I Went to College and it was okay

I Went to College and it was okay is like Diary of a Wimpy Kid for adults. I first discovered it in a used bookstore and gave it to my brother, but I liked it so much, I ordered one for myself. Using black and white stick figures, Scott Dikkers captures the sense of being on your own for the first time--that sort of lost, sort of curious, sort of I-know-what-I'm-doing feeling. Much of the book depicts non-events, which it what gives it that familiar feeling, the feeling of trying to put shape to shapeless days. A very pleasant excursion through "Jim's" first two years at college.

In Which I Bypass a Bad Driver and Receive Prizes

It's going to be a great day!

First off, I was stuck behind a guy who apparently drives while talking on his cell phone and using his console as a desk. His car floated left and right, crossing over the lines and those bumpy reflector lights. There was a mile of empty blacktop in front of him, but this was a single, no-passing road.

After watching him weeble-wobble down the road, I pined after that long, free stretch in front of him. Then I passed him using the acceleration ramp on the right! Ha! I am a rebel today! My music was loud and I drove fast. Then I received a phone call that something I was concerned about is hundred percent okay, and if that wasn't good enough, I found prizes from WOW! on my doorstep!

Look at the bounty! A shout out to WOW! Women on Writing and Angela Mackintosh for their support, encouragement, and for their wonderful website. And a shout out to God because I am grateful for the health of my kids.

It's a beautiful day!

It's Already Wednesday

When you have Monday off, all the other days are off too. I had to put the timer on to remind myself to leave on time, but when it started beeping, I was eating my lunch and thought it had something to do with my food. I turned it off. It wasn't until twenty minutes later that I realized I had to leave. Do you think that was the holiday effect or was that due to my insomnia-induced short circuitry? Or perhaps the newspaper I was reading was so scintillating I couldn't tear myself away, you know, For Better or Worse, Zits, and LuAnn. We also get Ann Landers, but I really like Carolyn Hax's advice column, "Tell Me About It."

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By the way, don't forget to stop by Ello's blog. She's interviewed Dr. Gigi Durham, author of The Lolita Effect, The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What we can Do About It. Interesting conversation going on over there.

Two Old Ladies Go Into the Woods

I was visiting Big Tree Park* and as the path narrowed, I found myself behind two old ladies going into the woods. It seemed rude to pass them, so I stayed a distance behind--a distance I closed up when their hoary heads bent together and they began to speak.

What do old ladies speak of? I imagined it would be like those commercials, Herb died. Poor Stella, their insurance didn't cover the coffin. She buried him in a pine box without his teeth. I picked up my step, sneaky-like, so they wouldn't notice me. Here's what I heard:

Old Lady #1: What would you do if he had a gun?

Old Lady #2: I don't know.

Old Lady #1: If a guy with a gun came up to me and said, "Your money or your life!" I'd say "Then take my life--I'm saving my money!"

Much laughter ensued, and I walked behind, delighted in the secret life of old ladies.

*Yes, there is a big tree in Big Tree Park. In fact, there are two. "The Senator" is a 3500-year-old bald cypress standing 118 feet. It used to be taller, but a hurricane cracked off the top. Standing nearby at 89 feet is "Lady Liberty," a 2000-year-old bald cypress. Want to see pictures? Click here and scroll.

Miss Snark Day

Today we gather at Patricia Wood's blog to pay homage to Miss Snark, who retired a year ago. Rumor has it she'll be making appearances ala Elvis, so check it out--you may glimpse the infamous stilettos.

The Cover for Violet Raines is Here

Hooray! It's here! This is the cover for Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning. Hooray! The designer, Daniel Roode, really captured the spirit of the book. I can't wait to post this everywhere!

Interviewed by WOW Magazine

This weekend, I was interviewed by WOW! Magazine's warm and wonderful Angela Mackintosh. Angela is the editor and CEO of WOW! and just an all-around great person. I've enjoyed reading her interviews with other writers because they seem so natural and conversational, and I felt the same way as I answered her questions. Click here to read the interview.

If you've never visited WOW! Magazine, let me say it's a good site to add to your favorites. Every month, new articles on the craft and business of writing are added, and the site hosts a quarterly flash fiction contest, which is judged by qualified readers: the last contest was judged by literary agent Kristin Nelson; this quarter's contest will be judged by literary agent Wendy Sherman. Want to get acquainted with an agent? This is a good way to do it. There's even an option for critique.

I've enjoyed this website for more than a year, so it was an honor to break in.

Query Shark

Thanks to Editorial Anonymous, I've discovered a blog that critiques queries--Query Shark, a blog featuring query critiques by literary agent Janet Reid. (More than one commenter has wondered about the Snark connection.) Lots of insight in these critiques, check it out.

Jacquelyn Mitchard Featured in Parade Magazine

Author Jacquelyn Mitchard was featured in yesterday's Parade Magazine.

I didn't know much about this author until I read her article. Then I tracked down her website and read her bio. Quick recap: She wrote her first book, The Deep End of the Ocean, while in her 30s and sold it after she turned 40. First book. Here's the part that amazes me: The copyright date of that first book is 1996. JM's website now boasts thirteen books, spanning genres from picture book to adult. And she has seven children. And she mends their clothing--yes, that's right--with a needle and thread.

And she blogs, travels, and writes articles.

She sews . . . oh my gosh, how does she do it all?

Funny, Weird, or Scary Signs #5

I'm trying to capture an alligator for you,
but all I spot are these signs.

Behind a Sunday Driver on Monday

Dear Sunday Driver who was in front of me Monday on a single lane, no passing road:

It wasn't your fault I was late for an appointment as we drove along that road. That’s why instead of tailgating you, I kept a safe and courteous distance from the back of your car. But I wanted to fly over your vehicle or bump you out of my way.

The many speed limit signs we passed bore this number: 30. The number my speedometer hit while following you: 20. That’s thirty-three percent less than the allowed acceleration! Bet you’ve never gotten a speeding ticket. I know I never will as long as I am behind you.

In Which I Receive an Invitation of Sorts

Him: If we go on another field trip, I want you to come.

Me: Aww. . . [sniff, sniff]_I would love to come.

Him: Yeah, 'cause then you could bring my DS Lite in your purse like K's mom did.