Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Happy Birthday, Superman!
My middle son, code name Superman, is obsessed with the arcade game, 'the CLAW'. He talks about not being able to resist playing if there are coins jingling in his pocket, even though he says he knows, with his head, that it is a scam. He says he just can't stop his heart from wanting to play.
Today is his eighth birthday, so we got him a table top version of the CLAW, equipped with fake coins and all. I'm hoping that he'll get all the joy and none of the heartache from the home version. Not to say this version is easy. But it is doable. And free.
Writing is my claw game. I work so hard at it, and rarely come up with that gem. That phrase, or idea which I know is gold.
Or, in this case, the tootsie roll. :)

I have been mining my mind the last couple of days, and came up with some great gems which will enhance my current work in progress. I haven't been actually writing, since I've also been dealing with a migraine. 

I was picking up Superman's cake, when I started to feel the brain confusion. Which meant that I had a very short amount of time to get home before I couldn't see enough to drive. Then things start going numb, and the headache and nausea set in.

Right now, I feel like my brain is missing some key elements. But I feel so much better, and I know this will pass. Of all the things that people suffer with, the things that people don't feel whole from within a few days, I feel lucky.

And, I'm surrounded my children who take care of me, a husband who comes home and takes care of our kids (and our kids' friends too) and me, and who cooks and cleans, and keeps things running when I can't.

Tomorrow I'll feel whole.

And, then, I'll start to work the CLAW again.

How about you? Do you have any weakness for a carnival game which you know stack the odds against you? Does your heart rule your head? How is your writing life going? Has your claw plucked out any gems recently? And--do you have any magic wands for migraines?

And please be sure to stop by on Friday, for a special holiday edition of my Friday Feature interviews, where we talk with the vibrant writer, Daniel McInerny, about his charming Middle Grade books about the Kingdom of Patria.  


  1. oh I hate headaches and definitely can't write with one which I hate even more! And migraines are worse because you literally can't do anything (I used to have them - thankfully not anymore except on rare occasions).

    I also have a weakness for Spider Solitaire which I sometimes stay up too late playing. There's a reason I don't have really good games (like Fallout3, Skyrim) on my computer: I'd never get any writing done!

    Right now I have a new wip I am totally into which is calling to me. Hope you feel better soon and I wish I had a magic wand - I'd definitely lend it to you :)

  2. Oh man. I want that game!!! Lucky Superman to have such awesome parents.

    I frequently hurt my back and neck and shoulder. I know it's my fault because I have the worst posture ever when I'm deep in my novel - but sometimes I don't notice the problems until the injury is too painful to write. Not good!! I'm trying to work on strengthening exercises so this will HOPEFULLY not be a huge prob. for long.

  3. Srsly, lucky Superman!

    And so sorry about your headaches. You are lucky to have such a family. As they are to have you. I am always impressed by the ways you all seem to make it work together. And we are lucky to have you. Looking forward to Friday! They are always great with you around.

  4. Ugh, so sorry about the migraine. They're the worst!

    Anytime I hear the phrase "the claw" I think of Liar, Liar. :-)

  5. I HAD to check out this post because my two youngest are obsessed with the Claw game. Whenever they have the money and we're close to one, they play. And even though they understand the danger of losing, they still persist. I think I'll keep them far away from Casinos. ;)

    Hope Superman enjoys his Claw (love his blue mouth) and you too when you're feeling better!

    Catherine Denton

  6. I hope you feel better! Soon!

    I stay away from all of those games. But at Papa Gino's my dad put up quite a fuss with the manager b/c he saw that his grandson had picked up a toy and then the Claw loosens 70% of the time and lets it go - even if the child had perfect aim and in fact had it. My dad called it gambling and went off! I'm just so glad I wasn't there!

  7. Ugh, this weather change gave me a bad one yesterday. I hope you feel better soon, Heather!

    My writing life has been overwhelmed by my real life lately, so I'm looking forward to Christmas being over, sadly, and I can spend the week before New Year's writing!

  8. Lucky Superman indeed! I was a claw addict when I was a kid so I know well the pain of sinking $10+ into it to get a stuffed animal.

    I hope your headache is better soon!

  9. Marcy--I think that is great that your wip is calling you. That is the best crane there is! I just discovered the Unicorn Bell blog--very cool!

    Marisa--I wonder if you could get some sort of computer equipment to align your back when writing? That sounds like it hurts!

    Tina--It was great to hang out with you for a few moments in TPR today! More cowbell!!

    Anna--Liar, Liar, huh? I'll have to rewatch that movie.

  10. Catherine--Hi! The blue mouth was from ice cream cake for breakfast. If you can't do it on your birthday, then when can you? I loved your pumpkin bread recipe on your deliciously creative blog today!

    Laura--You're right--we saw a special about the science behind the game. The claw is rigged to let go until it needs to have a pay out to prove that you can indeed win. It's HORRIBLE. :)

    Tere--So bummed out for you. I blame mine on some extra caffeine I had yesterday morning. I too, am looking forward to more writing after Christmas. It's a tough time of year to be productive.

    Becky--I, too, get sucked into the crane game. I'm loving the table top version!

  11. Feel better!

    The rest of the post makes me want kids even more than I already do.

  12. My kids love to play those games! I didn't realize there was a home version! Hope Superman had a super bday!
    I hope you feel better soon, Heather. Migraines can really take it out of you!

  13. Happy 8th BD, Superman! How cool to get The Claw! I never would have guessed there was a home version of this! Very cool.

    I have a friend who had (maybe still has) just the right touch, and she won hundreds of those stuffed animals! My weakness is slot machines. I have no extra money these days, so we stay away from Vegas and Laughlin!

    Your husband sounds like a real gem. That's great that he helps you when you're sick. I've never had a migraine, just sinus headaches, but they sound awful the way they incapacitate people. Kinda scary. I hope you feel better soon. And if I don't make it back to your site before the holidays, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Years's.

  14. Funny! We did the same thing with our daughter -- bought her a tabletop Claw Machine for Christmas about 6 years ago! That thing got a lot of workout!

    Not only was it popular at every birthday party, both my girls brought it into school to use as "a business" during their 5th grade mini-society project. Made them lots of big bucks off their (sucker) classmates! :D

  15. Those games are so hard to play! I'm not that into games...hmmm...sometimes I like to race my husband in the pool. Does that count?
    Stay healthy!