that's me - Stephanie Boman!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Winner winner chicken dinner

My husband always says that...I don't know why. Anyway, on to the contest results. Your heebie jeebie comments were wonderful. Thank you all for playing!

Wee One was home sick today, so she did the honors. And the winner is....

Theresa Milstein! Wow, the one person who said skeletons were what creeped her out. Maybe the pendant will be a talisman and help you overcome your fear!

Please email me your address Theresa (my email is in the sidebar).

And thanks again to everyone who checked my blog out, I love all the new friends!

Let's get this party started right

Hooray for new blogs, friends and followers. I'm holding a contest to get the word out about this new site. My book FADING has creepy paranormal wraiths in it, so I thought I'd celebrate the new blog by giving away this creepy-cool pendant (clicky to supersize) made by an Etsy artist (includes ball chain).

Here's the deal: leave a comment sharing something that creeps you out and I will draw a random winner in two weeks time. Extra entries for linking to this blog on your site. Make sure I can contact you (no anonymous posts). And while you're here, sign up to follow or subscribe by email if you like what you see.

Thanks all!

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Mr. Perfect

When I was a teenager my dream guy was one who would read me poetry, wear glasses (the cute kind that barely hid the passionate man beneath), talk philosophically with me, and, uh, read me poetry. Maybe play the guitar. He'd have attractively rumply hair, wear sweaters, and have a boyish smile.

I was actually able to date a couple of guys like that. When I was sixteen I dated one who had the exact physical traits I described above, sans glasses. He read me Don Quixote, sung for no reason, packed a picnic for the beach, and yes, played the guitar.

In college I had a long term relationship with another sensitive soul. We traded journals to write in, he thrived on intellectual conversations, sketched, made me a stained glass jewelry box, and went with me to indie films.

But the guy I married was athletic (in basketball, especially), avoided plays at all costs, was a people person, and not much of a reader.

We had nothing in common.

He has never read me poetry. He's never written a song for me. He's never quoted classical literature.

And we just had our eighteenth anniversary.

Frankly, I'm glad I didn't marry one of the boys that I thought were knights in shining armor. The guys Hollywood said were out there for me, waiting for serendipity to hook us up. How boring would it be to live with yourself?

Because of my husband I enjoy watching golf, football and basketball. He has kept me from being a homebody with his outgoing ways, has had some influence in my athleticism (modest as it may be), and balanced my emotional side with his practical one.

In turn, after some initial help in getting him started, husband is now a voracious reader, enjoys plays at the Shakespeare festival, and appreciates the classical concerts we attend.

We've balanced each other out. But it took a long time for me to appreciate that. We married very young and I mourned not only for my lost youth, but for the chance to have my idea of Mr. Perfect find me. I firmly believed a John Cusack would hold a boom box up outside my window. Seriously. That's what I thought love was. A Hollywood story.

I like to blame a lot of my misguided beliefs on Hollywood, but the fact was, I grew up without a father, therefor, without a role model of what a real mate was. All I was left with was a fantasy man, an imagined ideal.

There's debate going on around the blogosphere about whether these "perfect" guys in YA novels (and yes, I have one in mine) are giving girls false expectations. I don't worry about that with my daughters, luckily, because they've seen that a man with flaws, with interests different from Mom's, can be a perfect husband and daddy. I have no fear of my daughters turning into Bellas.

Love isn't always found, but made.

Stories, film or book, are fantasy, something we all love to indulge in, and as long as our young women have real role models in their lives, whether they be fathers, uncles, or church members, they will be all right.

I admit, though, that at the end of Pride and Prejudice (Kiera Knightly one), as we sat in the theater while the credits rolled up the screen and tears rolled down our cheeks, I told Darling Daughter between sobs: "Do not expect a man to walk across a field in the predawn wearing a robe to proclaim his love to you. That is not reality."

We still watch it over and over, sighing at how perfect Mr. Darcy is, but DD has told me, when the time comes, she'll be on the look out for a guy just like Dad.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I said what?

As a young teenager, I went camping with Kim at Loon Lake in Oregon. Laying out on the sandy beach I remember turning to teenage Kim and saying, "shoot me if I ever look like that", pointing at a woman crossing the beach who was extremely dimpled on the back of her upper legs.

My days are numbered.

With the rate I'm gaining cellulite, I can only hope Kim has developed a rabid anti-gun ethic in the past twenty-three years.

I also remember Kim's mom saying, "Enjoy it now, girls, this is the best your body is ever going to look." What?! That was horrifying! I did not have a great body in high school. For some reason I just thought it would be better when I was grown up. You know, at twenty-two, or something.

Maybe I thought I'd have more control over my choices then - be able to join a health club, buy my own food. Or was I counting on passing through a magic veil at twenty and becoming the fully realized adult I'd imagined?

I'd been looking forward to my grown up body, just biding my time in this flabby, un-toned thing I had to walk around in in the meantime.

Ah, the innocence of youth.

So here I am, getting ready to go on an anniversary trip to sandy shores, looking at myself from behind in the mirror, hoping that no teenage girls use me as an example of "what not to become" while I'm there.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Let's put away the hair shirts

Bad stuffs flying around the writing corner of the interwebs lately. Lots of people have come away from it with different lessons, thoughts. Here's mine:

Just because it seems like we are at the mercy of agents does not make them gods. I was really irked by comments made on the recent hoo-haw by a writer who said, "You may not want to accept it, but we writers can certainly be an entitled bunch of jackasses at times. And when we are, we deserve to be called to account for it."

Now it most certainly is true that some writers act idiotically at times. It may even be true that some need to be put in their place (NEVER in a public forum, though, IMO), but what got me is this "we're not worthy" attitude. A need to self-flagellate.

I've seen it before, usually in blogs where agents complain about queries or emails or interactions with writers who don't know what they're doing (and let me just say I'm glad my agent doesn't have or make time to play around on blogs and twitter all day). Other writer's (maybe because they're glad they're not the ones getting spanked) love to hoot and holler about how clueless the offending writer is. I see comments where writers actually apologize to the agents for having to deal with the ill-bred members of their kin. It is a sad reality that agents have to deal with less then mature individuals in this age of the internet, but by now they should know that it comes with the job.

There are many stellar agents out there to admire. Some I can even see becoming a fan of for their knowledge and wit. But falling on the ground in obeisance only makes writers look like it's okay to step on them.

Part of the problem is saying "we writers". Writers are not one entity in reality. Everybody is responsible for their own actions, because we are humans, some who happen to be writers. So don't pull out the wet noodle and offer to lash your self every time some human, who happens to be a writer, makes a mistake. How can you ever expect respect if you act like you don't deserve it?

I am not saying all agents disrespect authors, far from it. But why kowtow to the ones who enjoy ridiculing the clueless? To curry favor? It's like, "look at me mommy, I'm not being bad!" Childish.

If you want to be treated with respect, act like it by taking responsibly for your own actions and leaving the universe to mete out whatever other humans have coming to them.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What do you want to be when you grow up?

When I was four or five I asked my mom if any of the letters in the mail were for me. Yes, she said, and opened an envelope and read: Dear Steffie, we would like to offer you a job as an airline stewardess (that's what they were called back then) when you grow up. Please contact us when you are eighteen years old.

I couldn't yet read and so I believed that the piece of mail my mom "read" was really an offer of employment for me specifically. For several years I thought that was what I would be when I grew up. I have no idea why my mom picked that profession, I'd never said I wanted to be one, but I didn't question my destiny. My career was set.

I forgot about it as I grew older and when I was in elementary school my favorite thing to play was secretary (that's what they were called back then). I loved pretending to sit at a desk and perform tasks like carefully writing lists, making check marks, answering the phone and shuffling papers into neat stacks. Maybe it was the organization that soothed me – to this day I crave order in my home.

Yes, I had lofty aspirations.

The next thing I remember wanting to be was a writer. I did very well on essays in high school, wrote some dog awful poetry and started a story that now, twenty-three years later, is close to being made into a book.

I only wrote a few pages of the story when I was a sophomore. It was about a high school romance. Okay, yes, it was based on my real life experiences, which I thought were tragic and dramatic enough to become literature. I've kept some of the names, the football game, the dance, the mean girl, the disbelief that a hot guy (Troy from my book is waaay hotter than the dude I crushed on back then, though) liked me, which constituted pretty much all that I had written back when I was fifteen.

Many of my high school memories are crystallized in my mind. Maybe it's because I kept a journal that I've reread over the years. Maybe this is why I feel so connected to writing for young adults.

While the "coffee, tea, or me" gig never panned out, I did get into admin work (that's what they call it now) when I grew up. I still get a little thrill starting my morning with piles of "to dos" that I clear off by the end of the day.

And now I can also say I became a writer. Not because I have a book published, yet, but because I am determined to take the seeds of a story from my adolescent self and turn them into the fulfillment of a dream.