Two Weeks Late

June 19, 2006|Posted in: Uncategorized

Yep, two whole weeks without a post. Hard to believe (not). The rundown is…lots of drama and excitement with kids in the last week of school, busy weekends, busy days, etc. Patrick has been commuting to his new job in San Bruno which means I’m at his house 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. to cover kid patrol. That means I was getting the kids off to school in the morning, then working, then with them all afternoon.

Except now school is out, so I’m burning the candle at both ends and in the middle — early rising, doing a little work during the day, and then blasting home after Patrick returns or we finish dinner (depends on the night) and getting back to the computer. I take my laptop and get some stuff done on the kitchen table, but it’s not my office, no files, no Internet, etc, so not getting much done. Besides, four kids is an exciting household to watch over. And pretty soon we’ll all be under one roof, one way or another. Just waiting until the details are in place and then, hello, friends, who wants to help me move? I’ll be crying for you in July, I think. Yeah, don’t all speak at once. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I love summer, and though it hasn’t been scorching, it’s been lovely and warm and with that little Alameda breeze, it’s perfect for working in the garden. I was burning to plant a veggie garden this year but no such luck. Because I’m moving out of this place, I didn’t start anything here and thus won’t have to leave it behind in July. I have asked for a garden plot at the community garden but hadn’t heard back yet. It’s not too late, yet, so I still have hope. But it’s fading fast. Once we start moving I may be too overwhelmed to deal with it anyway.

Work — now that’s a big fat wide deep topic. I have a poetry book hanging in limbo. I have a book proposal that I’m going to work on when my partner-in-crying (or crime, you pick), Erin, sends her draft to me. We’re about to embark on a fabu project, a nonfic guide to urban sustainability, written for the chic chick. It’s to be the first of a line of books aimed at a certain demographic, which can grow with us: single folk, brides and grooms, new parents, parents of teenagers, seniors, etc.

Just how do you go about sustainable living? What the hell is it, anyway? Check out the Wikipedia definition and it will give you a rough idea.

Now add high heels and lipstick and you’ll have a better idea of where we’re going. Or trying to. Brigit Jones meets Al Gore? Or Julia Butterfly Hill…? Hmm, maybe. Anyway, Erin is the mistress of urban farming (she has chickens, bees and is trying to grow all her own food in her backyard…and she’s hella smart and funny, too). I’m Miss Martha Stewart meets Laura Ingalls Wilder, and I wear heels and lipstick, so it’s kind of a match made in Alameda. I mean heaven. (Go watch Field of Dreams…”Is this heaven?” No, it’s Iowa”…But Patrick always says to me, “No, it’s Alameda…where all your dreams come true.” Because this is where we met, silly.)

Oh, I could go on, but how about not? I’ll keep you posted, though. As for Red Hills Review, it is indeed out in the world (contact me if you want a copy — $5 each or $10 subscription, well worth your ducats). People are reading and enjoying it. I have yet to set up the public readings yet but have been a bit swamped. I’m thinking maybe July, maybe, maybe. My freelancing is rolling along, and as long as I can stay up into the night, I can get it all done. Zzzzzzz.

Mia, my lovely, is almost finished in London. She has her last day of work at the Museum of Science Tuesday and heads to Egypt for two weeks on Friday. Then it’s back to London for two days, then Berlin, then Budapest (where she’ll stay with our lifelong friends and former neighbor Kathy Avvakumavitz) and then to Novi Sad, Serbia (former Yugoslavia), where Mia will stay with my longtime pen pal, Natasha Tucakov, who wrote a sharp, poignant piece about the death of Milosevic not long ago that will appear in the next Red Hills. Somewhere in there Mia heads to Italy for a week, and then to Portugal, then back to London and home August 1. Come to my house in August and see the world traveler. I think we’ll have a welcome home party. Watch for details. Yay, Mia!

Ana is enjoying her graduation iPod, for her eighth grade promotion to high school. That will make three high school girls in the house come fall. Estrogen, anyone? Come breathe the air at my house for a jolt. And Simone sewed a beautiful dress to wear to her boyfriend’s graduation — she did an awesome job and is looking forward to her next sewing project. I’m becoming the Christmas newsletter here, I swear to god. Shoot me now…

Back to work stuff — my brain is obviously firing on kid-speed, because I can’t seem to string a coherent thought together. Theater PR is in full swing, with shows opening July 8 in two cities. So I’ve got my hands full with that, plus columns for a couple of clients and a read-through of a manuscript for another. Now, though, it’s bedtime, and I’m going to toddle there soon. Five o’clock comes awfully early. Too early.

The next week is a full one with all kids all day, all work all night. Summer school and camp start after that, but the whole week is full of kids and all their activities. Here’s to popsicles, sidewalk chalk and sunscreen. I’m lovin’ it.

Happy days.

Advice to Aspiring Writers: Writing doesn’t just mean sitting at the computer or notebook. Pay attention, write while you’re working on other things, and take it to the notebook later.

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Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.

1 Comment

  1. noreply@blogger.com'

    mamagotcha
    June 20, 2006

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    ah, kid-speed. the story of my life these days! add bubbles to the mix and toss it into a very humid oven and you’ve got this midwest mama nailed.

    it’s fun, i’m sure it’s good for the kids, but it’s not very productive. oh well!

    happy summer solstice, woman!

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