Small Things 10-20-15

1.

fbs

 

And the new anthology Kickstarter for which I’ve been asked to write a story is live, folks!

Bedtime stories for kids ages 3-8 (& their parents!) Probably going to be fantasy-heavy, since most of the writers are SFF. The editor is a man I’ve worked with before, and he puts out very high quality books.  I’m very excited to be included in this project!

(And, btw, there’s still a ‘tuckerization’ available at a certain funding level–wherein I’ll name one of the characters in my story after you or your child–whatever name you specify.)

Ahem.

Anyway, have a look, and if it seems like a project you’d be interested in, we’d really appreciate the support.  My husband S.C. Butler will also have a story in the anthology, and I’m already excited to read it.  Apparently, my first dog Sydney figures prominently, so I’m really NEEDING this project to be funded…

2.  I’m heading to my parents’ next week for a few days–it’ll be my first multi-day trip away from the kiddo. It’ll be good to see my folks–they’re thinking of relocating to be closer to us out here, and there’s a lot to be done to try to make it easier on them, but I’m going to miss my boys terribly even for just a few days.

Wish me luck getting through the separation without shuddering myself into an anxiety ulcer or something.

3.  Writing is going well, though always more slowly than I expect it to. About 3/4 of the way through a draft that will be awesome if I can just get the story in my head onto the page in any semblance of order. Actually, that’s the job for drafts 2-5 or so, but still, I’m having a hard time reminding myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect right now–it just has to be on the page.  It’ll get there.  I have a couple of 12-hour travel days coming up. Writing ought to take my mind off family worries nicely.

4.  Xena the Sausage Piglet Warrior Princess is enormous. She’s weighing in at 54# and that’s on a restricted diet. She could still stand to lose a few pounds for the sake of her hips (in a dog this size, and of unknown parentage, I do worry about hip dysplasia) but she’s a big dog even if she doesn’t grow any more.  Also clumsy (as a sausage rolling off a plate, hence the nickname) and a clown.  Also a really sweet dog who follows me devotedly and is currently chomping a stick from the woodpile into toothpicks because the cow femur she’s supposed to be playing with isn’t, apparently, as much fun as splinters in her gums.  Big dope.  I love this dog.

5.  We’ve had one of the prettier autumns on record, and it’s still going strong. My chickies are nearly through their molt, so we’re getting eggs again, and the region is still buried in apples.  Happy Fall, y’all.  I do love October…

Small Things 10-16-15

1. I have, apparently, developed a fondness for sparkly, glittery nail polish.  This should come as a shock to, well, anyone who’s ever met me in real life, since I’m a boring clothes, no make-up, hair up in a bun type.

And I bite my nails.

But sparkly nails prevent me from biting them, and, well, they sparkle. Which, apparently, one never gets quite too old for.

2. We’ve had an absolutely glorious autumn here. The colors have been at peak color for, well, weeks, it’s like living in a box of Crayolas that have melted all over the landscape.  Rather stunning just to walk outside the house.

A nice reminder that it’s not the humid summers or the arctic, snowy winters that make this a wonderful climate. It’s pretty much October. THIS October, in fact. If last winter was the winter that all winters from here on will get compared to in my brain (“Ah yes! I remember that winter of ’14 when we got snow as deep as the roof eaves, now THAT was a winter, young fella!”) then this is the October that I’ll likely be comparing others to for a long time.  Not a bad prospect, because it really is stinkin’ gorgeous out there.

3. And on that note, it’s also the perfect time to have a fire, because, well, chilly.

4. Boy-child had his 5yo pediatrician appointment, winning accolades for not having had to see the doc since his last year’s annual check up.  Once again, kiddo was off the charts in height, and off the charts to a slightly lesser degree in weight. Pediatrician is fumbling with growth charts as he walks in after the nurse is done measuring height & weight & says, “Um, Ms. Jett? Your son is, um, perfectly average.”

Um, what? I know the kid’s tall. I buy his clothes. Surprised, I look up & he drops the punchline.  “For a SEVEN year old, that is.  Dear lord, what do you FEED him?”

Sigh.

Spare me from doctors with a sense of humor.

5.  Did I ever mention that the last kickstarted book I was a part of is out & available for purchase by non-kickers? Well it is. Please go buy it & leave nice reviews on Amazon & Goodreads & your own blog if you like it.

 

Also, I was recently asked to be an anchor author in an upcoming anthology of bedtime stories for kids.  Which is flattering, and also super exciting, because I have an idea for a story featuring a little boy’s bunny named Real, who just might be King of All the Rabbits.

The kickstarter will be going live on the 20th, and I’ll be plugging it then with links and pictures. Just a heads up–I’m offering a ‘Tuckerization’ for a backer incentive (where I promise to use the backer’s–or their child’s–name for a character in my story.) Literary immortality, folks!

Book Review – The Baby Book by Robin Silbergleid

 

When I was offered the chance to review The Baby Book by Robin Silbergleid I jumped at the chance, both because she’s a friend who’s been through an awful lot on the reproductive front, and also because she’s an amazing writer, and I’m always looking for a way to get more poetry into my TBR pile.  I’m lazy like that- while I enjoy reading poetry, I don’t always go seek it out the way I should, and here someone’s offering to drop a book of poetry into my lap? I’m IN!

I expected it would be well-written, because, as mentioned, she’s an amazing writer (and more importantly, her words resonate with me even on blog posts. There are plenty of good writers out there whose work leaves me cold. Hers speaks to me.)

What I didn’t expect was the emotional punch it would carry.  Having been through a lot of what she writes about, having witnessed much of her journey-to-motherhood as it happened, the book was stunning, both in its beauty and in its devastating ability to bring me back to a time in my life I thought I’d pretty much blocked from my mind.

This is not a complaint. Just a testament to the power of her words.

Had I found this book while I was still in the midst of my own IVF horror, this slim book most likely would have become my touchstone, my guide, a map I would use to try to illustrate my experience for others.  I would have handed my dog-eared copy to friends who were earnestly trying to understand my grief & exultation, my terror and jubilation.  “Read page fifty. That’s what I really mean to say.  Now read the third poem.  Read the one where she names her daughter ‘Hannah’.”

But of course, I’m past that devastating time in my life (as long as–apparently–I choose not to think about it.)  Most of my real-life friends these days have no idea what I went through six years ago. I no longer need a field guide to those emotions, those awful days, where all I wanted was a map to show me the way out.

So what I’d like is to see this book in every RE’s office.  This book of poetry (with the subtly gorgeous cover!) would have been so much more welcome to find on a side table in a waiting room than the latest copy of ‘Parents’ or an ancient edition of ‘Runner’s World.’ That probably won’t happen, but I can dream. And in the meantime, anyone who’s going through this, or who knows someone who is, this is an important book. Terrifying. Horrifying. Beautiful.

Just like baby-making, for those of us for whom it does not come easily.

***

The publisher is CavanKerry Press, (www.cavankerrypress.org or www.upne.com) and I’ve also found it available for pre-order on Amazon (link above, & know that I do receive advertising fees from Amazon if you purchase anything through this link) or Barnes and Noble.  Publication date is November 3, 2015.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review.