Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Catch Up and March Reading Schedule

It's been hectic around here.  Saturday night's launch party of Hotel Stories went well, and my Cher tribute was spot on:)  Sunday went well, other than a snow storm which cancelled Religious Ed for the kids, so got to have breakfast after the 8am service.  At Requiem practice, I ended up sitting in the 2nd row, Stage Right, and during the hour break, went to the piano and worked for a half an hour on my main trouble spot until I got it.  Then went through the Red Skelton museum until dress rehearsal.  Afterward, grabbed my camera and shot some pics of everyone while we waited to line up.

Concert went well!  My dad didn't make it, since Lafayette received a foot of snow; we only had half of that.  I've been told a recording was made, so I'll post the link on my FB page when I get it.  I also hope to have a copy to show my parents, since they can't post the whole thing online.

Took my Youngling to dinner at the Montana Mike's steakhouse, then went home for ice cream and cake.  I was so tired I went to bed early.

Yesterday, we had to drive to Princeton for ISTEP testing.  The spouse and I took Miss A to breakfast at Denny's, then drove to Evansville, where we spent forty-five minutes in Barnes and Noble, until the Mall opened.  She then spent an hour running around the Craftsman/Lawn and Garden area, and fell asleep on the way back.

Today's test was shorter, so we ate breakfast at Burger King and let A run around the play area.

Feb Recap:
Books Read:  9
            Print:  1
            E-book:  8
            DNF:  3

Songs Added To Karaoke Good List:  4

Goals Met?
-NiKoh edited and off to proofreader
-1st installment sent for CTAHS
-Hotel Stories launched
-Mastered most of Mozart's Requiem, even trying to convert a church choir hymn to Latin!
-Salie's Story is now 12K, but not sure where I started.
-Did not work on Hearts of Braden

March Goals:
-Add 20K to SaLie's story
-Approve NiKoh's cover art
-Promo NiKoh
-Send 2nd installment for CTAHS
-Pay for MW Writer's Conference
-Pay for Day with Authors
-Get promo together for Madison signing (NiKoh and Hotel Stories)
-Order more Hotel Stories copies

Reading Schedule:
Diplomat's Daughter-Carolyn Wren  RR  Very good story!  Looking forward to more:)
Kentucky Woman-Jan Scarbough
Hard Drive-Tricia Anderson

Karaoke Songs:
Breathe-Breaking Benjamin
According To You-Orianthe
Don't You Wanna Stay-Kelly Clarkson/Jason Aldean
The Climb-Miley Cyrus
Consider Me Gone-Reba
I Can't Drive 55-Sammy Hagar
I Honestly  Love You-Olivia Newton-John
I Hope You Dance-Lee Ann Womack
I Just Called To Say I Love You-Stevie Wonder
I Just Can't Stop Loving You-Michael Jackson
I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight-Cutting Crew
I Knew I Loved You-Savage Garden
I Love Rock-n-Roll-Joan Jett

Friday, February 27, 2015

Flashback Friday: Chick Magnet #2 and 'New' Pick Up Line!

Feb 2005:
K was now in Pep Band (the school was small, so no separate band for basketball games), and I insisted we take in a game in order to watch him play.  When I was in HS, it was not unusual for parents to sit near the band section of the bleachers, so that's where I chose to seat my family.

Oops...we soon discovered the student section was in front of us.  Again, no big deal for me, but the spouse hated it.  However, this presented a wonderful opportunity for my 11 m/o Youngling!

The girls who knew me fawned over him, shared their popcorn, and even let him sit with him during cheers.

During the 3rd quarter Pep Band break, K took him around to show him off, and as we discovered later, used his little 'Mini-Me Chick Magnet' to collect email addresses from cute girls!  The spouse and I joked the new pick up line was not, "Can I have your number?  I lost mine..."  but now "If you give me your email address, I'll send you a picture of you holding this cute little boy."

I think he must have collected at least ten email addresses, and even more when we attended a Monrovia game and he got to see his football buddies from the previous two years.

Present Day:

My first five copies of Hotel Stories arrived yesterday!  We're having Open Mic Night tomorrow evening at the Open Gallery, so I'm hoping to read a short excerpt from my story, Night Wind, as well as one from either NiKoh or Heart's Last Chance.

We'll also have copies on hand to sell, so yay!

Then it will be off for a short karaoke session to celebrate.  I can't stay long, since I have to sing at 8am service, then spend all afternoon in heavy Requiem practice.  Here's how Sunday's schedule will go, if you're interested:

-7:30am:  Arrive in choir loft
-9 am:  Return home to get Youngling
-9:30am:  Take Y to REP.  Return home.
-10:45:  Return to church for 11am service
-12pm:  Service over; time for quick lunch
-12:30:  Spouse drops me off for Requiem practice; 'staging' practice', so we'll know how to get on and off the stage, plus when to sit down
-1pm:  Practice with HS singers
-2pm:  Break while soloists and orchestra practice
-3pm:  Dress rehearsal with orchestra
-4pm:  Doors open
-4:30:  We take stage; concert begins
-6pm-ish: Birthday dinner for Youngling (he'll be 11) with my dad, who is coming down to watch performance:)

So What's On Tap For Karaoke?
Doing a Cher Tribute:
Dark Lady
I Got You Babe
I Found Someone
You Haven't Seen The Last Of Me

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Favorite book and why

When I was in the 1st or 2nd grade, my mother produced her copy of Little Women and gave it to me.  I wasn't that interested in some of the chapters, but I devoured as much of the first half as I could, especially since she'd read the first chapter in a 'Children's Big Book' anthology which included fairy tales and first chapters from classic books.  I wanted to know more about Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, and saw a little of myself in each character.

Meg:  I could relate to her because I was the oldest.

Jo:  I loved the fact she could write...and write....and write.  In fact, one piece of wisdom I've carried with me is 'write what YOU like, not what someone ELSE likes'.  When Jo is getting ready to submit her 1st book, she tries to please everyone by putting more suspense, 'lovering', and sermon-like monologues.  As a result, yes, the book is accepted and printed, but Jo isn't happy with it, and says, "I wish I'd kept it the way I'd originally written it."  Lesson learned:  Don't let anyone mess with 'your voice'.

Beth:  I also love music, and begged my parents for piano lessons.  My wish was finally granted in the 6th grade, though I'd been playing by ear for years.  It was finally revealed they balked at letting me take lessons, due to the fact my grandmother was a gifted pianist who became kind of a 'trained monkey' sort, who was trotted out at parties to play whenever my great-grandparents wanted to show her off.  Grandma hated it, so she never pushed my mother or uncles to follow a music career.  I would love to be more skilled, but by age 12, my left hand refused to conquer the notes.  Since we'd acquired an organ, and I was practicing on it, my teacher recommended I switch to organ.  I took lessons for 3 more years until my HS activities prevented it.  I'd switched to percussion by that time, and was playing the bells, xylophone, marimba, vibraphone...anything except snare and timpani.

Amy:  I loved her name.  I loved her antics.  I loved her curls.  I even tried to get my parents to change my name!  But no....

When I was older, probably 4th grade, I finally read the second half, and wept when Beth died.  I've also watched two adaptations on TV:  One with Susan Dey as Jo and Eve  Plumb as Beth, and then the Winona Ryder version.  I THINK I also have the Katharine Hepburn version on VHS, but have never watched it.

Why do I love it so?  This movie is timeless!  The themes, poverty, family, love, and overcoming hardships....can be related to today's culture as well.

I used to volunteer my time at school during Book Fair week, and encouraged any young reader to try this book.  If they did, I'd later ask them how they liked it, and the answer was usually a resounding 'I LOVED it!'  Next step:  "Why don't you read Little Men?"

"There's MORE?  Oh good!"

What about you?  What's YOUR all-time favorite book, and have you ever tried to read Little Women?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

HDH #1

I've not participated in this for quite a while, but today I'd like to share a few lines from my latest release, Night Wind:

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” wheezed the man she'd knocked down.  Jeni turned her head and saw the half-dressed man push himself from the back of the sitting area couch.  “Greg, I heard your signal, man. What gives?”
“Sorry Sam.  She had her key out before I could say anything.”  Greg helped Jeni to her feet.  “Sam, this is Jeni, assistant manager.  Sam Malone, Aiden's bass player.”
“Sam Malone?  As in-” Jeni shut her mouth.
“Yeah, yeah, same as Ted Danson's character in Cheers.  My parents have a sense of humor.”

Available in print 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Flashback Friday: Back To Work!

Feb 1995:
With the spouse home all the time, I soon grew tired of having him around all the time, plus living off unemployment.  We'd eaten several times at our local Sirloin Stockade, so one day I walked in, found the manager we'd gotten to know, and demanded he hire me.  Turned out they were having a training session that evening, so I filled out the application, went home, told D what I'd done, then went back for the training session.

Financially, it worked out.  My tips covered the daily expenses, such as milk or quick grocery runs, and my paychecks covered the electric bill.  We used his weekly unemployment checks for the rent and groceries.

That first night, we had a record crowd, and I was soon given my own two rows of customers.  But I'd worn the wrong socks with my work shoes, so it wasn't long before my big right toe was in agony.  I'd even asked Todd for an advance on my pay, so I could go get a larger size shoe.  He refused, so I put up with the pain.

At the end of the shift, Todd complimented me on a good first night, and remarked how they'd not had that large of a crowd before.  I told him my history of larger than usual crowds on my debut night, and he joked, "You're fired.  Come back tomorrow!"

I went home and soaked my aching feet, then wore panty hose instead of black socks.  It eased the pain in my toe, but the damage had been done.  I would fight a painful ingrown toenail for the next ten months.

Present Day:
NiKoh's edits are finished!  Received round 1 Wednesday night, and sent them back yesterday afternoon.  Then the final round arrived in the evening, with only two things needing addressed.  Sent them back last night, and NiKoh is off to the proofreader!  Now, still waiting on cover art...and to see if maybe we need to tie up one slight possible loose end.  I might be able to address it in SaLie's book.

Projected Release Date is April 13th, though I'm hoping it will arrive before April 3rd, the day I travel to Madison, In for the Author's Fair.

Don't know if I'll make it to karaoke tomorrow or not; our truck may not be ready until Monday.  I'm bummed....we've had 7 inches of snow this week; schools have been cancelled every day; payday was Wed, and I haven't hardly left the house, except for a whirlwind trip through Walmart Wednesday morning for emergency lunch fixings.  I'm dying to eat something I've not had to cook myself.

If by some miracle I AM able to go, I'll sing the following:
I Don't Want To-Toni Braxton
I Don't Want To Live W/O You-Foreigner
I Can't Drive 55-Sammy Hagar

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Favorite Quote

I have many favorite quotes from the Bible and movies, but I think my all time favorite quote is a lesson illustrated by sand.

"If you love something, set it free.  If it doesn't return, it was never yours to begin with."

What does that have to do with sand?

If you've ever held a handful of loose, dry sand, you know the tighter your fist, the faster the grains slip through your fingers.  Keep a loose grip, and the grains stay put.

This works with relationships.  If you love someone, don't try to keep a choke hold on them.  There has to be a great deal of TRUST for a relationship to work, which means no checking up on someone.

THAT book, illustrated by THE MOVIE, shows this clearly.  CG tracks AS's movements and everyone is up in arms, not by his scarlet room of discomfort, but by the way he TREATS her.

Yes, yes, I hear you...."But if I don't care about where s/he goes, won't that encourage cheating?"

Not necessarily.  If there is solid trust between two people, the urge to cheat won't surface.  You know your partner trusts and loves you, so therefore temptation isn't so readily at the forefront of your mind.

Again, what does that have to do with letting someone go?

You cannot force someone to stay.  The tighter you try to keep them with you, or in your control, the more they will try to get away.

Years ago, I 'knew' my roommate and I were destined to be BFFs.  But when we did meet, she preferred the company of another roommate.  Instead of getting huffy, I sat back and waited for the opportunity, and it came seven months later, when she introduced me to her boyfriend's BFF, and discovered I'm actually a lot of fun in a quiet way, ha ha!  Then, when our other roommate dropped out of college, that's when our bond strengthened, and we're still BFFs to this day.

Had I whined, followed her everywhere, or pulled a soap opera stunt, I think she would have done everything in her power to move out of the room....

So what are your thoughts?  Yes, there is a time to put your foot down, but there's also a time to take a step back.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Yes! Right Choice This Time!

Celebrity Apprentice wrapped up last night, and I was hoping Leeza would win, and she did:)  She also kicked Geraldo's butt in the fundraising ($300+ to his $140-something), and won the task.  Aside from that, several things still bugged the crap out of me:

-'Phonegate':  When asked, Kenya threw her makeup artist under the bus.  I still say she did it.

-Kenya:  Her sticky-sweet kissing up made me nearly go into a diabetic coma.  She had her head so far up Trump's butt, I'm surprised we could even see her.

-Kate:  Can't the woman make a decision without sounding like a teenager who's afraid to stand up for herself?  Geez...

-Trump's Treatment of Keisha:  1st, he mispronounced her name.  Then later, when he corrected her, he cut her off.  If you don't respect someone, why invite them back on the show?

-Shawn's MIA w/o Comment From Anyone:  Sig was also MIA, but then again, he's in the middle of Opilio season.  I don't know why Shawn wasn't there.

In Other News.....
Valentine's Day was enjoyable.  I baked all afternoon, with 'help' from the granddaughter, who tested the limits of my patience by dumping in the brown sugar before I was entirely ready.  It was maybe a millimeter or two shy of a cup when I had to open a new bag.  Just after I opened it, she dumped the packed sugar into the melted butter.  Sigh....

The spouse went with me to karaoke, where I sang the 'anti-love' list.
Faithfully (nailed it!)
Are You Happy Now (little flat at times)
If I Could Turn Back Time (good)
I Hate Myself For Loving You (duet with another girl; we rocked the bar!)
Don't Stop Believing (sang the high notes on the chorus for another girl; again, we rocked the place!)
Better Dig Two  (nailed it!)

Then we went to Denny's, and took a short drive before heading home.