up! This is a newsletter for readers, librarians and booksellers to help them find their next favorite story.

Sign up to receive the newsletter.
The first issue, which went out this week


Do you remember the robins that built their nest in the holly bush outside our door last year? This year, we discovered a robin who had more bravery than sense, although last I checked, it hadn’t been a problem yet. Her nest was built on the structure at our local playground, where kids play and any passing predatory bird could easily see the fledglings. Here she is, on the nest, as well as pics of the eggs before hatching and the new hatchlings last week.
robin on her nest

robin's eggs in the nest

baby robins in the nest


The next big adventure: the kids get out of school for the summer tomorrow! Fortunately, I learned last year that I can be possibly more productive in the summer because I don’t have as short a day to work (and I don’t have to get up so early in the morning, either).

So that’s what’s new here as we head into June. Do you have any new and exciting things going on?