Five on Friday (alright Saturday but whose counting?)

1.  Hot, hot, hot here in Southern Maryland.
2. So exciting to see small boy taking safe risks like jumping off the diving board and diving off the side of the pool into the deep end. There is something to be said for positive peer pressure. Let’s hope he knows the difference when the other kids start daring him to do un-safe stuff.
3. I want my computer!
4. Very fun to watch my kids make friends. There is a book in this for sure.
5. Must call secret agent man and get feed back on my recent submission. I’m getting antsy.


I am at the Leonardtown Library and have met all the children’s librarians and their assistants. We have our library cards and I now I am reconnecting with the world. We got here on Sunday after an all-day drive from Maine. Somehow, we managed to miss the lasting storms and just drove in and out of cloud bursts. The cargo was pretty dry when we pulled up at our new house.

The house is a spacious ranch in a development near a golf course. The neighborhood seems very nice but is definitely suburban and a big change from our more rural setting in Maine or my city neighborhood growing up. The good news, the kids have immediately found friends and we spend all the very hot afternoons at the community’s pool.  Last night when hubby got home from work, he took the kids to play tennis at dusk. We collected fireflies with the neighbors and shared fudgesicles. So there are definitely benefits.

The kids have visited their school and were charmed by the principal. “It’s too bad that we have to wait so long to go to school,” said I., “it is sort of suspensful.” So that’s good.

The biggest bad is that I’m without all my stuff. I’m certain that I can write without the computer and purchased a good old single subject spiral for the purpose. The only problem is I’m not exactly sure where I’ve left off in the novel. No matter- I’m going to focus on scenes and try to make some forward progress. If you’ve sent me an email recently, I’m sorry I’ve not responded. I need to use the library connection to get to the internet at this point.

Five on Friday

1. “I’m moving” is a good excuse for many things. Especially the emotional roller coaster that I’m on. It swings from I’m-all-business-and-have-a-“to do”-list-to-complete to I-need-a-two-hour-nap-and-a-good-cry.

2. Many things feel like “lasts”. This is last time I’m… (fill in the blank.) …getting books from the library I love, going to a baseball game here, making a play date with this family, going to this restaurant with friends.

3. The moving sale was exhausting and I didn’t really get rid of all that much. At least I can bring it to Goodwill knowing that I tried.

4. Writing is difficult now. (see number one)

5. Big number 7 birthday tomorrow for E. We are currently having a bonfire and dancing for sun on the solstice. Kids are coming over in bathing suits for a splashy fun party. I suppose if they get wet in the rain it is the same outcome.


It is late for me but I feel that I have to post just to say that I’ve written something today. Generally I take the weekends off but get right back to work on Monday. This day was just packed with cleaning, sorting, meeting with moving companies, changing addresses, calling cable companies. I had the funniest experience when calling Time Warner.

(Thick foreign accent.) “Hello, this is Eric. How can I help you today?”
Me: I tell him my situation
Eric: “Can I have your address?”
Me:  I give him the address.
Eric: “Oh, I’m sorry, Anna, Time Warner Cable does not service that address. I can transfer you to the satellite company who may serve your area.”
Me: Okay
Eric: Starts to transfer my phone call but there is a rather long pause when the operators working in the background are audible. When I listen harder I can hear each one say: “Hello, this is Eric. How can I help you today.”
I laughed.

Friday Five

1. Roar! is off my desk and with my agent. I’m eager to hear his feedback and hope, hope, hope he likes it. Cross your fingers for me.

2. Because Roar! is off my desk I brought my sewing machine to the first grade to help sew memory pillows. They draw on a square of white muslin, pick a calico backing and bring it to parent volunteers to sew it up.

3. Then came home to paint the still incomplete master bathroom. It is green. I love green. But not this green. I think I hate this green. It reminds me of the cinder block walls in my elementary schools or hospital scrubs. But it goes with the green glass mosaic tile that hubby chose and I said yes to. So now I have to live with it. But not for long because…

4. One month until I move.

5. Last night, the parents played against the kids on my son’s baseball team. Picture me in deep left field. The crack of the bat. The ball comes soaring in my direction. A high fly ball. I run to it, glove outstretched, closer, closer, “I GOT IT” I shout. Then thunk. It slides right into my glove. I wish I had a clip hear for you to see. Alas there is none. But there are witnesses.

Passion and politics

 left me a reply to my Sexism and the Media post and I felt that I should respond. Sometimes when our writing comes from passion it needs a few revisions to get from the heart to the page. Perhaps I didn’t want to put too much out there as this is a blog about the children’s book industry and my attempts to enter it, rather than a political blog. I tried to be subtle but I think my attempts at subtlety were just fuzzy and confusing. Allow me to clarify.

I do not think that sexism doomed Hillary’s campaign. I think there were a lot of other things going against Hillary. Her husband’s history, her inability to rise above the politics-as-usual game, her “experience” brand (which at times seemed unfounded), her inability to connect with younger voters, her connection to the imperialism that would hold the white house if she were elected…Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton?

That said, I admire her tenacity, and her focus on domestic issues (health care specifically). I would have liked to hear more about children, education and peace.

The second part of the post (connected to the video link) was really about the decline of journalism and the false familiarity of journalist with their subjects. I do think

is right that Senator Clinton preferred “Hillary” in an attempt to distance herself from the Clinton name. But she is what she is. All of it. I actually think this false familiarity started with Bill Clinton going on MTV answering the boxers or briefs question, and jamming on the sax. Not that this was wrong, but I think it opened the flood gates.  

Most important, Democrats and others who are fed up with the current  administration must unify to elect O’bama, and change the direction and priorities of our country. Our economy, our supreme court, our health, our environment, our children and our international reputation is on the line.

Sexism in the Media

I have been reading the novel “The Other Boleyn Girl.” In the novel, the author does a fabulous job of showing the oppression of women by their husbands and family without preaching. I always close the book for the night thankful that I have it so good and that I am so free. Upsetting then, to be sent this video link by my good friend Kim Simmons. If you can stomach it, watch this montage of sexism in the media. I do not watch network news so this was a lot to take in all at once and incredibly upsetting as I think of the 500, yes FIVE HUNDRED years that have passed since the novel’s setting. Surely we should have come farther by now.

Growing up in Washington, DC, I marched for the ERA and for pay equity and then to save Roe v. Wade. Here in Maine, I worked with NOW and ran for public office (myself a victim of a smear campaign) I am sick when I think of how Senator Clinton has been treated during this campaign. Where are journalists Peter Jennings, and Walter Cronkite when you need them? The teasing, belly laughing, thigh slapping boys club that is FOX “news” and MSNBC is disgusting and a far cry from journalism. But it seems to me that it is not just sexism at work. In addition to the sexism, there is also rampant disrespect of those in public office and authority. I support the media’s search for truth and to question authority. However, even the smallest things, calling Senator Clinton, Hilary, or Senator O’bama, Barack, is illustrative of our general disrespect for those in positions of authority. Oppose or support who you want but address them properly, argue your case thoughtfully, and use good vocabulary!

It is not just public office. This is true of how parents and students address teachers, and how children address the parents of their friends. I’m certainly not suggesting that we revert to the 1950’s or that we become obsequious in our use of titles. But a little common courtesy and goes a long way.

We will have a new president come January. (Whew.) But then there will be another election and another. And there will be a candidate who will stand with grace and dignity and represent my opinions about policy in this country. And I will vote for her. For now, I’m voting for Senator O’bama. I hope you will too.

Art Show!

When I got to the school, the teacher I was suppose to replace was there and wasn’t actually attending her conference so I’m home.

I hope you’ll follow the link to see pictures of my children’s art work. Mrs. Moll the art teacher and numerous volunteers cover the halls with art work that students have created through the entire year. It is overwhelming to see the all the great art. Here is a small bit of it here.
EB's Cave Painting ala Lascaux
EB’s Cave Painting ala Lascaux. Click ART SHOW to see more!

Illustration Revisions Coming Along

I’ve come so far this week in the revision of my picture book dummy. Too bad I have to substitute teach today. I’d like to spend the time finishing one more illo and assembling the book. I’m eager to send it off but will complete it this weekend and show it to my writing partner once more before I send it off to secret agent man. I feel that I had a major break through this week that allowed me to reinsert an idea that I had lost in other revisions but really loved.