Wednesday, August 29, 2012

On My Way to DRAGON*CON!

By the time this posts, I'll be on the road to Atlanta and Dragon*Con. I'm driving down with my daughter and her Australian friend (She actually flies out here every year for this thing, I can't imagine what it must cost her).

I will try to put up some kind of post on Friday (my hotel does have free internet, as long as I take my computer down to the area where it's free), even if it's just a few pictures (better than nothing, right?). Blogging is usually the LAST thing I think of when I'm at a convention. Wonder why that is? You'd think I'd want to share EVERYTHING!

My goal this year is to take more pictures. You like pictures, right?

Soooo, if you are planning on attending Dragon*Con, Let me know! I'd be interested in seeing you. I'm trying to dress so someone could spot me (amongst all the costume-clad people milling about). On Friday I plan on wearing my Dayton Dragons jersey (it's green – bright like grass); on Saturday, my Pittsburgh Penguins jersey (#87 – Crosby); and on Sunday, my Pittsburgh Steelers jersey (#43 – Polamalu). Then on Monday, I'll wear my red Cincinnati Reds T-Shirt (#19 – Votto. I don't have a jersey. Yet). This is about as dressed up as I get!

If I don't get a post out on Friday, just know I'm having FUN!!!

Dragon*Con, here I come!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Even Old People Can Learn a Lesson or Two

On Thursday, my hubby and I went to Kings Island, specifically the water park. Temp was in the 80s and, with school in session most places, attendance was low. It really was the perfect day. However, we realized some things on this trip.


1. If you're going to keep the car keys on your person, make sure to put them in a baggie.

We saw the sign - $12.00 for a small locker. Gee whiz, give me a break. It wasn't all that long ago when it cost $5.00. We decided not to bother with the locker. Who would steal our towels anyway? My husband put the keys in his pocket and forgot about them. We hit the wave pool first.

2. If you have your keys in a baggie, make sure they won't fall out of your pocket.

After spending 20 minutes (or so) in the wave pool, we decided to go on some of the other "rides". That's when he discovered he forgot to put the keys in the baggie, which also contained his driver's license, credit card, and our park passes. Trying to minimize the water damage, he placed the keys with the other items. But now it wouldn't fit in the secure pocket inside his suit. He put them in the big side pocket.

3. If you own a convertible, do not put the spare keys in the trunk.

After our second ride, he discovered the baggie was missing. We checked both rides and no one found any baggie containing a set of keys. We went to lost and found. No luck there, either. We called security. They could get us inside our car (and to his cell phone), but since it's a convertible, we keep the lever to the trunk locked. Called AAA. They couldn't get it unlocked either. Had to tow the car to Toyota (thank goodness it was still open!), where they promptly created a trunk key. I was able to get my purse, and the spare key, so we could drive home. That only took three hours!

Not exactly our idea of fun. And to think, we could have saved ourselves a lot of work (i.e. cancelling the credit card, replacing the driver's license, changing the locks to the house, and most likely having to buy another car key) if we had only paid the $12.00. At least we know how secure our car is. Of course, after all that, no one bothered to ask for our ID once we got inside the trunk. We could have been anybody! Kind of scary, if you ask me.

My hubby feels bad, though. I feel I'm just as much to blame (I didn't want to pay the $12.00, either). But I am glad I wasn't the one who lost the keys. I do enough stupid stuff already!

Friday, August 24, 2012

LOOK! A Snippet from Book #5

Jennette Marie Powell (  bestowed the LOOK! meme to me (I know, and after that post I did last week, too! Ha ha!). That means I look for the word "look" in my current WIP and post it, along with a paragraph or two. Sure, I used more than a paragraph here, but if I didn't then you might be REALLY confused. And who says I can't? This is my blog, so I'll post as much as I want. Besides, we're only talking 304 words (by the way, I have 96 variations of "look" in 123 pages, but it IS the first draft).

Anyhoo… Calix is an alien. Annie and Mac (siblings) have found him, but in this scene, they do not know he's an alien. Calix had just fallen on top of Annie.



            Mac's outburst must have stirred Calix. He rolled off her and grabbed his head with one hand while he held onto the laptop with the other. "I am sorry. Did I hurt you?"

            That first breath burned, but she managed to get enough air to croak, "I'm fine." Slowly, she sat up. "You're not, though. Are you?"

            He rubbed his temple, where the bandage covered his wound. "What happened?"

            "You fainted."

            Mac coughed. "Guys don't faint. He passed out."

            "Whatever." Like that was a huge difference.

            He guided Calix up by the upper arm. Calix's eyes widened, but he didn't bolt like he had earlier.

            "Dude, you might want to get up slower next time. What with that head wound and all."

            Once Calix stood, he shrugged free. "I suppose so."

            He stared down at Annie and she smiled and waved as she went to stand, which she found difficult to do with her boot on. He put the laptop on the coffee table and then reached for her. He probably meant to help her up, which she thought was wonderful given how he seemed to hate people touching, but those big hands of his grabbed her under the arms, his thumbs right over her nipples.

            Holy shit on a shingle. And I had to go and wear a bra.

            "'Dude, what are you doing? That's my sister you're molesting."

            No, not molesting. Far from it. Even with the t-shirt and bra blocking skin contact, her nipples hardened and sex clenched. She was almost standing when Calix's eyes widened.

            "I…uh." He stared at his hands as they covered her breasts, which were kind of squished together. Made them look pretty perky. They certainly felt sexy. He promptly released her.

            She fell to the floor, landing on her bruised butt. Okay, now that hurt.


Thanks, Jennette for the tag. Now here's where I'm supposed to tag more people, but since I hate that part, I'm going to pass. Jennette wanted to see what I was working on, so here it is!

Ah, but if you would like to play, consider yourself TAGGED! If you let me know, I'll add a link to your blog and send people your way.

Happy Friday everyone!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Addicted To...

Okay, can I say I have a serious problem?

I am addicted to…conferences! I really never saw that coming, either.

I signed up for my fifth of the year (Central Ohio Fiction Writers Conference). I really shouldn't have spent the money, but it was local, and small, and they were screaming for attendees! Yes, I'm weak.

But for what it's worth, I will probably NOT attend RT or RWA Nationals next year. Not unless I'm published (or have a paying job). Those conferences are way, way expensive and not really feasible any longer. I will be sad to miss them since next year both are within driving distance (RT in Kansas City, RWA in Atlanta).

To recap, these are the conferences I have gone/will be going to this year:

So, what kind of weakness do you have? What do you have trouble saying no to? Come on, spill. I really want to know!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Anonymous Comments - Or Spam!

I get my share of anonymous comments that are written in Cyrillic or list a site telling me I should check out and visit (of course I don't). They show up in my spam filter and I delete them. But sometimes I get comments that just confound me. Such as this one (which I received on my post Feeling Numb):

This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs.

Huh??? This isn't the only time I've received one of these bizarre comments. So what is this person selling? What is the purpose of this comment? Is it just to hog the "airwaves" with junk?

Sometimes I really wonder about spammers!

* * *

In other news…

I sent out MY SUNNY VAMPIRE (Book #3) to the editor who requested it. I should hear back in 4-6 weeks (yes, I got a response stating she received it – yippee!). I sure hope she likes it. I sure hope she likes it. I sure hope she likes it. (If I say it in threes, it comes true, right???)

Wrote nowhere close to 10,000 words last week (and I won't embarrass myself and tell you how little I wrote), but I did revise my short story down to less than 5000 words. It originally had over 6000, way too many for the contest I want to submit it to (which is through my RWA chapter and for members only). Urgh! Next, I'll get some readers on it and see if it works. I have until Sep 15 to send it in. I think that's doable now.

And if the short story doesn't win? Then I may just turn it into a book. I like my characters and wouldn't mind getting to know them better.

So, with those two projects out of the way, I can devote all my time to ALIEN DESIRES (Book #5). Now maybe I can get those 10,000 words written this week. We'll see…

Friday, August 17, 2012

I Ran!

Since I've become unemployed, I have started an exercise routine. I should have done it long before then, but hey, I always came up with excuses. Most of them involved my writing. If I exercised, it took my meager time away from something I loved. So I didn't do it.

That's all changed now. Sure, having plenty of time to write has been the biggest help, but I truly think that if I got a job tomorrow, I wouldn't change my new routine.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I put my gym membership to good use. And on Tuesday and Thursday I walk outside (I LOVE the outside) for 60 minutes. I love this routine and I'm upset if it rains on Tuesday or Thursday (then I have to use the treadmill, which I'm not thrilled at using, except I can get 60 minutes of reading done).

I keep pushing myself at the gym. Adding repetitions until 15 is easy, then increasing the weights. I'm not at where I had been back in 2009, but I'm getting close. Yesterday showed me that.

I actually ran! Not a lot, but more than I thought I could do. And I wasn't really out of breath (although my legs hurt). I impressed myself! Next time maybe I will run longer.

I'm committed to getting into shape. To be stronger. To have endurance.

Me being able to run has shown me I'm actually getting there!

Now, if I can only curb my eating so I can actually lose weight. But hey, muscle weighs more than fat. And burns more calories. So eventually the weight will drop. Gotta look at the positives!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

To Award or Not To Award

No favorites this week. I think I ran out anyway. But if any more come to me (or if you have a suggestion), I'll continue to list them on Wednesday.

* * *

I have a question for you all. Do you like blogger awards? Do you like receiving blogger awards? I know they aren't chain letters, but sometimes they sure feel like it, especially with statements like this:

"To accept this award, you must pass it on to seven other bloggers."

Yeah, sure, I don't have to follow the rules. And I could just not accept the award. But then I just feel bad. I hate feeling bad.

I guess I've never really seen the purpose of a blogger award. Are they just a way to get a post written? To get more followers? They have helped me with the first; can't say they helped with the second.

Maybe my problem with awards is that there are so many out there. They have kind of lost their meaning, their specialness. Everyone seems to get them; everyone seems to pass them on. Am I overreacting here? Have I just shot myself in the foot? What do you think? I'm open to hear your opinions! Maybe you can change mine.

* * *

On Monday, I blogged about writing 10,000 words this week. I think that mark was a bit ambitious. With reading MY SUNNY VAMPIRE (out loud) in the afternoon, I don't get quite as much written as I should. I'm also a little stuck on Book #5, so it's going slow in the morning, too. Ugh! So, yeah, I really don't think I'll hit that 10,000 word mark this week. It was a good thought, though.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Another Step Closer

Here's another picture from my Cemetery Art project for you to enjoy.

Well, my daughter came through. I got MY SUNNY VAMPIRE back and even managed to correct all my mistakes (at least those mistakes she could find). Today I will start reading it out loud and see if I find any more. Soon it will be out the door. Soooooon.

Can you believe I read three books within one week? And I still managed to write nearly 5000 words in that same time. If you have never read the Vampire Academy series (by Richelle Mead), and you like YA paranormal, you would enjoy this series. I highly suggest you have all six books readily available before you start reading the first book, though. And maybe no writing (or other) deadlines ahead. Just saying…

So, now with that series and the Olympics finished, maybe I can get more writing done. Think I can squeeze in 10,000 words this week? Let's see how I do.

In 16 days, my daughter, her friend, and I head on down to Atlanta for Dragon*Con!  Want to know who's attending? Check it out HERE. I'll try and take more pictures this year. I'm a little more comfortable with my camera now, so maybe I won't flub up so much (such as let the battery run out, or at least change it more quickly when it does!!)

Here's to a good week!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hooked - Again

Sometimes I could just shoot strangle hit my daughter. It was bad enough she introduced me to J.R. Ward's work during the writing of my first draft of Book #4. Because of that, I wanted to read more than write. Now I'm writing the first draft of Book #5 and she went and introduced me to The Vampire Academy books (by Richelle Mead). Guess what I want to do?

My daughter SAID she only wanted me to read the first one, because a movie was in the works and she wanted to see it with me (yeah, she knows how to butter up her mother!). Of course, that movie is way, way far into the future (nothing significant is listed on IMDB). Still, she hasn't been wrong (too often) in what books are good to read, so I read the first one.

I liked it and (stupid me) went and asked for the second. She brought the whole series over (hmm… think she knows me well?). After reading the second, I didn't necessarily rush to read the third, but didn't wait too long, either. Ah, but after the third…well, I'll just say I'm not reading anything else until I finish this series. Thank goodness there are only six books. And the series ENDS (or so my daughter says – should I believe her?).

How the heck do I get so wrapped up in these books? I'd probably get so much more written if I wasn't obsessing (or reading). I only hope some day I have the same affect on my readers. Wouldn't that be something?

I must stop reading my daughter's books, though. I have so many of my own piled in the family room, waiting for me to read. I really need to hit those!

But even with all my reading, I am getting a considerable amount written. I finally wrote over 2000 words on Tuesday (haven't done that in ages). What's slowing me down is figuring out the next scenes and where I want the story to go. I'm sure if I outlined, it wouldn't be a problem, but I can't do that. I can only work on one scene at a time. I am having fun with Book #5, though. I just hope it all turns out okay. I always have my doubts when it comes to writing that first draft. I was sure Book #4 was horrible, because of all my distractions (see J.R. Ward, above) while writing it. So far ONE person likes it – I'm still waiting on my second critique partner to reply.

And Book #3 is almost ready to send out to the publisher who requested it (my daughter promises I should get it back this weekend). Once it's out the "door", I can then obsess over my e-mail (yeah, that's always fun, isn't it?).

I have made a decision regarding my vampire series (Books 1, 2, & 3). My unemployment runs out in December and if I don't have a job by then and I strike out with the small press publishers, I'll self-publish them. It's a scary thought, but why have them sit here when someone might just want to buy them and read them (and maybe make SOME money)? If that day comes, I might just be looking for some guidance from some of you.

Have a good weekend & happy reading!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Favorite Musical Groups No Longer Producing Albums

Last week I listed my favorite musical groups who were currently producing albums, so I thought I would then make this list because, frankly, they've been with me longer! If I hear a song from them on the radio, most likely I will not turn off the radio until the song is finished. Even though I own most of their stuff. That's how much I like them. Here they are, listed in alphabetical order:

The Alan Parsons Project ( I didn't have their vinyl albums, but always enjoyed their music. "Don't Answer Me" is probably my favorite song of theirs and I do have their Greatest Hits CD, which is also on my iPod. I can still listen to them any time.

The Beatles ( Who doesn't like The Beatles? I've been a fan since I was in the 3 rd grade. Back in…1965 (whew-too long ago). My friend had their albums and we listened to them daily. My favorite, though? Abbey Road. I played that vinyl album to death and was extremely upset when my roommate (in the Army) took it! I have the CD now, though.

The Bee Gees ( "How Do You Mend a Broken Heart" was my most favorite song when it came out and that was when I became a fan. Saturday Night Fever only cemented that love!

Electric Light Orchestra ( A rock orchestra – I loved it! They had the greatest sound and I still listen to their music on my iPod. Out of the Blue is my favorite album (and I have the vinyl), but until I wrote this post, didn't realize it was finally on a CD. So yeah, I went and bought it.

Fleetwood Mac ( When Rumours came out, I had never really paid much attention to them. But a friend of mine had and that's how I came to love their music. I think their sound is timeless (unlike some of the other 70's bands out there).

Huey Lewis and the News ( When "I Want a New Drug" came out, I misunderstood the lyrics and thought it was a song about a druggie, except that couldn't be right, because I liked the music! Then one day I actually listened to the words and then I was really hooked. And of course, what woman didn't think Huey Lewis was good looking? A perfect package! They still tour, and I've seen them in concert – twice. If they come this way again, I'll go. I love their music.

The Monkees ( Big fan of the TV show and it was a sad day when Davy Jones passed away. He was my favorite, by far. And while my friend was ebuying The Beatles' albums, I was buying The Monkees. We loved to create our own fake band and fake play along with the album (using my mother's knitting needles as drum sticks! – yeah, she would have killed me if she'd known). Of course, we were 9.

Moody Blues ( Days of Future Passed was my first Moody Blues album, because I just loved "Nights in White Satin." They were also the first concert I attended with my then future husband, back in 1978 or 1979.

So, did I do better this week in listing one of your favorites?

And how about Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings (as well as Jen Kessy and April Ross) in the women's beach volleyball? Go USA!

Monday, August 6, 2012


One thing I like about long drives – the part I'm not actually driving, that is – is that I can now read. There was a time when that would cause motion sickness quicker than anything, and it was discouraging. But something happened as I got older, I guess, because I can now read in a moving vehicle. My husband was impressed, because he had the same problem. He, too, can now read in a moving car. So, either something is different about the cars, or our stomachs became stronger as we got older. Hmmm…

With all that time to read, I got three books finished this past weekend. Before you think that's an awesome amount, I was close to the end of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and half-way through with "Shadow Kissed". So I wasn't too surprised I finished them on Friday. I started "The Lady is a Vamp" on Saturday (between breakfast and the reunion) and finished it up on the drive home on Sunday. That was unexpected. I still had an hour left of our drive, too. Next time I guess I need to bring a fourth!

It was great reading, too. I decided to take a weekend break from writing and not worry about it (which I feel I can do now that I'm home during the week and can write).  So, how were the books? I was glad to finish P&P&Z because it was a tougher read. Sure, it had zombies (and more humorous parts), but it was still "Pride and Prejudice" with the old-fashioned writing. And while I kind of liked the story, it was hard to understand.

"Shadow Kissed" is the third book of the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. When I finished that book, I had wished I had brought Book #4. I am so thankful the series is complete (and I don't have to wait for the next one – my daughter owns them all). I might be a little perturbed, otherwise. I really hate cliff hangers. But I do love this series.

I zipped through Lynsay Sands' book ("The Lady is a Vamp") not only because I want to start Book #4 of the VA series, but because I loved the story. It pulled me in at the beginning and held my interest. But then, all of her books seem to do that to me. I'm thoroughly entertained when I read them, and that's all that matters, right?

Besides all the reading, I did have fun at the family reunion. Made a point of moving around and talking to more than one cousin (usually I sit in one spot and don't move – yeah, I'm strange). They all know I write and all wished me luck in getting published. I have a feeling the day I become published, I can get a lot of sales just by announcing it to my cousins (one was already joking about getting my autograph – even though he gets my autograph on every Christmas card/letter I send!).

So, have you read any good books lately?

Friday, August 3, 2012

On the Road Today

I will be attending a family reunion in NJ on Saturday, which means I'm on the road today (with my husband, of course). I always try to make it to this reunion. Since I grew up on the other side of the country, I didn't know the cousins on my father's side of the family (he moved from NJ to CA when he was 22 – 10 years to the date before I was born). Now I know them better than the cousins on my mother's side!

* * *

Not that I'm surprised, but the Olympics has nearly halted my writing. Since I'm home all day, I can watch more of the games (some events I wouldn't normally watch, too) and I have been. Ah, but it's only for a couple of weeks. I think my writing will survive. And it hasn't stopped completely.

Of course, a lot of my lack of writing is probably due to my lack of sleep. I'm up until after midnight watching the games and then I get up at 6:15 to exercise. I'm looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday!

* * *

I heard some discouraging news – from my husband, no less. He was telling me about a new hire at his employer's. Apparently no head hunter would help her find a job because she was unemployed.

I haven't applied to any head hunter, but I have applied to employment agencies. I thought for sure I'd hear back from them (especially since they've helped me in the past). But I haven't heard ONE word from all the resumes I've sent out. I don't mention I'm not employed, but it sure feels like everyone knows!

I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever have another accounting job again. Now whether that's a good thing or a bad thing…only time will tell. J

I hope you have a good weekend. I certainly will!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Favorite Musical Groups Currently Producing Albums

Only musical-like picture I
could find that I owned!
Here's another list of favorites – Musical Groups Currently Producing Albums. The prerequisite for getting on this list? If these artists come out with a new album/CD, I will buy it. Sight unseen (or would that be sound unheard??). This list is in alphabetical order.

Arcade Fire ( I only have one of their albums, but their previous albums are now on my wish list and I believe a new one is coming out soon. I like the way they sound.

The Black Keys ( First heard them on the "Eclipse" soundtrack and they peaked my interest. The more songs they released, the more I liked them and finally bought their albums. I'm hooked.

Coldplay ( I never realized how much I liked this group. It wasn't until one day at B-dubs, when one of my favorite songs was playing, that I asked a friend if they knew who was singing it. I pretty much owned all their albums after that!

Death Cab for Cutie ( I remember hearing their name and thinking it was unique, but had no idea what songs they sang. Thanks to listening to the radio via the Internet (where the song and artist are listed), I was able to link up the two and discovered I enjoyed everything they released.

Ivy ( I have "Kingdom Hospital" to thank for finding this band. Ivy sang the theme song to that mini-series, which put me on a search for their albums (which, at the time, was met with much difficulty). I love their sound (they have some music videos on their website if you want to check them out) and they aren't played on the radio all that often, but my daughter and I hear them on a TV series every now and then.

The Killers ( Here's another band where I enjoyed their music, but had no idea who they were. Again, I have radio via the Internet to thank for that.

Metric ( I kind of knew who they were when they opened for the Muse concert I attended. Their mics were horrible, though, and it was very difficult to enjoy them then. But as more of their songs were released on the radio, I realized they sounded better on the radio than in person. I don't know if I'll ever go out and see them in concert again, but I'll continue to buy their albums.

Mumford and Sons ( Heard them on AltNation first and fell in love with their first single. I try not to buy albums based on that (I've been burned too many times), but I hit pay dirt this time. I'm hooked.

Muse ( If I had put this list in order of my favorites, Muse would be first. I must thank Stephenie Meyer for introducing me to this band since she gushed about them on each of the Twilight books. Unfortunately, finding them on the radio in Dayton, Ohio was impossible. No one played them. That took me to the Internet (thus also discovering other artists – some listed here) and a Los Angeles radio station that played them a lot. Once I got an earful, I ended up buying all their albums. I LOVE Muse! Oh, and their concert in Columbus was AWESOME!

Neon Trees ( This is a new group that is growing on me. Enough to own all their albums, anyway.

Train ( Here's a group that's been around awhile, but I recently discovered. "Drive By" helped in that regard. I really like that song. I just wish Alt Nation (on Sirius Radio) played their music. I can find them locally, though. That helps. And they're on my iPod – even better.

Weezer ( Another group I have that California radio station to thank for. I knew their music, just not who played it.

Did I hit any of your favorites? I love listening to Alt Nation because I find all sorts of new music. Well, whether they are new or not, they are new to me, anyways. My radio will list the artist and song and I love that the best!