This week I was working on shortening four of my chapters. When Sally Stuart evaluated my manuscript she said that it was a bit long for some houses and that in the Christian market they want each chapter to be twenty pages or less. I have four chapters that are over twenty pages (ch. 1, 2, 16, 19) and some of them are up to ten pages over the limit. So this week I shortened chapter one by six pages taking it down to a mere twenty-two pages. And I cut chapter two by nine pages, but then I went back and had to add a couple of things to make what I didn’t cut make sense and so I’m still working on that one. Not sure if I’m ever going to get chapter one under the limit, but I have great hopes for chapter two. I cut Bultai the royal stallion entirely out of the manuscript. I figured that with Whisper the mare around I didn’t need another horse character cluttering up things. And in chapter two I cut an entire five pages of beautification. You know hair, makeup, clothes… I think the hunky hubby will be thrilled not to have to read all of that!
This week was our yearly end-of-summer Daddy and boys campout! Summer camps aren’t quite over but since the nights are getting chilly (though days are still in the 90s) the hunky hubby decided to do the campout a couple of weeks early. So he and my two oldest boys got out the tent, and in the boys case toted it around the house for nine hours, then set it up on the lawn over at camp. They packed survival snacks for the 15 second trek from our house over to their campsite and hauled story books and roaring animal shaped flashlights over as well. Stars were gazed at, planes were watched as they blink blink blinked across the night, and nocturnal insects were encountered. But after a good deal of rustling my guys settled into a cozy slumber until 6:00 am when my 2 ½ year old erupted out of the blankets in a fully awake state trembling with volcanic amounts of energy and ready to conquer North America and quite possibly Norway as well. Fun, fun, fun.
Harrowing Parent Moment of the Week
While my eight-month-old attaining his first bloody nose (due to an “I’m new to pulling up” fall and not a violent encounter with his brothers thank heavens) is a close second, the harrowing parent moment of the week was unquestionably earned by the span of time between dinner and desert on Wednesday evening.
First, as we were finishing dinner the 2 ½ year old poured his entire cup of milk over his older brother’s head. This involved some discipline, clean up and frightened exclamation from me. Then as the hunky hubby started to gather the big boys for a trip to camp to scrounge up some desert, I began to diaper the baby. The 2 ½-year-old couldn’t find his shoes and as the clean but naked baby escaped across the living room floor I searched for the ever illusive sponge bob shoes behind our enormous bean bag couch. I shook out a blanket in my urgent quest and spilled another cup of milk on our gliding rocking chair and of course the carpet. I find at least one shoe and proceed to clean up the milk. The baby crawls over to me hoping for some love and pulls up on my leg. I reach down for my adorable offspring and take a few sniffs. Sniff… Sniff… sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff!!! There is a definite odor about him. I peruse the scene carefully and notice that he is thoroughly coated in excrement! The hunky hubby shouts some desperate phrase about the urgent nature of his quest for desert and rushes the big boys out the door. I stand in our living room holding a poop drenched child and observe two large poopy puddles on our carpet with a few poopy tracks between them and some carefully applied poopy driblets traveling down the baby gate. What to do? Which contaminated item should I rescue first? I take a moment to send a truly desperate prayer, I grab the dungy but darling child at my feet and whisk him to the tub. Then I entrap my newly fresh infant within his Hop N Pop and tackle the floor with toilette paper, wet rag, pine sol, vinegar water, and a good deal of hearty scrubbing. Finally I sanitize our vandalized baby gate just in time for the hunky hubby and our big boys to walk in the door with dessert! And that my friends, is my harrowing parent moment of the week!