A Very Literary Christmas

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And my favorite part of the wonder of Christmas is the magic of Christmas stories. Rather than stowing 100_1778a bunch of gifts under the tree for the month—tempting little fingers to pick and peek at them—I scatter our collection of Christmas books under the branches. This gives my kids something they can handle, old friends they can revisit from the previous years.

 

We spend a few days reading through a chapter book or read a picture book each night while enjoying the sparkle and messages of the season. So far this year, we’ve read CHRISTMAS MAGIC by Patricia Hermes and YOU ARE MY MIRACLE by Maryann Cusimano Love and Satomi Ichikawa.

 

Another thing I love is Christmas music. Here’s a sample of one of my favorite voices—Mitch Malloy—singing Silent Night.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFOdUJ8W9rs&feature=g-hist

What are your family’s traditions? Your favorite Christmas story? Song?

An Autism Literary Journey

It’s no secret that my oldest child is on the autism spectrum (check out posts under the “Autism” category) but this summer we passed a milestone: a READING benchmark.

Call me a bad parent, but one of my only questions for the neurologist who “helped” diagnosis my son with PDD-NOS was “Will he ever learn to read?”  My sweet son didn’t sit still long enough for me to read more than a page or two of a picture book—he was more interested in lining up his video cassettes.

Thankfully, he did learn to read and in the past year he’s been reading for pleasure. Every night, he’d read aloud to himself from The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh, The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter or the Curious George cannon. Over and over. I was happy to see him reading, and had to brush tears from my cheeks the first few times I caught his little brother and sister huddled around him in bed after lights out to listen to the stories, but I didn’t want him stimming on the same stories.

When his fourteenth birthday approached this July, I decided to formerly introduce him to my bookshelves which he passed dozens of times a day. I pointed out a section of middle grade novels and let him pick one of the E.B. White books since he was familiar with the characters from their movie reincarnations. He went through Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan the first week. He plowed through the complete Bunnicula series by James Howe and several Newbery books like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Shiloh, The Whipping Boy, and Sarah, Plain and Tall. He even read Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.

SIXTY books in two months! I gave him a journal when he began his novel reading journey and in it he draws the cover of each book he completes. Now, I need to go back to the bookstore and buy another journal.

I’ve always had a major children’s book collection happening but last week I started fearing for my home library. He’d moved from the lower middle grade novel—typically for 7-10 year olds—bookshelves to my personal favorites—the ten and up category.

So, we began this week with a trip to our local library branch like a good homeschool family. Usually, my guy would only look at the DVDs and a book or two if pressed. This time, I showed him the children’s fiction section and he started putting Roald Dahl and Beverly Cleary books in our bag. I’m majorly excited but a little sad that he’s got dibs on Lair & Spy by Rebecca Stead before me.

Mommies and Politics

 

 

It appears there’s been a flare-up in the war between SAHM and working moms.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/ann-romney-calls-stay-home-mom-controversy-early/story?id=16150121

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/under-god/post/ann-romney-stay-at-home-mom-debate-mormons-react/2012/04/13/gIQAJIBmFT_blog.html

And my favorite out of the recent stories:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-ann-romney-20120413,0,7757482.story

I’ve been a working mom but more often a stay-at-home mom. I now consider myself a work-from-home mommy, though I haven’t sold/published anything for more than a year (because I’m focusing on my novels.)

I could list facts about all the work devoted mothers do from their homes—both for their children, spouse, and others—but it’s all been said before. Or I could mention the documentation that’s been done showing that SAHMs are worth over $112000 a year for the work they do. Wouldn’t that be nice, especially since I homeschool there’d be probably be even more compensation.

 

But it seems like the attacks on Ann Romney are more of the “class warfare” that’s spreading like a disease the past several years. So-and-so paid less taxes than those working below them. Don’t up the tax percentage based on income—make taxes the same percentage for all so the people making a million will be paying more than the people who make thirty thousand. The tax codes are broken so please don’t begrudge those who have been successful—look at the motives behind those who wish to tell others what to do with what they have.

Alphabet Blog

I’ve taken this from writer buddy Stephanie, who took it from another friend, etc but I changed a few alphabet words to mix it up a bit.

A. Age: I’m a bicentennial baby. You do the math.
B. Birth Order: 3rd out of 4. Third is the nerd.
C. Chore that you hate: Cleaning tubs/showers. And bathing kids is my least favorite “mommy chore.” So glad they are getting older…
D. Dogs: They’re nice, but I don’t want to personally own one at this point in my life.
E. Essential start to your day: Alarm clock or kidlets.
F. Favorite color: Purple, with turquoise a close second.
G. Gold or Silver: Silver—or white gold.
H. Height: 5’12” baby!
I. Inspirations: Crisp, autumn-like weather with a nice breeze and music.
J. Job title: Which one? Wife, Mother, Writer, Daughter, Sister, Aunt…
K. Kids: Three kidlets.
L. Live: Mobile, Alabama… or is that live—I love live music! Concerts are the best!
 
M. Marriage Status: Married, with children.
N. Nicknames: Care Bear is the most common, from multiple sources.
O. Overnight hospital stays: Five times, three from childbirth.
P. Pet peeves: Dishonesty: lie, cheat, or hold back the truth and I will not trust you.
Q. Quote from a movie: “As you wish.” I swoon for Westley.
R. Right or left handed: Right, though I always wished I was a lefty.
S. Secrets: I’ll never tell.
T. Time you wake up: Whenever I’m needed.
U. UFOs: Possibly, but not necessarily with little green men…
V. Vegetable you hate: Canned red beets. GAG.
W. What makes you run late: Kidlets—1, 2, 3, or all.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Neck, back, and that lousy right ankle—I’ve sprained it three times.
Y. Yummy food that you make: Cookies! Nothing fancy, just the basics: chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, peanut butter, etc.
Z. Zoos or Aquariums: I love a good aquarium. It feels like I’m in a time warp, in another world, and then the sun is SOOO bright when I step back outside—WHAM! Welcome back to Earth.
 

Numb no More

I’ve felt emotionally numb off and on over the years, especially since becoming a mother. It’s difficult to draw the line between mother-fatigue and depression but either (and most diffidently the combination of the two!) could be counted as a cause of the numbness.
Since my WIP is a teen novel, I felt the urge to reconnect to my younger, emotional self. Pictures from the era provide an opening but it’s my poetry that drags all the emotions back—kicking and screaming. And, wow, was I in touch with my inner angst! Check out my brooding self in Pebble Beach, 1992…. Oh, I miss my hair!
I thought it’d be fun to start adding a few poems to each post—providing a flash-portrait of some of the imaginings of my former self. I’ll even put the desperately awful ones up.
I’ll start things off with a poem which I turned in to my Creative Writing teacher and he wrote a “please see me” note on the bottom of it. I was too embarrassed to confront him, thinking he might be suspecting abuse or something. But he never followed up on it, not sure if that’s good or bad… hmm.
The poem, written by my sixteen year old self, was inspired by the movie ___________.
Wait, you tell me! (Hint: 80’s fantasy. No, the movie title is NOT in the poem/title.)
Mask
Illusions surround my every move Walking through the corridor of eternity I feel tampered with and used
Down the path I see someone I know look again it isn’t who it seems to be A face turned and twisted in my mind to become fantasy
But after all what is a face environment or a smile? They are things we hide behind truths we run from for miles.

What movie do you think it is? Comment!
The first correct person might win an autographed copy of the poem. 🙂
And don’t forget to vote.