3.30.2012

Preparing to Give Birth


It isn't the best idea to try to give birth to a book and a baby at the same time. Unfortunately, I'm past the point of no return.

The book is finally done. I was too long in the works to abandon, and since I can't imagine having the time or energy to get back to it until our little girl is, I don’t know, a teenager or something, I made myself get that book done. It's a middle school memoir. It's taken over six years: endless cups of coffee, hours of painful reminiscing, more hours at coffee shops, and dozens of reads by an amazing group of friends and family. With all of that work and much help, it's finally here.

The baby has been growing for nine months. The whole getting pregnant process, well, that took much longer, four years, five if you count recovering from the miscarriage. At first there was grief, then there was the excitement of trying followed by mild disappointment each month. There were tests, and more tests, and more trying on our own followed by growing frustration. We eventually sought out help again. This time, with hormone shots and a long straw filled with cleaned semen, we finally got that positive test. Now we are days, maybe hours from her arrival and ready or not, she's on her way.

The book is here.

The baby is almost here.

Thanks for waiting with me. 

I couldn't have done either without help.

3.19.2012

You should read this book. Then again, maybe not.

It's ready! Overdue Apologies is now available @ Amazon and, well, I think you should read it. Then again, it's a middle school memoir and I do some things in this book I'm not so proud of. I wasn't the nicest middle schooler.

If you grew up in Bend, or were in middle school or junior high in the 80s, this will definitely take you back. I know, middle school might have been pretty awful. Maybe not the whole thing, but I bet everyone had their share of awkward adolescent moments. You might be scared to revisit that time, but don't be scared. You should read it. Everyone's reading it, so you should too. 

If you are raising a middle schooler, you'll recognize this world. It might make you think twice about letting your teenage daughter go to the movies this weekend, or force you to sit down and have that sex talk you've been putting off.

If you teach middle school, you might want to wait until summer. You live this book everyday, but this will remind you what your students are really thinking about in class (it's not US History or Algebra).

And finally, if you are a middle school student of mine, you should NOT read this book until you graduate and I'm no longer your teacher. Seriously. I will not discuss this book to you if you go to Emerson.

But other than that, yeah, you should totally go get this book.

3.18.2012

"Everyday it's a gettin' closer, goin' faster than a roller coaster..." Buddy Holly

After many months of planning, I get to check a couple of big items off the to-do list. The final edits Overdue Apologies are in and in a matter of days the book will be available for purchase. And the nursery is ready. I didn't think we'd be the kind of parents to put together a room for the baby like this, but we did. Now we wait, for the book and the baby. Here's a peek at the nursery and an excerpt from the book.
 
 










The End and Beginning 

On the last day of summer Mom and Dad plan what Chet needs for college. Laura has a boot on her foot and hopes that in a few months the stress fracture in her foot will heal for basketball season. School starts tomorrow and although Mitch and I will both be at Pilot Butte, we'll do what we usually do: ignore one another.
 
I shut my bedroom door to everything going on in the house on Jones Road: Chet packing, Laura clomping up and down the stairs; Mitch brewing a quiet hatred of me. I slide the Stand By Me tape in my boom box and Buddy Holly sings, "Everyday it's a gettin' closer, goin' faster than a roller coaster, love like yours will surely come my way."
 
Earlier, at Jamie's house, we decided on our outfits for the first day. We have to look accidentally perfect; like we stumbled upon these clothes and don't care all that much about what we wear on the first day of school.

"Everyday seems a little longer, every way loves a little stronger, come what may, do you ever long for true love from me?" 

I hum as I lay clothes out on my dresser and pack the canvas bag I'll be using this school year. My new notebook is stocked with notebook paper, dividers, new pens, and pencils. I slide into bed but can't fall asleep. I push the window open and look into the clear, cool night. The light in Robin's bedroom across the street glows in the darkness. I wonder what she's wearing for the first day. We haven't talked about it, but I know in the morning Robin and I will meet on Jones Road. We will turn our backs on our families and walk to school. We'll check out one another's outfits and hair. I'll make sure Robin looks okay and she'll make sure I do too. We'll discuss new schedules and possibilities for the school year. Seventh grade will start just like sixth grade ended: Robin and I walking to and from school together. 







3.13.2012

Overdue Apologies: Eighth Grade Mix Tape

Ah, it's finally here! The eighth grade mix tape! We're the kings of the school! Awesome! And this is the mix tape for the 1987-1988 school year at Pilot Butte Junior High. Go Giants!







Scene: I decided to start the morning announcements like Robin Williams from Good Morning Vietnam. Might not have been such a great idea.



Scene: A night at the movie theatre to see La Bamba.



Scene: George Michael in ripped Levi's and leather revenge jacket is all I need to take me back to eighth grade.



Scene: Most requested for truth or dare prank calls.



Scene: Perfect slow-dance song. 



Scene: Post-break-up it was all about George Michael's "One More Try."



Scene: After a brutal game of truth or dare, we listened to the Less Than Zero Soundtrack.



Scene: Toward the end, I contemplate loneliness with INXS...



My turn as DJ ends here. Hope you enjoy listening while reading Overdue Apologies.

3.08.2012

Overdue Apologies: Seventh Grade Mix Tape

Here's the second installment of my 80s memoir mix tape to get you in the mood to read all about the joy, intensity, and horror of middle school. Enjoy! Overdue Apologies release is coming soon!






Scene: My first tape from my brother Chet: Sting's The Dream of the Blue Turtle "Russians."



Scene: My music education continues even with Chet away at U of O: Midnight Oil's "Blue Sky Mine"




and U2's "Pride."



Scene: Jamie and I didn't get invited to Kim's birthday party, but we went to see Ferris Bueller's Day off.



Scene: Every time Jamie and I hung out at her house we listened to Wham!



Scene: Best middle school fast dance song... Billy Idol's "Mony Mony."



Scene: From Spring Dance and the Top Gun Soundtrack: Berlin's "Take My Breath Away"



Scene: Hoping someone might ask me to dance to U2's "With or Without You."



Scene: The last Jamie and Nori show in Ms. Wilson's class: Howard Jones' "No One Is To Blame."



Scene: The Oregon State Fair and my first concert... Crowded House. "Something So Strong"



and "Don't Dream it's Over."

3.01.2012

Overdue Apologies: Sixth Grade Mix Tape

Music is a huge part of my middle school memoir, Overdue Apologies (coming March 10). The book is divided into three parts, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. In the lead up to the release, here is a mix tape to go with the first part of the book. Enjoy a mid-80s flashback to go with my sixth grade year.







Prince's Raspberry Beret: scene... on my first outing with BFF-to-be Jamie, we sing this Prince song in the car on our way to see The Gods Must Be Crazy.



West End Girls and What Have I Done to Deserve This: scene... at Robin's house, we listened to The Pet Shop Boys and these two hits topped our playlist.





Don't You Want Me: Then it was Human League. We wore this album out after school at Robin's.



One More Night: scene... The Valentine's Day Dance at Cascade. My first slow dance...



Danger Zone: scene... I think Jamie and I saw Top Gun at least three times that summer...



Stand By Me: scene... Jamie and I saw Stand By Me that summer too, so the 50s songs on that soundtrack mingle in the musical memory for that time.



Everyday: scene... getting ready for the first day of seventh grade.