Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Guest Blogger - Megan Hart!

Hey! This is a first time thing here on the blog! My very first guest blogger! Come on in and get to know friend and awesome author, Megan Hart!

Tell us a little bit about your new book:
All Fall Down is the story of a young woman raised in a cult who, along with her three young children, is forced by her mother to leave and find her biological father who has no idea he has a child. Sunshine and her kids, Happy, Peace and Bliss, end up on her dad's doorstep where her stepmother Liesel convinces him that taking them in is the right thing to do. Liesel's been longing for a family for a long time, but she soon discovers an instant family is more than she bargained for.

1. What was your favorite part about writing this book?

Connecting the pieces between Sunshine's past life in the cult and her life in the "normal" world. Also, finishing it. That's usually my favorite part of any book.

2. Worst part?

Hmm. The revisions.

Random Writing Questions:

1. Being able to stay home and write full time again is my dream. We both know there are pitfalls. What's the worst for you?

Managing my time. I often feel like I write *all* the time because instead of managing my time, I fool around and end up taking a whole day to do what I should've been able to do in a few hours. I feel like if only I could get a handle on things, I could write, THEN watch tv or play on the internet, but I can't seem to always do that right.

2. What's your typical writing day like?

Once the family is dispatched to the outside world and I've exercised and showered, I sit down at my computer, usually about 9 am. Then I work on whatever needs doing -- writing, revisions, promotion, etc. with ample breaks until about 3 pm when my first kid gets home. Then a little more until the second kid gets home and it's time for dinner. Then I might hit the desk again later to work on promo or catch up on anything I need to finish.

3.. What's your favorite part of being able to write full time?
Being able to stay home all day. :0)

Silly Questions:

1. Have you ever seen a ghost? For real?

I think so, but I'm not sure.

2. Do you want to?

NO. But...yes.

3. Peanut butter - with or without jelly?


4. Would you rather eat bugs or shave your eyebrows?

Oh, wow. Definitely shave my eyebrows.

5. What would you do if I gave you a box full of monkeys? (cute, little ones)

Hmm. Probably invest in some diapers for them.

In the midst of a chaotic midnight assembly, Sunshine is forced out into the darkness. Holding a scrap of paper scrawled with a stranger’s name and address, Sunny grasps the hands of her three small children and begins her escape.
Liesel Albright has dreamed of starting a family. She never bargained on inheriting one already in progress…or one so deeply damaged. When nineteen-year-old Sunshine appears on the Albright’s doorstep claiming Liesel’s husband Chris is her father, all they can think to offer is temporary shelter. The next day, they’re stunned by the news that the Family of Superior Bliss, led by a charismatic zealot, has committed mass suicide. Sunny and her children haven’t just left the compound–they’ve been left behind.
Now, instead of a baby of her own, Liesel must play mother to the four survivors while Chris retreats into guilt and denial. For Sunny, however, a lifetime of teachings is not easily unlearned. No matter how hard she tries to forget, an ominous catechism echoes in her mind, urging her to finish what the Family started.

Okay. One commentor gets a copy of All Fall Down! Say something!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Coming Soon....

Come back this week for an interview with one of the bff's, Megan Hart! She's stopping in to talk about random stuff and give away a book!
Don't forget!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Feel Good Friday - The Thanksgiving Edition

I hope the holiday was nice for you!
We had a good day - first serving dinner at the soup kitchen and then hanging out with my awesome family.
Here's the list:
1. Having the opportunity to serve with my kids. K4 did not want to go. In fact, she refused to get dressed at one point. We managed to get out the door, and, of course, she was the one who ended up with the best experience. The elevator lift broke down and we couldn't get wheelchairs up or down. A woman came in with her assist dog and there was no way to get her into the dining room. We set her up in a small meeting room easily accessible with her wheelchair and K4 took it upon herself to be their personal attendant. The woman and her friend very much appreciated the effort K4 put into taking care of them - carrying dishes, refilling drinks, bringing the dog water, and clearing away the dirties. I think my daughter walked away with more appreciation though and for that I am very thankful and proud of her.
2. Fantastic food and wonderful company. We ate late, but we ate well and laughed much. Throw in some good wine and a hilarious car ride...
3. Sleeping in this morning (especially since I was up a lot of the night feeling the effects of eating too much).
4. Being lazy and staying in my pajamas until almost 4pm when we had to do a Boy Scout thing.
5. Hanging out with our soon to be daughter-in-law due to random circumstance. And the way she hangs out with K4 and makes her feel special.
6. Watching movies with the family even though my husband is commenting on the wrong historical details.
7. It's only Friday - even though I feel like it's Sunday.
8. K2 turning 20 on Sunday!
9. My nice warm bed.
10. Talking to my sister really late at night and laughing our butts off!
That is all for now.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

Eat lots of turkey, take a nap, and have fun with your family and friends.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Feel Good Friday - The Tuesday Edition

Today is my Friday! I can't tell you how happy I am about that! No day job until Monday! Whoo!
Here's my list:
1. Alternate Thanksgiving going splendidly! We had a blast!
2. My grandbaby is so stinking cute!
3. Living through Monday. Also, if you know you have hours of running around (literally, up and down stairs, loading and unloading vehicles) DO NOT wear heels. Or at least grab your sneakers to change into. Because if you don't, you will suffer! (Trust me, I am suffering!)
4. Parent-teacher conferences being over! 'Nuff said.
5. Shrimp tacos for dinner.
6. A tasty adult beverage to finish off my short, but long, week!
7. Looking forward to Thursday.
8. Sleeping in tomorrow. And Thursday. And Friday. Yay!
9. Writing time coming up! Wooo! I'm just about ready to write the opening scene!
10. Looking forward to the long weekend!
That is all!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What's Been Great About This Weekend...So Far

We're at T-3 hours until Alternate Thanksgiving begins here so I'm sure there will be more greatness to add later (especially since K5 will be here! Man, I miss that kid!).
Here's the list so far:
1. Watching movies with my girls. We've watched X-Men First Class. Pretty good. Red Riding Hood. Also, pretty good. The new Pirates - better than the other two, I'm just not a fan of the actress. We still have Thor on deck.
2. Cleaning dance party.
3. Freaking my youngest out with 80's music. Ha!
4. The vast array of cookies and brownies made. And cream cheese frosting with pumpkin spice. That will go well with the weird dessert I made from scratch...fresh pumpkin, flour, brown sugar, spices...not measured, just thrown together and baked. It's a little denser than intended, but goes fantastic with the cream cheese frosting.
5. Serious laundry progress. Three more loads. guys will be home from camp...oy!
6. Good phone conversations.
7. Mushroom cheesesteaks! And chinese food! (We won't talk about the crap-tastic pizza and how I ate it anyway hoping it would get better)
8. Sleeping in both days!
9. Waking up to the smell of turkey in the oven.
10. Knowing I have a short week coming up. And having to dress up for work, because I don't do that much (no one sees me) and sometimes I like to be a girl!
11. Plotting progress. I still need a name for the hero, a title, and to work out the end game, but I will soon be ready to start FRESH writing! Wooo!
12. My kid saying she feels better, even though she still sounds like crap.
13. Looking forward to the evening's chaos!
That is all for now!

Getting it Back...

It's kind of obvious my life has changed dramatically this past year. "The Job" has been a huge adjustment - physically, emotionally, and with the family. My writing's taken a hit and so have the opportunities to socialize and have fun. I'm not whining (not really) - just stating fact. I have to do whatever necessary to make sure my family survives. I do it willingly (mostly). but that doesn't mean it isn't without true and major side effects.
It's not over. I'm still adjusting, though I hadn't deluded myself into thinking the adjustment phase would be over quick. I promised the face in the mirror I wouldn't be too hard on it until after the first year - going through each season and holiday and reconfiguring the way things are done. I haven't lived up to that promise as much as I should have because I should be able to do it all, especially if you ask my ages old Superwoman complex. Anyway, I digress...
The first year is coming to an end soon, and I can tell. I feel more settled, more energetic, ready to focus. I don't say much about the job, but suffice it to say it's very complicated and requires an insane amount of mental energy and focus. I have at least a million things to remember every day - and what I have to remember changes frequently. Maybe I've finally trained my brain to separate and can shake off the busyness of my days enough to re-focus my energy on other things after I leave. Maybe it's because I've made a decision to pass off some of my volunteer obligations (as I take on a huge one with my writing chapter...hrm) I don't know, but I do feel different. Maybe it's because 2011 is almost over...and well, wouldn't that just be like me to finally get my act together the year the world's supposed to end? Ha!
2011 definitely hasn't lived up to its expectations in many ways. And, as usual (and probably delusional) I am ever hopeful for 2012.
I'm thinking about my goals for 2012 (not resolutions, because resolutions suck). I don't know if I'll post them or not, but I will have some definite goals written down and will do my best to get to this time next year with the ability to say Done!.
So, go away suck! Bring on 2012!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dear Supernatural People,

(I am sorry this is the first Dear Supernatural People post I've done this season. That's too sad. I'll try to do better, but there's only one more episode before Hellatus...)
Loved it!
Poor Dean. He was so funny all drugged up on turducken nirvana. And so pretty when he was sleeping it off. I still worry about Sam with the way he squeezed his reality button on his hand while he was worrying to Bobby. Guess we'll see about that in another episode. Bobby was fantastic, as usual. I'm not saying anything about the end yet, because I refuse to think about it right now.
Dick...well, he lives up to his name, for sure. He's a fantastic character and the evil is played so well. Interesting that he can heal himself from the power clean stuff that takes the rest of them down. Bobby played it cool, but the little freak out he had on his face when he was looking at the folders on Dick's desk is kind of foreboding.
I loved this episode. So much. Loved them walking through the woods with their guns reminiscing about Bobby teaching them to hunt and how they couldn't shoot Bambi. And that guy - or whatever he was by then - was really creepy.
One more episode before another dry spell...*Sigh*

Friday, November 18, 2011

Feel Good Friday

Here's the list:
1. That our Chinese food finally arrived an hour after we called it in. And the guy stiffed me a buck! And! The eggrolls were so greasy that I now have a stomachache! was good.
2. Sleeping in tomorrow.
3. New Supernatural tonight.
4. Getting a twenty-six pound turkey for free!
5. Being in my comfy pants and warm socks...
6. And having an adult beverage at the end of a very long week.
7. Watching X-Men before Supernatural. With Kevin Bacon!
8. Alternate Thanksgiving on Sunday with the grandbaby!
9. Writing time this weekend.
10. Did I mention sleeping in?
That's it. Been a busy week and between the eye and the constant obligations...well, it's a dang good thing it's Friday!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Eye Update...

I couldn't stand it anymore. The eye. The pain. The stupidness of it all.
Called the doc and begged them to call in a prescription for pink eye. The receptionist said she'd check with the doc and get back to me. When they called back, the first question was "does it hurt?". Well, yeah, it hurts like there's a rock in it. The nurse said I had to go in and be seen. Really? Come on. My day was so freaking busy. The last thing I wanted, or had time for, was to sit in the waiting room for them to determine I had pink eye and send me off with the 'script they could have just called in for me.
But I went anyway. Because I was done with looking ridiculous.
I barely had my butt in the waiting room chair when they called me back. Then they weighed me and measured me. Really? But whatever. I expected to wait in the exam room for an hour, but the doctor came in before I had my shoes retied. She looked and looked, and then looked some more. Then she put this yellow dye in my eye that stained the white for about an hour after I left (I looked like an alien).
Nope. Not pink eye. (That'll teach me to self-diagnose)
I have a scratch on my cornea.
Which explains why the hot compresses didn't really help. It also explains why the "rock" feeling in the same place.
So, she prescribed some antibiotic goo that I have to squeeze into my eye and I'm supposed to avoid excessive computer time. Ha!
Not very exciting, I'm afraid...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This Eye of Mine...

I don't know what's wrong with it. It hurts and it's swollen and feels like there are rocks in it. I look ridiculous, though the man says it's not that bad. He lies, I'm sure. When he moved in to kiss me good-bye, he made a face. Great.
Anyway. I don't know what happened. I felt like I had something in it and it's progressed to where I am now.
Clearly, there is a trip to the doc in my future, but for now I will continue to use compresses and try to avoid the computer. (Ha! I have work to do!)
And that is all for this rainy Wednesday...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Oh, Sunday...

Why is Sunday almost over? That means the weekend is nearly finished. Poo! My laundry is not done. I haven't slept enough. My kids only just got home from their weekend away. I haven't written yet.
Yesterday I helped the folks clean up the massive amount of debris dumped in their yard from our freak pre-Halloween snowstorm. I even ran a chainsaw. I actually got to drive my dad's coveted tractor, too. We won't talk about how I ran the tractor into the fire pit, or how I fell on my butt trying to help pull a broken branch out of a tree. Anyway. It was a good day.
Then, the man and I were supposed to be alone. We did some grocery shopping (freak power outage at the store. Weird), came home and made dinner. Then...a kid came home. (This is the second weekend in a row that our alone time has been rudely corrupted.) I need to switch laundry, eat dinner, and write...
Damn Sunday being almost over...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Feed Good Friday

First off, Thank You to all of the veterans - my dad, my brothers, the Godfather to my children, the mans brother-to-another-mother, my father-in-law, and everyone else who has given me my freedom. You're awesome and one day of Thank You is not enough.
* * *
After a laboriously long and dreadful week, here is what little I could scrape up for this post.
1. Friday! Duh!
2. Sleeping in a little tomorrow.
3. The adult beverage that will be waiting for me when I return from running all over creation tonight.
4. New Supernatural tonight! I hope we're home in time.
5. The weekend!
6. Taking an extra day off before Thanksgiving. Man, am I looking forward to that!
...that's about it. I feel like I say it's been a long week every Friday, and I know I've posted more than once how "this" week outweighs the rest. I really don't think I like saying that. I don't like wishing my weeks away and all of the stress that seems like it's weighing on me...Something must be done! I just wish I knew what!
That is all...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Random Thursday...

A list of utter nonsense...
1. This week is kicking my *ss. I will be very, very glad to see the end of the day tomorrow.
2. Some people should not procreate. They shouldn't even be able to *think* about doing the horizontal mambo because of the risk of procreation. Just sayin'.
3. Sleeping in is a beautiful thing and should happen way more often.
4. Certain people (probably some of the same sort as in #2) will always be a-holes. No matter what happens. Always.
5. Sometimes I am convinced that I have no idea what I'm doing. Make that a lot of the time. Most of the time? See?
6. I miss my granddaughter.
7. When I woke up this morning, it was warm out. When I left the day job, it was freezing. Why?
8. I hope if, when, I end up squirming on the floor - twitching dramatically because some tiny thing has officially put me over the edge - that people just leave me alone. Let me twitch. I beg of you, just let me twitch for a few minutes. Then bring me booze. Or bring me booze first, then leave me alone.
9. Plotting is making me question this whole idea...yeah, it's coming together, but not as quickly or as solidly as I'd hoped. But see #'s 1 - 8. Not calling excuse, just a possible explanation.
10. One of the first things I'm planning to burn when I go on my rampage is my overburdened calendar book (Holy crap 2012, why you gotta start kicking my butt so soon?), followed by the checkbook. I think I will throw in the laundry and perhaps a manuscript or two. When said rampage will happen is anyone's guess...
Ha! That's a weird list!
Tomorrow is 11-11-11. That's pretty cool! Maybe it'll be an awesome day! (I can hope, right?) And it's Veteran's Day, so make sure you thank a vet for their service and your freedom!
That is all.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Plodding...No, Wait...Plotting

Yes, I still have new book excitement, but I'm at the hard part now. The part where I actually have to figure out the plot.
Characters are easy. Mostly. No, they never talk to me, never wake me up in the middle of the night and demand things of me, or take over my brain and prevent me from living a normal life until I write about them. Maybe that happens to some people, but not me. (Getting caught up in the story is different.) Setting is also relatively easy. Especially if I get to create a new and different world.
I love the "what ifs" and "what about" and I'm slowly getting all of those in place. Did a little brainstorm with the man, and with a friend, and the big picture is starting to form. Right now, it's like a 5-billion piece puzzle with little tiny shapes and most of them are the same. And they're all black. Those pieces will move together and the color will shift and I'll be able to get everything where it belongs.
Soon I will start new writing...after I get the puzzle pieces away from the cat and dig some more out of the couch cushions...

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Stuff That Goes On Here...

The Egg Audience...

On Saturday, the man and I went grocery shopping. We were being silly and stupid and our goofing off caused us to leave a box of eighteen eggs in the backseat of his car.
Not very bright.
When we went to parent-teacher conferences for the youngest kid, she discovered the eggs.
We brought them in to dispose of them after discussing how handy a whole box of rotting eggs would be when you had a case of road rage (not me. I am not an angry driver. Ever)

A Happy Chap
We sat them on the counter as we shucked our jackets and stowed our keys.
K2 opened the box and disappeared to find markers....
Every egg has a different face...

Death by Pliers...
This poor guy didn't make it. Someone tried to pick him up with a pair of pliers.

It is any wonder that I teeter on the edge of insanity?


Sunday, November 06, 2011

And There IT is!

I don't think there's anything better than new book excitement!!
I really thought my brain was broken. Truly. I couldn't settle on what I wanted to write. Nothing was sparking. One of my goals for October was to stay in our fifty words a day for fifty day challenge, so I sat every night and wrote at least fifty words - hoping that the brain barf would begin to coalesce. It kind of did, though I didn't realize it until yesterday. To say I was about a half-second away from going into full on panic and despair mode would be an understatement. I really thought my mojo had abandoned me. Quite honestly though, I really wasn't looking very hard. My attitude sucked hardcore. I wasn't being nice to myself or that mojo.
Somewhere between a really crazy dream and yesterday's writing meeting, I was hit in the forehead by not only how I was sabotaging myself, but by the shiny new idea. And it totally rocks!
Yes, I will admit I definitely needed to take some time off. I don't think I'm the only writer who secretly fears that by not writing, your dream will wander off and get lost in the woods, or fall into a well. And yes, I know how ridiculous that is, but there you have it.
Anyway...the point is that I am on it like white on rice now.
I am very excited.

Saturday, November 05, 2011


I've already mentioned some of the changes that will be going on around here for 2012. Weddings, engagement parties...Oh, and there are the milestone birthdays...3 of consider. (K2 turns 21. K3 turns 16. K4 turns 13. And that's just in my immediate family - there are also a few 40's and more milestone birthdays and anniversaries than I can even remember at the moment)
In addition to all of that, I have - just today - been elected to oversee my local writing chapter as president.
Now, I've been vice-president for four years now, so it's a natural step. I only have one more year to serve on the board before I have to take a two year break. I am honored (even though I ran unopposed). There are big shoes to fill. I don't even think I can come close to our current/former president. In fact, I know I can't.
But I will do my best to be a good president in my own way.
One of my biggest problems is my terror of public speaking...
I'd gotten over this many, many moons ago because I was forced to. Years and years at home with no one but the spawn to speak to retracted all of the progress I'd made. That's not a bad thing, but now I find myself barely able to say the things I want to say when I have to stand up. I can talk to a group of people and be intelligent and effective, but the second I have to stand I turn into an idiot. So...I'm going to work on that. Maybe I'll be a "sit down" president for a while.
What's good is that I love my chapter. I love the people - my friends. I love writing. I love meeting day.
I will manage this. I will overcome my obstacles and be an effective (mostly unfunny president). Cool thing is that I have an awesome VP (I don't think she has any idea what she's just gotten herself into!) and almost all of the previous board remains the same, so that's going to help.
It's going to be a great year regardless of my lack of speaking skills. And a busy one!
That is all for now...

Friday, November 04, 2011

Feel Good Friday...

The "Oh, my God. I lived through the week" edition.
Yes, my's been an extremely long one!
Here's the list:
1. Friday...duh!
2. Sleeping in a tiny bit tomorrow. (just a tiny bit)
3. Writing meeting! Whoot!
4. Meeting my goal!
5. My sister being okay.
6. Birthdays!
7. The weekend!
8. Awesome speakers scheduled for the meeting tomorrow!
9. The retreat only being 6 months away!! (and trust me, sometimes thoughts of the retreat is the only thing that keep me sane!)
10. Supernatural being so completely awesome tonight!!
That is all...

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Lots of Stuff...

So it's November...
Apparently, it's "No Shave" November. No shaving...all month. Yeah, something tells me I won't be participating in that one...
* * *
There's all kind of big news going on around here. Not only are we in the middle of planning a wedding for 2013, but there will be one in 2012 as well. My oldest is tying the knot next August. It came as kind of a shock, but around here we tend to go with the flow...
So, sometime at the beginning of next year I will be planning and hosting K1 & J's engagement party as we work on wedding plans for them. (And no, there is not an additional grandchild in my immediate future). After the wedding, we'll then plan K2 & J's engagement party. (How weird is it that they're both marrying someone whose first name starts with J?)
It's going to be an expensive year around here.
But I will still be glad to see 2011 end, though I haven't given up hope on the year yet....