Book Launch Hangover

I know that book release is supposed to be really fun, but truthfully I’ve been feeling a little despondent about the whole thing. A book launch involves a lot of self-promotion and sharing that doesn’t come naturally to me. In the midst of my online promotion frenzy, I took a quiz titled, “What should your hungover name be?” In response to Buzzfeed’s prompts, I said I’d prefer to puke in a KFC bucket, move into a cave, and watch Netflix.

Buzzfeed spat out a paragraph-long description of my hungover self. When I read it, everything clicked into place: I have a book launch hangover and my name is Timothy.

According to Buzzfeed:

Timothy gets existential hangovers. Booze makes little Tim sad the next day. “Why did I say that?” “What was even the point of last night?” “Who even am I anymore?” Chill Timmy. It’s OK, you had fun last night and now you have to pay for it, that’s how the world works. Have a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea, you’ll be just fineee.

This perfectly descibes my feeling about book launch. I might have released a book, but I can’t shake the feeling that I did karaoke in my underwear. Worse yet, all my family and friends were there, plus some strangers. Today it’s all over the internet and they’re rating me. In the foggy hungover light of morning, I’m like, “Why did I write a chick lit book?” “What’s so-and-so going to think?” “I wish I’d never written a book!” I’ve been yo-yoing between grandious success delusions and hoping that no one will ever read the book. I am Timothy.

If it was a real hangover, I’d try and sleep through it, but because it’s a book launch I have to write a lot of blog posts and promote myself online. Everyone keeps telling me “Congratulations!” It feels weird.

Now that Buzzfeed has officially diagnosed me with book launch hangover, here’s my strategy going forward:

  1. Do the stuff I need to do. Write blog posts. Promote myself. Shut off the critical self-examination part of brain. Maybe if I turn on some distracting flashy lights I’ll forget to mentally flog myself.
  2. Keep my eyes trained on the horizon. I have two manuscripts I’m really excited to revise and a sequel to edit. And I’m submitting another book proposal this week. There’s lots of work and I don’t want to be behind when the hangover fades.
  3. Don’t forget to feed the kids. It’s summer and they don’t care that I’m writing books. Also, we have some memories to make: road trips, swimming, picnics. I don’t want to be questioning my existence and staring at the computer through the whole thing. Maybe they’d get to write a good memoir about that in the end, but I’d prefer they come out of childhood with a happy scrapbook and hopefully a scholarship because writing doesn’t pay jack.
  4. I’ll also drink a lot of coffee for good measure.

If you want to take the Buzzfeed hangover quiz, it’s here. I hope you come out as Beatrice. She sounds more fun than Timothy.

Sep282015

Total Eclipse with Children

Lunar eclipses are cool, but sometimes I just don’t care. I’m tired and there is TV to watch, books to read. Who has time to look up? Especially when the kids have completely sucked you dry. We were going to let the kids watch the eclipse, but at 6:30 I couldn’t imagine spending another fifteen minutes with my offspring. Definitely not three hours. My husband saw the look on my face and informed the kids, “They canceled that eclipse.” After we finally got them in bed, I changed my mind. We hauled them into the driveway to watch the super blood moon. The toddler wouldn’t go to bed anyway, so it’s [...]
Read more
Sep212015

Remodeling and Romance

Marriage is a series of compromises—where to eat, where to live, kids. It’s never ending. Some compromises stand out above the dull roar of everyday tacos-versus-hamburger negotiations. Some failures also stand out. For instance, this fridge. This fridge is currently in my family’s living room. It stands, a dirty white symbol of our failure to compromise, not to mention my husband and myself. It’s aging poorly as the kids slowly destroy it. It freezes all my lettuce, not to mention my warm feelings towards my spouse. Before we can move the fridge into the kitchen, we need to purchase: 1) a smaller [...]
Read more
Sep82015

Beyond Ted: Naming Characters and/or Your Children

  Confession: I name all of my male characters Ted, at least until I think better of it. Sometimes Todd. My current MC is Roy. My brain is a Ted factory. All Teds come prefabricated with a vague resemblance to Keanu Reeves. I must have seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure at a highly formative moment. Three weeks ago I had a baby, my first boy.* I spent weeks working on lists of names. Naming my baby, who I did not name Ted, gave me some insight into picking a name. Baby name websites are helpful. My favorite is Nameberry. I created my son’s list of potential names from Nameberry. I particularly [...]
Read more
Aug312015

The Play House, An American Horror Story

I had a BBQ at my house yesterday. Some of my writer friends came over with their kids. The night kicked off when the swing set in my backyard half collapsed. Then, two kids went through some rotted boards in the playhouse. In an incident unrelated to the play house drama (a screaming/weight lifting contest mishap if you’re wondering) one child called her mother and insisted on immediate pick-up. She ran screaming from the home as soon as her parents pulled up (Hi Cristina!). Besides that it was fun. We drank a few glasses of wine and chatted. Seriously, though, next party’s at your house Kristi. [...]
Read more
Aug232015

Summer, I Can’t Wait to See You in Pictures

I have two more weeks before my kids go back to school. On the one hand, I want it to be over. I’m wiped out and need a breather. We’ve been partying hard for three solid months and have ridden all the rides and seen all of the bears. No one ever sleeps at the same time. Seriously, the kids sleep in shifts. On the other hand, I’m sad (weepy sad because I’m exhausted). Summer is filled with precious time with my kids. There is at least one moment each day when I can’t believe how lucky I am, snuggling with the baby, reading a book with Daphne, or being surprised by something cool they did. They are [...]
Read more

More Life Lessons From Disney

Last week I watched Beauty and the Beast with my two girls. I hadn’t seen it for quite some time.

As a bookworm, Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie. Belle was the first heroine I could really relate to. Sure, all those other princesses were cute, but Belle had a brain. As a kid, I thought the movie was a breakthrough, a moment when Disney broke free from the standard stereotypes and created a unique and special female character. She read and she scorned the advances of the handsome, yet boarish Gaston. More than Cinderella or Snow White, Belle was my people. If you go on Twitter, it’s obvious that a lot of other women feel the same. Belle graces more than a few headers.

images-13

Before rewatching Beauty and the Beast, it brought to mind thoughts like: 1. Smart, 2. Academy Award, 3. French castle, and 4. Angela Lansbury.

Then, I rewatched it. From my thirty-six year old perspective, the glaring lesson is: He might seem like a jerk, but if you love him enough, he’ll change. And I was like, “What the what, Disney!?” The disturbing thing is, as a I kid, I bought the story hook, line, and sinker. I wanted to be Belle.

If you forgot, here’s a little before and after of the Beast. Before Belle works her magic Beast:

  1. Lives in the dark,
  2. Walks on all fours,
  3. Puts Belle’s father behind bars and leaves him to die,
  4. Often roars and growls,
  5. Bullies Belle into going on a date with him (“If you don’t eat with me, you won’t eat at all!”),
  6. Not to mention that he kidnaps her, which is funny in its own right. I mean, how often do kidnappers take away all of your choices and make your life better than you could have ever imagined? I’m a big fan of the kidnapping trope, but in any light other than candlelight, it’s one of the least realistic romantice tropes.

Here’s the Beast’s before picture:

disney_214305_9

After Belle loved him enough he:

  1. Turned on the lights,
  2. Dressed in a royal blue Little Lord Fauntleroy-type suit,
  3. Behaved like a genleman,
  4. Walked on two feet,
  5. Took her dancing and ice skating, and,
  6. Let her leave the house now and then.
  7. For the grand finally, he physically transforms into a handsome prince.

Here’s his after picture:

images-14

If you play this scenario out in real life, it looks like this: A woman walks into a bar, sees some drunken oaf playing darts and stumbling around on the peanut-strewn floor. He grunts out some horrible pick-up line and takes her back to his cave-like apartment. Based on her internalized lessons from Beauty and the Beast, she’ll believe deep-down that if she loves him enough he’ll put on a suit and take her to the ballet. I think I know some people this has happened to.

One final problem with the movie—in order to have any freedom, Belle has to earn Beast’s trust. Within the world of the movie, that seems fine, but it is part of a larger infantilization of female characters that is problematic because it normalizes that type of power dynamic. Still, it’s a really pretty movie. That candlestick could talk me into anything too.

And then there’s The Frog Prince. It’s the same damn lesson! So, if you’re married to a grunting fool, you can blame Disney.

Sep282015

Total Eclipse with Children

Lunar eclipses are cool, but sometimes I just don’t care. I’m tired and there is TV to watch, books to read. Who has time to look up? Especially when the kids have completely sucked you dry. We were going to let the kids watch the eclipse, but at 6:30 I couldn’t imagine spending another fifteen minutes with my offspring. Definitely not three hours. My husband saw the look on my face and informed the kids, “They canceled that eclipse.” After we finally got them in bed, I changed my mind. We hauled them into the driveway to watch the super blood moon. The toddler wouldn’t go to bed anyway, so it’s [...]
Read more
Sep212015

Remodeling and Romance

Marriage is a series of compromises—where to eat, where to live, kids. It’s never ending. Some compromises stand out above the dull roar of everyday tacos-versus-hamburger negotiations. Some failures also stand out. For instance, this fridge. This fridge is currently in my family’s living room. It stands, a dirty white symbol of our failure to compromise, not to mention my husband and myself. It’s aging poorly as the kids slowly destroy it. It freezes all my lettuce, not to mention my warm feelings towards my spouse. Before we can move the fridge into the kitchen, we need to purchase: 1) a smaller [...]
Read more
Sep82015

Beyond Ted: Naming Characters and/or Your Children

  Confession: I name all of my male characters Ted, at least until I think better of it. Sometimes Todd. My current MC is Roy. My brain is a Ted factory. All Teds come prefabricated with a vague resemblance to Keanu Reeves. I must have seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure at a highly formative moment. Three weeks ago I had a baby, my first boy.* I spent weeks working on lists of names. Naming my baby, who I did not name Ted, gave me some insight into picking a name. Baby name websites are helpful. My favorite is Nameberry. I created my son’s list of potential names from Nameberry. I particularly [...]
Read more
Aug312015

The Play House, An American Horror Story

I had a BBQ at my house yesterday. Some of my writer friends came over with their kids. The night kicked off when the swing set in my backyard half collapsed. Then, two kids went through some rotted boards in the playhouse. In an incident unrelated to the play house drama (a screaming/weight lifting contest mishap if you’re wondering) one child called her mother and insisted on immediate pick-up. She ran screaming from the home as soon as her parents pulled up (Hi Cristina!). Besides that it was fun. We drank a few glasses of wine and chatted. Seriously, though, next party’s at your house Kristi. [...]
Read more
Aug232015

Summer, I Can’t Wait to See You in Pictures

I have two more weeks before my kids go back to school. On the one hand, I want it to be over. I’m wiped out and need a breather. We’ve been partying hard for three solid months and have ridden all the rides and seen all of the bears. No one ever sleeps at the same time. Seriously, the kids sleep in shifts. On the other hand, I’m sad (weepy sad because I’m exhausted). Summer is filled with precious time with my kids. There is at least one moment each day when I can’t believe how lucky I am, snuggling with the baby, reading a book with Daphne, or being surprised by something cool they did. They are [...]
Read more

Author Gina Henning and the Perfect Apple Pie

I am very excited to welcome the lovely and talented Gina Henning to the blog today! Her books are adorable, romantic, and on sale for .99 cents. Seriously, that’s less than a candy bar, people! Gina also bakes a great apple pie, I assume! Gina, it’d be such a scandal if you couldn’t bake!

For selfish reasons I asked Gina to share her recipe for the perfect apple pie. I love pie. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I might need to sedate my kids to cook it, but it’ll be worth it. The recipe looks delicious. You’ll find a recipe card at the bottom of this post.

First, here’s a bit about Gina and her book:

croppedsmileframe

Gina Henning currently resides where bluebonnets line the highways in the spring, but she prefers the rock flower anemone from under the sea. Above the ocean’s surface Gina likes to dance with her three boys and travel to exotic places like the grocery store with her husband. Her pooch Schatzi is a mix between German Shepherd and possibly pig. One of Gina’s favorite pastimes is running. She recently completed her one-and-done marathon. At the end of the day her glass of wine is always half-full.

Website: http://www.ginahenning.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ginahenningauthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/henningland

And the book…

How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie

A scrumptious pie. A long distance guy. 4th of July fireworks guaranteed.

Lauren Hauser has it all…nearly. With a shiny new job and sparkly new engagement ring on her finger, the only thing she’s missing is her gorgeous new fiancé by her side. Should she be worried? Jack’s kisses are as sizzling as always and, sure, long distance is hard but, she and Jack are solid, right?

Of course the stress of planning a wedding—or not—is nothing compared to the stress of baking an apple pie. Because it’s not just any apple pie that Lauren must bake for the 4th of July contest; it’s her grandmother’s famous, award-winning apple pie! Yet Lauren is determined to make this pie her own and a little apple pie should be no problem for the Hauser clan dessert queen…!

But with her new job taking up so much time, a prize pie to perfect and the growing distance between her and Jack, Lauren begins to wonder if she can really have it all… Only one things for sure, there’ll be fireworks this 4th of July!

Available Here:

Amazon US  Amazon UK  Nook 

Nook  GB  Google Play  iBook

As promised, here’s the recipe! I included the recipe card and the typed-out version. 🙂

I hope you enjoy the pie and the book!

Until next week,

Sam

How to Bake the Perfect Apple Piecard

Apple Pie

Ingredients:

Pastry for 2 crusts
8 cups sliced, peeled assorted baking apples – about 3 lbs. (Granny Smith)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon milk

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice.

2. Combine sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to apples and toss well to coat.

3. Fill pastry lined 9 inch pie pan with apple mixture. Dot with butter.

4. Place second crust on top of pie filling, cut slits in top of crust to vent. Seal the edges of the crust with a fork or by hand.

5. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and milk. Brush mixture over top crust.

6. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.

7. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 40-45 minutes more or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.

8. Share with the ones you love!

*Tips for coring and slicing an apple for equal-sized pieces:

1. Peel first.

2. Hold the apple upright, try to judge where the core is, and slice off two opposite sides as close to the core as possible.

3. Rotate the fruit and slice off the two remaining sides to get a rectangular core piece and four flat-sided pieces of fruit (two wide and two narrow).

4. The side pieces now lie obediently on your cutting board for slicing or dicing.

 

Sep282015

Total Eclipse with Children

Lunar eclipses are cool, but sometimes I just don’t care. I’m tired and there is TV to watch, books to read. Who has time to look up? Especially when the kids have completely sucked you dry. We were going to let the kids watch the eclipse, but at 6:30 I couldn’t imagine spending another fifteen minutes with my offspring. Definitely not three hours. My husband saw the look on my face and informed the kids, “They canceled that eclipse.” After we finally got them in bed, I changed my mind. We hauled them into the driveway to watch the super blood moon. The toddler wouldn’t go to bed anyway, so it’s [...]
Read more
Sep212015

Remodeling and Romance

Marriage is a series of compromises—where to eat, where to live, kids. It’s never ending. Some compromises stand out above the dull roar of everyday tacos-versus-hamburger negotiations. Some failures also stand out. For instance, this fridge. This fridge is currently in my family’s living room. It stands, a dirty white symbol of our failure to compromise, not to mention my husband and myself. It’s aging poorly as the kids slowly destroy it. It freezes all my lettuce, not to mention my warm feelings towards my spouse. Before we can move the fridge into the kitchen, we need to purchase: 1) a smaller [...]
Read more
Sep82015

Beyond Ted: Naming Characters and/or Your Children

  Confession: I name all of my male characters Ted, at least until I think better of it. Sometimes Todd. My current MC is Roy. My brain is a Ted factory. All Teds come prefabricated with a vague resemblance to Keanu Reeves. I must have seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure at a highly formative moment. Three weeks ago I had a baby, my first boy.* I spent weeks working on lists of names. Naming my baby, who I did not name Ted, gave me some insight into picking a name. Baby name websites are helpful. My favorite is Nameberry. I created my son’s list of potential names from Nameberry. I particularly [...]
Read more
Aug312015

The Play House, An American Horror Story

I had a BBQ at my house yesterday. Some of my writer friends came over with their kids. The night kicked off when the swing set in my backyard half collapsed. Then, two kids went through some rotted boards in the playhouse. In an incident unrelated to the play house drama (a screaming/weight lifting contest mishap if you’re wondering) one child called her mother and insisted on immediate pick-up. She ran screaming from the home as soon as her parents pulled up (Hi Cristina!). Besides that it was fun. We drank a few glasses of wine and chatted. Seriously, though, next party’s at your house Kristi. [...]
Read more
Aug232015

Summer, I Can’t Wait to See You in Pictures

I have two more weeks before my kids go back to school. On the one hand, I want it to be over. I’m wiped out and need a breather. We’ve been partying hard for three solid months and have ridden all the rides and seen all of the bears. No one ever sleeps at the same time. Seriously, the kids sleep in shifts. On the other hand, I’m sad (weepy sad because I’m exhausted). Summer is filled with precious time with my kids. There is at least one moment each day when I can’t believe how lucky I am, snuggling with the baby, reading a book with Daphne, or being surprised by something cool they did. They are [...]
Read more

Book Release Week

Book release week was weird. The morning Ruby came out I took the kids to Costco to buy groceries. They had a playdate in the afternoon so I stood around with some other moms and watched the kids do their thing. I made a fancy dinner—I already forget what. No one ate it. It’s probably still in a tupperware in the back of the fridge. In the real world, it was sort of like nothing happened.

Meanwhile on the internet, people posted congratulations and “squees” and loaded confetti cannons. A lot of people shared links to Ruby’s Amazon page and posted reviews. Thanks for all that, by the way!

Two days later, I had my release party at Barnes and Noble. By that, I mean that I had an online party while I sat silently at Barnes and Noble. Thankfully, my friends Kristi and Kristin sat with me. We all typed in the same Facebook events page without speaking much. To those around us, it probably didn’t look like a party, except for the times we were laughing and staring at our computers at the same time. We probably looked like weirdos.

It was a real party, though. Over a hundred people showed up online. A bunch of fabulous authors gave away copies of their books. My high school friend, Brett Foley, offered to give away a statistics text. I don’t why no one wanted that, Brett! No one at Barnes and Noble had no idea it was happening.

It’s also weird that no one can see the book. You can buy print copies on Amazon, but it’s mostly an e-book. So far Amazon has sold six print copies, one to me. Hopefully, I sold more e-copies or writing will be a worse investment than that time I sold Avon.

To most of the world, I’m a mom of three who tends to run late and drinks too much coffee. My real world persona is almost completely divorced from my writing career. I wish I’d known I was developing a dual identity because I would have made my online self a lot sexier. With almost no overlap between my worlds, none of you online people would have know any better.

This is pretty much the same as a lot of other jobs, I guess. My husband goes to the bank every day. When he comes home, he throws off his banker self and is a husband and father. His identities are separated by geography, though. He puts on a suit and takes a shower before driving to the bank in the morning. I, however, don’t have a special place or time to work. I’m a writer and a mom at the same time in the same room with the kids and whoever else stops by. Also, my husband makes money. I could be wrong, but I don’t expect to be out shopping for diamond tennis bracelets anytime soon.

Being a writer in the internet age is strange. Being anything in the internet age is probably weird, though. We all have multiple identities to some extent. Some of us are better parents on Facebook than we are in real life. Some of us are writers. Whatever. My one-year old is climbing on the table so I give up. More on online promotion next week. That is also strange!

Until next week,

Sam

Sep282015

Total Eclipse with Children

Lunar eclipses are cool, but sometimes I just don’t care. I’m tired and there is TV to watch, books to read. Who has time to look up? Especially when the kids have completely sucked you dry. We were going to let the kids watch the eclipse, but at 6:30 I couldn’t imagine spending another fifteen minutes with my offspring. Definitely not three hours. My husband saw the look on my face and informed the kids, “They canceled that eclipse.” After we finally got them in bed, I changed my mind. We hauled them into the driveway to watch the super blood moon. The toddler wouldn’t go to bed anyway, so it’s [...]
Read more
Sep212015

Remodeling and Romance

Marriage is a series of compromises—where to eat, where to live, kids. It’s never ending. Some compromises stand out above the dull roar of everyday tacos-versus-hamburger negotiations. Some failures also stand out. For instance, this fridge. This fridge is currently in my family’s living room. It stands, a dirty white symbol of our failure to compromise, not to mention my husband and myself. It’s aging poorly as the kids slowly destroy it. It freezes all my lettuce, not to mention my warm feelings towards my spouse. Before we can move the fridge into the kitchen, we need to purchase: 1) a smaller [...]
Read more
Sep82015

Beyond Ted: Naming Characters and/or Your Children

  Confession: I name all of my male characters Ted, at least until I think better of it. Sometimes Todd. My current MC is Roy. My brain is a Ted factory. All Teds come prefabricated with a vague resemblance to Keanu Reeves. I must have seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure at a highly formative moment. Three weeks ago I had a baby, my first boy.* I spent weeks working on lists of names. Naming my baby, who I did not name Ted, gave me some insight into picking a name. Baby name websites are helpful. My favorite is Nameberry. I created my son’s list of potential names from Nameberry. I particularly [...]
Read more
Aug312015

The Play House, An American Horror Story

I had a BBQ at my house yesterday. Some of my writer friends came over with their kids. The night kicked off when the swing set in my backyard half collapsed. Then, two kids went through some rotted boards in the playhouse. In an incident unrelated to the play house drama (a screaming/weight lifting contest mishap if you’re wondering) one child called her mother and insisted on immediate pick-up. She ran screaming from the home as soon as her parents pulled up (Hi Cristina!). Besides that it was fun. We drank a few glasses of wine and chatted. Seriously, though, next party’s at your house Kristi. [...]
Read more
Aug232015

Summer, I Can’t Wait to See You in Pictures

I have two more weeks before my kids go back to school. On the one hand, I want it to be over. I’m wiped out and need a breather. We’ve been partying hard for three solid months and have ridden all the rides and seen all of the bears. No one ever sleeps at the same time. Seriously, the kids sleep in shifts. On the other hand, I’m sad (weepy sad because I’m exhausted). Summer is filled with precious time with my kids. There is at least one moment each day when I can’t believe how lucky I am, snuggling with the baby, reading a book with Daphne, or being surprised by something cool they did. They are [...]
Read more

Let’s Talk about Magic Mike

Tomorrow is my book release. You probably already know that if you’re reading this blog post, unless I greatly underestimate my blog readership (Hi, Mom!). The book release stresses me out, so let’s talk about Magic Mike instead. Really, if you’ve seen Magic Mike recently you probably won’t even be able to focus on Ruby anyway. In the opening scene, Channing Tatum moves furniture with his clothes on. Ninety minutes of that alone might have been worth paying a buck at Red Box. Only a few minutes later, he started dancing with a screw gun and some furniture. And by dancing, I mean he pretended to make sweet sweet love to the furniture. I don’t think this film required much choreography besides commands like, “Thrust to be beat, Channing!” or “Hold that woman’s butt closer to your face.”

I loved every second of it. I laughed so hard. Everyone should see it. I mean, three eighty-year olds, one of whom had a walker, attended the showing I went to.

Besides being filled with total total hard body actors, Magic Mike XXL even has some feminist tendencies, part of the reason I think it is worth seeing, in addition to being a pretty sweet film.

The first and most obvious way Magic Mike is feminist: the film gives women the opportunity to objectify men in the way we’ve been objectified since B.C. It’s our turn, ladies! Steven Soderbergh has offered us Channing Tatum and company and I’m not gonna say no.

Second reason Magic Mike XXL is feminist: It shows strippers giving equal loving to women of all sizes, shapes, and colors.

Third reason Magic Mike XXL is feminist: The men transform from typical alpha male firemen and cops (at least in their stripper acts) to more sensitive roles (yogurt makers, hot grooms, and candy makers, and get this … healers. The biggest moment of the movie besides … insert joke about someone’s g-string…. was when Andre and Ken decided that strippers were actually healers (in the front seat on the way to the stripper convention, mind you). Strippers were put on this Earth to undo the damage done by badly behaved men. It’s so preposterous and funny, but it was sweet. I loved it.

The only problem I had with the movie was Channing Tatum’s love interest. As far as I could tell, her character only existed so Channing could “heal” her like a sexy shaman in rip-off pants. All the good roles went to guys, except some awesome cameos by Andi McDowell, Elizabeth Banks, and Jada Pinkett Smith, which reminds me that I’m so relieved she and Will Smith haven’t gotten divorced yet. Thanks for saving one relationship for us, Hollywood!. Magic Mike XXL, obviously, is just a big showcase for hot actors, same as most other films.

Now, I’m going to include a message just for Channing Tatum (in case he’s reading my blog): Channing, I hear that you want to talk to Roxanne Gay about her thoughts on the movie. If you’re interested, I’m also available. I’m probably a better option because I’m not famous and I could meet anytime. 

Now, we get to the eugenics part of this post (unrelated to above commentary). I think population control is important, but even if we are at the tipping point where one more person would sink all of humanity, I still think that Joe Manganiello and Sophia Vergara should have kids. Same goes for all the other actors in the movie. I say this even though I legitimately think that human beings are probably the Chinese Crested Terriers of the animal world. If there is anyone watching Earth from afar, our vanity and self-absorption must be comical. Still, Joe’s probably the cutest one of all. He should have some kids asap.

To sum up: Magic Mike XXL is definitely worth a watch. And my book is coming out tomorrow. I’ll let you know how that goes after it’s been in the world for a few weeks. Currently, I’m feeling like pretending it isn’t happening. I bet you already got that, though.

Until next Monday,

Sam

Sep282015

Total Eclipse with Children

Lunar eclipses are cool, but sometimes I just don’t care. I’m tired and there is TV to watch, books to read. Who has time to look up? Especially when the kids have completely sucked you dry. We were going to let the kids watch the eclipse, but at 6:30 I couldn’t imagine spending another fifteen minutes with my offspring. Definitely not three hours. My husband saw the look on my face and informed the kids, “They canceled that eclipse.” After we finally got them in bed, I changed my mind. We hauled them into the driveway to watch the super blood moon. The toddler wouldn’t go to bed anyway, so it’s [...]
Read more
Sep212015

Remodeling and Romance

Marriage is a series of compromises—where to eat, where to live, kids. It’s never ending. Some compromises stand out above the dull roar of everyday tacos-versus-hamburger negotiations. Some failures also stand out. For instance, this fridge. This fridge is currently in my family’s living room. It stands, a dirty white symbol of our failure to compromise, not to mention my husband and myself. It’s aging poorly as the kids slowly destroy it. It freezes all my lettuce, not to mention my warm feelings towards my spouse. Before we can move the fridge into the kitchen, we need to purchase: 1) a smaller [...]
Read more
Sep82015

Beyond Ted: Naming Characters and/or Your Children

  Confession: I name all of my male characters Ted, at least until I think better of it. Sometimes Todd. My current MC is Roy. My brain is a Ted factory. All Teds come prefabricated with a vague resemblance to Keanu Reeves. I must have seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure at a highly formative moment. Three weeks ago I had a baby, my first boy.* I spent weeks working on lists of names. Naming my baby, who I did not name Ted, gave me some insight into picking a name. Baby name websites are helpful. My favorite is Nameberry. I created my son’s list of potential names from Nameberry. I particularly [...]
Read more
Aug312015

The Play House, An American Horror Story

I had a BBQ at my house yesterday. Some of my writer friends came over with their kids. The night kicked off when the swing set in my backyard half collapsed. Then, two kids went through some rotted boards in the playhouse. In an incident unrelated to the play house drama (a screaming/weight lifting contest mishap if you’re wondering) one child called her mother and insisted on immediate pick-up. She ran screaming from the home as soon as her parents pulled up (Hi Cristina!). Besides that it was fun. We drank a few glasses of wine and chatted. Seriously, though, next party’s at your house Kristi. [...]
Read more
Aug232015

Summer, I Can’t Wait to See You in Pictures

I have two more weeks before my kids go back to school. On the one hand, I want it to be over. I’m wiped out and need a breather. We’ve been partying hard for three solid months and have ridden all the rides and seen all of the bears. No one ever sleeps at the same time. Seriously, the kids sleep in shifts. On the other hand, I’m sad (weepy sad because I’m exhausted). Summer is filled with precious time with my kids. There is at least one moment each day when I can’t believe how lucky I am, snuggling with the baby, reading a book with Daphne, or being surprised by something cool they did. They are [...]
Read more

Playing Dress Up with Fancy Pantsie

Guest Post!! Amelia Wagenknecht, a bona fide fashionista and fashion blogger, agreed to create a day-to-night wardrobe for my main character, Ruby. As usual, she picked the cutest clothes. Next month I might make her dress me up. Here’s Amelia, looking totally gorgeous, I might add:  

IMG_20150112_133821

Enough intro. Here’s Amelia’s post. I promise that I didn’t pay her, except the $25 I gave her for babysitting last week… 

Before I get started, let me preface with this: I loved this book. It had humor, it had romance, and it had that element of mystery. The main character, Ruby O’Deare, reminded me of Rebecca Bloomwood from Confessions Of A Shopoholic (minus the crippling credit card debt, of course). If you are looking for a book that will not only delight, but keep you on the edge of your seat, this is that book.

I made it my missions to dress Miss Ruby. She has an eclectic style, and I was drawn to that. The biggest challenge I found with dressing her was that she has bright, effervescently red hair. However, strict fashion convictions wouldn’t have stopped Ruby. She’s a risk taker. So we decided to take a risk.

Ruby works as a Lawyer in the picturesque town of Emerald City, most of which is kept at climate-controlled perfection. Ruby doesn’t have to worry about bringing coats or sweaters to work, unless the fashion forecast calls for such a need. With this in mind, I decided on a blue toned watercolor print shift dress that would hide all of Ruby’s imperfections while highlighting her assets, such as her waist and, ahem, assets. If she was feeling like dressing it up, she could always throw a black blazer over the top to complete the look, but that felt too strict for Ruby’s free spirit.

Next, I focused on the accessories Ruby would wear. Her office has a strict no open-toed shoes policy, and pantyhose are required, so I gave her close-toed black heels with black matte pantyhose. This would not only act to lengthen her leg (keeping consistent color create the illusion), but it would also be professional enough for the office. I tossed on a long silver necklace to bring attention to the cinched waist, and tear drop earrings to lengthen her neck.

The nighttime look was the easy part. I took out the black pantyhose, and traded the plain heels for some cut-out wedges. Not only are these shoes a statement, but they’re comfortable enough to go out dancing, or wherever the night takes you! I switched out the cool toned silver jewelry for a gold pair of teardrop earrings to mimic Ruby’s fiery personality. If Ruby was feeling so inclined, she could bring a brightly colored chiffon scarf with her for an added accessory, or as a way to keep warm if she got cold walking around town that night (even though there is climate control).

20150705_160700~3 20150705_160722 20150705_160732 20150705_160911 20150705_160929~2*images*

Hopefully this outfit post inspired you to pick up a copy of this book yourself! The hardcover copy will be available July 14th everywhere books are sold online.

For full outfit details, visit my blog at www.FancyPantsie.blogspot.com.

A bit about Amelia:

Amelia Wagenknecht is the writer for Fancy Pantsie! She’s a science major with an affinity for all things fancy and beautiful. Tomboy turned fashionista, she traded in her sneakers for heels, and regular pants for pants of the fanciest variety. She’s turned my affinity for writing into an outlet for creative expression in the forms of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle related topics. 

Side note: Amelia will be moving to Duluth, MN in a few short weeks. I’m very excited to hear how she plans to dress fancy on the arctic shores of Lake Superior. Seriously. I can’t wait for her fashion instagrams from Duluth next year! 

Sep282015

Total Eclipse with Children

Lunar eclipses are cool, but sometimes I just don’t care. I’m tired and there is TV to watch, books to read. Who has time to look up? Especially when the kids have completely sucked you dry. We were going to let the kids watch the eclipse, but at 6:30 I couldn’t imagine spending another fifteen minutes with my offspring. Definitely not three hours. My husband saw the look on my face and informed the kids, “They canceled that eclipse.” After we finally got them in bed, I changed my mind. We hauled them into the driveway to watch the super blood moon. The toddler wouldn’t go to bed anyway, so it’s [...]
Read more
Sep212015

Remodeling and Romance

Marriage is a series of compromises—where to eat, where to live, kids. It’s never ending. Some compromises stand out above the dull roar of everyday tacos-versus-hamburger negotiations. Some failures also stand out. For instance, this fridge. This fridge is currently in my family’s living room. It stands, a dirty white symbol of our failure to compromise, not to mention my husband and myself. It’s aging poorly as the kids slowly destroy it. It freezes all my lettuce, not to mention my warm feelings towards my spouse. Before we can move the fridge into the kitchen, we need to purchase: 1) a smaller [...]
Read more
Sep82015

Beyond Ted: Naming Characters and/or Your Children

  Confession: I name all of my male characters Ted, at least until I think better of it. Sometimes Todd. My current MC is Roy. My brain is a Ted factory. All Teds come prefabricated with a vague resemblance to Keanu Reeves. I must have seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure at a highly formative moment. Three weeks ago I had a baby, my first boy.* I spent weeks working on lists of names. Naming my baby, who I did not name Ted, gave me some insight into picking a name. Baby name websites are helpful. My favorite is Nameberry. I created my son’s list of potential names from Nameberry. I particularly [...]
Read more
Aug312015

The Play House, An American Horror Story

I had a BBQ at my house yesterday. Some of my writer friends came over with their kids. The night kicked off when the swing set in my backyard half collapsed. Then, two kids went through some rotted boards in the playhouse. In an incident unrelated to the play house drama (a screaming/weight lifting contest mishap if you’re wondering) one child called her mother and insisted on immediate pick-up. She ran screaming from the home as soon as her parents pulled up (Hi Cristina!). Besides that it was fun. We drank a few glasses of wine and chatted. Seriously, though, next party’s at your house Kristi. [...]
Read more
Aug232015

Summer, I Can’t Wait to See You in Pictures

I have two more weeks before my kids go back to school. On the one hand, I want it to be over. I’m wiped out and need a breather. We’ve been partying hard for three solid months and have ridden all the rides and seen all of the bears. No one ever sleeps at the same time. Seriously, the kids sleep in shifts. On the other hand, I’m sad (weepy sad because I’m exhausted). Summer is filled with precious time with my kids. There is at least one moment each day when I can’t believe how lucky I am, snuggling with the baby, reading a book with Daphne, or being surprised by something cool they did. They are [...]
Read more

My Own Misadventures with Reality

On our trip to South Dakota we stayed in two roadside hotels. To see the kids’ reactions, you’d have thought I’d taken them to Disneyland and packed their suitcases with nothing but swimsuits and Skittles.

At the hotel, the dog was the first to stray from the rules of polite society. Fanny jumped out of the car and started running. Because I can only juggle so many balls at a time, I just watched it happen. Then she ran into the hotel (automatic doors). With unbridled enthusiasm she proceeded to explore the halls at top speed.

The kids, it turns out, didn’t understand the concept of a hotel any better than the dog, especially the part about staying in your assigned room. While I was trying to figure out what happened to Daphne, who disappeared immediately (to get me complimentary coffee, incidentally), Lila said, “I’m going running.” She calmly walked into the hall to do wind sprints up and down the corridor. By the time I stuffed us all into the same room, we’d already been warned about our noise levels. In the room Silas unpacked our luggage and put it in the trash along with all the Kleenex. He threw the rest of the stuff in the toilet. It looked like a pretty fun game.

In the past, I’ve felt bad that Harley and I can’t take the kids to Disney World (not in the budget), but now I realize it’s sort of awesome that we’ve set the bar so low. Who would have known that a roadside motel with a continental breakfast could be such a thrill? Granted, both places served Fruit Loops.

Now that I’m writing this, I’m wondering if I already blogged about this. I don’t know what the hell has happened to me in the last few weeks. The book is coming out shortly. Feel free to add it on Goodreads or pre-order it on Amazon. That will make me look good, which I would appreciate.

Tonight I got my first couple of Ruby reviews on Goodreads. One woman hated it and the other loved it. Jessica Adkins-Charles of Bottles & Books wrote: “Ruby’s Misadventures With Reality is laugh out loud hilarious with so many humorous mishaps and antics. Samantha Bohrman kept me entertained from the very first sentence. I’m not sure where she comes up with half the things she does, but I think we should erect a bronzed midget statue of her to worship. Yes, this book was THAT good.”

That totally balanced out the two-star review. Also, staying in a hotel with three tornadoes is a really good distraction from my own stuff. Nothing brings you back to reality like cramming three kids and a dog into a car and hitting the road. Sure, the kids are annoying, but it’s so fun to see them taking joy in a world they are still discovering. Sitting at a casino/McDonalds/gas station/Chinese buffet/abandoned bowling alley in Brandon, South Dakota, I thought, “Wow, this is a total shit hole.” Right in the middle of that craptastic mess of mediocrity and tired travelers, Daphne ran to an abandoned section of the parking lot and found a bunch of absolutely beautiful dried grass. She made a really nice bouquet. It’s sitting on the kitchen table now.

photo-30

Until next Monday,

Sam

Sep282015

Total Eclipse with Children

Lunar eclipses are cool, but sometimes I just don’t care. I’m tired and there is TV to watch, books to read. Who has time to look up? Especially when the kids have completely sucked you dry. We were going to let the kids watch the eclipse, but at 6:30 I couldn’t imagine spending another fifteen minutes with my offspring. Definitely not three hours. My husband saw the look on my face and informed the kids, “They canceled that eclipse.” After we finally got them in bed, I changed my mind. We hauled them into the driveway to watch the super blood moon. The toddler wouldn’t go to bed anyway, so it’s [...]
Read more
Sep212015

Remodeling and Romance

Marriage is a series of compromises—where to eat, where to live, kids. It’s never ending. Some compromises stand out above the dull roar of everyday tacos-versus-hamburger negotiations. Some failures also stand out. For instance, this fridge. This fridge is currently in my family’s living room. It stands, a dirty white symbol of our failure to compromise, not to mention my husband and myself. It’s aging poorly as the kids slowly destroy it. It freezes all my lettuce, not to mention my warm feelings towards my spouse. Before we can move the fridge into the kitchen, we need to purchase: 1) a smaller [...]
Read more
Sep82015

Beyond Ted: Naming Characters and/or Your Children

  Confession: I name all of my male characters Ted, at least until I think better of it. Sometimes Todd. My current MC is Roy. My brain is a Ted factory. All Teds come prefabricated with a vague resemblance to Keanu Reeves. I must have seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure at a highly formative moment. Three weeks ago I had a baby, my first boy.* I spent weeks working on lists of names. Naming my baby, who I did not name Ted, gave me some insight into picking a name. Baby name websites are helpful. My favorite is Nameberry. I created my son’s list of potential names from Nameberry. I particularly [...]
Read more
Aug312015

The Play House, An American Horror Story

I had a BBQ at my house yesterday. Some of my writer friends came over with their kids. The night kicked off when the swing set in my backyard half collapsed. Then, two kids went through some rotted boards in the playhouse. In an incident unrelated to the play house drama (a screaming/weight lifting contest mishap if you’re wondering) one child called her mother and insisted on immediate pick-up. She ran screaming from the home as soon as her parents pulled up (Hi Cristina!). Besides that it was fun. We drank a few glasses of wine and chatted. Seriously, though, next party’s at your house Kristi. [...]
Read more
Aug232015

Summer, I Can’t Wait to See You in Pictures

I have two more weeks before my kids go back to school. On the one hand, I want it to be over. I’m wiped out and need a breather. We’ve been partying hard for three solid months and have ridden all the rides and seen all of the bears. No one ever sleeps at the same time. Seriously, the kids sleep in shifts. On the other hand, I’m sad (weepy sad because I’m exhausted). Summer is filled with precious time with my kids. There is at least one moment each day when I can’t believe how lucky I am, snuggling with the baby, reading a book with Daphne, or being surprised by something cool they did. They are [...]
Read more

It’s a Book!

Luckily I have actual news today because I’m way too short on time to make anything up. Seriously, family vacation is hard work. This post is brought to you by Garfield & Friends and a nap for the baby. I bought a copy of Real Simple at the grocery store this morning. Its main story is about having a “Relaxing Summer” and mentioned something about managing screen time with the kids. If I can find the time, I’ll read it and let you know what I think of that. I’m guessing it’s total garbage, but you never know. I’m getting desperate.

So the news. The book is up for pre-order on Amazon. It’s on Goodreads. It’s everywhere!! I’m so excited. Here’s the beautiful cover by the talented and kind, Dana LaMothe. If you need to make your book pretty, check out Designs by Dana.

Sexy legs in red high heels isolated on white background

So there you have it. You can order the book! Actually, you can only order it in e-book format currently. If you want a paperback copy, you can get one, but it’ll be a few weeks before Amazon will have that up.

I hope you are all enjoying summer.

Until next Monday,

Sam

 

Sep282015

Total Eclipse with Children

Lunar eclipses are cool, but sometimes I just don’t care. I’m tired and there is TV to watch, books to read. Who has time to look up? Especially when the kids have completely sucked you dry. We were going to let the kids watch the eclipse, but at 6:30 I couldn’t imagine spending another fifteen minutes with my offspring. Definitely not three hours. My husband saw the look on my face and informed the kids, “They canceled that eclipse.” After we finally got them in bed, I changed my mind. We hauled them into the driveway to watch the super blood moon. The toddler wouldn’t go to bed anyway, so it’s [...]
Read more
Sep212015

Remodeling and Romance

Marriage is a series of compromises—where to eat, where to live, kids. It’s never ending. Some compromises stand out above the dull roar of everyday tacos-versus-hamburger negotiations. Some failures also stand out. For instance, this fridge. This fridge is currently in my family’s living room. It stands, a dirty white symbol of our failure to compromise, not to mention my husband and myself. It’s aging poorly as the kids slowly destroy it. It freezes all my lettuce, not to mention my warm feelings towards my spouse. Before we can move the fridge into the kitchen, we need to purchase: 1) a smaller [...]
Read more
Sep82015

Beyond Ted: Naming Characters and/or Your Children

  Confession: I name all of my male characters Ted, at least until I think better of it. Sometimes Todd. My current MC is Roy. My brain is a Ted factory. All Teds come prefabricated with a vague resemblance to Keanu Reeves. I must have seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure at a highly formative moment. Three weeks ago I had a baby, my first boy.* I spent weeks working on lists of names. Naming my baby, who I did not name Ted, gave me some insight into picking a name. Baby name websites are helpful. My favorite is Nameberry. I created my son’s list of potential names from Nameberry. I particularly [...]
Read more
Aug312015

The Play House, An American Horror Story

I had a BBQ at my house yesterday. Some of my writer friends came over with their kids. The night kicked off when the swing set in my backyard half collapsed. Then, two kids went through some rotted boards in the playhouse. In an incident unrelated to the play house drama (a screaming/weight lifting contest mishap if you’re wondering) one child called her mother and insisted on immediate pick-up. She ran screaming from the home as soon as her parents pulled up (Hi Cristina!). Besides that it was fun. We drank a few glasses of wine and chatted. Seriously, though, next party’s at your house Kristi. [...]
Read more
Aug232015

Summer, I Can’t Wait to See You in Pictures

I have two more weeks before my kids go back to school. On the one hand, I want it to be over. I’m wiped out and need a breather. We’ve been partying hard for three solid months and have ridden all the rides and seen all of the bears. No one ever sleeps at the same time. Seriously, the kids sleep in shifts. On the other hand, I’m sad (weepy sad because I’m exhausted). Summer is filled with precious time with my kids. There is at least one moment each day when I can’t believe how lucky I am, snuggling with the baby, reading a book with Daphne, or being surprised by something cool they did. They are [...]
Read more

Life, One Road Trip at a Time

Today I’m driving across South Dakota with the kids. It’s a familiar route dotted with twenty-five years of memories. During my parents’ jackrabbit hunting days–I’m going to pause there and let you process the jackrabbit hunting. Anyway, during that particular era, we used to drive from Duluth to Shirley Basin Wyoming. We’d stay in a nasty motel and spend all weekend walking around looking for jackrabbits to set our dogs on. On Sunday, we’d drive home. We moved to South Dakota only partially because of its proximity to prime jackrabbit land. And a neurology job. You wouldn’t know it to look at them, but my parents are pretty weird. (Hi Mom!)

Sometimes I worry that I’m too normal, a suburban baby factory in a beige stucco house. So far it doesn’t look like my kids will ever get lost in herd of antelope or spend Thanksgiving with a lonely drunk at Caspers in Casper, Wyoming. They won’t ever go jackrabbit hunting with a couple from Gary, Indiana who drive to Wyoming in a hatchback filled with whippets, a TV mounted to the dashboard so they can watch LA Law, and one pair of leather pants between them. I worry that I might iron all the character out of their childhoods while I’m busy making sure they keep a regular schedule and eat carrots, leaving them with weak approximation of Pleasantville.

I shouldn’t worry, though. I can’t plan ahead well enough for that. Even if I do manage to schedule us into Pleasantville, we’ll stake out our own little corner. Not to mention, it’ll be up to the kids to decide what experiences they take away from childhood. I can only do my best and watch them fly hopefully. Currently, I’m too close to the experience to make heads or tails of it. In the hotel tonight I saw myself in a full-length mirror for the first time in a while. I don’t think I could have picked myself out of a line-up. The Quality Inn at Al’s Oasis has really messed with me, in more ways than one. The mirror thing, plus I saw a tiny girl in the lobby eat a whole plate of bacon, a heaping plate. I think she had at least twenty pieces. No one else seemed to notice.

I’ve arrived at my parents’ now. (Finishing this up before I post it.) Not surprisingly, I opened up my email to find that copy edits for the book are due ASAP. Also, I’m staying in a house with four flights of stairs, no baby gates, and a fourteen-month old. Wish me luck. And my mother. I hope we all survive the next few days.

Also, regarding the book. It’s still coming out July 14th, the same day as Harper Lee’s book, which I find endlessly amusing.

Until Next Monday,

Sam

Sep282015

Total Eclipse with Children

Lunar eclipses are cool, but sometimes I just don’t care. I’m tired and there is TV to watch, books to read. Who has time to look up? Especially when the kids have completely sucked you dry. We were going to let the kids watch the eclipse, but at 6:30 I couldn’t imagine spending another fifteen minutes with my offspring. Definitely not three hours. My husband saw the look on my face and informed the kids, “They canceled that eclipse.” After we finally got them in bed, I changed my mind. We hauled them into the driveway to watch the super blood moon. The toddler wouldn’t go to bed anyway, so it’s [...]
Read more
Sep212015

Remodeling and Romance

Marriage is a series of compromises—where to eat, where to live, kids. It’s never ending. Some compromises stand out above the dull roar of everyday tacos-versus-hamburger negotiations. Some failures also stand out. For instance, this fridge. This fridge is currently in my family’s living room. It stands, a dirty white symbol of our failure to compromise, not to mention my husband and myself. It’s aging poorly as the kids slowly destroy it. It freezes all my lettuce, not to mention my warm feelings towards my spouse. Before we can move the fridge into the kitchen, we need to purchase: 1) a smaller [...]
Read more
Sep82015

Beyond Ted: Naming Characters and/or Your Children

  Confession: I name all of my male characters Ted, at least until I think better of it. Sometimes Todd. My current MC is Roy. My brain is a Ted factory. All Teds come prefabricated with a vague resemblance to Keanu Reeves. I must have seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure at a highly formative moment. Three weeks ago I had a baby, my first boy.* I spent weeks working on lists of names. Naming my baby, who I did not name Ted, gave me some insight into picking a name. Baby name websites are helpful. My favorite is Nameberry. I created my son’s list of potential names from Nameberry. I particularly [...]
Read more
Aug312015

The Play House, An American Horror Story

I had a BBQ at my house yesterday. Some of my writer friends came over with their kids. The night kicked off when the swing set in my backyard half collapsed. Then, two kids went through some rotted boards in the playhouse. In an incident unrelated to the play house drama (a screaming/weight lifting contest mishap if you’re wondering) one child called her mother and insisted on immediate pick-up. She ran screaming from the home as soon as her parents pulled up (Hi Cristina!). Besides that it was fun. We drank a few glasses of wine and chatted. Seriously, though, next party’s at your house Kristi. [...]
Read more
Aug232015

Summer, I Can’t Wait to See You in Pictures

I have two more weeks before my kids go back to school. On the one hand, I want it to be over. I’m wiped out and need a breather. We’ve been partying hard for three solid months and have ridden all the rides and seen all of the bears. No one ever sleeps at the same time. Seriously, the kids sleep in shifts. On the other hand, I’m sad (weepy sad because I’m exhausted). Summer is filled with precious time with my kids. There is at least one moment each day when I can’t believe how lucky I am, snuggling with the baby, reading a book with Daphne, or being surprised by something cool they did. They are [...]
Read more

To All My Sisters in Pajamas Out There

The book is out July 14th. This came as a surprise to me. A couple of weeks ago I asked my editor, “So when is my book coming out?” I expected her to say, “November” or “We changed our minds about that book, sorry.” Instead, it’s basically tomorrow, if you operate on dog time or kid time, which runs as fast if not faster than dog time.

In my world, which runs on kid time, every time I blink three weeks have passed. For instance, last night we ate in the backyard. Silas, who is supposed to be the baby, climbed out of his high chair, sat down at the kids’ table and stole one of Isabel’s tater tots. Eventually, I’ll be in the nursing home and think I’m thirty and the guy with no teeth in the room next door is Harley. The kids will be like, “What the hell happened to you, Mom?” I’ll be too far gone to tell them that my clock went haywire while they were still in booster seats.

DSCN7652

Incidentally, NPR ran a story this week about Alzheimers. Our brains, apparently, have a self-cleaning function (like an oven). When you sleep, it bakes out all the beta amyloid protein. Because of the munchkins I’m putting off a good brain cleaning until Silas turns five. By that time, I’m guessing there will be a lot of black gunk that just won’t come off.

Back to the book: It’s going to be an ebook. You can order print copies, too. Not yet. I’ll let you know when. I wouldn’t count on seeing any copies at Barnes & Noble, unless I seriously misunderstand this process. Last week I handed my edits in after a four-day deadline. I like to work when I feel like the deadline is chasing me and I need three more Red Bulls to outrun it. It makes sitting in front of the computer feel more like Total Recall.

The deadline, of course, is only being enforced by a woman in pajamas, not Arnold. Everyone creating this book: me, the cover designer (Hi Dana!), my editor, my managing editor, all the way to the tippy top of the publishing house is a woman working at home (I think). Last week we emailed pictures of shoes that might be appropriate for my cover back and forth. It was super fun. (Spoiler: my cover will have some shoes on it.) My idea: fancy red high heels with a trail of toilet paper stuck to them. It got shot down. Did I tell you it’s a romance publisher?

At any rate, who knew such a job existed? There’s a whole world of people working in their pajamas. We’re like the city underneath the city in Demolition Man. Colleges should really tell people about us. We all know about leaning in, it’s the intuitive choice for ambitious types, but the pajama option is not really an initial strategy. It’s something that just happens along the way. Fallback or no, it solves the same problem leaning in gets at — the shitty timing of biology and career women face (not to mention all the men in pajamas — a shout out to you too brothers!). For any degree, there should be the pajama track. For instance, if a student wants to major in finance, the college should offer a pajama track with a pajama clad mentor. The other option is to move to Canada where you get a full year of paid maternity leave. I tried that. Same response I got with that red shoes and toilet paper cover idea.

Until next week,

Sam

Sep282015

Total Eclipse with Children

Lunar eclipses are cool, but sometimes I just don’t care. I’m tired and there is TV to watch, books to read. Who has time to look up? Especially when the kids have completely sucked you dry. We were going to let the kids watch the eclipse, but at 6:30 I couldn’t imagine spending another fifteen minutes with my offspring. Definitely not three hours. My husband saw the look on my face and informed the kids, “They canceled that eclipse.” After we finally got them in bed, I changed my mind. We hauled them into the driveway to watch the super blood moon. The toddler wouldn’t go to bed anyway, so it’s [...]
Read more
Sep212015

Remodeling and Romance

Marriage is a series of compromises—where to eat, where to live, kids. It’s never ending. Some compromises stand out above the dull roar of everyday tacos-versus-hamburger negotiations. Some failures also stand out. For instance, this fridge. This fridge is currently in my family’s living room. It stands, a dirty white symbol of our failure to compromise, not to mention my husband and myself. It’s aging poorly as the kids slowly destroy it. It freezes all my lettuce, not to mention my warm feelings towards my spouse. Before we can move the fridge into the kitchen, we need to purchase: 1) a smaller [...]
Read more
Sep82015

Beyond Ted: Naming Characters and/or Your Children

  Confession: I name all of my male characters Ted, at least until I think better of it. Sometimes Todd. My current MC is Roy. My brain is a Ted factory. All Teds come prefabricated with a vague resemblance to Keanu Reeves. I must have seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure at a highly formative moment. Three weeks ago I had a baby, my first boy.* I spent weeks working on lists of names. Naming my baby, who I did not name Ted, gave me some insight into picking a name. Baby name websites are helpful. My favorite is Nameberry. I created my son’s list of potential names from Nameberry. I particularly [...]
Read more
Aug312015

The Play House, An American Horror Story

I had a BBQ at my house yesterday. Some of my writer friends came over with their kids. The night kicked off when the swing set in my backyard half collapsed. Then, two kids went through some rotted boards in the playhouse. In an incident unrelated to the play house drama (a screaming/weight lifting contest mishap if you’re wondering) one child called her mother and insisted on immediate pick-up. She ran screaming from the home as soon as her parents pulled up (Hi Cristina!). Besides that it was fun. We drank a few glasses of wine and chatted. Seriously, though, next party’s at your house Kristi. [...]
Read more
Aug232015

Summer, I Can’t Wait to See You in Pictures

I have two more weeks before my kids go back to school. On the one hand, I want it to be over. I’m wiped out and need a breather. We’ve been partying hard for three solid months and have ridden all the rides and seen all of the bears. No one ever sleeps at the same time. Seriously, the kids sleep in shifts. On the other hand, I’m sad (weepy sad because I’m exhausted). Summer is filled with precious time with my kids. There is at least one moment each day when I can’t believe how lucky I am, snuggling with the baby, reading a book with Daphne, or being surprised by something cool they did. They are [...]
Read more