Of Cats and Bags and Accountability

So, like everybody else on the planet, I made a few goals. Goals are nothing without action, and action comes only with accountability. Or something supercilious like that. Basically, I have happy things to share, so bear with me.

One of these goals was to be more intentional about my eating. The Christmas season was a culinary free-for-all, and I’m paid for it in the end. My giant back end. There that is. Christmas technically lasts until January 6th, so I had a whole bunch of days before dealing with that one. But I have. I am eating a good breakfast every morning. And I must tell you that Belgian waffles with chocolate chips and whipped cream is a good breakfast. I would venture so far as to say it’s a great breakfast. What? Don’t look at me like that. There were strawberries, too. And some powdered sugar, and… I digress. Anyway, intentional eating has been a success.

I’m being very conscious about my to-be-read list. It grows smaller daily. Mostly because I refuse to add anything else to it for a while. I am making a little headway. It’s hard to divide time between crazily devouring pages and crazily creating words of my own. But I have not brought anything home that I didn’t add to my TBR list. In fact, I have taken very little out of the free bin at my favorite used bookstore. And that, my friends, is progress. The bin is bigger than a coffin and has been stuffed to the brim with free books. FREE BOOKS! I have come to understand that free isn’t actually free, since it costs me bookshelf space to store. If I don’t have a reasonable intention to read the book in the next couple of months, back it goes. It’s almost like I’m growing up. I said almost. Don’t be afraid.

And here’s my most exciting top secret news. I had planned/hoped/dreamed/wished  to finish my current manuscript within the first couple of months of the new year. And  (drumroll, please) now (Helloooo? Where’s my drumroll? Desk, head, keyboard. I’m not picky. That’s better. Thanks!) it’s done. The first draft, of course. It’s warty and ugly and not fit for human consumption (yet), but it’s finished. I’ll be moving into rewrites and beta-reading over the next few weeks, which is more exciting than I thought it would be.

But am I content? No. I’m so ready to start another project! My husband thinks I should blog for a little while instead, but I think that’s mostly because he knows if I get involved in another book project immediately, we will never finish Downton Abbey. He’s probably right.

I have a new goal, too. I want to rework my blog page and add some drop down menus and categories. This one will take me a while because I’m not sure I can make that happen on this theme. Changes are coming. It’ll be fun!

So how is your list coming along?

Oh, yeah. The title promised a cat. I meant it figuratively, as in letting out a secret , but when I looked at my latest upload of photos, there were 107 new ones, mostly of my cats. It seems I am missing Piper more than I thought, and my way of dealing with it is to take a blue-million snaps of the two cats we have left. Meet Kisses. Until I work through losing Piper, you’ll probably be seeing a lot of her.

This is me every morning in winter. Every, single one.

This is me every morning in winter. Every, single one.

Send Help!

No, I’m not dead. I’ve just been busy. And right now I have to type really fast because I’m writing from my mom’s hospital room, and their internet policy is no personal websites. Although Facebook and Twitter are okay? I don’t know. Medicine doesn’t make much sense to me in general.

Remember when I went hiking a few weeks ago? It was an eleven mile adventure, and it was fabulous. Unfortunately, I slipped a couple of times and did a little damage to my knee. One slip sent me tumbling onto my back, holding onto the cable embedded in the rock for dear life. Actually, probably literally for dear life, or at the very least dear not-broken-into-a-thousand-pieces. I hurt my knee, but it was cool.

I had my hiking poles, so I managed to drag my sad, sorry carcass off the mountain complete the hike. I was a little sore the next day, but nothing unexpected. The muscles were tight, but I stretched them out. No biggie.

Of course, a couple of days later, I noticed that I could no longer go down hills without my knee locking up. Or stairs. Or get out of bed. It hurt a little. I just kept a little heat on it via my rice sock, and I stayed limber enough to keep from screaming every time I stood up get around okay.

Turns out, my threshold of stubborn is about two weeks. On day thirteen of the countdown, I was sitting on a high stool in a local restaurant getting a little wi-fi and breakfast. When I tried to get down, I nearly dropped the “f” bomb in the middle of Chic-Fil-A had a little more trouble than expected. I decided at that moment that if I could ever bend my leg again, I would head to the doctor’s office immediately. Considering that my only other option was to stay on that stool for the rest of my natural life, I limped my way to my car to get it checked out.

It turns out there’s nothing too serious. I strained my lateral/collateral ligament. A few weeks of rest should get me on the road to recovery. Rest. Wait. I think I know that word. It involves walking my son to school every day and standing up in front of a class and teaching, doesn’t it? No, wait. It doesn’t.

My activities have been sharply curtailed, so I’ve thrown myself headlong into my NaNoWriMo project, and I’m having the time of my life. My book this go-round can best be summed up as a splash of personal narrative that has spent time in a hyperbolic chamber. It’s not a memoir. I’m not sure there’s a verifiable fact in the whole thing, but it has been great fun putting a creative spin on some memories. Wait. There is one fact. I did use my real name, and my sister’s. I’ll post a little excerpt here sometime, maybe.

I knew I had more words to say than just 50K this time, so I set my goal for 80K for the month. I turned out a 50K project last year in only 12 days, so I thought I could make it to 80 in a month. Leg propped up in bed, I made it to 80K this afternoon.

Hello, my name is Heather, and I’m a bar graph addict. On my page, it shows me a little graph with a bar that indicates how close I’m getting to my next goal. The goals are set in increments of 20K, and I am completely addicted to seeing my little word count bar climbing. Someone needs to stage an intervention. I’m not sure my kids have seen me for three days, and the only one who still loves me is my cat. Because I’m her heat source.

Someone send help.

Anyone else doing NaNo this month? How’s it going? It’s the most fun I have all year, and I think I’m going to do it again in January!

Making Up the Rules

Internet is still out. Interesting that when I actually have internet access, I forget that I want to look up companies who can install it for me, which is how I come to be sitting in a Panera, covered in flour and chocolate from all the baking I’ve done for Squish’s fall festival to assuage the guilt for missing the event completely. Because I’m going to miss it. I have a date.

Tomorrow, after I teach my toddler class at the zoo, I will make like a cow patty and hit the dusty trail. In about 24 hours, I’ll be turning into sj’s driveway. There’s a balloon there to show me just where to go and everything. Amy will be there. And I am so nervous.

I’ve know sj for four years. We’ve exchanged emails daily for what feels like ever. She knows the ugly things about me. She has known me at my worst. But we have never actually met in person.

I’ve followed Amy’s blog for over a year. I won her book  many months ago, and I’ve been email her for quite some time. She is witty, charming, and her writing is delightful. I heart her dearly. But we’ve never met, either.

I know how to meet people. I’ve met people thousands of times in my life. When I’m leading tour groups, I meet dozens in one place. I know that routine. Exchange names, smile politely, ask about their work/school, move on to the next person: later, rinse, repeat. Easy.

But what about people you haven’t seen face-to-face, but they were there for you when your beloved pet died, when you were hospitalized suddenly, when the job so wished for doesn’t materialize, when a child has a serious health issue? What are the rules? Can you bypass the polite smiles and move right to a giant bear hug?

What if you have so many inside jokes (I imagine sj snickersnorting over “lather, rinse, repeat.” Long story, but let’s just say I’m more careful with my chat windows) that everything is an inside joke? And you love the same music, and you’ve talked books exhaustively, and they know you so well that their reading recommendations are NEVER off, and Eleanor and Park made you both weepy? Can you skip talking about the weather and move to eating food off their plate?

I’ve done it once before, this meeting someone who was once only words on a screen, a few months ago when I meet Emily, and it was wonderful. It worked so well. I think it will work this time, too, and for the same reason. I suspect that Amy and sj are in person exactly as they are online. That’s one thing that draws me to their writing – their raw honesty.

How does this all work? I don’t know. But I’m about to find out, and I’m so excited! sj and Amy, I’ll be seeing you ladies soon! You’ll know me by my Severus Snape t-shirt and my smile!

Gratuitous baby tortoise shot. Because when I can't share pics, I get shaky.

Gratuitous baby tortoise shot. Because when I can’t share pics, I get shaky. On a computer screen, this pic is bigger than life-size. 

 

Captain’s Log: Day 10

Captain’s Log

September 26: Internet mysteriously disappeared this evening. I can’t get the computer online at all. Coincidentally, our neighbors moved out this afternoon.  We’ll miss them.

September 27: Internet still down. We’re not one of those families who are so tied to their computers that they can’t live without it. We’re made of sterner stuff than that. Only spent an hour trying to connect to the internet. The rest of the time we played games. Our favorite was “What would you look up on the internet if you could?”

September 28: Made a completely impulsive and unplanned visit to Chic-fil-a. Since we were going anyway, I took along the laptop. Seems foolish not to avail myself of the wi-fi since the cost is built into the price of the milkshake, anyway. Interesting how the kids don’t have a word to say to me all week, but as soon as the laptop is booted up, they can’t stop talking to me. And watching me. And trying to push me out of the way.

September 29: Chic-fil-a is closed. It’s the Lord’s day, so it seems reasonable to take a day of from the internet. Go to library instead. What do you know? Free computers!

September 30: The Padawan has been without Minecraft for so long that he is now punching actual trees. He is vaguely surprised that no craft tables appear – only splinters.

October 1: I wonder if the neighbors’ departure has something to do with our loss of internet. Maybe this means I have to get in touch with a cable company to have our own installed. Ironically, the only way to find their contact information is via internet. I take up basket weaving.

October 2: Without the interwebs to distract me,I am reading at a rate of a book a day. But I cannot get online to catalog and brag about my accomplishment.  What is the point?

October 3: Focusing more of my time on rewrites. It’s rather like spending time with an ex and wondering what you ever saw in them in the first place. This is normal, right? I think 20% is good, and maybe another 35% salvageable. No way I’m finishing this thing and getting beta readers by January.

October 4: Still no consistent internet. My Bitty Pet has starved to death. I might as well go to work.

October 6: Haul laptop to Starbucks. Strictly business, of course. I need to plan out my trip this weekend to see sj and Amy and do a blog post so that my readers don’t think I have died. Although I’m pretty sure I need them more than they need me. Husband is pressuring me to get finished and leave, but I am WORKING. Bitty Pet has not, in fact, starved to death, but the little blighter betrays me with a poorly-timed *ding* Husband says it’s time to go.

Tomorrow was supposed to be my day to write, but it turns out one kid has a checkup. It will likely take up the majority of my free time. Oh, well. It cannot be helped. I wonder if the doctor’s office has wi-fi…

I Needed Some Good News

I needed a win this week. I’m in a bit of a rough patch.

Rewrites are not going well at all. I’m experiencing a love-hate relationship with my novel. I vacillate between thinking this book might be my big break and feeling like I should scrap the whole thing before I embarrass myself at the beta-read stage. Stuff is not so great at work, either. Two of the computers I worked so hard to get set up are dead, less than three weeks after setting them up. They’re still under warranty, of course, but it means that I have to devote some of my precious writing time to getting them exchanged. And now my wedding ring is missing. I needed a win, and I got a big one.

You might think my big win came from the reptile department. Six new Eastern Box Turtles hatched this week.

 

No post is complete without a bellybutton shot.

No post is complete without a bellybutton shot. If those little splayed toes don’t get you, you need to see the wizard for a heart.

This is good news, indeed. But it wasn’t my great news.There was something even better.

And then there was this:

Is it wrong that I'm a little disappointed? I was hoping for books.

Yes. there is this. Not a book, to be sure, but it’s a start.

 

Which is good news because it proves Rowling hasn’t gotten HP out of her system yet. But there’s something even better. I know. I hear you asking me “But Heather, what could be better than a movie about the magical world you love so much, especially since Rowling is writing the screenplay herself?” I also heard you call me a dweeb under your breath. Don’t think I didn’t. I’ll ignore that part and answer your question. What could be better? This:

Better than a new HP movie!

Better than a new HP movie!

And:

Also better than a new HP movie

Also better than a new HP movie

It is now official. In a month, I get the incredible opportunity to have a giant sleepover weekend with sj and Amy! I am not sure I can handle all the awesome. I feel like the universe has given me a gift.Two of my favorite people. In the same place. At the same time.

Thanks, Universe! I needed this!

 

Barefoot Re-Writes

There are benefits to having a blog as a pet. They are there when you need them, but they can go without feeding for weeks on end if necessary. While it hasn’t been exactly weeks, it has been a while. I’ve been volunteering at a school and setting up their computer lab. Three weeks, thirty computers, seventy separate accounts to set up. I’ve felt a little lot like this guy:

Photo credit: https://www.robsimdb250challenge.blogspot.com  I found this image when I searched "Jurassic park computer dude." I kid you not.

Photo credit: https://www.robsimdb250challenge.blogspot.com I found this image when I searched “Jurassic park computer dude.” I love the internet.

Not in the super-smart, intimidating kind of way. In the talking-to-himself, never-leaves-the-computer kind of way. And minus the killer dinosaurs and the candy (there will be NO eating around the new computers! Any questions? *insert psychotic death stare here*). By the time I got home at the end of the day, the last thing I wanted to do was sit at my own computer to do anything at all.

On Friday, except for a couple of minor adjustments, I finished my project. To celebrate, my family and I went to the mountains to hike. Let’s just say it was a treat to be free of error codes and captchas.

We were about twenty minutes in when Girl-child decided your garden-variety trail hike was too easy. She challenged me to take the rest of it barefoot. I’m pretty sure it was a double-or-triple-dog dare, and the honor of my entire family was at stake.  Or maybe she just said “Hey, wanna go barefoot?” I can’t remember. I ate a lot of paint as a kid. On a dare. There might be a lesson there somewhere. Anyway, the next thing I know, I’m stumbling over rock and bramble, my shoes swinging cheerfully from my husband’s backpack a mile ahead of me down the trail.

Alone in the woods with nothing but the sounds of my own cursing the birds and kamikaze gnats, I had a little time to think. It came to me that barefoot hiking has a lot in common with the process of rewriting.

I can’t cover as much ground as I am used to. Chacos securely on feet, I can trot down the trail at a respectable clip. The hike we did would take an hour, plus any time we spent playing in the stream.I can’t do that barefoot. Each step matters.  Writing that first draft, I don’t watch where I put my proverbial feet. I just go, laying down the pages as fast as my imagination will let me. Rewriting means slowing down, carefully picking out that next step.

I will see things I may have otherwise missed. A slower pace has its advantages. By checking out the scenery around me on the trail, I may discover things.

This critter was about 1/2 inch long.

This caterpillar was about 1/2 inch long. The guys missed it because they were moving too fast. I don’t know what species it is. A Google image search tells me it’s sushi or a quiche. Oh, well. Win some, lose some.

Rewrites force me to slow down and look at the details. Is that bit of dialogue lame? Was that scene in keeping with my characters personality? Are my descriptions adequate without going overboard?

I get the opportunity to pull back and look at the big picture, too.

scene

Sometimes it’s good to look at the plot as a whole. Is the path clear? Is it taking my reader where I want them to go, or is it leading them straight off a cliff? Are there too many side trails where they’re going to get lost?

Sometimes I find hidden treasures. 

It's a pile of leaves, right? Of course not. Do you see it?

It’s a pile of leaves, right? Of course not. Do you see it?

Look again. It took about 5 minutes for me to find it, even though I KNEW it was there.

See him now? Or her.

See him now? Or her.

Another view.

I'm pretty sure this is a juvenile American toad.

I’m pretty sure this is a juvenile American toad.

There’s no better feeling than re-reading something I have written and coming across a passage that makes me so proud that I can’t even believe I wrote it. Those little gems make the effort worthwhile.

And finally, it hurts a whole lot more. I ended my barefoot stint aching in muscles I don’t ordinarily use, feet filthy and bruised. Rewrites can bruise my heart. That precious scene in the diner that made me laugh out loud as I wrote it? Yeah, it was superfluous. It’s gone. Sometimes a whole character that I fell in love with the moment I birthed them has to go, or at least has to be stripped down to the bones and rebuilt into someone different, someone that better fits with what I’m trying to say.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m not in a hurry to repeat Saturday’s hike. To quote Patrick Henry, “Give me shoes, or give me a piggyback ride and a foot massage.” Rewrites aren’t my favorite thing, either, but I’ll buckle down and do them.They’re necessary to get to the next step. By January, I want to have the manuscript whipped into good enough shape to begin querying agents. Go ahead. Double-dog dare me. See what happens.

How To Meet A Fellow Blogger In Real Life

A few weeks ago, I got the most exciting email from Emily at The Waiting. Maybe you know her. She’s been Freshly Pressed a time or three. Anyway, she said she was coming to my town and wondered if we could meet. Um, yeah! So exciting. I’ve never met up with a fellow blogger in person before. So many feelings! Would she like me? Would we find lots to talk about? Would she murder me with chopsticks and stuff me in the trunk of her car? Like being in high school all over again.

Anyway, the lead up was pretty eventful for me.

2 weeks out: Awaken in the middle of the night with the sudden notion that I am actually scheduled to work the night she is in town. It was just a dream, little champ. You work the week before. Go back to sleep.

Ten days out: Where to eat? In this mid-sized town, there are surprisingly few good, local eateries that are easy for a non-native to find. Do we go for small-chain Indian food, or the hipster sandwich joint?

One week out:  Awaken in the middle of the night and ponder what to wear. Something classy, of course. So, Cookie Monster T-shirt or Slytherin Quidditch? This is a question to be settled closer to the event, after consulting a star chart, the Psychic Friends network, and the dirty clothes hamper.

Two days out: Awaken in the middle of the night and remember that one reason I blog is because I am socially awkward and not so good with humans.

The Big Day: 

10am - I have a few hours. With artfully applied sunscreen and a bit of luck, I can even up this farmer’s tan.

11am - I’ve never posted a picture with my regular face before.How will Emily recognize me if I’m not doing this:

Or if I’m dressed as anyone other than Professor Trelawney?

trelawney

 

The answer? MoonPies.

4:30 PM : The tire is flat. This is not good. It’s just flat on the bottom, though, the rest of it is still nice and round. Maybe it’s not the worst.

5:00 PM - Tire is going to take two hours to fix. There is no wi-fi here, and therefore no way to contact Emily to tell her I may be late.

5:05 PM - Minor melt-down in the Wal-mart automotive department. People snap a couple of pictures for the People of Wal-Mart website but otherwise just step over me and go on about their business.

6:00 PM - Car is rolled out of the bay. And around the store. And up the block. And I think possibly to the next town over.

6:15 PM - Keys are dumped on the counter and I pay for my two new tires. Because husband likes to buy them in twos. They’re best in twos. I try to use the same logic whenever I buy snakes, but he doesn’t fall for it.

6:45 PM - I’m on my way! I’m on my way! I’m on my way! The restaurant serves hipster with a side of pretension, which is great because I’m starving.

6:46 PM – Crap. I forgot to brush my teeth. Oh, well. I eat a pile of mints. I also forgot to brush my hair. I hope keys work okay in a pinch.

7:00 PM – Butterflies are apparently carniverous and are consuming me from the inside out. Will I be interesting enough? Will I find something to talk about besides the mating habits of Dwarf Malagasy tortoise species? Will I be in the right place? Will she recognize me? Is there toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe? Is my skirt tucked into my waistband? I’m not wearing a skirt. Why am I not wearing a skirt? I look like I’ve been sitting in a Wal-mart automotive department.

7:15 PM - There she is! I would recognize her anywhere! And she’s smiling. And not in the laughing-at-me-on-the-inside kind of way!

And it was great. We met, we talked, we ate, we talked. The food was good, the company even better. I’m happy to say that Emily is just as wonderful, open, gracious and witty as she is on her blog. It’s always wonderful when art imitates life. If you ever get a chance to meet her, I recommend it.

And if you’re in my neck of the woods, look me up. I’m relatively harmless, and I’ll bring Moonpies!

It was the best!

It was the best!

Sometimes Good Things Come in Small Packages

But some of them come in big ones. Great big ones.

Amy at Lucy’s Football is celebrating 2 whole years in the blogging world. You may remember her when she was Freshly Pressed with this magnificent post.

Amy is awesome. She shares my disdain for mean practical jokery, and she loves theatre so much that I need to go and see her so we can take in a Broadway play together.

Anyway, she had a sneaky giveaway, and guess who won? Um, yeah. Me. Yippee! Hop on over and pay a visit and catch my guest post. And what was in the giveaway? I can’t tell you. You’ll have to visit the photo montage to find out.

Come and visit by clicking here, and be sure to congratulate her on two whole years of blogging!

What If Baby WANTED to Be Put In A Corner?

She might have, if it was anything like my corner. I have one, you know. Fifteen square feet in this world that is all my own. I don’t have to share it with anyone. My husband fixed it up for me, and I love him for it. Want to see?

It's the best, isn't it?

It’s the best, isn’t it?

It has everything I need, and most of the pieces have a story of their own. The bistro table is from our favorite coffee shop. When they closed their doors, my husband bought me “our” table. There are two chairs. If you’d like to sit and talk books or writing for a bit, have a seat. You would be most welcome!

The blanket hanging on the back of the chair was a “dirty Santa” gift from a work party. It’s huge and warm and, hello? LIZARDS! It’s like it was made for me. I may or may not have peed on it to keep anyone else at the party from trying to steal it. I’m not saying. One trip through the wash and good as new, right?

One of the little cases on the table contains my MP3 player. I have writing playlists. There is no better music to listen to when trying to write intense, dramatic scenes than this. For real. Buy it now, thank me later. The other case contains my glasses. We won’t go into that right now.

The cork board was a gift from my husband, and it literally has a story. My story. Pinned to it is the layout for my newest project. The work is not exactly new. I started it for NaNoWriMo this year, but I got stuck and continued on with something else. Now it’s time to revisit. This tale gets my blood pumping. My goal is to finish the first draft by Mothers’ Day. Though it is half-finished this timeline may be a bit ambitious since this will be my most technical work to date, and there are some fiddly bits that I haven’t finished working out yet. By tomorrow, the note cards will be color-coded by story line, character notes, plot twists, and questions I am trying to answer. And then the real work begins.

This space mine, and I love it. I spend hours here each night after kids are in bed. I don’t have have to share with anyone. Except my old cat. She’s the most demanding editor, fussing at me to sit down and write so she has a cozy place to perch. It’s good for both of us, really. She’s my muse.

I finished my book this weekend. At 51K, It’s not a huge tome. It was never meant to be. It was just a story that was begging to be written. It made me happy to write it. It was exhilarating to watch it grow with such speed, uncovering one surprise after another. Is it good? Probably not. Yet. There are still rewrites and such. But it doesn’t matter because it’s just for me, anyway.

So what is your writing space like? Are there notes from a current project you’d like to share? And what’s on your playlist? I’m always looking for new musical inspiration! So many questions! The wheels in my brain are run by a hamster strung out on MoonPies.

 

***If you’re under the age of 30, the title may be meaningless to you. If so, run, do not walk, to the video store, or stream it, or whatever you crazy kids are doing these days, and get this movie. It is key to understanding my generation. No, you darned kids, get off my lawn!

Virgin Shaming

I had another post all lined up for today. It was a happy one. I wanted it to run this morning, but I am frustrated. Yesterday, I was too angry to write about it. Today, the rage has faded, leaving me sad and without a lot of hope.

I’m not sure exactly how to start. I don’t even know quite how to tag this post. Is it about religion? books? stupid things that people say? stereotypes? I guess? yes? all of the above? This is hard. I don’t want it to be a long, rambly rant. I have points, and I’d love for other people to understand them. Here goes.

I unfollowed two blogs this weekend. I don’t do that often because I am pretty selective about who I follow in the first place. But I clicked “unsubscribe” with no hesitation at all. In the last few days, I dumped two blogs whose authors vilified parents who teach abstinence to their teens. Don’t leave yet! Hang with me for a few more sentences.

Let me be really clear here. These authors weren’t merely disagreeing with the stance. I follow all kinds of blogs whose authors have views different than my own. It’s a big world. If I only hung out with people who see things my way, I would have a very small circle indeed. In this circumstance, the authors were angry, disrespectful, and tried to present us as stupid. Not just ignorant. Stupid. Me no likey.

This is a loaded issue, and a personal one. That’s what really gets me. It was so personal. One of the authors went so far as to say that she felt sorry for our kids. She tried to clarify that statement in her comments, but her explanation was even muddier than the original phrasing. What I did see quite clearly is that there are underlying assumptions about teaching abstinence that border on myth.

Myth #1 – People who believe in abstinence are uptight. 

You might be surprised.

Myth #2 Teaching abstinence means that sex education involves saying “Don’t have sex until you’re married. I’ll give you a pamphlet on your wedding night.” 

I am not going into too much detail because it’s not necessary, and I’m also trying to keep this post under a million words. Suffice it to say that sex ed in my opinion should never be so black and white. There are many shades of grey. (Insert requisite Fifty Shades reference  and guffaw like a middle schooler here. Because I know I did.)

Myth #3 – By teaching my children to wait until they are married to have sex, I am judging those who do not. 

I think this may be the biggest one. There’s often the assumption that by saying something is wrong for my family, I am pointing a finger at the rest of the world. Trust me. If I’m looking for a someone to shake my finger at, I need look no further than my mirror. I’ve got enough to be going on with right here, thanks.

Myth #4 – Abstinence is unrealistic. 

I won’t disagree that it’s difficult. Learning to drive is hard, too, but if I think it’s not a good idea to run into mailboxes and school children, I’m going to teach my kids the skills to avoid them. I would be selling my kids short if I didn’t have high ideals for them. It would be inconsistent, actually. I’m going to tell my kids that they can be a marine biologist or an artist if they’re willing to work hard enough, so it would be strange to say I don’t have faith that they can delay certain pleasures until they’re married.

Both blog posts in question were in reference to things that are happening within the publishing industry, specifically with young adult fiction. I’ll address that particular topic in a future post, now that you know where I’m coming from.

If you’re new to my blog, welcome! If you’ve been here a long time, welcome back! Feel free to leave a comment below.