Saturday, June 23, 2012

Feeling Numb


That's what a person feels like after they've been told their job was an experiment that didn't work out and to pack their stuff up and leave.

Maybe they weren't told quite that harsh, but it's how they heard the words.

Friday was supposed to be a good day. I was getting everything done and ready for my week away. My vacation. Then 3:00 pm came.

Now I'm unemployed.

And I'm numb.

Hey, but I haven't broken down and cried. Yet. Maybe all those rejections letters HAVE given me thick skin.

I know I said my last post was my last for the month, but I need some lovin' right now.

Oh great.

Now I start crying.

Damn it! Where's the Kleenex when you need it?

Okay, crying's done. For now.

Being an introvert, I don't have many close friends. It's not that I don't want them. I just don't know how to interact with people. I guess that's why blogging is so much easier for me. The interaction comes in spurts, and I can take my time to respond.

But this time if I don't respond right away, it's because I can't.

My husband says not to worry. We'll be okay. And I know we will. But somehow that doesn't seem to help any.

I love you all. Thanks for reading. And I'll see you back here when I return from our trip.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Just Slap Me Upside the Head

Yay! Friday is here!

I got my edits completed and the manuscript sent out to my crit partners. And I'm finally getting to read Lover Reborn (my reward). Life is good!

This will be my last blog for the month. I already know our timeshare does not have WiFi and if we find a place that we can connect to the internet, you can bet I'll be checking my e-mail before checking anyone's blog.

I am so looking forward to the break!

Now, on to why I titled this post the way I did…

But first, a little background information. My husband gets up after I've gotten ready for work. By the time I come upstairs to brush my teeth, he's either still in bed or in the shower. I rarely see him in the morning. So the mornings don't count. They don't, I tell you!

On Tuesday morning he finally shaved off his beard. Yay! Problem? I noticed Wednesday night (and not on my own).

He went fishing Tuesday afternoon and didn't get home until 11pm (about the time I was getting ready for bed). I noticed he looked tired, but that was about it. I spent all of five minutes with him. So I think I have a fairly good excuse. Not great, but good.

I have nothing for Wednesday.

My daughter was over to watch Veronica Mars and we all went to dinner first. It wasn't until we were pulling into Hot Head Burritos, when the worker there indicated he was sorry to see the beard had disappeared.

Uh oh! Even my daughter hadn't noticed (and she had asked if she could buy him a razor for Father's Day – as a hint).

Am I screwed, or what?

Now, my defense is this – and for the most part true: Since he grew that beard, I kind of avoided looking at his face. That's how much I hated it. So, would this avoidance be enough to not notice when he shaved? I'd like to think it is. When I ignore something, I guess I really ignore it!

But that doesn't explain his co-workers. Apparently they've seen him for two whole days without the beard (a beard they said they loved) and only one person commented. A person he only sees occasionally.

I feel badly. I truly do.

But I am happy the beard is gone.

So, while I'm spending my vacation making up my faux pas to my husband, I hope you have a splendid week.

And if I'm smart (of which I think I just proved I'm NOT), I'll have written some blogs to post when I return. Without the internet to distract me, that might not be a problem. We'll see how lazy I get.

NOTE: Since I wrote the above, it has come to my attention that my husband shaved his beard because it became too much work for him (and it was hot). So now maybe I'm not feeling all that bad that I hadn't noticed when he shaved it. Because he apparently didn't shave it off for me!  But I still love him! :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Favorite Movies I Never Tire of Watching

So busy finishing (yes – finishing!!!) the edits of Book 4, I didn't have much time to work on this blog. I'll still give the final ten pages another look on Thursday, but I think the story is solid – and that's what matters the most.

Anyway, I looked through our stash of DVDs (of which you can see from this picture taken last year – the collection has grown a little since and doesn't include all the John Wayne movies my husband has in an identical case) and wrote down the ones I could watch over and over and over. Well, I could probably watch them all over, but would need a year or two between watches. Not this list. If I'm flipping through the television channels and run across one of these movies, I'll stop and watch it. That's how much I like these.

Here they are, in alphabetical order – my favorite movies I never tire of watching:

  • American President
  • Back to the Future
  • Beetlejuice
  • The Birds
  • Bringing Up Baby
  • Bull Durham
  • Dave
  • Die Hard
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • Galaxy Quest
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • Ladyhawke
  • A League of Their Own
  • Love, Actually
  • Major League
  • Music & Lyrics
  • Notting Hill
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Pretty Woman
  • Romancing the Stone
  • Sleepless in Seattle
  • Sound of Music
  • Star Trek – The Voyage Home
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • While You Were Sleeping
  • Young Frankenstein

Have I hit any of your favorites? Or are you like my dad – watch a movie once and then forget about it?

And if there's a movie here you've never heard about, tell me. I'll then tell you why you should watch it!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cemetery Art, Etc.

Another Monday and another photo from my Cemetery Art project. This one is of an actual headstone. And if this was made shortly after the second person died, this headstone was created in 1905. Since I took this photo in 1985, I think it fared pretty well for 80 years.

* * *

I have a feeling this week will go slow. Why is that? Because I leave for my vacation once it's over.

We're not going anywhere exotic this time. No cruises or visits home to Santa Barbara (yeah, I consider trips home to be exotic!). The cruise will happen in November and the visit home sometime next year (that's the plan, anyway). This trip is with a friend at a timeshare in…Arkansas!

Never been to the state – not even to drive through. I expect it will be hot. And I don't expect to get a lot of writing done. Not unless I'm alone (and that doesn't seem all that likely).

I don't need to write all the time. I do have two long car drives, where I could write if I want, but will most likely read (during the times I'm not actually the driver, that is). So I plan on packing a few books – hopefully more than I need. That's better than not packing enough.

I do hope I finish with my edits/revisions of Book 4 before we leave. I only have about 10 pages left. But I will not rush through them. If I can spend quality time with the previous 328 pages, I will spend quality time with the remaining 10.

So be prepared critiquers – if you're reading this. The book will soon be in the e-mail!!

* * *

Went and saw Snow White and the Huntsman on Saturday. While I enjoyed the movie, I was a bit disappointed in the end. I won't spoil it for anyone and say why.

Next targeted movie – Magic Mike. My daughter already said she'd go with me!

* * *

As if it weren't enough I'm editing Book 4 while writing Book 5, I'm also writing a short story. There's a sort-of contest in my chapter that I'd like to submit. I just hope I can get it finished before the due date AND I hope it turns out well. But I'm having fun writing it because it has my vampires in it. Always fun to write them (at least it is for me).

I know a few writers who have more than one project going on at a time. Doing two writing projects was new enough for me. Adding a third is mind boggling. But if I can pull it off, more power to me (whoo-hoo!).

You all have a good day and let's see how fast this week can go! My vacation is calling…

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all you Daddies out there!
Hope it's a fun one for you.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mean or Tactful?

We had a visitor at work from another branch. When he was introduced to me, he said he didn't think he knew me. I reminded him I was the person who kept track of the time. His eyes lit up and he and he promptly said,

"Oh, you're the mean one!"

I couldn't tell if he was joking or not. But it's not like I hadn't warned him.

My job requires me to make sure everyone posts their time. I sent out an e-mail stating that if their time for the previous week wasn't posted by Tuesday, they would get an e-mail from me. If they didn't want the e-mail, then all they had to do was post their time. Simple, right?

Well, apparently a lot of employees like getting those e-mails from me. I have to send them out every Tuesday (and sometimes Wednesday and Thursday, too!).  Here's the wording of my e-mail (in which I hope to have blind copied everyone, but sometimes I oops and don't):

You have received this e-mail because it appears all your time has not been released through the week ending [DATE]. If your time is completed (less than 5 days or 40 hours for each week), please let me know and I'll mark it down as such. Otherwise, please release your time as soon as possible.

Does that make me mean? I used the word PLEASE. Twice! I thought I was being tactful.

But if I am considered mean, maybe that's a good thing. I was definitely mean at a prior job. How do I know this? I made someone cry, that's how. Word got around and eventually I was used as a warning by another co-worker.

"If you don't get your paperwork in, Stacy will come after you. You don't want that!"

I'm a blunt person. I know that. I think my critique partners (well, one of them anyway) knows it, too. I don't sugar coat anything.

And if you have any suggestions on how to make my notices not seem so "mean", by all means, share!

* * *

My hubby's back from Kentucky and still wearing the beard. Heavy sigh! But I at least got to enjoy his convertible (sorry, no pics) while he was away. Yeah, we need the rain, but I'm glad it didn't come this week.

I will be going to the movies tomorrow to see Snow White and the Huntsman. My daughter has been kind enough to wait until I can go with her (and she had the opportunity to see it without me). My hubby isn't interested.

I also still have to go out and get something for my hubby for Father's Day. Procrastination, anyone?

Have a good one!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Favorite Cars I Never Bought (But Wanted To)

Before I go into my list, I just have to tell you something first – but it is car related.

My husband's boss decided my hubby needed to be in Kentucky on Tuesday. And he is to stay there until Thursday. That leaves me with his convertible for THREE days!

With events like that, I could almost guarantee it will rain. Sort of like when my son was in the Boy Scouts. If they planned a weekend camping trip, it would rain (or snow). Never failed. I mean – NEVER! I was surprised their camping gear didn't get moldy.

Anyway, when we got a glimpse of the weather forecast on Sunday, they predicted rain on Tuesday. I figured as much.

Then on Monday it rained. Forecast changed. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were all notated as "NICE" days. And nice days are 80 degree temps with low humidity. Man, that's more than nice. That's awesome!

And Tuesday didn't fail – 85 and sunny!

Can I get a "Hot diggity dog!!!"?

I do love his convertible when the top is down!

Now, on with my list.

These cars are ones I was fixated with. Gushed over them. Dreamt of owning. But, of course, I never did (for one reason or another). Still, I hold a fondness for them (and apparently remember some of them a lot different than the pictures I could scrape off the internet).

Pontiac Firebird. Back in the early to mid 70's, probably before I had a license even, I fell in love with this car. And the reason? A game show. I can't remember the name of the show, but I remember that the object was to get a key and then hope that key started the car you chose. If you guessed wrong, you got to come back on the next show and try again. The more days you won, the number of cars was reduced by one – unless, of course, you chose correctly. I always chose the Firebird. And the one they had was always blue!

Triumph TR7. I sat in one of these in the mid to late 70's. I can't remember if I was already in the Army looking for a car, or if I was a senior in high school dreaming of my first car. I just remember going to the dealership with my father and sitting in one. And being so disappointed when I realized I couldn't afford it. But I really wanted one because my mother's first car was a Triumph. TR2 or TR3. Lucky girl!

Toyota Celica. In 2003 I was car shopping. This one was at the top of my list. I loved the way it looked. But it was small. And we had a family. It wasn't practical. Then I test drove it. I loved the way it drove, but I wasn't sure I would be comfortable for any length of time sitting behind the wheel. It could have just been that seat, but it was enough to kick some sense into me. I still like that car, though.

Ford Mustang. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Mustangs. I really loved them when they first came out. Then they went through this ugly transformation in the 80s (and I mean, really ugly). Then in 2005, the new retro Mustang came out. If I hadn't had just bought a car, I might have owned that one. I was one obsessed puppy!

Yeah, you'll notice there's a big gap between car drooling. That's because I was married with a young family. I thought responsibly. Now that the kids are grown, I can go back to drooling at cars.

So, what cars did I buy? Maybe I'll save that list for another Wednesday!

Are there cars you wish you'd bought? Please share!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cemetery Art Monday

Happy (?) Monday, everyone (that's for those people who don't have to go to work). I have another photo from my Cemetery Art project. This one was taken on a rather dreary (foggy) day, but I like all the greys in it. It still amazes me how this statue was made for a gravesite.

Nowadays, a lot of markers in a cemetery are ones that are flush with the ground. I really hate those, too. It not only makes it hard to find your family member (no interesting landmarks to guide your way), it just seems so impersonal.

I went to a Dragons game on Saturday (they lost – big time) and came away with the last name for my heroine in Book 5 (Alien Desires). Sure, I already had a name picked out, but I couldn't resist using the catcher's name. It just sounded so…right. So, instead of Annie Wolfe, I now have Annie O'Shea. And I think she's much happier with it. I know I am.

For you writers out there – has that ever happened to you? Do names just come out of the blue?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Beards - Ugh!

What makes a man decide to grow a beard? My husband has grown one and I hate it. I mean really, really, hate it. He looks older and makes me feel older in the process. I hate anything that makes me feel older!

He won't shave the stupid thing. I don't know if he's just being stubborn now or what. But don't you think he should shave it if I hate it so much? I'm the one who has to look at it, not him.

I've been calling him Scruffy, but that doesn't seem to upset him. Maybe if I started calling him Santa, it would. Got any suggestions of what I can do? Have you been in the same boat? I need help!!!

In other news...Yesterday was a GREAT writing day. And here I thought I wouldn't get any writing done at all (I had a writer's group meeting and writing is scarce on those nights), but work really slowed down and I became inspired (finally). 847 words were added to Alien Desires. That's a record for this book so far (which I hope to obliterate once I finish editing and am only working on the one novel). I'm close to hitting that 10,000 word marker. That's pretty awesome, even if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Favorite Desserts - Yummy!

Okay now! Do I have your interest? Who doesn't love dessert? This list will be specific (and varied), because I can't just say cake or pie, you know? This list is in no particular order (just how I came to think of them).

·         Dulce de Leche Caramel Cheesecake (from the Cheesecake Factory)
·         White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake (from the Cheesecake Factory)
·         Kahlua Cocoa Coffee Cheesecake (from the Cheesecake Factory)
Note – Yes, I do have a problem when we go to the Cheesecake Factory because I have to CHOOSE one!
·         Coffee Ice Cream (any vendor, but Baskin Robbins Jamoca is probably my favorite). Put marshmallow fluff on it and I'm a goner!
·         Chocolate cake with white fluffy frosting. If I see this I cannot resist.
·         Chocolate cookie with white chocolate chunks (the ones at Subway are pretty good)
·         Custard (no one's ever made it as good as Mom)
·         Tapioca Pudding. One cup is not enough – I could eat the whole bowl.
·         Butterscotch pudding with whipped cream. Lose the whipped cream and I'm not interested.
·         Pumpkin pie with Cool Whip. Lose the Cool Whip and I'll still eat it.
·         Cobbler (apple, peach, or blueberry) with vanilla ice cream (must be heated!)
·         Double-Doozie cookies (from the Cookie Factory--chocolate chip or M&M chip. The chocolate cookies, while good, are too soft for these). Yes, they are super sweet, but so addicting! Good thing I only limit myself during Dragon*Con (of which I will be attending this year after all – yay!).
·         French Silk Pie (from Bob Evans). Best when shared with my hubby.
·         Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel.
·         Glorified Brownies (the kind Grandma made). Brownies with marshmallows and frosting. I haven't been able to duplicate it, but they sure were messy and oh, so yummy!

It's no wonder I need to lose weight. It is a wonder I don't weight more!  So, what desserts are irresistible to you? And the important question: Have I made you hungry?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pictures of Pittsburgh!

Hey! Lookie here! I finally got around to posting my pictures from our trip to Pittsburgh (and if you click on the pictures, the should enlarge).

But don't get your hopes up toooooo high. I don't have all that many (bad me).

Just to prove I was on a Segway, we had the tour guy take this picture. Starting from the right, that's my husband, then me, then our good friends Bill and Barb. That fifth person? Have no idea. She thought the guy was taking a group picture!

And the thing was, the guide knew she wasn't with us, so why he included her was beyond me. But hey, it makes for a good laugh.

I took this photo to show how close to the field we were at PNC Park. Nine rows from 1st base. Not too shabby, huh? Our friends are Cubs fans and were happy to be able to see them play at a park they've never been to. We got to see a good game, too. Tied right up to the last out in the 9th inning. Too bad our friends didn't get to see their Cubs win, though (I had no preference - I'm not a Cubs nor Pirates fan). Tough loss.

This was as close as we got to Heinz Field on this trip. In July we'll be a lot closer. The hubby and I will return for the tour. One thing I did pay attention to - my vampires could definitely climb over the fence and get onto the field (a scene I have in MY SUNNY VAMPIRE). That was good to know!

This photo was taken after we rode the incline up the hill, during our walk to the other incline to ride back down. You get a really great view of the city. That funky spiked building is the Pittsburgh Plate and Glass (or PPG) building. It was featured in Inspector Gadget and also the new Batman film, due out this summer. It's mostly glass and really impressive up close (and if I was smart, I would have taken a picture when we stood near it).

That's all I have. Well, that's all I'll post. I don't need to bore you (sort of like my geology teacher did when he showed the class his slides of his trip to Germany - major yawn!).

And in updated news...I pitched (to a small press) at the Lori Foster Get Together and they requested the whole book! Major excitement there. I'm stoked. As soon as I finish edting GHOSTLY LIAISON (so I can get that out to my critique partners), I'll take another look at MY SUNNY VAMPIRE. I want to make sure it's the best it can be. I'm not blowing this chance!

Hope your weekend was just as good as mine was!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Roundup

I kind of like that title – Friday Roundup. I can then kind of recap what I did during the week. That's if I did anything during the week. Usually I don't. So…maybe that won't work. Oh well, we'll see. Won't know unless I try, huh?

This week was interesting. Yeah, I still need to get my pictures of Pittsburgh up. But I've been busy. Really! Don't you believe me?

The holiday kind of skewered things for me, as I'm sure it did for you, too. Usually, my son will come over on Monday to watch a movie, but since it was a holiday, it was moved to Tuesday (which is usually my night to write). Not complaining! We're currently watching the Underworld movies. I've seen them before, but it had been awhile. I like those movies and my husband isn't interested, so it was a good choice until my husband is finished teaching Monday nights. He has two more. We have two more movies to see. Works out good!

I'm currently into season 3 of Supernatural. My daughter is a huge fan and has since converted me over. We only watch whenever my husband is teaching. Otherwise, we pick something we all want to watch. She's taken us through Buffy, Angel, and Firefly. Next, we're sharing Veronica Mars with her (she's never seen the series and we really liked it). That will occur in a couple of weeks. I think. My daughter says we'll be through season 3 before that occurs (it's her plan, anyway).

Normally, Thursdays are another free night for me (writing-wise), but not last night. As part of the Lori Foster Get-Together, Duffy Brown put on a Murder Mystery Dinner Party. It was the first time I've ever been to one of these. I had fun – even if the weather shooed us indoors (lightning isn't something to mess with). Of course, I had an hour drive home, and it was raining pretty good by then, but all in all, I'd say it was worth it. Never hurts to get to know more people.

Today starts the Lori Foster Get-Together. I will be pitching MY SUNNY VAMPIRE tonight. I got it all ready to go, too. Am I nervous? Not really. Well, not right now. I'm sure that will all change when 7:50pm rolls around. But I'm ready, so that helps.

And I have my business cards and even my query for GHOSTLY LIAISON on hand (because you never know). I'm trying to be more prepared this time around than I was last year.

The heat has gone away for now (kind of cold and rainy today) and the weekend looks to be pretty decent. I hope it's good where you're at, too. If you'll be at Lori Fosters Get-Together, let me know! I'll try and track you down.