What did you say?

NaBloPoMo 2015

Day 3: My Favorite Quote

This is a tough one. I don’t really have a favorite quote. I’ve spent all day thinking about it and I haven’t been able to settle on a single one. Do I get all deep and philosophical or do I go for the funny bone? Do I source a movie, a book, or maybe a comedian? And how do I get it done soon since I’ve already wasted the day thinking about it?  Throwing in the towel on the third day is not an option.

Then it hits me. My absolute favorite people to quote are my kids. Here are ten conversations and observations The Boy (age 12) and The Girl (age 7) have had in the past six months:

(While walking home from school)
The Girl: I want to go to Mexico. They have the Day of the Dead, and tacos, and quesadillas, and a big party.

(While watching a Monster High movie for the first time)
The Girl: Monsters are hard core.

Me: So, what do you want to be for Halloween?
The Girl: I know! A piece of candy! Or pie! Or a PEEP!!
The Boy: You don’t even like peeps, hypocrite.

The Girl: Your hair looks nice. Where did you get that eye shadow?
Me: Why?
The Girl: Because I think it’s mine.

(Working on unit conversion equations)
Me: Do you know how many centimeters in a meter?
The Boy: No.
Me: Okay. Do you know what “centi” stands for?
The Boy: (Looking at me like I’m an idiot) Of course. Chocolate.
Me: …wha…?
The Boy: King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk. Kilo, hecto, deca, deci, centi, and milli.
Me: (Silently cursed myself for thinking I could get through a homework session without wine)

The Girl: Girls are better than boys. Know why?
Me: Um, why?
The Girl: Because me and my friends were chasing boys today and I caught one.
Me: What did you do when you caught him?
The Girl: I told him he’s too slow, of course.

Me: Hey, check out this fundraiser Dairy Queen is doing.
The Girl: Finally! Now I can get ice cream and help kids!
The Boy: Wait… we get ice cream?

The Girl: I must have a cold because my nose is running.
Me: Your nose is running because you’re crying. Again.
The Girl: (crying) I am not!

The Boy: This ice cream scoop doesn’t work!
Me: That’s because it’s a soup ladle.

The Boy: Truth or dare?
The Girl: Dare.
The Boy: Sing a song about how much of a butt you are.
The Girl: I’m not a butt!

And finally, a bonus:

Me: Why don’t you rub my feet?
The Girl: Well, okay, but I’m gonna need some gloves.

Tune in tomorrow when I write about my dream job. I’m fairly certain it will involve explosives, marshmallow fluff, and a spy plane.

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Today’s blog topic is “20 Facts About Me.”   (deep breath)  Here goes!

1. I have wanted to fly a Learjet since the first moment I caught sight of one of those sexy beasts sitting coyly on the tarmac. As a cargo pilot, I finally got my chance, and each and every hour I logged at the controls of that glorious machine was better than the last.

2. When I was a child, I wanted to be a fire truck. Not a firefighter, a fire truck. I loved the blaring horn and sirens and was determined to be just as loud forever.

3. Contrary to popular belief, I’m an introvert. I feel awkward in most social situations and I usually pull at least one George Costanza a week by thinking of the best comment ever days after I had the opportunity to say it.

4. I love to read science fiction and fantasy. I used to steal my parents’ Omni and Asimov magazines and read them at night by flashlight under the covers.

5. I don’t scream on roller coasters, I laugh. In fact, I laugh hysterically, which is why I can never be an aerobatic pilot in spite of my complete fangirl adoration of Patty Wagstaff.

6. I am uncompromisingly optimistic. I honestly believe that so many wonderful things have happened in my life simply because those are the only possibilities I am mentally able to entertain. Along those same lines, I don’t think I will ever win a multi-million dollar Powerball because I can’t visualize it. Well, that and I never buy a ticket because I have books to buy.

7. There is not one thing I dislike about libraries.

8. I have been to Canada, Mexico, and Germany. The first two were for work, and the last as a vacation. I would travel everywhere if I did win a multi-million dollar Powerball.

9. As a child, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. Her freezer was always stocked with popsicles and ice cream, and I would stuff myself silly every time I visited. I miss her.

10. I can turn my tongue upside down. So can my husband. Since this ability is inherited, my children can do it, too. We are a blast at parties.

11. I hate doing dishes. I have purposefully broken a few in an attempt to weasel out of this particular chore. It didn’t work. Sorry Mom.

12. I want a motorcycle. My husband knows this and thinks I am delusional. I disagree entirely.

13. I have never broken a bone, but once I stepped on a sewing needle and skewered my big toe. All the way through. My kids hate that story.

14. I was called into the principal’s office in eighth grade for a conference with my parents and my algebra teacher because I was not doing my homework. I believed that I shouldn’t have to do homework since I aced all of the tests. My life has since come full circle in that I must now help my children with their homework. This, of course, makes me hate homework even more than I did in eighth grade.

15. I currently have two tattoos and another one planned. My mother does not approve.

16. I can’t stand cooked spinach, asparagus, or anything “creamed.” Why would anyone do that to a perfectly good vegetable?

17. President Ronald Reagan spoke at my high school in 1984 and I flew (then) Senator Barack Obama on the campaign trail for a week before he won the Democratic nomination in 2008.

18. I have a ukulele that I love to play. I took a few lessons from a wonderful and very talented teacher, but stopped going after I got carried away playing and singing along with “Let It Be” in class and was too embarrassed to go back.

19. I recently moved from northern Illinois to central Arizona. It is November 2nd, and I am typing this next to my open porch door wearing a sundress. If I never see snow again, it will be too soon.

20. I am a procrastinator. Case in point, I am writing this at 9:30 p.m. when I had all day to do it. Heck, I could have even started it yesterday if I wasn’t such a huge procrastinator. I have been known to start college papers the day after they were due – I would make up some lame excuse  – and stay up all night to write them.

Well, there you have it. Twenty facts about me. Come back tomorrow and I’ll share some thoughts about my favorite quote.  Hopefully, I will post it before 10:00 p.m., but no guarantees.  I have episodes of Walking Dead to watch.

What’s in a Name?

As many of you know, November is an important month to many writers. It is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, and many of my peers are participating. The goal is to write 50,000 words – the length of a novel – in a month. In order to keep up with this grueling schedule, many writers participate in word sprints, write-ins, and other communal efforts to encourage each other much like bystanders cheering marathon runners.

Alas, much like a marathon, NaNoWriMo requires preparation and training, and I am simply not up to the task. I am not ashamed to admit that I am a glacially slow writer and, as an introvert, social writing is not for me. I am fully aware that no amount of community support is going to magically transform this tortoise into a hare.

However, just because 50,000 words in 30 days is galaxies out of my reach – for now – it doesn’t mean that I want to pass up an opportunity to develop the habit of writing daily, a much more realistic and attainable goal. So I decided to do my own version of NaNoWriMo: 30 Days of Blogging.

30 day blog challenge

I found this image online and will be sticking to its format. I invite you to come along with me for the ride. You can do your own 30 Days of Blogging, or just stop by on occasion and learn a little bit about me. Either way, it’s not going to cost you anything more than a bit of your time. And maybe some coffee if you’ve got it. I love coffee.

Day 1: Your Blog’s Name

I named my blog – and my website – TotallyTawn mainly because I couldn’t think of anything better. My given name is Tawn and this is the place where you will get “nothin’ but Tawn” with all my crazy opinions, weird idiosyncrasies, and inappropriate humor.

Where did “Tawn” come from, you ask? Well, my mother has told me that she had too much morphine at my birth, or it was misspelled on my birth certificate, or – the one I choose to believe – I was named after a friend in Germany. The fact that she has never once talked about this friend does not sway me in the least. My name is not short for anything, and I hate being called Tawny, because it reminds me of the blonde from Weekend at Bernie’s, an oblivious one-dimensional character who was only included in the movie as window dressing. I don’t even know why they bothered to give her a name.

WeekendAtBernies_098Pyxurz

Attractive window dressing is still decorative. Sorry, Tawny.

I have met another Tawn through the wonders of Facebook, and she told me that she was named after a character in a book called The Web of Days by Edna Lee. I promptly tracked down and purchased the book for my library. I have yet to read it, but Tawn is indeed a character. I checked.

It may surprise you to learn that I wasn’t always known as Tawn. My middle name is Kimberlee, and this is the name I went by for the first fifteen years of my life. I’m not sure why my parents chose to call me by my middle name rather than my first – my mother insists it’s a German thing – but I can tell how long I’ve known a person by what they call me. And just a side note, it’s Kimber-LEE, not Kimber-LY, in honor of my Uncle Lee.

Names are an important part of our identities. I feel like Kimberlee was me as a child, and now Tawn is who I am as an adult. I kept my maiden name when I married because it just didn’t feel like me, as if I would lose something of myself in the transition. Plus, changing your name is expensive and time consuming process involving a lot of paperwork and I am one of the laziest people you will ever meet. I use my married name when I write because I feel that Tawn Krakowski is an author and Tawn Makela is a pilot. Hence, at TotallyTawn, all of these facets of my life come together. In hindsight, I suppose TotalLeeTawn would make more sense, but I only just thought of it now and it would probably be too hard to find with the odd spelling.

In any case, that’s all the explanation I have for my blog’s name. Come back tomorrow when I will reveal 20 facts about me for Day 2 of 30 Days of Blogging.

Happy Los Dias de los Muertos!