Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Kal'El!

Here are a few pictures from Kal'El's first birthday party, which was a luau.  I thought it would be best to get these posted before the month of his birth passes completely.
Opening gifts with the help of his brother
Nooooo!  Don't touch that!
Not quite sure what's coming
Not my most creative cake (if you've browsed previous birthday parties) but it fit with the theme--and was tasty, which is all that matters
Ooh, yum!
And, of course, we'll end with the obligatory cake aftermath!
Happy Birthday Kal'El!  It's so hard to believe it's been a year already.  We love you!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Slow and Steady

I'm a quarter of the way through editing my novel!  I just finished chapter 10 (of 41) and am on page 46 (of 181.)  So one quarter of the way exactly.

I'm sometimes disheartened by my pace on this, which averages about a chapter per week.  At this pace I'll be finished at the end of January.  But for the most part, I'm content with what I'm doing.  I am, at least, making steady progress and have found a good schedule of consistently writing during nap time, so I'm not exhausted and doing it at the end of the day.  So life is good.

Speaking of exhaustion, I took my kids swimming earlier today and am already tired. That's all for today. 
(He didn't like getting into the water at first)

Sunday, June 24, 2012


We asked our family to pitch in and get Zaxxon an early birthday gift this summer, because we wanted him to have a bike and have the chance to ride it during the right season.  The family came through in spades, and so we got Zaxxon this wicked awesome Balance Bike!
It's a Mini Glider by Glide Bikes.  The principle of these bikes is that pedaling isn't hard to learn, yet that's all a kid really masters with traditional training wheels.  Take them off and the child still doesn't know how to balance.  Balance bikes have no pedals (and no training wheels.)  The child moves it along with his/her feet, learning how to balance as they go.  As they gain confidence, they pick up speed and will take their feet off the ground and glide, just like on a normal bike.  Supposedly, they'll transition to a normal bike with little effort once they have the balancing down.  These things are supposed to be all the rage in Europe, and are just emerging here in the U.S.
Well, I can't speak to the long-term effects yet, but Zaxxon has taken to this thing like a fish to water.  We've had it for less than two weeks and he's already zooming around, gliding, pretending he's going to run into things (and not always actually stopping in time,) and going so fast that we have to either jog to keep up or tell him to stop and wait.  I'm probably going to get a cheap bike trailer soon so we can pack Kal'El along and go for family bike rides.
These things come in metal or wood.  We thought metal would take a lot more abuse than wood, so went with that.  This particular model had two things we also liked, and was the only metal brand that had both.  1) It's got a hand brake, so he has a means of stopping other than his feet.  Traditional kids bikes brake by pushing backwards on the pedals, and since this thing has no pedals... 2) It's got foot pegs, so once he regularly takes his feet off the ground, he's got somewhere to rest them--and they're in roughly the same place as pedals will be, training him to put his feet in the right place.
We all love this bike.  If I were reviewing it, I'd give it five stars.  It's wonderful.  We have gone for walks/rides nearly every evening since this thing came into our lives (it's too hot in Colorado to take it out in the middle of the day right now.)
Zaxxon loves his bike.  It ROCKS!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


In the years prior to our meeting, hubby and his roommates had the movie channels on cable.  Hubby took advantage of this and taped a lot of movies that he wanted to see but wasn't interested in buying (and he buys a LOT of DVDs, and now Blurays.)  As a result, not only did we have a huge DVD collection when we moved in together, we had a large collection of taped movies on VHS.

VHS, remember those?  Yeah, we're hoping to forget soon, too.  Hubby's been in purge mode these past few months, and the VHS tapes are on the way out.  He's burning DVDs of personal stuff we want to keep, and we've been progressively watching the movies (he doesn't want to just throw them out, after all the work that went into gathering them in the first place.)  And boy, am I ready to be done with them.  I miss high definition!

One of the movies we just watched was The Arrival, a 1996 flick starring Charlie Sheen as an astronomer who discovers alien life--and the deadly secrets they brought with them.  He gets to be pretty crazy as the paranoia sets in (and if everyone were out to get you, you'd be paranoid too.)  As it turned out, both hubby and I had seen it before, though I didn't remember it until I saw the way the aliens legs moved.  It was a decent movie and we both enjoyed it--and we enjoyed discussing it.

I was expecting no such thing, but we watched this movie at the perfect time to inspire my writing.  In my novel (I still don't have a name for the thing, I really need to get on that) my protagonist seeks the help of a conspiracy theorist because he's the only one who will believe what really happened.  I just got to the chapter in my revisions where we first meet him.  I think he's pretty strong in most regards:  I worked to make his writing style unique (we see his writing a lot) and his apartment is suitably paranoid--but after watching The Arrival I realized that I hadn't put enough suspicion and paranoia into his behavior and interactions.  As a result, I've been rewriting his scenes and enjoying myself in the process.  I love it when inspiration comes at just the right moment.

In other news, I got an encouraging rejection the other day requesting that I send more.  I'm now debating which story should go to them when next it comes back to me.  Too bad the story they nicely rejected is running out of markets.

How about you?  What was your favorite time when life stepped in and helped writing with which you were struggling?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rest In Peace, Ray Bradbury

I can only hope I'll make it to 91.  And that I'll have even 1/100th of an impact on the science fiction scene as he did.  Rest In Peace.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Kiddie Crafts -

We're in a bit of a sabbatical from kid crafts.  The projects here stretched more than a month.  I just haven't been in the mood to put stuff together these days.  I think Zaxxon misses it though, so I hope to step up production again soon.

We had another round of birthdays to prepare for in April, so once again I had Zaxxon make cards.  I wrote the recipients' names on the cards and had him trace the letters.  He decided to modify many of the letters though.  First, he turned the first "P" in "Poppa" (my dad) into an R, and then decided to turn all the letters into Rs, so "Poppa" became "RRRRR."  Other names morphed in similar ways.

Zaxxon has been examining the the dream catcher hanging in our window lately.  When we told him what it's for, he declared that he wanted it in his room to catch his bad dreams.  I wasn't about to give him mine, but I scoured the internet looking for ways for him to make his own.  We started with a paper plate, which I cut the center out of.  First he decorated it.

Then we punched holes in it

and then threaded yarn between the holes.

Lastly, I tied feathers to some small pieces of yarn and Zaxxon threaded beads onto the yarn.

After I tied everything off, viola, dream catcher!

My cousin has decided to become a doctor for the Air Force, and she and her family came out to Colorado to have another cousin swear her in.  I thought it would be nice for Zaxxon to make her something, so I found some military coloring pages online and had him decorate them.

Sensory bin!!!

Our sensory bin has been sitting full of dried-up fake snow for months now, and Zaxxon regularly asks for it.  I've been telling him I will fill it up soon, and I finally bit the bullet and did it.  He asked for beans again, so one afternoon I emptied the fake snow, added the beans back, and let him play.

After he was in bed I added "treasures" that I've been collecting for this very purpose.  The next day, when Zaxxon noticed that there was color inside the bin he was so excited to open it up and find all the hidden treasures.

It has been great fun to have this out again, with the only problem being that Kal'El can tell that something exciting is happening on the table and he wants to participate--but the beans, of course, go straight into his mouth if we let him get near it.
Tot School

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy Birthday and Stat Check

One year ago today--in fact, EXACTLY one year ago because posts can be scheduled--my baby boy Kal'El was born.  It's been quite a ride, getting along with two.  There have been days when we've been lucky to get everybody fed, much less get anything else done, but there have also been days jam-packed with fun--and sometimes those days overlap!  I've watched him grow from a cute little lump who did nothing but cuddle (and eat and explode out of his diaper) into an interactive, fun-loving, beautiful little person.  I can't wait to see who he turns into as he continues to grow.
Happy Birthday Kal'El!  Mama loves you very very very very very very VERY much!!!
Also, since this is the first, here is May's Stat Check

During the month of May, I wrote/edited on all 31 days
I edited my novel and did some revisions on a short story
I made 4 submissions
I received 2 rejections
I took about two weeks to get a story back out after a rejection
I have 11 stories in slush pile circulation (my twelfth is waiting for a market that reopens today)
I made 10 blog posts
I took no days off

I've been making steady progress on the novel.  It's usually quite slow, but I've made peace with the pace--for the most part.  A chapter a week means it'll be close to the end of the year before I'm done, especially if I take breaks for stories now and then, but that's okay.  There's really no rush here.

I deviated for a few days to look at one of the stories I penned earlier this year.  I like it and think it's time to get opinions, although I've also entertained ideas of how I could extend it's length a fair bit (probably into another novel.)  I'm not sure that's the best idea, though, since it would move away from the story's main theme quite a bit, and I'm not sure it's the right direction.  I also don't know how it would actually end, which can be a problem.  I think I'll get some reader opinions before delving into something that huge--see if people want more story or if they like it as-is.  The only problem with getting critiques is that I'm going to have to start doing some of my own again.  How will I fit that into my day?  Eek!  (If I don't expand the story, I'll have to use the weapon I came up with in something else.  It's a great (and horrible) weapon.)

My goals for June are to keep going.  I would love if I could pick up the pace on the novel, but I know that's not realistic, and right now I think I'll stick with what is realistic.