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Karen Smith
Western suburbia, Chicago
I have two kids, two cats, two dogs, a husband, and a minivan. I live in the suburbs now and try to stay sane. Most days I succeed.
Recent Activity
The kids head back to school tomorrow, and I'm feeling solidly meh about it. A bit down, even. The eldest is 12 (almost 13) and entering 8th grade. The youngest is 10 and entering 6th. Where, exactly, has the time gone? Seriously. Have you seen the time? All of it?... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2014 at Suburban (in)Sanity
Reality keeps reminding me how important my role as parent is, even now here midway through the elementary/middle school years (our kids go to a school that goes from Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade, so for us it’s all one school. Middle school starts in 5th grade. One is in 4th,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2012 at Suburban (in)Sanity
Many different factors keep pointing me to the need to write this. 72 (75, 77, whichever study you look at, it does't matter) cents on the dollar. Having it all. Girls in tech. Women's issues in this election season. There are several matters I don't wish to touch with a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2012 at Suburban (in)Sanity
I've been reading a ton in advance of the kids' fall book fair (which they do through the awesome independent bookstore Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, IL.) It's so much better to be able to hand a kid a book I've read and be able to say "You liked 39 Clues.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2012 at Suburban (in)Sanity
"We wanted flying cars. Instead we got 140 characters." This quote was made famous by Founder's Fund VC Peter Theil. We sci-fi folks are dreamers. Prognosticators. Fortune tellers. There are some in the SF community who feel like our era is over. Our dreamery future-fantasy stuff is just out of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2012 at Suburban (in)Sanity
I am eager to start posting regularly again. I never really know what causes my blogging hiatuses (hiati?) It's not like one day I decide "I think I'll stop posting." It's just that day after day I...don't post. This is true of my writing, too. Day after day I've been... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2012 at Suburban (in)Sanity
Parenting Tip: Create a folder of Bookmarks for each child My kids love playing on the computer. I'm on the computer a lot during the day while they're in school and I often come across a site or activity that I think they would enjoy. After a few too many... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2012 at Suburban (in)Sanity
Cauliflower/sweet potato creme fraiche pasta casserole I usually cook on the inspiration of a recipe, but often make so many changes that the recipe barely resembles the source. Tonight was no exception, and rather than lose track of the changes I made, I just rewrote the recipe to match what... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2012 at Suburban (in)Sanity
Ode on a Wireless Access Point that Does Not Suck Thou access point of doom, How you taunt me with, Your wavy bars of signal and glowing green lights, Indicating neither signal, nor strength Your suckage pulls at me, Dragging my productivity down, down, Until I cling to the edge... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2012 at Suburban (in)Sanity
If you should come to our house this holiday season, I hope you will see the chaos and think kindly of us. When you see food on the counter or a fridge bursting with veggies, yogurt, eggs, and leftovers, I hope you'll know we are grateful to have plenty to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2011 at Suburban (in)Sanity
So another holiday weekend has come and almost gone. We've hardly left the house in four days. I, being a wise and intelligent mom (this ain't my first rodeo...) visited the handy dandy redbox nearest our home on Wednesday morning to procure us some Holiday Rental Delights.To save you some... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2011 at Suburban (in)Sanity
I just finished Matched by Ally Condie . It was excellent, I highly recommend it. It is a(nother) YA dystopia. What I found interesting was how the author manipulated the limited point of view of the main character to have us, the readers, brought along on the journey to see... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2011 at Suburban (in)Sanity
Oooh! Exciting. I would love to go, but would I be the only one who had never read any Austen books? I've seen movies, enjoyed derivative works, but never read the originals...
I was incredibly moved by this video, posted by a friend (who I think is friends with the video author:) And I literally couldn't stop thinking about it, so I did what I often do when I can't stop thinking about something, I wrote. I thought at first I might... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2011 at Suburban (in)Sanity
I read this great q/a post by Carolyn Hax in the Washington Post today and almost got whiplash from nodding so vehemently. Even the most sensitive husband (again I remind you that I write from the point of view of the sometimes stay-at-home wife/mom, who also works sometimes, writes, volunteers,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2011 at Suburban (in)Sanity
Well, actually I've written several. Four at last count, though the 30+k words sitting on my computer at the moment are giving me the stink-eye. They're not a FINISHED novel yet. (Adrift, the hairy-eyed work-in-progress, is probably going to land right around 50k when complete and is a middle-grade science... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2011 at Suburban (in)Sanity
How fantastic! And trust me, I understand about what to share online, I think each blogger has to think it through his/herself and figure out their "happy place." Laughing at your explanation of men and how they size up the other guys in a room, every single time. My husband not only figures out who he could beat up (50-60% as he reports it) but also who he could outrun (99% as it turns out. Wiry and fast.) Cracks me up! And he'd say the same about brits ("I could take 'em.) Enjoy your time! I'm really really really interested in what an author can do/contribute on set (I presume you're there as a "consultant" or some such, as I don't believe you write the screenplay.) How long will you be over there? Did you get help from the studio in getting the right kind of visa and the like?
Toggle Commented Jul 18, 2011 on One week of Austenland at squeetus
This book surprised me. It came up on a bunch of "people who read X read Ship Breaker" lists and I started tracking it around. When I read the acknowledgements and learned that Paolo Bacigalupi is friendly with other MG and YA writers I adore (Sarah Prineas, Greg van Eekhout),... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2011 at Suburban (in)Sanity
One of the more unusual things about being an into/out of the workforce parent (sometimes called the "primary at home parent" and also the "Stay at Home Mom" but of course there's nothing particularly stay-at-homish about being the one who has the more flexible schedule, and of course it's not... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2011 at Suburban (in)Sanity
I'm in the process of considering a move from Shelfari to Goodreads, and decided to look at some of my book reviews on Shelfari (one of many reasons I'm only *considering* the move, since I would hate to lose all that intel!) In doing so, though, I realized I had... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2011 at Suburban (in)Sanity
Because the Internet is Awesome™ (more on this later) I have had a chance to read an Advanced Reader Copy of the forthcoming MG sci-fi novel The Boy at the End of the World by Greg van Eekhout. The middle-grade age range has very little science fiction published in it,... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2011 at Suburban (in)Sanity
Look, we've been friends a while. I love you all dearly. And I'm here to tell you tonight, late on the eve of Mother's Day, to just let it go. Whatever your personal "it" is - just let it...go. Yoga teachers talk a lot about the "acknowledge the thought and... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2011 at Suburban (in)Sanity
Thanks @Jen. I had the talk with myself just yesterday about how I need to do that - the putting one thing down, turning, providing full attention. And remembering that it won't last forever helps, too. Mere blips on the life radar. Just painful ones.
Toggle Commented Apr 28, 2011 on Broken at Suburban (in)Sanity
I'm working too much, and my daughter, the emotional antenna, knows. And it's not like at age seven she can say, "Mom, you're working so much and your head is elsewhere and that scares me and I wish you would focus on me more and I don't like having to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2011 at Suburban (in)Sanity
I've been working in my chosen career since I was nineteen years old. I started as a part-time college intern. Three, four, five days a week I would drop my books and notebooks off in my dorm room, change into something that vaguely resembled business attire (back in the days... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2011 at Suburban (in)Sanity