Thursday, January 24, 2013

Star Wars...An Education

Really, they should belong to any modern western cultural study.  The Star Wars movies.  When a friend of mine who shall remain nameless admitted she hadn't seen even ONE of the six movies in its entirety, I offered to tutor her.

We started lessons with a picture book my five-year-old owns.  Who are the bad guys...who are the good.  Once the theory was covered, we jumped into Episode I (we're working chronologically, as requested by my pupil).

The most important rule (and a departure from watching with previous fans): she was allowed, even encouraged, to ask questions.  What is the function of the Jedi?  Who is the father/mother of whom?  We use the pause button a lot.  

The second most important thing was that I had to accept her affection for Jar Jar.  No making fun or groaning allowed.  Gritting teeth, but managing.

This is a several week project, but when we finished Episode II, a funny thing happened.  My friend asked if we could start the third movie right away, instead of waiting for the following week.  I had her hooked!  And whenever she was confused, she grabbed the Star Wars Illustrated Encyclopedia, leafed through the pages and finally nodded.

Tonight we start A New Hope.  It's been a heck of a two days, so some space opera is just what I need right now.   I can already hear the theme in my mind...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Hopefully Heart Attackless Time Management & Weight Loss Plan

Mothers always have 500 million things to do. I wrote this blog at the end of July 2012, but forgot to post it. It's still relevant...even though it isn't summer anymore.    :-)

500 million things to do? Take Friday.

Got kids ready for school and self ready for work. Brought daughter to meet the kids who walk to school with her. Drove son to Kindergarten. On to work (hundreds of things to do in itself!) - including unplanned overtime. Rushed home. Prepared dish to pass, picnic supplies, extra clothes and rain gear. Picked up kids and drove to the School End Party. Helped set up and dished out food for kids. Played with son because he had no friends there. Mingled. Made nice with the teacher. Took six kids berry, cucumber and tomato picking. Protected bunnies and goats from overzealous first graders. Cleaned up, packed up and hauled everyone home. Unpacked. Prepared and ate dinner, then straightened up the kitchen. Brought kids to bed. After a bit of cuddle time with hubby, fell asleep while watching TV on the couch.

A fellow writer asked me how I manage to work and be a mother of two small kids and still write. Well, on Friday, I didn't have enough brainpower left to write. But often, I do.

So here's my secret. Besides a certain obsession with my stories, I'm incredibly time conscious. I work up to the last possible second, then literally run to my car or next appointment. I get more done that way.

As an added benefit, together with the healthier eating I've been doing, I've lost about thirteen pounds during the last two years. Sometimes, I even park extra far from my goal so my little run is a tiny bit longer.

What I'm not sure about is the stress. My husband says I'm heading for a heart attack.

So far, it seems like positive stress to I sincerely hope my husband's wrong. Life is good the way it is, and I'm happy to run between family, writing and work. 

There's zero room for a heart attack though.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Love...Vampire Stories

Go ahead and laugh. Get it out of your system.

Believe me, I feel extremely unspecial knowing I'm one of the millions on the planet who feel that way. There's just something so sensual about...the neck...and the teeth...and never mind. (Here's me, cringing, because my Dad reads these posts.)

The most interesting vamp out there is – hands down – Eric Northman. I already liked him in Charlaine Harris' books. But Alexander Skarsgard brought a certain something to the role. When he gets that intense look on his face...triple – no – quadruple yum.

It's enough to make a very happily married woman sigh.

The other night, I was dreaming of Mr. Northman and my five-year-old woke me. Can you imagine my fury? No one noticed. Okay, maybe my "are you okay" was a little on the chilly side. But otherwise, I kept myself under control.

Back when one of those end of the world prophets had set the latest deadline, I asked a colleague what she would do if the world really was ending.

No "spend time with my mother." No "eat a million calorie dessert". No. She said she'd let Mr. Northman bite her. Amen, sister.

Okay, and after that, we'd cherish our remaining anemic moments with our families.

So I love reading vampire stories, and I love writing. But despite the aliens, demons and zombies in my head, I've never had the urge to write about a vampire. Why is that?

Because it's been done so often? Because it's already been done so well? 

So for those authors out there who are good at it, keep them coming. I can't wait to read the next yummy vampire story.