Slurpees are my Happy Juice

I kept meaning to blog these past two weeks. Why haven’t you blogged? I asked myself.
Because you have nothing to say, myself reminded me.
Not having something to say has never stopped you from opening your mouth before, myself reminded me, myself, and I (and then I got very confused about who was actually speaking.)

So here’s a brief recap of what I’ve been up to the past two weeks:

1. A new 7-11 opened a block away, and they have 8 different flavors of SLURPEES. This is my daily reward for writing. I like the Wild Cherry and the Blue Raspberry, but I’ve learned you shouldn’t mix the two together or it tastes like the worst, most potent cough syrup on the planet, and I think something actually comes alive on your tongue.

2. I chaperoned a fourth-grade trip to the ice rink way out in East I Don’t Know Where We Are Brooklyn. It was my first time on the ice ever. I intended to stay safely on the sidelines, but my son shamed me into lacing up my first pair of skates with, “Mommy, it’s good to face your fear. It’s terrifying, but also fun.” Why did I teach him to be verbal, anyway? I once documented here my secret fantasy of becoming an Olympic figure skater whose long program included a quadruple lutz haf-caf with foam thingy set to Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung.” No, I do not know why it had to be “Aqualung” nor do I know why a song about a poor, snot-encrusted homeless man said to me, “Go for the gold, Dorothy Hamill!” I really don’t. The point is that this was a HUGE fantasy for way longer than it should have been, really. I now know that I wouldn’t make it through the first guitar lick on skates. However, I did manage to make it all the way around the rink, hugging the wall like it was my primal mother, and my butt did not kiss the ice once, which is miraculous, frankly.

3. Dyed, decorated, and successfully hid-and-found all 12 Easter eggs. This is good, because there is nothing like standing in your house going, “Okay, we’ve got nine, ten, eleven….ohhhh, hmmm. Well. Guess we’ll smell that last one eventually.”

4. There’s a skittish black kitty who has been making visits to our backyard. You know you should never feed a stray cat, or they’ll keep coming back, right? I know this. In fact, I told myself that very thing as I poured out a nice bowl of food and water and left it for him on the back patio Monday and then again on Tuesday when he came back sniffing around the back door so that I HAD to give him some treats and a little toy and call him, alternately, Shadow and Mr. Pusskins and Soot while telling him that he was a “purtypurtypuddytat.” I am very, very tough. Harcore. Ruthless. Oh, look, dere’s dat sweet, sweet puddytat…does Mr. Pusskins want some Greenies, hmmmm?

5. Attended Books for the Teen Age 2008 at the NYPL. Saw lots o’ fabulous folks and scarfed down free cookies and called it lunch. I went with Cecil Castellucci and Jo Knowles who came in the day before and crashed at our house. We ate pizza and talked about writing and Cecil gave me the lowdown on creating a graphic novel script since that’s one of the projects I have on the back burner.

6. On Sunday, I interviewed a theoretical physicist. The cool thing is that the physicist in question, Adam, was one of two brothers I took care of when I worked as a nanny in college. Both Adam and Mark were terrific kids who have grown up to be terrific adults and all-around great human beings, despite having had me around for four of their formative years. Mark is working on his Ph.D. at Harvard Divinity School and Adam has his Master’s in physics from Columbia. Yeah, idiots both of them. ☺ I have many fond memories of taking the boys swimming at Barton Springs, of playing Axis & Allies and Risk, of basketball games in the driveway and me going for a lay-up and running face-first into the back fence, and, just generally, getting to hang out with them. Flash forward to sitting in my kitchen with the now grown-up, six-feet-tall Adam as he answered all my questions about string theory and quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principle while we sucked down a bowlful of homemade guacamole. Wowee. Where does the time go?

7. Worked on GOING BOVINE. Ah, revision. I’m convinced that self-loathing is just a huge part of the writing process. The first draft is like getting dressed in a dark room, and revision is like being in the cruel, fluorescent glare of the dressing rooms in Macy’s with its three-way mirrors. Necessary and painful. Despite the occasional “bleecch” feeling, though, I’m mostly enjoying this ride. It’s kind of nice to work on a comedy.

8. Also worked on revisions for a short story called “It’s Just a Jump to the Left” for a new anthology, GEEKTASTIC, being edited by the fabu Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci. At 61 pages, the short story was not so short, and I had to knock off a good two thousand words or so. Jo Knowles gave me some great editing suggestions as did my pals Susanna and Maureen.

9. Downloaded Gnarls Barkley’s new CD, THE ODD COUPLE. Love it. On heavy rotation right now.

10. Attended the “publishing party” in my son’s fourth-grade class and got to hear 27 kids read a page of their stories. Big fun and I was just evil enough to bring in four dozen donuts. Sugar ’em up and let ’em go. Good times, good times…

11. Researched a lot o’ stuff for the historical, supernatural series I’d like to do after the next two books are finished. Also jotted down more notes on my graphic novel idea and for the short story I’m writing for an anthology called VACATIONS FROM HELL. I like to keep a few projects going at once so I can trade off if I’m feeling stuck on something else.

But it occurs to me that it is near the end of the month and time for our second Viewer’s Choice Blog. Tomorrow, I’ll post some options and you can pick your fave. Until then, I’m thinking Wild Cherry is today’s flavor…

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