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

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
Aug172015

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 [...]
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

 

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
Aug172015

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 [...]
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

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
Aug172015

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 [...]
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

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
Aug172015

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 [...]
Read more

From One Abductee to Another

Ten posts into blogging and I came across a Tumblr that began, “Now that the blog is dead…” The writer wasn’t even trying to argue the point. She threw it out there as a cold hard fact. My friend George verified it. He works with computers so I believe him. He tweeted, “That’s why google got rid of the blog reader,” or whatever it’s called. I never used it.

I hope the Tumblr chick and George are just being dramatic. George doesn’t strike me as dramatic, but that “blog is dead” phrase .. maybe she was just trying to cleverly echo Nietsche. If the blog is truly dead, is anyone out there? Is everyone else on the ship dead and I’m trapped with an alien? I suddenly feel like Ripley, except I don’t think there’s an Alien.

Actually, I’m sure I’m trapped with an alien, three of them.

I’m serious. For the last half an hour (took a little break after the first two paragraphs) a tiny human has been demanding that I pretend his foot is a microphone and sing loudly into his toes while tickling him. He screams if I stop. Tell me that doesn’t sound like an alien! To verify this hypothesis (that my son is a lot like an alien) I did a google search for “typical alien.” Based on Wikipedia, general observation, and some drawings I found on the internet, I’ve concluded that we’ve simply mistaken our own babies for aliens. Here’s a comparison chart. Those degrees are coming in handy. Thanks Hubert Humphrey School of Public Policy!

Characteristics Baby Alien
Disproportionaltely large head Yes Yes
Telepathic ?? Yes
Small Yes Yes
Owns own spaceship Toy ones  (we think) Yes
Can’t speak human language Yes Yes
Takes naps Hopefully ??
No teeth Yes ??
Tiny nose If Norwegian or in Disney cartoon Typically has “nose slits”
Commonly hairless Yes, especially if Norwegian Yes
Wears diaper Yes Not that we know of

 

Note the physical similarities between babies and aliens in these diagrams. I can’t read the writing on the top picture, but I think it was drawn by an actual abductee. Also, I noticed that the aliens in the featured image are wearing footie pajamas.

images-4images-2

Clearly, people have simply mistaken babies for aliens. It’s the middle of the night, you’re tired, who’s to say if it’s your kid or an alien? Because I clearly don’t have enough to do, I looked up some info about abductees. Here are The Facts:

1. Most abductees are under forty and of reproductive age. Men with vasectomies are typically returned to their beds unharmed. Duh! You have to have kids to mistake them for aliens.

2. Most abductees have “psychic” personalities. Awesome! This is clearly why I haven’t gotten confused yet.

3. Abductees often experience “dual difference,” that is, they feel both alien and human at the same time. I relate to this one. What parent of young children doesn’t feel hungover and weird most of the time? Of course, I felt that way before too.

4. I’m going to go ahead and add sleep-deprived, shirt on backwards, stressed out, and probably having a fight with spouse to the list of abductee traits.

Clearly, we have just been mistaking our children for aliens. The only thing that throws me is the anal probing aspect. Sure, parenting is rough, but I wouldn’t describe it exactly that way. More of a titty twister/resume killer, I’d say.

Back to back to blogging. That’s where we started, if you can recall. Got a little off track there. Now that I’ve “lost” eight years of my life, I don’t know — how short do the soundbytes need to be these days? Have you already stopped reading? I’m reminded of that literary proverb: “writing should be like a short skirt, long enough to cover the important parts, but short enough to keep it interesting.” Does Tumblr hit that sweet spot, just below the asscheeks? But why isn’t it even spelled right? If you know, tell me what to do. What social media websites should I use to promote my book?

Until next Monday,

Sam

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
Aug172015

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 [...]
Read more

Paint the F***ing Garage Doors and Other Thoughts

I don’t come from a family of planners. When I got married ten years ago, I picked out dresses for me and the bridesmaids, and was like, “Yo, Mom and Dad, party at your house next July!” They were like, “Cool, we’ll be here.” Then we invited eighty people. That was it.

A week before the wedding we convened in South Dakota and each person involved started doing things he/she thought might be relevant to the wedding. My dad redid the master bathroom, cut down about 100 pine trees, and lined up a pig. My mom went shopping for a bird bath and some native plants at a cute store in town.

It went pretty well until we added relatives. Not all of them travel well. It was messy. Also, my brother-in-law, who generally does travel well, got hit by a Winenbago a couple weeks before the wedding. My dad, organized emergency plastic surgery in South Dakota, which turns out to be a great destination surgery center.

During the height of the family drama, my best friend and I (Hi Wendy!) were standing in the driveway while my mom reached her peak pre-wedding insanity level, if you don’t count the bird bath shopping. I don’t know who she was talking to, but she started yelling, “Paint the f***ing garage doors.” Wendy and I looked at each other, saved our laughter for later, and painted the f***ing garage doors. My mom made herself a drink. Incidentally, the garage doors were up during the entire reception. My mom claims no memory of this moment (Hi, Mom!).

When the wedding day arrived we still didn’t have things like BBQ sauce, food other than a whole roasted pig sitting in the garage, and probably a bunch of other stuff. No sweat, though. My cousin Thien made hundreds of spring rolls and a vat of avocado corn salad. My other cousins, aged eight to thirteen, worked the bar. My dad got one of his patients to do the ceremony. The poor man agreed to it while hooked up to an EEG machine. Imagine electrodes. (That was actually a month prior, but I had to mention it.)

I’m hoping this is how my book release turns out because I don’t know what I’m doing. Book publishers don’t spend a lot of time or money promoting books. They just shoot your book out of a cannon and yell “Boom!” once on Twitter so I’m promoting, a.k.a. Facebooking during baby’s nap time. To wit, I started an author Facebook account. That’s where I plan to do all my book promotion. Be prepared my twenty-eight new friends! Most of you are authors, so we’ll just spam each other. Sounds effective, I think! Either that, or it’ll be like I have two of the same Facebook accounts. Facebook keeps sending me messages, “Sorry, we got confused.” Me too, Facebook!

I also started a street team. If you are imagining me walking down the street snapping my fingers with a gang slowly filling in behind me until we break into a choreographed dance, you’d be close. It’s basically that, except it’s a Facebook group. A lot of authors these days have street teams. My team is called Chick Lit Anonymous and we are nineteen strong so far, if you don’t count the authors who are counted twice. I bet Jennifer Weiner wishes she thought of that name! By the way, if you’re reading, we’d love to have you, Jennifer! You tweeted me once. At “CLA” we hang out and take Buzzfeed quizzes. I hope the members will write reviews for my book when it comes out. I also hope none of them lose their real jobs for Facebooking. The street team will have a tab on the web site soon.

In the meantime, I keep asking my husband to keep an eye on the kids while I work. He doesn’t look convinced and I have to admit, it does look a lot like I’m Facebooking. Am I working? Am I not working? Who’s to say. I might just be painting garage doors. At least I’m having fun. Also, some of my cousins are almost old enough to make me a drink legally!

P.s.: I’m sorry Wendy, Paula, and Gina. I really did think you would be able to wear those pink dresses more than once. In hindsight, I bet you didn’t.

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
Aug172015

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 [...]
Read more

It’s a Wrap! Mother’s Day 2015 is OVER!

For Mother’s Day, I decided to take the middle child to Cinderella. I’m trying to spend more quality time with her alone. It remains to be seen if there is enough of me to go around for all the kids. So far the answer seems to be no.

Anywho, Cinderella. Shortly before we left, Daphne put on her best dress, blue with pink hearts and super fabulous. I purchased it from FabKids for $4.99 without realizing that FabKids is a monthly subscription service exactly like Columbia House (Hello everyone from the 90’s!). After paying $60 a month since December, Daphne wore a $360 dress to Cinderella today. By the way, Wendy Mullins, I bought one for Sammie, too. It’s been on my dresser since December. She’s probably outgrown it.

More essential to the story is this: last week Daphne took a flying leap off the new swings and removed a chunk of her big toe. No big deal, but shortly before we left for Cinderella she asked her dad to cut a “chunk of skin” off her toe. I chose to ignore that while I put on lipstick.

There we were at Cinderella, snuggled into a for-handicapped-individuals-only chair (the theater was full), eating popcorn and having fun. The movie is fairytale heaven (for white people). It’s a live action version of People’s Beautiful Most People issue in period costume.

Halfway through the visual nirvana that is Cinderella, Daphne claimed to have outgrown her shoes. She took off one shoe and examined her toe. What began as mild foot complaints — “Mama, my foot is buzzing” — escalated to things like:

“Mom, it feels like there’s a beetle in my toe.”

“Mom, my shoes don’t fit.”

Then, “Mom, it feels like there’s an alarm clock in my toe.”

“Mom, the side of my foot hurts now.”

“Mom, the alarm clock in my toe is going off.”

I flashed back to the “Dad, can you cut my skin off?” moment. I figured there was a small chance her toe was about to fall off.

While Cinderella twirled with the prince, we went to an exit and looked at her toe under the glow of the emergency exit sign. It looked fine, but Daphne, who was in obvious distress, demanded we go home.

I kid you not, at the exact moment that Cinderella ran from the ball, Daphne ran from the theater wearing just one shoe and her fabulous gown.

Version 2

Halfway home her foot got better. Turns out, her foot just fell asleep, probably because we were sharing a chair, snuggly but cramped. It’s the first time it ever happened to her. We’re going to try Cinderella again when it hits the cheap theaters.

A side note on Cinderella: That movie is so much more deeply laden with falsehoods than I remember. Everyone knows that a prince isn’t the answer to all your problems, but there’s an even bigger trick. In my experience (10 years of marriage and 3 kids), the whole scullery maid aspect of Cinderella, doesn’t occur until after marrying “the prince” (don’t tell Harley I put that in quotes) and having a bunch of kids. Also, let’s take a look at the “stepsisters” situation. They are demanding, ungrateful, have trendy names, and wear tutus all the time. Wake up bitches: They aren’t your stepsisters. They are your children. Cinderella should come with a surgeon general’s warning: May lead to a $25,000 wedding* followed by a never-ending vacuuming, a mountain of dishes, and a permanent eye twitch.

So says the writer of romance novels. On that note, Happy Mother’s Day!
Love and kisses,
Sam

*average cost of a US wedding according to, costofwedding.com. How’s that for a source!?

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
Aug172015

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 [...]
Read more

Oh My God, Another Birthday.

Harley, my husband, has a birthday on Wednesday. This sort of slipped my mind until I went to a birthday party last night, which turned out to be for him, at least partially. Shopping for him is a nightmare. Last year, I decided to let him pick out his own rain jacket because he likes shopping. Bad idea. REI only sells jackets that require chemical spray to remain waterproof, whereas he prefers an intrinsically waterproof garment. Same story at every other sports store in the metro, which we visited with a one-month old baby and two kids. There was as much crying, nursing, and general misbehavior as you might expect. Finally, he found a hot, sweaty rubber tent in stoplight yellow at Fleet Farm, basically the same outfit you’ve seen on The Deadliest Catch. When we finally found it, we walked away, even though it only cost $15. Instead, he started wearing a jacket my friend Amy (Hi Amy!) left at our house approximately four years ago. It’s too small for him and no longer waterproof.

At any rate, I’m putting off birthday shopping and writing at a coffee shop near the house. I’m wearing an overly dramatic hat and trying to own it. I left Harley at home with the kids because I don’t think a person can work while watching three kids. As I packed up my computer bag, sunglasses, wallet, and hat, Harley packed his almost identical work supplies (except he’s wearing a ball cap) to “watch” the kids in the backyard. As I left, he called, “See you at the ER!” because he knew what I was thinking. I’m not sure if I’m paralyzed by responsibility or he’s too casual. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

I didn’t realize I would be so into parenting. I imagined having kids as a much saner, neater process. Needless to say, parenting hit me full force, stripping me of quite a few goals (I had intended to use all of those degrees). Some days I feel like a quasi-Betty Draper (minus the wardrobe, frosty demeanor, and John Hamm, who’s more fun at the office anyway). Being Betty Draper is a privilege. I’ve gotten to spend the majority of my time with my kids. But also, holy shit — if anyone thinks Betty Draper is an unsympathetic bitch, they haven’t tried spending 24/7 with small kids with a spouse who arrives just before bedtime. I’m living in an insane asylum, a really fun one, but I’m also just a few ticks away from shooting songbirds in my nightie. And I still need to find a birthday present.

I recently read Bad Feminist. Roxane Gay writes about feminism in terms of popular culture from the perspective of a fun chick I relate to. I can’t recommend it enough. However, I think she is missing a big section. She covers race, gender & sexuality, and politics, but there’s nothing about motherhood or caregiving. We spend so much time talking about reproductive freedom, which is great, but don’t talk enough about what happens to those of us who choose to reproduce, not to mention other types of caregiving. With FMLA what it is, childcare costs what they are, and the availability of family friendly work (and not just lip service family friendly), parenting can easily turn into a one-woman job. Not to mention, I didn’t realize how much I would love my babies. I barely trust Harley. That’s how I turned into Betty Draper with latent feminist tendencies. I think there are a lot of us.

Enough of that. Next week I’ll write about the root canal I’m delaying because it costs more than a used piano. Will I have a new piano, an abcessed tooth, or both? It’s too soon to call.
Until next Monday!
xoxo
Sam

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
Aug172015

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 [...]
Read more

Saving the World, One Birthday at a Time

If you haven’t ever hosted a child’s birthday party, you might not realize that it’s basically an episode of 24 minus the national security plot line. Who could keep track of what Kiefer Sutherland was doing anyway? Not me. My middle child, Daphne’s, birthday is this coming Tuesday, but we hosted a party for her on Saturday. She played a terrorist and I played Kiefer Sutherland. Later, we ate cake.

Going with my 24 theme, here’s the cast:
Birthday girl:

ry=480

Me. I even sort of look like Kiefer.:

ry=480

Husband:

ry=480-2

If you’re wondering why you weren’t invited, it’s because I didn’t invite anyone who wasn’t loitering on our lawn already (Hello, Keenans!). I was trying to keep it low key. “Low key” meant we started the party at 4 a.m. when Daphne climbed into bed with me. “Of course you can cuddle, but you need to go back to sleep,” I said. I followed this up with, “Stop touching your brother. He’s sleeping,” about three hundred times, to which Daphne replied, “Oh, I thought that was you. That’s my brother?” (She knew.) Then, we got up.

Cut to 6:00 a.m. House looks like it normally does, sort of like I hosted a frat party two nights ago and only sort of cleaned up. Daphne says, “Mom, maybe you should clean AND DECORATE the house.” Then, she and her siblings get out inflatable pool toys to use in the living room.

One of the major subplots of this birthday party happened to be a swing set. Harley, my husband, started building it on the morning of the party. He would dispute this, but he doesn’t read my blog. Just looking at him, I wouldn’t have been able to tell he was working. For at least two hours he disappeared. Both before and after this lost time (do all men do this?) he asked the same question, “Sam, have you seen that Menards bag with brackets in it?” I responded, “You mean the one in the garage?” Him: “None of the Menards BAGS (note the plural) in the garage have brackets.” So he went to Menards. He needed some chain anyway. Note: If you round up, we live in a 1,200 square foot house. We use 350 square feet of this to store products from Menards, many of them in their original packaging.

I don’t remember enough about 24 to recall the usual episode structure. Still, I do remember that at the end of each episode the president is still alive and Keifer Sutherland is still freaked out. Both were true of Daphne’s birthday party. (Keep in mind that I am still playing Kiefer Sutherland.)

Until Next Monday,
Sam

P.S. Thanks for bringing donuts, Amelia and Ryan! If you are still reading and wonder who Amelia is, she has a blog of her own filled with fashion advice. Also, thanks to the rest of Wagenknechts and Keenans for christening the swing set.

P.P.S.: For those of you still reading, here is photographic evidence of The Party:

The piñata, made by my older daughter. Note the adorable girl casually waiting to smash it to pieces.

DSCN7506

During the party. This is what a real child party looks like when the adults have abdicated control and added Airheads candy.

DSCN7537

The aftermath. From all appearances, I might as well have had thirty drunken college students over, but no, they’re just some adorable little girls.

the aftermath

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
Aug172015

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 [...]
Read more

Update on my Activities

About half an hour ago I tried brushing my teeth. I gave up because the toothbrush I have been tentatively thinking of as my own was suspiciously wet. Normally, I’d ignore that but everyone is super phlegmy this week. I’m not going to go so far as to say we’re sick, but … here’s a haiku to describe our symptoms. Read it in Mike Myer’s voice and imagine a bass player plucking in the background. If you have one at hand, put on a beret.

Some snot. Some spitting.
Silas – he puked on the bed.
Where did my coffee cup go?

At any rate, I gave up on brushing my teeth. Then I gave up on a shower. Then I gave up on coffee. Before we had three kids a lot of people said things like, “It’s no harder than two!” Let me tell you, those people are full of shit. There’s really no point counting the children anymore. We went from two to a swarm. Sometimes all you can do is try to protect your head and wait for the fire department (who I’ve only called once on purpose).

Luckily, one of my children is planning a trip to Hawaii. Daphne decided to celebrate her birthday there after I rhapsodized about a Crowdcut deal (4 days and 3 nights in Kauai for $499!). Yesterday, while we were at Menards on University (note how far we are from Hawaii), she picked up a package of Cheetos that she plans to open on a Hawaiian beach on her birthday.

Those are the moments that give me hope. I may have no toothbrush and $55 worth of library fines for lost Scooby Doo books, but someday I could be eating Cheetos on a beach with my kids.

Because people ask, I’m going to update you on my writing. Last week I finished the first draft of a manuscript. It’s totally unreadable, but I’m psyched because it’s down on paper and I kind of like it. Even though I was aiming for a darkly comic mystery, it came out as a chick lit thriller. There is no such genre so I’ll probably have to publish it on this website after a lengthy search for an actual press. Stay tuned!

Also, I’m starting another round of edits on Ruby (still no release date) and I’ll begin work on a spec book. This will commence when the publisher mails me the necessary stuff. A brief note on time in the publishing world: If you’ve seen Interstellar, the publisher is like Matthew McConaughey and I am like his daughter. Or something. Anyway, they’ll probably get it to me before I’m dead. Also, if you aren’t sure what a spec book is, it’s where the editor gives me the plot and I write the book. If it comes out as a chick lit thriller, she will probably murder me.

The spec book might sound like a creative compromise (category romance with a pre-fab plot), but I’m excited to write it because: a) it’s a writing job and b) it sounds fun. Plus, it’s probably good to practice left-handed behaviors (like sticking to a plot). That’s a phrase I stole from my mom who stole it from her professor/friend, Moy Fook Gum. Category romance probably wasn’t at the top of his mind when he said that, but I think he could roll with it. Another one of her college professors, Cheng Khee Chee (I went to class with her a lot) said, “What’s wrong with pretty picture?” So, there you have it, I’m using my mom’s college degree to justify my career as a small time smut peddler. I bet she didn’t see that coming.

Until next Monday!
Sam

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 [...]
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Aug172015

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 [...]
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