Thursday, March 29, 2007

What a fascinating place my job took me this week!
I was invited to cover an event at a nearby middle school: an author visit from Priscilla Cummings. She has been living and writing in Maryland for over twenty years, starting with "Chadwick the Crab" and most recently, "Red Kayak."

She was absolutely inspiring. The kids were on the edges of their seats, as were the adults leaning in. I enjoyed the serendipity of interviewing her after her last fans departed. She gave me her contact information to follow up with her regarding the article, essentially inviting me to further conversation.

How delightful! But now I'm nervous too. An award winning writer will be reading this article - yikes! I better give that one an extra round of proofing and editing before submitting it.

Anyway, in researching for that article, I visited the American Library Association's website. What a delicious menu of reading information. If you've never really checked it out, you will want to run out to the library after you look through it.
American Library Association

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

It's really hard to make an advertisement not sound like an advertisement. The Song of Solomon children's sermon has proven to be an easier assignment than the advertorial.

I did thoroughly enjoy the Indigo Girls last night at the Rams Head in Baltimore. They do attract a primarily female crowd. I'm sure people assumed things about me and Anne & Peggy. Wouldn't be the first time. I think all the men there were either married or not really men. It did make for some interesting people watching. It was a great birthday present. Thanks Anne.

I don't care who else was listening, I just like the sound of their music and the intelligence of their lyrics. I ended up dancing to most of it. You know, for a band known as a lesbian band, a lot of their songs make me think of men.

“Hope Alone” & “Last Tears” are about the ex

“Get Out the Map,” my first second try

“Run” is about the one that got away – my favorite former flame

“Nashville” reminds me of debating with Greg

Oddly, “Power of Two” will always remind me of Ben.

“Airplane” now make me think of skydiving with Jeff

But I suppose they do write more lyrics for women.

“Hey Kind Friend” reminds me of a few, but especially my two friends out west whom I've known for 25 & 42 years.

Then probably half of them remind me of Julie.

The best lines in their newest CD about Julie are from Pendulum Swinger:

You work in the system
You see possibilities and your glistening
Eyes show the hell you're gonna give 'em
When they back off the mic for once and give it to a woman”

And Peggy in “Closer to Fine” This is Linne too.

The best thing you've ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life after all

For me, one of the phrases from “Lay My Head Down” that describes my present spiritual position is

Some plan for the kingdom of heaven

and some take their chances and bid lucky seven

I don't know what to believe, I just show up and breathe anymore.”

and also,

I see love and I like to make it happen” from Pendulum Swinger.

Anyway, their newest album is great. If you've never checked them out before, maybe you should. I bet if you've read this whole post, you'd like them.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I have two interesting challenges on my plate.

The first is an assignment for a local magazine. I was asked to cover their "business of the month" feature. The business is a storage facility. I went there wondering how I was going to make this an interesting article, an article about storage.

Well fortunately for me, the interview went great. There are a variety of interesting ways people use storage space, so I think I can meet challenge #1. I'm used to working on heartwarming stories about kids, but I can do this too.

Challenge #2
Then the youth minister at my church left me a message asking if I'd do the children's sermon on Sunday. I agreed in a message I left for him in a round of phone tag. I just asked if there was a topic he could give me.

The topic of the first children's sermon I will be delivering on Sunday will be...
falling in love

I laughed out loud. He obviously doesn't know me very well. I am perhaps the least qualified in that entire congregation to speak on this subject. My "sermon" will be all warnings.
"OK, kids, can you say 'pre-nuptial agreement'?"

But OK, I'll play along. Surely they mean falling in love with God. What's the scripture reference?

Song of Solomon.

I think I've been had.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I'm loving the warmer weather!
I'm not as personally ambitious with my garden as some of by greener friends, but I was delighted my lawn service finally planted the pink dogwood I ordered. I have always wanted one. It even has buds on it. I will be able to see it from my front porch. I will post a picture when it blooms.

I was sitting on my porch when the kids came home from school.
I forgot how stressful the 3rd grade could be!

Katie put a spitball on Giovanna's desk.
Tina talked all through lunch about how sad she is about moving.
Benjamin was talking to Jay so much he had to leave his table.
Max didn't stop running even though Jay tagged him with two hands, the cheater!
The teacher called on my daughter last - even though she wasn't talking at all!
Sierra told Katie that Jabari likes my daughter, but she doesn't like him except as friends. It wouldn't even matter except Katie told Giovanna and she "is so dramatic!"

I listened to all the ups and downs of the day and then we went out for an Italian ice.
aahh h h h
much better

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Irish mayhem was unraveling early in DC yesterday.

I was heading into the Improv to see a comic hypnotist around 6:30. We wanted to turn on M Street, but were thwarted by a clog of police cars, an ambulance and a fire truck with lights flashing and sirens recently silenced.

They were stopped helter-skelter in front of a club called Rumors. I bet no advertising is bad advertising. We definitely missed the main event there!

Out front by some cafe tables were about 20 patrons, in green, drinks still in hand all shouting and laughing. A prankish looking group of leprechauns quickly exited the establishment, looking over their shoulders as they dashed across the street.

When I looked back at the Rumors crowd, a police officer was escorting to his cruiser a knucklehead, too drunk to be shamefaced, wearing a t-shirt that said "Kiss me I'm Sh*tfaced!"

Ahh, the luck of the Irish!

Friday, March 16, 2007

My daughter is waging guerilla war against me about getting a phone in her room. The cordless phone that is supposed to be by my bed is usually in her room.

“But Mom, I like to talk in my room.”

“I will share my phone with you, if you put it back in its cradle when your done,” I offer to share.

But she doesn’t remember.

It’s in her room.

Is that passive?

Or aggressive?

* * * * *

Interestingly, the remote control was hidden under the coffee table. Did they do this on purpose? Think of the things I might need?

I wonder where my glasses are?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Today was the Ides of March.
I hope no senators stabbed you in the back ( but what are the chances of that!?)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I opened my new blog-for-hire about suburban singlehood. I know that at least half of you guys are married, but I'd still love your feedback. The whole concept and link to the magazine are still under development. When I'm up on their website, I'll direct you to it. But for now, you can check out the blog at


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I must have dozed off and awakened in a dream.
Today I was hired to write a blog for a local monthly magazine and then write a column for their magazine based on that blog. Pretty cool, huh?

But wait. It gets better.

The topic of my blog is the suburban singles scene. Can you imagine the grueling research I'm going to have to endure?

I would love to have a laugh over it with you all and tell you more but I can't! Deadlines! Yikes! A lot of them!

I'll tell you more as it comes into being but I've gotta go! I'm still checking in on you guys though. Temporarily, I will be posting less until I get into a new groove here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Here is a telling scene from the garden window in my kitchen. The white rose is my daughters from her induction into the National Junior Honor Society. (I'm allowed to brag, right?) The red carnation corsage is for being a Sunday School Teacher. The shells in the background I collected with friends on the beach. And do you see the sprouts in the shot glass? My son collected these wild onions as a gift to me. Isn't he a charmer? We need him in this house!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I know rejection is part of the life of a freelance writer. I'm sure I will become more accustomed to it. My most recent big rejection was followed by another fun, regular writing assignment for a new publication. The paper I'm writing for is working toward getting itself online, but it still isn't. The local magazine I'm going to start writing for is also working on its website. So hopefully I can mention the links soon. It has been fun, fun, fun - even if I suddenly feel overwhelmed by trying to work the writing and reporting assignments in between trips to the pediatrician, school programs, teaching art classes, Brownies, LAX, play rehearsals, and all those obligations that I'm glad I have.

The suprising thing about all of my new writing assignments is that I had never really considered journalism as a career path. This all just kind of came about without too much planning on my part. One thing led to another - and it is working out better than any plans I've made for myself.

So I shouldn't let my most recent BIG disappointment get me down. I should know by now not to put too much stock in my own planning. I've had a few really big lessons in that in the past few years. But just as a reminder that the future is unknown, I was not accepted into the Master's Program I had applied for. I honestly hadn't planned on that possibility. "...we were unable to admit the many deserving applicants."
But maybe it was the wrong program for me. I had applied for a Creative Writing program, but I haven't been writing creatively. I was hoping that would give me focus, channel my ideas into the Great American Novel. But maybe I should look into journalism. It sure has been fun so far.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

In the process of switching around bedrooms upstairs, I unearthed my senior scrapbook. I had forgotten all about it. Thumbing through it I saw the playbill from a senior class trip to see Othello. My note beside it indicated how disappointed I was the Iago, scheduled to be played by Christopher Plummer, was going to be played by the understudy. I remember my disappointment vividly.

I thumbed through the playbill. Othello was played by James Earl Jones. Cassio was played by Kelsey Grammar.

Monday, March 05, 2007

What are you guys reading lately? I'm between books.
I have at least a dozen books in my stack of books to read, so I don't need to go buy one. It's kind of like exercising. Once your habit is interupted, it takes an effort to get back to it. And when you're into it, you get distracted from everything else.

Here are just a few of my choices:
Living History by Hilary Clinton, seems timely
A Painted House by John Grisham, sure to be a page turner
Lord of the Flies by William Golding - I don't think I ever read it, but I know so much about it already I don't know if I want to read it.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers - I love the sarcasm
The Stranger by Albert Camus - if it's good enough for George, it's good enough for me
Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler - I don't know what it's about, but it comes well recommended
The Book Borrower by Alice Mattison - definitely chick-lit
Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz - an Oprah book so it is likely sad

whaddaya think?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I have a friend with a signature perfume. It smells wonderful, even if I can never remember the name of the perfume. She sprayed it on the tissue paper of a gift she gave me and I kept the tissue paper for a long time.

My 6th grade son has a signature smell too, but of a more organic nature.

I don't know why smell is such a powerful memory trigger. Every now and then I catch the scent of the apartment we lived in for 2 months in England when I was 9. Old Spice and pipe tobacco remind me of my grandfathers. My parent's house smells like home, some combination of coffee, roast beef, and fabric softeners. And does anything beat the combination smell of suntan lotion and salty air?

What are your olfactory triggers?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

It must've been homecoming last month. Several of the chapters in my yet unwritten book, to be entitled "Another Affair Gone Badly," checked in. Now I'm kind of expecting to hear from a couple of others. Some chapters were definitely more interesting to "research" than others.