Wednesday, January 23, 2008


What is in a name? Especially when it comes to the title of a book?

That can be a dilema. One I wasn't previously aware would be an issue to me, but it is now.

But I'm jumping ahead. Let me back up a bit...

Titles of smaller things, like this blog for instance, have always been kind of fun for me to figure out. I like the clever little numbers, things like the name of my now defunct scrapbooking calendar attempt--"Get Your Scrap Together". Doug came up with that one. I thought it was funny. Probably the only decent thing that came out of that failed business venture, but it was memorable to me. If nothing else, the name--or title--can be fun and entertaining even if the thing it is talking about, well, isn't.

(And yes, I know you have all looked up by now and noticed the lame title for this blog. Ironic isn't it? Almost clever now that you think about it....)

Now I am at a point where I need to come up with the title of a book. Not just any book, but a book I am writing. It is actually a book that two of my sisters have read--so far anyway since it isn't finished yet--and I have asked for their input on a title, but in all honesty even if you HAVEN'T read the book--or even know anything at all about it--anyone could probably come up with a working title for me.

And here is why:

It is an LDS romance type genre novel. Which, in the non-LDS world, means it is an "Inspirational Romance" other words, it is a cheesy romance that has no premarital--you-know--and the guy and girl end up together in the end. (And being an LDS romance, I don't mean 'together' in the biblical sense...Can I explain that any more clearly??) With a little testimony builder or spiritual thought thrown in for good measure.

So, for those of you who would like to add your comments today with a lovely list of fun titles for my as yet unfinished novel, here are some ideas of what NOT to do:

Nothing with the words 'heaving', 'desire', 'romancing', or anything about a Duke. This is an LDS work, not a Regency Romance--which any of those words would make people assume a change of venue. Trust me. Regency Romance novels are NEVER mistaken for an Inspirational Romance. Heavy breathing and heaving bosoms are standard in a Regency; Heavy knit-cable sweater weaving and heaving pounds of funeral potatoes are standard in LDS fare.

Nothing implying sadness, despair, or loss of virtue can be in the title. Not because an LDS book won't have those things--albeit that last one would be only implied...never actually discussed--but because I see those words in titles at the library and, frankly, pass the book by. I'm not in the library to find a book that will depress me. I can get depressed just fine at home. Reading is an escape. I want fun, laughter and love. Not something that will make my life look good. (And I say that in the best possible fashion...I get fun, laughter and love at home--but with 7 kids I also get the grief. What fun is escapism if you are just reading about your own life?)

What CAN it have in the title? Hmmm. Let's see:

It can have anything light, chipper, and fun. Something like 'HOLY CRAP!' I like that title. LDS humor. Gotta love it. Plus in all caps it is an attention getter. Someone might wander aimlessly down the aisle at the bookstore and see that title--if YOU were to see it, wouldn't you find your hand suddenly moving on it's own volition and taking that book off the shelf to see what it was about? I would. I might even buy the book for the title. Just because it made me giggle for a moment while I was trying to drag at least 3 kids out of the train section at the Barnes and Noble while hoping the trail of books I just passed really wasn't made by one of the other 4 kids I own...

Is that too much to ask?


But go ahead and try. I double-dog dare you.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my 40th birthday.

Normally I am not opposed to people knowing my age. Heck, I don't even put much thought in having people know how much I weigh as long as they promise not to laugh--out loud anyway. Usually when I've had birthdays, people will just give me the "Happy birthday, De!"
Today, people added "So, you are forty huh? How does that feel?"

How does that feel? Are you serious?

Do you ever really wake up and feel completely different than you did when you went to sleep just a few hours earlier?

Well, I don't feel differently today than I did yesterday. I actually don't feel much different today than I did when I was 30, if you want the truth.

But I also found myself yanking a couple of grey hairs out of the top of my head today with a little more gusto. So maybe my subconscious is feeling a little different today. I'm looking for the grey hair, I'm noticing that my "laugh lines" are looking suspiciously more like "wrinkles" than I remember, and I'm wondering how many fat grams I am consuming as I eat the Belgian chocolates my friend Carola gave me today for my birthday, when I used to eat chocolate a bit more guilt-free.

So now, as the kids are finally in bed and my husband is quickly falling asleep on the couch while "watching" SportsCenter, I am reflecting a bit on today and am just glad it is almost over. Tomorrow I will still be 40, but the spotlight will be removed from me again--which is where I prefer the spotlight.

My husband invited a bunch of neighbors and friends over tonight for a surprise party for me. It was nice. I loved having everyone over, and they are great friends. (Can you feel the "but" coming on?)
BUT, I really do hate the attention a birthday brings. I would rather have everyone over for no reason. I guess it wouldn't have happened if it weren't my birthday, so if I have to have a birthday in order for people to come to my house bearing cake and gifts, I'll sacrifice getting older and feeling a little self-conscious for the evening.

Tomorrow the kids go back to school, life goes on, and I'm now 40 years old. Middle aged. Clutching hard at the grass at the top of the hill to keep from sliding down the other side. Not sure why I'm fighting it though, really. The older I get, the more excuses I'll have for saying dumb things and looking confused....I can start playing the 'age card'. Brilliant. And right now I am finally old enough that younger people think I actually know what I'm talking about. I'm experienced. Been-there-done-that. Hmm.

Someone get me a sled. I'm going to enjoy the other side of this hill.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Resolutions For the New Year

Happy New Year. Might as well assume that will be the case anyway, right? Fresh starts, bright outlooks...

My New Year began December 31st at the InstaCare with my 4 year old son. He learned the hard way that we weren't just being ornery parents when we told them a million times to not play with the weight set. He also learned that one should not put his hand on the weights after his little sister picks up the curl bar and walks backwards pulling 15 pounds up to a height of about two feet. Because--again, learning the hard way--she will think it is really fun to suddenly let go of said bar and watch the weights come slamming down. Directly on the hand that is innocently resting on their home. Dominic ended up breaking the ring finger on his right hand--and the pressure split his finger open causing the need for three stitches. His top finger joint is broken vertically down the middle, and the 2nd joint is broken horizontally near the top part of the bone...the broken piece jutting painfully out at greater than a 40 degree angle...looking somewhat like ice cream falling off a cone if you look at the x-ray in a demented, hunger-induced way. We thought he was going to need surgery to pin that bone in place, but the specialist we took him to yesterday decided that it might fix itself. So in one week we return to get the stitches removed, and the 2 weeks after that we return to get another x-ray to make sure it is healing correctly. I suppose there is still the possibility that he would need surgery, but for now we will keep our fingers crossed (no pun intended).

After a start like that, one must be very careful for what sort of resolutions you make for the new year. One that would make sense is to just hope that a broken finger is as bad as it gets. It would be nice to get all the crappy stuff of the year taken care of at the beginning and leave smooth sailing for the rest of 2008. It is also wise to make resolutions that you don't laugh inside as you are making them, knowing full well that you will break said resolution within 24 hours of making it.

For example, I would never in a million years say that my resolution would be to not eat chocolate. Like that would ever happen. I could say that I will never eat chocolate after midnight...on a Tuesday. That might work. Heavy on the 'might'.

I would LIKE to say that I will exercise more and watch what I eat. That is doable. I could accomplish that just by actually vacuuming my house every day and by keeping my eyes open when I polish off the carton of Ben and Jerry's. (I'm not opposed to sneaky resolutions....)

I would never say something like "I will lose ten pounds". That is too concrete. Even if I shaved my head that much weight wouldn't come off, and since my only real options for losing weight is cutting my hair or suddenly growing taller, I think I will stay away from that area of resolution. I want to succeed this year in any resolutions I might make.

Now, a resolution can't be silly. For instance, I shouldn't say I will GAIN ten pounds--because although that is more likely than losing ten pounds...and infinitely more fun, at least in the effort...I probably shouldn't resolve to do things that would be bad for me. Or that would make people quickly move their children and small pets from my path in fear that I might roll over them as I waddle their general direction if they happen to get between me and the bakery section of the grocery store.

No, resolutions should be well thought out...solid goals that will be worth trying to achieve, and not completely impossible. I'm all for goals that will help me become a better person and all that, and my kids would probably appreciate it if I threw one in that said something to the effect of being a kinder, more generous and less embarrassing mother (but where is the fun in that?).

So in reality my resolutions this year will be to 1. Dance more in the kitchen while cooking (thus reaching the goal of more exercise AND the added bonus of embarrassing my kids MORE--can't let them run everything around here, right?); 2. Try to remember to add a vegetable item to dinner AT LEAST once per week (that should take care of eating more healthy, AND make my mother-in-law--the nutritionist--not think that I'm killing her grandchildren and depriving them of nutrients); and 3. Just for good measure and something to kick me a bit (a lot) out of my comfort zone, will be to show more appreciation to my friends and family. Now that I wrote that last one down in a fairly public location, I can't get out of it too easily. So if you are a friend or a family member and you see me suddenly stammer and blush and give you a half-hearted looking pat on the back...take it as a huge demonstration of my deep love and gratitude. I'll mean every bit of it and will know that you deserve so much more.

(And if you catch me dancing in my kitchen and singing loudly to my Mp3 player in a way that finds my children hiding and my husband turning the volume up on the tv, feel free to just ignore me--or better yet, join in. And I will be sure to put more feeling in the back pat you will most definitely receive).