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I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



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Monday, June 22, 2009

Give It Away Now

Might be time for a little geography lesson around here. In the space of one 24-hour period, my three-year-old son, Mitch, who lives in Iowa, spoke the following:

1.     Upon arriving at the pool on a sweltering afternoon: “Oh, shoot. I wanted to go to Chicago.” We live six hours by car from My Kind of Town. I told him that, alas, we were only able to accomplish one errand a day when the heat index was over 100 degrees. This seemed to placate him for the time being.

2.     When asked to make a stop at our potty before venturing out as it’s easier to find our potty than one in the greater world, he looked suddenly mournful and said, “It’s very, very hard to find potties in New York.” To my knowledge, he’s never been there. Seemed to have quite the pulse on the situation, however.

3.     Weeping, tired, hungry at the end of the day, he wailed, “But we didn’t go to Puerto Rico!” After further questioning, we deduced he meant we didn’t go to Tropical Sno for shaved ice, not that we hadn't been to Old San Juan. Puerto Ricoooo, Tropical Snoooo--an easily made mistake. 

[Perhaps it’s the heat causing all this confusion. Ever visited a rainforest? Throw in a few cornfields and angry, sunburned people, and you have a good visual of Iowa this week.]

At any rate, all this talk about geography reminds me of you, dear readers. There you are, all over the everywhere, and I think it’s about time to send free stuff to YOUR zip code. So here’s a little sumpin, in case you’re in search of a summer read: 

A cute, pocketbook-sized copy of Act Two (child not included) and….

...the summer issue of Life:Beautiful magazine. Have you seen this? Click here to go to their site, but I’m telling you, it’s a lovely magazine. Kind of a Martha Stewart Living for the woman of faith. The photos alone are worth the price of admission, but some writer named Kimberly Stuart also has an article in this issue.

Just take one tiny second and e-mail me no later than JULY 4, 2009, at kimberly@kimberlystuart.com and I’ll enter your name into the drawing. Two winners will be drawn, using a highly scientific process involving my three-year-old and a sombrero.

In the meantime, please look for me and Mitch the next time you’re in Chicago hunting down a New York-style potty next to the Tropical Sno. We’ll be the ones in sombreros.

Employer Appreciation Day

At the start of summer vacation, we schlepped the kids into the mini-van and embarked on a drive across the plains to Colorado. Our purpose was twofold: 1. Drive twelve hours with three children as a sort of social experiment, to see if any, all, or some would survive and 2. Visit friends, mountains, and colleagues, not necessarily in that order. Mission accomplished on all fronts! I’m happy to report every member of the family did very well, even Baby Thea, who was valiant through the travails of cutting FOUR TEETH at once. We saw friends we love, rode horses in the mountains, visited dear family, and got scared by sharks at the Denver Aquarium. But might I just take a moment to mention that I got the chance to prove to my children that I have a real job? I did. And it was very gratifying.

When Act Two released last spring, a box full of books came to our front door. Marc, ever the enlightened partner of the 21st century, made a heroic effort of impressing upon Ani and Mitch the importance of the moment. “Guys! Look! Your mom wrote this book! This is her photo on the back! She’s written three books, kids! Can you believe it?!” He was jumping up and down, running in circles around the family room. Such a trooper, that one.

Ana’s response: “Dad, it’s really not that big of a deal.”

If only I could have been wearing SEQUINS in the photo, or if the book had been hot pink with sparkles flying out of its pages, or if there’d been a singing doll that came with. But just a boring, old, wordy, non-illustrated book? Puh-lease.

So in order to prove to my children that Mommy is not making up her “books” or her “writing” or her “career,” I took these pictures. In case you, like them, have been doubting whether or not I’m actually printing my books, one by one, in my basement, I offer this evidence:

Real, brick-and-mortar building, home of David C. Cook. It even has a fountain in the front yard. Fan-cay.

Vice prez of publishing, Don Pape (he’s Canadian, which explains why he has cool glasses and an overall mellow demeanor), me (with alarmingly strange hair) and Editorial Head Honcho, Terry Behimer, who took me to lunch at a great restaurant and made me drink lots of water to get rid of an altitude headache.

See? Real people, real building, real job. So there, Ani. Proof is in the blogging. Now, if I’d only worn a feather boa and glitter paint to the office…

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Swimming Upstream

Swimsuit season is upon us, friends. Try not to hyperventilate into a paper bag, as some insecure, writer types have been known to do. Try not to think about when you used to make derisive comments about your body before you had children, only to discover later the sheer relativity of "big thighs" or "love handles." Instead, feel victorious that you aren’t headed out to your local swimming pool in this:

Do you know there is a name for this thing? It is called a MONOKINI. Mono, from the Latin of “one," and “kini” from the Polynesian for “not enough to cover the groceries.” This style, I feel, is a danger to public swimming holes everywhere. Think of the therapy bills racked up by unsuspecting passersby. What happens when a girl needs to get out of a model’s pose to, say, pick up a child? Sit poolside? Eat a snowcone? NOTHING GOOD, I assure you.

I, for one, will embrace my tankini with joy this summer. Tank, from the Latin for “large swath of military-like material” and “kini” from the Polynesian for “less six-pack, more milkshake.” Get out there, girls, and be thankful your kini is just what it’s meant to be.

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