Saturday, January 31, 2009
(It is Saturday, right? Just kidding...)
Thought this was appropriate, as tomorrow's the Super Bowl...
Feast of the Superb Owl
-church bulletin listing, which should have said 'Feast of the Super Bowl'
We're doing something a little different tomorrow. Instead of cooking a fantasic meal with several appetizers and desserts, we're doing Mexican Night. Don't choke, Regina! My hubby loves authentic Mexican (how he ended up marrying me with my wimpy palate is astonishing!), and as our friends are transplants from Houston, he's making homemade guacamole (using D's recipe) and we're serving nachos, tacos, and my D's favorite spicy bean dip. I'll be eating the taco meat with lots of sour cream, or fixing my tame cheese nachos. And yes, I'll make my sugar cookie decorated with chocolate icing and 'AVS' or 'SVA' in Red and Yellow. So come on over and join us tomorrow night!
Remember yesterday I said I dreamed my off the clock characters needed a shot in the arm? I read it over and decided not to rip it apart after all. But what I DID do was speed up the action. After I get it written, THEN I'll go back and ruthlessly make some changes. I did write 4 pages yesterday, so I'm pretty proud of myself.
"But...There's Been No School!"
The stomach flu has made its way through my kids this week. It hit K on Tues, S yesterday morning, and W last night. I just hope neither myself nor D catch it! Just wanted to give you a head's up in case I disappear for a day next week.
Friday, January 30, 2009
And no, it is NOT a 'totally tasteless limerick' like the ones in the past.
How do I come up with these things, you may ask? Simple. Sometimes after reading an excerpt or two, a jingle will pop into my head.
Blame Ms Kirch. She started it all.
Only with hers, I went from kiddie songs (tune of 'Hello Mother, Hello Father') to Christmas songs (mainly 'Deck the Halls'!) to the limerick (There once was a woman named Blu...).
In Dakota's case, I started to do a parody of the Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams, but it morphed into a poem. And for whatever reason, Barb keeps getting spoofs of modern songs (Hey There Delilah and Shadow of the Day).
Veggie Tales Theme came to mind when I first thought up Anny's ditty last year, and included the rest of my blogmates in that one. I've revamped it just in time for her latest release, Love Never Ending, available TODAY at Ellora's Cave. So sit back, enjoy, and please don't throw any tomatoes at me!
If you want to read several good books,
Anny Cook can make you smile
If you want to spy on the blue kids,
Mystic Valley's just your style...
(Have we got a library for you!)
Cherished Destinies, Dancer's De-e-light
Travelor's Re-efuge, Jade and family
Everything Lovers know (it's the pre-equel)
And the fi-ifth one released today!
Different worlds, yet so alike
Will they find happiness
Get her books at Ellora's Cave!
Sometimes inspiration strikes instantly, others gell around in my head for a while before being formed. And in some cases, I end up with really horrible ones, and everyone tells me to 'not quit the day job' or 'keep working on it'.
Kids are on day 4 of snow days; toddler is upset he doesn't get to go play with his school friends. Hubby worked for two hours defrosting the van yesterday, and before he could drive to the post office, he came in and took a nap. Maybe today we'll get that thing in the mail.
And did you know shoveling snow can be hazardous to your kids? W was hit across the bridge of his nose with a shovel handle, and his friend I was poked in the eye. Fortunately, we got ice packs on both kids in time, so no black eyes! S, watch behind you for the little ones next time!
My Off the Clock story is wandering all over the place; I woke up this morning and decided to rip it apart. My characters are not spending a lot of time off the clock; time to re-think this thing. Like I said, I'm the only one working on it at the moment, so I have plenty of time to make mistakes!
Check out the blogs to the right and if anyone else is going to watch the Super Bowl, tell me who you think will take home the trophy this year. I'm leaning toward Arizona, just because this is their first time, but the Steelers will probably show them who's boss. Who knows? I could be wrong! Maybe next year will be the 'Manning Bowl', with Peyton vs Eli!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I've not commented on the blogs all week. And the computer still acted up, especially when S's friend had 3 'Tagged' sites up the other day, and I couldn't get them to disappear. I finally had to shut down the computer for an hour.
So today I'm commenting again. For one thing, I cannot even get out of my driveway in order to get to the library! Nine inches of snow (plus some sleet) fell Tuesday night into Wednesday, and the kids have not had school since Monday. And secondly...okay, there is no second point.
On a good note, we've caught up on all the Stargate episodes on the DVR; I've read this week's inventory of books; we're finally going to eat the roast that I defrosted and put in fridge on Tuesday (I made a wonderful stir-fry last night when D made it to the store for the final day of the steak sale!); my kids shoveled snow yesterday and earned the appreciation of the mailman.
I may also finally get that contract mailed off today! D told me he'd go to the post office and finally also get my sister's Christmas presents sent! Yeah, they're still riding around in the back of the van...
Check back tomorrow for Anny's Release Day Ditty:) For once, I actually thought it up ahead of time!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Yesterday afternoon, 'they' declared a snow emergency in my town, stating the snow routes were at the top of the snow removal sites, and if people parked along these steets, their cars would be first ticketed, then towed.
Woke up this morning to a County-wide Snow Emergency, which means if you don't have to be on the roads, STAY HOME! We received an additional 9 inches last night. Schools were already being closed by 4pm yesterday, and you know it's really bad when the college shuts down!
I'd laid out a roast yesterday and set out some bread dough to thaw and rise, thinking it would be a lovely way to warm up the house. What happened? The boys took off to the neighbors' new house (five blocks away now instead of three doors down) and S walked over to her friend's house. At 5:30, K called and said he and W had been invited to stay for dinner.
My spouse looked at me.
"It seems a shame to waste all that meat for just you and I. In fact, why don't you put it in the fridge and we'll go get the rest of the items on your shopping list?"
I agreed (after all, I DO have new, barely-used snow boots!) and he went to defrost the car. First he took me to Applebees, where we weren't the only idiots who ventured out! And afterwards, he dropped me at Walmart while he stayed in the car. The place was deserted, and I rather enjoyed not having to wait in line at the checkout!
But these past two days I've managed to lose track of what DAY it is!
Take yesterday: I knew my mom was having cateract surgery on Tuesday. When she called to find out how we were doing with all the bad weather, I asked how things went 'yesterday', and she reminded me of the date. Somehow my brain missed a day. I had even turned my TV Guide to Wednesday's listings!
I guess hibernation does that to a person...
"Gee Moll...all you had to do was check your blog post; it's got the correct date!"
I know....I even slept in until 8:30 this morning! Darn that caffeine-loaded iced tea last night!
Another Bad Weather Story
In 1990, I was working as a Developmental Skills Tech at an agency with special-needs kids and adults. The idiot I had been dating refused to accept the idea we were no longer together, so I drove to a friend's house to have some peace and quiet.
The ice storm hit, coating every conceivable surface with glacial ice. There was no way I was going to even attempt to de-ice my car in the frigid morning temps, so I called in the night before I was scheduled and informed them I would not be in. I did attempt to drive home in the afternoon, but only made it about ten miles before I decided it wasn't worth risking an accident to drive further. I turned around and went back, and called in again.
Apparently an adventurous soul had made the drive to work from their hour-long commute; why couldn't I make it?
"For one thing, I'm not at my house; I'm trapped in Indianapolis. Secondly, she has a Jeep and I'm in a Chevette. When the roads are cleared, I'll try this again!"
My boss had been spoiled by having an employee who only lived a block from the facility and who didn't mind working extra shifts when they were short-handed! But this time, I put my foot down and reminded her of all the extra shifts I'd worked over the summer. I deserved two extra days off!
Stay warm and maybe AJ or Ashley will send us some of their heat??? My older kids are loving this no-school thing; my toddler keeps asking if he'll have school tomorrow!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I have to agree with Carol on this one. What is it about a 4-letter word that can send rational behavior out the window?
It excited the kids, causing those who normally can't be dragged out of bed in the morning unless threatedened with bodily harm to pop up anxiously in the mornings: "Do we have a delay? Are we closed?"
It causes dread in working parents, because now they have to leave extra early in order to get little ones to sitters (or even find a back-up!) or leave their older ones at home to fend for themselves. And try to get to work on time SAFELY.
This is one time of year I'm so thankful I don't work outside the home! Yes, I still have to get up to watch the ticker, but I am guarenteed a couple of peaceful hours as my older ones return to bed. The toddler will pop up about an hour after his 'normal' wake-up time and complain he doesn't have school! But I don't have to worry about idiots who forget how to drive when there is snow and ice on the roads, or employers who bitch if you've not clocked in on time, or if your car won't start.
Nearly twenty years ago, I was happily working at my first job after college. I started in early August, and until early October, I arrived early every morning to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and joke with my boss. But when I moved into my first apartment, thirty miles away, traveling became a nightmare.
The first week went smoothly. I discovered a strange traffic phenomenon: If I left my apartment at 6:29 am, I usually arrived around 7, and had 30 minutes to enjoy my hot chocolate and check to see which kids on my route did not need picked up. BUT...if I left at 6:30 or 6:31, I barely made it to work on time, causing my boss to shake his head and ask me if I'd overslept. Thankfully, he was understanding of my commute and once the white stuff arrived (snow/frost) he would have my 'bus' (it was actually a station wagon) warm, defrosted, and waiting for me. Sometimes he'd even have a cup of hot chocolate for me before telling me which houses I could skip and shooing me out of the office.
Indiana had a bad early snowstorm that year, and I soon began to hate my job. Why couldn't we close, or even delay school for two hours? That also happened to be the year I had left my winter clothing at my mom's, thinking I had at least until Halloween before getting out the heavy clothes. Nope; I needed them on the 17th. I came up with some pretty ugly fashions as I tried to stay warm. My uniform didn't keep me warm enough, so I layered whatever I could beneath my blue shirt and pants, and the jacket with my name on it? Forget it! I needed my heavy winter coat.
And then there were the parents and kids. Some kids were self-sufficient and ran ahead of their moms to jump in the car and buckle themselves in. But most were special needs, and I'd climb out of my warm seat to assist the parents with some of the complicated buckles and harnesses. That system is now outdated; for instance, in the middle seat, I had a child in a car seat, and two kids on either side, two per seatbelt. Two more car seats were in the very back, and I had three more in the front seat with me. Yeah; my morning route was PACKED! And I had one child who lived a block from the school; sometimes he wasn't ready at 7:45, so I'd loop around and pick him up closer to 9, resenting the fact his mother wouldn't simply bring him in herself, or hadn't called to let me know in advance.
The day I really hated was the day Indiana got hit with about a foot of snow. Fortunately, school was cancelled, but I still had to drive in. I really wish cell phones had existed back then (they were called 'mobile phones' and only the 'important' people carried them. For a green college grad, they were waaaay too expensive! Besides, who needed a phone when there were PAY PHONES on practically every corner?). I was trapped in stop-and-go traffic once I hit the interstate and what normally took thirty minutes turned into three hours. I stumbled into the office around 10am, having been in the wrong lane to pull off and phone in. My boss smiled, gave me the 'glad-you-made-it-I-was-worried-about-you' relieved look, and told me he'd let me go home early. Everyone had been late that day.
What was your worst experience in trying to get to work? Or have a particular traffic nightmare to share?
"Outa My Way!"
Yesterday, my spouse decided to go get a few items we needed, and came home amazed by the amount of 'insane' people were grabbing food items as if they hadn't been shopping in two months. The meat bins were empty; the checkout lines were full...he was lucky enough to get two packages of hamburger and two gallons of milk. But the steaks that were on sale? Not today! Everything was already sold. He might venture out later this afternoon for the laundry products I need; otherwise, it will wait until Thursday.
If you must travel today, I'm so sorry. Come by my house; the coffee is on and you can call the office and tell your boss there are too many idiots on the road; you'll be in later this afternoon. I'll let you warm up with Heart of the Bear (see above!) or any other e-book you want to read!
Monday, January 26, 2009
We're in for a snowstorm tonight and tomorrow night. If everything comes in as planned, we will get 2-3 inches tonight and up to 6 inches (plus some sleet) tomorrow. Which means....my celebratory party won't take place (again!)
Yes, I'm getting snarky. Which was a topic on the CBS Early Show.
Snarky: A combination of 'snide' and 'remark'; a sarcastic comment.
Really? Is that what it means?
(Warning....Snarky Moment Ahead!)
I'm sorry, but we had good weather for T's birthday and even B's. But mine...nooooo! Only one person showed. And now when I have good news to share, what happens? More bad weather.
Okay, enough of that.
On Today's To-Do List:
-Laundry. K went on a cold BSA camping trip and I think he wore everything he owns in order to stay warm and dry. He had a great time, but the majority of his wardrobe, including three fleece blankets, are wet, cold, and in the laundry chute.
-Writing. I'm still knocking out 2-3 pages a day on my Off The Clock story. I'm not sure if there's a word count restriction, but since I'm the only one working on their story, I'll write until the story is complete. I'll go back and make changes later.
-Mailing in my contract and start work on the cover info. I've already discovered I put down the wrong age of my hero. Oops! Maybe I need to go back and read my own damn book again?? As if I didn't read it enough last week...
-And finally, go grocery shopping and stock up on a few items since we won't be leaving the house until maybe Thursday!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Got this from a friend of mine yesterday. Enjoy:)
1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.
2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't DisguiseYour Voice.
3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, ask If They Want Fries with that.
4. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks . Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.
5. In the Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write 'For Marijuana'
6. Skip down the hall Rather Than Walk and see how many looks you get.
7. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.
8. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is 'To Go'.
9. Sing Along At The Opera.
10. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You have a headache.
11. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream 'I Won! I Won!'
12. When Leaving the Zoo, Start Running towards the Parking lot, Yelling 'Run For Your Lives! They're Loose!'
13. Tell Your Children Over Dinner, 'Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.'
And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity
14. PICK UP A BOX OF CONDOMS AT THE PHARMACY, GO TO THE COUNTER AND ASK WERE THE FITTING ROOM IS.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
"I might just fade into bolivian."
-boxer Mike Tyson
I'm still flying high from news yesterday. Talked my spouse into taking me to lunch, and he didn't complain about my barrage of emails and phone calls in the afternoon. But by dinnertime, he'd had enough, and insisted I either spring for the pizza or get in the kitchen.
Since I'm saving for an e-reader, I opted to leave my Christmas $$ where it was and fixed hot dogs and mac-n-cheese for dinner. Plus chauffered my daughter and her friend home from the basketball game...in my jammies! Thank god I hadn't had any wine yet!
And today, exercised my right to sleep in. Dog woke me up at 5, and the toddler had rolled into my spot in bed, so I watched an episode of The Brady Bunch and another of Married...With Children before getting sleepy again. So I feel no guilt at rolling out of bed at 10am! My shows are being DVR'd downstairs, and I'll watch them either later today or during the week.
Have a good weekend and check out The Grip: This past week they've been talking about one of my favorite subjects, music. Just wish I dared comment. Maybe I'll head over to the library today...
Friday, January 23, 2009
There's a party going on today. Why? Kenzie was offered a contract! Click on the link and let her know if she's violated any code of blogging behavior! She's pretty darn excited, and by golly, so am I!
And somewhat jealous; I've been writing (seriously) since 1985, and she's only been at the smut thing for just over a year. Heck, her name's not even a year old yet! But that's okay; my alter ego has worked hard, and last July wrote a fantastic short story that will now be recognized as an official e-book. Go over and congratulate her on a job well done:)
Yes, reality hasn't really set in yet. I will celebrate by insisting on being taken out to dinner this week! I'm craving Mexican again (stop laughing at me, Regina!!).
For a day that started off on the wrong foot, yesterday certainly ended on a high note!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Ever have one of those days where, no matter how hard you try, nothing is going to go your way?
I'm having one of those days. Apparently I took my 'stupid' pill this morning.
Check the blogs to the right; I'm going back to bed for a morning 'do-over'.
Hey...if the President can get one, why can't I?
I'll be back tomorrow.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Next up: Cindy's Three For All and Desiree Holt's Teaching Molly.
Apologies to my blogmates: My brand new computer is acting up, and we think it is caused by blogger. I'm going to try an experiment; I'll only read the blogs at my 'temporary office' and see if the problem clears up. My daughter said her laptop settled down after I quit using it after getting the new PC. Not sure if it is blogger, or if it is the book sites. I guess next week we'll know!
I've run several anti-virus scans and nothing shows up. But SOMETHING is causing it; hence the experiment.
So if I don't comment for a while, I'm not ignoring you; it simply means it is too cold to leave the house, or I'm so busy writing I forget to go to the office!
With all the polls taking place, and the controversy, I decided to officially declare my favorite books of 2008.
The publisher I bought from the most? TEB
Most Frequent Author? Brynn Paulin (8 books) Ms Pape was a close 2nd, with 7 books.
New Author? Tie. I bought 4 Dakota Rebel books, and 4 by Kelly Kirch, but Kathleen Coddington's Witch Ball is still one of my favorite books.
Now to the actual books. I couldn't just pick a top 5, so I went back and picked the most memorable for each month. How did I choose? I looked at the beginning of the week or month where I posted the books and if I could still recall the storyline, I picked the one that jumped out as the most memorable. And in some instances, choosing just one was impossible.
Jan: Tie: Carol Lynn's Rawley's Redemption and Brynn's On Your Knees
Feb: Djinni and the Geek by Cindy Spencer Pape
Mar: Tie: Hello by Dakota Rebel and Marriage Mart by Kelly Kirch (My mom really enjoyed this one too!)
Apr: The Perfect Cover by Claire Thompson
May: Dragon in the System by Cindy Spencer Pape
June: Fairy Dust by Tielle St. Clare
July: Witch Ball by Kathleen Coddington
Aug: More Than Words by Kelly Kirch
Sept: Tie: Mating Stone by Jacqueline Roth and Daffodil by Anny Cook
Oct: Sandra Cox's Boji Stones and Rose Quartz
Nov: Grand Seduction by Lisa Logan
Dec: The entire Magic Series, by Regina Carlysle, Cindy Spencer Pape, and Desiree Holt.
So what's your opinion? Agree with me or am I showing favoritism? And if you've not read any of these books, please put them on your TBB list. IMHO, you're missing out.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Don't you hate it when you settle down to sleep and your brain decides to work overtime? That's what happened to me last night. My subconscious took a trip, first to the recording studio; then decided to be the main attraction in Oreo's latest circus; and ended at a bizarre seminar.
Here's Barb's long overdue Release Day Ditty: (Tune of Shadow of the Day by Linkun Park)
Nightmares plague my evening hours
Killers in my every dreams
Will Guy please believe me
And put these guys away
And the sun will set too soon
And the sun will set too soon
I wish these guys would leave
And let me sleep at night
But the sun will set too soon
Hold me Guy, release my tension
Sex will drive the scene away
When you find the evil ones
And you blow them all away
Then the sun won't set too soon
Then the sun won't set too soon
We'll love the hours away
And continue every day
Thank you for believing me!
Lucky woke me up at 4:30 with her legs crossed, begging me to leave my warm bed and put her outside in the single-digit temps. I complied, but when I came back to bed, Oreo decided it was playtime.
I rolled onto my side and flipped my shoulder-length hair out to the side (I can't stand to sleep on it). POUNCE! All of a sudden, I have a kitten playing with my flyaway strands and clawing my scalp. I reached up and moved him to the floor.
I turned back and repeated my hair-flip, pulling the covers up to my chin. POUNCE! Oreo lands on my face. Apparently when I exhaled, the top of the sheet moved. Again, I reached up and removed him before he did any damage to my face. I settle back down.
POUNCE! He's decided to move to the foot of the bed and play with my feet! This is more tolerable, as I sleep with a sheet, two blankets, and a quilt on top of me, in addition to my bed socks. He can't hurt me unless he crawls under. I ignored him and went to sleep.
I'm attending a seminar. I have a copy of Anny Cook's Dancer's Delight, a notebook, and a pack of Hershey Kisses. I head for an aisle not clogged with people and happily settle into a seat where I can recline, prop my feet on the seat in front of me.
A man taps me on the shoulder.
"Can you sit up, please? We're going to be taping this and would like everyone to be sitting straight up. If you like, you can move to the area that won't be caught on tape." He indicates the crowded area.
I sigh and move to the congested area. I find an aisle seat and open Anny's book. I hear a gasp and once again I feel a tap on my shoulder.
"What in the world is that you're reading? I just saw 'cock' and 'pussy'! Would you put it away please? Young children are present!"
I twist around; sure enough, a woman and her six small children are behind me. I switch seats again.
I manage to find a secluded spot where no one objects to my reading material and the seminar begins. I have no idea what is supposed to be taught; I fall asleep and wake up when my name is called.
"Molly? Can you tell us six adverbs?"
I rattle off one.
"Good. Now, we have a treat. The famous Total-E-Bound author, Brynn Paulin is with us tonight and will be out in the lobby. We invite you all to stop by and say hello."
Hey...I know her! I love her books; she's one of my blogmates; I chat with her regularly! I wait until the crowd thins a little and make my way to the lobby. I remember I have a question about her story in Brit Party.
I spot a dark-haired woman in front of a table. No books are in sight; just many displays of lotions, creams, perfumes...and a basket of pens. Closer inspection shows me the pens say 'Kaenar', and are gold and silver. I pick one up and put it in my pocket. I know Kaenar too; I've read her books, been to her website, and emailed her a couple of times!
The dark-haired woman turns around. Wow...it is Brynn, resembling the picture on her blog. She greets me and autographs a bookmark, and introduces me to a woman named Tara who insists I know her (I don't, but BS my way through the conversation) and Brynn tells me to stick around for the demonstration.
If you've been to The Grip on Saturday, you'll understand the next part. Model #6 enters and Brynn starts slathering him with cucumber-melon lotion.
And suddenly, my husband was nudging me. "Will you shut that damn thing off? It's been going off for five minutes!"
I'm no longer staring open-mouthed at a dreamboat; I'm in my warm bed and my alarm is RUDELY beeping at me!
Okay; maybe I should have only had a half a glass of wine before bed, instead of the full one?
Monday, January 19, 2009
Remember when we were kids? It seemed every time the government had a holiday, we did too.
Labor Day (Still going)
Columbus Day (Not anymore)
Veteren's Day (Not anymore)
The month of November (okay...we only went one FULL week, with half days on Friday, or half on Thursday and Friday off. Now the kids get one or two days off in October and they call it 'Fall Break')
MLKJr (Some schools. More on this later)
Washington and Lincoln's Birthdays (Now they call it 'President's Day' and some schools observe it; others use it as a 'make up day')
Good Friday (Still going)
Spring Break (Duh!)
Memorial Day (School was usually out by now!)
Why do I bring this up? Because when we moved down here two years ago, MLKJr day was a regular holiday at the kids' old school, UNLESS they needed it for a 'make up Snow Day'. We moved in November and didn't hardly have any snow. So when my son wanted to spend the weekend with his friend in the old neighborhood, we drove him north on Friday and made arrangements to get him back Monday afternoon, since it was MLKJr day.
And stupidly, I did not check the new school's calendar.
Imagine my surprise Monday morning when the phone rang around 8:30, from my daughter's middle school.
"We noticed S isn't at school today..."
"Um...we thought it was a holiday. It was up north..."
"No; can we expect her to come in?"
"Let me wake her up. I'm sorry for the confusion."
S was NOT a happy camper when she discovered she was being forced out of her warm bed while her brother was allowed to skip!
"He's two hours away; even if I left right now, he'd only make it back in time for the final hour!"
When did the rules change? I know part of it has to do with the blizzard of 1978 and the snows of 1979. I was twelve, and we missed so much school in '78 that the school district issued 'Snow Packets'. At the first sign of snow, the teachers put together various assignments in every single class, for 'homework' to be done the days school was called off due to weather.
Some were pretty easy. In English, I remember I always picked the 'write a journal entry'. And in Choir, my fav was 'watch a TV show and write down the music composer'. But Science always wanted a small experiment, and I hated those. So much I cannot even recall one I even did!
I suspect the rules also had something to do with the stricter standards, or higher standards, set for kids. For instance, learning a language was optional. Now they require two or three years. We didn't have to take the ISTEP test, or even a graduation exam. If we had all the credits necessary, we were handed a diploma. Now if kids don't pass the ISTEP by the tenth grade, they have to KEEP TAKING it until they do!
I've been lucky; I have two kids who have passed it every single year. Plus, they have rarily slipped off the honor roll. But a neighbor has a child who doesn't care; she's not passed the ISTEP and is barely passing her classes. In fact, she's still classified a sophomore, even though she's about to turn 17.
Today is MLKJr day. We have a two hour delay, due to snow, but the toddler has the day off, since his school is government-funded. And S is still complaining about the 'injustice' of it!
She'll get over it next year, when he's in kindergarten and has to get up and go to school with her!
Or, maybe we'll be back in the old neighborhood by that time, and they can both sleep.
Update on 54-yr-old Child:
He's doing okay, but I'm still calling the dr and making an ASAP appointment! He did nothing but sit in front of the TV; every time he stood up and moved, the dizziness came back. And I am NOT putting up with a husband who just sits around all day, due to 'I don't feel good' (insert whine). It could be heart-related (meds out of whack, internal bleeding) or diabetes-related (sugar too high/too low. If he'd check it more often, or take the meds, we'd know!). So keep him in your thoughts and prayers. If the pipline calls and wants him back, he needs to be healthy to take the job!
Off My Soapbox
Enjoy your day; I know it's Monday, so make the best of it. Now if the satellite would just cooperate...my shows this weekend were all screwed up because of the weather. That's okay; I'll just have to keep an eye on the daily reruns and DVR them when I see one I've missed. Friday was the beginning of season 7, and I was able to watch it all the way through. Today is another episode I only saw half of, and next Friday is another complete episode one of my children accidentally deleted. So yeah, I'm catching up!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Spent the equivelent of eleven hours online yesterday. I learned a lot from editors concerning submissions, new publishers, guidelines, and where to set up a website. Also met some other Indiana authors and found out a friend of mine who moved out of state is now doing edits for an e-pubb!
Not much to say today; my 54-yr-old child had a dizzy spell during church and refused to let me take him to the hospital. My fault; I should have had the 17-yr-old drive us there FIRST, but noooo...I decided to drop him and the toddler at home. D climbed out of the van and headed for the house.
"Just let me lie down for a bit...I'm all right!"
And no, I am not physically capable of forcing him into the vehicle against his will. You'd think after the past 6 years with his health, the man would listen to me for a change!!
If it turns out I'm wrong tomorrow, then I'll quit being angry with him.
But if I have to call an ambulance, he's going to get an 'I told you so!'
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Did you give consent for someone to steal or damage your property?
Yes () No ()
on a citizenself-reporting form from the Madison, Wisconsin Police Department
Today I'm going to be over at Castle in the Sky Flight of Fantasy group, lurking, asking questions, and chatting with various editors from the e-pubb world. Come join us! See Trinity Blacio's blog for the link!
Woke up to a temp of +21!!! Maybe it will get above freezing today??? I can dream, can't I?
And what's with blogger picking out different words to underline? Has anyone else noticed this?
Friday, January 16, 2009
Up next: Brit Party and Mary Martinez's Enchanted Dreams:)
I'm trying to stay warm this morning. The kids have a 2 hour delay again, so I exercised my right to sleep in. Made it 7:30 and was rudely awakened by the dog. She completely ignored the fact her 'daddy' was already in the kitchen....noooooooo, let's get lazy Mom out of her nice warm bed!
I finally conceded and threw the covers back. Oreo came to investigate and Lucky stopped short.
"Lucky? Do you need to go outside?"
She stops staring at the kitten who barely comes up to her knee and runs to the kitchen!
Too late; I'm already on my feet. Might as well get up!
Made two batches of M&M cookies and two batches of Recee Pieces cookies yesterday. I didn't count them, as I made them for the family, not dividing them between other people!
I also made lasagna. Needless to say, the kitchen was THE place to be in my house yesterday!
What's going on today?
I'll be popping in to chat with Dakota, Cian, Kaenar, et al over at LRC chat group. They're promoting Naughty Nooners, which by the look of my TBB list I'll be reading sometime next summer. Unless they have a contest and I'm lucky enough to win! I already entered Kaenar's, so that gives me at least two chances!
Barb and AJ also have new releases out today, and they are also having a Release Day contest. I'm heading over to check it out right now!
The temp this morning is roughly -8, and supposed to rise to a whopping +12. Wow...small heat wave. And I think Sunday it is supposed to finally get back up to around 30...at least we don't have any snow! And the spouse is home, so he can run all the errands. What's for dinner tonight? He's making potato soup. I may suggest Grilled Cheese sandwiches. Depends on what time the chat takes place. That way I won't have to stop and cook! Of course, if I get too cold at my desk, I'll be forced to move into the much-warmer kitchen.
Or steal my daughter's fleece blanket/wrap and listen to her whine as I work!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I had to laugh yesterday as soon as I'd posted. Why? A news story about the 'latest' finding about too much caffeine.
The effects are:
I don't think I'm in any danger of over-imbibing; I only drink 2 cups of coffee per day and my iced tea is decaf, unless I pick up a McD's Sweet Tea, go out to eat, or get a sweet tea at my weekly meeting.
So why the laughter? The 'hearing voices' part. My response?
"I thought it was simply authors being creative!"
You hear authors blog about hearing their characters' 'voices' in their heads, and yesterday I admitted I had words runnning through mine.
So are we all secretly schitzophrenic, hyped up on too much caffeine, or simply creative?
Meet me in person and decide for yourself:)
Head Shake Moment
Indiana has a new outlaw. By now you've surely heard the tale of the businessman who tried to fake his own death by parachuting out of his airplane? Florida police picked him up yesterday. Wonder if he'll try the insanity plea? Be on suicide watch while in custody? What drives these people to do these dumb things when their world is collapsing? Yeah, his wife was divorcing him and his business ventures were being investigated. Be a man and face the consequenses of your actions!
Or is it simply a case of 'desperate times call for desperate measures'? His last-ditch effort to avoid facing the music? DIDN'T QUITE WORK!
Woke up to a temp of -1 degree. Had to put the dog out, and only left her outside for 10 minutes. She was happy to come back in, and I was glad we have a wonderful floor register to stand on! She went to her fleece pillow; I spent 30 seconds having deliciously warm air blowing up my pj pants:)
The kids are on a two hour delay, and being 8:30am, the natives are rousing. K and W are enjoying Co-Co Wheats; S is still burrowed under her new fleece blanket. I've been up since six, and watched the rest of Brandon and Kelly's 'wedding' on my BH 90210 reruns. This is when the series really began to get tedious, and they should have ended it right here. But no; I think there is only 1 or 2 seasons left to watch. I started to watch the next episode, but the subplot had me cringing. I shut off the DVR and turned the news back on instead. Maybe tomorrow morning I'll suffer through this lame episode and the rest of the story arc. I'll have to check ahead to Saturday and see when it ends. If all else fails, I can always fast-forward through the scenes I can't stand!
Go over to Kelly's blog and wish J a Happy Birthday! And stay warm today!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
And it feels great!
Yesterday, after I checked my email and posted my blog entry, I sent the PC to 'sleep' so I could get dressed, make the bed, and putz around in the kitchen for a few minutes.
As soon as I stood up, words began running through my brain.
And kept going, as I finished my morning chores, made a pitcher of iced tea, and checked with the spouse that he had nothing pressing planned.
I sat back down and 'woke up' the PC; opened a new document; and....wrote.
For three solid hours.
I barely remember D leaving to pick up W; all I know is that when my creative burst wore off, I had four pages typed, the beginning of a fantastic new story started, and a growling tummy.
I stood up and stretched; went into the kitchen to finish making the tea, and put a pan of water to boil. When I'm cold, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is my favorite lunch. D and W arrived as I was dumping in the noodles, and I told him about the new story.
W helped me eat the mac-n-cheese, and then wanted Diego on the TV. I set out a small roast for dinner and returned to the computer.
Spent a few minutes re-reading; corrected a few typos, but didn't really have anymore creative thoughts, so I saved it and plugged in my e-book flash.
I ran the new document past a member of my writer's group, and received a compliment: I surprised him four times with the twists. Everytime he thought he had the direction figured out, he said I tossed in something unexpected.
Good; that was the reaction I was hoping for. Wouldn't want to be TOO predictable, eh?
I just hope I can keep the momentum going now!
If anyone is considering going POD, please, please stay away from Publish America!
A new author joined us last night; he's published two YA books with PA and has been plagued by bad editing, delayed shipments; and his books are horrendously over-priced! I like his premise; a couple of animals find a portal to another world (I think this would appeal to S!), but his books are almost 200 pages and cost (get this!) $25 EACH!
Mine are 40 pages shorter and are only $12-13!
He is getting discouraged and even thinking of giving up on his dream. Hopefully, T and I were able to boost him up a little, and promise to give him any help we can. It will help when our resident editor will be back next week and can offer her help!
On Today's To-Do List:
Mother Nature has delayed our single-digit temps until tomorrow. And since I didn't go to the store yesterday (D and W went and got some things, but forgot the toilet paper!), it is a MUST DO for today. I swear I am not leaving this house again until the temps get back above freezing.
I'm also making our favorite Wolfgang Puck recipe for dinner, so that calls for a bottle of chardonay. And since I'm not a fan of drinking chardonay, I'll also pick up a bottle of my new favorite wine, French Lick Soft Red (Yup...Indiana wine! Delicious!). And we found a container of Recee Pieces cookies that had gotten shoved in a corner! Wine, cookies, and in the Zone! Ahhh, life! (Just kidding...I'll reward myself with a glass after I knock out another several pages!)
Update on Oreo:
He survived his trip to the vet; he is 12 weeks old and received his kitten shot. We'll be taking him back the end of April/first week of May to get him neutered.
Something new was added to the Oreo/Pinky Comedy Hour...Oreo got up on the piano and paced the length of the music rack. Pinky climbed to the top of the cage and taunted him.
"Come on over here...just try to poke your nose in my cage...I chased you away once and I'll take you on again! Come on you coward! Yeah...just walk away from me! Watch your step! You slipped! Wanna play that again? I didn't catch the name of that tune...yeah, jump off and go torment the dog. Pick on someone your own size!"
Uh....Pinky? He IS your own size!
And what was Mikey doing?
"I'm sleeping...leave me alone..."
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
What did you call your grandparents? What do your children call their grandparents? Any strange pet names cropping up, in order to keep everyone straight?
This was part of a discussion between my older children this past weekend.
For instance, my sister and I had 5 grandmothers. Grandma, my mom's mom; Mom K, our great-grandmother (Mom's paternal grandmother); Great-Grandma (Mom's maternal grandmother); Granny, my dad's mother; and Little Grandma (Dad's paternal grandmother). As for grandfathers, there was Grandpa (Mom's step-father); Pa-Paw (Dad's father); and Granddaddy (Mom's maternal grandfather). Now we only called everyone 'Grandma and Grandpa' to their face, although my cousin was much closer to Pa-Paw, so she that's what she called him all the time.
When K came along, he was introduced to five grandmothers and three grandfathers. By age 2 or 3, he had his own special way of keeping everyone straight:
Grandma with the swing-set (my mom)
Grandma with the kitties (daddy's mom)
Grandma in Florida (my maternal grandmother)
Granny (my paternal grandmother)
Old Skinny Grandma (my great-grandmother, who was 90 years old when he was born, and lived to see 96)
As for the grandfathers, he really didn't differentiate between the three.
On my husband's side, one little girl has come up with a name and no one knows where she got it! What does she call her maternal grandmother?
I guess this shows the closeness betweeen grandparent and grandchild. "Nu-Nu" was asking C about her other 'Nu-Nu", and the child stopped, took Nu-Nu's face in her tiny hands and said,
"Daddy's mom is Grandma. You're Nu-Nu!"
I spent one hour yesterday cleaning my living room. What did he do? Camped out in front of the TV and complained every time I got in his way! So much for HIS part! I even posted yesterday's post Sunday night, so he wouldn't complain. Sigh...there's no pleasing him...
So I spend 3 hours in the afternoon on book #3. I hadn't saved the changes I'd made earlier, but I had printed it out:) I simply popped in the CD, saved it to my flash, and started over. Re-typed the changes, and then began the tedious task of making sure the formatting was right; the new chapter numbers were in order; and the scene breaks were in the right spot. I'm happy with it; hopefully I'll find a publisher who likes it as well! Keri is still yelling at me for deleting her early seduction scenes, but she calmed down when I pointed out the action flows better with the changes. I didn't have time for a spell-check run-through; I'll do that today.
And yes...I think I'm going to have to overhaul Gretchen's story next. The two overlap, and I'm debating on what to cut out of her early scenes!
Our temps are going to drop to a frigid 15 above today. The high tomorrow is supposed to be 6 above, so I'll be in hibernation mode. D can take the kids to school and do all the errands. I'll stay in (with the exception of my writer's meeting tonight) and keep warm. Maybe make cookies again tomorrow. We've been cookie-free for about 2 weeks, and I'm craving chocolate. Specifically the M&M cookies.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Gotta love his moustache!
Hubby and I are on the same wavelength; I decided about three hours ago to spend the morning hours deep-cleaning my living room. About thirty minutes ago, he pointed his finger at me and told me not to get on the computer as soon as the kids went out the door, for we were CLEANING up the place!
And he claims he doesn't listen to me. Apparently THAT statement managed to manifest itself into his gray matter! And he thinks it is HIS idea??
Currently Reading: I'm up to Chapter 3 of Dee's book. It switches POV quite often and was slightly confusing at first, but I'm getting used to it!
Next up: Getting Naked at the Hilton by Dee Dawning and Redemption of a Cavalier by Kathy Otten.
I'm proud of myself. Why? I managed to finally break through the murky creative sludge surrounding two wips and wrote not one, but TWO pages on both, hopefully getting me closer to the romance in book #8 and more conflict in another unrelated story.
Hopefully now I can continue on a daily basis and get these books finished! They've been floating around in my head far too long, esp #8. I began this book back in 2004 and it is still only on Chapter 6. And I've restarted it twice.
This week I also have plans to finish revamping #3, and begin submitting it again. Now that my writer's group is finished with holiday and birthday parties for the next two months, maybe I can get some valuable advice from the English teacher in our group. My books from Amazon should also arrive this week.
Another thing accomplished yesterday was my photo album. I had six months' worth of pictures to label and organize. It took me three hours, but all that is left is to get the ones on my memory card from Halloween until the present to print out. And yes; pictures of Oreo will be posted as soon as I load it into the computer! Speaking of which, he has an appointment with the vet this week for shots and to see how old he is. We're guessing he's around 12 weeks old. And around April or May, he's going to get his 'Tom-Tom's' cut, as my spouse so delicately phrased it!
Today's To-Do List:
-Laundry. Apparently K unearthed a pile of clothing from under his bed. If I recognize any that I washed on Thursday and haven't seen him wear, guess where it's NOT going?
-Picking up S from her 'other' mommy, who is now riding a brand new Jazzy and requested her presence in order to help with the animals. And who also spoils her rotten...
-Visiting the MIL and taking down her tree and Christmas cards. Why did we not do this last week? She and her roomie were probably the healthiest ones in that hallway, according to the nursing staff! And my spouse decided to wait a week, so we wouldn't catch anything.
Go over to Kelly's blog and wish P a Happy 9th birthday!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Radio Announcer: Where does Dracula come from?
-from a quiz segment on the Virgin Radio morning show (UK)
Have a good day! I've had a storyline swirling around in my head, and as I have no plans for today, I think I'm going to see if the characters are ready to be written down. I'll report any progress later.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Gotta love my daily devotions for supplying me with blog ideas!
Today's QT asked the question, "Are you sorry you had kids?"
Of course, I agreed with the author and answered an emphatic "NO!"
-I was getting up at 4:30 every morning to be at my job at 5am;
-Writing whenever I could cram it in to my schedule;
-Working two jobs to pay the bills (hospital billing said I made too much money for a budget plan...wtf? I'd still like to see the money they claimed I had!)
-After moving to a new city, pounding the pavement every day in search of the perfect job, only to be told I was either over-qualified or under! (Again, wtf?? Just give me a JOB, dammit!)
-Becoming my own boss; writing during naps;
-Until 1994, sleeping until 9am; K became an early riser at age 3!
-Interacting with other moms;
-Becoming a more active member of the community;
-After 1999, writing all day if I chose;
-2003, finally calling myself a Published Author!
I still find time to read; Ive never been one to spend money frivolously (although if you talk to my spouse, he'll have a different opinion, lol!), and when I tried to recall the last impractical thing I bought for myself, I'm drawing a blank. Unless you count the Mr. Clean thingy that I used once, then gave it away because it didn't work! But still...it was supposed to make cleaning the bathroom easier.
Yes, sometimes my kids drive me crazy, esp when I'm 'in the zone' and have to hear them whine about needing to use the computer. Yes, my idea of a vacation these days is to send them all to Grandma's for a week (and the husband to work, ha ha!). But would I ever wish for my BK life again? Not a chance.
Can anyone tell me how to get my signature line to post on my yahoo group emails? I made one for my sbcglobal email, thinking it would do the trick, but it didn't show up. Do I need to actually go get a yahoo email? And how do I make it so that my other pen name is shown on the loop? Do I need to reapply for membership under that name? Any advice would be wonderful...
Today's To-Do List:
-Sort W's toys. They are threatening to take over the office area.
-Start on the reorganization of the bedroom?? Hubby wants to set up another shelf unit.
-Pay two bills.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
The Oreo/Pinky/Mikey Morning Show/Comedy Hour
There is a new comedy show in town and it takes place on the piano bench in my living room. Oreo, our newest addition, has been very curious about the strange cage sitting on the bench and the strange little creatures running around inside of it.
Act 1: Oreo either climbs onto the blue chair to stare into the wire cage or attempts to jump onto the bench. He doesn't quite make it, and his tiny claws usually catch the beach blanket under the cage. He will dangle until he retracts the claws, realizing he's only inches from the floor and can drop safely. Once in a while he will actually catch a claw on the bottom wire of the cage, but never dangles for long.
Act 2: Once he gives up on the jumping idea, he returns to the blue swivel rocker and will stare into the cage. Eventually he will get brave enough to move cautiously onto the tiny space not occupied by the cage. He will stare into the cage and maybe even poke his nose between the wires.
Act 3: Pinky enters. If Oreo is looking in, he takes his tiny paws and swats the kitten. Mikey will arrive to see the action, but normally flattens down in the cedar chips, thinking if things go wrong, Pinky will be eaten first.
Act 4: After witnessing no further retaliation from Oreo, Mikey pokes his head up and adds his tiny paws to the battle over whose turf the cage belongs to. He'll swat, duck; swat, duck. Eventually, Oreo tires of the onslaught and jumps off.
Act 5: Pinky and Mikey take a 'Victory Lap' around their cage, having successfully chased away the giant predator who dared to investigate their home! Unfortunately, this causes the need to visit the water bottle, and the noise usually draws Oreo's attention back to the cage! But this time, he keeps his distance. But only until five or six hours later, when he feels the need to entertain the humans again.
Today's To-Do List:
-Finish the laundry
-Take all extra computer parts to recycler, excluding the tower which will be taken for diagnostic in February. 6 weeks until I know if my 3 Word Documents have been lost forever...
-Clear off table. Dentist trip yesterday took all afternoon, so did not do this as planned.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Several friends have new books out this week.
Over at TEB, you can pick up Naughty Nooners, featuring Cian Fey, Dakota Rebel, and Kaenar Langford.
Over at Lachesis Publishing, you can pick up Tracy Jones' Scent of the Wolf.
And over at Lulu.com, J Travis Grundon has a story in Concrete Blood: Dark Tales of the City. He presented me with a signed copy last night, as he missed my birthday last month.
Apples To Apples
Anyone ever played this game? The players are dealt six or seven noun cards, and the 'judge' either picks and adjective card or turns over the first one in the pile. The players then decide which of their nouns best fits the adjective and try to persuade the 'judge' to see their point of view.
After two bottles of wine, things can get pretty nutty!
Case in Point: The adjective I selected was 'Entertaining'. The cards selected were 'French Maid', 'Lock and Key', 'Monkeys', 'Sin and Redemption', and two others I cannot remember.
I first threw out 'Sin and Redemption', and the other two, narrowing it down to the other three. But then one of the players pointed out that 'S&R' pretty much covered the 'French Maid' and 'Lock and Key'! And since I'd consumed a mudslide and three glasses of wine, I agreed with her, pointing out that 'Monkeys' could also be construed as bedroom behavior:) 'Sin and Redemption' won that round.
Another example of our twisted minds was the adjective 'Flamboyant'. I tossed 'Boardwalk and Park Place' into the pile and tried to argue the point that whoever plays Monopoly is sitting on Easy Street when they purchase it! Nope; the judge in this case pointed out he is more of a 'Community Chest' type player and selected 'Cowboys' as the winner, ala Brokeback Mountain. I then remembered the Robert Redford/Jane Fonda film "The Electric Horseman" and conceded my point.
If you've not played this game, by all means; invite your favorite authors or friends; get a bottle of wine (or two...or three!) and have some fun!
We also entertained our waiter at Applebees with our antics, as well as the birthday candle I brought. It plays 'Happy Birthday', since the wait staff wouldn't sing to the birthday boy!
A long-lost friend found me on MySpace and emailed me! I send her a Christmas card every year, and we used to talk on the phone frequently. But since I moved away in 1997 and she married in 1998, contact has been hit and miss.
You've been with me for over a year now; are there any topics you'd like to see covered? Want to be a guest blogger? Or eagerly talk about your latest release? Let me know, either via the comments or email me at email@example.com. I'll be glad to feature you!
Today on the To-Do List:
-Take W to the dentist
-Clear off buffet table. The kids have piled their old papers on it; time to go through and toss what I don't want to keep.
What are you up to today?
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Emmie Graham's book isn't out yet, so I went ahead and bought Mary Martinez's Enchanted Dreams, in addition to Dee's and Kathy's books. More after I read them!
Print Book: Just out of curiosity, I bought Twilight for my daughter. I'd seen the books around; I heard rave reviews about the movie; my sister enjoyed the book and recommended it. While I did enjoy it, S caught me reading it and expressed her extreme disinterest. So now it's mine:) And yes, I think I'll read the next one in the series. (Thank you Dakota for getting me interested in vampires!) Will I see the movie? Maybe...
I also ordered Revision and Self-Editing (Kelly's recommendation), and a book on character dialogue. And a Jeff Dunham DVD for the kids:) Got the email a few moments ago the order's already on its way:)
OH! Just saw this: Jamie Carie's Wind Dancer is now available in bookstores everywhere! This one happens to be set in my current town and Jamie's hometown in the 1700's (I think! Maybe it's the 1800's?) Go check it out here!
Woke up to freezing rain and a 2-hour delay for the kids. The good part is, K already had the computer booted and ready for me as soon as I poured my coffee:) Is he a good kid or what? On the down side, my writer's group is supposed to meet tonight to celebrate another birthday/graduation. But will the streets be dry by tonight? The first time we planned a birthday party, it was rather spur-of-the-moment. We planned two parties last month and both of them were frozen out of existance, though the Christmas party was moved to my house and three of us did show up to celebrate my own! So we'll see what happens tonight.
Received an email concerning my 25th HS Reunion. It is tentatively being held in July, and thankfully I'm not pregnant, or am I planning to BE pregnant when this one takes place! (Knocking wood...it is still seven months away!) If you're not sure what the joke is, S was due the same weekend as my 10th, and thankfully she came 3 weeks early. (I'd threatened my doctor that if he didn't induce me three days prior to the event, he was going with me!) And at the 20th, I was weeks away from giving birth to W when our wonderful class organizer emailed me about plans for that reunion! I told him I was not going to make a habit of giving birth at reunion time.
So I guess my spouse is going on notice. Instead of giving it up for Lent, he's not going to get any until next summer, ha ha ha....
At least this time I'll have another book out, and maybe some good news about the 3rd or more??
And Speaking of Another Book...
I sent the MS off yesterday afternoon. Now to wait and see...and today, I plan to try to ressurrect my old files. I have until Thursday, so time is running out. Wish me luck! Will I get any new words written? That depends on how long 'Operation Hard Drive' takes. If it fails, I may give myself a day to grieve over the loss of six months' work.
UPDATE: I'm going to have to take my tower to Circuit City after the tax refund check arrives. For $60 they will run a diagnostic and tell me if my 3 files are recoverable; the gentleman I spoke to said what I was describing was NOT necessarily a hard drive problem. So everything except the CPU will be heading for the recycler on Thursday. Okay; now resuming normal writing schedule.
Today's To-Do List:
-'Operation Hard Drive'
-Dusting the LRM and straightening up. Magzines are beginning to take over! It also doesn't help that Oreo's favorite past time is shredding paper and kleenex!
Monday, January 5, 2009
Ahhh Mondays...esp after a vacation. My body protested when the alarm went off at 6; K was surprised when I 'reminded' him to get the school's parking permit out of the van ('Oh, you're going to let me drive? I was going to take the bus...'); S was having an intestinal problem and as she spent a good portion of last night in another room of the house, she is staying home to recover; W happily got up to have breakfast with Daddy and went off to school without any complaints.
In my QT today, the topic was disappointment vs discouragement. Disappointment is the emotional response to a failed expectation (in the author's world, a rejection letter or red ink all over your MS from your editor/crit partner); Discouragement is a complete lack of confidence, a feeling of dismay, and a loss of motivationregarding something that brings fulfillment and purpose (in the author's world, it is that little voice of doubt in our heads which tells us what we've written is no good and that no one in their right mind would ever read it!).
We can't avoid disappointment; however, we can combat discouragement. It is a choice we make when we allow our disappointments to destroy our confidence in ourselves.
So how do we silence that voice in our heads? Letters from readers help; good reviews bolster our egos. Satisfaction of another completed MS and sending it off. Positive feedback; constructive criticism. Pride in our ability to get the stories out of our heads. Family members who shake their heads and say admiringly, "I don't know how you do it; I can barely write a letter!"
Interaction with other authors; expressing doubts and fears to those who have been there and hearing how they combat discouragement. If we didn't think we had something worth reading, would we even take the time to write it down in the first place? Or even feel that overwhelming urge to write what is in our heads?
If I've had a long time between writing episodes, the words literally flow from my pen or fingertips. The story forms in my head and spills out onto the paper or document until my muse is satisfied and I can resume normal family functions again. I have literally locked myself in the bedroom, office, or holed up in a coffee shop/laundromat/pizza place and written without interruption (okay, small interruptions!). I've taken notebooks to church; to doctor's offices; on job interviews. I've even written during breaks on the job.
Yes; I believe I have several stories to tell. And I'm still learning my craft. I've had a few small successes, but only by putting my work out there will I ever know if others want to read it.
And from the feedback the past 5 years, yes they do. Now all I have to do is keep going and shut off the negativity of family members who don't understand the need to create.
My sis and her hubby have made it to the 12-year mark:) Unfortunately, my fridge is so stuffed with holiday leftovers, we're doing a 'clean out the fridge' night. I'll cook a good meal on Wednesday and think of them at that time!
-Return the pants and socks
-Pick up food for the rats
-Locate the squirt gun for a kitten who's been sharpening his claws on the couch
-Finish making changes to MS and get it sent off ASAP
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I saw on Sandra's blog yesterday "Condolences to the Travolta family..." and wondered what had happened.
Saw the story just a few moments ago; as the parent of a 17-yr-old, I cannot imagine the pain of losing my teenager, or any of my three kids.
Prayers to John, Kelly, and esp 8-yr-old Ella for their loss.
Today on the To-Do List:
-Finish the de-decorating
-Finish the pile of laundry downstairs
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Our New Year's Resolution: No One Leaves Hungary!
-Sign at a restaurant (On no wonder Hungary is getting over-populated!)
Thankfully, my honorary grandchildren are going home today. I love them, but six days was a bit much, especially with a new kitten in the house!
Today's To-Do List:
-Take down the tree and all decorations
-Visit the MIL
-Take K to eye appointment and order new contacts
-Wash the bedding and any clothing (their mother only has a coin-operated w/d in her building)
-Purchase bottle of plonk and drink half of it!
The spouse walked in the front door last night. He's officially laid off again...but there's a slim chance he could be called back to the same job in a few weeks or so. Let's just hope he qualifies for the unemployment extension, and he doesn't gripe about me starting a new writing schedule on Monday!
Friday, January 2, 2009
Yesterday was a fun day, meeting the mom of one of the teens who frequently hangs out at my house and eating a delicious meal which someone else cooked!
S and I went to Walmart and purchased a litter box, litter, scoop, combo food and water dish, and a red collar for Oreo. He seems to be thrilled to be allowed to leave the confines of the bathroom, and has been discovered investigating the pantry shelves. He also likes to hide under my nightstand when Miss Drama Queen and her brother Mr. Energy get too rambunctious with him.
He thankfully has quickly caught on to what he is supposed to do in the litter box!
Today I have to return three items: A pair of pants that are too small (K) and two packages of socks that are also too small (D).
We've also decided to rearrange the bedroom and set up another set of shelves so D's clothing is not piled on the vanity table. I had hoped to get W a toddler bed, but it looks as if the child is destined to sleep with his brother for at least the next 18 months, when K leaves for college.
I'm also sending out the last of my Christmas cards today! Will I get my package mailed? I'm not sure.
For lunch today, I'll be emptying out the fridge, and for dinner, turkey burritos are on the menu. The weather is supposed to be nice; I can throw the kids outside this afternoon to burn off some energy! Being cooped up inside the house the past two days have been hell, as this house shakes when young children are trying to play tag! And since the teens were downstairs in the basement playing Guitar World Hero, this created a tiny space problem. Jae? I'll trade you...I'll take Z and you can have my three, hahahaha....:) I keep telling myself, 'only one more day...only one more day...'
If you've not checked out The Grip this week, please do so. They have been talking about villians this week and it has been very entertaining!
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Jan Reading/Buying Schedule:
2nd: Just For Maggie: Emmie Graham (if it's out yet)
Getting Naked at the Hilton-Dee Dawning
Redemption of a Cavalier-Kathy Otten
9th: Brit Party-Brynn Paulin, et al
Enchanted Dreams-Mary Martinez
16th: Teaching Molly-Desiree Holt (I wonder what she's going to teach me, hahahaha??)
A Night of NovelTea-Cindy K Green
His and Her Dalmations-Grace Tyler
23rd: Whispering Sun-Rita Karnopp
The Magic Spell-Paige Tyler
Heart of the Bear-Cindy Spencer Pape
30th: Someone to Share the Sunsets-Kathy Otten
I exercised my right to sleep late today! I actually got up at 6, drank a cup of coffee, and watched the remaining two episodes of 90210. I went back to bed at 7:30 and climbed out of bed again at ten!
I do have a couple of resolutions, both professional and personal.
-To finally join my fellow authors in being e-pubbed
-To publish #3 in my series, Forbidden Love
-To not be so obsessive about my blog posting.
-Attend 3 conferences this year. I may not make it to RT, but there is still Lori Foster's, Midwest Writer's, and the EC Romanticon.
-Set up at the 3 craft fairs I missed last year, and do as many as the others as I possibly can
-Set up signings in other towns' bookstores, now that the gas prices are down.
-Finish a couple of wips before beginning any new ones
I printed out both versions of #3 and gave them to my 14-yr-old 'fan' for her opinion...begin Keri's story at the beginning, or where I ruthlessly made changes to chapter 7. She liked the new beginning, so I'll get cracking on cleaning up the rest of it next week.
As to the blog posts, I decided last year at this time I would post every single day, and have 366 posts by the end of the year. But when my PC crashed last June, I went into panic mode, because my family objected to me running off to the library! So this year, I'm not going to put that much pressure on myself. If I miss a day, so what? You'll come back!
-Walk more. June '07 I was walking 4 miles a day...and promptly discovered reruns of Dawson's Creek, which quit after Labor Day. I never did resume that habit, although I walked twice a week during April and May with the Head Start moms. Why did I not keep at it? Sheer laziness.
-Mantain current size or drop one. I do not wish to expand, so the eating habits will change slightly.
-I have a major battle ahead of me, as a family member is in need of intervention. This came to my attention back in October, and as soon as a meeting is called, it will take a great deal of courage and inner strength to stand my ground with this loved one. More on this at a later date; I'll be asking for prayers!
-Dakota challenged us last year to do something nice for ourselves. I finally had my hair done and my eyes checked; this year it will be a trip to the dentist and my doctor. My pre-menopausal symptoms have gotten worse this year, and I need to consult with the doctor who's known me for the past 17 years.
As I said earlier, I'm not going to worry about missing a post here or there. Starting this Saturday, I'm beginining the 'Saturday's Stupid Sayings', as yes, I bought my family another 'Stupid Sayings' calendar, since we enjoyed last year's so much!
I'm going to continue with the 'Currently Reading' and at the beginning of each month, I'll post the books I plan to buy. And yes, the ones I especially like will get the 'Recommended Read' stamp of approval. Be warned; I'm not going to rave about every book I read, and if I read yours and all it gets is a mention, please don't be offended. I upset someone last year by saying I liked one of her other books better than the one I'd just read.
I've missed the weekly interviews on other blogs, and look forward to the ones on Ashley's. If anyone is interested in being either a guest blogger or being interviewed, let me know?? I'll put together a few questions and turn over my blog once a week. And if you want a 'Release Day Ditty' or a 'Totally Tasteless Limerick', I'll be glad to come up with one:) Just provide me with an excerpt or two, and in most cases, I'll get your private opinion on it before I post it! Either let me know in the comments or email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org
An Unexpected Present
My teens took the younger ones to the park Tuesday night, and came home with a stray kitten. Since the temperature was beginning to fall, I gave the okay to bring him inside until we could take him to the local shelter.
Guess what? Around noon, the teens were getting everything ready to take the kitten to the shelter and go get some items for New Year's Eve. A neighbor came by and said she was pretty sure the shelter was closing early. The kids went over; yup, the place was closed until Friday!
Since we haven't had a cat around the house in nearly three years, I insisted the kids bring home some kitten chow. I had already given it a bowl of water and an egg, but if it was going to be with us until Friday, he needed some regular food. And then reminded the kids their father was not going to be very happy when he discovered a kitten living in our bathroom!
And I was right. He yelled at the kids for bringing it home; he yelled at me for allowing it to be brought inside. And when he found out the kids had named it 'Oreoz' (it is black and white), he just shook his head. Two hours later, S discovered him petting Oreo. By 10pm, S jubilantly announced Daddy was going to let him stay.
So the first order of business has been to get a litterbox! And as soon as I get a picture of the new baby, I'll post it. So far, Oreo and Lucky are getting along, and D just told me Oreo looked at the rats and licked his lips. "Lunch and Dinner..."
We may have to move the cage...
Just looked at the time and I need to get busy. My neighbors are supplying the food, but everyone is eating here in an hour! Since I cooked Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, my friend DH decided she'd cook for New Year's Day. So now it's the 'Ten Second Tidy', which will actually take about 30 minutes!
Have a good day!