Saturday, December 13, 2014

"Kids Say the Darndest Things" is already taken...

I've had an idea for a book in mind for a few years now. It's going to be a compilation of short essays and funny things that my kids say.  Mostly anecdotes I've already blogged or used as my facebook status updates.  I've already got a plethora of really great material and it just keeps coming.   

I've also already started writing it in snippets here and there.  Here's an oldie but goodie sneak peek of one of the first page:

I was sitting on Alex's bed with him tucking him in.  He stuck his hand in something brown and slimy.  He said "Eww, what is that?"  

I determined, upon closer look and smell, that it was the remains of a very ripe, mushy banana (that quite conceivably went through the washer since I just pulled his quilt out of the dryer an hour ago.) I said "It's okay, it's just some banana."

and he said...

"No, I think maybe a fruit fly pooped on my bed." 

Anyway, I've had the title and the cover image in my head forever, but up until now I've never been able to properly capture it on film.  Until last week...

"Reflections on Motherhood."
by Laura Freeman

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Alex's First Band Concert

Alex joined the band this year.  We had the pleasure of seeing his class in concert! He goes to the High School twice a week with grade five kids from the other two schools.  They've only been playing for about 7 weeks now, due to the late start in school.  I think they did a fantastic job.  It's so great to hear him practicing his clarinet (he's in the second row on the left, in glasses --- yup another first for him this year). I really hope he decides to go all the way through band to graduation as we also had the pleasure of listening to the grade six band, the 7 and 8 band, and the high school band.

I had a bored toddler to contend with while I was trying to film this so the first bit of the video is shaky and has some bored toddler background noise.  The nice thing about living in a small community is that there is always someone around that you know.  One of my foster parents kindly offered to film for me.  She did a great job.  So thank you to her!  

Anyway, enjoy our budding musician's first time in concert!  (And thanks again, Mom and Dad, for shopping for his concert ensemble).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Drinking Brooky Juice

Came around the corner to see this... so of course I grabbed my camera!  Part of me is really glad I hadn't wasted my time washing the floor this morning. The other part of me is kind of wishing I HAD washed the floor this morning!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

National Novel Writing Month

In 2008, whilst on maternity leave, I stumbled across a little event that I pretty much promptly dismissed as slightly crazy.  In 2009, I googled it again, life being a little less hectic than when Kirstin was an infant.  I decided to announce my participation in Nanowrimo (to my husband only) and I threw myself head first into the task of writing a 50,000 word novel in thirty days.

I succeeded.  And it felt good!  My novel, "Patchwork Saturdays" still hangs out on my laptop (the third laptop I've had since then, actually) incomplete and neglected.

In 2010, spurred on by the previous year's success, I pulled up another neglected project, "Undesirable", a story I started writing in 2007, after Connor's midwife assisted birth.  I added approximately 200 pages to the 30 pages I already had on the go.  I called that a success too.

In 2011, I wrote a story about a girl who finds herself unceremoniously dumped at her grandfather's door.  I kind of like that one, and I actually managed to wrap the story up in 50,000 words.  I haven't read it since, but if I remember correctly, it's got some neat potential.

In 2012, on November 3rd, I gave birth to our fourth child, my daughter, Brooklynn.  I got a late start that month, about a week into the month, but I managed to add another 50,000 words to Undesireable, while nursing a very sleepy baby round the clock, bringing it to a somewhat solid completion.

Last year, 2013, I started another novel, based on a crazy dream about a road trip and visit to IHOP.  That novel, Journey, is about half finished.  It, too, has some neat potential but I haven't touched it since November 30th.

So, here we are, November 1st, and again I'm faced with the challenge, and thrill, of committing 50,000 words to paper (well, who are we kidding, to a word document, nobody writes novels by hand anymore).  The sensible me would take one of my earlier novels and finish it.  And I almost did.  But writing from scratch, with a completely blank slate, is SO much more fun then doing clean-up on something that floats between cycles of literary potential and rubbish.

So, here I go with unfinished novel number five.  It doesn't have a name.  And until this afternoon, it didn't have a plot or a setting or anything.  Just a very vague concept that I wanted to write a (insert spoiler here) novel.  In fact, come to think of it, my narrator doesn't yet have a name.

So... because I'm so terrible at finishing things, and years after my proclamation that I'm going to write a novel, publish it, then write another, until the royalties are such that I can retire from my government job and spend my days creating, I've decided (and yes, I may regret this) to write this year's novel online so that people (you) can read it while I create it.

Dumb?  Maybe.

Smart?  Probably not.

But what's the point in calling myself a writer if I have no readers to write for?

So, I've started a new blog... " " where I am going to be posting my novel every night.  Kind of like a serial, War of the Worlds type story, except without the alien encounter.  It'll probably be backwards, so you might have to do some digging, but it'll be there in its entirety by the end of the month, unfinished or not.  I debated posting it here, but I've already strayed so far away from "Laura's Family" with this blog, that I kind of thought that it was time to clean it up a bit and start putting my writing elsewhere.

Please be kind to me.  November is all about Quantity writing, not Quality writing.  It's all about getting the story on paper... and fixing up the typos and plot holes later. And there will be typos and plot holes.  I assure you!  People's names will change through the course of the month, pets and friends important to the story on the 1st, will vanish inexplicably by the 30th.  Loose ends will be left untied.  Brilliant foreshadowing will lead to... nothing.  It's the nature of Nanowrimo, for me.  I don't start with an outline, I make it all up as I go along.  So, if you choose to follow along, I ask that you be patient with me.  You're reading a first draft and, according to Hemingway, "The first draft of anything is shit!"

I would love to see your comments through the month.  Suggestions, questions, etc.  I may not take any of them into account (in the first draft) or maybe I will.  We shall see.

Anyway, enjoy my first 1800+ words.  I've enjoyed writing them... and now that I have a vague notion in my head about where I want this story to go... I'm looking forward to adding more tomorrow.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Puppy, Toddler, or Both...

I haven't blogged in quite some time.  Between my brother's Newfoundland nuptials and the recent acquisition of our newest family member, life has been hopping.  Now in the throes of our busy birthday season, it's tempting to avoid the computer and spend time outside enjoying summer.  But, I thought I'd better post an update before the photos get too outdated, because both my babies are growing like weeds. They're just so darn cute.

Meet "Domino", our 11-week old Boston Terrier... 

And... just for fun, a quiz!  

1. Lying on the kitchen floor, eating corn on the cob

   □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER      BOTH

  1. Sitting in the kennel splashing in the water dish

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER       BOTH

  1. Chasing the cat, growling

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER       BOTH

  1. Jangling the wind chimes hanging from the back door

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER      BOTH

  1. Running naked through the house

    □ PUPPY    □ TODDLER     BOTH

  1. Slipping under the baby gate to join the children downstairs


  1. Tackling the cat

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER      BOTH

  1. Climbing on the top of the couch to watch the children playing outside

    □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER      BOTH

  1. Comes running whenever a door is open

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER      BOTH

  1. Bit me on the thigh

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER      BOTH

  1. Howls at three in the morning

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER      BOTH

  1. Peed on the bathroom floor

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER       BOTH

  1. Peed on the kitchen floor

    □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER       BOTH

  1. Peed in the potty

     □ PUPPY     □ TODDLER       BOTH

  1. Tried to eat the potty

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER       BOTH

  1. Had a red 'permanent marker' stain on her head

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER      BOTH

  1. Drags the leash around the house, yelping

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER      BOTH

  1. Greets me at the door when I get home from work

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER       BOTH

  1. Snores

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER       BOTH

  1. Doesn't understand “sit” and “stay”

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER      BOTH

  1. Falls asleep on my chest

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER      BOTH

  1. Doesn't listen when I say “Get Down!”

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER       BOTH

  1. Ran down the street ignoring me when I called her back

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER       BOTH

  1. Knocked a piggy bank on the floor and played with the pieces

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER      BOTH

  1. Sat in the garden eating raspberries off the bushes.

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER      BOTH

  1. Stole our hearts!

     □ PUPPY      □ TODDLER     BOTH