Saturday, July 28, 2007


I apologize for not having anything interesting to say. Usually, that means I don't post anything, but I'm up late after doing some critiques and poring over Craigslist. (We've been trying to sell all of our furniture and find cheap boxes.)

In addition to this:
1. Editing work
2. Two classes
3. Writing
4. Packing up the house
5. Practically turning the house into a store
6. Setting things up for my six-week stint as a Reservist in Hawaii (i.e., going back to work temporarily)
7. Setting up our trip to New Zealand
8. And, oh yeah, being the primary caregiver to our just-walking daughter,

I have a nasty sinus infection.

So yes, bleh.

Two great things:
1. I met Laini and Jim on Thursday while they visited San Diego for the ComiCon.
2. Jim and I got away baby-free and saw the new Harry Potter movie. (My Jim, not Laini's Jim, of course!)

Meeting my new friends was awesome, and I'll get to see them next weekend at the conference in LA.

The new Harry Potter movie was fantastic. As my mother said, "it didn't have everything in the book, but how could they make a movie that long?" They did a great job transferring the words into film, and I think the acting was great. I especially like seeing Emma Thompson. I hadn't noticed her in the movies before...

Cheers, and here's to Vitamin C.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Me, Excited

This is me super excited because... *drum roll, please* I'm going to SCBWI's LA Conference in August! Yay! Just a week and a half away!

I know I will feel like I'm in over my head. So many published writers, so many agents and editors, so many talented artists - where do I fit in with them? I must convince myself that my writing is just as good, but "undiscovered." :-) I'm nervous in the sort of First-Day-of-School-in-a-New-Town sort of way. (I moved around about every two years as a kid, so I know that feeling well.) You know: will I be too boring? Too weird? Will I fit in? Will I find any kindred spirits?

Then I smack myself on the side of the head - of course I will find kindred spirits! Lots of them! They're all writers/illustrators/publishing-world people who want to make good art for kids (and teens)!!! My kind of people. Hurrah!

Jim and Elizabeth will be there too, but mostly in the pool or driving about LA. Although they're BOTH interested in Kid Lit (Elizabeth says it's rather tasty), they're not going to bother my co-artists.

By the by, see that rug hanging on the wall behind me? I bought that in Baghdad from a Turkish man who bought it in Iran (what a circuit). It's from Qom, and is pure silk. The best part: it was woven the same year I was born - 1980. I was 25 when I bought it, and I thought it rather nifty that the rug and I spent the same quarter-century on this Earth together. It's a hunting scene, and very pretty. Unfortunately, my wicked cat Jiji has tried a few times to use it as a scratching post.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Since my last Sunday Scribblings was dedicated to my dogs, here is an ode to my black cat (in haiku form):

twitching his long tail
Jiji lifts a furred eyelid
and bites in a flash

and in Japanese (not exact b/c the syllables wouldn't be 5-7-5):

nagai-no happo
Jiji-ga heya miru
shoshaku suru

Thinking back, the last haiku I wrote in Japanese was about dogs... and that was in 1992.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hair, of Canines

These were my dogs. I say "were" because over the last six months, we have given them both away. The collie is Silver. She is 8 years old. The beagle is Chewbacca. He is five years old. Chewbacca went to a new home with a doggie door, a younger beagle brother, and a yard last December. Silver flew to Virginia today.

I was never going to be one of those people who get rid of their dogs when they have a baby. How could a baby replace any member of the family, whether human or not? I still believe that had we lived in a real house, with real grass (or maybe just nearby a park), we would still have these dogs. But I caved. After a year and a half of Chewbacca peeing on the floor because he couldn't hold it, I had to find him somewhere else to live. (This was after I made a pallet of grass on our patio, which he peed in once and then returned to the floor/door.) At his new home, he has yet to have an accident. Silver, on the other hand, is a model citizen. She is truly a perfect house dog - if you don't mind vacuuming every other day. Yes, fur. Everywhere. She moved to my sister-in-law's house because we are moving next month and will be in transit for a year (to who-knows-where).

When we got home today from the airport I set to vacuuming the whole house. We had taken her to the beach yesterday, so sand had scattered itself all over and mingled with the silver fur that was stuck to the Elizabeth-spilled sticky places. I was relieved to know I wouldn't have to vacuum again so soon, but with each swipe of the whirring machine (the Dyson Animal, bought specifically for our animals!), a ball of guilt tumbled about inside me. Had I given Silver away merely for a decrease in vacuuming frequency? Had I shipped her off to her favorite Auntie only so I could have more freedom? What was I doing trying to erase her imprint as soon as was possible?

Half-way through I emptied the vacuum container and watched the doughnut-shaped clump of gray fur braided with dust and sand as it fell into the bag with a satisfying plop. Then I reaffixed the container and continued on with the rest of the house. I mopped, too. There, I sighed, a clean floor. Maybe it would last a week!

The guilt rose higher in my throat. Silver had no idea she would never see this home again, just like she had no idea where Chewbacca went. Our cat, Jiji, was very sad when Chewie was gone. I don't know how he'll act these next few days as he realizes Silver is gone now, too.

The price of a life En Route has turned out to be greater than I had anticipated. The weight with which we handed over our dogs is still with me. As I learned with giving Chewbacca away, Silver's contributions and presence are irreplaceable. A clean house is not a good trade, no matter how many fewer times I now have to toss out clumps of silver hair.

Halloween, 2005

This has been a Sunday Scribblings about HAIR. (Good timing.)