Thursday, April 28, 2011

Here's Why

I haven't been blogging:

Because somehow we're five whole weeks into the term already.

Because I've been ironing out a new speech curriculum.

Because Dominic has had track meets at the middle school.

Because my sister Erika and her husband Ryan and their incredible 11 week-old baby came to visit from Sacramento.

Because I'm writing a little, and thinking about e-books a lot.

Because with a monthly grocery bill total of over $1500, that's oodles of shopping and unpacking and cooking!

Best Easter ever? Writing group pizza! Four writers, four men, eight kids hopped up on marshmallow eggs.

How about you? You getting any writing done?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Paper Doll

Last Sunday in the Chronicle, I found a treasure -- a full-page ad for Hugh Jackman's showtunes performance at the Curran Theater for two weeks in May.

Like many millions of women (and men), I would pay $250 for a premium seat to see the guy sing. Heck, I would pay that to just watch him stand there for ten minutes with his shirt off.

Anyway, what I do get to view every pass through my kitchen is that ad, which my adoring husband ripped out and plastered to the fridge with the word magnets "Wish," and "Pretend" "Family."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What They Won't See

I leave for the NEH Institute in Hawaii in just over two short months, and if the last three weeks of spring term is any indication, that is going to fly by.

After lots of thinking and looking up airfare and doing yoga, I've decided. The kids won't come out to see me, but if I miss them unbearably, I'll fly home for a quick weekend.

Dave works hard, and he is super supportive of my 5 week study, taking off a whole month from high fire season to shuttle the kids to swimming lessons, take them to the library. We're 19 years into this marriage, he and i, and we've not yet had a long, exotic vacation alone. This is the time.

Yes, I will crave my kids' arms around my neck. I will cry knowing that Dominic can't show me the fort he's built, that Daney can't crawl into my bed and talk about her day, that Rees won't brush my hair.

I will not see my favorite thing in the world: my cuties pulling their suitcases through the airport, that is one thing I'm sure I will miss.

But there are other things I won't see, too, because they are things my kids would have shown me. Like the assassin bug the boys spied in a bush in Cabo, or the morray eel Dominic spotted in the rocks in Hawaii, or the fried chicken place Daney found in Harlem.

With their sharp little eyes and their open hearts, my kids have always seen the things I don't, and I'm sad to know I will blindly pass plumeria and pufferfish and singing kingfishers. And while I'm nose-deep in Asian studies and the art of the Polynesian Cultural Center, I will promise myself to bring my babies back and show them the sunsets, the beaches, the carving in the palm tree. I will show them the best of the best.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

When You're Stuck in Your Story...

...Go back to the beginning. Work on what you have done. Tighten up. Rearrange. Add plot. Add dialogue. Flush out secondary characters with depth and dimension. Make setting sing.

You will see where you have been. You will remember where you are going.

Even if it wasn't tacking a thousand words onto your end, you will feel like you have done something.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What's Fun About Writing Sci-Fi... that there are no limits.

Anything you can think up

Could be believable.

Any world you create

Could be real.

Systems, values, technology, conflict.

It's all different.


Time, travel, currency, politics.


The possibilities are endless

And exciting.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Dave here,

Jennie has some exciting news! She has been selected for a National Endowment of the Humanities Fellowship. She is going to spend five weeks at the University of Hawaii this summer. Jennie will study South East Asian culture. We are all very proud of her. She has been working hard and is simply amazing.