Monday, February 18, 2008

Arrr, Matey! Another party behind us.

20 birthday celebrations have come and gone under our roof. And, if I do say so myself, we are getting pretty good at them.

We have filled the neighbours' yards with exploding alka-seltzer rockets, offered Potions Class while transforming the house into Hogwarts, taught spies-in-training how to break through laser-driven burglar alarms and this past Saturday, held a cannon ball battle between pirate galleons in our living room.

I guess it's another form of creative expression. It's just like writing a story. You need a good hook (the invitation), a believable plot (belief is in the details) and an entertaining, well-paced storyline (the games need to connect to the theme and to each other). If you have all of that, then you have a birthday party that comes alive for the kids. More importantly, it leaves a lasting memory long after the presents have gone.

Only 21 more to go!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Aw, Shucks!

Well, I didn't win the query contest, but I did get two, count 'em, two, great critiques from The Write Marbles.

It was a great idea for a contest, very helpful, lots of fun and extremely uplifting. Nice to have some positive feedback and encouragement.

Now to polish a few more query letters and get a couple of manuscripts circulating.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A good start to 2008!

I entered a query writing contest with, The Write Marbles, and was thrilled to find out I placed as one of the finalists. What a nice way to start the year. They have a great site, full of lots of writing tidbits. Check them out at:

Today, Crumpled Paper is ahead. I just found out that one of our members made the cut and is sending her PB manuscript to Blooming Tree Press. She is one of 20 in the running for their single slot. Way to go, Abby. May R&G go all the way!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Preschool Field Trips

It’s that time of year again. The Kitas (nursery school) have begun planning for the big 3-day trip to the country. Overnight trip in preschool you ask? Really? Yes, it’s true. Two teachers take their class of 15, three and four-year-olds, to a lovely retreat in the country. Always near a body of water and usually on a farm. They take them by train and public transportation. Is my 3-year-old going? Not a chance!

However, it’s always a difficult time for me. My calm, negative response stirs up trouble. I don't buckle under blackmail, nasty phone calls or guilt. Nor am I swayed by attempts to convince my children that they will be friendless if they don’t take part. I have been through this already--twice.

No, I say. Over and over again. There is no need for a toddler to take an overnight trip, far from home, away from their parents. Security and dependability are what a toddler needs. Not fear, uncertainty or worry. There will be many years to come when a school trip, away from parents, is important for self-esteem, independence and pride. Now is not that time.

Many parents see it as a child-free weekend. A few see it as a time to toughen up their toddlers. One or two just don’t like to make waves.

And then there is me.

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