“My” book

It was such an innocent looking box, sitting conspicuously in my office chair. But when I returned from a meeting yesterday to find the small cardboard carton that said “Wiley” on every surface, I knew exactly what it meant. My author’s copies had arrived! I wasted not an instant tearing into the package, and my glorious reward was two beautiful, perfect specimens of “my” book:

Best of The eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions: Top Articles from the eMagazine’s First Five Years

My chapter begins on page 83.

Upon receiving these coveted treasures and showing them off to everyone in the vicinity, I emailed the editor to let him know how great the final product looks. He responded that “there are few things in life more pleasing than getting your author copies from the publisher.” Pleasing? I think that wins the award for understatement of the year!

So if anyone needs me in the near future, try looking on cloud number nine. Because I think it will be some time before I am properly earthbound again.

That’s what Noah asked me for in the store today. What he meant was 11 dollars and 99 cents, but who’s quibbling with adorableness? He wanted to know if I had 11 dollars and 99 dollars to buy a specific toy that he’s had his eye on in the past. Sadly, I had to say no to the charmingly phrased request, because the Easter Bunny has already acquired said toy to be delivered in Noah’s Easter basket on Sunday morning.

It broke my heart to see his sweet eyes start to fill with tears. But on the plus side, score one for the Easter Bunny who knows one little boy’s heart’s desire. The Easter Bunny rocks!

Not yours!

This past weekend I traveled to Minneapolis on a business trip, and as I was waiting for my suitcase at baggage claim in zombie-like inertia, I saw something making its way around the carousel that tickled me. A suitcase that was clearly not mine.

How do I know this otherwise interchangeable black specimen of luggage did not belong to me? The true owner had thoughtfully applied this message in permanent marker, written on duct tape, securely fastened to each side of the bag:

“NOT YOURS.”

Thanks to the anonymous owner of that suitcase for preventing me from accidentally picking up the wrong bag, and for giving me a smile in the process.

The two readers I have left may recall this post from several months ago about admissions at my alma mater. It made an impact on the right people, and now a shorter version appears as a Letter to the Editor in our alumni magazine.  Complete with a response from the dean of undergraduate admissions! It’s hot off the press; I just got my copy today.

I’m no activitist and have no desire to be one, but I’m kind of proud to have made my small voice heard. Even if no one else agrees.

If  you have an unexplained desire to read the letter and the response, it’s your lucky day. I’ve scanned the page and you can view it right here. Enjoy! (Or not.)

It’s not often that you find yourself discussing the tea drinking habits of royalty, especially during a romantic Valentine’s Day lunch with your sweetie.

Then again, it’s not many sweeties who think to set their watch to the Queen’s tea time.

But every day at precisely 12:20 PM, the alarm on Kent’s new watch goes off. And every time I’m around to hear it, he gives me the same line.

“The Queen is having her tea now.”

I have no idea if he has really taken the trouble to:

  • Discover the precise time the Queen takes her tea,
  • Calculate the time difference from London, and
  • Learn how to set the alarm on his watch for the proper alert.

But he persists in claiming the alarm means the Queen is taking her tea, so I’ll go with it. If only because it makes for highly entertaining conversation.

And because he’s my sweetie, so I naturally adore his creative thinking. :)

I’m (almost) famous!

For those of you who are following such things, the book to which I have contributed an article, Best of The eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions: Top Articles from the eMagazine’s First Five Years, is officially scheduled for release on April 11. It’s already listed on Amazon. Check it out!

Meanwhile, a preview of the table of contents on the publisher’s website shows that my words have earned a spot as chapter 6. I recognize a couple of the other contributing authors as very big names in the field of e-learning. There’s no way I belong in the same league—I’m barely fit to breathe the same air, let alone exist between the covers of the same book—but I’ll enjoy my 15 minutes of fame.

And a pretty good 15 minutes it will be. As one of the “authors,” I will be participating in an author signing at the eLearning Guild’s annual conference in mid-April. And I’ve been invited to serve as a panelist in a panel discussion on the current state of e-learning, immediately after the book signing.

Life is feeling just a little too good to be true today.

Disclaimer: This post is in no way a sales plug, because I earn a big fat zero from any sales of the book. My only compensation is two free copies of the finished product. And the glory of seeing my name eternally in print.

A few weeks ago, my sister told me that she doesn’t read my blog anymore because new entries are so few and far between. She’s right, so I thought I would take this opportunity to list all the things going on in my life that are preventing me from being a more proactive blogger at present.

Without further ado, I present Mo’s life, 2008 style.

  • Sunday mornings: As of this week, teaching Sunday School for 3rd-5th graders. But only every other month, since I’ll be alternating with another teacher.
  • Sunday nights: Weekly Bible study with my sister-in-law. A top priority.
  • Monday nights: A script writing class at a local community college, in preparation for an upcoming project I will be working on with a friend.
  • Tuesday nights: Kent’s weekly city council meetings, and my turn to hold down the fort at home with the kids.
  • Wednesday nights: Church. A new series titled “Raising Respectful Kids in a Disrespectful World” starts next week. I’m eagerly looking forward to it.
  • Thursday nights: Literacy tutoring.

In the rest of my free time (i.e., late nights and weekends), I somehow have to squeeze in the following:

  • A freelance editing/desktop publishing project that I’m currently working on.
  • Preparing for the weekly Bible study.
  • Preparing for the Sunday School class lessons.
  • Preparing assignments for my literacy student.
  • Alumni interviews for my alma mater university.
  • Homework for the script writing class.
  • Research for the related project with a friend.

Other extracurricular activities that haven’t started yet, but will soon, include:

  • Creating a reunion booklet for my high school class’s 20 year reunion.
  • Assisting with the development a new Sunday School curriculum, since curriculum development happens to be my specialty. Of course my focus is job training for adults, not Sunday School for kids, but many of the underlying instructional principles are the same.
  • A return to weekly soccer practice and games for Noah.
  • Preparation for a conference presentation I’ll be giving in March. Which is technically work related, except I’m not finding much time to get to it at work.
  • And the best one of all, the feather in my cap—I’ve been invited to participate in an author signing at a conference in April. It will be the official launch for the e-learning best practices book that my article is included in. Yay for me (and the other contributing authors, of course)!

So I’m a little on the busy side for much blogging these days, but it’s all good. These are all commitments I’ve taken on voluntarily and want to do.

Someday, I’ll probably look back on this entry and be impressed with myself in the extreme at how many balls I managed to keep in the air at one time. Either that, or my family will read back on it and understand why I self destructed. Only time will tell…

Reflections on 2007

2007 was a very good year. What do I have to be so thankful for, you may ask? Why, it was all chronicled right here in this very blog.

First, there was the big executive promotion in January.

February saw most of the miraculous series of events that led to the improbable sale of our “in need of TLC” house and subsequent purchase of our dream home.

April was the month in which I decided to champion adult literacy as my cause. The tutoring is still going strong and, according to my student, making a difference.

In June I discovered that my dad had been named our local homeless clinic’s volunteer physician of the year, making me one very proud daughter.

July brought the news that a writing dream was about to come true. The best practices book to which I have contributed an article is still scheduled for publication this spring. Those who know me well claim to have never heard me so excited. Or so full of emotion.

A modified version of September’s rant about the state of admissions at my alma mater will soon be making the rounds at said university, as a letter to the editor in our quarterly alumni magazine. Maybe it won’t change the world, but the editor feels my pain and is giving me a forum in which to make my voice heard.

In October we rolled out the red carpet for the most glamorous birthday party ever, creating what I hope will always be a vivid childhood memory for Maia.

November and December passed by in a mostly undocumented blur, but the highlights include time spent with family and the best of friends.

Readers, I have often maintained that I have a charmed life. It seems true, does it not? Yet I know others who deserve good fortune so much more. God surely has His reasons for bestowing unearned blessings on some while burdening others with equally unearned trials. And I just as surely don’t understand them. I’m not meant to, but that’s never stopped this rambling, accidental thinker from pondering life’s seeming inequities—admittedly with all the insight of mud.

Yes, my kids scored a Nintendo Wii from Santa this Christmas. Santa acquired the Wii a few months ago, in anticipation of a Christmas shortage, and it stayed in hiding until it was time to load up the sleigh (er, um, the minivan, to transport gifts in hiding back to our house in time for Santa’s big delivery).

Sometimes, Santa gets it right.

The kids particularly love bowling on Wii Sports. All I’ve heard for days are cries of “strike!” and “spare!” every time they hit one. Kent likes tennis and golf, while I switch it over to Super Mario Galaxy after the kids are in bed. So far I’ve managed to collect 7 stars (out of 120) in my quest to rescue Princess Peach. At this rate, I expect I’ll be enjoying Mario for a very long time. Whenever I can wrest control of the Wii from the kids, that is.

A note I found on our bed, just now, carefully positioned to make sure we would spot it immediately. These are the sweet, sweet moments that make life worth living.

_______________________

Dear Mommy and Daddy,

Thank you for everything you do.

LOVE,

Maia and Noah

_______________________

On second thought, maybe it’s just because they’re trying to secure a spot on Santa’s “nice” list. But in the spirit of the season, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. I have the bestest kids ever!

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