Hi, just a quick note to those who are following the book's progress--I've been working over time on it and last week I finished over 14,000 words, a record for me. I hope to have comparable weeks in the near future and get a draft done in the next couple of months. I don't know if that will really happen, but it's my goal.
These 'rants' are all in good fun. I wouldn't darken your day by posting anything that isn't intended to make you smile.
1. Behind me in the car, Trooper was making a noise that sounded a lot like a fake hiccup. "What are you doing?" I asked.
"I'm hicking up."
2. Trooper's other nickname has long been 'the dawdler' because he can take an amazingly long time to do anything you can think of from exiting the car to eating a lollipop to… well, anything you can think of. So now I often set timers to limit the time he spends on things like eating, for example, because otherwise he could literally spend all day at the table. When it's time to get ready for bed I always send him to the drawer in the living room to get his chap stick, and of course he likes to take his good old time, and sometimes doesn’t come back at all so I have to go get him. Well, about a week ago I got the bright idea to give him a five count to return with the chap stick 'or else'. It kind of worked, but all of that is just to set up for something that made me laugh out loud a minute ago. This time I told him to go get his chap stick, but I didn't realize he was already connected to one of his machines, which meant he couldn't go without taking it off. So I told him to just wait on the bed while I went to get it. I'd taken four steps down the hall before I heard him calling, "One, two, three, four, five." It took me a minute to figure what he was doing, but then I lost it laughing.
I don't know if I should admit this, but it really did motivate me to move quicker. And now I know that maybe a five count really isn't quite enough time. I need to give him about eight to be fair.
3. Do I have the only child who consistently has to use the toilette within five seconds of my being on it? Of course we only have one bathroom in our house, or it wouldn't be such a big deal, but I'm telling you at least once a day I'm using the facilities and Trooper barges in dancing and begging me to hurry because 'I donna pee my pants'. I don't understand it! I mean, I kind of do because for the longest time I suddenly had to go desperately every time I heard Jonathan's razor start up, but that was different. I never peed on the rug because Jonathan didn't get out of my way in time. And do you know how hard it is to clean that rug? It's an awesome rug, but not something that can easily go in the washer. I may or may not have begun telling him to get in the bathtub so he won't get it on the floor if he leaks.
So I've taken to ranting about this, and since Trooper loves to tease (see previous story) he decided to get me the other day. I went to the bathroom, and sure enough he came running in about five seconds later. I said, "Trooper, I just asked you if you had to go and you said no!" And I'm telling you I saw this sparkle in his eye and I knew he was faking the whole thing. He was jumping around whining, "I gotta go, I donna pee my pants," and holding himself, but he did NOT have to go. That little booger.
Anyway, this is my plight, and I do wonder if any of you have similar problems or if it's just me. You know, like the mom on 'A Christmas Story' who never had a hot meal because every time she sat down someone suddenly needed something.
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PS. I'm totally kidding. I would never share your email address. Not even with my other personality.
Here's a facebook link to a funny video of Trooper eating a jalapeno. Click here.
Review of 'Christine's Odyssey' by J.L. Campbell
I'm writing this review for Diverse Book Tours (Woohoo!), and received a copy of Christine's Odyssey in exchange for my honest review. So, here it is…
First, I should say that I originally thought this was a mid-grade book, and when I started reading it I thought the designation was crazy because it is DEFINITELY NOT a mid-grade book. The heroine of the story is eleven years old, but that doesn't make the content appropriate for middle-schoolers. There are some fairly gory, violent moments, but I'll get to that later.
The story is set in Jamaica and written by a Jamaican woman, so it's probably pretty authentic in description of customs, language, and setting. Not a lot of time is devoted to describing things, but the feeling of the place comes up naturally as the story progresses. I enjoyed spending time in a warmer part of the world, especially since it's so freezing cold here right now.
I liked how gritty and realistic the story stayed as I followed Christine's thoughts and actions (even though I can't say that was actually enjoyable. It wasn't supposed to be), and how the voice changed when the story was told through the eyes of adults. This would be a good book for people who want to understand adopted and foster kids better. Obviously, not all kids go through the same crazy things Christine did, but they go through other crazy things and many of them just as bad. There were times when the girl's thoughts seemed a little too heavy-handed, along the lines of "If my mom doesn't love me, how could anyone else love me?" which I think a lot of people feel, but probably eleven-year-olds don't articulate it. But it didn't happen often and it wasn't unforgivable.
The mood of the book is fairly dark, not surprising considering the content, and doesn't start to lighten until near the end. Because of this, I probably wouldn’t have read it if I hadn't signed up for the book tour, but I'm glad I did. I'll have to read a couple fun, lighthearted books before I go on to the next in the series because I don't do dark very well, but I'll eventually read book 2.
There were few editing issues and the story flowed well, with the exception of some formatting problems. At times I had difficulty following conversations because the paragraphs were broken up in odd places and I had to re-read to figure out who was talking. It seemed like the hard return had been placed instead of spaces, or something. Similarly, there were several times when a section was ended by the scene-end marker, but the scene hadn't actually ended and the point of view had not changed. I didn't get that at all and it annoyed me a little, but not enough to get me ranting or anything. Also, once or twice the scene actually did change without warning. One minute Christine was sitting under the tree and the next someone was hugging her in the living room. I re-read a couple times to figure out what was going on.
I got frustrated with the adults in the book quite a few times, but I was supposed to so that's not a downside. It's infuriating that people can be so selfish and weak. Not saying I'm never that person, but a few times in the book, adults (even adults we're supposed to like) made choices that were just wrong for the sake of their own convenience. Rather than seeing this as a weakness in the book, I see it as a call to see our own weakness and consider inconveniencing ourselves for the sake of others. I'm further encouraged to consider adopting older children when my own (adopted) child is older.
Language: I remember one time when 'Jesus' was used as a profanity, and that's it.
Sexual Content: None.
Violence: Some beatings and surprisingly graphic violence near the beginning.
Over-all Message/Plot: This isn't plot-heavy fiction. I recommend to anyone who enjoys realistic drama and doesn't mind that most of the book is told from the point of view of an eleven-year-old.
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Today I have a collection of 6 short anecdotes to make you smile or scratch your head in wonder.
1. I'm not sure if I've mentioned how much Trooper can and does eat, and has since he was an infant. I'm not sure if it's from his intestinal issues or if he just has a high metabolism for other reasons, but it's… epic. Not every day is the same of course, but often when the nurse comes in at night to take over for me I'll entertain her by listing everything he ate that day. So anyway, one night after eating normal breakfast, half an Annie Anne's pretzel, and lunch, he ate more than half a cup of green beans, a big slab of corn bread, and a chicken quarter (leg and thigh) for dinner. This is fairly normal for him, except he's not usually such a fan of beans. At our spiritual health group about half an hour later we had soft pretzels for snack. He was watching his movie at the dining room table while we talked at the other end of the room, and of course the pretzels were at the table with him. Over the course of about an hour and a half, he ate FOUR full-size soft pretzels. His belly was sticking out so far he looked like he might fall off balance.
He ate a normal breakfast the next morning, an egg and half a large banana.
2. Trooper earned camera privileges, but then the other day he walked in on me in the bathroom and took a photo of me on the toilette. I didn't revoke his privilege, but I did give him a firm lecture on appropriate vs. inappropriate. And obviously I deleted the photo.
3. We're making progress on letter sounds. We've been working on hearing the first sounds of words for quite some time, and he now understands the concept of separating the first sound from the others. Now I'll say a word and before I can repeat it slowly he'll hold up his hand and say, "Stop, I'll do it." And then he'll say the first sound. He still has trouble with short consonant sounds, 't' for example, but it's getting there.
4. The other day I heard Trooper singing 'You Are My Sunshine' and I started singing with him. A moment later he stopped singing and started beat boxing to it instead. I love when he beat boxes anyway, but it was especially awesome to hear him doing it to a song while I sang. We tried to get him doing it on video, but of course it didn't turn out as well as the first time.
5. Sue: Let's go, Trooper. It's time to brush your teeth.
Trooper: I don’t have a toothbrush.
Sue: Are you lying to me?
Trooper, sighing: Yes, I'm lying to you.
Me: Well, thank you for being honest about your dishonesty.
6. Someone gave Trooper a little Valentine coloring packet, which he carried around for a while before bringing it to Sue (same day as previous story) to say, "I can't eat this!" (Chewed on the corner in frustration) "Seriously?" Then he handed over the Valentine and walked away.
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When I picked up this full length sci-fi novel, Earthrise, for free on Amazon, I was hoping for something with a bit of a 'Firefly' feel, and it scratched my itch. It may not be quite as humorous as 'Firefly', but the relationships between captain and crew and the solid world building did it for me. Since I don't read a lot of sci-fi I had a little trouble at first with all the different aliens on the ship (there aren't many, it's just me) and wasn't sure if I'd enjoy a book with only one human as a main character, but I did. Sometimes her moodiness got on my nerves because I didn't see where it was coming from, but by the end of the book I felt like it all made sense. The only thing I really didn't like about the book was that some of the aliens are pretty constantly referred to as partaking in or talking about deviant sexual behavior. It's explained away as their culture, but I still found it distasteful, and it made it hard for me to like the characters even though they're supposed to be likable.
The story moved quickly enough without being rushed, the romantic tension (if you can even call it that) was fantastic for me because it was totally understated and didn't detract from the rest of the story, and I can't remember any instances where it didn't follow its own rules, which can be a real failing in created worlds. The editing was really good, and I only noticed a couple little errors that were mild enough that they didn't take me out of the story.
Language: Very mild.
Sexual content: Just what I mentioned earlier. No acts are actually described, but I think I could have been aware of characters' activities without having them repeatedly mentioned.
Violence: Some fighting.
Over-all Message/Plot: No message, but the plot held together well. It is a long book, and there were a couple parts that might have been better if they'd been trimmed, but I never felt like I was getting tired of it. I feel that way pretty often, sometimes even in short books, so that's saying something. I already bought book two and look forward to reading it right after I fulfill a commitment to another book.
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Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog! Around here you'll find posts about my books and my family, as well as the occasional relevant book review.