Monday, February 23, 2009


The thing is, sometimes I do things right. Some days I get up early and exercise, shower, and produce hot breakfast all before 6.30, when I wake my beautiful children with my gentle voice and shepherd them to morning devotional. 

Sometimes I get all my list crossed off. 

Sometimes I go days without eating butter. Or sugar. Or white flour. (But usually not all at once.)

Sometimes I use a soft voice to manage the affairs of this little household. 

Sometimes I remember where I am expected to be and I'm there. And everyone who's counting on me gets what they need.

Sometimes I get my thousand words written.

But those are not the things I focus on. Instead I highlight my deviations. I notice and obsess over the times I shout or binge or laze about. I remember the times I leave a kid at school or don't return a phone call or completely forget that I was supposed to make some family's dinner. 

Why is that? Why do I focus on the wrong parts? Why, in my own judgement, am I not a good person with stupid tendencies, instead of the other way around? And if this is going to change, it has to be me who changes it. Because although it's very, very nice to hear other people tell me that I'm doing things right, I'm the one who knows all the shortfalls. Thus, I'm the only one capable of perfect judgement about me - and I somehow always fall short of where I want to be. 

Hmmm. Ponderous. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009


My ears are ringing. 

We've been bread-free in  our house for three and a half days, and I finally shook off the laziness this morning and got busy.

(These things are related. Wait for it.)

While the kids were eating their breakfasts near 7:00, I pulled out the wheat grinder and loaded it up. This is not the oldie arm-crank grinder, where you can cross both "make bread" and "lift weights" off the to-do list simultaneously. This is the oh-I'm-so-happy-it's-making-perfect-flour-without-me electronic model. 

And it roars like a jet engine.

Several times in the 9 minutes it took to grind enough flour for 3 loaves plus a tub-full, I turned to find one or more of my children red-faced and hollering at me for something. (We know not to vacate our seats at the table, or our breakfast shall be confiscated immediately.) I could actually  hear my right eardrum vibrating. Loudly.

When I turned the dumb thing off, I felt ten pounds lighter and more able to breathe. 

Then I started the mixer. 

Oh, the motor-noise.

But it makes good bread. Very, very good bread. Yeah, at the cost of my hearing, and possibly my sanity. But who needs hearing and sanity when there's SUCH GOOD BREAD?

I ask you, what would you not trade for really, really good bread? With butter? Or even without?

'Scuse me. I think I hear someone screaming for me. But possibly that's just the leftover ringing in my ears.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I've been pondering a new story for the last little while. I've also been doing a rewrite on a different one, and here and there pausing to do those pesky duties like cooking, cleaning, paying bills, and entertaining my little family. 

So as far as pondering goes, it's time for me to be done. I need to stop thinking and start writing. If this was about mowing the lawn, thinking about it wouldn't get me very far. I could think about going for a jog, but it wouldn't burn any calories. Thinking about scrubbing the toilet isn't much use, either. But when the work to be done is writing, there has to be some thinking time.

At least for me. Maybe because I'm the kind that writes pretty complete sentences (ones that don't change too much from draft to draft) I feel like a lot of my process takes place inside my head. But once I get writing, I feel how much of that "mulling time" could have been better used by actually sitting down in front of a keyboard and pouring out a scene or a conversation or a chapter. Even if it would get the highlight-and-delete treatment later. 

Writing, even writing something bad, is better than not writing at all. 

Matthew just walked in to my room and said, "Hi, Mom. I'm Luke Skywalker, see? Black socks." He pointed to his feet, which were, in fact, in black socks. And he's wearing charcoal gray pants and a long-sleeved black T-shirt. But apparently it's the socks that make the outfit complete. And here I was thinking that Luke Skywalker wore a white tunic and tan pants. Moms don't know much, apparently.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Today, I'm feeling very grateful that I have employed a tax accountant for the last thirteen years. It is well worth a couple of hundred dollars for Scott and I not to have to face off over the financial records. 

Yeah! Yeah! CPA!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

You've been Tagged!

What is the deal with these Facebook lists? Suddenly Facebook lists seem as common as politician's tax-fraud confessions. I have, over the past two weeks, been "tagged" in about twenty different lists. "One word" and "25 Things" and "Bucket Lists" and on and on. I have never responded to one, but something about me tells people that I want to read all of their details. 

Okay, that was unfair. I think guilt is working on me. Because, in fact I do read them. All of them. And I am occasionally startled by how eloquent some of my friends are. But I don't want to respond. I don't want to make my own lists. I don't want to do the 2009 equivalent of knocking on someone's door and saying, "HEY! Let me tell you all the most random personal things I'm thinking!"

So maybe I'm just wondering why, all of the sudden, they're everywhere? Is this a new thing? Or am I newly popular? (Hmmm, interesting theory...)


I discovered some good books, purely by accident, at the library(!) this week. My local library is ridiculously sparse, with a heavy lean toward the YA SF/F side. But I found the following books by Hillary McKay: Saffy's Angel, Indigo's Star and Permanent Rose. I read the first two during my Monday and Tuesday sick days (those days were totally good for something) and would like to get into Rose today. Family stories, British, funny, fairly clean, and sweet/touching without cheese. 

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A mystery

I have four lovely children of above-average intelligence who cannot seem, between them, to dispose of and replace an empty toilet paper tube.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The aired interview is over

So it wasn't awful. But it wasn't great, either. It was fine. Nice. I sounded a little squeaky and nervous. And the editors were taking the weekend off, apparently. Because they didn't edit out the "off-camera" sort of talk. Like the part where the interviewer said, "Becca, you're doing great." And I said, "If we're going long, feel free to edit out whatever makes me sound like an idiot." That part was not edited out. It was played. Twice, in fact. Once as we went to commercial, and again as we came back. 

And the part where he asked me to tell what the next project was, and as I began to answer, the music played right over my words. 

These are the things that give us a sense of humor. And remind us that we're not such a big fat deal after all.