May 27th, 2015
"Remiss" is one of those words like "Abide" that I think I should try to make an effort to use more often. Alas, one of my other favorite words is "Asunder," and that's hard to work into casual conversation. "Remiss" I could probably sneak in here and there.
Do you have favorite words? Words you just like the sound of? Or how they look on paper? For good looking words, I'd have to vote for "Quixotic." That's just cool looking, don't you think?
Speaking of words, I wrote some for Bitter Empire. I should have a review of THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS out tomorrow, but today I'm talking about Vox Day/Theodore Beale's reaction to John Scalzi's book deal
. Mostly, I talk about envy and jealousy. I suffer from both quite a lot. I have to admit that when I first read about Scalzi basically getting to stay in the business and make a decent living for ten more years, I privately emailed a writer friend of mine and just wrote: "I hate my life."
Because, for me, that's the thing that kills. OMG I would have loved that kind of commitment from my publisher. Scalzi says he's got the ideas for fifteen (or however many) books. You know what? SO DID I. No one took a risk on me, even when the risk was fairly minimal (and I would have cost them SO MUCH less). My computer has at least a dozen proposals that I wrote AND WERE REJECTED for the continuation of series that I thought were doing fairly well and had hoped to continue: the Garnet Lacey Series, the Vampire Princess series, AND the Precinct 13 universe. But, to be fair to Scalzi, I don't/didn't sell anything like he does. Not even close.
C'est la vie.
Publishing is like this.
But Day/Beale's reaction to all of it is fairly obviously jealousy smothered in envy sauce with a high dose of WTF thrown in. So, it seemed ripe to comment on.
If I follow Beale's logic I'm fairly sure that one of the reasons I fail at self-promotion/life/publishing is because I'm not nearly snarky enough for the Internet. This article is a case and point. I have this bizarre tendency to take people seriously and respond in kind.
Did I ever tell you that I met Vox Day/Theodore Beale? I probably have his business card upstairs in among all of the contacts I was collecting back in the day. He was a guest at a HarMar Barnes & Noble science fiction event because he had written a book with local author Bruce Bethke. Beale was selling his game and generally talking up his work. I'm a huge fan of Bethke, so I'm sure I bathed Beale with similar awe. (Look, okay, I was still desperately trying to break in; I bathed anyone
published in a kind of unfiltered awe, and it's not like he walked around and said "Hi, my politics are horrible.") I was there interviewing Lois McMaster Bujold (how I got that gig I'm not sure, maybe via Eric Heideman?) At any rate, my interaction with Beale was only memorable in that I found him enthusiastic and friendly. He had a cool punk haircut at the time, if I remember rightly.
The person he's become is so... "Odious" is really the best word for it.
I probably shouldn't take him seriously (considering he doesn't think that, as a woman, I should have any rights, not even the right to vote), and, yet, I kind of went point by point through his blog. I'm sure I would have been slightly more entertaining had a piled on the snark, but I failed. Other people, I'm sure, will pick up the slack.
Thing is, even people you stridently disagree with sometimes have a point. I'm jealous of Scalzi too. Beale never just comes out and says that, of course, but it's pretty clear.
So I guess we have a thing in common.
In other news, my family is back from a lovely trip down to LaCrosse to visit my folks. It was my dad's birthday and also, of course, Memorial Day weekend. We spent a lot of time catching up and hanging out, so, in my mind, it was damn near perfect. Mason and I tried to scale Hixon Forest's bluff, which we have done before, but erosion and age made it more difficult. Mason is finally at the age where he can well and truly visualize falling off a cliff face and so we got to a spot where the handholds were sparse and he was like, "NOPE." But, we got really pretty far, all things considered. I think, somehow, we were off the official path, though, so that may have had something to do with our lack of success.
I tried to take some pictures, but our camera may have finally given up the ghost. To be fair, the camera is nearly as old as Mason himself. And, yes, it's an actual digital camera, not a PHONE. So, you know, good luck replacing that. (Although maybe they still make them.) I'm disappointed if only because I took some shots of a lovely flower growing on the bluff and I was hoping to use the picture to help identify it.
So, that's me. How's by you?
May 20th, 2015
I'm headed off to the doctor's in a bit. I have health insurance these days (go, gay marriage!), so I decided I should probably get all the tests and such again. After years of going completely cold turkey, I've since learned that black coffee is an acceptable liquid pre-cholesterol test. To which all I can really say is: THANK GOD.
Last night, I Skyped into a classroom in Hong Kong to talk short stories and science fiction/fantasy. My Tuesday night was their Wednesday morning. I traveled into the future to talk about science fiction, which is wicked awesome when you think about it.
I got the gig because a high school friend of mine is teaching in an English emersion high school there. Previously, she was doing something similar in Seoul. In the past, I Skyped with her class there, too. I guess I can say that I've visited classes in Korea and China now. Neat.
We're getting ready to head down to LaCrosse for Memorial Day weekend (and, as it happens my father's birthday, which is actually tomorrow, but we'll do a "birthday observed.") I'm a little worried that our gerbil Templeton is going to pass away while we're gone. He's an extremely old mouse (we call him mouse even though he's a gerbil) especially when you consider mouses's life expectancy. Shawn has noticed he's slowing down. He doesn't leap to chew up his tubes like he used to. He was a very busy mouse. Now he naps more. He can't last forever, but Templeton has been such a good gerbil. There will be a lot of gross sobbing when he leaves this mortal coil.
I'm currently reading (slowly, for some reason) Michel Faber's THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS. I'm not even a hundred pages in yet, but really enjoying it. There's space travel!
Tonight is my last class at the Loft. I'm going to miss that group. They've been amazing.
I'm ramblely. That must mean that it's time to sign off!
May 18th, 2015
I've been terribly neglectful of Tate's WIP on Wattpad. I updated today
, finally, after a several month hiatus.
There a lot of reasons I let the work languish. The first and foremost is that I felt like the story had gone off the rails some time ago. It's super easy for that to happen when you're writing like this, out loud, as it were, in front of an audience. Normally, I tend to write everything away from the public eye, so, when I make mistakes or go down a rabbit hole, I can pull myself up and revise before anyone is the wiser (besides my writers' group, of course.) Not being able to do that this time stymied me. I knew it could, and, while I normally don't worry overly much about looking like an idiot in front of a crowd, this tangle fed into my general sense of failure.
Yeah, I know I'm not a failure, but as I said to someone who poked me for an update on Wattpad, Precinct 13 and its universe is a particular trigger for my... well, for lack of a better term, depression around writing. I've been on the verge of being clinically depressed, so I don't mean to use this term lightly. There should be a word for the behavior that mimics depression but isn't quite it... because that's how I sometimes get around my Tate projects. I _want_ to do them, but when I think about finishing Unjust Cause/writing an e-book or e-novella, and even when I work myself up into a bit of excitement around various ideas, when I finally sit down to write... my first impulse is to crawl under the covers and not come out.
It's very unlike me.
Normally, I'm very self-motivated. I would not have gotten as far as I have in writing if I weren't. So, I don't know why I have this block and, as I've said in numerous other posts, I've determined that this is the year I push past all that.
I wish I knew what worked. I started to type that it helps me when people ask after projects, but what's funny is that that kind of thing only works when it's STRANGERS (fans/readers/FB friends/casual acquaintances/con friends) asking. If you're my relative (or gods forbid, my wife) asking, I double-down into a weird, bitter resistance-- a very 'don't tell me what's good for me' kind of attitude.
Well, regardless, the plan is to get over THAT.
This weekend I had another sparsely attended Loft First Pages. This one was writing "fan fiction" and was supposed to be a teen event, though I ended up having an adult sit through it (I tried to tell the folks on my FB feed that they should come, even if they were grown-ups!) The First Pages are generally hard to do because the way they were explained to me, at least, you're meant to show up in a state of unprepared preparedness. The Loft wants the experience to be walk-in, drop-by, and flexible. So, while there is a general theme, I'm supposed to be ready to go whatever direction that the participants want. Luckily, I teach all the time, so I can lecture on a lot of writing-related subjects without too much prompting. However, I always end up feeling like I'm flailing around since, at least when I teach, I do quite a bit of prep work or at LEAST review some things other people have said on the topic. This time I knew I might have one student since a friend of mine told me her daughter was planning on coming, so I had done a bit of research into "common fan fiction mistakes."
I based my rambling on that.
It still felt like rambling, though.
But at least I had people this time.
I also read all of MY REAL CHILDREN by Jo Walton over the weekend. I powered through that book, which is very unusual for me since I'm slightly dyslexic. It's a funny book because it's not action-packed in any stretch of the imagination, but I found it weirdly gripping. Maybe it's just because Jo Walton is such a good writer. I loved her Small Changes series and this is very similar in that there's a strong alternate history vibe going through it. Now, I'm on to THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS by Michel Faber.
I also gardened in between the bouts of rain. Now we've got a forecast of FROST, if you can believe it.
May 15th, 2015
I thought I was taking the car in today, to Dave's. It's been sputtering a bit, acting like maybe the timing belt is off or maybe the fuel pump is wonky (I don't really know, but I know it's idling rough and sometimes it feels like when I press on the gas, I'm not getting pick-up.) So, I called last week. But, see, I talked to Tor not Rich, so I didn't get on the official calendar. When I showed up ready to spend the day at the library, Rich told me he was swamped and could I come Monday? I could, of course, but this throws a bit of a wrench into our weekend plans, which was supposed to include a super-long drive down to Shady Acre's farm near Chanhassen.
Which, we don't really want to do, if there's a high possibility of getting stranded in the middle of nowhere.
On the other hand, I have a chance to continue to work on cleaning up the front room of the basement, which we've been preparing for the eventual arrival of my grandmother's free standing floor loom. We've made real progress, but the hold-up currently is some of my files in my file cabinets. I need to box some things up and such, because we'd also like to take the opportunity to paint the walls to cheer the place up a bit.
So, I have that feeling of being slightly out of sorts that you get when you're expecting to do something and then you don't.
Last night was Wyrdsmiths and I managed to hand-out a short story. It's a flash fiction piece (technically at the moment it's 600 words over) that I'm hoping to send off to a Biblical horror anthology I found. Because I was talking to my students about ralan.com, I decided I should check it out myself and ran across a group of anthologies that I thought were closed some time ago that have reopened. If nothing else, it's good to have written something potentially for publication again.
It's been raining here a lot, so our gardens look amazing. Here's my Japanese garden, currently:
I'll post some pictures from Mason's ball game tomorrow. Have a great Friday!
May 14th, 2015
Last night, in the Loft class, we talked about the mechanics of short story submission. Science fiction/fantasy/spec fic is one of the genres where, I think, a person has a fair chance to get their short work published if they're willing to keep going down the list of publications. You CAN run out, especially if your piece is of a very specific genre and a word count that's too long (or too short, etc.) But, I still think we have a lot more short story venues than a lot of other genres. In fact, while I'm sure they exist, I can't think of a single romance short fiction market--erotica, maybe, but romance? Nothing that jumps to mind the way Asimov's, Analog, Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy, Apex, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Tor.com, Uncanny Magazine, etc, etc., do for spec fic.
Just looking through the list at ralan.com
can be dizzying, because on top of the regularly published magazines, there's also anthologies, etc.
So, I pointed my students to sfwa.org
and their page on manuscript formatting
Our critique session went really very fast because it was a bad week for a lot of people for some reason and we had more than our typical "passes." (When teaching adults who have full-time jobs, families, school, etc., I always allow a pass if life eats your brain.) So, we had an unscheduled Q&A about the business of writing. I bring this up because one of my students asked a question that astounded me. She wanted to know if it was true that you should have at least 2,000 followers on social media before you try to court/land an agent. I had never heard such malarky in my LIFE, but nearly all the other students in my class had HEARD THE EXACT SAME ADVICE.
I had to admit, it could be true. I sold my first book in 1999, before e-books were really a thing and before social media was even really a concept. I said that the advice I heard back then still seemed pretty damned solid to me and that was: concentrate on writing the best book possible, full stop. I told my class that I don't know how a person gets 2,000 followers without spending every waking moment trying far too hard to be clever in 175 characters or less. How would you have time to write if you were spending that much time on-line? 2,000 followers sounded, to me, like a full time job in and of itself.
I also told them to look at the list on "ralan," and ask themselves if their time would be better spent collecting followers on Twitter or writing short stories for one of the three dozen (+!) magazines that will pay good money for good words?
I also suggested that they didn't have to give up on the idea of collecting 2,000 followers, but maybe the way to start doing that in spec fic was by attending conventions, volunteering to be on panels, and writing stories. Do both, I suggested. That way, maybe you'll have a little fun on the way to collecting some mystical number of Twits.
When I ask on FB whether or not other pro writers/agents/editors had heard about this idea, I got one response from an agent who said that, it was a lie to some extent, but of course its easier to sell books to an editor if you can point to a waiting audience. Sure, that makes a kind of sense, but I really have never believed in a 1:1 correlation between follower: buyer. A lot of people follow me on various social media (not anywhere near 2,000 if you're wondering, often not even HALF that, though on FB I have just over a 1,000--I checked), and I have directed them, often, to things of mine they can buy.
They don't. Some do, of course, but probably not even 1% do.
And presumably, I'm a known quality (maybe that's why they DON'T, but I did fairly well for Penguin for a fair number of years.) BUT, my point is, how on EARTH would this translate to someone you've never heard of? Whose cat pictures you've liked on Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr? Seriously.
TBF, I have no sense of how popularity works. Some people have clearly figured out how to leverage this social media thing far, far better than I ever have. So, maybe this is the new path to publication/scoring an agent. I really don't know. It seems crazy to me. I still think the key to success ought to be: write a good book.
May 11th, 2015
Here's another list for me:Broken Monsters
, Lauren Beukes (Mulholland) The Lesser Dead
, Christopher Buehlman (Berkley) The Unquiet House
, Alison Littlewood (Jo Fletcher) Bird Box
, Josh Malerman (Ecco) Confessions
, Kanae Minato (Mulholland) Annihilation
, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals)
These are the Shirley Jackson Award nominees. As Locus Magazine explains, this award is for "... outstanding achievement in horror, psychological suspense, and dark fantasy fiction. "
I think, too, this will help me decide what to review today. I usually have my reviews in to Bitter Empire by Sunday morning, but this weekend was surprisingly busy. I had my usual three hour shift at North St. Paul library and Mason attended the Teen Lit Con
. My Mother's Day gift to Shawn was to take her fabric shopping and NOT COMPLAIN, which I managed on Saturday morning, as well. It was nice weather on Saturday, too, so I did a little light gardening, too--finally getting some things in the ground that we'd ordered. On Sunday, what Shawn said she wanted was food. So, I made her blueberry bread pudding for breakfast and then we spent most of the afternoon and evening making fleischkuechle
- an ethnic food of Shawn's family (Germans from Russia.) We thought to only make two batches, which would have been a couple of hours work, but ended up with over a hundred some how and so we prepared and fried from 1 pm to 7 pm.
A little longer than either of us really wanted.
BUT the results are tasty, and now we have a stockpile for the freezer.
So, at any rate, I need to settle in and write up a review of Annihilation
, I think. I'm not sure how much I should talk about this in that, but Annihilation
is the only book up for the Nebula this year that I made it all the way through.
I got well over 100 pages into both Three-Body Problem
and Ancillary Sword
, but I gave up on both of them because I found myself caring less for the main characters. Both of those novels are very idea-driven, which is fine, but I just had no emotional investment whatsoever and when you start looking at how much of the book you have left with trepidation, I thought: nope, I'm done. Plus, no spoilers, but when I finally found a character that I liked in Ancillary Sword
, they didn't last.
I tried Coming Home
, (and Shawn shakes her head at me about this because Jack McDevitt is one of her all time favorite SF authors and I've had diner with the guy and he's AWESOME), but I just bounce out of almost every one of his books for some reason -- maybe because it's a long-running series? I'm not sure, because Shawn has them all and has tried, repeatedly, to get me to read them. I guess it's just one of those things.
The other Nebula nominee, Trial by Fire
, I have upstairs and I started it.... and it's okay. It's just very hardcore military SF which I wasn't entirely in the mood for when I started it. I haven't sent it back yet, so I may still get through that one. I often really enjoy military SF, so I don't think that's necessarily the reason. Do you have this problem? Where you have to be in the right mood for a certain TYPE of book?
At any rate, I ripped through Annihilation
like it was cotton candy. That surprised me because it is very psychological and atmospheric (not always my normal fave) and, in places, difficult. I have, in the past, not gotten very far into VanderMeer's works before. *whispers*He's one of those 'it' kids that I have to confess being predisposed AGAINST because of straight-up envy*/whispers* But I really ended up enjoying this book.
I'll see where I end up going with this review. The other thing I may end up talking about is the fact that I've heard rumors that the next target the Sad Puppies might have is the Nebula, which I think will be a far harder nut for them to crack because membership is actually fairly difficult to obtain. (And the Nebula, if you didn't know, is nominated and voted on SOLEY by the members of the Science Fiction Writers of America.)
So, lots of directions.
Right, I should go do that then.
May 8th, 2015
I don't have a lot of time before I have to dash out to a very short shift at the library. They're chronically understaffed for some reason right now and I swear I get a call almost every day. I say 'no' quite a lot, so I've been trying to stockpile a few 'yes's, if you know what I mean.
But I have a number of life things I feel it might be interesting to report. Let's see what I can get out in 15 minutes.
#1. We came home the other day, Wednesday, I think, to a very unexpected phone call. A humane society in Washington state called to say that they'd picked up a cat cat with our "home again" microchip. As I'm listening to this message, I'm frantically counting furry heads, while thinking, "Washington STATE? How even??!!" Then it hits me about two seconds before the caller confirms. It HAS to be Peep, a cat of ours we adopted out when it became clear that she was spending her time with us terrified, in the closet, because she was not happy in a home with multiple cats and a very noisy (at the time) toddler. So, we used our local no-kill shelter to adopt her out, while we acted as a "foster home." (It was a neat arrangement, actually, because she stayed with us, but they dealt with advertising her, etc.) At any rate, I called back feeling very responsible and horrified and Shawn and I instantly starting considering how we could get Peep from Washington state to Minnesota. Shawn, bless her soul, discovered a group of over the road truckers who will help with this very problem: "Operation Roger"
. They would have been perfect except for one tiny problem--they very specifically say that your animal should not have social anxiety. Social Anxiety, at least when we last knew her, was Peep's middle name. So... bummer. The other problem we've been having with the shelter is the time zone difference. They say, "Call us back in the morning," but for instance, right now, it's 5:30 am. I don't think anyone it either going to be in the office or would really appreciate a call on their home phone.
So, that's an ongoing THING.
#2. Mason had his very first baseball game yesterday against the Maternity of Mary. Mason just decided to sign-up for baseball at Washington Technical. Washington, as I may have said before, has a kind of mandatory after school program which goes from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. They have, among other fun offerings like LEGO robotics, etc., all their sports. They're a big enough school, too, tha they can have A-Teams and B-Teams/clubs. So, if you're not a super-fast competitive swimmer, let's say, you can sign up for swim CLUB instead of swim TEAM. So, Mason is in what amounts to the baseball team's B-Team/baseball club. Many of his colleagues, like himself, have never played a game of baseball in their LIVES. So, this was a big deal. Alas, they got about a half inning in before the heaven's opened up and washed out the game.
The good news? He has another game next week, and, now that we know what they'll be like, Shawn and I will pack things for us to do and nosh on too. I will also pack him power bars -- possibly enough for the whole team, because baseball games, we discovered, can go LONG.
We're going to try to get pictures. Shawn got one of him in his uniform, but it'd be neat to get a few action shots. We tried, but with our simple camera, it auto-focused on the closest thing, which was a fence. :-(
And... now I have to run. But those are probably the two most interesting things happening in my life right now, anyway! I have a LOT of thoughts about the controversy around the Black Widow in the latest Avenger film, but I will have to wait for a longer stretch of time to write down all of those. (Don't worry, I will post them HERE, so that I can put spoilers under the cut. I know a lot of people won't see this film for a while.)
May 5th, 2015
I have so many books out from the library for my award-nominee challenge right now, that I stopped to take inventory and found one I could NOT find on my lists.
OTHERBOUND by Corrine Duyvis
So I tried Googling the title and "award" and got a bunch of hits, but nothing I was expecting. Then I see that there's a Bi Writer's Association that gives out a spec fic category award and this book (along with others are up for it.)
Bisexual Speculative Fiction [Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror]Capricious: A Texan Tale of Love and Magic
by Julie Cox, Circlet PressClimbing the Date Palm
by Shira Glassman, Prizm Books/Torquere PressOtherbound
by Corinne Duyvis, Amulet/AbramsThe Pendragon Legacy [Book 1-Sons of Camelot series]
by Sarah Luddington, Mirador PublishingThat Door is a Mischief
by Alex Jeffers, Lethe Press
So... now I have these to add, if I want to. But, I finally figured out where the title came from. Otherbound had been on the Locus recommended reading list for debut authors and I'd jotted it down back WHEN I DIDN'T HAVE A THOUSAND OTHER TITLES TO READ. So, I guess I could still read it since I found an award for it....
(I may have a book hoarding problem.)
May 4th, 2015
Actually, I'm very happy to see the Locus Award list for debut authors because I read a bunch of these already and had had no good reason to review them!Elysium
, Jennifer Marie Brissett (Aqueduct)A Darkling Sea
, James L. Cambias (Tor) <-- YAY, loved this book!The Clockwork Dagger
, Beth Cato (Harper Voyager)The Memory Garden,
Mary Rickert (Sourcebooks Landmark) <-- Yay, read this one!The Emperor’s Blades
, Brian Staveley (Tor; Tor UK)
This weekend was very busy, but it would have been far more so if Wizard World Comic Con hadn't cancelled my panel last minute. On Saturday, I had another Loft gig. The same one that was a no show the other weekend was a no show this weekend. Only this time, I thought to bring my computer so that I could do a little writing while waiting for the teenagers who were probably 1) attending one of the zillion events around Free Comic Book Day, 2) standing in line to see Avengers: Age of Ultron
, 3) at the above mentioned comic book con, 4) just out enjoying the gorgeous spring weather we were having, 5) at the Festival of Nations or a billion of the other events, or 6) reading one of the books that were mentioned in the description of the class "Read to Write." One of the circulation staff (or maybe it was the librarian) came in and chatted me up a bit, and she asked, "So what do these books teach you about writing?" I smiled and said, "Everything, of course."
I have long wondered if maybe the reason that the Loft has trouble filling seats for these is because the idea of them is awfully simple. Who doesn't know that if you want to write, you need to read? TBF, I have had classes at the Loft where, when I asked people what their favorite books were, I actually had an adult student say to me, "I don't read." I nearly said, "Then get out," but you know, I get paid per head, and so, instead, I said, "Whelp, let's talk about why you really ought to make time to read, if you want to write."
But that was unusual. Most of my students are very ready to list their favorites, and often have to say, "I have a ton, but what I'm reading right now is..."
Speaking of my students, I forgot to write up my thoughts on plot. I'll have to do that later this week, as I'm not feeling very clever yet this morning. (I am about to plot out something short, so maybe I will think about the mechanics as I do it.)
On Saturday evening, I also went to Avengers: Age of Ultron
with my Marvel movie buddies: Sean Murphy and Eleanor Arnason. I have a lot of thoughts about it all, but I don't want to spoil anyone. As I summarized on FB: Age of Ultron gets both thumbs up from me. Non-spoilery thoughts: I have to say that I continue to be impressed that the Avengers spend 2/3rds of every fight rescuing civilians and attempting to minimize damage. And when they can't there are serious consequences. This is also a film that had a very Marvel theme: heroes who protect even though sometimes the world, and even they themselves, think they're monsters.
We also discussed at length on my FB feed (and all in cloak and dagger unspoilery language) the issue of Black Widow. Read my thoughts there, if you like, but they go like this: I think some stuff is taken out of context. Yes, about Black Widow, but I think that ONE THING was meant as the nail in the coffin of the bigger THING of her life. And, yeah, that seemed to reduce her to certain body parts, but I think the point is she was broken by the program and Whedon just focused on the girl thing because sometimes he's a total dudebro (with good intentions.)
So, hopefully that gives nothing way, but if you're in the know, you should get what I mean.
At any rate, this particular Avengers movie felt, as my friend Jon Hansen, so aptly put it "the most comic book-y." For me, that meant it was damn near perfect, but I'm not sure how well that translates for the rest of the world. I mean, all the cameos! That was so Marvel, in my mind.
The rest of my weekend was good. Mason and Rosemary watched Princess Bride
at our house on Saturday (while I was off Avenger-ing). My nerdy son's reaction to the question, "So? What did you think?" : "Meh." I explained that he might have to lose his nerd credentials now, because being able to quote Princess Bride
is kind of right up there with being able to quote Monty Python
(which he can, thank goodness.)
Sunday we had Mason's former school librarian over for soap and bath salt making. We didn't do the full-on soap making process, but rather bought cheap kits from Michael's where everything is pre-made and all you have to do is melt the soap and add the scents and color and whatever other bits you want and pour it into a mould and wait for it to re-harden. It was actually very fun, because we've had a bunch of essential oils around waiting for a project like this. Plus, Shawn has always wanted to be more crafty, so this was a great excuse to do all the things. Plus, Ms. Frye (as Mason insists on still calling her) is a lot of fun. She's had us over for candle making and fondu, so apparently she's that friend we do fun crafty things with.
But, it was a very long and exhausting weekend, because in there I also took advantage of the weather to get some gardening in.