Write a Novel: June (and May) Update

June 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

It’s June which was supposed to be the month I took “off” from writing so I could focus on birthday parties. As I secretly knew I would, I spent the month trying to tie up loose ends from the first half of 2014. I even took a day off of work to write and STILL did not finish! But, since I was in the depths of under-achieving despair last month and did not even post an update, this month is a two-fer.

Character Studies reflects the best progress, at least on paper. In reality, I finished doing the writing  but am still futzing around with the final report thing almost daily. I would not call it done. I had also planned to send it to my troop of faithful beta readers but some of it is pretty, well, gritty. The idea of having my closest friends and family see it is giving me high anxiety. I have no idea if that means I should or shouldn’t send it to them.

Character Study

I’m still slogging through these Micro Stories. Again, a situation where I can’t decide if I don’t like writing Micro Stories because they’re actually not productive. Or if I don’t like writing them because they’re just so dang unpleasant. (Micro Stories is something I made up where I try to write a completely made up story in 1 hour. They do sometimes generate content for other stories, but they’re PAINFUL.) In either case, I still have one left to do “the old way” and then I am revising my micro story strategy for the rest of 2014. More on that in July.

Micro Stories


And finally, the biggest progress stinker of them all! The Short Story. I am being generous by giving myself credit for a partial rough draft and I most certainly do not have a draft for my Beta Readers. I am also about *this close* to chucking the whole thing out the window so I have time to work on a longer-length memoir about my car. No, I am not really kidding. The voice that is the advice I give to others keeps saying, “write where the energy is,” but then there is another voice that says, “it’s a memoir about your car,” and then there’s the voice that says, “don’t throw away your short story, darkest before dawn!!” And then there’s another voice that says, “you better decide because you got 5 minutes to write!”

Short Stories

Despite all this, I am not in a funk. Not really.



Hide and Seek – the Eldyn Way

June 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

We made it up to the cabin over the weekend and found lots of time to play. A highlight was the game of Hide and Seek I played with Eldyn. It was his idea to start playing.  The Eldyn-specific rules were his idea too, but it took me a little while to figure out there were new rules. And that those rules were non-negotiable.

Hide and Seek Rules

Step 1: Eldyn counts to 10 and I hide. Eldyn looks around asking if “he” is under the table, behind the couch, etc. Eldyn waits until I pop out of my hiding spot (my legs were falling asleep) and then says, “there he is!”

Step 2: I count to somewhere between 3 and 10 while Eldyn hides in the same spot I did (he fits much better). I look around asking if Eldyn is under the table, behind the couch, etc. I wait until he pops out of his hiding spot and then I say, “there he is!”

Step 3: Eldyn tells me where to hide next and then together we repeat step 1.

Step 4: Repeat step 2.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Here are photos of Eldyn in action as the hider. Please note: taking pictures was not allowed according the official rules so these are a special treat.


Antler, A is on the Way!

June 19, 2014 § 1 Comment

Hadley Barrows


I just ordered what I hope is the FINAL set of proofs for Antler, A — a collaboration children’s book I’ve been working on with my best friend (and amazing artist) Megan Moore.

It’s getting there.

It’s getting exciting!

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Last Weekend in Review

June 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

Last weekend was another one full of celebration. This time, it was Lew’s half birthday on Saturday and Father’s Day on Sunday. Hiram and I worked together to make sure the two honored members of our family felt special on their days. Hiram wins the prize for giving the best presents.

  • When he found out that Eldyn only got ONE measly little present for his half birthday, he decided it wasn’t enough. He found one of his cars to give to Eldyn too. He did ask me to make sure Eldyn understood that it was a car for them to share.
  • When I told him that his dad would like something he’d made out of Lego, he fashioned a sign that said “Hi” for Brad’s cube at work. This involved breaking a piece in half and developing a complicated hanging mechanism that would allow the sign to hang on Brad’s office wall. Needless to say, this was the gift that stole the show.

Here are a few photos:

Eldyn: 2 Years + 6 Months

June 16, 2014 § 1 Comment




We celebrated Eldyn’s half birthday over the weekend. After being a totally great sport about Hiram’s birthday parties a few weeks ago, he was more than ready for things to be all about him.

What We Eat: What to eat? What not to eat? Eldyn has been working hard on keeping these distinctions straight. We don’t eat bugs! We don’t eat flies! We don’t eat toys. We eat food.

All By Myself: Eldyn only ever wants to do stuff by himself. All by himself. Last weekend I was chopping up veggies for dinner when Eldyn came in and announced he was thirsty. “OK, get some water,” I said, still chopping. It turns out this is all I need to do to get him to ask for help. “Can I use this cup?” “Can I get the water” “Should I shut the fridge?” Yes, yes, yes.

My Middle Name: The other day, Eldyn told me his full name for the very first time. True to form, he says it in a way cuter way than I do. Eldyn Lew-Lis. I love you.

Eldyn: 1 Year + 6 Months

Eldyn: 6 Months 

Hiram (and Eldyn) on Life: Father’s Day Edition

June 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

In honor of Father’s Day, I sat down with Brad’s little wingmen to do a special version of “Hiram (and Eldyn) on Life.” Here’s what they had to say about their #1 dad.


What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? 

Hiram: Play baseball.

Eldyn: Play soccer.


If you could spend all day with daddy today, what would you guys do together? 

Hiram: Go swimming.


What is daddy’s favorite food? 

Hiram: Salad.


What is daddy’s favorite drink? 

Hiram: Beer.


What is daddy’s favorite thing to do? 

Hiram: Play golf and volleyball.

Eldyn: Daddy likes hockey.


What is daddy’s favorite color? 

Eldyn: Hockey.

Hiram: “No Eldyn, what COLor does daddy like? COLor?

Eldyn: I like red.


What’s the nicest thing daddy does for you? 

Hiram: Tuck me in at bedtime.

Eldyn: Tuck me in at bedtime.



June 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

LewLew is in the copycat phase. He is extremely lucky his brother thinks it’s funny (and not annoying like I did when I was the big sister of a copycat who, as I distinctly remember, would never shut it.)

None of us are surprised Eldyn wants to copy his brother because his brother is awesome. But we are a little surprised Hiram has the patience to go entire conversations (and more) without any relief. And when I say “go entire conversations,” I don’t mean he just goes entire conversations. He willingly goes entire conversations and then sometimes encourages Eldyn to copy him more.

The other day Hiram actually helped Eldyn copy “Hiram being copied by Eldyn.” Did you get that? Here’s how it went down.

Eldyn asked Hiram: “What are you doing, Hiram?”

Hiram said, “Just reading books.”


Hiram was kneeling at his bed looking at books so Eldyn grabbed a book, knelt down right beside Hiram and started reading books. Every time Hiram turned a page, Eldyn turned a page. So, Hiram started doing funny things with his book. So, Eldyn started doing the same funny things with his book. Hiram started laughing. Eldyn started laughing. They did this for a few minutes.

Then Hiram said, “What are you doing, Eldyn?”

Eldyn said, “Just reading books.”

And then Hiram said, “Just reading books.”

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