Saturday, December 1, 2018

Tips for the Holidays

Just in time for the holidays--some "sensible" tips  (or not)

1. About those carrot sticks. Avoid them. Anyone who puts carrots on a
holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if
you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving
rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt
scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You

can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares
that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going 
to turn into an egg- nogaholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. 
Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of
gravy. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it
with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk
or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports
car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control
your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat
other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello? Remember college?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New
Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do.
This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the
table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like
frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position
yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before
becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of
shoes. You can't leave them behind. You're not going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or,
if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always
have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? 
Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the
mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have
some standards, mate.

10. And one final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the
party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.
Reread tips. Start over. But hurry! Cookieless January is just around

By Craig Wilson, USA TODAY

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Writer's Quotes - Jane Yolen

Don’t worry about being great or even semi-great; in fact, don't worry about rankings at all. That’s fairy dust. 

You have no control over any of it. 

Just write the damn book, tell the damn story, fiddle the damn poem.

Full interview is here.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Writer's quotes -- Patricia Wrede

Editors don't make house calls.
You've gotta send them out.
               Patricia Wrede

(referring to the fact that you won't get published if your manuscripts just stay in your computer or in drawers/ filing cabinets.)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The President is Missing = a good read

I just finished reading The President is Missing, a Novel by (president) Bill Clinton and James Patterson. For the second time. Yes, it's that good. Also, that's what happens when you live right between two library systems and reserve the book at both of them, letting them race to see which one will get you the book first. And then you go ahead and read it again when the second book is ready for you.
It's a good suspense novel about the possible destruction of the United States by cyber warfare.
But I direct you to especially read the second to last chapter where the president addresses Congress after the bad guys have been captured or killed. It's a terrific speech which directly discusses the problems our country is facing now and how and why we must do better.
So - what are you reading? Picture book. middle grade. YA. adult book.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Yesterday things broke down

First world problems:
Driving up to Oceanside to my hairdresser, a 25 minute drive on the freeway, I noticed something weird about the way the car was handling. On the way back, the car began vibrating more, so instead of going home, I traveled on to the car repair place and told them my problems. Hmmm, they said. Vibration seems normal to them. But, I sez, It's not normal for THIS car. Okay, they said, we'll put it up on the rack and look at the suspension.
Surprise (not to me). They discovered it needed new shocks and possibly a few other things. Normal wear and tear for a car with 112,000 miles on it, was my reaction.
Now, I'm at home for a day or two without a car. I probably should use this 'free' time to file all the loose papers lying around my office.
OH, and my printer has suddenly stopped working. Yuck. 
I have a replacement, but don't know if I remove the old one and place this one in its place whether my computer and laptop will recognize it. hmmm.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Water Land

Hale, Christy. Water Land: land and water forms around the world. NY: Neal Porter book, Roaring Brook Press, 2018. 

Excellent way to understand land and water forms
Hale uses cut outs in stiff paper so that you can not only see what the land or water form looks like, but you can feel it as well.  Not only that, but she has matched look-alike land and water forms in such a way that you shake your head and say, Wow!  I didn't realize that!

I have only one complaint.  Although I love the triple fold out at the end of the book, showing various land and water forms on a map of our world, the version she uses is the Mercator one that shows North America larger than Africa.  Whereas Africa is really so large that almost all of the countries of the world can fit inside its outline.

After she has tried so hard to show accurate land and water forms, she fails with the map.  Otherwise this is delicious and probably will win a Sibert Award.