League of Rejected Super Heroes

My current work-in-progress (Genie Memories) is about beings with super powers.  Therefore, I have to think up some good and possible powers for beings to have.  It’s actually kind of hard, but thankfully today, Pearls Before Swine gave me a great power.  Now I just have to work it into the storyline somehow…

Pearls Before Swine by Stephen Pastis
Pearls Before Swine by Stephen Pastis

My bother also suggested:

“I’m impervious to insults!”

“That’s not a super power.  That just means you’re dense.”

Cat Wants Food Badly

Cat : Are you coming downstairs to groom and feed me?

Human : No.

Cat : Are you sure?

Human : Yes.  That’s why I’m holding this basket of laundry.

Cat : Fool!

Cat runs under foot, tripping Human who falls down the steps, bounces off a wall, and comes to a crumpled halt at the bottom of the stairs.

Cat : Well, now that you’re down here …

Human : Ow.

(Based on a true story.  And yes, this week has been really boring.)

Even The Muse Needs Some Help

From InkyGirl.com
From InkyGirl.com

It’s Spring Break here in Decorah and the weather is finally cooperating.  It’s pretty cool to actually open my office window and feel a 60 degree breeze wash over me.  I’m also getting a lot of much needed work done.

An added bonus of Spring?  The Writing Moose and I are doing quite well, thank you.  I’ve knocked out a number of chapters and figured out some awesome plot twists/points that are making the story Oh So Much Better.

Since the Moose and I are getting along, I thought I’d share with my fellow writers another often visited muse – The Bookshelf Muse.

The Bookshelf Muse is the website of  Angela Ackerman (author of a number of Young Adult and Children’s books) and is a collection of thesaurus entries that cover everything from colors to emotions to settings.  Need to figure out ways to write a grieving mother?  Here you go.  Never spent much time in a prison (and don’t want to get arrested to find out?)  Details here with the added bonus of not getting arrested!

Angela started the site up when she wanted to take her writing up a notch.  I’ve found it invaluable for my own writing.  Recently I was writing a scene involving a hospital and not having been around one in a few years, I hit the site to find out the smells and sounds that I was missing.  Made the scene all that much better.

Dancing with Cirque du Soleil


Steph and I have been long time fans of Cirque du Soleil.  The music, the artistry, the acrobatics.  What’s not to love?

We’ve never had the opportunity to actually see them live before.  Down at Disney, they have a performance of La Nouba but each time we went down there, we were either short on cash or the show was on hiatus.   Today that changed when we caught a performance of Alegría in Cedar Rapids.

The show was great.  Steph got us tickets on the floor, stage level.  This was pretty good for being up close to the action.  The acts were everything we thought they’d be.

My favorite was the trampoline aerials (aka Power Track).  Being below these people as they flew through the air made it even more incredible.   There was a juggler (through whose act I went ‘I can do that.  I can do that too.  Okay, I cannot do the juggling while standing on my head…’), great music, and some wonderful clowns.  The artists on the Russian Bars were flat out amazing.

We also found a slight side effect (or bonus) to our seats.  I was seated on the outside of the row, close to center stage.

The White Singer
The White Singer

Come the second half, the White Singer (the storyteller) performed Le Bal (Song Vazoule) and came into the audience.  She stopped next to me, gave me a coy look, and held out her hand just as the spot light settled down.

First thought – “Oh crap.”  When she led me up onto the stage, that though became, “Oh God.”  For the next minute or so, I danced in center stage under about a thousand pairs of eyes, surrounded by the artists I’d been watching. The White Singer talked to me the whole time but I was pretty much too baffled and/or nervous to say anything other than “I’m doing good”.  I couldn’t see a thing under the bright lights and I barely heard even the music.

The Ringleader then interrupted the dance and led me back to my seat where I think I heard a lot of applause and cheers.  After the show, more than half a dozen complete strangers congratulated me on my dancing.

We will certainly go see more shows, but I gotta be honest – It’s going to be really hard to top this one.


(This obviously wasn’t today’s performance, but it’s the song and the original performer as the White Singer.  The Strong Man act wasn’t in today’s show.)

Feeling Sheepish

My in-laws have raised sheep out at their farm for many, many years.  Even though it’s not a ‘working’ farm, per say, they’ve always kept the critters around and I can see why – the place would seem unnatural without them.

To the Sheep Barn!
To the Sheep Barn!

There’s not much of a market for sheep wool.  From what I’ve been told, it costs nearly as much to sheer sheep as it does to sell the wool.  My father-in-law has been testing out raising sheep for their meat and in order to do that, the herd must grow.

Feeding them from a beer bottle.  What?  How else do you get beer brats?
Feeding the lambs.

I also found out that it’s apparently healthier for sheep to give birth during the winter so right now there are a number of lambs running around the farm.  Two of those had very young mothers so they’re being bottle fed which means ultimately they will be comfortable around humans.

So when my parents came up for a visit on Sunday, we took them out to the farm and gave them a chance to feed the lambs.

Six and Seven are the two that need bottle feeding.  Six was incredibly friendly.  Here she is being very interested in my jeans.  I’m not sure what she smelled on me but she liked it.  And yes, that is a beer bottle they are being fed from.  What?  How else did you think we got beer brats?

After going through all the normal routines of ‘Aww, how cute!’ and the like, Mom then showed her true dark and evil side.  While feeding Seven, Mom looked down and said “To think somebody is going to eat you!”

Seven bleated and tore off to hide by its mother.  He wouldn’t come anywhere near us, or shall I say, Mom for the rest of the visit.  I couldn’t stop laughing.

My Mom – the Sheep version of the monster in your closet.

Deep down, Mom's a cold blooded carnivore.
Deep down, she's a cold blooded carnivore.

Busy Boy Be Bountiful

… huh?

What?  It’s when?  Thursday?  Holy crap!  Ahem – Hi there.  As you might guess, I’ve been a bit busy this past week.  For the most part, it’s been all good (if you overlook the whole ‘taking my quotes to the college paper out of context’ bit) but its left me very little time to blog.  So here’s the week in a nutshell:

  • Work has been very productive.  I managed to get a jump on a new handbook for my staff and I’m really pleased with how its turning out.  Considering the last handbook was written in 2006, I’ve got four years of data, procedures, and policy to update.  It’s a challenge.
  • Genie Memories is now three chapters closer to being finished.  That makes me very happy.  I’ve been struggling with the last chapters because all the tension and conflict is of a different variety than I’m used to writing.  It’s making me a better writer, but it does make for some nights of me staring at the screen, repeating the mantra ‘It’s a draft, it can suck … but dude, this just totally sucks.’  Then I push past it and I’m all ‘Damn, this rocks.’
  • I’m healthy again and running.  That just makes me feel good all over.  My new and desperately needed ASICs Gel-Nimbus 11 shoes should arrive on Friday.  That will make my feet happy.

And to conclude, I leave you  with a quote, passed on via Twitter by Steven Gould (a VP instructor):

RT @markokloos: Writers are a contradictory blend of supreme confidence and debilitating insecurity, held together with booze and/or chocolate.