What Do You Do When There's a Dead Animal in Your Wall, and it Somehow Complements the Week You've Been Having?

Howdy. Hope everyone survived the weekend.

What I'm reading:

Just finished "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman. Loved it. It's told in the present, with tons of flashbacks, and since the book I'm writing now is like that, I was really excited to read it and see that style work.
Gayle Forman did an excellent job weaving the past and present together. So good that I'm half inspired, and half wanting to throw my book away because I suck.

What I'm Writing: I'm doing a bit of tweaking on a finished project.

What are y'all reading and writing? Any good books? Seen any good movies? Do you write a blog? What blogs can't you live without? Now's the time to promote it. Let us know what we should all be reading in the comments section today.

1. I'm Available for Speaking Engagements... Ha ha.

Do you ever have those weeks where your life is not quite going according to plan? During these times, I survive by imagining my future successful self, giving a speech to, like, school kids or cub scouts or recovering addicts, about how I've triumphed over weeks like this.

My speech this week would start out as follows:

"I totally remember this time, when I was a chubby housewife... and my 6-year old got in trouble at school for laying his head in his friend's lap, claiming he was 'dying of boredom'... and my 3-year old puked all over me as I picked him up from his first bus ride home from the Pingree School for Autism... and my cankles turned out to be shin splints... and that one project I've been working on for years was crashing and burning in a metaphorical pile of goo in the middle of my kitchen... and there was a very weird smell coming from my laundry room, that made me think a rodent of unusual size had died in the wall... But look at me now."

And then I'll show them the bronzed remains of the animal I found in the wall, and my 6-year old who's now 16 and didn't actually die of boredom, and my other son who's 13, and no longer pukes from the Earth's rotation and he's a real life Doogie Howser, and the pile of goo is now a published book...

Hold on. My 3-year old just handed me a booger.

And then I'd show them a picture of the nanny who now is in charge of receiving boogers, so I don't have to anymore.

The speech would be met with applause, and nods of approval, and people would come up afterward and pet the bronzed rat.

How do you guys deal with the potholes of life?

2. Hopefully you don't deal with them like this guy...

I watched Sam play a tennis match, but it was hard to pay attention because the match beside them was so freaking entertaining.

It was two older men. One had a knee brace, and every time he stepped on that leg, he would scream. A primal, gutteral grunt.

And when he had to run after the ball - which in tennis, one does often - it sounded like this:


Almost like he was being tortured.

Lucy (who was there watching tennis... Ethel doesn't play) and I could only asume the man with the brace was being forced to play against his will. There must've been a long-range rifle trained on his head, and a micro speaker bud in his ear, with a sadistic madman screaming, "I don't care how much it hurts. Play, or your head explodes!"

I really wanted to stand up and say something like, "Sir, are they holding a loved one of yours hostage, and you playing this match is the only way to get her back? Use morse code and give me a sign. Blink twice for yes."

Sometimes his opponent would deliver a drop shot, and all of us spectators would groan and smack our foreheads. I'm like half his age, and there's no way I would even try for those shots. The crowd would mumble, "Oh man. He's going for it, isn't he?"

Brace Guy yells as if his bionic leg is only triggered by primal screams. By the time he achieves forward momentum, it's already bounced like 5 times and is now rolling off the court.

The guy then screams again and throws his racquet, as if he barely missed the shot.

Lucy and I figured his captive loved one lost a finger at that point, because Brace Guy was so P-O'd.

Every time he looked over to the spectators, we'd all suddenly become insanely interested in the grass. The trees. Our fingers. Anything that would keep us from looking like the heartless weenies who are snorting at the guy in the knee brace.

Brace Guy lost the match. Threw his racquet in disgust. The following day, police discovered a body under the viaduct, with a tennis racquet sticking out of the neck where the head should've been.

Just kidding.