Category Archives: Kids

Weekly writing check-in: the one with a shopping trip

A short check-in this week. In a bit, my daughter and I are off for a “back-to-school” shopping trip. What? School started two months ago? Well, better late than never. This way, we’re hoping all the nice sweaters and jeans will be on sale.

One submission this week, one rejection, and more than 6,000 words. And that’s about it. Good luck to all my writing friends who are doing National Novel Writing Month. I’ll be writing as well, but they don’t have National Serial Writing  Month. So I guess I’ll just tackle that one on my own.

Writing Work:

  • Writing ~ 6,600 words

Submissions:

  • Like Bread Loves Salt

Rejections:

  • March Madness

Acceptances:

  • None

Publications:

  • None

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Filed under Kids, Weekly Writing Check In, Writing

Weekly writing check-in: the one with an Eagle Scout

EagleWell, it’s official, hardware and all. My son is now an Eagle Scout. He worked so hard for this, and the process had its ups and downs, to be sure. We’ll probably have a court of honor in a few months or so. But for now, we simply gaze upon the medal and pins–and that’s enough.

In other news, I managed about 3,000 words on the coffee ghost story. I worked through all the audio files for The Fine Art of Keeping Quiet. The Maze is done, and according to my dashboard, headed for retail (!).

Also, I wrote up a book review this week (see link below). And I may do another post in a bit to recap all the WWI books I’ve read in the past few years.

Writing Work:

Submissions:

  • Like Bread Loves Salt

Rejections:

  • Like Bread Loves Salt

Acceptances:

  • None

Publications:

  • None

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Filed under Kids, Weekly Writing Check In, Writing, YA

Weekly writing check-in: the one with a finished novel

dorm5So apparently you can send your son off to college and finish a novel all in the same week. Because that’s what I did this week. Those 11,000 words? Yeah, I have no idea when I wrote them. I just grabbed pockets of time here and there, and the next thing I knew, I was closing in on the last few scenes.

Once you get there, it’s hard to stop writing. So while that looks like a lot of words, it didn’t feel that way. As far as the total goes, the novel came in at ~ 80,000 words, which is a nice size for a novel.

And also, in other big news, my son went off to college this week! It’s not every day these two things happen, right? As you can see, he’s busy doing schoolwork already. Actually, he’s filling out the check-in form so he isn’t charged for damage to his dorm room later on.

So … that was my week. How was yours?

Writing Work:

  • Pansy 2.0 ~ 11,650 words

Submissions:

  • March Madness

Rejections:

  • Five to Freedom

Acceptances:

  • None

Publications:

  • None

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Filed under Kids, Weekly Writing Check In, Writing

Weekly writing check-in: the one with not much to say

goldySo, our new pup, Mattie, is adjusting well. The cat is getting sneaky and finding ways to be in the same room as said pup without Mattie noticing. Of course, when she does, the cat zips back downstairs.

Summer is ending, we’re getting my son ready to head off to college (the image is your clue as to where he’s going) and my daughter to Jr. High (milestones, we have them). Not quite as much writing this week as last, but I’m heading into the home stretch of Pansy 2.0 and can see the whole way in front of me. While it’s a re-draft, many pieces are significantly different: new scenes, new characters, new twists. It’s been a lot of fun to write.

Nice rejection this week for a story that’s long enough that I might put it in Kindle Unlimited and call it done. But I still have a few more I can submit when I hit a little downtime.

Writing Work:

  • Pansy 2.0 ~ 6,011 words
  • World Building class

Submissions:

  • The Life Expectancy of Fireflies

Rejections:

  • A Knight in the Royal Arms

Acceptances:

  • None

Publications:

  • None

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Filed under Kids, pets, Reading & Writing, The cat, The dog, Weekly Writing Check In, Writing, YA

My ten-year-old’s bucket list

So in the class I’m taking over at The Loft Literary Center, Breaking the Unwritten Rules in Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction, we’ve been talking about clichés and tropes, and about all those unwritten rules we might not even realize are holding us back from something original and startling.

We’ve discussed narration and how to balance entertainment with authenticity when writing a middle grade or young adult character. It reminded me of something Kyra said a while back.

One day after school, she mentioned she had something on her “bucket list.” After I got over my internal freak out about my ten-year-old having a bucket list, I asked her what she meant.

Here’s the thing: she’d never heard the phrase “kicking the bucket.” If she saw it in a story (or heard it in a movie) she would probably ask me what it meant if it wasn’t clear from context.

To her (and her friends), a bucket list represented a figurative bucket where they placed all the things that they’d like to do someday.

In Kyra’s case, this list includes:

  • being a scientist
  • traveling the world
  • painting all her pets’ portraits.

So, as writers, we’re told to avoid clichés because they’ve lost their freshness and meaning. But in some cases, all it takes is the next generation to give the old something new.

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Filed under Getting Schooled, Kids, Writing, YA

Is there a doctor in the house?

Conversation overheard on a Sunday evening:

Me: Kyra can watch her show and I’ll stream an episode of Doctor Who. Then, we can read.

Andrew: No, no, no! Mom, don’t become one of those people!

Me: You mean a Doctor Who fan?

Andrew: Yes!

Me: Are some of your friends fans?

Andrew: Kind of.

Me: Little obsessed, are they?

Andrew (eye roll): …

Me: Well, I just started watching it. I like it.*

Andrew (head in hands, muttering into the pages of his AP World History book): No, no, no, no, no.

Kyra: Dr. Seuss? Can I watch?

* Yes, I know. As of last night, I’ve only watched two episodes of Doctor Who. I have now given up any pretense of nerd/geek cred.

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Filed under Famous people, Kids

Brother turning 16 prompts (minor) existential crisis

So, yesterday was Andrew’s sixteenth birthday. As we were driving to dinner, I overhear this conversation between him and his sister.

Kyra: Andrew! Promise me you’ll get married someday!

Andrew: ?????? Why?

Kyra: I don’t want you to die alone!

Andrew: ????? Uh, okay.

Kyra: And I’ll make sure you’re buried next to your wife! And I’ll visit your grave every week!

Andrew: ?????????

Kyra: And be sure to have kids!

Andrew: Mom …

Yeah. Not really sure what that was all about. Of course, it’s not every day your brother turns sixteen. But then we arrived at the pizza place and that seemed to make everything all right.

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Filed under Kids, Musings

Of clothes shopping and BLTs

So yesterday after work, I headed to the mall with my fashion consultant (AKA Kyra) to buy some summer clothes. Somehow every pair of capri pants I own has disintegrated or mysteriously vanished. And dude, it’s nearly 100 degrees outside. I CANNOT wear jeans, even lightweight ones.

So, off to the mall it is! I only shop at one store there, so this cuts down on the angst and decision-making. I figure if they don’t have what I want, it doesn’t exist. Upon entering the store, I went immediately for the earth tones, Kyra gravitated toward color. She wove her way through the displays, selecting outfits for me.

I know what you’re thinking: You shop with your nine-year-old? Here’s the thing: She’s really good at it.

We lugged our armfuls of fashions into the dressing room, where, amazingly, everything fit. I know. I saved the Kyra-selected outfit for last. Once I had it on, she spent about five minutes adjusting the drape, and so on.

Me: You’re really good at this.
Kyra:  Well, you know, I’m probably going to be a fashion designer.

This, of course, is when she’s not being a scientist, a veterinarian, or painting all her pets’ portraits.

Then she tried to get me to pose, hand on hip, the other arm just so, head tilted at a particular angle. No matter what I tried, it didn’t work.

Me: I’m not a very good pose(u)r.

Note: Only I found that funny.

So, not only did everything fit, it was all on sale, and I bought the lot. I’m set for summer. And we did it all in forty minutes. At home, I made BLTs for dinner. Kyra took her first bite and let out a Mmmmm most people reserve for Godiva chocolate.

Kyra: Mama, you may be plain when it comes to clothes, but you’re awesome at cooking.

Yes, when it comes to toasting bread, I know no rival.

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Filed under Clothes, Cooking (disasters), Kids, Musings

Animal Humane Society: Walk for Animals 2012

We’re walking again for the Animal Humane Society Walk for Animals. Five miles on what I hope will be a beautiful May Saturday. It’s got to be warmer than the last few years, yes?

Want to help? Click through to donate to Team Oreo (that’s us):

Animal Humane Society: Walk for Animals 2012

Why Team Oreo?

 

This is why.

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Filed under Kids, The cat

A fifteen-year-old’s perspective on Perspectives in American Literature

So, Andrew is taking Perspectives in American Literature this semester–and already they’ve been reading like gangbusters. Well, if gangbusters read, that is. More accurately, they’ve been reading like high school sophomores in Perspectives in American Literature.

Here’s his take so far:

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Once I figured out it’s one of those books without a plot, I kind of liked it.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Everyone in class is complaining about this, but I’m enjoying it.

He really liked reading the play format and said he could see the whole story in his head. Then he wanted to know, since he’s enjoying Perspectives in American Lit so much, if he has a “literary mind.”

I told him he might. He just might.

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Filed under Books, Getting Schooled, Kids, Reading