Thank you for reading

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My first young adult novel has been out for a few weeks and I’ve received some really nice reviews. I just wanted to say Thanks! to all those who have read it and posted their comments on various places (Amazon and Goodreads).

As a writer, I don’t think you can do this as a career unless you truly enjoy fooling around with words. Writing is filled with uncertainty, sporadic pay, and ego-crushing commentary from random people who don’t understand how much effort it takes to write a novel (or a book of poems). So, you really need to enjoy the act of writing in order to keep going. It’s like climbing a mountain, getting to the top, and then realizing you really only made it up the first little hill. The goal isn’t just reaching the top of the ridge so you can see the view. It’s hiking on the trail, too.

When you get a few reviews that specifically mention the characterization you worked so hard on and how the novel kept them turning the pages (or swiping the e-reader screen), it’s truly appreciated. Thanks everyone.

Five reasons our new car is so awesome

or — First World Problems and Their Ridiculous Solutions:

Scion FR-S

1. It is pretty — I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, or a woman by how she looks, but come on. It’s a car, not a book or a person. It’s a gorgeous blue. It’s got curves. It’s fun to look at from the inside and the outside. Did I mention the red stitching on the steering wheel?

2. It has a manual transmission — I learned how to drive a stick eighteen years ago on a Chevy Cavalier.

It was traumatic. At one point I remember being so frustrated over stalling the car over and over that I left it running, door open, in the middle of the road and walked home (the husband rescued the car, don’t worry). I used to have to put on the parking break when I stopped at a light on a hill because I sucked so bad at getting it into first gear. However, there’s a happy ending: I learned how to drive manual and now I can truly enjoy driving this car.

3. It’s zippy — My usual driving car, a Pacifica, is really nice, but it’s also really heavy.

It’s supposed to be. We use it to haul crap around (groceries, teens, bicycles, trees, etc.). It’s also very comfy. One thing it isn’t? Fast. It takes a bit to get from 0 to 55 mph. That’s fine. It’s good enough for merging onto the interstate. The new car, however, is much faster and it’s balanced so beautifully it’s a joy to drive. Even though the engine isn’t as large as you’d think, it’s such a little car that it can go from 0 to whatever pretty darn fast. \o/

4. I was able to freak out my 18 year old son — Let’s be honest here… usually it’s the teen who freaks out the parent. I spent the last year teaching him how to drive. There were many moments of me reaching for the imaginary break pedal on the passenger’s side of the car. I think I may have put finger indentations into the plastic door handle from gripping it too hard, completely terrified.

This car is my way of saying to him: thank you for the stress. Here is what it feels like. *insert evil laugh here*

5. It makes us happy — Right after college, the husband and I test drove a Mitsubishi Eclipse.

Yes, this was during the recession of 1991, you remember that one, right? When all us college graduates nearly starved to death because we couldn’t get a job? Our expectations regarding how much money we would be able to make were a little, um, shall we say, exaggerated. We ended up keeping the Datsun. For years.

Anyway, we watched almost everyone we know get the vehicle they always wanted (Camaro, Mustang, BMW, giant pickup, motorcycle, etc.) while we waited because we had to save for the kids’ college fund and pay insane medical bills and repair annoying things (like toilets and washing machines).

To those frustrating years I say: screw all that. You’ll have to pry this car away from my dead body.