My Last Baby is Seven

Sunny is seven today.

Yesterday,on  her last day of being six, she refused to pronounce a single R, because it was the “wast chance I’ll evew get to do baby tawk, Mama. I hafta be big tomowwwow.”

Dear heaven, I hope so.

As bittersweet as it is to know that I’ll never have another six-year old . . . I think I’m ready for seven.

I’m pretty sure she is, too—she rode  her bike, all by herself, for about half a block at a time, while Jane decorated the birthday cake she’d baked for her little sister, also all by herself.*

Nyan Cake!

Happy birthday, my Sunny girl.

And yes, the pop-tart is all yours.


*Except for the gray parts of the cat, which are made of gumpaste. Gumpaste, for those of you who have never worked with it—you lucky, lucky people—is hateful, evil, sticky stuff and because I couldn’t find any ready-made in gray, my hands are still a faded, patchy, inky black from the food coloring I worked into it. Never. Again.


Weekend Writing Warriors: The Anti-Cupids (Wait, what?)

We WriWa bannerHave a WIP, an EIP, an MS, or a published work you want to share on your blog, eight sentences at a time?

Want to sample other people’s WIPs, EIPs, MSs, or published works, eight sentences at a time?

Be a Weekend Writing Warrior!

Rules are here!

List of participants is here!


Last week, Jack gave a partial explanation of why he’d taken a photo of Dennis to send to Viv.

This week, he’s about halfway through a description of Viv, when the conversation, in Jack’s opinion, takes an odd turn.


“She’s a force of nature—loves Szabo’s, too.”

“I like her already.” Dennis picked up a pencil and fiddled with it. “I don’t think I could marry someone who didn’t appreciate Szabo’s.”

“What?” Dennis was a brilliant artist, but sometimes his thought processes were hard to track.

“You and Renee,” Dennis said, waving a hand as he turned back to his table. “Weddings. Bad Thai food.”


Makes sense to me . . . but Jack, not so much.


Cool brain image via Wikimedia Commons.


Random Thursday: Geektastic

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

I have no explanation for why all this stuff ended up in my Random Thursday Stuff folder.

But I don’t have an apology for it either.



May the Force Be WIth you

When it comes to Star Wars, I will trade laser blasts and light speed for the laws of physics every single time.

But I still really need this on  tee-shirt.


I Love Tolkien Fan Vids—But I mustn’t get into the Hobbit.

And this is why:

I laughed, ya’ll.   I laughed so hard I sprained what small amount of  dignity I have left.


Hawkeye FTW

Someone found this for me on Geek Universe.

Thank you, someone!

Cutest Team Building Moment EVER

I traced it back to its artist, and lost myself in
Skottie Young’s deviantart playground for an indecent amount of time.

I like his art and I love his sense of humor.

Turns out, Mt. Young’s been drawing for Marvel for more than a decade,
(including some of my favorite issues—I have got to start paying closer attention)


(deep breath)



Fortunately the Milk(click for a better look)

I haven’t been this fansquee over an artist since Quentin Blake.
And Shel Silverstein.  And James C. Christensen.

(and maybe that Mike Allegra guy)

Seriously, go take a look at Mr. Young’s stuff.

It’s fantastic.


Fanfic in One Pic

No no no


The Answer is actually Forty-Three 

But how many of those cartoon theme songs can you identify?

The list is on YouTube, if you want to see what you missed.

If you didn’t miss any of them . . .
Maybe you should step away from the screen for a while?  ‘Cause you’ve been away a long time.


Don’t Forget!

I issued a Vonnegut Challenge yesterday!

Write a secret poem, tear it up, and send me a pic of the pieces
(or a link or a tweet or a Facebook holler—whatever)

for a chance to win the regular-sized CafePress mug of your choice.

Limericks Mug

You have until tomorrow midnight!

Poetry Wednesday: The Vonnegut Challenge

In 2007,  students attending Xavier High School in New York  wrote letters to several well-known authors.

Kurt Vonnegut was the only one to write back, and someone recently put a framed copy of the letter up on imgur.

It seems to have gone viral—my sister-in-law sent this to me last week, and two other people showed it to me over the weekend, and its all over Facebook—and no wonder:

Vonnegut Poem Assignment(click to enlarge)

Mr. Vonnegut isn’t known for his poetry,* which may be part of his point here, but he obviously loved the stuff, and he even more obviously loved the stuff inside people that makes poetry happen.

I admit to feeling that way myself.

Except . .  .  as wonderful and freeing as I know writing a secret poem can feel,  and knowing that the most secret poem is one that no one else can ever possibly read, I found the idea of destroying poems—even bad poems, even purple poems, any poem—disturbing.

So when a poet-friend walked into the library the other day,  I grabbed her.

She read the letter, heard me out, then shrugged and said, “Poems are  stubborn.  If they want to be written again, they will be.”**

That . . . I mean . . . whoa.

Talk about freeing.  I’m not a poet, but even I felt everything get lighter.


Who’s up for a challenge?

 Vonnegut was of the opinion that the act of writing a poem—or creating anything, really—was its own reward.  And again I have to agree with him.***

But I also know—lord, do I—that the act of creation can sometimes use a little motivation.

Here ’tis:

You have until Friday at CST Midnight to write a six line poem that rhymes, tear it into little pieces, take a pic of the pile, and e-mail the image to me at the e-mail address at the top of my sidebar, with “Vonnegut Challenge Accepted” in the subject heading.

That’s it.  That’s all you have to do.

And when you do, your name will be put in my Red Felted Hat of Win for a chance at winning the regular-sized mug of your choice from Cafe Press,^ because I’ve discovered that mugs are a powerful motivation all by themselves.

Easiest. Challenge.  Ever.

Poet Mug

Go forth and experience becoming!
(and send me a pic)


*Off the top of my head, I only know of one that’s independent of his stories. It’s about Joseph Heller, and it’s here, along with a pretty cool story about Mr. Vonnegut, which seems to be the only kind of stories there are about him.

**All my friends are cooler than I am, but this particular one registers at Vonnegut levels.

***Not that there’s anything wrong with getting paid for your creations—I wouldn’t mind being in that situation myself—but if getting paid is your only reward . . . you’re probably not creating art.

^Or an equivalent gift certificate, if you prefer to keep your mailing address as secret as your poem.  I won’t judge.

Howler Kitty in the Night

TobyToby, our cat, is somewhere between fourteen and fifteen years old, and over the past six months, has come to look it.  He’s lost weight, gone frail, and is now mostly a furry bag of overly affectionate bones.

He’s also lost what brains he had—and believe me, the benchmark wasn’t that high.

Old, forgotten habits are new again, in his second kittenhood, and he’s gone reckless with them. He jumps on the counters from the kitchen table, right in front of my MIL, with no regard to his personal safety, her draconian ideas pet etiquette and food safety, or my blood pressure.

He knocks over unattended glasses, just to pat at the puddles.  And we’ve had to extract him from the toilets, lately, a habit he ditched a decade ago, so all the humans in the house are trying to remember to put the lids down,  a habit we thought we could safely ditch once the girls were too big to fall in.

But he’s developed a couple of new habits, too.

The cat who ate everything and anything now turns up his failing nose at food that’s been sitting in his bowl more than three hours and water that isn’t moving.   He slides the ceramic bowl around to be helpful—or to point out that his water is stale, thank you—which drives my MIL, whose ceiling is the floor of our laundry room, crazy.

He’s also decided that he can’t poop in the litterbox unless it’s absolutely clean.  I scoop three times a day, but  work outside the house and do occasionally sleep, so he’s started to find . . .  alternative facilities.  I’m just grateful he’s not as picky about all his bathroom habits, because his kidneys are obviously older, too, poor guy—our semi-weekly rounds of “Find the Torpedo” are revolting enough, but I categorically refuse(pun totally intended)  to play “Rip out the Ammonia-infused Closet Carpet.”

I sympathize with all this.  I do.  Kitty dementia is a real thing, according to the vet, and I’m sure being unable to trust one’s instincts, memories, and once-sharp senses is terribly confusing, especially when one’s cranium is the size of half a tangerine.

So I do my best to keep him comfortable and keep the inconveniences at a minimum for the rest of us.

But when one’s beloved pet, for reasons only known to him—or not—starts howling at 3:45am every blessed morning?

That’s when I get a tad resentful.

“Maaaw?  Maaaw?  MaaaROW?  MaaaROW?”

“Here kitty, kitty,” I mumble, more than willing to accept his dirty feet on my pillow and his Meow Mix Hairball Control Formula breath in my face in exchange for just one more precious hour of sleep.

My husband mutters something and sticks his head under his own pillow.

“Maaaw?  Maaaw?  MaaaROW?  MaaaROW?  MAAAROW?! ROW?!  ROW?!

After about twenty minutes of this, I stumble into the laundry room, check his food (full), check his water (full and clean), check his litter (scoop, just in case), leave the light on so he can find all three, and stumble back to bed.

“Maaaw?  Maaaw?  MaaaROW?  MaaaROW?  MAAAROW?! ROW?!  ROW?!  ROOOOOOOW?!!”

He’s standing on the toilet lid, pawing at it.

I get up, raise the lid, give him a rough head rub because thumping elderly kitties sharply around the ear hole is wrong, whatever the justification, and go back to bed.

“Maaaw?  Maaaw?  MaaaROW?  MaaaROW?  MAAAROW?! ROW?!  ROW?! ROOOOOOOW?!!  ROOOOOOOW?!!!!”

He’s howling in the shower.  He seems to like the echo. Or he wants someone to turn on the taps for him.

It’s now 4:45am.

I give up, get up, banish him from the bathroom, and turn on the shower for my own use.  Even through the water, I can hear him.

“Maaaw?  Maaaw?  MaaaROW?  MaaaROW?  MAAAROW?! ROW?!  ROW?!  ROOOOOOOW?!!!! ROOOOOOOW?!!!!””

There’s certainly nothing wrong with his lungs.

But when I come out, he’s gone.

The house is quiet.

But I’m awake now, or my version of it, so I start coffee,grab my laptop, and start kvetching about this smelly, rude, loud, clingy, senile cat of mine.

About halfway through my rant, a too-light furry ball of bony warmth sits on my bare foot.

And starts to purr.