A hair band in the stove burner...

So, this morning, I'm getting the kids off to school per normal. One kid can't find her shoe. Not shoeS, mind you, only ONE shoe can't be found. It was eventually located in her bed. Hmmm, the question could be asked, but I'm sure the answer would be just as puzzling.  Once both shoes are on the younger kid (6 and a half years old), I look up to see the older kid (9 years old) with a pair of scissors, modifying a water bottle. She sees me looking at her in puzzlement and instantly puts down the scissors, screws the lid on the water bottle and tries, very unconvincingly, to ooze innocence. Nevertheless, we are almost out the door and, surprisingly, not late (yet) so I let it go. No blood, no screaming— no worries. Yet as we are literally walking out the door, kid #1 stops abruptly and says she needs to get her hair band. She walks over to the stove and reaches in the (cold) burner to retrieve her hair band. And to answer your inevitable question, I have no idea. In fact, there are many things to ponder in this scenario:

  1. Kid #1 has a short pixie cut, incapable of holding a hair band.
  2. Even if Kid #2 was involved, she refuses to have any sort of pony tail, therefore has no need of a hair band anyway.
  3.  The stove? What? I don't even know where to begin on this question...
  4. Why is retrieving the hair band the last thing she remembers as she leaves the house? This is the girl who forgot to bring her backpack to school one day...

In the end, I told her to put the hair band back in the stove burner because I needed a picture to document the oddness. But the crazy thing about the whole scenario, is that it probably wouldn't be the craziest thing that happens today. I just happened to realize in that moment that this is life. And at times its frustrating, but when I can keep a decent perspective on it, it's also freakin' hilarious.

 A different day, a different hilarity. Kid #2 went all day at school thinking the belt which came with the pants (but hadn't been looped all the way around) was actually supposed to be a tail.

A different day, a different hilarity. Kid #2 went all day at school thinking the belt which came with the pants (but hadn't been looped all the way around) was actually supposed to be a tail.

Girls in Literature

I watched this video recently about the lack of inspiring girls in children's literature and then I cried. But I also know it's so true. I'm a bit of a silent (and hopefully unobtrusive) hoverer of the books my 6 year old and 9 year old girls pick out and read. They WILL find strong female characters in their literature. The books are out there, you just need to find them. Recent stories they have either read to themselves or we have read out loud: The Island of the Blue Dolphins, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nymph (a little dated in portrayal of women, but Mrs. Frisby was a force to reckon with), The Egypt Game, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlotte's Web. I don't make a big deal out of the strong girls in the books, the books can do that themselves. In this house, together we have curated a library that is full of bright, beautiful characters who happen to be women. It's beautiful. And then I watch my girls go to the school library and come home with Captain Underpants and Fly Guy. Oh well. I do what I can. 

 One of my absolute favorite books growing up. Meg is such a wonderful character- strong, passionate, intelligent, flawed, and so inspiring. 

One of my absolute favorite books growing up. Meg is such a wonderful character- strong, passionate, intelligent, flawed, and so inspiring. 

Freya's Voice

Many of the comments I get about my book have to do with Freya's voice. As someone recently said in a review, "She is a fiery little bird whose kindness is infinite, but has to have the last, quirky word in the discussion". Fiery, kind and quirky. Awesome, my writing worked! That's exactly the tone I was looking for.

Let's admit it, as writers, the characters we write are in some ways reflection of ourselves, or at least a version of ourselves. I am in no way as quick on the draw at comebacks as Freya, usually I'm lying in bed when I manage to come up with the quippy, mic drop answer ("yes, but you're driving Miss Amorphophallus titanum"... oh, the laughs I would have gotten..). Freya also tends to see the best in people, even to a fault, where as I remain skeptical for a while. And fiery? Nope, fiery has never been an adjective of choice when describing Sonja. But even though on the surface these words don't describe how I act, in the introverted core of myself, I think I reflect Freya more than a little. And maybe writing gives me a chance to take that core that doesn't get seen as much and bring it to the surface.

Regardless, writing from Freya's point of view has been fun. Occasionally, she'll even talk to me and tell me she would not behave like that or she'll give me a high five for a particular good (bad) joke. She's a fun person to have riding along in my head while I'm seated at the computer typing away. I think I'll keep her around for awhile.

  I love this picture of a phoenix, and thought it reflected Freya well. But the more I looked at it, the more I kept seeing a female form with a prominent butt. And then I couldn't unsee the butt. And then I realized that Freya would probably be amused by the hidden image and therefore, the drawing probably reflected her even more. 

I love this picture of a phoenix, and thought it reflected Freya well. But the more I looked at it, the more I kept seeing a female form with a prominent butt. And then I couldn't unsee the butt. And then I realized that Freya would probably be amused by the hidden image and therefore, the drawing probably reflected her even more. 

My new website!

Oh boy. My learning curve for completely redoing this website has looked more like a vertical line than a curve. It's taken a lot of patience, advice, and aching neck muscles to get to this point. But here we are! By the way, if you are wondering, my previous, very unimpressive website was using WordPress. I had a hard time working with that platform and ultimately switched the Squarespace. As I said, it's been a steep learning curve, but fairly straightforward and with few major bumps. Of course, that ease of use comes with a price tag as Squarespace is not free like WordPress. But isn't the website pretty? What do you think?  Click on this post and leave me a message.
 

  This is neither me nor my computer, but the picture was too cheesy not to include. And look at her fingernails—how can she even type with those shovels?!? Then again, I have the same length nails as I did when I was four, so who am I to judge? I never gained the skill of having long fingernails, I poked myself too much. One more thought:   she looks about twelve yet has an elaborate French manicure— how will she be able to play pickleball in middle school gym with those things? Now I have written more about this picture than my actual blog post. And it's more interesting too...   

This is neither me nor my computer, but the picture was too cheesy not to include. And look at her fingernails—how can she even type with those shovels?!? Then again, I have the same length nails as I did when I was four, so who am I to judge? I never gained the skill of having long fingernails, I poked myself too much. One more thought: she looks about twelve yet has an elaborate French manicure— how will she be able to play pickleball in middle school gym with those things? Now I have written more about this picture than my actual blog post. And it's more interesting too...