Posts Tagged With: Magestic Dreams

Bedtime Ritual

There comes a time in a marriage when crawling out of bed in a slinky nightgown at 2am to feed your famished baby (after all, it has been 2 hours since his/her last feeding) just isn’t convenient. So naturally, we resort to sleeping in that old pair of high school sweatpants that miraculously fit (even though they used to be two sizes too big) and our husband’s favorite t-shirt. Or is that just me?

It’s an adjustment to accommodate the changes a growing family brings. Just like a marriage, compromises have to be made and needs have to be met. For instance, upon hearing me curse in the middle of the night when I “accidentally” fell into the toilet, my husband agreed to always put the seat down and in return, I agreed to stop using his razor in the shower. But there is one thing we haven’t been able to come to an agreement on: my bedtime ritual.

Having come from a large family, I almost always had to share a room or a bed with one of my sisters. One of my sisters is three years older than I am and one is 3 years younger, so I had the best of both worlds. I could play Barbie’s and house with my younger sister, and offer words of advice (all of which I took from Seventeen Magazine) about love, friendship, heartache, and make-up to my older sister. Our bedtime ritual consisted of talking until one or both of us fell asleep. No matter how hard I tried, I could not break this habit. My husband, on the other hand, could fall asleep (and still does) as soon as his head hit the pillow.

For years, he insisted it wasn’t because he found my conversation boring but rather, he found my voice soothing. (He’s good, I know.) To prove this point, he would call me late at night when he was on a trip and wake me up, just to hear me talk. Being a stay-at-home mom with 3 small children, I had about 30,000 words to get off my mind. On one occasion, when I was about halfway through my story of how our 6 month old son’s diaper leaked while he was in his “walker” and he rolled poop all over the house, he cut me short. “It worked honey, your voice has put me to sleep,” he said. In my husband’s defense, I will say that I have been told by numerous people, including my children, that I have that kind of voice.

The compromise came when we put a TV in our bedroom. I would watch the most mundane shows, hoping I wouldn’t get too interested and stay up half the night. I kept the volume low so I wouldn’t disturb my husband, but when we moved to a new house and the TV was across the room, this proved to be a challenge. So, for Christmas, he presented me with wireless headphones.

In the early stages of writing Magestic Dreams, I had to make a few changes in my bedtime ritual. I had to admit, it was hard to find inspiration while watching TMZ. How could I possibly dream up a story that would sell millions of copies to blood thirsty vampire lover’s all over the world? Oh, wait. That’s Stephanie Meyer. Anyway, in an attempt to edit my manuscript, I read Magestic Dreams into a little handheld recorder so I could listen to it at night–my new bedtime ritual. Often times in writing, we have a tendency to repeat the same words and our brains have a unique ability to correct sentences that are riddled with mistakes, so these mistakes go unnoticed. I thought it would be helpful to hear the words aloud.

It’s a great concept, in theory. There is just one problem. I can never make it past the first paragraph or two before I fall asleep to the sound of my own voice. 

Categories: writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Chickens don’t have fingers

Airport Arrival

It has been a busy two weeks. I’d like to say I have been jet setting around the country promoting Magestic Dreams but that isn’t true. A sweet sixteen birthday party for my daughter, a visit from my nephews from Florida, packing my son for a year-long trip to Japan, the arrival of our foreign exchange student from China, the first day of school, and preparing for a Sayanara Party for my son which includes a visit from out-of-town family is my only excuse for not posting last week.

I must apologize for my lack of creativity this week but before you whip me with a wet noodle, let me explain a noodle. Though noodles are a staple of Chinese cooking (along with a truckload of rice), it is difficult to translate. This is what a noodle looks like in Chinese: 面条. And this is me, explaining pasta to our exchange student, Shunshun, in our first restaurant experience.

Shunshun: “What is pasta?”

Me: “Noodles.”

Shunshun: “What is noodle?”

Me: “A thin strip of pasta.”

As you can see by the above example, I lack the necessary skills to describe food choices. So, in an attempt to simplify the decision process, I suggested she try my daughter’s favorite—chicken fingers. A look of horror and confusion came across her face and it took me a few seconds to explain that chickens don’t really have fingers and we don’t really eat them. I tried to describe breaded and fried to no avail and so, we settled on a grilled chicken breast with rice pilaf and a side of mac and cheese. She devoured the breast and rice but much to my disappointment, the mac and cheese didn’t pass the test.

This morning, I made a sack lunch for my daughter and Shunshun. Prior to making the traditional peanut butter sandwich, I gave her a tiny taste. The sticky texture might have freaked her out a little bit. She walked around the kitchen with her hand over her mouth, smiling as she tried to swallow.

“Is good,” she finally said.

“You don’t have to like it,” I said laughing.

She laughed with me and replied, “No really, is good.” So, I packed her a PB&J sandwich, a handful of fruit, cheetos (my sense of humor), and trail mix, none of which she has ever tasted (except the fruit).

We knew there would be a language barrier, but we didn’t realize it would come down to words like flush, shampoo, shower, and panties. Figuring out a way to describe our everyday words can turn your brain into jello. Jello is a gelatin that jiggles and comes in flavors like orange and lime. Orange is a fruit that you peel and eat, or squeeze and drink.

Categories: Life is an Adventure | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

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