Tag Archives: writing

Quick Update

I have lots to write about but not enough time the day before school starts so this is just a tiny update before the bigger recap of last week that includes vomit, chipmunks, a septic system and a dog.

But I’m in a rush because I (drum roll)


I’ve wanted to get back to school for a long time.  I’m hoping it helps get me back to forced writing because I will be out and at the library.  And I’ve wanted to learn Spanish for a while now.

I called a friend yesterday who recently went back to school and asked her how it was.  Of course, she is going back to get a teacher certificate and is full time and not auditing one class so next time I go to a Spanish-speaking country I can ask for gluten free nachos.  (This is supposed to be a humorous dig at me learning Spanish and has nothing to do with my glutationous consumption.)

She said I would have to give up things.  It would be a sacrifice.  Homework is a killer.

I thought: “This won’t be like that because it’s ONE class.  I know the basics already.  I HAVE been to Cancun.  Twice.”

Then I logged into my book and workbook online.  I couldn’t figure it out.  You can buy a book for A LOT of DINERO (look Spanish) or you can buy an e-book.  But e-books are hard for me.  I have to scroll around.  I have to enlarge.  I can’t seem to figure out how to drag the answers over.  It’s driving me insane.  MUCHO LOCO.  or MUY LOCO.

I dunno.  We didn’t go over that on the first day.

So I’m seriously considering buying the book because I’m old and need paper.

And today I’m rushing around getting back to school hair cuts and activities I’ve put off for the whole summer (the Sapphire Mine was not a high priority) and getting my daughter and her friend’s nails done for the first day of school (should not have been a high priority, but come on)  and I made a goal to make healthy lunches this year and dinners and plan it out and I’ve been talking about this so much I’ve been asked to teach a 10 minute spiel (oops  German.) and so I’ve been researching that.

So I’m going to have to give something up because I’m running out of time to do my homework for class tomorrow.

I think my nails may have to start growing hang nails and looking sad and pathetic again.

Except how will a class full of 18-20 year olds respect me if I have bad cuticles?  I feel like I must show them that life gets better after 40 (even though I’m only admitting to 35 in that class but I’m going to tell everyone how much I look forward to turning 40).

Vanity must not be put aside.

Pizza for lunch and dinner for the next 180 days it is!

See?  This whole going back to school thing is gonna be a cinch.

(I apologize.  I can’t post the picture of my nails.  My phone is having issues from trying to do my homework on it. )



Writing with Rocky and Bullwinkle

And now for something you’ll really like.

(If you know Rocky and Bullwinkle, that lead-in will be familiar to you.  I’m also wearing a blue flying hat with goggles.)

My wonderful spouse of 15 years took the kids to a dental conference this weekend so that I could stay home and write.  (The conference has kids’ activities like water parks and zoos and trampoline places and amusement parks.  It’s a great weekend.)

Not everyone is on board with this plan, however.

Ginny, the dog, is at home so that I could take her to puppy class.  I am unsure obedience training is sticking.  The phrase “Leave me alone. I’m writing” means nothing to her.  But she will sit for 3 seconds.

I walk her a couple times a day and play with her and work on obedience with her.  She is not an ignored dog.

This is not enough for her, however.


You can even see toys in the background.  But those aren't good enough

You can even see toys in the background. But those aren’t good enough

She is eating the incredibly expensive pencils I bought after Leanne Shirtliffe told me to.  (She may have just posted an article on them and asked for opinions.  But I’m pretty sure she said all the cool people own them.)

This is my outline for my manuscript.  I worked on it last night while Ginny slept.  She woke up.

This is the outline for my manuscript. I worked on it last night while Ginny slept. She woke up.

So tomorrow there will be some kennel training occurring here.  And hopefully some writing as well.  There will definitely be a lot of whining.  I just hope it’s mostly from the dog.


Be with us  next time for ‘Avalanche is better than none.’

(Once again.  Look up Rocky and Bullwinkle.)

It’s been a Heavy Summer

Have I mentioned this summer has been difficult to blog?

After I had my miscarriage, there was an ill timed pregnancy announcement.  It hurt.

I wanted to make sure I didn’t do something similar here.

There has been a difficult death in the family.  Trying to find humor in life or finding the irony in situations just seemed wrong.  There is no humor or irony in death sometimes.  And I don’t want anyone to think it doesn’t matter by carrying on as if nothing happened.

Because something happened and it was important.

My other problem this summer is due to my desire to write a scathing blog about a couple who divorced their spouses to be together.  I don’t believe in public shaming.  And I know I don’t know the whole story.  I just know the end result and it’s sad.

So many people are affected by two people’s decisions.  Or just one person’s.  It’s been hard to wrap my head around it.

Don’t get me wrong.  We’ve had fun this summer.  We’ve been to camp and seen family and gone swimming and just chilled.

It’s just also been a heavy summer that needed some quiet time.

I think I’ll be grateful for school to start.

When my kids start asking me if I knew Sacagawea when I was a child.

At least Build A Bear wasn't a complete waste.

At least Build A Bear is having a resurgence.

Writing and Water

Lately writing time has been non-existent. Summer is so unpredictable with camps and friends and smores. I never know when I will have a moment and lately the answer has been never- hence the lack of posts on my blog. 

I’ve missed it. When I don’t write, I miss words and paper and pens and typing. 

So I forced writing time. 

  We are at a water park. My kids are eating Dippin’ Dots and I’m existentially questioning my existence. 
But at least my red head skin has a nice off-white tan now. I wonder if I’d have a better tan if I stopped using SPF 50. 

I’m also Following Blogs from Australia

This may be the last bit of Simon Baker side effects in my life for a while.  Besides thinking I know him and naming my chickens after him, there isn’t much left.


While I was in my googling/stalking/I want to visit Australia stage of my life, or as some call it, April, I happened upon two blogs that are keepers.

And you should follow them.  Because they are interesting and humorous and have this wonderful bit where they chat for five minutes and post it.  It reminds me of conversations I’ve had with friends.  Except it’s only five minutes.  And that’s generally how long we spend trying to decide if we should cook dinner or buy something and throw it into Tupperware and tell everyone we made it.

Anyhow.  Here they are:

The Sharpest Pencil by Lana Hirschowitz and Life and Other Crises by Kerri Sackville

I actually think I would get along better with them than Simon Baker.  Mostly because if I asked them what hair care products they use, I bet they know and would tell me.  (This may be an unfair judgement of Mr. Baker due to the fact that I have never asked him what hair care products he uses and he could be very free with this information.  I’m just worried I’d be arrested by the time I got close enough to ask.)

The best part is if people tell me that stalking is wrong and a bit creepy, I can argue that I found these two blogs that make me laugh and I can listen to them for the exact amount of time it takes me to put things in a Tupperware bowl and slice a cucumber on top to make it look homemade.

And what more can one ask for?

Copyright law is confusing so instead of posting a picture of them, I'm posting a picture of my semi-sharpened pencil.  It connects to what I wrote if you don't think very hard.

Copyright law is confusing so instead of posting a picture of them, I’m posting a picture of my semi-sharpened pencil. It connects to their blog titles if you don’t think very hard.


When Brad Came to Visit

My friend from Calgary came to talk about his book Imperfections at my book group (or as some like to call it “book club.”)  I’m unsure if he’d like to stay anonymous so let’s just say his name sounds like Bradley Somer.  In fact, it sounds so much like that, some may say his name actually is Bradley Somer.  Of course those same people may say I’m bad at anonymity.  What can I do? Haters  gonna hate.

“Brad” arrived on a bright Wednesday afternoon.  A friend of his back in Calgary wanted us to stop at the local Bath and Body Works to pick up a lotion and cleanser order.  I said we didn’t have a Bath and Body Works store anymore, but the friend insisted we did.  We discussed it a bit and I decided to believe the Canadian who’d never been to Helena that we had a store I’d never seen.  Maybe there was an urban renewal project happening I didn’t know about.  It’s not like I know everything…  So I took “Brad” to the mall.

I think the plants are a nice touch.

I think the plants are a nice touch.

If you tell people you’ve taken a visitor to the mall, you hear two responses:

1. The mall here?

2. We have a mall?

But I think there’s a lot of potential to a 90% abandoned building with bad lighting.  None that’s legal, but there’s still potential.  And I think hanging out at a deserted mall brings friends closer together.  Literally.  I held “Brad” out in front of me as a shield.

We also went to the Windbag.  Previously known as Big Dorothy’s, the longest operating brothel in town.  It’s now known for its hamburgers.

The book discussion went swimmingly.  No fist fights occurred so that was nice.  Everyone had delightful things to say about the book.  (It’s a good book.  Stop what you’re doing now and buy it.)  (Actually, wait until after you read this.)  I never had to change the subject by bringing up what I’d read in Entertainment Weekly like I usually do.

And everyone loved “Brad.”  They liked him so much they thought I was not a good host because I took him to the mall.  But now whenever “Brad” sees a dark building where people hang out to purchase powdered substances and practice knife throwing, he’ll think of Helena.

Our final stop was Sieben Ranch.

It's lambing season.  Can you tell?

It’s lambing season. Can you tell?

The sheep loved him too.  They couldn’t take their eyes off of him.  I think they liked him a little less once they realized he wasn’t there to help them deliver their lambs, but at least he tried.

We had a joyously fun time.  Everyone should come visit me.

I’ll take you to the mall.

PS Brad was born in Australia and lived there until he was 2, yet does not know Simon Baker.  So, so odd.  But I’m getting closer.


Living Organically

Life has been a fascinating experiment lately. I’ve been doing my best to have fun and enjoy myself and laugh and do some writing and some reading and some daydreaming that I could go off to a beach and not have a care in the world. (When I went to the dentist and started crying as I congratulated him on the birth of his son, I realized I wasn’t daydreaming hard enough.)

Last night I dreamt I was back in school; finally getting that MA in English. It felt so natural being in school again. I kept wondering why I had ever left. And then I remembered that what I really wanted to be doing was writing. And then I remembered I had a husband and children after I was really confused what I had been doing since last graduating. Why in the world hadn’t I stayed in school?

There were a lot of weird symbols in the dream as well, but I’ve decided not to figure out what all of them mean because I got the main point. I want to write.

I have my manuscript printed off and ready to be edited.

Instead, I’ve started another manuscript.

I think right now I want to be writing instead of editing. I’ve decided that’s okay.

I’m not sure if it’s the right way to do things, but I keep hearing David Sedaris telling me that things have to happen organically.

I’ve interpreted this to mean I should do what feels right as long as I don’t use it as an excuse to NEVER edit or query or pitch.

I do plan on going to conferences to pitch and sell my soul. I just haven’t decided which ones yet. Maybe I’ll randomly find some I should go to. And it will become an organic experience. And maybe, looking back at my latest dental experience (no cavities, by the way), I will have to spend my organic conference time with a fake smile on my face and forcing myself to work past the cloud in my heart and my fear.

And maybe I will naturally work through my emotions while I keep figuring everything out. But I have a feeling I will have to push myself and fake a few things along the way. I’m just trying to lessen the pushing as much as possible by doing things that feel okay. Naturally.

I just hope this new approach doesn’t mean I have to eat organically.

I do believe Coke Zero is the basis of pure happiness and beauty, however. So I guess the main staple of my diet is an organic one.

It's like this was made just for me.

It’s like this was made just for me.


This week in what I learned on TV

I’ve been thinking I should bestow my wisdom that I have gleaned from watching TV while doing my laundry or cooking or cleaning or pretending to edit.  This thinking developing when I went to a writing class and the authors said you should train your brain to think about your characters and your plot during down time… While you fold laundry, cook, or while you drive.  I thought this was a wonderful idea except that I need to not think at all while I cook or fold laundry or I realize I’m cooking or folding laundry.  So I needed to come up with an excuse as to why I shouldn’t think about my plot during this time.

At about this time I also found the blog https://problemsolved90210.wordpress.com/  It goes through each episode and shows the brilliance that is 90210.

This became the key to why I needed to watch TV while I did mundane household chores; I could share the wisdom I obtained with you.

You’re welcome.

This week I’ve been watching the Gilmore Girls.  So far I’ve learned:

1. Don’t marry an ex, even if you’ve had his child and you’re in Paris, just a few episodes after you’ve dumped your on again off again romance for the whole series.

2.  Don’t make life altering decisions like dropping out of Yale after having a horrific dinner and conversation with your boyfriend’s father even if he is your mentor because this will mean you’ll end up the party planner for the DAR.

3.  You can still have a cute house and great clothes while eating out every meal and leaving tips for your love interest for the whole series.

4.  You can have an amazing body if you do eat out every meal only if it’s greasy food and you are never actually seen eating any of it.

That’s all I can remember right now.  I still have 2 episodes left and I’m sure there will be way more I can learn.

I can’t wait to share what I learn from watching Scandal.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN  (I decorate while watching TV too)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN (I decorate while watching TV too)

Take Your Mom to a Movie Day

I’m back.  That was a fun summer break; wasn’t it?  People who blog consistently are machines.  MACHINES, I tell you.

Couple changes happening here.

1. I’m not going to even attempt to try to post every Tuesday and Thursday.  I’m going to be posting when my muse comes.  And I have the website open.  Could be more; could be less.  I find not knowing exciting.

2.  I’m going to start discussing my traveling.  I travel a lot.  I often pretend it hasn’t happened because of a weird reputation people who travel a lot get.  Mostly they get a reputation that they travel a lot and who wants that?

But besides these two things, everything is totally back to normal.

And normal  includes taking my almost 81 year old mother to The Expendables 3 in DBox.

DBox are those seats that move around with the action.  In the case of this film, they end up shaking whenever things blow up.  So the chair is generally always shaking.

Shaking makes the movie more exciting.  Especially when you try to drink from a straw.

Before you freak out that the seats could’ve injured my mom, calm down.  Her knees may be full of metal and she may be on 43.6 different meds, but her back is completely fine.

And if it does start hurting, I’m pretty sure she has a med for that.


I recently read that I’m supposed to write with passion but I think I’m too tired.  I’m unsure I’m passionate about anything right now.  I’m too busy making sure my kids reach their accelerated reader goal and memorize their times tables and eat their vegetables.

I’m really bad at that last one.

I’m editing and writing and triathlon training starts in two weeks.  I’m unsure I feel passionate about any of those things.

I’ve been falling asleep to the original Melrose Place recently.  They seem to have a lot of passion.  I’ve noticed they move their heads a lot when they kiss.  I think this is supposed to represent passion.  I think it looks painful.  I think at some point I’d yell, “Can you just keep still for one minute?  Because if you can’t, this relationship is over.  I don’t care that you slept with my mother, two sisters and a cousin.  The relationship is over because you move your head way too much when you kiss me.”

I’ve also noticed that a lot of people who were on daytime soaps were on Melrose Place.  I watched soaps in jr. high and high school.  People on soaps had passion.  But then people stopped watching soaps and now soaps are almost all gone.  People now watch talk shows.

Talk show hosts seem to have passion.  But they have passion about EVERYTHING.  It tires me out.  How can you be passionate about EVERY topic out there?  There are some I just don’t care about.  Like the truth behind the Shamrock Shake.

Social media also makes me feel like I have to have passion about everything.  There are opinions out there about anything.  I don’t think I have that many opinions but sometimes I think I should.  I could develop passion about my lack of passion.

That sentence makes me tired.

I’ve decided I’m going to look at not feeling tons of passion about random things as a good thing.  I’ve decided it shows that I’m accepting.  A friend recently told me that I’m “curious enough to love people regardless of who they were.”

It was really kind of her to say that. I don’t know if it’s always true.

I do know it’s how I feel about the Shamrock Shake, though.

I guess I am passionate about fashion.

I guess I am passionate about fashion.