Hello 37.

January 27, 2014 § 1 Comment

I wonder if I always think my most recent birthday was the best one ever. Too bad.  My most recent birthday always IS my best birthday ever. Which means this most recent birthday of mine was the best one ever.

  • B and I made it back up to Tofte for some snow-shoeing, reading, eating and movie watching.
  • The boys were there for the send-off breakfast and the amazing welcome home.
  • My mom and dad took care of my sweet babies which meant I didn’t have to worry for a second.
  • My parents hosted us for a party including the most delicious dinner ever — complete with birthday salad and birthday cake.
  • Megan made me so happy I couldn’t sleep.

Here are photos from our beautiful trip.


Write a Novel: January Update

January 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Happy New Year! The start of my 37th year and the start of a shiny new Novel Calendar Year. I feel good about what I got done as a 36-year-old, even if a few of my bonus projects were put on hold.

January Novel Update

The Religious Charter is done but with quite a few gaping, open scabs. I’m leaving it that way with the idea that it will serve as a guide for character development and be polished in the process. It’s not perfect, but it’s just right for now.

In case you missed it, I published my first short story, Dolly, on my new fiction blog earlier this week. I am really happy with how it came out and even more happy (now that it’s over) to say this story was T-rouble from its moment of inception. Ask B. It really ticked me off. In retrospect, the difficult process is reassuring because it makes me feel like there’s more where it came from. If it wasn’t hard, I guess I’d worry it was an accident.

I am at once SO excited about the work I’m planning to accomplish and SO frustrated by the work I already know I won’t even get to start until 2015. I tried to make a rational plan but as you’ll see next month, I am biting off quite a bit of work. Can’t really wait to start.


January 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

Here it is! My very first piece of fiction published on my brand new fiction blog!

 Reblogged from Hadley Barrows Fiction:

The ladies from my mom’s Farkle group were over and the loud one was talking.

“Ruby! Tell us about your new dolly. What’s her name?”

Sometimes I get shy and I want my mom to answer the questions people ask me. Like, when the loud lady asked me about my doll, I wanted my mom to say the name. But my mom kept looking at the bottom of her wine glass and not at me so I just said it myself.

“Areola,” I said.

Read more…1,420 more words

Happy Birthday!

January 22, 2014 § 1 Comment

It’s a big day for one of andthen…’s VIP readers so I couldn’t resist posting this video.

Happy Birthday from all of us, Grandpa Barrows! We love you!

Happy Birthday Grandpa Barrows

Hold On

January 19, 2014 § 1 Comment

Hiram came home with his team hockey pictures including this one of him:

hiram hockey

Is it just me or does this child look like he’s 14? I can’t stop looking at it even though it makes me feel time punching me in the stomach as it flies by.

The Scabs of Life

January 17, 2014 § 1 Comment

It’s kind of funny how writing a novel is teaching me so much about life. Like, for (boring) example, how I was recently reminded that asking for help can be extraordinarily useful.

Another idea that I’ve been thinking about is how solving problems in a novel is a lot like waiting for a scab to heal. You have this obvious problem. It’s ugly. It’s clotted over with cakey blood. It’s bugging you but there isn’t much you can do about it.

If you ignore a scab, it falls off. But if you pick at it, well, at best you’re back to square one. At worst, you’ve made the problem bigger. I am always surprised by how my novel problems get solved when I’m not thinking about them. “My novel problems are falling off like scabs!” I actually said to Brad last week.

I started to wish that could be the same in life. And then I realized it probably should be the same in life.

When I’m worrying in circles, it’s because I can’t do a thing about the problem. So maybe I should just ignore it and wait for it to dry up and fall off.

Easier said than done for this picker!

Happy Friday!


January 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hadley Barrows

According to this article in the LA Times, the word “huh” is universally understood.

Huh? It’s true! And leave it to linguists to:

  1. Make a whole article about the word “Huh” that sounds intelligent (convergent evolution anyone?)
  2. Make an actual, compelling case for calling “Huh” a word (it satisfies two essential requirements)
  3. Establish “Huh” as one of the most important words in a conversation (“you can’t have a conversation without the ability to make repairs.”)

So there. Go ahead. Sit on the couch and “huh” to your heart’s content. It’s one of the smartest things you can do.

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