Another Mystery Solved!

My husband, affectionately known around these parts as “Mr. Kiddoc,” has baffled me for years.

He can make things disappear without a trace. Give him a set of keys or a remote control or a scrap of paper with a phone number on it and– in under a minute– it will be gone. He won’t even need to leave his chair.

Many times I’ve marveled at his ability to lose things. He can be holding his wallet one minute and asking for help finding it the next. And he has a bad leg… it’s not like he can speed in and out of my line of sight.

I’ve often told him the CIA should hire him to make things disappear.

Well, recently it happened again. He was sitting in the family room. I handed him the phone and a refrigerator magnet with the phone number of our local pizza joint so he could order our dinner. I then returned to the kitchen. Mr. Kiddoc never moved from the sofa. I could see the top of his head through our pass through.

And yet, by the time he hung up the phone, the magnet was missing.

We dug deep into the sofa cushions, but no dice. The magnet was gone.

A few hours later, I stumbled across it. About 15 feet away from where he was sitting, on the hearth of our fireplace.

I should add that the magnet is shaped like a slice of pizza and therefore disinclined to roll.

My BFF and I finally put it together. There is only one possible explanation.

My husband can create wormholes.

They are, evidently, quite weak, allowing only the transfer of small objects a few feet in any direction. But perhaps now that he knows, he’ll be able to hone his skills.

We can only hope he will use his powers for good. *snort*

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Today, In a Nutshell… or Pages and Pages

Today has been an uberwacky sort of day. Here’s a little rundown of the highlights:

  1. Woke up. Late. (cuz I was up late coughing. It’s the end of a stinky virus)
  2. Scuzzled around like a madwoman and lead-footed it to work.
  3. Arrived to big banner announcing that the hospital is switching pager service providers, which means the stinging sensation deep in the ample belly of the gluteus maximus muscle will reach 10 out of 10 on the pain scale. Seriously… the task: every single pager used by every single person in the hospital needs to be collected and deactivated, and every single person must be issued a new pager, which must be programmed and updated in the paging system. All the while, making sure that everyone can be reached by SOME pager, since this is, you know, a hospital and sometimes sick people need stuff. As you might guess, this changeover is a recipe for disaster.
  4. Contemplated this process which made me cough until my head hurt.
  5. Entered the physician lounge, where lines were short, so I paged the doc I was about to take over for and suggested she come down to swap out her pager.
  6. Swapped out my pager and was given a shiny new one as they swiftly pulled the battery out of my old one, ripped the label off, and chucked it into a large box. I was told my long-range number had changed and would now be the hospital area code and pager prefix followed by “1123”
  7. Exclaimed, “I get the Fibonacci pager”
  8. Endured blank looks from pager swapper chicks.
  9. Marveled at my own geekiness.
  10. Was sent to another “station” to get my pager activated.
  11. Was told I was activated, received a test page, and congratulated myself on escaping the Great Pager Swap with minimal casualties.
  12. Flagged down the other doc when she arrived to switch out her pager. Bear in mind, she’d been working for over 24 hours. She gave the Pager Swapper Princesses the pediatric admit pager by mistake. (The pediatric admit pager is carried by the senior resident most of the time, but when the residents are unavailable because of lecture or rounds or whatever, we cover for pediatric admissions to the hospital.)
  13. Watched her eyes widen to improbable size when she realized her mistake, by which time the pediatric admit pager was de-batteried, stripped of all labels and chucked into the Big Box o’Pagers with no identifying marks.
  14. Assumed a cheery tone as I said, “No problem! All the pagers need to be swapped out anyway. So let’s just switch your old pager for a new peds admit pager.”
  15. Felt a steely burn as the Page Swapper Princess narrowed her eyes. “We can’t do that here. We can only accept physician pagers. All the other pagers are being swapped in a room in the basement.”
  16. Pointed out she had, in fact,  already accepted a non-physician pager. She was not swayed.
  17. Dragged the post-call doc into the basement (since pediatric hospitalists do not leave a fallen comrade on the field), on a quest for a room neither of us had ever heard of called “The Four Seasons”
  18. Exhausted practically every hallway and was preparing to check for Narnia-wardrobe type closets when we finally found the appropriate room.
  19. Explained the situation approximately 19 times and then waited while the Pager Swapper Queen and a swarm of drones attempted to sort out the pager perplexity.
  20. Finally got upstairs to our office about an hour behind schedule, where we ran into our education director with an interview candidate. He was glad to bump into us and informed us we couldn’t be paged. As in, AT ALL.
  21. Checked the system and, indeed, no pager listed.
  22. Called the operator for help. She tried to send me on another pilgrimage to the Pager Swapper Queen, but when I protested, she told me to hold on. After a few minutes of muffled murmurs, she came back on the line. “We did something,” she said. “Try it again.”
  23. Laughed until I coughed and then coughed until my head hurt.
  24. Practically fainted when Lo and behold and gloryosky, the pager worked.

In fact, it’s been going off merrily ever since.

So, um… Yay?

U Got the Look: Novel Marketing and Prom Ensembles

Well, Prom season is upon us. You may wonder what the heck that has to do with marketing a novel. Well, I’ll tell you.

But first, I’d like to introduce this into evidence:

That’s me (with my sister) on my way to the prom circa 1992.

Now, if you’re like me, after looking at this picture, you’re rubbing your stinging nose with one hand while wiping the coffee off your laptop with the other. Which is hard to do when you’re shaking with laughter. I mean that is really quite the look, right?  Check out the asymmetric hair-do and the “floating pearl” necklace. Not to mention the white iridescent tights. And when you’re uberpale, the best look is almost always baby pink patterned satin over white tulle, natch.

Here’s the thing:

At the time, I thought I looked awesome. Other people thought I looked awesome, too. I overheard my date’s younger sister whining that her brother must have bribed me or something cuz OMG, she’s actually pretty!

Unfortunately, I believe writing is a bit like fashion. I finished the first draft of The Edge of Memory in 7 weeks. I did a quick grammar edit, and then shipped the manuscript off to a bevy of test readers for feedback, while I took a month away “for perspective.” (yeah, right.)

Over the next several months, I completed several major edits. I then decided I was done tinkering and ready to seek representation. I read the blogging agents mantras of “Don’t Query Before You’re Ready” and “Write a Great Book” and felt confident. I loved my manuscript. I didn’t think it was perfect, of course, but I thought I’d reached the point where I needed professional feedback to progress further.

I was both right and wrong.

Since that first stopping point (when my book was titled “Still Haunted”), I’ve done at least six more rounds of editing. And each time I finish a round of edits, I cringe to look at the previous drafts. Just like that prom picture, I look at those versions and wonder, “what the heck I was thinking?”

In February, an agent who had requested a partial and then my full manuscript pointed out a plot detail that bothered her. She gave me a eureka moment and I subsequently rewrote several scenes. I am very pleased with the resulting manuscript, and have not edited again since (which, of course, shatters my previous record of approximately nine minutes between edits). I think this time I finally have reached the most polished version I can produce.

Naturally, I wish I had known that I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was when I first began querying. But then, I’m not sure I would have reached this place without the submission process. Certainly, I might never have had the eureka moment without that agent’s input.

The take-home point here is that I’m glad I’ve never been a Query Player (much as I’ve tried). If I had queried a zillion agents when I first thought my manuscript was ready, I’d have burned all my bridges.

But since I’ve only queried a few agents at a time, I’ve got a chance to show my best work. And I’m grateful for that.

This one time… at band camp…

Okay, I never actually went to band camp.

But I was in a band.

No, not that sort of band. A supercool 80’s rock band, circa 1987.

Of course, we had no musical training whatsoever, unless you count forcing my 7-year-old cousin to show me what she’d learned in piano lessons for the previous 2 years. One of us was slightly tone deaf. And we had no instruments, save my beloved casio keyboard/calculator (about 12 inches long):

BUT…

We were thirteen years old…
One blonde, one brunette, AND one redhead…
who had watched Dirty Dancing at least 100 times and memorized all the dance moves.

AND

We had an original song– music and lyrics composed by yours truly.

I KNOW! How could we not have made it?

Perhaps it was because we only performed in my best friend’s basement. Alone. Or maybe it was because we never quite hit on the right combination of jelly bracelets and legwarmers. I’m afraid the world may never know.

Sadly, (or perhaps not-so-sadly) I don’t have the capacity to add the original tune to my wordpress blog. However, you may rest assured that Mr. Kiddoc feels it was perfectly representative of the time period and could have been a HUGE hit in 1987.

So I present for your amusement,

It’s a Fantasy

It’s a fantasy
That I dream each night
I envision you
Holding me tight.
If you’d take a chance
Like I wish you’d do
Then my fantasy
Could be coming true (It’s coming true!)

Chorus:

It’s a fantasy
It’s my hopes and dreams
You’re the one for me
This I know
Tonight I’ll wish upon a star
And wherever you are
I hope you feel my love
for you forever

Cuz in my fantasy
We are lovers, you and I
And you say that we’ll
Be together ’til we die
You will notice me
On that magic day
And you’ll say to me
Those three words I wish you’d say.

(Repeat chorus)

It’s a fantasy
It’s a fantasy
It’s a fantasy*

(* the last one should be whispered for dramatic effect, natch.)

So… now for the audience participation:

Guess the NAME of my band. Alternative names may be suggested in the comments. 😉

Gather ’round, Peeps! Tis the season…

The season to enjoy one of my all-time favorite websites, that is.

The Peeps Research site is deliciously entertaining evidence of what happens when awesomely funny medical students meet extreme boredom (with tasty marshmallow chickens).

The effects of smoking and drinking on Peeps cracks me up.

But my heart will always belong to the attempt to separate the conjoined Peep quintuplets.

You’re welcome. =)

Be Careful What You Wish For! (In Deep Smit 1/30/09)

Another Friday and again, I am deeply smitten with my own husband (affectionately known on these internets as “Mr. Kiddoc”)

Case in point:

I’m driving, Mr. Kiddoc is shotgun.
(several quiet moments pass uneventfully)

Mr. Kiddoc turns from the window. “I’m thinking maybe I should become a rock star.”
“Sounds good to me.”
“Of course, I don’t play any instrument.”
“Well… no sense letting details get in the way.”
He shifts in his seat, lacing his fingers over his knee. “So what instrument should I play?”
“The triangle.” I nod. “You could pick that one up quick, I think.”
“I don’t know.” He bites his lip. “I didn’t think you would want me to play the triangle.”
“Why not?”
“You know the girls always go for the triangle player.”

Avast! ‘Tis a Mite Tardy Postin’ I Be Makin’ (In Deep Smit 01/09/09)

It’s awful late for my weekly posting. I got distracted with shoveling my driveway and cleaning my kitchen.

But it IS Friday, and I am abruptly deeply smitten!

I’ve just discovered a new feature on Facebook (which I already loved).

If you go to your settings, you can change your language to “English (pirate)”.

You’re welcome!