Monday, September 29, 2008

Unpacked and Ready to Write...Sorta

This weekend I filled up my big bookshelf and slid the other boxes of books into the closet in the office/guest room. I cannot deny, any longer, that some of these books gotta go. I've got at least a hundred Sci-Fi paperbacks that I probably won't be reading a second time, and several college texts that I think I'm finally ready to be parted with (mostly books on Soviet economics and communist philosophy). Don't worry--there are plenty of books I doubt I'll ever be able to pass on. I mean, I can't exactly give away Ulysses until I finish it, right? There's the bookmark, with it's little star dangling off the end, reminding me of where I got stuck on my second try...

So. Now. The office is set up mostly. I'm awaiting revision comments from my agent, and once I get them, I can get crackin'. Which is good since I'm pretty much going nowhere in my work-in-progress at the moment. I have a feeling it will have to wait until Rohana is "finished" and sent off, which might not be until after the baby comes. (I have just over seven weeks left until due-date time.) How long did Shannon Hale take off from writing when her kids were born? Four weeks? Too bad we're not chums--I'd ask her!

The National Book Festival was this weekend, and I forgot to go. Yes, yes, I am annoyed with myself. Of course, it would have totally wiped me out, though.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Elise tagged me...but I am not passing it on to either other people because nearly everyone I know has already done this and I'm too tired to figure out someone else.

1. What are your nicknames?
Ambotchka. (I was a Russian major in college.)

2. What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD?
That I bought for myself? I think it was Mulan.

3. What is your favorite scent?
Rosemary. Basil. Lavendar. Pine. Anything natural---not the fake stuff.

4. What one place have you visited that you can't forget and want to go back to?
St. Petersburg, Russia

5. Do you trust easily?
I trust too easily. I forgive too easily, too, but don't you take advantage of it.

6. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?
My parents would love to answer this one for me. I'm a tad impulsive, but I'm maturing. Slowly .

7. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?
I am unhappy that there seem to be more selfish people in the world than unselfish. Geesh, that sounds like a beauty pageant answer. Really, though, where do all these people come from? Do they not have the capacity to look at themselves and wonder??

8. Do you have a good body image?
This made me laugh. Really. I just had to go buy maternity loungewear because my other maternity clothes are getting tight. Ask me this question again after six months of breastfeeding and I'll be a bit chipper.

9. What is your favorite fruit?
Can I say all? Except papaya. The past few weeks it was watermelon, but after splitting one open tonight I deduced watermelon season is past its prime. Maybe crisp apples will rise to the top of the list soon.

10. What websites do you visit daily?
The blue board, a few blogs,'s discussion board

11. What have you been seriously addicted to lately?
Checking email on my new phone. For some reason, I keep thinking I'm going to get something important that can't wait until I get to the top of the stairs, where my computer is. (Really, though, it's taking me longer to crawl up the stairs.)

12. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Me, but in Washington. :-) Seriously, it's a bit uncanny how similar we are. (At least, I think so.)

13. What's the last song that got stuck in your head?
"Elmo's an aardvark, and he's proud; Elmo's an aardvark, and he's happy!" It's from Elmo's World: The Great Outdoors. But this morning, and for the past several days, I've woken up to the Captain Feathersword song from the Wiggles. This mama needs a new Tori Amos cd or something...

14. What's your favorite item of clothing?
My new pajama pants.

15. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?
They're mushy. They're only good with marshmallows.

16. What would you do if you saw $100 lying on the ground?
I'd look for a video camera to see if someone had purposely put that in front of me to see what I'd do in such a moral dilemma. Seriously. Of course I'd look for the owner, but I wouldn't spend all day and a tank of gas doing it.

17. What items could you not go without during the day?
I find this question a little annoying. Of course I could go without anything, except food, water, and shelter, if I had to. Do you mean what would I really like to ensure I always had?? My phone, Zantac 75, Tylenol 500, and something sweet to munch on occasionally.

18. What should you be doing right now?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I can post this now:

After a week of thinking about it, and weighing the pros and cons of each agent, I picked one. It feels like slipping on the right-sized glove.

I'm represented by Laura Rennert of Andrea Brown. :-) Woohoo!! I'm going to have a career in writing.

A busy week and 3 nice things

I haven't posted anything lately because I'm waiting to decide on an agent and actually sign the contract before publicizing anything.

Also, I've been having insomnia issues (related to pregnancy? choosing literary agents? moving?). My energy level is rather low.

I am, however, excited about tomorrow night, when we get the keys to our new house. A house. A real one, with a garage and no attached neighbors. We'll be across the street from a playground, surrounded by other stay-at-home moms who go on morning walks. We'll have space, and storage, and a laundry room. I am deliriously happy. Or just delirious from the amount of work I'll have to be doing this weekend moving our stuff from one place to another. At least I've got the seven-months-pregnant excuse, so I won't have to move furniture or carry heavy boxes. ;-)

Now, a challenge: I dare you to think of three really good things you have done for other people this year. And then admit it right here in the comments section. I want to see what my friends have done for other this year--I think it would make us all smile. Don't be modest and hide anything, either. Revel in your niceness and generosity!

Here are mine (yes, they're lame, but I haven't been that nice this year, apparently):
1. I made dinner for someone who lost her baby, even though I barely knew her and didn't feel like it.
2. I gave up my evening writing time so my hubby could have more time to study.
3. I read to my neighbor kids, who have a tired single mom who doesn't do much with them (although we never got past chapter one, because they got bored).

Your turn!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Good Day for Me!!

I got the call today from an agent. When all's official, I'll let you know who it is.

Funny thing (sorta) was that I was at the library with Elizabeth, so the whole time I was on the phone, I was trying to keep her from running around like a crazy wild thing. She was loud, she spit on a little boy, and she was pulling books off shelves. Thank goodness we were in the children's section.

Update on the teen writing workshop: it's been moved to October 6th. If you're a local teen, and you want to work on your writing talent and meet others with the same vibe, join us!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The American Bubble and Sheep

I don't want to make this a political blog, but I am getting sickened by what's being said in the news and the apparent lack of education and awareness of the general public in the U.S. Not to mention the great distance many Americans have placed between themselves and reality.

Now, I'm all for idealism. It's pretty much how I live my own life. But, that said, I'm not going to put a bubble around my head to convince myself that all is darn-tootin'-fine with the Good Ole U.S. of A. just so I can feel good about my own excessive lifestyle.

Good writerly news: I'd always thought of writing a picture book, but had no idea where to start or what I would write. Last night (or more appropriately, this morning), in the midst of pregnancy-induced insomnia, I came up with an idea I'm darn proud of. The silliest part of it is that it has to do with sheep. Fluffy, woolen sheep. (Not to be confused with starched, cottony sheep.)

I love sheep. Especially the white ones with black faces. Those are the kind my grandparents kept. The kind I saw toddling around one year and then ate, without realizing, the next. (Now that was an interesting evening.) No, the book has nothing to do with eating sheep.

~~Must go make lunches and get ready for a trip to the local State Park, in which we'll see horses and possibly jellyfish. (Wouldn't it be interesting to see them together?)