Friday, February 24, 2012

Book Rut?

All of the books on my nightstand currently have the same cover colorations. I wonder if I get into these weird hue grooves in other areas of my life. (Judging from line-up of grey sweaters in my closet I guess the answer would be yes.) RIN TIN TIN is a book that doesn't sound like my cup of tea -- I dislike dog books and don't read a lot of non-fiction -- but it's fascinating, truly.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Gifts. Because February *sigh* is a long month.

I periodically, randomly, irrationally give away cute things that are tangentially related to my books. Just go to THE BIRD HOUSE fb page. Last week it was a bird bracelet, this week it's this adorable mini-journal necklace. You can buy it here or wait and see if luck is on your side.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


My first novel, STANDING STILL, sprang partly from my own fears and issues, and partly from an obsession with the case of Elizabeth Smart: How could a child be kidnapped from the second floor of a mansion with an alarm system? I reimagined the scenario, changing the story to save my "Elizabeth", and put someone else in peril.

Now, I learn that Elizabeth was married yesterday in a temple in Hawaii. How perfect that she wrote her own happy ending, too.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Other obsessions.

When taking a writing break (aka procrastinating) my other obsessions emerge. Over 50 degrees: riding bikes. Under 50 degrees: knitting hats. This one was for my buddy Sue and I had to document it quickly before wrapping it. (Note: also obsessed with photo apps. Obviously.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Thirty. A Valentine's Repost.

Here is my full post from last week's My Thirty Spot Project. Read all the essays here.

Part of me would love to be thirty again. (Specifically, my ass would love to be thirty again.)

But then the rest of me remembers how exhausting it was.

Your twenties are often spent searching and second-guessing. And your thirties? Finding, nesting, populating. Perfecting. It’s the perfecting I wish I could do over. (Irony: I want to fix my perfectionism because that would be soooo perfect.)

By the time I hit forty, I knew that Christmas cards couldn’t compete with Christmas mornings. That having the right furniture meant nothing unless you had the right friends. All those years I worried people might laugh at me? I should have been looking for people to laugh with me.

I want a do-over on all the hours I went shopping for things to hold other things. If I could be issued a refund, please, for the days spent pondering paint chips, I would use them to go out and consider the colors of the stormy sky and bending pines.

Light matters. Scent matters. Fresh flowers. Fresh air. All the rest just has to be replaced every five years.

And the kids, the school drama, the herding cats days. Sigh.

If I could get back all the time I spent trying to make my daughters smile simultaneously for the camera, or sit still in their color-coordinated clothes, I would use it to tickle them. To hula-hoop. And to fingerpaint under the shade of a tree. I would stop trying to keep them clean, and just keep them happy.

I know now it doesn’t matter what you wear to back-to-school night. And . . .shhhhh . . . don’t tell anyone, but . . . .it doesn’t matter if you go to back-to-school night.

For years, I avoided valet parking at restaurants because I was worried sippy cups and petrified french fries would fly out when they opened the door. Now, I let them sail and tip accordingly.

There is so much pressure now. Ways to live, eat, cultivate. Virtuous paths that require more of women, at a time when other things are scarce. We cling to jobs we can’t afford to lose. We learn to plant vegetables and when we get too good at it, we have to learn to can. We get up early to ride pretend bicycles up pretend hills. In addition to jumper cables and quarters. . . we have to remember to have a dozen freaking re-usable grocery bags in our cars.

It’s too much. It’s too much. These are not the years to dig in. These are the years to let go of the rope. To let the potato chips fall where they may. To let the organic cookies crumble in your happily un-made beds.

Nap, I say. Read a book. Take a walk. Hold a hand. The light is waning, always. Curl into it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Snow, laughter, nothing getting done.

Yes, I should be writing or reading on this snowy day. But as I race home from a meeting, then head out to take the kiddle to the doctor, the friend who is fixing up the broken things in my house (see pathetic older post called On Broken Things)said, "Hey, Kel, when the toilet flooded I grabbed some towels that looked like rags or dog towels and mopped it up. Where should I put them?"

You guessed it. Our clean, normal towels look like rags to other people.

I'm thinking a visit to Bed Bath & Beyond The Pale is in order.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Perfectly happy to not be 30 anymore.

Today, I'm so happy to be guest-posting on the charming website My Thirty Spot about the joys and challenges of that decade of life.

Please check out my post and tool around on the site -- no matter how old you are.