Category Archives: Pintip

Snow Day!

Since Masha shared with us what she was not in yesterday’s post, I thought I’d tell you what I am. I am the type of person who watches a pot of water boil. No, seriously. (And it actually does boil, believe it or not.)

When we first got fish, I could sit and observe them frolic and swim around for hours. And don’t get me started on babies. Endless. Entertainment. Of course, this is from the mother who still loves to watch her son fall asleep. (Hey, he’s still in nursery school. That statement would be a lot more strange if he were, say, thirty.)

Where I draw the line, though, is watching grass grow. Too damn boring, too damn long. Yesterday, however, I found a similar, albeit more interesting and prettier, pastime: watching snow fall.

1-snow day 1

As the snow fell and fell and fell, I was thinking that the accumulation of these fluffy white flakes is a lot like writing a book. You start with these fragile, insubstantial things — words — that by themselves don’t amount to much. You throw a bunch of them together, and you might get the slightest, barest hint of a story.

1-snow day 2

You keep at it, and pretty soon, you might have a chapter or two or three.

1-snow day 3


If the words continue to fall steadily enough, and for a long enough period of time…

1-snow day 4

…then sooner or later, you will have something substantial, something pristine, something you would be proud to share with the world.

To all of our friends in the mermaid lagoon, whether or not the weather is balmy or frigid, I wish you all a very merry Snow Day!!


“This Is the Happiest Day of My Life!”

This has been a good week for books in my household.

First, this lot of Daisy Meadows’ Rainbow Fairies books arrived in the mail.

photo (17)

A little background. My kiddo’s been OBSESSED with these fairy books for the last couple months. We read a new one every single night. Her imaginative play has been filled with all sorts of fairy magic. And three guess as to what she’s going to be for Halloween.

I’ve been borrowing these books from the library, but kiddo’s been begging me to buy them. I had the brilliant idea of getting the books used from eBay, and after a week of stalking the mail, they arrived.

Kiddo’s reaction? “This is the happiest day of my life!”

Oh my goodness, I remember that feeling well. When I was a kid, books were my dearest, most precious possessions. I systematically worked my way through the children’s section of our public library, and every birthday, I asked for books, books, and more books.

You can imagine my thrill in seeing kiddo share my joy for stories.

Not only was I thrilled, but I was also inspired. So I ordered another lot from eBay, and it arrived yesterday.

photo (18)

K.A. Applegate’s Animorphs series. This was *my* favorite series when I was a kid. Okay, so I wasn’t really a kid. But it’s been a good fifteen years since I’ve read these books, and I still remember them with great fondness. That counts, right?

I cannot wait to share these books with my kiddos and see if they love them as much as I do.

Happy days, indeed.

Now, it’s your turn! Please share. What were your favorite series of books as a kid? What about right now? When was the last time you had the “happiest day of your life” feeling?

Mermaid Out of Water

It may seem like all we mermaids ever do is sit around the lagoon, sipping fruity drinks with paper umbrellas and writing books, but that’s simply not the case. And I have the pictures to prove it.

First of all, we don’t always imbibe tropical drinks. Sometimes, we drink champagne, too.

photo (10)

Once in a while, we’ll even venture onto land.

We might take our mer-babies to the playground.

photo (11)

Or visit the cupcake store and pick up a dozen red velvets.

photo (12)

And of course, we love going to the bookstore!

photo (13)

What about you, my watery friends? Where have you wandered today?

A Painful Instant

A couple weeks ago, I had a pretty spectacular fall. I was rushing around, picking up my house, when my socked feet shot out from underneath me at the top of our hardwood stairs. My entire body flew into the air, I landed on my tailbone, and then my head, and then slid — thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump — all the way down, until I laid in a crumbled heap on the floor.

Well. First of all, I’m fine. A lot achey and bruisey for a few days, but no permanent injury.pintip

My children, of course, had lots of practical advice for me.

“You need to walk slower, Mommy.”
“Don’t wear socks.”
“You should use the railing.”

But my biggest take-away from this event? Life can change in an instant. An INSTANT. One wrong angle, and I could’ve had broken bones. Or worse.

The last year or so, I seem to be receiving constant reminders to embrace each day, to appreciate the small things, to not stress so much. Or maybe these things were always present, and I’ve just been noticing them this past year. My fall is one of these things. Even though my bruises have more or less healed, my little trip down the stairs is still very present in my mind.

So today I just wanted to share this reminder with my friends in the lagoon. Your life can change in an instant. EMBRACE IT.

Flipped over FLIPPED

A few months ago, Kim-Mermaid and I did a book exchange, where we lent each other ten or so of our favorite YA books to read. Among these ten was a worn, much-loved (by both Kim and her children) copy of a 2001 MG novel called FLIPPED, by Wendelin Van Draanen. Now, I don’t read too much Middle Grade, but I have frequently been charmed by the magic worlds of this genre, so I was more than willing to give it a try.

Oh. My. God.

This book sucked me in on the first page and wouldn’t let me go until long after I finished the last page. Told in the alternating first-person viewpoints of a thirteen-year-old boy and girl, it is more or less a story of a first crush. Julianna falls in love with eight-year-old Bryce’s blue eyes when he moves into the neighborhood, but he finds her, at best, annoying. When eighth grade rolls around, and he finally starts to notice her, she’s no longer sure she’s interested. Sound pretty basic?

Perhaps. But the characters! The voices! So poignant, so distinct, so charming, so REAL. I finished the book, and I thought, “I will never be able to write a book like this in a million years. I might as well give up writing right now.”

Interestingly enough, I had this reaction to exactly one other book this past year, and it was also a light, charming contemporary YA. This is not to say I didn’t read other beautifully-written, well-crafted, superbly-paced books in the last year. I did. But they didn’t intimidate me. In fact, they inspired me to learn more and work harder and continue to improve my craft. So why did I have this reaction to this book?

My theory is because the strengths of this novel are so very different from my own. Whereas I feel like I can continue to improve in the areas of writing and craft and pacing and plot, I feel a bit at a loss when it comes to being “charming.”

pintipThis insight was pretty critical for me. It kept me, after all, from giving up on writing. 🙂 It may be true that I’ll never be able to write a book like FLIPPED, but there’s room for lots of different books and lots of different stories in this world.

What about you? Have you ever had this reaction to a novel? If so, why do you think that is?

Also, if you haven’t read FLIPPED, I highly recommend you pick it up. Or if MG just isn’t your thing, suggest it to any of the preteen/teen girls in your life. I guarantee they will love it


What’s Your Love Language?

What’s your love language?

The holidays are a time of love, but if we aren’t careful, it can be dominated by one particular form: gift-giving.

Gift-giving, however, is not the only way people have of expressing their affection. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are five love languages — five ways people have of showing love — and we all have our primary and secondary languages.

1. Gift-giving. Selecting (or making) just the right gift for the one you love.

2. Acts of service. Doing things to make the life of your loved one easier or better, such as cleaning the kitchen.

3. Quality time. Spending time together.

4. Words of Affirmation. Saying “I love you” or giving a compliment.

5. Physical touch. Hugging, kissing, holding hands, etc.

Continue reading