Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Newbery Honors

My friend, yes really, my friend was awarded a Newbery Honor yesterday for her book Rules. She was also awarded Schneider Family Book Award.

In case you were wondering, "The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences."

Now I must admit, I was not surprised at all. Thrilled, YES! Surprised, no. You may remember me telling you all about it back before it was even published. And again a month later when I had read the ARC's (advanced reader copies) she had sent me.

If you'd like to check out her blog, you can go here. She tells all about hearing the news. And, you'll be able to tell how fabulous she really is when you read her daily musings. She is not only a phenomenal writer but a cheerleader for other writers, a fabulous critiquer - insightful and kind. She is just a wonderful, kindhearted woman in every respect that you would all love to have as a friend.

So, go, buy the book and enjoy!

Friday, January 19, 2007

I Didn't Get Here By Luck

Oprah makes me hate her now and then.

I know, how can I hate Oprah? And maybe hate is too strong a word. Maybe she annoys me or causes me to want to punch her but not exactly hate.

Why? Why, you ask.

Because she says things like, "I don't believe in luck."

She doesn't think she's lucky. She thinks she worked her butt off and that is what made her the richest woman on the planet. But every day millions of people work their butt off and the majority of them don't earn 1/nth of what she does.

People make us believe that if we find what we love (which, hello?, not that easy for some of us) and we work really hard at it and don't give up? We will succeed.

I say, there are many, many people who work hard at what they love and never succeed. And I don't mean succeed to be making billions of dollars. I mean succeed in the sense of making a living that you can actually live on. I don't mean being on television or in the media. I mean making ends meet. Sure you can do what you love and have a regular job. And if you can manage that and make ends meet, great.

But I'm sure she was not the only hard-working woman applying for the jobs she applied for throughout her life. She was beating someone out. And each time she got the job, someone else didn't. And really? There is room for only one Oprah out there. Isn't there? Honestly?

Oprah mentioned recently that Bill Gates thinks he's lucky. He thinks he worked hard and managed (luck) to get the breaks he needed to make it big. I agree. (Oprah does not. She said so.)

I also tend to think that some writers get lucky. There are fabulous books out there that deserved to get published. Fabulous books out there that are published but deserve more recognition. And yet, they're not. I've read amazing manuscripts that for one reason or another didn't get published. Reasons like there was a cat in the story and the editor's cat had just died so she didn't have the heart to work on a book with a cat in it. (True story) You may ask why then if it's so great didn't another publisher publish it. Well, there are also countless stories of fabulous, award winning books that were submitted to 8 billion (ok, I'll admit, a bit of an exaggeration here) editors before someone would buy the manuscript. Shall I mention Harry Potter and all the editors that turned that down? Maybe they liked it but didn't think it would sell. Maybe they were in a bad mood so everything they read that day sounded like crap. Maybe it wasn't their cup of tea. Maybe their cat had died. There are 8 billion (no exaggeration here) reasons why they didn't want to buy it.

When I say someone is lucky I don't mean they don't deserve what they get, because they usually do. Oprah totally deserves what she has. So does Bill Gates. So do most writers out there. (Come on, you're telling me you never read a book that had no business being published?) Luck does not mean you didn't work hard and deserve what you reaped. It means the opportunity presented itself for all your hard work to be recognized.

And as an artist, whether you are a writer or painter or photographer, etc, sharing your work with the world is an opportunity not all of us are granted. Creating is the passion but sharing is just as important. Maybe not for everyone. Maybe some people are happy just producing their work. Maybe it's just me.

Would you be happy writing something that no one would read? Would you be happy putting your photos in a shoebox for your eyes only? Are family and friends enough of an audience? Or do you need someone else to appreciate your work? Maybe we don't NEED someone to appreciate it, but does it make it seem sweeter when someone does?

What is this need for approval? And am I the only one who has it?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Let Go Already

In a classic blogger move I had a great post in my head that evaporated when confronted with the white page of doom. (Also known as a blank posting page.)

I keep getting up and trying to retrieve it. Work a bit and get it going again but alas it seems to have vanished.

In my typical fashion I shall bore you with a bit of stream of conscious and see what happens.

  • Mother Nature is mocking me.Really. The ice has lasted THREE days so far on the trees. THREE DAYS. It never lasts that long. Especially while sunny. I've gone back to carrying my camera everywhere and yet, it's sunny while driving and the second I pull the car over the clouds roll over the sun. I'm afraid to try to get the shots I want now and have decided I don't deserve the new camera because if I did I would do something bold like skip work to photograph the amazing sights around me.Seriously, when the sun hits the trees just right it looks like they're made of glass. An entire world of glass. If I saw it in a movie or a painting I would never believe it. Looks like Mother Nature has taken to the world of cgi. It may be one of the most beautiful things ever and yet when I try to capture it - I can't.

  • I need to update my blog template but just the time it took to fix my archives caused outrage in the MoMMY household. So, unless I plan on forgoing sleep for a few days, it's not going to happen. And since we all know I'm not one to forgo sleep... well, not happening.

  • I also need to decide what I'm doing about my photography "business". I use business loosely. Very loosely. I'm thinking of shutting down the cafePress shop and even though I've talked about shutting down my website, I'm just not ready to do that yet. I'm not sure why, I guess because I hang on like a dog with a frickin' bone. Good lord, let it go already MoMMY.

  • Speaking of letting go, still can't quite let go of the whole writing thing. The stuff I was writing and submitting a while back is languishing in a file box and on my computer and I can't seem to do anything with it. I'm obviously not a writer. I can't even manage to write on my blog anymore and yet I can't quite put that dream away. I will repeat, Good lord, let it go already MoMMY.

  • Maybe this should be the year for letting go.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mother Nature

The sun, the ice, the beauty of it all almost made me cry on the way home. And no, I'm not premenstral.

What did I do? Rush home, grab the camera, quick change of clothes and ran out the door.

As I drove down the street the clouds came in, the snow started flying and the world darkened.

I chased the small bit of sunlight in the distance. It was that beautiful. I had to capture it. As soon as I stepped out of the car? Clouds, snow, darkness.

So I went home. And 30 minutes later? The sun was back. I stepped outside with the camera and the clouds rushed in.

When the sun showed itself again I grabbed the camera and made due out the front door... then the clouds rushed in.

Damn Mother Nature.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Why do people who drive SUV's and trucks think that when it is pouring rain, less than 32 degrees, foggy and the world is a giant icicle that it is okay to exceed the 65 mph speed limit? Why? Does their 4 wheel drive have superpowers? Does it? Because honestly, 4 wheel drive or no, an icy road does not care and it is me you will be sliding into.

In Other News...

After being sick for FOURTEEN days, I am feeling much better. Not completely cured but a million times more like myself. YAY!

Winter Has Arrived

I've been wanting winter to rear it's ugly head for the last couple of weeks because, hello?, hundreds of dollars spent on various things to allow the oldest two to ski this winter and there has been NO SNOW. Barely a flake. Not even cold enough for the slopes to make their own. The slopes have been CLOSED. Not just down to one or two runs but completely CLOSED all month. So yes, I've been wishing for snow for January and February. Then it can totally go back to 50 degrees and I'll be happy.

Then winter arrived yesterday. A winter of freezing rain. Two days now of freezing rain, icy roads and my ancient Maple tree about to split down the middle. The branches are touching the ground as I type. I'm just happy the kids already had today off and I had child care in line or I might have been screwed. Because we rarely have snow days for snow. They are usually for ice. Like the inches of ice that are now covering every exposed surface. Pretty? Yes. A pain? Yes. Dangerous? Double yes. I'm waiting to hear the power went out as we speak. (For those who don't experience ice storms - ice coats all the power lines and drags them to the ground, breaking them - or tree limbs fall from the weight of the ice and snap the frozen lines. Think sump pumps not running and power outages and mass chaos for days to weeks. Yes, weeks.)

Ah, the ice storm. Such a harsh mistress.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


  • I was on my way into work this morning and thinking about how I really wanted to get back to blogging. I decided I would do what I have done in the past and not allow myself to read any blogs before I wrote. That way, I would write because I really need to find out how you're all doing. Then I started drowning in my own mucus and felt like I was lead and trying to keep my head above the water so I could breath. And then I died.

  • Wait, no. I didn't die. Yet. I did however abandoned my work and read all your blogs. I did not write one itsy, bitsy word.

  • But here I am trying to make up for that. I'm sure you're all so glad. Or not.

  • Mucus be damned.

  • I really need a nap.

  • These are the worst bullet points ever.

  • How does anyone watch 24 without a huge bottle of Tums?

  • There is still discussion going on over a new camera. Amazingly enough: Husband - for camera, Me - against. Something is not right in the world.

  • I really think I'm dying. Or getting a sinus infection.

  • Why do I get sinus infections at least once a year? When I was a kid it was strep throat 2x's a year. College it was bronchitis 1-2x's a year. And now sinus infections. Why God? Why?

  • Must remember B12 shot today.

  • Why is it when you feel crappy everything you try to do breaks, doesn't work or turns to absolute shit?

  • I still have not found out why the doctor's office called to remind me one of the kids had an appointment. I have no record of an appointment and no idea why he would have one.

  • It is almost time to go home. Thank God. My jammies are calling. Do you think it is acceptable to pick up children from karate in your pj's? And does it really matter what the other parents think when I feel like this?

  • Almost forgot, I've been a big proponent of De-Lurking week in the past. And yes, I do think it's a fun idea. I also love how people like Beth and Zoot are donating to charity for all of their comments. Grand idea. However, being in my current (dying) state, I will not be taking the time to say hello to everyone I read. People! I'm barely posting. And I read most of you through Google Reader (oh, how I love thee). If you see your name in the blogroll, then know I read you even if I never comment. And, if you want to de-lurk here? I'd love to hear from you. Otherwise? Don't worry about it.

  • Hello. Nice to meet you.

2007 rocks!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

It All Comes Down to $

The cold, it lingers.

And there have been many times I've wanted to blog lately but had no access to a computer. When I have access, I don't have the time. It really is aggravating.

To keep with the new tradition of crappy in 2007, I spent last night at our local courthouse. Seems my vehicle inspection expired back in October and I never noticed. Even though technically the vehicles are someone else's "area". Still, I drive it and I didn't notice. The policeman did though. The good news is that I got off with just the mandatory fee. The judge let me go on the actual fine. Still, FEE.

The other thing was it was intermittently interesting. The kids (and they were definitely kids) brought in from prison because of parole violations. The kids with lawyers and parents that were obviously not there for simple traffic violations. It made me realize that "Dear God, may I never have to accompany my child to court." It is an experience I never want to have. Now, I'm sure some of those cases were childish misbehaving and some, I'm sure, were more serious. Ugh, I'm so not ready for the boys to grow up.

DJ was pleased that I did not have to go to jail. He was a bit worried.

In other news...
There has been discussion about getting me a NEW and IMPROVED camera. I've been asked to do some photography for actual pay but I need better equipment. No really. I can't do what I've been asked to do with what I have. The other side of it is that I won't be making enough to cover the cost of a new camera & lens. If I did then I'd say, "let's do it!" But no. I don't know how much I'll be making but I do know I won't come close as they are more in the "favor with some compensation" area.

I'd also like to ask for a raise. A big raise but I'm scared. I don't really know how to go about such things and I don't know how to figure out what I should be getting for where I'm working and what I'm doing. This is mostly because I don't have a specific "job". I do a bit of many different things. I'm not a web designer but I do web design. I'm not in accounting but I do the budget reports. I'm not an administrative assistant (what do they do anyway?) as I'd have to be full time and salaried. My official title is Special Projects but it's not something you can look up online and say, "Oh, here is what other people doing what I do make." I don't even know if there is anyone else in this company that does what I do.

When I was hired the salary was discussed and it was decided that after we figured out what my responsibilities were to be and if I could do what needed to be done (remember, never had a "career" and had been home for 5 years) that it would be renegotiated. The thing is that my immediate boss is the one who did my 6 month review and is not the same person who discussed my salary when I was hired (she wasn't even my boss then). So who do I talk to? My new boss isn't comfortable hiking my salary and I don't know if I should jump above her to the original person who discussed it with me. Suggestions?

Accepting all suggestions, advice, donations for a new camera etc.

Friday, January 5, 2007


Still not dead.

Just not having a very happy 2007. In fact I have a very bad feeling about this coming year. So, haven't wanted to share a whole lot.

Now don't worry. Nothing terrible has happened. Nothing to fret over. Nothing to pat me on the back and tell me it will all be okay. I just came down with the coughing, stuffy head thing it seems everyone has. Started New Year's eve and has just worn me out.

So. To a wonderful 2007 for you all. May it not be crappy.

Oh, and resolutions? To make it to 2008.