Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gearing Up For Something

The colors! The golden light! The smell of candy in the air! Perhaps that's just at my house...
But you all know what I'm talking about, right? When chocolate and hard candy spend quality time together and create this intoxicating fragrance that can only be described as Halloween Candy!
It's enough to keep me in a good mood all month long.
And then there's this other thing that is keeping me up all night. And when it's time to share, you know I'll be sharing.
But right now I'm so excited about creativity. When I look outside I am overcome with ideas and inspiration. Add music to that equation and my head is spinning!

And in other good news Reader fan #1 is about to embark on an adventure of her own! Eighteen months of adventures! Go Reader fan GO! So excited for you!

So the other day when I was out riding around with the kids my daughter heard a song on the radio and when it ended she said, "Play it again, Momma!"
We don't listen to the radio that much. Does anyone anymore? And so I had to explain that I couldn't just play it again, we'd have to wait for it to come on again. (I don't have this song on my iPod)
This was not a concept she could grasp.
"No, Momma," she said. "Just put the song on again."
Huh. How nice this new world of technology must be for the young. To never have to wait for anything. If they want to watch their favorite show they find it on the DVR. If they want to listen to their favorite song over and over again, they simply press a button.

Honestly, I'm not the most patient person in the world, but I have a new appreciation for waiting.
You know that old expression, good things come to those who wait. I hate that expression. Can't tell you how many times I've heard it. Never has it helped.
But if we didn't have to wait would we truly appreciate anything?

Ahhh... So go take a deep breath of Halloween candy and be happy that we only have to wait three more days before it's Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Tunes

I've been a bit delinquent on the whole Monday Music thing.
Tuesday Tunes it is!
Today's musical selection is brought to you by Scotland! Welcome Frightened Rabbit!
And yes, in case you were wondering, there is nothing better than watching one of your favorite bands perform in the city and then in between songs listening to the band speak with an incredibly awesome Scottish accent!
Oh. And the music was great too!

This CD in particular was responsible for quite a few scenes in book 2.

Today is such a beautiful day! The sun is shining! Indian Summer is alive and well here in CT.
Have I mentioned how much I love Fall?!

Finger is better just in time for NaNo.
Anyone out there joining in the fun?? HUH? ANYONE?
Perhaps I'm the only one crazy enough to sign up for this madness.
But in case you're interested...click here

And just because I'm in serious brainstorming mode I've added a second CD for y'all to listen to.
I know I've mentioned it before but between my husband and I it has been playing nonstop in our house and car. Sufjan Stevens you rock!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Excuse Me While I Hobble Through This...

I'm injured. Just in time for NaNo.
I'm hoping the splinter that recently took up residence in my right ring finger will find a new home by November 1st. Or at the very least MOVE OUT! Who knew a tiny sliver could cause such a ruckus! I'm on antibiotics (which we all know I hate taking, especially when they are the size of a house) and I had to get a Tetanus shot!
A shot! The AGONY! This whole experience has got me thinking I should invest in a nice pair of gloves. The anti-splinter kind.


On to the book review.

Yes. I know. I'm a bit late on this fan-wagon. BUT!! I am here to say that John Green is awesome. Looking For Alaska is the kind of book that makes you stop and think, huh, should I really be a writer? Cuz if people like John Green are out there writing books the rest of us are just going to look bad. Yep. That's exactly what I was thinking the whole way through this book and after I finished it and also right now while I'm typing this with my handicapped finger.
And this was his first book!
To say this book was good is like saying the sun is bright. I mean, seriously! I had to read the first chapter out loud to my husband —who loves it when I do this btw — and even my 4-year-old daughter in the backseat was like, "what story is that, Momma?"
She recognizes beauty when she hears it.
And this book was beautiful in the way that honesty and sincerity and thought provoking, life affirming questions are beautiful. And real.
It's disturbing and heartbreaking and the MC is a teenage boy, which I usually don't get into, but I did! I loved him! He wasn't perfect or sparkly. He was real.
Real. Real. Real.
And just beautiful.
John Green, I am now going to read every single one of your books cause I think you're brilliant.
And I like the way you think.
Even though you discourage me on the writing front.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Four Years

Sunday is the four-year anniversary of the day my father passed away. Anniversary feels like the wrong word. An anniversary is something that should be celebrated. You should buy a cake, blow out some candles and follow that up with a song. Or presents.
All things I will not be doing on Sunday.

As the days move toward November 1st, and the big NaNoWriMo, I've been thinking a lot about moments. Moments make a story, just like moments make our lives memorable.

The day my father died was wet and dark. I woke up to thunder and "tink tink tink" as the rain hit the metal shed outside my window. I remember cleaning all morning — we had clients coming over — while my daughter, who was four-months-old at the time, complained from her bouncy seat. Every light was on in our house, some candles were even lit. It was the quintessential dark and stormy day.

For most of my life my father was sick. I remember being ten and watching my mom race down the long hallway in our one-story house.
"Shari! I need towels!"
Any other day my mom would not be yelling this. She would walk to the linen closet and fetch them herself.
So it wasn't the panic that hit me first, nor the speed at which she moved. She needed my help. And she needed it now.
My father lost a lot of blood that day. And many more days to come over the next twenty years.
So you would think I'd be prepared.
Prepared for the phone call. Prepared for the words that change everything.

But I never could have prepared for the way I found out.

The phone started ringing about fifteen minutes into our appointment. The bride, we'd photographed months before, and her mother stared down at their 4x6 proofs spread out on our dining room table like a wedding collage quilt.
I glanced at the caller ID and discovered it was my sister, Barbi. I didn't need to say, "I'll call her back."
We never took calls during appointments.

And when the phone immediately rang again, followed by my cell phone, I didn't really think anything of it. My family doesn't take voicemail for an answer.
But when my sister Judi started calling and then my third sister, Lori, joined the search, my hands began to shake.
I remember walking around my house, concentrating on breathing in and out, while I collected phones. And oh, don't forget to smile every time the bride's mom glances my way.
I hid the phones in my bedroom.
I'd already silenced them but as I rocked my daughter in my arms, desperate for her to fall asleep, I watched as one by one they lit up and flashed a family member's name.
When my mom called I almost picked up.
But I couldn't. I knew. How could I not? He'd been going downhill for days now. Downhill. Not up. Not straight on a flat surface or around the corner like he had been for years. But down.

I'm sure the bride's mom thought I was behaving strange. Or at the very least she was questioning my hostessing skills.
I know I could have rescheduled. I know I could have pulled my husband to the side and asked him to make them leave.
But as long as they were here I could pretend I didn't know. Even though my quick heartbeat and my short and hurried breaths were making it rather difficult, I could still pretend.
And when they finally left I didn't hurry to the phone.
I couldn't.
I waited. Through the anxiety and the fear I asked myself over and over again if I felt different. Did I feel him in my house? Would he stop here on his way to the great unknown? Would he drop in and visit my sleeping daughter who he'd only met once?
The rain was still tink tink tinking outside. The phones continued to light up and vibrate on my bed.
And then I made that phone call. The one where I heard my mom's voice, calm yet struggling, and the words were finally delivered.
"He's gone."
And I'll never forget it.
Some moments come with a burst of emotion. While others can make you feel nothing at all. Just writing this makes my hands shake.

RIP Dad.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Big Week!

This week is going to be crazy with a capitol K that rhymes with J and stands for Jubilation!
PINKBERRY is coming to me!! ME!! No longer will all the ungrateful folk in NYC or Cali eat all my yogurt.
It is only the beginning of delicious yogurtness. In fact the amount of yogurt consumption that's about to take place is probably illegal in some states. BUT NOT CONNECTICUT!!!
Yes. So. On Thursday the very first Pinkberry in CT is opening just minutes from my house. Well, not minutes exactly but way freakin' closer than having to drive into NYC to get my fix.
Yeah Thursday!
BUT. Before we get to Thursday I have to mention the other exciting events taking place this week.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) Sufjan Stevens releases his new CD. I've already heard most of it and let me say, interesting and exciting. Future writing music has been found.


Wednesday is also a big day!! My friend Emily Liebert is going to be on Rachel Ray! YES! You heard me correctly! RACHEL RAY! The woman who is responsible for all that Vegi-head chili I consume throughout the year! Emily will be talking about her fabulous book, Facebook Fairytales.
Yeah Emily!! Go set your DVR's and then buy her book!

And of course Friday is the day where Dragons will enter my house and be heard over and over again. And over and over and over...
And never leave.
But that's okay because I love this movie!! Go buy it too!
Yeah! How to Train Your Dragon!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hello There NaNoWriMo

Yes. I'm in.
It took me a year and a half to write my first book and four months to write the second.
Could I write book three in one month?
They say you should aim to finish the first draft. My biggest problem with that is I edit as I go so it usually takes me a bit longer to get that first draft done.
But I'm going to try.
Anyone with me??
As for brainstorming...it's coming along. I'm feeling it, visualizing it and I'm excited to write.
All good signs.

Come December I'll be ready for book four.
Yes. That's right. And now I'm going to laugh my way right out of this post.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Movies and Books and Music! Oh my!

Hello October! Welcome back! And a very Happy Birthday to my friend Anneliese! *waves and smiles* She turns a fabulous 29 today!! (you're welcome)

I can't tell you how excited I am about October. I love Fall. I love Halloween and I love new purchases!

On October 15th How to Train Your Dragon comes out on DVD! Yeah!! Oh, the excitement! I'm really not a fan of animated movies. I know. I'm odd that way. But I have to say this movie wasn't like the others. I kinda felt like I was watching an animated young adult movie. Strange concept, but it worked. I mean how can you go wrong when the movie ends with a Jonsi song? I highly recommend this one!

Crescendo comes out on October 19th! The second book by Becca Fitzpatrick. I loved her first book, Hush, Hush. Some have compared it to Twilight, in fact a whole lot of people have. But it's not the story that gripped me it's the tension between Nora and Patch. Sure, some of the plot lines were familiar but you can't argue great chemistry. Nope you can't. Out of all the sequels and prequels and quadraquels (yes I made that one up) coming out this Fall Crescendo is at the top of my "read me now" list.
Yeah! Can't wait to read it!

New Album from Sufjan Stevens!! Alright all you rock dwellers! Time to crawl out again. Listen up! New music is coming! You know what that means. New brainstorming music for me! Hurray!
Released on October 12th. Yes. That soon. So go give it a listen.

Oh. And in case you haven't heard of Sufjan and you want some recommendations. My fav album is Illinois. Go check it out.

Alright. Time to go and eat some cake because, even though Anneliese lives on the other side of the country and we can't scream happy bday at her, every day should be a cake eating day.