Monday, August 16, 2010

Tiara Day winners!

Thank you all so much for playing! That was FUN. Hooray! We can all use a little fun now and then, y?

RE the winners...I should NEVER promise I will do something internet-related on the weekend. Weekends are practically internet-free at my house. For more than 5 minutes here and there, anyway. Instead of drawing winners this weekend, we had pancakes with huckleberry syrup, went to an Irish festival, mowed the lawn, barbecued, read books outside in the shade of our crabapple trees, played Wii, watched movies, and bought back-to-school stuff for Child and water shoes for me (for an adventure I'm having soon).

Not much time for drawing winners!

But here they are, better late than never:

A copy of DAY ONE, generously donated by Bill Cameron: Elizabeth Ryann
First dibs on books: Elisabeth Black
Second dibs on books: Rhonda Cowsert

Congrats, guys! Hope you had fun!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th Tiara Day CONTEST!

Hi all!! Happy Tiara Day!!

I'ts raining with a high of 60 today, so I am GLAD I called for the major sparkle patrol. I will need it to see what I'm doing over here. *murk*

So I've got some books to give away. Not ALL of them, but 2. Or maybe 3. There are only TWO things you can do to enter (I like simple contests):

  • Wear a tiara on your avatar or a pic of a tiara as your avatar today (Friday the 13th). Usually we play on Twitter (hashtag #tiaraday), but feel free to use it anywhere. Or wear one on your actual head and take a pic for me! Points only count once, though. Let me know through a comment here or an @ reply on Twitter (susan_adrian) that you're showing your sparkle. (+3 entries)
  • Spread the word about Tiara Day, via retweet or Facebook link. (+1 entry)
So the max entries you can get is 4.  But just by plopping a Tiara on your virtual head, you get THREE entries! I'll do a random draw sometime tomorrow and announce the winners this weekend. Winners get to pick their choice of any one of these books:

If you can't see them all, that's:

BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver
THE DUST OF 100 DOGS by A.S. King
HOW I LIVE NOW by Meg Rosoff
THE PALE HORSEMAN by Bernard Cornwell (adult-type book for you non-YA peeps)
BITTER NIGHT by Diana Pharaoh Francis (I just realized mine is signed--I forgot!--so I will BUY one if you pick this. It's really good.)
IF I STAY by Gayle Forman

OOOH, and update!!! Bill Cameron, FABULOUS agent mate, has also thrown in a copy of Day One as a prize!!
So there will be at least 3 winners now. I wanna see some sparkle out there!!!

Contest closes at midnight tonight!
*Drat, I forgot to say North American entries only. That one time I mailed a contest prize to husband still talks about that. *cough*

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Announcement: Tiara Day Friday the 13th

Tomorrow is Tiara Day!! Why?

  • Because it's Friday the 13th.
  • To celebrate the coolness that has been WriteOnCon
  • To celebrate some sparkliness (good news) for Team Sparkle this week
  • To encourage the revisions I'm slogging through working on
  • Because I need one!!
Doesn't everybody need a Tiara Day every once in a while?

The twist this time: I'm going to give away a book or two.

All you have to do to play is dress your avatar (for Twitter, usually, but can be Facebook or blog or whatev) in a tiara, or use a pic of a tiara AS your avatar. Be silly and have fun.

More details on the contest and prizes tomorrow morning! I hope you join in and spread the word!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Math and Mortality

Last night I'd just settled down on the sofa with Hubby--Child safely tucked in bed--when we heard the shuffling of small feet.


That's my cue. It doesn't happen too often these days, but it used to be pretty common, when she had nightmares or was worried about something. I'm the one who gets up and sorts it out, as many times as it takes, until she's okay.

It feels like a parenting challenge, like I'm stepping up to the plate. What's wrong? Is she sick? Upset? Just not sleepy? Is it a curveball? Will I be able to handle it right this time? Will I be caring and patient?

I take her by the hand, walk her back to her room, sit on the floor in the darkness, and pull her onto my lap. "What's up?"

"I'm worried," she gulps, hesitant. "What if I close my eyes...and then I just don't wake up in the morning?"

Oh dear God. It's not a simple nightmare. It's MORTALITY.

"But you will, boo," I say. I stroke her hair. "There's no reason you wouldn't."

"There's no reason," she counters, "but it's possible. It can happen without a reason."

Ah, my logical girl.

"Yes, it can," I concede, because I can give her nothing less than the truth. I'm spinning for ways to reassure her that are truthful, that acknowledge the seriousness of the worry underneath without making the fear worse. "But it's very unlikely."

"But possible," she argues.

"Yes." I nod. "It's possible." I kiss her hair. This is not helping. Think of something helpful. Logical. "But like I said, unlikely. Think how many mornings you've woken up already."

She looks up at me, big-eyed in the dark, interested. Aha. A way to diminish the fear.

"How many mornings do you think you've woken up?" I ask. "Let's see...8 and a half years..." Oh someone help me, MATH. "Times 365." Simplify, simplify. "What's 3 x 8?"

She thinks for far less time than I would've at that age. "24."

"Cool. So 300 x 8 is 2400." I consider if I can do the rest of it in my head, and concede defeat. "Plus all those 65 days times 8. You're probably at like...3000 mornings." (Hey, I was close.)

"That's a lot of mornings." She laughs. We're doing well at fighting the fear demon. She's definitely more interested in the days now than in the possibility of not waking up.

"And what about me?" I ask. "I've woken up a LOT of times and everything's been okay."

"How many?" She bounces on my lap.

Math fails. " don't think I can multiply that high in my head."

"Let the calculator do it!" she says. It's something she can solve, now. "Get the calculator."

"If you get in bed," I say, "I'll get the calculator and we'll figure it out. And then you can go back to sleep, okay?"

She gets back in bed. I get the (magical) calculator. We figure out the *cough* high-ish number, and she is suitably impressed. Then I kiss her again, tell her I'd see her in the morning, and I love her more than anything.

Not hit out of the park, exactly, but I think I was on base.

It didn't work completely with the restlessness--I had to go in again about 10 minutes later, because she was hot and trying to open her window by herself--but we talked a little more, and shortly after that she really did drop off to sleep.

I never thought I'd use math to soothe my child's fears, or expected that I'd need so much creativity on a daily basis to try to figure out solutions to those everyday fears, struggles, issues. But then you never really know what it's like to be a parent, and face that challenge, until you're a parent, and suddenly it's THERE and you're the one responsible.

As I told her the other day, though: I highly recommend becoming a parent. In spite of occasional struggles, it's the most fun I've ever had.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Daily Walk Pics: August 5th

Daily walk pics for you!!

I love this church. It always looks gorgeous.

There's something about boarded-up windows, particularly the ones that have been bricked over, that intrigue me.

But this poor house is going a little overboard with the blocked-off windows. I wish someone would fix it up!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Camp Stories

I have been reading DaMomma's Briar Haven series with great interest.

It's so apt. Mare is almost exactly the same age as Child (I've been reading DaMomma's blog since they were both babies), and Child had her first camp experience last weekend.

The difference is we took a softer step first: Child chose the Girl Scout camp that only lasted 3 days, where I got to go with her.

Camp WITH Mom!

It was amazingly fun. We sang (lots and lots and lots of) songs, tie-dyed, made crafts, went on hikes, slightly burnt s'mores, learned to tie knots and build a proper Girl Scout fire, and had a little time for kicking back in the cabin besides. We roomed with a family with 3 girls (6, 7, and 9-almost-10), and Child made friends with them in the first 5 minutes. She spent many hours hanging out with the three of them, which made me only a tiny bit wish there was more Mom-n-me time in this Mom-n-me weekend, but mostly thrilled that she could make and enjoy friends so easily. She was quite upset that she had to leave them at the end.

My one and only camp experience was between Child's and DaMomma's. It wasn't awful, but I sure didn't enjoy it either. I clearly remember sobbing in the camp director's office that I NEEDED to call my mom and go home right now, though of course they wouldn't let me. I was the type of child then who targeted herself for bullies and mockery, so I was bullied and mocked even by strange new kids, almost right off.  But I do have a few good memories in there too, of a kind girl named Rachel in my tent, and a counselor I don't remember but I remember I liked.

I'm so glad the next generation (at least in mine and DaMomma's case) seems to be doing this better. :) Child definitely wants to go to camp again next summer...we'll see if she wants me to go along with or not!