Author: Luisa Perkins
•8:33 AM

"Oh, no," some of you are thinking. "I've heard those words before. I know what they mean." And you're partly right.

I've just gotten back from a ten-day trip Out West. I'm still re-adjusting to Eastern Daylight Time, not eating in restaurants at least once per day, and being a mom to more than one child. As I do so, I'm mulling over all I learned.

David Farland's Professional Writers' Workshop was worth every penny and minute invested. Dave is a guru, coach, talespinner, and incisive yet kind critic. I acquired much information that will improve both the quality of my storytelling and the quantity of my output. I got to know a group of writers whose skill sets, needs, and goals are very similar to mine, and I look forward to extensive interaction with them in the future. I left Saint George burning to closet myself and write, write, write. But of course, things are more complicated than that.

The garden needs to be planted (and weeded, oh yes, my precious). Baseball and lacrosse seasons are in full swing. We have concerts and recitals and birthdays, oh my! In other words, my real life is full and runneth over. How to fit in a bit more fiction writing time?

It's time for another round of streamlining of my daily schedule. Clearly I can't cut back on kid time or Patrick time or scriptures or exercise. The calling and the yard won't tolerate much skimping, either.

That leaves you, dear blogosphere. Both my reading and my posting have been erratic since Anne was born, so you've already gotten used to much less of my time and attention. I won't be gone forever, but don't expect a whole lot in the near future. This will be easier for you than it will be for me, I'm sure. I'm betting you won't even really notice.
Author: Luisa Perkins
•4:06 PM
There's an oldie-but-goodie of mine posted over at the fabulous Dunhaven Place today.
Author: Luisa Perkins
•8:11 AM
He Is Not Here, by Walter Rane


by George Herbert

Awake, sad heart, whom sorrow ever drowns;

Take up thine eyes, which feed on earth;

Unfold thy forehead gathered into frowns:

Thy Savior comes, and with him mirth:

Awake, awake:

And with a thankful heart his comforts take.

But thou dost still lament, and pine and cry;

And feel his death, but not his victory.
Arise sad heart, if thou dost not withstand,

Christ’s resurrection thine may be:

Do not by hanging down break from the hand

Which as it riseth, raiseth thee:

Arise, arise: 
And with his burial-linen dry thine eyes:

Christ left his grave-clothes, that we might, when grief

Draws tears, or blood, not want an handkerchief.
Author: Luisa Perkins
•9:29 PM
City-wise, San Francisco was my first romance. Paris is magnificent and London is endlessly intriguing. Rome smote me with love at first sight, and I'm dying to go back. But New York? New York is home.

Patrick and I have been invited to Passover Dinner by our friends the Leibowitzes every year we've been married, and we've never missed it; last night was my 19th seder with them. (It was Patrick's 21st; he and David have been friends since college.) Passover is always a lovely event, marked by memorable conversation, beautiful and symbolic readings from the family's tattered haggadahs, and delicious food.

When I realized that Passover fell during the kids' spring break this year, I decided to make a day of it. I haven't taken the whole group for an outing in the City since last August, so we were definitely due. My plan was that we would first go to the American Museum of Natural History, have lunch at Shake Shack, then spend the afternoon at the playgrounds and small zoos in Central Park. Last, we'd buy flowers and meet Patrick at the home of our host and hostess.

The weather was brisk and partly cloudy; the kids were quickly glad I'd insisted on bringing their coats. They had forgotten how exposed you are when getting around in the City, but I had not.Our plan went off with only a couple of tiny hitches. When we pulled into parking at the museum, I realized that there were tons of school groups there and that the place would be packed. I polled everyone for their top three spots other than the special Climate Change exhibit we knew we wanted to see (because you could easily spend an entire day investigating all of the halls and exhibits); we came up with "space," "the bug room," and "the whale room."

The Climate Change exhibit is fantastic, but I'll take the big kids back and spend more time there when the museum is less crowded. Here are the kids ogling an ancient TRS-80 computer. I told them, "That's the computer we used in my first programming class when I was 14." I think they got a bit of a clue as to just how old I am. Since we know the museum's layout by heart, we got to our other favorite spots and had a satisfying visit.

Shake Shack did not disappoint. Anne had her first (and second through tenth at least) french fry.After lunch, we drove to the East Side and parked the car in the Leibowitzes' building. We then made our way to Central Park. The contrast between my City-raised kids and my country kids was entertaining. Tess still can't get over her amazement at elevators and subways, and Daniel took it as a personal affront that the dogs were so public about their "business."

Daniel has also decided he doesn't like "exercise" (walking), because it makes his legs "feel not good." Note, however, that whenever we stopped at a playground, he ran around like the happy, energetic young sprout that he is.Central Park Zoo was also a hit with everyone. Christian, James, and Hope waxed nostalgic, while Daniel and Tess discussed at great length the dramatic license taken by the makers of the film Madagascar. It's always great to be at the zoo when they feed the sea lions; Daniel announced that we need to get one of our own. "It will live in your bathtub," he declared.

We stopped at the Tisch Children's Zoo on the way back uptown:

On the way back to our friends' building, Daniel was definitely flagging. Pep talks and Skittles weren't as effective anymore, and I wondered whether we should pack it in and hail a cab. But no; Christian scooped up his little brother and carried him cheerfully on his shoulders for the last mile. My kids are amazing.

All in all, we walked just a few steps (284 to be exact, Jenna) shy of ten miles. The kids were pleasantly tired during the Seder, and we had a great time with our old friends. Oy, the chopped liver was to die for, and the brisket? Like buttah, dahling. The event would have been perfect if Tess hadn't suddenly come down with the stomach bug her sister had had the day before, but she handled herself with grace and a minimum of drama.

On the way home, I mentioned to Patrick that the day would have been perfect if he had been with us on our pre-dinner outings. He expressed the hope that our three-week trip to France in August will be a string of such days. I share that hope. Days like yesterday are the gems in the crown of life: precious, brilliant, and forever shining.
Author: Luisa Perkins
•9:21 PM
Okay, so I'm late to the party. Back in February, Charrette blogged about a cool project her husband was doing with his New Media class at BYU. I was slammed with deadlines, but kept promising myself I'd check it out.

I finally got to it, and it was so worth it. My big boys and I snuggled up with the laptop tonight and watched all eleven webisodes--that's all there are so far--of the new webcast series The Book of Jer3miah. It sounds like a marathon, but it wasn't; each webisode is only about five minutes long.

I'm always up for a good conspiracy theory, and Jer3miah does not disappoint. It's alternately sad, suspenseful, creepy, and funny (hint: I love the elven-dressed, RPG-playing next-door neighbor and his secret-combination-obsessed roommate). After the first three episodes, it stops going "all Cloverfield" (as Christian put it) with the handheld camera and settles down into some pretty cool cinematography.

If you find yourself wanting more (and each webisode manages to leave its audience hanging over a cliff), there are two ancillary websites offering extra clues to the mysteries surrounding Jeremiah Whitney and his fate. The Davenport Papers looks like a social networking site, and is the reporting outlet set up by one of Jer3miah's characters.

Go watch it! You can get caught up in inside of an hour--less time than it takes to watch an episode of Lost or 24. You can bet the boys and I will be tuning in every Friday from now on.

Author: Luisa Perkins
•5:04 PM

Q: Has there ever been a more handsome Friedrich in musical theater history?
A: NO!

Our oldest son, Christian, was absolutely adorable (don't kill me, hon) in his high school's terrific production of The Sound of Music last weekend. Stay tuned; I'm hoping to upload a video of him as "The Lonely Goatherd" as soon as technology will allow. Thanks for the photos, Mary!

**UPDATED** Here it is (the sound problems resolve themselves after a few seconds):