Monday, September 19, 2011

Hello... Hellllooooooo... helloooooo

Updates... updates... and please DO NOT look at the last date I posted.

Oh, there you go.  Well now you know.

As with most folks, I'm sure much has happened since March 2 2011.  (6 months and 17 days ago.)
25th anniversaries, high school graduations/parties, 22nd birthdays... and some sad and scary stuff too.

Probably biggest on the list of "happenings" in my little world has been my daughter, Annie, leaving for college.  Yeah, you can play the violin if you want.  I do everyday. Itunes.

Gosh, it's quiet around here.  (Aside from those violins.)  No volleyballs slamming around the staircase. No dubstep marching through the hallway.

I talk to myself more often.  And NO, I'm not wearing a headset.  It's regular,  the real-deal talking to myself.  I even answer.

Me:  Hmmmm, what should I make for lunch today?
me:   Cocoa?
Me:  Nah, it's not cold enough yet.
me:   Ok, then how about frozen hot chocolate?
Me:  With whip cream on top?
me:   You bet!
Me:   Oh... I think I'll just have steamed veggies instead.
me:   Dork.
Me:  Dork.

Hello  hellllloooooo hellllllllllooooooooo.  No, reply.  
Except with all the "hellooo-ing," the dog thinks someone has just come home, so she's running around the island looking for her peeps.  Lulu,  daddy won't be home 'til 7! 

But don't get me wrong,  I've been busy.  Yes-sir-re. 
My website is being designed by --  specializing in author/writer web development.  Trumpets, please.   It will 'go live' in January 2012.  "Go live." That sounds so newsy.   "Let's Go Live to Carmela's kitchen, where she's making... what's that?  Steamed veggies?  Huh, that sure looks a lot like hot chocolate. "

And I've been writing like crazy.  Picture book stories, a young reader series and revising existing mss.

I also have another book coming out 2012.  DO SUPERHEROES HAVE TEDDY BEARS?  Illustrated by the marvelous Mike Gordon.  Hold on to your capes!  

Me: You're gonna love it!
me:  Hope so.
Me: Whatdaya mean, you wrote it! 
me:  No, YOU wrote. 
Me: Oh yeah... 


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

a gift to myself...

As Bizet's triumphant Carmen Suite blasts my airwaves this morning, I give the gift of acknowledgment to all my stories patiently hanging out in their little cyber files:

Tumbleweeeed; Merripoo; AfTeR eVeR hApPiLy;
Old Conch; This Morning; A Highly Perfect Island;
Warm Wooly; Do Superheroes Have Teddy Bears?;
The Christmas Wind; All Things Joey;
Am I Beautiful?; Tootle-loo Aunt Tallulah; Bubblehearts;
The Hugging Wall; I ♥ You More Than Chocolate;
Ummmm; The Kings Diamond; Snow Elephant;
The Pink Ruby; Hinkle Hausen Snickerdoodts the Elf/Spy;; The Tumbleweed Came Back... 

To Patricia Polacco's miracle! In the early 1980's, Patricia (age 40,) and her mother, walked from NY publisher to NY publisher in attempts to sell her first children's stories. She signed contracts on ALL seven works during that trip. Now with over 70 books in her repertoire, she continues to write and paint poignantly and prolifically.

Nothing is impossible!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

19 days until SPRING!!!

We did it! After several Arctic blasts, we're finally at the doorstep of the month that contains Spring!! (And my birthday:O)

My dog became a ferocious wild animal today all because of a 'venti' size bagel she had found out back. She actually had the nerve to growl venomously at me, stiffen her tail and arch her back (yes, like a cat) when I got too close. Geesh... isn't this the same puppy that demands to be my daily lap dog, that kisses my ankles as I walk by, and waits for me on the stairs when I'm out late? Yes.

When I appoached her in the side yard, the bagel was semi-buried, she was hunched over it like a wolf standing over it's kill, teeth bared, and her brown eyes looking menacingly at me. What? She growled again, only this time she yapped. All this for a dead bagel! I think it was cranberry.

After several failed attempts (and newly invented games) to steal the bagel, I managed to distract her with my clever ploy, "Wannatreat??" (Works from me too, I drop my bagel every time.) She ran inside to the treat cabinet. I scooped up the soggy, sludgy, swollen mess and dumped it in the trash... and, of course, gave Lulu her peanut butter flavored doggie treat.
Then I had a piece of chocolate.

Monday, February 07, 2011

And then there were none??? Princesses, that is.

Really? Disney’s princess product line has reached over 26,000 items? Costumes, pj's, lamps, bedding, notebooks, clothing, jewelry, shoes, hairbands, bubblebath, toothbrushes...eek!

A multibillion-dollar business is toying with the developmental vulnerability of our young girls. That’s what author, Peggy Orenstein, has uncovered in her new book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter. Her fascinating, smart book high-heels its way into and through the psychological reasoning behind our contemporary princess phenomena, beckoning parents to join her in staging a coup.

“Just-say-no to the fancy princess props, the hype, the manipulation, counters my parental mind, but then again, this same mind also knows it’s personally involved in the biz. I have several (not-your-average) princess books on the market.

My four-year-old daughter, Annie, the inspiration behind my work, will be turning eighteen in three months. Albeit, there’s a whole new genre of social challenges facing our older girls, to-princess or not-to-princess seems rather mild at this point, but that’s another blog altogether.

Last night through the aid of home videos, we traveled back to Annie’s third birthday. Her gloriously chunky legs expertly commandeered her new blue trike. She coyly snickered as she intentionally blurted something buzz-worthy, just to get our reaction. At four, five, six, she was precocious, endearing, sly, adorable, rebellious, sweet, witty, and dressed in pink, with a sparkly purple tiara askew on her head.

Tread lightly. Being careful not to shame our pink, purple, and tiara-loving girls into submission is equally important. As parents, we could pull back the reigns in carefully diplomatic ways, couldn’t we? Perhaps parents could delay when their daughters are allowed to watch Disney princess movies until they are a little older, (or dare I say,) if at all? The deeply archetypal impulse behind princess play has developmental merit, especially if left to its more gentle and innocent unfoldment.

And yes, there are substitutes in this big wide world of full-on princess products that support our girls yearning for self-discovery. Most parents, by now, know that parenting a princess is not about the outfits or the perfectly coiffured hair... right? It’s about perception, moderation, and being okay with saying NO when things “feel” not quite right, not to mention, over-the-top.

A magical walk through the “kingdom,” suddenly becomes a lesson about nature. She might even find a pretend castle tucked away in the backyard bushes. We can offer proof to our girls that pink is the color of raspberry lemonade and cherry blossoms, flamingos and a fiery sunset. Reading alternative princess books to our children, or telling empowering stories about fearless, emboldened girls will strengthen their wants for adventure. They’ll soon discover that “princesses” can climb trees, play in the mud and wear pink or green, or black, if they so please.

Throughout the short video clips of my daughter’s little years, the one true thing that jumped out was not her princess trappings, but rather her self-confidence. (She knows what it’s like to get back up after falling on the ice again and again.) No matter how often an industry deploys its glittery wrappings and products into the marketplace, confidence is a commodity that simply cannot be packaged. And isn’t that cool...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My, there go the minutes, once again

Zoooom. One day she's plopping a tiara on her head and jazzing up an Easter dress with a sash. And the next she's going to Prom (2010.)

What's that you say, Tevye?

With a blink of the eye... (and I'm not being dramatic!#$%*^%) a sunset here, a sunrise there-- my Annie has grown.

We laughed aloud (albeit through my tears) when we noticed the striking similarities of these two dresses chosen 12 years apart.

Still likes pink!