Josh and I bw

Writing and Kids

No rest for the wicked, not even the extremely wicked

Year in Review
Josh and I bw
lisa_bouchard
I'm happy with my 2009, lots of things accomplished and it was generally a low-stress year.

Looking back at the resolutions I made, I accomplished some and made progress in others. I can't say I totally bombed on any of them.

Did I finish the novel I wanted to? No, but I worked on it and have come to the realization that I have to be a better writer, scrap what I have and start over again.

Did I write 4 short stories? No, but I did write 1. It's the first short story I have ever finished.

Did I pay off some of our credit cards? Yes. Go us.

Did I save money? Yes, but it's scanty since we put the kids in Hebrew School this year.

Did I make holiday gifts for everyone? No, but I did give hand made gifts to 9 people (out of 28).

Did I work with the kids to keep the house tidier? Yes. It helps that they are getting older and more responsible (at least a little more).

Did I continue to exercise and eat well? Not so much. Sometimes yes, but many times no. The good news is that we have a treadmill being delivered tomorrow.



How did your year go? What did you do that was great in 2009?

Today
Josh and I bw
lisa_bouchard
I can't believe how the end of the year is creeping up on me. There's so much to do still - at least this year Hanukkah isn't too close to Christmas.

I had planned to write this note this morning but we had no power for an hour and a half.

Here's today's list:
1. Make bread
2. School with kids
3. Make dinner -- Joan's chicken wings
4. emergency girl scout meeting
5. Write 1000 words
6. knit kippah for Pat's bat mitzvah
7. blog
8. back up novel
9. write out family Hanukkah list
10. laundry



so far haven't got hardly any of the done but I have been playing with my new nifty Hanukkah present Dragon NaturallySpeaking. The great thing about ordering your own Hanukkah presents is your never disappointed with what you get, my husband doesn't worry about what to get me and I don't have to worry about what he gets me either.

Enough playing this list won't get done by itself!

Nanowrimo wrap up
Josh and I bw
lisa_bouchard
In a massive 3-day 25,000-word sprint to the finish, I won Nanowrimo. I promise I'll never do that to my brain again, unless money is involved.

This has been a really great novel as far as learning goes. I have learned:

1. I can write 10k in a day and I learned why I shouldn't do that to myself. I’m not saying they were great words, but they all furthered the plot and can get polished up in the next draft.

2. Large goals (like 2000 words in an hour) freak me out, but 500 words in 15 minutes seems perfectly reasonable even though it's the same amount of words.

3. This novel "feels" better than the last one - it flowed from my brain to the paper without much trouble. I take this as a sign that I'm getting better at writing.

4. I can write when I don't feel like it and the world doesn't come to an end. And I can write more when I really don't feel like it as well. And when my brain is sick to death of these stupid characters it’s time to switch to another scene or chapter and keep writing.

5. Brain breaks increase productivity and overall satisfaction with life.

6. It's OK to figure out plot points as you go - and it's more fun to write if your story surprises you sometimes.

7. Writing anywhere near the children is way too distracting and I should stick to knitting when they're doing quiet work in school.



I've got about another 15,000 words to finish the novel. This is the first novel I've completed (of three) where I think it would be worth the time and effort to revise it so I'll be doing that in the new year.
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Obligatory Nanowrimo brag post
Josh and I bw
lisa_bouchard
7673 words and I've only written 583 words this morning. I'm trying an experiment and this morning I am writing in the schoolroom with the kids. It's annoying and disrupting, you would think that 3 kids wouldn't be so bad but there's always a million questions about how to spell things (we don't do invented spelling in my homeschool), 'what do you mean that math problem is still wrong?' and, of course, every five minutes someone asks me when lunch is.

I think I'll skip the writing with kids this afternoon. It's a lot easier to put down knitting than to change gears from writing to elementary school.




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I thought I was speaking English
Josh and I bw
lisa_bouchard
Apparently, the phrase "Make sure you have your books and papers ready for Hebrew School" is code for "sit on your ass and do nothing so we can race around and find everything you need when we should have left already".


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Go me!
Josh and I bw
lisa_bouchard
So, I've never written a short story. Like ever, not even in school as far as I can remember. Most of High School is kind of a blur - I'm old, what can I say?

Today I finished my first short story. It's taken me all week to write, and it's 4500 words.

I'm flabergasted.

I can't believe I really did it.



It's probably the suckiest of all horrible short stories, but it's mine and I love it.

I'm heading off to Cub Scout Camp with my youngest son tomorrow so I won't look at it again until Friday at the earliest, but then I have a wedding to go to on Saturday, so it may not be until Sunday. I'm bringing At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft to read by the fire, but not to the kids as we have some very young ones with us this year.

Have a great week without me, LJ!

Reason #73276
Josh and I bw
lisa_bouchard
Why I love my husband - reason #73276




He calls me eye candy.


After 16 years of marriage, 4 kids, 50 extra pounds he thinks I'm beautiful.


I am so damned lucky to have him.
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Astronomy
Josh and I bw
lisa_bouchard
My kids are homeschooled and this fall we will study Astronomy. Astronomy is the class I am least qualified to teach (aside from Music, which I have delegated to Paul). After learning the order of the planets in elementary school, I have no recollection of learning any Astronomy and for all the science I’ve studied in college I never took an Astronomy course.


Once we finished this current year (end of May) I started to panic about how little Astronomy I actually know. I know about our solar system and asteroids and how orbits work and the easy stuff like that but to teach them about how planets and stars are formed – I have no idea. I had the idea I would start from the beginning (Big Bang) and move forward from there. The Physics may boggle the younger kids’ minds a bit, but this won’t be the only year they study Astronomy and they will pick up more in a few years time.

So, while I was off buying Astronomy books, I ran across How to Live on Mars: A Trusty Guidebook to Surviving and Thriving on the Red Planet by Robert Zubrin. Like the Mythbusters (this house’s version of rock stars) this book is both amusing and educational. This book takes a dim view of NASA and JPL and urges readers to adopt their own rugged individualism and make their own way on their new planet. I think only Ben will wind up reading it this year (he will be in 8th grade) as the younger ones won’t get the science or the humor.

And now I move on to the more serious books: The Summer Stargazer: Astronomy for Absolute Beginners by Robert Claiborne, Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe by Terrence Dickinson, and our textbook 21st Century Astronomy by Hester, Burnstein, et al.

Marriage
Josh and I bw
lisa_bouchard
Why is it in the best interests of religions that people get married? It's not an easy thing to google and all I have are vague ideas about control of sex and who can get laid.

If that's the reason, it doesn't seem to be working out so well these days.

A friend of mine called last night to invite me to her daughter's shot gun wedding so now I'm wondering what all the fuss is about.



Why do people get married?
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Domestic Bliss
Josh and I bw
lisa_bouchard
This is how I spent my morning, reading with Tirzah. She's reading Curious George and I'm reading Smoke and Mirrors.

We had occasional breaks to go drink juice, or hug, or kiss.

I don't know how I did it, but I have a really great life.




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