Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Website

Have any of you ever ventured over to my website? I finally got my husband to freshen it up some for me.

I took pictures of the moon one night when I came home. The clouds were just so and I liked the the way they looked. Apparently, I can't hold a camera very steady and most of my moon shots were blurry, but I managed to find a decent one in the bunch and fix it up. This is the moon shot I tried to put as background of my blog title, but it kept coming up black. At least I know it's not the picture, now!

Anyway, do you think my website is lame? Until I'm published, I just don't know what to put on there! But I got one of my name, so I guess that's all that counts for now.

UPDATE: If you can't access my website, there's nothing wrong on your end. Our computer was disconnected today, so it's possible it won't be back up until after 5pm EST 12/29/11. **GRUMBLE**

A Blog To Keep Me Awake

Today is slow.

It's not a good thing, I don't think, to nod off at your desk.

I'm sure as soon as 5:00 pm comes around and the cold air hits my face, I'll be awake enough to drive home.

Actually, I think seeing 5:00 pm will be enough.

So, how do you make a quiet, boring day at work go FASTER?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Short Week Between Two Holidays

Christmas is over and I'm back at work. But only for three days, then I'm off again for the next holiday – New Year's!

Two four-day weekends in a row can really spoil a person.

Yesterday my family & I went to the movies to see "We Bought a Zoo." Apparently, a lot of people thought this might be a kiddie movie (as there were lots of kids in the theatre). It is not. If your children still believe in the Easter Bunny, don't take them!! They might not believe afterward. Otherwise, it's fine for the family (although I'm not so sure your kids will enjoy it).

We really enjoyed this movie – a lot better than any of us anticipated. Just because something looks cute & interesting in the commercials, doesn't always make it so. So, it was a nice surprise that we selected a good movie for the holidays.

Writing has been good, but I got busy this weekend and wasn't able to do as much as I wanted. And of course, I have to play out the next scene in my head, which also slows things down. I keep saying I'll finish before Jan 1st. I sure hope it happens now. The end is near, it's just taking longer than I had hoped.

Ah, but all good things take time, right?

RIGHT?

Oh, and in other news – it looks like we'll be getting some snow today. I hope it's not a lot, but forecasters have been known to be wrong in the past (they'll say we'll only get a dusting and then we'll get four inches!). Right now it's only raining. Raining a lot. Which means if snow is coming, all that water will probably freeze. Not something I'm looking forward to, come tomorrow morning!

Happy Winter, everyone! It's apparently arrived.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Christmas Eve

Today's Steelers game was supposed to be on local TV. I had plans to clean and do laundry during the game. Maybe even get a little writing in.

Ah, but plans change.

Since Big Ben wasn't playing, I guess the local FOX station decided to show the Giants & Jets game instead. We discovered this at 11:15am. Today.

So at 11:15 we packed up (well, I packed up – I take my laptop) and headed to B-dubs (Buffalo Wild Wings), hoping we could still get a table (the place tends to fill up when the Steelers aren't on local TV).

We got lucky and got our usual table (yes, we – or I should say, my husband – are regulars) and I got to spend the afternoon writing. Yes, I watched the game, just not every stinking play. I love the Steelers, and I knew my Rams didn't stand a chance, but it still hurt to see them get pounded!!

So, what I wouldn't have accomplished at home, I accomplished at B-dubs. Over 1300 words written. Sure beat cleaning!

Merry Christmas!!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Cool Picture

The radio station I listen to posted this awesome picture on Facebook and I liked it so much, I just had to share.


I believe the picture was taken somewhere in Indiana. Click 101.5 didn't elaborate because they didn't really know, either. I wish I knew WHERE in Indiana. I might want to take a trip out there if it's not too far. I can only imagine what this thing looks like in person.

Good news: Actually figured out HOW my book will end. This was discovered on my drive home from work yesterday. Very excited (and a very good Christmas present to myself). Of course, I had plans to watch BAG OF BONES with my daughter and husband (which I enjoyed - stayed pretty much with the book - amazing!), so not much writing occurred. But that's okay. I got four days off from work. I will take advantage. As soon as I finish wrapping the presents, that is!

This may be my last post before Christmas. Unless I remember, get energetic, or whatever, and take a picture of our tree and then remember, get energetic, or whatever, and post the darn thing! But if I don't make it back, I wish every one of you a


MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gouging!

Tuesday: Gas costs $2.97 a gallon.

Wednesday morning: Article in Dayton Daily News about how gas is cheapest since Feb and how most people are driving this holiday season since it's more economical than flying.

Wednesday afternoon: Gas costs $3.39 a gallon.

Coincidence?

I think not.

What do you think?


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Letters

Last year I debated on whether or not to send out my Christmas letter. I sent it out and stated it might be my last one. I even directed my recipients to my blog to vote in a poll. I don’t think anyone voted on the blog (too long ago, my memory isn't THAT great), but no one said to stop. So I didn’t. I wrote another one this year.

Best response I got was in a Christmas card this year from a cousin: “The Christmas letter lives. Yae!”

So I’ll try and ignore the negative comments. Not that I’ve had any since two years ago. As long as at least one person likes my letters (and I know it’s more than one), then I’ll continue to write them.

I mean, it’s just a letter, right? People can toss them if they want. I’m not FORCING them to read.

I just have to keep telling myself that.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Discoveries

Monday was a bust writing-wise. But not in figuring out how to finish the sucker. Got lots of notes written of the scenes that remain, so hopefully when I get back to it (tonight, I hope), I won't struggle with what to write.

This book has opened my eyes to my writing process. I don't outline (tried that and failed miserably), I'm a pantser, but I apparently need to have an idea of what the next scene is about if I want the writing to flow. So as I'm writing one scene, I'm thinking about the next and taking notes (or if I'm at work, e-mailing the notes). I'm amazed at how well that's working, too. No more staring at a blank page. Now, I sometimes stare at the written page, but that's another issue.

I also determined during my vacation how much I value brainstorming. The person you brainstorm with doesn't necessarily have to be a writer. They just have to listen and suggest. Or maybe be an expert in whatever it is you're trying to figure out (like I was with my husband – he knows about electricity and stuff like that and helped me figure out a way to create a scene that was realistic).

My husband hasn't been interested in reading my vampire stories, but he said he would read my ghost story when it was done. I don't know if it's because it's NOT vampires, or if the story has really interested him, but I'll take what I can get.

Eleven days till 2012. I better get crackin' if I want this book done before then.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Six Shopping Days Remaining

Have you finished your Christmas shopping? I can say YES!

Hurray!

This weekend went much better than I hoped. I even got all of my husband's gifts wrapped. Well, all except the one that hasn't been delivered yet.

But I'm ready. Wrapping is NOTHING! Buying was the hard part.

So… are you ready? Or are you one of those who like (or LOVE) to wait until the last minute? Which means you won't shop until this weekend, right?

I don't think I could take that much stress.

Have a good day – however you spend it!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hodgepodge

Okay, so I really need to get back into writing. I can see that happening this weekend. Maybe.

I've got some critiquing to do for my writer buddy. So that's on my list of things to do.

I've gotten the presents that need to be delivered, ordered and/or delivered. I still have to get presents for those who will be with me on Christmas morning. That is also on my list to do this weekend. Not looking forward to those horrendous crowds, but I will get it done. I'm determined.

Of course, in order to do that, I have to inventory what I've purchased so far. That will probably happen tonight, since I'll need that information for Saturday.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again – I'm a procrastinator to the nth degree!

You'd think I'd learn by now.

In other news, something has happened to me and I'd like to pose a question out there for you. Have you ever gone on a vacation and not have your boss ask you how it went?

I've had plenty of bosses and I can't remember one ever not asking. Until now. In fact, I only saw him for a total of five seconds on Monday. Never stopped by and said welcome back or anything! Is that strange?

My place of employment has started making me question if something is wrong with me. I've never felt so out of place or alone. I sometimes wish I had never left the old job. Eventually that one would have gotten better – I just didn't know it at the time (and I know this because my husband and son still work there).

I'll just use this job as motivation to get published. And in order to get published, I need to write. Oh yeah… That will happen this weekend. I'll find the time if it kills me!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Farewell Party & Charleston

On Carnival cruises, they have a farewell party they don't really advertise. It's up to you to see it listed as things to do and then go. Why go? Because the drinks are free! As many as you can drink. I'm not kidding (See that picture-courtesy of Kathy? There were 10 of us drinking and less than half of that table can be seen). I had two lime daiquiris (which were a bit too sour for my taste), then three (I think) screwdrivers. Yeah, I got wasted. But you know what? When you're drunk on a rocky ship, the ship doesn't seem so rocky!

We were 15 minutes late to dinner, too. Since we were with two other couples from our table, it wasn't too bad. The other two couples who arrived on time, enjoyed watching us make asses out of ourselves. I can't remember the last time I drank that much. Luckily, I didn't get sick.

On Friday, our ship returned to Charleston. Our turn to exit came around 9:30 and by 10:30ish we were at our car. Our next stop was to visit Ft. Sumter and we kind of knew where it was (we had passed it on the way to the cruise ship). The parking spots on the street were already full of cars waiting for the gates to open for the cruise (our ship came in and was getting ready to leave that same day – no waiting around for them!), but finally found a spot not too far. Stuck every quarter I had in the meter, giving us about 3 hours. We walked up to the museum and was able to make the next boat within minutes (it left at 11:00 and we were there around 10:55). The next boat was at 1:30. At least my husband said he wouldn't have bothered if we missed the 11:00 boat.

I'm not a huge fan of the Civil War or any kind of historical stuff – that would be my husband. I just tag along and maybe something will sink in (or rub off). In this case, not really. Ft. Sumter is a tiny little island and it apparently was where the first shot of the Civil War occurred (as well as the first casualties). Most of the building that is still standing was built back then, but the big black metal building inside was built in 1898 for some other war (told you, I didn't pay attention).

All I really remember was freezing. My coat was still in the car because I didn't realize we had to take a boat out to Ft. Sumter. And frankly, I was still used to those 80 degree temps. It was overcast and windy and probably 60 degrees.

When we got back to Charleston, we then had lunch at Bubba Gump (where I got my magnet) and afterward took a carriage ride. A woman on the cruise ship suggested doing that. Of course, if she hadn't, we might have figured it out for ourselves. They were everywhere! By this time, the sun had come out and warmed up nicely.

I didn't get any pictures from the carriage (I was sitting in the middle) and my husband has yet to download his camera's pictures, but I did get a picture of Bob. He was the horse that pulled us along.

We spent the night in Charleston and drove home the next day. It was nice not having to rush going home. And my favorite site on the drive is when we approach Cincinnati. I know I don't live there, I just like the view from I-75. But normally I'm driving it, so I can't take the picture. This time I could (not that my picture is all that great, but I just love the way the city shows up out of nowhere-go around the bend and wham! there it is!).

Thanks for letting me share my vacation with you. Hope I didn't bore you too badly!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Key West

I'm going through writing withdrawals. Not the blogging kind of writing, the fiction kind. I haven't touched my book since the tenth and I'm noticing it! Writing during the holiday season is madness I tell you. I need to learn to get the book done BEFORE Christmas. Or better yet, get my shopping done in August. Then I wouldn't be all stressed out now.

Okay, enough of that rant (maybe). On to our trip to Key West.

One of my "must visits" was the Hard Rock Café to get my magnet. We didn't eat there, but then we don't eat at them all. This Hard Rock blended in with the neighborhood.

We had lunch at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville (it all started in Key West) and when we finished, we found Jack Sparrow in front of the restaurant, so we tipped him to get my picture taken with him. He did a very nice job of sounding like the character, too.

One of the things I wanted to see were the chickens, and I got to see them. Found out they are protected, since Key West is a bird sanctuary. I hadn't known that, but I guess that explains why no one eats them!

We walked down to the southernmost point of the U.S. Didn't even know there was a marker for it until we got there. See – it became an educational trip for me! There were also "The Southernmost House" and "The Southernmost Southernmost House". It seemed to be a theme anyway! I wonder if there's a Northernmost marker in Alaska? Gee – maybe I should have checked it out when I lived there!

We also didn't realize that U.S. 1 is marked as the Beginning and Ending. Do you suppose the other end of the road does the same thing? We should have checked it out when we were in Maine last year (at least I'm assuming it's in Maine – I may be wrong). That would have been neat – to say we've been to both ends. Maybe one day.

That's all for today. My WIP may be suffering (or I should say I'm suffering not writing my WIP), but I'm getting these blogs out. At least until I've finished talking about my trip. Then maybe I'll go on a Christmas break or something.

Have a good day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nassau & Freeport

Don't let the picture fool you. It was windy in Nassau and the water was cold. But the temps were oh so comfortable – low to mid 80's. I don't swim, so it didn't really matter, but I do like to walk along the beach. I realized when we got there that I forgot to pack my water shoes (they would have made the stroll a little more comfortable). Actually, I think I forgot I owned them until I was on the beach! Oh well…

There were four ships docked – ours was the smallest (located on the far right, next to the Disney ship), so it was a bit crowded in town. We'd been there before, back in 2007, and took a Segway tour then, so we didn't bother with any excursion this time out. This whole trip was all about relaxing anyway, and we did that.

I'll say one thing – that Disney ship was huge. Unfortunately, too many youngins. I think that was probably the best part of our cruise was the low count of kids (off season is GREAT and cheaper!). I ran into a few kids who were just plain miserable and their parents didn't do anything to quiet them. Hello! You forced them on the cruise. They didn't ask to go. If you weren't going to ensure they had fun, then you should have left them home. Okay, I'm done ranting now (maybe).

We didn't see much of Freeport. Again, we played it cheap and relaxing. We would have walked to town or the beach, except they wouldn't let you (it was too far - 5 or 10 miles) so we stayed nearby where there were some shops. Actually, they were more like huts and they all pretty much sold the same stuff. I couldn't find any magnet that specifically said Freeport, so I didn’t get anything. Ah, but the weather was perfect (maybe a little windy) and there was only one other ship docked.

Tomorrow (hopefully), I'll show some pictures of Key West. But I will say this about our cruise – I did not gain any weight, even with the amount of food I ate. Stay away from the elevators and you can do it, too. Walk everywhere.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm Back!

I can't believe my vacation is over. I know one thing – I'll certainly enjoy being retired. To be able to write whenever my heart desired was something else.

Of course, I don't think I wrote all that much more than when I'm working the paying job. But what do you expect? I was on vacation! Still, I am closer to the end – and I'm getting excited.

We cruised on the Carnival Fantasy. I still have to get our photos downloaded so I can sift through them and post. I didn't take all that many photos, but the photos I would have loved to take I wasn't allowed, since it was part of the show. Let me just say the guy playing the Indian of the Village People (they were performing YMCA), was most photography worthy! Hubba hubba!

We got extremely lucky with our dinner mates during the cruise. On our first two cruises we went with friends of ours, so we always sat at a table for 4. Being just the two of us, we were sat at a table for 10 and made new friends: Joe and Joyce from North Carolina, Kathy and Ralph from Virginia, Gary and Diana from Michigan, and Dave and Judy from Pennsylvania. No repeat states! Pretty cool, huh?

It's taking me awhile to get back into the swing of things. Laundry and Christmas shopping took up my Sunday (we drove back from Charleston on Saturday). If there's anything you want to know, though, just ask! I'll try and get photos with my next blog.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

32 Years Ago Today

December 1, 1979
See - you don't need a fancy, schmancy wedding for a marriage to last!

Happy Anniversary Sweetie!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yee Ha!

It's no NaNo record, but 19,080 words in November ain't too shabby. And today I passed the 70,000 word mark. I'm a happy camper!

This book is turning out so much better than I originally envisioned it. At least I THINK it is. I'm never sure about any of my books until I've had someone read them, and that won't happen for awhile.

Think I'll take a break now and read!

Last Day

November 30th has finally arrived, and I'm determined to blog – even if it's a blog about nothing!!

I started reading one of my "vacation" books yesterday, thinking I wouldn't finish it before my trip. Ha ha! Joke's on me. If I know me (and I do), that book will be done before I get on the ship, which means it can stay in the car. So….I might just want to pick out another book to take. Oh, decisions, decisions!

My husband has lost 40 lbs. It's a blessing and a gift for me, because I certainly want him to stick around for awhile. Because of this loss, he no longer has to take medicine for his diabetes and if he loses 12 more pounds, will most likely be taken off his blood pressure medicine. But can all that weight loss work other miracles? After my daughter made a remark about him in a tone that usually does not get a response from him, he responded this time. I asked him if he lost weight in his ears. My daughter laughed – saying she was thinking the same thing. Or could it be his weight loss improved his selective hearing? Curious minds want to know!

Yesterday's weather was sucky. Started with rain, rain, and more rain. Then I drove home. The rain turned into snow. The grass turned white. So did the deck. Snow is pretty, but it's cold. I'm not ready for cold. Two more days to warmer weather!

Yay! I did it. I'll have to try this daily blogging thing again some other month, but not any time soon. I think I need to reload my brain. But I'll be here tomorrow. Tomorrow is special.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Status Update

While people have been doing NaNo, I've been doing my own gig.

First, I thought I'd try blogging everyday, Mon – Fri. Except for Nov 1 (because the idea came later), I've done that. I even threw in a couple of weekends. And you know what I learned? Blogging everyday is HARD. I just hope I can continue the rest of this month. Only one more day after this!

I've also written everyday in November, except on the 3rd when I had a writers meeting to attend after work, and no time during work to write – yeah, bad me. Still, that's pretty darn good. I guess when you have a goal to finish a WIP by year's end, that can motivate a person to write every day. Well, it did for me.

Now come Friday, I'll be on a hiatus of sorts (no internet access for at least a week), so I will not continue my daily blogging into December. I'll try and blog more often, though. I really enjoy the comments and seem to get them more often when I blog more often. Or is it because I visit more blogs? I visit more when I write more, so it's hard to tell.

So, have you done anything unusual for you in November?

And in case you need a reminder, Round 4 of the WRiTE CLUB is now in session. It's a toughy this time around, but I managed to vote. Hope you can do the same. I know DL will appreciate it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Preparation or How a Procrastinator Packs

Christmas letter written.
Check.

Tree up.
Check.

Packed for cruise.
Ummmm, not yet.

Hey, but at least I won't have to put the tree up when I get back. Or worry about those Christmas cards (the cards are easy – it's writing the letter that's time consuming). That in itself is a MAJOR accomplishment. The last time we took vacation around our anniversary (14 days to Hawaii & California), I scrambled to get my Christmas shopping completed upon return, as well as put up the decorations. So what happens? The biggest snowstorm of the year, that's all. I had a nightmare (an actual, honest to goodness nightmare) that Christmas morning came and there were no presents under the tree. I will not go through THAT again.

But packing for vacation? I'm a last minute packer. I do have a list of things I don't want to forget, but doesn't include what clothes to bring. There, I have a vague idea of what I want to wear, but I haven't pulled anything out – yet. That will be saved for the night before. So far the worst mistake I ever made packing that way was forgetting to pack socks (so I had to buy them, big deal) or a belt for my husband (hey – he has to take some responsibility for his own clothes!).

I have picked out which books to bring. While I plan on doing some writing on this cruise, I also expect to have a lot of reading time, too (sometimes I can only write so much and then my brain shuts down). Especially if I finish the first draft (fingers crossed). The books I plan on taking along (one of which I may start during lunch today) are shown below (And boy, did I have a time trying to get the pictures to line up decently. All I wanted to do was make two rows of three. Blogger doesn't do things easy, do they?).


I don't expect to read them all – I just like to be prepared. I took four books on my last cruise (Sookie Stackhouse series) and ended up buying a fifth. I'd rather read from my TBR pile than sort through the small selection offered on the ship.

I know, I know. If I had an e-reader, I wouldn't have to do that. Still ain't buying one, though.

So how far in advance do you pack for your vacation? And if it's more than a day, do you actually pack or just create a pile of what you'll be taking? I've never understood how some people pack in advance, probably because I can't imagine putting the clothes in the suitcase a week ahead of time. Do you really have that much underwear you don't have to wash for over a week? Don't the clothes get extra wrinkly? It's not like I'll have an iron. Just saying…

Friday, November 25, 2011

Movie Day

Went and saw "Tower Heist" today for Movie Day (or as others like to call this day – Black Friday). It wasn't the best movie we've seen on Movie Day and not the worst, either.

It definitely had its funny and its "oh you got to be kidding me" moments. And there were scenes where my daughter wanted to "shoot Ben Stiller through the head" (she is not a fan of his, can you tell?). But overall, the move was better than most expected and we had fun. That's the important part, right?

Tomorrow is THE game for us Ohio State fans. Yeah, the one against Michigan. And the quarterback for the Buckeyes (Braxton Miller) attended the same high school my kids did (we saw him play quarterback for the Wayne Warriors and take us to the state championship game last year). I'll be glued to the television during that game. I hope he plays well. I hope they all play well. I hope they win. Go Bucks!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Playing Around with Blogger

I've been blogging for two years now (my first blog was Thanksgiving in 2009 - Happy Anniversary to me!) and I'm still learning how to use the blog.

I've decided to add some "pages" to my blog, starting with the list of books I've read this year. I haven't figured out what other pages to add. Any suggestions?

I've also tried to add a picture to my header, but the header keeps coming up black! Very frustrating. If anyone knows how to get around that, I'd appreciate the information.

Maybe one day I'll just change the template, but I'm afraid if I change it, I'll hate it, and then I won't know how to go back to what I had. Can you tell I've got an aversion to change?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holidays & Vacation

Sometimes I don't know if I'm the dumb one or smart one.

I tend to take my vacation throughout the year. A little bit here. A little bit there. By the time the end of the year comes, I've used it or planned it. And because I do that, I'm at work during the holiday season when a lot of employees seem to take vacation to make the holidays (or their vacation) last longer. Or because if they don't they'll lose their vacation.

Use it or lose it? Don't be ridiculous! I don't have enough.

Even before writing became all consuming (and gobbled up my vacation time – conventions anyone?), I used my time off to play golf or go to the amusement park. Things done in the warmer months. Fun things! I don't consider taking vacation during the holidays so I can do shopping (or clean the house, or prepare for a meal) a vacation. But then, maybe that's just me.

So, am I smart for not taking vacation this time of year? The work place is definitely quiet (I think half the employees are gone). The work load is light and so is the traffic (at least it was this morning). And sometimes the boss lets you leave early because there just isn't any work. Or should I have hooked some vacation to the holidays and make them last longer?

If I don't get around to writing a blog tonight (as I didn't yesterday evening, thus the later post), I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving however you spend it. We'll be visiting our oldest and dearest friend in Columbus. She loves to cook and we love to eat – a perfect combination, don't you think?

And if you're bored, you can always stop by DL Hammons blog and vote in Round 3 of the WRiTE CLUB. I'm sure he'll appreciate you stopping by!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What I Read Last Week

On Saturday I finished reading TIME'S ENEMY by Jennette Marie Powell. While it started off just a little slow, by the second day (well, actually second hour, since I was reading this during my lunch hour) it picked up. And by Saturday, well, I don't normally read on Saturday so that should say something – I just had to finish it! It's labeled as a time travel romance. Here is the blurb on the back of the book:

Tony Solomon never wanted to be a time traveler. But when a freak accident gifts him with the ability to travel in time, he becomes an unwilling initiate in the Saturn Society, a secret society of time travelers.

Determined to prevent his daughter's murder, he violates the Society's highest law and becomes a fugitive. But the Society refuses to tell Tony how to time-travel within his own life, so he seeks help from Charlotte, the woman whose life he saved during a prior trip to the past.

When Tony arrives in 1933 looking for answers, Charlotte is both thrilled and terrified to see her childhood hero. Loyal to the society, she is honor-bound to bring to justice those who manipulate time for their own gain. In giving Tony sanctuary, she faces a terrible choice – condemn the man she loves and to whom she owes her life, or deny her deepest convictions by helping him escape and risk sharing his sentence.

Part of what I really enjoyed was learning some of Dayton's history, as the book is set in Dayton, Ohio. And I can only imagine the kind of chart Jennette had to have to keep track of all her time travel changes (and I couldn't find any oops's either). I do wish the romance started sooner, but there is a sequel, so I'm hopeful there will be more in the next book. And yes, I do want to read the next one. It was a fun read.

If you're so inclinced to purchase (or just want to check out her books), click here and it'll take you to her website and links to purchase the book (either e-book or paper). You won't be disappointed.


Monday, November 21, 2011

My WIP and Ringtones

While waiting in line for BREAKING DAWN, I talked about my current WIP with my daughter (yeah, big surprise there – I'll talk about it to anyone who'll listen). I needed some help with a ringtone.

My hero assigns ringtones to everyone he knows, and for those he doesn't, Who Are You by The Who will play. As I wrote a recent scene, I realized he needed a song for the heroine (of which I put a marker [ENTER SONG APPROPRIATE FOR BRIDGET] to let me know to do some research).

I didn't need the information right away (and I would have eventually searched my iPod and other sources once the book was complete), but since my daughter and I were just sitting there waiting in line, I thought she might have an idea of what kind of song my hero would use. And boy, did she.

I don't know how she knew of this song. It's not exactly a popular song (doesn't even show up on the group's best sellers CD), and it took me awhile to find it on the Internet. But Poison's She's My Cherry Pie is PERFECT. Of course, it seems to have been also done by Warrant (a group I've never heard of) and I found their video on YouTube.



I realized I now have to have my hero love cherry pie. It would only be fitting, right?

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Aftermath

I'm tired and my eyes itch.

Was it worth it?

Yeah. I really enjoyed BREAKING DAWN. They stayed pretty true to the book (but no blonde jokes – darn!).

Saw the trailer for HUNGER GAMES (Loved the books!!).

Looks like that might be my NEXT midnight showing (provided there is one). Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment, but those midnight showings are kind of fun (and March shouldn't be as cold…I hope!)

Have a fun weekend.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

E-mail Bantering

Below is an example of the kind of e-mails my husband and I send to one another. I think this is one of the reasons why I love him soooo much! He makes me laugh.

Husband (H): Just got our Thanksgiving gift card from (work), Kroger $20.00. Love ya.
Me: Next time we go, use it to get a DVD or something for yourself.
H: Why?
Me: Why not?
H: I have not used any of the other 18 on myself, why start now?
Me: Fine. I'll use it to get you something. But don't blame me if you don't like it.
H: I don't like that idea. I will spend it myself.
Me: Chicken!
H: Yep.

Gosh – can you tell we've known each other for 33 years?

It's going to be cold tonight. Things will FREEZE. I hope I'm not one of them while I'm waiting for the midnight showing of BREAKING DAWN. I hope the theatre has some compassion and lets us wait inside. I hope it's warm in the theatre!

I also don't expect to have a blog up at 6:00am Friday morning, but I will try to blog. I've been doing pretty well so far this month, haven't I?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Music

There was a time, way back before I was married, when music was a big part of my life. Every Sunday (I think it was Sunday), I'd listen to The American Top 40 (remember that?) and write (yes, write) down the Top 40 list. I knew what was playing and who played it. I didn't have a lot of money then (I was a kid with no job), but I managed to get a good collection of albums (the vinyl variety).

Then marriage and family came. I still bought albums (vinyl morphed into cassette – which I hated – then morphed into CDs – which I love), but of my favorites only (Billy Joel, Barry Manilow). I didn't have time for new music. Sure, there were songs on the radio I liked, but I had no idea who sang them. And I'd heard of band names, but I had no idea what they played.

Enter the Internet. When my favorite local station was replaced with oldies (ugh), it got me to search the web for an alternative. WOW! I not only found a great radio station, they told me who's playing the song, with the name of the song! It was great. Songs I had liked all along now could be identified (i.e. Killers, Coldplay).

Of course, all that identifying got me to buying. My CD collection started to grow once again (and as you can see from the picture, I haven't even put them all away – yes, they are filed alphabetically). I think I'm just as bad with my music as I am with my books. I find established bands and I want everything they've put out (i.e. Muse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Death Cab for Cutie, Weezer, Foo Fighters, Black Keys) and discover new ones (i.e. Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, Carolina Liar). And all that music has been so inspiring for my writing. It's like my two favorite things in the world mesh together.

Yes, I do have an iPod (something I would have absolutely LOVED back when I was a kid), but I still buy the CDs. I'm one of those freaky people who like to have a hard copy of something they bought. I don't know if I'll ever change in that regard.

Do you keep up with new music? Or are you like my husband, who likes to stick to what he grew up with? Although, he is changing. Now that he walks everyday listening to music, I think he's getting tired of hearing the same stuff all the time and has asked what albums of mine he might like. That makes me very happy because now maybe we can listen to MY music when we travel!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Anticipation

I received my CD of "Breaking Dawn, Part I" in yesterday's mail. I should have received it last week, but apparently the release date of November 8th was postponed to November 11th. Anyways, I finally have the CD and plan on listening to it on my drive into work this morning.

I can't wait!!!

Ever since I found out "Twilight" was being made into a movie, I've been an obsessed fan. My obsession isn't quite as fanatic as it used to be – and not near as bad as my daughter's – but only because I've since discovered writing. Now my time is spent on my own novels, leaving little room for obsessions.

Still, I anticipate the release of "Breaking Dawn Part I" and I'm peeved I have to wait a whole year to see Part II. Of course, if they do it right, I'll forgive them the wait. I'd rather have the movie be good than shortened.

So, come this Thursday night, I'll be sitting out in the cold (I believe the high is forecasted to be in the 40s meaning it will be colder once the sun sets), with my daughter, waiting for the midnight showing. We've done it with all the other Twilight movies, why stop now?

If I remember, I'll take my camera with me. I just hope I remember to take my blankets!

And in case you don't follow DL Hammons blog, Cruising Altitude, Round 2 of the WRiTE CLUB is now in session. Go on over and vote. Or better yet, play along.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Movies

Thanksgiving is almost here – GASP! When did that happen? Oh yeah… while I was writing!

The day after Thanksgiving is family movie day for us. Not that we don't go to the movies the rest of the year. But fight the crowds on Black Friday? No way. The problem this year is finding a movie we all want to watch.

My daughter and I will be seeing "Breaking Dawn" at the midnight showing this Thursday/Friday (Yay! Less than a week). We forced the guys to sit through "Twilight" several years ago (even though my daughter & I went and saw the midnight showing), but we don't think we'll get them to see "Breaking Dawn." At least my husband already said NO. I didn't even bother to ask my son.

"Tower Heist" looks interesting, but my daughter doesn't care for Ben Stiller. So that's out. She'd rather watch "Happy Feet 2." Uhhh, no. I liked "Happy Feet" – sort of. Well, I like penguins.

So now my husband and I wonder if this is the end of our family movie day. And if so, we'll probably go see "Tower Heist." Unless one of you out there have a better suggestion!

As for other movies, I'm all set to see "The Avengers" when it comes out in May. We've seen "Iron Man" and "Iron Man 2" in the theatre, not realizing it was part of a bigger picture at the time. Didn't see the other three in the theatre, but after watching "Thor" on DVD, and enjoying it very much, we then watched "Captain America." We liked that one, too, so that left "The Hulk." Why not get caught up on them all? While "The Hulk" isn't the best of the bunch, it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be (I had loved the TV series and thought it was cool how they put cameos of Bill Bixby – via "Courtship of Eddie's Father" – and Lou Ferrigno).

The other movie I'm looking forward to watching is "Snow White and the Huntsman." One look at that trailer and I was hooked.

Any movies you're anticipating?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

60,000 Words and Counting

I had to write over 3000 words this weekend to reach my next milestone and I made it!! 60,000 words. There was a time I wondered if I'd ever get THAT far when I started this book back in April. Now the completion is looking like a reality.

I love it when that happens!

Now, maybe I can write a blog for tomorrow. We'll see…

Friday, November 11, 2011

How Do You Know?

If you're a writer, how do you know when you've made a boo boo in the book you're writing? Do you go back and fix it or push on forward? With NaNo on the loose, I'm guessing those participants would push forward, because it's all about the word count, not the story. Right?

Wednesday night my writing slowed down. The first time that happened, I kind of ignored it and tried to push forward. Just get the words down. That's all that mattered. Well, guess what? It matters to my writing. When the story slows down, and it's not toward the end, then I made a wrong turn. Forcing the words doesn't help.

So this time I stopped and thought (which usually means I sleep on it). The scene I had written would be great if it was close to the end, but I'm not near the end. I can't have the eventual happy couple be happy when I had over 30,000 words left to write. Luckily I woke up with the answer. Of course, at the time I thought it was a minor fix and I wouldn't have to erase the five pages I wrote the previous day. Then I started fixing the scene and realized it all had to go. 1250 words went bye-bye (although I replaced most of them already). I'm not sure if I'm on the right track still, but at least the words are flowing.

It's times like these that really give me the confidence to continue writing.

It's also times like these I wish I didn't need the paying job.

Can you hear me sighing?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall Colors

I've been waiting forever (yes, forever) for these trees on our street to turn color (they are not in my yard, but across the street). All the maples in my yard had turned and their leaves fallen, but these pear trees (non-fruit bearing kind) remained green and full.

Then I went outside to get my paper yesterday morning.

Did it happen over night, or was I just too blind to see the change? I swear, I don't remember them looking so pretty the day before!

But alas, rain was forecasted, which meant probably wind, too (I was correct in both regards). And by the time I get home from work, the sun is setting. I took my chance (hoped for enough daylight) and snapped these pictures before the rain ruined it all.

I really hope the color lasts more than a day. Especially since I've waited so long. But if it's like my tulips, it will be short-lived (those tulips always seem to bloom just before a huge storm or cold snap). I'm glad I was able to capture them on film.

Well, not film, since I don't use film anymore. Gee – what do I capture them on? My memory stick? That just doesn't sound right.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Met a Goal!

I reached a goal early. My reading goal. Surprise, surprise!

When I set the goal to read 50 books in a year, I wasn't sure I could make it. I didn't read that many last year, so I figured it would be a challenge. Apparently it wasn't as I finished number 50 last night.

I've read a lot of great books this year. Now I'm curious how many I'll get read in 2011. I'll be going on a cruise in December and plan on taking lots of books with me. Of course, I'll have my laptop, too, so I can finish writing my WIP. My husband said I could. Ain't he great??

Other news events - if you don't follow DL Hammon's blog, get on over there and vote for Round 1 of  the WRiTE CLUB. It's not too late to join in the fun (there will be 12 rounds), but make sure you follow the rules. This is all I will say about it. You'll have to check it out for yourself. Now you're curious, aren't you?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Almost Free of Interest

The last of the student loans will be paid off this month (something we promised our kids we'd do if they graduated with at least a B average). It became possible when we sold the Altima via Craig's list (this is the car my daughter was going to purchase from us – which is why I bought the Xterra – but then after borrowing it on and off the past year as we waited for her to afford it, she realized the clutch aggravated her knee and didn't want it). We posted it one day, got a response the next and it sold. Remarkable!

Can I say how happy this makes me?

Of course, instead of a student loan payment, I have a refrigerator payment (although the loan is a LOT smaller), but no more interest (12 months same as cash – I love those!). Even the loan on the Xterra is interest free (it's why we got it when we did). The only interest we're paying is on the house (and we're working on getting that paid off in the next eight years).

It has taken us many many years to get to this point. I think I'll do a happy dance!

As remarkable as it sounds, this may be the month for NaNoWriMo, but apparently I've blogged nearly everyday in November. I'd like to think I can keep up the momentum, but who am I kidding??

Ahh, but stranger things have happened.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Magnets

My son can come up with some pretty great ideas. I was talking about my blog regarding the refrigerator and my magnets and he suggested I put something like that in my book. And as it so happens, I was coming up to a scene where I could do just that! So I put in a scene where the main character has a refrigerator covered with magnets - courtesy of his mother!

It also gave me the idea to post some pictures of my magnets (yes, I must be desperate finding stuff to blog about).

As you can tell from the black background, I've moved my magnets. This group are the magnets I've collected from various Hard Rock Cafes. I don't always eat at the restaurant, but if the city I'm visiting has one, I stop in to buy the magnet. Except for Pittsburgh. I ate there before I started my collection. But I'll be back in February (to see the Penguins play) and I'll pick up my magnet then!

As with the Hard Rock Cafes, I also collect magnets from Bubba Gump Shrimp. I love those restaurants and will be able to add to my collection this December, because I believe there's one in Charleston, SC (which is where we'll be leaving on our cruise).

My husband is a big fan of aquariums, and I enjoy going to some of them. My favorite is the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California. If you're ever in the area, it's a must see! The biggest surprise for me was the Ripley's Believe it or Not Aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I really didn't expect to see so much there.

On the front of my fridge, I have the lists of states we have lived in since my marriage, in the order we lived in them (along with some Pittsburgh stuff!). And that magnet on the left, under Arizona, is so true!!

As I moved the magnets from the old fridge to the new, I was able to group them around and left a lot of the older calendar ones behind (still on the old fridge). I'm sure eventually I'll fill this one up. There's definitely more space to work with!

It's fun collecting magnets. As a souvenir, they are cheap and portable (and unlike t-shirts, I can't outgrow them). 

I haven't collected magnets all that long (maybe 15 years - and when I've been married almost 32, well, it's not all that long!). It actually started when we could afford to take actual vacations. I used to collect t-shirts, but they wear out (and take up lots more room).

So, what do you collect as souvenirs? Do you display them?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Theft or Not?

If you order something off the menu that states "All You Can Eat" or "Endless", exactly what do you think that means?

Apparently, six college-aged girls thought it meant something else altogether.

At a recent visit to national chain restaurant with our friends, we watched these girls continue to order shrimp item after shrimp item and dump the contents into to-go boxes – all in front of the waiter. My husband had ordered the same "endless shrimp" entree and only asked for one "refill" because he was full.

When we paid our bill, our friend asked the waiter if my husband could get a to-go box and order four more skewers of shrimp (yes, he was joking). The waiter then asked my husband if he wanted more (no, he wasn't joking). My husband said no. Our friend then asked about those girls.

Seems the waiter is not allowed to say anything, even though it states on the menu (albeit in small print) that it's for consuming in the dining room only. He was under the impression he could lose his job if he did.

Frankly, I think the waiter was an idiot if he didn't bring it to the attention of the manager. And if he did, then the manager was an idiot not to put a stop to it.

So, is it stealing if the restaurant doesn't enforce their rule?

And would it be Karma if those girls got sick eating it later?

Friday, November 4, 2011

My New Refrigerator

On Wednesday I mentioned my new refrigerator. I decided to take pictures of the new and the old. I think this might help me remember WHEN I bought the thing, as I seem to lose track of that—a lot.

So here's my new refrigerator. All shiny and black (except for that white papertowel under the water dispenser, which I forgot to remove). I think I really love my camera, too. My kitchen looks clean. How did that happen?

And here's my old refrigerator, in the room that used to house our failing freezer. Eventually, most of those magnets will end up on the new. I just haven't gotten around to moving them, yet. I think I want to make sure we don't have any problems with the new before I go to all that trouble. Same with moving the food.

But so far the new refrigerator is working out okay. I think I might need to move some shelves, but that's minor stuff.

So, think I'm crazy posting my refrigerator pictures? Think I own too many refrigerators? You wouldn't if you were here when our friend, who loves to cook, comes to visit. Really, she knows how to take over a kitchen (and refrigerator). But that's not me complaining. No siree!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Interpretation

My horoscope for today (via My Yahoo!):

"An elevation in your emotions can bring you lots of joy today, as long as you know when and where to display them. Propriety and an objective demeanor will be called for most of the day, so save up any outbursts or giggle fits for tonight. Stay loose and relaxed inside, though -- you need to learn to be flexible enough to recognize a gigantic opportunity when it appears. The work at hand demands a lot of you, but it's nothing you can't handle with grace and a dollop of your individuality."

In other words – if I get that e-mail (or phone call) I've been anxiously waiting for the past four months, I shouldn't stand on my desk at work and squeal!

Well, I wouldn't stand on my desk anyway. I'd probably break it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ranting - Or Not

I always thought I'd treat this blog as my diary, but I realized I can't do that. I can't rant about things that can come back and bite me in the butt. Oh sure, I can rant about my writing, except I love to write and there isn't much to rant about. But rant about the query process? No way. Rant about the paying job? Uhhh, nope.

But I can rant about the traffic, which is the pits at the I-75 and US-35 interchange. Lanes moved/shifted, which is always a problem. And bringing four lanes down to two doesn't help matters, either. If I could find a way around the problem, that didn't add more time than waiting through all that crap, I would (but then, so would everyone else, right?). My 30-minute drive into work turned into an hour today. I hope that's not a sign of things to come.

Some good news – and a reason I stay at the paying job: We bought a new refrigerator and it was delivered yesterday. I have to say, it's a LOT bigger than my older one. And I got it in black (thinking it would look smaller??). We'll have to get used to it for sure. Just not used to seeing this big black behemoth in my kitchen. But one thing that is awesome about this new appliance – the reflection on the shiny front makes me look super skinny! I will enjoy that until I cover it up with my magnets. Or fingerprints.

Aside from a job I wish I didn't need – and the trip I have to take to get there – everything is peachy-keen! (Do you hear sarcasm in that remark? You should).

At least the weather has decided to be good for a change. And I will be watching "Captain America" tonight with my son & husband. How is it in your neck of the woods?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween

Do you get into the spirit of Halloween? Do you decorate your house? Wear costumes? Or do you turn out the light and disappear for a few hours during Trick or Treat (or as they like to call it in this area – Beggars Night)?

When we lived on a busier street, and went through five bags of candy in an hour, we went to the trouble of decorating our house. One year we even put the speakers up to the window and played spooky music. It was fun.

Now we live on a cul-de-sac and we're lucky if we get 20 kids. The first year we had LOTS of candy left over – since we were basing our purchase from the busy street we moved from. We also decorated. When realization hit us, my husband and I kind of lost interest. I mean, who's going to see our house? We're not exactly a drive-by.

But my daughter loves Halloween. When she lived with us, she did the decorating. Now that she's moved out, the decorations stay in the basement. I still hand out candy, though. Even for those few souls who venture down our street.

As I thought about writing this post, I thought it would be interesting to post pictures of my kids' costumes. Lucky for me, I was organized at one time and most of my pictures are in albums (yes, we're talking paper copies here since I used film back in the dark ages). Needless to say, I don't have a photo for every year and it's not because they lost interest. I guess I would be to blame for that (or maybe I didn't have any film – yeah, let's go with that!).

1983 Ft. Monmouth, NJ
I don't know if I'm responsible for my son's infatuation with Garfield, but his first Halloween costume was the lazy cat. He was 1-1/2, I was 26. Damn, I was young. The dog in this photo is Natasha (Tasha, for short). She was a German Shepherd/Husky mix. I guess she wanted some candy, too.

1985 Ft. Monmouth, NJ
Two years later (yeah, don't know what happened to 1984), my son moved onto Transformers. Gee, do you think they're still popular?

1986 Ft. Monmouth, NJ
In 1986, I wasn't able to enjoy this Halloween with my kiddies, since I was stuck in the hospital with pneumonia. I have no idea who my son went out as, but you can see we recycled that Garfield costume for my daughter. She's not as infatuated with that cat as my son still is.

1987 Santa Barbara, CA
In 1987 I either got lazy, or cheap, or my son really did want to go as a clown with a bow-tie. And of course, if he had one, my daughter had to have one, too. She picked Big Bird for her costume.

1989 Ft. Rucker, AL
1989 Ft. Rucker, AL


















In 1989 (yeah, 1988 is missing) I got a little more creative. My daughter wanted to go as a cat, so I bought her a grey sweat suit and then made the ears and tail. I thought it turned out cute. My son went all pirate-y that year. He does love to pose for the camera!

1990 Ft. Rucker, AL
In 1990 my daughter and her friend wanted to go as cheerleaders. The only good cheerleading costumes were the ones you made. But I hate cutting patterns. My daughter's friend's mother (who was my friend) said she hated to sew, but she'd gladly cut the patterns if I made both outfits. I wish I had a picture of the two of them together, because they really were cute.








1990 Ft. Rucker, AL
I even made my son's costume (man, I was a busy little sewer back then, but it was also a lot cheaper and money was tight). Think he camouflages well?

1993 Huber Heights, OH
This last picture was taken on Halloween in 1993. It wasn't our first Halloween in Ohio, but it was definitely our first Halloween in the snow! And it was snowing as I snapped this photo. Oh – and where was my daughter? Inside. She hates snow.

However ever you celebrate (and for some of you, I guess you got snow), have a safe and happy Halloween.



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Projects that Stray


June 9, 1988
I actually decided to plan a blog for Halloween, using pictures of my kids in various costumes through the years. Of course, going through old photos is time consuming because I get caught up in the memories. Or I just ooo and ahhh over them.

Like I did with this photo.

Weren't my kiddies just the cutest?

I'm glad I have a week before I want to post. I think this project will take awhile!