Spark #2 – New Years Poems


Alright Sparkys, here at SPAANB we are about to embark on our first Blockade poem-fest.  With New Year’s ahead, let’s write some poems.  Like, really good ones.

To start: the theme is New Years. The setting: a high school reunion party (because mine was just announced on facebook the other day and it’s been on the brain – go Toros!)  The style: whatever the heck you want, be it rhyming, Haiku, Suess-style, a Robert Frost tribute, whatevs.

Post yours in the comments below!



That moment after picking up your toddler son and sitting him in your lap while you finish up just one more paragraph, only to discover the reason he came to you in the first place was because he needed his bum wiped.

Then the moment after changing your own pants, wiping up your son, and washing that poop smear from your forearm, that your daughter points out the little tiny glob on the bathroom floor that you just stepped in.

This just got real.

Mother/Writer hybrids out there, don’t pretend this type of thing hasn’t happened to you.

DIY Book covers


Haelo cover 2

Some authors, as they write, can picture exactly what their characters look like.  I am not that author.  Though I can picture easily my periphery characters down to minute detail, I have a really hard time picturing the faces of my main characters.  [Both in my defense and to my embarrassment: just ask my husband and close friends–I don’t recall faces very well.]

Some authors can picture their settings like their childhood home.  I am definitely that author.

Some authors know exactly what type of book cover they want on their novel – pending, of course, they get that one in a million chance of getting published.  I am not that author.  At all.

A close friend asked me the other day what kind of cover I’d do if I had the chance to choose.  I drew a huge blank.  Challenge accepted!

When I should have been packing for my sister’s out-of-state wedding, or wrapping Christmas presents, or cleaning my house, or doing at least one of the seven loads of laundry that had been sorted and ready to go for four days previously, I spent nap time creating book covers.  Loads of ’em.  (This should tip you off to the quality of said covers.)

Without further ado…

haelo cover 1  Haelo cover 4Haelo cover 2Haelo cover 5

Any of these tickle your yeah-I’d-read-that fancy?  And no, there are *technically* no mermaids in this book.

Surprise Costco benefits


Hello, friends!

Many years ago during our very first Christmas as a married couple, my brother and his wife gave my husband and I a coveted Costco membership.  My husband proudly declared, “Now I feel like a man.”  Young-adults out there: if you’re feeling like a dependent, or like you never left high school, or like you don’t belong in the responsible sphere of the older generation, go get a Costco membership.  It will signify your entrance into adulthood.

Screen shot 2014-12-22 at 9.35.32 AM

Our membership has gotten a lot of use over the years.  When we were undergrads at school in Hawai’i (jealous, aren’t you.), we drove the 45 minutes from the North Shore to Ka Uka Boulevard every three weeks or so and stocked up.  Then we’d drive back to our married student housing apartments and divvy up the goods between neighbors to share the cost, because one married couple isn’t going to go through a massive case of oranges, 8 heads of romaine, or a huge tub of feta cheese before said groceries go bad.

Then we had 2 kids in very quick succession.  [99.9% is not a guarantee, folks.]  Costco diapers, wipes, and cheap hot dog lunches were our saving grace.

And let me tell you about the joys of the annual Black Friday Costco recipe book.  There are certain days in the year that you must go to Costco.  #1 – any day during the week before the Superbowl.  Trust me when I say you will not regret it.  #2 – Black Friday.  And not because of any crazy deals.  (Though they do usually have amazing unadvertised cell phone deals)  If you have no desire to go Black Friday shopping at an unnecessary hour among the hordes of ruthless deal-grabbers, then go to Costco and GET THE RECIPE BOOK.  They hand them out for free.  And they are awesome.  This year I took three other adults and we each went back a couple of times to make sure we got enough books for every adult in the family that wanted one.  We also picked up a Blendtec blender on a whim, but that’s a story for another day.

Now on to the purpose of this post:  This year on Black Friday at our local Costco, author Deirdra Eden was doing a book signing for her best-selling novel “The Watchers.”  Her table was swamped the first time I walked by, but as we were checking out, I looked back to her and got butterflies.  Why?  Because her table was miraculously open and I knew I had to ask her the question.  What Question?  The one I’m sure every author at every book signing gets.

“Hello, there!”  (followed by very genuine pleasantries).  I took a deep breath and admitted like a goober, “Um, I’ve written a book.   May I ask if you queried?  Or how you found your agent?  I’m quickly losing confidence in this whole query process.”  I knew I was probably being annoying.  I knew that I was being that person.  But I had to know!  I HAD TO!!

And let me tell you what.  I am so glad I asked!  Navigating this publishing world is impossible without a little guidance from those who have traveled those seas.

Deirdra at Costco

*Pic from Author Deirdra Eden’s facebook page*

So, friends.  The moral of this story is that Costco membership pays, and more than just the yearly “cash back” check from your American Express Costco card.