Shiny New Publication

Literary Mama has just published a piece of creative nonfiction, Good to Go, that I initially wrote in the throes of I-WANT-ANOTHER-BABY. I’m very grateful not to live in that emotional state anymore, even if I still get a little teary when I dwell too long on it. When I’m editing an essay, for example…

     Linkity Dinkity Doo!

I was thrilled that they decided to publish the piece at all, but ecstatic when they chose to include it in their October Desiring Motherhood issue. One of the biggest struggles I had with longing for that third baby was feeling as though I didn’t have the right to wish for anything beyond the blessing of two healthy kids, so being included in this particular issue is an extra gift for me.

For the record, we did finally take the option of further procreation off the biological table, and I feel pretty good about it.

However… when both of my children have misplaced their listening ears and I am desperate for writing time and the house is a mess and someone throws a tantrum over snacks, it is still too soon to point out what a mistake it would obviously have been to go for baby #3. (Just in case a certain husband is reading this.)


Leave a comment

Filed under Motherhood, Stuff I Wrote

Lessons from Disneyland

Two days at what was reputed to be the Happiest Place on Earth, and I’m here share all the things I learned so that you don’t have to:

      DISNEYLAND, where happy endings happen every day. Wait, that’s not right…

Sleeping Beauty Castle DLR

1. If you live in Southern California, don’t tell any “cast members” it’s your first time at Disneyland. They’ll ask where you live, and then ask if you just moved there, and if you admit to having lived in the area for-almost-ever they’ll think you’re lying to get the SoCal discount and it will get awkward.

2. There are two kinds of people who go to Disneyland: tourists and regulars. As explained in #1, we went as tourists. Most of our friends are regulars. Regulars cannot be trusted to give good advice on which rides are scary, because they have taken their children on all of them since they were babies.

So here’s the lowdown: 90% of the indoor rides are scary because they are dark, and being strapped into a vehicle moving on an automated track through a dark place is scary if you’re a sane person. (Corollary: Haunted Mansion, which has some walking, is not a good choice for people with poor night vision who have only brought sunglasses.)

Disneyland even manages to warp Winnie the Pooh into a creepy acid trip with some kind of dark lesson on the dangers of honey addiction. The only rides that didn’t scare the kids were Buzz Lightyear and Small World, but I think Small World is the creepiest of all. *shudders*

3. There are fireworks every night at 9:30 pm. If you think you might be exhausted enough from your day of fun  to drift off at, say, 9:15, then maybe don’t get a hotel room right next to Disneyland.

4. America is getting taller. Or at least the mostly white and affluent cross-section represented at Disneyland is; I can’t say the crowd was exactly diverse. But I can say that I felt almost normal, height-wise, which is rare for me. I don’t know whether to be encouraged that the world is catching up, or discouraged that my people are congregating in Anaheim.

5. Speaking of the size of Americans, I have to give props to Disneyland for selling fresh fruit around the park. Then I have to take those props right back for everything else being ginormous, from the lollipops to the cinnamon rolls (which I swear serve six) to the fried chicken. It’s ridiculous. Foreigners are judging us by our Disneyland fare, people. If we want France to believe we have a thyroid problem, we’ll need to take these servings down a notch.

6. A boob management crisis is brewing in Anaheim. (Veering off topic, but what the hell…) Women, I want you to look deep into your souls and ask yourselves this question: Can I go without a bra? And then I want you to ignore whatever your lying soul answers and listen to me instead: No. No, you cannot go without a bra. Statistically, the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of me being right on this one.

So ladies, next time you’ve got something to celebrate, treat yourself by buying a good bra. Go up a cup size and down a band size and see how you feel. Get a professional fitting if you can. If you aren’t too top-heavy, you can probably find a bra with nice thin straps that will look decorative under that revealing cami you love so much. And if they don’t make dainty-strapped bras in your size, then you’ll have to sacrifice spaghetti straps for the good of your knockers. They work hard. Give them a home. (Oprah is with me on this.)

7. Where was I? Disneyland, right…. I like shooting games. A lot. Maybe there’s a gun nut—I mean, ah, enthusiast—hidden underneath all this liberal fluff somewhere.

8. Star Tours rocks, but bring a vomit bag.

9. Waiting in line sucks.

10. Seeing your children be the only ones not clamoring to volunteer for Jedi training is both painful and satisfying. Painful when you see the younger one really want to participate, but be too shy to jump up and down with his hand in the air to get picked. Satisfying because you know shy people are nicer anyway.

11. If you’d rather not return to Disneyland, it could be because your Happiest Place on Earth is actually at home, propped up in bed, blogging or playing Drop7 on your iPhone and resting your angry sciatic nerve. And if you really think about the implications of that, you’ll realize that your preference for lazy afternoons could just be the difference between you and zillionaire entrepreneurs like Walt Disney, and that’s why your head is destined to die with the rest of you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Motherhood, Uncategorized

Men who are sexier than Christian Grey

There are plenty of them, and one just might be a pudgy kid from South Carolina with a silky voice and an ear for arrangements.

I know what you’re doing. You’re looking at the still picture in the video window and thinking, No way. I like some washboard abs, thank you. And maybe a little chest hair as long as his back his smooth. I get it. Abs are wonderful.

If you read romance, you know that washboard abs are extraordinarily easy to come by in the world of fiction. As is height and masculine jaw line. What’s not so easy to find is a character you might actually care about if he appeared, flesh and blood, in your real life. Does any woman really want to go to bed with a guy who has a compulsive need to “punish” her to work out his mommy issues? Ew. Didn’t think so. The answer to the “do you want to date an actual dead guy” question should be obvious, but if it isn’t, maybe leave this blog and go do some soul-searching journal entries.

Let’s do a run-down on Noah’s romantic hero potential.


  • He appears all over the Internet as only “Noah”. One guy can do that, and his name is Bono. If your name isn’t Bono, get a last name.
  • His slight resemblance to a marshmallow makes me hungry.
  • He wears glasses without irony, although with irony would be worse.
  • He is only 18.
  • He does not appear to be a cop, firefighter, MMA champion, special ops soldier, vampire, werewolf, or insanely muscular brain surgeon.

Now, pros:

  • Competence. That voice! The way he transformed a junker of a song into a melody that I can NOT stop singing! He sails past competence and into sparkling talent. You could disagree, but I would lose all respect for you.
  • Confidence. It takes some guts to perform, even on YouTube, but Noah is damn good and he knows it.
  • Passion. This is almost a given with musical talent, but it can shine through in anything. Drive always draws us in, makes us want to be closer to the magic. Passion for another person doesn’t count; that’s creepy. I’m talking about passion for the things you would still work at even if no one else knew or cared.
  • Humor. Did you laugh? I laughed. ‘Nuff said.

Romance is fantasy. It’s easy to rewrite Noah with bulging biceps and a haunted past as a CIA operative. It’s not so easy to rewrite any character who isn’t already extraordinary in some deeper way. But those are the heroes that stick with us: the ones who are competent, confident, passionate, and funny. The ones who dominate because it’s who they are, not because it’s what they need.

1 Comment

Filed under Heroes, Romance, Stuff people put on the Internet