Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Dangerous Re-Run

Things are getting pretty serious around Chez Quinn right now, and I haven't been able to get out on the interwebs to visit with all the people/blogs I usually do.

My good friend is coming into the last stages of her ALS. They don't believe she'll last the week. And my father-in-law is back in congestive heart failure, so things are pretty tough right about now.

So to fight the sadness, I give you the post that started the Polka Apocalypse at this blog. Where the Eastern European Polka Underground came in their Shnitzel truck loaded for bear. And the hill billies and Gnome Underground Network (G.U.N.) rousted them after they took over the blog.

Good times.

So here it is.

There was a tee shirt I found a year ago that I should have bought as a reminder of the dangers of polka. It read, "I cannot resist the demon rhythm of the polka." Now it just may be too late.

There should have been constant vigilance on my part to keep the polka demons at bay. But the overwhelming oomp pah pahs have forced their way into my family. I should have seen the signs, but being so far away, my parents slipped right under my radar.

It started out small. You know, easily dismissible signs. The quiet polka record playing in the background when I call. Dad wearing a loud shirt in a recent picture. Mom's vehement defense of the pairing of clarinet and tuba. Oh, I should have seen it sooner.

But now they're watching this tv program every night: WARNING - DO NOT WATCH THE ENTIRE PROGRAM. HIGH RISK OF POLKA INFECTION.

So now I'm going to have to have a polka intervention before something irreversible occurs. Something like this:

And that is just so wrong. I have to protect them from themselves - before it really gets out of hand. I can see where they're headed. The ultimate in vile polka.

OHH the inhumanity!!! I need to prepare a detox program stat. I'm sending liberal doses of easy listening. Gordon Lightfoot, Burt Bacharach, Lionel Richie. Anything to deaden the polka effect. Hopefully I'll be able to pull them back from the edge before they start buying matching lederhosen.

*bone wracking shudder*

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Because I Needed A Re-Run

And this one, with all our recent snow, seemed appropriate, somehow. So from back in March of 2010, I give you this. Enjoy.
I know I haven't shared any Elvis sightings recently. That's because I usually save them for the soldiers. Lots of you know I send care packages overseas to deployed soldiers. (I use anysoldier.com to get contacts.)

Anyway, I always write a letter to put in the box of stuff. It usually starts off normal with the weather or some such thing, but you know me. I can't be serious for very long. So I always squeeze in an Elvis sighting. Something like, "I was in the supermarket yesterday and I saw Elvis in the produce section handling the mangoes." Or "We had all this snow, and I could've sworn I saw Elvis one town over snow blowing a driveway. I knew it was him because I could just see his pompadour swirling out of the top of his mad bomber hat. Oh, yeah and his coveralls had sequins on them." I feel accomplished if I can make a soldier roll his eyes in a combat zone. It's the little things in life, right?

So since I haven't shared any Elvis sightings with you recently, here it is, in its full color glory. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

They're Terribly Comfortable.

I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.

Desks, that is. Yes, held up by really strong suspenders. Why, you may ask? Because they project an image of power and authority to everyday shmoes like me. Apparently I'll believe anything if it's said from behind a desk.

For example. Back at the NJRW conference an agent, who I had an appointment with, couldn't make it. So we were told by the organizers to submit to her as if it were requested material. Which I was thrilled about. (What's not to like. All the partial request without the flop sweat and embarrassing tangents I normally blurt out when nervous. Win-win!)

So I asked one of the ladies there, who SAT BEHIND A DESK, if there was a specific email to send to. She gave me one. I used it. Three months ago.

I've checked this agent's submission guidelines since, and the email provided to me is not the general email for submissions for this agency. Now, that may be fine since this was treated as requested material, or I may have sent my partial to the wrong email address and she's never gotten it. Or, she's gotten it and hasn't reviewed it yet.

You see the dilemma I got myself into listening to a person behind a desk.

So for a month and a half I've been going back and forth about what to do. Should I resend it to the general submission email address? Should I wait another month because she's only had it for three and maybe that isn't long enough to get to it? Should I send a follow up email to the address I was given asking if they received it? Should I send another query containing this crazy new theory I have about wearing desks as an image enhancing accessory? What's a neurotic writer to do?

So the moral of the story is (Wait, there's a moral? Yes, surprise, I actually have a moral.) RESEARCH.

I thought I'd done enough research on this agent. I knew what she liked, I read everything I could find on her. I thought we could be B.A.A.F. (Best Agent/Author Forever). But I believed a person behind a desk instead of following up with my own research.

So what do you think I should do? Has anything like this ever happened to any of you? (Probably not, since these things only happen to me, so the statistical probability that it would happen to others is like a meteor making a slam dunk in the middle of a Knicks game. So there's another service I provide. Making sure your writing life runs smoothly. You're welcome!)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Call Back. What Do I Do?!?!

Some of you may remember that I went to the NJRW conference back in October and got two partial requests for A Shot At Forever.

Last week I got an R&R (revise and resubmit) request from Cat Clyne at Sourcebooks. She had some very nice things to say about my writing and welcomed a resubmitting of the full manuscript once some editing was done.


Peeling me off the ceiling wasn't even an option for the first two days. I've finally calmed down and have been hard at work on edits (again).

Of course, this is the time when I start writing the curriculum for the outdoor environmental field days for my daughters' elementary schools. (The schools are split k-2 and 3-5 so I plan/organize two different days with two similar, but grade level appropriate curriculum, aligned to the state environmental and science standards.) It's a HUGE undertaking, to say the least. (Almost 400 students.) But I'm extremely passionate about science and the importance of outdoor education (which two years ago was taken out of our district's budget-the outdoor science ed. that is.).

So I'm stressed and torn and trying to focus on both with equal diligence. Which for distractable little old me is a major feat unto itself. Not to mention all the other stuff that goes on around Chez Quinn.

I need a Shockabuku.

Something to finally click in my brain that sometimes the things that I want should actually come first. I know that sounds terrible, but if you've been around here at Tongue In Cheek, you know I like to joke around, and I have an impossible time saying no. I volunteer way too much for way too many different places and people.

But how do you change the way you're wired? How do you alter those fundamental things that drive you and make you who you are? Questions for the ages, I guess. I know I've been asking myself those questions for what seems like ages.

So I've got to get back to work. The Oldest Urchin is trying out for the talent show today. (Guess who wrote the skit and made the costumes and got the music and took her to practice with her friend and. . .) Plus there's Girl Scouts tonight. Plus, plus, plus. You know how it is. I'm sure you're just as busy.

So how do you make time for what's important to you? I really want to know.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tongue In Cheek 2013 In Review

Hi everyone. I'm actually getting my year in review out a little earlier than usual. Go figure! I started blogging in 2008. Yes. That long ago. And yes, I probably should have more followers by now, but it takes a special person to sign on publicly for my particular brand of crazy. And for your dedication, I salute you! (insert Three Amigo's salute here***)

Here are the three years in which I did do a review. Just in case, you know, you'd like a disturbing look back at what goes through my head on a yearly basis.

2010's year in review
2011's year in review
2012's year in review

And now, on to 2013!

I expounded on my conspiracy theory about how Bratz are the precursors to an alien takeover. A deer T-boned my mini van. I revealed what a girls' night in at Chez Quinn with the Urchins looks like (hint, Star Wars played a major role). I regaled singers and songwriters/storytellers of The Blues and shared one of my favorite female Blues artist. Among other things.


I explained how my carny goldfish and the Sea Monkey tribe from my bathtub were in cahoots. Author Sara Walter Ellwood stopped by for an interview. A very dear, old friend of mine, WWII veteran, Marine, wonderful man, passed away. I got to escape into the real world with my bff. Craziness, of course, ensued. I drove my daughter's former teacher home from conferences in her brand new, one day old car as she puked into a trashcan, riding shotgun. I lamented on the brutality of February and retaliated against it with some excellent Funk Music.

The flu raged through Casa de Quinn. I took a closer look at the mutton chop in my series on the sideburn. Mii music and my secret imaginary boyfriend attempted to kill me. I also offered pirate translation services.

I made a plea to myself to stop volunteering. The oldest Urchin was again inflicted with a semi-serious affliction. I found the upside of impatience when it comes to my writing. I declared my new found love of guacamole. And I shared a clip of the absolutely astounding Nicholas Brothers.

I did way too many things.  I had a motorcycle accident. I did even more volunteer work. I visited paradise for three days. And did even more work.

I saw the powerful movie Girl Rising. My 71 year old mother enjoyed the roller derby. I worried about my Youngest Urchin's villain tendencies and then figured I shouldn't look too closely at myself. And then my opthalmologist tried to shiv my eye.

I found an AC/DC playing, fire shooting bagpiper.  I again did way too much. We went to Montana to visit my parents and I set up some moldy-oldy TiC reruns.

I had double eye infections. The Oldest Urchin had eye troubles and I reminisced about the crazy things that went wrong with her birthday parties. I rejoined the work force. And other stuff.

I shared my impressions of working with three year olds. I had some more fun with taxidermied squirrels. I lamented with Madeleine Kahn that I was tired. I participated in Melissa Maygrove's awesome brainchild, Follow Fest.

My Urchins and I reveled in watching Star Wars. Again. I lamented that I didn't get a flu shot. I went to the NJRW conference and later got a very nice award from the very nice Ashley Nixon. I ruminated on selling my beloved motorcycle. And I went all soft and geeky over Star Wars jack-o-lanterns.

A head cold laid me low. Much hilariousness ensued. I participated in the fabulous Mina Lobo's Resurrection Blogfest II. I discussed rocket ship underwear, and writing and music. And I celebrated Thanksgiving with Arlo Guthrie.

I lamented that I didn't stop volunteering and proposed some great products to facilitate your holiday shopping. I shared the last of the roller derby bouts and put my motorcycle into hibernation. I made some excuses for not blogging due to all my busy-ness, I started to develop a personality test based on the parts of Christmas specials that a person liked best. And the Oldest Urchin and I got the flu. Again.

So there you have it. Almost all the zaniness of a year full of Tongue in Cheek in one blog post. I hope it didn't make your brain explode.

Here's to a great 2014 for us all!


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