Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zoinks!


Yesterday, I discussed my happy exclamation. Well, every once in awhile I also find myself in need of a less-than-thrilled turn of phrase and the run-of-the-mill interjections just don't cut it. When such situations arise, I am extremely grateful to be able to fall back on the stunning phraseology of Norville Rogers, known to his many friends as Shaggy.



Zoinks.

The first time I ever heard Shaggy utter the word, I laughed because it was so silly. And also because I was about five years old and it didn’t take much to prompt giggles.

I mean, it was just ridiculous.

Zoinks.

And then one day I found myself a little bit scared and I said it. Zoinks. I started laughing again at the silliness and some of the anxiety faded away.

So, I’m here today to recommend the phrase to you. The next time you’re feeling a wee bit scared, just give it a go. (Particularly if you find yourself being chased by a suit of armor come to life, haunted by a ghost hunting for gold, thwarted by an apeman who doesn’t like movies, or beleaguered by a counterfeiting puppet master.) I’m pretty confident you won’t be disappointed.

Zoinks.

Works every time.

I might have been a lot more anxious….if it wasn’t for those meddling kids.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Yodeling


Do you remember how when Peter Pan was really pleased, he just had to crow? He just had too much excitement in him to express with words. Crowing like a rooster was just more appropriate.

I get how he feels. Except I'm not big on the crowing. I favor the yodel.

You see, when was a kid, the extended family used to sometimes get together at my grandma's house. She was one of eleven, so those barbeques were pretty well attended.

I've been told that I once ran up to the porch, saw all those lovely white-haired ladies and stopped dead in my tracks. My five-year-old brain was apparently a little overwhelmed by the sight and I had to ask those around me, "Which one is grandma?"

So, I may not have always been able to tell one person from another right away, but there was one thing that I consistently expected.

As my great aunt Peggy would drive away from the curb outside my grandma's, beginning her trek back to New Jersey, she would roll down her car window and yodel.

Every single time.

The window would roll down and yodeling would begin. It was her way of saying, "Had a phenomenal time! I'll miss you!," when words just wouldn't cut it.

We'd run after the car, waving and yodeling back. Because what else do you do when someone yodels to you, but yodel back? Trust me, you hear a sound like that and it's almost impossible not to respond in kind.

Now it's hardwired into me. I hear yodeling and I feel happy. Simple cause and effect.

So, what's your happy cry?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X Marks the Spot



Around this time two years ago, the Roomie and I were down in Florida for the express purposes of going to the Harry Potter theme park. It was awesome….but that’s not really what this post was about. Nay.

You see, our hotel was about a mile from the park, so we decided to walk there rather than waiting for a shuttle. And thus had more time to fill up with conversation. I think it’s fairly normal to find that after living with someone for a prolonged period of time, your discussions begin to stray toward the bizarre. I mean, I already knew her favorite color and how she almost blinded herself with a golf club once. There aren’t really that many more questions to ask.

So we got creative.

By the time we reached the park gates, we had decided that come the following summer we were setting off on a high seas adventure to find the city of Atlantis. We considered the pros and cons each of our friends would bring to such a journey. Some made the crew, some did not. Perhaps we were harsh, but treasure hunting is serious stuff.

Now, I am sad to say that our timeframe was pushed back. Fear not! Plans are still a go. They’re just a going a little later. I’m in deep preparation though.

I’ve been looking into a number of books on the subject. As luck would have it, many of these individuals filmed documentaries during their quests. I’ve included clips below that have taught be particularly valuable lessons.

Adams, Morgan. By the Skin of My Father’s Scalp: Pursuing Cutthroat Island. (1985)

 Beware quicksand….and double crossing.

Brown, Casey. Love and Larceny: The Secret of Candleshoe. (1977)

 It doesn’t hurt to be a master of disguise.

Easton, Beth, Jody Salerno. Worth More than Gold: The Hunt for Molly Morgan’s Treasure. (1995)

 Be patient. Occasionally, you can go through the whole quest 
and still have to wait a couple days for your bags of gold.

Walsh, Michael, Brandon Walsh et. al. Never Say Die; The Search For The Gold of “One-Eyed” Willy. (1985)

 Have an inspiring speech in the ol’ back pocket. 
Just in case morale gets a little low.

Wilder, Joan. He Stole My Corazon: Emeralds and Emotions in Columbia. (1984)

Be careful who you trust. Oh, and it’s probably not a bad idea 
to wear something more practical than a pencil skirt.


Any other experts that you would suggest I look into?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Weakness



Weakness is important in the heroes who populate our stories. It is, paradoxically, what makes them strong. Perhaps not as individuals, but as characters. 

In real life, people are weak. Not every moment of every day, but some moments of some days. And depending on the day, it may be a lot of moments within that twenty-four hour period. We all have our shortcomings - the things we get defensive over if someone points them out, because we know they’re right. 

I, for instance, have a tendency to rely heavily on sarcasm. In high doses, this can take what otherwise would have been an acceptable joking remark and turn it caustic and cutting. After which, I feel a bit embarrassed because the biting nature of what I said was not my intention.  Left to my own devises, I may find a (definitively ungraceful) way of apologizing for the offense, but if someone points it out before I can? Back goes up and I…you know…say something sarcastic.

It’s a vicious cycle. 

And I know I’m not alone in such failings. So, if we all have to suffer the awkwardness of our limitations, why shouldn’t our characters? Misery loving company and what not. 

But really, it’s the balance between strength and weakness that makes these fictional folks relatable. If they weren’t so damned proud and prejudiced, but rather completely open minded and gave each other a chance straight off the bat, would the Darcy/Bennet romance be considered such a classic? I don’t know too many people who read that book for Jane and Bingley. 

Of course, even if they did, there’s plenty of weakness there. Bingley is so insecure in his convictions that it takes little more than a few choice words from his friend to have him walking away from the woman he loves. And for all her moral strength, Jane doesn’t have much vigor when it comes to fighting for what she wants. 

Still we love these characters, not in spite of their inadequacies, but because of them. 

Hey, if Bruce Wayne can be that emotionally screwed up and still save the people of Gotham City on a daily basis, we can probably deal with the fact that we have to sit next to that one person at our staff meeting whose personality makes us want to spit nails. And if you’re occasionally a bit of a know-it-all? Well, so was Hermione Granger and look what she accomplished. Even Buffy, for all her strengths, had moments of stubbornness and self-righteousness that bit her in the ass. Didn’t stop her from saving the world…a lot. 

We all have bad moments. Moments where we let ourselves and the people around us down. The fact that fictional characters do too, makes them relatable. And can provide us some necessary hope that even with these foibles, we can still be pretty damn awesome.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vile Villains?



When I was but a wee thing, very little in this world scared me more than the villains from Disney movies. They were horrible. They were devious. They were manipulative. They were….possibly misunderstood.

It was after my stunning realization that the Wicked Witch might not be so wicked after all that I began to rethink my opinions on all my childhood villains.

Some of them are evil, no doubt about it.

Ordering your stepdaughter’s heart be cut out because a prince was singing her a love song? Not cool Queenie. Now considering that your stepdaughter was fourteen and the prince’s age was undetermined, I could see sending your huntsman after him.

Skinning puppies? Sorry Cruella, can’t talk yourself out of that one.

Killing your brother, telling everyone your nephew did it (including the kid himself), hitting on your sister-in-law and running the kingdom into the ground? That’s just hard to come back from, Scar.

But there are a couple who still have me on the fence. Two ladies whose actions certainly were not well advised, but were they evil? Maybe you can help me decide:


Maleficent

First Impression: She’s a demon. Has to be. All those flowing black robes and skin that sometimes seems to be tinted green, sometimes purple. She hangs around with ravens and can turn into a DRAGON. Evil. Evil. Evil.

Upon Reflection: Why is she so angry? Everyone in the kingdom is snubbing her. Have you ever been the ONLY person left off the party invitation? Wouldn’t that make everyone a little glum? Sure, her nickname is “Mistress of All Evil,” but she gave it to herself. Classic over compensation to mask deep insecurities. And the whole turning into a dragon and trying to eat everyone? If that’s not a cry for help, I don’t know what is.


Ursula

First Impression: She’s an evil witch trying to use the good king’s daughter to destroy him. She preys on wishers and dreamers, turning them into emaciated polyps. She can increase to massive proportions at will and tries to kill the young mermaid who was only looking for true love. Conclusion: Bad guy.

Upon Reflection: Ursula was cast from her home by Triton (who some report to be her brother) causing understandable mental anguish. But did she let it overcome her? No. She became a successful businesswoman. She has a lot of power, why should she be expected to use it free of charge? And can we really blame her for trying to take precautions against merpeople breaking contracts, particularly when it seems as though so many of them are less than reliable? If we are to judge based on her business with Ariel, she lays out her terms very clearly. She’ll turn Ariel human for three days. If Ariel gets a kiss of true love, transformation is permanent. If not, back to mermaid form and under Ursula’s power. Sure, these might be harsh terms, but they’re clear. And you know what Ariel does after they’re explained? Signs the damn contract. The whole pretending to be the woman of Eric’s dreams thing might fall in a morally gray area, but what it comes down to is that rather than meeting the terms of the contract that she herself signed, Ariel is complicit in killing the woman that she willingly entered into business with. Ursula was a tough businesswoman, yes. But deserving of being impaled on a ship? I don’t think it’s that cut and dry.


So what do you say, vile or simply vilified? Where do these ladies fall?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Unenchanted




I love fairy tales. Always have. Whether they’re the happy, upbeat Disney versions or the much darker originals, I just enjoy those types of stories.

Sadly, however, my life is not a fairy tale. And I’m pretty sure it’s my fault for the following reasons:

  1. While I love to dance, I’m not that big on going to formalized dance events. Much more prone to the living room boogie.

  1. It does not matter how good it looks, I would never gnaw on someone else’s house.

  1. I don’t care if he hopped off his lily pad, recited sonnets and brought me a Dr. Pepper – I’m not kissing a frog. I am, however, willing to be just friends.

  1. If I awoke from a deep slumber to find someone standing over me, my first instinct would not be to smile, but to throw a fist.

  1. I see someone in shining armor I’m likely to assume that they’re either vain or just haven’t actually done anything yet.

  1. If any woodland creatures ever showed up in my bedroom to help me get dressed, my gut reaction would not be gratitude.

  1. I’d totally be down for a good quest, but if success means I’m bound to marrying a stranger? I’m tapping out.

  1. If there’s a bright and beautiful object and I’m told repeatedly that touching it will lead to horror and evil, I’m not going to touch the damn thing. Look with your eyes, folks.

  1. A strange wolf tells me that all the really pretty flowers are deeper in the wood? I’m going to say no thanks and run home to stick my carnations in some water with food coloring. Safe AND festive.

  1. If I can have all my wishes come true, but only if I turn my back on everyone in my past, I’m going to find some new wishes.

Clearly, the lacking of fairy tale times in my life is my fault entirely. My brain just wasn’t wired to make fairy tale appropriate decisions.

*Sigh*

At least I burst into inappropriately timed songs.

That’s something, I guess.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Traveling Tunes



This past Friday was my last day of work. I’ve worked in this office for the last two and a half years and it was a very good experience for me.

But it was time for some change.

And I figured go big or go home, right? So, starting in about a week and a half, I’m off on an adventure. Australia, Ireland, some time back in dear old NY, a visit to Maine. These are the things definitely planned for right now, but more locales may pop up along the way. Ultimately, I’m not sure where I’m going to end up. Which is equal parts awesome and terrifying.

Anyway, the first step to any great trip is the proper soundtrack, correct? I decided to start with the tunes of starting journeys:








 
Tell me this video doesn't inspire you....That's right....You can't.

I’ll be compiling more of my summer of travel soundtrack at the various destinations.

But do you have any more suggestions for Part I?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Schulz, Heidi and Her Pleasures, Not-So-Guilty


Friends, greetings! And to another Pleasures, Not-So-Guilty, welcome!

Today we get to know Ms. Heidi Schulz. Her current project is an absolutely awesome sounding Middle Grade Fantasy called Hook's Revenge. I would like to read the heck out of it and I'm guessing you will too, but while we're waiting to do that, we can at least find out more about Ms. Schulz.

Now, no more wasting time, ye landlubbers! On to the main event!

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Guilty pleasures? Yes, please! Those are the best kind. Let's get right down to it, shall we?

5. Benign Hillbilly Television. 
I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but I will admit that Duck Dynasty is one of the shows I do like. I'm not even sorry. If you haven't seen the show, get thee to the YouTubes and check out what I'm talking about. You love it too, don't you?

4. Speaking of YouTube
I do love it. 
These are a few of my favorite channels:


3. Pajamas
Even though I generally get up before the sun, if I don't have to go anywhere, I wear my PJs most of the morning. And I put on a fresh pair as early in the evening as I can manage. A lot of women wear yoga pants, but they are not fooling anyone. It's not likely that a whole lot of yoga is being done in those pants. 

To those women I say: Join me. Embrace the honesty of PJs. Isn't it just about pajama o'clock right now?

2. Office Supplies
Grown-up me loves the office supply store even more than kid me liked toy stores. The binders! Post-its! Journals! And don't even get me started on pens. I may have a slight addiction to Sharpie fine tips in every color. 

1. Pie
If you follow me on twitter, you probably already know about my deep and abiding feelings over pie. But it's not the actual eating of the pie that I feel guilty over, it's the method I generally use to procure said pie. I like to sit in the same room as my husband and text him the word "Pie" over and over. If he doesn't respond I start sending pictures. Eventually he cracks and heads out to fulfill my pie wishes. (I can't go because I'm in my pajamas.) I should feel awful about it but I don't. The fact that I am an unrepentant pie wrangler is my guilty pleasure. I feel bad about not feeling bad.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some texts to send. Pie.


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heidi profile.jpgHeidi Schulz writes middle grade stories and picture books. She hopes you will read them one day in the perhaps-not-too-distant future.

Connect with Heidi on her blog, twitter, or facebook

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Reaching



I like characters who reach for what they really want, when they could just as easily grab something easily accessible that would probably make them decently happy.

When I was but a wee sprite, my sister and I decided that a jewelry box was imperative to the game we
were playing. I ran upstairs to get one. We had a dresser with shelves on top. On the bottom shelf, within easy reach was a perfectly serviceable jewelry box. It was purple and had cartoon drawings of jewelry on it. Who could ask for anything more?

Apparently Kid Me.

Because there on the top shelf, completely out of reach I saw the red jewelry box. Now this box meant business. It was covered in crimson velvet with gold piping. And it was no mere rectangle. Nay, it was more akin to a fancy figure 8. And while the purple box had sat flat on the shelf, the red box was propped up by the tiniest, most delicate golden feed I had ever seen.

I had to have it.

So, I did what any self respecting kid would do in such a situation. I monkey climbed my way up to the top shelf, tucked the jewelry box under my arm and monkeyed back down. It would have all been fine, except for my not paying attention to the fact that the shelves were not actually connected to the dresser, just sitting on top of them.

My speedy descent had knocked them off balance and no sooner had my feet hit the ground than the shelves fell toward me. In a feat of speed and strength unmatched in all the rest of my years, I dropped the jewelry box and caught both sides of the dresser, preventing it from falling any further than it had.

Of course, I completely lacked the upper body strength to right the damn thing. So, there I stood, amid the wreckage. Trying not to shift my feet lest I further massacre the plethora of Precious Moments figurines that had all come crashing to the ground. And trying desperately to figure out if I dropped the shelves was I fast and small enough to fit through the window in the Little Mermaid tent set up directly behind me.

I stood there under those shelves for what felt like an eternity before my sister, who had apparently forgotten all about the jewelry box game, finally wandered up. She looked at me with vague interest, as though she was trying to figure out what game I was playing now and went back to her search for crayons. I finally convinced her to go get mom and she slowly went back downstairs and informed my mother I wanted her, somehow managing not to mention the falling furniture debacle. I still assert this was all revenge for the whole Sesame Street/Stitches Fiasco of ’91, but I digress.

My mother came to the bottom of the stairs and yelled up that I was going to have to come down to talk to her as she had just started folding laundry. Due to the effort I was putting into holding up the shelves, I couldn’t yell, but I did manage to get out that I was slowly being crushed by furniture. And up the stairs my mother flew, righting everything without even donning a cape and tights.

Sure, I was shaken by the experience, but as I stood there in my mother’s embrace, I remember one thought fleeting across my mind.

I had gotten the jewelry box.

It was at that moment, that I knew that I was just a touch insane. And it is that mental mania that to this day has me favoring characters who travel the road of high risk/high rewards.

Where’s the fun in playing it safe?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Quilting

So, I kind of want to learn how to quilt.

One, because I'm always cold and extra blankets are always worth having. Two, because I have just a bucket of t-shirts from various shows I was in growing up that I don't want to throw out, but also never wear. And, three, because I would like nothing more than to be able to snuggle down with a good book whilst draped in a blanket of book covers.

How awesome and nerdy would that be??


Anyway, I can't quilt yet, but I certainly can dream. Here's what I'm imagining my book quilt to look like:


What stories would make your blanket?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Parenting Skills




Recently, during my packing escapades, I came across my Parent Trap DVDs, both the original with Hayley Mills and the remake with Lindsay Lohan. Both very fun movies that my sister and I used to watch on loop.

Who doesn’t love a story of two tweens who meet at camp only to realize that they’re twins? Of course the only thing to do after such a realization is to hatch a zany plot designed to get their estranged parents back together. And we all laugh at their antics and root for them to succeed. Who wouldn’t want these girls to have the family of their dreams? And don’t those parents deserve a happy ending as well? Clearly they’re good parents, how else would they have raised two such loving daughters?

It was years after I first saw these films that it dawned on me that these were perhaps the worst parents ever. They’re shown to be these wonderful people who care about their daughter more than anything else in the world. That’s right, daughter. Singular. They are clearly not as enamored with the other one or maybe they would have wanted to see her once over the past decade plus.

The whole each taking a kid situation is not joint custody, it’s the makings for a Greek tragedy. Just make one of the twins a boy instead, have the two kids falling in love at camp and before you know it, people are blinding themselves with dress pins.

This is a tale of shoddy parenting by a couple of people who are selfish and immature enough to give George and Lucille Bluth a run for their frozen assets.*

And yet somehow, every time I put these movies on, all I can do is cheer on the happy endings.

It's a conundrum.



* At least those two never hid the existence of any of their children. Sure, they may have hid some adoption papers and engaged in some light treason....but that's totally different. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Openers



When it comes to writing books, every part is the most important. You can’t focus too much on any one area, but instead need to make it a strong whole. However, in terms of reading a book, a good argument can be made that the opening sentence may be the most important.

Why? Because that’s what has to reel the readers in. Once the book has hooked them, it’s certainly
important that it be good. But if they aren’t hooked from the start, it doesn’t matter how phenomenal the rest of the story is because they probably won’t be reading it.

A few months ago, I pulled some books at random from my shelves and looked at only the first sentences. It was interesting to see what made me want to read more and what fell a little flat for me.

So, let’s look at few more. The main question is, if I knew nothing about these books but their first sentences, would I opt to read on?


Incarnate (Jodi Meadows)


“I wasn’t reborn.”


What in the world does that mean? It’s got to be important if it’s the first thing she’s saying, right? What does it mean?!? I would read on.


Man in the Empty Suit  (Sean Ferrell)


“It is unfortunate for me that I am, by most any objective measure, a genius.”


I absolutely want to read more. Most of the time when you read “genius” it’s being discussed in a positive light. So, why is it so unfortunate for this man?


False Memory  (Dan Krokos)


“In the food court I find a mall cop leaning against a pillar.”


In just thirteen words I have a solid picture of where this scene is taking place. More than that though, I have a question I want answered. Why was the narrator looking for a cop? Reading on.


Enchanted, Inc. (Shanna Swendson)


“I’d always heard that New York City was weird, but I had no idea just how weird until I got here.”


This one isn’t as attention grabbing as some others, though it does have me asking what kind of weirdness she’s talking about. So, I would probably read at least another couple paragraphs from here. That being said, if the weirdness wasn’t unique or truly strange, the story might lose me.


Animorphs: The Invasion (K. A. Applegate)


“My name is Jake.”


Animorphs was one of my absolute favorite series growing up. However, if I knew nothing about the story but the first line, this probably wouldn’t be pulling me in.


How about you? Would you read these books based solely on their first sentences?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Not-So-Guilty Pleasures: The Emma Trevayne Edition




What goes better with N than Not-So-Guilty Pleasures? Exactly. Nothing. So, welcome to this special Tuesday edition of our favorite segment.

Today’s guest is Emma Trevayne. Her first novel, Coda is a YA sci-fi novel (it sounds awesome, by the way), which will be released on May 7th, 2013. So soon!

But, before we get to that exciting date, first we’re going to get to know Ms. Trevayne a little bit better.

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I feel like I should say that I'm not particularly guilty about my pleasures. Love what you love, I say. But the following is a list I probably should feel guilty about and don't:
5. Heist movies. Bad ones, good ones, doesn't matter. Fast Five, Ocean's Eleven, The Italian Job. Love them. Bonus points for said movies containing explosions and terrible dialogue. More bonus points for fast cars.
4. Shoes. Really pretty shoes and, unfortunately, expensive shoes. I try to limit my guilt over this particular habit by only buying them for myself as rewards for major successes, but still, they are a "guilty" pleasure. For me there's a feeling that comes from wearing snazzy shoes that I don't get from anything else. So if you see me at a conference or something, I'm the girl with the crazy footwear! Say hi!
3. Chocolate. Isn't this everyone's? But I'm a writer, and most of us think chocolate is a food group, which is...not wrong. M&Ms are like a little reward for each paragra-- I mean page. Chapter. I mean chapter. That's it.
2. Twitter. Okay, this actually IS one I sometimes feel a little guilty about, because it's so easy to play on Twitter and not be doing actual work, like writing books and answering emails about those books from people who need answers, like agents and editors and publicists. But twitter is fun, and if you trace all the way back through my journey to publication, Twitter is kind of how I got an agent. So I don't feel too guilty. Just a little.
1. I just asked my best friend what I should put for number one, and she said, "Tattoos or cheese fries,” because she knows me. Both are kind of an addiction at this point, and one is permanent and one is delicious. If I had to choose, I probably feel guiltier about the cheese fries, though.

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http://emmatrevayne.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/codacover.jpgI don’t know about all of you, but I am 100% in concurrence with the love of cheese fries.

And I can practically hear you clamoring for more information. Being a benevolent sort, I shall point you in the right direction:


Thanks so much to Emma for stopping by!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Manaical Mayors



I’ve learned something important over my many years of copious TV watching – Be very wary of mayors.

Sure there are some good ones (Henry Deacon comes to mind). But it seriously seems like this particular political position is the one quite rife with paranormal and supernatural evil. Don’t believe me? Allow me to offer up two prime examples.

Mayor Regina Mills (Once Upon a Time)

Blames a child for the fact that her cuckoo bird crazy mother killed her fiancĂ©. The rage over this event causes her to not just try to rip the hearts out of almost everyone, but to cast a curse that tears everyone in the kingdom out of their world and into ours. Where she naturally sets herself up in the highest political position her town offers. Memories are wiped, families torn apart, and her own adopted son is poisoned. On occasion Mayor Mills shows potential for redemption, which only makes it that much worse when she gives into her evil impulses again and again. 

 Certainly one way to keep your employees in line.

Mayor Richard Wilkins III (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Possibly one of the creepiest characters I’ve ever seen. Why? Because he was so damn pleasant. He could go from talking about the importance of milk to ensure strong bones to the need to kill high school students without changing his tone. And seemed equally sincere on both counts. He sold his soul to become immortal, but even that wasn’t enough. Nope, he had to go and try to become a pure demon in full on snake form. This process included quite a bit of murder and mayhem. But never any swearing. Bad language is just unseemly.

I’m with him there. It is pretty fun.

What about you? Any positions of authority that you are more wary of because of evil television portrayals?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Lullabies



Between friends and family, I have a number of babies coming into my life right now. I’m going to be an auntall over the place. Which means, I’ve been looking into a lot of baby-related things lately. Given my love of music, lullabies have been on the list.

Who doesn’t enjoy being sung to sleep?

I’ve gone through periods in my life where I have listened to music every night as I’ve drifted off. I learned early on that I had to choose my bedtime music wisely. Tried the Broadway soundtrack to Footloose for a week once. Which I guess kind of worked. I was pretty tired after I got up and danced around the room for a half hour. 

However, I don’t think anyone’s going to let me watch their babies if I get them all riled up like that. So, I’ve been looking into songs of a more soothing variety.

I like some of the classics, but of course a few of them are kind of scary.

Rock-a-Bye Baby” ends with the baby plummeting from a tree tops and possibly being crushed by a splintering cradle. Sleep tight, kid. The fact that I’ve seen “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” listed as a lullaby is bizarre to me. Who falls into peaceful slumber while thinking about spiders? I know it’s a surefire way to keep me burning the midnight oil. Or, you know, maybe we can just sing about a little girl drowning to death right before the eyes of a little boy who wants to save her, but can't swim. And then talk about how her decaying body fertilized plants. And how he fell in love with her little sister and forgot all about her. That'll give the kiddies sweet dreams.

Possibly my favorite verse from this version of the little ditty is:
In my dreams she still doth haunt me
Robed in garlands soaked in brine
Though in life I used to hug her
Now she's dead, I draw the line
Gotta teach the children boundaries, right?

Still, even more than twinkling stars and golden slumbers of the not-so-blood-curdling classics, I like some of the modern lullaby-ish tunes. Here are a few of my favorites:






If you'll notice, not an arachnid or horrible death among them.

How about you? Any suggestions for my coming nieces and nephews?