Tuesday, February 06, 2007

New Digs...

Hey--guys--I've now changed the address I'm blogging at...most of you have found me already--all you have to do is check my profile... see you at the new digs!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Virginity is overrated anyway...

Okay--my weekend probably has better stories and better pictures than what's sticking in my craw right now, and I'm going to skip right over them because, hey, we've already agreed that I have a hard kernel of narcissism embedded in my emotional make-up that it is impossible to pluck out.

I've recieved my first bad review.

I knew it had to happen. NO writer with anything worthwhile--or even entertaining--to say is universally loved. Nobody. Take that guy who wrote The Bridges of Madison County--Robert James Waller--I'm not a big fan--if you look at amazon, a lot of people aren't, but he's selling books and making movies and SOMEBODY loves him and his critics are sort of spitting in the wind, aren't they? What about William Faulkner? Now HIM I adore--but he had critics who would would walk on the other side of the street if they saw him coming--they thought he was obscene (well, he did have one character who was totally in love with a cow...I mean, MOOOOOOOOOOO....) and they thought he was long winded, and they really didn't appreciate the 17 pregnant printed pages that were missing one lousy period. So I get it--I threw my hard work into the world, and you know it, I know it, THE WORLD IS A MEAN MOTHER FUCKER THAT WILL CHEW US UP AND SPIT US OUT IF WE DON'T HAVE OUR TENDER BITS PROTECTED BY IRON GRANNY PANTIES.

I guess I just forgot to put them on, that's all.

She was baffled. The critic was baffled by all the good press--she couldn't understand how anybody could love a book that misused commas so badly. Honestly, I didn't realize that commas had a lobby...I sort of thought they were like rocks in the shoe--yeah, it's irritating if one leaves the driveway to make it's way into your loafer, but really--it's not personal. And the review felt really personal. I mean, I know it's not--not that someone who's lobbying for the comma wouldn't take issue with my frequently typod blog or my completely disorganized life, and then that really WOULD be personal, but to say she was 'baffled'? I mean, I've read lots of books that hadn't lived up to their press--James Patterson, for one. I mean, I get why my friend loves him, but he doesn't do it for me. No style, no pizzazz, no fire... but I can at least respect that she loves him. It doesn't 'baffle' me. But my book, with it's shifting viewpoints 'baffled' her.

I was looking forward to my first bad review--I told my husband that I was looking forward to it. It meant all the good reviews were legit. It meant that my book had moved people--either to love it or to hate it. I didn't expect my first review to focus on stylistics--and frankly, I'm 'baffled' as to how to handle it.

I wrote the reviewer a very gracious comment (if I say so myself) and immediately logged on to my one place of unconditional literary love to lick my wounds--and here I am on the blog, trying to remember that I was still right. My first bad review makes my good reviews legit. No writer, good or bad, not even Orwell, could please everybody. Shakespeare made up his own spelling, grammar, punctuation, and, hello, etymology at will. My writing is still worthwhile, even if it's just for me, and my books are still loved.

I know this.

But Goddess, do I wish someone would log onto amazon quick and cover that bad review with a good one, because right now that one star bafflement is just staring at me like an open wound, letting in the infection of every doubt I've ever had that I was good enough to be read.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Silent Poetry Day

Okay, in honor of this, I'm doing two entries today and leaving you with this--obviously written some years ago:


And I will never grow old
Because my students wear jeans and sneakers
And I will never die
Because my kids will remember MacBeth
So hush dear don’t you cry
Because Grandma’s can ride horses
And in the heart of every crone
Dwells a five year old in tears.
And I will never grow old
Because people wear jeans and sneakers
And I will never die
Because Orwell’s alive and well.
My daughter cries at night
because she doesn’t want to wrinkle
She prays to God that she
Will never grow old and die
But she will never grow old
Because I’ve seen her in jeans and sneakers
And she will never die
Because in my heart she’s always five.
My son’s heart hurt last night
Because he doesn’t want to die now
I told him to fall asleep,
When he awakes he’ll still be seven
My daughter made me cry
Because she doesn’t want to die now
I told her sleep, my child my child
To me you’ll always be five
And someday we’ll grow old
And someday we’ll wear pajamas
But we will never die
Because to God we’re always five

What I've Learned This Week

* If you think a week that starts with a funeral can't get worse you're just asking for trouble.

* A husband who cleans your car when you didn't ask him to is a treasure.

* A husband who accidentally throws away the bag of fruit snack packets you were saving for the babies is still a treasure.

* A husband who accidentally throws away your paycheck when he's cleaning your car is STILL a treasure.

* A husband who feels inclined to blame you for the lost paycheck because A. You were too flaky to keep it in your purse and B. Haven't succumbed to the 21st century to get direct deposit, is probably right,only human, and still, definitely, a treasure.

I've also learned that

* Cat's barf in more than one place.

* If the cat has barfed, the baby will find it.

* Cat barf smells like cat-food.

* Babies like cat-food.

* Your stomach won't rebel if you use the word 'cat-food' to describe what you're cleaning from around the baby's mouth as opposed to the alternative.

And in addition? I've learned that:

* You NEVER regret NOT nagging someone.

* You especially don't regret it if he has to suffer through sharing the bathroom with the middle schoolers too.

* You really don't regret it if the cave troll starts bitching at your husband at 7:00 in the morning to 'Fix the bathtub, daddy--I need to play with my ducky!!!'.

* Laughing long and hard when the toddler does this completely negates the karma points of not nagging in the first place and makes you feel like crap to boot.

And finally, I've learned, once again, that:

My spouse rocks. And good times and bad times are both better with him. And my payroll department is made up of VERY forgiving people. And babies are washable. And the cave troll can always play with his ducky in the sink.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Unlikely Prophets...

Isn't that cute? Needletart thinks I'm going to start a new religion... Can you imagine what a disaster that would be? I mean, if I were the next grand pubah representing the Queen of the Universe, the chaos would be unbef*&^ing believable... how, you say? Let us see...

If I was Grand Pubette of the Queen of the Universe all houses would come equipped with the following things:

**Dishwashers (because some of us aren't lucky, that's why).

**Conveyor belts from the bedrooms to the washing machines (No one's thought of this?)

**Self cleaning floors (again--if women had ruled the world, we would have figured this out a long time ago.)

**Built in winder and swift (but of course!)

**Laptops in the bathroom (and a phone and a mini-bar.)

**Cages from the ceilings (the better to hold cave trolls so you can vacuum under them.)

**Giant shelves for yarn and books (did you doubt it).

**Self cleaning cat boxes.

**Mandatory cats (to worship, of course)

**Ceiling hooks for jackets (because the hall closet's just getting filled with crap, we all know that...)

**DVD filing system (that works. One that works would be nice.)

**One of those house expansion systems perfected by Disney and Warner Brothers--the kind where you press a button and grow a second story.

But home improvement would not be the only place I'd put the stamp of the Queen of the frickin' Universe...I would also require the following things from the world at large:

**Mandatory cattle prod certification for all classroom teachers--and permission to use the tools of the trade.

**A jail sentence for any student who confuses the words 'dumb bitch' with the profession 'teacher'.

**Women in product development for ALL THINGS USED BY HUMANS. (Think about it..the clothes we put on our babies compared to the clothes our parents put on us...the difference between snapped-crotch cotton T-shirts and poplin blouses that button in the back comes down to one thing...WOMEN IN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT...I'm telling you, it would solve 3/4 of the world's problems.)

**A mandatory sentence of being stripped naked and shaved on live television while the world laughs at the size and/or color of your privates if you are a politician of any stripe who gets caught telling big whoppers to the world at large.

**Add to that the addition of having a layer of skin eaten off your body by live ants if your big fat lies result in the death of ANYBODY.

**Tax breaks for using products that are environmentally sound.

**A parade day for all men who do dishes, laundry, child-rearing, and who don't desert their families (or think of deserting their families) for size 2 twinkies who could suck the enamel off their teeth through their, uhm, toes.

**Automatic retirement bennies if you can prove that your children made it to adulthood without being substantially mentally or physically FUBAR. (Yeah, I know, I'd be eating cat food...don't remind me...)

**Paid days off if you can prove that you know more than the person your boss hired to tell you how to do your job.

**A back to school day forcing all politicians to fill the seats of the poorest high school in their district. If their districts make a crapload of money, they get to go to the poorest school in the poorest district in the state.

**If that doesn't change the world, they have to spend a week teaching in that school--while the teachers whose budgets they cut sit in the back of the room and heckle.

**Yarn would be in the same 'tax-break' category as your mortgage and day care.

**And teaching a young person how to do something useful with their hands and spare time would get you a parade thrown in your honor.

And I've got to stop now, because this is sounding good...in fact, I've got a little powerbuzz going... I'm going to have to go home and do something useful with this... like vacuum.