Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Eve of The New Year

I started writing a deep and thought provoking post about motivation and momentum, but I lost it when a virus descended on my computer. I spent most of last night trying to get rid of the darned pest. By the time I did, my motivation for anything but sleep was long gone. That's the last time I search the web for snowblower parts, I'll tell you that much.
Part of the post I was working on when the virus arrived talked about how last year seemed to lose momentum and how it took me until not very long ago to realize I was letting "life" interfere with writing - letting it suck away time and letting it alter my view. "Life" probably isn't the right word. Normal life isn't a problem - it's supposed to be there. You have to live, take care of and spend time with the people who are important to you, pay your bills, feed the dog, change the cat litter, buy food. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the things you're supposed to brush off and move on from. Let's call that "stress", okay?
Normally, I'd be the first to say "suck it up and get to work" and "quit whining", because it does sound like whining. It sounds like an excuse - a really stupid excuse.
But sometimes those things "stress" pile up and before you know it, you're buried pretty far underneath. You don't realize how you got there either, or what it's doing to you, your life, your relationships, your precious writing time. All you know is that you feel like crap and you don't know why. You sit down to write, but you feel like the creative synapses in your brain have all fused together. Then, you make excuses - "I'm tired", "If I don't do the laundry, we'll all be naked" - stuff like that. You think it's "life", but it's not. Not really. Because under normal circumstances you have a semblance of balance, at least occasionally.
Stress is what makes you look at everything through broken glasses. It makes you forget to see the good things in life. Stress sucks the joy out and makes you feel small and broken. We all deal with stress, and it's relative to what you're used to. I'm used to the chaos of four children and our huge dog (I'm not saying I don't get stressed by my house at times). What I deal with, happily, on a daily basis might send a seemingly normal person to their knees in tears. It's relative to what you're used to.
When you've already got a ton of abnormal stress in your life, you're like a "stress magnet" (currently, my picture should be beside this word). Things tend to pile up around you constantly - one after another until you think you might collapse under the weight. It happens sometimes. I think you know what I'm talking about: flat tires, broken appliances, sick children, ect. that all happen on the same day, and then the next day is even worse, the day after that as well.
I don't have any advice on how to deal with that. I wish I did. I wish I knew the magic secret to banishing stress, and depolarizing the stress magnet. That sure would come in handy around here. Unfortunately, no one really knows the answers, and if they tell you they do they're probably selling something. Especially for the stress that seems to drop out of the sky like baseball-sized hail. Dealing with it is personal and situational. What works for me won't work for you and the other way, but sometimes trying another persons way helps you find your answers.
Though, I think recognizing your stress and what you're letting it do to you is part of the way to cope. There are simply some things you cannot change - no matter how hard you try, or how much you want things to be different. It's easy for other people to say "let it go", "don't let it rule you", but since they're not walking around in your soggy shoes they really don't know what you're dealing with. They don't know how hard it is to continue to put one foot in front of the other when it feels like you're wearing flip flops in a blizzard. Not that they don't mean well. They do.
My point? Gee, I'm not sure I really have one. Or maybe the point is that sometimes we all get buried under the pile. No one can pull you out, though they can help you find your own way out. Maybe just knowing you're not alone is enough. Life does go on though. You have to decide if you're going to let stress paralyze you or if you're going to swing off the rope and dive into the water with both feet and deal with what might happen when it happens. Sometimes you'll stay safe on the shore, and other times...
Well, that's another post.
And I think that's all for now.
Celebrate safely tonight, and...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tall Tale Tuesday

Will be taking a break this week.
Look for it next Tuesday!
I'll be back later with a post. Maybe.

Monday, December 29, 2008

In Case You Wondered...

We're not getting a puppy.
Things didn't work out. I'm sure (really sure) it happened the way it was supposed to. When I think of everything that goes along with brand new baby dogs, I know. When I think of how our dog reacts when we simply rearrange the furniture, I know. When I think of the chaos that lives in my house on a daily basis, I really know.
The K's took it well. They were disappointed, but not overly so. We were very open with them about the possible outcomes, so they didn't have their hopes up too much.
And now you know, too.

Moaning Monday

The deluxe edition!
It's been quite a day!
1. The hot water running out halfway through my shower this morning. I was the only one up and I take very quick showers.
2. Toilets overflowing. 'Nuff said.
3. Wacky phones.
4. The cat barfing on our bed.
5. Pester. Pester. Pester. Argh.
6. I'm tired.
7. Dinner not turning out the way it was supposed to.
8. Missing school projects and crying because of it.
9. Getting the first tax mailing today.
10. A big headache.
There's more, but 10 is enough, don't you think?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 In Review

I wasn't going to do this post for a few more days, but in all honesty, I don't think many more reportable things will happen this year. And if they do, they'll be bad things, because that's just the way my life goes.
2008 was a long year, a rough year in a lot of ways, but a pretty good year. I guess.
Anyway. Here goes:
January: Lots of random posting, New Year's Eve recap, blurb announcement for The Shape of Love.
February: New irritating Internet service, THE SHAPE OF LOVE RELEASE! WHOOT!! My first booksigning! My first author chat! Some snow, lots of random, A Cabin Story.
March: Random practical jokes with me as the butt, customer service headaches, Easter with the family and a slew of random pics.
April: My birthday, Going to see the Chippendales with my buds, out of town company, wireless Internet! Whoot!, community service projects, science fairs, missing the beach.
May: Lots of random, baby bunny's being stolen from our back porch by an evil creature, THE RETREAT!!!, ugly woodpeckers, Memorial day, random meadow pictures.
June: Celebrating K's 19th birthday, Freddie the turtle being lost in my house, vampire garlic, the end of school, the return of Fiesta Friday, the passing of my sister's dog, Boone, preparations for camp and K2's camp counseling stint.
July: Camping for the first time of the year, lots of random meadow pictures, cat pictures, fail pictures. Supernatural videos, K1's ear injury, more camp counseling duties,
August: My cousin visiting, Fiesta Friday!, lots and lots of random, lots of meadow trips, Labor day camping, writing challenges, blogiversary, weddings, wedding showers.
September: Weddings!, Talk Like A Pirate Day, reconnecting with old friends and farm visiting,
October: Much rambling, more farm visits, Nick's (publishing gnomes) visit, Halloween parades, Halloween, K3's 12th birthday, a booksigning I missed because of a funeral, alligators.
November: Loads of birthdays, puppies, Thanksgiving, K2 turning 17.
December: K4 turning 9, our 22nd anniversary, Christmas.
And throughout it all, there was a ton of random, a ton of Supernatural discussion, and a ton of writing-related stuff. The year definitely started off with a bang, but lost steam somewhere along the way.
Here's to 2009, and a year that's full of steam and good stuff.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Feel Good Friday

The post-Christmas edition.
1. That the lovely stomach virus I was gifted with on Christmas Eve didn't quite spoil everything for me the past 2 days. It totally ruined Christmas Eve, but not Christmas Day/K4's Birthday. Though, it's still not quite gone yet and B's starting to feel the same way I did Wednesday. Joy.
2. My baby girl and her birthday.
3. The excitement from all the K's even though they knew Christmas was going to be slim this year, and the fact that none of them expressed any type of disappointment in their gifts.
4. Family and friends.
5. Getting to talk to my uncle and cousin from California.
6. The birthday cake coming out pretty darned good even though I was just winging it.
7. Warm socks.
8. Our funny dog and how much she loves opening presents.
9. The food - though I got to eat none of it.
10. Tacos for Christmas dinner. (again, I tried. I really wanted to, but my stomach reminded me I shouldn't)
11. Weekend plans.
12. The fact that the decision on the puppy will be made soon and either way, I can stop worrying about it. Though if it's a yes, oh geeze, let's not go there right now.
13. Sleeping in this morning.
14. Supernatural being on last night - and it being the Christmas episode from last year, and B staying up to watch it with me. I miss the boys so much and we still have 3 weeks until new episodes!
Okay, I think that's enough. Yes, I'm glad it's over, but the day turned out a lot better than I thought it would even with the sickness. The tree needs to go soon - the needles are raining down at an alarming rate. We won't be doing any New Year's gathering this year since we have to help the Boy Scouts with our town's "drop" event this year. That's pretty sad, but maybe only to me since everyone else seems to have fun alternate plans. Not that we won't have fun, but we won't be with the gang.
I think that's enough for now...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

May you and yours have a blessed, wonderful day!
Happy Birthday to my youngest baby girl!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Pretty easy, huh?
Here are the answers:
1. What carol contains the line "Bearing gifts we traverse afar"?
a. Silent Night
b. Rudolf
c. We Three Kings of Orient Are

2. What street does Santa Clause come down?
a. Mistletoe Lane
b. Santa Claus Lane
c. North 39th Street

3. Arguably, what is the horse's name in "Jingle Bells'?
a. Jumpin' Jack Flash
b. Holly
c. Bobtail

Now you have Christmas songs in your head! I know I do.
We're definitely on the Christmas/birthday crazy train around here. I'll bet you are, too!
Enjoy it, and...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tall Tale Tuesday

The questions this week come from the same source as last week - 'Tis the Season Christmas Trivia - without alterations, except my multiple choice answer guesses.
All questions are music-related.
Here we go:

1. What carol contains the line "Bearing gifts we traverse afar"?
a. Silent Night
b. Rudolf
c. We Three Kings of Orient Are

2. What street does Santa Clause come down?
a. Mistletoe Lane
b. Santa Claus Lane
c. North 39th Street

3. Arguably, what is the horse's name in "Jingle Bells'?
a. Jumpin' Jack Flash
b. Holly
c. Bobtail

I wasn't going to make it multiple choice this week, but what the heck. My Christmas spirit is arriving and I thought a little help would pull it in better. Come on, take a guess even if you're not sure. Or just leave me a comment to tell me Tall Tale Tuesday is stupid.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Moaning Monday

Only one significant moan today...
It's freezing cold - really freezing cold. Anyone who lives nearby knows that. And I had to run around this morning - load groceries in my car, walk across huge parking lots three times, unload some stuff into the Salvation Army donation box, then unload my purchases once I got home. It's still cold in the house, thanks to the wind, but at least the killer gusts have died down some.
The other moans...well...they're pretty much the same as everyone right now.
That's all. I have a list a mile long today and another Christmas party to go to tonight!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

That Explains It

...And it's kind of close to a memory I'd rather forget.
I'd like the socks back though.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


This one is the one I liked.
Then we found out she was already sold.
I love her face and she's so sweet.

So, we looked at this one.
Then, found out she was already sold.
(Yes, she has some kind of rash on her face, but she's on medicine for it.)
She has beautiful blue eyes. I don't think you can tell in the pic.

There's this little girl.
She's adorable. Black with a white star-ish spot on her chest. She's a little tank - heavier than the other girls, but with a very sweet disposition. She's the one K4 likes the best.

At this point, all I can say is...we'll see...
If it's meant to be, it'll happen. If not, well, then, okay. The status of all three is still up in the air. They're not ready to go to their new homes for another 2 weeks yet.
You'll know when I know...

Call me crazy. Call me insane. I don't care. I'm completely out voted here, so it doesn't really matter what I say about the whole deal. Not like I'm fighting it so much. If I said absolutely not, the matter would be dropped. But I haven't said that. So... Like I said, if it works out, then it was meant to be. If it doesn't the same principal applies. I'm not worrying about it too much right now. I know I said we weren't getting a puppy, but you all knew my fight was only a half-hearted one, right? Come one. You know you did.

In other news...How awesome is it that my parents gave us a fantastic crockpot for our anniversary? It's got three different sized cooking bowls! The thing is sweet beyond sweet. I'm so thrilled. I can't even tell you how much!

It's supposed to snow tonight. We'll see.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Feel Good Friday

Whew! It's Friday!
Here's the list:
1. It's Friday!
2. Getting almost all of the Christmas shopping done.
3. Efficient and cheap shopping trips.
4. Christmas Wreath scented candles.
5. Friends visiting.
6. Christmas lights.
(Can you tell I'm really trying to find my Christmas spirit?)
7. Bob and I's 22nd anniversary tomorrow.
8. Puppies...(we're still not getting one)
9. hi :o) (That's Jo - she's the friend visiting)
10. The knowledge that by this time next week this holiday will be over. (That's probably bad, isn't it?)
So, there you have it.
I could have a really long list of moans for K4 and I getting drenched to our knees in freezing cold water, not having an umbrella in the driving rain, stuff like that...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Silly Stuff!

My brother-in-law's been playing with the video feature on his iMac.
The first dog in this video is mine. The second theirs.

We weren't present for this video, but it's still pretty funny. I was sad we couldn't make the weekend the first time I saw the pictures. The video solidifies that.

A little Thursday silliness for you.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Okay, here are the answers:
1. In the movie Babe, what gift do Farmer Hoggett and his wife get from their son for Christmas?
a. A box of chocolates.
b. A turkey.
c. A fax machine. (I didn't know this either, but all the K's did.)
2. What does Scrooge keep in his coalbox?
a. Money
b. Cheese
c. Coal (I thought it was money.)
3. What rock 'n' roll star, born Rich Pennimann, was born Christmas Day, 1935?
a. Little Richard (If it wasn't for the answer on the back of the card, I wouldn't have known either.)
b. Fats Domino
c. Mick Jagger
4. What was the first name of Scrooge's deceased partner, Marley?
a. John
b. James
c. Jacob (Correct)
5. According to superstition, what do cattle do at midnight on Christmas Eve?
a. Moo
b. Talk (I don't know who's superstition. I've never heard of it!)
c. Drink a shot of whiskey and howl at the moon.

Not bad, Nat. I would probably have only guessed right for #4!
So there you have it. I might do this again next week Depending.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tall Tale Tuesday

Okay...these are straight from my Christmas Trivia box.
The box is called 'Tis The Season.
We'll do multiple choice. Choose the right answers.

1. In the movie Babe, what gift do Farmer Hoggett and his wife get from their son for Christmas?
a. A box of chocolates.
b. A turkey.
c. A fax machine.

2. What does Scrooge keep in his coalbox?
a. Money
b. Cheese
c. Coal

3. What rock 'n' roll star, born Rich Pennimann, was born Christmas Day, 1935?
a. Little Richard
b. Fats Domino
c. Mick Jagger

4. What was the first name of Scrooge's deceased partner, Marley?
a. John
b. James
c. Jacob

5. According to superstition, what do cattle do at midnight on Christmas Eve?
a. Moo
b. Talk
c. Drink a shot of whiskey and howl at the moon.

Have at it. Some were easy to me, and some were weird. I only hope I can remember the answers come tomorrow! Ha!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Moaning Monday

I think I'm cursed.
The list:
1. Bad tree lights.
2. Not knowing about things I should have known about and then getting the brush off when I ask why I wasn't informed.
3. People being in bad moods.
4. Non-stop rushing around.
5. Trying to get the tree decorated and having issue after issue prevent the decorating.
6. School projects that end up having to be redone because I gave the wrong instructions for making pinata glue.
7. The pile of administration duties waiting for me.
8. Being stumped in the gift department for 2 of the K's. (they're still not giving me lists)
9. Having a headache.
10. Being too tired for my own good.
It's a partial list, but the rest of it is too gory to share. Or maybe just too personal. I don't know. Moaning Monday's a downer! I don't need anymore downers!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Feel Good Friday - The Saturday Edition

Yesterday was such a blur and so not a good day. It's probably good I didn't have time to post my feel good list.
Today I can do it sincerely.
Here it is:
1. Shopping with the girls.
2. Laughing through dinner, driving, shopping.
3. Getting a good start on the Christmas shopping.
4. Making writing-related decisions that have me feeling better about writing than I have in a while.
5. Hanging with my writing friends.
6. The Sims.
7. Sleeping in.
8. Events with good music and friends.
9. Not having to run around like a crazy person today.
10. This holiday being behind us in a few short weeks.
There it is.
Have to go write and decorate and make cookies and do laundry and clean and get our tree and...

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It's been a little while since I've done a writing post.
I'm not promising anything, except maybe a random collection of equally random thoughts. I don't really have a soapbox issue to talk about, but a few snippets of thoughts in my head after conversations with my writing friends.
1. If you quit, it'll never happen for you.
I've talked about this before. It's still true. No one is going to knock on your door and offer you a contract. You have to work for it.
2. Take only the advice that works for you.
Every writer is different. Every book is different. What works for one author might not work for you. Many things are the same with writers, but not everything. Find your own place and own it. It's yours.
3. Critiques.
You should have someone read over your work before you submit. And not your mom and your grandma either. Your eyes can no longer see mistakes. Your brain knows exactly what your hero meant, or why your heroine hates skull tattoos. Your reader might not. You need to know that something doesn't make sense, and you need to be able to take the criticism. There are emotions involved, but you have to put them away. If the suggestions don't ring true, ignore them. I mean, consider, but if after time spent really thinking about the comments, you still know your way is better don't change it. It's your story.
4. Do not deviate!
Once you make your mind up to do something, do it. Doubts will creep in at some point. Do whatever necessary to dig yourself out of doubt hell, but stay the course. You'll never know if its going to work for you if you don't give it your all.
5. Cut yourself some slack.
Give yourself permission to goof off once in a while. You have to. That's the whole "refilling the well" thing. It's necessary.
6. Spend time with other writers.
Also necessary. Even if you don't write the same thing or have never shared your work. There's no better inspiration. If you don't belong to a writing organization, join one.
7. Do your research.
I'm not talking about finding out whether or not they wore underwear in 16th century Ireland. I'm talking about market research - submission guidelines, editor preferences, agent preferences, googling to see what other writers are saying about who/what/when/where, and listening to what your peers are saying. Be informed.
Okay. I think that's enough and I'm not sure that any of this makes sense!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Not very many takers for this one.

The answers:
The name of the song is: A New Dial, or In Those Twelve Days, not A New Day.
And, epiphany is December 6.

The song is French - at least the earlier versions - according to my research on Snopes.

So, there you go. A little Christmas knowledge for you.

I'm in crazy mode right now, so that's all!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tall Tale Tuesday

It's getting harder to stump you guys!
So, last night while waiting for the band/chorus concert to start, K4 asked me to sing her The 12 Days of Christmas. (yeah, stop laughing - apparently sometimes children don't care how badly you sing. I did say sometimes, because most of the time she rolls her eyes, glares at me and tells me to stop.) I, of course, couldn't recall all of the lyrics and made up my own...i.e. On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a spinning battery-operated toothbrush, 2 tubes of toothpaste, 3 half-eaten bagels, 4 fish heads, 5 golden snakes. She was not appreciative. At all. To say the least. But it did begin a conversation about what the 12 days of Christmas means and is the inspiration for this post.
(The lies start here. There are 2.)
Apparently, there's some scuttlebutt floating around the 'net about the origins of the song. They're lies. The song has been possibly been confused with a different song that teaches the religious meanings for the 12 days of Christmas, "A New Day". That song dates back to 1625.
The real song has french origins, and is thought to have began as one of those party games, like telling a story and having to remember every persons part when you tell it. Possibly. Again, this is one of those things where you'd need a time machine to know for sure. The only thing I've found consistent in my research is that it's supposed to signify the 12 days of Christmas beginning with the birth of Christ (December 25) to Epiphany (January 9).
(end here)
I like this version of the 12 Days of Christmas myself: .... K3 and K4 found it highly amusing as well.
So, that's it. Tell me the 2 lies. Don't kill yourself with research. I didn't. I guess the good thing about this is that I learned a few things. I'll let you know if I ever have to use what I learned. Though I was able to explain to K4 where the song came from and that makes it worth it.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Moaning Monday

Okay, where do I start.
1. Dealing with a fidgety, coughing child during K3's band/chorus concert. (the concert was excellent though)
2. K3 totally ripping out two pairs of pants in the past two days. One was a pair of jeans. The other...his dress pants for tonight's concert. This happened about an hour before we had to leave. I was going to sew. (stop laughing, I can do it) But luckily, I found him a pair of black pants that fit.
3. Reading my horoscope and feeling this buzz of hope that I know will die a slow and painful death before the end of the year.
4. Why is it so cold?
5. Still mourning the death of my crock pot.
6. Thinking I had groceries planned out until Wednesday and realizing I have to make a trip to the grocery store tomorrow despite my efforts. I don't want to.
7. This crap that's taken up residence in my sinuses. Ugh. I have the best deep, husky voice right now though. Except my throat hurts from the drainage and the cough. K4 has it too.
8. Realizing just how little time there is before Christmas, and how little I have done.
9. The dog getting into the trash and eating chicken wrappers. Ugh! And spreading garbage all over the kitchen floor.
10. Hitting the "publish post" button, only to get an error page. Luckily, I didn't have to start over, but I lost a few things!
I think that's enough for one day!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Feel Good Friday

One sad and depressing note before I get to the good stuff...
The one kitchen appliance I rely on the most - not as much as the refrigerator, but more than the coffee pot - has died. Let's all bow our heads in reverence to my crock pot. I loved my crock pot, even without the handles, even with the stainless steel scratched and stained. Now it's gone, and I have no idea what I'm going to do without it.
Seriously. I don't.
Okay. The good list:
1. Supernatural viewings that go very late and make me tired and cranky the next morning, but are so worth it for so many other reasons.
2. The way my family rearranged their schedules so I could have some time off.
3. It's Friday.
4. New pages.
5. Brainstorms that fix the old pages.
6. New laptop power cords.
7. The coming weekend.
8. Eggnog creamer for my coffee.
It's a short list for a long week, but that doesn't mean the week was bad. Just even. I guess.
Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thursday Things

A random collection of the things running through my beleaguered brain right now.
1. Time - It's already December 4th. That leaves 21 days to shop, decorate, and take care of all the chaos that is the holidays and regular life. Out of those 21 days, 18 are booked - some double-booked or more. I don't know when we'll get our tree, or if we'll even attempt outside decorations this year. I need a time machine.
2. Shopping - Haven't started. Have no clue where to begin. No lists have been handed to me, though I've asked several times. The "girls only" shopping night has been established, but I prefer to be nearly done by then and I haven't even started. I have no idea if I'll have time to start before then.
3. Cookies - K3 and K4 have delusions of grandeur when it comes to making cookies. They want to make a lot - different kinds, complicated kinds. I have a list of wanted cookies from them, but no gift list yet. Go figure.
4. Puppies - We still not getting one.
5. Cleaning - Our last area to take care of is the attic. It's also the worst. The boys are up there, and while I normally wouldn't interfere in their version of clean and organization, there's no choice. The attic storage areas are bursting at the seams. I've taken care of part of one, but since I was working on K4's closet at the time, I left a huge mess behind. A mess that has taken over my dining room because K1 can't hook his computer up until the mess is gone. His computer is on my dining room table. It's stressing me out.
6. The joy that accompanied the arrival of my new laptop power cord. I'm so thrilled that I can now move around again! Of course, they dropped it off sometime yesterday - late, because I would have seen it earlier, and it sat on the porch all night when I could have been using it last night. That's besides the point though.
Okay, that's enough weirdness for one post.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Yeah, 1 was right.
1. We'd already finished out the school year in Iowa, but they made us go for the last 2 weeks of school here. It was that, or repeat the year we'd finished. I don't know why, exactly. It was insanely unfair and none of us were happy about it. In my my mind, it was because they thought we must be stupid hicks because we came from a really small town and weren't in any way up to the educational standards of kids here. They were wrong. I remember being so bored. So bored. I also remember being a goof-off storyteller. I don't think one person in my class knew if I was telling the truth. (not so much different than now, huh?)
2. Yeah, we did move a lot, but it was more like 7 times, and only 5 states - or something like that.
3. I'm not sure if my dad ever rode a bull, but he wasn't a professional bull rider. He met my mom when my mom's cousin (I think - I used to think it was her brother, but I'm pretty sure that story is false) brought him home from the Navy on leave. Guess I'll have to find out if Dad has any bull riding in his past.
Yeah, it was a lame one. I'm already working on next weeks, but I can't guarantee it'll be fantastic or anything. I'm still pretty much drawing blanks or dark, demented tales of murder and mayhem.
Oh my...Out of the mouths of babes. K4 and B were having a political discussion about gas prices and all kinds of things. B was trying to explain political concepts to her in easy to understand language. She came out with something about the president (don't know if it's present or future) handing out condoms to kids. When B asked her if she knew what a condom was, she said..."a small house attached to other houses".
There's your chuckle for today.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tall Tale Tuesday

Which of the following is true:
1. When we moved here from Iowa, we were forced to finish out the school year here, even though we'd already finished in Iowa.
2. By the time we moved here, my family had moved a total of 12 times, in 7 different states.
3. My dad used to be a bull rider. He met my mother while performing at a state fair in Mississippi. He was 22, she was 19. They got married three weeks later. After he broke his leg and arm for the fourth time, he retired.
Only one statement is true.
Okay, so it's lame this week. I've been wracking my brain for days trying to come up with something coherent that didn't require tons of research time (which I don't have right now). I'll try to do better next week, but it'll depend on me getting done with all I have to do this week.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Moaning Monday

Here we go...
1. 2 straight days of rain that should be snow!
2. It's Monday...'nuff said.
3. Under the weather children.
4. A very, very long day.
5. Smaller humans who don't seem to remember that they have to pick up after themselves.
6. The incredibly long wait time from order date to ship date on a stinking power cord.
7. A broken power cord that makes me afraid to change locations with the laptop.
8. Having no idea what to do for Tall Tale Tuesday.
9. Supernatural hiatus. :(
10. Too much on the calendar.
That's all...sort of...but enough...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

More Intrigued

Unfortunately, this picture is no better than the last one I posted of this old, cool-as-hell place. I'm still searching for information on it, and still coming up empty handed. I think I might have to ask the owners about the history and if I can take some closer shots, maybe get a peek inside. I'll let you know how I make out. I need to know more.
Okay, can I just say...tomorrow is December 1st? Yeah, I can since this is my blog. Ha. That's all I'm going to say though. I think I say the same thing every month, so just expand what I normally say by like a thousand and you'll get how I'm feeling about it being December already. So totally not ready for the hysteria of the holidays. I think I have hives over it!
Short and sweet today!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Feel Good Friday

The post Thanksgiving edition.
1. Family and friends who are family and getting to be with most of them yesterday.
2. Lots of good food.
3. Playing games.
4. Birthdays.
5. Laughing until my stomach hurts.
6. Good books to read.
7. Sleeping in.
8. Good friends.
I think that about covers it. I'm sure I missed some stuff though.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your table be blessed with not only good food, but good friends as well!
May you never forget what you are thankful for!
To my oldest baby girl!
It's amazing to see the young woman you've become.
I'm so proud of you!!
(and feeling just a tiny bit old today!)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Okay. The lies...
Natalie got the year right. The pilgrims landed in December of 1620 so there was no way her mother had been dead for 2 years after the long boat ride.
A brief thought on the productive farming...farms may not have been as productive as they eventually were, but they were harvesting corn thanks to the Wampanoag. This one is a gray area, though I didn't intend it as the second lie.
The second lie:
They didn't eat cranberries at that first feast. They didn't have pumpkin pie either. Sad. I know. When did cranberries become part of Thanksgiving? I have no idea. I didn't get that far in my research.
So there you have it.
Tune in next week for more Tall Tale Tuesday. I have no idea what it'll be yet.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tall Tale Tuesday

Thanksgiving style...
Read the story. Tell me the lies. There are two.

I was seventeen in the fall of 1621. My eighteenth birthday would fall on the second day of the feast, and I would marry Joesph the Sunday following the celebration. Since only four married women survived the journey and our first winter here, I was obligated to help in any way I could. Unfortunately, that meant preparing the fish for cooking and washing basket upon basket of cranberries. I missed the gentle guidance of my mother. She'd died shortly after the journey to the new land two years prior. I held her hand as she suffered through her final breaths. She made me promise to marry Joesph and to be a good wife. It was that promise I was now regretting. I didn't love Joesph. I didn't want to marry him. He was handsome enough, and nice. He had a productive farm not far from my father's. Sturdy - good husband material - but not my love.
I glanced out the window, watching the man who had captured my heart. He was Wampanoag and therefore an unlikely candidate for my husband. I call him Eli, though that's not his given name. My father refuses to listen to my pleas about my marriage to Joesph. He refuses to listen to my heart. All he does is remind me of the promise I made Ma. I'm trapped. And miserable. Picking up the bucket of fish guts, I went out the door. It was dangerous to continue to talk to Eli when my fate was already sealed, but I had to. I needed to. He smiled when he saw me, my heart shattered, lurching at the sight of him. He'd asked me to run away with him and I've yet to give him an answer.

Two lies. What are they?
(No, I'm not talking about me. It's a first person story, so don't even think you can use the "I's" as an answer! And you'll have to ignore any spelling/grammar/punctuation mistakes in the story. I'm in a rush to get everything on my list done before the holiday!)

Monday, November 24, 2008


No Moaning Monday post. There's so much moaning, I wouldn't even know where to start. We won't even go there.
Instead, we're going to talk about this picture. B and I drove by this old building the other day, and again over the weekend. We tried to find a way to get closer, but apparently, it's on private property. I made him slow down so I could take this picture, but it seriously doesn't do it justice.
There's just something about this building. It's three stories high, brick, and ages old. I've spent a lot of time researching it, to no avail. I can't find any information. Though from the bridge remnants around it, and the evidence of an old road, this was maybe a hotel, or an old trading post, or someplace significant to the area.
I want to know so badly. I keep thinking about it. I can imagine it in it's heyday.
Maybe it's just my interest in old buildings, but the lack of knowledge is driving me nuts.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We Are Not Getting a Puppy!

We're not! I mean it!
But if we would be between these two pretty girls. I'm sorta partial to the one in the front - the gray, tan, and black spotted one.
They're about 3 weeks old. Their eyes just opened and they make the cutest little grunting noise. There are 9 in the litter. I can't remember how many of each.
The kids and B are in love. They want. A lot.
Oh. What kind of puppies? Great Dane.
As if we're not already insane enough around here with our Newfoundland/Border Collie mix. Two huge dogs?
No one is listening to me...
I think I'm doomed!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Feel Good Friday

Wow. It's been a long week. Let's see if I can sum up the good stuff.
1. SNOW!!
2. Reading "Twilight".
3. Supernatural - though I'm still processing the episode.
4. Feeling encouraged writing-wise.
5. That my near hysteria yesterday was completely unfounded, and a result of a frazzle-brained teenager and lack of time-telling skills.
6. Being warm.
7. Less than a week until the Thanksgiving gathering and birthday celebration.
8. Puppies! (we're still not getting one!)
9. It's Friday!
10. Sleeping in tomorrow!
Okay. I think that's enough. In all, not a bad week.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Believe it or not, the one thing that did not happen in my house was number 1.

1. That smell I mentioned? The terrible, assaulting odor that seemed to come from the basement...I finally found it late last night. In the form of a half-eaten sandwich wrapped in foil and left in a jacket pocket. Estimated date of origination: Last weekend - specifically last Sunday when we were traveling to a birthday party and running around like fools.
**While the smell appears to be gone, or at least muted, I never found the source.

2. K3 gave himself a bald spot by cutting his hair. It was sticking up. Yes. He's 12.
**True! I noticed he had a bald spot Monday night, and when I asked him about it he tearfully admitted to lopping off some hair that was sticking up. I don't know what's up with that. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure it out.

3. K4 got caught with a pen spring in her mouth, and a hunk of paper.
**Also true! She's been doing this a lot lately, and not only is it really annoying, but potentially dangerous. I've already been through this with one kid and that included a trip to the ER because he accidentally swallowed what he was chewing on - a calculator battery. Yeah. Fun stuff.

I swear everyone in my house has reverted to toddler age. My stock phrase lately has been, "What are you, two?" It's like living in a circus sometimes.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tall Tale Tuesday

I'm going to use the old format this week because I have to.

Which of these did not happen in my house within the past twenty-four hours:

1. That smell I mentioned? The terrible, assaulting odor that seemed to come from the basement...I finally found it late last night. In the form of a half-eaten sandwich wrapped in foil and left in a jacket pocket. Estimated date of origination: Last weekend - specifically last Sunday when we were traveling to a birthday party and running around like fools.
2. K3 gave himself a bald spot by cutting his hair. It was sticking up. Yes. He's 12.
3. K4 got caught with a pen spring in her mouth, and a hunk of paper.

You know the drill. I'm looking for what did NOT happen.
There is one person who knows the answer to this, at least I think she knows. (Could you maybe not comment until later? Please!)


Monday, November 17, 2008

Moaning Monday

Are you sick of hearing me whine every Monday?
Too bad...
Here's my list:
1. I'm cold. No matter what I do I can't get warm.
2. My old body is sore from the weekend activities. (get your mind out of the gutter! I meant raking leaves and loading boxes)
3. I'm tired and every time I think of all I need to do, I get even tired-er.
4. Edits on my shifter short are going much slower than I expected/want thanks to the stuff from #3, life in general, and a major plot change.
5. There is so much clean laundry on my couch that it's laughable. Seriously.
6. So far, dinner doesn't smell appealing. Maybe it's just me though.
7. Homework should be illegal on Monday. I'm only saying.
8. Something is causing a horrid odor in my house. I thought it was the kitchen trash, though I emptied it yesterday evening. The first thing I did when I got home was empty it again. I thought the smell went away. I was wrong. I realized that when I went downstairs to start the laundry. The smell seemed to be coming from either the utility sink, or the general area. I ran some bleach down the drain of the sink and sorted through the laundry, looking, thinking perhaps someone had something that rotted in their pocket (it's possible - you just never know around here), or that maybe a potato had fallen out of the basket at the top of the steps and fallen, unseen, to the basement floor to rot, but I still don't know. A continuing moaning adventure, to be sure.
9. Grumpy children.
10. Too short spans of sunlight.
That's all.
Tall Tale Tuesday tomorrow!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Feel Good Friday

Okay, let's see how the week went...
1. My dog being all clean and pretty.
2. Spending time with my sister.
3. Getting a second viewing of last night's Supernatural with my sister.
4. Supernatural.
5. Sam and Ruby and no shirt and big arms and...*drops to the floor, dead*
6. Next week's Supernatural preview of Dean with no shirt.
7. Gas points and major savings.
8. Today is Friday.
9. Getting stuff done, even though I feel like I'm never going to get it all done.
10. Supernatural chats.
11. Being warm.
12. The crunch of the leaves when I walk through them.
13. Thanksgiving plans.
14. Passing a bus with Santa driving. It was the Christmas Express, or North Pole Express, or something like that. And yes, it's way too early for me to even think about Christmas, but seeing that old man with a white beard and Santa suit behind the wheel made me smile.
That's all I can think of right now. A markedly better week this week, but still too insane around here.
Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Random Thursday

Watching the new Indiana Jones movie while I type this. Multitasking, if you will. I've heard mixed things about this movie. K1 said it was like Spielberg and Lucas puked in your face. I know a lot of other people who really liked it. At first I thought I was going to hate it, but I can't say that now. It's not over, so no review at this point.
When my friends and I were discussing a story idea I have, Burkholder suggested I watch the series "Dark Angel". She loaned me the first season, which I've been watching in between everything else. That means I'm far enough to be totally hooked and am now bummed since finding out there are only two seasons. There's a lot to like about the series, namely Logan, and Max's kickass style, but some of it makes me roll my eyes. That's okay with me though, because I can ignore cheesy lines and characters when the rest of it's good.
New Supernatural tonight. I feel like I haven't seen it in ages, which is funny since I just watched it last week. I didn't get a chance for a second viewing though, and I've been too busy to hang around You Tube searching for new fanvids.
That's about it. Been kind of a random day around here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


So what did you think of the new format?
I'll probably use a mix between the two styles for future Tall Tale Tuesdays, and I'm still not promising it as a weekly installment yet. answers...
Yeah, Jo nailed it.
Reagan was sworn in for his second term in office.
The time of year was a lie.
As for the "New Coke" - it came out at the beginning of May that year. I didn't start drinking diet soda until well after 1985.
Yes, it was only seven stitches...believe it or not. The kicker on that was the fact that even though I got to leave work early, I had to drive myself to the ER. My right hand was wrapped in at least a whole roll of paper towels, and I had a manual transmission. It was fantastic fun.
Thanks for playing, and for bearing with me as I tweak this version!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tall Tale Tuesday

I'm trying a different type of Tall Tale Tuesday. Let me know what you think.
Below is a brief story. In the story, you will find two outright lies.
What are they?
The year was 1985. I remember what happened that day with such clarity. The day before, Ronald Reagan had been sworn into office for his first term. I remember because since I'd voted for the first time in my life, the process deserved my attention. I'd just cracked open a can of "New Coke", thirsty from the hot summer sun and the work of washing my truck, when I looked at my watch. I was late for work. The job I could do without, but not the money. I'd graduated a few weeks earlier, and had yet to begin the process of finding a "grown up" job. I hurried to get to work on time, wishing I had the guts to call off. A person could only slice so much deli meat before the mere thought of eating a sandwich made the stomach turn. I went anyway, thinking of ways to get out of there early, even though I was scheduled to close. My wishful thoughts turned to reality as I joked with the manager on duty. I waved my hand in dramatic conversation and hit the blade of the slicer I was cleaning, effectively engaging three fingers on my right hand with the just-sharpened blade. Needless to say, I left work early. I spent most of the evening in the emergency room getting seven stitches in my fingers.
* * *
Like I said, two outright lies.
Still no prize, except a hearty pat on the back for getting it right.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Moaning Monday

Not a lot to moan about today.
My main gripe is that when I got home this afternoon it was as cold, or colder, inside the house as the outside. I was trying to type with gloves on, my feet were numb, and no matter what I did, I couldn't get warm.
But I'm warm now, so I guess I can't really moan about being cold anymore.
Other than that...
It's Monday. That's a moan all of its own.
I did have a fantastic experience today. Thanks to our grocery store's incentive-to-shop-there program and a coupon for addition gas points, I ended up paying 79.9 cents per gallon this morning. You can get up to 30 gallons, which meant I very nearly filled my tank for less than twenty-five bucks. (The Suburban has a 42-gallon tank, but I had a little gas already) That's pretty sweet. The receipt gives you the amount you saved - which was thirty-six dollars. I'm saving that one.
Tall Tale Tuesday will be making a comeback tomorrow. Wait for it.
I can't promise it'll be a weekly thing quite yet, but we'll see what happens.
That's all...


I think I forgot to mention that while we were looking forward to most things this past weekend, the general insanity and constant running were not something that floated my boat. Sunday was even busier than Saturday, which is why I missed posting.
Friday night K2 had a friend sleepover and they decided to watch scary movies all night. I stayed up with them for a little while, but when I went to bed, they asked me to turn on the kitchen light. Neither would give me a reason why they all of a sudden needed the light on. Ha!
Saturday's birthday party was a lot of fun and we got to see people we haven't seen in nearly 2 years. There were a lot of little ones there, and a lot of little one crying. B and I were transported back in time, then we were glad little one screaming is no longer a part of our daily life.
Sunday was constant chaos. We hustled to my brother's for my niece's 21st birthday party to see another family we haven't seen in a long time - not 2 years long - but considering we used to be together nearly every weekend, it's been a long time. Had to rush home from there for three different activities and didn't end up finishing the day until 9 pm.
And that's why I didn't post yesterday...
I'll be back later for Moaning Monday!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Random Saturday

No lucid and logical thoughts come to mind today, but I think you've come to expect that from me.
I have two subjects:
1. Leaves - the two enormous trees in our backyard finally turned a beautiful shade of yellow on Monday. By Wednesday, they decided they were done supporting those leaves and the yard filled with crunchy, beautiful leaves. A nice thing. I usually don't mind raking as long as it's not just me doing it. But the dog piles didn't get picked up due to rain and busyness and this weekend is so packed for us, it'll be next weekend before we can even think about getting a start on it.
2. Birthdays - This weekend is birthday party crazy. Today we head up to my sisters. Tomorrow to my brothers. After tomorrow, we get a short break before it starts all over again. K2's birthday falls on Thanksgiving this year, which she happens to really like. Makes it easier for coordinating the celebration since we'll all be together anyway.
That's all for now. Now I have to get my crew ready to depart, do some birthday shopping, and make a grocery store run for guacamole ingredients before time to be there.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Feel Good Friday

What a long week!
Here's the list:
1. It's Friday!
2. Supernatural
3. Supernatural chat
4. Sleeping in tomorrow.
5. Weekend plans.
A short list this week.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wednesday Weirdness

Actually, there wasn't so much weirdness today as there was rudeness. Today was another one of those days where most of the people I interacted with were ignorant, condescending, and downright rude. Welcome to my week. Let's just say Friday's feel good list probably won't be very long at all this week and leave it at that.
Things got better when I got home, but here I'm faced with the horrible mess that is my house - thanks to all the running around I've had to do this week. That's no good either, but I am working on it. Actually, I'm not anymore. Dinner's done, my brother's been here for dinner and is now off to college, the laundry's started, and some basic essentials have been taken care of. I'm planning on vegging the rest of the night and here's what I'm going to do tomorrow:
Staying in my jammies and watching Supernatural all day long.
That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Do It

I don't care about your political views.
I don't care what you think about the candidates.
I don't care which party you registered under.
Just go vote!
It's your duty and your right.
And if you don't, then I don't want to hear you bitch about the way our country's being run. You have no right to do so if you don't exercise your freedom.
Make your voice heard.
Go Vote!

Birthday Wishes

These few weeks are intense with birthdays around here. Between the middle of October and the end of November, we have 18 birthdays to celebrate. Just from November 1 to November 9, we have 5.
Today is my friend Jo's birthday. Click on the link to go to her my space page and listen to some of her music. She's a very gifted musician. You'll be glad you did. Jo and I have been friends for a very, very long time. She's one of those people who are always there for you no matter what - kind of like gum on your shoe, or that zit that just won't go away. Ha!! Just kidding. If you've read The Shape of Love, you'll see her name in the dedication section because she's one of the people who pushed me until I did something to make writing more than a distant dream. She's also incredibly fun to be around. Take this picture, for example, we'd been having a silent battle of wills with the aged at our last camp out, and this celebratory fist pump was because we won the contest of who could stay up later. Ha! So, before I get mushy and stuff, let me just say...Happy Birthday, Jo! (see? not quite what you expected to see here when I told you to make sure you checked out the blog today!)
There you have it!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Moaning Monday

Honestly, it's been so much of that kind of day that I don't even know where to start. Maybe I'll just skip the moaning part and talk about something else. But what...?
I know! The one subject that makes me feel better no matter how crappy my day was. Do you want to take a guess? Come on, I'm sure you can figure it out...
Yes. Supernatural.
I'm in serious need of some TiVo action in this house. Or at least the brains to set up the VCR every Thursday. TiVo would be better. I'm in serious love with the sound it makes when you fast-forward through commercials. Okay, so that's beside the point. But it would be really swell to watch it whenever I want.
This season has been incredible. Every week I think I couldn't love it more, and then the new episode comes on and I'm proven wrong. I'm not going to get into the details, because I'm having some serious brain-related thinking issues and couldn't tell you what happened five minutes ago, let alone what happened last Thursday.
But here's this: Sam using his yellow-eyed power is hot. Dean looking up into the light is hot. Castiel is hot. And no, the shows appeal to me is not about the general take-your-breath-away-oh-my-God-those-boys-are-beautiful stuff. Though it's a definite perk. There's so much more to it, I can't even begin to describe it to you.
I loves it and that's all that matters.
And that's all you get on this crappy, crappy Monday!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Giving It Up...

I'm not sure how to start this post. So I'm just going to shoot from the hip and hope at least some of it makes sense...
A writer is a different type of person. Our brains work in odd ways most of the time. Even when we're doing mundane tasks, things are clicking around in there - things that usually only make sense to another writer, things that make non-writers wonder about the state of our sanity. It's very rare that taking an unplanned day off makes me glad. It's not like working any other job I've ever had where you're thrilled to have a day off. Yes, I take time off - every writer I know does. As much as we love what we do, we need a break from our work as well, but it's different somehow and I'm not sure how to explain that. Maybe I won't even try, because that's not supposed to be my point.
Writing the book is totally different from the rest of the things we do as writers. Writing the book is pure joy most of the time. Yes, sometimes that book kicks our butts and makes us wonder why we ever thought it was a good idea to write it, but that's another post entirely. It's the other stuff that slams you in the gut with a two-by-four and then laughs at you as you're rolling around in the gutter. That other stuff is what eats at your motivation and your soul and has you questioning what the hell it is you think you're doing. It makes you question your craft and your words and your skill. It makes you think about quitting.
I'd be lying if I said I've never thought about walking away from writing. When you're doubled over in pain from your fourth rejection in a week and those rejections have stripped the determination right out of you, it's hard not to wonder what in the hell you think you're doing. You can't help but question it. The rejections seem to get harder to deal with and you wonder how much more you can take.
And then it fades, occasionally rearing the ugly head of "you suck" during low periods, but on the whole, you're able to beat it back with the stick you found just for that purpose. And you keep trying. Sometimes that question...Should I just not do this anymore?...Gets stuck in your head.
Here's the thing...
If you think you can just turn off being a writer, then do it. If you think you can just walk away and go work as a greeter at some ginormous department store and life will be peachy and perfect, then, for crying out loud, do it. If you think it's worth walking away from what's probably years of learning and honing your craft and exploring your voice and style, then, don't walk, run. Quit. Don't try anymore. Because honestly, even if you're widely famous and uber published, the only one you're really going to hurt is you.
Sure, your fans might be disappointed, but they'll get over it and find someone who is still writing books for them.
Maybe you're not published and you think quitting will make your life so much easier. Then, go ahead. Quit. Because I swear to you, if you can walk away like that - no matter how many books you've written, sold, or just sketched out - you are NOT a writer.
Writer's can't quit. Not really. Sure, you can take a break, suffer burn out, step back to re-evaluate your career and your direction - that's normal stuff. We all deal with it occasionally. Sometimes we think part of us has died and dried up, and then we discover that feeling came about because we weren't taking care of the vessel, or maybe the real world has thrown you so many fast balls that the switchboard in your brain has gotten all tangled and shorted out. You take care of yourself and eventually, the spark appears one day and says, "Remember me? It's about damn time. Let's get to work."
But if you can really walk away, then you weren't ever a writer to begin with. If you're really a writer, not writing anymore would be like losing your ability to see, or breathe. It's part of you. Writing's part of your soul. It's part of your being, not something you can hack off and toss in the dust bin.
If you're feeling like it's time to quit, then maybe you need to take a step back and get your perspective back in order. Take a break and let your mojo rebuild and while you're doing that ask yourself what you'd lose by giving up your dreams. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and recieve rejection after rejection. It does hurt when the rejections pour in and good words are so few and far between you think there just aren't any for you. You think you must suck.
But seriously, are you really willing to let your dream go?

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Wow. November already.
That's crazy and I do realize I say "wow" every month. Seriously though. What's happened to 2008? It's nearly gone already.
Honestly, and I know I've touched on this before, I'm not sure this year was as fantastic as I'd hoped it would be. Part of me wants to give it up and officially start 2009 early, and the other part (the superstitious/optimistic part) thinks I should give these last two months their fair chance, and that maybe one of the reasons this year wasn't too swell is because I denied the last few months of 2007. Revenge, you know...
Today was my RWA chapter meeting. Always a good time. There's something to be said for hanging out with a bunch of like-minded individuals, as I've said before. I'll be giving up my librarian job and taking on the role of chapter vice president starting in January. This was our last official business meeting this year. Next month, we'll gather for food and socializing at our holiday party. That's always a good time.
So, there you have it...some rambling for a Saturday.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Feel Good Friday

This week's feel good moments...
1. The book is DONE!
2. The library inventory is being worked on and is about 1/3 or more done. Probably more.
3. Living through trick or treat night with a tired 8-year old who decided she was done when we were about 2 miles from home.
4. Supernatural.
5. Beautiful Sam and Dean Winchester.
6. Supernatural chats.
7. Birthdays.
8. Friday.
9. Being warm.
10. Tomorrow's meeting.
So...there you have it...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trick or Treat

Tonight is our Trick or Treat night in our town.
Which means around 6 p.m., the streets will fill with costumed candy hunters of all ages. There's supposed to be an age limit on who should go door to door and beg for treats, but I've never denied candy to anyone who appears to be over the age. The kids are always respectful and it's fun to see how they dress up.
We'll have a crew here. A crew to head out and ring doorbells and a crew to sit on the porch and dole out candy. My folks don't get any trick or treaters at their house, so they come here to watch the festivities. B's Mom comes up too. She lives right behind us, but since no one realizes there's actually a front door there, she gets no one either.
Now it's homework time - both K3 and K4 have quite a bit to complete before it's time to head out. And then there's the costumes to assemble, dinner to eat, pictures to know the drill. K2 is going out, though she has no idea what she's dressing as. K3 has decided to be a Sith Lord from Star Wars. K4 will be a cat tonight.
*I started this post over an hour ago. During that time, my brother has come to change and head off to college. Various children and other adults have arrived. My folks aren't coming now because my mom's not feeling well and make up is being applied, teeth are being adjusted, and costumes are in the finishing stages. It's much, much calmer now than it was even ten minutes ago.
All I have to say is the chaos better be done before Supernatural comes on!

Ha ha ha!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Managed a little over 4,000 words today. I'm getting there. But how the kitteh feels is how I's feelin', only a lettle more to the E. Bed now.
Update again tomorrow...

Getting It All Done...

Or at least trying...
I'm feeling a little behind the eight-ball here. This week is flying by and I have a massive amount of stuff to do before Saturday's RWA chapter meeting.
My goal was to finish my current wip. Which would have been done by now if I hadn't taken nearly a week off to write a short story, but that's beside the point. I have slightly less than nine-thousand words to write and only three days to do it. Normally, I would scoff at that - seems like a very doable thing for me - normally. (Not the "for me" - you shouldn't judge your output by anyone elses)
But, in addition to that, I have an obligation tomorrow for most of the day, Trick or Treat night tomorrow night (with guests coming to use my house as home base), costumes and snack food to prepare for the school's shindig on Friday, and a library to inventory. Not to mention a bunch of household admin duties - like long phone calls to our cellular provider to let them know the battery they sent for K2's phone doesn't work and is apparently not the reason her phone stopped working, and that's probably the least time consuming.
Since I'm running for chapter vice-president, I'll be giving up my librarian job. I have box upon box to sort through, catalog, organize, and remove items that no longer belong. A CD of information needs to be burned, as well as the current sign out sheet and copies of past newsletter articles. And I need to load everything up into the back of my Suburban for Saturday morning.
The thing you have to remember is that I've been the librarian for a long time - maybe 5 years or so. I'm not going to know what to do with the re-found space. I've been pretty good about keeping the items organized, but truthfully, this inventory doesn't excite me much. Shocker, huh?
Oh, and on top of all of that, my washing machine is making a very scary noise - like death knell scary - and Bob's car is making a similar noise.
Is it 2009 yet?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ridiculous Things...

Just a partial list of general ridiculousness...
1. I finally found the 99.5% of my missing K2's room. She had 17 towels stored in there. No wonder I felt like we were always out of towels.
2. Last night, while delivering the lit birthday cake to the birthday boy, I caught my hair on fire...are you done laughing yet?...I looked down and what I saw looked like how leaves burn. I managed not to drop the cake, or catch anything else on fire, but holy crap, batman, it stunk so bad - not just my hair, but the entire house. When I got in the shower this morning and the water hit it, I was treated to a replay of how great it smelled.
3. No walk today because of stupid wind and rain. And it's cold.
4. Putting dinner in the crock pot and forgetting to plug it in.
5. Sending the kid to the bus stop (without an umbrella), then realizing it's raining and you should have just taken him to school, but it's too late now because the bus is waiting at the traffic light. At least he didn't have to wait in the rain for long.
6. Programming music to play on my laptop and then forgetting to un-mute the sound.
I think that's enough for now...the hair burning and the towels are the most spectacular, at least to me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Birthdays and Silliness

Last night B and I went to the toy store to birthday shop for K3. While we were there, this T-rex jumped off the shelf and tried to eat B's leg. First, I took a picture, then I saved B's life.

Then, gators jumped off the shelf and chased us. We were lucky to get out of the aisle alive. B screamed like a little girl and ran, but I stayed behind to take this picture with my phone.

(We were lucky - okay - I was lucky they didn't kick me out of the store.)

Today is K3's 12th birthday.

I can't believe my baby boy is 12. I was talking this morning about how certain birthdays hit me harder than others. This is one of those with impact. He's already in middle school, already talking about what kind of car he likes, what he'd like to do as a career, and growing a mustache. Okay - the mustache is a joke. He's a great kid - polite, smart, enthusiastic, sensitive, and kind. He loves to cook and has more cookbooks than I do. He plans on being a chef and having his own Food Network show. When someone picks on his sister, he's there - defending her in this quiet way that usually ends the behavior. His sense of humor is amazing and never fails to catch me off guard. He's my baby boy. And he's 12. Sniffle.

Okay, enough mommy rambling. Today is packed full of birthday preparations though we're not doing a big shindig this year. There are gifts to wrap, food to purchase and prepare, and a cake to make, in addition to cleaning up the house and figuring out which kid has 90% of the towels in their room. I'm hoping to squeeze some writing time in there as well. I plan to.

I need to get moving...


Sunday, October 26, 2008


Random thoughts related to writing.
November is National Novel Writing Month. I've never participated, but I friends do and they love it. The idea of writing an entire novel in a month is appealing, the competition is also appealing. So why have I never done it? Well, mainly because I've never been in a position to do so. You're supposed to start something new - write word one on page one on day one. I'm always at a different place on day one - in the middle of something else or deep in edits I don't want to stop. Eventually, I'll get there. Even if I only participate on the sidelines. They even have a category for young writers, which I really love because my friend's daughters are participating and when I told my niece the glow of excitement and possibility in her eyes reminded me how I feel about my own writing. Young writers should be encouraged - but that's another post.
My point?
This past week, my writing friends and I have been reporting in daily on our progress. We weren't doing a challenge, there was nothing on the line, but we all had goals to meet and reporting in after meeting those goals was like icing on the cake. On Thursday, four of us wrote over 13-thousand words - the total would have been higher, but one of us had some serious non-fiction work to complete.
That's my point...(maybe, we'll see)
Writing is a lonely thing. We gather ourselves and spend our writing time in solitary confinement. No human contact, no gathering at the water cooler for a few moments of "real world" contact. When we take a break, it's usually to check email, switch a load of laundry, and maybe do a little research on the 'net. Sometimes, especially when the pages aren't flowing, you think about picking up the phone to call someone just to hear another human voice. Then, you force yourself to stop because you've been very specific about the time being dedicated to only writing and not social stuff. If you alter that, you'll throw yourself off track for the whole day. It's better to just get back to the pages even if you have to force yourself into it. A timer works well for that. A timer works well - period.
Setting a goal and having to report that you didn't make it when you had the whole day to do so isn't fun. All you end up doing is making excuses and I don't know about you, but my writing friends can see right through excuses and will totally kick my butt for that. Or they understand what knocked me off track and offer support and advice while I wade through it, and then kick my butt if I haven't gotten over it in a reasonable amount of time.
They're really good at reminding me of what I'm supposed to be doing, about keeping me on track and cheering me on when I meet or exceed the goals I've set. At the end of a long lonely day, that's usually just what I need to get me started on the next day.
(apparently, my point is multi-faceted)
And my point(s) would be this:
1. Set goals for yourself - whether it means setting the timer and racing yourself, breaking your writing time into small increments and seeing if you can beat your previous word count, reporting that goal to your friends at the beginning of the day, and telling your progress at the end of the day.
2. If you don't have some like-minded writing friends - get some. You won't be sorry. Not only do they help keep you accountable for the goals you've set, but the additional benefits help fill that creative well I've talked about. You don't have to be "close, personal friends" at first. That usually comes with time and familiarity, but make the effort to connect with other writers.
Out of every person you know, they're the ones that are always going to "get" you. They know what it's like, how if feels, what you're struggling with, and are fellow travelers on your journey. Your family can support you 200% - they can respect your writing time, your dreams, your ambition and listen to you ramble about your story, your fears, and your rejections and that's fantastic to have. But no one but another writer understands the highs and lows, the stark fear, the empty well, the satisfaction, the high that comes when out of many hours spent slogging through the wordpile you end up with two sentences that fill you with glee. That's the plain and simple truth.
3. Write. Don't spend too much time thinking about things. Sit down and write. If your stuck, write anything - nonsense, a silly story, a journal entry - anything, because eventually you'll break through whatever it is that might be holding you back and creative words will flow.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Feel Good Friday, The Saturday Edition

Yeah, I know I'm a day late. Forgive me.
Feel good things from my week.
1. Having a quiet week.
2. Finishing the short story I started Saturday.
3. Research that makes me giggle and say "wow, I had no idea".
4. Supernatural! Always!
5. Surprise endings to Supernatural. (see video below)
6. Chatting after Supernatural and all the goofy names we sign in with.
7. Plans coming together even if the purpose for the plans aren't all that great.
8. Hanging out with my sibs. (that's tonight - I have two of them staying here tonight because we have to get up at o'dark-thirty in the morning to make it to the funeral on time.)
The list looks kind of lame this week, but in all, it was a decent week.
That is all...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fantastic Ending

Loved this surprise ending to Supernatural last night!!



Thursday, October 23, 2008

Supernatural Thursday!

Long, but well worth the time. The boys in black and white and all of the funny moments from last week's episode!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Saturday, October 25
10am - 1pm
One Good Woman
1845 Market Street
Camp Hill, PA
The authors of The Shape of Love will be available to sign copies, as well as other local authors signing their books.
If you didn't get a copy of The Shape of Love, maybe you should stop by!
Unfortunately, due to a family funeral, I won't be able to attend.
If you end up stopping by to get your very own The Shape of Love, shoot me an email and I'll make arrangements with you to sign it for you.
Oh, and make sure you say "Happy Birthday" to Vicky Burkholder!

Wednesday Why?

A list of why...
1. Why is it so cold?
2. Why is my dog acting like there are squirrels in the house? When she's outside, she barks like mad while watching the tree. When she's inside, she barks like mad and runs around the house.
3. Why are puppies such an effective bargaining chip? (we are NOT getting a puppy!)
4. Why do the stores already have Christmas items for sale?
5. Why is K2 trying to break her own texting record?
6. Why does no one in my house remember to pick up after themselves? What am I, the maid? (don't bother answering that!)
7. Why is it only the middle of the week?
8. Why is my cat claiming the dog's baby? (The dog has a stuffed pig that's her baby. She carries it around with her and sleeps with it. If you tell her to put her baby to bed, she takes it and shoves it into the couch.) Now the cat is carrying it around and biting it.
9. Why is this list so stupid?
Okay...gonna stop there before I start complaining about being cold again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's Bedtime...

So why am I still up?
Well, I'll tell you...
I took care of 99% of my admin duties yesterday so I could have today as primarily a writing day. I only had 6 things on my famous "to do" list today, and this is the only thing not crossed off. Though it will be in a few.
I ended up staying up later than I'd planned, because, as usual, my best-laid plans went awry. The morning went okay, despite the frigid temperature in my house. I took a walk, then came back home and finished catching up on email. Well...then things kind of went haywire after that and I just now met the goal I'd set for myself. A goal, that on a day without haywire, would have been finished before the first kid came home from school. That's beside the point though. Some things just can't be helped. But there was no way I was going to give up this goal. I knew I'd be pissed at myself if I stopped before reaching it. Now I can go to bed feeling like I've accomplished something even while dealing with issues no one expects or likes to deal with.
The lovely thing is that when I came home from the monthly scout committee meeting, the house was nice and warm. It was hard not to melt into puddle of cozy bliss.
And now...
I'm crossing off my final item and going to bed!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Moaning Monday

Well, it's Monday again. Bleech!
Here are my Moaning Monday issues:
1. 90% of the people I've interacted with today have been rude and nasty.
2. It's cold - currently, it's colder in my house than it is outside.
3. Getting everyone out of bed and moving in a cold house is really hard.
4. Groceries just keep getting more expensive.
5. My dog needs to keep her nose out of the trash.
6. Speaking of trash - the person responsible for doing dishes over the weekend (which would be 2 different people - one Saturday, one Sunday) couldn't be bothered to empty the trash and I came home to a very nasty odor all through my house.
7. Politics. Enough commercials already. (But you should know the issues and vote on election day-seriously)
It's a short list today. Probably because I'm still riding my creative wave and making good progress on my short!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It Never Left...

I've been struggling with my creativity and direction for a little while now. I've been writing through it, but it's been like walking through broken glass in my bare feet. The joy is there, but it's deadened by the pain in my feet. Every single time I think I've got it figured out, something happens to knock me back down and make me question pretty much everything. I know I'm not alone in this, most writers I know struggle with self-doubt, worry, impatience, as well as many other afflictions of the psyche that have the power to leave you a quivering mass of jelly. If you let it.
Sometimes you have to let it - you have to wallow in your self-pity and doubt for a short time. You say a bunch of curse words, eat chocolate, talk to your writing friends, and maybe drink a little Captain Morgan. Then, those feelings fade into the background where they belong. They never truly go away, but that's just part of being human.
Sometimes you've been at odds with yourself for so long, you've been dealing with the weight of everyday life for so long, that you wonder if your muse has taken a permanent vacation, leaving you to fend for yourself in a very scary place. Perhaps she's soaking up the sun with white sand beaches, adorable cabana boys, and an endless supply of umbrella drinks. That bitch. How dare she leave and not take you with her? But then, why would she want to hang out with you when you're not really listening to her, when you're letting everything else influence your time, ideas, and self-worth?
Anyway. I think I went off on a side trail there. I think I have a point.
Sometimes you forget about the things that inspire you. Sometimes your negative focus clouds your creative vision so much that you think you've lost the spark that made you write that first word on the page. That worry snowballs and the next thing you know, you're cleaning your house to avoid opening the document. And that, my friends, is troublesome.
So my point is...
That spark is here and as feisty as ever. That thing I thought I lost? I didn't. It's been here. Patiently waiting for me to figure out that the problem wasn't creativity, but me. I wasn't taking care of the writerly vessel well enough - not enough sleep, too much worry, not enough exercise, not stopping to take in the joy of what truly inspires me - you know what I mean. We're all susceptible to it. We get so caught up with everything else that basic needs slip through the cracks. We forget to refill the well, and sometimes, even when we think we are, we're so weighted down by things it's like having a hole in the bucket. It goes in, but doesn't stay in. That's what's been happening with me.
I'm not saying I have it all figured out, or that the stress and worry that have kept me feeling like a beat dog are suddenly gone, but I think recognizing the triggers is over half of the battle. And I actually had a brainstorm yesterday that netted some writing I'm really excited about. Of course, it's not on the wip I need to finish, nor is it on the next thing that needs written, but I'm going with the flow.
So, I guess that's just a long-winded way to say: Whoot! I'm working on something new!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Feel Good Friday

Yay! Friday again!
Here's my feel good list from the week!
In no particular order:
1. The very-soon arrival of friends we haven't seen in ages.
2. Cool weather.
3. The crowd that came to watch the parade.
4. Two days of sleeping in when the kids had off school.
5. AT&T/Cingular for their excellent customer service.
6. Writing friends.
7. Fantastic episodes of Supernatural. In black and white. (the boys are beautiful in black and white)
8. Chatting with friends after Supernatural.
9. My laundry being as caught up as it can be, even if it's still piled up in my living room.
10. Writing progress.
I'm sure there's more, but see #1. I have to go to the grocery store and get #9 taken care of before they get here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Parade Recap...

Yeah, I know I'm a day late. Yesterday was kind of crazy around here.
So...the parade...
I think this year's parade was the best one yet. Not only was the actual parade longer than it's ever been, but the weather was gorgeous. And we had a great crowd - family, old friends, new friends, friends we haven't seen in a long time.
The chili turned out better than I thought, despite a slight scorching that had me freaked out. Okay, so it was a little more than slight since the pot is still soaking. Bleh. Most everyone loved it. Some said it was way too hot, others didn't noticed the heat level. We ended up with a ton of food, like I figured we would.
I have a picture of Jo to share once I find my camera cord. I think that's the only photo that was taken though.
And tonight! New Supernatural! Supernatural in black and white! I'm so excited!
Oh, and as of today, I'll be simul-posting on my word press page. Here.
That's all for now!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Tonight is our town's annual Halloween parade.
The parade route is right in front of our house, which makes for fantastic parade viewing. I'm not a parade person at all, but the fact that I can come inside my house anytime I feel like it makes this parade different. We usually end up with a houseful of people, tons of food, and a lot of fun. So, today I've spent all day so far getting ready for tonight. I could have done most of it yesterday, but didn't feel like it. I'm not stressed out or anything, so it's all good.
Bathtub chili's become a Halloween parade tradition. If I say I don't feel like making it, I get evil looks and whines. What's bathtub chili, you ask? Well, it's chili, with a little bit of everything thrown in. I usually clean out the fridge when I make it (and no, I don't put anything that's growing hair or nasty in it. I do have my limits). It's never the same twice.
Tonight's chili contains last night's cheese-cracker chicken, corn, rice, 5 kinds of beans, sausage, hamburger, mushrooms, onions, peppers, leftover spaghetti sauce (yes, it works-you can't even tell spaghetti sauce is in there.) and hot pepper tomatoes. I stopped myself from putting in the leftover beef stew. I think that's probably a good thing. My stock pot is full - almost to the top.
Almost everything is done, and I'm thinking it's time for my to crash on the couch for a little while. I've got a little while before people start arriving.
That's all from here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Meh Monday

Just one of those days...
It went fast...too fast.
Kids are off school, and they've been busy doing their own thing. They're off tomorrow too.
But...tomorrow will be different.
Tomorrow will be crazy running around and cooking and some last minute cleaning (that wouldn't be last minute, if I'd have gotten around to it today! ha!)
So, I find I have nothing much to say today.
That is all.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Beth tagged me...
I'm supposed to list 5 things about each of the 5 items.
Let's go then.
10 Years Ago:
Still having babies.
Stay at home mom.
My oldest was the same age my youngest is now.
We would have just been getting back from the beach.
Seems like only yesterday.
Today's "To Do" List:
Take a nap.
Start dinner in the crock pot.
5 Snacks I enjoy:
Queso and chips.
Popcorn (but only if it's made the right way-not microwave!)
Cheese & crackers
5 Things I would do if I were a millionaire:
(A million isn't a lot of money anymore!)
Help my friends out.
Secure my kids college educations.
Secure our retirement.
Buy a beach house.
Pay off debt (duh).
5 Places I have lived:
Westminster, California
Kansas City, Kansas
Kansas City, Missouri
Napoleon, Missouri
Oskaloosa, Iowa
5 Jobs I have had (or still have):
Chicken packer
Deli clerk
(and the best two of all)

-I'm supposed to tag 5 people, but I'm going to leave it open. If you want to take a crack at it, go for it!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Maybe That's It

... I wouldn't technically call it a block, but there's definitely some reason I find a million other things to do instead of opening the document. I even cleaned. That ought to tell you something. I'm working on it though. In my mind. ha! No seriously. I am. And it's not writer's block. It's writing apathy. Or something. Or maybe it's just because it's the weekend and there's a thousand other things going on.
Who knows.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Feel Good Friday

And actually on Friday!
My feel good list for the week:
In no particular order...
1. On sale Homecoming dresses and shopping adventures.
2. Gatherings with friends.
3. Visiting gnomes.
4. Supernatural.
5. Chatting with friends afterwards.
6. Friends who understand my mood and instead of trying to talk me out of it, fall into line with how I'm feeling and end up making me laugh.
7. B, for the same reason and so many more.
8. After everything that's happened this week, still being able to make this list when I didn't think it would happen.
Now I look forward to the weekend and to the kids having a few days off school. Sleeping in. Yay.
That's all for now.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Nic! The Visiting Gnome!

Nic, Draumr's Publishing Gnome, came for a visit after having a wild vacation at Misty Simon's. He arrived just in time for our farm trip, but as soon as he caught sight of the cows he locked the doors and refused to come out of the truck. I did catch him staring at the ducks with longing, but when he saw me looking he hid inside my bag. He did ask about getting a ride on one of the tractors as we were leaving. When I told him he'd have to get out of the truck, he changed his mind. Or maybe he was only freaked because of the dogs and cats. As much as I tried, I couldn't convince him to come to the barn with me. I don't think farm living's his thing.
I caught him under the hood of K2's truck when she was checking the oil, but he disappeared too fast for me to snag a pic. He was also trying to take K2's truck for a joy ride. K2's very possesive of her vehicle. She told him, in no uncertain terms, that no one but her was allowed to drive her truck. He couldn't talk her into taking him to look for chicks either, since she's not allowed passengers for a little while yet. I did get the one on the upper left. Preening. I'm pretty sure that's before he found out there are no fairies in my yard, and before K2 refused to take him to look for fairies. In fact, he was bummed that the yard gnomes were as hard up for female companionship as he is. Sorry, Nic. Not my job.

He went sliding. I think he wanted to claim the house as his love nest, but K2 talked him out of it when he asked for a bean bag chair, lava lamp, disco ball, bead curtains, and if we had any Barry White CD's. Again, this was before he found out we didn't have a fairy population here. He did spend some time hanging with the gnomes in the garden. I had to put him to bed after an all night card game that included copious amounts of Captain Morgan and bottom-shelf whiskey. The other gnomes said he was a lightweight since that's their nightly thing, but they also said he was welcome back any time he wanted to visit. I think that might be because he lost a fortune in pennies to them. Apparently, Nic sucks at poker. Not that the other gnomes really have anything to spend their money on. Though, I wonder if there's some kid of squirrel mafia going on in my yard. Protection money, baby. That was the night I had to talk him out of the tree in the back yard. It wasn't pretty, so we'll just leave it at that - except to say B really didn't appreciate Nic trying to climb into bed with us and the dog wasn't happy with Nic's suggestive comments.
I have to say, Nic was kind of a trouble-maker during his visit. I don't think he was as misbehaved for me as he was for Misty, but then I don't have any fairies to harass.
Here's a shot of him writing on my Alphasmart. He was working on an erotic short story about fairies and gnomes when it was time for him to travel to Vicky Burkholder's.
I hope you enjoyed Nic's adventures at the Smith household. I know I enjoyed having him as a houseguest. He's welcome back whenever he wants. My couch is always open for him.