Monday, June 28, 2010

Quick update: Monster Day, rafting & other fun stuff

Recently, I created a new blog:

The title pretty much says it all, but yes, it's focused on the needs and concerns of telecommuting parents. If you're interested in the topic or know someone who might be, swing by and check it out.


Yesterday, I approved the printer proofs for the 2011 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market. Now, all of the writing-related Market Books are in the process of being printed or shipped from the printer to bookstores. I still haven't seen a copy of 2011 Writer's Market yet, but I'm sure I will before my birthday.


My Ohio boys have been visiting since last Monday for a 3-week summer vacation. Today, we began a 10-day themed experience:
  • 6/28-Monster Day
  • 6/29-Mystery Day
  • 6/30-Military Day
  • 7/1-Craft & Field Day
  • 7/2-Ocean Day
  • 7/3-Magic Day
  • 7/4-USA Day
  • 7/5-Fangsgiving
  • 7/6-Science Day
  • 7/7-Dinosaur Day

Today, they've already drawn haunted landscapes. They've made monster puppets. And there is so much more to come today. Then, Day 2 begins. Fun stuff.


This past Saturday, we all (Tammy, Ben, Jonah, Reese, Baby Will, Tammy's sister, Tammy's brother-in-law, Tammy's nephew, and myself) went up into the North Georgia mountains to tube down the Chattahoochee River and through Helen, GA. It was a great trip.

Will sat in my tube and was happy through most of the 2-hour trip. In fact, the parts that made him upset were the ones where we waited for the rest of the group to catch up. His favorite parts were the rapids, and he was often chanting, "Go-go-go!"


I've been keeping up the poem-a-day through 2010, but I'll have to share those on here later. Just wanted to give a quick update on what's been happening.

Oh yeah, Tammy and I will be running the Peachtree 10K on July 4. I have not been working out, so I'll be super worn out when the fireworks are exploding that evening.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

Sunday, June 13, 2010

G-chatting with my mom, Tellus Science Museum & More

A year ago, my mom did not have Internet access or a computer. In fact, earlier this year, she still was not "hooked up," but now she is, and it's so cool. At 10 tonight, I was checking my online accounts before shutting down, and there she was on Google. I'd meant to call her several times today to just catch up with her but thought I'd missed my opportunity for the day, because I have a 9-to-9 rule on calling friends and family: Don't call before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m. unless it's an emergency (the one exception to this rule, of course, is calling my storm chasing brother Simon, because he never sleeps or keeps normal hours). Anyway, we got caught up, and it's all because she's online now. Woo-hoo!


We always do so much, it seems, that I can't relay everything we've been up to, but today we (Tammy, Reese and Baby Will) got out to Tellus Science Museum. It was really cool. There was a wing covering minerals, a wing covering fossils (which was the best I've ever seen in person), a wing covering vehicles (trains, planes & automobiles--plus, spacecraft), and a wing called the Treehouse that had all manner of "hands on" stuff for Reese to play with.

Bonus: Since we have a family membership at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, our admission was free!


Reese spent most of Saturday with his father, so Tammy and I (and Baby Will) plotted out themed days for the 10 of the 14 days we'll be spending with all the four of the boys when Ben and Jonah come down at the end of June. Here's our tentative schedule:

June 28: Monster Day
June 29: Military Day
June 30: Magic Day
July 1: Talent Show Day
July 2: Dinosaur Day
July 3: Ocean Day
July 4: USA Day
July 5: Moon Day
July 6: Boos-Day
July 7: Fangsgiving

We might be on the road the next couple days, and then, Ben turns nine years old on July 10th. I can't believe he's already half-way to turning 18. Sigh. Where does the time go?


Poem-A-Day 2010 Update:


Every cat as trophy leaves me be
leaving a cat as trophic end is not
palate able for most human beings.

160- Zombies are zombies

Don't try humanizing re-animated flesh;
a mummy is not a mommy; a vampire
doesn't cuddle; sometimes, evil is evil.


There's a time for being a gentleman
just as there's a time for being a man.

Even good children have no patience; they
know by instinct there's no time for waiting.

At that age when I didn't want to hang
with anybody too young or too old,

the evening was barely cool enough
for her to welcome my arms around her.

Under a tree in summer and the weight
of another heartbroken love letter,

I watched one woman after another
walk my way with white teeth and bare shoulders,

but it's not about beauty or one heart
beating another heart to submission.

One pause could mean the difference between
a welcome kiss and a kiss that's awkward.

162-Way no way

Build a fire;
put it out;
strap some wire
to your mouth;
hear the choir
as they shout,

"You are fine,
but you act
out of line;
buy a cat
and a sign
on a hat

that reads, 'Here,
I fear, is
one deaf ear,'"
and then, kiss
your cold beer;
or get pissed.

163-The Mendoza Line

Make eye contact; then,
break it. Smile, but
fake it. She wanted
five reasons to break
your heart. Watch the net;
you might catch something.
Hold the line; you might
hook her. Nobody's
out to get you. Talk
to a stranger. Take
a different route.
Exacto knife her
picture from the frame.
Smile when she pouts.

164-The man who could do everything

The young girls dreamed of him; the young unwed
women wanted him; the married women
wanted him too, though they pretended they
did not. Who doesn't long for such a man?
He wore stylish outfits that never seemed
gaudy. He made people laugh by only
poking fun of himself, though he always
made his legend greater at the same time.
He humored children, pleased women--even
pleased himself. This, he did in addition
to being an excellent cook, sportsman,
conversationalist and trusted friend.
Yet, he never did find someone to spend
his evenings with. He seemed capable
of doing everything--except make
himself head over heels happy in love.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

Monday, June 7, 2010

Enjoying Georgia, writing poems & getting things done

Just finished a day of sending CWIM corrections to the designer. Tomorrow, I'll be talking poetry on Twitter and working on NSSWM. There was a minor hiccup in the binding of Writer's Market that hopefully doesn't turn into something more significant (one of those 1/8 of an inch alignment problems--yippee!). But all the books are going to make it out, and they're all going to rock when they do.


Speaking of rocking...this past weekend rocked. I spent it primarily with Tammy and Baby Will (though he did have a babysitter for a date night on Saturday). During the entire weekend, Tammy and I hit three bookstores, ate at Veni Vidi Vicci's (some upscale Italian place that had great food and service, but made me nervous that I was using the wrong fork or something), watched Jaws on the big screen at Fox Theatre, and included lots of first time eating experiences, including my first Cuban sandwich and hot boiled peanuts done Cajun style (woo-hoo!). Plus, I "discovered" a band that's apparently been around forever named The Magnetic Fields. Who knew? (Apparently, everyone except me.)

Anyway, the weekend rocked, and I even fit in time to watch District 9 with Tammy and make some bacon and eggs on Sunday morning. Mmmm... (Anyone else notice that I'm totally about food in these blog posts?)


Here are the poems since the last post:


I don't know how to act around people anymore--
I sit in my car and wait for my wife
to collect hot chocolate and marshmallows from Kroger.
Another man arrives and waits alone
in his truck as a woman circles the parking lot
in her minivan talking on her cell.
The evening is quiet and humid and somewhere
someone is maybe getting a signal.

157-No reason for ALL CAPS

I am going to strangle a poem
& light a house on fire before hitting
my neighbor's cat with my car


because I can't communicate
how watching oil cover the gulf
doesn't stop me from driving


my words tumble from me
like a leak that can't be plugged
or a problem that spreads

158-Clean or kill them?

They look like they are made of wood
with marble eyes, these pelicans
huddled together in a cage.
Only a handful are likely
to survive past twenty-four hours.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

Friday, June 4, 2010

Poetry, Market Books & Shakes

First thing first: I just want to go on record as saying that I'm not overly impressed with the milkshakes at Steak 'N Shake. I've tried a few now, and while they're better than the ones from Arby's, so is everyone else's.

My fave shakes come from UDF (United Dairy Farmers) and Chick-Fil-A. In fact, Chick-Fil-A recently made a perfect shake over here in Duluth.


Now that we've got that out of the way (priorities), I just want to exhale, because I've just finished one of the busiest weeks ever. I've assigned most of my 2011 Songwriter's Market articles, sent 2011 Poet's Market to Pre-Press, tested out the site for some new platform change, ran outputs of 2011 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market, made several Poetic Asides blog posts, re-ran outputs of 2011 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market, and still wrote the best newsletter ever. (Whew!)

Oh yeah, I also...


...wrote the following poems as part of my poem-a-day in 2010 challenge to myself.


It's hard to comprehend something more
complicated than ourselves. We think
we're tops; we think we earned it.
Our planet orbits a star and is
orbited by a moon that sometimes
mirrors that star in the evening
even as the universe stretches apart.
These are things we think and maybe
we're right. Like when the planet
was flat and gods cared what we did
and everything revolved around us.


She has two mouths--one for talking,
one for kissing--and she is French
(two mother tongues ready to talk
and kiss francais). Beside the creek
of a dozen fireflies, we tan-
talize our mouths and ears. She tells
me I can kiss. I say she can
talk her way into my heartbeat.


I hear music in my head
I know no one else can hear.


We set up shop on the wrong side
of the tracks. One train passes, then
another. They pass in a flash,
those satellites. I chase napkins
around the shop and tell the kids
not to touch things they cannot kiss.
The dolls hold out for licorice,
but they'll be waiting and waiting.
I may be a clodhopper, but
my brain is a pipe dream covered
in soot. My eyes, little moons, chase
lickety-split those cabooses--
aching to hear the whistle, but
afraid to stand on the platform.


Tonight is perfect for staying inside,
but I'm busy contorting my organs.
For instance, my heart and brain love to fight.

Sometimes, you can see them twist my body
this way and that when it is raining, though
tonight is perfect for staying inside.

My lungs breathe heavy and my skin itches
to touch you, to let you know I'm all right,
but I'm busy contorting my organs.

It's a put off, I know. Losing control
when I'm around you, unable to say,
for instance, my heart and brain love to fight.

155-Don't ask

All day, I hear thunder, but I don't see any rain
while birds flit between branches and squirrels
bark at the dogs upstairs that never settle down;
maybe I heard a knock at the door, but I put
off answering it, and when I eventually went
to leave, there was a package waiting for me,
and I wondered who would leave such a gift.


Anyway, if I can write a poem a day during a week such as this one, then I have no excuses to hide behind for the rest of 2010. Only 210 to go!


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer