Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Boomerang Sub

Perhaps I should just crawl back under my rock. Consider the facts:

1. My local SCBWI president has made it a personal goal that nothing will EVER be accomplished in our chapter. Since I joined in 2006, we have had one meeting. When we tried to create an agenda for that meeting, we were met with cries of "No, no! This is just to get aquainted!" Presumably, we will discuss the possibly of an agenda at the next meeting, in another 3 years...
2. My GWW Kidlit class is a waste of time, with a flakey instructor who gives vague, ungrammatical, misspelled, mispunctuated, useless comments. Late.
3. My critique group has started subbing fragments. Literally. "I just wrote this down and it doesn't really go anywhere or have an ending and it's only one and a half pages long and I haven't really developed the characters at all and I haven't bothered to proofread it yet but what do you guys think?"
4. I've been rejected again.

Really, I should be happy. It was personal, no feedback, but an invitation to submit again, which isn't bad considering it's only the third submission I've made in my entire life.

Friday, June 19, 2009

(Another one to skip if you're squemish) Happy happy happy!

The "shtrange shtuff" the doctor pulled out of my uterus was not what he thought it was. I could tell yesterday, as he stood at the foot of the bed, that he was worried. I will still have to go for regular check-ups every six months, but I am probably not going to die in the near future, and that is a big, big relief.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Skip This Post if Gynocology Makes you Squeamish

Well, it was an interesting day in the hospital. I'll skip the boring details and get to the part where my trusted Gynocologist stopped in to see me. I asked him (in bernese), "so, did you find anything?" He says "yes." (He is not too much of a blitherer. Unlike me.) And I said (still in bernese: "What did you find?"

And he said, in English:

Shtrange Shtuff.

I asked him if he'd never seen anything like it before, and he indicated that he had, but I never got around to asking him what it had turned out to be on that occaision, because I also asked him *what* it was. Lot's of polyps and some squishy stuff, he said. I can call friday afternoon for the breakdown from the lab of just what the squishy stuff is.

In the meantime, I am also waiting to hear from some places where I have subbed. And I'm waiting for my nearly worthless teacher of my online children's book writing class at Gotham to comment on my homework from last week, never mind this week.

I hate waiting. It makes me grumpy. Can you tell? I'm going to try to do something productive now. Hang up the wash or something. Man, I'm a mental mess....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lying *Will* Haunt You. (eventually...)

One of the things I love about momming is what your kids teach you. They start out with one and only one communication skill- crying. You watch them develop, and watch their body language develop. This is fun, because at some point, they will attempt to lie. They will get better at lying. You will get better at telling if they are lying, they will get better at hiding it, and like virus and anti-virus, both working frantically to develop and mutate faster than the other guy, you do battle.

When my kids were quite little, I would just say, "I know you are lying." Because they were, and we both knew it. They would ask "How do you know?" I was not about to tell them; sometimes I wasn't even sure which bit of body language had given them away, but in any case, I wasn't about to hand over my secret decoder ring to the other side, so I told them, "when you lie, your nose turns purple. Only moms who have been to momschool can see it. Kids can't." (Momschool is something else I tell them about; perhaps I'll blog on that later.) Prima daughter then made my life even easier by casually sticking anything she could find in front of her face when she lied. It was really hard not to laugh. I'd be thinking: it's time to be stern now, don't laugh! And she'd be carrying on a conversation with a stuffed fish in the middle of her face, hoping I wouldn't cotton.

Now. Prima grew out of this, and I'm happy to say we have a good relationship, with very little lying. Middlekid and Thirdling got in a fight yesterday. Both came to me yelling "she did it, she hit me first!" and so on. After the obligatory lecture about 'it doesn't matter who hit who first, no one should have hit second either,' I told them they would have to sort it out because I wasn't there and I would never know the truth. Now the problem; Middlekid said "but mommy, you said our noses turn purple when we lie."
Middlekid is 10. I did not realise she still believed it. I should have; I remember being totally crushed around that age when my mom told me there was no such thing as Santa Clause. And then the Duh-Award drops out of the sky onto my obviously very soft head: This is so totally what I deserve for using a lie to control their lying. Oh, the maternal guilt! You have no idea...


So. I'm off to the hospital for another d&c tomorrow. Wish me luck, blogland. (place cool, animated frowny face icon here)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Joys of Bloodlessness

I'm not sure there are any. I meant that ironically.

Well, after all my posting, complaining about my reproductive system, I am about to do it again, so if you don't want to read about it, skip this post.

I have been bleeding since the first of May. I figured this is not right so I went to the doctor. My hemoglobin is so low, they actually laughed from the shock. My doctor kept searching my face, looking for something- what? Checking to see if I was about to faint? My hemoglobin was 51mg per litre. Normal would be 120-160. He said "I admire you that you can even stand at this point."

Anyway, I'm off to the hospital for another D&C (oh, joy) and in the mean time, I keep taking those iron pills. At least this explains my lack of concentration, and so if I'm posting nonsense, just ignore it. Can't concentrate very well...

Rules, rules, rules.

I'm thinking about two things today: one is, the derth of SWISS children's literature.
I was looking for a copy of The Swiss Family Robinson. This was written by a Bernese man, Johann David Wyss, in German, so the logical thing would be to read the original. A quick look on Amazon revealed that though there are countless editions of The Swiss Family Robinson available, both in and out of print, Der schweizerische Robinson is out of print, and expensive to get second hand.
I guess this is no real surprise. America and the English speaking world in general are just so huge. They do things on massive scales simply out of Switzerland's league. But all the same it makes me sad. Swiss publishers just can't keep such a huge back-catalogue, I guess, and keep all those books in print. But even the current stuff. How big of a children's book industry is there really, in Switzerland? Does the Nord-Süd Verlag have as much of a monopoly on picture books in German-speaking Switzerland as it seems? Does one have to play by there rules to get a picture book published in Switzerland? And write something as trite and didactic as Marcus Pfister's Regenbogenfisch? If the only hope of German-speaking Swiss authors is to either do that or submit in Germany or learn another language and submit in another market, this is sad...

Now, the other thing that bugs me is the current moratorium against anthropomorphism. There is a magazine, not just of children's stories, but of children's stories, written by kids no older than 13. Stone Soup has sample issues available online, so of course, I was curious. The first two stories both feature animals- in the first story, Flynn by Hugh Cole, the animal, a dog, can talk. Now most of these stories are by children around age 10-13. And I just can't help but wonder; is it really the kids who don't like anthropomorphised characters? Or is this just another rule imposed by some powerful cynics in the big leather chairs at the top of the kidlit pyramid? Diary of a Worm, Click Clack Moo, and the Olivia series along with a gazillion others prove that kids do like these stories. If I thought that anyone was actually reading this blog I would get you a list of kidlit houses and imprints that specifically say "no animal characters, please" and look up references in all my books saying "publishers hate anthropomorphic characters." Complain in the comments if you care. Otherwise, I'll just ignore yet another arbitrary rule and write what I need to write. Man am I grumpy today... Sorry.