Thursday, September 20, 2012

Elementary Cafeterias Smell Like...Fear?

I had lunch with the spawn earlier today and wow ...
Being in an elementary school cafeteria again ... not only did it take me back (to a place and time I never wanted to return to--a place that, in my mind, smells of bologna and bad breath and sneakers worn with no socks), it was a real eye-opener about that part of my kids' day.

For one, that lunch lady is MEAN. Like, dragon lady material. I feel bad for my kids. Seriously. There are several "lunch monitors," I guess they're called, but this one... she makes ME want to get up and throw my trash away when she points her finger at my table. She says "move," and you better already be moving. The CIA should consider bringing her on. Interrogations would go a lot quicker.

You should've seen the kids' faces once they got called out for misbehaving or talking too loud. They were all "Sorry, ma'am, yes ma'am, please don't kill me ma'am." You could totally smell the fear.

Okay, two, there's a kid in my daughter's class who talked my head off about Pokemon YouTube videos the entire time--even when I tried to cut in and say "um, hang on, I should probably talk to my daughter. You know, the one I'm here to see and who keeps trying to get a word in edgewise but you don't breathe between sentences." Even then, he just kept right on talking. He's a gem.

Also-I think my ears are still bleeding with the amount of times he said "guess what?" (I never, ever guessed right in case you're wondering.)

Three, there are cliques even in FIRST GRADE!!

I'm eating with my son. We're sitting about halfway down the mostly empty table as most kids are still in line. I ask him, "So where do you normally sit?" And he points down the end of the table where five or six kids are clustered together while the remaining few are spread out sporatically, eating alone.

I say, jokingly, "Is that where the cool kids sit?" and serious as a heart attack, he nods. "Yep."

I do NOT remember there being a "cool kids" area at the lunch table in first grade. But maybe I'm just old and my brain is already forgetting things.

I also saw the boy from my daughter's class who, when she tried to show him around as a new student, made the comment that he "already knew where everything was," and are they "allowed to punch fourth graders at this school?"
Yes, I thought about tripping him. Or giving him a special, friendship note to take home to his mommy.
But I didn't.
You'd have been proud.
I only death-ray glared at him from down the table and promised my daughter I'd be coming for lunch a lot more often.

All in all, the amount of drama and "he's dating her" scenarios my daughter informed me of during those thirty minutes is either hilarious or sad--I can't figure out which. Both, I think. And I sure don't remember it being that way for me. Not in elementary school.
There was no drama because nobody of the opposite sex SPOKE to one another. You could sit by the person all day on the story-time rug, for months on end, and NEVER, EVER speak. That's how you knew you liked each other.
Now, not only do they speak, kids walk right up to each other and say "want to be my girlfriend/boyfriend?" and if the person doesn't answer, the asker will follow their crush around, repeating the question all day long. Persistence pays off, I guess? <-- These are the stories I hear from my daughter.

I have to say, elementary school is not the same as it was in my day.
Ohmygosh- that sounded TOTALLY old when I typed that. Geez! What about you guys? Was the drama level higher or lower in the stone ages?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September plans and 90s music references

Summer is over. (Booo.... Hiss!) Yeah, that's how I feel about that. I love the heat and the sun and the beach (cue "Summertime" by Will Smith). Oh, and as of this past August, also--the Caribbean. The fam and I went to the Dominican Republic for a week. Paradise! *sigh*

But school started yesterday and now it's back to "Real Life" and back to work and back to reality ... okay now I have Soul II Soul singing in my head. Back to life... Back to reality.. (90s girl over here.)

What am I working on? Blood Bond is out now. You should go get it if you haven't because I'm pretty sure it's the best one yet. Alex and Wes and Tara all in the same place. Hello drama! Win! There's the usual cliffhanger that will make you want to throw your book/kindle/nook/tablet/ME across the room at the end. Deal with it. I love writing cliffhangers. I can't help myself. It's a problem.

As for the next book, prepare to wait.

I am taking it easy for a couple of weeks. At first I said a month, but I'm not sure that's possible for me. If I go too long without writing, my typing fingers get itchy. And my inner voice gets a little crazy-sounding. Like an "off-your-meds" situation. We don't want that. I need to look normal for PTA nights. I'm pretty excited that both of my kids are back in school--FULL DAY. My youngest was in kindergarten last year which was only half-day. Enough time to run to WalMart for trail mix (I'm so addicted to that Mountain Mix stuff) but not enough to really get anything productive done. So, this year, I am going to be soooo productive. Wal-Mart trail mix will be consumed. Books will get written. AND my house will get cleaned.

Here's the thing. I'm against clutter. I grew up in a small house (1300sq ft 3br with ONE bathroom for FIVE people *shudder*) and LOTS of stuff. I have no idea why my mom needed every back-issue of Better Homes and Gardens from the last 476 years but that's what sat on our coffee table, holding it down in case gravity stopped working. And the baskets and baskets of newspapers and CD's and miscellaneous household items we never used like bottle openers, even though my parents didn't drink, and a ball of yarn for that one craft idea we saw in a book, and the random cat toy and Mr. Potato Head's lips and knick-knacks. We had KNICK-KNACKS galore!

So, nowadays, I try to keep the clutter to a mimimum. Bare surfaces make me happy. Kind of like office supplies. And my dining room table that's large enough to seat my entire family instead of the "breakfast nook" table for 10 at Thanksgiving. These things make me smile.

I'm good at controlling the clutter. CLEANING is a different story. I haven't actually cleaned my house in like a year. Now before you get all grossed out and start judging me with your judgy voice in your judgy head, listen. I've done the basics. Vaccuum. Wipe down the table and shelves. Dusted the bare spots (taking everything off the shelf, dusting, and putting it all back was only done when I was 11 and my grandma would pay me .50 for each room. Then, I did it every day. .50 adds up.)

I'm talking about deep cleaning. Getting down on hands and knees and scrubbing a tub. Pulling your couch out and vacuuming behind it and wiping baseboards. <--- These things are where I've skimped. For good reasons. First, I was pregnant. All of you know my story by now. If you don't, read about Tyler Andrew here and how he went to Heaven when he was five days old because his heart was too big for this world. And read about my mental status here. I won't rehash all that today as I'm basically still in the same head space as I was a month ago about that. While I was prego, my kids helped out a lot. Chores were done. Stuff was cleaned. Sort of. Their version of cleaning a tub and mine are a little different, but when you're fat and tired and can't get up once you sit down, you let their version suffice. (I hear all the moms muttering, "Amen.")

After Tyler passed, cleaning wasn't a priority. Not thinking too hard was. So i wrote. Alot. I worked. Alot. I published. Alot. Okay well, two books in 8 months is a lot for me.

But now, with Blood Bond out there, and my mental health a little less unstable, it's time to address the elephant in the room. Dirt. And so, I'm taking a few weeks off from writing to enjoy Blood Bond's tour (I'm revealing a lot of deleted scenes and "extras" for this one. so fun!) and catch up with friends (I'm such a hermit!) AND CLEAN MY HOUSE. (bathtub, you can run but you can't hide. Okay, you can't run either, so never mind. Whatever. I'm coming for you.)

COOL stuff happening:
Sept 11th I am doing a radio show via JournalJabber. So awesome! we will be discussing books and werewolves and hot boys. Tune in! I don't know the deets about how to listen in yet but I will post on FB when I find out. Please join us. it'll be lonely in radioland without you!
THE TOUR for Blood Bond goes on all month. Check FB and Twitter to find out where to read the extra scenes. lots from Wes's and Alex's POV. (Yum!)

**Speaking of, I have a few more to write, so if there are any scenes from the series you wanted more of or a different POV, leave it in the comments and maybe you'll see it during the tour!

Fun scenes already done:
Alex's and Tara's roll down the hill from Cold Blood: AwesomeSauce Books
Interview with Alex and Wes- find out what Alex is afraid of! Happy Tails and Tales
A peek into Wes's head during the breakup in book 1: Delphina Reads Too Much

Places I'll be:
Andrea's Paranormal Reads - a deleted scene from Blood Bond between Cambria and a special guy. (9/8)
Taking it One Book at a Time - scene from Cold Blood: Alex's POV when he spills to Tara about how he feels. (9/9)
**Both will be spoilery!!!