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?


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


Thursday, December 22, 2011


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.


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


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!


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


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!