All Quiet on the Midwestern Front

Not much is going to come out of my home office this week, considering how many chores I’ve been putting off before Christmas. Now that I have less than a week before I leave, I actually have to get them done, which is as dreadful as it sounds. I’ll post something around Christmas and then resume our regularly randomized schedule sometime in January; more specifically, after I return. In the meantime, here’s something I posted on Facebook a couple weeks ago:


That one alto you can hear by the third line (i.e. “Her longing eyes are blest”)? Yeah, that’s exactly who you think it is.

A Run on the Poetry Bank

By “Real update on Tuesday,” I obviously meant “Wednesday,” and I was about to then explain that by “I’ll be back to my regular two-updates-a-week schedule next week” I clearly meant the week after, except I checked last week’s post and I’d promised no such thing. Apparently I was anticipating my own whims.

In unrelated news, I’ll be back to my regular two-updates-a-week schedule next week. In news related to this unrelated piece of information, I’m also planning on finally hitting up all of the poetry that’s sitting on my hard drive. I’ll post an illustrated poem a week until I’ve emptied the “Poetry” file on my computer, which is also a good excuse to keep up with my drawing while I’m taking a break from illustrating my next picture book.

As such, here’s the real update, as promised (though perhaps at a slightly different bat-time):

The Adventures of Bawkie and Da-Ding

Click on the link and it will take you to the closest thing I have to a nonsense poem. Mostly it’s fun to say out loud, which would explain why I’ve also made a video. Behold:

Actually, this is a part of my nefarious plan to try and get more watchers to the website. I’ll be posting the video on FaceBook, because I had a friend admit that she’ll sometimes watch a video about something she’s not even remotely interested in just because it’s a video. Don’t fail me now, internet.

So once more, with feeling: we’ll be back to our regular Monday/Thursday update schedule next week, where poetry will go up each Thursday, and Monday is my usual rambling about whatever.

(And by back to our regular schedule, I mean Monday/Thursday may actually = Tuesday/Friday, or possibly Monday/Saturday, or perhaps just Wednesday/only, because that’s how I roll.)

Flying Officer Irv Peterson Bites the Big One

My apologies for the radio silence. Excuses go like this: vacation. Cold virus.

I’m feeling much better and, as such, meant to have a decent post for today. Unfortunately, I spent most of the morning fumigating my house of germs and a large portion of the afternoon watching YouTube videos while supposedly working on my blog content for today, and as you can imagine that helped my work ethic enormously. As I did not manage to finish (and I’ve got ten minutes left before the librarian chases me from the premises), have this instead:


Real update on Tuesday.

Mama Toot Toot

I know seven pregnant ladies right now. A month ago it was eight, a week and a half back it nearly dropped down to six only to sneak up again to seven when I wasn’t looking, and by the end of summer the smoke should clear, leaving a rather paltry four. I’m thirty now, which has me counting pregnant ladies like a vulture leering across the desert at a barren horizon. Fortunately, my siblings have had the decency to procreate, and I just added a godson to the small band of nephews and nieces that think I’m a Rockstar. We all got together this past week and weekend to celebrate the latest birth and baptism, so I thought I might take a break from my usual inanity to pull out some more inanity: the tiresome Aunt routine. Basically, my siblings have the cutest kids in the world and I want to boast about them.

This is not entirely bias speaking (though, admittedly, “in the world” is a little hyperbolic). They’re all Gerber-quality darling, as most of them were chubby babies and every single one is still smiley with big eyes. Even better, they’re all absolute stinkers.

For example, the oldest, a four-year-old, has put me in jail at least two times a day since I’ve come, though it’s not a bad gig – I lay on the couch while he chops me up with a fake knife. Apparently, I pushed someone off a building and killed them, so I definitely had it coming. Still, when I later had the audacity to offer to read him his stories for quiet time, he quickly corrected me: “People who go to jail don’t GET to put people down for quiet time!” Grandma did it instead.

At two year’s old, my brother’s daughter is just starting to put sentences together. She refers to herself in the third person, and rumor has it that the other day at breakfast she farted and then declared, “Mama toot toot!” Mama was not in the room at the time, but it’s still a good indication that my niece is already learning how to pass the buck.

The next one in the lineup is nearly two herself, and my sister’s only daughter. She’s got one word in her repertoire: no. And by “no,” I mean: “NO!” Add a headshake and couple that with either a mad-dog expression or a knowing grin, and that’s my second niece in one perfect visual.

(Bonus story: from all appearances, she and her cousin are getting along like gangbusters. This morning I tried to go the bathroom, only to find the door closed. I knocked, it popped open, and two girls stood grinning at me from inside, both holding measuring cups. The oldest – her hand still on the doorknob – explained in simple terms as the door slowly closed once more: “Bye bye.”

I took the long walk down to the basement bathroom.)

And finally, the nine-day-old had the good grace to quiet for me in church. He’s a pretty calm baby and generally easy to soothe, but he protested his baptism with the rage of the old Adam drowning – or perhaps he was just trying to help renounce the devil and all his ways. Either way, I had the good timing to be holding him when he finally angered himself into a coma. I’m his godmother, so as far as I’m concerned the two of us already have an understanding worked out that he’s supposed to make me look good.

Someday I’d like to boast about my own batch of stinkers, but for now these will do quite well. Which is fortunate, as I have a dating policy that looks a little something like this:

So really: until the day comes in which I don’t call the guards over, they will do quite nicely indeed.

Lies and Liars (but really: The Hatastrophe!)

In the following video I lie terribly:

So the lie here is that it’s available through Amazon. It’s not yet, because it takes CreateSpace (an Amazon company that provides print-on-demand services) 3 – 5 business days to make the title available through Which I found out this morning when I officially approved of the proof copy they sent to me yesterday, after I made this video. However, you can – if you’re absolutely dying for the chance to send me money ASAP – buy a copy through the CreateSpace website itself. Hooray! I’m not sure if you can qualify for free shipping through the subsidiary, but here’s the link anyways:

Shorthand: $6.99 for a print copy of “The Hatastrophe”

As soon as I receive word that it’s listed on Amazon, I’ll post a link to “The Hatastrophe,” either later this week or early next. In the meantime, you can admire this absurd video and politely golf-clap my efforts.

Also, this happened in the course of way too many takes:

A Public Acknowledgment of my Love Affair with Notebooks

Here, at long last, is another poem re-post. Formerly known by “Untitled,” I couldn’t take how incomplete that felt and finally created a title anyways, despite how appropriate “Untitled” was to the subject matter. Ah well. Nothing like fussing a piece of creative work to death.

Also, I created a video of me reciting it. I started a business page for The Storyfolder on Facebook, mostly because I’d like people to actually see my website, and right now all I can think of to do is throw things at the wall to see what will stick. A friend recommended that I make videos as an aspect of that, pointing out that even if people aren’t interested in a particular subject they’ll watch a short video of just about anything (ah yiss, the black-hole that is the internet strikes again). This is a marketing idea that may not last, but at least it’s worth a shot, if only because I actually like poetry recitations. I won’t say it’s a dying art, but it’s certainly not a common one anymore. It’s such an old – and consequently unoriginal – practice that it’s practically original again.

And the most important note of all: I felt enormously silly admitting that “Pen & Paper” was by me, but saying “[Poem Name] by [Author Here]” is still the best way to indicate where the title ends and the poems begins.

Adventure Time with These Guys

Sorry about the unannounced update break. I’d like to say I’ve been so busy that I just couldn’t find the time, but as with everything, you can always find the time when it’s important enough. Mind you, I’m still blaming The Sister for it – she came to visit with her kids and totally threw off my schedule.

More honestly, taking time off of work always makes it that much harder to get back to it. On the other hand, my nephew inspired (and practically wrote) today’s post, so it wasn’t an entirely work-free week.

These Guys.

A confederation of heads. My nephew slowly added bodies as the afternoon wore on, though they never did quite catch up with the number of heads. He didn’t explain this one to me, but I’m pretty sure it was accidentally encouraged by how hard I laughed at the head in the barrel.

He explained this setup in great detail, but essentially it’s a raft powered by two jets, one which works by scooping up the sky, the other which uses regular fuel. The ghost pilots the craft using two steering wheels, and the guard in the bearskin hat is there to stop any bad guys. The third guy is not, in fact, a victim of the latter fellow’s derring-do, but is apparently the third member of the team. They keep his head in the barrel (I about busted up when my nephew decided that the most appropriate thing to put in their storage was some guy’s head), and the reason he’s fallen over is because he couldn’t see to put his seat-belt on. So there you go. Strangely, hilariously logical.

And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to have an adventure with a ghost, one of the Queen’s Guards, and a headless guy?

To round out this most random of ramble blogs, the following is what happens when you

  1. Have to wait 20 minutes for the toaster oven to finish cooking dinner WHILE
  2. You’re short three voices, BUT
  3. You just figured out that your computer speakers work well enough to layer recordings on top of each other, AND
  4. That my parent’s kitchen/living room in mid-remodel echoes beautifully

Also, recent (and related) discovery: apparently I lift my chin when I sing. Enjoy the nostril shots.