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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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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Report from the Trenches

We’re working on Day 7 of a fever for one of my babes. The positives: I get to watch Peter Pan and Mulan and the insultingly syrupy High School Musical with wild abandon, all the while getting lots of in-home exercise on trips for the thermometer and Sprite. Negatives: I get absolutely no writing done, even though I have a novel due in February and I won’t be able to cite “Seven-Day Fever” as a valid excuse for a late manuscript. Please understand I am not soliciting pity here. It would be unsightly for a girl who just released a novel and who leads a very, very blessing-drenched life.

Speaking of unsightly, however, being home with a sick child means I look at myself in the mirror more often. This is woefully disappointing. I must live most of my life not really dedicating myself to mirror time because what I’ve discovered this week is nothing short of earth-shattering. Turns out, I’m aging. I have AGE SPOTS on my FACE. Like things you see a lot of at buffets and casinos and care facilities with names like “Shady Meadows.” Age spots. And wrinkles. And I’m getting a cold sore, which, admittedly, is not a byproduct of age but we might as well lump all skin trauma together.

And here’s another thing, which I am not making up, even though I write fiction: Just as I was thinking to myself that a good sit out on the deck would do me good, I saw something that stopped me in my Vitamin D-deficient tracks. And his name, friend, is CHUCKLES. Just in case you missed Chuckles’s first, grand appearance, here’s his mug shot:

Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT write to tell me you think he’s cute. Just because you can’t see his age spots does not mean he should be popping up his head and scurrying around on my deck! I’m trying to keep it together here, but I can feel some SERIOUS EXCLAMATION POINTS coming on!! !!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, listen, I’d really love to see you this week. I need adult interaction. First, there’s the grand soiree at Beaverdale Books. We’ll start at 6:30 p.m. Friday and will have A LOT of fun. I can promise this without reservation. Also---this just in---I’ll be hanging out at Connxions bookstore in Urbandale Thursday night. The Connxions folks are having a Girls’ Night Out with lots of fun stuff to buy, give, and use for self-pampering purposes. So if you’re not able to come Friday, I’d love to see you tomorrow in Urbandale.

Just promise me this: You will not take my temperature, bring along any rodents, or stare at my cold sore. You don’t want to see what happens when a stir-crazy mother starts ACTING OUT exclamation points. Let’s just keep that on pen and paper. Thank you! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !!! ! ! !!!!!!!!


  1. Our own "wood-hog" (aptly named b/c Emma can't decide if he's a wood chuck or a groundhog) made a reappearance in our back yard this summer too. And he brought a friend! Those things just don't go away! (Trust me, we've tried!!) And they have no fear of being seen in public in broad day light!!! (I'm feeling some of my own exclamation points coming on!!) If you ever find a way to entice Chuckles to move on to greener pasture, please, please share how! !!!

  2. OH. MY. GOODNESS. I have "Chuckles" lovely cousin living under my kitchen!!! I have been TRYING to get rid of him for MONTHS, but all he does is sit on top of my patio table, eat my flowers and scare my children!!!!! (By the way, he prefers tulips and sunflowers.) This is DEFINITELY cause for exclamation points and I am not an avid user!!!!!!!!!!! What really amazes me, though, is how you got such a great picture of him. I caught ours hanging upside down from our mulberry bush, but still couldn't grab the camera before he scampered off to wreak havoc on another section of unsuspecting (and rather expensive) landscaping.

    On another note, I hope everyone feels better soon!

  3. Sorry. That was supposed to be "... Chuckles's lovely cousin..."

    I hate when my comments have errors. :)

  4. Okay, I promise this is my last comment today!

    "inthedailies" and "Tanya" are both me.

    Okay, I'm done.

  5. Thinking of all of you! Can't believe Chuckles is still around!

  6. Sorry about the sickness that has settled in at your house. :( Not fun. Planning on coming on Friday, but tomorrow night sounds tempting, too. Hmmm...do I get bonus points if I come to both? :)

  7. Cold sore aside (or hidden by a light foundation), it's wonderful that you'll make yourself a public presence here in Des Moines so those of us who imagine ourselves as a famous author can bask in your shadow. We'll be sorta like you on Ground Hog Day when you head to your porch to look for Chuckles' shadow.

  8. Thank goodness I'm not the only one aging. It's like all mirrors have suddenly gone HD. I always thought I'd age gracefully and not complain about it...of course I was 22 when I was having those ridiculous thoughts.

    Sorry about your groundhog/woodchuck. I don't know that we have many of those down here. Although I know we have at least one. Pierre C. Shadeaux. He tells the south Louisiana folks whether spring will be short or long because, and I quote, "“We don’t want some Yankee groundhog telling us about South Louisiana weather." Man, I wish I was making this up. We're more likely to see dead armadillos or the occasional stray alligator around here. Bet you're thinking Chuck's a little cuter now, aren't you?

  9. Know what I noticed as I turned profile a couple days ago, Kim, EXTRA LONG EYEBROW HAIRS!!!! They had not yet let gravity pull them downward cause they would have practically touched my pupil, seriously. I plucked them and stared at them, thinking my bangs might have gotten lost for a mintue. For Pete's sake, aging...I could go on, but won't. I'm off to pluck. See you tomorrow night.

  10. My husband and I used to have a BIG woodchuck problem when we lived on an acreage in western Iowa. We asked the neighbors for a live trap and enticed the disgusting creatures with peanut butter on a paper plate. After catching one, we umm... "disposed" of it and left the trap to sit. We caught two more without even adding more peanut butter to the plate. The remaining scent was enough to entice their appetites. Four woodchucks later, we returned the live trap to our neighbors.

  11. OH, how I love you dear readers and your comments. I can't decide what's more fun to ponder, woodchucks and their fatal attraction to peanut butter or long eyebrows and all mirrors going HD. I LOVE YOU PEOPLE!


    p.s. Fever still up and at 'em. 103 degrees last count, this on Day 9. Thanks for praying. :)