Weekly Recap and Germs, Be Gone!

What I am Reading: Still working on The Blade Itself, by Joe Abercrombie. I am still enjoying it, and it is reminding me of the in-depth world building of GRRM in Song of Ice and Fire. My favorite scenes center on Logen Ninefingers, right now, and I am interested to see how the separate groups of characters will come to interact.

What I am Reading to My Kids: We are still chugging through Charlotte’s Web and Pippi Longstocking, although I expect to finish both, this weekend. We plan to read Because of Winn Dixie and The Mouse and The Motorcycle, next.

What I’ve been watching: In order to force myself back onto the treadmill, I’ve guided myself back to my first season obsession with Once Upon a Time. Catching up on season 2 on Netflix… It’s not as good. BUT… it’s enough to get me onto the torture machine, so I guess it is worth it. My husband and I have just started watching True Detective (HBO) and Black Sails (Starz). Both are really good. True Detective has given me some honest respect for Matthew McConaughey’s acting chops, and Black Sails (while occasionally falling into the GoT gratuitous sex scene trap) has drawn me in, in two episodes, more than Agents of Shield has in half a season. I’m looking forward to these two shows’ next episodes more than I am the return of Walking Dead, for what that’s worth.

Where I am at, writing-wise: Alas, I am not much further along than I was, last Friday. The knights screwed everything up, and I had to do some edits to fix the paradoxes that they had created. Ugh. But I have done some other cool writing related stuff, this week (see below).

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I figure that if the best I can do is set aside the period between packing five lunches at 6:30 a.m. and driving the smallest heathens to school at 8:20 a.m., every Friday morning, for blogging– well, so be it. So here you have it, the second weekly recap. Ta-da! Aren’t you impressed? Thank you… thank you.

But seriously… it has been madness around here. We are all at the point where we just want to throw the windows open to get rid of the germs and the winter blahs with a little fresh air, but the wind chill is -20, right now, so fresh air = frozen flesh. Not really what they’re depicting in the sales brochure. Our five-year-old was home sick with a cold for a couple of days this week, and every one has that drug out, sort of “winter overdose” look on their faces. The snow piles next to our driveway are taller than the minivan, though, so it’ll probably be June before it is all gone.

In Valentine’s Day preparations, we are busy putting together goodie bags and the 3rd grader has to design and assemble her own Valentine mailbox. Have I mentioned how the 3rd grader is my overachiever? This process has involved blueprints (yup… blueprints), two trips to the craft store, and use of the oven on two different occasions. I’ll post results, next week when it is finished, but this is clearly not an amateur project. (Meanwhile, the kindergartner could not care less about any of it. Go figure.)

The two big kids are in the midst of mid-winter chaos, too. Our 15-year-old is on the tech crew of The Crucible, which is showing this weekend, as well as preparing for the forensics team. I think she will be home for a total of about 12 hours, this weekend, hopefully some of which she’ll spend sleeping. Sixth grade son is busy with basketball, and he has spent a great deal of time figuring out EXACTLY how many games they can still lose and make the playoffs. Its high stake stuff, here.

Speaking of playoffs, let us never speak of that Super Bowl, again, shall we? It wasn’t just that the Broncos lost… it was how truly, disgustingly awful they played. That was the single most boring game of football I have ever watched, and frankly, I was just relieved by the time it was over.

In word related news, I am excited to be heading to Art Hop, tonight. My youngest daughter and I are planning a special date to go see a show of college artists who have illustrated some pieces by local writers (one or two of which *might* have been written by yours truly). It should be fun, and I haven’t seen the artwork, at all, so I am interested to see how they interpreted my pieces.

Also this week, I participated in my first Twitter pitch party. For those of you not on Twitter, or not familiar with the process of trying to get published, a brief explanation: Once an hour, you can post a “pitch” for your book. It has to fit in 140 characters (which is about as painful as childbirth, but without the drugs), and agents and editors will peruse the posts. If they are interested in seeing more of your project, they can “favorite” your pitch, which is sort of an invitation to query them, with the added bonus that you get to say, “You WANTED to see this… Like me! Like me!” It was a fun and interesting experience, and I received two requests from agents and two from editors, so we shall see where this goes. If nothing else, it was a great learning experience, figuring out how to describe my book in such a short space and how to hook the reader, with such limited word count. I’d love to think that an agent is on the horizon, but if not… I’ll definitely do another one of these. Reading other authors’ pitches was incredibly helpful, and there are a great many books out there that sound really interesting and fun. I wish all of those that participated in #adpit, good luck.

Beyond that, I am very excited to get back to our tradition of Saturdays spent playing RPG’s, which has been on hiatus since Christmas (Stupid winter.), a weekend full of art and time with my kiddos (Except for the big one. Soon, I’ll forget what she looks like.), and a full day, today, dedicated completely to working on Whirlwind. It is like my birthday and Christmas and the county fair, all rolled into one! Happy Friday!

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Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Football, at our house, is a religion. Well, I mean, in the sense that it happens on Sundays, it is hard not to fall asleep, and we have faith, even without visual proof. We are football fans from Michigan, which means that we lack evidence of winning, even more than most. But, every Sunday from September to January (We’re almost ALWAYS done in January), we watch, we cheer, we pray.

Many of our long-suffering friends are Lions fans. Oy. Poor, poor Lions fans.

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Our house is populated with Bears fans. Hubby’s family grew up in and near Chicago, and it was basically written into our wedding vows that I, and our offspring, would bleed blue and orange. Sundays mean that everyone dons their jerseys and eats too much. If we cannot watch the game, then we follow along on the internet (Thank the Gods for the internet, which makes our obsessions instantly stalkable).

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Today, as many of you know, we (The Bears, because we are all one on game day) must play our hated, vile cheese-breathed rivals, The Packers. For the division. For a shot at the playoffs. This is a big deal. This is the whole season.

And even though I don’t REALLY¬†believe that The Bears stand a chance in Hades against any of the other teams in the playoffs (Good heavens, was anyone actually watching that awful Philly game, last week?), validation of the entire season rests right here, on the shoulders of Jay Cutler and company. Without the playoff run, this ends what has been a remarkable season. Without a win, The Packers go on to the playoffs and we go home, tails between our legs.

So, let’s talk about the season. Let’s talk about a new coach, a new offense, receivers that actually CATCH the ball (how about those receivers, eh?), and a defense that has historically been one of the best that absolutely crumbled. Ugh. The defense.

It is a season when being a Bears fan has been interesting, to say the least. Where once we hid our head while the offense took the field, now we scream and stare at the screen in awe, as “impossible” catch after “impossible” catch is made (Thank you, Jon Gruden). Where once we exalted¬†in a defense known for take-aways and goal-line stands, now we use the defensive plays as an excuse to grab another bag of chips, or sign onto Facebook.

None of that matters, today.

Today, The Bears take on The Packers. For the division. For the playoffs. For bragging rights and glory and for “I-told-you-so.”

Today, is our day. We’ll worry about tomorrow, next week.