Thursday, May 26, 2005

Tomato soup and an almost-migraine

Someone's been reading my mama's blog! Posted by Hello

What a lovely surprise to see a comment in response to one of my posts. Thank you, Avid Reader. You must truly read avidly if you've managed to find my work.

Patrick is off today to San Diego for five days; the ride to and from BWI early this morning went alarmingly well. The girls were patient and good. As soon as we got home I began to dismantle the diningroom in preparation for its transformation. No small task: I had to disassemble the table as well as take a hundred pount ugly mirror off the wall (which despite falling three feet to the ground did not break -- does this mean seven years of good luck??). Tonight I'm going to paint the base...a sort of scary tomato soup color. On Friday and Saturday I will paint the tinted glaze over it (a more benign brick). Am I avoiding the novel? Let's just say I've figured out how to faux finish the ugly door to the basement to look like natural wood.

I've had a headache for two days now that isn't responding to anything. When I'm not worrying about brain tumors (thank you, "House"), I'm in blinding pain. I'm sure the paint fumes and five days alone with the kids will help make it go away...

Sunday, May 22, 2005


I've been grappling with something huge lately...whether to push to get the book submitted while my agent is out on maternity leave or to just resign myself to the idea of waiting until she's back after Labor Day. While her assistant has been helpful - offering some very good comments (as well as some not-so-good ones) - I feel like she (and my agent's partner) don't really have any real vested interest in my future, or the future of this book. Christy, on the other hand, has always been a tremendous champion and fan. She's also a terrific critic, and I haven't even gotten her feedback (other than her general sense of how the book is working) yet. I have had to ask myself why I feel this intense need to get it done NOW ("Right Now!" as Kicky would say). I think it boils down to finances. It sure would be marvelous to sell the book NOW, but at what real cost? Argh.

A lot of what got me thinking about this is the book/signing event I went to at Politics and Prose the other night. Nicole Krauss ("The History of Love") seems to be enjoying the antithesis of what I have experienced with the publishing industry. She's on a huge book tour. Barnes and Noble just named her book one of the Discover New Writers books. THOL is the #1 Booksense pick for May, and The Today Show picked her book for this month's Book Club selection. Though she was articulate, bright, and (goddamnit) nice, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of envy. How much of my slumpy bumpy career is simply due to bad luck and bad business?

SO...I plan to revise like mad all summer so that the book will be waiting for Christy when she comes back. Patience. Patience.

In the meantime, we're enjoying this amazing spring. Today we're going to have a picnic at the Mall. The caterpillar should be emerging any day now from it's cocoon. Roses, irises, and peonies are in bloom. Patience.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Almost rich.

so close... Posted by Hello

Last night, for a few hours, my father was a multi-millionaire. His bank notified him that a significant wire transfer had been made into his savings account. They wouldn't disclose the amount. When he checked his statement online (after much sleuthing to figure out his own password), he found a balance of $110 million dollars. Needless to say, we had it spent within hours (in our imaginations anyway, as there was a hold on the funds). We had foundations built, debts paid off, convertible Jaguars in the driveway, and houses built all over the country (including a custom designed lighthouse playhouse in our backyard). We tried to think of the multi-millionaires in our lives who would have felt suddenly consumed with generosity toward my parents. We also tried to figure out what kind of lawyers we would need. Then, this morning, the money was gone. And my dad was charged $38.00 for the wire transfers. My sister went to work. My dad went golfing. And I tried to figure out how it is that this sort of thing always, and I mean always, happens to my father. This is the same man who once got five out of six numbers right on a lottery ticket (which is, surprisingly, worth only about $1000). I also sighed a little sigh of relief. Really. What kind of dangers would come along with that kind of loot? Now, if somebody wants to make a slightly more modest deposit into my account...say maybe a million?

Thursday, May 05, 2005


The merbabes.

Today we captured ladybugs and are housing them in a temporary Tupperware shelter. They took to their new environs right away and have been making love like mad since this morning as their inch worm buddy blushes.

We also read Eric Carle's "The Grouchy Ladybug." Now Kicky keeps saying, "Hey you, wanna fight?"

Just ordered "The History of Love" by Nicole Krauss. Again, always a sucker for lit-hype. She's reading at Politics and Prose this month. If nothing else, I'm building quite a library of signed first editions.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Funny, I've only been back from San Diego for just over a week, but the whole vacation has this sort of dreamy, hazy quality to it: like a weird thick marine layer. It was not what I expected, making me more homesick than I had anticipated. It also gave me a sense of delirium, forgetting at times where I was, that the beach was no longer my home. On return I told the lady I was on my way to San Diego. She said, "Honey, you're in San Diego." I copped a jet-lagged, weary, world traveler stance and corrected myself, "Baltimore." I came back to two cases of pink eye and one strange virus which I managed to get a slightly milder version of. Nothing like eye ooz and swollen glands to bring you back to reality.

I also came back to an e-mail from my agent that she's excited about the book, though she has some fairly major revisions she'd like to see made. And then, yesterday (before the notes/comments arrived), her baby made an early arrival. Now it may very well be until Labor Day before I can proceed. I am frustrated and anxious. I feel like I'm waiting for something huge to happen, and someone just told me I had to hold my breath until it does.

So I'm filling my time. I just signed up to teach an additional class this summer. I also put my feelers out again for the murals. A few bites today. I've got a request for some safari animals in a basement stairwell. I'm thinking elephants and giraffes. Maybe a baby gorilla.

Anyway, all that aside. Here's a recap of the trip: I had a chimichanga the size of a small child. I also had my favorite pizza, hot pastrami sandwiches, and more beer than I should have. I got to meet little Bella, my friend, Heather's new baby. I also napped. NAPPED. It truly was a much-needed respite from the real world.