Title This After Reading

So I’m listening to Hammock’s Oblivion Hymns over a 10 hour rain track and every time I do this, I just feel like a genius. You know? Like…in some very real way…it’s because of me that this is awesome.

I’m amazing.

And I’m also something else. It’s funny how I don’t trust my writing that isn’t speculative now? Which is easier to feel properly than to relay to you. I have to feel a purpose, which I have considered that I may simply be conflating with texture. Or voice. Something that takes this beyond something that happened that I am relaying to you like minutes. And when I say, why does this matter, I’m really only speaking to myself because I think this is an author-end consideration. I don’t assume the technique will “matter” to a reader, or need to. So anyway, what is communicated by speculative elements brings purpose for me.

All of which is to say, the short story I’m writing at the moment is not speculative. I had to ask myself “why would I write this” for a couple hours before I found an element that provided a “reason”. Geez, this isn’t making sense, is it? L’abort.

Anywho. I have no mixed feelings about returning to my non-speculative-writing soundtrack. It is glorious, altogether. Have some.

 

That and. I just. I need to go to Iceland. I need it. I cannot explain how I know this. But I need to write in a dome-shaped house of glass in the middle of a void.

 

This Title Is Amazing

All the things! That’s what’s been going on this month. :) The following will be a picture-journey, because that’s just more fun.

Firstly, the Morrow parents came to visit from Cali, weeee! We haven’t seen them since last Christmas, which is just crazytown so it was definitely time. Together, we headed to Calabogie Lake in nearby Ontario. I can’t imagine a prettier time to go, including summer, because the rain, the lake, the autumn colors = perfection.

The little one looking at the rain and lake from our cabin.

Kishums!

This is my writerly pensiveness face. #nailedit

Speaking of dumb pictures of me…

This was fine…but then I was like, what if I sit on the arm of this cute bench?

And then this happened. #NotSoStableArm

And so, yeah – I guess I should stop posting pictures from the weekend now. You get the idea. Outside pretty; we had fun.

But finally. The thing de resistance. The hubby’s grad school graduation! It happened!

Ezra likes those gloves…and not taking the degree out of the envelope for the picture.

Hearts, hearts, hearts.

And goodness. Lots of things, transitioning, busyness. You know how we do.

All These Things That I’ve Done

It was my birthday, y’all!

Boom, baby!

So out of nowhere, Montreal had a day of GORGEOUSITY. And seriously, it was. High sun and cool air, from whence did thou come? Andthankyou.

Went to see The Taming of the Shrew in Westmount Park – smashing good time. Especially the part where Kate tells the other wives what duty they owe their lords and husbands. Because I live in Quebec. And the audience was silent with what I can only assume was rich indignation. I, on the other hand, adored it. But then, I have my husband’s last name. “WHICH WAS THE STYLE AT THE TIME.” – Grandpa Simpson

Okay. In other things, I just got back from Chi-town or Chicagoland as I kept hearing. We went with the youth group from our church and it. was. amazing. It cannot be overstated how wonderful this trip was and how much of a blessing.

In which you can see basically none of the water feature behind us.

Girlfriend. It was good times. I’m always proud of how friendly Americans are. Don’t listen to the overdone cliches, forgetting those Anons of you on the interwebs, you guys are aces.

So while we were there, a song was written for us. Something about sitting in a tree. :) And as we’re preparing for our TEN. YEAR. ANNIVERSARY. … yeah. We’re in love. (And I totally won’t do that thing where I explain that love is actually something you do but that yes, thankfully, feelings come with it.)

And now you know two things I’ve been doing.

CALIFORNIAAAAAA, no seriously I hate that song

It’s been almost two weeks since our trip “home” to California… during which I did absolutely no writing, that I can recall. And that trip was three weeks long so. Yeah. But the point is that I realize my presence has been spotty. It’s not like I don’t have anything to say… but I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, somewhere on this blog. The same ridiculousness elicits at least a similar level of indignation from me, as you can tell from the previous entry. So instead, let’s talk about California!

(1) I do not appreciate not being able to tell what month it is. I understand that my Montreal people thought it sounded awesome to be 70 degrees F in January but… like the Christmas we spent on Oahu, it made little to no sense. Where is my snow?! ::weeping, gnashing of teeth::

(2) I *fully* appreciated eating. Everything. Everywhere. @_@ Before we left, my son and I made a list of places we needed to go. When I got there, though, I was – shall we say – a bit obsessed with Mexican. [It is at this point that I want to make a general announcement to my Montrealers, particularly those who have never been to the west coast OR Mexico and yet somehow have decided that Mexican food is gross. YOU'VE.NEVER.HAD.IT. Promise. Don't eat it in Montreal and then proclaim it disgusting, silly rabbit.] AND we’re back. So, for fast food that I’d been craving something fierce, we hit:

- Panda Express

- Chipotle

- Adalberto’s

- Jalisco

- Jimboy’s

….yeah, with the exception of Panda’s. Once I had some, I couldn’t stop. Oh and there was that taco bar in Portland. NOM-tastic. And then speaking of Portland – SKYLINE!!!!!!!!!!! *I’ll always love you, Skyline*

And then, you know, I had a bunch of junk food, starting with Garrett’s in the Chicago airport.

I’ve posted this picture like everywhere. Because I am PROUD.

(3) I had a college reunion! Well, a Porter reunion! Okay, more like a B3N reunion! Well, two of us were B3N – WHATEVER. Basically, this:

Katie and Sasha drove up with their significant others – evidenced by the next pic which proves once and for all that we are a dangerous group of finger-snapping ne’er-do-wells.

Don’t cross us in a dark alley, people. Oh and – chucklesnort – in that first picture?! ::muffles dork laughter:: Katie and I swapped boots!

(4) I can’t even post all the pictures I want to force upon you because they involve other people’s children. Biological, I should say. In truth, they are really mine. My nephews, my goddaughter. TOO.MUCH.KISSUMS. Seriously. Wish I could show you all the delight. Did I already tell you I spent a week with five boys between the ages of 3 months and 7 years? And that it was GLORIOUS?

(5) And we took family portraits – since we haven’t done that altogether since Ezra was three months old..and he’s now the 7yo to whom I was just referring. So, naturally, said portraits look like this:

And that about wraps it up.

The Future’s So Bright

No, I’m kidding – this post will not be about resolutions or 2012 in pretty much any way. As a matter of fact, without the characteristics of winter I’ve come to know and love, my body/brain isn’t even really willing to accept that *Christmas* has come, let alone New Year’s. I’ll keep you posted as this geographical/denial-of-time-passage unfolds. (Watches you hold your breath.)

But there are things. … >.>

And those things (above) were written right after the New Year, if that gives you some indication of how I totally meant to call you but then I lost my phone and it had all my contacts in it! Now I’ve waited so long to tell you about the great pilgrimage to California (with a stop off in Portland) that I was actually a little scared to come back here. I thought of just leaving the stove on and tossing a lit match in the vicinity, believe me. And then I watched a little ditty called Real Steel on one of the flights home and thought, this ish writes itself. (Not the movie. Nobody wrote that.) And then I felt kinda guilty for trying to regain your love with movie reviews – but let’s be real, what’s better than a review of something that bad? Really? (Please remind me to ask Hugh Jackman what the devil is WRONG with him. His other bad taste isn’t his fault, he’s Australian, but really? The level of corn and lameness he’s willing to spew. It was as bad as the “computer hacking” scene in Swordfish.)

And then, you know, real things happened, family things, personal things, spiritual things – all of which are the same things, just different levels. And instead of those things, here’s a list.

(1) Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes – everything I hoped for. Everything I need. Brought the movie home (thanks, Christmas!) but watched it five or so times in our three week vacation. And if that doesn’t seem like a lot…we also watched Book of Eli as many times. And Napoleon Dynamite.

(2) This. (Remember, that’s that thing we say when there’s no need to try and introduce or paraphrase what was already perfectly stated.) A Salon article on the unacknowledged offensiveness of “not seeing race”- LINK IT UP.

(3) Powell Books – You don’t seem to know dystopian is too saturated. I’m not writing this in defense of anything, just as an observation that an extremely popular bookstore (to understate it) does this:

Which I love.

(4) My speculative concept/literary style novella, Keepsake, is finished. And I love it hard. I was gonna say hardly but that sounded like the opposite of what I’m saying.

(5) At one point – for several days – I was in a house with five little boys between the ages of 7 years and 3 months. And it was lovely. And in that same timeframe I was with my Jen-the-Twin!

Totally the most complementary picture I can find of us.

(6) I came home to a snow globe. <3

Of Pinterest And Perspicacity

Before we get to the main event, I have a PSA of great importance. I have recently decided… ::pause for tension:: … that perspicaciousness needs to become part of my twice daily vocabulary. Perspicaciousness. O_O No, seriously, that’s the awesomest, most underused word evar. ::Clears throat:: Perspicaciousness. I’m so glad I misspelled perspicacity so that I could stumble upon it’s handsome brother.

And now! For some reason, I need to here share a pin from each of my 8 boards on Pinterest - i.e. the second most awesome and necessary sites that at first seemed completely crazy (the chronological first being Twitter). And that’s not just because I’m awake at 2:32am! No! I seriously think that Pinterest is beginning to be a better representation of me than I am! And that someday I shall commission someone to fashion me a life out of my Pinterest boards. (That would be so freakin’ awesome, for serial.)

Board #1: Pretty Prose
This board began as solely things that make me think of or inspire me to write and quickly became a place to put my favorite quotes as well. Now to choose which better represents the board as a whole. (Stay tuned for reveal….)

And here it is!

Yeah, so it turns out, that wasn’t hard. It was really only between that (Printing Plates by FOSSIL) and the scroll journal, which I’ve already blogged about. (But it was still tempting cuz I’ve truly never gotten over it.)

Board #2: My Style
So the thing is that I apparently have two looks: Golden Era Gadabout and Boot-wearin’ City Girl (Who May or May Not Have Access To Horses).

To start, can we just agree that choosing a single, exemplary pin out of 119 that are there because nearly every one of them made me catch my breath and/or speak in tongues  is ridiculously harder than I anticipated? Kay. But this one makes my heart glad every time.

Le whimsy, le wonder.

 

 

 

Board #3: Imaginary Home
I choose a picture of my possibly overrepresented LOVE of hidden rooms as they pertain to bookshelves!

 

Board #4: Let’s Go To There
This board is chocked full of images that make me wanna snatch my passport. Sometimes it’s a place that just looks too jamazing to be real, rarely it’s a place I’ve been (like the gorgeous Multnomah Falls) and a few times it’s just a door or a tree that makes me imagine a world I want to know. (I just did inkie-binkie-bonkie to make up my mind between two hauntingly beautiful pins, just so you know. Germany won.)

 

Board #5: The Perfect Party
This one’s easy. It is a board to post inspiration photos for the party I mean to have with my sisters. Mumford & Son shall play the songs, tweed shall be the skirts, and here is the setting!

 

Board #6: I Guess I Pin Food Now
I have no intention of getting into the food-pinnage, but there’s just too much yummy stuff. And, truth be told, it’s already paid off. The hubster saw one of my pins (the one where you use chocolate cake mix in the waffle iron and have it with a scoop of ice cream and sliced strawberries) and made it for me! Score, children. Score. The following are Grilled Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers with Vintage Cheese.

 

Board #7: Next Haircut
Technically, I have cut my hair since starting this board, but it shall be done again. This is the perfect way to capture images when you see them online and then know where to find them when you need to print it out for your hairdresser!

It was a toss-up between this one and a shorter do, but I didn’t feel like having a celebrity pic on my page so. I went with the one that I was SURE was the one…until I found the next picture…and the next one… and so on.

Board #8: Favorites
Began with books, added Sir Anthony Hopkins and now it’s lots of animals being cuter than should be possible. O_O Yep. I’m one of those now.

For this one, I must give the description I pinned with it:

Surprising and encompassing, this movie completely took me in. By the end, I honestly believed every emotion I’d experienced had been precisely manipulated by the director, even when I wondered if the point was being belabored in the first half. #WatchThisSoWeCanTalkAboutIt

But seriously, I couldn’t think of anything else for two days after watching it. GAH!

And that, children, is but a taste of what awaits you! Get thee to heaven, Beatrice! Get thee to heaven!*

*For the purpose of this post, heaven refers to Pinterest. Feel like that was obvious.

FIN

In Which I Labor

I know what you’re doing, by the way. This game you’re playing where you pretend I haven’t been ridiculously lazy about blogging – not the content, mind you, because let’s be real, candy woulda been involved one way or the other – and pretending to be entertained so I feel like a giant loser and have to commit to doing actual work here? You win this round.

First things first: My seven year old – who just turned seven, don’tcha know – is making up the guest list for his next birthday party. (Apparently, taking a trip every summer to celebrate the month of Morrow is lost on him and he’s wondering why he can’t have a crappy, four hour party like all the other cool kids.) Needless to say, he’s listed about a dozen people thus far – people I’m sure would love to celebrate him, btw – and nobody’s under the age of 21. Yet. Thankfully, there’s about four kids I know he likes. :)

Not good enough.

I wanna point out that today’s Labor Day (even in Montreal) and I’m blogging. Please double the amount of points I already deserve for awesomeness.

When there is an issue with my laptop that affects the way in which I interact with it, I realize how attached we are. The laptop and I. My son decided to bring his foot down on the left side of my computer and the audio promptly stopped working. I had to replace some drivers (some of which had no effect), it doesn’t hibernate like it’s supposed to, and until I disabled some start-up applications, it wouldn’t even let me move the mouse once the OS was open. So. Basically, I’m now able to do everything but listen to music and watch my stories – which is like having a child break your television, since I watch my shows online. And also, did I mention I can’t listen to music? Because I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned how much music means to me. And also, that I listen to music when I write. And prepare to write. And develop a storyline prior to writing it.

(My son has offered – since music is so important to me – to make up songs. O_O)

EDIT: Sorry, I failed to mention that my USBs no longer work, either. And that I feel like an amputee.

That Is WELL Shameful!

What. The title has nothing to do with the blog post. The blog post hasn’t even been written yet, but I’m sure it doesn’t. Otherwise I’d know what I was gonna blog about. ::GASP:: Maybe the title *does* have to do with the post – in that it’s shameful I’ve no idea what to write. Mystery solved, g’night, folks!

I’m going to tell you guys an alarming truth. ::deep breath:: I…don’t tell you guys everything. I sometimes wish I did or could – especially about what I write or what I’m doing on the business end of it, but alas. It’s like we have this huge public community for the purpose of the industry community but then because of that purpose, we can’t be too public. If you follow. And believe me, there’s loads I’d be talking about – mostly things I’ve witnessed or researched. O_O This is too cryptic to be interesting, isn’t it.

One of the silliest things Brits say is “leg it” as opposed to “run”. Now, I mean silly in the most affectionate way, but honestly can we think about this? (And before you get all offended, yes, people in other countries do make note of what my countrymen say that differs from their own lingo. It’s the way of the world and we like it.) Is running the only thing one does with one’s legs? Because otherwise, it really makes no sense. That’d be like saying “lip it” for talking, as though one doesn’t use one’s mouth to breathe or kiss or eat… I guess it’s not as bad as calling dish detergent “washing up liquid” but. It’s close.

There, that was something, right? How’m I doin’ on time? Wrap it up? Keep talking?

And no, I’m not back in the UK. Still here in Montreal. Still love it. Haven’t gone out much in the last week, to be fair, but I’m relatively sure I still love it. Though I’d love to travel somewhere off the continent. Like soon. Soon, soon. Le sigh.

That thought I had before I had kids – you know, the one where I was pretty sure I’d think even my own flesh and blood gnarly if he got all snagglepussed and lost his teeth…like normally happens? Yeah, turns out I was wrong about that one, too. (Like I was wrong about kids not being any fun once they hit six years old.) He is, legitimately, a backwater baby now. One front tooth gone, the other doing its best to turn sideways while it dangles and refuses to just eject gracefully. Bottom teeth coming in sideways to shove the others out… that’ll correct itself maybe, yeah? I’m sure braces are fun. My sisters made it look … interesting. Bah. I’m sure he’ll be fine.

::spit bubbles::

Some ‘tard left a briefcase at the office of a literary agent in Los Angeles, in which he’d apparently left an unsolicited manuscript. Naturally, the bomb squad blew it up. Because – and I say this as a native Californian – …what did you expect. Drama. I’m gonna be honest: I’m actually pretty proud of my home for being dedicated to staying Hollywood. Even when we’re just keeping someone from realizing his dream of joining Hollywood. We keeps it epic, y’all. Ish is hilarious. So, in summary: don’t be a newb and send unsolicited material, let alone leave it unattended in a harmless briefcase.

Ramble ramble ramble. Oh wait, the sun’s coming up.

Here It Goes Down. Down Into My Belly.

Being a remarkable, swoon-inspiring store takes more than the availability of great clothes. It requires hosting great – and I mean shockingly great – sales. JCrew has justified my love many times, friends. Many times. So on my recent trip to the States, it was not so much a question of whether I would go to the nearest JCrew, but more a question of how big a fool I would make of myself once there. I imagined rabidly salivating on displays, I’ll be honest.

Josh and I broke away from the Nickelodeon Universe amusement once we’d had our fill of rides and headed to a place that, for us, may very well constitute an amusement park. And certainly constitutes a date. And we were so well-behaved! We got one thing. That’s it. (This is where you congratulate us or, alternately, gaze at us with admiration.) But that one thing? ::shudder::

My apologies – you can’t see the bow tied in the back. It really is whimsy and delight, you can trust me. WHO DOESN’T LOVE AND DEVOUR LITTLE WHITE DRESSES? Lordie. And especially because the one I got a few years back – you know, the one that reminds me of Maria “dancing” with Tony in West Side Story? Yeah, it needs a few minutes with a needle and some thread and it hasn’t happened yet so this was JUST what I needed. Mmmmmmmmm.

Okay and I’m only showing you this next thing because you need to believe and receive the glory that is JCrew, you guys. Are you ready? Are. You. Ready.

That. I can’t even remember if this was one of those “additional % off” days, but those happen a lot.

I’ll never let go, JCrew. I’ll never let go.

Somebody Kill The Radio Star

Imagine Huey Lewis singing about going back in time. And then read the following. Which was written on the road, coming back to Montreal.

You guys, I’m far too young to be yelling at the radio. Seriously. Maybe it’s just New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin and Minnesota…but something tells me this is the honest to blog predicament in which we find ourselves.

Now I realize why so many people are so hardcore “indie”. What HAPPENED with music? We’re paying people to be obnoxious, there’s something that can only be described as California-Island music by guys you just know are wearing open toed shoes, there’s autotuner mania, there’s a bunch of girls just belting for no doggone reason, there’s a bunch of pop rock bands that sound like they could’ve been released anytime in the past fifteen years.

O_O

WHAT HAPPENED TO AMBITION? New?! Music that reflected a new perspective or consciousness. Turning on the radio after years was like turning on General Hospital. “Wait, wuh? That’s still going on?!” Yeah, it’s that.

Hip hop should do us a favor and slay the illegitimate offspring that’s overwhelming the radio right now.  – I don’t think anyone would say Country has been “new” for a while, but at least it’s still melodious and dominated by strong, stand-out voices. That’s something. – Pop is just garbage. It goes from being fantastically ridiculous to being abruptly offensive and alarming. Right.  – I’m seriously about to say this: Christian music is the most consistent and OH. THEY STILL PLAY ACTUAL INSTRUMENTS! Remember when Christian music was the most watered down ever? (And note: this isn’t just good by comparison, it’s good.)

Geez. Fix yourself, radio.

In short, most contemporary artists should be ashamed of themselves. Period. Oh and a special note: Michael Buble you are the corniest thing I’ve ever repeatedly heard for ever, never.

The autotuner thing is so busted and ugly, I can’t even begin. In ALL mediums: let’s not just see that someone made some money and be like, hey, let’s do that 17 BILLION MORE TIMES. Reinterpretation, inspiration, sure. Following a pattern? Don’t.

LAWD, I can’t wait to get back home to my playlist and never have to hear this tragedy ever again. Take me away, Florence! Katy Perry makes (more) sense to me, too.

End of flashback – And to reward you for slipping back in time with me like that, here is a favorite picture from vacation. Ezra and a cousin and a lake.