Monthly Archives: March 2012

Happy Me Day to Me

I did my birthday right this year.  I informed my husband that I’d buy my own presents, told him what kind of cake I wanted (something fun made from Rice Krispie Treats) and picked the restaurant where we dined.  The end result?  I got exactly what I wanted.

But the best gift I gave myself was when I declared the Sunday before my actual birthday as Me Day, where it was understood by my husband and son that the day would be entirely centered on Me-related things—such as walking to the store (by myself) to get the Sunday NY Times, having the time to actually read the Sunday NY Times, working out on the elliptical, eating Nutella & banana crepes, going Spring skiing with my son, then cooking the kind of healthy dinner I craved, without the grumblings from the meat and potatoes guy I married.

Me Day was nothing fancy or monumental, but as a mom, just knowing I had the freedom to have an entire Sunday to do exactly what I wanted while still hanging out with my family felt like a luxury.  And by the end of the day, I was completely filled up.

Which made me realize how seldom we mothers do just that.  We let our cups run empty, claiming we’re too busy with kids, life, work, etc., to take care of ourselves, and then we end up feeling constantly depleted.

My family and I recently went to Aruba on vacation, which meant lots of eating out.  Personally, I was thrilled by the prospect of not having to cook every night.  But for my seven-year-old son—a boy whose average butt-on-the-seat time during dinners at home is about forty-three seconds—it was a challenge.  To his credit, he did surprisingly well.  Most of the time.  But I also recognized what a struggle it was for him to sit still for that long, dinner after three-course dinner, forced to constrain his constantly moving body with parental-imposed “restaurant behavior.” So, when dessert was over, my husband or I would bring him out to the parking lot and let him run around like a Tasmanian Devil.  Or on the odd occasion we ate in, we’d let him veg out in front of Cartoon Network while eating mac and cheese.

Basically, I just gave the kid a chance to recharge. But the funny thing is how little we mothers allow ourselves to do the same.

We either fail to prioritize ourselves, or when we do think about carving out some “me time,” it just ends up feeling like another line item on our Sisyphean to-do list.  Sometimes, the very act of trying to fill ourselves up can be depleting in and of itself.  It takes effort to find a babysitter, make a reservation, or schedule a weekend away.  But unless we mothers prioritize self-care, I truly believe everything else suffers.  Just like working out, it’s helpful to remind yourself how good it feels when you make the effort to do it and how much you like the results.

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Young Turks

The J. Geils Freeze Frame may have been my first album,   followed closely by Rick Springfield’s timeless masterpiece, Working Class Dog,  but Young Turks by Rod Stewart was the first song to completely rock my world.

It was the video on MTV that first got me hooked—Billy and Patti, two teenage lovers running away together through the gritty urban streets, followed closely by a troupe of their own personal back-up dancers.  What 11-year-old girl doesn’t have that romantic fantasy?  And let’s be honest—if there was a way to work back-up dancers into my present day-to-day life, I’d be all for it.

So moved was I by the Young Turks video that I was compelled to scrawl the words “Young Turks” in giant letters on the street outside my house with a stick of caulking putty I’d found in the garage.  When I left for college seven years later, it still hadn’t faded.

Young hearts, be free tonight.
Time is on your side.

Maybe the reason I loved Young Turks so intensely is because tweens feel everything intensely. Or maybe nothing can ever really compare to that very first time a song grabs you by the soul, even if that song culminates with Patti giving birth to “a ten pound baby boy.”  Ouch.

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Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, music, pop music, rock bands, teenage girls

I call it Goo-ku: My Google Search History in Haiku Form


Literary men

Deleting pages in Word

Apocalypse Now



“Crotch” in Korean

Mercury in retrograde

When is Passover?



Dwarf vs. midget

Lifespan of a grasshopper

Gods and demigods


And this one’s just a regular haiku:


Attention poets!

Got any Goo-kus to share?

Leave them in Comments.


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And the Winner of Shelf Awareness REUNITED ARC Giveaway is…

Congratulations, Jennifer S., you are now the proud owner of an advance reader copy of REUNITED!

Thanks to everyone who entered, and follow my blog or become a fan of my Facebook page for information on more great giveaways.

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Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, young adult

Truth or Dare: St. Patty’s Day Challenge

Think I wouldn’t dress as a leprechaun in public and ask people if they had any Lucky Charms?  Think again, kids.  😉

If you want to know why I’m doing this, I’ve got three words for you:  Truth or Dare.  For more info., see yesterday’s blog.

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Filed under book blog, books, movies, YA, writing, Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, teenage girls, young adult

Truth or Dare Challenge

Oh, Truth or Dare, why can’t I resist you?  From that very first game at summer camp, I was hooked.  I can still remember the go-to dare I inflicted upon countless girls during our sixth and seventh grade sleepovers:  pull down your pajama bottoms and run past So-and-So’s parents in the kitchen. Good times.

And now, I’m ready to pull down my own pajama pants.  Metaphorically speaking, that is.  Or maybe not.  That’s right, people, I’m inviting YOU to give me a truth or dare challenge.  Here’s how it works.

In the comments section, write, 1 question for me to answer truthfullyand 1 dare, and just like in the game, I promise to do one of them.  Any dares I attempt will be documented with photographic or video proof.

And if I chicken out, my punishment will be to post a chicken pic on my blog for a week.

Why am I doing this?  Because it’s the mandatory hazing if I want to join teamTEEN author and have REUNITED be a part of their very cool ARC Relay!  TeamTEEN author is the brainchild of Julie Cross, author of TEMPEST, and she’s put together a great group of teen book reviewers (known as The Perfect Ten) to read and review YA.

So basically, I’ve succumbed to peer pressure and self-degradation in order for the chance to hang with the cool kids.  But just like in junior high, it totally seems worth it. 😉  Plus, I’ll get this nifty virtual medal.  So go ahead — give it your best shot.


Filed under book blog, books, movies, YA, writing, favorite books, friends, friendship, teenage girls, young adult

My biggest surprise as a first-time novelist?


Filed under book blog, books, movies, YA, writing, Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, writing, writing advice