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On My Mind: November 17, 2014

I just returned from a bookish road trip with Robin Herrera, Miriam Forster, and our intern/my daughter, Hannah. We drove to Boise and did writerly things with YA author Sarah Tregay.
It was snowy and cold outside but the people were so incredibly warm. I’ll blog more about it next week. In the meantime, if you are in the area, go visit Rediscovered Books and tell them I said hi!

I took Hannah to the dentist today and the hygienist said, “I’m so excited for next week, aren’t you?”
I said, “What’s next week?” and she gave me such a look of incredulity before reminding me that next week is Thanksgiving.
I’ve been busy, okay?

I’ve finished 50% of of my Christmas shopping. Three gifts have already been wrapped. My cards are ordered.

I know that kind of get-it-doneness is annoying, but there is a reason for it.

I want to get holiday prep finished early because in mid-December I am having surgery. Longtime blog readers may recognize this little fellow:


That is a poorly illustrated drawing of an ovarian cyst. He and his friends have plagued me off and on for years. It’s been irritating, but manageable. However, last year, a bigger, meaner set of jerks moved in. (Hello, fibroids. I hate you.) My doctor has advised we just go ahead and remove all the affected parts, and since I’m not using them, I agreed. I’ll be having a hysterectomy.
Please feel free to tell me surgery horror stories.

Three is taking up a lot of space.

I’ll be buying new pajamas and plan to be in, on, or near my bed for most of December. Perhaps I’ll catch up on my reading list? (Hahaha! If only.)

This has nothing to do with three. And it delights me.

Adventures of Heidi: Snakey and Sal, A Friendship Tale

Holiday season television is about to hit an all time low. We are talking about lower than inside the belly of a snake low. In case you haven’t heard about it, here is the trailer for Discovery’s Eaten Alive:

Granted, I know nothing about the show other than what I saw in the trailer, but it seems like a cheap stunt—and one that I will likely watch.

Speaking of being eaten alive, who wants a Poorly Illustrated Adventures of Heidi story? All right, kids, gather round!


Once upon a time there was a Heidi. At the time of this telling Heidi was seven or eight and looked something like this:

haircut heidi

This particular story took place during Heidi’s unfortunate haircut-like-a-boy-with-a-bad-haircut phase.

Heidi and her older brother liked to play under bridges and on highway overpasses and at nearby industrial ponds. These things were not forbidden because it was the nineteen eighties and no one knew what kids did all day.

If Bob Ross had painted the industrial pond near Heidi’s house, it might have looked like this:


See the happy trees?

Bob Ross would have been romanticizing something far muddier, but Heidi wasn’t one to be overly critical about art.

Heidi and her brother often brought new pets home from their explorations at the pond. Tadpoles and frogs, neat looking bugs, even once a tailless cat who promptly had kittens behind Heidi’s dad’s shed, but this story isn’t about any of those.

This story is about two pond critters Heidi and her brother brought home one day:


Snakey, the garner snake


and Sal the salamander.

Heidi and her brother loved their new pets and wanted them to love each other. They made a comfortable home for them from a large orange tupperware bowl, some grass, and a small tin of water. Then they left the two pals alone to get acquainted.

Dun dun DUN.

Heidi and her brother returned from eating dinner to check on the new best pals. Only… where was Sal?

They searched diligently for the little guy, but let’s be honest, there weren’t a lot of places to hide in that big orange bowl. There was really only one place he could be…

snakey's full


“Does Snakey look a lot fatter to you?” Heidi’s brother asked.

“He really does,” Heidi replied.

“SAL!” they cried in unison, but not really because crying in unison usually only happens in books.

Here’s what really happened: Heidi’s brother lifted Snakey from the bowl.

Heidi’s brother gave him a gentle upward, squeeze, like Snakey was a tube of toothpaste.

Snakey opened his mouth and…

up he comes


Heidi was surprised.

Heidi’s brother was surprised.

Snakey was surprised.

But perhaps most surprised of all was Sal, who had survived his brief trip into the belly of a snake.

All parties involved felt it was best if Snakey and Sal did not become friends after all.

Heidi and her brother allowed them to vacate the orange bowl and relocate to separate areas of the backyard where they were both likely eaten by birds lived happily ever after.

The End


On My Mind: November 3, 2014

Halloween candy, specifically how much I have or have not eaten this year. My average is way down, but I haven’t had breakfast yet.

Last week my family and I went to see the 1922 German silent film, Nosferatu, at The Elsinore Theater, an amazing historic theater and local gem.

Though the gothic theater was a perfect setting for this film and the live organ playing was fabulous, I couldn’t stop thinking of this:


When I was a kid, my family would occasionally go to see dollar movies at The Elsinore. I was fascinated by the building, mostly because the gothic construction led me to believe it had once been a church. However, the giant mural of witches made me think it had been a church to Satan.


Shakespeare, not Satan, Heidi.

I was only mildly bothered by this, since it was no longer being used for dark purposes (other than showing some terrible movies).

I just sent out my November newsletter, which is always fun for me to write. If you haven’t subscribed, there’s a link right over there in my blog’s right sidebar. ——>

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Hook’s Revenge to a subscriber at the end of the month.

Now I’m thinking about pie. I might need to go make some breakfast…

Someone found this blog after googling “greatest thing on internet.” I’m flattered, but must decline that honor, as it clearly belongs to this:

What’s on your mind?

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