Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday's Stupid Saying

My sister's expecting a baby, and I don't know if I'm going to be an uncle or an aunt.

North Carolina State basketball player Chuck Nevitt, explaining why appeared nervous at practice.

One good thing this past week of decluttering did for me was (beside being able to 'see' my bedside table, lol!), I found my stack of Stupid Sayings which I'd torn from previous calendars.  The ones on this year's calendar are cute, but not 'worthy' to repost....and we're nearly four months into the year!  And these posts don't seem to garner much attention anyway, so maybe after the last one's posted, I'll just take Saturday posts off my schedule.

Edits arrived, and I'm not sure what is wrong with me.  Normally, as soon as they arrive, I'm eager to get to work.  But every time I open the edits on Balancing Act, I want to scream, stomp my feet, and throw a colossal tantrum.  And it has nothing to do with changing my story.  I'm all for making it better; it's just that she's not 'getting' it.  I'm not sure there's a Perry Mason reference, but she says there is.  Where is the cell phone?  Not available in 1987....which is CLEARLY stated at the beginning of the manuscript.  The other three books have a list of the trademarked items; why can't this one?  I think to show the time period, I need to have specific brands, movies, song titles, etc.  And some of the 'filler' words she wants me to take out?  They're in DIALOGUE!  We TALKED that way.  Don't YOU throw in a 'Well...' when you're pondering something?  Or maybe I can type that.  Gretchen pondered the question.  "I think....", as opposed to "Well, I think you're better off...."


There; that felt better.

I want T back.  She and I 'clicked'.  L and I aren't 'clicking' at all; more like butting heads.  Or maybe that's just me.  Or PMS.

Another point:  "Why is G opposed to the traveling of the AF, but yet wants to enter the Peace Corp?"
I've clearly explained it:  She wants to travel one more time before settling down.  It was her dream in the 4th grade....and her issue is with her PARENTS going off on missions, leaving her in the care of her grandmother.  Didn't you read that part?  Or do I have to have her state that fact earlier?

Or is this all just a case of Author Diva Behavior?

I'll calm down in an hour or so, and reign in my inner 3-yr-old.

Just read through editor's comments on the MS, and I'm a lot calmer now.  Her email scared me and that's why I wrote this post.  But most of the comments make sense; I'm only throwing a minor tantrum in one or two areas, so WHEW!  This isn't going to be the blood bath I pictured, creatively speaking:)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Flashback Friday: Taking Charge In One Area; Getting Support In Another

March 2002:
A staff meeting was called; the bus routes needed to be streamlined a bit.  We would be switching vans; the van I was on would be getting the little girl in the wheelchair, since our route took us by her house anyway.  Since I was the 'low man on the totem pole', I kept my mouth shut, until my driver began shaking his head and objecting to the change.

I quickly realized our boss wasn't reacting well; he'd made a decision and that was final.  So when D began outlining his objections, and B, the other driver, began listing the reasons for why it made sense, I spoke up and pointed out to D that I'd be the one moving her in and off the van; he didn't have to worry about hurting his back.  Plus, the one child we picked up who didn't tolerate change very well could still keep his front seat, plus attended the same school as A (the one in the wheelchair), so I thought the transition would be minimal.  My boss looked relieved when my words seemed to be getting through to D; he grudgingly agreed to try it, but still insisted it 'wasn't going to work.'

But as it turned out, I was right, and having A on the bus provided a calming effect on my 'troubled child'...he behaved himself for the first several weeks, but then screwed up in school and was expelled.  I don't know what ever became of him, but I hope someone was able to get a grasp of his situation and get him the help he needed.  It was the first time my influence was not enough to turn a 'problem child' into a productive member of society.  Granted, I only had three hours of the kid's time every day, but still, a part of me felt I'd failed him.

Baseball-wise, I received some great news:   One of the moms stepped up to be the Head Coach of the girls; Amy informed me I didn't need to be Assistant Coach anymore.  I told her I'd be thrilled to be 'Dugout Mom'-the one who kept order in the dugout and made sure the girls were in the correct batting order and with the right bat and helmet:)

I also had a neighbor tell me L had approached her about helping with the concession stand.

"I told her since she wanted it enough to take you out of it, then she could get her own volunteers.  I'd only work if you asked me to.  And several other people agree with me; there was nothing wrong with the way you handled it the past two years, and unless she puts you back in charge, she's going to have a tough time finding people to work it."

So tempers will still hot over the change; the next two months would indeed prove interesting.

Next month:  Disappointment From The Girls' Softball Coach.

Present Day:
Gearing up for the Final Four weekend:)  Here's my picks for the final game, held on Monday:

And it could just as easily be Louiville and Ohio.....but at this time, I'm hoping Kentucky wins the whole thing.  And yes, I have two bags of pistachios stashed for Saturday night!

And don't forget to check The Writer's Evo blog on Sunday:  Topic is (what else?) April Fools' Day Pranks:)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"While You Were Away...."

Did I turn into Rip Van Winkle?  Did I suddenly become the unconscious person in While You Were Sleeping?

I actually began reading blogs again this week and commenting.  And suddenly the word verifications are driving me batty.

What happened to the simple string of green letters, which occasionally crack me up with their strange spellings of possible words?  Now you have to type these obscure black letters and determine if that's an 'r' paired with an 'm', or an 'a' next to the 'y'....

I get it that you want us to 'make sure we're a real person'.  But for god's sake, I'm already signed it!  And sometimes I'll type in what seems like to be an easy one...'like', only to be told 'incorrect.'  WTH?

I get it; blogger wants to make sure I'm a 'real person', not someone looking to type a spam message into someone's comment section.  But give me a break!  If they get too complicated, I'm going to stop commenting and simply leave my message either under their face book post, or shoot them an email.  All this 'tweaking' is giving me a headache.

Reading Update:
Forget what I said about the basketball book yesterday.  Tried to read it, and enjoyed a chapter here, a chapter there....and then skipped to the end.  Now I'm reading Coming of Age...Again by Carol Mizrahi

I'm about halfway through it, and I'm telling you....this one is hard to put down!  It's about women who have been friends since kindergarten and how their lives change, but friendships remain.  Very enjoyable and a Definite Recommended Read:)

Come back tomorrow as I travel back ten years to March 2002:)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Oh Happy Day:)

1st round edits are finished!  Stayed late at my writer's meeting so I could finish the final thirty pages; opened an email; attached the MS, and hit 'send':)  One last thing to worry about until Round 2 arrives.  I'm hoping to be able to wordwar this afternoon.

Finished reading House Rules by Jodi Picoult last week and LOVED it:)  Now I'm working on a stack of books I brought home from the Author Fair two weeks ago.

I began reading this with my curiosity piqued; I loved the show West Wing and since this is an election year and am paying closer attention to politics (gag!), I thought it would be an interesting read.  And it was....until about Chapter 16.  Here's the premise:  A promising lawyer decides to run for Congress, and after his election, uncovers damning evidence about another congressman.  After it's resolved, the VP has a heart attack and the Prez chooses guess who to be the new VP?  But then another scandal is uncovered.....and then another......and by the time I was finished, I wondered who in their right mind would EVER want to enter politics; is our entire system corrupted; and has politics always been this back-stabbing, power-hungry mess?  I know before the Age of Television and now the internet, things were done more secretively.....but who the hell cares about the sex lives of those in power, or their families' past issues, or even if god forbid, they had a different sex partner every night until they met their current spouse?  Or made sex tapes/took pictures for fun?  How many decent men and women have been shamed out of their political aspirations because someone happened to be camera happy the one time a person got drunk or high and did something slightly questionable?

With that said, I probably will buy Rob Schumaker's next book, just to see the continuing saga.  If you like political stories, by all means; pick this one up.  But by Ch 16, I already 'knew' what was going to happen by the end of the book.  I'm just wondering what new scandals will be revealed in books 2 and 3.  It's my opinion he should have taken this story a little slower, and not 'rushed' the first two scandals so much.  But hey; I've been accused of 'rushing' my plot a bit myself, so who am I to judge?  Buy it for yourself and let me know your opinion.

Next up:  Transcendental Basketball Blues by Mike Pemberton.  I'm already on the 5th chapter, and am enjoying the song titles which are the chapter headings:)  My only complaint so far:  Some chapters are shorter than others, and it seems to be wandering all over the place.  Granted, I began reading after midnight, so maybe my first impression was clouded by a caffeine-induced nineteen hour day?  And so far I'm not doing much better; I was up four and a half hours later.  I'm going to need a nap before choir tonight.

No karaoke tonight; I know I need to go to bed early, plus BC has to work.  But maybe next week?  I'm only 3 or 4 songs away from finishing the 'B' titles!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What Happened?

For the first time in over ten years, I did not pick any of the Final Four teams.  Guess the law of averages finally caught up with me?  Or it could also be the pistachioes.....

In the first game, it was clear Kentucky was in charge.  They out-scored Baylor in the first three minutes; it was a 'You're-not-ready-to-play-with-the-big-dogs-yet' message.

And in game #2, UNC was holding their own against Kansas.  They were down four points when I ran out of pistachioes...and asked the SU if he'd go get me another bag; I was down to my last three nuts.  He refused, and Kansas promptly went on a 10-0 run.  All I could do was watch the slaughter.

So now I'm cheering on Kentucky:)  I was hoping Baylor would be a Cinderella team, but it's after midnight and everything has returned to its normal state.

Last week, I spent an hour editing the first three chapters of Balancing Act.  Took a break, then the youngling fired up my laptop to play a game.  He told me the battery was getting low, so I went to get the charger.

And discovered I'd left it behind.

So Spring Break became a true vacation for me:)  I kept up with the email, but last year a virus landed on Dad's computer after I blogged; the kids played games; we all used Face Book.  And while I'm certain it was the kids' games, Dad's computer loads slowly, so I didn't really feel like waiting for Blogger.  I think next year I'm definitely going to get them a WiFi router!

I'd planned to get back to the editing yesterday, but decided to 'find' my bedside table.  And once I got started, I couldn't stop.  I also decluttered my entire side of the room.  And nearly missed my doctor's appointment.

The spouse was approved:)  His first check should be arriving around the middle of the month, so this is a HUGE weight from our shoulders!  The spouse, of course, isn't happy about being labeled 'disabled', but the extra money now means we won't have to panic when the 20th arrives and we're down to $100 in the bank.  This also means I'll be able to buy books again:)  (And my fellow authors cheer.....)

Dog Spotted:
I saw the dog which bit my youngling, and called the police this morning.   No word yet if they've caught it.  It was black and tan, with markings like our German Shepherd Keisha, but with a pitbull/rottweiler face.  Tan hindquarters, and the tail curled upward.

Off to do some errands; I should be back to blogging regularly!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Elite Eight To Final Four

Games are getting tougher to call!

Syracuse Lost:(
Florida Lost:(

As much as I like Florida, I think Louisville might pull it off, but I'm still choosing my Gators:)

Baylor Lost:(
UNC Lost:(

I'm cheering for our hometown Zeller family, though I think Kansas may kick them to the curb.  We'll find out!

And received a nice bit of news in the mail this past week:  The SU was approved for his disability, so this makes it a little easier to breathe; a huge weight has been lifted.  He and I can now get out teeth fixed; bills paid; and even an upgrade to the vehicles.  And maybe a better place to live, with more space for the grandchild arriving in June.

Thank you God:)

What's Kenzie's favorite paranormal character?  Go over to The Writer's Evo tomorrow and find out:)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Flashback Friday, March Madness, and Catching Up

Palm Sunday 1992:
A personal dream came true:  D and I, standing with other parents with our new babies, at the front of the congregation, getting our child baptized.  K let out a tiny squeak when Dr. T placed the water on his head, but otherwise was well behaved.  And afterward, Grandpa took us to Morris Bryant's for brunch.

We didn't put him in a traditional christening gown; he had a one-piece blue and white 'suit' with a little red bow tie.  White socks, of which one kept falling off, and his sunny disposition rounded out a very enjoyable day.

March Madness:
I forgot about the games being on last night; that happens when you go out of town and lose all sense of what day it is!  Since I couldn't go to karaoke, Billie and Mel brought 'Rent' over and a bottle of wine, and we had an enjoyable evening:)  I was hoping maybe we'd slide out the door after the movie ended, for a two hour karaoke, but no.  So maybe after Easter I'll 'be allowed' to go?

In the meantime, here were my picks from yesterday and how I did:
Syracuse Won:)
Louisville Won:)
Cincinnati Lost:(
Florida Won:)

Here are my picks for tonight's games:
Xavier Lost:(
UNC Won:)
Indiana Lost:(
Kansas Won:)

They're getting harder to predict:)

Enjoyed my 'vacation', and the best news was the fact the SU was awarded his disability, so that's a HUGE weight off our shoulders.  Now we just need to spend that back pay check WISELY.  I want us to get into a better house; get reliable transportation; and not have the post 15th-of-the-month-panic 'OMG....we're on $30 a week until the 1st!'

I also want to be able to go to Florida in August and be able to buy a few books each month without hearing  any fuss.  Is that too much to ask?

Have a good week:)  I'll post the weekend games tomorrow.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Our Of Town....

First of all, I'm over at RBRU today, talking about heroes.  What do you want your hero to look/act?  Come over and see if it matches up with mine.

Secondly, I'm out of town for the next few days, 'decompressing' from the overwhelming influx of family drama.  I'll most likely be back on Friday.

In case you wondered how my b-ball teams fared over the weekend, I just updated.  I went 4-4 on Sat; 6-2 on Sun, making my overall score 10-6.  Let's hope I do better next weekend!

Enjoy your Spring Break, if this is your week.  Sometimes it's nice to get away from your family once in a while.  And Grandma is enjoying spending time with the youngling:)

Daughter is spending the week with her baby-daddy.

College Kid survived his trip to Texas (barely), and returned home with a new lady in his life.  She lives in northern Kentucky, and he's at Purdue, so this should be interesting.

The SU is home with the two dogs and the cat.  His birthday is tomorrow, and he says he's looking forward to a juicy steak dinner at one of the local steakhouses.  Enjoy you quiet birthday:)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March Madness Weekend #1

Today's games:
Syracuse Won:)
Gonzaga Lost:(
Marquette Won:)
Vanderbilt Lost:(
Indiana Won:)
Kentucky Won:)
Colorado Lost
New Mexico Lost:(

4-4 today...

Sundauy's games:
Georgetown Lost:(
Michigan St Won:)
UNC Won:)
Florida Won:)
Ohio Won:)
Xavier Won:)
Purdue Lost:(
Cincinnati Won:)

6-2 today; 10-6 over all.

Happy St. Paddy's Day:)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Flashback Friday and March Madness

I can trace my love of March Madness back to when I was allowed to accompany my mother to our HS sectional and regional games.  She ran the First Aid station, and though I admit at first I'd help sell tickets, run errands, and pass out programs (and after learning Algebra, make up long, complex problems taking up both classroom blackboards, lol!), I did watch several games during the final quarter.

March 1982:
Our basketball team won both sectional and regional, and we were on to Semi-State, which took place at Mackey Arena on the Purdue campus.  Unfortunately, we lost to Lebanon HS, whom we'd beaten in the regular season.  Spring Break was spent at home; sleeping late and watching TV.  I also began Spring Training for Marching Band try-outs.  Everyone who was in the Guard, even those who would be seniors, had to be selected.  I was a little nervous; I'd started out as an alternate and ended up filling in; would I be selected again?  I even worked with some of the incoming sophomores, helping them learn how to march and do some of the drills.

It was also about this time I succeeded in 'winning' K back.  B and I were arguing...more specifically, he seemed to be mad at ME for something.  I finally quit trying to pry it out of him and concentrated on K, band, and improving my flag drills.

Today's Picks:
Cincinnati Won:)
NC St Won:)
Alabama Lost:(
Florida Won:)
Florida St Won:)
Georgetown Won:)
UNC Won:)
Missouri Lost:(
Memphis Lost:(
Duke Lost:(
Michigan Lost:(
Purdue Won;)
Michigan St Won:)
Notre Dame Lost:(
Temple Lost:(
Kansas Win:)

Come back tomorrow for Round 3:)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Catching Up....and March Madness:)

First of all, a Recommended Read:)  My good friend J. Travis Grundon's 3rd book, Happy Hour Blues, was released Feb 24th, and it is the first book of his that I have been able to read cover to cover without being grossed out by too much blood and gore:)  (That's not Travis in the picture; my friend Ben has the honor of holding the book; I was unable to find a good one of the author himself!)

Happy Hours Blues is a page turner; full of grit and honesty, and even a little humorous at times:)  There was only one or two stories where I grimaced at the end, but that's to be expected in a Travis story.  Every story begins with a drink recipe, so if you ever wondered how to make your favorite drink, now's your chance:)

Secondly, I've been watching The Amazing Race, and I'm amazed that Brendan is still with Rachel.  She's whiny; she's fact, I'd compare her behavior on last Sunday's episode to a sulky 8-year-old.  I sincerely hope she's watching herself on television and getting a dose of reality.  She's got B so freaking wrapped around her finger....B, if you're watching, I hWon:)ope you see how whipped you're acting.  Time to go find yourself a real woman instead of this petulant, spoiled child you think you're in love with.  You can do better.

Third, what the hell is going on over at Survivor?  Last week the men won immunity, but caved to a mob mentality so they could go back and vote out Bill?  How insane was that?  They should have pow-wowed behind Colton's back and blindsided that snobbish little idiot.  And last night....OMG....again, why didn't they vote him out?  Monica scores the one and only point....but 'since she has more friends on the other team, she's a bigger threat...' Have you not watched previous seasons?  That's NOT how you play the damn game if you expect your tribe to enter the merge!  Sheesh!

Finally, today is the start of March Madness, where I get to indulge my love of college basketball.  Here are my picks for today's games.  Come back tomorrow for memories from 1982 and more predictions.

Colorado St  Lost:(
Kansas St Won:)
Louisville Won;)
Wisconsin Won:)
Marquette Won:)
Syracuse Won:)
New Mexico Won:)
Harvard Lost:(
Kentucky Won:)
VCU Won:)
Gonzaga Won:)
Baylor Won:)
U Conn Lost:(
Indiana Won:)
Ohio St Won:)
UNLV Lost:(

12-4 for today's games....let's hope tomorrow's not flipped around, lol!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Flashback Friday and Karaoke Update

Sigh....I had fully intended to blog every day this week, but it ended up being another one of those weeks where I barely even got on Face Book!

March 1972:  Since I have no idea what was going on, I won't bore you with any speculation!  I'll be going to my mom's again in two weeks; I'll look at the photo albums and see if anything 'clicks':)

Present Day:
A Very Good Time was had by all last night at Karaoke:)  I was able to eliminate two more songs from my list:

Brass In Pocket (Pretenders):  I think I did this well, but it's not one of my favorite songs, so yes, sang it once, and will move on:)

Best Of Times (Styx):  I love this song, and I still want to try it one more time, where I can HEAR myself singing it.'s going also!

Build Me Up Buttercup (The Foundations):  I think I sang this one okay also, but again, not one of my favorites.  Moving on....

Behind These Hazel Eyes (Kelly Clarkson):  The first time I attempted this, it was awful.  Last night, people cheered:)  So think I'll keep it, even though someone yelled, "Where's the high note?"  I answered, "I think it left for the night."

Bleeding Love (Leona Lewis):  Another song I do well.  When I took the microphone, I asked, 'Who was asking about the high note?  It might be in this one....":)

I was hoping Darrell would have more new ones on my list, but I was happy with the ones he chose:)

Have a good weekend; I'm off to a booksigning in Urbana, Ill tomorrow.  Hopefully I'll have good news to report on Monday:)

Monday, March 5, 2012

New Cover Art:)

Isn't it pretty?  Here's the blurb:
Gretchen McLaren has her life mapped out. A tour of duty with the Peace Corps, then working as a social worker for the elderly. But her boyfriend Joe Walker doesn’t agree with her plan, and tries everything in his power to change her mind. But will he succeed? Or will his efforts drive her into the arms of another man?

Troy Anderson finds himself hearing the words no man wants to hear, “I just want to be friends.” But when a skilled manipulator tries to tear down the woman he loves, will he fight for her? Find out what happens when jealousy upsets the balance of love and ambition. Has Gretchen been blind to true love the entire time?

And for a sneak peek, here's an unedited deleted scene from Forbidden Love:

"I have a good feeling about this year," Keri told Caitlyn after the holidays were over.  Caty had already unpacked and was waiting for a phone call from her boyfriend.  "Even though I got a late start."
"What took so long?" she wanted to know.
"You know the back roads I usually take to avoid the traffic in Indy?  Well, both Dad and Eric warned me to stick to the interstate, due to the ice and snow, but there was a major accident by the airport, so I jumped off at State Road 37, and boy was that a mistake."   Keri pulled out a peach satin robe.  "Look at this:  Isn't it glamorous?  I can't wait to show it to Kyle.  Anyway, there was a five car pile-up in Martinsville, so after I got through that mess, I slid over to 67, and was fine until Spencer, where I did a doughnut in the Burger King parking lot..."
"You didn't," Caty laughed.
Keri nodded.  "Ever go through a drive-up backwards?"
That scenario made Caitlyn laugh even harder.  "I have learned my lesson:  No matter how bad the back up is after a ten inch snowfall, I'm staying on the interstate.  People in small towns forget how to drive, I swear!"
"The snow freezes the common sense," Caty chuckled, wiping her eyes.
"No doubt," Keri said.  "Has Kyle called?"  Caty shook her head.  "Damn.  Something's really weird.  I was always missing him over break; he never called back; I'm two hours late, and still no call!  What is with men that they don't like to return phone calls?"
"Speaking of men, Joe gave Gretchen a First Promise ring."
"You're kidding me!"  Keri stopped putting away her clothes.  "After six months?"
"I guess he's serious."
"What about the mind games?  Is she happy about it?"
"She said he was behaving himself.  They haven't set any dates or anything.  Personally, I think she'd be better off with Troy Anderson."
"He defiantly has my vote!" 

Forbidden Love now available at Secret Cravings, Kindle, Nook, and ARE:)