Lost in Translation: Part One

  Did you ever play that game Chinese whispers? I don’t ever remember playing it. To compensate this childhood deprivation God has blessed me with a husband and kids who live Chinese Whispers. You don’t get it? Let me demonstrate. Introducing the cast:

Slovenly Teen: 15

Only Son: 13

Middle Child: 8 (I also refer to her as ‘sweet child o mine’- she is the only one I want to admit is my actual offspring)

Twin 1: 5

Twin 2: coincidentally also 5

Husband: Peter Pan

Me: 18 till I Die (Bryan Adams rocks..eh)

Random Situation 1:

Slovenly Teen, the reigning champion of sleeping in, is still in bed on Saturday evening..no night..of course I am not exaggerating! Whatever gave you the idea I exaggerate?

Me: “Wake up goddammit! It’s almost Sunday, look at the filthy mess in this room, I am not cleaning up after you, you over grown gargantuan sloth. You get up right now and wash those dishes, I wash them all week. The least you can do is help out on the weekend, you good for nothing massive waste of carbohydrates. What kind of example are you setting for your younger sisters? All right that is it, I am throwing our all your junk….here it goes…did you hear me?”

What Slovenly Teen actually hears:

“My poor exhausted precious pearl! You have worked hard looking swag all week. Baby you need a rest! Now don’t you dare try to get up and put things away, no no no! Mama will do that for you, my darling angel! Just right after I get your good for nothing sisters to wash the dishes and clean up your room I am going to cook your favorite …now what do you feel like? Lasagna or chicken cacciatore? You are so beautiful it is unbelievable and just for being that good-looking I think I’m gonna bake my baby a cake! Here honey let me put your beats on your ears for you…you just relax and continue snoozing the day away sugar-plum.”

Random Situation 2:

Xbox addicted Only Son had been playing since 4 pm and it is now 7 pm  The twins are fainting from severe lack of Tree House. Yes I insist on keeping one and only one TV!

Me: “You need to turn that game off now! You have been playing for five hours now. Other people in this house need the TV you know! If you don’t turn that goddamn thing off right now, you won’t play for a week. I don’t care if you have ten friends online, if their mothers are ok with their sons turning into a bunch of zombie gamers, fine with me. Are you listening to me? ”

What Only Son hears: “Most precious only male child and carrier of the family name. Continue on your quest of becoming the greatest gamer in the history of mankind and bring me pride. You have only been playing for half an hour and I know it will take hours of hard work to perfect your great skill at killing underage players online violently and mercilessly. I take great delight in every kill you make. It makes my heart sing while you comment loudly, with strange verbal embellishments,  into that expensive mouth piece earphone thing set that I most happily agreed upon buying. Play on noble son, play on.”

Random Situation 3:

Twin 2 greatly frustrated while I am busy in the kitchen, comes to me with the complaint that her Xbox addicted brother has still not turned off the game.

Me: “Okay, just let me finish up what I am doing and I’ll come and have a talk with your brother.”

Twin 2 to Only Son: “Mom said you better get off that goddammit game right now or she is going to break it into gazillions of pieces and throw them off the roof. And then you are going to get a spanking. DO IT NOW!”

Random Situation 4:

Peter Pan  husband is on the internet. I have issues that I need to discuss.

Me: “The groceries are almost finished you need to go shopping, and I was wondering what to cook for dinner. Do you want to have traditional stuff tonight or something non-desi? Did you know Only Son’s dentist appointment is next week? There is a sale on at the mall, I think we should go. You have got to talk to that daughter of yours! Her room is a mess, you need to get more involved with the kids, I can’t do everything you know! There is something wrong with the vacuum cleaner and the cat, they are both throwing up hairballs. Do you think I have started looking..old? You need to get some exercise, you sit too long at that damn computer, the twins have vaccinations due.  Middle child brought home an open house circular from school and…”

What husband actually hears: “Blah blah blah blabbidy bloo blah blah blabber blabber blabber blah blah blabbidy bleep blah blah blah…”

Husband: “Okay”

So what does your family hear when you are trying to communicate?

(All pics from Google Images)

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Guest post by a published author. Who is not snobby.

I had a day off today. So after sending all the kids to school I promptly went straight to my laptop? No I went straight back to bed. And continued to snooze blissfully till 12: 45. Now I am eating french toast and drinking hot tea and typing with sticky fingers because after you pass the three kids mark and 35 you no longer care about these things. Your biggest luxury is sleeping in and not being woken by five snarling monsters kids.

Mike Allegra is a published (non snobby) author.  He is also very, very funny. When I am feeling sad, mad or bad I go to his blog and have a good laugh. He also has great tips for writers, so you have to go and visit him here: heylookawriterfellow

Yes, now you know you have to visit. And his wife has a great way with animals. Definitely visit here.

His book  Sarah Gives Thanks is going into its second printing. Congrats! It is a touching story and has beautiful pictures.

I pestered him to do a guest post for my blog. And this is the first guest post here. So hurray for me. If you write then you are probably in some sort of critique group and you have probably come across some people who are ready to cruelly tear your work apart ( they have been published) or get violent when you give them honest suggestions( they will never be published). But Mike is a very nice, down to earth published author who does neither. Here is his entertaining and informative account of  critiquing.

Criticizing Critiques: A Critical Study ( Mike Allegra)

It was my turn to critique the manuscript and I wasn’t looking forward to it. It wasn’t because I didn’t like critiquing (because I do) or because I didn’t like the manuscript (although I didn’t) , it was because the critiquee – let’s say her name was Helen – was not interested in hearing anything but praise. No matter how I couched my constructive criticism, Helen’s response always hovered in the neighborhood of hostile.

Most of the other people in this writers’ circle had taken Helen’s cue long ago and used their time to offer up bland, non-specific kudos for her manuscripts. But I’m sort of stupid, I suppose. I just can’t say, “It’s good! Really good!” when I don’t think the manuscript is really good. I don’t see the value in doing so. I always try to critique others the way I want them to critique me.

I began Helen’s critique on a positive note. “I really like your idea,” I said. “It’s playful and fun. And I think the approach you took is dead on. It’s a perfect subject for a rhyming picture book.”

Helen beamed.

“But I noticed that some of your rhymes aren’t really rhymes.”

And Helen’s smile faded. It might have been my imagination, but her face seemed to suddenly fall into shadow. But I sallied forth, because, again, I’m stupid.

“For example: ‘pat’ and ‘path.’ Or ‘pane’ and ‘way.’ The words share the same vowel sounds, but they aren’t rhymes.”

I looked up from my notes to see if any of this was registering. Certainly none of the stuff I was saying could get her really angry this time. A rhyme is a rhyme, after all. There’s nothing subjective about a rhyme.

But, well, yikes. Was someone holding a flashlight under her chin?

“No one will care about that,” said Helen. Her tone announced, “How dare you care about that!”

Helen’s remark was followed by the squeak of half-dozen chairs as they, ever so slightly, pushed back from the table.

But I went on. Remember: I’m stupid.

“Also I noticed that the meter varies from line to line. Here you have 13 syllables and here you have 11. This one is 10.”

“It’s 11,” Helen said.

“No, it’s 10,” I said.

And that touched off a rather prolonged simmering discussion over what constitutes a syllable. Helen and I spent some quality time counting together.

Yep, it was 10. Helen didn’t acknowledge this fact as much as change her line of attack.

“No one will care about that either,” she said.

But that wasn’t true. I’m a someone and I cared.

Well, sort of.

I certainly didn’t care if Helen got published – which I doubted she ever would because she was an unpleasant, cantankerous crabby pants who didn’t know that “pat” and “path” didn’t rhyme – but I did care that my efforts were being treated so shabbily. Helen certainly didn’t have to accept anything I said – it was her manuscript and she could do what she wanted with it – but I took quite a lot of time to review her story, the least she could do was give my comments a little respectful consideration.

“Okay, I’m done,” I told Helen. I wasn’t really done with my critique. I was done with Helen and her rotten, dismissive attitude.

Of course, such dismissiveness doesn’t only have to be delivered by an ungrateful critiquee. I once heard a critique by a fellow I’ll call Don. On one fateful night he told an aspiring writer that her “characters were vague.”

Don didn’t elaborate beyond that, making his critique pretty vague as well. The aspiring writer, a bit of a doormat, I’m afraid, wrote down Don’s remark verbatim, as if she could later tease something of value out of it once she got home.

To her discredit, she didn’t ask for any examples of vagueness or any suggestions as to how to make the characters less vague. I would’ve asked such questions; I doubt, however, that Don would’ve been able to answer them. It’s hard to be specific when you don’t bother to read the story you’re critiquing.

Critique groups are essential to the writing process. They should be exploited for all they’re worth. But every group dynamic is different. A single Helen can suck the joy out of what should be a very supportive and constructive environment. A group that contains too many Dons can make the critiquing process almost useless.

I never returned to Helen’s group after she and I counted syllables together. Apparently I set off a chain reaction. The group disbanded a month later. As for Don’s group, (there were actually a few “Dons” in that group), I left that one too, and never looked back.

Eventually I found a good critique group that provided – and continues to provide – a thoughtful, constructive, and tough assessment of my work. Some comments I agree with, others I ignore, but I almost always drive home energized, eager to tackle another draft.

That’s what a writers’ group should be like.

Choose your group wisely. Stay in the group only if it helps. Leave when it doesn’t. Your writing deserves the best critiques you can find.

And please be sure to critique others the same way you want them to critique you.

Thanks so much Mike for doing the first guest post for me. And I swiped your wonderful doodles too:

Isn’t that great?

All images are from heylookawriterfellow except for snoring mom from Google Images.

Having Doubts

I was reading through ‘when in doubt’ quotes because I am in doubt. When I am not procrastinating, I am busy being in doubt. I found some enlightening advice and I thought you could use it.

“When in doubt, don’t.”  Benjamin Franklin

“When in doubt, do it.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

“When in doubt or danger, run in circles, scream and shout.” Laurence J. Peter

“When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.”
Cynthia Heimel

I found all this extremely helpful. Especially running around in circles and screaming, it relieves the tension and gives the kids a good laugh. And if you think you are making a fool of yourself, act like an intellectual so you seem ‘brilliantly creative’ to everyone else.

Seriously though doubt is so hard to deal with, all the advice says ‘just write’ and keep writing. As Dory would say “just keep swimming”.

 

But how do you convince yourself? Sometimes I just want to lock my laptop up and throw away the key. Just forget about the whole thing. Sometimes I just sit there and cry while I eat plenty of chocolate. I am not good enough, there are too many people already writing, I don’t have a Master’s degree in English Literature, I don’t post enough on my blog, I don’t have any articles or short stories published in any of the ‘big’ magazines, I am not a member of any affiliation for writers, I don’t have time, I do have time but I can’t do it, I have too much housework, I will end up not giving the kids enough time and they will end up disturbed juvenile delinquents, the kitchen floor needs to be mopped. The thing that is behind everything is doubt that I just can’t write at all. And I thought it was just me, but apparently even published writers have their doubts: How to Conquer Self Doubt and Just Write

And if that inspires you enough then you might want to try writing a short story for this competition: Young Adult Fiction Competition

They extended the deadline, so if you stop doubting and get writing you can make the dead line. Good luck.

(All Images from Google Images)

Parents Just Don’t Understand

Sometimes after I have finished yelling at my kids, I wonder what it would be like to be in their place. Then my imagination goes a little wild and takes on different personalities, like a desi teenage boy. Here is an article I wrote for Dawn when my imagination was him.

Yo! You have crazy parents dude? Man I’m telling you they don’t understand anything. It’s like after 30 their brains stop working. And if your parents are Desi, man you have the worst type of parents ever! Desi parents? They speak desi, they think desi, they act desi, they spend desi. You can’t help but think “Yo old man why are we here? You should have kept us all in Desi Land!” And they tell you they came to give you better opportunities than they had. But man they can only think with desi brains and all those opportunities go out the backdoor. All my white friends, they don’t have it half bad. They’re lucky man. At least their parents speak the same language. Don’t believe me?

I had a pain in my tooth, had it for days man. Kept telling my mom I’ve got to see a dentist, you know what she tells me?

“Aye Allah! Who knows what that man will do to you putr! Here put this in you mouth.” Then she shoved a broken clove into my mouth and shut it so hard I almost bit my tongue off.

“This tastes like ‘bleep’ Ma!” And I tried to spit it out but she grabbed my face in her hands. Dude you won’t believe the hand muscles desi women develop from kneading all that dough!

She made me stuff cloves in my tooth for one month. Then the dentist told me I’d have to get a root canal. My old man wasn’t too happy about that. Not the pain I’d go through. The cost man! Dude, desi parents have desi wallets. Literally. My old man bought 42 wallets from his last visit to Desi Land. He got them off a thela for Rs45 each. That’s less than 45 cents. You can’t imagine his joy when he tells everyone he meets how much he saved on those wallets. You can’t imagine mine either. Anyways he tells the dentist,

“Just pull the tooth out! He doesn’t need that one much, he has plenty of others.”

“Mr Chaudry we need to eliminate the infection otherwise…” says the dentist.

“Otherwise what? No one will be willing to give their daughter’s hand in marriage to him?” says the old man.

That night he tried to pull my tooth out himself with a pair of pliers. Lucky for me I’m the only son and my mom beat him off with her rolling pin. Those desi wallets are like black holes, nothing ever seems to come out of them dude. Asking desi parents for money is like asking the cute white girl in your class to a high school dance with you. The answer is always ‘NO!’ Desi parents wait till Boxing Day to buy you stuff. Yeah they don’t give you the money. They take you shopping dude.

“Oh putr, look at this! 70 per cent off! And in your size too!” says Ma.

“Ma it’s got a picture of Justin Bieber on the front, everyone will think I’m ‘bleepin’ gay.”

“Tauba tauba! All that ‘bleep’ was not enough for you? Now this ‘bleepin’ stuff!” She’s least concerned about the Chinese couple who have covered their kids’ ears. “What is wrong with being happy? And he is such a decent boy, look at that innocent smile.”

“Ma! It’s something a kid would wear.” I try to drag her away.

“Are you not my kid?” The old man asks loudly and everyone in the shop turns to look questioningly at Ma.

“Man! Stop being so loud Dad, come on…” I try to drag them both out.

“No, this matter must be settled!” He glares at me then at Ma. “Is he not my kid?” By now there is a crowd wondering at my legitimacy. I pick up the Justin Bieber T-shirt.

“Alright! I love Justin Bieber and I want to buy his ‘bleepin’ T-shirt because I’m happy ok?” I scream and everyone gasps.

The seven dollar shirt hangs in my closet. Justin Bieber smiles at me every time I open the door to get the Rs800 Leisure Club shirt my cousin managed to send me with the old man.

Juggling

Before I had kids I was able to do everything on time and life was pretty organized, goals were attainable. If only at that time I had known I should be writing. Now things don’t go quite so smoothly….

And this is often how I feel. I look even worse. But that is life. I have a habit of writing things down to the point of being slightly paranoid, so I don’t forget. Things like make breakfast, feed the kids, wake them up first, send them off to school, start breathing normally again. Eat breakfast, feed the cat, feed husband, wash dishes, go to the washroom and other stuff that I tend to forget. When I am not procrastinating I write things I have to do on the Google calendar and believe it or not it keeps me quite organized. I try to prioritize and then stick to it. A lot of things get done, of course somethings get neglected. Like wasting time on facebook, falling asleep on the sofa while watching Tree House and reading through weird news on Yahoo or irrelevant tweets on twitter that I never seem to get the hang of. I know it is a big sacrifice.

Deschanel (Canadian Press)

Zooey Deschanel’s dress flops on Emmy carpet

This was an important bit of news.

So this post was one of my planned things on today’s schedule according to my calendar. I also read some blogs and found this at Words From the Woods. Cat is really great and has good tips for writers. She is also on Agent Query Connect where she helps out writers in the dummy stage. I am one of those dummies.

This is an older post but it had a bit about balancing schedules and every one can use good tips. I find writing things down in order of importance is best for me. The Google calendar helps keep it organized and makes it look less confusing and overwhelming. I also try to keep it at an achievable level. I was reminded of this when I read “The End of Optimism” on heylookawriterfellow. He also has advice and interesting posts on burros. A ‘burro’ is what Latin Americans called small donkeys. Now I will be forever doubtful when I eat a burrito.

Anyways you shouldn’t get over-excited and plan on things you won’t be able to complete. You will just get depressed when you can’t manage to get them done. So plan things in a way that gives you enough time to actually get them done.

This is not what your writing schedule should look like or you will look like this:

So remember you are human and not the Flash. Set reasonable goals to accomplish, and have a stash of chocolate handy when you do or even don’t reach them.

What do you do to keep your self organized and make sure you get things done?

(All images form Google Images. Google I love you, truly I do)

I Really Love Writing Query Letters

Query letters are so much fun. I love them. Don’t be jealous because you don’t feel the same way. Query letters just make me want to …

There are so many rules there should be an encyclopedia just to contain them. And no matter how many times you write it out, somehow it just never seems to be quite right. And every agent wants it just a little different. You have to read through entire websites and at least five googled up interviews before you even attempt to write a query to a particular agent. That is a lot of fun. Especially in the summer vacation with kids in the house.

Anyways there are some sites I found really helpful and have been meaning to post them for quite a while. But I get distracted really easily. Did you know piranhas are really mean little buggers?

Oh and that Snooti  Snooki just had a baby.

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Fiance Jionni LaValle Welcome Son Lorenzo!

Of course then I just had to find out who she is. Ironically she has written a book and it has been published. I wonder how she managed to write the query letter. I wonder if she can spell query letter.

Sorry, got distracted. What was I talking about?

Query letters!

They really freak me out! Here are some places that were very helpful.

1.http://elanajohnson.blogspot.ca/p/writing-query-letter.html. She makes it seem so much easier. She breaks it down with lots of helpful examples.

2.http://www.nelsonagency.com/faq.html This is from the Nelson Agency Website. Very helpful.

3.http://agentqueryconnect.com/. This is a great site to learn lots and lots and lots and rant and moan and whine with other writers. And helpful. Helpful helpful.

4.http://www.americaneditingservices.com/. This is a website for an editor who was really nice and she helped me with my query a lot. I needed a lot of help. I now need a lot of vacation from summer vacation. So I can fit the lot of help I got into the rewriting of the query letter. Then I will pray I get a lot of requests. And a lot of books published. And eventually a lot of money. Then I will send a lot of my children to a lot of faraway schools so I can write a lot more without a lot of distractions. I get distracted easily. Did you know Mexican Salamanders are really weird-looking little critters?

(All Images are from Google Images)

Thanks

Thanks Fortyteen Candles for nominating my blog for the One Lovely Blog Award.

No that is not the Award, this is:

And you don’t just get an award and then do nothing but be happy about it. There are some things you have to do.

1. Give credit to the person who nominated you. Which I have done.

2. Describe 7 things about yourself. Which I have not done. Yet.

3. Nominate 15 other bloggers. Which I suppose I should do. Even though it is Friday afternoon and I am feeling very lazy.

7 Things About Me

1. I need breakfast first thing in the morning. Other wise this happens…

2. I have an obsessive-compulsive disorder for putting things in the proper place. None of my children seem to have inherited this. They insist on inheriting all my husband’s genes. They will be sorry when they one day grow up and find their houses are on “Hoarders: Buried Alive”. And I will be watching and laughing in my spotless living room.

3. After I had kids I started using Mommy language. This consists of standard sentences such as :”who ate all the ice cream?” “who didn’t flush the toilet?” “who put the cat in the freezer?” as well as “no I don’t have money” “no I have not cooked anything else for dinner besides the four course meal on the table” “no you can’t use my lipstick”. And most commonly, ” I can’t wait till you have kids of your own!”

“who took my tweezers damn it?!”

4. I forget to close the lid on the toilet at night even after reading “Good Habits my Cats Have Taught Me” by http://misanthropology101.wordpress.com/.

And my cat falls in without fail.

5. I got my eyebrows threaded and no longer look that much like Russel Brand. But my daughter still calls me Russel. 

6. That is not a picture of my eyebrow. Mine are better.

7. I don’t really care whether Robert Pattinson moved out or not. He is not really Edward Cullen people, get a life!

15 Blogs I Nominate:

1. Story Addict

2. Communicating.Across.Boundaries

3. smileinstyle

4. clotildajamcracker

5. the urge to wander

6. yummyfoodmadeeasy

7. Ashley Jillian

8. Words From The Woods

9. Writerlious

10. heylookawriterfellow

11. Paddy’s kitchen

12. Nazar Blue

13. Life Behind the Pages

14. Life As We Show It

15. Fabulous 50’s

(All pics are from Google Images)

What To Say To A Literary Agent On The Phone

Phoning the Literary Agent.

Hi how are you? I hope you got the puppy I sent you. I read an interview you gave once, at least I think it was you, and I found out you like dogs. You don’t? Oh you’re a cat person! Sorry about that, I am sure you can find someone to give the puppy to. Anyways I have written this really cool book about a vampire that falls in love with a werewolf who was adopted by fairies when her pack was attacked by flesh-eating zombies.  Everyone who reads it tells me it would make a great movie. I think you should show the manuscript to Steven Spielberg I know he is gonna flip when he sees it. I know it would appeal to a very large audience, since it is really fast paced with lots of action as well as having a great love triangle; there is an alien who is also in love with the female werewolf. I can’t tell you about the aliens, it would ruin the suspense. You just need to hurry up and read the manuscript I had tied to the puppy’s collar. It nearly choked him? Aw poor little guy!  Yeah that is the one, with the scented orange paper. I know orange is your favorite color, you can tell I did my research huh? So when do you think you can get back to me? I am really busy, I have already started the fifth book in the series but I have three more to write. When you do contact Steven…you know, Steven Spielberg? I just told you about the movie based on my novel remember! Like I was saying, when you talk to Steven ask him to check and see if Tatum Channing is free to play the lead role. You don’t think they would be interested? Why? Well they’ll be sorry later when they read the headlines about the movie breaking all the records. I think Emma Stone would make a great werewolf, try her. So when do you think you will get back to me?  I was hoping the novel could be out by the fall, so work on the movie could start by the end of the year. What do you mean you only represent non-fiction?

(picture from Google Images)

Just Write It

I have been avoiding writing. I wrote night and day to complete my novel and now I am stuck in ‘the space between’ that Marilyn blogged about in Communicating Across Boundaries and I just didn’t feel like writing anything. Reading her post reminded me that everyone gets stuck there and that’s life! Then I read another  motivating post, ’10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer’ by Writerlious. And some advice was ‘write when you don’t want to’. So I am writing randomly about…

I went to get my eyebrows threaded. I have thick eyebrows. So thick, Brooke Shields would be jealous. Actually she would be grateful God didn’t paste a thick strip of fur across her forehead.  I usually don’t worry too much about these things but since my teenager has started calling me Russel  I thought I should get them threaded. 

Unfortunately I realized we also share the same hairstyle. This is not good. I am glad my husband doesn’t know who Russel Brand is. So I got husband to drive me to a beauty parlor and found out that they don’t open on Monday. So I still look like Russel. At least until tomorrow.

10 Excellent Ways I Wasted My Time Today

I write and I love to write, the thing is I get a little distracted sometimes. Okay, yes most of the time, but I always try to learn from my mistakes and have developed really useful ways to get distracted. Here are today’s excellent time wasters:

  1. Since I slept late the night before (because I was writing !) I had a hard time getting up. I wasted time by continuously pressing the snooze button.  When I finally managed to wake up, I went to the kids’ room shook them all violently and declared: “This is the fifth time I have tried to wake you guys up, don’t blame me if you miss the bus now!”

2. I fell asleep in the bathroom while brushing my teeth.

3.  After kids left for school, I sat and watched the Weather Channel. I had originally meant to turn it off, but then I realized that they keep advertising Emily Vucovic’s wardrobe by Thyme Maternity because she is actually pregnant.  And then I fell asleep on the sofa.

                             

4.  I opened up all my email accounts, still didn’t find the Life Changing mail that will tell me some top literary agent is dying to sign me for every word I will ever write. I signed out of all of them, waited five minutes while trying to look busy in the kitchen, then checked them all again.

5.  Half an hour and no new mail later, when my eyes started to turn watery from staring at the unchanging screen, I again signed out. Then I explored all the interesting stuff on Yahoo like: “Rihanna shares bikini pics”, “Canadian fast food vs. world”, “Aguilera snubs Bieber”  and most important of all: “Pippa takes heat over racy party”. You know how besotted we Canadians are with Royalty (and all their relatives).

6.  Checked mails again, just in case those idiots wonderful agents realize what an awesome writer I am.

7.  Tried to figure out how Twitter works, still don’t get it. Husband thought I am busy in writing the next NYT Best Seller.

8.  Pondered what to cook for lunch, went through 47 different recipe websites, and saved 38 incredibly mouth-watering recipes. Then heated left-overs in the microwave.

9.  Looked at pictures of the awe-inspiring recipes I saved as I ate corn chips and drank coke that had gone flat thanks to my kids. Then I googled “ways to lose weight fast”.

10.  Facebook.Nuff said here.

So how do you waste your time?

(All pictures are from Google Images)