Friday, December 31, 2010

Saying Good-bye to 2010…

I am so not gonna miss this year at all. Yeah, I had high expectations for the year. I looked back and read what I wrote and almost choked on my coffee. What was I thinking?

This year I had way too many hurdles to get over. And, for the first time in a while, I had to face down my own depression. I cried too much this year and realized I was trapped in my pity. For me, there is nothing harder in the world than overcoming my own doubts, fears and sadness. Doing it alone is tough. And yeah, I think I had to find that strength alone because no one can be with me 24/7.

I mentioned last year that I thought 2010 would be great. In a way, it was great but not in the sense that I thought it would be. See, I made it through an awful lot this year. A sick child. Sending another child off into the world. Another year without my love. Doubts with my writing and feeling lost.

And, I have made it through all these doubts and worries.

This year could be summed up with the story of the last care package I sent to my husband. I’ve sent him numerous cards inside care packages and even through regular mail, and never once has any of them gotten lost. This time I sent a card with money. (He often exchanges the American funds for whatever country he’s in. He does have some expenses. And yes, I know, I shouldn’t send cash.)

You can guess what happened. The box looked pretty beat up when it arrived to him and the only thing missing was the card with money. This morning in chat my husband tried to cheer me up with the following:

My love: Did you stop to think that maybe the box opened up and the card dropped out to be found by someone that was close to losing their job or short on money to provide a Christmas for their kids?

Me: No, it hadn’t occurred to me maybe because I was too pissed.

My love: I won’t lie, I was mad too. At first. Some things like that don't happen by chance. What are the odds of the package just losing the card and money over Christmas?

Me: I had thought of it as an odd circumstance.

My love: I want to believe that someone needed that money more than me. I’d like to think that maybe we gave someone a Christmas miracle. That is what I would like to believe.

Sigh. Some days my husband is a better person than me. HOPE. That should be my word for next year. My wish for all of you is that we never lose hope in 2011.

Have a good and safe New Year’s Eve!

Not too bad

See, why you all were off doing end of year stuff I was playing. Granted, I probably shouldn't have been playing with this because I have a lot to do these days.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Speaking of changes...

I've been pondering what to do with this blog. Not that I'm going to close it because for some strange reason I like having it. Yeah, I know you all wouldn't have guessed that from my lack of attention to it, but I do like it. More than I like having a website actually. And now that blogger has pages added on that you can use, who needs a website? Okay, that's probably my lazy side talking.

I think more pics are in order. Maybe even update the template since blogger has gone out and created that really nice design feature.

Anyway, off to ponder. And clean my house.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All things change

For those few people in the blog universe that don't know this, my son is home for a visit after being gone for six months. We're both trying to figure out our new relationship. He's no longer the kid I can give orders to. I was more prepared for this adjustment than he was. Okay, on some MOM level I didn't want things to change but, you know, they have to. And honestly, I think he's still trying to figure where he fits in with his old high school friends.

Lives change, People change.

As much as I love new circumstances, I'm also apprehensive to have everything flipped.

Life is about to get interesting. Again.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all find time to cherish the loved ones that are near and remember those that couldn't make it to your table this year.

Though the following anonymous poem is meant for military wives, there are many this year that have been separated from their loved ones because of unseen circumstances. God bless and stay strong....

The Military Wife


The good Lord was creating a model for military wives and was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared. She said, "Lord, you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this one. What's the matter with the standard model?"


The Lord replied, "Have you seen the specs on this order? She has to be completely independent, posses the qualities of both father and mother, be a perfect hostess to four or forty with an hour's notice, run on black coffee, handle every emergency imaginable without a manual, be able to carry on cheerfully, even if she's pregnant and has the flu, and she must be willing to move 10 times in 17 years. And oh, yes, she must have six pairs of hands."


The angel shook her head. "Six pairs of hands? No way!"


The Lord continued, "Don't worry, we shall make other military wives to help her. And we will give her an unusually strong heart so it can swell with pride in her husband's achievements, sustain the pain of separations, beat soundly when it's over-worked and tired, and be large enough to say 'I understand,' when she does not, and say 'I love you,' regardless."


The angel circled the model of the military wife, looked at it closely and sighed, "It looks fine, but it's too soft."


"She might look soft," replied the Lord, "but she has the strength of a lion. You would not believe what she can endure."


Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Lord's creation. "There's a leak," she announced. "Something is wrong with the construction. I am not surprised that it has cracked. You are trying to put too much into this model."


The Lord appeared offended at the angel's lack of confidence. “What you see is not a leak," he said. "It's a tear."


"A tear? What is it there for?" asked the angel.


The Lord replied, "It's for joy, sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness, pride and a dedication to all the values that she and her husband hold dear."


"You are a genius!" exclaimed the angel.


The Lord looked puzzled and replied, "I didn't put it there."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dang these evil allergies

So finally the leaves started falling and I figured I'd go out there and take care of them. Four full bags later I was stuck in misery. Nasty, wicked sinus headache.

Hope you all had a good Sunday.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Daylight Saving Ends


It's kinda crazy to see this happening. I mean, yeah, I know it happens every year...but this year is just odd. We still have lots and lots of leaves on our trees. And it's been in the 70's for the last two days. But hey, by next week we're supposed to have snow. Really. Honest. Snow.
PS Remember to reset your clocks.
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Friday, November 5, 2010

Stats???

From paperback writer's blog, I learned Blogger put in a stats tab and, wow, don't my stats look depressing. Actually I was pleasantly shocked there were five people still reading this blog this week.

The downside to this? If you're obsessive about your popularity, you now have a whole new tool to increase your anxiety.

Yeah. Not so sure I like the stats page. But I haven't had my morning coffee yet soooo...everything looks sketchy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Roughing it

I once found a cemetery out in the middle of nowhere. I suppose it was somewhere because there were a couple of houses around, but no official town sign. We were driving along looking for a place to turn around when the paved road turned into a dirt path. Not sure if you could call it that because it was more like a set of tire ruts worn into the road.


ANYWAY


We found this creepy little graveyard. Mostly overgrown. You'd think I would stay in the truck because I'm sure Colorado has poisonous snakes, but you know, it was a really cool cemetery. And the place gave off the most disturbing feeling. As finds go, this was a keeper. I doubt we'll find it again. But we had great fun in the process of getting lost. We even found a wolf print in the mud right in front of the place.


That's what's kinda cool about NaNo. You can try new things. New genres. New ways to write. Plot. No plot. You can have fun. And you better have fun with it. NaNo is supposed to be FUN. So go ahead. Challenge yourself. Try things. There are no failures.
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I am stealing this blog...


I am leading the Chihuahua takeover  of the internet.


And my master is too busy to notice me.


You cannot resist me.


You cannot ignore me.


I am too cute. And I have an annoying bark.


Plus, I am adorable when I dance and beg for food.
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ever get that feeling?

That something's following you? For me it's probably my irrate characters. I seem to have a backlog of them fighting for my notice.


But alas my fine imaginary friends, I'm going to be away from the keyboard today while I run between doctor visits and, yes, voting. That means I'll be carrying a notebook around and writing longhand.


I know what Margaret would say. Mini netbooks fit nice in a purse. Just give me paper and a pen.


To all you NaNoWriMo folks, have a good day!
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Yes, I know it would be sooo much better if I wrote on this poor neglected blog more. I shall try. At the stroke of midnight is the start of NaNoWriMo. Go forth and party tonight, for tomorrow characters will cry.

Insert evil laugh here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Book giveaway

Ah come on, we all love to win free books. And my buddy, Erin, is hosting it. Check it out.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Yes, I could've written another message about book banning week

But there are times that I feel my own words on this matter are just not strong enough. Sooo...thanks to Julia Karr, I found this moving and heartfelt post about banning and the folks that are hurt the most.
I doubt anyone will enjoy reading them but I think it's a must. Warning, the second link is about rape.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mornings like this…

October mornings are cooler by nature. Crisp. The sun takes its time rising.

The dogs and the girl are cuddling on the couch, sleeping.

The house is quiet except for the ticking of the coo coo clock.

And the occasional parakeet chirping.

While sipping my Scottish breakfast tea, I’m grateful for the calm this morning.

(Yes, I know this is a bit hokey for me. Maybe it has something to do with the cold medicine I’m taking.)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Nightmares, screaming dogs and the girl

Between nightmares and the dogs howling last night, leads me to think my characters are going to have a crappy day.

Hey, it’s either them or me. I have to get my annoyance out somehow. I suppose I could get all over my girl’s case. But in the wee hours of the morning, without my coffee, she is much more sarcastic than me. That is scary.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I know I’ve been bad

And it sucks because I don't have a good reason for avoiding my blog. Heck, I've ignored most of my friends' blogs as well.

I wonder if there’s a way to get ticketed for neglecting one’s blog? Ooo…what would be the punishment? A dozen paper cuts?

I can’t say things have been terribly bad here. Incredibly busy. Frustrating at times. And this rewrite is taking forever. But I am loving what I’m getting.

For some reason I’m antsy lately. You ever get that feeling that there’s something important you’re supposed to be doing, but you don’t know what? It’s a strange sensation. And I’m sure I’m not crazy. It’s just the odd the feeling that I’m missing something. Besides the obvious my son and husband aren’t here.

Something is amiss I think.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I promised you guys pictures...

First of all, we had to get up early for my boy's ceremony. VERY early. For those that don't know my girl--this is a nearly impossible scenario. Extreme wake up calls in my house means banging pots and water being poured over her head.

Get this, she actually did wake up on time. And the girl was ready to catch the shuttle to the base without me yelling. Amazing.

Here they are together. They almost look happy to see each other.

But as you can see they were back to their normal brother/sister behavior in no time.



You all can feel the love between them, right?


We took the boy out to eat. Thankfully we weren't in a rush because the restraurant took forever with our food. We stayed there until they brought us the check without even asking if we wanted any dessert.

Huh, maybe we got a little loud but it wasn't that bad. Honest.

I hated having to say good-bye to the boy. One day is not enough. Yeah, I know, he'll be home for Christmas break. So that's not bad.

And maybe my love will be home by then. I can hope.


Girl and I flew from Chicago back to Denver, where we stayed downtown for a couple of days.

I am so not a city girl. I mean, I don't mind passing through or going shopping for few hours, but staying downtown for several days was...shudder...painful.

The things I do for my daughter.

Okay, really she wanted NYC and a broadway show. I'm working my way up to something like that. Baby steps.

Hm...blogger didn't upload all the pictures in the tray on Picasa. I might have to use Facebook for all of them.
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hello, Hello, Hello

I'm back. Sort of trapped in a whirlwind called, "getting ready to go back to school". Oooo...the fun is neverending. I do have lots and lots of pics to share later.

So while I'm busy I'm leaving you all with some entertainment. Check out WriteOnCon. Free conference online fun. Lots of great information not only for children and YA writers. Go on. See for yourself.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'm feeling sort of silly

I had this great idea for a blog post, and I had the perfect pictures that I took in PA--and I can't find them anywhere. I know I uploaded them to the pc, but they're not in any folder. How does one lose a hundred photos on their OWN computer???

I feel blonde. And I can say that because I am blonde.

Roar....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My friend could use some prayers

If any on you have noticed in my followers list, there's a man with a beard. That's David. Right now he's going through a parent's worst nightmare--a child in serious condition. If you could pray or you know...send warm thoughts his way, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Morning

There's nothing like waking up to a dog licking my face. Until I remember what else he tends to lick. Yuck.

Have a good day.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Most Disgusting Post I Will Ever Write

Dog Pooh. It’s been all about the dog pooh. My oldest has had issues with his bowels. The cocker spaniel. Not the boy.

Vet wants specimen. Ew. But okay. So when does my dog do his business?

1 AM in the morning. All over my kitchen floor.

Dog forgets to sometimes bring the ball back when he’s playing fetch, but the other night he was nice enough to wake me to let me know he made a mess.

And, I can’t use that for his test because the vet clinic doesn’t open until 8 AM. They want FRESH.

Of course, they do.

For hours I stalked him. Waiting. Watching.

Nothing.

Walked him three times around the block.

Success!

I walked it down to the vet. Waited an hour for the vet to tell me…

The dog is probably stressed.

HE’S stressed? Really? Really? He sleeps all day!

With ten pounds of special dog food just for him, I head home. (I’m still walking)

And that’s when it started to rain.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Birthday

I went and celebrated my birthday early by going to the Denver Art Museum. (Because I know if I waited and went on my birthday, disaster would strike. It did. And it included puking. Not pretty.)

Annnyway.

The King Tut exhibit was there. I had seen it once before in Pennsylvania, and it is still amazing the second time around.

My girl and I were in luck to see the photography display. I love black and whites. To me, you don’t get overwhelmed by the blast of colors and fancy editing software. I’m not dissing on the graphic designers here. There is just something so beautiful about someone taking the time to develop these shots. And there were a couple of incredible old style overlays. (Two photos seamlessly merged to create something wonderful.) I would share but you know…copyright laws.

I don’t go to museums for inspiration. I’ve yet to see a story in any bit of artwork. Music is where my muse takes off and starts rambling ideas like a hyperactive kid on a candy rush. Still, I find going to art museums a nice recharge for my spirit.

I have one itsy, bitsy confession to make. There are times I just don’t get some of the newer abstract art pieces.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hellooo Monday

Time to get back to work. Real work. No more dabbling an hour here or maybe I’d spend two hours at night at the computer. (And one of those hours was likely wasted in surfing the net.)

Yes, time for me to return to a set schedule. Gawd, that almost sounds so grownup of me.

I can’t say there was too much relaxation during my husband’s vacation this time around. On a stress scale of one to ten, I’d probably give it a nine. Now wait, don’t say, “Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that.” At the end of six weeks, after two funerals, another car accident (Not our fault) and a whole a mess of drama….my family and I are all good. Really. We’re great. In fact, at the beginning of August I should be heading out to see the Boy graduate boot camp. Should. There are always things that can go wrong. Life is never what you expect. But, you know, there are some days I wish for some calm. Or maybe to hear some amazing news. Good news would be a fun change.

Anyone want to share some news? Or maybe some horrific vacation plans that went awry? Come on. We can laugh about it.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Night time musings and whispers


I love the night, especially when a storm is moving in. My imagination tends to go into overdrive. Potential characters show up trying to entertain me. And sometimes a strange notion emerges. Its kinda like I'm seeing the end of a story or a major turning point. On a rare occasion I share them with the family. Very rare. I almost never that chatty when the muse takes over. I know. That's a bad thing to be soooo antisocial. But most of the time I need to let these fledgling ideas play to see if they have that potential or if they need axing. Some are just too freaky to share.

So, what jump starts your muse? Come on, I know there must be one person who stops by to read my journal.
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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Just the two of us...

On July 1st my husband had to head back overseas. I hate when he leaves. And I'm noticing the depresssion hits harder after each visit. Don't get me wrong. I want him home to visit. I'd be downright mean if I never ever got to see him. But you know, it gets harder to say good-bye after having him home for a month.

Things are coming together though. Today is better than yesterday. And tomorrow--even though it's a holiday--I'm gonna be working things out on how to attack Brooklyn's revisions. More on tackling that problem later.

Anyway, I'm here. Yay.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Home again

And with oodles of dirty laundry. How do these dirty socks multiply sooooo fast?

As funeral services go, this one was beautiful. It captured Uncle Jim's humor, illustrated his love for life and for those around him. He was a anazing man. The world feels a little emptier without him.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Leaving for a few days

We've had a death in the family and have to take off for a bit.

And as a sidenote to the flurry of travel plans, US Airways is annoying to deal with. They are going to nickle and dime me to death.

AND...why would any family member drunk dial me in order to ask if I'd drive to Florida to pick them up and take them to Pennsylvania?  I need to be meaner so no one mistakes me for being a sucker.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Learning to let go...

Yes, the day finally arrived for my boy to head off to the military. I swore I wouldn't get teary eyed in front of him. And I didn't. Sniffling in the bathroom does not count because no one saw me.

The thing that does surprise me is the growing emptiness in my home. It's like a little bit of the home's soul is being ripped away when a person leaves. Yeah...I realize that might be a bit over the top, but it's how it feels some days.

Like...today.

And yes, I know too well that this sadness will fade as I form a new daily routine. But for today, it kinda smarts to have to say good-bye to the boy.
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Meet Rex


Rex would be my new pc. A present from my hubby. My old computer had an emotional breakdown from too many outdated games being loaded on it. My boy thought I was kidding when I told him no Doom on my tower.

My guy is home on vacation. And he is the shiz when it comes to retrieving information, so nothing lost. As for Windows 7, I like it.

Best of all, it feels good to be back online.

P.S. As for my old pc, it's going to be used as a spare for my girl to do her homework on and edit photos. And no games will ever be loaded on Rex. Except for World of Warcraft. Because, you know, it's WoW.
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Friday, May 28, 2010

Losing track of everything

It's chaos here. End of the school year stuff for the girl. Boy getting ready to head off to basic training. And my best friend, my love, will be arriving soon for a month long vacation. Yes, just a month. Yeah, I hate that part, too. A month.  But hey, I'll take it.

Writing is sporadic, but comfortable. There's a pleasure I feel when I write longhand. The weight of the pen as it molds to my fingers and the smooth softness of the paper. I'm sure some feel the same joy when their fingers lightly dance over a laptop keyboard. But my parents ordered me to learn how to type on a manual typewriter at a young age. They wanted me to learn a work skill. (Yes, even at age seven my parents feared I wouldn't be a productive member of society.) So now, sitting in front of a keyboard is more like a chore.  It might be why my creative spark just isn't there when I'm at a computer.

Or I suppose I could just be babbling here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Midweek Musing--my strange addiction

My husband got me hooked on watching Dexter. You know the series, right? The serial killer who has a "code". I hate to admit this but in the evenings I'm running my own personal marathon through the seasons. I've watched the first two so far. I do have the third season on hand, but I'm trying to prolong the pleasure.

I love a good twisty plot. Add one anti-hero and I'm hooked. It's almost like eating a Reese's peanut butter cup in the dark. Sheer secret indulgence. I'm totally warped. I mean, hello, I'm quietly cheering for a killer.

But man, I'd love to write a story like that.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday

I picked that title because...it is Monday. Morning still by me.

Mostly this is just to say I'm here. Alive. I've learned banking rules suck and getting my roof replaced is like asking to win the lottery. Nah. I get the feeling winning the lottery would be smoother. And oddly it's not my insurance company giving me the grief. They're willing to cut checks and send them to me. Depositing them....sigh. That's where the fun begins.

My writing time has been crazy. Really. I have an unbalanced character. He's fun to play with. Easy to be with. But we soooo have to cool our time together because I need to get Brooklyn cleaned up and out of here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Dreaded Blue Screen of Death

Also known as the, "You're Screwed Screen."

So my tower is out of commission. What hurts the most is losing some of my pictures and music. I just bought a bunch of music, set up new playlists when my tower failed. I'm sure everyone living within a mile radius heard me screaming, "Noooooo."

The blue screen scares me because it often means I am in waaay over my head in software or hardware troubles.

I guess it's a good thing I like writing by hand.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The internet is out to get me

Yahoo hates me and won't let me log on. Itunes is taking forever to download one song. LJ wouldn't let me comment on someone's post. Even blogger is giving me issues.


Or maybe the Fates are trying to tell me something. Like stop procrastinating. I would argue though the above stuff is work.
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Monday, May 3, 2010

It's Monday and I'm in a good mood

I know. That's soooo unheard of for me.

When I first wrote and plotted Brooklyn's story, I had no clue how to start it. Most writers will tell you, the first chapters are always the hardest to get down and they require the most revisions. I don't freak out when this happens. Normally, by the time I get past the first round or two of revisions I can see the opening.

Normally.

That didn't happen with Brooklyn's story.

I've been beating myself up because I just couldn't see where to start the story. Yesterday, after a series of writing exercise, I didn't come up with one possible opening, I had three. Three.

Funny how the universe clicks, don't you think?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Yikes...It's May

And you know what that means, yes? Story a Day challenge is going on right now.

Seventh Sanctum has some great prompts, as well as Justin and his writing exercises on FM.

I can't seem to write a story that'll stay short enough for the markets. I blame it on my muse. But hey, if you're adventurous enough, you should go for it. On FM we even have a board set up to track your progress.

Good luck, folks!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Starting the month off with a new look

Yeah....don't know why but I had the urge to play today on my blog. I wanted something...simplier. Not sure if I'll keep this or not.

Speaking of changes, did anyone watch the new episode of Doctor Who? New actor. New rainbow colored Daleks. Yes, rainbow assortment. They reminded my boy of the Power Rangers. I can't say I'm loving this season, but I'll give it more chances.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Some days you just can't get ahead

Lately, I have had waaay too many days when I felt like this. Oddly, being that it was a Monday and I'm sure by now everyone knows I feel about Mondays, yesterday turned out decent. Better than decent.


Wrote about a character with anger issues and how he dealt with betrayal.


Started the new index cards for Brooklyn's revision. Half way done.


Loads and loads of laundry cleaned, folded and put away. (How did all these clothes pile up anyway? Are the kids hoarding dirty underwear under their beds or something?)


At sunset, the kids and I sat around in the backyard, enjoying the sweet smell of freshly mowed grass and talking about everything. And to end the night, we watched the newest Doctor Who.


Does it get anymore perfect?
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sweet 16

After the crazy, anything and everything could go wrong week, it was time to sit back and party some. Okay, no party. Girl didn't want anything resembling a gathering. And the Girl looked ready to rip out throats if anyone attempted to sing Happy Birthday.

I hummed it.

Girl swore she was disowning me.

Five minutes later, she was back for more teasing.

Favorite present? Johnny Depp's character the Mad Hatter.

Because everyone needs a little Johnny in a box.
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

The MOM Challenge

My week kinda looks like this so far: disinfect the house from sick girl germs, play nursemaid, cleanup dog vomit, pay bills, take care of multiple phone calls, order flowers for a funeral, plan a birthday, supervise the lawn care, make something edible to eat, laundry, more laundry, dishes, deal with doctors, teachers, more teachers, juggle the legal yuck over the boy’s car accident, listen to one child’s rants, another child’s mad ravings from fever, sounding board for my husband, visited the drug store so much that I’m on a first name basis with the pharmacist--and I still found a little bit of time to write.

And it’s only Thursday.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Back from vacation

It was great to see some family. We had a lot of fun in Orlando at Universal. We had Easter dinner with some friends. The downside to all this? I’m dragging this Monday morning. Bah. I need a longer holiday.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I knew I had a blog here...


Posted by PicasaSorry folks, I’ve been busy with revisions and family. I planned a vacation with the kids this weekend. We leave on Friday. And as luck has it, a winter storm blew in yesterday. Thunder, hail snow, rain...it was impressive. So impressive that schools, governments and cities were talking about closing for the day. Schools closed last night in fact.

Myself? I was pondering if I should start changing up my plans.

Like most Colorado storms, they come on strong and fade quickly. It always amazes me how powerful, all consuming these storms are one moment, then everything changes to a quiet whisper in a few seconds.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The icky weekend

I hate stomach flu viruses. Being sick sucks period, but the stomach flu? The gagging. The vomiting. Yeah, yeah. It’s gross. Gives me the creeps. My girl ended up sick over the weekend. While taking care of her I also tried sterilizing the house. I don’t think there’s enough Lysol spray in the world to make me happy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Death of a printer

Not sure what is up with me and electronics lately. There I was, printing off worksheets yesterday when I heard the dreaded grinding noise, followed by the crunching of pages. Lots of pages. An hour later I still couldn’t get it to work.

Yeah, yeah...I saw the signs of trouble a while ago. I put it off and now see where I’m at.

I ended up using my husband’s antiquated printer that takes forever to print a dozen pages. But it’s done.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscar’s Lessons

Oscar is a finicky fella. Just when you think you got this contest thing all figured out, the rules change up. Most years I sort of just glance at the awards, but I was interested because of the rallying around The Hurt Locker and Avatar.

Avatar was an amazing visual banquet. 3D was pushed to an all new level in this movie, and James Cameron should be proud his movie.

Story wise...? It was a good story. It had foreshadowing. There were character arcs. Maybe there was a touch too much of divine intervention there in the end. For me the predictable was the kiss off. I didn’t see any surprises. No shocking revelations. It was a solid little story, but it didn’t sparkle. The main character was overshadowed by the lifestyle of the Na’vi and their plight. If you think I'm joking about it google Avatar, Na'vi and depression.

The Hurt Locker is--well---different. The main character in the story is a member of the US Army’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit. He plays with life threatening things on a daily basis. Most people shy away from a job like that. So yeah, I kinda expected the main character to be unique, and I wasn’t disappointed. Some viewers liked him. Others hated him. Putting personal likes and dislikes aside, the character never, ever fades into the background. He took control of his destiny. Did the story have some farfetched twists? Yes. I can’t picture a soldier running off at night in Iraq to do his own sleuthing. But you know, it’s Hollywood. They can get away with that. In books, not so much.

Solid and well-written stories don’t guarantee a sale anymore in the publishing area. Unless of course you’re a huge powerhouse, but even then I’ve seen major authors get smacked down in sales. Yes, writing well is needed, but a little thing called storytelling should never be forgotten or taken for granted. Characters are the heart of the story. They connect the writer to the reader, and when it happens the world explodes into reality.

Gawd, yes, I am this anal in critiques over characters and plots as well.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Revisions are slllllooooww

Things are slowly moving forward. Nothing exciting to say about it because I haven't started writing yet. Or would that be rewriting? Hmmm

Anyway, I saw this story via Margaret and got a chuckle.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Taking a moment

Some days you have to stop what you're doing and look around at the pretty sunrise. Too often I don't do it either.
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Trivia Tuesday

Not many folks know this about me, but I love classic cars. Ford Mustang is my absolute favorite. Yes, I surf the net just to look at them. It’s my secret indulgence.


My guy found a car online that he really thought I’d like. Not a mustang, but a Thunderbird. 1964. I paid one of my boy’s friends to take us to check it out. Nice but it needed more work than I could do for it. Still...it was sooooo tempting.


Anyone out there want to share their secret extravagance?

Monday, March 1, 2010

March?

Noooo...it can't be March already.


Say it ain't so.
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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sundays

I kinda like Sundays. A day I get to hang out and do whatever I want, including chat with characters. Looking back, I’m seeing that’s where a big problem came from with B’s story. Not enough chats and too much of what I wanted. Live and learn.

Sunday is my catch up on my reading day. I’ve got quite a line up on my kindle.


Sewing, which is relaxing for me, is something I haven’t done in a while. Not because I don’t like to, I just keep getting sidetracked by other things.


Love photography, too.


And every great once in a while I get in the mood to bake cookies. I know. Queen of Burnt Foods likes to bake. Funny.


So...if anyone is reading this...do you have a day to unwind?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You ever stop and think about revisions?

What I’m getting at is we read all these how-to books on writing, characterization, dialogue, plotting--how to do everything including how to blog. But you know, I never really thought that much about revisions. Writing can be messy and fun. Revisions are much more thought provoking. Obsessing...? I’m not talking about the proper word choices for descriptions, or if you need to use a dialogue tag or not. Those are little things and often subjective. I’m talking about the OMG, what was thinking when I wrote this scene? Writing is almost like sex. Revisions are more like giving birth.

Just thought I’d share that strange and bizarre thought. I’m rambling here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thank you

I know my last post might’ve been taken as flippant. Really it was me still strung out from the stress of what happened. There is nothing as sobering as hearing the words, “Your son has been involved in an accident.”

Honest, that phrase puts EVERYTHING into perspective as to what’s important in life. The Mule? (Truck) is replaceable. The boy? Not so much. And at this point he owes me. Big time. I wanna retire on a boat that he pays for.

Kidding.

Thank you all for the kind words.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

This sums up my weekend

The boy will be fine. The truck?


Sigh...2001. The body work is going to exceed the worth of the vehicle. I liked this truck. This was my husband's baby.


The final kicker to this weekend? My son's truck has a motor that's dying in it.


Soooo...I might be busy this week.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Meet Pete

This is Pete. Pete, meet the world.

He's shy. Normally a downer. Really, he always looks depressed. Even when he plays, he looks mellow. But he's a good dog. Come on, he let me put a bow on him last Christmas.

Poor Pete needs to have surgery today. The vet found a couple of lumps. Probably nothing...but....

I know. It probably sounds silly to get so worked up about a dog but he's like one of the kids. Oh man, some days he's nicer than the kids. I'm joking.

I hope you all have had a very productive week. I have been working this week on Brooklyn because my goal is to get her cleaned up enough to send her querying this year. I'm realizing I've got work cut out for me. So being able to find these problems is a good thing, right?
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snowy Sunday

Woke to a light dusting of snow and wondered what a character would think about it snce she's never seen the white stuff before. That got me started on characters. Then a timed chat. Which was nice...since I've been having so many issues with chats and characters lately. Small victory. Go me.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pondering

I’ve come to the conclusion I’m jinxed. At least for this week. Last night my pc tower monitor blinked three times and died. It went black while I was watching a video. Noooo...

So this morning--because I really needed to calm down before I tried anything--I hooked up a monitor that I KNEW for certain worked. Yes, I’m using an old model, but at least I can see the screen now. Thankfully it’s not some graphics card on the mother board.

On a good note, I finished reading and marking up worksheets for this part.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It’s Thursday????

Where has this week gone to?

For revisions, I have 96 pages left to read for this round. Yes, only....I’m laughing at the only part, too.

TAXES. Have I mentioned these things kinda remind me of a certain yearly exam? And customer service would be a wonderful thing to invest in at all levels of government. If I knew the answer to certain questions, I sure wouldn’t have called to be put on hold for twenty minutes, just to talk to a snippy, condescending person.

I hope you all have had a better week than I have.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It must be a Monday....

Rambo and Kenny here to tell you our human housekeeper is busy with paperwork and taxes and muttering curses against the IRS.
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Disappointed folks

I personally am not disappointed by the ipad. Okay, the name, the name is sort of funny. The best joke I’ve heard so far is: “What is the second generation going to be called? MAXI Ipad?”

It wouldn’t have been a bad idea to have a woman or two in their focus group. Focus groups are pretty handy like that.

The device is what I kinda thought it would be-an oversize itouch. And it is neat in that respect. I love my itouch. I do. And I was jazzed when I realized it was exactly like it. Until I took in the measurements. The ipad is just a little too big to fit in my purse. It’s not handy in that respect which has bummed me. Um, as for the iBook store, you know I love my eink. It’s much easier on my eyes sooooo...I won’t give up my Kindle.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My geek side is showing

Yes, like most folks I'm anxiously waiting to hear what Apple will say about the iTablet. Rumors about this has been swirling for years. Apple...please put me out of my misery.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Into the twilight zone

This has been a bizarre Monday. Mondays in general are normally annoying but today hit the weird level. It started with the Chihuahua. The evil critter climbed on my pillow and licked me on my lips.

Yes....Ew.

Next, my girl was up and ready for school 36 minutes before she had to catch the bus. This was a first. And after preparing her breakfast, she asked me: “So...Mom....you ever wish you had a more normal daughter?”

Me: Double checking the clock. “No.” Pause. Because at this point I’m sure there’s more to this. “Why?”

Girl:" I was just wondering if you wanted someone who didn’t search the web for hours looking up how to make dread falls."

Me: "You planning to infiltrate the honor’s society to overthrow it?"

A few hours later my boy comes downstairs and says: "I’m hungry. Want me to make macaroni for us?"

Me: "Us?"

Boy: "Can’t I be nice?"

The pod people have landed...just thought I’d warn you all.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Cover

And Bloomsbury apologized and will change the cover.

Boycott Bloomsbury? Hell no...

For those that aren’t aware, Jaclyn Dolamore’s Magic Under Glass is the latest book that’s come under fire for its cover art because the picture on the jacket is of a light skinned girl. I have to admit after the firestorm over Liar, I’m lost as to why Bloomsbury would do this. Again. Possibly someone just forgot to include a description of the character to the art department.

Whatever the reasoning behind it, I’m even more dumbstruck by the fact people are going around wanting Bloomsbury boycotted.

I understand the anger. I do. Bloomsbury should make a statement. Accidental or not, this needs to be addressed and fixed. Boycotting them though, is not the answer. It’ll hurt authors more, especially Jaclyn Dolamore and other authors who are debuting. If books don’t sell, unlikely they’ll buy the second one. Or a third.

Even worse, boycotting beautifully written books with strong lead persons of color is going to end up being more devastating. Again, if sales are bad for the first book, there won’t be a second. This reminds me of the old saying, “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”

This in not any author’s fault. Most authors don’t have a say in their cover art. In fact I’ve only heard of two that have been consulted about the art. Both are major NYT bestselling authors. So what chance does some new kid on the block get to have a say on their artwork? No chance in hell sounds right to me.

So what to do about Bloomsbury. An online petition has already been started. If you feel that’s not good enough, try writing to them. Or maybe organize something like what happened when CBS cancelled the TV series Jericho and fans rallied to the get the show a proper closure. 

I agree this behavior of using light-skinned models in place of a person of color must stop. It is irrational. At the same time, going after Bloomsbury must be done thoughtfully. In a poor economy, blindly boycotting could destroy a career and cost readers the loss of a wonderful story.

As always, this is my blog and my thoughts on this matter.

End Rant.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lowest of moments

I have one other little confession about the conference. There were times I felt the lowest of lows there when I listened to folks reading examples of their work or their writing exercises aloud. Sitting in a workshop with pro writers is intimidating to put it mildly. And yes, the object of a workshop is to work on your craft, not worry about others.


The thing is for the last two years I’ve been fighting with my own demons when it comes to writing. No, not to all parts of my writing. My muse sends me story nibbles. I’ve rounded up enough story ideas for the next ten years. At least ten, more like twenty. And it’s not the actual act of writing so much. I can finish a first draft, and without a first you can’t revise. Revising...now that’s the challenge.


Yes, I know. I’ve never been a huge fan of revising, but it’s a necessary evil. I have learned to respect it. Can’t say I love it yet. But the last two years have been rough. It’s as if I’m fighting a shadow monster that can’t be killed. In truth, the monster in the shadows is me. It’s my sadness. My loneliness. My frustration. I can tell you all when it even started. The day my husband left for Iraq.


Don’t feel bad for me. Too many others have been and still are in my place. Some families have been going through this much longer. I’ve grown. I’m stronger. And yet, the creative part of me is still hanging out in limbo in some ways. I’m thinking that part of my muse is off on a Hawaiian vacation, sipping pretty drinks with umbrellas.


How do I fight this dilemma? That’s the conundrum. Here’s what I’m trying to do. Go to workshops. Online and in person. Getting out and meeting real people is a good idea...since you know...I spend way too much alone. Learn new ways to revise a novel. And never, ever give up. No, this will not beat me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The long weekend

As you can see by the late posting again, I’m still trying to catch up on sleep.

The conference was a rush of information and inspiration. Richard Peck is a phenomenal speaker. He received a standing ovation as he left the podium. By everyone but me. My feet got tangled up in my purse and bag of books that’s I’d put under the table, and I ended up trapped in my seat. Yes, I do feel like quite the klutz there.

Author, Kathleen Duey and agent, Jennifer RofĂ© ran the intensive novel workshop. Loved it. If I can, I’d like to try to go another workshop but time and travel are always iffy for me.

Being in Florida was a mixture of homecoming and sadness. In the end sadness won out more. Partly because my kids weren’t there with me in Florida. Who knew I’d miss refereeing their fights? I think the biggest part though was so many unresolved issues with my family. Issues that’ll never get fixed now. And for once, I was actually looking forward to getting back to Colorado. I never would’ve expected that.

Did you all have a good weekend?

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm Baack

Miss me??? Probably not but you know that's okay. Conference was fun, but I'm glad to be home. I'll write more later.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rolling with the changes

I had a plan. It was a good plan. Turned out to be unrealistic but hey--it was a plan.

Revising looks like it’ll have to be pushed back to when I return from the conference. And I think I finally have everything I need. Okay, I still have print stuff off. And pack. And...and...

Yeah...it’s looking dicey today.

On a good note my business cards arrived. Yes, I put those off until the last minute, too. I like my cards. They’re...different. Skull. Headstone. Actually, the card theme does tie in really nice with Daniel’s story. Somewhat with Brooklyn’s story as well. But I realize it might put off some folks. Might put off everyone. Not sure. It feels right for me. Sometimes being true to yourself pays off, and sometimes not. At least I can say I tried it my way.

Monday, January 11, 2010

To the storytellers out there...

MISS SNARK said once:



“Here’s the thing. You have to write the thing that fills you with passion. You have to write something you love the way you love your children: all the time, even when you want to murder them. You have to write something you love so much it doesn’t even cross your mind to ask ‘am I wasting my time’ because to NOT write it would be wasting your heart.”

I wasn’t the biggest Snark fan. Wait, wait, hear me out before you hit the back button. I had nothing against her. I just don’t go blindly into following someone who stays anonymous. (Yes, I’ve always been this suspicious of people. Even as a kid I didn’t trust the mall Santas.) But Miss Snark did have some amazing tidbits of advice to share. I’m going to admit something here, I personally have more passion now than when I started back in 2002. I love writing, but I love storytelling more.

A deep fear I have is when the storytelling becomes a chore. When the fun is gone. When the passion vanishes completely. I’m not talking about the slight case of boredom or feeling a little in the rut. That is sooo not what I’m referring to. There are days I don’t want to write. I don’t want to build a character sheet. Don’t feel like pulling out my dry erase boards to plot.

What I’m referring to is the total loss of joy for writing. I know a lot of writers who call themselves storytellers, but they turn away from their writing because they didn’t sell. Because they heard the word “no” too many times. Because commercially they’re not living the dream that’s expected. Too many writers measure their success by the amount of their advances, which agent they have and the major deal from their publisher.

I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen aspiring authors start a flame war on their blogs, leave scathing comments on other people’s blogs or on a website because of how unhappy they are. They start to feel they have to suffer. And I do think their love turned to hate.

I don’t have any clever answers as to how to stop the loss of happiness, except to keep remembering why I love to tell a story. Miss Snark’s advice above is probably the best for me so far: “You have to write something you love so much it doesn’t even cross your mind to ask ‘am I wasting my time’ because to NOT write it would be wasting your heart.”

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Midnight ramblings (okay, yes, it’s actually almost afternoon.)

So for the last few nights coyotes have serenaded me. Those things are soooo creepy. If you’ve ever heard them, you will never forget them. Their high pitch cackles...shiver. And my muse gets to work overtime. Maybe it was lack of sleep or the late hours, but I came up some pretty cool blurbs.

This turned out to be a full week with the kids between a crisis and truck repairs. There’s no way my neighbors missed my boy coming or going with how squeaky it became. Revising Brooklyn has taken priority for the week. There’s also the reading I need to get done before Wednesday of next week. Argh...I need more time!

Maybe the timing isn’t quite right to try this, but I’m experimenting with a new way to revise a novel. I’ll let you know how well it works in a few weeks. Some folks I know are sticklers for staying with what they know. Me? Personally, I don’t mind experimenting. Stagnation is evil. Evil, I say.

I hope you all have been keeping busy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monday kicked my butt

I woke up exhausted this morning. Noooo...I have so much to do today.

I didn't want make your visit a total waste. Here's some interesting reading for you all. Gosh, the horror side of me is screaming for a story.

http://www.forteantimes.com/features/articles/1562/the_dyatlov_pass_incident.html

Monday, January 4, 2010

Girly moment here

There I was, cleaning out and my closet and I’m realizing my wardrobe is looking a little...sketchy. No, I don’t have a closet full of sweatpants and assorted pajamas. This is a strange thing to admit here, but I have to be fully dressed in order to write. Right down to my sneakers being tied. Makeup? Nah. I don’t need any lipstick to torment a character or two. If you really want to know the truth, my makeup goes bad from neglect before I ever use it up.

To get back to my wardrobe dilemma. Everything I own can be summed as baggy jeans and T-shirts in an assortment of colors. I have a couple of button shirts...that go over the T-shirts. Seeing a trend here?

Off I go to the stores. And what do I have to show for my hard work this weekend? I bought a chain to replace the one that broke months ago. This shopping thing is brutal.

As a side note, my boy was luckier. He ended up with several girls’ phone numbers. He’s actually looking forward to his next day off to take me shopping again.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year Fortune Cookie...

The tradition in my house is to have Chinese takeout on New Year’s Eve. I know. It’s kinda strange. But anyway...


My fortune cookie had this goodie in it: “You will win success in whatever you adopt.”


My girl hearing the adopt part got all excited: Yes, you’re gonna adopt a baby this year.


Me (choking on apple cider): Um...what?


Girl: I always wanted a little sister.


Me: Seriously?


Girl: Once the boy leaves we can make his room into a nursery.


Me: No. I got dibs on it for an office.


Girl: But it would be fun to have a little sister. I can buy it onesies from Hot Topic. Paint her nails. Take her shopping with me.


Me: Like a pet?


Girl: I could help take care of her.


Me: Like your hamster? Hm...whatever happened to it? Didn’t it die...? Probably from a broken heart and neglect? And don’t forget the goldfish. They lived a whole twenty-four hours.


Girl: You know what? You’re like that one nerdy, crying kid on the school bus that no one liked to sit next to. Always bringing everyone down.


Me: Pessimism is a talent that only gets better with age, dear.


Happy New Year!