It’s everywhere!

I now know how to get diaper rash cream out of hair and bath towels.   Carpet pending.  Apparently dish detergent is the way to go.  It makes sense, really.  Needs to remove a *lot* of grease and all that.  Of course, it’s also hard to get dish detergent out of towels.  You have to then wash them about, oh, 3 times to get it all out.  <sigh>   And you have to wash the hair several times with the dish detergent to get it all out, which is a pain in the neck when you have a ton of it in the hair of a toddler who doesn’t like water poured over her head.  Maybe it’ll be a lesson for next time.  We can hope, at least.

Brought the girls in to help wake Seth up this morning, as he had the day off and we had plans to check out a local park.  Beth was very persistent.  “Wake up, Papa!  Wake up!”  Seth, without opening his eyes: “Why?”  Beth: “It’s morning!”  Seth: “Why?”  Beth: “It’s sunny!”  Seth: “Why?”  Beth, at this, looks at me for help.  So… Me: “Beth, who made the sun?”  Beth, to Seth: “God made it sunny!”  Seth: “Why?”  Beth, frustrated: “Stop saying ‘why,’ Papa!”  Ha!  Let’s see if *that* one sinks in.

Just read two Christian romances in a row.  I’ve been mostly on a fantasy kick lately, but I ran into these and thought I’d give them a try.  First one was by Deeanne Gist and was quite good.  She writes well, her dialogue is good, people act true to character, and the story was interesting and had just the right number of twists, even though I was able to see the final twist/solution coming.  Second one I actually initially thought was by the same author, as the books have a similarity in look to them.  I only had to read a few pages before I flipped back to the front to see who wrote it, though.  The dialogue is absolutely awful.  People talk so stiffly and unnaturally.  And they also *act* completely irrationally.  I’m not certain whether it counts as poor character development, because the people consistently make stupid choices.  It might just be that they’re meant to be foolish people.  But that certainly doesn’t make me care about their lives and what they do.  The villain is *so* unbelievably unrealistic.  I think in some ways this book seems so bad because it’s in comparison to some much better ones that I was reading recently.

I did quite enjoy the book “The Mysterious Benedict Society.”  It has a sequel, but it was due before I got to it, so I’ll have to get it out again.  There’s also a third book in the series due out soon, I think in October?  “The Thirteenth Child” was also a fascinating book, although the final climax was rather… anti-climactic?  <grin>  The ending was just a bit dull and not nearly as exciting as one would have expected based on the earlier book.  But it’s still worth a read just because the story and the world are so intriguing.  I wasn’t huge on “The Princess and the Hound” so I didn’t read the sequel, “The Princess and the Bear,” although my husband did.  He said it was awful, though.  In general, I find that Mette Ivie Harrison, who wrote both, has books that have a lot of cold, calculating, seemingly emotionless characters, and the dialogue is stilted–not because she writes poorly, but because the characters are uncomfortable in their conversations with each other.  While her fantasy books aren’t darker than other writers, this makes them seem darker because they’re more draining and depressing, in a way.  I find myself wishing she (and her characters) would lighten up a bit.  Patricia Wrede is more my style.  I also love Shannon Hale, whose language is just beautiful along with her very clever stories.

If you can’t tell, I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately.  It’s been helpful for my writing, I think.  Not to mention being enjoyable.  The problem is that I just have a hard time putting a book aside, especially when I’m halfway through or more, which means I’m spending too much time reading and not enough getting things done.  There’s a ton of work to do to get the house ready for my parents’ visit, after all!  Today was sort of a day off because Seth was off work, but tomorrow I need to get cracking, especially because it’s hard to get things done on the weekend.  I’ve been doing a thousand loads of laundry but the amount of laundry left to be done never ever seems to be any less!  Ack.

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