The entrepreneurial spirit

One more thing.

I just learned that my children, having been denied the luxury of a lemonade stand, have discovered a new outlet for their money-making instincts.

They’re selling doodlebugs door-to-door.

For a nickel apiece.

So far, evidently, they’ve made 35 cents.

We have very nice neighbors.

Ah, normalcy…

So nice to be worrying about age-old questions like which color laundry to wash first (Dark? Middle? Light?) rather than imagining catastrophic scenarios involving close family members.

Thank goodness.

This morning, instead of googling terrifying subjects, I’m in my office, listening to the sounds of my children playing on the street (hopefully not in the path of cars) and being thankful that we’re not camping, since it rained torrentially and there was an extensive tornado watch last night. If you ever have a drought, ask me to plan a group camping trip in your vicinity, by the way. That will take care of the problem automatically.

On another note, I posted on Killer Hobbies today, on my general hobby-impairedness. Think Hefty bags and orange spray paint. It’s a fun blog; I’ve been meaning to add it to my links section for some time. In fact, I may go do that now.

I realize I’ve been rather remiss re: word reporting lately. For the record, I did write another 4500 words this week despite my neuroses, putting me at about 37,956 words, or about halfway through. Not that I’m counting or anything. 😉

Thanks again for all your kind thoughts this week, and I hope your weather is as glorious as ours is now that the rain has gone!

Oh — and if you’re in the Austin area and don’t have anything planned for tomorrow, please stop by and see me at BookPeople. I’ll be there from three to five!


It’s not cancer, thank God. But the mole is weird enough (it’s more like an adult’s abnormal mole than a child’s) that the doctor wants to have the area around it excised, and skin checks every six months. I just KNEW there was something wrong with it. I’ve had a sick feeling in my stomach since I first noticed it. But all’s well, that (hopefully) ends well.

And I’m making an appointment for myself TODAY, since Abby and I have the same color skin, and I’ve got all kinds of… well, let’s call them marks of character.

I’m still all jitters. But what a relief not to have to wait all weekend. I don’t think I could stand it.

Thank you all so much for all your well wishes. I can’t tell you how comforting it’s been. Like a warm emotional blanket — and I’ve needed one.

Lots of hugs all around from a very relieved Karen

Still waiting.

So I didn’t hear anything today, but spent a good bit more time googling, as a result of which I now own about fifty dollars worth of heavy-duty sunblock. And a new hat.

The upshot of all of this is that the chances of a kiddo between 10 and 14 getting melanoma is like 4 in a million, and there aren’t even numbers for kids younger than that, so I’m being completely and entirely irrational.

That being said, I am still a bit on the apprehensive side. Okay, more than a bit on the apprehensive side.

Off to take a valium now. Wait, we don’t have any valium. Shoot. What I need is a cozy, and maybe some chamomile tea. And perhaps a frontal lobotomy.

Is there such a thing as a worry gene? Because I think I got it…

Parental paranoia

Hi, everyone…

Sorry I haven’t been on much the last few days; Abby had an unusual mole on her back, and I’ve been so worried about it (we just had it removed this morning for a biopsy) that I haven’t been able to think of anything else.

Which means not much writing, not much blogging… not much of anything but obsessively googling skin conditions and scaring the you-know-what out of myself.

I’ll find out more tomorrow or the next day, when the lab results come back. I’m sure it’s fine, but it’s been scary. And I’m suddenly noticing all the oncology clinics around town.

Hope all is well where you are. More soon…


Home again home again, jiggety jig

I’m back. I’m alive, and my children are too.

And yesterday, I had a great signing at Barnes and Noble up in Round Rock (here are a few photos Melissa, who baked muffins — muffins! — and brought them to the signing, sent me). Lots of people showed up, we sold out of Murder on the Rocks in the first twenty minutes, and had only one book left when it was all said and done.

The first is with Frank Campbell, who’s the incredibly friendly and wonderful Community Relations Manager — then there’s one of Melissa, the muffins, a Cozy Chicks bag, and me, and the gorgeous teenager in the third is Grace (M’s daughter). Next time, I promise to try to have action shots, incidentally.

I have a few other photos, too, including one of a delightful little girl named Shelby Jo, but my camera is acting up, so I’ll just be thankful that Melissa was on the ball.

At any rate, we did survive San Diego, even though I bashed my head on a helicopter the last day and it still hurts. We got in late Friday night, which could be why I look a bit peaked in the photos. I got up Saturday morning to write, which didn’t help — but I added back in some of those words I’d cut, so I’m a very happy writer now. (As predicted, no writing got done last week.)

Here in Austin, it’s bright green and balmy, and spring is in full glory; the bluebonnets are an indigo carpet, with splashes of orange Indian Paintbrush tossed in here and there, the wisteria is perfuming everything, and the spiderwort (weird name, pretty plant) is everywhere. I love Austin in the spring — in fact, as much as I enjoyed San Diego, coming home was almost the best part. I love it here, I do. Except maybe in August. And July. And September, come to think of it…

Anyway, as I traipsed around the lake today, I was thinking about how Natalie Goldberg once wrote that different cities are her ‘angels’. I think Austin is definitely mine. My spiritual center seems to be the trail around Town Lake — if I’m feeling at all out of kilter, a three-mile-walk will put things back on course. Oh, and the cliff swallows are back — they leave every October, then come back in March to build their little mud-jug nests under the MoPac bridge. And a Carolina Wren family is nesting in a tin bucket on a shelf outside our sliding glass door; when I peeked into it last night to see if there were any eggs, a rather rumpled looking mommy bird darted out. I don’t know who was more startled!

I’m off now, for a party to celebrate my hubby’s accomplishments (he was just offered partnership at the architecture firm he works at and recently finished the grueling AIA certification gauntlet), and plan to drink many margaritas.

How’s everyone out there?

How’s the writing going? (Or not going, as the case may be?)

And also, out of sheer curiosity, what cities are your angels? And why?

Ta for now… it’s good to be back!

The carriage has turned into a pumpkin

It’s midnight, and we just got back from Disneyland, and unless Tinkerbell shows up and hits me with a good dose of fairy dust, the blogging will have to wait.

A good time was had by all, and I’ll tell you all about Mr. Snofeles and the Ruby Princess tomorrow.

Staggering off to bed now.

Animals and the Caramel-Apple-Thingie

So, today was the zoo. Which is marvelous. I know it’s all about animals, but I couldn’t help but drool over the plants — that papery purple flower I was talking about is statice, I think… and did you know aloes bloom? There are whole gardens of them. And nasturtiums everywhere, cascading down hills in bursts of yellow, orange, and occasionally crimson…

(Can you tell I was almost a botanist instead of a novelist?)

Anyway, not only is the place gorgeous, but it’s huge. If you go to the monkey area, pack lots of snacks, because there’s a good chance you’ll never make it out. I’ll bet every night they find dozens of people in there, trapped in aviaries, or doing endless circles around the orangutans. The panda bears were a standout, by the way, although how they eat that bamboo (it looks like they’re gumming machetes) is beyond me. They have carnivore-style teeth, evidently, and their ancestors were meat-eaters; I’m dying to know which enterprising bear decided that eating tough, sharp, twenty-foot-tall grass was the way to go. There’s no accounting for taste, I guess. Mind you, I like bamboo, too, but I prefer mine stir-fried with lumps of chicken. Oh, well.

It must have been a bear kind of day for me, because the other creature that leaps to mind was a cute polar bear, who was frolicking in the water and slam-dunking a rubber ball. Of course, I was very happy to have a couple of inches of glass between it and me — I imagine they’re much less cute on a glacier when you’re by yourself and there isn’t a zookeeper and a kiosk selling taco salads right next door. But today it was cute, even though my feet hurt.

And to think tomorrow is Disneyland.

Anyway, even though the rest of the MacInerney clan is out eating Italian, Abby and I are staying at the hotel tonight; I thought Abby was warding off a migraine until a perusal of the room service menu resulted in a request for dessert. (Then she asked if I thought it was okay if she went swimming.)

Migraine or no migraine, she’s getting chicken fingers, and is parked in front of the Cartoon Network, which I have mixed feelings about, but am thankful we don’t have at home. And the bar is open for another forty minutes, with free drinks. They gave me something that tastes like caramel apples tonight; I’m calling it the “Caramel Apple Thingie,” but whatever it is, it’s quite tasty, and I’m about to go down and get another one. Then I’ll read one of the library books I carted with me; my choices for the evening are Lucky Star and Honeymoon with my Brother, both of which are supposed to be funny; have no idea how good either is, but will report back if one is a winner.

Toddling down for another caramel apple thingie now. Will report on Disneyland and my childhood Mickey Mouse Ears trauma tomorrow…

San Diego… first impressions

So we made it to the Embassy Suites, right across from Seaport Village, and it’s hard to believe that just hours ago we were in Austin. (I think we saw the Grand Canyon on the way here, which was kind of cool — and I always forget how much desert there is out there.)

Anyway, highlights of the day include a long discussion of the emergency procedures card in the airplane with my son (“I hope we land in the mountains so we can use the emergency exits!”), followed by consumption of six bags of Doritos and some kind of crunchy mixed dried fruit.

We landed — not in the mountains, to my relief and Ian’s disappointment — and after a brief but stressful ride from the airport (they have Birds of Paradise just growing on street corners here, and also that kind of dry papery purple flower you buy at the florist — cool!), we arrived at Embassy Suites. Which has a little river running through the lobby (and a long snake of people bellying up to the bar for free booze) but no free internet access. So this is a rather pricey blog entry, but what the hey.

Anyway, in the little river downstairs, there are monster koi, turtles, and a bird-poop-spattered turtle house. The sign calls it “Turtle Town” — it’s a little stone enclosure with an arched entry and a heat lamp — but Ian looked at it and said, “Look! It’s Turtle Church!” Thank God we’ve made some progress with our haphazard approach to his religious upbringing. At least he thinks reptiles have churches, too.

We ate dinner on the harbor (I had Mahi Mahi on wilted greenery), and now I’m in my room blogging and listening to the sounds of 40s music from a party on the aircraft carrier across the street, punctuated by Ian rushing in and saying, “There’s a trolley!” every time one jingles by. Which is approximately every five minutes. I hope he doesn’t figure out how to fall out the window.

He’s now doing flips on my bed, so I’m going to retire before my laptop crashes to the floor. Which would be most annoying, particularly since I just paid for 4 days of Internet access. In the event that he falls asleep before I do, I’ll be back to read all those fabulous comments.

Oh — one more thing — it’s so jarring seeing the Mexican tiles and style here — I associate that with inland Texas, not coastal California. But I guess that would explain the name: San Diego.

Tomorrow is zoo day. I’ll check back if we make it through without being eaten by lions.

Ta for now!

And one more thing… I do have my camera, but no iPhoto, so I’ll post my pics when I get home.

Almost made them all up

So I’m at 25475 words now, thank the writing gods (just wrote another thousand or so)… if I write both days this weekend, I may be back to 30K — which is where I was several days ago — by Monday, just in time to take a week off. (We’re going to San Diego next week, and I imagine not a lot of writing will get done. I will, however, get to see Michele Scott! And a lot of animals. And Disneyland.)

Anyway, I’m so relieved at the way the writing has gone, I just had to share.

Have a great Friday night!

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