Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tactical Tuesday~How It's Going

Hi, everyone! Well, my tendonitis is slightly better, thanks to an arm splint and generous doses of Aleve, so we're back to using capital letters! Yahoo!

We're anxiously watching the skies around here. We've had two days of very heavy rain, today's been filled with rain and hail, and there's no end in sight. After the New Year's Flood, no one feels safe. Our across-the-street neighbors have even moved their car already.

That aside, I'm still finding time to work. Instead of a regular Tactical Tuesday post, I thought I'd write a bit about how it's going.

Mainly coz I'm in that really mentally ill phase where I believe firmly with all my heart and soul that I don't know shit about writing and thank goodness I learned how to run the cash register at McDonald's while I was in high school, coz I'm gonna need those skills tout suite, honey!

Erm. Yeah. Time to go read some inspirational quotes:

Expectation is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.

Yeah, that sorta helps put it in perspective. Don't EXPECT the anvil will fall on your head... just enjoy the moment before the giant, bone-crushing crash!

Better start with the story:

Before the flood, I had finished a first draft of the new book. It was a first draft that was really a second draft, because I had done bunch of rewriting to change it from first person into third and to open the door to two characters who demanded to be point of view characters. But quality wise, it was really a first draft. Like a lot of first drafts, it wasn't very good. Parts of it were a mess! Oh, I'll just be honest. It sucked eggs, and worse. So much so, in fact, that I marked up every single page (most front AND back), cut pieces off of it and taped them elsewhere, ditched the first three chapters so I could find where the story REALLY started, and jotted bits on napkins and stapled them to the draft. I spilled coffee on it, and wine of all colors, before I quit drinking for good over the holidays. (boy has that helped my productivity in all kinds of ways... but that's another story, probably to be told behind closed doors!)

Of course, ideas bounced around in my head over the holidays, when I had no time to write much of anything. For about three seconds I thought it would really help me organize things if I spent a whole bunch of money on colored notecards and a card box, which didn't help at all, but some of my best notes are on the cards, so they got thrown together with the draft, too. Then there is a giant $7.00 red notebook bursting with ideas written in a Sharpie, because those are the only writing utensils and paper I could find at The Container Store... which is where I was when I got the ideas. It's a fecking mess that makes sense to no one but me. (My agent asked to see that draft and I just laughed and laughed...)

Just before the flood, I stacked the whole chaotic mess in a giant Bryan's Fine Foods bag (which I've many times panicked that someone has thrown away).

After most of the flood cleanup was done, I began dragging my laptop and my Bryan's Fine Foods bag all over the place trying to find quiet to work. While Starbucks was good, and the local library was even better, I've actually settled into the room where the rats live. They don't bother me and I don't think I bother them. It's very peaceful, actually.

Instead of copying and pasting my revisions, I decided to rekey the whole first draft into a second draft. I've never done that before, but I have friends who do, and it's really been helping me find refreshing ways to say what I said very clumsily in draft one, without that panic of "what's happening next" hanging over my head. Every once in awhile I'll find a cool turn of phrase, but more often I use the shortest, simplest, and dullest way to say something. I've been having a lot of fun with this part. I actually like quite a bit of what I've done! (Except when I'm going psycho waiting for reader responses.)

Which brings me to this. Somewhere along the way, I decided to polish up the first fifty pages and show them to my first readers while I forge ahead with turning the Bryan's Fine Foods bag into a second, readable though perhaps not brilliant draft three. Today, yes today, I am ready to put those pages to the test with those first unsuspecting readers. Wish me luck. Coz I suck, right? *sigh*

More inspirational quotes? It'd be nice, but, course, my search engine's on the fritz. Maybe it's time to pet the rats... they never criticize you.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

ai watch... and, in which 'project jay' depresses me

i thought the boys sang beautifully! though i was more impressed with elliott than with kevin, kevin is a cutie and i think he'll survive the voting. there was no mention of either contestant's type 1 diabetes, but i predict that'll come later when we can see more indepth biographies of each contestant.

in other diabetes related reality tv, i found 'project jay' pretty much depressing. jay mccarroll won season one of 'project runway' and got a show where the cameras followed him around as he navigated the waters of being a designer. the episode ended in disappointment as the dress he was supposed to make for heidi klum to wear to the emmys got cancelled.

that wasn't what depressed me, though. early in the show we saw jay mccarroll's dad in a wheelchair and jay referred to him 'chewing tobacco on his way to dialysis.' oh shit, i thought, i hope it's not diabetes. yeah. it was diabetes. it haunted me all night, thinking of that man in a wheelchair who's lost his legs to diabetes.

not in a good mood this morning.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

seize the demon!

well,blog-ites, as promised, here is my interview with the lovely julie kenner! julie is a usa and waldenbooks bestselling author! go, julie!

by the way, please bear with my lack of capitalization and linkage... as mentioned, i have tendonitis and am trying very hard to heal up this forearm!

julie is the author of the carpe demon series as well as the brand new novel, the manolo matrix.

okay, can i just invite julie over here to title the new novel?

read on to find out julie's titling secrets... and more! julie has also agreed with me that the gonzaga bulldogs are the best team in the NCAA. wise gal! and she didn't even complain about the sore arm i gave her... :o) we like julie!

the author
Julie Kenner's first book hit the stores in February of 2000, and she's been on the go ever since. A USA Today and Waldenbooks bestselling author, Julie is also a former RITA finalist, and the winner of Romantic Times' Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Contemporary Paranormal of 2001. In June of 2004, she left the practice of law to write full time. She now lives and writes in Georgetown, Texas, with her husband, daughter and a variety of cats.

the book
Aspiring actress Jennifer Crane knows all about games -- the games girls play to get a guy; the games actresses play to land a part; and the good old game of credit-card roulette. (How else is a girl supposed to afford her shoes?) But she never expected to be playing a game with life-or-death consequences. Unable to successfully score an acting gig, she has, instead, been cast in the role of reluctant bodyguard to a real-life assassin's target -- a dashing FBI agent of all people! -- and must embark with him upon a scavenger hunt across Manhattan in search of the ultimate prize: survival. Before this, Jenn's definition of fighting dirty has been elbowing her way to the front of the line at a Manolo sample sale. Now, if she wants to stay alive, she's going to have to learn a few new uses for her stilettos. . . and they ain't pretty.

Fast, flirty, and full of great footwear, The Manolo Matrix is another electrifying adventure in this breakout series for fashionistas who love a perfectly appointed mystery.

the blurbs
"Kenner continues her Play.Win.Survive trilogy, whose first installment was The Givenchy Code (2005), with another delightfully clever mix of chick-lit and thriller. Readers who like their suspense novels with a sexy edge and a wicked sense of humor will find Kenner's latest irresistible." - Booklist
"This time the stakes are just as high as they were in the previous book, "The Givenchy Code", and just as exciting. I found myself hooked immediately and did not stop reading until it was finished. (Okay, I admit it. I took one BRIEF break to hit the restroom and make a sandwich.) Author Julie Kenner's pen must have been smoking as she wrote this suspense filled novel. Fast paced, a bit of romance, and lots of tension! If you enjoyed John Grisham's Pelican Brief, then you are going to drool over this book. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!" - Huntresss Book Reviews
"This is a Wow! book that is exhilarating, non-stop (hey – you snooze you lose), sexy, and fun, fun, fun to read. The MANOLO MATRIX whets the appetite for the next installment of PSW -- THE PRADA PARADOX." - Reader to Reader Reviews

the interview

MO’C: My God, but you’ve written a lot! How are you so prolific?
JK: Sadly, I think it's because I don't sleep! (Okay, that's a joke ). On a more serious note, I just plain write fast. But, I am slowing down. Frankly, the pace is taking its toll. And, more important, I want to spend more time with my kiddo!

MO’C: Are any of the characters based on yourself? If so, which ones?
JK: Well, I think there's a little bit of me in a lot of my characters. The one with the most, though, is Kate in the series that started with CARPE DEMON. The mom aspects of the story, that is. Not the demon-hunting part!

MO’C: Your titles are awesome! Do you come up with the titles first, or the storyline? Do you have tips for writers trying to title a piece?
JK: I'm lousy at titles!! Seriously. But I have a great critque partner (Kathleen O'Reilly who came up with THE GIVENCHY CODE) and a great agent. I had included "carpe demon" as a phrase in my synopsis, but it had never occurred to me to turn it into the title. Fortunately, my agent has a better eye than I do! So, um, that's my tip: surround yourself with clever people!

MO’C: What’s been the best thing about being published? The most frustrating?
JK: The best is seeing your book on the shelf, and knowing it holds a story that started in your head. The most frustrating? Probably the lack of control once your baby-the-book leaves your hands!

MO’C: What’s your writing day like? Any special routines or tips for getting organized?
JK: Not a one! I aspire to sit down during certain hours and write, write, write. But it always seems to end up being much less organized than that. On the whole, though, I tend to produce the most pages between ten and noon, and then in the evening between ten and midnight. Go figure 

MO’C: Any advice for aspiring authors?
JK: Write, write, write. Perseverance is the key.

MO’C: What’s next for Julie Kenner?
JK: Lots of things! This summer I'll have the next in my demon-hunting soccer mom series, CALIFORNIA DEMON: THE SECRET LIFE OF A DEMON-HUNTING SOCCER MOM. And the final book in the Play.Survive.Win trilogy (of which THE MANOLO MATRIX is the second) will be out in February of 2007, THE PRADA PARADOX.

thank you so much, julie! buy julie's book at amazon, barnes and noble, or your local indie!

Monday, February 20, 2006

type one twofer... yahoo!

well, very briefly, since tendonitis has left me unable to capitalize... (nice, for a writer!)... time to change the subject and chase things up a little after all this stuff going on in our neighborhood. thanks for all the emails you've sent about what happened. while i feel horrible myself and in shock and disbelief, it's nothing compared to what the family of the man who was killed is going through. it is so hard for those left behind.


subject change and put on a happy face-- SMILE SMILE--because this *is* cool news--

first off, the american idol top 24 has two, yes two, contestants with type one diabetes!

so, let's all give a big yahoo to elliott yamin and kevin covais! both of these singers wear an insulin pump to control their type one diabetes! if anyone knows what kind of pumps they use, post it here... just out of curiosity! we know that gonzaga basketball star adam morrison uses a minimed--you can't stop the minimed and you can't stop the 'stache! our son uses a cozmo... he loves it!

i hope the producers will use this as a reason to raise awareness about the disease! i read in elliott yamin's biography that educating the public about the intricacies of the disease, and the search for the cure, is one of his goals. and now, i can claim i am watching the show for educational purposes!

go, elliott!

go, kevin!

second--tomorrow i will post a great interview i have with author julie kenner. julie's the author of the series about the demon-hunting soccer mom. i told you that we moms have too many responsibilities these days!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Because I Cannot Think, I Link

I'm just devastated by what's happened in our community. What I and other parents have related to our children was that it was a "terrible accident with a gun." And that's where I will leave it for now. But everyone is in shock. This is a small, tight town.

This man had two young children. How awful for them. How awful for their mother. Words don't even suffice.

People are walking around like they've just been told aliens have landed.

Enough on that.

Because I can't really put my thoughts together, I'm just going to link today.

Don't you love love Sandra Scoppettone? She's so honest about the writing process. Sometimes I think there's a type of Grace working with our books--the time we write, the distractions we have, what's in the back of our minds--all find their way into our fiction, somehow.

Think you've written some great online fiction? Nominate yourself for the Million Writers Award here.

Author Joshilyn Jackson discusses annihilating ducks who attack certain body parts .

Paperback Writer gives us Ten Things for the Writer's Notebook.

Wow. Today is weird--nothing feels good, at all. Or normal. Or real.

"And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked. ..."

Yeah, I woke up thinking about that poem.

I'll be back later--maybe after the weekend.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

On Hold~

Hi, I've gotten a few emails--I'm OK. There's been a tragedy in our neighborhood, involving the unexpected death of the father of one of our children's classmates. Although we ourselves are OK, we are extremely preoccupied, shocked, and wracked with devastation and concern for the family involved. It's quite a complicated and heartbreaking situation and I still can't quite wrap my head around it. I'll be back later, I know I owe you guys a Tactical Tuesday. Xx Martha

Monday, February 06, 2006

Date, Jane, Date!

It is my privilege to host the amazing Melissa Senate on the blog today. If you have ABC Family, you will soon be quite familiar with Melissa's characters from her first novel, See Jane Date. The movie is scheduled to air on February 12! Is that not the coolest thing ever? *pant* OK, now that I've composed myself, let's give Melissa a big round of applause! Melissa's newest novel, The Breakup Club, looks like a ton of fun and is out now.


Meet the reluctant members of The Breakup Club:

Lucy Miller-Masterson: Superwoman Lucy finds her husband’s list of New Year’s resolutions and there’s only one: Leave Lucy.

Miranda Miller: Lucy’s younger sister has been pining for her ex for six months. Which beats trying to figure out what to do with her life at age 29. But then she inadvertently makes the love of her life propose to another woman….

Christopher Levy: Lucy’s new boss (why’d he get the promotion, anyway!) and a recently separated dad with weekend custody of his one-year-old, he has no clue how to navigate his new life as a single father, but the sanctimommies at the playground are full of annoying answers.

Roxy Marone: Twenty-five and dating her fiancé since first grade, winner of the Miss Traditional pageant goes on a life-changing job interview instead of to her own wedding.

These four co-workers with nothing in common find they have a lot to talk about ...

“Senate’s prose is fresh and lively.”—Boston Globe

"Melissa Senate is definitely one of my favorite chick-lit writers. Her books are always feel-good, fast-paced and hilariously funny!" --Sarah Mlynowski, bestselling author

"One of the many gifts Senate brings to the writing table is her ability to establish equally compelling stories for four fascinating characters. That she does so with humor and insight adds to the pleasures of this novel." 4stars, RT Bookclub magazine


Melissa Senate’s debut novel, See Jane Date, launched the Red Dress Ink imprint in 2001, has been translated into over ten languages, is an answer to a question in the 20th Anniversary Edition of Trivial Pursuit,and was made into a television movie for ABC Family.Her second novel, The Solomon Sisters Wise Up (2003), was hailed as “another winner!” by Booklist. Her third, Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? (2004), the spin-off to See Jane Date, was chosen by Marie Claire magazine as a Top Ten Must-Read pick.Melissa also contributed short stories to anthologies: American Girls About Town and Flirting with Pride & Prejudice: Fresh Perspectives on the Original Chick-Lit Masterpiece.Her debut novel for teens, Theodora Twist, will be published by Delacorte Press in May.www.melissasenate.com.


MO'C: Your first novel, See Jane Date, inaugurated the Red Dress Ink series. Can you please tell your publication story?
MS: In the summer of 2000, I was working at a YA book packager and waiting for September to come so I could start grad school full-time, when I got a phone call from an editor I used to work with at Harlequin (I was an editor there for ten years and had recently left). She told me that Harlequin was starting a new imprint of trade paperbacks dedicated to chick lit, and since I was (then) the stereotypical chick lit protagonist and known at Harlequin for being a creative writer, was I interested in trying my hand at writing a novel? From the get go, this editor was convinced that I could not only write an entire novel but nail what they had in mind. Until this point I had written NOTHING. But the editor was so encouraging, so sure that I could do it, that I sat down and wrote the book I always imagined I'd write if I thought I could write a novel (but I didn't think I could). I sent the first three chapters and a synopsis, the editor said she loved it and I should write the rest as fast as I could so that I could be considered for the launch, so I just wrote my butt off. Six weeks from that inital phone call, I sent in the manuscript, having no clue that they'd not only buy it, but really launch the imprint with it. That any of it happened still amazes me. I owe so much to my editor. One of the reasons I became an editor instead of a writer in the first place was because I'd been discouraged in my creative writing program in college for writing what was essentially chick lit type stories. It's amazing what encouragement can do. I still wonder if I would have ever written a novel at all had I not gotten that call.

MO'C: Your book was paired with Douglas Coupland's, Jay McInerney's, and Jonathan Franzen's for a recent college class. Can you please discuss a little of what these male writers have to to say to men of our generation (I assume we share a generation) and what female authors have put forth on the other side? I wonder if you could also comment a bit on other writers of our generation, male and female.
MS: I haven't read enough of any of the above male writers to really comment in depth (I got through a quarter of The Corrections and barely remember Bright Lights, Big City), but I'm having a hard time imagining men of our generation being interested in reading The Corrections or Jay McInerney. Douglas Coupland seems much more male-focused in the way that Nick Hornby's first few books were. I have a hard time imagining a guy reading A Long Way Down. When I read Meg Wolitzer's The Wife, the first thing I thought of was: this sounds like a man's point of view, much like Tom Perotta's female characters in Little Children sounded like men to me. Ugh, this is all crazy--I really haven't thought too much about this topic, but I wonder why I have thesse associations. I'll need to think about this!

MO'C: Please tell us what it's like to have your book made into a movie! Ups, downs, funny and sad moments...?
MS: Once the book was optioned by a producer, I had no idea there was an actual deal until I read about it online in the Hollywood Reporter. I found out everything connected to the movie by Googling! I guess that was a tiny bit of a "down," but I was so happy the movie was being made that everything was too much of an up to care that I wasn't in the loop at all. When I found out via Google who the scriptwriter was (Friends and Gilmore Girls writer), I knew I'd love the movie. And I did. I loved the cast, I loved the film itself, I loved that when I watched it for the first time, I felt as though I was watching my Jane onscreen, despite how much was changed. The movie will be aired on Sunday, February 12th at 6pm on ABC Family. It's really cute!

MO'C; Do you base any of your characters on yourself?
MS: My first three books were based on me 100% Most of See Jane Date was plucked from my experiences in publishing and misery in dating. The Solomon Sisters Wise Up came to me when I, like sister Sarah, became pregnant two months into a new relationship and bought myself a copy of What To Expect When You're Expecting. My third, Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? sends Eloise on a journey to find her biological father, something I myself haven't done (and won't), but wanted to explore through a character who came out of my head. (She was also planning her wedding when I was planning mine!) But there's very little me in The Breakup Club. I think because I wrote it when I moved from the New York City, where I'd lived my entire adult life, to the woods of Maine, and I had a major identity crisis. The book I"m writing now is the first I'm setting in Maine, and there's a lot of me in the protogonist. I'm still homesick, but I've come to appreciate the woodsy life.

MO'C: You write short stories, too. I find the short story an incredibly difficult form. How do you manage them? Do you know all along they're going to be shorts or do you just write and see where you end up?
MS: The two stories I wrote were commissioned for the anthologies, so I wrote them specifically. I love, love, love the short form! I read an interview with an author who said the great thing about writing short stories is that you can actually keep the entire thing in your head. I totally agree!

MO'C: What do you make of the statement made by agent Kristin Nelson that chick lit is becoming a hard sell? Do you think she's right? If so, why?
MS: When my first book came out in late 2001, an agent said to me (I didn't have an agent then): "Don't write another chick lit. The genre will be dead in two years. Write a big woman's fiction book with your chick lit voice." I pretty much just sat down and wrote the only book I could at that time, which was about pregnancy and motherhood and breakups and family dysfunction and sisterhood and friendship, and that was just fine with Red Dress Ink, which assured me that chick lit had evolved to encompass "the female experience" and would continue to evolve. My voice is what it is, but what I'm interested in exploring in my fiction will always change. Ya can't label that. I don't think chick lit is dead at all. Publishing houses might not be clamoring to find three books a month because they "sell like hot cakes;" they'll simply know a good chick lit when they see it and buy that one and publish it. Chick lit will now be bought/published/marketed the way most people thought it should be in the first place: selectively. That's a good thing.

MO'C: What book has influenced your life the most, and why?
MS: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. That book assured me from a very young age in a very comforting way that if you have imagination you'll always be all right.

MO'C: What's your writing day like? Any special routines or tips you'd like to share for getting organized and inspired?
MS: My three-year-old wakes me up at 5:30 every morning and says, "Mommy, be a scary monster and chase me!" We do that for three hours, then I take him to preschool and rush back to my little office in my house and write. If I could, I'd wake up at 5:30 and write fresh for four hours and then be a scary monster, but the kid wins. I have four solid hours to write, but I'm always distracted by the internet. When I get stuck in a scene I always end up online when I should be reading or taking a walk to think it through. Hmm--I'm going to try that tomorrow!

MO'C: What advice do you have for would-be authors?
MS: Read like crazy. Write the book you really want to write. Follow your instincts. That's my new mantra. I'm so distracted by comments/reviews, and I have to remember to follow my gut instincts.

MO'C: Thanks so much for visiting us, Melissa!
MS: Thank you so much, Martha, for these great questions. I really appreciate it!!

You heard it here first, ladies and gentlemen. Please check out Melissa's book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and your local indie bookseller via Booksense.s novel and how it explored so many angles of heartbreak and moving on. Despite there being four characters and four viewpoints, Melissa Senate managed to give them all enough time so their stories were well-developed. Having a male character in there was also fascinating. This novel was funny, touching and down-to-earth all at once. --Rian Montgomery, ChickLitBooks.com

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Real-Time Blog on the Guardian

Tommy (age 10, dxed 4-2005) and his mom are blogging their experiences on the Medtronic's Guardian RT real-time blood glucose monitor. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

My Opinion on Cheryl Botzet

There are maybe a lot more things I could be talking about as a writer. The James Frey controversy, which has been done to death; JT LeRoy, who had me going for awhile there, too. (I even emailed with he/she/it, several times. Poor JT! With all he's been through, he can't help being flighty... But I digress)

But. The issue at hand, folks. My Statcounter tells me I am getting a huge array of hits from visitors wondering what I think about the Ariel Botzet tragedy. Now, I am no one special, just another mother of a child with Type 1 Diabetes. And Ariel's story is so horrible that I can hardly bear to think about it. (In fact, rather than watching the Dateline NBC story about her, I watched Bowling for Columbine, figuring it would be much more cheerful. :o( I already knew as much as I felt I could handle about Ariel's story.)

But with this much interest in my opinion, I am going to tell you what I think.

First, some background. Ariel was a beautiful eleven-year-old girl with Type 1 Diabetes.

She lived in Las Vegas with her mother, Cheryl, because her parents were separated. In 1995 Ariel was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. From what I have heard, I've concluded Ariel was on NPH and Regular--not an unheard of insulin program, but not the one we used, and anecdotally, better control is gained on Lantus/Humalog or a pump. Our son was never on this regimen. But the regimen was not Ariel's problem. Although I don't like this regimen personally, I can't blame Ariel's death on the clinic.

In February 2004, Ariel became ill with flu-like symptoms. She began vomiting and continued to do so over time. I have heard reports that say Ariel was ill from anywhere from a night and a day, up to four days. And I haven't read the court documents, so I don't know which is accurate. When Cheryl finally took her to the hospital, Ariel was in serious Diabetic Ketoacidosis, a complication of ongoing high blood sugars that can lead to brain swelling and death... which tragically happened to Ariel.

Postmortem tests revealed that Ariel's Hba1c readings (a measurement of glucose in the blood over time) over the last 18 months hovered from between 13-16. That means her blood sugar AVERAGED in the 330-360 range. Now, I'm not saying we don't see numbers in the 300s. We do. Then, we check for ketones, check our son's site, and bolus a correction. If the blood sugar isn't coming down within an hour, we rip out the site, place a new one, and do an injection to correct the high number. (Our son's a1c's have hovered between 6.1-7.1 since diagnosis.) And if there are ketones, we call the clinic. (We have not had more than trace ketones. Even if there's a bad site, Lantus does a good job of keeping them away. He still uses a partial dose of lantus along with his pump.)

When our son is in the 300s or, more particularly, the 400s, he doesn't feel like himself. He is irritable, angry, and unreasonable. If Ariel's blood sugar averaged in the 300's, that means she was regularly in the 400s. When my son is in the 400s (it's happened once, at a swim team tryout, when he "sneaked" Girl Scout cookies and didn't tell us... and he felt bad enough he never did that again), he can't feel his legs. He becomes combative and hysterical. So imagine how bad this little girl felt... so much of the time.

Cheryl claimed she had "lost" Ariel's glucometer and couldn't get a new one. She also said she had "run out" of insulin. either of those situations would send me screaming to the drugstore or to the clinic. And regardless of Cheryl's financial situation, the state-sponsored insurance will cover insulin and glucometers, and drugstores often have specials for a free meter after rebate. Or go to the damned clinic. They'll give you one.

And supposedly, the little girl's blood sugar was tested TWO TIMES A WEEK. We test eight times a day. At the bare minimum the child should test four times per day.

I heard somewhere else that Cheryl stated Ariel was taking care of her own diabetes. Sorry, but Ariel was only eleven. And if I learned that my son was testing TWO TIMES A WEEK and that his a1cs were in the 13-16 range, I would not permit him to take care of his diabetes. I would hover there and watch each blood sugar test. This blaming the victim stuff the defense attorney pulled was just sick.

Now, I am sure that Cheryl Botzet is just ill with horror over what happened to her daughter. But I have to wonder at why theydidn't have meters around their home. And when a child is vomiting, that is considered an emergency at our endocrinology practice. We are to call the emergency clinic, immediately. Vomiting is often accompanied by Ketones, which can turn dangerous and deadly. Also disturbing is the fact that the clinic says Cheryl repeatedly refused to be trained in her daughter's care, saying she didn't need any help. Ariel's dad said she looked poorly on the day before her death, but why didn't he test her blood sugar, or call the clinic? Now as the noncustodial parent, he shares less responsibility, I would think, but where was CPS in all of this? There are enough question marks in this case to make the head spin.

As a parent, however, I am hesitant to say that the mother was guilty of murder. Criminal neglect, perhaps. But murder suggests a premeditation I don't see in this case. And while I am not saying, "there but for the Grace of God go I", because I can't see being that willfully ignorant of my son's diabetes, it also scares me to think that we parents can be prosecuted for complications of our children's diseases. Sure, I'd like to think we could head off DKA before it starts, but if we don't (during an illness, particularly) we could be headed to the ER. And what about Dead in Bed? God forbid, if that happened to one of our children, would we be prosecuted?

Well, I'll be the first to admit that I don't know that much about the case. I first heard about it just after our son's diagnosis, and it scared the hell out of me to think he could die, so I avoided a lot of information about the story. Now I know that there are many steps between a high blood sugar reading and a death from DKA and I can see many differences between myself, the parents I know, and Cheryl Botzet. I surely don't know everything about this case. The upshot is, this child should not have died. Many adults failed this child. It makes me ill to think she suffered so much before and during her death. I would have gladly taken this child into my home and taken care of her.

I'm out the door now, but anyway, there's my opinion. Have at it, kids.