Remembering on Memorial Day

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Several months ago I had a frazzled day.  I had a hundred things to do and no time to do them.  A stop at the grocery store was first on my list.  With kids in tow, I practically ran through the store shouting warnings in my wake. “Don’t ask for anything not on our list!” “Keep hands to yourself!” “No bickering!” and of course, “STAY WITH ME!”

We hadn’t even made it to the cereal aisle when my then-nine-year-old son suddenly took off down a random aisle.  “Ugh!” I shouted as I dragged my daughter with me back through the store.  “I so do not have time for this!  What did I say a hundred times?”  With threats involving a PS3 and the garbage disposal on my tongue, I turned at the aisle my son had darted down, and stopped in my tracks.

At the far end of the aisle, two soldiers dressed in fatigues smiled down at my son.  As I watched, my son held out his hand and each soldier took it, shook it, and said, “You’re welcome.”

Suffice it to say, my son’s PS3 was left unharmed.

Our holiday weekend has been packed full of cookouts and races, swimming and fun times with loved ones.  But remembering this day with my son, I am reminded that some things are more important than obligations.  My family will take a moment of perspective today as we say our prayers in remembrance of those who have died serving our country.  We will be sure to include those who still serve, and still put their lives on the line for the rest of us.  And in our prayers we will take my son’s lead and be sure to say, “Thank you.”

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KEEP OUT!

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After an impressive afternoon of continuous bickering, my 10-year-old son had had it with his little sister.  Stomping upstairs, he slammed his bedroom door.  A few moments later, he opened it again, taped a sign to the outside, then slammed it again.  The sign read:

KEEP OUT OF J’S ROOM!

Under these words, a nine digit keypad had been created with the instructions – “Type in secret code to enter”.

Of course, there was no real connection between the drawn keypad and the actual lock on my son’s door, but to my 8-year-old daughter, this was the most hindering deterrent imaginable.  She had to retaliate.

Several minutes later, I heard my daughter’s door shut (then reopen and shut again because the first slam hadn’t been nearly dramatic enough).  On her door, the following sign had been posted:

J KEEP OUT OF R’S ROOM UNTIL I NEED SOMETHING FROM YOU OR YOU WANT TO PLAY HANGMAN OR ANYTHING ELSE. IF YOU DO WANT TO PLAY JUST KNOCK. NO CODE NEEDED.

Not quite the same impact, but you gotta give the girl credit for political disclaimers.

J’s Poem

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This is the poem my son wrote in his fourth grade class.  The poem was hung in the hallway along with poems from the rest of the fourth grade students to illustrate the different types of poetry they were currently studying.  Enjoy.

THE TEDDY BEAR

When the frost on the pumpkin

She hears his big mean feet.

Then she saw the scariest thing, then she screamed

She peeled her face off the floor to see the teddy of terror inching toward her

It stung her and paralyzed, then the famous monster caught her. And ate her.

*I’m sure I should find this at least a little disturbing, but what can I say? The kid comes by his twisted imagination naturally;-)

Megan Powell Books

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I finally broke down and added a new site specifically for my upcoming books.  It’s pretty basic – book titles, release dates, etc. – but I consider it a work-in-progress.  Expect more as the release date for NO PEACE FOR THE DAMNED looms ever closer. (July is just around the corner *squee!* and right now, we’re finalizing cover art which is just about the coolest thing I’ve ever done!)

So when you can, check out http://meganpowellbooks.com and let me know what you think.  I enjoy doing this stuff myself, but it really isn’t my forte.  Suggestions and helpful hints are most definitely welcome:-)

Morning distraction

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On the way to school this morning, I pulled up to the drop-off line and sighed heavily.

“Are you okay, Mom?” my 7yo daughter asked.

“It’s just been a long week, sweetie,” I replied then glanced at her in the rearview mirror.  “Want to tell me a joke or something to take my mind off of it?”

She sat forward in her seat, eager now.  “Okay, okay – why did the chicken cross the road?”

I smiled a little.  “Why?”

“So he could eat another chicken.”

“The chicken crossed the road to eat another chicken?  That’s disgusting.”

“I know,” she said, “But then, the chicken got confused because he thought that he was actually his twin brother so he ended up eating himself.  There was blood and feathers all over the road…”

“R! That’s horrible!”

She smiled.  “Yeah, but you aren’t thinking about your long week any more, are you?”

Right, because now I have a whole other set of worries to think about.

Last day of winter break

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Hubby had the day off so we decided to spend the afternoon with the kids watching “Cowboys and Aliens”.  It went something like this:

“Are they in the desert? Is he an alien? What’s on his arm? Is that from the aliens? Did he get shot? Who are they?  Are they the aliens? Is that their dog? Does the dog die? Just tell me now, does the dog die?  Did he just kill them? That town is really small. Whose house is that? Did he just break into that house? I thought he was a good guy? Why does that guy want to shoot him?  What happened to him? Why is he making that face?  Where’s the dog? Who is that guy? Is he going to shoot him?  Is he like a bully? What happens if they don’t give him their money? Oh. Did he just kick him or hit him in the balls? Why did he shoot that other guy? What did she say? So is that his dog now?  Who is she? Does she die? Are they going to kiss later? Why are they arresting him? What happened to the cows? Why is everyone in this movie so old? That’s not Han Solo. Is Han Solo going to kill that guy? Is he the bully’s dad? Is that little boy going to die? Is he going to be taken by aliens? Why doesn’t he remember? Is that the boy’s dad? He’s a good fighter. Are those the aliens? Is that Han Solo’s army? Where is the dog?”

“SHUT UP!!!!”

Fun times:)

Good-bye 2011

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2011 was a life-changing year for me and several people I love.  The highs of this year were exceptionally high while the lows were devastatingly low.  As the year closes I find that I hold my children a little tighter than I did twelve months ago, I celebrate a little more enthusiastically when someone has good news to share.

I find I’m not so much sad as tired that another year has ended.  I aged this year, and while I don’t really like that, I know that it was necessary.  I’ve grown this year and I guess that’s all you can really hope for when looking back on a year of experiences.

So good-bye 2011.  I hope that what you’ve taught me will be useful in 2012:)

NO PEACE FOR THE DAMNED

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NO PEACE FOR THE DAMNED, an urban fantasy novel by Megan Powell, will be published in 2012 by 47North, the first in a two-book deal.  The story revolves around a troubled young woman who joins an underground mercenary group in their fight against her evil supernatural family.

I keep reading the announcement over and over waiting for it to sink in.  I even asked my editor the other day, “So, I’ll really be able to go into a bookstore and actually buy my book?”

She chuckled and said, “Don’t worry, when you get to hold the ARC (Advance Reader Copy) in your hands, then it will start feeling real.”

I  hope so.  Because right now, even as I work through my editorial letter, even as I consider book covers and author pages, even though my insanely incredible agent Joanna (@josvolpe) keeps assuring me that, yes this is really happening, it feels too incredible to actually be real.

But it is – I’m going to be a published fantasy author!  *squee*

I’ll be launching a new website next month and will be sending out the link to everyone I’ve ever met.  (Just a forewarning)  But I’ll still keep this blog going – I’ll always need to a place to keep record of my kids’ fabulous adventures, even while embarking on some new adventures of my own;)

There are crazy people in my car!

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We stopped to get gas on the way to school this morning.  When I got back in the car after pumping my $35 half-tank, I was bombarded with terrible screeching noises coming from both kids in the back seat.

“What are you doing?” I shouted.

My 7yo daughter calmly replied, “I’m pretending to be a dying venomous duck.”

My 9yo son added, “And I’m the angry German leprechaun that’s killing her.  Oh, and I live at Home Depot.”

“Home Depot?” My daughter said with way too much enthusiasm, ” I LOVE Home Depot!” At which point she burst into song.  “Home De-pot, The Home De-pot, it’s the perfect place for purple people!”

“Argh!” my son shouted covering his ears, “My poor leprechaun ears!”

I’ll consider it fate’s little gift to me that I didn’t get a speeding ticket racing them to school.

Conversations with R

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For those who don’t really know me, I have long red hair.  And I’ve had long red hair for as long as I can remember.  This isn’t because I am averse to getting it cut or changed or styled in some new way.  It’s because I just don’t care.  Five minutes with the brush and blow dryer is all I’m willing to put towards the stuff on a daily basis.

My daughter, on the other hand, LOVES my hair.  She loves brushing it, petting it, trying to put it in new styles that she wants to see in her own long red hair.  This morning, she was brushing it while I got ready.

“You know, when I brush your hair standing behind you like this, it’s like you’re a babysitter, or a teenager, or someone a lot younger than you really are.”

“Uh, thanks.”

“No offense or anything.  It’s just that I can’t see the little lines by your eyes when I stand behind …”

“R – stop talking.”

Another reason I don’t take time on my hair: avoiding unwanted critique from the always present peanut gallery.