Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dogs' New Year's Resolutions

So far it appears that Kahlua and Bailey have resolved to poop, pee, and vomit on the living room rug more often in 2013.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Writing day

I had lunch yesterday with my agent, Rachel, to go over our game plan for the next few months. We've got a couple of picture book manuscripts out to editors and are waiting to hear back.

In the meantime, she's encouraging me to try my hand at some middle-grade, young adult, and even adult this year. We're going to start with "Wrestling for Gable," a manuscript I adapted from my blog of the same name--which was itself adapted from journal entries I kept during my four years at Iowa. We sent out a version last year but it was rejected by the two editors we sent it to. So I'm polishing it up this weekend for another try. (That's the adult book, by the way.)

I'm having a hard time concentrating on it because I'm also listening to the Iowa/Minnesota match on the Internet. But it's a good kind of distraction.

Samuel, Ethan and I have been talking for several years about writing a humorous chapter book set at a water park. So that's next on the agenda.

Monday, January 21, 2013

There's a reason I'm not a handyman

In addition to Samuel's drafting table and lamp, our weekend trip to Pennsylvania netted an old Art Deco metal cabinet. We used the Jennifer Theory of Accounting, which states that the more you buy, the easier it is to justify the cost of the rental car until its effective cost actually approaches negative numbers. If we just kept buying stuff, eventually we'd be rich. Or so the theory goes.

You would think that with all of our financial wizardry we'd have more money in our checking account than we do. Instead we have closets crammed full of cargo-sized packages of toilet paper.

But back to our Art Deco cabinet. Here are the Before, During, and After shots:

I must admit, it looks pretty good if you don't mind the red overspray all over the basement floor. But what the hell, that's what a super is for, right?

And just for kicks, here's the drafting table and lamp in their final location in the boys' bedroom:

It's been a long weekend. I'm Bob Vila-ed out. Not to mention broke and high on paint fumes.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Samuel's new drafting table

Samuel and I got up early this morning and drove to Quakertown, Pennsylvania to pick up a drafting table and drafting lamp we won on eBay last week. Samuel and Ethan have outgrown the tiny desk and chairs from Ikea that have served as their work space for the past eight years. We decided a vintage drafting table was the proper replacement.

Our father-son trip included lunch at a 5-and-dime luncheonette before heading back to the city. It's never too cold for a milkshake.

A little furniture polish, and it looks good...a grown-up desk for a grown-up boy.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Great Wolf Lodge Fund

The biggest news of the weekend is that the boys and I took all of our loose change down to Chase and cashed it in for bills. It had been sitting in a big bowl on top of a table for the past five years, and when we did the renovation we had to get rid of the table to make room for a closet, and when we got rid of the table we had to get rid of the bowl of loose change.

It came out to $227. We're going to Great Wolf Lodge, baby!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bunny Samuel

I was going through a box of old photos last night and came across this one of Samuel at 18 months.

That's the face that made me want to write children's books.

Monday, January 7, 2013


"Don't you hate it when you get to know somebody and then you find out they're wanted for a major crime?"