Monday, September 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday (etc.)

Here's the week's menu, brought to you (mostly) by Weight Watchers!

Sunday: General Tsao's Chicken, Egg Rolls
Monday: Turkey Kielbasa with tomatoes and brown rice
Tuesday: Spaghetti
Wednesday: More spaghetti
Thursday: Chickpeas with pasta
Friday: Hot dogs and tater tots for the boys, Weight Watcher's dinner for moi


I'm writing this while taking a break from writing. I'm revising a novel,which I hope to have back to my editor by the beginning of October, at which point she will pronounce it perfect and let me go on my merry way (if only ... sigh).

Whenever I'm working on a book, everything around me goes to pot. I can't think of the last time I cleaned the upstairs bathrooms. The floors all need a good scrubbing. And I regret to inform you I'm falling behind on my room parenting duties. Last night I remembered I needed to reply to a parent inquiry which I seemed to recall coming into my e-mail box sometime around Thursday ... whoops! Make that Monday a week ago! Fortunately, time was not of the essence when it came to my reply, but nevertheless, at least one parent has lost all faith in my room parenting abilities, and it's only September!

I'm losing my back-to-school energy, I can feel it. Do you get that back-to-school buzz, when you're on top of things, an organizational wizard, a brilliant maker of school lunches--you actually plan the lunches, make sure your grocery list is filled with delights that will send your children swooning at lunchtime--and then one day, the buzz is gone. Gotta get up, get the clothes, get the lunch (yogurt and a spoon! again!), drive the carpool, come home and clean up ... you do what you've got to get done, but without any pizzazz. School has become the new normal, and you've reverted to your same old self.

I had hoped being a room parent would stave off the entropy of mid-September, when it all starts to unravel. I will say that two weeks ago, when I was Miss Organized, I did a lot of advance work, because I know myself so well. I have learned over the years that when the mood to organize hits me, I should organize as much of the future as possible. I write dates down in the calendar through the following year, make appointments, sew buttons on shirts. Later, I thank myself for it. I really do.

Unfortunately, you can't respond to future e-mails. Ah, but that you could ...


This morning I went to Will's classroom to talk about being an author. I saw my friend the librarian beforehand, who handed me an Arthur book and asked me if I would please make the distinction for the kids between being an author and being an Arthur. Apparently, the two are one and the same for kindergarteners. So I did, but frankly, I don't think it cleared up much for them. If anything, they looked even more confused. Was I the arthur of the Arthur books? Did I know Arthur? Why is DW so mean?

I did my "I am an Author" talk four years ago, when Jack was in kindergarten. I even brought the same posters I'd made about my writing process, which Jack had illustrated for me. You know what's weird? He was a better drawer in kindergarten than he is now. How can that be?

The difference between this visit and the visit to Jack's kindergarten class? Well, when I visited Jack's class lo those many years ago, he immediately wanted to control everything. I brought a stack of my books for Jack to pass around, and he got very involved in that, giving everyone five seconds to look at a book before grabbing it and passing it on to the next kid. He told his classmates to be quiet when I was talking. He rode herd. In short, he acted like a typical first child.

Will, on the other hand, was totally laid back about the whole thing. He sat in a chair next to me (the other kids sat on the floor) and looked oh-so-nonchalant. 'Yeah,' his expression seemed to say, 'this is my mom, she's an arthur, no big deal.' He passed out the books, kept them moving, but otherwise, stayed out of things. Rolled his eyes a few times, especially when I suggested that to be a good writer you had to practice, the way that Will had to practice if he wanted to be a good baseball player. "Mom," he said. "I'm already a good baseball player." "But you want to be a great baseball player, and you'll have to practice really hard to be great." Deep intake of breath from Will. Roll of the eyes. As if to say, I believe we already know that I am great, okay?


Okay, back to the book. If you don't hear much from me in the next week or so, it's because I'm blowing all my creative energy on revising. But don't worry, if something really stupid happens to me--and it always does--I promise to tell you all about it.


Victoria said...

Yes, please do share if something stupid happens to you!!
I love that you had to do a talk on the differene between being and Author and being an Arther. These are important issues.

Tracy said...

Ahhhh so there is ONE instance where an Aussie accent is more helpful than the cause of phonetic difficulty!

Ah-thor (Arthur) vs Aw-thor (Author).

And here I spend half my time saying "If we lived in America we'd say it like -----" because we just don't say the pronounced R that you guys do.

So, what's your book about???!!!!! Fiction, non-fiction....blurb?

Anonymous said...

Ooh, interesting....what's your book about then? C'mon, spill the beans!

love, Tina :)

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Ah, the ahh-thor/arrthur distinction. I should try that. "Boys and girls, I am an ahh-thor." The teachers would think I was snooty, don't you know? But it would be so useful if we yanks pronounced "author" with that broad "a."

I was listening to a podcast yesterday called "Sticks and Strings," which is out of Australia, and the host, Kevin Reidy, was doing his American accent. Boy, I thought my Australian accent (learned from singing Wiggles' songs over and over) was bad!

The book. It is a children's novel (all of my books are) that my editor is calling a light fantasy. An eleven-year-old girl falls through a closet in her school and finds herself in another world that she hopes will be enchanted, as she's a great lover of fairy tales. Her biggest surprise while wandering through this strange land is finding the grandmother she never knew she had. It'll be out in January 2010 (should I ever finish the revisions).