e-Lew’s Dictionary: BeepBeep

September 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s time for a hand-off. At least a gradual one. Eldyn has officially started saying enough “translatable content” to warrant his own section of the Dictionary feature on AndThen.

First word, two syllables, sounds like cuteness. The word is:

BeepBeep [beep beep], verb: To command or prompt another person into action. To clear space for oneself.

Eldyn especially likes to use this word when he’s carrying all his blankets, babies, other toys and boots all at once from his bedroom to the bathroom. Clearly, he needs us to beepbeep. He’s got his hands full.

Internet Homework

September 27, 2013 § 1 Comment

Last week, Hiram started asking me questions like:

  • “What is a website?”
  • “What is Google?”
  • “Where is the internet?”
  • “Where do you go when you are in the internet?”

Just then, we got an optional assignment at Sunday School which was to “Go on the internet and find pictures of things that God made that you think are beautiful.”

“Perfect,” I thought, “We can learn about the internet and be good Sunday School students at the same time.”

We sat down at the computer to talk about the internet. I showed him how to use Google to find pictures. I think he sort of understood.

One thing I know for sure — he had no trouble thinking of pictures he wanted to include for his project. Here’s an entirely Hiram-curated gallery of pictures based on his assigned theme:

Be Brave Little Man

September 26, 2013 § 3 Comments

Since Eldyn was very little, he has seemed insane. He has always been willing to eat absolutely anything (except most food) and dive headlong off absolutely any high place. His policy has been to count on his parents to catch him, chase him or stop him if what he is doing has the potential to kill him. I always thought this was because he had no sense.

Now that he’s talking more, I think I need to tweak this diagnosis. He has sense. But he has no fear.  He just has no fear. Of getting hurt. Of screwing up. Of being wrong. He is just not worried about it.

I love to hear him talk. He uses new words every day. He doesn’t care if he says them perfectly. In fact, he considers it our job to figure out what he’s saying. He will, patiently, repeat himself until we figure it out. Or at least get close. But he doesn’t get discouraged or worry about saying it wrong.

If he hears a new word or phrase he likes, he’ll start saying it right then. Over and over. As best he can.

Bicycle

Watermelon

Seeyousoon

Bumpmyhead

I feel a little bad about how quickly I interpreted his bravery for insanity, although I guess historically, there has always been a fine line. Now that I know this though, I think I can be a little better at fostering what is brave and changing what is, well, too brave.

Write a Novel: September Update

September 24, 2013 § 1 Comment

I think it’s safe to say: I’ve got a handle on this cult thing. My goal was to write about the people who influenced my novel’s religion. It was also to continue to read about different cults in America. More than once, I have assigned my religion a characteristic and then read about a similar characteristic in a cult I’m reading about. It’s not too close for comfort. But it feels like I’m on the right track. Plus, I’m getting all kinds of information about my main character and (of course) all kinds of ideas about more work I need to do.

Next up: Describe my religion’s rituals and learn what I can about psychic channeling. I am trying to remember if my goal felt this daunting last month.

I also have an outline for my short story. I don’t love it. But I’m going to go with it unless I can think of something better before I need to start writing the draft. My goal with the short story is to practice the storytelling structure I learned about in the book “Writing Fiction,” so I’m trying not to get too caught up in making it the most perfect thing ever. Yet.

Here’s my status chart for September.

September Novel Update

Say What? Light, Light, Light

September 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

Last week, Hiram climbed into bed early in the morning and started talking. He said, “Minnamin (his monster) is dark brown during the day but at night he is light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light blue.”

“Oh yeah?” I mumbled, still half asleep and kind of hoping he would be quiet for a few more minutes before I had to get up.

“Yep,” he said. “He is dark brown during the day but then at night he is light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light…”

“Hiram!” I tried to say as nicely as I could, considering. “You can say ‘very’ light blue and I will know what you mean. You don’t have to keep saying ‘light’ over and over.”

“But I like saying ‘light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light light’…”

A Teacher Without Students Is…Me

September 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Bad news friends. One of the two people who had registered for my Business Writing class just bailed. It’s been cancelled for the fall and I’m legitimately bummed.

The good news is that we’re going to offer it again in the winter. This gives me time to beef up my materials, work on a better marketing plan and bother the heck out of you guys between now and then.

One idea I have is to contact non-profit organizations in the area who are helping people enter (or re-enter) the job market. I think the topics and lessons in the class would help them make an awesome first impression. If you know of groups like this in Minneapolis, send them my way. I’ll add them to my list!

Words With Nubs: Precipice

September 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hadley Barrows

I’ve been walking around calling my current life a “precipice.” In reality, this is a highly dramatic word to use to describe “the beginning of being a little busy.” Which is exactly how I think you should use the word precipice, too.

Think about it. If you and your family were dangling over the edge of a cliff, it would be better to call that situation something with less sizzle. An issue. An unforeseen circumstance. You know, something that didn’t incite irrationality.

However. When you’re feeling irrational dread over some inevitable thing that isn’t really that bad, then precipice is the word of the day. It simultaneously expresses your feelings AND your feelings about your feelings. Think of the appropriate applications:

  • Trips to the dentist
  • Your kid’s next slumber party
  • Visiting a petting zoo, Santa or the Easter Bunny

Endless, really.

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