WOW, it's been way too long since my last blog. To think that I had two comments to my last entry that I didn't even know about for six weeks. Shame on me! See? I don't even read my own blog... LOL. Thank you, dear friends, for coming by to read my ramblings.
But, in my defense, I did state right up front in my last post that I was a little pre-occupied with the state of the nation AND that I was trying to finish my novel. I am happy to report that the country took a turn for the better and my book is finished.
David, I loved reading your reply to my blog on the political system. I love your ideas for shortening the election season to five months (though the pundits wouldn't agree but who cares) and for electoral college reform. After the 2004 election, I went nuts over the electoral college and vowed to start a "ONE MAN ONE VOTE" movement to disband the electoral college. It didn't go far because people like the "Momwriters" I was associated with and my political-&-legal-education-teacher husband didn't really care that much. I have to admit, with this election, it was far more exciting to see those states turn blue early on (Vermont was first--yay! Pennsylvania called for Obama with 1% of the vote counted--yay!) than to wait for the popular vote to be tallied. But is there really a benefit to the country? Why not just count the popular vote?
When I think back to the 2004 election, I shudder. There are so many avenues of corruption in the political system. Purging of registrations, hacked voting machines through malicious software programs, failing to register voters abroad... there are obvious ways that elections can be fixed. (Find stories here: Was the 2004 Election Stolen?, Princeton scientists Hack Diebold, and RoveCyberGate.com. I know they may be biased stories, but the possibility that they could be true is very scary. Thank you, Julie, for those links.) I am so thankful that there was no question about this election. But what about future elections? What can we do to protect our future votes? There has to be a better security system in place. That's more of an issue than the electoral college, in my opinion.
But! Election season is OVER! My candidate won, reason has prevailed, and here's hoping that this new president is what is needed to turn the country around. I know there are many people who voted for McCain this go-round. Living in a red county in a blue state (does that make me purple?), I am painfully aware of that fact. My own family supported McCain--Dad liked Palin, eww! But as I've said for many years, that's okay. We're all different. I can respect differences in opinion. For eight years, we've had to tolerate an administration that we disliked. Now it's their turn. (Except, our president will hopefully make good things happen and they won't have to endure what we did.)
One thing that I hope the Republicans will respect and (eventually) appreciate is the effect our new president-elect has on the rest of the world. People are celebrating all over the globe because of Barack Obama--and not just because of his skin color. George Bush has been profoundly unpopular around the world. Why is that? (You don't really have to answer... there's not enough room in the comment section.) Assuredly, it's for many of the same reasons he's unpopular here. And like it or not, the Republican candidate was viewed as an extension of the same failed Bush policies by our allies and enemies alike. Barack Obama is bringing the U.S. back to a position of power around the world.
On election night and the following day, it was amazing to see the rejoicing that took place. The Obama effect was immediate. I received emails from my international and long-distant friends offering warmest congratulations. I watched friends' statuses (or is that stati? I never did find out) on Facebook change from disbelief to hope to victory cries. It was wonderful to see, hear, and be a part of. People were thrilled around the world.
Here's something sad: while the rest of the world rejoiced, kids in Ocean County, NJ, were taught to ignore history. Neither of my elementary-aged children were taught in school about the history-making election that had occurred. In fact, they were told not to talk about it because it was political and "Politics causes fights." Instead, because their guy didn't win, the administration chose to ignore the whole election. This is so wrong. My children proudly wore their Obama shirts that I hand-made (since they didn't sell any in their sizes at the Obama Store). And my husband and I taught them to be proud that they were a part of an event that will forever change the face of our nation.
Alright, I'll stop the political rant and step down from my soap-box. It's time to sit back and hope that the new government will make a difference to all of us--not just to the rich guys or the billion-dollar corporations.
On to my writing news: [Project Unnamed] is now done. As predicted, I cried a lot. It's not easy to give a kid cancer and then make her life even worse. Her hair falls out, her face blows up, her friends avoid her. Ooof. But it's done. The first draft is done. It's in a somewhat scary state... my grammar sucks (I blame my nursing degree for that, all those science credits that I had to take), my verb tenses slip and slide in and out of present tense, and I keep coming up with bits and pieces that I need to add. And even scarier: nobody--not one person--has read even a paragraph of it. I haven't started revisions yet. (I cleaned this weekend, which is something I haven't done in months.) But soon. I will. I have to!
A few weeks ago, I drove down to Virginia to an SCBWI conference. It was great. Jill (a fellow Cliff-Hanger) was there, as were some writing friends (Tami, Sandy, Maja), and Jane Yolen was a speaker. She didn't remember me from our meeting at VC in January, BUT she remembered my manuscript! I take that as a high compliment. She said, "I have one word for you: FINISH!" I will, Jane, I will! So, am I back to The Witch's Daughter? Or is [Project Unnamed] still eating at my imagination? Or, I have lots of good ideas for Five Times Around--my ghost story--that I could work on. I feel like I owe it to Margaret and all of my advisors who helped me with WD to finish that. In any case, I'm going to get writing.
Thanks, Reader Friends, for bearing with me through this looonnnggg blog. I'm going to make a point of posting shorter but more frequent blog entries. And, shout out to Mikki! Shout out to Liz! (Liz, are you still there? You should join Facebook--at least we can see each other's statuses. Or stati. Or whatever.) Shout out to David! Yay, this blog is done!
PS. Happy Veteran's Day. THANK YOU, Veterans!
And PPS. I am proud to announce that I am mother to WILLY WONKA for the April 2009 Kidz-For-Kidz performance of WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Jr. Wa-hoo! Way to go, Andy!