May 30th, 2008

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  • nisie

(no subject)

[Unknown LJ tag]
Greetings,

By now, you know that my next book was released, Blood Cargo. With that comes a flurry of publicity, including a web page that should be lunched next month. April recommended a very creative friend of hers to run the page, and quite frankly, I’m afraid to know what’s going into to. All I really understand is that it’s to have my picture with my autograph under it, a blog, and a link to Amazon to promote it. I guess I really don’t have to understand it to benefit from it.

Truth be told, Blood Cargo was based on a nightmare Dee had after seeing the first pirate of the Caribbean. It was a short story that I extended under pressure from the publisher. It’s an okay story but… I’m no huge fan of it.

Lately, I haven’t been a fan of my own work… I’m suffering from a case of writer’s block at the moment.

Dee suggested that maybe I look at returning to school to be a professor. Liz is the teacher, not I, but I must admit the idea has some merit. This way, I could bring home a steady paycheck, work on ideas in my own time that interests me, and show the kids the value of an education. The con side is the cost and the fact it would take away from my free lance articles, which truth be told, I like more than the creative writing. I’d hate to end up as poor as my mother thinks we are.

Changing the subject, as I am tired and sore- Robin was up sick late last night and I was busy in the garden most of the day. The newest things around here are the gardens I planted while Dee was in Montreal.

It started when I realized that Grandpa Jim doesn’t get a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, and took Robin and Merrie to a farmer’s market. I watched the way they savored the foods that they sampled as we picked out enough fresh produce to last him and Iris for a week, and my mind drifted to a not so happy event, when my grandfather would die. I wasn’t sure how to prepare the kids for what was coming when my eye spied a dying plant.

I’m hoping to help the kids to accept that people die, but life goes on by gardening. It’s not original, it’s not unique and it’s a little over there heads, but I hope by helping them tend to a garden, they being to realize life has a cycle.

So we started small, a tea garden for Mommy. I tried to tie in the garden with a green angle and recycled the wooden boxes that wine comes in. The kids painted the planters and then planted several kinds of mint and other herb like things… tea is not really my thing, I went by what the farmer told me.

Then I got to thinking about how hard it is to get the kids to eat their veggies and bought corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, lettuce, sunflowers and beans. It is my hope that by having the kids grown the vegetables themselves, they will look forward to eating them.

Now Robin, Merrie and myself spend at least two hours a day in our small patch of earth, spending time with each other. I can write books, but I’m working with Merrie’s therapist to learn how to grow children.

That and build my rogue up to a level 70 within the next two months. Merrie is getting quite bright about realizing when I’m too caught up in WOW to pay attention to her, and she’s managed to exploit it. I’ve got to cut out the gaming until after the kids go to sleep.

Until next month,

Mike
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  • nisie

(no subject)

[Unknown LJ tag]
Hello,

I have to admit, I loved the trip to Montreal at the first of the month! My oldest friend, Maxine and her wife Betsy, were just the folks I needed to see. They let me sleep until noon, took me shopping, we went out for facials, watched trashy movies, and had a blast! It’s such a shame that I don’t get to spend more time with Maxine.

I came home to one of those moments that, if you didn’t know that somebody was trying to impress you, would drive you crazy. Mike had the kids paint recycled wine boxes and plant them with herbs! Skipping the fact that my children saw their father digging though the dumpster to get the ‘planters’ and then painted them, those boxes weren’t meant to hold a garden. An A for effort, I guess.

And then there’s the fact that I paid for a subscription to CSA for organic food. Mike swears he’ll can/freeze what we can’t eat…. We’ll see about that.

I know I’m being a little pissy at the moment, but I can’t help it. Robin was sick last night and I ended up changing the sheets three times and give him two baths. Mike was a help, but to be blunt… it was coming out of both ends. We nearly took him to the hospital, but thankfully we didn’t. Did you hear about that poor woman who was on a stretcher for 5 days waiting to be admitted to a hospital? That’s the one we would have taken him to!

I have to admit with the garden, once Mike explained he wanted a way to spend time with the kids and help them foster better nutritional habits- and help them learn about death, I could appreciate what he did.

I know I hinted last month that maybe Merrie wasn’t an accident. The truth was that she was very much an accident of timing. After the wedding, I got very depressed. Before starting anti-depressants, the doctor and I decided to try to cycle off the pill first and see if that was increasing my problems. After Merrie was born, we tried another pill, which didn’t cause so much depression, which is a good thing, I think.

Work is going okay. I don’t really like some of the changes upper management is causing, and I’m seen as the bad woman as I have to enforce them. If they get too bad, I’ll just find another job. That’s the nice thing about my field, I can leave if I want to.

Right now, all I want is to get back to bed.

Until next month,

Dee
Snarky Candiru2

Mira's Letter, June 2008

Well, here it is, almost another summer. Time for long days in the garden after a too-short spring. Speaking of gardening, everyone's favorite D-list author has taken to putting a vegetable garden in the backyard of his and Deanna's house. The reason is sort of touching, in an awkward way. He explained that, besides wanting my grandchildren to have a healthier diet than the textureless, flavorless slop his mother makes, his grandfather might not live to see another summer (or autumn, as far as that goes) and he wanted to show Meredith and Robin that death was a part of life. Of course, the way he was going about it would end up with them confusing aging with root-rot but he was trying in his own clunky way to be a good dad. He has a lot to make up for but he's in there pitching. If he's not lost in some cybernetic lotus-pool pretending to be Nobrain the Barbarian, he's expanding a bad short story he didn't want to write into a worse novel he not-so-secretly loathes. Sure, he told his manic loudmouth of a mother that he loved the book almost as much as the pointlessly lurid title she gave it but I think when the lousy TV movie shows up, he'll probably discover a previous commitment he just made up to avoid having to watch it. Perhaps he'll end up listening to Dee and take up teaching creative writing. If so, they should put the inevitable confrontation with the Crazy Woman on pay-per-view. It's difficult enough to explain to her that Robin's health issues are real. This is, I'm sorry to say, the same woman who can't see what's wrong with her daughter the school teacher rushing headlong into a marriage with a man she doesn't have to think about having to love. It's almost stopped bothering me that I'm thought of as an overbearing meataxe even though I grew out of that sort of either/or thinking (either marriage to the stiff or spinsterhood as if the non-entity was the only man for her) years ago. It was a sad but predictable thing that when they had that scare with him two weeks ago Dee was too afraid of her over-reaction to my presence that I had to be kept out of the loop. It's a miracle that they didn't consult She of the Flailing Limbs either; she'd prescribe leeches and a curative galvanic belt for his ills. Anyway, that, like his middle sister's upcoming wedding to the slithering jerk they're ramming down her throat, is a horror for another day. Speaking of other days, I hope to catch up with you next month.

Yours repsectfully,
Mira.

Liz's Monthy Letter

Hello All! Elizabeth here! It's been a wild month. The last month of school is upon us! Luckily, the grade I teach (fourth) doesn't participate in standardized testing—only grades three and six do. I hope I never end up in a class where you have to “teach to the test” like that. It consumes a lot of classroom time—not just the teaching, but the test itself. I remember back in Mtigwaki, Gary would be in charge of the testing. I only had a few students each year who had to take the test (and I have to admit; it came as a surprise to me that first year! Unlike here, where teachers are reminded about it starting in February, Gary just came up to be one day and said, “Oh, by the way, I need to pull some students out of class today.”), and it wasn't too much of a distraction to have them gone. My class is finishing up our lesson plans for the year—I've stayed almost on track with reading, grammar, and math, but I'm a little behind in science and geography. We ended up spending more time than I had expected on the water cycle and properties of water. Back to Mtigwaki again, I reused an old lesson plan from my days there, and didn't change it enough; I'd forgotten that city kids don't have to same background to bodies of water that kids up north do.

Speaking of Mtigwaki, I had quite a blast from the past earlier this month. It was Saturday about two weeks ago. I'd run some errands, and when I came back, Warren was there waiting for me at my apartment! I felt a little uncomfortable, but something told me not to be worried. He just seemed a whole lot more level-headed than when I saw him last. I guess I was still a little anxious about it, though, because I sorta blurted out that I was engaged—he wasn't even hitting me or anything. What a non-sequitur! The news definitely surprised him. I guess it should have—I was pretty surprised myself when Anthony and I got engaged! Anyway, I invited him in and made some coffee. We had a nice chat; he explained to me why he was so crazy back in March. Apparently, a close friend of his had died in a helicopter accident, and Warren was pretty freaked out. He quit his job, and moved back home. He was really considering quitting for good, but the pull of flying was too much. He got a job stationed out of Dubai, and is leaving for it pretty soon. I think on March 31st. I have to admit, we left on a nice note. I'd remembered what I liked so much about him back when we first met.

I mentioned to Mom about Warren's visit—honestly, I'm not sure she even remembered who Warren was. I told her about how I met him after I broke up with Eric, and how great he was for me than, but I still don't think she remembered. All she wanted to talk about was the wedding. Oh well! I told her that I haven't even had time to think about it—not with school in session. She wants me to go with her to get the dress altered, but I think it's a bit too early for that. Plus, I still feel kind of weird about it. I know Mom and Dee are really excited about it, and it is a beautiful dress, but it's just weird. I wasn't that close with Grandma Marian, or Grandpa Jim for that matter. Part of me wants to leave the dress for April; I think it would mean more to her. But I guess I've already agreed to it. Anyway, I'm planning to lose a little weight before the wedding anyway—not down to supermodel size; just maybe ten pounds—so I should get started on that soon. It should be easy in the summer—fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers' markets, and weather's nice enough for me to walk to place instead of driving. Hopefully, I'll get in some good habits that'll be easy to keep.

Talk to you next month!

Snarky Candiru2

Saturday, 31 May 2008

As we draw to the close of another week, it would seem that we're in for a series of strips next week predicated on John taking Elly for granted because, well, he was the bad guy. I expect today's strip to at least follow the initial premise and be the one where, after Elly tells him how great not having to work is, the Future Train Fetishist asks her what's for supper because cooking is her job because she's the woman. Next week, we may or may not see Connie do her muppet-mouthed laugh as Elly makes a joke at his expense but I do know John is in for a scraping.

Hmmmm....... It's the strip that was suppoed to precede Thursday's.

Panel 1: We see him lean into the X-ray room and tell tell Helene, previously known as "The Assistant", to tell Elly the right way to do things.

Panel 2: We next see him and Elly as they work on a patient. He testily tells her he wants a specific tool and unsubtly reminds her to use its correct name.

Panel 3: The abrasive dodo demonstrates that he cares not a jot for his wife's feelings of panic and humiliation by hectoring her about the amount of time she's taken. Great. He's Frank Freaking Burns, DDS.

Panel 4: He compounds his error by informing the patient it's okay to treat THIS assistant like a shitheel 'cause she's his wife.

Hypothesis: John is a scumbag. He must die. Especially since he only did this to prove to himself that Elly should by no means get a job. Wonderful fellow, subjecting her to a rigged test.