Summer rain and cartoonification

I’ve have been turned into a cartoon, and I like it.

My profile picture was done by cartoonist Eric Orchard (@inkybat). You can read his blog and see examples of his art on Eric’s website.

I woke before the kids this morning. That seldom happens in the summer, unless we have someplace to be. Usually I write until 3 or 4am, and then I wait until the kids wake up (usually around 8am) before finally getting out of bed.

I think it was the rain, the gentle summer rain, that did it.

It was in stark contrast to the fierce late-night thunder storms and lightning shows that have sent the kids scurrying to our bed in the middle of the night.

I awoke to a sleeping house, crept downstairs, and made myself a coconut milk late. I had the time and the quiet to begin this entry.

I finally finished Book #2 (S.C.) and received my first round of edits. I’ve also begun the first of two projects with Madeline Carol Matz (@mcmatz). I’ve oscillated between those two projects most nights. The mcmatz project has more urgency, since we have a sort of deadline for the first bit.

In the meantime, we’ve been dealing with flooding in the basement from recent storms. Sorting, purging, and organizing are on the agenda for most days, interspersed with general kid summer frivolity.

But the kids return to school in two weeks, and in a flutter of pre-school doctor appointments, last-minute excursions, and a final round of summer birthday parties and playdates, I find myself getting excited about Fall–my favorite and most productive season.

Glorious October is just around the corner.



Even coffee cannot tame the savage Monday morning

Update (Work in Progress, Book #2)

I finished the first draft of S.C.* back in 2009, but 2010 was so hectic with Issue 2 of Conclave, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, and the release of The Silence of Trees, that I didn’t get to spend much time with it.

There were a few plot points that needed to be tightened up before I sent it out into the world, but when I returned to S.C. in earnest this winter, I felt like my characters were sleepwalking through molasses. I couldn’t quite get them to do what I wanted them to do.  More likely I was the one trudging through sticky words, making sloooow progress, editing here and there but missing…something. So I worked on some short stories and notes for an upcoming secret project with Madeline C. Matz. I cooked creative recipes and planned this year’s garden. The months were productive, but not as much with S.C.

Until March, when something shifted and woke up. Maybe it’s Spring, maybe it’s my imagination, maybe my Muse was teaching me a lesson or the story was aging like a nice Bordeaux? Whatever the reason, my characters are very much awake, and I’m trying to keep up! This means many more sleepless nights and late night coffees, but I’m happy-exhausted! They’ve surprised me twice this week with revelations about their characters that are helping to reshape the ending in a way that feels more authentic. Yay!

So I’m going to try and finish up the draft this week and send it off to my readers this weekend. Then next week I begin to work on the next project until my readers get back to me.

In the meantime, I have a question for you: What is the opposite of fear and why?

Consider this background research. Many thanks.


* I’m not quite ready to reveal the title of Book #2 but S.C. are the initials. It will remain a mystery for a little while longer.

If globes were square

I should know better than to write that I will update my blog more regularly.

I returned home from Arizona into a whirlwind of cleaning and rearranging. After the wide open spaces and skies of Arizona, the flow of the living room felt off, cluttered. We moved one of the bookcases up to our bedroom and shifted the furniture of the living room around so that it now feels more airy.

My friend Al and her two boys arrived from Paris, and the older kids attended science camp, while the younger three went to summer camp. This week we have free to explore Chicago and have random kid-generated adventures. It’s good having them here. I miss our lazy sleep-deprived afternoons in Frankfurt from oh-so-many-years ago, and I’m grateful for this time to reconnect.

Then the Fourth of July brought family aplenty at a bbq/family reunion hosted by my parents. Good to have chats with cousins I haven’t seen since the last family shower. Kids and cat survived nightlong fireworks well enough, although I fell asleep in my youngest daughter’s bed with contacts in.

This week brings decisions about the cover and release party for The Silence of Trees, calls and emails to secure special guests and entertainment for the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, and preparation for an online class I’ll be teaching it the Fall.

I also plan to start reading my next book to the kids (S.C.). It’s the first that’s age appropriate, and though I tell my children stories randomly on walks, at bedtime, and so on, I am excited to share my written words with them. We’ll see what they think.