general stuff

The Perfect Answer to "Do I Look Fat?"

There are times when you know you shouldn’t ask a question, but you just can’t stop yourself. This happens to me all the time. I sorta float outside my body, see what I’m about to do, tell myself “Oh no you don’t” and then I go ahead and ask the question anyway.  

This happened Sunday evening. Kealoha’s parents and grandmother came over for lunch along with my mom. His grandmother is in her nineties and says what’s on her mind. It’d okay. I figure she’s earned that right. She told us we should live in a different house, that mine was too small, that Kealoha needed to lose weight, that her fingernails were falling off and I was terrified that she was going to tell me I looked fat (because she did say that in my engagement pictures I looked fatter in some pictures than others). Thankfully, she didn’t call me fat. I might’ve cried.

Later, once everyone was gone, I sat drinking my wine. Louis (6) sat working on his homework and Kealoha sat across from us. And I floated outside my body and I knew I shouldn’t ask it but I did it anyway. I said those words every woman shouldn’t say, but she does it anyway. I said: “Do I look fat?”

There was a moment of post-nuclear silence and I think I could see Kealoha sweating. Louis said immediately “Oooooh, no. You are NOT fat. You might FEEL fat, but you are definitely NOT fat.” Then he continued with his homework.

I sat back, glowing. That might be the best answer I have ever heard for that impossible question.

Men: memorize that answer. You’re about to make the woman in your life very happy, and it’s an answer she’ll understand.

I asked Kealoha to check his app and see if I was PMSing. I’m not, but Louis was right. I just FEEL fat. It’s stress. And extra salt. The feeling will pass.

Ever wonder where my books are set?

Admittedly, most of my 'readers' are either related to me, or are my friends so they feel a slight pressure to read my work. But there are a few of you who I don't actually know...except in a Twitter/Facebook way. At least I think there are some of you out there. So if you've ever wondered what town I'm talking about in "Easy Does It" and "Blunder Woman" well...it's featured in this video. I decided to set all my books in either my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan or at least in Michigan. Why? Because we aren't just Detroit. I'm not exactly sure WHO we are yet, but it's a conversation that's starting to happen as more writers, artists, musicians, etc, here are starting to keep it local and promote Grand Rapids. And I was tired of New York and LA and other places for novels. I wanted something real and attainable for my quirky characters. That's why they live in Grand Rapids right along with me. (It's pretty convenient too.)

I have to admit, when I first saw this lip dub video produced by Rob Bliss, I was underwhelmed. Why? Well, because I thought it was too slow and a depressing song. But then I thought about all the people it took to come together to do this, and how I walk past most of this area every day at work. There's the Grand Rapids Art Musuem (where the wedding is) and Rosa Parks Circle. My play was just performed at the GRAM and this video follows about half of my route to get coffee.

Then a funny thing happened. Just like the Grinch, my heart started to grow and grow...and now when I watch this...I get all weepy. I promise it's not because of PMS. No. This is all-natural emotion.

So if you wondered where Julie and Dan the Man meet for their first dinner...it's right across the street from where the pillow fight happens in this video. And Chloe from "Blunder Woman" routinely gets un-coffee downtown. She also had her undate with Matt and sat on one of the benches in the park that's all green.

That's my quick morning blog. I have seven hours to prep for teaching today. I'm sorta not ready. I will be, I just need more coffee first. Oh...and this week I'll be answering questions that were posted on my author Facebook page. Actually, my characters will be answering the questions. If there's a character you'd like to hear from, let me know. Check back later today or tomorrow.

Enjoy the video. This is my hometown.