Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Not Writing

I now have time to write.

Instead I blog, I discover new blogger backgrounds, I think about doing my family history, I think about that book of poetry I want to put together, I find a really cool Jane Austen book in Chapters that looks like a scrapbook and wonder how I can get my journal or poetry book to look like that, I think about those blog backgrounds and I end up looking up digital scrapbooking.

Big mistake.

Because now I want to play with that instead of writing something that might sell.

I love writing once I get into the "zone", but getting to that zone becomes something I put off. It's like a journey I know I want to go on but the packing is overwhelming, so instead I clean, organize, surf the net, exercise, surf the net, oh who knows what I end up doing instead of real writing.

I only have myself to blame.

I have a guest post on Blog Segullah. Chasing Rainbows

I also discovered that an article that I wrote for my college newspaper is on the net. An Old Dog Learns New Tricks

And to read about what I said about Phyllis A. Whitney and a review of two of her books, go to Views from Hobbit Hole.

If I type in my name to a search engine I get me, which can be disconcerting because it also brings up everything I ever said on other people's blogs.

And for those of you who remember momsense from Anita Renfroe, here's another. This woman is brilliant. I showed it to my 10 year old daughter who's a Tayor Swift fan and she was horrified. "Bad Mom!" she exclaimed. "That's just wrong."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Motorcycles, Vampires and Spike and Snarl

Okay, folks, she's back. Aunt Madge is back offering her advice. Sigh.

"Sigh, you sigh? Like it's a bad thing? I give great advice. I knew I should have stayed and run your blog while you were off at school, but no, I had to go travel the world..."

"You did not travel the world."

"You don't know what I did. You were too busy not learning Spanish."

"Can we not talk about the Spanish please?"

"We'll talk about motorcycles instead. Just go over to my blog at Ask Aunt Madge.

"Motorcycles? You're giving advice on motorcycles? Have you ever been on a motorcycle?"

"I had one."

"A motor scooter that you have to pedal to get going is not the same thing."

"Just go read the post."
Things that make you go hmmm.

First time novelist Elizabeth Kostova received an advance of 2 million dollars for her 2005 book, "The Historian", a novel about Vlad the Impaler.

Where can I get that deal? Because I can't think of anyone who needs it more than me.

A story of mine will be featured at Blog Segullah on Sunday.

Cindy Beck mentions me in her blog post about Spike and Snarl. Thanks Cindy!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hey Mom, Can I Have a Beer?

I had an interesting conversation with a teenage girl.

According to her, many of her friends are raised in homes where alcohol is served to them at fairly young ages. We're talking 1o year olds here. Having a can of beer or a glass of wine with your parents is just a part of life for these kids.

Now I'm aware that many parents will give their underage teenagers alcohol because "they're going to drink anyway and I'd rather they did it under my roof where I know they're safe." I'm not even going to discuss that logic. But giving alcohol to 10 year olds is a new one to me.

I come from an alcoholic home. My parents found it amusing when I was 5 to see my reaction when I took a sip of beer or wine. I figured out at a fairly early age (12) that if I didn't want to become an alcoholic then I better just stay away from the stuff altogether. I firmly believe that although alcoholism is classified as a disease, unlike other diseases which you can get no matter how many precautions you take, alcoholism is completely preventable simply by never partaking. You can't become an alcoholic if you never drink alcohol. Pretty simple.

But what if you're served alcohol at a young age? What if you're not old enough to make an informed decision? What if you don't know that there is a choice?

I'm not suggesting that everyone who drinks is going to become an alcoholic. Many people are able to enjoy a glass of wine at dinner or a beer at a football game without a problem, but the thing is there is no way of knowing who will be able to handle it and who won't.

And parents who think nothing of giving their children (and I do mean children) alcohol don't strike me as the type of people who drink responsibly and within moderation. I admit I could be wrong on that but it doesn't sound responsible to encourage your children to drink. If a child is wired to become an alcoholic then you can't teach them to drink responsibility and before you know it you've got a teenager with an addiction.

Out of all the drugs that are a problem with teenagers, alcohol is the number one with tobacco as two. Both legal substances that are easy for kids to get their hands on.

Now, I'm not the type to advocate entering people's homes and playing Big Brother. But I can't help but wonder what these parents are thinking.

I realize that not everyone has my aversion to alcohol nor my absolute no-drinking stance no matter what age, but what's wrong with waiting until your kids are legally adults and bear the responsibility themselves?

Monday, May 3, 2010

I'm Back

Yes, I am back. Now if I can just remember how to do this.

I've gone back to school. I'm an English major and just finished my first year. Why go back at 40 something and hang around a bunch of people who are not only younger than some of my children, but younger than shoes I have? Well, it ain't easy finding work, and writing, unless your Stephen King, J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer just doesn't pay the bills.

So there I am writing poetry, taking drama classes and trying to learn Spanish and not writing in my blog because who has time? But my first year is finished, my exams are all done, the final marks are in and I even squeezed in a weekend playwrighting workshop where my play was read by professional actors.

So now I'm back. Back to real writing, back to blog writing, back to Aunt Madge and book reviews and back to rejection slips, at least until September when it's back to school.