It’s July 1 today, which means that our summer holiday official starts in five days. Yes, America, my children are still in school and will be until July 4, when, with a touch of utterly unintentional irony, their British school officially ends for the year and sets them free.  I’ve spent much of the last month preparing to move, then moving, then recovering from the move and I’ve realized one thing:

Dante Aligheri never moved house, because if he had, at least one of the rings of hell in The Inferno would have been covered in bubble-wrap, cardboard, and packing tape.

In the meantime, although the pages and pages of the novel bouncing around in my head are…still in my head, I’ve written something for The National about the ridiculous driving here (an endless source of fear and amusement); posted a few times on BlogHer; written something for the World Mom’s Blog that should be out in a few days (and in the meantime you should go read the other stuff that’s posted there now); and written this short piece for the Yeah Write page. The amazing Erica, who also writes at freefringes, created the yeahwrite space as a place for good writing to thrive on the interwebz and this summer, she’s hosting something called “31 Days to Build a Better Blog.”  Some of the advice will be blog-specific, but some (like this piece by moi), is good advice for all writers.

I’m going to work through this 31 days thing; I figure if I can’t trim my actual physique, maybe I can whip this blog page into shape.  Stay tuned (I know, you can’t wait) for the daily blog exercises.  First up? I have to describe this blog in 100-150 words. I hate brevity. Brief is brutal. What did Mark Twain? You can have a three-page report on something in two weeks, or a ten-page report in three days.  If you’ve got suggestions, leave ’em in comments. Be nice.

In the meantime, two photos about moving. For Caleb, the upside of this:


Is that there are boxes to play with.  I think it’s a version of when life gives you lemons…  (And for those of you with small children in your lives, if you don’t know the two fabulous picture books Not A Box and Not a Stick, you need to find them & read them with your small fry.)