Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Favorite Sports Players

On an evening I was having dinner with just my daughter (I think it was on one of those $5 movie nights), I told her I was having problems with coming up with some favorites list. She's the one who came up with this one. At first I thought I only had one favorite player, but as we talked, I realized there are others I love, too. Here's my list of favorite sports players (past and present), in alphabetical order.

Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds. Back in 1976, while stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA, I became a Reds fan because I became a Johnny Bench fan (even though I was a Dodgers fan first and never lived anywhere near Ohio). Don't know exactly what it was that drew me to him, but it stuck and has lasted ever since.

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins. I wouldn't even know who this player is if it weren't for the fact my daughter got me hooked on hockey (and the Penguins). And maybe he helped cement my relationship with the Penguins (being a fan, that is). I love to watch him play.

Steve Garvey, Los Angeles Dodgers. I grew up a Dodgers fan (back when Sandy Koufax played). Since moving away from the area, I don't keep track of the players any longer, but Steve was the last Dodger I was a fan of (that I can remember, anyway!!).

Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers. He went to the University of Southern California – a college I would have liked to have attended if I knew what I wanted to do and didn't join the Army instead. I love his enthusiasm on the field. I will definitely miss him when he retires.

Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds. Right now he's my all-time favorite player. I watched him play with the Dayton Dragons (the Reds' Single A Farm Team) and loved him them. I love the way he plays – the way he seems to love to play. And I'm thrilled he signed a contract to be with the Reds for a long, long time. I've got to get out to Cincinnati and watch a game this season (and maybe get a jersey). The Reds are hot!!

Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams. I got hooked from his story of how he got to the NFL. Who doesn't like a good underdog story? And he played for a team I grew up rooting for. The year he took them to the Super Bowl (and won) was THE BEST!!

There are so many players out there, so many teams, I'd be amazed if I hit your favorite. But if I did, let me know. You can also tell me your favorites and see if they're on my "hate" list. Yeah, I have a lot of those, but don't think I'll list them. I don't need to give them any more thought than necessary.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Holiday Travel

Did I really think I would post something today? Ha ha!

Maybe tomorrow!

Weather was hot in Pittsburgh, though (as I think it was everywhere else, too) and we'll be driving home today. So, if all goes well, and I don't get tooooo lazy, I'll get a few pictures (because I didn't take many) up tomorrow.

If you have the day off - Enjoy!!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Happy Friday!

Does everyone have plans for the long weekend? I do! Tonight we leave for Pittsburgh to do some touristy stuff. Hopefully, I'll be able to post some pictures of our trip on Monday, instead of another cemetery picture. I know, bummer, huh? You really love seeing pictures of graves, don't you? See? I knew it!

On the work front - work is still slow, so I tend to stare out the window. A lot. This past week I saw the street maintenance team dig a hole, then patch it. I have no idea why, though. I also watched some idiot try to parallel park. Don't they teach that in driver's training anymore? You back in!!! Sheesh! And yes, he was young.

Book news! My aunt (who is 5 years and 1 month older than me) is an actual published author – Meredith Blevins. She wrote three mysteries with quirky characters that I really enjoyed (and I'm not just saying that because she's my aunt). Anyway, she finally got them onto Kindle. So, I'm going to post the link to them (HERE), just in case anyone who reads this is interested. Hey – it's what family does, right? But really, check them out. They were fun to read.

I'm discovering it's not so easy to write one book and edit another. Not because I get the stories mixed up, I can manage to keep focused there. No, my problem is that I write differently in edit-mode than in first-draft-mode. In edit-mode, the words have to be right. The paragraph has to be perfect. Emotions and descriptions have to flow (or be on the page).

In first-draft-mode I should just write, even if that means telling, because I can fix it (and elaborate) when I edit. But for some reason, I can't seem to flip the switch that easy. But I am writing. It's just going a lot slower than I thought it would. I know, baby steps, right? This is the first time I've attempted to do both, so maybe it just takes practice like everything else.

That's what I keep telling myself anyway!!

Have a good one – and share if you've got any plans for the weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Favorite Authors

Happy Wednesday and another Favorites blog. What writer doesn't have favorite authors? Well, here's my list (again, as with all my favorites, these are in alphabetical order).

Meg Gardiner – I read China Lake for two reasons: 1) Stephen King recommended it (and her), and 2) I went to high school with her. That first book hooked me and I've been a fan ever since.

Tess Gerritsen – I had just finished reading all of Meg Gardiner's books and was looking for another author to try out. That's when I noticed Tess had a blurb on Meg's books. Well, I thought, if Tess likes Meg's books, I should like Tess's books. And you know what? I do! My husband is even hooked on the Rizzoli & Isles series.

Laurell K. Hamilton – My daughter introduced me to the Anita Blake Series. By this time I was loving anything with vampires. But I do love Anita, and Jean Claude, and Edward, and Richard, and Micah, and, etc. Yeah, she has a LOT of love interests. It's gotten a little bizarre, but now I kind of expect that.

Charlaine Harris – This new television series was starting on HBO and it caught my attention. A series about vampires? Really? Well, I watched the first episode of True Blood and was hooked. The second episode, I realized it was based on books! I asked my daughter (because she knows almost everything regarding paranormal). She had the first book, but hated it. I read it, and LOVED it. See… we don't always have the same tastes! Although, she loves the series. Go figure!

Stephen King – I was in Safeway, back in 1976 (I think), looking for a book. This paperback caught my attention because it was "Soon to be a Motion Picture" (or some such thing), so I picked up the copy of The Stand. It was several years before it was made into a television series, but that book hooked me and I've been reading his stuff ever since.

Dean Koontz – Already a fan of Stephen King's, I experimented with other horror authors. I read The Vision and fell in love. But my favorite is Lightning (gotta love that time travel).

Stephenie Meyer – I'm sad there hasn't been any new books since The Host. She's what got me started writing. I loved he Twilight books so much (more like obsessed), but wished they were in third person. I wanted to know what Edward thought and felt!

Lynsay Sands – I discovered her books on a search through Barnes and Noble, looking for paranormal romance, but only got the first one – I had to be sure. Well, she hooked me. I loved her writing (and humor) so much, I even started reading her historical romances.

Kerrelyn Sparks – I went to RT in 2010 and had no idea who she was. I asked my daughter and found out she had all her books. I've now read all her books. I love her humor. Her vampires are hot, too!

J R Ward – Again, back at RT in 2010, there was this long line for some author named J.R. Ward. I asked my daughter if she knew who she was. She about fainted and told me I needed to read her books. But I didn't have time – and I had lots of other books to read (I was in the middle of two series). Well, eventually I read the first one and then the next, and then the next. I couldn't put them down. I thank my daughter for telling me to read these books! This is by far my most favorite series.

So, did I hit any of your favorites? I probably could have gone on and on, but I try not to make my blogs too lengthy. I want you to come back!

Monday, May 21, 2012

More Cemetery Art

Happy Monday! Here's another picture from my Cemetery Art project.

I'm not sure if this is a life-like statue of the woman who is buried there, but I'd like to think it is. I had lots of fun trying to capture her just right. Bright sunny days are not all that great for taking black & white photos – as I learned. And back then, I didn't discover that until I actually developed the film. That's when I made multiple trips back to the cemeteries. Thank goodness I didn't have to drive far!

On Friday, I think I was feeling anxious, thus my post. I've done a lot of thinking since then. Yeah, I'm not ready to go the self-publishing route right now. I have a lot to learn (and need more stories). However, if by the time our house is paid off and I'm not yet published, I will self-publish. That won't be for at least another four years (if we're lucky). I can probably get at least four more books written in that time.

In the meantime, I will continue to search for that dream agent, or a small press publisher (if the agent search is a bust). I still think those ways are the best, even if I won't pocket as much money. The experience alone is worth that.

So please excuse that little rant on Friday. I just get so impatient at times, and I really need to slow down. Feeling old isn't helping me any, either, but there's not much I can do about that.

Weekend was fun (but then, I didn't have to work, so why wouldn't it?). On Saturday, our friend visited and cooked (always a good time there!) and on Sunday we went to a Dragons Game. They actually won (they are currently in last place, so we were a bit doubtful). Got some editing done, but it's been slow because I'm taking an editing class (which has been really helpful).

Friday, May 18, 2012


Ah, the end of another week. Sometimes I feel like I'm wishing my life away. I look forward to Fridays because I see a big block of time ahead – a block of time I can write.

If I weren't working the paying job, I probably wouldn't look forward to Fridays so much. I'd probably look forward to Mondays instead. But what I'm really looking forward to is the day I earn a living from my writing.

Am I an idiot for not going the self-publishing route? Could I be making that living now instead of dreaming about it? Yes, I know I can make more money per book if I self-publish, but will I sell books?

But the more pressing question is – when do I know my books are ready to go out there? How many people should I get to read them first?

I hate to give up the dream of having an agent helping me along in my career (and a validation of sorts). But from some of the blogs I've been reading lately, I'm beginning to wonder whose side an agent is really on. And, let's face it, they're really picky!

Working for a 401k no longer interests me, not if I can make a living at writing. But I want to go about it right. I just wish I knew what right is.

Eventually I'll get it figured out, but in the meantime, I'll continue to write. Because that's what I do.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Favorite Actresses

Once again it's another Wednesday and another Favorites list. My list of favorite actresses isn't very long. In fact, I thought I only had three, but after talking with my daughter, three more popped up. I think it's no coincidence that they are all comedians, either. Again, these are listed in alphabetical order.

Sandra Bullock. One of the original three, and probably my favorite of the bunch. There hasn't been a movie I've seen her in that I haven't liked. While You Were Sleeping is one of my favorite movies.

Sally Field. Remember The Flying Nun? I liked Alejandro Ray in that series more than her, but whatever. I realized I have probably watched every movie she's been in, so I added her to the list. Smokey and the Bandit is probably my favorite, although she really got me in Sybil.

Katherine Heigl. Another of my original three. She hooked me in Grey's Anatomy (my heart broke for Izzy when Denny died) and I've enjoyed all her movies. I plan to watch One for the Money this weekend (on DVD).

Katharine Hepburn. She ranks up there with Cary Grant. And no, she wasn't on my original three, but only because I wasn't thinking straight! She's funny and can talk a mile a minute. I loved her in Bringing up Baby.

Julia Roberts. I've seen Pretty Woman so many times, I've lost count. Same with Notting Hill. When she's in some of my most favorite movies, it's hard not to pick her.

Meg Ryan. The last of the original three. Perky and funny, she's a joy to watch. I even remember her from As the World Turns!

So, how'd I do? Get any of your favorites? Think I'm nuts? I want to hear!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I've been at my new job for almost three months. It's comfortable now, but not near as busy as I thought it would be. Not that that's a complaint, mind you.

My boss does not work in this city. Nor this state. She works in Tennessee, where most of the work is at (apparently). I've told her I'm ready for more work, the man who interviewed/hired me (we'll call him Mr. B) has done the same. Repeatedly. Like, every day. Still, I sit with not much to do (maybe an hour or two's worth of work spread out over eight).

I'm afraid with his insistent bugging, they might realize they don't need me. I don't want that. My husband thinks I should tell the guy not to worry. That I'm okay with the lack of work (I think Mr. B thinks he's doing me a favor, and he would be if I cared!!). I don't know if I want to go that far. Just in case they don't realize what I am doing.

It's because of my lack of work that I'm able to write Book #5. See…what people see is not a bored person, but a person sitting at her desk thinking about the next scene – playing scenarios around in her head.

Yep, I put the book away when work comes in (it's what I'm paid to do), but when there's no work, I write because I just can't hide reading a book, you know? At least writing makes me look busy.

Well, most of the time.

I don't know how I find these jobs. I had the same problem at my last place of employment (except the work they gave me to do I hated, and then add the commute and it became miserable). But there, I was out in the open and probably got caught writing more often then I realized. Here, I'm in an office, so it's not as noticeable. And if they notice and let me go? I'll deal with it.

But this time it's not for a lack of looking for more work (where it was at my last job). I enjoy accounting and don't mind working on spreadsheets and databases (payroll and people are another issue – yuck). We'll see if the workload picks up now that my boss is back from her vacation. Because I really do want to keep the job (sort of, kind of – I want the paycheck).

In other news… I went and saw Dark Shadows on Saturday. A little disappointed. Not because it wasn't good, it was okay, but because I thought it would be more comedic.

I actually read three books in one week. Haven't done that in a long time. Those Stephanie Plum books are a definite fast read – and enjoyable, too. I'm stopping at number 3 for now. Basically, because my husband is on number 4 and also because I want to read some of Lori Foster's work. I'm going to her convention next month (for the second time) and feel I should at least get to know her through her writing!

Plus, I miss the romances. I need a recharge!

Have a Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cemetery Art

When I attended Brookdale Community College in Linden, NJ, my major was in photography. I loved taking and developing pictures. I could spend hours in the dark room and not get bored.

In one of my classes, we had to pick our own project and then develop and mount our photos. Now, this was in October and we lived on Fort Monmouth. Not a whole lot to choose from to make an interesting project. But, I had visited some of the cemeteries (my husband was big into genealogy at the time) and was impressed with the headstones. So, that's what I based my project on: Cemetery Art.

This picture is one of my favorite ones. I took numerous photos, on different days, with different light, just trying to get it right. I found the overcast days were the best.

They were also the best to get me sick. After I completed this project, truding through endless cemeteries on cold, wet days, I ended up with pneumonia!

Anyway, I thought I would post a picture or two each Monday (see...I came up with a theme on Mondays now) until I ran out of pictures.

Can't say my project was all that great - I think I got a B - but it was fun (except for the getting sick part). You ever want to see some great statues, just visit a cemetery around Ft. Monmouth (that would be Eatontown, Long Branch, Red Bank, Asbury Park, etc.).

Friday, May 11, 2012

It's Unfair, I Tell You!

My husband owns a Toyota Solara convertible. I talked him into getting this car, and he's glad I did. He loves that car. I love it, too. But I don't drive it. Not very often, anyway.

On Monday, my husband left for Kentucky (the Morehead area) and didn't return until Thursday. And he didn't take his car. It was mine for FOUR days!

Now, don't get me wrong – I LOVE my Xterra. But on occasion, I like driving the convertible. Especially during warm weather (which we were having)! I pictured driving his car, the top down, feeling the wind in my face & hair, enjoying the weather. Was that too much to ask?

Apparently it was.

On Sunday, he noticed the back tire was going flat (roofing nail from the parking lot at his work), so on Monday (a nice, warm Monday, I might add) it was at Goodyear getting fixed.

Tuesday it rained.

Wednesday was cold and a little rainy.

Thursday was colder.

I like the wind in my face, but it's gotta be WARM wind.

Watch – we'll have a heat wave next week.

So unfair!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Favorite Actors

Here's the first of my favorites list, and what better place to start than with my favorite actors. I even got pictures (yeah, baby).

When it comes to favorite things, I can't just list a definite number, like 5, 10, or 15. What if I don't have 15 favorites or I have more than 5? So each week I will list my favorites (of those I can remember – ha ha), and we'll see where it takes me.

These actors are in alphabetical order. There's no way I could list them from best to worst, because they're all different and I like them all (duh, or else they wouldn't be my favorites). And the main reason they are on my favorite list? I will pretty much watch anything they are in. Plain and simple, right?

George Clooney. I think I watched every television series he's ever been in before ER, but not because he was in it (more like dumb luck). It was ER where he hooked me. I would have gone to the theatre to watch The Descendants if I could get anyone to go with me. Guess I'll just have to get the DVD.

Sean Connery. Love his voice. He's not bad on the eyes, either. I am not a James Bond fan, so I've never seen any of those movies, but I wouldn't say no if someone offered now. He captured me long after he played on those.

Harrison Ford. Star Wars did it for me. And Indiana Jones? – oh yeah. And I may have never watched the rest of the Jack Ryan movies if he wasn't in it. (I watched The Hunt for Red October because of Sean Connery).

Cary Grant. He was born eight years before my grandmother, but that didn't matter. Man, he aged well! I still haven't seen all his movies, but I'm working on it. Some of my favorites, though: Arsenic and Old Lace (love his facial expressions!), Bringing Up Baby, and of course, An Affair to Remember. Heavy sigh.

Hugh Grant. It's hard to pinpoint what it is about this actor that captured my attention. I've just enjoyed every movie I've seen him in, even the first one I watched – Three Weddings and a Funeral (which was a strange one, to say the least). Maybe it's because he's done so many romantic comedies (and I eat those up). He makes me laugh, though, and that's always a big plus in anyone's column.

Tom Hanks. He hooked me in Bosom Buddies. Yeah, he's done some stupid movies, but he makes me laugh. "There's no crying in baseball!" is one of my most favorite lines!

Hugh Jackman. He was a bit hairy in The X-Men, but there was something about him that I liked. And once I saw him in Kate & Leopold (with Meg Ryan), I was sold. Ooo la la!

Alex O'Loughlin. The only reason he caught my eye was because of his uncanny resemblance to my character, Jack VanAllen (from MY SUNNY VAMPIRE – Book #3). Yep, Jack is a vampire. And yep, I realize Alex played one, too (in Moonlight). But Jack looks like Alex as Steve McGarrett on Hawaii Five-0, and that's when I "fell in love". Now I'll watch anything Alex is in. And if I knew anyone who has the Moonlight series on DVD, I'd watch it (even though I didn't like it when it first aired).

Wow – I got 8 (See? More than 5, less than 10). Lengthy blog for me – I don't usually go on this long (heck, maybe this favorite thing will work out after all!). Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did thinking of all these awesome guys!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Avengers...And Other Stuff

I don't do reviews. I don't say what a movie is about, so I won't be giving anything away.

Yesterday I went to see The Avengers. I expected a good movie and saw a great one. If you're looking for a good time (with lots of laughs), you'll get one with this movie. I would definitely say this is a keeper, but then I kind of thought the same thing about Captain America and Thor (which I don't own, but my son does). Besides, my DVD buying has slowed down considerably since I began writing. Gee, I wonder why that is?

When I go to the theatre, I enjoy seeing the previews (and usually the previews in the theatre are a whole bunch better than what you see on TV. That's if I don't fast forward through the commercial). Of the several shown, only four stuck with me: Dark Knight (apparently the last on of this story), Spiderman (another beginning), Brave, and Frankenweenie. I want to see the first three. The fourth is a maybe (although it looks funny). I had never heard of the last two. Both are animated and done by Pixar (I believe – I know Brave is, anyway).

Why does it seem like good movies come in bunches? I don't remember there being so many last year. Because in addition to those previews I saw yesterday, I still want to see: Snow White and the Huntsman, Men in Black III, and Dark Shadows. It's going to be a busy summer.

I try to get my Monday blog up by 6:00am, which means writing it on Sunday night. However, I, brilliant person that I am, decided to defrag my computer at 6:30pm last night. Thinking it would take an hour at the most, I ended up going to bed after 11:00pm with the thing still going (my husband said it completed about five minutes after I left). We'll see if my computer gets any faster after this defrag, 'cause it had been crawling before. I refuse to buy a new computer, though. Not because I'm so fond of my laptop (which is okay) or that it would cost money (which does bother me), but because I don't want a new operating system. I like Vista just fine (and Office 2003).

This Wednesday I'm starting my Favorites blog. I hope I have enough things to make it go on for awhile. So far I've thought of actors, actresses (although that list is rather short!), authors, movies, and bands. I'm sure more will come to me as I go along, but if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears (or would that be eyes, since this is a blog?).

Have a good one!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Blogging, Remembering, and Movies

I've been struggling with what to blog about. I know the title of my blog has "rantings" in it, and I do rant on occasion. Do you think I rant too much? Not enough? Or just the right amount? Is there a right amount? Ha ha!

I've been trying that Mon-Wed-Fri blogging routine, and not always succeeding. For some reason Wednesday is the hardest day. I probably should come up with a theme for Wednesdays, something to focus on.

How about favorite lists? Would that be interesting? It'd be interesting to me to see what I can remember, and maybe it would be a good exercise for my brain!

Last week I saw "Toy Story" with my son (he comes over on Mondays for pizza and a movie). Even though I've seen that movie numerous times, it had been over ten years since the last viewing so I was surprised at how much I remembered. This week we saw "Toy Story 2". I saw it once. In the theatre. There was so much in there I had forgotten, it was like watching it for the first time all over again. Yeah, it wasn't as good as the first, but it was still good. In fact, better than I remembered (See, my memory is sporadic). Next week is "Toy Story 3". We haven't seen that movie yet (please don't spoil it for me), so I don't have to worry about what I forgot.

As for movies, today "The Avengers" comes out. My husband and I will see it on Sunday, and invited the kiddies to come along. I look forward to seeing it. I love going to the theatre!

Anyway, back to the blogging issue. Any suggestions of what you'd like to see me blog about? Do you care? I mean, exactly why do you visit me? This curious mind wants to know (and if I get it in writing, then maybe I won't forget…).

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kreativ Blogger Award

LD Masterson bestowed the Kreativ Blogger award to me. Thanks, Linda. If you don't know her blog, go on over and check her out. And if you love jokes so bad they make you laugh, you'll enjoy her groaners.

Accepting this award requires me to do two things:

1. Share ten things about myself, and
2. Pass the award onto six other bloggers

Now, ten things about myself – egads! Where to begin. How about some favorite things?

1.         Favorite ice cream flavor – Coffee
2.         Favorite Cheesecake Factory cheesecake – Dulce de Leche Caramel Cheesecake
3.         Favorite soft drink – Diet Dr. Pepper
4.         Favorite hamburger – Bacon cheeseburger at Buffalo Wild Wings
5.         Favorite french fries – Penn Station East Coast Subs
6.         Favorite breakfast cereal – Wheat Chex
7.         Favorite photographer – Ansel Adams
8.         Favorite painter – Van Gogh
9.         Favorite type of eggs – Over easy
10.       Favorite gemstone – Ruby

I couldn't list favorite actor, actress, writer, book, movie, or tv show, because it's impossible to have one favorite in any of those.

I don't mind sharing the ten things about myself, but I have problems with passing the award on. So instead, I will list some blogs I enjoy the most:

Past the Print (check out Wake-Me-Up Wednesdays!)
Unearthly Musings (Fantasy Man Fridays are THE BEST!)
Piedmont Writer
Maria Zannini
Jennette Marie Powell
The Happy Whisk (Be ready to boogie, boogie!)

Feel free to visit their blog and maybe even follow. You can tell them I sent you, too!
And if your blog is listed and you want the award - consider it awarded to you!