A Fresh Start

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I’ve missed writing but this space just hasn’t felt like home. So I’m moving on. Starting fresh. If you’d like to follow along send me an email (loveinventsus@gmail) and I’ll share the address.

Happy 2015! I wish you well in the new year.

NaNoWriMo Here I Come!!!

It is official. I am a crazy person.

It’s November and for me that means one thing. It’s National Novel Writing Month. Back in 2010 when Yogi was three months old I decided to jump in for the first time. I had heard the NaNo buzz for a few years and now that I was home with an infant it seemed like perfect timing. The goal was 50,000 words in 30 days. It wasn’t easy, but I got it done and I could not have been more thrilled with myself. The next year when I was home with a one year old, I jumped in again. I spent much of October outlining and brainstorming and generally getting ready and by the end of the first week of November I was out. It was over. I just couldn’t make it happen. When November rolled around the next year I was home with a two-year old and six-month old. I didn’t even try.

So here we are again. I’ve spent much of the last month pining for NaNo. Talking myself into and out of it from minute to minute. The Monk is now the age that Yogi was when I couldn’t get it together in 2011. And of course now I have not just a one and half year old, but also a three year old. A three year old who doesn’t nap. All of that plus we will be embarking on the Great Room Sharing Adventure tonight at bedtime which is sure to stir up all of our most challenging sleep issues. I think you can see that it’s obvious. This is the perfect time to kick my writing practice into high gear. It’s ideal really.

In true crazy person fashion I’m incapable of listening to reason. I’m doing this thing. I won’t be writing a novel so I’m not technically a participant, but I’m riding the manic energy and committing myself to thirty days. I’m not so adamant about word count (although 50k would be nice), but what I am adamant about is developing a habit. Writing every day. I’ll be working on lots of different things in the hope that variety will keep me going.

If you have any extra persistence or patience, please send them my way. And while you’re at it if you have any words of wisdom about behavior change I’d love to hear them. Perfection isn’t my goal, but a daily-ish writing practice is a habit I would love to build. I’ve been moving towards it for a few years now, but a solid effort this month would be excellent for momentum.

Here’s to November!

Hooray for Small Blogs!

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Camille from And Just Add Water nominated me for the Liebster Award! Thanks Camille!! Blogger awards are such a great way to learn more about your fellow bloggers. This is a way for small bloggers to give recognition to other small bloggers (200 followers or less).
Here’s how it works: Copy & Paste This Whole Post and Replace All Your Information — who awarded you, for example.
The rules:

  1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answering the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.
  3. Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.
  4. Display the Liebster Award logo.
  5. No tag backs meaning you can’t just re nominate the person who nominated you.

As Solo the First put it “The real purpose behind these nominations are not only as an accolade from a fellow blogger and let’s face it, nothing gently strokes our little writer hearts more than someone telling you they appreciate your work. In addition to the back patting we need to receive from time to time, it also allows us to get a little more personal as we get to know our increasing blogging community. It also helps drive traffic to your site as we reference one another.” Here are the questions I got from Camille, along with my answers:

  • What is the best book you’ve read recently?

I’ve been in a dry spell recently, but there is one that has stood out. The Fault in our Stars by John Green. This is YA (which I don’t usually read), but after hearing so much about it I decided to give it a try. The story was compelling, but the voice was unbelievable. If you like first person narration The Fault in our Stars is a must read.

  • Name a pet peeve.

Fake listening. I am very bothered by insincere/inattentive listening. If you aren’t interested, don’t pretend to be.

  • If you could travel any place and money was not a factor, where would you go?

Given my current anti-travel stance this question is a hard one. But….. I’ve always wanted to visit India. Always.

  • If you could go to any concert, whether they are dead or alive, broken up or together, who would it be?

I tried to resist, but resistance is futile. Indigo Girls. I’d be front row, house left. Staring at the girlfriend I’ve had the longest. Amy Ray.

  • Red wine, white wine, beer, or water?

Beer. An amber or a nice porter.

  • Do you have a celebrity look-a-like? If so, who?

I don’t think the resemblance is that strong, but I’ve heard Winona Ryder more than once. As I’m typing it occurs to me that I haven’t actually heard that in about a decade. Humm……

  • What are three blogs you read most often?

Outside of this blogging community, my three favorites are:

Momastery – I love this woman. Truly. I believe that she is doing incredible things.

terribleminds  – Chuck Wendig is a writer (he actually refers to himself as a freelance pen monkey) and his blog is largely about writing. I’m completely hooked on his voice and frankly enjoy all the cursing. Also he has a boy around Yogi’s age.

Oh She Glows – Aside from the fact that she has a MS in Social Psych (making her totally IN), she is also entirely passionate and impressively knowledgeable about living vegan. I have loved every recipe of hers I’ve tried and the girl is detail oriented. REALLY detail oriented (that impresses me).

  • What is your guilty pleasure?

Reality television. Think Big Brother and America’s Next Top Model. Since ridding ourselves of cable, I’ve had to let these things go. It’s certainly for the best as the balance had been tipping towards guilty and away from pleasure for some time. Guess it’s time to find a new guilty pleasure! Sounds like fun….

  • What is one skill or hobby you’re interested in learning?

Rowing/paddling

  • What are five words that best describe you?

Introspective, sensitive, optimistic, bookish (I LOVE that word), loyal

  • Beach or mountains?

Mountains every time.

Here are my nominations (in no particular order!).  If I have renominated you, hooray for you! You are a star!:

Here are my 11 questions:

  1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  2. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
  3. Share your three favorite (non lesbian baby-making) blogs.
  4. What public figures (people we all might know) make your top five? (As in, people you think are hot)
  5. What is your most favorite meal? Looking for more than breakfast, lunch or dinner here. What’s on the plate?
  6. What book could you read over and over?
  7. Cats or dogs?
  8. What are five words that best describe you?
  9. If you could trade places with someone (anyone!) for a day who would it be?
  10. An envelope stuffed with cash appears in your mailbox, what do you do?
  11. If someone threw you a surprise party would you feel loved or misunderstood?

Here & There

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I can’t explain why this is my favorite picture of the moment, but it is.

Why should I write only when I have thoughtfully crafted things to say? Rubbish! Down with coherence and up with rambling!

JOYFUL THINGS

  • This summer we’ve started taking family showers (we have a good size one with a door) and I’m in love. It’s immensely practical as all four of us have to get a shower in before bed (the boys and I spend much of our day outside and my wife usually takes the boys outside to play after dinner which involves lots of yucky bug spray) and doing the boys together and each of us separately takes some time. It also allows the boys to splash and throw water and be as messy as they please bc it’s a shower, the water stays right where it belongs. As the Monk has gotten more exuberant, bathing was becoming a real splash fest and as much as I wanted to be cool with it, it was driving me crazy. Now we just haul all of our cups and bottles and ducks in with us and everyone is happy. Happy and cute.
  • My wife and I are running off to New York to get married next month!!! Yahoo!!! The boys will be staying with Muzzie and Grandpa and we are going to make this thing as official as it’s possible to be.
  • After not participating in National Novel Writing Month for two years, I’m dipping my toes in with Camp NaNoWriMo this month. Camp is more laid back, with the opportunity to write whatever you want (screenplay, poetry collection, not just a novel) using however many words you want (50K is not your only option). So…. I set the bar low (25K) and so far I’m right on track. I’m playing with my own stories and learning that memoir is a really interesting form.
  • I’m playing in the kitchen again! At least one person at this house (can you guess who?) LOVES to eat and I’m remembering how satisfying it is to cook for someone who actually eats food. Yes, Yogi. This one is on you. I’m hoping that the Monk’s eagerness to try anything and everything will rub off on his brother. Probably wishful thinking

NOT EVEN REMOTELY JOYFUL THINGS

  • The potty. That’s all I’m saying for now. More later.
  • Night weaning with the Monk. There are no words.
  • I am without a good book and have been for weeks now. I’ve started and abandoned probably fifteen books in as many days. I’ve got some interesting non-fiction going, but I’m dying for story. I need a world to get lost in. Anyone have ideas?? I’d be happy to reciprocate.

What the DOMA Decision Means to Me

I had more to say about all this DOMA business, so I wrote a piece for It’s Conceivable. Please check it out here and take a moment to chime in if the spirit moves you. 😉

I am obsessed with these two pictures lately, so I couldn’t resist.

IMG_0855Yogi understands the power of a well chosen accessory.

IMG_0885Yogi likes to play with his snacks. The Monk likes to eat them.

Looking for a Lesbian Marriage Memoir? Check out “The Brides of March”

In my hunt for the Great American Lesbian memoir I’ve uncovered a gem. Beren deMotier’s The Brides of March: Memoir of a Same-Sex Marriage shares an intimate glimpse into Oregon’s brief foray into gay marriage in Multnomah county.

Beren and her spouse Jannine become one of the almost five hundred gay couples  who were issued a marriage license on March 3, 2004. The Brides of March opens on the night of the 2nd when Jannine reserves the couple’s place at the head of the line by camping overnight at the courthouse leaving Beren at home to care for their three children. The story weaves back to describe their meeting almost twenty years before and forward into what became the controversial legal aftermath of the county’s decision. Delving into everything from stay-at-home parenthood and relations with the in-laws to tattoos and Paxil, this is a book that reads like a chat with a funnier version of your best friend.

Ultimately The Brides of March is the story of a family making its way in a world divided. From the protesters at the Courthouse and the toddler-on-hip walk down the aisle of the Unitarian church to the high volume legal debate and the rampant consumption of Diet Coke, Beren takes us along for the ride. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in families on the front lines of the nation’s struggle around gay marriage, this is the book for you.

Anyone have other suggestions for the Great American Lesbian memoir?

Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee

Have you ever been a part of a book club? 


I’ve been in more than I can count. I have something of a book club problem if truth be told. But one of the things I like the most about book clubs is the opportunity to read something that I would never have picked up on my own.  I am something of a persnickety reader.  Maybe even a snooty reader. So I need a nudge every now and then to get me out of my comfort zone.


This month’s BlogHer selection, Diary of a Mad Fat Girl* by Stephanie McAfee, definitely fit that bill. If you’re looking for a story that is fast-paced, hilarious and requires absolutely nothing from you as a reader then you should add this to your list. We get the story first person through the voice of Ace who is every bit as hilarious as everyone who has reviewed this book says she is. Diary of a Mad Fat Girl wasn’t my thing, but it was a fun read. 


I can’t keep myself from adding that I had a problem with the title. It was clear that the girl was mad and that she was a girl, but was she fat? There was definitely reference to the fact that she had put on a few post break-up pounds, but if we are to believe that that is her tail on the cover, I call foul on the F word. 

If you’ve read the book and want to join the conversation, head over to BlogHer for discussions and more information about the book and the author.

* I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions are my own.

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

The Weird Sisters* by Eleanor Brown is a story of finding your way, growing up and getting on with it within the fabric of a family.  Rose, Bianca and Cordelia flew the nest years ago, but when their Mother is diagnosed with breast cancer they all return home to realize all the ways in which they never really left in the first place.  These women grabbed me from the prologue and I was drawn right into the center of their lives.  Each of the characters (not the least of which is Barnwell, the town in which the story unfolds) is richly and compassionately drawn.

 
This is Eleanor Brown.  From what I understand, The Weird Sisters is her first novel, but she’s hard at work on another one.  (I found that out by reading her blog)  I’m hardly the first to notice, but this lady has a great voice.  One of my favorite things about the book is her choice to write in the first person plural.  It’s a point-of-view that isn’t often used and can be difficult to maintain over the course of an entire novel.  Some books that use this POV can be hard to follow (The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard is an example), but in The Weird Sisters, it absolutely works.  In fact, I think it works so well because the story requires it.  Instead of either hearing the voice of only one of the thee sisters or dividing the narrative into three distinct pieces, she merges each of their voices into one and the story just sings with it.

Has anyone else read this one?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  If you want to find out more about the BlogHer Book Club head on over here and join in the conversation.

* I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions are my own.