Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hello Goodbye

There are charges on the credit card my husband and I share for restaurants I've never eaten at and hotels I've never slept in. For rental cars I've never been in and for trips to exotic (relatively) locales I've never visited. My husband is seeing other women. And men.

No, not in THAT way. He travels a lot for his job. It used to be that his travels took him out into some field work situation (he's an oceanographer with a physics based Ph.D.) on a ship or boat. Now he's bouncing all over the country for meetings and other less adventurous pursuits. His comings and goings are nothing new. After 16 plus years together, we're used to the travel aspect of his career, and what was mine once upon a time. It's all good, and I think in a way his traveling has been a plus in our marriage. I'm not always tripping over him, he's not always bombarded with my nagging about this or that needing to be done, and we both enjoy the welcome home part ; )

But this past month and a half has been filled with more back to back trips than even he can admit to enjoying. Since mid March, DH hasn't been home for longer than five days. No, really. Sometimes, like last Thursday, it's a matter of hours before he has to head out again, just enough time to change clothes in the duffel bag, take a shower and catch some sleep. He came home from a 3 day cruise (deploying moorings, not a Carnival or Royal Caribbean) Thursday afternoon and left Friday morning for a trip to Seward. He'll get home tonight at 7pm. Then I leave tomorrow afternoon for 3 days in Anchorage. (Not for fun, unfortunately.) I return Wednesday and he leaves Friday for 8 or 10 days. I think he gets to stay home for a couple of weeks in May before having to leave again. I'll have to check the calendar.

We keep up to date photos of him around so the kids recognize him. Otherwise we'd end up with conversations like this occurring:

"Mom, who's that guy sitting at the kitchen table?"

"That's you're father, honey."

"No, really, Mom. Who is he?"

I warn him not to shave his beard off while he's away or the dogs might go after him.

All in all, it's not as terrible as some might think, and there are certainly families whose separations are longer and more nerve-wracking than ours. But it'll be nice to see him again, dear's his name....wait a second, I know this one.....Hang on, let me go look at the marriage certificate.....


Monday, April 21, 2008

American Title IV--We Have a Winner!

Mucho congratulations to Helen Scott Taylor and her entry The Magic Knot, winner of the Romantic Times/Dorchester American Title IV contest!!!! Way to go, Helen!

And don't feel too bummed that Trish Milburn didn't win. She made her first sale after the contest started and will also be published in the very near future.

So double congratulations for the two finalists.

All ten of the American Title IV finalists deserve kudos. I hope we get to see your amazing talent out in the world real soon!

(Thanks for the info, Trish!)


Sunday, April 20, 2008

American Title IV--No Word Yet


You're probably looking for the name of the winner of the American Title IV contest run by Romantic Times and Dorchester. Is it Trish Milburn's Out of Sight or Helen Scott Tayor's The Magic Knot???? Unfortunately, I have no idea : ) But feel free to look around here while you wait. Pour another cup of tea or coffee, read a few of my earlier posts, browse my website. Just relax. The official word won't be released until Monday, so you have plenty of time.

Last year at this time, we ATIII finalists had known Jenny Gardner was the winner for a while before the RT ceremony. I can only imagine how hard it was for Jenny not to explode with the news until then. I'm sure Trish and Helen have been facing a bombardment of questions from folks. Keeping mum must have been rough. Attendees at the RT convention know the results, but the rest of us will have to wait. Patience, grasshopper.

I want to extend my congratulations to all the ATIV finalists. You have a lot to be proud of.

So while I wait with the rest of you, I'm going to enjoy the sunshine while it lasts and check back in at RT later. Or maybe someone will leak the news early ; )


Friday, April 11, 2008

It Ain't Over Til It's Over

If you look at your calendar, it is Spring. Birds are returning from their wintering grounds, trees are beginning to bud, flowers are poking their lovely little heads from the ground, all anxious to continue the cycle of life after a long winter's slumber.

That's happening here in the Semi-Far North too, but here's what our birds, trees and flowers are saying: "What the hell?!?"

Why are they so shocked, perplexed and grumpy (ok, I'm the grumpy one, but I'm sure there are more than a few pissy birds out there)? Because in less than 24 hours we were smacked with a spring snow storm that dumped 18-24 inches of the white stuff. Yes, you read that correctly.

This morning, I had to forge a path for my kids so we could reach the bus stop because my 7 year old was getting bogged down. Luckily, my 11 year old is almost as tall as I am and had a somewhat easier time of it. My DH, coming home after a few days in other parts of the state, almost got our 4-wheel drive pickup truck stuck as he was trying to come up our hill. I told him to forget it, just go on to work and hopefully the plowman will have pity on us and come ALL the way up the road this time. We'll see.

You know it's bad when the people who have been here forever are saying THEY'RE sick of the snow. Makes me feel somewhat better, but I still have to shovel. Again.

And by the way, please don't remind me that I live in Alaska. I've been questioning the brilliance of that decision A LOT the past couple of days and bringing up my error in judgement may send me over the edge. The very snowy, wet in my boots edge.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far

My youngest daughter is a writer. At almost eight years old, she's self published about a dozen books. OK, not with Lulu or iUniverse, but in the old fashioned, handwritten way. And she does her own illustrations. (Though she collaborated with a classmate on a recent project where she was the illustrator and the story was "authorized" by her friend. I think she's been channeling a certain prez who makes up their own words, but I digress...)

I'd like to share a sample of one of her shorter works, an Easter story assigned at school. For the assignment she had to use certain words (peep, basket, golden egg and fox). I've cleaned up the spelling and some of the mechanical issues like making paragraphs, but this is essentially her work. Enjoy!

Easter Surprise
(posted with permission from the author)

One day on Easter I looked in my basket and there was a little yellow peep but it hatched from a golden egg. I knew peeps weren't alive so I thought it was a trick.

Then the Easter bunny came and said, "Opeepy!"

Then a sly fox came. It was drooling. It mumbled, "Bunny for dinner! Heh, heh, heh."

Then ZING! animal control was there!

I thanked animal control and the Easter bunny wasn't eaten.

As proud a parent as I am, I'm also a writer, so my poor kids are often subjected to my editing pen. I don't tear into them like I do my crit partners : ) but I do make suggestions. I didn't worry about that here, however. Sure, there are some plot holes, but basically the kid hits the main points of a story: interesting characters (peeps-gotta love 'em, Easter bunny-familiar face, and the sly fox-our antagonist), a conflict (fox wants to eat the bunny) and resolution (animal control comes). All in all, not a bad little story.

I wonder if she's willing to partner with me....

Labels: ,