Kung-Fu Hamsters and Writing Contests

So my mom decided to take a pretty fancy-pants job at Cedars-Sinai in LA. No, she hasn’t seen Britney Spears yet. But she HAS moved out there, which must be quite the shock-ola coming from Duluth, MN…the cold left buttcheek of the universe (per my husband). Dad’s not moving until spring, so she’s alone out there…and I discovered the other day that Target sells the most obnoxious toy ever.

Kung-Fu Fighting hamsters. In a full gi with nunchucks. Press the hand and what do you get? Everybody was kung-fu fighting, of course, complete with dancing and spinning of said weapons. So I sent it to her with no explanation: just the idiotic toy in the box. She said I’m disturbed: learned from the best, I did!

I’m taking a major mental health day today: my job is NOT going well, at least not for me. I believe they’re happy with me, which is most excellent because I have too much pride to be completely sucky until I get fired, but just becuase I do the work and do it well doesn’t mean I have to like it. I know, I know: that’s why it’s called WORK, right? THe last six months at my job have made me really REALLY miss plumbing. A lot. Corporate america is not my niche, but I haven’t been able to wind my way out of the maze yet. It’s frustrating and depressing and I’m sure my hubby should get a medal for putting up with me, except that he’s still working on finding a job so we’ve both been hard to deal with. Even the pre-paid (as in, paid for last fall when we both still worked) vacation to Florida didn’t help much: still stressed out, still broke, and still hating the MN right now. Ugh. I did find a job or two in Portland I could apply for (unfortunately they’re both for one of my company’s major competitors, so it would be in the same industry, but sometimes just a change of pace is enough, right?)…we’ll see about that one.

The guidelines for MN Monthly’s annual short story contest are glaring at me because I’m writing here instead of coming up with a fantabulous new story for the contest. You only get one entry…and in all honesty I have very VERY little hope of anything because I write fantasty. MN Monthly’s short stories are usually of the more, hmm, mundane fiction type. The kind I generally can’t read because I get so damn bored. However, that is NOT stopping me from sending something in, it’s just making me think hard about what I want to do to really put forward the best shot. It’s not about the best story, it’s about the best story that will be marketable for them (and hence publishable).

I’ve discovered that the long rides in the car to and from Duluth when I’m visiting home are excellent brainstorming times. I’ve also discovered that trying to write down even shorthand versions of those ideas while going 75 (ok…probably closer to 85 or 90) miles an hour on the freeway is not really the best idea on earth. May have to invest in one of those nifty digital recorder doohickies, because I had some fantastic ideas for the book when I was on the road between Hinkley and Burnsville last weekend. And I can’t remember the details for a single one! DAMMIT!

On that note, off to write on my sneaky day off. And because I know you’re the ones who read this, hi Roberto and Brenda!! 🙂

One thought on “Kung-Fu Hamsters and Writing Contests

  1. Hey the comment feature is working!!! It was so good to see both you and Dave last week–we definately need to do that more than once a year, for sure. I completely understand the sucky job thing–I was in the same boat last year but for different reasons–it\’s improved marginally this year–yep, you guessed it, the reasons are still there, I just tried to do something about it which helped somewhat. Take care and see ya soon hopefully.


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