Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Perfect Resolution Pt3

Hi and welcome to part 3 of my short story, The Perfect Resolution. If you're just starting here are the links to Part 1 & Part 2 . Thanks and I hope you enjoy.

The Perfect Resolution (Pt.3)
Jenny tossed and turned in bed. A power nap was not happening. She sat up and looked at her list on the wall.

To be PERFECT I must do the following EVERYDAY:


  • drink 640z of water liquid

  • exercise for 30 -60 minutes

  • 5 servings of fruits & veggies a day

  • read & write for 4 hours each (TY Stephen King)

  • Sleep for 8-10 hours

  • Power nap in afternoon

  • Cook healthy meals at home (NO TAKEOUT!)

  • Eat dinner as a family (AT THE KITCHEN TABLE!)

  • No alcohol, No caffeine, No sugar(THINK HEALTHY!)

  • Keep up w/house cleaning

  • Stay on top of laundry

  • get/give at least 6 hugs (TY Becky Sain)

  • Take time for you! (YOU DESERVE IT!)

  • Finally, when perfection is achieved... repaint bedroom wall!

Writing this on my wall isn't inspiring me, it's just reminding me of how imperfect I am. Jenny looked at the things she crossed out. The thick lines of failure running through her hopes. Guilt quickly boiled under her skin and grew hot. This is crazy. I'll just cross the whole thing out now and face that I'll never be perfect. She jumped to her feet and grabbed the marker in her fist. She raised it high, ready to slay the beast before her.

"Maaaa! Timmy's locked himself in the bathroom with my phone!"

Jenny sighed, dropped the marker, and went out to the hallway. "What's going on? Where's your father?"

"He's got my cell. He's reading my texts!" Vanessa screamed. Her hands waving around as if not holding her phone had untethered them from her control.

"Stop screaming. Tim, it's Mom. Open the door." Jenny knocked lightly.

"Lol, OMG Nessa. Like OMG. He's so ubercute." Timmy called out in a shrill voice through the door.

"I'm gunna kill you Timmy. You hear me?"

"Ok, Ok. Timothy, that's enough. Open this door." Jenny was loosing patience.

"Oh, you'll like this one Mom." He called out and then in his mocking shrill voice continued, "He is so like wants to KYU."

Jenny felt the blood drain from her face. She turned slowly to her daughter. "Who is going to what?"

"No one. It was just a joke Mom. Timmy, you are so dead. So dead. Now, you'll never find your stupid foam hockey pucks!"

"You do anything to my pucks and I'll flush your phone down the toilet." He threatened back and flushed the toilet for effect.

"Maaa, do something."

"What does KYU mean?" Visions of adult commercials were swirling in her head. Vanessa's face reddened. Jenny felt sick.

"Kiss you up," Timmy volunteered through the door.

"Urghh, that's it. Your pucks are done!" Vanessa screamed and ran off.

"Oh, yeah. Take this....FLUSHHHHH..."

Jenny stood in the hall, not sure which child to deal with first. A strange sound came from the kitchen. She headed there and yelled over her shoulder, "Timothy, if you flushed that phone you are buying your sister a new one."

The noise got louder as she approached the kitchen, a strange gurgling and dying mower engine sound. Vanessa was at the sink jamming circular black things into the running garbage disposal. The disposal was sputtering and churning slower with each added deposit.

"Vanessa, what are you doing?" Vanessa looked over her shoulder, wild eyed. Jenny ran up behind her and wrapped her arms around her arms and upper body. Timmy came running in.

"My pucks!" He screamed and ran toward them trying to grab at the ones still in Vanessa's hands.

Jenny was pinned in the middle. Her hugging Vanessa and Timmy reaching around grasping at his sister.

"STOP!" Jenny screamed. The room went silent. No one moved, they were all frozen with their hands still wrapped around each other. All that could be heard was the heavy breathing from the three. This is kind of a hug. Jenny shook her head at the thought.

"That's it. You're both grounded. Go to your rooms." Jenny let go of Vanessa, but stood in the middle until Timmy had released her and was safely out of the room.

The sputtering continued. She rushed over hit the switch to shut off the disposal. It came to whining stop. After the blades stopped spinning she reached in to recover as much of the rubbery puck pieces as possible. When there was nothing left but tiny mangled bits, she turned the water on and reran the disposal. It made a grinding noise, then something snapped. Water came spurting and spraying out like a geyser right into her face. The sound of metal clanking against the inner drum was so loud it brought everyone to the kitchen. Jenny hit the switch off and waved her hand over the swirl of smoke rising. Turning to see her husband, son and daughter standing there, looking innocently surprised, she couldn't be sure if the smoke was from the disposal or her head.

"I'll fix it." Her husband said tentatively walking up beside her to survey the damage.

"I'm sorry." Vanessa whispered.

"Me too." Added Timmy.

Water dripped down her face, running through her thickly concealed brows and leaving beige streaks down her face. She could taste the play dough like substance as it pooled in the corners of her mouth. Her family looked at her, eyes wide, waiting for her to blow.

"It's broke. I'll go to the hardware store." Her husband said with the look of a prisoner that just made parole, hopeful yet remorseful. Jenny turned to him, raised her arms up toward him slowly like a zombie. He automatically flinched and stepped back. She wrapped her arms around him and hugged. He hugged back apprehensively, not sure how to react.

When her husband left the room Jenny turned to her kids. They looked terrified by what they had just witnessed. She walked to them and pulled them both to her and hugged. When she was finished she calmly sent them back to their rooms to resume their punishment.

"I want your rooms to be spotless before you come out. Then we'll talk about what happened. You both hear me." Her composure surprised herself. Vanessa and Timmy nodded in agreement.

Jenny went back to her room and looked at the list. Maybe I can still do this. I just need to be more realistic about it though. She picked up the marker and crossed a few more items. She could still be perfect with what she kept.


That's it for now. Stay tuned for more of The Perfect Resolution.


Kristin : )

* Here is the link to The Perfect Resolution (The End)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

40 Posts in 40 Days: The Perfect Resolution Pt2

Hi. This is part 2 of a short story I started yesterday. If you missed the beginning here is the link. The Perfect Resolution Pt.1

The Perfect Resolution (Pt.2)

Jenny stood in front of the list emblazoned on her wall. Her husband, still on the floor beside the bed, is snoring quietly. Feeling a little guilty for putting him there so abruptly she tossed her plushy pink robe over him and returned to the wall. The washer was crammed full of blankets and the trip up and down the stairs twice -second time to balance and restart washer- definitely goes towards a few minutes of exercise. The apple in the second danish must have had at least a serving of real fruit. She smiles. This is not that bad. I really can do this.

To be PERFECT I must do the following EVERYDAY:


  • drink 640z of water

  • exercise for 30 - 60 minutes

  • 5 servings of fruits & veggies a day

  • read & write for 4 hours each (TY Stephen King)

  • Sleep for 8-10 hours

  • Power nap in afternoon

  • Cook healthy meals at home (NO TAKEOUT!)

  • Eat dinner as a family (AT THE KITCHEN TABLE!)

  • No alcohol, No caffeine, No sugar (THINK HEALTHY!)

  • Keep up w/house cleaning

  • Stay on top of laundry

  • get/give at least 6 hugs (TY Becky Sain)

  • Take time for you! (YOU DESERVE IT!)

  • Finally, when perfection is achieved... repaint bedroom wall!

She heads back to the kitchen, the sounds of bongo drums are fading. The sink is full of dishes from last night's fun. Before tackling them she runs the water til it feels ice cold and fills a tall glass. The cool liquid suddenly felt like nails scratching her throat and tasted like aluminum with a hint of chlorine. She spit the rest into a open corner of the sink and looked at the glass in disgust. When did the water start tasting like that? She went to the refrigerator and pulled out the kids jug of kool aid. It's got water in it.

With the dishes done and the washer bouncing along with the second load Jenny poured herself another cup of coffee and, even though it was cold, drank it down. Coffee has water in it too. She smiled as she headed to the bathroom with a exaggerated sense of repletion.

Standing in front of the mirror she took a moment to administer another quick pep talk. Holy Oscar the Grouch! Where did those eye brows come from? Jenny ran her ringer across the unruly bunch of newly sprouted follicles. After digging through the medicine cabinet she found a pair of tweezers. On closer inspection, they look like someone used them to scrap the bottom of their shoes off. Ack! She tossed them in the garbage, which is full and quickly expelled the tweezers to the floor. Jenny bends to pick them up and gets a close up view of her legs. More colonies of prickly sprouts have invaded. They seem to sway in the breeze of her sigh. Oh my God. I'm turning into a she wolf.

Jenny finds a barely used razor and does a dry run attack on the more noticeable areas -knee down- and for a second contemplates using it to clean up her brows. The instant image of her Aunt Barbara and her drawn on look of constant amazement stops her. Maybe I can hide them with a little make up.

Back in the bedroom Jenny stands over her husband, snoring contently on the floor, wrapped in fluffy pinkness. He doesn't care if his eye brows are three inches long and are forming their own comb over movement towards a unibrow. The overwhelming urge to throw a cup of water on him overcomes her. Instead she goes to her dresser to matte her brows down with her pastiest concealer. Looking in the mirror, the effect is more like painting a wall beige and leaving the bristles that fell out of the brush behind. GRRR!

"You sound mad." Her husband's groggy voice taunts from behind her.

"Not mad at all. Was just thinking how GRRReat this was going."

"What's for breakfast?"

"Fruit salad." Jenny smiled with one eye on the list. "Making a big salad with dinner too."

Stay positive. You can do this. Jenny repeated as she went back to the kitchen. Stopping in the doorway she had to rub her eyes and look again. The table was filled with tipped boxes of cereal, flakes and puffs mingling beside bowls of left over milk. Cups littered the sink and a trail of red kool aid ran across the floor from the refrigerator. Mouth agape Jenny stood there, her hands slowly finding a perch on her hips.

"Morning Ma. Happy new year." her son gurgled and milk sputtered down his chin. He made no move to wipe it.

"Yeah, HNY." Her daughter mumbled, she sat hunched forward, eyes down, fingers flying furiously across the tiny keyboard of her phone.

Neither child noticed Jenny's expression, her son oblivious to subtleties and her daughter oblivious to anything outside of her phone. Breathe, just relax. If you blow up they're all going to say it's because of your resolutions. She went the fridge, pulled open the fruit drawer. There was one apple and what looked like it could have been a lemon in another life. She grabbed the apple. Well, at least I can count this as another fruit serving. It's kind of big, I'll count it as two.

"Whoa, looks like we still have some cleaning up from last night to do." Her husband said. His voice heavy with what sounded like snark. Jenny looked up, her fingers wrapped tighter around the apple. Should I waste the serving and throw it at him? How could he know the kitchen had already been cleaned before the kids woke up? With the force of a tiger she bit down hard into the apple, her teeth sinking easily through the outer skin and deeper. Her daughter glanced up between texts.

"Wouldn't eat that. The boy played H wit it."

"What is H?" Jenny mumbled. The texture of the apple was changing as she moved it around her mouth. Why is this so mushy?

"Hockey." She said. The duh was implied in her tone. Jenny looked at the uneaten part. It was an odd brown color and had the consistency of chewed baby food.

"OH ACK!" Jenny ran for the garbage.

"Why, why?" Was all could get out.

"I couldn't find any of my pucks yesterday." Her son explained.

"Why would you put it back?"

"You always say don't waste food." His defense was weakening and he sank slightly in his seat.

Jenny looked from him to her daughter, then to her husband. He hid a smirk. She wanted to scream, but that's what he was waiting for. She went to the cabinet, took out the largest glass she could find and filled it with kool aid.

"That's not water." He smiled.

Jenny huffed and stomped out of the room.

"Where are you going?" He called after her.

"For a power nap." She hissed through her teeth.

Inside the bedroom she stood, wielding the permanent marker over the list. With angry slashes she changed Drink 64oz of water to liquid. Completely crossed out the fruits and veggies and because she was on a roll knocked exercise down to 30 minutes.


Thanks for stopping by for part 2 of The Perfect Resolution. Let me know what you think of it. Be honest, I can take it :)


Kristin : )

* Here's the link to The Perfect Resolution Part 3

Friday, February 26, 2010

40 Posts in 40 Days: The Perfect Resolution Pt.1

We did it! We made it to Friday.

Today's post is for the ladies. Men, feel free to come along for the ride though. It's a fun look at the pressure we put on ourselves as women, as mothers, and as professionals. Imagine all the tips and advice you've ever heard about what it takes to be perfect in today's society. Now imagine fitting all that perfection into 1 day. Bring on the chaos.

The Perfect Resolution
New Year's Day came much sooner than Jenny expected. Her head throbbing from cramming all those last minute no nos in before she began to honor her resolution to be perfect. She looks again at her list, which she had written in permanent marker on her bedroom wall. It seemed like such a good idea last night. Today, it looks like the boy from the shining got in and misspelled REDRUM over and over. As her eyes began to focus she read what would become her road map to perfection.

To be PERFECT I must do the following EVERYDAY:
  • drink 640z of water
  • exercise for 30 - 60 minutes
  • 5 servings of fruits & veggies a day
  • read & write for 4 hours each (TY Stephen King)
  • Sleep for 8-10 hours
  • Power nap in afternoon
  • Cook healthy meals at home (NO TAKEOUT!)
  • Eat dinner as a family (AT THE KITCHEN TABLE!)
  • No alcohol, caffeine, or sugar (THINK HEALTHY!)
  • Keep up w/house cleaning
  • Stay on top of laundry
  • get/give at least 6 hugs (TY Becky Sain)
  • Take time for you! (YOU DESERVE IT!)
  • Finally, when perfection is achieved... repaint bedroom wall!

Jenny stared at the wall until the words began run together into a smeary black mess, or was that her Forever Lash mascara giving up? OK, she thought, so I was little overzealous. All the exclamation marks now looked like daggers. Of course, she wasn't as full of exuberance and cheap champagne as she was when she scrawled this list permanently onto the one unmarked wall in the house.

Oh well, here goes. She rolled out of the warm cocoon she had created with blankets and her husband quickly reeled in the slack around him. Jealously slid over her like a wet snake. Look at him, all snuggled in, not a care in the world. More importantly, not a resolution to uphold. She imagined grabbing the blanket and yanking it out from under him like a magician with a dining table fully set. She resisted, it would only give him a reason to say I told you so.

Jenny squared her shoulders, took a deep breath, and looked at the wall again. I can do this. I won't become angry and short tempered. I will show him... I will do this for me. She walked out of the room, pretending every step did not echo through her head like a distant bongo drum.

Ten minutes later Jenny came back in the bedroom with a steaming mug in one hand and a half eaten cheese danish. She picked up the marker, still lying uncapped on the floor, and crossed out No coffee and No sugar.

Let's be reasonable, she told herself. Her husband stirred under the covers. She carefully put the coffee and danish down. Grabbed the thickest bunch of blanket she could fit in her hands and yanked. Her husband rocked slightly, she held tighter and used a foot against his side for leverage. In a fluid motion the blanket unrolled and he dropped off the other side of the bed with a thud.

"What the hell?" Came from the floor.

"Oh, sorry. Were you in there? I'm washing these. You know, staying on top of that laundry." Jenny sang out. With the blankets balled up in her arms she left the room, pausing to grab the danish and shove the rest into her smiling mouth.


That's it for today. I hope you have enjoyed Part 1 of The Perfect Resolution. I'll post more parts over the next few days. I like things in bite size portions (except chocolate). I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.


Kristin : )

*Here's an easy link to The Perfect Resolution Part 2

Thursday, February 25, 2010

40 Posts in 40 Days: Last Tearjerker?

Yesterday was all about the LOL which, from the response and conversations I've had, is not that easy to find in fiction. Today I'd like to hear what book brought you to tears.

Many books have those moments that catch you by the heart strings, but few have the ability to grab you and squeeze til you're a babbling idiot. One book that turned me into a sobbing mess was Daddy by Danielle Steel. I'm not sure why it hit me so hard. Maybe it was just a matter of timing, having young children and not understanding how a mother could walk away. Or if it was seeing the heartbreak of the main character, Oliver. So many times men are portrayed as cold and more likely to walk away from family. Seeing a man suffer and step up when his children are suffering is moving. Whatever the reason that it hit so hard, the fact that I still remember the raw emotion is what is incredible. Even writing this post has me thinking it's time to reread this book. That is a powerful thing.

What was the last good tearjerker you've read?

Kristin : )

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

40 Posts in 40 Days: Last book To Make You LOL

I haven't read a good, laugh out loud novel in a while. I have read some nonfiction books that had funny moments. Please Excuse My Daughter by Julie Klam had me laughing. It's a memoir about her struggles to find her own way through life and her writing career, so it wasn't intended to be an all out funny read. The author had a great sense of humor and made it easy to see the funnier side of things.

What's the last book that made you LOL?

Kristin : )

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

40 Posts in 40 Days: Sign of the Times

Is this a sign of the times? At first it looks like a joke then you think about it and this is how paranoid the world is now. Makes you wonder if this town has been sued by people who have been injured by signs that warn them of bigger danger ahead. Also makes you wonder who feels the need to walk up and touch a warning sign?

Thanks for stopping by!

Kristin : )

Monday, February 22, 2010

40 Posts in 40 Days: What's Your Fantasy Office?

If you could conjure up the office of your dreams what would it look like? Here's a peek into mine.

First off my office would be all mine, with a door that shuts out the world. Now it is our front porch - or as I like to call it- our walk in shoe closet with wall to wall carpeting of coats. The door opens to the world and is forever being knocked on. By opportunity you ask? No, usually by a friend of one of my kids or good intentioned family member.

The walls of my dream office would be sound proof. That's not to block out the joyous outbursts of my kids while they excitedly debate who gets the last cupcake. That will stop when they realize I've already eaten it :) No, it will block the sound of my head hitting the keyboard and my crazy mutterings to my characters.

The walls would also be made of rubber. Not for the crazy muttering part, but for bouncing ideas around. The rubber will keep them bouncing til I am ready to use them. I may have to add a helmet to this fantasy. On second thought, maybe I'll just put a rubber box in my dream office. Yeah, that would be safer.

There would be no phone, just an emergency signal that projects a big MOM on the wall if there is an actual emergency. And dare I say it? There would be no Internet connection either. Whew, that's hard to even imagine. But, occasionally a little blue bird would stop by and tell what my Twitter friends are up to.

And finally... there will be a huge inspirational sign above my desk. It will say, "STOP READING THIS AND JUST WRITE!"

Maybe I'll actually add some furniture next time :) This is a good start and now that I've securely hung that sign in my fantasy office I'm going to let it inspire me. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to share what your fantasy office would be like.

Kristin : )

Sunday, February 21, 2010

40 Posts in 40 Days: Top 10 Silly Sights in NYC

For today's edition of 40 in 40 I will do a top ten list. This is inspired by the fact that my son wants to go shopping in New York City as his birthday gift. So as he asks for a day off and I book our train tickets I leave you with a NYC related list.

Top 10 funny/strange things we've experienced in past trips to New York City
  1. Meeting the Naked Cowboy - Yup, he is actually naked, except for his tighty whitey undies, a cowboy hat, and his guitar. This was my mother's dream when we took her to her 1st Broadway play, Momma Mia. You're welcome mom. I still have nightmares :)
  2. Going to Momma Mia in NYC & no one in the whole theater got up to dance at the end. This play is supposed to be famous for the dancing at the end. We met people on the train that saw it in England and everyone danced. My sister in law saw it in Hartford, CT and EVERYONE danced. So you would think there would be dancing in NYC, but noooo. Well, I did dance, but that's another story :)
  3. Taking my mother on a taxi ride from midtown to Battery Park and listening to her scream in terror the entire way. She scared the poor guy, which I think only made him drive faster.
  4. Seeing TV Scientist, Bill Nye the Science Guy at Mars 2112 and realizing my kids had NO clue who he was. I was still excited :)
  5. During a different visit to Mars 2112, my daughter throwing up in the garbage can outside of the restaurant. She seems oddly proud of this.
  6. Seeing the guy who locked himself in a glass store front for a reading challenge. He was using the first E-reader I'd ever seen, which now I can't remember if it was Sony or Kindle.
  7. Almost getting hit by a Limo when I slipped off the curb trying to avoid excited Naked Cowboy crowd.
  8. My oldest son almost getting run over by a bike delivery guy when he thought the red man on the cross walk was not for him. You don't get run over by a man on a bike in NYC. That's just embarrassing.
  9. Seeing my neighbor's son randomly shopping in a store on a random side street. We all stopped in the window and stared until he looked up and almost dropped. Funny to see someone you know in a vast city of faces.
  10. And finally, walking past a quaint little park and hearing a large black man screaming that all white men are threatened by the size of his... jocularity ;)

These are just some of silliness and oddness that we've encountered in New York. I'm sure there are some that will come to me later and have me LOL ing in the middle of the grocery store, that's where stuff usually sneaks up on me.

Feel free to add a silly memory of yours.

Thanks and have a restful Sunday!

Kristin : )

Saturday, February 20, 2010

40 Posts in 40 Days: What are you reading?

What was I thinking? Here it is only a few days in & I'm already wondering what to blog about next. It's a good time to share what I'm reading right now and what I just finished.

Recently finished..

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

  • A great story that at first made me sad, then came to realize that it was a haunting story with a reminder to be careful what you wish for.

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

  • Hemingway's memoir, published posthumously, about his years in Paris and the struggles of being a young writer. This was my Memoir Monday for this week.

What I'm reading now...

The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris

  • Had the pleasure of meeting Joshua Ferris at last year's BEA & just recovered my signed copy from a friend who *borrowed* it. So glad to be finally reading it.

A Gift From Brittany by Marjarie Price

  • This is an artist's memoir that I'm reviewing and considering using it a later Memoir Monday. I am planning on starting it this weekend.

I am also reviewing a few YA books. The Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire, which I loved and will be part an upcoming blog tour for, and Merlin's Harp by Anne Crompton.

More to come about these books and upcoming tours. What are you reading?

Thanks and happy reading!

Kristin : )

Friday, February 19, 2010

40 Posts in 40 Days: Awww Nutz!

Since it's Friday I thought I'd post something short and sweet. I found this picture online and thought, how fun would it be to make up jokes for it. Kind of a funny writing prompt.

Here's my attempt...

What do you get when you cross a squirrel and a ground hog?
A skitzy critter that can count how many more weeks of winter on its nuts.

Pretty corny, huh? :) Come on, now it's your turn. Leave your joke or comment below.

Have fun!

Kristin : )

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Giving Up on Giving Up

Ok, so yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which means most of the Catholics of the world are giving something up for lent. I have to admit, I was not brought up a strict Catholic in the church's sense. My mother was and then rebelled against her upbringing by raising her children completely different. She did not debunk the entire Catholic religion, but she also did not force us to partake in the rites of passage. She raised us to be more open to all forms of religion and encouraged us to find which one, if any, fit our needs. Now, my Grandmother on the other hand was a devout Catholic. I can just imagine the battles that must have taken place when my mother refused to have any of us baptized.

Rites of passage aside, my mother did not remove all religion from our lives. She exposed us to many churches and beliefs. We attended Catholic services every now and again and went to Sunday school in a Congregational church. These are just some of the religious memories that stand out over the years.

Then, of course there was my Grandmother. She was adamant about making sure the Catholic religion was a part of our lives, whether my mother liked it or not. When ever I stayed with her, which was almost every summer of my childhood, she would dress me up in bonnets and white gloves and whisk me off to St. Joseph's Cathedral in the city. She taught me the prayers, the commandments, and the patience to get through a Catholic mass without fidgeting or falling asleep :)

Where do I stand today after being in the middle of two opposing religious viewpoints? I am an unofficial Catholic, baptized in water (with a splash of Vodka) by a true saint, my Grandmother. I have officially baptized my four children and they do attend religious education classes. But, I also instill the openness that my mother taught me and want my kids to know that believing in something bigger than them is important. They all know that they are free to choose where their faith will take them, but they will have the Catholic rites and religion as a foundation.

So, the question is... what am I going to give up for Lent? What will I remove from my life for 40 days and 40 nights? Nothing. That's right, nothing.

I've decided to add something to my life. I'm going to post a new blog entry everyday for the next 40 days. This may not sound like a sacrifice to many, but it can be just as hard to add something to your life as it is to take it away. Finding the time and interesting content for my blog has been something I've struggled with.

In a sense I am giving up on giving up this year for Lent :) I would love to hear some ideas for blog topics. Drop me a comment and wish me luck.

Kristin : )

Monday, February 15, 2010

Memoir Monday: Ernest Hemingway

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway is this week's Memoir Monday. It's considered a work of fiction, but is shelved and better known as Hemingway's memoir. I imagine it is considered a fictional story because it was written more than 35 years after the dates it covers, which was the years young Hemingway spent in Paris (1921-1926) and he admits to omitting many events and people.

Hemingway writes about his time in Paris, his work schedule, and the great writers and artists he knew. This is before he had written a full length novel and he expresses many times how worried he is that he won't be able to, or that it will not sell. What also comes out very clear is how superstitious Hemingway was. He carried a horse chestnut and a worn rabbit's foot in his pocket for luck. He liked to feel the rabbit's foot poke him through his pocket while he wrote to remind him that the luck was there.

Besides his superstitions Hemingway followed some good writing practices.
  • He would reward himself after a good day of work, usually with a drink.
  • Although he is known for his drinking he writes about his discipline in that area too. He never drank after dinner, before or while writing and when he had something due.
  • He always stopped his day of writing knowing what was going to happen next, so he could pick right back up on his work the next day.
  • ...never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.

Hemingway believed in mot juste, using exactly the right word or phrase for the situation and he learned to distrust adjectives. Although he had written some of his work far ahead of the times, which made it inaccrochable (according to Gloria Stein) he refused to change his work to make it publishable. He considered that to be like whoring his work, something he was very openly against any writer doing.

The story Gloria Stein told him was inaccrochable was Up in Michigan. It was about date rape, a sensitive subject now. Hemingway wrote it in 1922 and did not see it published until 1938. The only things he changed were the real names of the people he wrote the story about.

I think the best lesson Ernest Hemingway's memoir expresses is to stay confident in your own writing. He suffered some set back, addictions, and rejections, but remained confident in his writing abilities. This kept him going each day.

I have read most of Hemingway's work, short stories and full length novels. He is one of my favorite authors because of his straight forward dialogue and his ability to bring you right to the places he writes about.

A Moveable Feast was published after Hemingway's death along with 3 other books. The first book I read of his was Islands in the Stream (also published posthumously). I found it very hard to follow. It seemed to cover too much time and hop from place to place. I liked the tighter time frame of A Moveable Feast and that most of it was in Paris. It was a good look at the early years of his career and included helpful advice for writers today.

Have you read A Moveable Feast? What did you think of it?

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to leave a comment if there is a specific memoir you would like to see covered in a future Memoir Monday.

Kristin : )

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


It's Wednesday again. Here's my mid week WOW.

It's a link to the amazing website of Lithuanian artist, Gediminas Pranckevicius. He's an up and coming artist looking for work and I think he will find plenty with his talents. Make sure you flip through his portfolio. My favorite is the 2nd.

Hope you enjoy!

Kristin : )

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Book Blogger Con Here I Come!

These are only some of the books I came home with after last year's BEA in New York City.

When I was invited to be part of the Blog Tour for Book Blogger Convention I jumped at the chance for three reasons.

#1 Is an obvious reason. I love books, so of course I would want to help promote anything bookish.

#2 Book bloggers are helping to change publishing. More and more voices of readers are being listened to and sought out by the book industry. As a first time author with a small publisher I can't tell you how great that is.

#3 As a lover of books, I am always reading and talking about them. These books come to me in many ways. My book addicted mother, who I have outed in a previous post, brings me all the books she can not find room for in her house. I buy some and when money is tight I borrow some from the library (and sadly pay anyway because I can't seem to return them on time). I also collect ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) from book shows (See picture above of BEA09) and from publishers and publicists for review. I share most of these books with others through my blog. All this being said, I am a book blogger. This makes me, in my slow reading sort of small way part of this change in publishing.

It's an exciting time in publishing right now for new authors and bloggers and I'm sure this year's BEA will reflect that. There are so many options available to writers today and books are literally popping off the shelves to be read. With the changes come decisions to be made and questions to be answered. That's what this Blog Tour is for and especially what the Book Bloggers Convention is all about.

If you have been following the Blog Tour you probably already know the basics. If this is your first stop...thanks and here are some important links for more information.

Book Blogger Convention
Where: NYC in the Jacob Javits Center (Along side of BookExpo America)
When: Friday May 28, 2010

I had a great time attending BEA09 and have already registered for this year's. I met so many creative and generous people in the book industry. This year I am equally excited to attend the Book Bloggers Convention.

If you are planning to attend BEA10 and BBC I hope to see you there. But if you can't be there in person there is still so much to learn. So be sure to follow the tour , ask questions, and stay tuned for more information and of course the recaps after the event.

Since I love a good quote, I'll leave you with this thought. I think it's a great reminder for the entire book publishing industry.

“Change is inevitable, growth is intentional.” ~ anon.

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave a comment or ask any questions. If I can't answer I will direct you to someone that can.

Kristin : )

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


It's Wednesday. Halfway through the week. I figured it's the best day to start a new fun idea. So welcome to the first edition of WOW... Wonders On Wednesday. Every Wednesday (hopefully) I will post a link, quote, or picture that caught my attention and made me say WOW, or What the Fudge. Feel free to share your interesting finds also.

For this week I found two blog posts that I loved. The first one is a creative way of looking for inspiration in everyday things. I found this on writer's blog that I follow on Twitter.

The second is from another writer's blog that I have been following for a while, Janna Qualman. She has a jewelry idea that I think is better than Pandora. You have got to check it out.

These are my WOWs. What have you come across that made you smile, gasp, or just say WOW. I love to hear about them.

Kristin : )

Monday, February 1, 2010

Memoir Monday: Please Excuse My Daughter by Julie Klam

Please Excuse My Daughter by Julie Klam is a unique memoir. Well, by definition every memoir should be unique. We all see life from our own perspective and that fact alone makes each memoir different. But this one stands out because it's about a woman who had to overcome being a Princess. I never would have thought of this as a problem, let alone an obstacle to overcome in life. After reading Please Excuse My Daughter I see how it can be as much of an obstacle as coming from generations of poverty stricken families. Either way you are raised to believe there are set expectations, limitations to what you can do and constant reminders to strive for the status quo. These are powerful things to overcome whether they are imposed by society or, in Julie Klam's case her own family.

Julie was raised to believe that you could do anything, as long as when you were done you went out and found a rich husband to take care of you. Secondary education was encouraged, as long as you went to a good business school. That's where the men were. Ms. Klam knew that she wanted more for herself than to land a millionaire, but finding her own path was not easy. This is where her struggle begins.

The best part of this memoir is there's no family bashing, no blame, just a snapshot of a writer trying to go from a Princess to independent woman. With the support of her family and the help of her therapist she makes the journey. With her writing she gave me many laugh out loud moments and made me think.

As a writer I can relate to Julie Klam's aversion to rejections. They are tough and the easiest way to stop getting rejections is to stop sending out your writing. It's also the easiest way to stop pursing a writing career. By the end of the memoir I couldn't help thinking of the saying, A Writer Writes. It's a simple statement, but so true. Julie Klam found her independence, financial and personal, through her writing. The more she wrote the more her confidence grew in her writing.

I finished reading Please Excuse My Daughter in less than a week and was motivated to get more of my own writing out there. I have been working on finishing a few different long term writing projects, but will be submitting more articles, poems, and short stories to on line and print publications. So wish me luck and few rejections :)
Thanks for stopping by for today's Memoir Monday. I would love to hear your thoughts on Julie Klam's memoir, Please Excuse My Daughter.

Kristin : )