Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snow Days

1. My little one told me today that not only are the kids at her school often not even allowed to go outside if there's snow (I think really it's the lunchroom aides and playground refs who don't want to go out), they are specifically told, "Don't touch the snow!" or "Don't you dare go near that snow. Get away from the snow!" and "The snow will burn you."

"How will snow burn me?" she asked. 
"It's the salt in the snow, I guess," I told her. 
"But salt doesn't burn..." 
"It's not really salt. It's chemicals and salt. I think." (Note to self: look that up. I hate not knowing what I am talking about!)

Pollution of the snow not withstanding, I remember the greatest days of elementary school were after it had snowed, when the municipal plows had piled up a mountain of snow at the edge of the playground.  That was so much fun--climbing on the snow, sliding down it, building snow forts.

What a shame that kids aren't even allowed to touch the snow in the school playground now...

2.  My husband used the ridiculously large snowblower he has (given to him by his brother, which was given to brother by his father...these men are obsessed with pricey tool-toys) to unearth the entire neighborhood. Well, almost. He forgot the single mom down the street and had packed away the gigantic snowblower when I realized her driveway was still a mess. I feel bad about that. Next time, she is first on the list, and my guilt-tripping of the snowblowing man did nothing...

But, for the most part, the clearing of snow generated a heap of Goodwill. Other neighbors chipped all the ice off my car. The across the street father-of-a-celebrity gave us an autographed photo of his daughter. Still other neighbors brought cookies.

"Using the snowblower is fun," said husband.  Fun?  Well--if it's fun for him, then everyone's happy, I suppose.

3.  A few days to myself mean I am now thisclose to finishing my final (fourth) revision of my YA novel, PRETTY FREAKY.  Yes, I am nearly done!  Just some cut and paste puzzle pieces to fit together today, plus a review of the end, and a re-printing and re-saving.  Then it's off to the literary agent I sincerely hope remembers me...and please say prayers that I can sell this book.

It's a good book (well, it's not a book yet)--honest!

Part of my slowness--which was due to many things, among them: work craziness, my workaholism when it comes to schoolwork and class prep, plus the massive leg injury I have been recovering from since last year--may be attributed to praise I had. 

That sounds counter-intuitive, but let me explain. 

"You are writing what could very well be an award-winning book," I was told. "So it has to be perfect."

I think I gulped.  

I certainly had no intention of writing a stinky book, a stupid book, or even a mediocre book, but potentially award-winning? It was almost too much pressure.

My heart is pounding right now. But I think that's adrenaline because I am NEARLY DONE!

Let me now wish a very merry Christmas to all--and a relaxing winter break!


  1. I read your comment on Nathan Bransford's post, and I just thought I'd drop by to tell you I wish my students' parents would donate to Heifer instead of giving me homemade candy that I'll just throw away! Great idea.
    One year, however, a mother donated in my name to the Festival of Trees, which is a yearly fundraiser for a local children's hospital. I liked that very much.
    Best of the holidays to you. I'm going back to my grading of tests. :)

  2. Ah--you've reminded me that I have a pile of papers to grade (still). But I did finish my novel today, so that's good. No more excuses.

    My own kids were sort of confused by the Heifer gift cards I gave them to give to their teachers. "Whaddaya mean you bought a flock of chicks?" "Yeah, where are they??" I had to patiently explain the entire concept.

    I really wish someone would buy a sheep or goat for me (well, in my honor for Heifer...).

    Have a great holiday break! Thanks for reading and writing.