Looking for answers

I want a magazine that refuses advertisements that use these deceptive dollbaby images.
I want models who don’t look like lollipops.
I want Hannah Montana to stop grinding her hips when she dances in front of an audience of 9-year-olds.

What do you want from the worlds of fashion and entertainment?

To balance out my anger, I went in search of goodness and found it: read about today’s hero, Karen Gaffney, who swam across Lake Tahoe yesterday. Read the article. I guarantee you’ll feel better. Then check out Karen’s website.

Our Internet has been taken over by poltergeists, so I have limited email and web time this week. I am deep, deep in my rough draft, walking around in a fog. It’s a good thing that BH is a patient man. Daughter Meredith sent me a giant vat of popcorn to feed the muse. If this keeps up, I might even meet my deadline!

Winning weekend

This is going to be a quick entry to start the week. I feel like I have one hundred bazillion things to do and not enough hours in which to do them. That’s the bad news. The good news is I had a fantastic, energizing weekend and I am chomping at the bit.

The Mexico Cider Run 5K was a blast; perfect weather and BH and I had a great time. And, drum roll please, I won my age group. Yes! That’s right! Me – the one who has never won anything sports-related. I was so happy with my time (which was a personal best) it never occurred to me that I might have won. And they gave me a little plaque which is now sitting on the mantel. Suddenly all those soccer trophies my kids lugged home made sense.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Here we are, the happy, sweaty runners. (BH is wearing the shirt we had made up for last Thanksgiving, when all of our kids ran in a 5K with us.)

When I started getting back in shape 15 months ago, I could barely shuffle two miles on the treadmill. In running, as in writing, persistence is everything.

Yesterday was a writing and canning day. I used a bushel and half of Roma tomatoes to make chili base. Thanks to a well-timed email from my friend Hope Vestergaard (who is a great writer and a lover of all things Danish, like me, and who I will get to see at the SCBWI Michigan conference next month) I roasted half a bushel and froze them. Thank you, Hope – they turned out great!

It was a packed day, so I woke up at 4am and hopped right to it. My reward was a gorgeous sunrise. The photos I took don’t come close to capturing the glory, but I thought I’d share a couple with you.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The colors peeked out just after the hoot owls went to sleep (they sang to me when I first got up).

Image and video hosting by TinyPic See why I live out here?

I have insane writing goals this week. I would like to add 40 pages to the rough draft by Friday afternoon, if possible. That’s a lot, but I figure you never accomplish much if you don’t aim high. Plus I have speeches to write and piles of mail to get through. Wish me luck and focus… I am going to need it!

How was your weekend?


I am finally beginning to feel the burn-out that dogged me all summer begin to fade away. This is officially a Good Thing. That balanced life of awareness, intention, hard work, and fun is on the horizon!

I am almost through the brainstorming draft of my new YA. This is the fast and dirty draft: very fast, very dirty. It’s about 35 pages long, with another 40 pages of notes in a different file. The actual writing of the first draft begins tomorrow morning. And that’s all I want to say about that.

I have now tagged all of my 2007 entries in my LiveJournal. I hope to get to 2006 and 2005 very soon. This will be useful for people who are looking for specific information (writing process, Twisted, Speak) or who just want to see all my pictures of Poland or snow. Do you use tags when looking for info?

BH and I ran in the Salmon River 5K last Saturday, despite the heat and humidity. Much to our surprise, we ran a decently fast race. (He could have run much faster, but he was a gentleman and ran with me the whole way.) Even more to our surprise, we each placed third in our age-groups and won a medal. That was very cool. Our knee trouble over the summer has prevented us from entering the half-marathon in Philly later this month, but we’ll be running in our hometown Mexico 5K Cider Run this Saturday. Come join us! You’ll support our local library and have a blast.

I had an Animal, Vegetable, Miracle moment (you must read that book) in the grocery store yesterday. I had this fancy-pants fish recipe I wanted to make that called for a salsa made for fresh oranges. The problem? Not only were the oranges four for three dollars, they had been imported from Peru. We have been making a real effort to reduce our carbon footprint and support local farmers. Oranges from Peru do not meet those goals. So I drove past an orchard on the way home, bought near ten pounds of peaches for nine dollars, and made peach salsa. And yes, I am feeling rather smug about this, thank you.

I have speeches to work on this afternoon, and thirty pounds of fresh green beans to blanche and freeze. And you don’t even want to know how many tomatoes are waiting in my kitchen. They snicker as I walk by. We’ll see who has the last laugh….

Happy Birthday, Penni! Happy Birthday, Alex!!!

Note to Danielle I’ll be emailing you within the next couple of days. Thank you so much for what you sent!


I am already at the half-way point of this trip. I hate how time speeds up when you’re having fun.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Trust me, friends. I am having a blast. This is me frolicing in front of the Summer Palace. (Your mission, if you choose to accept it: use the word “frolic” in a sentance today.)

Polish cafeteria food and more!