Monday, March 24, 2008

Update Tidbits

1) I have found so many amazing, inspiring people through this wonderful, wacky medium of blogging. One of those woman is Bella, who has introduced us to her friend Jenni Ballantyne, a woman who is living with terminal cancer. She is a single mom with a six year old son, Jack. She is bravely sharing her journey with those who are brave enough to step through the looking glass and be with her. If you'd like to help her and her son out, a group of friends are organizing a fund-raiser, click HERE for information about the ebay auction or other ways to show some love.

2) On a lighter and so much less important note: I have rewritten the parts of my novel that needed to be rewritten, added scenes, fixed grammer, dots, lines, stupidity...I'm sufficiently satisfied with the results and sufficiently tired of looking at it, so I've jumped on the query-mobile. As always, out of ignorance or the over-achiever gene, I've aimed high and sent out the first five to my dream agents. Sooooo...cross your fingers, light a candle or kiss a fairy for me. I'll just be here clicking my heels together and obsessively checking my email.

3) And last but not least, is my rekindling interest in photography. Maybe it's because finishing such a large project is giving me a bit of creative breathing room, or maybe I'm just catching the enthusiasm bug from some of the photography blogs I've been discovering lately, but I've decided it's time to stop thinking of photo shop as the digital equivalent of cheating. I've been wrestling with learning layers these past few days...and by wrestling I mean being pinned to the mat by these mind-bending suckers. But, I'm not down for the count yet.

So, donate, pray, stop by Jenni's blog and leave some light and kind words of support...time is love.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bug Soup

For the next thirty seconds you will be reading a cop-out. Because I am living in a flu-fog this week and can't even read an email and get it to make sense, I'm going to just share a really, really cool fact I ran across last week about one of my favorite subjects--butterflies.

It is simply this: memory survives metamorphosis.

Apparently when the caterpillar turns into bug soup within the chrysalis--with the help of eroding digestive juices (yummy)--the components of the brain that retain memory remain intact.

They apparently learned this by exposing caterpillars to the smell of nail polish remover and at the same time giving them a mild electric shock. The older the caterpillar was when exposed to this combination, the greater his chance of remembering to avoid the smell of nail polish after the metamorphosis.

Nature rocks.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


The one thing that is fascinating about raising twins is you can see, by comparison and because they are being raised in exactly (almost) the same environment at the same time, what is truly passed down to them through genes. Jayden is so much like his father, with his fearless love of life and jumping into any situation without looking. Tye is the reserved one, sticking a toe in a situation by watching it first and for a long time before he's comfortable enough to stick a real toe in. That's me.

Seeing this in him both fills me with wonder and with dread. I don't want this insecurity and fear about the world that I've passed down to him genetically to be fed by his environment like mine was, making it an out of control force to be reckoned with all his life. So, I started thinking back into my childhood, something I rarely do anymore, trying to find the events that enforced my insecurities about myself and the world, moments that maybe could have given me confidence instead of more fear. One in particular stood out, even though it was a small event. I can't even remember how old I was...probably six, maybe seven.

The day I went to school with my cousin instead of to my own safe, familiar school. To a school on a giant hill with classrooms with real wooden floors and long sticks of soft chalk and a teacher that seemed both mysterious and sweet. A teacher I was instantly enamored with.

I remember pressing my wet palms against the unfamiliar desk, trying not to look at the other kids, who were staring at me with that rude curiosity we learn to tame as we get older, when the teacher announced we were going to play 7- Up. The kids seemed excited. I was horrified. I didn't like games. Games were for outgoing people, competitive people, people who enjoyed winning things and the attention that came with winning things. Worse was...I didn't know how to play this game and no one bothered to explain it to me.

So, we began.

Put your head down on the desk and close your eyes. I could do this. Darkness, anonymity, closed eyes. This game was fun so far. I don't remember the point of the game, I only remember the point of the game that made me want to bolt through the door and back down that big hill.

I lifted my head. Slightly, to see what the other kids were doing, to see what I was supposed to be doing.

"Hey!" I heard a boy cry to my left. "She peeked! She cheated!"

I felt the soft presence of the teacher to my right and turned my head to her, still trying to keep it on the desk.

"Did you cheat?" she asked quietly.

"No," I stammered.

"Did you peek?"

I wanted to explain that I wasn't actually peeking. I was trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing. But, in her eyes I saw that all knowing disappointment as if she were peering into the mystery that was me and had already found her answer. Disappointment. She didn't know me, didn't know I wasn't the kind of child that would cheat. Or maybe I was? She seemed to be entertaining the idea and she was an adult who understood things, who knew about things. Maybe she knew something about me I didn't. I could feel my face burning. I couldn't speak because I was too busy trying to swallow tears. So, I just shook my head yes.

"Well, you can keep your head up then. You can't play this round."

I had to pick my head up. That was hard. I stared at the desk, feeling disappointed in myself, feeling that I would never understand the world and how it was supposed to work.

This is a feeling that hasn't quite gone away, maybe that's why this memory is so clear. My first taste of it. The feeling that you are always in over your head, in a game where you don't know the rules.

Can I save my shy, sensitive son from knowing this feeling?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


I need some of this.

I've written here once in awhile about how well...we'll just call her offspring going to be heading off to college in a few months and how I've had a few pointed moments of realizing just how much of "her own person" she really is. Most of these moments were touching, bitter-sweet and ones I want to remember.

This weekend, despite protests, bribes, lectures and tears...she did something to "express herself" that made me feel like I have failed her as a parent.

And then I blamed her father.

She got a tattoo.

Now, I'm not against tattoos totally. I've seen small ones that I admired, ones that people thought long and hard about, that expressed a philosophy or engrained a permanent (permanent being the key word here) memory of something important to them. But, what my dearest, only female offspring has chosen to do to celebrate being eighteen is get giant mutant flowers covering BOTH of her feet. BOTH. It seriously looks like vandals attacked her and dipped her feet-first into a bucket of graffiti.

It took me a few days to stop being physically ill over this and luckily it took her a few days to return from Georgia with her father where this crime took place. So, I had a lot of time to consider my reaction after the initial text picture she sent me, because my initial reaction was to forbid her from ever leaving the house or making another decision on her own.

By now, you must be wondering, considering my violent over-reaction, what exactly it was I said to her when she walked in the door and said "don't you want to see them?"

Well, I looked into her beautiful blue eyes first and found my little girl, then I looked my little girl's feet and tried to just picture the soft pink baby toes I had kissed and watched grow into my own shoes and I simply ask if they hurt.

Eventhough she knows I don't approve, I haven't expressed the extent of my horror and disappointment to her. I just don't see the point. It's done, it's something she's going to have to live with...apart from me. Something she's going to have to learn that she will be judged by.

Hell, I love her more than any other person on this earth ever will, but even I can't help but feel my confidence shaken a bit in her ability to make good choices about her future.

Then again, if this is the worst mistake she makes, I will consider myself lucky.

Until then...

I will buy her shoes.