which life is mine?

Had one of those dreams last night that was so intense I was shocked to wake up this morning and find out, that in the waking world, I was a completely different person.

I wonder if there is something that goes on in the brain when I am working hard on a novel that leaves the door open to these kinds of dreams. It’s like the blast furnace of my imagination is cranked up to full roar and I can’t get it to calm down, even when I’m asleep.

This week is already disappearing between my fingers. We leave Friday to take Mer to college. The older girls are already at their schools. They both work with Residence Life, and therefore are bracing themselves for nervous parents and anxious freshman moving in this weekend.

Is anybody reading this going to the New York State Fair next week? I will be there the morning of Wednesday, August 31st, to tape a short segment for a morning television show, Bridge Street, that airs in Syracuse. The focus of the segment will be the upcoming film version of SPEAK. If you are at the fair when we tape, I think you can be in the studio audience. If you care. And if anyone can drag you out of bed that early the week before school starts…

Back to work!

cool things in brown boxes

I love getting mail. Especially when I can’t read it.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com These are the Chinese, Italian, and Dutch editions of FEVER 1793. Yeah, I know. The whole “eye thing” on the cover some more.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com Here is an inside shot. I love seeing my books in languages other than English. It brings out the linguist geek in me.

Lots of writing on the agenda today… no more battling with insurance companies. Strawberries for breakfast and peaches for lunch.

My Beloved Husband built me a bonfire last night and as we stood in front of it, the moon rose over our shoulders. The sparks from the fire turned into fireflies and the fireflies turned into stars. It was a nice night.

How to get in a better mood instantly

If you ever have to fight stupid insurance companies all morning and you become so cranky that you are shooting cryptonite rays out of your eyes and leaving craters in the ground wherever you go, then there is only one thing to do…

…eat fresh peaches for lunch. Fresh, as in right off the tree.

I will now frolic in the meadow and sing show tunes.


Idealism vs. truth vs. box office

We watched The Last Samurai last night, and I tried really hard not to think of Tom Cruise’s recent Scientology wackiness. I liked the movie because I am a sucker for films that have subtitles and cool costumes. But they could have called it Dances With Wolves and Eats Sushi.

The movie made me think of an old struggle – why is it that filmmakers are allowed to manipulate historical truths and nobody screams about it? I had a sneaking suspicion that the Japan depicted in the movie was not historically accurate. I was right. Here’s another take on the story.

But not many kids are going to do the research.

Good story, bad history… does it matter? It does to me.

Another movie that made me crazy was The Patriot. It was chock-full of historical manipulations and outright lies. Way too many kids saw the movie and thought it was what really happened. How can we run a decent democracy if we don’t understand our historical foundations?

Authors are held to a high standard of historical accuracy. That is a very good thing. We are happy that librarians and educators and experts check up on us. And yes, historical interpretation is a tricky thing, at best. I just wish that filmmakers would aim for the same standards.

Anyway… consider this my Monday morning rant. (I’m working on another one about a certain health insurance company in Florida that is giving my mom a hard time. Grrrr….)

The good news?? Now I want to read everything I can about Japan’s transition into an industrial society. Can anyone recommend a good book?

The Bat Story

OK, so this was funnier when it happened, but I said I’d tell you about it so here goes.

Our house (the one BH built and that I just moved to) is out in the country. That’s one of the reasons I like it. But if you live in the country, you have to deal with critters.

I am not fond of critters. In fact, I am a big scaredy-pants weenie.

So a week after I moved in, we had a Critter Incident. Here’s the scene: BH, me, and a couple of the kids (J and C) are hanging out in the living room, watching a movie. 9:30 pm. Stef calls my cell and I go into BH’s office to take the call. Then J shrieks, in a very musical way. A bat had swooped down to watch the movie, too. We’d had doors and windows open while we moved all my junk in, and he took advantage of the situation. (I bet he doesn’t have cable where he lives.)

So J continues to shriek. She shrinks herself into a tiny ball and hides under the couch cushions. C yells, but he is 13, and 13-year-olds are adventurous and bloodthirsty. He wants to be in on the hunt. BH dashes to the basement and comes up holding an ancient (at least 50 years old) tennis racket. He finally yells, “Honey, where are you?”

I was under the desk. Desks provide excellent shelter in bat emergencies. I was also still on the phone with Stef, who was amused by all the shrieking and shouting she could hear.

The bat lured the boys upstairs. C suggested that he try and shoot in with his bow and arrow. We all voted no.

Stef and I finished our conversation. I emerged from under the desk, terrified, but wicked curious. I saw the bat swoop by. I swear its wingspan was five and a half feet. The rest of the family claims it was closer to five and a half inches, but what do they know?

There was much thumping, shouting, and leaping upstairs, where the boys were trying to subdue the bat. Much shrieking and yelling, too.

At this point the bat was thinking, “All this trouble just to watch cable. I should sign up for Dish Network and be done with it. Maybe I’ll get that Tivo thing, too.”

At this point I was wearing a large wicker basket on my head. Wicker baskets are incredibly useful things. I think I shall write a poem that sings the praises of good-sized baskets. The handle looped down under my chin. It was cute.

The bat was subdued by a lovely forehand shot of the tennis racket (it almost landed on C’s head) and dispatched out of doors. Just to be sure, I kept the basket on my head for the rest of the movie. The family ignored me, but I could tell they all secretly wanted their own Anti-Bat Protection Baskets.

We haven’t had any other critters visit, but just in case I have positioned baskets at strategic intersections throughout the house. I suggested that we make tennis rackets an important part of our interior design plan and hang one in every room. The family voted me down.

That is my bat story.