40 Reasons Why

1. Yeah, those are jeggings I'm wearing.
2. I'm now permitted to look disparagingly at younger women, raise one eyebrow, and say, "I don't like your tone."
3. Wine.
4. More wine.
5. Did I say wine yet?
6. I understand tongues.
7. Not really, but I don't care what you think.
8. I'm better at everything now. I have more practice.
9. I've saved my dad's life now at least once, so he thinks he needs to appreciate me, and he says such nice things. Hi, Dad! I love you!
10. My kid distracts people from my own inappropriate behaviour.
11. My kid and my dad entertain each other, so I can wander off and... did I mention wine yet?
12. When I was twenty, I used to mildly make fun of men, and they thought I liked them (and by liked, I mean that they thought I wanted to have sex with them). Now, it's less awkward. I mildly make fun of men, and they... thank me for being so nice to them? Wait? Am I doing something wrong, here?
13. My cats love me so much.
14. I don't worry about peer pressure any more. I killed all those bitches.
15. Reality doesn't bother me much any more.
16. Hair dye.
17. The clothes I never got rid of from my teen years are in style again.
18. "I'm still alive," she said. "Oh, but do I deserve to be?"
19. Yes.
20. Have not yet been hacked to death by a maniac.
21. A&W still has great onion rings.
22. I used to write long, rambling diaries that nobody read. Now I write long, rambling blog posts that forty people read. On a good day.
23. Today is a good day. I have a feeling about it.
24. Today, I set the record of most consecutive days alive! Huzah!
25. I have cool sheep.
26. I love you guys. Seriously. I have the best readers.
27. I have a constant food supply.
28. I can fly! I mean, I have to buy a ticket and go through security and all that. But, I can fly!
29. Whatever you saw... whatever you say you saw... well, say what you will about Putin, but he sure knew how to put on an olympics!
30. Trash picking.
31. I love you guys. For real. Dude.
32. Wine!
33. Wine is sort of a present subject, if you know what I mean.
34. Forty is so old. What the hell? Where did the time go? Why didn't I major in art? I mean, seriously. Larry Heartsfield was cool and all, but dude. I should've been an artist all along. What the hell was I thinking? Honestly, I think I got hit on the head in the barn one day, and then, I can't explain it, the next day I was a painter. Life is strange and unpredictable. That's all I can say about that.
35. I'm Ben Bernanke. Give me a tall glass of water.
36. The secret to happiness is low expectations.
37. WINE!
38. Did I mention that many of my neighbors have their Christmas decorations up? It's been a hard winter.
39. Unbearable tension + time = comedy.
40. The main difference between twenty and forty is I don't give a rat's ass what y'all think. I am renaissance woman. I am perfectly fine, as I am, as I will be, as I will continue. And you all are wonderful. Happy birthday to me.

I turned forty today.

Pretending to Be Yoko #3

This week, your assignment is to slip the following phrase into a conversation:

"With an attitude like that, you keep civilization back a thousand years."

Post comments as to what happens.

Free Book

My birthday is sometime around now- I'm so old, I've forgotten when- and I'm being like a hobbit and giving all of my friends presents. Exhaust(ed) is free this week! So, all of you cheapskates and poor folks and - well, that pretty much covers all of my friends, anyway- all of you can download it for free. And you don't need a Kindle, either. Just download it to "the cloud" or whatever. You can read it on the device you are looking at now, to read this. The Kindle ap is free. Download it. It's on the same page as the book, somewhere.

It's like Shark Week, kind of. Mindless Minion Week. And then, if you really want to give me a birthday present, give the book a nice review on the Amazon site. That would make me happy for my birthday, indeed. But download it first, so it looks like you've read it. (Just kidding. I know you've read it. You're my loyal reader. But read the Epilogue, too. It's the best part. [Actually, my favourite part is "The Man Who Had Been Everywhere," but never mind.])

The cover art has changed a bit, but it's the same book. :)


Pretending to be Yoko #2

This week, your assignment is to slip the following phrase into a conversation:

"Say what you will about Hitler, [you ad lib this part]."

Post comments as to what happens.

Quick Minute

I object to this Quick Minute setting on the microwave. Barring travel beyond the speed of light, how could one minute ever be any quicker than any other minute? Time is more or less a constant- or, at the very least, the fabric of time cannot be manipulated by small household appliances- I mean, the refrigerator, maybe, but certainly not the microwave.
This bothers me, every time I look at the microwave oven.

Coming Soon...

... a paper version of Exhaust(ed)! Full color!  

I'm finding that all of my intelligent, fascinating, creative friends have no idea how to open an ebook. Copies of my book are just floating around in the cloud, with no one knowing how to open them. LOOK! THERE'S ONE NOW!

So, to help all of the luddites and old fashioned book lovers, a real book-like book is coming! The publisher is sending me proofs, and then if I approve it, it should happen right away, because it's publish on demand, so there's no wait for a print run. (I keep thinking that it's like those water heaters that only heat the water you're using. It is sort of like that. They don't publish any more than what is ordered, so there are no piles of unsold books laying around.)

I'm trying to figure out how I could edit just one copy, to send to Grandma Ruth. But maybe that wouldn't be a good idea, even if it were swear-word free? With chapters like, "A Beginner's Guide to Prostitution," I'm not sure.

Anyway. I wish I could give you an actual date, but SOON! PAPER! SO EXCITING! NEW! THRILLING! YOU WILL LOVE IT!

(Or, you know, it doesn't suck as bad as most self-published books. I mean, it has pictures and stuff. And it's funny, if you have low standards and are drunk.)

Side by Side

Mother of Darkness on the reader, next to the original painting I made for the cover. (McMullen let me keep the original. I'm glad.)

I've still never met Christina McMullen in person, but we seem to be mutual admirers: I admire her work and she admires mine.

P.S. I'm on chapter four, and this is the best one yet.

Pretending to be Yoko

This week, your assignment is to slip the following phrase into a conversation:

"Well, it is what it isn't."

Post comments as to what happens.

And now for something completely different...

The rabbits have been, um... going at it like rabbits. I hope they're really both female! It's difficult to tell, with bunnies, and we know Santa was worried about other things, that night. Here's a video:

Happy Salmonella Day!

Fifteen years ago today, we didn't get married because we both got Salmonella food poisoning on the day we had planned to get married.

I remember it clearly, us laying side by side on that mattress on the floor, and him trying to grab my clammy hand, but half missing it because of the effects of dehydration, so his sweaty palm was sort of barely touching mine, and he said,

"If we survive this, do you still want to get married?"

It was the most romantic moment of my life. I said "yes" and turned to the side and vomited into a bowl.

Hard to believe it's been fifteen years. This year, we're doing cheesecake:

We've had some good cakes in the past, too:



Which 1% Is Untrue?

I made a video to answer this pressing question:

So, I hope this clears up everything. [When I say, "People always ask me what 1% isn't true," by "always," I mean the past two days. Because, you know, time pretty much began the day before yesterday.]

I was going to record this on a bus, but I was afraid I would get shy in front of all of the people on the bus. Also, is that even okay, to record people in the background without their consent? The sheep didn't care. That was the decider.


Look at me yesterday in the top 100 best sellers, in the Regional Travel Category! I really narrowly beat that Step By Step Guide to Moving to Hawaii. It was super close.

I can't believe it! *Number 68! Can I make a speech? I want to make a speech.

This is probably the worst etiquette possible. It's like that time in Sweden when I said, "I'm just better at speaking French than you are because Swedish is much closer to German, while my native language, English, has many cognates with French. So don't feel bad that I speak better French than you. It's all good."

Yeah. I'm sure that Hawaii book is awesome. And I did get beaten by that guide to the national parks, which I'll admit, I almost want to buy myself. And, like, 66 other books beat me, too.

Who cares?

Woo hoo!

* By this morning, it was number 27- which is the same number as my birthday. Fortuitous.

P.S. It is a very small category.

P.P.S. For awhile there, and still, I think, I was beating Sarah Vowell.

P.P.P.S. Sarah Vowell is such a great pen name. I'm changing my name to Katie Consonantt.

Exhaust(ed): The Book!

I thought it was about time to finish Exhaust(ed) this week. I put it on my to-do list.

1. laundry
2. buy feed
3. finish taxes
4. vacuum
5. write epilogue
6. publish book

Formatting and editing the book was really intense. It required so much concentration, that I forgot to eat, I forgot to shovel the snow outside, and I forgot I had a child to pick up at school. The phone rang and I let it ring, busily editing away. When the person on the answering machine said she was the school secretary, I thought at first that Little Z must be sick, and I should go pick her up. But no. It was after school, and she needed a ride! My internal clock was about three hours off. I was that much in the zone. I felt terrible!

When I picked her up, though, she was quite happy. When we delivered eggs that evening, Little Z was sure to tell all of our egg customers,

"My mom left me at school today!"

Later that night, I thought I had finished uploading the book, but there were no pictures! The computer ate them or something. Computers are finicky creatures. Sometimes they start to feel under appreciated and stuff. Then they are real emotional eaters, and they eat your work. Christina McMullen to the rescue! She told me basically what I needed to do was to figure out virtual zippers, but it was too late. I went to bed.

And then yesterday, I figured it out- Huzzah! You have to zip the words and the pictures together, and put them in a bundle, and deliver them to the internet tubes like that. Otherwise, the pictures get eaten.

After a day and a half of editing, I was a bit mentally frazzled, and it was then that I was faced with writing my book description, but I had no words left. I just sat and stared at the screen. It's a strange thing to describe your own work, in a way that is honest and yet makes people want to buy it. I mean, I guess I would buy it, but describing exactly why I would buy it was difficult. In the end, I took the most flattering quote from someone who had read the serialized version on line here,

“It’s like Jack Kerouac meets a nicer, more whimsical Hunter S. Thompson...”

My violin teacher said that! He's so nice.

I also wanted to express my appreciation to all of you who read the blog, and especially all of you who commented on the different chapters. I have written books before, but I had trouble writing with no immediate audience. The comments kept me going. I can't tell you how much I appreciated them! So, page three or four is this:

You guys are the best. Seriously.

So, hey! Here's the book! For the price of a magazine. You will find that Chapter two changed a little bit, and then you have a 20,000 or so word epilogue, complete with a silly picture that you have never seen before.

Also, remember I am donating 39 cents from each sale to The Sun Magazine. If you have never read The Sun, it is imperative that you start reading it right away- right after you finish Exhaust(ed)! They run on donations, and I think having no ads is part of what makes them one of the best things around. Writers learn to write mostly by reading, and I'm not kidding when I say The Sun taught me how to write.

Okay, enough of that! You'd better go and buy that book and read the final chapter! (By the way, if you don't have a Kindle, it doesn't matter. You can read it on whatever you're looking at right now.)

Many thanks to all of you.

Exciting Nonfiction

Screen shot from the Scholastic Reading site, in a spot which was set up just for Little Z's first grade class.

Nonfiction has changed a lot since I was in first grade!

Some Unexpected Poop Flingers

We have been potty training the bunnies, Jingle and Tree. However, they still have some interesting habits. Namely, they like to throw their poop. I've never actually seen them doing it, and you've got to wonder just how they do it, but I can't deny that it must be happening. You find their little poop pellets in the oddest places.

How is this even possible?

No one is talking.

Just a bunch of stuffed animals; nothing to see here. Move along... [I like how Jingle always hangs out by Little Z's toys, and she looks like one of them! I guess she actually is one of them. She's just, you know, real.]