Sunday, November 25, 2012

The true meaning of Christmas… a clock tower?

Well, it’s been a year since the “What’s church” conversation.  And we just had the "true meaning of Christmas" conversation.  Oh my.

We were putting up the tree, and the kids asked if everyone in the world is decorating for Christmas.  I told them some people don't celebrate Christmas, that they don’t believe in it.  "That's sad," said my daughter.  "That's crazy," said my son.  I didn't say anything else, just let it marinate.  About an hour later, tree decorated, garlands up, the “Seasonal” music channel playing through the TV, my daughter asked why some people don't celebrate Christmas. 

Gather 'round, my children... Time for you to learn that Christmas is not about Santa and Rudolph and presents.

Here are some notable events from the conversation:

When asked, "Do you remember what 'God' is?" my son answered, "God is a grown-up word" (i.e. "Oh my God," which they are not allowed to say).  So, um, that’s hilarious or awful, depending on your perspective.  Once I reminded them about God making the earth and the sky and the animals and McDonalds, they clearly remembered.  But…

They have both switched their positions since the original talk.  My son is now on the "God is pretend" track, and my daughter is now a believer. 

We talked about the pagan origins of the Christmas tree and evergreen garlands, showing how our modern version of Christmas comes from lots of different kinds of beliefs blended together, and how everyone believes something different.

I showed them the baby Jesus and nativity ornaments and told them the traditional Christian Christmas story.  We also talked about the significance of the star, and the presents people brought for God’s special baby.

My daughter is clearly taken with the idea of a baby god.  She likes baby things.  A baby god?  That is so right up her alley.  She is all about the baby Jesus.

My son said that he thinks God didn’t have a baby.  God had a clock tower.  Um, huh?  “Why a clock tower?” I asked.  “Because clock towers are really real, and God isn’t,” he said.

Um, OK.  Good talk.

Friday, November 16, 2012

It's November, the season for writing a novel

My dear readers, if you have been wondering where I have been all month, I have been sitting right here in my blogging chair, writing away.  Just not writing this blog.  I have been writing a novel.  If you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month.  Every November, tens to hundreds of thousands of people set out to write a novel in a month.  Thirty days, 50,000 words.  That’s the goal. 

I have accomplished this mad dash before, pre-kids. It taught me a lot about my writing process.  It helped me find strategies for powering through (or going around) writer’s block.  It got me in a habit of writing every day.  But then, you know, twin babies, and then twin toddlers, and then twin preschoolers…

Now that they are twin kindergarteners, and gone all day, I am back to my frantic November noveling, and hopefully back to a habit of writing pretty much every day. 

This year, I have discovered the joys of writing in the first person.  I love to create rich voices for characters, and it is so much easier when I can just write their stream of consciousness thoughts from time to time.  The main character is a 40-year-old mom, so her voice bears some resemblance to mine.  But she’s not me (except inasmuch as every character I write is some facet of me).  She’s single, first of all, and has never had a deep, lasting relationship.  Oh, also, she’s a succubus.  So that’s different. 

If you know what a succubus is, that should be your first clue that the novel I am writing is not going to be suitable for all audiences.  I’m writing a blend of romance and erotica.  Kind of like 50 Shades of Grey, except good.  I hope.  No inner goddesses doing tangoes or any other dances.  And instead of a virgin who has never held hands, my female lead has had to have sex at least once a week since she hit puberty so that she wouldn't die.  And also, she has three kids and stretch marks.  And the guy will be more realistic too, once she stops boinking him long enough to get to know him.  Certainly he’ll be less of a douche nozzle than Mr. Fifty Shades.  If he tried to tell my main character what she could and couldn’t eat, demanded that she get weekly bikini waxes, or told her what kind of car she was allowed to drive, she could use her full power on him and take away his will entirely, or she could just, you know, leave.  So he’d better not pull any of that misogynistic crap. 

So, anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing.  It takes two to three hours a day for me to reach my writing goals if I want to stay on track to finish on time.  I am pretty much on target, although perhaps 3,000 words behind.  I blame the two days I lost when I discovered that I was allergic to Penicillin, and needed constant Benadryl in my system.  I can make that up if I stay on track, so this might be the last blog post of the month. 

If you would like to read excerpts of what I am writing, um, no.  Eventually, yes.  But writing at this pace means vomiting out a book in a month with no editing.  It’s not suitable for company yet, polite or otherwise.  But I do have one excerpt on the NaNo website.  It’s relatively clean, not a sex scene, but also… definitely adult content.  Here it is.  And credit where credit is due… I have my sister and my good friend, Eve, to thank for the best two of those slang terms.  Most fun brainstorming session ever.  You’ll see when you read it.

If you’ve ever considered writing a novel, if it’s on your “bucket list” or your someday list, I can’t say enough good things about NaNoWriMo.  One month.  You give yourself over for one month, and at the end, you have either a novel or a big head start on one.  And you get to tell people you’re writing a novel.  That shit never gets old.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

If you give a mommy a new faucet

My kitchen faucet has seen its day.  It’s white plastic, ugly, stained, and when you pull out the handle to use the spray function, it won’t retract.  If you think it has retracted, but it’s not locked in place, it falls down, spraying you and the entire kitchen with water.  It completely sucks and needs to be replaced.  Here is the story of why I just keep living with it:

If you give a mommy a faucet, she is going to want a new sink to go with it.  A sink that is not scratched up and stained, a sink that is not white, a sink in which she can dump out half a cup of coffee without having to clean the resulting coffee stain with Comet or a Magic Eraser.

If you give a mommy a sink, she is going to want new countertops to replace the old laminate ones that have that telltale brown laminate seam, and have bumpy drips of superglue from the messy fixing of broken toys.

If you give a mommy new countertops, she would really prefer not to put them on the existing cabinets, which are dated country oak, and not her style at all, and which have curved panel doors that, even if painted, will never look modern.

If you give a mommy new cabinets, it really doesn’t make sense to put them on the cracked tile floor, because the flooring goes under the cabinets, and wasn’t installed correctly, leading to a long crack that runs through several tiles and gets longer each year.  Also, the floor is white and shows every single freaking drip and piece of dust.

And that is why I have a non-functional kitchen faucet.  The end.