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Month: August 2014

Feelin’ Mudgy

Feelin’ Mudgy

mudge /muj/ (n) a persistent feeling of weariness, sloppiness or general discontent. (v) to deposit drool, usually from the jowls, onto someone or something. The dog drank from his water bowl, then mudged my pants.

mudgy /mujee/ (adj) (mudgier, mudgiest), weary or foul-tempered, sulky, sludgy disposition

Yeah, that's me getting mudgy behind the b-day girl - must be after nine
Yeah, that’s me getting mudgy behind the b-day girl – must be after nine

I’m not a night person. In fact, I savor bedtime to an unnatural degree. After six at night, I’m checking the clock and assessing who is home, weighing whether or not it’d be acceptable to change into pajamas. If I lived alone, I’d be in pjs right after Judge Judy, but before pouring my first glass of wine.

These days though, in order to stay connected with my mostly nocturnal sixteen-year-old, I’m choosing to stay awake well past midnight on a regular basis. My daughter and I watch tv while she works on homework and I edit text well into the night. We stream good tv, bad tv and movies. Sometimes we don’t speak for chunks of time, sitting side by side in quiet with work in our laps, the television droning in the background. Other times, we set aside our work and watch, heads together, laughing in all the same places. And each and every night, I count my blessings that she lets me share space with her, tolerates my company and allows us to connect.

Uh oh, the sun's going down
Uh oh, the sun’s going down

But, the thing is, I’m an early riser. I rise at 5:30am to enjoy a few productive and contemplative hours before the whole house wakes, demanding my care and keeping. So that’s partly why I’m yawning by seven.

But, time with my daughter is more important than sleep. And as happy as I am inside to share some time with her, on the outside I’m droopy, often frowning and quiet; or what Ellie calls being mudgy. “Mom. You seem mudgy. Are you sure you shouldn’t go to bed?” she’ll ask. This, from the gal that brought the words finkie and yarden to our family:

finkie: (n), the smallest finger, often called the pinkie

yarden: (n), a lush and unpretentious garden that provides a perfect playground for kids

Mudgy, mudge, mudged. It’s become a phrase the entire family has embraced. And, if someone’s accused of being mudgy, or is asked why they are feeling mudgy, there’s no tension or defensiveness. The use of this silly term defuses all that like magic.

Cooper feeling mudgy
That’s Cooper feeling mudgy

Even the puppy, Cooper, has gotten in on the action. After taking a long drink from his water bowl, he’ll rush over to greet someone leaving a slime trail across the floor and our clothing. He mudges stuff. His nickname (well, one of many) is Mr. Mudgy.

A silly term, yes. But, it perfectly describes something for which the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary has no apt term. So, in the days to come when you’re hit with a situation that leaves you gritting your teeth or shaking your head, remember this silly term. And just maybe, when you see it as mudge, you’ll find your smile a little quicker than normal.



But, who would play Harry Potter?

But, who would play Harry Potter?

Recently, I tried explaining how my publisher, Booktrope, is so refreshingly different from the heavy-hitting legacy publishers, and all I could think about was the magical world of Harry Potter. It’s not too far off the mark to compare them. Both contain a magic, and I’m not speaking of the wand-wielding variety, I’m talking about people, the quirky, brilliant folks that make book magic happen, and then this happened:

Albus-Dumbledore-Wallpaper-hogwarts-professors-32796356-1024-768Ken Shear, Booktrope founder is no doubt our resident, Albus Dumbledore. Shear, like Dumbledore has heart for every person at Booktrope. He’s wise and caring.

Professor-McGonagall-professor-mcgonagall-32973617-640-960You know how Professor McGonagall is so damn clever? She runs Hogwarts when Dumbledore is out and about. She is fair-minded, generous with her talents and sharp. At Booktrope, we call her Katherine Sears, Founder/CMO of Booktrope Publishing.  Sears has a marketing magic that is undeniable, and she is generous with her knowledge. She knows Booktrope inside and out, so of course I’d cast her as McGonagall. Don’t let the looks fool you, the real-life Sears is a doll. But, as far as I know, she can’t turn herself into a cat.

HagridpedrasYou know Hagrid as the Keeper of Keys and Caretaker of Magical Creatures at Hogwarts. At Booktrope, the magic is the people, the authors, designers, and marketers that create award-winning books. Our Hagrid is Jesse James Freeman. And, yes. Freeman is a supertall man with the heart of a teddy bear. An author in his own right, Jesse knows how to keep this wild bunch smiling with his tweets and posts, all the while building a community for Booktrope in cyberspace.

She’s the cleverest witch at Hogwarts, half-Muggle, Hermione Granger. She makes everything look easy and has a loving heart to boot, making everything she touches that much better. At Booktrope, her name is Emily Clanton.

Hermione-Granger-Photoshoot-OOTP-hermione-granger-1354667-1919-2560He’s an unlikely hero, Severus Snape. He’s aligned with the dark, but works for the light. Misunderstood, brilliant, and yet, loved in the end, we’ve got an author at Booktrope that reminds me of Snape, Steven Luna. His novel, Songs from the Phenomenal Nothing, is the best thing I’ve read this year. He’s been called a renaissance man by other Booktropers for his multitude of talents.

Let’s turn to love interests, shall we?It took a special girl to become Harry’s first love interest, and that was Cho Chang, of course. She reminds me of our own sizzlin’ hot author, Marni Mann. As Harry grew, his heart turned to another girl, his steadfast friend, Ginny Weasley. She’s smart, independent, but romantic at heart. Who else thinks romance author, Tess Thompson is the perfect Ginny?

Ginny_Weasley_1He’s a capable dark arts professor, maybe because he understands the subject matter so intimately. He’s got one fatal flaw though, Professor Lupin is a werewolf. I can’t think of a more appropriate Lupin than our own horror author, Alex Kimmell, can you? Author of A Chorus of Wolves and The Key to Everything, Kimmell’s writing is redefining the horror genre. And like an encounter with Lupin under a full moon, you’ll be left sleeping with the lights on.

Luna Lovegood is my favorite character in the Harry Potter series. Maybe it’s because I relate to her best. She’s a true friend, upbeat, smart and quirky. I’ll cast myself as Lovegood, but only if Wattpad rockstar and author, February Grace, will share the role with me. Like Lovegood, February is the most loving and kind soul you will ever come across.

So, readers. I need a Professor Trelawney. And, for God’s sake, who is our Harry Potter? What character do you fancy yourself as and why? And what would this list look like if the insiders at Scholastic filled the roles? 🙂 I’m turning the microphone your way now. Comment and I’ll enrich this blog post.

Ah, there we go. Mischief managed.



Update! Editor, Toddie Downs has requested that she be cast as Moaning Myrtle. But, I feel she’s more suitable in the role of Mrs. Weasley, because Downs knows how to multi-task projects, manage difficult personalities with success (me) and is fiercely loyal to her family and friends. She’s a top shelf kind of gal.

Book manager, Jennifer Gilbert would make an excellent Lily Potter. Her family comes first, she has beautiful eyes (like infamous Lily) and does everything on a level that sets the bar high for those that follow in her wake.