Archive for June, 2009

procrastination inflation

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

daycamp09 006

Here’s a random pic of Joey with a horse.  Enjoy…while I rant.

Please tell me I’m not the only person with this problem.  There is so much to do and I can’t seem to start on any of it.  My three day migraine bender was finally over when I woke up this morning…oh happy day!  So the haze has cleared to reveal….dun dum da da dum…chaos.  Grumpy, cooped up kids, piles of dishes and a generally trashed house has tempered the relief I felt at waking up without pain in every movement.

Why am I writing about it instead of taking care of business?  I’m slightly overwhelmed.  If I start on the laundry it will use the hot water that I need for the dishes.  Can’t start the dishes until I have some clean counter space….and it goes on and on like that.  When I get to the end of the list which takes quite a bit of effort in itself, I will start with that.  But for now I am doing a list item that doesn’t require figuring what came first, the chicken or the egg.  And when I’m done I can check off one thing I’ve accomplished.  That is, I would if I ever actually made a to do list.

All this has to be done and I’m so far from what I really want to be doing, working on book two.  Oh how I long for the days of hours of uninterrupted writing (also known as school days).

Oh, by the way, if there is ever a blog post you hate, or even mildly dislike, you can bet it was typed on a migraine day.  I’m like Jekyl and Hyde I tell ya…

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest (as if you had a choice).

strange twilight voodoo

Monday, June 29th, 2009


I don’t remember when I first heard about the Twilight series.  I just know that it was after the last book, Breaking Dawn came out.  I kept hearing tidbits here and there, all of my friends had read them.  I had to ask my friend Ess about it when I finally realized that this might be a series I would enjoy.  All in all, I think it was better that way…no endless waiting for the next book to come out…the whole series was just waiting to be read.  And read it I did.  I went back to the bookstore 3 times in one week to get my next fix.

So I was really excited when I found out that the movie was still in the theater once I finished.  I dragged my husband along.  We were lucky, I found out later, many had to endure teeny-bopping screams each time Edward showed up on the screen.  My experience was much quieter than that.  I know this is blasphemy to many, but the first thing I thought when I saw Edward was, “is that the best they could do?”  Rob Pattinson has grown on me since, but I was fairly disappointed at first.

I was a little stunned as I left the theater.  Some of the stunts had been so goofy I had  to stifle a laugh more than once.  It just didn’t look or feel right.  Bella was okay, but I still can’t get over her incredibly weird “thank you” in the hospital corridor.  I lamented to my husband who had been so nice that he didn’t tell me what he really thought until I made it clear that I thoroughly did not enjoy the flick.

This is not the reason I’m writing this so many months later.  That would be because of the strange attraction I have to the thing.  My husband asked me, when I came home with the deluxe 3 disk edition DVD, why, if I disliked the movie so did I buy it?  I could not put the reason into words.  I watched all of the extras before I started up the actual movie and they were really good.  Then I watched the film and wondered to myself, why did I buy the thing?  It’s not because I have enough money to buy every movie that comes out.  After that showing, I thought I was done with it.  I was wrong.  The urge came a couple of weeks later when I was having trouble sleeping.  Twilight cured my insomnia that night…and a couple more after that.  It’s dark, and quiet, a nice thing to go to sleep to.  Last week I woke up just in time for the prom scene in the gazebo at the end.  I thought I’d found the reason then.  It was beautiful, tragic and magical.  I checked the same scene out a coupla days later when I was wide awake.  It didn’t have the same effect.  So here I sit, months after I bought the thing, I’ve seen it more than I’ve seen any movie (except The Sound of Music, don’t ask) and I still have no idea why I like it or keep going back to it.

So will I watch New Moon when it comes out?  Like I told my husband right after we saw Twilight in the theater, “I can’t wait to see it, it has to be better than that.”

fifteen for friday

Friday, June 26th, 2009

TreasureCDI’m thinking about giving a theme to my Friday blog post.  It has to be just vague enough to encompass everything since I am an expert at nothing, unless you count procrastination… and it MUST have alliteration so as to be interesting enough to read.  I suppose.  There will be no guidelines, no specific rhyme or reason…just fifteen things (experiences, thoughts, or interesting things I read about) from the week.  It may suck, and it may never show up again since I naturally rebel against anything scheduled or regimented.  Here goes…

1. Reading and writing all day long is not good for the waistline so I am sitting on a big blue yoga ball.  Not really sure how this is helping anything…

2. Quality is MUCH better than quantity when it comes to friends.  Someone who will spend the time to figure out how to get her fist pic in a link for your blog is a TRUE friend.

3. My song of the week: I’m Not Here from the Treasure Planet soundtrack.  Listened to it many times this week, so naturally I will hate it next week.

4. I bet Johnny Rzeznick never gets his name spelled correctly.

5. Too much fun is not good for kids.  They turn into little monsters if you let them get too worn out.

6. Husbands don’t like it all that much when you blog about them catching the house on fire.

7. Starting a sequel is hard when you decided not to write down all your ideas (thought there was no way I could possibly forget–then I went to sleep) for it when writing the first.  Lesson learned.

8. Online chats can be more fun than frustrating if it’s with the right people in the right forum.

9. Monkey hula shirts are sooo cute.

slipnslide 008

10. You can use a slip ‘n slide without knocking the wind out of your lungs.  At least my kids can.

11. Writers are some of the nicest, most helpful, supportive professionals.  As a newbie, I expected to be ignored for awhile.  Every writer’s blog that I’ve commented on has been replied to.  Great advice has been given, and these people are published! :)

12. House of Grey is a totally rad  podiobook.  It’s up for several Parsec awards…Way to go Collin and Chris!!!

13. Even the biggest celebrities are mortal…yet immortal when they leave behind piqued imaginations, new ideas and an example of either how or how not to live life.

14. I won the Dad lottery.

15. Funny or thoughtful?  I vote for funny, although thoughtful can be nice….no….funny.  By the way, I ditched the yoga ball 8 numbers ago.

a new day

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

daycamp09 020Yes folks, it is a new day and what a good one it is!  The picture above is of my fist and it is awaiting your bump.  I suppose if we are going to be fist-bump buddies I should explain.

Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like nothing goes right?  Of course (see honey, I CAN use the correct course) you have, everyone has.  I had one of those yesterday.  No math was studied by Max (middle child, and no, that is not his real name), no chores were done by Joey (youngest, a girl despite her pseudonym), and hubby and I couldn’t say anything without offending the other.  Nothing really bad happened, especially since we completed our June trifecta (hard drive death, fire, a/c kaput) on Monday when the air conditioning went out.  It was just a grumpy day.

I will try to use less parenthesis as I tell the rest of the story.

The oldest, Bird, is out of town for Scout Camp and I feel like I’ve lost my right arm.  I had no idea how helpful the big guy was until he was gone.  He’s getting an extra huge hug when he gets back on Saturday even if he will hate it.  But I’m getting off of the subject…again.  This tends to happen when I get really excited about something…suddenly I want to talk about anything and everything.

After we all went out to buy water toys for the kiddos and had a healthy dinner at Jason’s deli we came home, I straightened up a bit, then I checked my email.  Simply put, I got a positive response to one of the queries I sent out about a month ago.  They want to see my manuscript.  I flew over the moon.  The kids did a happy dance and asked if it meant we were rich.  We laughed.

Even though I know this is only a teeny tiny step, it is a step in the right direction and it feels awesome!  Send a pic of your fist when you comment if you can! :)

::I usually do not condone the use of so many exclaimation points, but in this case…eh…I don’t care!!!!::

the perils of having a kind husband

Friday, June 19th, 2009
6-17-09 Fire

6-14-09 Fire

The great Parker fire of ’09…

It shocked, it amazed, it smelled…bad.

My sweet, long-suffering, adorable husband kindly offered to make dinner Sunday evening.  Actually, he didn’t offer, he just did it while I took a late afternoon nap.  So there he was, elbow deep in batter, dipping chicken breast in said batter when the small pot filled with super hot oil (the dial had been set to HI for about ten minutes or more) went up in flames.  I was told that it was licking the bottom of the microwave that’s mounted above the stove.  In a panic, hubby did the first thing that came to mind…he doused the pot with water.  Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew this was the wrong thing to do, but in the state of mind he was in, the back was way too far away to access.

The smoke alarm wailed, I awoke, thinking that hubby simply burned some food.  I got the shock of my life when teenage son burst into my room and announced, with a wild look, “uh..o..uh…fire!” and ran out.

In the kitchen the drama continued.  Hubby ordered teenage son to open the back door.  He then grabbed the handle of the flaming pot.  In the five long steps it took him to get to the back door, the fire was menacing his arm.  He tossed the thing out the door where the oil landed just shy of the porch.  Oil and flame are nothing like oil and water.  They like each other…very much.  Soon after it landed, we were choking on the smell of melting vinyl flooring.  I shoved the kids out the front door and yelled instructions from across the house while fanning the front door trying to get rid of the suffocating stench.

The pic above is of the mess after it was cleaned up…scrubbed actually.  I cut out the melty pieces of flooring and tossed them along with the bottom of the door that keeps this wretched June Texas heat out.  That’s why the lovely blue towel is there, it is a sad substitute.  I could not get the black off the door and wall for anything.  I even used my emergency only cleaner, goof-0ff and it did almost nothing.  This means I get to paint the kitchen as well as redo the floor.  And I’m okay with that.  A little kitchen redecorating is a small price to pay for an unburnt family.  The lesson learned: no napping while cooking with oil is being done.


Thursday, June 18th, 2009

summerandfacebook-006Why do I feel it necessary to check my facebook page everyday (and by everyday I mean several times a day)?  If I’m perfectly honest with myself it’s because I want to know what people are doing that I can comment about. Then I want to see how people react to those comments. Coming up with snappy things to type into the “What’s on your mind?” text box is practically an obsession.

My rules are few, but must be followed to perfection: nothing too negative, no swearing and most definitely nothing too personal. That last one can be hard when I find myself online at 2:00 in the morning due to a lack of sleepiness. By golly, I’m glad I don’t drink…who knows what would end up on my page if that were the case. For a brief moment I thought about googling ‘drunk facebook’ for research. I changed my mind when I realized that there was no valid reason for me to suffer.

The initial draw to facebook seems to be finding every last person that you’ve ever said more than five words to. For me this number seems to hover around 110. For a few people I know, the “friend list” reaches near a thousand. These people tend to be younger than myself by at least ten years. I guess I’m picky…if I really don’t know you I won’t confirm you.

Just think about Johnny Spasmodic from the first grade—you know, that red-headed kid with freckles on his entire face and teeth missing in all the right places—that you had a crush on. Fast-forward twenty-five years and you find out through the virtual grapevine that Johnny has gone off the grid in more ways than one and in one pal’s photo album you find he’s still missing those same teeth. Johnny may be a perfectly nice person, but do you really know him? Do you really want to, especially since he lives in Alaska in a converted fishing boat? Maybe you do, and if you do, you and I differ a great deal.

I do like checking in on a few old high school friends, church friends old and new, and my family. I’m also starting to find that using it for promoting myself and my work can be somewhat helpful. It’s a limited usefulness, but it lets people see who I am and a little of what I’m about. All in all I’d say that having a facebook page won’t make you but it certainly could break you. Proceed with caution my friends. ;)


Friday, June 12th, 2009

I’m leaking my much anticipated albeit diminutive preface to my faithful followers this very evening…(yo yo yo sup hun?)

Without further ado:

SEA ROSE – Preface

Nightmares are subjective. They are as personal and intimate as the closest of relationships, sometimes more so. Just as one man’s Juliet could be another’s Medusa—one’s nightmare could be another’s dream.

The jury’s still out—the jury in my head that is—on whether or not the events I experienced in the last year constitute a dream or a nightmare. I remember that it started out pleasantly enough before the experience twisted and turned—winding through darkness, past garishly colored incidents and pausing briefly in gray. Calm was never part of the equation.

On a perfectly pleasant day in August—an uncommon thing on the southeastern edge of Texas—my slumber began. Sultry is a kind way to describe a typical late summer day in this part of the world. Most just use words like sweltering, sticky and miserable. So a day that carries little or no humidity is a welcome respite. People come outside to enjoy it in masses—staying out from discovery until late at night reveling in the reprieve.

With a history every bit as thick and rich as New Orleans (but not quite as gritty) Galveston Island holds its own. In playing gracious host to pirate lairs, enduring massive hurricanes and wars, the sandy island has entranced layers of generations and captured their hearts and souls.

Something undulates just beneath the living surface of this island town. Natives may not recognize it, but when you grow up in a place where the dead have always remained that way, you can sense the difference. Their memories can be felt throbbing from the aged structures that they inhabit. Their stories continue while the rest of us move blindly between, around, and through them.

Very few are entrusted with the secrets of those who have gone before.

So…tell me what you think!

a week in the Life

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

I’m set up on twitter and I got a new follower this week, Sterling House Publications. I’m sure they did some sort of complicated search to find out who wants to be published…still it was an interesting thing to have happen.

Rejection number two faced me as I opened my email this morning. I love the feeling I get when I’m just about to open a reply to a query and there’s this excitement at the possibility that I could be picked up. Then I read it, and mild disappointment hits. And it is very mild, I’m not sure why…I’ve never really taken rejection from strangers all that hard. I guess it could be that the rejections are just so gosh darn nice….see the example below…


Dear Ms. Parker,

Many thanks for your email regarding your novel SEA ROSE, which I am declining with my regrets.

Given the demands of running a boutique agency and continuing to best represent my current clients, I must make difficult decisions every day regarding what new projects I can sign. I appreciate your thinking of me, and wish you the best of luck in your search for representation.


Kate Schafer Testerman


last day of school

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

This is what my children looked like nine months ago, perfectly scrubbed and coiffed, new clothes and all. They look happy even though it was the first day of school.

I should’ve taken a pic of them this morning before I drove them to their last day of the 2008-2009 school year. Equally as happy, not quite as scrubbed and coiffed. I think my oldest was wearing a shirt that was missing a button or two. That’s what living in the trenches of having three school-aged children will do to you. After 170-some-odd days of packing 3 lunches (510 in all), surviving hours of homework a day (some of which seemed designed to be homework for parents), signing my name countless times, lamenting the bad grades, cheering the excellent, two science projects, social studies and language arts projects it comes to an end today.

There will be awards ceremonies for the children, as there should be…they worked hard. But we, as parents do it all for the love of our kids…so that they can learn better, do better…be better. I for one am ready for the break. But I know in less than three months time, my kiddos will stand just as scrubbed and coiffed as in this pic, ready for a new year full of work and opportunity.