that's me - Stephanie Boman!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Recently I've been reading a lot of pretty good books. And then I get to the ending, which is, more often than not now, left open for an obvious sequel.

I HATE this!

Plot lines aren't finished. Relationships unresolved. Strings untied.

It is such a let down to read these kind of books that have good stuff going for them (but not enough to warrant a sequel) and not be able to have completion. I'm never so bowled over that I would plan to read another book in the series, so I am left unsatisfied and a book that was good is now, meh.

Why can't stories be told in one book anymore?

When I look for books to download in the library catalog all I find are "book 3 in the blah blah series" "part of the such-and-such trilogy". Literally, over 75% of the books listed are part of a series.

I don't have anything against series (hello, Harry Potter), but I feel like so many stories stretched out into series should really only be one book. What I really hate is reading a book that doesn't say it's "book 1" of some series only to find in the end that things have been left hanging for the possibility of another book. This has happened to me SO often lately.

The obvious reason why this is happening is money. There have been several successful series, trilogies, etc., and every publisher wants to cash in. Personally, the obvious money grubbing makes me sick and turns me off from reading certain YA genres (angels, vampires, weres, dystopian, etc.) where this seems to be prominant. I'd rather read the literary middle grade books that leave you feeling good and satiated at the end.

I have not been hovering over writer sites lately, so maybe this has already been discussed to death, but I had to vent.

What's your experience/feelings on this?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye!

If my tweenager goes through any more milestones on the road to becoming a woman in the next few months, I'm going to keel over. I swear it didn't all happen at once like this with Darling Daughter. But as soon as I let Tweeny (I can't call her Wee One anymore, for sure!) sit in the front seat, it went bam bam bam bam! A whiplash launch into womanhood.

There have been so many changes since she started seventh grade. I have to say, she's been handling the welcome-to-a-woman's-world thing pretty well; taking the bewildering, awkward rites of passage in stride. Having a sister who's seven years older to emulate certainly hasn't hurt. And thank heavens DD is there to fill in the gaps Mom misses.

And while she's left it behind with hardly a second thought, it's hard for me to say goodbye to her childhood. All moms feel this, I know, dreading the day when the baby dolls are moved out to make room for the trappings of a teenager. I didn't notice it so much last time because the picture books and Easy-Bake Oven were just transferred from Darling Daughter to her little sister, but now the next stop for the toys will be Goodwill. No more Polly Pockets. No more dress up (at least not the kind that involves fairy wings and tutus), no more tea parties, and no more Happy Meal trinkets . . . on second thought, I won't miss those so much.

I guess it's best to look forward to the experiences ahead rather than mourn the ones gone by. But don't blame me if I keep a Barbie or two.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

that old sew and sew

How do I love this vintage ad? Let me count the ways. I love the wife's pin curls and her apron, I love the little girl's romper and how she's clutching her baby doll, I love the traditional lunch box, and how dapper dad is. Most of all, I like how simple the message is: buy a car and give someone work. How refreshingly straight forward.

And in the vein of aprons and simplicity, here's a vintage pattern I bought off etsy. Yes, I am teaching myself how to sew.

My mother used to sew for me when I was young - she used an old singer treadle machine. She made me my sixth grade graduation dance dress - a jumper with small polka dots and a lacy white shirt - that I wore excitedly, only to be crushed when no one asked me to dance. But no one was asking others to dance. We were in sixth grade, for cryin' out loud - why were we even having dances? But I digress.

I picked up a little sewing - I knew how to thread a machine and make a hem - but I never did much with it.

For some reason I recently had a desire to start sewing. Maybe it was looking at vintage dresses and wishing for that style of clothes for myself. So I bought a child's sundress pattern and made something wearable with it. I'm learning lots: like what bias tape is for, and that the pattern piece for half of the front is meant to be used with fabric doubled over to make a whole, that machines nowadays can do hundreds of stitches with a touch of a button, and can even thread themselves.

I guess what this is all about is learning something new. I'm nigh on forty and only recently realizing my potential. I figure if I can plan and take a trip to England with my daughter on my own, write a publishable book, start a small business, and most surprisingly, start running, then there is no limit to what I can do. Why not make my own clothes?

How about you? Have any of you stepped out of your comfort zone lately? Tried something new?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Jane says

"Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken."

The quote from Emma is too true. How often do we lay our souls completely bare? Even in writing, I've known myself to hold back what would be true to a situation or a character. In blogging, even more so. It is too easy to portray yourself the way you want to be perceived. And for that reason I am resolving to show all of who I am.

This is why I like Jane Austen's writing so much - it is honest; brutally and hilariously honest. She calls everything as she sees it, and writes about it in such a superb satirical style.

I'll leave you with another pearl of wisdom from Jane:

"What wild imaginations one forms where dear self is concerned! How sure to be mistaken!"

Here's to honesty, clarity, and a disposal of rose-tinted glasses. Have a great weekend, all!

Monday, March 14, 2011

identity crisis

I continually struggle with who I am. Not in a mental way (thank heavens!), but in a how-I-portray-myself-to-the-world-way.

I recently dipped into twitterland again and I noticed that many of the people I follow have something in common. Their little bios invariably start with "I am a writer . . . ".

When I start an introduction with that phrase I frequently stop and think, "but that's not the only way I identify myself!" When I think of "me" I don't automatically think of writer. Writing is something I do, not who I am.

Is that wrong? Does that mean I'm less of a writer for not automatically identifying myself that way? Am I not as committed to being an authoress?

I know that I am in this publishing thing for the long haul, and that I have more writing in me beyond this book. So I don't think it's a question of commitment to the art of the written word.

I have many "titles" that I wear proudly: mom, artist, wife, writer, business owner. I have different blogs and websites for several of those roles. Why can't I merge them as one, figuratively and literally?

I think part of the reason is that the audiences to my various endeavors are not all the same, and what one group is interested in, another won't be. Not everyone has as many schizophrenic interests as I do. Perhaps if I was charismatic enough I could make all sides of me interesting to everyone. But until that happens . . .

How about you? I think the followers of this blog are without exception all "writers". I'd like to hear about how you identify yourself in everyday life. If "writer" comes to mind first I'd like to hear about that, too. Did it happen gradually? Is it automatic? Do you consistently introduce yourself that way?

Friday, February 18, 2011


It's raining and pouring in Sacramento. that means snow in the mountains. So husband decides we need to go to the cabin. However, he did not make the idea sound attractive. The reasons:

1. We'd be driving in the dark and even if the roads are plowed there's always ice . . .

2. The electricity had been out (could be on by the time we got there, but who knows, could be out the whole weekend).

3. The cabin is always freakin cold when we first arrive, so we'd have to build the raging-est fire ever to make up for the baseboard heaters not helping to warm the place up.

4. The clencher: the cleaning lady's mom is sick and she hasn't been able to clean since the last renters.

So let's review: my husband wants us to risk life and limb to drive on icy roads to get to a house that could have no electricity. We would have to clean as soon as we got there - in the dark, when we're tired and cold. Building a fire takes time so there wouldn't be immediate relief from the cold. And until there was electricity we would have to spend the weekend within a few feet of the wood stove for light and heat.

Sounds great.

Oh, and this is counting on the snow plow guy having got to our driveway. If he didn't, we'd be shoveling snow before trying to warm and clean the house. In the dark. At ten at night.

Why does this not sound appealing to me? Men!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

to my writer friends . . .

Do you think Michealangelo ever looked at the Sistine Chapel and in retrospect thought, "I should have put that finger over there a little more"?

Do you think Mozart ever listened to one of his concertos and said, "man, I wish I'd made that a b flat at the start of the second movement"?

How about Rodin, did he ever look at one of his bronze pieces and think "that calf muscle could look more realistic"?

Do you think Michael Jackson ever watched a video of Thriller and said, "that really should have been step, step, thrust instead of step, step, kick"?

Seriously, are there any artists worse than writers in knowing when they're work is "done", that worry whether there isn't something more to change or make better?

How do you know when you're done?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

tofu time

Sorry if you've come across my blog while it's being revamped. The construction work is pretty much done and hopefully my new, clean, streamlined layout will give me the clarity of mind I'm always wishing I had. Well, it's a start . . .

So the fam (down to husband, me and Wee One at home) is talking big about going vegetarian. Mostly it's husband and Wee One doing the talking. We don't eat much meat in the first place and many of our meals are already vegetarian. But I find it funny when they say they'll start, "as soon as this Canadian bacon's gone" or "when I'm done with the package of beef jerky" or some such thing. I don't know if they have it in them when faced with temptation.

I was vegetarian for a couple of years in my late teens. Then I met my husband and even as in love as he was, pastaroni and canned pears weren't going to cut it (I was yet to discover my inner gourmet). Needless to say it's difficult to cook meals that would satisfy both.

But the talk has been going on for some time now and Wee One really wants to do it. Even if it means giving up her shrimp-flavored cup-o-noodles (sometimes the inner gourmet takes a break). Lettuce see what happens : )

P.S. Pop over to my friend Megan's relaunching of her fun and informative blog Orange Peanut. You might just see someone you know . . .

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

dancing queen, young and sweet

I wouldn't say my daughter is taking ballet lessons so much as joining a culture. I had no idea that was going to happen when we signed her up at age six, all the way back when it was still okay to wear unds under your baby-blue leotard. No, the assimilation slowly crept up on me.

Beyond increasingly bigger parts in performances, taking more classes, going en point and being asked to join the company, there is a lifestyle that sucks the dancer into the ballet culture. It's one of buns and hair pins, toe shoes and leotards, sweat and sore feet, and car rides . . . lots and lots of car rides. I think Wee One loves life at the studio off the floor as much as on. I see her giggle with her friends, fix the newest bow in her hair and survey what the others have brought for snack. They appraise new skirts or tops and share tips on wearing hair nets, all while in the splits, bonding as only ballerinas can.

As the years go by, everything increases: the costs, the time commitment, the responsibility ("did you wash my tights?"). I know we're no different than other families who get wrapped up in soccer or swimming or the such. If I had to choose, I'd rather watch Wee One twirl in the family room while humming the Dance of the Sugarplum than have shin guards laying around the house or endure the constant smell of chlorine. For an obsession, at least it's a lovely one.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Almighty carries his own groceries

At the grocery store yesterday the bagger asked if I needed help out to my car. I meant to say, "No, I'm good." Instead, what came out was,

"No, I'm God."

And of course, if God can create heaven and earth, he can handle pushing a cart into the parking lot. But thanks for asking.